Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
Big thanks to last chapter’s lovely editor, your name has been added
I dismounted and approached 10 sergeants in front of me.
“Sir!” They saluted.
From the way they made the salute, their slave-marked face skin as well as the firmness in their eyes, I knew these 10 were the earliest members of the 9th Legion.
“Greetings.” I greeted as I spoke, “Sergeants, I have a question for you.”
“It is common knowledge that our new recruits are very ineffective in combat. Once we make out of this tunnel, imminent combat awaits. Without any training, there’s no chance for those newbies to survive. Therefore, we need to train them, we’ll make them combat-effective and combat-knowledgeable.” I gestured to gather them closer, “However, there’re only less than 10 days allocated to you on the job. Now, 10 days, what can you offer?”
“Recall your inner thoughts when I arrived the 9th Legion on my first day. Your mal-practices and how did I turn them around? Our current new recruits are more or less the same as the old you.” Seeing all the sergeants remained silent, I poured in encouragements with my eyes and led their thoughts, “List them all and fix them, one at a time.”
I had faith in my men because their similar experience could definitely help to find the key problems.
“Sir…” Eventually, one of them spoke, “Messiness is one of their biggest problems.”
“Good, counts as one.” I nodded, “And?”
“They do wanna try their best on the works we give them.” One sergeant said, “However, they’re not good at doing them properly.”
“Well said! Counts as one too.” said I, “Go on…”
“Newbies lack self-control and need our constant reminder…”
“Sir, maybe we could…”
Though the sergeants’ ideas were rather crude, they were enough for me. The beginning ask-and-answer was aimed to eliminate their tense and lead the topic deeper. Later on, the heat discussion had attracted Malphite and several IGTs around.
Less than half an hour was enough for me to have a basic idea of the detailed training plan for the new recruits.
“That is all.” I concluded this discussion, “Fall out.”
“Yes, sir.” The sergeants rejoined their units with utter confidence and continued the 1-hour standing session with the rest of the men.
I nodded to Malphite who stood beside me. He was about to make a speech which I taught him how earlier.
Although Malphite was merely promoted a petty officer, he who had experienced series of real wars was not like any ordinary officers. Fighting on the edge of death had immersed him with mightiness, sharpness as well as a trace of calm, which were also common traits of all my officers. They made the strongest suit of my army.
“STANDING is the most crucial skill! Chin up, chests lift, abdomens in, eyes level front!” Malphite fixed himself in the front of the row, his figure stood erect like a statue, his words firm and earth-shattering, “On the battlefield, your enemies see first how you stand! You’ll stand like a mighty stone. Once your foes see you, they feel they can never cross you! Sluggishness makes you die faster! Now listen up, pay attention to orders…”
I was familiar with these words. It was essentially the things I talked back when I trained my first batch of sergeants. As an orc, Malphite might overhear it from other officers. And to my surprise, he remembered and took advantage of them. Judging from him, the orcs were not as barbarous as I had perceived.
While Malphite was yelling to his men, I had a clerk written down detailed training procedures.
“Sir, training session, 1 hour, mark.” Malphite trotted over, “Requiring your next instruction.”
“Good, fall in.”
“All, sit down!” I stood myself facing the men and ordered them to take a rest.
“Like your captain had said, you’ll never underestimate the power of standing and sitting. There’re reasons he requires you to master every step.” I called over a soldier then started explaining by pointing on his armor, “The armor is made of hard metal. Although it has extra paddings underneath, incorrect standing and sitting position will make certain chip press on your body parts. If it lasts longer, there’s a high chance that the pressure will paralyze your muscle and disable you from joining combat quickly.
I demonstrated on the soldier several times to test my speech. The result was satisfying and convincing.
“Behind every technique we taught you, there’s a certain significance. We don’t have much time to explain every detail and I won’t make any further specific interpretation from this moment on. All the time left is dedicated to training!” I wasted no time once I saw my earlier speech worked, “Without doubts, your future drill will give you a hard time. Ofttimes you’ll not understand the importance behind it. But mark my words, each and every training subject is targeted to preserving your lives! Every subject will properly protect you from getting harmed in combat. Every extra 15 minutes you stay in training means 1% more chance for you to survive in a war. Do you get me?”
“We get you, sir!”
“Good!” I nodded in satisfaction, “Now, all rise. Next, your sergeant will teach you how to run!”
“Atten-hut!” Malphite roared, “Now join 2 rows. March forward!”
I rode along watching the men run into the woods.
Marching was a crucial training subject. Field value was one thing, neat movement requirement will get the soldiers to familiarize army life faster.
A real army should be a collective without any individual ideas because that would be disharmonious. My training plan did not have gaps or intervals. One immediately after another, intense command phrases will influence soldiers unknowingly; intensified training will exhaust their physical strength. And when a soldier was extremely weary, his response to orders can only be coming from muscle memories instead of the brain.
