Chapter 25 Admiral Zhou Arrives (1)
“Touch your own head!” Shangguan Bing’er said angrily. “What about what happened yesterday? Hmph. If you let me cut off that thing, I’ll give you a reward.”
Zhou Weiqing involuntarily tightened his legs and took a few steps back, with a look of fright on his face: “Bing’er, don’t be impulsive! For the sake of your future happiness… I’ll skip the reward okay.”
“Hmph, just keep acting.” Shangguan Bing’er was both annoyed and amused at the same time as she looked at Zhou Weiqing, and as the images of the past day flashed in her mind once again, her glare softened. Suddenly, a green flash of light surrounded her, and Zhou Weiqing felt a blur before his eyes, before a soft figure hugged him lightly. Before he could even react, the figure flashed in another wink of green light and vanished, with only the tent flap’s movement as the only clue there was someone else in the tent a moment ago.
“Haha… haha… “ Zhou Weiqing stood there laughing foolishly to himself, and he lowered his head to the little white tiger in his arms and said happily: “Did you see that! Did you see that?! She hugged me, she hugged me of her own accord! Haha! It’s good to be so suave!”
The little white tiger rolled its eyes, as if saying: Look at yourself. It then ignored him and snuggled deeper in his arms and went back to sleep.
As if in a blink of an eye, half a month had passed. There didn’t seem to be any retaliation from the Kalise Empire for the sneak attack they had launched, and the only fighting between both sides were small skirmishes as usual.
In this half a month, Shangguan Bing’er spent it doing secluded cultivation 1. Besides having her 3 meals a day, she never left her tent. Zhou Weiqing also spent most of his time in his tent training during this period; besides cultivating his Heavenly Energy, he spent a lot of time trying to remember the feeling during the Demonic Change State, and how he had killed off the Forest Direwolves, trying to explore a better way to use his skills and how to match the various alignments in proper cohesion. With his faster recovery rate of Heavenly Energy, he was able to do some basic skill complementing.
The strangest thing for Zhou Weiqing was that in this fifteen days, the little white tiger refused to eat anything. At first, he was rather worried, and even tried to force feed it, but as time passed, the little thing seemed to stay lively and full of vigor, and did not seem the slightest bit hungry or dispirited. Zhou Weiqing was usually pretty easy going, and he chalked it down to the power of a Heavenly Beast, and thus didn’t think much about it.
“Little Wei, are you there?” Xiao Ru Se’s familiar voice rang out from outside the tent. Zhou Weiqing was able to stop his cultivation at any time, as he had found out that the five energy whirlpools would always be drawing in energy at all times, and when he was cultivating, it just meant he was focusing his will on them to make their draw speed up. As such, he could do the same no matter sitting or lying down, without a change in efficiency. Naturally, most of the time he chose to do so lying down, although he did occasionally fall asleep due to that.
Hearing it was Xiao Ru Se outside, he quickly stopped cultivation and called out: “Ru Se Elder Sis, I’m here, come in.”
Xiao Ru Se came in, decked out in full military gear, looking extremely valiant and capable. These few days, while Shangguan Bing’er and Zhou Weiqing were cultivating carefreely, she had been working her head off organizing the troops; training the troops, and dividing the new recruits into various squads and companies. Now that she entered, Zhou Weiqing could clearly feel a capable soldier’s dignity and aura from her.
“Aiii” Zhou Weiqing sneaked a look at Xiao Ru Se’s breastplate, and gave a soft sigh.
How could Xiao Ru Se know what that little rascal was thinking, and immediately said angrily, “Stupid Little Wei, what are you looking at?”
Zhou Weiqing looked at her with an innocent expression, saying: “Nothing! What was I looking at?” Shamelessly acting innocent was after all his best skill.
Xiao Ru Se gave a loud humph and said: “You smelly little brat, follow me. I still need to call Shangguan Bing’er.”
Zhou Weiqing said lazily: “What are we doing?”
Xiao Ru Se’s expression grew rather weird and she grinned widely and said: “Just come with me and you’ll find out. The military headquarters have sent Shangguan Bing’er’s orders down, don’t you want to hear it? Elder Sis will bring you along, after all you are her Personal Aide.”
Hearing Xiao Ru Se’s words, Zhou Weiqing’s interest was piqued. After all, he had told Shangguan Bing’er previously that no matter what she did, he would follow her. However, this was the army, and orders had to be followed. Naturally, the earlier they knew what her orders were, the easier they could plan for things. As such, he shoved the little white tiger into his leather armor, and followed Xiao Ru Se out of the tent.
Xiao Ru Se immediately went to the tent at the side to call Shangguan Bing’er, before leading the two of them towards the large tent which housed the Fifth Regiment Headquarters.
As they walked forward, Zhou Weiqing noticed that Shangguan Bing’er had her head held down, and her expression was rather pale. He nudged her with his shoulder and asked quietly: “Bing’er, what’s wrong? What are you thinking about?”
Shangguan Bing’er gave a light sigh and said: “Little Fatty, His Majesty and the Admiral trusted me so much, and they gave me the position of Battalion Commander… but I’ve let them down, and even resigned the commision on my own accord…”
Zhou Weiqing said imposingly: “Don’t be depressed, it is not your fault. It’s clearly they who had the error in judgement; with your kind and gentle nature, you were never suitable to lead an army. Hmph, such a talented young Heavenly Jewel Master and they did not let you cultivate properly, and insisted on sending you to the army instead. How could they possibly blame you?”2
Shangguan Bing’er almost jumped in shock and quickly covered his mouth, shooting a quick glance at Xiao Ru Se in front. “Little Fatty, do not speak nonsense. How can you speak ill of His Majesty and Admiral Zhou? Furthermore, it’s my own fault.”
