Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
“My Dear Heroine, please let me go.” Zhou Weiqing sighed helplessly as he turned around.
However, when he saw the person who had grabbed onto his shoulder, he started visibly.
It was not Shangguan Fei’er there as he had expected, but an ordinary looking cloth-clad youth.
The young man looked very average, not tall or short, average in almost all sense of the word. His clothes were simple, with black hair bound in a ponytail at his back, granting a valiant air to his average looks. No matter what, Zhou Weiqing was certain he did not recognize this person.
On seeing it wasn’t Shangguan Fei’er, a sense of warning sparked in Zhou Weiqing’s heart, and without hesitation, he drew upon his Immortal Deity Shield to the maximum. At the same time, he kicked out with his right leg at lightning speed towards the youth. It was not anything good to be grabbed by a stranger suddenly.
Alas, his efforts were futile. The hand grabbing onto his shoulder moved along with his own motions, and Zhou Weiqing felt his body weaken and soften. His Immortal Deity Shield did not manage to shake his opponent’s hand away, and the kick from his right leg was extremely weak, easily dodged by the youth.
“Zhou Little Fatty, are you trying to die?” Shangguan Fei’er’s voice rang out, suppressed in a low tone and filled with embarrassment. How could this rascal kick at a girl’s lower abdomen!
“Fei’er, you’re Fei’er?!” Zhou Weiqing’s jaw dropped as he stared wide eyed at the young man in front of him.
Shangguan Fei’er gave a cold humph as she said: “This Young Master is now Shangguan Fei. You better watch out!”
Although Zhou Weiqing had witnessed Shangguan Fei’er’s amazing disguising skills in the Lustre Spatial Realm, she had after all been disguising herself as another girl. At this point, she had actually disguised herself as a man, even down to having an Adam’s Apple. Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but shake his head in amazement.
“Hmph, now you know how skillful I am right, if you want to praise this young master, go ahead. I won’t stop you!” Shangguan Fei’er said smugly.
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Indeed, that is extremely skillful. Alas, your figure is just too bad.”
“Whose figure are you saying is bad?!” Shangguan Fei’er almost went crazy, and the hand grabbing onto Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder involuntarily exerted greater pressure.
“Uhhh, I’m wrong…” Under such a threat, Zhou Weiqing could only lower his head and say helplessly. “Since you insist on following me into the army, then let’s go.” He had no way of escaping this young miss, and could only accept his fate.
Shangguan Fei’er finally let go of him, saying in a satisfied tone: “That’s more like it. Come on, let’s go.”
The two of them continued on towards the north gate. As they moved along, Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but examine Shangguan Fei’er. No matter how he examined her from every angle, he could not find any problems with her disguise. If not for the fact that she had used her original voice to speak to him, he would never have been able to guess this was her indeed.
“So, where are we going to join the army?” Shangguan Fei’er asked him. This time, she heven changed her voice, though still clear and melodious, it was clearly no longer a female voice.
Zhou Weiqing said: “First, we have to head to the north gates to see what the situation is before we decide. Since the combat situation on the north is never-ending, I’m sure your ZhongTian Empire is constantly recruiting fresh blood right.”
Shangguan Fei’er nodded and said: “Yup, that is true. Are you preparing to join as a Heavenly Jewel Master?”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Of course, only then can I reach a relatively high rank as soon as possible.”
Shangguan Fei’er said: “What about me? This disguise of mine is barely twenty years old; if I reveal my powers, it would be easy to draw suspicion.”
Zhou Weiqing rolled his eyes and said: “Of course you can’t use your powers, do you still have to ask? Besides those from the Great Saint Lands, it is virtually impossible to reach the six-Jeweled stage at the age of twenty! If you want to join the army with me, you have to listen to me. When I report, I’ll say that I am from a declining noble family, and you are my follower. WIthout my permission, unless in critical danger, you cannot use your powers, at least until I achieve the required rank and can have my own unit.”
“No way, how can I possibly be your follower.” Shangguan Fei’er immediately objected.
Zhou Weiqing said savagely: “If you don’t want to be my follower, that’s fine, but you have to let me get the twenty slaps you owe me.”
Shangguan Fei’er muttered to herself: “So petty… Fine, follower it shall be. But don’t you dream of having me wait on you.”
Zhou Weiqing secretly breathed a sigh of relief and said: “As long as you don’t speak too much, and just stay by my side, that is all. I wouldn’t dare to have the Second Miss of the Heaven’s Expanse Palace wait on me…”
At last, the pair reached the north gate. Unfortunately, to their disappointment, there was no recruitment center there like they had expected. The north gates were wide open, and the streets were bustling with people. The only soldiers they could see were the fifty or so well armoured ones guarding the gates.
“So, what now?” Shangguan Fei’er looked at Zhou Weiqing curiously. Although she was a citizen of the ZhongTian Empire, she had stayed most of her life in the Heavenly Jewel Island and not left it; in terms of dealing with worldly situations, she was no match for Zhou Weiqing, and did not know much about the situation about the ZhongTian army either.
Zhou Weiqing said: “Let me ask.”