I did not need them to exercise their brains and question orders now.
Once Malphite’s men’s training was over, training orders issued by the staff officers were delivered to every drill sergeants. Save for necessary duty officers and vigilant scouts, the whole army in the tunnel was heated up in military training.
Standing, squatting, sitting, standing….
Assembling, disassembling, marching, assembling…
Marching formations were all but everywhere. The air was filled with vulgar, dirty commands. My officers were not born from noble families. Before the training began, they most likely will greet their trainees with ‘ass, shit’ or anything related to that.
Perhaps it was a part of the army culture. It needed cruel, strong, aggressive killing machines instead of refined and polite soldiers. Profanities had the ability to arouse men’s most primal eager and cultivate military atmosphere.
Although the daily drills were incredibly boring, soldiers’ attitudes towards it were more serious than I had expected. I pondered the reason, it probably had something to do with their elder countrymen watching closely. And only after the first day’s training did I find out the real reason for a plain new recruit.
“Sir, we’ve never been trained before today.” His eyes pointed to the ground while he said, then he raised his head proudly towards me and continued, “This is why I’m joyful no matter how hard or bitter it is.”
“I see…” His true heart had given me many thoughts and mixed feelings. I tapped his shoulder and said, “Your joyfulness is guaranteed every day.”
Day 3, training on lining rows was close to a finish. Soldiers now had fewer discords and sluggishness in their movements.
So between today’s drills, I started familiarizing soldiers with their other half: weapons!
Every weapon kind ranging from a dagger to a war saber, from enhanced crossbow to spear, I needed my men to memorize its basic structure, attack range, how it may kill another.
I told the sergeants like so, “Do not leave your weapons alone! Always maintain them in the best condition!”
However, when the sergeants yelled to their trainees, my original statement changed. They shouted, “DON’T YOU EXPECT TO LIVE WITHOUT WEAPONS! YOU’RE READY WHENEVER YOU’RE TO KILL! WEAPONS ARE YOUr WOMEN! YOUR LIFE! CLENCH IT TIGHT WHATEVER YOU DO, WHATEVER YOU EAT, SLEEP AND PEEP!”
The yellings worked. All the soldiers had learned how to keep weapons in one hand and use the other hand to do something that usually took a man’s both hand. They had spent only 2 days on this skill.
To be fair, my officers were excessively more strict in disciplining their men than I did to them. The officers were trained by others in the old days and they only became drill officers in such a bad time, so they might sometimes step over the line. However, I was greatly satisfied with what they had done because they had unintentionally improved the outcome.
As the training went on, the soldiers had changed substantially.
The progress marked on day 5, soldiers were supposed to exercise confrontation in units of teams. But this time, I had prepared an unexpected episode for them.
Ninty new recruits in teams of 2 were standing face to face. The red team was on the left, blue team right.
I kept them standing idly for quite a while so a man from the red team made a merely noticeable funny face to the opposite team.
Nevertheless, I caught him.
“Funny, right?” I strode over.
“Yes, sir… no, not funny, sir…”
“Ya a soldier and you ought to act like one.” I knew he can’t properly respond to my inquiry, “And as a soldier who stands in your unit, HE WILL NEVER GIGGLE!”
In this case, I told the man standing right before the soldier from the red team to give him a slap in the face. As I had expected, the blue guy slapped gently.
“That’s how you exert your commander’s order?” I roared, “Malphite, show them how to slap!”
Malphite strode over, one slap he put the one who giggled down, then one more slap, the opposite one was down. An orc’s slap was not a joke.
“In a real combat, you don’t have time to question your commander’s orders! All orders are to be carried out firmly and without questions!” I continued, “As a punishment for you not complying properly, all of you want slaps! Attention, red team! Slap ON!”
“Slap, slap, slap…” Diffuse and scattered slapping sound resounded.
Then I excused that the red team’s slaps were not neat and ordered the blue team to slap back. After hundreds of slaps, men on both teams were red in face, their eyes puffed as if they were about to devour their counterparts.
“Malphite, you’re on.” I was content with the outcome, “Now combat begins!”
“Attention, all! Strike!”
Without hesitation, blue and red thrust into each other. In the chaotic fist and feet fight, roaring and cursing had even attracted some distant clansmen to watch.
“Boss, your current training way is nothing like us!” Jack approached and asked. He was the only one who had nothing to do in the army, “Will it work?”
“We have only 10 days. Such a short time, I’ll never make the new recruits as tough as the Phantom Legion. However, I can equip them with a mighty temperament like AUF!” I explained, “Plain soldiers as they are, with that mightiness, it’s enough for us to deal with the situation.”
“Shouldn’t be a problem.”
The fight continued and the red team gradually gained the upper hand. Then officers stepped in to prevent the red soldiers to beat up whoever was already beaten down.
“Sir, report!” Not long after, Malphite jogged over, “The fight is over. The red team won.”
