GOR Chapter 239 Part 1: Error
Despite having said that, Chen Xiaolian was actually feeling rather prideful and excited.
After all, he had never experienced how it felt to be in command of so many men – especially considering that they were part of the army.
Forget commanding such a high number of soldiers, Chen Xiaolian had never even been given the position of class monitor in school.
Now, he was suddenly placed in charge of 100 men. Additionally, these 100 men were all courageous mercenaries in military equipment who would obey his orders. Once he gave the order, these men would rush forward to fight the enemy.
Their life and death rested within his hands.
That feeling was quite pleasant.
However, as they marched along the way, that pleasant feeling gradually fell apart.
First, these fellows were simply way too undisciplined. The words ‘a motley bunch’ were made specifically to describe them! Chen Xiaolian had even wanted to get a banner, write the words ‘a motley bunch’ upon it and hand it to these bastards!
In the beginning, when they marched out of the wooden stronghold, they were able to barely keep their line intact.
However, even that line was only maintained for less than 2 hours!
He watched as the line grew longer and more disorderly.
Some mercenaries who felt nature’s call simply went next to some bushes. There, they pulled down their pants and urinate. Right after they were finished, they would then casually slip into the line without caring where they were or where they moved in. Some would simply move alongside the line.
They talked and laughed as though it was nothing serious.
Chen Xiaolian even saw someone on the side whom, while walking, took out a wine bag and started drinking!
The *** damn it!
Seeing how Chen Xiaolian’s face was gradually turning uglier, Bei Tai who was beside him said a few words to comfort him, “Don’t be too concerned with these mercenaries’ behaviour… this is the medieval period. Even the regular army don’t have much in way of discipline, let alone mercenaries.”
Chen Xiaolian looked at Bei Tai with an expression of frustration.
Bei Tai who was a military maniac thought about it and said, “Do you know what is the biggest specialty of this motley bunch when a battle erupts?”
"What is it?"
“When the going is smooth, they will courageously swarm forward. When the going gets tough, they’ll quickly run away.”
Courageously swarm forward? Quickly run away?
Chen Xiaolian revealed a bitter smile.
After considering the situation, this was indeed the case!
“Don’t expect too much from them,” Bei Tai continued. “In fact, our enemy also faces the same unreliable army. If you can form a disciplined army in this era, you would be able to sweep uncontested through all of Europe!
“The thing that bounds soldiers in this era during wartimes is not discipline, but honour.
“However, honour only exists for those knights. As for these mercenaries, their only reason for participating in war is money.”
Despite Chen Xiaolian’s understanding of the situation at hand…
Two hours later… he had no choice but to intervene!
After becoming exhausted from the march, they gradually stopped walking and decided to refuse to continue walking.
They had been walking for over two hours. These mercenaries wore simple armour and held onto shields, weapon such as long swords, axes, hammers and others the like.
Carrying those equipment while walking through the wilderness for over two hours caused no small number of them to complain of fatigue.
These undisciplined fellows did not even bother asking Chen Xiaolian, their commander, for permission before they proceeded to sit down by the side and gasp for breath. Some simply lay down on the ground. After that, they refused to get up anymore.
Seeing the line being dragged longer and longer, Chen Xiaolian had no choice but to stop.
“Get up! You bunch of lazy bums!”
Chen Xiaolian furiously walked forward. Seeing a mercenary who was preparing to sit down, he lashed out with a kick onto the mercenary’s buttocks. Then, he dragged up another fellow who was on the ground and pushed him forward.
“All of you, get up! Who gave you the permission to rest? Keep moving forward!”
Bei Tai who was beside went forward to help. One of the mercenaries had taken off his shoes and was taking care of his blisters when Bei Tai suddenly grabbed him up and shouted violently, ‘If you dare to sit down to rest once more, I will cut off your buttocks!”
Within the group were several soldiers from the Norman army. Perhaps they were sent to escort Bighead who was to serve as their guide, or perhaps Merlin had sent them to supervise Chen Xiaolian.
At any rate, those soldiers simply observed the situation by the side with a disdainful smile on their faces.
Chen Xiaolian ignored them. He pulled out a whip and moved toward the two sides of the road. He lashed out with the whip as he walked, causing those mercenaries who were resting to cry out for their mother. He whipped them while shouting curses at them and was barely able to get them to wake up and keep moving forward.
“Check the time, in half an hour’s time, we’ll stop for a rest.”
Chen Xiaolian and Bei Tai were moving side by side and he whispered to him.
“Half an hour later? Why not just now…”
“No.” Chen Xiaolian shook his head and said, “Just now, I did not allow them to stop and rest in order to protect my authority as their commander! They stopped before I even gave the order, that was unacceptable. However, their endurance had mostly been exhausted and they do indeed require rest. I understand that… … However, in the military, they are only allowed to rest if I allow it. This is something I need them to firmly remember!
“Besides, even when we are resting, there must be arrangements for men to stand on guard.”
Bei Tai glanced at Chen Xiaolian and said with a low tone, “Now, you have the bearing of a commander.”
