Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Zhou Weiqing smiled and said: “Why must we face stronger enemies though? Furthermore, there is a saying, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it. When the possible profit is thirty percent, it is worth a try. If the possible profit is fifty percent, then it is worth some risk and danger in trying. When the profit is hundred percent, then many will be willing to bet with their lives. As for the profit and gain I bring to them, how can it be merely a hundred percent? In truth, a group bound by profit is always a double edged sword, they could become extremely lax and useless, or they could end up being bound much closer together than imaginable. The key is how we handle and regulate things. As I said, just wait and see, I will show you how to control them.”
As he said that, Zhou Weiqing pulled over the only table in the tent, one that was on the verge of breaking down. Taking out a paper and pen, he started writing down his rules for the Ruffian Battalion.
Shangguan Fei’er stood by his side watching, and before long, her jaw dropped as she looked at Zhou Weiqing with an increasingly strange look.
To the Ruffian Battalion, gaining an additional Battalion Commander was actually of no change to them. The soldiers within the Ruffian Battalion were all very independent, and mostly very resistant to orders, even scoffing at them at times.
Even for those Company Leaders, they had forged their rank through battle and with true strength, and even then, they hardly ever gave any orders. If the soldiers did not like those orders, they would still disobey them.
Previously, the only reason why all the soldiers had gathered was mainly because they were all curious, interested to know what kind of person would be sent here to be their next Battalion Commander, curious about why the northern command still had not learnt their lesson. As for Zhou Weiqing’s words, they frankly did not care much. After all, their previous Battalion Commanders had also said similar pretty words. The only interesting thing about Zhou Weiqing would perhaps be his strength and power, as he had actually defeated their Vice Battalion Commander Wei Feng so easily. That was something no one had expected, and in their eyes, this had given this young man a mysterious tone.
However, to the Ruffian Battalion, just pure strength alone was of no use. If no one was willing to listen to your orders, what could you do?
Just as everyone was still highly indifferent towards this new, young Battalion Commander, Wei Feng passed along a new order which piqued all their interests. ‘Tomorrow morning, as long as they reported on time, everyone would be given a gold coin.’
After all, the Ruffian Battalion were considered out of the actual army, and did not have proper pay. Although they were not able to return to the city to use their gold, they could still go to other camps during their single monthly off day in order to purchase food and clothing. Furthermore, earning this gold coin was just so simple.
As a result, the next morning, as the sun had barely climbed up from the east, these Ruffian Battalion soldiers were surprisingly industrious, all gathered and in perfect formations in the flat ground of the valley, with their respective Company Leaders in front of them.
When Zhou Weiqing walked out of his tent, he couldn’t help but shiver involuntarily. The dawn in the north was just too chilly! More importantly, he hadn’t had a hot meal in a long time.
Shangguan Fei’er followed by his side, though she did not have the same reaction. Her cultivation level was higher than Zhou Weiqing’s, and thus her resistance towards the environmental factors was still stronger than his.
When Zhou Weiqing walked down the hill, Wei Feng walked up to him to report. For the sake of the promised gold coins, he actually reported in a formal fashion: “Reporting to Battalion Commander. First Unique Battalion, one thousand two hundred and forty six men, all present. Your instructions, Sir?”
Zhou Weiqing nodded and said: “Vice Commander Wei, thank you for your troubles, please return to your position.”
Wei Feng took another glance at Zhou Weiqing, who was acting just like a Battalion Commander. Finally, he shouted in agreement “Yes Sir.” Before striding back to the formation.
Seeing the thousand over soldiers in front of him, dressed in tattered clothing, but still in neat rows, and thinking about the fact that they were all his men, Zhou Weiqing felt a sense of pride rising up from within him.
“Hello everyone, I am sure many brothers here still do not know my name. My name is Zhou Little Fatty, and I am your new Battalion Commander. I know that everyone is gathered here so early in the morning for the sake of the gold coin, especially with such cold weather. I am a man of my word, and I will not give a gold coin less.” As he said that, Zhou Weiqing flung out his right hand, and a big bag of gold coins landed on the ground in a loud *plunk* sound. Some of the coins scattered out of the in a melodious tinkling sound, the morning sun glinting against them.
Instantly, a wolflike greed appeared in all the Ruffian Battalion soldiers.
Zhou Weiqing said: “There is more than a thousand two hundred gold coins there, and as promised, there will be enough for one gold coin per person. Alright, before that, let me speak first. I do not have much to say, but I hope that each and everyone of you will pay close attention to what I have to say, as it has to do with your own personal gain. After listening to what I have to say, you will all take turns according to your formation to each collect a single gold coin. Do you all understand?”
“We understand.” Only a few lazy voices replied, and some loud mocking laughter could be heard from behind. Most of the soldiers were still looking on at Zhou Weiqing with a rather joking heart.
A cold smile crossed Zhou Weiqing’s face, and he said: “I’ll ask one more time, those who do not reply me can leave right now, as you all have given up the gold coin. En… if you all want to try and snatch it, feel free to do so. Of course, you have to be prepared to bet your life on that. Do you all understand what I just said earlier?”
