Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
The victory of this final battle was a definite one. The Asmodian United Forces have completely vanquished its enemy in hand in the 2nd warzone. The leftovers of the runaways were wiped out by a team of light calvaries, cooperated by the second group of riders.
Until this minute, the area of the 2nd warzone ranging 300 miles in both width and length had 0 PUF soldier.
Ranger and the rest retired from the battlefield. They immediately hit the mage physician’s camping area. However, besides putting Rut on a sickbed, they were not able to do anything nor talk to their mage friends. The physicians were just too busy. There were thousands of wounded soldiers waiting for attending. In the end, the rookies gave up Rut’s bunk to a Major officer with a broken arm. Thus the lightly wounded Rut was carried back to his tent.
Treating the severe casualties on the first day, cleaning the battlefield and corpses on the second; on the third day, the wounded people were taken to a home foundation for better remedies.
Two days later, senior officers in the camp started smiling back to their subordinates’ greetings. The rookies were so curious that they sent Claypool to ask about it. Claypool managed cleverly to extract reliable information from an orderly of a senior officer: PUF’s capitulation agents were here.
“Uniform priests. The leader is a cocky one.” The orderly said proudly, “But this one here disagrees.”
From this day forward, the camp was bathed with cheerfulness. The rookies were even more so. Subjects regarding dream, home, first lover went around once again.
Everyone in the Samgha Squadron was no exception, save for Rut. Rut’s buttock needed reapplying medicine three times a day. And whenever at that time, the crowd would be watching in the best of spirits and offering their sincerest opinions about the wounded parts and reasons.
One night, when Baham mentioned once again that Rut could never find a proper better half, Rut finally decided to talk back.
“Quit it! Quit it!” Though Rut was still upside down on his bed, he roared while punching the bed deck, “You’re the one to talk, your lips are bigger than my ass!”
“Yeah, right, my lips aren’t shot.” Baham acted turning his bottom as Rut did on the other side of the tent, which made the crowd laugh.
Rut’s wound was not severe. However, to make him remember, Anemia had particular instruction for Claypool to apply specific medicine and spells. Thus Claypool pulled out his best to give Rut’s already healed buttock even consistent pain. The Samgha member would watch Claypool messing with Rut everytime Claypool change meds; Rut just couldn’t see it himself.
The prank lasted until the mage physicians came to visit. Since the casualties were all transported to safety, the physicians were put idle once again. Anyhow, the girls had clean clothes and entered for the first time, this Champion Legion’s camping ground to see this bunch of ‘stupid and idiotic’ soldiers.
Since the victory was an open secret, no one in the camp intended to stop the girls. In fact, in the army, female mage physicians were somewhat popular. Sure, in some third-grade dirty armies where soldiers were terribly disciplined, a female would usually come down to become men’s plaything; but this was the righteous Champion Legion.
“Ahoy, Samgha idiots.” Maria carelessly lifted the door curtain, “We’re here. You got anything for me. Bring them on!”
Claypool was putting his heart and soul into ‘treating’ Rut. At Maria’s sound, he made an immediate slap on Rut’s butt and muttered, “You’re done here!”
And because Claypool had deprived the other’s joy watching the rarely-occurred entertainment, he was immediately despised by daggling on the head and kicks on the butt. Someone even called Claypool a ‘scheming future corrupted officer’. While the mage physicians were marveling at the wonder that the entire Samgha Squadron survived the P/A War without a single dead person, Commander Anemia who has been absent for the whole morning returned.
Once the battle was over, Anemia’s face went back to being pale. He said at the door, “Pull up your uniforms and scramble.”
“Sir…” A man niggled and surely such behavior was allowed after Samgha had won the victory, “We just went through the war. My legs hurt.”
“You need my personal treatment?” Anemia certainly had a way to deal with his subordinates. What’s more praiseworthy was that he nodded a greeting to the mage physicians present as he spoke, “Scramble now or I’ll skin you!”
