Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
At this moment, not only the officers of the Seventh Legion had come; even the entire upper echelons of the Northwest Army were all gathered, watching from a distance. As for the Seventh Legion’s Legion Commander Shen Ji, he was playing the role as the judge of this fight.
The Peerless Battalion had sent out exactly five thousand warriors; of them, three thousand were dressed fully in a silver mail, while two thousand were in ordinary cloth clothing. The strangest thing was that amongst the two thousand, almost half were actually females, though their stature were extremely large and well built.
If Zhou Weiqing was still at the Peerless Battalion and he saw Hua Feng arranging to fight like this, he would definitely say: “How could you be so shameless… oh well, it might be shameless but I love it!”
After all, they had accepted a bet of ten million gold coins, and almost no one had bet on the Peerless Battalion. Hua Feng’s original words were as such: “Well, some of us need to fight.” As such, besides the strongest three thousand of the Peerless Battalion soldiers, the Gold Crow Tribe and the Berserker Tribe had each sent out one thousand warriors.
Originally, Ma Long and Hong Yu had wanted to take this entire fight with their own men. Looking at the mountains and mountains of gold coins, totally ten million, their eyes had gone red. Ahhh, if they could have taken this entire fight, they could at least gain the lion share of it! Although they only had around two thousand true warriors per tribe, even if they had to gather the younger ones or older folks, ordinary soldiers would not be able to compare to them, and they were confident of gathering five thousand men.
However, in the end, their suggestion had been rejected, ending up with the scene before them right now. If they won today’s fight, the Gold Crow Tribe and the Berserker Tribe would each earn a million gold coins. After all, this bet had been arranged by Hua Feng and the Peerless Battalion. Giving them this benefit was already considered Hua Feng giving them a lot of face. The other eight million would be ‘public’ Battalion funds. The reason was simple – many of those who had taken equipment or Consolidating Equipment Scrolls still had not even started to pay back, and owed to the Battalion. Even their various payments or awards were far from sufficient; naturally these funds were used for Battalion purposes, and the Peerless Battalion soldiers had some of their ‘debt’ removed.
Regarding all these ‘behind-the-scene’ stories, naturally outsiders would not know anything about it. Looking at these five thousand Peerless Battalion soldiers walk out of the camp, although they did look good indeed, when compared to the ten thousand Heavy Infantry soldiers dressed in full plate mail, looking like mobile fortresses… the Peerless Battalion soldiers looked like they would be easily crushed.
This was a group battle. No matter if a particular soldier was stronger, in such a scale of battle that would not play a major role… unless they were a Heavenly King Stage powerhouse or higher.
Shen Ji had previously ascertained that on the Peerless Battalion’s side, both Zhou Weiqing and his powerhouse teacher had left together, and were not currently with them. As for the other powerhouses in the Peerless battalion, though he knew of them, he dismissed them. After all, of the entire Seventh Legion, he had two most elite troops. The first was half his Regiment of Heavy Cavalry Troops, the five thousand of them were his finest elite warriors, and with another five thousand ordinary Heavy Cavalry soldiers forming his entire Heavy Cavalry Regiment. The next would be this Heavy Infantry Regiment in front of his eyes. All ten thousand of them were experienced warriors on the battlefield, and their most important task was to block the charge of the enemy cavalry soldiers, to hold the lines for the entire Legion. They were the bedrock of the Legion, and with their power tower shields and sheer physical strength from tough training… just in terms of personal soldier to soldier strength, they were perhaps even above the Heavy Cavalry soldiers.
The Regiment Commander of the Heavy Infantry Regiment, Oni, was actually also the Vice Legion Commander of the Seventh Legion, only half a rank below Shen Ji. In the Seventh Legion, he definitely had a high status as well, and was a seven-Jeweled Heavenly Jewel Master.
Shangguan Fei’er, accompanied by Ma Long, Hong Yu and Lin TianAo, stood right at the front of the Peerless Battalion troop. Sweeping a cold gaze across the Peerless Battalion soldiers, she said passively: “As for what exactly you all need to do, I’m sure I do not need to explain any further… you all should know. If we actually lose, it won’t be a matter of losing the prize, I will also give you all some special training… and you all will learn what is the true meaning of hell… Do you all understand?”
Originally, having heard that the majority of the bet would be used to depreciate their debts and their morale wasn’t extremely high, upon hearing Shangguan Fei’er’s words, the three thousand Peerless Battalion soldiers instantly seemed to perk up and become as ready as action as could be.
This was not the first time Shangguan Fei’er had used such a tactic, but it proved as effective as ever. After all, those were not empty threats, and she would definitely do as she promised. Those Peerless Battalion soldiers who had gone through and experienced Shangguan Fei’er’s ‘special training’ had long since spread the word about the terrifying hell-like training. In the entire Peerless Battalion, the beautiful Shangguan Fei’er had the nickname of Devil Goddess. That was not a nickname given lightly indeed.
In the distance, Shangguan Xue’er looked upon her sister from a hidden corner. Lookig at her impressive and valiant looking sister, she suddenly felt a sense of envy. Although she was the heir to the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, she had never felt such a sense of accomplishment like Shangguan Fei’er now. At this point, she suddenly felt a strange feeling of anticipation, awaiting the time when Fei’er would return to the Heaven’s Expanse Palace and she would take her place. Could she do better than her little sister?
At this point, Shen Ji rode atop a tall, large warhorse right to the middle of the two army formations. Loudly, he proclaimed: “As agreed, the fight between the Peerless Battalion and the Seventh Legion Heavy Infantry Regiment shall be starting soon. First, let me announce the fighting fashion and rules. Both sides will be sparring in close combat fashion, and no weapons will be allowed. Also, aiming to critically injure or kill one’s opponent is strictly forbidden. The battle will last for two hours, and the side which has the most remaining soldiers standing will be the victor.”
