Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
With the Heaven’s Expanse Palace speaking out, who dared to say anything else? Just like the status of the Heavenly Snow Mountain in the WanShou Empire, the Heaven’s Expanse Palace was also like a supreme ruler overlord in the ZhongTian Empire. Furthermore, in most people’s eyes, the creation of the Peerless Battalion had the shadow of the Heaven’s Expanse Palace behind it, and they were even more respectful towards the Heaven’s Expanse Palace.
As such, the Peerless Battalion remained with their ‘original’ Battalion formation, though it was no longer the traditional Battalion size. They now numbered a full five thousand soldiers, and the two thousand Heavy Cavalry Soldiers of the two powerful Tribes.
The greatest beneficiary of the border wars could be said to be the Gold Crow Tribe and the Berserker Tribes. Everything else aside, they now owned their own mounts. Naturally, they had all chosen the Unicorn Heavenly Beasts captured in the war.
Besides the new formation of two Main Companies each consisting of a thousand heavy cavalry soldiers, both tribes were also able to each gear up one more reserve Main Companies of cavalry. As such, one could say that the actual total strength of the Peerless Battalion was already at nine thousand soldiers, not much different from an actual Regiment. Of course, no one could tell for sure how powerful the Heavy Cavalry soldiers of the Gold Crow Tribe and Berserker Tribes could be.
These two Heavy Cavalry Main Companies had slowly been gearing up, and it was only recently that they had finally managed to finish equipping all two thousand men. For the past few days, they had actually been getting used to their new gear and fighting with it.
Hua Feng thought for a moment and said: "This is indeed a problem. Yesterday, I have spoken with the Northwest Army headquarters… for the sake of the harmony and discipline of the rest of the Northwest Army, it is best that we return to our original campsite. Although the conditions there aren’t great, but we have already built up our strong network of tunnels, letting it go to waste is a bit of a shame. In any case, in the past our Peerless Battalion might be afraid of some sneak attacks from the WanShou Empire, but now, we are confident in facing those."
"If the WanShou Empire dares come, without at least ten whole Companies, they will not be able to take us all out. Furthermore, amongst those ten Companies, there must at least be one Company that is of equal standard to the Mammoth Company or greater, only then will they be able to take us out."
Shangguan Fei’er said passively: "In that case, let us leave quickly, lest our own soldiers are also affected by the other Regiments around. Too much pride causes people to lapse or even retrograde, and I think we need to give them a fresh ‘rap’ on the head. It has been a while since we had a martial tournament to undergo a change in our inner rankings… this time we can invite the Gold Crow Tribe and Berserker Tribe to participate as well?"
Hua Feng nodded and said: "That is indeed true, the Northwest Army camp does not have much binding force upon us. How about this, I shall give them a report, and tomorrow morning we shall set forth to return to our old camp. When Weiqing returns, we can see how we want to progress further."
Early next morning, ignoring the various persuasion from the Northwest Army for them to stay or any offers to escort them, the Peerless Battalion packed up and headed towards their old original Ruffian Battalion camp further up in the north border.
The current Peerless Battalion could be described as immensely wealthy. This was not just a description for the Battalion as a whole, but each and every individual Peerless Battalion soldier.
After so many fights in the war, every single one of the Peerless Battalion soldiers had accumulated wealth of at least hundred gold coins or more. More so, that was also after the Peerless Battalion would ‘take back’ some of their gold coins when issuing other benefits; otherwise perhaps each of them would have at least a thousand gold coins!
Taking back some of the wealth was of course necessary – that had been the rule set long ago when the Peerless Battalion had first been set up. In the rules of the Peerless Battalion, one of the main ones was that there was no gain without working for it. Of course, retrieval of those gold coins was because of the equipment and Consolidated Equipment of the soldiers, even heavily discounted as it were. At least for a long period of time, the soldiers would not be able to just grow rich like that.
As for the ‘propaganda teachings’ of the soldiers, Hua Feng had long started with it. This was one of the points that Zhou Weiqing had not thought of previously.
As the saying goes, once someone grows rich, it is easy for them to turn ‘bad’. Hua Feng knew this very well, and the main thing he wanted to instill in the Peerless Battalion soldiers was this core thought – ‘Once you leave the Peerless Battalion, you are nothing.’
Of course, the truth of the matter was as such anyway. It was because of the existence of the Peerless Battalion as an organization that the Peerless Battalion soldiers could have the remotest possibility of having the power and status they had today. Having experienced the lowest of all status, only then could one treasure the new heights. It was also the reason why the cohesiveness of the soldiers was at such an unprecedented level. Of course, compared to the past, they held much more pride. Even so, that pride had been earned, and was worth encouraging. A powerful and cohesive force of soldiers, if they did not have pride in themselves, how could they call themselves a strongest force?
Just as the Peerless Battalion had just started moving out, far off in the distance, a large black dot encroached upon them.
Shangguan Fei’er was the first to sense it. Subconsciously, she lifted her head to look into the distance, barely spotting the fact that it was two people, one carrying the other.
"Incoming!" A loud shout from Shangguan Fei’er, and all the soldiers around her reacted instantly. At once, more than a hundred Consolidated Bows appeared, pointed into the skies.
"Stop! Wait, it’s me! I have returned!" Zhou Weiqing’s voice rang out from above. From the height of his flying, it was at least a thousand metres away! However, his voice was still clear and loud as it rang down to the entire Peerless Battalion and all the officers.
