Chapter 317: Whose Means of Survival? [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
Huge changes came over the expeditionary army lieutenant colonel’s countenance as he urgently leapt sideways and ducked over ten meters out of the way. Meanwhile, the place he originally stood had been drowned in a cloud of dust. One could see the earth being shaved away layer by layer amidst the rolling smoke. Even a rank-seven fighter would have been turned into a beehive even if he didn’t die.
That lieutenant colonel was shocked and furious in equal measures. Not just because he was being shot at, but also at the firepower of the heavy weaponry. An anti-aircraft machine gun capable of shooting down airships weren’t a common sight even in the expeditionary army’s core divisions—how could he run into one at the gates of a mere mercenary corps?
The hundred-bullet belt was emptied within an instant. The officer on the gate tower wasn’t quite satisfied and wished to continue pulling on the trigger, but a big hand reached out from beside him and pressed the muzzle down.
Glancing back, the officer immediately let go of the machine gun and performed a salute. “Sir!”
The one who had appeared nearby was the iron-tower-like burly man with a dark complexion. He glanced down and said in a clear voice, “My name is Duan Hao. Just now, my brother here fired accidentally. Everything is a misunderstanding. Since you’re really from the expeditionary army, then do come in!”
The lieutenant colonel’s expression was extremely unsightly and almost broke out in curses. Accident?! Misunderstanding?! He and his subordinates had used these words countless times over the years and tricked numerous people. However, it was really the first time they were being used on them.
Out of the five jeeps, two had flipped over and one had crashed badly. The lieutenant colonel ground his teeth, waved his hand toward the back, and headed directly toward Dark Flame’s main gate. The expeditionary army warriors clambered out of the cars in succession and formed up behind the officer.
Duan Hao immediately jumped down from the gate tower and stood at the center of the road. There, with his hands crossed over his chest, he sized up the lieutenant colonel’s group.
The man walked up to Duan Hao and glanced coldly at him. Their stares almost sent sparks flying.
The lieutenant colonel sneered. “You’re the first to dare treat the expeditionary army like this in Evernight Continent! I’ll remember you!”
Duan Hao said in a relaxed tone, “Sir, you must’ve arrived at the abandoned land not long ago.” He laughed and said with deep implications, “It’s precisely because we're in Evernight that there wasn't any bloodshed just now. Otherwise, the army would’ve had to send people to collect corpses.”
The lieutenant colonel’s eyes narrowed. The expeditionary army soldier who had lost an arm was still in the group behind him. How could this be called “didn’t see blood”?
He was so angry that he broke into a laughter. “Collect corpses? What a big tone. I’ll be sure to look into your background when I get back and see what sort of major character you are to have spared so many of our lives!”
Duan Hao’s face turned cold and said indifferently, “Quite frankly, I’m astonished you dare come over here without investigating our background first.”
Duan Hao was one of the heavyweight characters under Song Zining’s command. Under normal circumstances, having him bring a reinforced company to garrison a small place like Blackflow City was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. There was definitely a reason Song Zining had dispatched him at such a time. That was because Duan Hao’s other identity was an official external steward of the Song clan.
Regardless of how much internal and external conflicts the Song clan was facing, it was still an enormous entity in the upper continents. A mere expeditionary army lieutenant colonel would require sufficient reason if he wanted to touch a Song clan external steward. Moreover, the expeditionary army could do little to deter the retaliation he would suffer afterward.
The lieutenant colonel wasn’t able to gain the least bit of advantage verbally and, instead, became hesitant after hearing Duan Hao’s words. However, all of the recent arrangements had been completed in succession and Dark Flame was his last stop. His mission would be a great success if he could chew off this bone—there was no reason to withdraw just because of a few words.
He gazed fixedly at Duan Hao for a moment and said while forcefully suppressing his anger, “I’m expeditionary army lieutenant colonel Du Yuanze. I must see your corps commander for urgent military matters.”
