GOR Chapter 241 Part 2: Chen Xiaolian’s Army
On the way back, some of the mounted soldiers let their warhorses strut about. There were plenty of loot packed onto the warhorses.
The mercenaries were clearly in high spirits. However, Chen Xiaolian did not felt that way.
He had set off with 100 men. Now, he was left with less than half.
“You will have new subordinates,” Merlin consoled Chen Xiaolian. “I think you are qualified for the role of a 100-man captain. I will tell King William about it.”
Chen Xiaolian glanced back at the prisoners who were being dragged. Those fellows had their hands tied up and they formed what appeared like sugar-coated haws as they were pulled forward.
From time to time, the mercenaries would swagger up to them and deliver a few kicks at them.
None of the surrounding men did anything to stop those actions. Some of the Norman soldiers even laughed aloud.
As for Tayloff, he was haughtily riding atop his horse. He deliberately chose not to clean the bloodstains off his armour, leaving his body looking dirty. However, he did took off his helmet, allowing his hair to billow about in the wind.
This fellow was actually singing loudly with an out of tune voice. He was like a bard.
The journey back took them one and a half day. During the evening of the second day, they finally arrived back at the wooden stronghold.
Mounted soldiers rode out from the Norman camp to welcome these men who had returned to the camp after a triumphant battle.
Once again, Chen Xiaolian caught sight of King William – that gave him a slight sense of relief. King William was safe. It would appear that no assassination attempts occurred during the few days that he was away.
Bei Tai’s thigh was still tied up with a piece of cloth – truth be told, he had already used some healing substance and his wound had healed up. However, in order to avoid arousing suspicions, he purposely left the piece of cloth over it.
The three of them had been given a warhorse each to ride on. Those were given to them by the other mounted soldiers. After getting on the horse, Chen Xiaolian, Lun Tai and Bei Tai rode side-by-side with Merlin and Tayloff.
When they entered the wooden stronghold, they were greeted with cheers from the Norman soldiers.
Leading the group of commanders under him, King William stepped out from amid the crowd of soldiers and expressed his joy for their victory.
Without having Merlin say anything, King William directly had Chen Xiaolian, Lun Tai and Bei Tai kneel before him. Before the eyes of everyone present, he pulled out his sword and placed it on their shoulders. He performed the knighthood ceremony.
Chen Xiaolian and his team of three had now been officially elevated to the rank of Knights.
They were granted separate tents and each of them could select two attendants from the Norman army.
At the same time, they were also granted the right to enter the main commander’s big tent and participate in military discussions.
As he was recounting what happened, Merlin described the incidents involved in the battle to all the generals present.
He was very honest. Not only did he mention how he went down the wrong route and admit his mistake, he also paid great attention toward praising Chen Xiaolian and the others for their heroism.
After hearing those accounts, King William walked down until he was before Chen Xiaolian. He looked at the three of them and said, “I am very shocked! And very pleasantly surprised! You fellows are the biggest gain for me this time! The best warriors should serve a King! I have great expectations for you fellows! In the coming battles, if you fellows continue to display outstanding merits, after we enter London, I will be generous in giving you fellows even greater rewards, and even more fiefs!
“Right, Knight Garen and you two Knights as well, you fellows may now select your own fief!”
Chen Xiaolian suddenly felt amused.
What on Earth would he need a fief for… at any rate, after the quest was completed, the three of them would leave.
He observed as William waved his attendants over. They came forward, carrying a rough and simplistic map of England.
Chen Xiaolian glanced at Lun Tai and Bei Tai. They too were feeling amused.
“Make your pick!” King William laughed loudly. “You fellows may choose a big fief! I believe that you fellows will contribute even more in the future! After we make our way into London, you fellows may even rise to the position of Lord or Baron! When that happens, you will be granted even more! Now, carefully make your pick!”
Chen Xiaolian pointed at a spot on the map and said, “Then… can I pick this place?”
William turned to look and a trace of doubt appeared on his face.
He had expected Chen Xiaolian to choose somewhere close to the seaside harbour… the lands there were more fertile. Additionally, there was the income brought by the harbour.
However, Chen Xiaolian had selected some place inland.
“This place is…” King William was clearly not familiar with the place.
“Manchester,” answered Chen Xiaolian with a smile. “I think this name is not bad. The place is also quite good.”
King William was momentarily surprised. Then, he laughed out and said, “Manchester! Good! I like that name! This place will be yours then! If you contribute sufficient merits in the coming battles, your fief will be more! Even bigger!”
Pausing, King William looked at Chen Xiaolian and his team of three. He said, “From this moment onward, you fellows are no longer Knights from Demacia! I hereby officially name you fellows as… the three Knights from Manchester!”
A peculiar feeling rose within their hearts. However, all three of them were quick to bow down to express their gratitude.
“Also! Warriors should also be given the power to command!” King William was quick to continue, “You fellows now have the identities of warriors of my Norman army. In this battle, you have shown an outstanding ability to give commands. Since that is the case, Sir Garen, you will now be elevated to the rank of a 100-men captain! Your two brothers will serve as your deputies!”
After saying that, he turned and looked at Merlin. Then, he said, “Merlin!”
“What is your command, my King?”
