Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
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It lasted for a full month.
Though the rookies had suffered poor food, scolds, smacks in the new recruits’ boot camp, they started missing the good old days now.
Because the Champion Legion’s boot camp was 10 times more dreadful!
Anemia never said craps. He would instead smash, smash the hell out of his subordinates during the daily progression checking. And he would punish the rookies with lawful reasons: a team of 12 who can’t even overturn a single man has no rights! Even though the Champion Legion had gourmet food supplies and offerings, one had to be conscious to eat! Basically, on a daily basis, once the training was over, the rookies cannot even lift up their eyes. Rut loved the taste of meat. However, now he would fell asleep before he could toss the first slice of beef into his mouth.
The rookies suffered unspeakable misery, but teeth grinded, shoulders propped, they persisted. They just wished that one day they can smack Commander Anemia’s ass and everybody could eat a relaxed meal sitting on his body. Indeed, this was one of their tiny faiths.
However, the barbarian officer did not give them the chance. During the following month, no matter how hard the rookies have tried, how well they’ve team-worked, like always, Anemia kicked the living shit out of them.
On the last day, Commander Anemia finally breathed a bit heavier after the routine ass kicking.
“Pass.” Having said that, he called a wagon over and carried the dozen elite rookies back to the camping area.
The rookies came to know that the Samgha Squadron was one of the early returns. A few other squadrons have finished their training several days after the due date. Some of the elite rookies from other units were crying for moms when they entered the camp gate.
The others’ miserable looks have given the Samgha members great satisfaction. They smirked then started teasing other teams: Samgha returned early, so they had extra free days to kill.
The three-day vacation ended quickly. The Samgha Squadron was brought to a new location. There, their training continued. Namely, the ass-smacking proceeded.
Only during this time, Commander Anemia seized smacking his subordinates himself; instead, he brought the Samgha members to challenge the elite rookies from other legions. In any case, one thing remained the same: the ass-smacking.
Such days continued for another 6 months.
As the training in standing formation, weaponry, horsemanship grew more extensive, the smell of war grew stronger.
Tonight, the Samgha Squadron was summoned alone on the extremely spacious training ground for ranking award ceremony. Samgha was the only squadron who finished all the general drills ahead of time. The one who did the honor was a Major and staff officer from the 6th Royal Champion Legion. Rumor had that he rose up in his rank from a regular GI.
After the rituals, the rookies nearly welled their eyes at their new sky-blue military uniform and the silver chest-plate that symbolized the squadron of Samgha.
“Yo, Anemia!” The Major said, “Why do you keep that name? I thought the HQ has given you a new name.”
“The name I’m used to.” Anemia nodded honestly, “It’s from my commander anyhow.”
“Stubborn, you’re still. Grab a drink?”
“I’ll pass, sir!” Anemia turned to his rookies, “I’m gonna take them in town.”
“Hahahaha, I know it, tradition!” The Major made a cheerful laugh and tossed a tiny pocket over, “On my tab.”
Commander Anemia withheld his gratitude and accepted the offer. He turned to his subordinates and said, “You’re dismissed. Get yourselves ready. We’re hitting the town!”
“Sir, yes, sir!”
Seeing the rookies have giggled and smirked for their tents, Anemia’s usual frozen eyes defrosted.
“What’s on your mind, one man hero?” The Major approached, “What a group of energized kids. I’ve read the report; they’re so much better than us at that age.”
“They are.” Anemia sighted the Samgha members’ backs and said in an undertone, “How many will survive the war?”
“I struggled to advance in ranks exactly to make more live with my power.”
“Can you? You’re just one petty bureaucrat.” Anemia humphed, “To save more soldiers means only excessive training and correct ordering.”
The Major went speechless at Anemia’s comment. He tapped Anemia’s shoulder and left.
A sound of clacking footsteps has driven the passersby aside.
A team of soldiers was walking at the center of a spacious and also clean boulevard, unhurried. The entire central half of the street was taken over by these proud men as the rest vehicles or passengers had to make ways for them. Even the imposing city garrison troops held their breath and threw their flattering eyes at the soldiers that passed by.
