Chapter 20 The One Deciding Arrow (4)
After these few months of practice, Zhou Weiqing’s Heavenly Energy had already reached the normal fourth level of Heavenly Jing Energy. However, to attempt breaking through the Yongquan Death Acupuncture Point, it was still insufficient. He had tried attempting it a couple of days ago, but before his Heavenly Energy had circulated to his knees, it had already run out. In order for him to even attempting breaking through the Yongquan Acupuncture Point, he needed to at least reach the Zhu San Li Acupuncture Point first, and make use of it to accelerate the circulation speed towards the San Ying Jiao, before using it once again to accelerate towards the Yongquan Acupuncture Point. Obviously, this process needed a large amount of Heavenly Energy accumulated.
The Fifth Regiment, headquarters.
“What? You want to resign from the post of Third Battalion Commander? Viscount Shangguan, are you joking?” The Fifth Regiment’s Commander stood up in surprise as he looked at Shangguan Bing’er, who had a firm look on her face.
Shangguan Bing’er said solemnly: “Regimental Commander, I am certainly not joking. I have realised that I do not have the ability to commanded troops well, let alone a whole Battalion of soldiers. In terms of directing troops, I am severely deficient. I do not want to have a high rank just because I am a Heavenly Jewel Master. That is extremely unfair to the men and officers of the Third Battalion. Directing an army is a profound skill, and after much self-examination, I feel that my ability is insufficient. If I continued directing the Third Battalion, I’m afraid larger issues might rise up. For the sake of the soldiers and officers of the Third Battalions, please comply with my request. I would rather remain in the military command as a normal soldier to join in the fighting, than be an incompetent Battalion Commander.”
At this time, there were three people in the Fifth Regiment headquarters. Besides Shangguan Bing’er and the Regimental Commander, Gao Shen, who also had a similar rank of Viscount, the Fifth Regiment’s Vice-Regimental Commander Qian Zhantian who concurrently held the post of the First Battalion’s Battalion Commander, was also there. They looked at each other in dismay, feeling a big headache from her request.
Gao Shen said: “Viscount Shangguan, you just managed to kill off six enemy Physical Jewel Masters, and captured two alive. I was just about to report this to the military headquarters to get you your military accomplishments, why go through all this trouble? You can slowly learn how to direct the troops.”
Shangguan Bing’er shook her head vigorously once more, saying: “That was mostly Company Leader Xiao’s merit. If not for his good directions, perhaps not only I would be killed by the enemy, the loss from our army would also be much higher. I cannot allow my own command training to come at the cost of the blood of our Third Battalion’s men. Please comply with my request.”
The nearby Qian Zhantian said: “Battalion Commander Shangguan, you should know that the reassignment of military officers of the rank of Battalion Commander and above is not something that we can decide by ourselves. Why don’t we turn in your resignation to the military headquarters when we make our report, and we can let the higher ups decide.”
Shangguan Bing’er said: “Then, Regimental Commander, please order for Company Leader Xiao to be the temporary acting Battalion Commander, I will no longer participate in commanding of the Third Battalion.”
Gao Shen saw that she was really firm and said helplessly: “Alright, as Viscount Shangguan wishes.”
“Thank you, Regimental Commander.” Shangguan Bing’er said with a military salute, before leaving.
The two officers exchanged dismayed looks once again, and Qian Zhantian said in a low voice: “That girl, she’s outwardly soft, but inside she is really extremely tough willed. Still, it was quite a rash decision by the headquarters to give her a rank of Battalion Commander so early. After all, she had not undergone genuine military academy training yet.”
Gao Shen said: “That was the will of the Commander-in-Chief. Actually, his plan was to just let her feel the atmosphere of war in the front lines, having a personal feel before entering training again slowly. However, she is truly not suitable to continue staying at the military camp in the front lines. Today’s ambush was obviously pre-planned by the Kalise Empire. I shudder to think what would happen if anything were to happen to her here, how can I face the Commander-In-Chief? I will write this report to the military headquarters instantly, the messenger hawk can pass on the message quickly and back, and I believe we should have the answer in ten days. Lao Qian, move the First Battalion and stationed yourselves beside the Third Battalion, strengthen the defense, and ensure the safety of Viscount Shangguan.”
“I understand. I really hope that Viscount Shangguan will grow into her power earlier. Alas, she is a girl, I do not know if it is right to place such a heavy burden onto her shoulders in the future, to have to take over from Marshal Zhou…”
“Little Fatty, are you in?” Zhou Weiqing was cultivating in his tent, when Shangguan Bing’er’s voice resounded out from outside.