“See? Nothing would’ve happened if you had just said so sooner!” Duan Hao raised his eyebrows. He then turned to step out of the way and summoned two warriors with a wave of his hand. “Notify Sir Qianye and ask him if he has the time to meet some idle people.”
After hearing these words, Du Yuanze’s expression couldn’t help but grow gloomier despite his subtlety.
Watching Du Yuanze’s expression, Duan Hao squinted his eyes and revealed a cold smile. He had already made things very clear—it couldn’t be blamed on him if the other party insisted on jumping in.
Afterward, Du Yuanze’s group met no more obstacles and were soon able to meet Qianye in the parlor. This speed caused Du Yuanze’s expression to relax slightly. Even if Dark Flame did have some background, the master of Blackflow City was no longer the Far East Wei Clan. As the common saying goes, “the present officer is more powerful than the district magistrate”—everyone should be clear about the circumstances.
Although Du Yuanze had already looked through the documents beforehand, he was still astonished after seeing this excessively young mercenary corps commander.
Sitting at the end of the long table was a young man who could almost be described as beautiful. His obsidian eyes were clear, bright, and seemed to be overflowing with brilliance. Du Yuanze would have doubted the other party’s identity had he not seen how those vicious and unbridled veterans nearby treating him with great respect.
The lieutenant colonel suppressed the wisp of groundless uneasiness in his heart and sat straight as he gazed at Qianye. “It seems commander Qianye still has a basic level of respect for the expeditionary army. In Evernight, the expeditionary army represents the empire. I wonder if commander Qianye is aware of what happened just now?”
Qianye didn’t stand up to welcome these unwelcome guests. He sat leaning on the chair and said indifferently, “You mean the unit captain who fired at you from the gate tower? He’s already been punished. Oh, as for the specific penalty, what was that again? Song Hu?”
Song Hu, who had been standing behind Qianye, took a step forward as if he were about to whisper in Qianye’s ears. However, his voice was so loud that everyone in the room could hear him clearly. “Three days of confinement and an additional three months of special training.”
Qianye nodded and glanced up at Du Yanze. “That’s the punishment.”
This couldn’t be considered a proper punishment at all, but Du Yuanze decided to take this as an expression of goodwill. He swallowed his anger and stopped complaining about this problem. The reason he had come to Dark Flame Mercenary Corps wasn’t to punish an ignorant captain but to discuss more important matters.
Du Yuanze was never someone so easily dealt with. The reason why he had given in, for the time being, was simple—all that he had seen on his way into Darkflame Headquarters had far surpassed his imagination. This was especially true for the row of cargo trucks in the parking lot. It was clear, from their model and horsepower, that these were armaments only the imperial regular army should possess!
In his mind, mercenaries were only slightly better off than hunters. They possessed strong individual fighting power but had no tactics to speak of. They had almost no cooperation on the battlefield and were far inferior to the standing armies.
Most mercenary corps were made up of short-sighted people who knew only about buying guns and ammunition. They had no idea how important special vehicles like cargo and engineering trucks were to the battlefield.
Du Yuanze secretly congratulated himself on making Dark Flame Mercenary Corps his last stop. Currently, the deployments in and around the city were basically complete. Otherwise, there might be accidents when facing this Dark Flame.
Du Yuanze decided to finish his mission as quickly as possible. He could settle the scores later no matter how upset he was. He dragged the corners of his mouth into a smile and said, “I’ve seen commander Qianye’s goodwill. I’ll definitely report this to General Dong upon my return.”
However, his words were cut short by Qianye’s absent-minded words. “Mister Lieutenant Colonel, I think you’ve misunderstood. That captain was punished because his aim was too poor. Against a motorcade charging straight at our camp, he actually failed to kill even a single person. That’s why I feel the need to reinforce his training. If that brat repeats such a mistake, we’ll directly demote him to a foot soldier. A third time and he’ll be fired.”