“Select 100 men out from the army for my Knight from Manchester to command! I look forward to their performance in the incoming battles!”
“Yes, I will do my utmost to obey your command, my King!” Merlin nodded his head.
“Err…” Chen Xiaolian suddenly spoke up. “I have a request, Your Majesty.”
“Do tell, my Knight!” King William appeared to be in a good mood.
“The mercenaries that were under me this time, I feel that their battle strength is quite good, also…” Chen Xiaolian smiled. “I am already used to commanding them, so I want to…”
King William was quick to understand. He nodded his head and said, “Very well, I allow you to recruit them to become your soldiers. However… mercenaries may not be willing to become professional soldiers. You will have to deal with this yourself. I will not interfere. Merlin will get additional soldiers from the army to ensure that you have 100 men.”
Next up was a celebration.
The aristocrats’ subordinates brought in a few wine barrels and some dishes and meat. The aristocrat officers began eating and drinking. Occasionally, some would come over and toast Chen Xiaolian and his team of three.
First, their strength had garnered them the recognition from these generals. Second, it was apparent that King William was very appreciative of these three new aristocrats – at any rate, they were all men who had joined up with King William in his invasion of England. In the future, they would become the aristocrats of England. More accurately, they would be new aristocrats. Thus, there wasn’t any hostile atmosphere among them.
Chen Xiaolian, Lun Tai and Bei Tai ate their fill. After the celebration was over, the three of them left the main commander’s tent.
Out of the over 40 mercenaries, one third of them were unwilling to become professional soldiers… they had no interest in becoming a soldier of the Norman army. After taking their loot, they returned to the mercenary camp.
Only 28 mercenaries expressed their willingness to stay behind and follow Chen Xiaolian.
To his surprise, one of them was Bighead!
“I believe that I will get rich if I follow my Lord! You are the most valiant warrior that I have ever seen!” Bighead uttered words of flattery without restraint.
Pausing, his eyes swivelled around like those of a thief and he lowered his voice. “According to my friends, King William had granted you a very large piece of land! I believe, after this war is over and you begin ruling over your land, you will be in need of some clever subordinates. My Lord, I…”
Chen Xiaolian laughed and patted him on his head. He said, “If that is the case, I shall accept you… hopefully, you will be able to survive this war! Also… in the next battle, if you dare to hide, I will personally throw you into the field.”
Merlin was most helpful. He personally selected roughly 80 soldiers from the Norman army and brought them to Chen Xiaolian to select.
These 80 men were all strapping warriors. None of them was old or disabled.
Clearly, this was Merlin repaying his favour to Chen Xiaolian.
“From this moment forth, you fellows can enjoy the privilege given to the Norman army. Your equipment and supplies can be obtained free of charge. However… it would be best if you do not be wasteful with your equipment. We are an army on the march and in a war. Our materials are lacking. If your weapons were to be damaged, I cannot guarantee an immediate replacement.”
The 28 mercenaries had already put on the uniform of the Norman army. There were better linen robes; as for the captains of the sub-teams, they were able to get their hands on leather armour.
“You should give your team a name,” Merlin reminded Chen Xiaolian. “Your own team should have a resounding name! At present, you fellows are just Knights. However, when you become generals in the future, you will have your own army. The name of your army should be one that can strike fear in the hearts of all your enemies.”
The name of the army?
Chen Xiaolian was momentarily surprised. Then, he quickly exchanged glances with Lun Tai and Bei Tai. A tacit smile appeared on their faces.
“We are the Knights of Manchester. Thus, our 100-man team will be called…
“Manchester United?” Merlin smiled and said, “That is quite a good name! Hopefully, in the future, this name will become the Manchester Army.”
“… oh trust me, the name Manchester United is glorious enough as it is,” said Chen Xiaolian with a faint smile.
He added inwardly: Even a thousand years from now.
Within the valley…
The smell of blood had been blown away by the wind.
However, the red coloured remnants of the bloodstains remained on the ground.
In the mouth of the valley, many cut down branches were inserted into the ground. Each of those branches was affixed with a decapitated head!
“This is truly… brutal.”
A thin middle-aged man was standing in the mouth of the valley. He had a handkerchief out as he used it to cover his nose in a languid manner.
He wore something that appeared similar to a leather vest on him… surprisingly, it was a protective suit!
There was a blonde woman beside him. She had a tall and toned body; despite wearing medieval armour, she looked abnormally beautiful. There was an unusual looking bow strapped to her back and a short sword on her waist. She cast a cold gaze at the path filled with severed heads.
“Our opponents did a good job.”
The middle-aged man revealed a faint smile and said, “I’m willing to bet on it. There are surely game participants among them. Dearie, who do you think they would be? Awakened ones, or Players like us?”
“Who cares, if we meet them, we’ll just kill them,” the blonde woman replied with narrowed eyes.
The middle-aged man pursed his lips to the side and said, “Truth be told, if given a choice, I don’t like being in Harold’s camp. I hear that William is more adorable.”
As the two of them conversed, they kept walking until they reached the top area of the hillside. Then, they turned around.
In the distance outside the valley was a mighty army.
The army seemed unending!
Shields with the cross emblem across them and sharp swords glinted off the rays of the afternoon sun!