“I’m here.” Stopping his cultivation, Zhou Weiqing jumped down from his bed, and raised the tent flap. Shangguan Bing’er walked in from the outside, and Zhou Weiqing immediately noticed that her mood was rather off, and she looked rather lonely, desolate and despondent. It was truly out of sorts from her usual self. Furthermore, this was also the first time she had called out his name directly.
“Bing’er, what’s wrong?” Zhou Weiqing pulled out a chair for her.
Shangguan Bing’er looked up at him suddenly and said: “Am I very stupid? I cannot even direct the troops properly. I…”
Looking at her sudden agitation, Zhou Weiqing was given a scare. “Bing’er, how could you say that? What happened today was totally not your fault. Furthermore, thanks to you, we managed to deal a heavy blow to the enemies.”
Shangguan Bing’er shook her head and said: “I am not a qualified commander, Little Fatty, do you know? Actually, I have totally no idea how to direct an army, to deploy troops and formations. Before today, I always believed that as a Heavenly Jewel Master, even if my commanding capabilities were not up to speed, I could still make it up through my own personal strength. Today, I finally understood how foolish that thought was. Heavenly Jewel Masters and army commanders are two totally different concepts, no wonder Company Leader Xiao always refused to accept me. He is right; in comparison, he is much more suitable than I am to be the Battalion Commander. I have already turned in my resignation to the Regimental Commander, and I expect that the order should be relayed down before long.”
Zhou Weiqing patted his own shoulder, saying: “I’ll lend this to you?”
Shangguan Bing’er blanked out for a moment, looking at Zhou Weiqing’s caring eyes, and after a hesitant moment, she walked forward to him, laying her head gently on his shoulder. However, she actually maintained the rest of her body away from him.
Zhou Weiqing’s mind was filled with tender and protective feelings, and he lifted his arms to embrace her. However, he was stopped by her as she said: “Do not move.”
Zhou Weiqing immediately stopped his hands, saying: “Alright, I am not moving.”
She stood there, gently resting her head upon his shoulder, as she closed her eyes slowly, saying in a low voice: “Little Fatty, do you know? Actually, I am so very tired, my heart has always been very tired… very tired.”
“I understand. You are after all only 16 years old, and yet as the only other Heavenly Jewel Master in the empire besides Admiral Zhou, so much has fallen upon you. The responsibility and expectations you are shouldering is so high. Not only must you continually cultivate and improve your strength, you are also trying to adapt to the army, it is really too tough on you.”
“I do not fear tough labour, Little Fatty, you know? No matter how tough it is, no matter how tired I am, I can still persist and carry on. But today, seeing so many of my soldiers die before my eyes… in one fell swoop, more than 70 lives just vanished like that, even amongst those severely wounded, if more than half of them can continue on in the army it would be considered good already… Almost 100 lives were ruined because of me… Before this, they had never let me join the battlefield… Before today, I had never done anything as a true Battalion Commander. Today… was the first time I killed a human…the first time I saw so many people die before me. I felt really uncomfortable in my heart, extremely uneasy. I do not think I can continue being a Battalion Commander any longer. I cannot stand the thought of having another day where more soldiers will perish because of my inadequate directions. I really do not want to see them die in front of me.”
Zhou Weiqing’s heart stirred, he had not expected that this was the first time that Shangguan Bing’er killed someone or seen death. No wonder her response was so huge. Watching so many people die to to protect her, how could her heart withstand it. Feeling her body trembling sligtly, Zhou Weiqing said solemnly: “Bing’er, let me withstand all of that for you.”
Shangguan Bing’er’s body stiffened. She understood completely what he meant. With his talent, if he disclosed his identity as a Heavenly Jewel Master, without a doubt, much of the pressure on her would shift to him. If in Shangguan Bing’er’s heart, her feelings towards Zhou Weiqing was extremely conflicting, and in the mass of conflicting emotions, indignation accounted for a majority of it. In that instance as he said those words, it felt as if all the discontent and indignation vanished. At this time when she was at her frailest, when she most needed comforting, Zhou Weiqing’s calm and insistent words touched her heart for the first time, moving her deeply. Before this, even if his arrow had saved her life, she did not have such a feeling, but only at this moment did she really feel that this shoulder belonged to a man she could depend on.
The arms hanging at both sides of her body lifted quietly, as she held Zhou Weiqing gently. The distance between them finally disappeared as she embraced him voluntarily for the first time. 1
- Awww. <3 ↩