Stepping up quickly to one of the guards at the gates, the familiar honest smile that Zhou Weiqing had not used in a long time appeared again. “This big brother here, can I ask you a question? Is our ZhongTian Army recruiting soldiers?”
The soldier looked at him before nodding, saying: “Of course we are recruiting. You’re not from around here right, otherwise you would know this for sure.”
Zhou Weiqing immediately nodded vigorously, saying: “Indeed! I’m not from around here, but I’ve travelled here because I want to join the army, especially the border armies, to actually fight against our enemies!”
Hearing his words, the soldier smiled, lifting up a hand to clap Zhou Weiqing’s shoulder, saying: “Very good, very good. Looking at your figure, it should be no problem at all in joining the army. Let me give you the directions – once you exit the north gate, keep heading north towards the border. You’ll need to travel about two hundred kilometres before you reach the main camp of our army. Besides any special circumstances, recruiting is all over there. You just need to report there and say that you are here to join up, no matter which Regiment, someone will be there to receive you. As long as you pass a simple test, you will be able to enter the army.”
“Thank you very much, Big Brother. Two hundred kilometres, that is quite far away.”
The soldier laughed heartily, saying: “It is indeed quite a distance away, but that is also a form of training in itself. Oh, right, if you have confidence in yourself, you can also try your luck in the Duelling Corner just outside of the main camp.”
“Oh? Duelling Corner? What sort of place is that?” Zhou Weiqing had been about to leave when the soldier had suddenly told him about such an unheard of place, and his interest was immediately sparked.
The soldier said: “The Duelling Corner is one of the unique parts of our ZhongTian Empire northern zone. How do I put it… it is one of the rare entertainment areas in this war zone here, and also a main morale booster for us. It is actually a colosseum arena, and any soldiers can join in at any time.”
“With Regiments being the base, each Regiment has their own Duelling Corner. Of course, there are rules to competing in the Duelling Corner; seriously injuring, maiming or killing your opponent is strictly forbidden. Achieving a victory will award the victor with a certain monetary reward, but more importantly, it is also one avenue for earning rank and status. If a soldier manages to achieve consecutive victories, he will be able to gain rank, tantamount to joining a battle. I’ve heard that the highest rank you can raise from the Duelling Corner is up to the Battalion level. Many powerful Jewel Masters have used this method to raise rank quickly.”
“Ohh? Such a thing is possible?” Zhou Weiqing started for a moment, and he couldn’t help but exclaim in praise inwardly.
The ZhongTian Empire truly lived up to its name as the strongest empire in the world. Although he only heard a simple introduction by the soldier, Zhou Weiqing could already read into the matter in his heart, and had a simple understanding of it.
The benefit of this Duelling Corner was clear. First of all, it would allow the army to easily unearth and choose talents, promoting them into officials. To the army, for low rank officials at least, their combat prowess was more important than their commanding capabilities. For a small unit, a powerful commanding officer would be of a greater influence on the unit’s survival and effect on the battlefield.
Next, this Duelling Corner would also better attract Jewel Masters to join the army, while also maintaining a certain fairness. After all, having witnesses on their actual power in combat was much better than just seeing cultivation level to gain rank.
Next, in this broad northern lands, there were more than a million troops stationed here in total. For the soldiers, besides training and fighting, there wasn’t much else for these lonely troops to do. Under such a situation, having this Duelling Corner as entertainment, giving them an opportunity to blow off steam while also giving them an incentive to become stronger, not to mention to earn some side income; this was definitely a great choice. The law of the army was originally like the law of the jungle, where the strong were respected. Who wouldn’t want to be strong, to be known? And this Duelling Corner was just the perfect platform for ambitious soldiers to display their power.
Waving his fist, a faint smile crossed Zhou Weiqing’s lips. It looks like his journey in the ZhongTian Army would begin in the Duelling Corner.
Returning to Shangguan Fei’er, Zhou Weiqing told her what the soldier had told him. Shangguan Fei’er was naturally interested as well. Both of them did not care about the monetary rewards, but having such a place to fight and earn their rank was definitely a great draw.
“I also want to join!” Shangguan Fei’er said excitedly.
Zhou Weiqing immediately said: “No! Have you forgotten what I just told you? Once your cultivation level is revealed, it will definitely spark suspicion. My figure is large, and I look about twenty years old or more, despite my real age. Being at the four-Jeweled Stage is rather high, but not too impossible. Furthermore, I have the Ring of Concealment, allowing me to show just a single attribute on my Elemental Jewel. That’s something that you do not have, especially your Physical Jewel which is just too obvious. If you want to come with me to the army camp, you have to behave yourself, otherwise I’ll rather not go to the army at all.”
This time, Zhou Weiqing’s expression was very serious and resolute, not giving an inch at all. Looking at his uncompromising eyes, Shangguan Fei’er finally gave in.
After leaving the Tian Bei City, the two summoned their Ghost Demon Horses, mounting the robust powerful horses, they galloped towards the north.
These Ghost Demon Horses were not only strong, they had amazing endurance and staying power, and also terrifying speed, galloping along like the wind. They did not have much offensive capabilities, more known for their speed and defense. Two hundred kilometres melted away in a matter of four hours, and by then, the large army camp slowly appeared in the distance before their eyes.
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