Vol. 10: Chapter 06: Brotherhood

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Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly


In my dark army, my supreme order was before and above everything. That being said, if words came out of my mouth were beyond comprehension, my subordinates will finish the job before they ask why.

Assisted by Gardena, chief of the 36 Clans, my most recent recruiting was not hindered at all. A thousand and 500 shaman physicians as well as 4, 500 shaman apprentices assembled before my eyes in the shortest time possible.

I could have assigned these men in no time though, after considering their current occupation, I acted cautiously and decided to give them my carrot and stick.

The reason that I didn’t completely trust them was that there was only a vague line between a doctor and a murderer, let along a group of boorish fellows.

At my order, these some 6, 000 people barely made several lousy square formations. Looking at these sluggish healers, I can’t help but feeling pity for their army uniforms.

A duty officer made a loud sound, “Atten-hut! Present-arm!”

“Greeting… hello sir…” Their lazy voices gave me both sickness and anger.

I forced the distasteful desire down and showed my courtesy while secretly telling myself: days are long, men make changes, Rome is not built in a day.

“You all know why you’re here, why we put you in uniforms as well. From this moment on, you are soldiers!” Riding casually along the line space between rows, I said loudly and clearly, “I know, before today, you were shamans that people revere. You were superior and condescending in all the ways possible. For you, becoming an army officer is not the best choice indeed.”

“Who wants to have a second choice?” I loudened my voice, “Answer me!”

“We do…” Several thousand loud voices replied.

(You mother fucking melon! Earlier you were all with sleepy eyes and now you’re giving me such a firm voice!?)

“BUT, do you have a choice? You don’t! Letting you join the army is an order directed by the general chief of the 36 Clans. And he was carrying out my order! You don’t have a choice and neither do I. Living in such a world, nobody has the right to choose! I don’t wanna say crap and I don’t care you want it or not. Either way, you all and I are bonded now! If, if one dares say no to my words, I will make him into my boots!” I’ve made my ideas as clear as day, “I’ve consulted with your general leader, whoever disobeys my order is my enemy. There’s no place for my enemy in the 36 Clan, never!”

Since the aftershock of me executing AUF prisoners still lingered, I believed no one dared to say otherwise now.

“Who wants to choose now!?” Again, I roared to asked, “Tell me?!”

“We don’t…” Thousands of men answered with the same words.

And I was pleased with their answer.

“You’re now lieutenants, sergeants to be less! You’re in uniforms, signified with collar ornaments and you ought to act like a military man! Not only should you perform your duties as physicians, you’ll have to pay attention to what you say and do. Here in the army, an order is the only thing that matters and nobody will joke about orders.” I continued, “From today on, you’re to ensure my soldiers stay healthy. You’ll attend my special training during their break.”

“I know you have disaffection and frankly, I don’t care.” I warned, “I also know, you have your unique knowledge of medicine and herbs. That is why I’m aware that you’re both capable of saving and killing at the same time. However, if anyone dares to harm my men, he’ll have the most dreadful death!”

I swept the shamans with my sharp vision. None dared to look back.

“Have I made myself clear!”

“Yes, sir!”

Different techniques were required to deal with different people. Clansmen as they were, I knew these shamans will give me even more headache than slicker slave soldiers. Shamans were not stupid heads. They were smart men or wily asses to be less. It was time to offer them some carrot.

“One more thing, though it’s a bit early,” I paused for a second and said the words anyway, “If you work with me, I believe that one day, we all will gain our rights to choose!”

All shamans froze for a while at my words.

“In this case, let’s work hard for that day to come!” I ended my speech, “Now commencing special shaman training day 1.”

I will need them to perform emergency treatment on and off my soldiers’ regular training. They might even need to do that during battles. One won’t be capable to do such jobs without an excellent physical condition and guts. These shamans will learn to listen to army command words and understand orders. Hence, their miserable days has begun.

Plain soldiers were obedient as long as they were given orders. The same way can be applied to training shamans. However, in order to speed up the progress, I chose to make myself part of their daily training.

