Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
The tunnel in front of him was one of the many that the Ruffian Battalion had dug over all these years, only about a metre tall, and they had to bend in an extremely uncomfortable position to climb in. The entrance was extremely well hidden, very hard to see from outside.
The tunnel extended deep more than over a dozen metres before it reached a larger space carved out, barely able to stand up, but still not considered too spacious. Furthermore, the ventilation was pretty bad.
Wei Feng gave a bitter smile as he said: “These hills are all hard rock, mostly granite. Our brothers barely have enough food to fill themselves… being able to dig to such an extent is already amazing. In any case, this is just enough to barely keep ourselves alive.”
Zhou Weiqing furrowed his brow and said: “This will not do… this is leaving everything up to fate. If you are discovered, there is only death awaiting. Furthermore, what happens if the fight outside lasts for a long time? What do we do? In the end we will just starve to death in here.”
Wei Feng looked at Zhou Weiqing and said: “What do you say we do then?”
Zhou Weiqing thought for a moment before saying: “Dig deeper holes, accumulate greater stores of food. The hills being granite rock has bad points, but also good points. If we can carve an underground world for ourselves down here, fortifying it well, no matter how many enemies come at us, we do not need to be afraid. We have only just entered spring, so we do not need to rush into this. Let me think about it more and design it better… we need to extend and expand all these original tunnels and join them together. An underground world needs to have sufficient space for us to move around, and also sufficient ventilation, entrances and exits. This is the bare minimum. Vice Commander Wei Feng, how does everyone train and cultivate normally?”
Wei Feng smiled bitterly once more and said: “Living in such a place, in such conditions, who still has the heart and mind to cultivate or train? In truth, there are many here who have very good talents, but they are buried here, only living their lives and waiting for death.”
A wicked light gleamed in Zhou Weiqing’s eyes and he said: “No problem, let everyone get well fed and warm first. When the time comes, I have my ways to let them develop their talents.”
By now, his position as the Peerless Battalion Battalion Commander was stable, but Zhou Weiqing knew that things had to be done step by step, and not rush into things.
If he were to force these men to train now, the effect would not be good at all. After all, they had suffered in the biting cold and starvation for so long, and that had a strong effect, no matter how good their physiques were. The important thing for them now was to let their bodies recover before he took any further steps.
“Vice Commander Wei, tonight I will be going to the TianBei City. You take care of the money.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing pointed to the two carts that he had specially asked Wei Feng to take care of. The contents of the carts were very well sealed, and what was contained within was about two hundred thousand gold coins. It was part of the soldiers’ pay stored in the warehouses, and Zhou Weiqing had gotten the quartermaster to bring some. After all, he did not have much gold on hand, and if he wanted to use profit and gain on these ruffian soldiers, he needed to have gold in hand to do so. Just today, he had already given out several thousand gold for the previous night’s operation reward.
This time, he planned to go to the TianBei City for a few reasons. Firstly, he needed to contact Lin TianAo and the others, secondly, to get more gold to use. Of course, there were a few other smaller errands he had to run too. Zhou Weiqing’s plan for the near future was that within the next three months, he wanted to bring the Peerless Battalion to the right path, to lead them in a benign circle.
Wei Feng nodded and said: “Alright.” He would not ask a silly question like how would Zhou Weiqing get through all the army lines. After the past few days, Zhou Weiqing had already left an imprint in his heart that he could do anything.
“Battalion Commander, Battalion Commander, the Sixteenth Regiment has sent some people.” All of a sudden, they were interrupted by an urgent call as a Peerless Battalion soldier rushed in.
“Oh? They sure are quick!” Zhou Weiqing said with some surprise. Exchanging looks with Wei Feng, he walked out quickly.
“Zhou Little Fatty, you come out now.” As soon as Zhou Weiqing reached the hill, he saw Shen Bu immediately.
Shen Bu was not dressed in her Regiment Commander attire, just a normal attire. She did not have any of her personal guards with her, with just eight other people just like her, in ordinary attire and without armour.
Although it was just nine of them in total, when Zhou Weiqing saw them, his heart sank. He understood that Shen Bu had found a way to deal with him after all. Sending her troops was definitely not a possibility, so this time, she was depending on personal power to deal with him.
“Regiment Commander Shen Bu, it’s been a long time.” Although Zhou Weiqing had already made the judgement in his heart, he still smiled faintly as he spoke, strolling down casually from the hillside.
The Ruffian Battalion soldiers were currently down on morale, half of them with a terrible upset stomach, and the entire hills were still permeated with the stench. The other half were gathered there to just watch the show. After all, Zhou Weiqing had said before that they would not act without profit… furthermore there were only nine opponents.
If looks could kill, Zhou Weiqing would have been dead several times over by the time he walked down from the hillside, as Shen Bu glared at him all the way down.
A few days ago, when she had sent Zhou Weiqing to the Ruffian Battalion, she had never in her wildest dreams thought that this Zhou Little Fatty would be so troublesome to deal with, actually daring to rob all her personal guards of everything. Even worse, when she had sent her heavy cavalry Company the next day, he had still dared to do the same to them, even stripping her little sister of her equipment. That was truly an unprecedented humiliation and galling insult.