Commander Anemia was leading the team, his hands crossed. The rest elite rookies that followed also crossed their hands. Scarlet and Ranger had Fallen between them while Rut and Baham were arguing in a lowered voice. Claypool was intensifying the argument.
“Why do you think Commander Anemia take us here?” Not long after, Claypool approached Ranger, “Don’t we have several days free?”
“Go ask the CO yourself!” Scarlet glimpsed Claypool, “You’re egging Fallen on to ask it for you again! Cut the crap!”
Claypool made a passive laugh and retreated beside Rut.
“Commander Claypool,” Moments later, Rut’s voice came like a stupid ass, “what’re we going to do?”
“To see your mama.” Commander Anemia’s half-dead voice came, which made the rookies laugh.
Rut took a good while to understand Anemia’s joke. He also laughed. It’s been a while that Rut has managed to control his temper under the influence of Anemia’s verbal abuse.
“Completing training early is worth celebrating. And it’s the army’s tradition and my duty to take you for fun. In this case, you have many options tonight.” After the laughter has stopped, the calm-faced Anemia turned to the youngsters, “Option A, you’re free to drink in a pub of your choice; option B, you’re free to mess around in a whorehouse… all the cost is on me.”
“Pub?” Fallen started pinching his hair.
“Whorehouse?” Rut widened his mouth.
“Sir,” Ranger raised a hand, “Do we have a third option? You mentioned there’re many!”
“Absolutely.” Anemia smiled, “You’re free to go back to the training ground as well.”
“PUB!” At the sound of the third option, all rookies went for the first.
Thus the men were brought to a giant table in a local pub.
“Sir,” Fallen gazed at the mug of ale in front of him, his head already started spinning, “for real?”
“Legacy of the Samgha Squadron, a commander is obliged to lead his soldiers to go crazy after finishing the training.” Anemia said, “We’re departing for the frontline in a few days. Whatever you wanna do tonight, do it. Now drink!”
Fallen spouted the juice out the moment the liquid touched his tongue. In fact, besides Baham and Claypool, none in the team liked alcohol, even for Commander Anemia himself.
“Hahahaha!” There came a burst of laughter, “Turns out they’re a bunch of chicks who don’t know how to drink!”
Calling a man rookie was not a big deal unless the word became ‘chick’.
The man who laughed was the commander of the Flame Legion. He fetched a huge mug then swaggered the container up and started teasing recklessly.
Rut has been withholding his temper; but Fallen, who has been behaving obediently, made the situation go out of control by doing a tiny gesture: the little werewolf lifted a foot onto the chair then stretched out his tongue and started spitting with a hand pinching his eyelid to the men from the Flame Legion. The werewolf was already drunk.
The intense situation called for striking in advance, so Rut did it without hesitation. Before Rut could bounce onto the table, Commander Anemia shot over his mug. The wooden container spun while making dull roaring and finally landed on the nose-tip of the Flame Legion commander.
The man cried and slumped with both his hands on his face.
“Hahaha, boys, let’s make out!” Everybody read Anemia’s act, so nobody remained conservative. Especially for Rut, he launched into the hostilities with an utterly exaggerated posture.
In a moment of chaos, Scarlet came the second. Ranger grinned and jumped in with an empty bottle. Claypool was searching for easy strikes behind Baham with a chair leg. As for Fallen, he was running about with a pot of beef stew around the room. And he’ll smash the casserole onto any opponents he met.
The uproar sure caught the attention of the city patrol. When they came and ascertained the identities of the 2 sides, they remained idle by the door just for the show.
Not long after, commander of the Flame Legion along with his 20-ish subordinates were all put down and whining on the floor. Samgha members giggled and seized action. Fallen has beaten down a dozen men with the copper plate. Rut claimed seven ‘games’ and was currently standing on the Flame’s dining table, hands crossed on his waist and waggling his clumsy buttock while humming.
“Enough.” Anemia leisurely finished his beef stew then tossed a few silver coins on the table, “We’re leaving.”
So then, hands crossed, the rookies took their times and left.
Anemia was right, 3 days after the pub fist fight, the Samgha Squadron packed their stuff and left alongside a few other squadrons and arrived on the Protoss/Asmodian Line 6 months ahead of the big war.