Hence we stood together, ran together, sweat together. I did everything I required them. During the day, the shamans had to undergo series of battleground training; during the night, they’ll learn more systematic battlefield rescue skills with me. By extensive physical exercise, it took me only a day and night to equip the shaman with basic army knowledge. As for more intermediate skills, they were all experienced healers, a gentle touch of words will make them understand.

It was either my mightiness has intimated the new recruits or subdued by my medical knowledge, the shamans did not show much resistance. All of the healers and their apprentices trained and learned without complaint. Before I noticed, the gap between me and them has vanished.

Six days into the tunnel, the shamans have been deployed into every training squadrons. Their formal joining the army have greatly accelerated the progression in both the advancement of weapon training and training level.

As every unit has progressed into large-scale confrontation session, the new recruits training pace sky-rocked since all of them had at least been to a real battlefield.

Today’s subject was a confrontation session between Malphite’s red team and another squadron labeled blue. Restrained by the size of the training ground, both teams had to draw a face-to-face line formation. Now both red and blue soldiers were gazing each other furiously like they were archenemies.

Moments of hostile gazing later, the blue commander initiated his assault.

“Attention all, brace for impact!” Malphite’s rough voice echoed, “Steady!”

Blue team’s strikers came in like a wind. Instantly, soldiers of the two teams ran into each other, sturred dust and threw off horses.

“Frontline, steady!” Malphite’s swept his giant saber, “Rear units, attack!”

Red soldiers had their weapons wrapped in thick clothes, so they were not afraid of cutting anyone open. At Malphite’s command, they quickly thrust into the blue team. The short moment of chaos has given the blue commander huge headache.

A real combat will force one to grow, a simulated combat will also do the work. The best example was Lieutenant Malphite, who has been a simple and honest orc. Once he joined the battle, he’s a changed orc. I have overhead Malphite’s supervisor had said that Malphite was merely a rookie private who knew absolutely nothing about commanding before the Clay City battle. However, days after the fierce warfare, he has already learned everything it took to be a junior officer. Even better, during the last clay city combat, Malphite, along with a team of slaves that surrendered obtained a stunning record of slaughtering 47 enemy soldiers.

While commanding, Malphite was calm. His operation method was simple, direct and effective like his personality. When it needed to march, he’ll never fall behind. Being an orc had allowed him to possess earth-shattering shock power. Led by him, a team of 100 can easily and quickly tear the opponent’s defensive line.

Malphite, who was marching as the head of the team has become the hear of this team of men. The orc was not armed probably because of his concern about hurting anyone. Constantly, men were tossed, thrown, blown away beside him. Usually, no one was able to stand still after being punched by an orc’s fist.

Not long after, this one-sided slaughter has come to an end.

The result was obvious: the earth was full of blue soldiers. There was no need for the LAD (Law Advocate Department)personnel to judge the winner of this simulated combat.

After, giggles and laughter, the red team put their hands on dragging the blue team aside for healing while making sick jokes about the losing team. And the ‘losers’ had no rights to complain.

“Sir! Combat over!” Malphite jogged over and reported, “Wounded 24, 15 terminated on my side of the team. The opposing team totaling 103, annihilated.”

“I can see that.” I told Malphite, “You should’ve ended with fewer casualties. Do you know why?”

“Yes, sir!” Malphite roared, “My men pulled their punches in the first assault!”

“Then what should you do?”

“Yes, sir!” Malphite did not hesitate, “Every red soldier below my rank including me will self-punish 10 laps on the training ground!”

“You know it, carry on.”

“Sir, yes, sir!”

Orcs were probably rather dumb and straight, but they were never stupid. I had the feeling that Malphite will make an excellent officer.

As Malphite ran aside to punish harshly the soldiers who break his rules then he started leading the team to run, the shamans began dealing with the casualties. One more blue team was marching over towards me. A new round of confrontation session was about to begin.

Up until this moment, there was no need for me to give extra instructions. Finally, I had some time to get my hands on other business.

After a few pieces of needed instruction, I took Jack to patrol the camp.

