Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Shangguan Fei’er said: “Naturally they did not know I was here before coming. However, having someone from the Heaven’s Expanse Palace appear at the borders is extremely serious, and the northern command had reported it above to the command. After all, it is a very sensitive issue for someone from the Great Saint Lands to enter the border wars. Furthermore, there is the possibility that it was someone masquerading as one from the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, how could they not send someone?”
Zhou Weiqing furrowed his brow. This was not a good sign. After all, he did not know what the Heaven’s Expanse Palace would do once they knew he was here, up to no good. Any half-intelligent person would be able to tell that a person like him, from a conquered Empire, training the soldiers from the Ruffian Battalion, was up to something indeed. Even with his connection to Bing’er, the Heaven’s Expanse Palace might not do anything against him, but they might not support him like that.
Shangguan Fei’er giggled and said: “Alright, you don’t need to think so much. My Father and Uncle won’t quibble over just a thousand men. They aren’t so petty or shortsighted. Our ZhongTian Army numbers over two million soldiers, this thousand men does not count for much. Furthermore, haven’t you realised that they have been trying to draw you in to our side? Otherwise, the previous time when you ruined our chances in the Lustre Spatial Realm to get the dragon egg, would they let you off so easily? That only shows that they look upon you even more favourably than a dragon’s egg.”
Zhou Weiqing started and a small smile crossed his lips and he said: “Hmm, so… that means your husband is hot property eh!”
“Cheh, whose husband are you? Let me warn you … you better watch yourself. This time, Big Bro Zhan is here. I gave the excuse that I am keeping an eye on you in order to stay here. When you see him later, you better show some restraint, he does not have any liking towards you.”
“Zhan LingTian?” Zhou Weiqing’s heart skipped a beat. He did not like that fellow either. “His wounds are all healed?”
Shangguan Fei’er nodded and said: “Since they did not know who was here, Father specially sent Big Bro Zhan, who had just recovered from his wounds. He has already been here for about a month, but I was afraid of affecting your training, so I did not tell you before this.”
Zhou Weiqing felt a migraine coming on as soon as he heard it was Zhan LingTian who came here. He knew that that fellow hated his guts, and was one of the top of the younger generation of the Heaven’s Expanse Palace. Even against Shangguan Fei’er, he could hold his own.
“He wants to bring you back?” Zhou Weiqing asked the question that was currently worrying him the most.
Shangguan Fei’er gave a humph, saying: “Whatever this young lady wants to do, he can’t stop me. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.”
“Good, good. I would not be able to bear for my Fei’er to leave me.” Zhou Weiqing beamed happily. As long as Shangguan Fei’er did not leave with Zhan LingTian, he did not really care who came here.
Shangguan Fei’er continued: “Alright, hurry up go and go bathe. I will go call everyone here.”
Zhou Weiqing took a quick and simple cold water bath. For the Peerless Battalion, the only thing they had no lack of was definitely water, with several underground wells, even in the deep harsh winter, the wells would not freeze over; otherwise, the Ruffian Battalion would have perished a long time ago. Zhou Weiqing’s tunnel planning was purposely designed to include those wells and making sure they were well protected.
By the time Zhou Weiqing returned to his tent, Shangguan Fei’er had brought the entire group there. However, she did not call Zhan LingTian. After all, some of the secrets of the Peerless Battalion were not for his eyes and ears.
Lin TianAo, Dou Dou, Yun Li, Wei Feng, Hua Feng were all here. Due to the small size of the tent, Shangguan Fei’er did not call everyone to the tent.
“Master Hua Feng.” Zhou Weiqing greeted him first.
Hua Feng smiled faintly, looking Zhou Weiqing up and down before saying: “A lot thinner, but you have managed to keep your powers well hidden. Not bad, looks like you have quite a good improvement over the last three months.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Of course, your great disciple is definitely outstanding! How is everyone’s archery?”
Hua Feng said: “A lot better than I had expected. These soldiers of your Peerless Battalion are old experienced hands, and they have a pretty decent foundation of skills. Furthermore, your reward and punishment system is really quite good. After the past few months of training, their basic accuracy should be no problem. Furthermore, most of them have a Heavenly Energy base, and they should be accurate to about a three hundred yard distance. Some of the better skilled ones have a range of about five hundred yards.”
Hearing Hua Feng’s words, joy overwhelmed Zhou Weiqing. With Hua Feng’s level of skill in archery, for him to give any amount of praise, that would mean they definitely had an acceptable accuracy against moving targets. For the Peerless Battalion soldiers to accomplish this in three months, that was already really good.
Zhou Weiqing turned to Shangguan Fei’er and asked: “What about your side?”
Shangguan Fei’er said: “Still alright… one hundred and sixty nine men improved their Heavenly Energy, of which thirty one actually increased one Jewel. All of them have at least improved drastically in terms of reaction time, and overall close combat skills. At least, they are no longer a heap of loose sand 1. They are still not fully adept at fighting together though, but it is definitely a good improvement. If those Physical Jewel Masters can get a full set of Consolidated Equipment, they will be an impressive force that cannot be dismissed easily.”
