Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Zhou Weiqing returned to the Peerless Battalion, doling out the reward that they had received.
In truth, by now the soldiers of the Peerless Battalion no longer placed much importance on gold. After having followed Zhou Weiqing for so long, their horizons had been broadened, and they were at a much higher stage now. At the same time, the ‘smell of gunpowder’ was strong in the general atmosphere of the Peerless Battalion, as all the soldiers competed to see who could earn more Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, Stored Skills, or even just whose Heavenly Energy could rise the fastest.
In the original Ruffian Battalion, before Zhou Weiqing had taken control, even for those original Physical Jewel Masters, it was extremely rare they had Consolidated Equipment. As a result, it was an easy task to homogenize all their current Consolidated Equipment. Zhou Weiqing’s specifications for their Consolidating was a set process. First, a Consolidated Equipment Bow, next would be the two sets of Consolidated Equipment Wings. Of course, this was just the beginning, and as their power increased, there would be more in the future.
As Zhou Weiqing returned to his command tent, Wei Feng and Hua Feng both arrived at the same time to see him.
“Battalion Commander Sir, Reporting… The situation is quite dire…” Wei Feng’s expression was rather ugly, but Hua Feng remained his usual calm, unflurried self, as if nothing could cause emotional turbulence to him. Although he came in together with Wei Feng, they seemed to have different objectives.
“Hmm, what is it?” Zhou Weiqing sat down hard on his chair with a smile on his face. He was currently in a good mood, as the news he had gotten previously was that there were three other Ruffian Battalions in the entire northern armies, with each around a thousand man strong or more. If he could gain all these men and incorporate them into his Peerless Battalion, they would number about five thousand strong, and he was expectant for that to happen.
Five thousand men was also the ideal number in Zhou Weiqing’s heart. After all, if they numbered too many, he was also unable to upkeep them all. Furthermore, once their numbers grew too huge, they would also lose the speed and mobility that would make them more effective. What he needed was five thousand of the strongest, most elite forces, not a huge army. It looked like soon his goal, in terms of numbers at least, would be met, so how could he not be excited and happy? It meant that he was yet another step closer towards returning home and reviving his homeland.
Wei Feng said solemnly: “According to our brothers deeper in the border, they have reported back that after the Swift Wolf Regiment had lost three of their Companies, there was much activity within the camp. Although they have not moved out yet, from observation it seems that they are preparing to leave at any moment. At the same time, the skies have recently been filled with the eagle tribe scouts, and we have shot down a few, but some have also escaped. We expect that they have already discovered our position. Battalion Commander, if the Swift Wolf Regiment actually comes enmasse to attack us, it will be extremely unfavourable for us! We need to make preparations for the worst case scenario, especially if their entire Regiment attacks us, what are we to do? Battalion Commander, you need to make a decision as soon as possible…”
Hearing his words, the smile of Zhou Weiqing’s face disappeared. “Big Bro Wei, what is your idea regarding the situation then?”
After so much time together, they had all become familiar with each other, and much closer. Zhou Weiqing no longer called him formally by his rank as he previously did.
Wei Feng said without hesitation: “We should pack up everything immediately and retreat into the tunnels. Although the eagle tribe scouts have discovered us, they are probably not able to ascertain our exact location. As long as we disappear into our hidden tunnels, even if the WanShou Empire attacks in numbers, they will not be able to do anything with us. After all, they can’t possibly have a large number of forces stay in our borders forever.”
Zhou Weiqing turned his gaze towards Hua Feng and he asked: “Teacher, what about your idea?”
Hua Feng smiled faintly. He was originally extremely suave and handsome, and though he was older now, he still had the distinct flavour of a mature man. His cultured and refined look was also one of the reasons why Shui Cao had started chasing him all those years ago, and all the way up until now.
“Kill them, it’s just a Regiment.” Hua Feng said easily.
Surprise filled Wei Feng’s face and he said: “Instructor Hua Feng, are you joking with me? That is no ordinary Regiment, it is a Regiment of ten thousand wolf cavalry soldiers, the notorious Swift Wolf Regiment! Don’t you know the victories they have carved through the battlefield over the years at our expense? Not only are they one of the main Regiments of the WanShou Empire, they have previously carved a path through our Seventh and Eighth Legions’ formations. Countless of our brethren have died at their hands… Such a force of experienced and battle hardened warriors is definitely able to take on an entire Legion of our army. Yet, our Peerless Battalion only numbers over a thousand brothers. How could we possibly fight with them? Isn’t that a suicide mission?”
The smile on Hua Feng’s face did not waver. “If they were truly a Legion of a hundred thousand men, I would have the same opinion as you. However, although these wolf cavalry soldiers are strong, they only number ten thousand. Do you know what ten thousand means? That means, if we are accurate enough, each of us only need seven arrows, and we can wipe them all out. This half a year of intense training and hard work is definitely not for nothing…”
Without hesitation, Wei Feng retorted: “Battalion Commander once proclaimed that as long as our power is not several times that of our enemies, we should not easily take action…” The Peerless Battalion was on the ascent, and he could see the improvement day after day, and he did not want to easily take the risk of seeing it ruined just like that.
Hua Feng said passively: “In my eyes, our power is already several times that of our enemies. In the end, the real battlefield is the best place, perhaps the only place, that we can test the fruits of our training. If we only chose the weakest opponents no matter our strength, when can our troops truly grow up? Weiqing, you decide…”
Zhou Weiqing paused for a moment before laughing, saying: “I accept both your suggestions. My decision is as follows – first, move all our camp and supplies down into the tunnels, and we will all move out to strike out at our enemy instead. We will choose the battlefield instead of waiting for them to come to us, and if we aren’t able to win, isn’t it easy for us to run? Once we enter the tunnels, so what if they chase after us? Are they going to mount their war wolves and charge into the tunnels?”