Joking around was easy, though the team of men packed their outfits in the shortest time possible and lined outside, while the mages stayed and watched, chuckling.
“Now pay attention. An honored brigadier general will be awarding us. Major Mosa will lead us there. It’s special ritual to be proud of. If any of you go over your heads on the off chance, I’ll personally strip you off that uniform and send you back to the boot camp! Now, march forward to the reconnaissance quarter.” After Anemia had said that, he turned to the mages and said softly, “Would you all please wait here, we’ll be back very soon.”
The reconnaissance center has had frequent visitors these days. Medal awarding happened in every minute. However, among the squads that came for awards, nobody, except Samgha, remained complete establishment. Some squads even needed backup personnel to be less awkward at the ceremony.
Save for Samgha, it had intact members, no supplement, no absence on duty, behaved sharply during the fierce battle; they equaled special force at some key points. All these had made the high commanders positive thoughts to this very squadron. Even, Samgha’s future development has become one of the hot subjects in the army.
A certain individual’s fellow-townsman said secretly that the corps was considering in promoting Commander Anemia. He even passed that all Samgha members will be recommended to further study in the Dark Temple.
Nevertheless, Samgha’s escalating reputation was an irrefutable fact.
Led by Commander Anemia, the Samgha rookies strode neatly across the campground. Every soldier they met along the way were staring at them with a smile. Finally, the squad stopped in front of the space before the reconnaissance center.
Major Mosa strode over in a suit of well-ironed uniform. He stopped shoulder to shoulder with Commander Anemia.
A mighty-looking brigadier whose name the rookies were unknown, stood by the main door. Several energized officers were there behind the brigadier, silver platter in their hands. The flashy medals were ready.
Anemia was right, this was a formal ceremonial ritual. It was utterly different from receiving medals and hang them by oneself. As of now, the entire officer group was looking. Background music was playing. Everybody seemed happy.
The brigadier strode over and stopped at the top of the line. He fixed his eyes on Major Mosa and Commander Anemia. Besides excitement, Ranger recalled his experience as an ‘example’ when he first met his drill sergeant in the boot camp. Then one thing after another, it led to more episodes since joining the army, and he was on the edge of sobbing.
When Ranger came back to himself, he found the brigadier was already talking. Ranger felt awful for missing the beginning.
“Congratulation, Major.” The brigadier told Major Mosa, “You have great boys, you’re a terrific commander. I’m thrilled to give you this Medal of Commanding.”
Then the brigadier pinned a golden medal on Major Mosa’s chest.
“Appreciation, sir!” The rookies have never heard Major Mosa talking in such a loud voice.
“Second Lieutenant Anemia.” The brigadier moved before Anemia, “This will be the last time I address you as a lieutenant. Besides, your retirement plan might have been canceled.”
As all’s eyes focused on the Brigadier for this general of humor to continue, the crowd was anxious though they knew the brigadier was referring to Anemia’s promotion.
“Let me award Lieutenant Anemia with this Medallion of Valor.” The brigadier pinned the medal for Anemia with a smile then he continued, “So then, I’ll give you this Major’s rank. Hell, your height. Do it yourself.”
“And finally, a Medallion of Commanding for Major Anemia.”
“Well done.” The brigadier stroked Anemia’s elbow, and he cannot be too careless to tell the classified information, “Bring up more able young soldiers in the Temple.”
“Now, to the Samgha boys. I wanna know them. Major Anemia, would you do me the honor?”
Anemia went by the Brigadier then he started introducing each member of the squadron to his superior. In the meantime, each rookie received a Medallion of Courage and be promoted a second lieutenant.
“Very well, gentlemen.” The brigadier did his last merit, “We all know what you need after a fierce battle; I also know that Major Mosa owes you quite a little vacation. Now, you’ll have your free days. Go have fun, that’s an order!”
“Thank you, sir!” The rookies replied altogether. Everybody’s face was glowing red.
