Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Although the reduction in pain was extremely slow, almost snail speed even, at least when the massive pain was actually subsiding, it would give one hope. The Awakening of the Solidified Dragon Spirit was finally fully on the right track. At the same time, the last of the Dark Demon God Tiger bloodline power was also being awakened and merged… the strange black pearl that he had once swallowed.
No one could guess what would be the final result, but at least now Zhou Weiqing was safe, and he did not need to worry about the pain or breaking down from it. As for what would happen eventually, even he did not know. He could only hold down the fort in his mind’s core, keeping it clear and protected as possible. In doing so, he could only sense the heat around him, and not know much about the changes in his own body.
At this point, Long Shiya finally relaxed. He knew that this transformation of Zhou Weiqing’s would be a long process, and even his own prior estimate of forty nine days may not be accurate. However, he did not worry any longer, instead feeling a strong sense of anticipation and hope. This precious disciple of his… if he not only Awakened his Solidified Dragon Spirit, but also that unique bloodline power of his, what would happen to him? He wouldn’t become a little monster right?
As he thought up to that point, Long Shiya’s mouth curved up in a faint smile. He did not leave, instead looking for a spot in the area that wasn’t covered in magma before sitting down to cultivate.
North Border, Northwest Camp. Peerless Battalion.
The WanShou Empire had already started taking action once more. However, this time, it was not just any ordinary sneak attacks. A dozen WanShou Empire Legions were advancing in neat formation towards the ZhongTian Northwest Army Camp. Alas, all of the Northwest Army Scouts that had been sent out had all been caught and slain.
The WanShou Empire armies did not advance quickly. In a few days that they had been moving, they had only moved a few dozen li per day before stopping.
It had already been eight days since the competition between the Peerless Battalion and the Heavy Infantry Regiment. At this point, currently, the watchtowers of the Northwest Army Camp could already spot the slowly advancing lines of the WanShou Empire armies far off in the distance. The battle was nigh.
The advancement of the WanShou Empire was definitely with some plan in mind, and as they did so in such a constricting fashion, the atmosphere within the Northwest Army camp grew more oppressive as the days passed. No one knew when the WanShou Empire armies would choose to actually attack, and thus the entire Northwest army had to keep in a constant high alert and preparation mode all the time. In such a circumstance, no matter generals, officers or ordinary soldiers, all of them were left in an exhausted state, both mind and body. This was the true goal of the WanShou Empire. They were confident that the ZhongTian Empire Northwest Armies would not dare to take the initiative against them especially on the plains, and they could easily use such psychological warfare against the Northwest Armies to affect their energy and morale. When the WanShou Empire finally launched their attack, it would undoubtedly be a lightning swift one to take down their enemies as quickly as possible.
As compared to the rest of the Northwest Armies, the atmosphere in the Peerless Battalion was a stark contrast. For them, all they had to do was to continue their daily routine of training. Of course, the only difference was that the Peerless Battalion did not train alone anymore, but along with the Heavy Infantry Regiment, as both had to integrate their training to properly fight together.
These past few days, Oni had been truly feeling rather vexed and depressed. His Heavy Infantry Regiment that he was so proud of had actually lost to the Peerless Battalion in the area they were the most confident in, even with a numbers advantage. Without even considering how much money they had all lost, just that sheer humiliation of that loss was unprecedented for the entire Heavy Infantry Regiment. After that fight, one could say that the morale of the entire Heavy Infantry Regiment had sunk down to its lowest ever.
However, orders were orders, and they were still sent to camp together with the Peerless Battalion. More so, Shen Ji had given them the order that Oni and his Heavy Infantry Regiment would be under the command structure of the Peerless Battalion.
Still, the integrated training was going on rather well. On the side of the Peerless Battalion, their requirements were rather simple – two Heavy Infantry soldiers to a single Peerless Battalion soldier in tandem, and with their Tower Shields protecting the front and air, it would ensure that the Peerless Battalion soldiers would not have any chance of being hit by enemy archers.
Such a tactic of cooperation was definitely not difficult, and the one Heavy Infantry soldier in charge of defending the front had the easier task, just needing to position his Tower Shield to cover all their bodies, and did not even require much effort. As for the one covering the top, he only needed to lift his tower shield to do so, and with the two Heavy Infantry soldiers taking turns and swapping when required, the integration of fighting for these powerful Heavy Infantry soldiers known for their physical strength was indeed an easy task.
As for the Peerless Battalion soldiers, it was even easier, as they could just practice their archery under such protection. Under the cover of the Heavy Infantry soldiers, it was without question that the safety of the Peerless Battalion soldiers was highly guaranteed even in the heat of battle, and correspondingly their offense as well.
Originally, Zhou Weiqing had arranged it as such on the precaution that the Peerless Battalion meet any enemies far beyond anything they could not handle on the battlefield. In that case, the Peerless Battalion soldiers could quickly retreat. Of course, in that case, the Heavy Infantry Regiment would not be able to retreat in time due to their lack of speed, and would be forced to cover their retreat. Naturally, this was a worst case scenario that would only be used as an absolute last resort.
Naturally, all the Peerless Battalion soldiers were extremely satisfied by such an arrangement. Although Zhou Weiqing did not appear frequently before them, but this young Battalion Commander of theirs had definitely earned all their respect, not the least with his unique thinking and how it showed his concern for all their safety.