“Ah?” Wei Feng had not expected that Zhou Weiqing would actually give such an answer. “But, Battalion Commander, if that is the case, we might end up revealing our tunnels. What would we do when the main WanShou Army actually attacks…”
Zhou Weiqing said: “I have already thought through that. In truth, this place is so desolate and cut off, without any natural resources or methods of reprovisioning without going out of the way. It is not a place for us to stay and develop on a long term basis. This is also why I gave the order to stop digging tunnels and expanding our underground base three months ago. As long as the Swift Wolf Regiment dares come and we manage to destroy them, we will leave right after that. The Seventh Legion has already asked us to leave for quite some time, and we will join them to get past this year’s WanShou Empire’s invasion. With the screen of the Seventh Legion, it will be much easier for us to train and gain experience as well.”
Looking at Wei Feng, Zhou Weiqing stood up and walked up to him, clapping him on the shoulders as he said: “Big Bro Wei, I know you think we have already built something up here, and have some sentiments for the place, especially after having stayed here for so long. I know it will not be easy for you to leave this place, but in the end, this is not the place for us to stay for long. For the future of our Peerless Battalion, we will have to leave sooner or later…”
Wei Feng nodded his head and said: “I understand. It is rather surprising to me as well… after over ten years here, I have always hated this barren and desolate northern borderlands. Yet, when it really comes down to leaving, only then do I feel unwilling to do so. However, you are right, Battalion Commander, I will listen to you. I will go make preparations…”
Hua Feng grabbed hold of him and said: “Wait, don’t rush off like that! We will still need to discuss our tactics. Ten thousand Wolf Cavalry Soldiers is the best grindstone for our current Peerless Battalion, and also the best chance for us to test our combat Skills. We have to prepare in the best possible way to ensure the success.”
Zhou Weiqing said: “Big Bro Wei, send for all the officers in our Peerless Battalion of the Company Leader rank and above. Let us have a discussion about tactics as well as allocation of tasks. If the Swift Wolf Regiment does not come, that is fine, but if they do come, we must give them a good head on fight, dealing them a painful blow. Tell all our brothers, if the Swift Wolf Regiment dares come, we will let them taste our Peerless Battalion’s six months of training, to show the fruits of our brothers’ labour. Issue ten gold coins to all our brothers, and inform them that after the upcoming battle, there will be another round of reward according to their battle merits. Those who have performed the best will be directly awarded with Consolidating Equipment or Skill Storing. This extra gold will be the pay for participating in this battle.”
This time, if the Swift Wolf Regiment actually attacked, it will undoubtedly be the biggest test to the Peerless Battalion thus far. Although Zhou Weiqing had arranged a backup plan, it was undoubtedly a good chance to test how successful the last few months of training had been for his untested troops. At the same time, it would also be a good test about Zhou Weiqing’s training theory and method, whether or not it had succeeded. It was a good time for the test too, if it were successful, it would definitely greatly improve the morale and cohesiveness of the entire Peerless Battalion, and if it failed, with their backup plans they should not be in too much danger, and it would not be too late for them to switch up their training methods.
Wei Feng rushed off, and for the entirety of the next day, Zhou Weiqing’s large tent was filled with a sense of excitement and nervousness. Let alone Zhou Weiqing himself, even Wei Feng and the old hands of the Heavenly Bow Unit were excited about this upcoming major fight. All of them had seen with their own eyes how much the men of the Peerless Battalion had grown over the past few months, but no one could tell for sure what standards they had reached, especially in actual combat.
Two days later. Norther Border Plains.
“Reporting, Sir. The Swift Wolf Regiment has appeared in our borders without warning, heading straight for us at top speed…”
Zhou Weiqing was standing at the bottom of their hill camp, though by now it had been totally dismantled, with all supplies moved down into the underground tunnels, and even the soldiers were resting underground in order to react instantly.
“Very good. Continue scouting…” Zhou Weiqing gave the command, and the scout ran off speedily. One could not underestimate these scouts, as they were the first few to be given the Consolidated Equipment Wings, and their cultivation level were all Six Physical Jewels or higher. Although they only numbered three in total, they were all powerful warriors and scouts who could hold their own, well trained in stealth and scouting. In this wide plains of the northern borders, if one could not get first hand news at the fastest time, danger and death could fall upon them at any time.
“Alright, they are really coming. Issue my order, get everyone to prepare.” Zhou Weiqing shouted out.
The Peerless Battalion reacted extremely quickly, and within minutes, all the soldiers were dressed and geared up, standing in formation neatly before Zhou Weiqing.
The Peerless Battalion numbered one thousand and five hundred currently, but they were still split into ten Companies rather than reassigning them all. Each Company had one Company Leader, a Vice Company Leader, and ten Squad Leaders. Currently, they were all neatly in ten groups in front of Zhou Weiqing.
Of all ten, the First and Second Companies looked the most ferocious and valiant. Ever since Zhou Weiqing had taken over the Peerless Battalion, these two Companies had been the first to get their selection of warriors, all of them the top Physical Jewel Masters. To be able to enter these two Companies, one had to display extremely powerful personal combat skills, defeating many contenders to gain the spot. Of course, their treatment was also the best.
Currently, Shangguan Fei’er stood in front of these two Companies. Besides their own two Company Leaders, these two Companies would directly report to her.
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