Shangguan Fei’er was the most surprised. After all, she was familiar with Zhou Weiqing. Ignoring the fact that Zhou Weiqing had somehow gained the ability to fly, just that ability of voice transference he had shown just now proved that his cultivation level had improved by leaps and bounds since she had last seen him… a massive jump that she subconsciously thought was impossible!
When he had left, he had only been at the five-Jeweled stage, and had reached that not long ago too! How could he return at the six-Jeweled stage… it had only been slightly more than two months!
Hearing Zhou Weiqing’s voice, naturally the Consolidated Bows would not fire. Within moments, Zhou Weiqing had descended from the skies together with Tian’er.
Previously, high up in the skies, he had seen the Peerless Battalion from a distance. Perhaps if it were any other army unit, he might not have recognized them from such a distance. However, the titanium mail of the Peerless Battalion was just too obvious and familiar to him, how could he mistake it? That was the reason why he had started heading lower and towards them.
As he landed upon the ground, Zhou Weiqing released hold of Tian’er’s waist as he strode forward in large strides. The group of Peerless Battalion officials quickly dismounted to greet him.
"Little brat, you finally know to come back! You just threw the Peerless Battalion to us and ran off to chase chicks eh." As soon as Mu En saw Zhou Weiqing, he went forward to give him an exasperated knock on the head. Howeer, as he did so, he gave a subtle signal with his eyes at Zhou Weiqing.
Zhou Weiqing was just too familiar with this teacher of his. With just that signal, he could fully understand what Mu En meant. Clearly, Mu En was taking the initiative to ease up any tension. After all, Shangguan Fei’er had been here all this time fighting on his behalf, and he had disappeared for months, to return with another girl!
The seven God Archers of the Heavenly Bow Unit had never seen Tian’er before, and it was without question that they would side with Shangguan Fei’er.
Shangguan Fei’er could be said to have played a huge role in the entire creation of the Peerless Battalion, as well as building it up to its current status. Compared to the Battalion Commander Zhou Weiqing, or the temporary commander Hua Feng, or even any of the rest of the commanders and officers, she had done so much more. For a girl like her of noble birth and high status to stay here to help Zhou Weiqing train his soldiers, to fight in wars with them, all of them knew what it meant. Yet, at this moment, Zhou Weiqing had actually brought another woman back. The rest of the Peerless Battalion officers couldn’t help but show some discontent on their faces. Some of the others might only mutter a few words inwardly, but for the seven God Archers of the Heavenly Bow Unit, they would not hide anything, especially since they were considered his teachers and seniors. As such, Mu En had quickly stepped forward to give him a scolding first, that was because in his heart his precious disciple was most important, and he was trying to cover for him as best he could.
Zhou Weiqing laughed heartily, giving Mu En a big hug before turning to the others and saying: "What are you all doing? Heading back to our old campsite?"
From Hua Feng’s face, one could not see any blame or anger, as he gave a quick and simple explanation about what had happened since Zhou Weiqing left. After which, he asked: "At least you are back, and I can finally give up this temporary Battalion Commander position. Well, what do you have planned in the future?"
Without question, Zhou Weiqing replied: "Let’s go along with what you all have decided for now, to return to our original camp and continue our training. After all, we still have a lot of our equipment that isn’t delivered or completed yet. Once we have finished all of that… we will return to Heavenly Bow."
Upon hearing the last few words, the seven God Archers of the Heavenly Bow Unit revealed clear looks of excitement on their faces. Even the most stable Hua Feng was no exception.
The Heavenly Bow Empire had been destroyed for more than a year, and they had never imagined that they would have a chance to counterattack in such a short period of time.
Hua Feng smiled faintly and said: "Admiral Zhou will be so proud of you."
At that point, Tian’er walked to Zhou Weiqing’s side. Zhou Weiqing snuck a look at Shangguan Fei’er, who was standing near Hua Feng with an impassive look on her face. Only then did he introduce Tian’er to the others: "This is Lady Tian’er. From today onwards, she will be officially joining our Peerless Battalion."
Upon hearing that introduction, everyone present had a strange look on their faces. Almost subconsciously, they all turned to look at Shangguan Fei’er.
Shangguan Fei’er and Tian’er’s gaze clashed almost instantly. Both girls did not say anything, but it was as if sparks were flying between their eyes as neither backed down from the locked stare.
*Cough**Cough* "Let’s get back on the move then, we still have many things to do back in camp." As he said that, Zhou Weiqing released his single-horned Ghost Demon Horse, mounting up together with Tian’er as he gave Shangguan Fei’er an apologetic look.
Shangguan Fei’er gave him a cold look back, a look so cold that Zhou Weiqing couldn’t help but shiver in his heart. Even when he was facing a Heavenly Emperor stage powerhouse, his heart had not felt such a pounding unease.
He coudn’t help but think to himself: It truly isn’t great to spread the love too much! How many brain cells will be killed again this time.
At this point, he did not know how he would deal with the relationship between his two loves, and he could only take things as they came.
In the midst of this strange atmosphere, the Peerless Battalion resumed their march towards their old camp in the border. When they finally reached, the soldiers began to unpack and re-set up the camp that they had once vacated.
Zhou Weiqing had barely caught his breath when he heard an icy cold voice ring in his ears: "Zhou Weiqing, come over here."
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