The rules were very simple and straightforward. Without question, on a surface level, the Heavy Infantry Regiment held a massive advantage. Just in terms of numbers alone, they doubled the Peerless Battalion’s five thousand. Since the victory depended on the final number of soldiers standing, they already had a simple five thousand advantage from the side. However, the terms of this battle had not been drawn out by Shen Ji, but by Hua Feng! Without doubt, he had directly placed the Peerless Battalion in a dangerous position; otherwise there would not have been so many people lured to bet against them.
If it were just five thousand versus five thousand, with the strength of the Peerless Battalion soldiers, did they really need to get the Berserker and Gold Crow Tribes to fight as well?
No one else would believe that the Peerless Battalion could win. The reason was simple – besides the two new Tribes who had just joined the Peerless Battalion, all of the other soldiers were originally from the Northern Armies of the ZhongTian Empire… a bunch of mere ruffian soldiers. Most, or all, of them had committed some mistake or offended some higher ups for them to be sent to the various Ruffian Battalions. Yet, this Peerless Battalion of Zhou Weiqing’s had been set up for merely a year, and it could be said that no one truly understood them at all. The only person who knew the most was Shen Ji, and all he knew was that their archery had been trained to an impressive state. However, that did not mean their close combat would be just as good. Furthermore, in terms of close combat, the Heavy Infantry Regiment was considered one of the finest in the entire Legion, even in the Northwest Armies. Now that they were even at a two versus one advantage, how could the Peerless Battalion possibly defeat them?
Any army officer worth his salt knew how to train his troops, just that methods would differ per person. Training a troop of soldiers for less than a year… even if if were the best trainer… that should not bring such a huge jump in quality… right?
Preconceived perceptions caused the watching Northwest Army Officers to look at the Peerless Battalion with disdain, as they waited to collect their winnings… to see how the Peerless Battalion would deal with that massive payout.
Alas, they did not know how much gold Zhou Weiqing had poured into the Peerless Battalion. Ignoring everything else, just in terms of the Consolidating Equipment Scrolls, the resources expended amounted to several dozen million gold coins! That was not even counting all their fine equipment and more so, the precious medicines that let all the Peerless Battalion soldiers become Jewel Masters! Even the gold rewards for the various Peerless Battalion soldiers were a considerable sum already. It could be said that the Peerless Battalion was the most expensive army troop in the entire history of the Boundless Mainland. Sometimes, a vast sum of money could be the catalyst to a massive improvement in quality.
As soon as Shen Ji finished announcing the rules, both sides started moving into formation.
Their formations were extremely simple as well. After all, it was a close combat fight, and both sides just spread out in a single line formation across the plains facing each other. The neat lines of the Heavy Infantry Regiment caused them to look like a single long metal wall of a fortress, and with their strong, palpable killing intent, they were clearly ready to go.
Shangguan Fei’er stood there calmly, saying solemnly: “Leave the enemy Regiment Commander to me. Everyone else, you just choose your own targets and everyone fight your own battles, there isn’t much tactics for this fight. Break open these metal cans!”
“Fight, begin!” Shen Ji shouted out loud in the distance, having left the center of the battlefield. With his eight-Jeweled cultivation level, his voice was able to resonate throughout the entire battlefield and beyond.
The Heavy Infantry Regiment truly lived up to their name as top elites. As soon as Shen Ji gave the order to start, all ten thousand of them started moving in steady, neat steps, marching in unison while maintaining formation. As they moved slowly towards the Peerless Battalion, the clanging of their armour struck up a cacophony. They did not run; after all their full armour was extremely heavy, but their slow advance brought a powerful pressure that was perhaps even stronger than a simple running charge, as if a mountain was bearing down upon their opponents. Without question, their momentum, aura and fighting spirit was constantly increasing as they advanced.
As for the side of the Peerless Battalion, with a single command from Shangguan Fei’er, the five thousand of them also started charging towards the Heavy Infantry Regiment.
There was no formation, no order or even a style. Five thousand soldiers, five thousand individuals, running and charging ahead with all their might. In that instant, the once-neat formation was scattered.
Looking at such a sight, the watching officers almost burst out laughing. On the battlefield, what was the most important thing? Formations, orders, discipline… only by properly executing every order without fail could one defeat their enemies with ease. Currently, the Heavy Infantry Regiment were indeed in perfect formation, gathered densely together… wouldn’t the scattered and messy Peerless Battalion just be tantamount to committing suicide?
However, very soon, as soon as both sides clashed, the smiles and smirks of those officers froze on their faces.
Shangguan Fei’er charged forward ahead of everyone else, her speed was definitely the fastest, and her target was clear – the extra huge Regiment Commander. Not long ago, Shangguan Fei’er had finally broken through to the seven-Jeweled cultivation stage, and was at the same cultivation level as her opponent. However, do not forget that she was from the Heaven’s Expanse Palace, and had the mutated Duo Physical Jewels. Indeed, wasn’t Shangguan Fei’er’s greatest strength her close combat capabilities?
The first contact between both sides happened between Shangguan Fei’er and the Heavy Infantry Regiment Commander, Oni.
Oni had been itching for this fight for the entire day. In his eyes, a mere Peerless Battalion had dared to provoke them, to challenge them, and that was their own foolishness in committing suicide. Seeing an opponent charging at him, he did not hesitate to take a huge step forward. This fight was after all pitting their close combat capabilities. Previously, Shen Ji had already instructed both sides that no matter Heavenly Jewel Master, Physical or Elemental Jewel Masters, no one was allowed to use any Consolidated Equipment or Stored Skills, and it would only be a pugilistic fight, to prevent any unforeseen injuries or even death. After all, in the end both sides were allies.
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