“Jack,” said I, “Haven’t seen Carlos these days. You know what he’s up to?”

“That I know.” I said, “He’s with Gardena Jr., said he needs to register all the refugees in case there’re potential enemy agents.”

“He’s been busy…” I rubbed my neck and said, “He’s supposed to finish I guess. Let’s check him out.”

The moment I entered the Staff Department, I was welcomed by a distinctive atmosphere unlike any other days. Busy as they were, the staffs were much ordered under the new bureaucratic system.

After my brothers had arrived for me, Gardena discreetly excused knowing that I was about to talk private business.

“Talk about it, what have you achieved during these days?” I hinted everybody to sit, “I was on the training ground and information has been inconvenient. Who’s first, Steven?”

“Yes, sir.” Steven nodded, “My wingman scouts and units have been properly rectified. We’re resupplied with new members and ready for any future assignment.”

“Well done.” I turned to Moya, “How about you?”

“My side of the teams are under training.” Moya answered, “The progress is smooth. My soldiers are doing better than anticipated.”

“There’s a good news. Wilder?”

“Ah… yes, boss. Speak of the devil.” Wilder said, “Boss, you know. AUF horses are so fucking hard to kick around. Many new recruits fell. Lucky you got us enough shaman.”

“How many riders, do you estimate after the 10-day session is over, will be ready?”

“Old riders not included,” Wilder pondered, “we’ll have 3 ready cavalry regiments.”

“That’s so much better than I thought. Why are you still complaining?”

“Well, I was planning…” Wilder made an awkward smile, “I thought I could gather 4.”

“When are you gonna change that disposition, have all the good stuff exclusive for yourself?” I shook my head out of no hope, “You have enough knights in your troops and now 3 more, plus the ones we left in Galia. All of my riders are under your command. You’re not satisfied yet?”

“Huh…” said Wilder, “The rider thing, the more the merrier.”

“Yeah… the more the merrier.” I nodded, “But you know, Wilder, you should share sometimes.”

“Er…”

“When the training is over, you’ll be commanding the old knights. I have other plans for the new ones.” I urged, “They’re not your private things, nor mine. They’re knights of Dark City.”

“That’s not fair, boss…” Wilder complained resentfully, “Every time!”

“You’re right. I set you up every time, successfully. And you’ve never successfully revenged.” I said, half false half true, “Wilder, Wilder, Wilder, and now you wanna be a renowned general!”

“…”

“You heard it. Challenge me…”

“Okay!” Jack was the first to support the idea, “Challenge what?”

Moya eyed around the ones presented and he said, full of concern, “Let’s drop it.”

“Er… sir,” Carlos, the Chief of Staff comforted, “We cannot afford to undergo an episode like this now.”

“No worries, it’s a private challenge.” I cannot care less about it, “No strings attached, good, Wilder?”

“No problem!” Wilder said, “What if I won, what do I get?”

“You think you can?” Marfa booed.

Wilder stroke Marfa’s head, “Mr. Liaison, I will win!”

“If you win…” I thought, “I’ll give all the riders for you to command.”

“You sir have a deal!” Wilder’s eyes lightened, “A promise is a promise, boss.”

“Sure it. I never lie.” I nodded and smiled, “We’ll come back to it later. Let me tell you all about our plans for these days.”

During the meeting that followed, we’ve made our next strategic plan. Moya and Wilder will put all effort into training new recruits in the attempt that they be qualified to fight ASAP. Jack will assist Carlos to finalize registering the clan refugees. Steven and Marfa will mobilize to initiate large-scale investigation along the tunnel and the canyon. Marfa will be in charge of the tunnel exit and Steven the rest.

As for me, I haven’t had a proper sleep in days. I will take a nap.

However, the sleep was a shallow one with nightmares. I struggled into midnight and finally lost the patient to continue.

I cleaned my face and decided to take a walk and calm my mind outside the pavilion.

It was a peaceful night with fresh air.

“Halt!” An IGT made a low alert, “Password!”