Zhou Weiqing seized the chance to hold her hand, squeezing it as he said: “Heh, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, no matter what your orders are, I will follow you.”
Xiao Ru Se who was in front turned and glanced at them, an interesting little smile on her face. Shangguan Bing’er was frightened by Zhou Weiqing’s intimate actions; this was after all the army camp! She quickly snatched her hand back and gave him an angry glare: “You’re my Personal Aide now, behave yourself!”
In the short span of time that they spoke, they had already reached the large headquarters tent. This was Zhou Weiqing’s first time entering such a high ranked tentage; it was large and entirely made from well cured cow leather, with a steel alloy structure holding it in place, and was large enough to hold more than a hundred people in meetings.
As the tent entrance flapped open, Xiao Ru Se stopped and said in a loud voice: “3rd Battalion, Xiao Se, Reporting.”
“3rd Battalion, Shangguan Bing’er, Reporting.”
Listening to them shouting out, Zhou Weiqing took a quick peek into the tent, and that peek almost shocked and scared the soul out of him.
Right in the centre of the tent, sat a man who was extremely well built and looked about 50 years of age. His bronzed muscles seemed to glow with health, and he had a squarish face, a pair of piercing eyes and a straight nose. Although he was seated, it was clear that he had a large frame, his rock-like muscles causing his black suit to bulge out, while his eyes were full of spirit.
This face, Zhou Weiqing had seen countless times. Wasn’t that his extremely strong father, the strongest man in the Heavenly Bow Empire, Zhou Shui Niu, Admiral Zhou?
At each side of Admiral Zhou, the Fifth Regiment Commander Gao Shen, and the Vice Commander Qian Zhan Tian stood respectfully. Currently, the two did not seem like the high ranking officials who commandeered an entire Regiment that they were, as they stood at his side with awe and respect.
“Come in.” Admiral Zhou’s deep voice sounded out.
Zhou Weiqing’s heart was filled with regret for following them here, shooting a quick glare at Xiao Ru Se, thinking to himself: “Ru Se Elder Sis, this time you have gotten me in deep trouble! Once my dad gets hold of me, I’ll be getting a big beating!”
This little rascal was pretty quick thinking, immediately moving quickly to the side, lowering his head and adjusting his Wind Hat. His plan was to blend in with the guards in hopes that his father would not recognize him.
Xiao Ru Se naturally could see what Zhou Weiqing was thinking, and sighed inwardly as she thought to herself: Sorry Little Wei, it’s not that Big Sis doesn’t want to help you, but Uncle Zhou only has you, his only son. If he didn’t come personally, I could have still hidden it from him and not reported it up, but now that he is here, how could I hide this from him? Furthermore, you and Shangguan Bing’er were just too bold, even daring to sneak over and attack the Kalise Empire’s camp. Did you two really think that no one would know? One of their ten main granaries being burned down, how could such a big issue be hidden?
It turns out, that night when Zhou Weiqing shot the Overlord Lightning Explosive Arrow, it was right into one of the ten main granaries of the Kalise Empire, and a lot of army rations were stored within, a lot of which burned down in the resulting fire from the lightning explosion. The scouts and spies of Heavenly Bow Empire had long since reported this news back to the headquarters. After a quick check on which Jewel Masters had exited the tent, it was easy to guess the ‘culprits’. Of course, it was even easier for Xiao Ru Se to know that Shangguan Bing’er hadn’t done it alone.
Xiao Ru Se and Shangguan Bing’er heard Admiral Zhou’s command and immediately went forth into the tent. At the same time, Zhou Weiqing tried to sidle his way to the side. He managed to do so, and thought he had succeeded, breathing out a sigh of relief and was just about to turn around to run. Right at that moment, Admiral Zhou’s angry voice sounded out once more: “You damned brat, you better get in here now! Don’t make your Father, I, go out there and catch you myself.”
Zhou Weiqing froze in place, and knew for sure then that he had been sold out by his Ru Se Elder Sis. There was no hiding now, with his father so close, how could he possibly escape? Shriveling a little inside, he lowered his head and went into the tent.
Xiao Ru Se naturally knew what was going on, and wasn’t surprised at all, but Shangguan Bing’er had a big shock. If not for Admiral Zhou being present, she would have rushed over and asked Zhou Weiqing what was going on?
Admiral Zhou did not even look at Zhou Weiqing, saying coldly: “Go kneel at the corner. When I’m done with proper business, I’ll handle you.”
No matter how unwilling and dismayed Zhou Weiqing was, he had no choice but to go to the side and kneel down towards his father, his head bowed down low and the Wind Hat hiding his expression.
Admiral Zhou turned towards Shangguan Bing’er, his tone instantly becoming warmer: “Bing’er, tell me why you no longer wish to be a Battalion Commander?”
Shangguan Bing’er lowered her head and said: “Admiral, Bing’er is wanting in ability and shallow in knowledge, I have never learned how to lead troops, and I do not think I am able to live up to such an important rank. I’m not afraid of dying, as a soldier, I will willing to fight and die on the battlefield. But I cannot bear to see my companions die because I did not lead or direct them properly. So, please Admiral, release me from my commission. Company Leader Xiao is more than able to take over from me.”