After forcing themselves to move forward for another half an hour, they finally arrived by a river. It was then that Chen Xiaolian finally gave them the order to rest.
Hearing the command, the mercenaries became overjoyed and they all rushed toward the river. Some of them simply stretched out their neck, causing their necks to get wet as they drank the water from the river.
Chen Xiaolian considered the circumstances as he watched the men drank from the river without hesitation. He did not choose to intervene – this medieval period’s concept of health was something he could not change. Moreover, all he needed to do was to win this one battle. As for the long-term, he was too lazy to think about it.
However, Chen Xiaolian still did some stuff.
On the way, he had been keeping an eye on his team of men. He selected those with the highest endurance and obedience, those that did not casually chose to sit on the ground during their march here.
He selected around six of them and gathered them up.
“As of now, you fellows are captains in charge of ten men each. Go select your subordinates. After you are done selecting, go find a place to rest. Remember the men under you. In the future, if I have any orders I will relay them to you. Then, you fellows will go direct your men, understand?”
Hearing that, some of them looked eager while others had looks of confusion on their faces.
“You fellows will not be working for nothing,” Chen Xiaolian said with a prideful expression. “I can give you a privilege… after the battle, when you are dividing the loot; the captain has the right to select three items for themselves!”
This reward was very enticing!
“What if… they won’t listen to my orders?” a dirty looking mercenary asked. Although he had a very stout stature, he was not too tall. He held onto a long axe.
“Then use your fists to make them listen!” Chen Xiaolian answered coldly. “If you fail to get them in line, I will come forward to do so. But when that happens, you’ll get beat up as well!”
Given their limited amount of time, Chen Xiaolian was not in the mood to do any army building stuff – under these conditions, if he were to get those mercenaries to listen to orders, he could only use the carrot and stick. Anything else could be ignored.
At a time like this, talking about working together would be useless.
“One more thing. For each of your team, get one member to fetch water from the river! Pour away all the wine on you and use the leather flask to carry water! Later on, we may not be able to find a river. If we cannot find a water source, having wine would be useless!”
Chen Xiaolian gave them half an hour to rest.
Chaos continued to brew within the group. Those captains that he had selected out proceeded to pick their subordinates. Under those circumstances, the place turned lively.
However, after half an hour was over, the selection process was pretty much over.
Six sub teams, 60 men.
The remaining men would be under Chen Xiaolian and Bei Tai’s command.
“Now that you are done resting, keep moving forward!” Chen Xiaolian jumped onto a piece of rock and shouted out. “Keep moving forward! You can only rest after I give you the command! If anyone disobeys my command, I will hang that fellow down from a tree! Additionally… I will also punish his captain!”
Hearing that, the few captains’ faces froze!
In the following journey, the group continued to be somewhat disordered. However, the line could generally be considered intact. At the very least, under the watch of those captains, none were left trailing behind – none of those captains wanted to be punished.
The few Norman soldiers looked at Chen Xiaolian with expressions of surprise.
When the sky darkened, they halted and rested. Chen Xiaolian specifically assigned two sub teams to take turns keeping watch. The two captains did as was taught by Chen Xiaolian and came together to decide which team should keep watch over the first half of the night and which team should keep watch over the other half of the night.
For dinner, they ate the food they brought with them… some coarse bread and some jerky.
Chen Xiaolian and Bei Tai walked some distance away and brought out the food they prepared within the Storage Watch and shared them.
During the night, the sounds of snoring rose and faded in succession. Chen Xiaolian and Bei Tai took turns to keep watch. After waking up, Chen Xiaolian went to check the camp and found that the men assigned to keep watch were more or less doing their job – out of the whole team, only two were sleeping. Chen Xiaolian got one of the men who were keeping watch to come over and had him pee right on those who were sleeping.
“If you dare fall asleep again, I will tie you to a rock and throw you down a mountain.”
During dawn, the two sub teams received their reward from Chen Xiaolian – the members of both teams got to share a lamb leg. That was William’s reward to Chen Xiaolian that he had brought out with him.
One lamb leg shared between roughly 20 men. Under such conditions, each men could only get a bite. Even so, it gave them a sense of superiority – especially considering how the people next to them could only munch on black bread.
As for Bighead, he seemed rather steady. Bei Tai had been keeping a close watch over him along the way.
This fellow did not show any indication that he wanted to escape. He simply followed behind Bei Tai and asked questions along the way. Bei Tai simply ignored him. Whenever Bei Tai became vexed, he would then kick out at him.
Bighead himself did not mind… in this line of work as a mercenary, who had not suffered from a beating before?
However, this fellow was indeed quite useful. In the morning, they moved under his guidance through a dense forest area – this route was supposedly shorter than the path they had originally planned to go over.
The area was a forest of pines and there were many pine nuts scattered on the ground. Some of the mercenaries picked up so much that they even gave some of them to Chen Xiaolian.
During noon, when they were resting, their camp was filled with the fragrance of roasted pine nuts.
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