This training lasted for five days before the dejected morale of the Heavy Infantry Regiment finally showed some change…
The reason for the change was simple… they no longer felt anger and hate for the Peerless Battalion, instead full of envy and jealousy.
Of course, the reason of that was clear – due to their training together, the two troops were camped together, but their supplies and logistics were all separate… for example, their meals.
In just the matter of a few mere meals, the Heavy Infantry Regiment soldiers was already unable to stand it.
In the Seventh Legion, the Heavy Infantry Regiment was considered one of the top elites, and their treatment was definitely the best amongst the entire Legion, and their food was also top quality, considering. However, when it was compared with the Peerless Battalion, the Heavy Infantry soldiers almost wanted to cry.
On the side of the Heavy Infantry Regiment side, for their three meals a day, one was at least with meat. This was already considered an extremely good treatment in the army, and it was to ensure their combat effectiveness.
Yet, what were the Peerless Battalion soldiers eating?!
For them, each and every one of their soldiers ate six meals everyday. That was right. Six meals.
Their schedule was as such. Early in the morning, they would awake and gather before having their breakfast. This would be the first meal, usually milk or soya bean milk, with each drinking a large bowl of it. Next,, each would have four eggs, green vegetables and lean meat, sometimes even a bit of cheese.
After their meal, they would rest for an hour before their vigorous training would start, lasting an hour. Another hour of rest before another snack. Although it was just a small snack, it was usually with meat… sometimes even with expensive Heavenly Beast meat.
When it came to lunch, this third ‘meal’ of the day was the most substantial and sumptuous one. All of them got at least six dishes, with meat, meat soup or at least stewed with bones; with all six meals being relatively different everyday.
With the two troops camped so close to one another, just the sweet fragrance of meat almost covered the entire Heavy Infantry Regiment. As the Heavy Infantry soldiers ate their simple and homogeneous food, that feeling was as if they were chewing on wax.
For the afternoon training, the Peerless Battalion soldier’s fourth afternoon snack was mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes, for convenience sake, it was just barrels and barrels of fresh fruit juice, warm and delicious.
Dinner was simpler than lunch, but it was still meat soup, but mostly with medicines and herbs, filled with ginseng, deer horn and various other tonics, herbs good for the body, and the smell of this was even more temptingly delicious.
Every night, an hour before they slept, the Peerless Battalion would have their sixth meal of the day, supper. After that, they would chat a while between themselves before they had a good sleep. Their tents were all lined with beast leather and furs, and inside their armour, they would always have fresh and clean cotton inline clothes.
When some of the Heavy Infantry soldiers inquired more into the matter about how the Peerless Battalion were getting so much good food, they realised that every day, the Peerless Battalion had specialised people purchasing large amount of supplies from the TianBei City, with at least a thousand people hired to support them. They did not even eat any of the supplies from the Seventh Legion.
Seventh Legion Army Headquarters.
“Boss… this will not do… if this continues, I will not have any men left to lead…. What kind of lives are those Peerless Battalion punks living?! The food you eat, it’s lots better than even what you eat! Ordinary soldiers… having six meals a day! How do you think my brothers feel when they see that!”
Oni exclaimed huffily towards Shen Ji.
Shen Ji looked at him exasperatedly and said: “What do you want me to do? Get your boys the same food as them? Do you know how much money the Peerless Battalion spends every day? I dispatched some men to investigate previously… and they spend around ten thousand gold a day just on their food alone. That is to say… almost two gold coins or more for a single soldier. How can we compare to that? You know how much our pay and provisions are every month…”
Oni gave a helpless look and said: “Boss… how about recalling us from that duty then… I…”
“No.” Shen Ji said firmly. We already lost the fight and the bet, we cannot lose our honour and integrity as well. Ask your brothers to endure for a while more… the war will be starting soon, and once the fighting starts, I expect that they will not be able to enjoy themselves and eat like that any longer. Once the annual fight against the WanShou Empire is over, I will be able to recall your Regiment from this duty. During this period of time, I can only trouble you to help persuade them and work on their ideology…”
Oni gave a deep sigh and said: “Alright, I guess that is the only choice now. However, those Peerless Battalion bastards are just too shameless. Everyday, they have remnant food and they actually feed it to their horses instead, hmph, not even thinking about giving us some of it. And they dare give the excuse that they do not want to humiliate their allies. Dammit I feel like slapping them hard!”
Shen Ji said solemnly: “Don’t just look at their benefits and how well they are eating. Haven’t you observed their training at all? Every day, their training is like pitting their hearts and lives. It is as if they do not care about exhaustion, and even their sparring within their own ranks is going all out. Their training is more than three times that of our elite forces…”
Oni gave a bitter smile and said: “How could I not know that? But… look at what they are eating! In the evening, they even have medicinal soups and tonics, all their energy expenditure will be easily replenished. Damn, Boss, do you know what I was thinking? I was thinking why I didn’t commit any mistakes in the past and never got sent to the Ruffian Battalions. Their lives are just too good, better than even nobles! Furthermore, the money they are spending… splurging on… it is the money they have won from us!!”
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