When Shen Bu saw her Company of heavy cavalry soldiers pale and shivering in the cold, their lips blue as they trudged back to the Sixteenth Regiment camp in their underpants, she grit her teeth so hard that they almost shattered. One could imagine the hate in her heart. Shen Yi had even told her that Zhou Weiqing had dared ask her to pay gold to redeem back the equipment. Such a bastard, a trash of society!
However, just like Zhou Weiqing had judged, Shen Bu did not dare to amass her entire Regiment to attack the Peerless Battalion. Towards these ruffian soldiers, Shen Bu at least had a basic understanding of their strength. If she wanted to kill them all, she would likely lose more than a Battalion worth of soldiers. Furthermore, in doing so, it was almost definite that the northern command would find out. Although she would likely not be punished for doing so, she did not want to lose face if everyone knew about what happened.
After some thought, Shen Bu finally decided to invite some of her closer friends to go forth and take revenge.
“Zhou Little Fatty, I won’t beat around the bush, if you return all the equipment that you stole from us in the last few days, I won’t pursue the matter further. Otherwise, today, I will wipe out your entire Ruffian Battalion.”
Zhou Weiqing looked at her with a look of surprise, saying: “I’m so afraid, Regiment Commander Shen Bu! However, we are all part of the same army… if you do that, you’ll be court martialed. Our Ruffian Battalion might be in exile here, but we are still part of the army, the First Unique Battalion. It is not too good for you come here to cause trouble right?”
With a *Swoosh*, Shen Bu leaped down from her horse in a swift motion, pointing at Zhou Weiqing threateningly as she exclaimed: “Don’t try to sidetrack and waste my time. Do you really think the army command will care so much about you ruffians? I will give you one last chance, otherwise I will let this entire hill flow with a river of blood.”
Zhou Weiqing grinned and said: “Don’t! Regiment Commander, calm down. Like you said, we are just a bunch of ruffians, getting angry with us is pointless right. However, the equipment you mentioned… I cannot just return it like that, you’ll have to pay to get it back. After all, I can’t let my brothers waste all their efforts like that right? What do you say?”
“Bu Bu, why are you still wasting time talking to him?” The other eight that had come along with Shen Bu had also dismounted, standing behind her. The one who had just spoke was a middle aged man who looked about forty years old. His skin was dark from years in the sun, and with a dignified, stately look that suggested he was a high ranking officer, though Zhou Weiqing did not know what rank he was.
“Big brother, if we take action, everyone should be discreet. If possible, try not to kill anyone. After all, they are still part of our army.” Shen Bu was clearly very respectful to this stout, ebony faced man, as she said in a low tone.
“Ahh, you… such a little Ruffian Battalion can cause you so much trouble. If Teacher knows about it, you can expect to be beaten. You are almost about to be promoted to the Vice Legion Commander level already, you need to think through everything you do, understand?”
Shen Bu agreed, feeling rather wronged, and she glared savagely at Zhou Weiqing once more.
The man took a large step forward past Shen Bu and looked at Zhou Weiqing coldly before saying: “Zhou Little Fatty right? This time, Shen Bu sent you to this Ruffian Battalion without consideration, and she is wrong in that. If you return the equipment, you can come back with us as well, and I will give you a different post.”
Zhou Weiqing started momentarily. “You can take charge of that?”
At this point, the Ruffian Battalion soldiers which had been watching interestedly were on the edge of their seats, their amused looks turning worried. No matter what, though this Zhou Little Fatty had only been their Battalion Commander for a mere two days, he had given them an unprecedented gain. Hearing that Zhou Weiqing might be posted away, they suddenly felt unwilling to part with him.
The man said passively: “I am the Seventh Legion Legion Commander Shen Ji. Now, do you think I can take charge?”
The Sixteenth Regiment belonged to the Seventh Legion, and hearing his words, Zhou Weiqing’s expression changed. A Legion Commander, that was a general who led an army of a hundred thousand. His own Ruffian Battalion was merely a thousand men. This Shen Ji was far beyond Shen Bu, and if he really wanted to cause trouble for the Ruffian Battalion, he could easily do so.
“So it’s Lord Legion Commander. This subordinate is the First Unique Battalion Battalion Commander, Zhou Little Fatty. Greetings.” Zhou Weiqing quickly saluted Shen Ji.
Shen Ji waved his hands and said: “Hurry up and prepare everything, and head back with us.”
Zhou Weiqing said in an abashed tone: “But… you see… Regiment Commander Shen Bu already has such an attitude towards me. If I were to go back, how can I have any good end?”
“En?” Shen Ji was already considered one of the top few in the command structure of the entire northern army, and even in the entire ZhongTian Empire army, an officer like him commanding an entire Legion of a hundred thousand men was definitely at the upper echelons. He had never had one of his men below him dare to haggle with him like that.
“What do you want then?” A cold light flashed in Shen Ji’s eyes, and the aura of a high ranked personal burst out, pressuring down on Zhou Weiqing with domineering force.
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