The rookies expressed their confusion; thus Anemia explained, “You need to get familiar with the war in advance.”
The 6th Champion Legion unit had 30-ish reconnaissance squadrons including Samgha. They were here to investigate the massive battleground, which was one of their primary assignments. The duration of a single survey quest will usually take 7~8 days.
Samgha’s quartering place was an enormous campsite built on the frontline. One might get lost in it if he was new.
Once Anemia got hands on the map, he immediately returned Samgha’s main tent and informed the rookies about the route of this assignment as well as the supplies they needed during the course.
After Anemia had left, the rookies started the preparation. The air in the tent was somewhat depressed as it was their first on-field operation.
“So…” Fallen asked Scarlet in a small voice as his dagger was being cleaned, “We’re good, are we?”
Scarlet pondered for a second then replied in the same small voice, “I guess we are.”
“What if we encountered enemies?”
“On your discretion.” Claypool took over the conversation, “But I’m sure the enemies won’t be interested in drinking with us in a friendly circle. So we might as well take them down before they take us.”
Ranger suddenly threw his foot to Claypool. The latter made an exaggerated cry and dropped on the ground, limbs spread. Since the rest didn’t react much to the intended incident, Claypool rose on his feet, embarrassed.
“Baham, why did you join the army?” Fallen asked with curiosity.
“Me? I was engaged to a girl in my clan. She’s the daughter of the chief.” Baham has habitually clenched his underlip while he wasn’t speaking. He loosened his underlip and made a smile, “She… she was way pretty for me at that time. I… I guess that’s why I joined the army to earn some good deeds or medals of sorts…”
“How pretty could she be?” Claypool sighed, “You shouldn’t be here if you’re engaged!”
Baham said nothing but lowered his head.
“What if you were injured?” Claypool asked, “Will she marry you anyway?”
“She said she would wait on the day she sent me off.” Baham raised his head and reached a tiny ornament from his pocket, “She promised she’ll wait for me, a day or a hundred days…”
“Huh, naive folk.” Claypool humphed, “Rut, what’s your story?”
“You’re asking me?” Rut said roughly, “Who the hell am I gonna ask?”
“Ah? You don’t know?” Claypool was like he discovered a fancy thing, “Tell us. Don’t be shy. You’ve got to dream big as a champion.”
“Damn that dream!” Rut bounced from his bed and barked, “I didn’t wanna be a soldier! All I did was delivering armories because my chief told me to!”
“You ended up here by delivering weapons?” The rest gazed at the mountain dwarf with great curiosity.
“So the shitty signing guy complained about the dimensions and other craps about our weapons.” Rut continued his story with thrills, “Who did he think he was to accuse dwarfs’ craftsmanship! So I started arguing with him, and that crap wanted to kick my ass…”
“Rut…” Ranger cut in, “You can solve a thing like this with a dime or two.”
“I didn’t have a shit! If I had, it’s the clan’s asset.” Rut bumped his chest, he said carelessly, “Then I started fighting with him afterward. I kicked his ass. Afterward, he called in a bunch of men, they kicked my ass…”
“What happened then?”
“Well, then came a white-faced barbarian. He smiled at my face then I fainted. And I ended up on the carriage and saw you dogs…”
“How particular, your experience. I guess that’s unfortunate. What say you?”
Ranger laughed out aloud, and the whole crowd followed.
“Claypool!” Scarlet hinted the one who was laughing most disgustingly, “How did you end up here?”
Claypool paused for a second then replied honestly, “I… I’ll tell you guys some other time.”
Ranger also asked honestly, “You think we’ll give you that chance?”
Then Ranger made a gesture. The men all rose at once and surrounded Claypool. As the guys were about to make a move on Claypool, Anemia showed up at the door and interrupted the joyful time with an order.
“Attention, soldiers. Prepare to move out!”
The rookies shared their looks, then grabbed their weapons and exited the tent one by one.
Breeze was coming from afar.
An ocean of over-the-knee wild grass was swaying in the flowing air and making annoying sounds.