Du Yuanze’s countenance was frozen, contorted, and alternating between pale and blue. He couldn’t even utter a word and only managed to calm his breathing after a long while. “You, surnamed Qian! The land you’re standing on is the domain of the expeditionary army! Don’t forget that the expeditionary army represents the Great Qin Empire on Evernight Continent!”
Qianye changed his posture. He propped his chin on his hands and said meaningfully, “You also shouldn’t forget that the land beneath our feet is the Evernight domain. This place is also called the forsaken land.”
Du Yuanze’s expression turned progressively darker as he sneered. “So what? Corps Commander Qian, I was appointed by General Dong to take over the seventh division. This Blackflow City belongs to the seventh division, and right now, I represent the seventh division! These are General Dong’s appointment papers and the orders personally penned by him. Take a look!”
Du Yuanze grabbed two file bags from his subordinate’s hands, tossed it onto the table, and flicked it over with his fingers. The documents slid across the smooth surface of the table with no intention to stop even as it reached Qianye.
The high-ranking officers of Darkflame revealed expressions of fury. Du Yuanze’s movements were too frivolous. Qianye, however, remained calm and collected. He reached out and deftly stopped the bag of documents. He then pulled out two sheets of paper and looked over them.
One of them was the expeditionary army’s appointment order, assigning Dong Qifeng as the commander of the seventh division with immediate effect. The other was a military announcement signed by Dong Qifeng himself.
Qianye scanned the two documents from top to bottom and passed the military announcement to Song Hu. The latter read through the document and immediately broke into a frown.
Qianye’s expression, on the other hand, was unchanged. He glanced up at the gloomy Du Yuanze and said, “So, General Dong wishes for all the armed forces in the Blackflow City to accept the seventh division’s rearrangements. Each force must not exceed 200 men and they would have to await the expeditionary army’s assignments at any given time?”
Du Yuanze revealed a contorted smile and said while clenching his teeth, “That’s right! All soldiers exceeding this number must be dispersed. Additionally, there cannot be any type of heavy weaponry or origin guns above grade-two. All equipment in violation of these rules must be handed over to the seventh division!”
The meeting room was suffused with a horrifying silence. Unexpectedly, all the high-ranking Dark Flame officers didn’t question this matter. Their previous angry demeanor had disappeared, and most of them became expressionless.
Du Yuanze was fairly pleased with the present results and paused intentionally before extending a finger. “The time you have to organize things is… one day!”
Qianye’s sitting posture was casual and relaxed. He suddenly broke into a laughter like the spring rain melting the snow. “All armed forces? What a swift and decisive aristocratic style.”
Du Yuanze instinctively sensed something wrong, but Qianye asked without waiting for him to think, “What if we don’t reorganize our forces?”
“Then you are rebels! The expeditionary army will thoroughly annihilate you without leaving a single one alive!”
When Qianye smiled, his exquisite facial features made him look even younger and even somewhat naive. He said softly, “This is refusing to give us a means of survival.”
Du Yuanze laughed loudly. He then forcefully slammed on the table, leaned forward to gaze fixedly at Qianye, and said word by word, “I’ve already given you a means to survival! Reorganize as I say and get it done by the time I say. This is the only way you’ll survive! Those wretched citizens of Blackflow are already carrying out these orders obediently and you are no exception! Play tricks with me and I’ll blast your ass apart with an origin gun!”
Qianye wasn’t furious. He stood up slowly and said with great indifference, “I think that general has gotten something wrong. This is Evernight Continent. Whoever has the biggest fist has the say. And right now, you’re in my territory and not the seventh division’s.”
Du Yuanze was shocked. “Are you revolting?!”
Qianye raised his hand and said calmly, “Men, seize this Lieutenant Colonel Du.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
1/7 of the week. Enjoy the savagery ^_^
Teaser Source: https://giphy.com/explore/seize-him