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Chapter 15: Dinesh Reddy II

In the military barracks of the Vijayanagara North Military Academy, Dinesh and Darshan made their way to the canteen to have some lunch after the gruesome training. They were both overjoyed to find that they could eat as much as they wanted, and there were even pieces of meat on their plates. After the morning of hard and strenuous exercises, they gobbled up their food. Through the suffering, Dinesh and Darshan had gotten pretty close together.

Apparently, Darshan is from a landlord family, but because he is an illegitimate child, he did not inherit any wealth from his family. However, since he was born into the family, he could at least learn to read.

As they were gossiping, suddenly they heard a voice that sent shivers down their spines.

"Move your asses, maggots! It's time to work!"

It was their sergeant, Harish, who was yelling.

Everyone in the canteen, out of reflex, quickly made their way to the training grounds.

In the training ground, they were made to stand in line and then ordered to maintain an upright position for an hour straight. At first, Dinesh thought it would be easy, but after 15 minutes of standing still, his legs started screaming for help. However, he didn't give in. He was determined to complete the military training and move forward, not wanting to face the wrath of Sergeant Harish.

Twenty minutes in, someone gave in and buckled to the ground. In an instant, Sergeant Harish was upon him, shouting, "YOU WUSS, GIVE ME FIVE ROUNDS ON THE GROUND NOW!"

The recruit tried to argue, but the sergeant cut him off, "NOW GIVE ME 10 ROUNDS. TALK AGAIN, IT WILL BE 20 ROUNDS."

Then, he warned everyone, "If anyone can't do as I say, then they will be kicked out of the training camp." The sergeant yelled, "Understand?" and everyone quickly nodded their heads.

But the sergeant, still angry, yelled again, "I said do... you... UNDERSTAND."

"SIR... YES SIR," they responded in unison.

Satisfied, the sergeant turned around and left.

"That was a close call," Dinesh thought to himself.

One hour later,

Sergeant Harish yelled, "At ease!" Everyone collapsed to the ground at the same time, panting for breath.

The sergeant continued, "Take a 20-minute break until we move to our next session." Then, he announced, "For those who want to leave this camp, this is the last chance. After this, you can't leave. If you lack the conviction to stay in the army and work even harder, please leave."

Hearing this, Dinesh was tempted. He wanted to run away, but suddenly, "SPINELESS COWARD," he cursed himself for even thinking of leaving. He clenched his fists, almost drawing blood, as he thought about his parents' faces before they died. He held onto his determination and didn't go anywhere.

Coming here was the only thing he wanted to do. He wanted to fight the Mughal Empire; he wanted to be on the battlefield, He wanted to take revenge with his own two hands, He get stronger. That was the whole point of him joining the army; the money was secondary as he already had an acre of land which could fill his stomach. With a newfound determination, Dinesh got up and moved forward to the next session.

His movements were noticed by Sergeant Harish, who still looked at Dinesh's back with a stern expression, but a sense of approval shone in his eyes. A few people left the camp, but most of them stayed. They were used to hardships, and more physical labour was nothing to them. As the day passed by, they went through more queue formations, marching, physical exercises, and discipline training, which they never heard of, and felt like hell, but they made it through.

In the evening, after dinner, they were called for something called "literary classes." Their batch of recruits made it to the large hall with benches and chairs, and everyone was relieved that there was no more physical training. Shortly after, an old man in priestly attire entered the room, smiled at everyone, and told them to sit down.

"Hello, everyone. My name is Veer Das, and I will be your literary and cultural teacher from now on," he continued. "After your daily training, 4 hours in the evening will be dedicated to these classes. You will mainly be studying four courses. First, a literacy course, which will teach you how to read and write. The second one is a mathematics course, which will teach you how to count numbers. The third course is a cultural course, which will teach you to be loyal to the king and to your gods. The fourth course, which the king himself coined, is called science, a study of how the world works."

After finishing the speech, Veer Das asked everyone, "Now, I introduced myself. Please introduce yourselves one by one and tell me what knowledge means to you."

The first person on the bench stood up and said, "Hello, sir. My name is Lingesh. According to me, knowledge is a tool used by higher-ranking people to create songs, poems, and everything."

Teacher Veer Das kept nodding and didn't comment any further as he looked on while everyone else introduced themselves.

It was finally Dinesh's turn. "Hello, sir. My name is Dinesh Reddy. For me, knowledge is a tool used by the weak to defeat a stronger person." Veer Das raised his eyebrows at that answer, but he didn't comment any further as he listened to everyone else's introductions.

Finally, after hearing everyone else's answers, Veer Das noted as he continued, "All right, most of your answers are true, some are not entirely true, and some are partially true."

As he continued...

"We humans may be physically fragile, but we wield knowledge as a weapon for growth. What is knowledge? In a sense, it is the greatest strength of humans. Without knowledge of fire, we wouldn't live; without knowledge of plants, we would wear no clothes; without knowledge of the earth, we wouldn't have any tools. So, knowledge is the Power for human growth. Now, our benevolent King has provided all the military recruits with the chance to gain all the kingdom's knowledge for free. I hope you can all make use of these resources without wasting them. With that said, let's start our classes."

And thus, as the day came to an end for Dinesh and thousands of military recruits across the country, the impact of this military training led to the rise of hundreds of talented individuals within the Empire. Historians of the future even pointed out that this policy became the core strategy for Vijayanagara Empire's military dominance.

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