It was Samgha’s first reconnaissance mission. The rookies were marching on their horses with caution. Acting mature was intended to cover the inner tense. After exiting the base camp, all rookies gained stiffness in their movements
“Chill, this area is still within our military influence.” Anemia said while riding, “There’ll be one more day before we enter the depopulated zone. Before that, the operation will be much lighter than your daily training.”
Indeed, the condition was only better during a time of war than during training. However, the rookies were under tremendous stress. The breeze was blowing as if it’ll never end. As the dark clouds pressed down from the even darker sky, the pressure grew.
As the team of men rode forward toward the operation area, all remained silent. Commander Anemia led, the rookies followed carefully with only the company of horse clops. Talking was not prohibited during the course, but currently, nobody fancied a talk.
They were about to jump onto the battlefield, it was the freaking battlefield! When this saint ground, a place which all of them pictured for millions of times, presented itself in front of them, all became gloomy.
Battlefield, what it was like? Was it a place to crown honor, or a place to bury one’s desolated body? At the thought of this, the rookies became extremely uneasy. The training in the past 12 months has given them a perfect idea of the difference between camp field and actual battlefield.
The sharp edges they held were able to bring much death to the opponents, however, vice versa.
By dusk, the team reached an outpost located at the frontline. From this point forward, the land of no man.
The 3-decked outpost was on an endless, isolated background. The local garrisons were rather thrilled to welcome the arrival of Samgha. They treated the champions with their best. Ranger and the guys heard the garrisons talking about the argument of they’ve been quartered here for over a year without any visitors, not even a smuggler.
“There is a war coming.” One of the garrisons said, “We’re counting on this day!”
Anemia nodded and hinted the rookies to tie their horses and make fire.
Like all, Fallen said no words along the way. Before dinner, he just squatted alone by a stream beside the outpost, stared blankly at his reflection.
Ranger leaned over then tossed a cobble into the water, “What’s on your mind? It’s not joking to fall into it.”
“I’m thinking…” Fallen turned to Ranger, “we might encounter enemies.”
Ranger tapped Fallen’s shoulder and started comforting this emotional little werewolf, “Let us be! It’s most natural; we’re in a war!”
Fallen scratched his head out of embarrassment and asked in an undertone, “I’m thinking, what are they like, the enemies?”
“The enemies…” Ranger murmured as he drifted his eyes onto the surface of the water where his reflection was, his thoughtstream started to wander.
It was a new year rally; Ranger sneaked a few dimes from home running over to town just to grab a few cheap candies and watch the priest speech from the Dark Temple.
“PUFs are evil! From head to bottom, they are all shit! They believe in the ever devilish Protoss, and they’ve brought the part of the dirtiest aliens on this continent. They’ve been craving war against us!” A dark-robed temple priest was preaching loudly on the town square. Young Ranger and Scarlet mixed themselves in the crowd. Their tiny faces were full of rage for the evil Protoss believers, “They’ve been trying to seize our land, enslave our families. What’s more intriguing was that they are trying to harm our great Asmodian rulers!”
The crowd was burning with rage. Hundreds of angry fist raised into the air. The spectacular scene also had many young voices in it.
“Our glorious troops have defeated them in the past 2 Wars!” The dark-robed priest’s face was giving out a proud look, “Try harder, Dark Lord’s believers! We will defeat them in the coming war! Daughters and sons, grow well and fight for the mightest Asmodian’s glory!”
“The enemies are ugly. They have the faces that are never going to be washed! Their looks are dirty, and they drool their mouth. They’re no better than dirty slaves!” The priest laughed, “We’re lucky we have the Dark Lord’s blessing. All enemies will die under His mighty name!”
“Die, enemy, die!”
“All hail AUF! All hail enlisting! We need heroic soldiers!”
As the priest’s speech went verbose, many voices echoed to follow and a few young hearts within were deeply attracted by the atmosphere, Ranger and Scarlet have decided their future path.
“Oi, meat time!” Rut’s voice came from afar to interrupt Ranger’s recollection. Rut was such a passionate dwarf as he would never leave a friend alone at a meal.
“Come!” Ranger stood up with a hint of a smile, he told Fallen, “About your question, let’s ask the commander. He should have the answer.”
This chapter was originally published on Wuxianation, any despicable reposts or copies without proper citings are strictly prohibited.