Vol 14: Chapter 8-2.
“Good! Survivor from Platoon 4? We have about a hundred from Platoon 4 here but Platoon 4, 5 and 6 are supposedly all new recruits. Your actions are more experienced than even the veterans. Many of the sergeants in my Platoon died and we are missing a sergeant major. You will take his place before you die. Zheng, organize the troops to advance!”
Lieutenant Jean Razak ordered the troopers to save Zheng from the bugs after he blew up the tanker bug. The group backed off as they continued firing. Once they got further away, he ordered the troopers to bomb the hole with tactical nuke. A loud blast and mushroom cloud collapsed this bug hole.
Zheng wasn’t in a great condition. The bug’s teeth punctured his arm and bone. He couldn’t move his right arm in a short period of time despite his insane recovery. Damage on the bone needed at least a day to recovery.
He left a great impression to Jean Razak for taking the risk at such a dangerous situation. Not only did he killed the tanker bug but also saved this group from collapsing. So the lieutenant assigned him to the sergeant major position temporarily and promoted him to corporal.
Unfortunately, Zheng was terrible at commanding a large army. He had experience leading a group of several or a dozen like a special force unit leader. So he handed off the responsibility to Xuan, Kampa, and WangXia. These three who were from the army performed much better than him.
“Fools.” Xuan sneered at the federal armed force. Those idiotic politicians and generals ordered an invasion against the bugs with infantry. The bugs had an advantage fighting with their bodies. There were also barely any heavy firearms and mechanical units. All the advantage they could get from artillery, air force, and high tech weapons were none existent. This army was basically sent here to die.
“That was not the only thing. This army doesn’t even have the basic rules of an army. This is unbelievable. Such an army couldn’t exist in the real world. There’s definitely something we don’t know about the history of this world. You can use your identity as the corporal to look it up in the internet after we go back. I want to find out what caused this.” Xuan held his hand under his chin and murmured.
“You are not wrong but we should deal with the current situation first. What did Platoon 6 said?” Zheng smiled bitterly.
Xuan said. “They have 8600 people left. However, 3000 in the back are caught in the fight with the bugs. At most 5000 will meet up with us. The majority of this group are injured or lost the will to fight. If we get surrounded again, there’s an 80% chance of getting killed if we don’t run with the Sky Sticks.”
Zheng nodded and turned to Lan. “Did you find the other group’s location. Since they used psyche force to mask the bugs, they shouldn’t be too far away. Or is their psyche force user more powerful than you? That doesn’t seem possible.”
Lan nodded. “20km away. There’s an area 500 meters under the ground that I can’t scan. However, a lot of bugs near that area is coming at us. You wouldn’t be planning to run over and attack them?”
Zheng laughed and rubbed her hair. “Don’t worry. I am not so reckless. If I haven’t been injured, they are not too far from the ground, and there are no bugs, we could go over with the Sky Stick. But there are no if’s. Hoho. We are doing our best to avoid them. Don’t worry about me getting myself killed. I don’t have such hobby.”
Kampa had been checking the wound on his right arm. It had stopped bleeding but the wound was deep. He shook his head. “Complete puncture through the bone. Judging by your recovery rate, if we can’t get something to hold your bones in position within twelve hours, we will have to break it again. Or else your recovery rate will grow them back in abnormal forms. Haha. Seems like you are going to suffer again.”
Zheng could only smile bitterly as Kampa wrapped his arm with bandage.
Once he received status as the sergeant major, he began commanding this army of a thousand. Xuan’s ability was effective in positioning the army and advancing. Their speed became much faster and the rate of casualties in the back line decreased. Xuan and WangXia set up several tactical nukes at the hills they passed by and killed a large number of bugs. These kills counted toward the whole team to their surprise. Though they weren’t much when spread evenly to everyone.
The increase in ability and effectiveness of the army was clear to the lieutenants. After their attacks at the hills, Jean Razak made Zheng’s temporary sergeant major position permanent.
An hour later, they met with the vanguard of Platoon 6. Well, not exactly vanguard since these were troopers who threw away their weapons so they could run faster. Some had gone insane and ignored any shouting from the Roughnecks. These troopers continued running ahead until Xuan ordered a group of troopers to fire. A hundred deaths calmed the rest of the vanguards, or perhaps instilled fear.
Gando looked at those corpses and blood. His body trembled as he said with a shaky voice. “Is this man a devil? Would he hesitate or be scared? F*ck. He just issued an order like this. These are not the bugs.”
Zheng patted Gando’s shoulder which almost scared him. When he noticed it was Zheng, he looked back away with complex feelings. Zheng said slowly. “He’s just like this. But this is already much better than the him before. Hoho. I can’t describe what actually improved but at least he won’t handle team members in the same way anymore. He used to handle the team in the same way. I swear he’s scheming how to take care of you. Like a trap for you to step into or a scheme where you are going to die for certain yet everything will seem natural. He has definitely started with this when you aimed the gun at us.”
Gando jumped and shouted. “Impossible! He saved me back there!”
The people around immediately looked at him.
Gando exhaled and said in a low voice. “This man isn’t human. He analyzed so much with just some signs. And his plans are cold blooded. Killing everyone in the area! Zheng, I haven’t done anything unforgivable to the team. It was just a subconscious reaction raising the gun at them. I did fight with my life right?”
He was clearly scared of Xuan. When he realized that Xuan might have an intention to kill him for what he did, his body trembled and he grabbed Zheng’s arm.
Zheng felt a pain on his right arm but he didn’t stop Gando. He took out a pack of cigarette with his left arm and handed one to Gando. Then said in a slow tone. “I am not going to say much. There’s just one thing you have to remember. We are comrades that fight and die together. You might not understand this right now but you can think about it yourself. When you are staying alive simply for staying alive, when you can abandon everything, when you can betray everyone, will you feel lonely and tire? Even orphans will feel lonely and tire when they get hurt.”