After falling out, the team of men was called to get dressed in officer’s uniforms. Though there were people to teach them how to put on the suit, the guys were thinking about going back earlier. Thus they perfunctorily pulled their uniforms, received new chest plates and rapiers and left with laughter.
“Ranger, Ranger, Ranger, let me ask you a question.” Fallen trotted over, “Aren’t all medals silver? How come this one is yellow?”
The team laughed. After the joy, Scarlet started talking, “Lieutenant Fallen, this is a medal dedicated to an officer instead of a GI. One of this equals to 10 tier 1 badges. And by the way, I thought you don’t like your name. Back there, you’ll be able to select a new, mighty name!”
“Is that so?” Fallen’s eyes glowed, but his tone that followed became depressing, “But I… I like you guys to call me Fallen.”
“Good call.” Claypool had a whole line of badges on his chest, he couldn’t seem to shut up, “We call you Fallen. And you think of a new name for others.”
“It’s the only good idea you got for the past year.” Baham stroked Claypool’s head from behind, “Lieutenant, you’re not going to be anywhere near being corrupt.”
Claypool winked, “Nah, being an officer is good, isn’t it? You’ll have your own guards…”
“More guards won’t help you.” Rut roared, “You owe me tons!”
Thus the rookie officers entered their pavillion while messing around.
The mage physicians were waiting inside. The moment the door curtain was lifted, the ladies’ eyes brightened up.
“Yo, such a short time and you all look different!” Maria rose, “Gentlemen, you’re in the wrong pavilion, I presume.”
“Say, let’s go out. The camp’s too noisy.” Simon suggested, “Let’s hit the hill.”
“Good one.” Claypool made a loud sound, “My fellow had 2 good wines. I’ll see you outside. Cooks, come along.”
“Right away!” Cooks once again followed, never had the least consciousness that he’ll be fooled again.
“Everyone, please.” Scarlet cleared the entrance, “Let us take you to our daily training spot. Nice view.”
“But…” Elaine said quietly, “How about your commander?”
Scarlet laughed at Ranger, “If we can lose him, that’ll be a joyful thing.”
“Likewise. I guess he’s so drunk right now.” Ranger also laughed.
Thus the ladies and soldiers exited the pavilion. They talked, laughed. The war was over, so the rookies will never carry the depth of abyss while walking. All the beauty have returned the land. For the first time, they noticed the wildflowers on the road, dangling in the air with scent.
The mage ladies made fun of the rookies naturally because the rookies were marveling at the view around.
“Honestly, it’s the first time.” At the destination, Scarlet sat by a gentle-looking mage, his tone soft, “We used to train here every day. What was I looking then?”
The rookies sure knew what Scarlet was looking then; they even knew what he was looking now.
Down the hill, Cooks and Claypool charged up with bags of stuff. They yelled, “The officers’ cafeteria is completely different! They have wines, and they’re free!”
Ranger chuckled. He turned to Elaine, “Have a seat.”
“In a circle!” Simon always had the weirdest idea, “We’re a team. We can’t split up.”
Scarlet had the impulse to smash open Simon’s head. But the mages chuckled and formed a circle. Thus the rookies followed.
“Pour the wine. This’s a silver goblet. I borrowed from the cafeteria.” Claypool said while passing the containers, “The cook’s from my town.”
“Brothers, we have vowed on this hill that we shall all come back home alive after the War. Now, we do…” Ranger stared at his companions who have spent the past year together with a glass full of wine, he started sounding sobby, “I… I…”
The rest reddened their eyes for feeling the same. They recalled the past year’s training, combat, dozens of times of killing and fight. It was like a dream to survive.
“Empty your cup now, trooper.” Elaine raised her cup, “Yesterday has passed. A bright future awaits.”
“I love this. For our future!” Scarlet wiped his face, “Bottom-up!”
Since the initial awkward was off, even the teetotaler Fallen drunk up his wine. His face instantly turned redder than wine.
As the rookies talked loudly, the mage physicians remained listening silently. It was a way the female used to comfort a soldier’s soul. And indeed, affection was an even better elixir.