As soon as they heard that Zhou Weiqing would not give out the gold coins, the Ruffian Battalion soldiers immediately perked up. “We understand.” All one thousand two hundred soldiers chorused in unison.
Shangguan Fei’er stood behind Zhou Weiqing, surprise apparent on her face. Yesterday, when she had heard about Zhou Weiqing giving out a gold coin to everyone, she had been rather disapproving. At this moment, she finally understood his intentions. With just this gold coin, Zhou Weiqing could do so much. In addition to what he had written last night, she could guess what he was about to do.
Seeing that everyone had replied him, Zhou Weiqing nodded in satisfaction, saying: “very good, I am very pleased that everyone can call out in unison. Now, I hear that the other soldiers in the army call us the Ruffian Battalion. So… who can tell me… what is a Ruffian?”
As a Company Leader, Green Wolf was standing in the front row, and he laughed out disdainfully and said: “Isn’t it just a scoundrel, rogue, those who do not listen to orders? Can you say something fresh?” As soon as he said that, mocking laughter rang out from all about once more, especially from the men of his Company.
Zhou Weiqing waggled a finger at Green Wolf and said: “What bullshit is that, what do you know? What is a scoundrel? What is a rogue? A true ruffian, rogue, and scoundrel, that refers to a person who will do anything to gain the most, to gain the greatest benefit at the smallest possible cost, no matter what. Today, why have I been able to gather all of you here? The answer is simple…” He pointed at the gold coins scattered on the floor. “That is because of benefit.”
This time, no one retorted, as what he said was the cold hard truth. The fact that all the soldiers were in formation here so early in the morning was living proof of his words.
Zhou Weiqing said: “I have come here to be your Battalion Commander, but I have never thought of trying to teach you all to be good people, to forge you into an army of steel. What use is that? How many of our men can actually stay alive? What I want to do is to teach you, how to become truly bad, to become real rogues, scoundrels, ruffians… to make our name of the Ruffian Battalion reach its true potential.”
“Look at yourselves, what sorry state are you in, each and everyone of you miserable and wretched. Is that a life of a scoundrel? A ruffian? A true scoundrel should be wearing the best equipment, eating the best food, hugging the best women, drinking the best wine.”
Green Wolf laughed coldly and said: “Enough with that bullshit, who doesn’t know how to say such pretty but empty words?”
Zhou Weiqing ignored him, saying passively: “Next, I will be declaring some new rules for our Ruffian Battalion. Everyone listen closely; later on when you come over to collect your gold coin, if they are able to memorise and repeat these rules to me, they will be able to collect a second gold coin.”
“Before that, I think the name of Ruffian Battalion is just not nice to listen to. I’ll be giving us a new name, called the Peerless Battalion. We will be the one and only group in the entire Boundless Mainland, unrivalled and unmatched throughout the world. Now, let me announce the rules for our Peerless Battalion.”
“Rule 1. If we are fighting to the death, we must have at least three times the strength of our enemy before we fight.”
When Zhou Weiqing said that, everyone thought they had heard wrongly.
Zhou Weiqing smiled faintly and said: “You all did not hear wrongly. No matter what time, or facing which enemy, you all must remember… our lives are the most important resource. Without absolute confidence and certainty, we must not enter the battlefield. We are scoundrels and ruffians; what we want to do is to gain the biggest benefit, not foolishly pitting our lives for nothing.”
“Rule 2. Our Peerless Battalion will not do anything that does not bring benefits.”
“Let me explain more about this rule: That is to say, no matter even for the Battalion Commander like myself, if there is no benefit to doing something, you all can ignore my orders. However, if someone does something that harms the collective benefit of us all for your own selfish reasons… well, you don’t need me to explain what will happen.”
“Rule 3. There is no absolute ranking, everything depends on power. Might is Right.”
“If any of you think you can defeat me, or bring greater benefit to everyone, then you are free to challenge me. As long as you can prove it, the Peerless Battalion Battalion Commander position is yours. At the same time, all the you listen up, the same goes for your Company and Squad leaders. If you can defeat them, the position is yours. However, the caveat of this is that there must be no serious injuries or death from this, otherwise I will take you on personally.”
“Are you all now thinking that challenging for a rank or officer position is useless? Let me tell you now that such a thing is of the past… being an officer in my Peerless Battalion is definitely worth it. The northern army command might not pay you, but I will. Ordinary soldiers, your monthly pay is 5 gold coins. Squad Leaders, 20 gold coins. Company Leaders, 100 gold coins. Vice Battalion Commander, 500 gold coins. As long as you successfully challenge and win, then the new ranking pay is yours. At the same time, you are also welcome to challenge me. Your Father, I, has nothing but money to spend. If anyone successfully defeats me, I will give him a million gold coins. Do you all understand?”
Trying to reason with these ruffian soldiers was useless, and Zhou Weiqing knew that only benefits and money could be used to guide them to where he wanted, to let them truly understand him. The truth was, Zhou Weiqing had succeeded. After listening to his words, all of the Ruffian Battalion soldiers’ eyes lit up, a heretofore unseen gleam within.
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