“Chief of Staff, Carlos! Lord Justice, Jack!” Carlos’s weary voice echoed, “Night star!”

“Dew!” replied the IGT, “Sirs. Commander Cohen is here.”

The two approached.

“Sir, why aren’t you sleeping?” asked Carlos, “We’ve just finished the registration…”

“Nicely done.” I nodded, “Walk with me.”

“Yes, sir.”

We strolled along a river down the moonlight. A dozen IGTs formed 2 guarding circles near us.

“Carlos, Jack. We’re about to exit the tunnel.” I slowly eased my step, “Are you prepared for it?”

“Yes, sir. We’re ready.” Carlos replied, “It’s just… there’s one more thing.”

“You mean Wilder?”

“You read my mind.”

“Wise as always, sir.”

“En, boss, Carlos.” Jack cut in, “What is it? What about Wilder?”

I tapped Jack’s shoulder and sighed.

“Boss…”

“Jack.” Carlos lowered his voice, “Haven’t you noticed Wilder’s change recently?”

“I ain’t feel nothing. What about him?” Jack was still in the dark, “Boss?”

“Wilder has been over his head.” I said, “As a commander, Wilder is brave and fearless. Nevertheless, after the clay city, he’s become more overbearing atop he already is. If we let him be, eventually he’ll destroy himself one day.”

“Help him, boss. He’s our brother!” Jack nipped my uniform, “You must know what to do.”

“I’m thinking.” I gave Jack an affectionate look, “Calm, I know what to do or I won’t be your boss.”

“You’re the best!” Jack cheered joyfully.

“And Wilder is also my brother! If I’m not helping him, who else. Since the day we were bonded, you guys are my most precious people.” I told Jack, “You, Jack, my Lord Justice, you’ve become slow-minded. You’ll need to listen, look, think about what’s happening and what has happened. You’ll be modest and learn. Make yourself a better man. You get me?”

“Yeah… boss.”

“Go back to sleep. I want to talk to Carlos.”

“En.” Jack left with his guards.

“Carlos, why the sudden silence?” I gazed at him, “Did my talk with Jack silent you?”

“Nothing like that, sir.”

“Carlos, you’re a smart guy.” I looked at him in the eye, “Why do you care so much about the brotherhood thing?”

“I… I don’t!”

“Lie to me. That bitterness is all on your face.” I turned away, “A clever man is usually tough on himself.”

“Apology, sir.”

“Fool. What kind of apology is that? Fine, since I’ve opened the subject, I might as well resolve that mind load of yours.” I smiled then said earnestly, “Since the clay city battle, the moment you insisted on staying with me, you’ve become one of my best bros.”

“…”

“How about that? You’re relieved from obsession now, am I right?” I asked with a smile, “Seriously.”

“Sir, your statement…” Carlos hummed in his lowest voice, “has a minimum confidence level…”

“How dare you, distrusting me. You want me to post an official announcement all over the camp?” said I, “… pity you’ve missed it.”

“Missed what?”

“You missed the opportunity to grow up with me as kids and as bros. Cutting in halfway is morally wrong.” I said, “Plus you’re 10 years older. How sorry I’ll be letting you call me a boss?”

“True, but it’s not my fault to miss the chance.”

“How about I make up to you by letting you call me that privately?”

“I prefer the name ‘sir’.” said Carlos, “As for privately, I might as well come up with a suitable nickname for you.”

“Whatever. I might not answer to that title.” I looked up to the vast night sky, “As for now, let’s make a guess who’s on the other side of the canyon.”

“We can’t.”

“You can’t!”

“Why does it matter? Whatever might not happen has happened already.”

“Anything could happen. It’s a chaotic world.”

“It is what it is.”

“Is it fair?”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Doesn’t matter? Well, fuck the world.” I said, “No matter what lies beyond. I’m gonna smash it. What will you do?”

“If the leader leads, I will follow.” Carlos stood side by side with me, “I’ve made my decision to call you my boss. Many of us officers address you like that when you’re not around.”

“…“

I hated that name.


This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.

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