“My dream is realized.” Baham was the only one who kept a distance from the mages, “I’ll go home in my uniform, chest full of medals and marry my lover. You’re all invited!”
Maria talked, but her eyes were on a certain individual, “Nah, we’ll be heading to Brooks, then we’ll be free after months. Aren’t you going to marry someone after a dozen months?”
“Sure, months. And I’ll have to prepare stuff.” Baham still didn’t get it. He thought Maria was asking him a question, “Besides, a wedding is complicated. A clan rich’s daughter’s wedding is even worse.”
“Quit it, future clan rich.” Rut stuff a piece of meat into Baham’s mouth, “She’s not talking to you.”
“So she’s talking to you?” Baham’s big tongue replied. He was a bit drunk now.
“She’s not.” Rut glimpsed the mage beside him, then he yelled at Baham, “Aren’t you done yet!”
Thus bottles of wine were so emptied that when Commander Anemia arrived, the rookies started calling him a brother.
Fallen was as bold as a titan. He first addressed the mages as ‘big sisters’, then he tapped the rookies’ heads one by one. After, he acted like Anemia when he scolded new recruits.
Anemia was both annoyed and amused, but he didn’t feel like scolding his subordinates in front of the mages.
What came after went even more wrong. The little werewolf crossed his hands on his waist and started yelling at the remote camp, “I LOVE COMMANDER ANEMIA!”
All the mages laughed.
Scarlet was the next, he relayed beside Fallen, “I LOVE COMMANDER ANEMIA – THOUGH HE DOESN’T HAVE A HOBBY!”
The third was Rut, “I LOVE COMMANDER ANEMIA – THOUGH HE DOESN’T HAVE A BAD HABIT!”
Ranger strode over, “I LOVE ANEMIA – THOUGH HE’S LACK OF HUMOR!”
“I LOVE ANEMIA – THOUGH HE ALWAYS STRAIGHT-FACED!”
When the crowd was done, Major Anemia shook his head and returned his place, gazed by the mages.
A day later, there were already carriers in the camp. The mage physicians were in the logistics system; they had to leave earlier. Ranger caught the news just as he went to see Elaine.
A fence divided the two. Their eyes gazed at each other. Among all other couples, these two was the odd kind. They both had feelings for the other, but during all this time, they never said a word about it.
“When are you leaving?” Ranger asked softly, “Let me see you off.”
“You shouldn’t. My mentor will see you.” Elaine also replied softly, “Maybe the date is tomorrow.”
“Where to?” Ranger clenched the fence, his heart was tumbling, “I, I might not find the way to the Brooksian mage guild.”
“If you really want to drop by, you will find me.” Elaine’s voice went lower, “I’m staying there for 6 months. You’ll not be stopped.”
“I won’t! I will come!” Ranger caught Elaine’s hands firmly.
“Keep your words. I’ll be in another place after 6 months.” Elaine retracted his hands and flashed her playful eyes, “Mr. Officer, I’ll be waiting.”
Like hit by a bolt of lightning of happiness, Ranger said two silly words, “Oh, okay.”
By night, news that the mages were leaving early went about in the Samgha Squadron. All were not pitied about the news because they’ll meet very soon.
The rookies now needed to get used to their new identities since the officer title was a universal thing in the squad. Rumor had that they’ll have to stay in the army department for 1~2 months. Then each of them will have a long vacation. Each of them will be having office positions back in their home countries. They won’t be assembled before the next War.
The camp’s bright and spacious place for officers was fantastic. On this night, when everybody was talking about going home, retreating or things to bring for their families, Commander Anemia stormed inside. Rage was full of his face.
“Sir, problem?” Ranger thought it was again problems regarding medals and vacation.
“YOU 5TH WARZONE SON OF THE BITCHES!” Anemia was furious for real. He lifted his helmet and smashed the metal hardly on the ground, “USELESS! BASTARDS! THEY WERE BEATEN FOR REAL!”
All stood up. Scarlet had a foreboding that this will not end well.