“Good job! Red team, you’ll be awarded in lunch!” I gave them my only best way to motivate morale, “Anybody hurt?”
“Sir, flesh wounds and bruises. Nothing serious.” Malphite replied.
“You have an hour. Rest your men. Teach them how to fight efficiently during that time.” I told Malphite, “I have to go.”
I brought Jack with me to a 36 clan settlement area.
“Boss, what are we going to do to the clans?”
“Our next training subject is armed combat. The new recruits are inexperienced so accidental injuries will happen. I need to do something for them” said I, “36 Clans have their own shaman physicians, abundantly. I need to see if they can help me.”
“Holy, you’re right, boss!” Jack widened his eyes, “Healing flesh wounds with magic is such a waste. Shaman physicians should come in handy!”
As we talked, chief of the nearest clan approached. I briefly explained my needs, the former acted fast and assigned 3 shaman physicians and 10 of their apprentices.
Normally, I’ve witnessed a shaman physician back when I visited the Aqua Clan. In my memory, they were not weirdos except for their names. They shouldn’t be strangers to me.
However, the fact proved me wrong because… well.
The 3 guys standing in front of me had exotic tattoos on their faces. The supposedly well-ironed AUF army uniforms we had seized were torn into stripe and rags. Large and heavy earing, nose-rings and lip-rings were fixed on their facial organs.
“You guys…” I gazed at these 3 outlandish shaman physicians and began suspecting my earlier idea about utilizing them for my troops, “What can you do?”
“My Lord,” said the leading shaman, “We’re shamans from the Yarning tribe, the real shamans!”
“That I know. I meant what are you capable of?”
“My Lord, we know a few healing spells. But those are to heal and recover.” said the leading shaman, “However, we spent more time on herbs.”
“And dealing with flesh wounds?”
“It depends on the wound.”
“Minor flesh wounds.”
“That shouldn’t be a problem, my lord.”
I pulled him nearer, “You know what you’re talking about?”
“Positive,” said him, “my lord.”
Having heard that, I wasted no time and drew my black steel dagger. I rubbed the blade on his hand. The wound was neither deep nor intense. The blade merely hurt muscle and bones. But it was a piercing wound. In order to increase the healing difficulty, my dagger sided a bit while was inside.
The shaman witnessed me finishing all these without any reaction. The ones around did not even make a scary cry as if they knew that I won’t hurt them.
“Have you seen clearly what kind of wound this is?” I asked, “Now treat the wound, magic free.”
“Yes, my lord.” He fetched a leather lasso, “Clearly.”
The wound was on his forearm so he wrapped the lasso twice on elbow then tightened the lasso with a short stick. This way, the bleeding had stopped. Afterward, the man started washing the wound with a kind of milky liquid. Then he reached a tiny bucked for a swollen of smelly paste and applied it to the wound. He finished the treatment with bandages.
“Done, my lord.”
I required that he explain every steps and instrument he utilized during the process for me.
After he had cleared up all, I nodded in satisfaction. Now I knew, at least these shamans grasped the knowledge of how to stop bleeding, washing wounds and packing bleed spots. These were enough for me.
“I have one more problem.” After the shaman’s talk, I said, “Are all shaman physicians from the 36 clans as a whole capable of these?”
“Yes, my lord.” He replied, “As long as he calls him a shaman physician. Although different clans feature their own ways. The differences are barely noticed.”
“Features? Do tell me.”
“Like when I was wrapping the lasso earlier, we the Yarning people think it’s better to do it from right to left, but Toukichis insisted on the opposite. And shamans from Dercedes, they use metal sticks…”
“Now send my order, staffs heads to contact all tribe leaders. I want one shaman physicians plus 3 shaman apprentices for each squadron before dark.” I told my orderly.
“Sir, it’s an army of 120, 000.” Jack said, “We’ll be needing over 1, 000 shamans…”
“Get hands on it.” I told the orderly to go then turned to Jack, “In order to keep up the progress, I need them! A thousand shamans from a million refugees shouldn’t be a problem.:
“Shouldn’t… shouldn’t be a problem…”
“Do me a favor, go to the supply corps and tell them these shamans are joining my Dark Force.” I told a second orderly, “They’ll need uniforms and armors. The shamans will start from second lieutenants and their apprentices sergeants.”
The 3 shamans presented were a bit unexpected at my orders.
“Good, now you’re honored officers. You all feel good?” I gazed at the leading shaman, “But I’m a bit upset. Can you offer me anything to take the edge off?”
“Er, my lord, we don’t know how to treat mental disorder.”
“You don’t? It’s easy, let me tell you.”
“Enlighten us, my lord.”
I’ve put up with these 3 for quite a while and let the fury out fearsomely, “You three, NOW, find a place and get rid of your facial tattoos! Remove those rings! If you ever let me smell that stinky air or do that weird thing to your uniforms again, I’ll skin your faces!”
I was greatly pleased by watching them scurrying away.
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.