“So many people raised in rank?” Although the Peerless Battalion soldiers were all at a relatively low stage and it was much easier for them to rank up, for so many of them to be able to do so in such a short period of time was something Zhou Weiqing had not expected. Shangguan Fei’er was from the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, and her eyes and vision were extremely high. If she said that they were a force that were not to be dismissed, one could imagine how much the Ruffian Battalion had grown in this time.
Lin TianAo said: “I’ve left Little Four and Drunken Bao back at the TianBei City to take care of things. The armour we ordered to be custom made still needs quite some time to complete, but the first batch of a hundred sets is done and in the midst of shipping; it should reach the TianBei City soon. As they are rather large to ship, we will be moving them in batches. Since the northern army command had sent us the bows and arrows, we have no lack of that. I brought five hundred thousand gold along this time, that should be enough to take care of any training requirements for a long time, and I’ve passed it to Big Bro Wei to take care of it.”
Lin TianAo had always been stable and dependable, and Zhou Weiqing could always set his mind at ease when he was in charge of something.
Wei Feng smiled and picked up the conversation: “The digging of the tunnels is going well; currently the few main tunnels have already been connected, and a few of the hidden ventilation shafts have also been well done, some connected directly to tree patches in the jungle. Unless someone knows about it beforehand, otherwise it should be nearly impossible to discover. With those ventilation shafts, even if our entire Battalion moves to live in the tunnels, there should be no problems. However, we are still continuing the expansion, giving us more space to use. In terms of water supply, we have already managed to connect one of the wells to part of our tunnels. With such preparations, along with all the stored food we have, by the time the WanShou Army attacks this year, we should have a far easier time in comparison. Oh right, after these few days of various rewards, the total gold spent is…”
Zhou Weiqing waved his hand and said: “You don’t have to report the amount of gold spent to me, I leave this to you. As long as you think there will be a good effect, you can add rewards and punishments as you see fit.”
Wei Feng looked at Zhou Weiqing, clearly touched. “Battalion Commander, ever since you arrived, I may not say that our Peerless Battalion has become so cohesive, but at least everyone is so much livelier and … alive. All these years I have been with the Ruffian Battalion, I have never spent such a fulfilling time like these past few months. Although every day is so busy, I just feel like everything is filled with hope. Most of our brothers also feel the same like me, and all of this was brought by you. Do not worry, even if there was no profit or gain, no matter what you asked us all to do, no one would dare to be against it, otherwise I too won’t let them off.”
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “Profit is still a must. Furthermore, I still want to let our brothers enjoy the fruits of labour. What you need to instil in them is that no matter what, our lives are always the most important, because our lives are worth everything. No matter what, if we die, and we have the money but aren’t able to spend it, won’t it be so painful?”
Wei Feng nodded. He was growing to admire that nature of Zhou Weiqing. As a Battalion Commander, he would only take care of the overall direction, not fussing over every tiny detail, allowing his men to take care of that. That… was the mark of a good leader.
Yun Li said: “Myself and Dou Dou do not have any problems. The longbow Consolidating Equipment Scrolls you requested, we have already prepared three hundred sets. As for the Wings, we have also completed one hundred and fifty sets.
We also did a few Grandmaster Consolidating Equipment Scrolls. These may not be too tough to complete, but they cost a lot of materials, some quite expensive. Along with the titanium alloy armour you custom ordered, and calculating the time and cost, your money can only last us half a year. It’s up to you.”
If they were to see who was the most pleased with themselves over the past few months, it would definitely be Yun Li. Everyday, creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls together with Dou Dou, he felt full of strength and motivation. With all this time working together, he felt like he was falling for her more and more. Although this Little Miss Muddle was just as muddleheaded about emotions and feelings as everything else, these few months had definitely brought her closer to Yun Li. At the same time, creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls together with Dou Dou had also let him learn so much from her. After all, Dou Dou was the disciple of the greatest Consolidating Equipment Master in the world, and she did not have any thoughts of hiding anything from him. Yun Li’s skill in creating Consolidating Equipment Scrolls could be said to have improved by leaps and bounds. Although he still had some distance to go to reach Dou Dou’s standards, such an improvement gave him the confidence that Zhou Weiqing could never catch up with him, how could he not feel pleased with himself? At the same time, Dou Dou was also getting closer to becoming a Zong Stage Consolidating Equipment Master, and he trusted that she would do so very soon.
Despite hearing that so many Consolidating Equipment Scrolls had been completed, Zhou Weiqing was not too overly excited. With Dou Dou and Yun Li’s skill level, creating these relatively simple High Level Consolidating Equipment Scrolls were rather easy for them, and it was all within his expectations.
However, these same words in Wei Feng’s ears had a totally different effect. Four… almost five hundred Consolidating Equipment Scrolls! Even if the Consolidating Equipment Pavilion were to try to provide that, it would not be so easy. With these two Consolidating Equipment Masters in addition to Zhou Weiqing, the future of the Peerless Battalion definitely had a very promising future ahead. This gave him even further confidence in Zhou Weiqing, firming his resolve to follow him no matter what.
After hearing Yun Li’s words, Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily and said: “It looks like our Peerless Battalion is growing very well! We still have six more months before the annual major invasion of the WanShou Empire, and I hope that by that time, our Peerless Battalion can be in fighting shape.
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