Chapter 321: Reorganization [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]
There wasn’t really any suspense in this battle since Dark Flame held the absolute advantage both in terms of weaponry and experts.
There were only a couple hundred soldiers guarding this town—the mayor and the guard captain were only rank four or five in addition to numerous outsiders who were above rank-five. But Dark Flame seemed completely uninterested in those strangers and had no intention to negotiate. As soon as the unit arrived, they began the battle with a round of heavy artillery barrage.
The fight ended before an hour had passed. They half-destroyed the town wall and gates, razed the mayor’s residence to the ground, and killed all who resisted without mercy. Afterward, Duan Hao performed a large-scale manhunt throughout the town, capturing all the relatives of the mayor and the guard captain. He then immediately sold the captives to a slave merchant who had come along with the army.
Such a ruthless and thunderous method shook all the small towns that were still wavering. They quickly dispatched messengers in succession and expressed their wish to submit to Qianye. The entire Blackflow defensive region had fallen under Dark Flame control at this point, in name at least.
It went without saying that such allegiances were like grass on the wall—they would sway to whichever side the wind blew. This was merely the path to survival for people on Evernight Continent. Qianye didn’t require their absolute loyalty; he only needed them to adapt to the present circumstances and be obedient while he governed the defensive region.
Three days after the battles ended, Qianye was finally able to gain a basic level of control over the general situation of the Blackflow defensive region, and there were no longer any open voices of dissent in various regions. The surviving officers from the seventh division had all been brought to the Dark Flame headquarters, while the soldiers were placed under watch in the three military camps.
After gaining initial control over the state of affairs, Qianye summoned all the officers of the seventh division and began to formally reorganize them.
The assembly point was a large warehouse hundreds of square meters in area. This used to be where the two mobile heavy cannons were parked.
There were thick chains hanging down from the steel rails near the ceiling of the warehouse. One side of the warehouse had been raised half a meter and installed with brand new steam rails. All of these were equipment used to support the maintenance of heavy machinery. It was just that dispatch divisions garrisoned by the expeditionary army rarely built such expensive maintenance facilities.
Presently, there were a tightly packed group of over 200 people in this fairly large space. The group below quieted down when Qianye walked in through the doors and leapt onto a high platform.
All of the seventh division’s officers above the second lieutenant level had gathered here with the exception of a dozen-odd imprisoned officers who still refused to yield. There were four colonels here including Zhu Wuya, 14 lieutenant colonels, and over 30 majors. The remaining junior officers numbered over a hundred. This also meant that there were approximately 200 fighters above rank-two gathered here. Among them, there were three rank-eight and one rank-nine expert.
The three rank-eight colonels weren’t exactly outstanding and were already over forty years of age. Their origin power was somewhat deeper than the standard, but they had more or less reached the peak of their cultivation with no possibility of future progress.
Zhu Wuya’s position as a rank-nine sniper was already quite outstanding in the army. Moreover, he had awakened Danger Awareness and Origin Sight, two very rare abilities most suited for snipers. He was also an important core member of many tactical operations. That was why he had always been able to retain his position regardless of who was in power. Unfortunately, bumping into Qianye was like meeting a natural predator—he was left with no room to display his abilities.
As a whole, the strength of the officers gathered here was already about to surpass Dark Flame. But the seventh division’s equipment was inferior to Dark Flame’s by a level, and they were vastly inferior in terms of heavy weaponry. Additionally, they had been caught unaware due to Wei Bainian’s plot and were unable to display even half of their abilities, allowing Qianye to lead Dark Flame to an easy victory.
At this moment, all of the seventh division officers here were unrestrained. They had neither been injected with origin power inhibitors nor forced to wear origin shackles. All of them were in good condition apart from some of the officers who had been injured in the previous battle. Meanwhile, on Dark Flame’s side, there were only three groups of warriors guarding the two sides of the door. Yet, there wasn’t the slightest bit of abnormal movement among the group of officers.
They had already seen the combat power of Dark Flames special forces unit two days ago. Back then, Song Hu was taking roll with the seventh division’s roster in hand and his inspection had reached a rank-six warrior clad in a major’s uniform whose name wasn’t on the list. That person and another senior officer suddenly launched a surprise attack.
Song Hu was rank-six and the two Dark Flame warriors beside him were only rank-five. However, they didn’t even mobilize the sniper outside the entrance and simply killed the men on the spot.
The entire process took only a couple of minutes and didn’t even give the other officers time to consider whether they should rebel together. This result wasn’t brought about by a suppression in terms of equipment—their warriors also possessed mutual understanding and cooperation. This was a clear display of how Dark Flame’s fighting strength was vastly superior to ordinary mercenary corps.
After the officers from the Four Rivers Military Base arrived and recounted how Dark Flame’s commander had single-handedly forced them to surrender, most of the others no longer entertained any more thoughts about resisting.
Qianye swept his gaze through the crowd one by one and finally said, “I think all of you already know the reason behind this battle.”
At this point, the expressions on many of the officers became quite unnatural. This was especially true for the senior officers who had been contacted by Dong Qifeng’s representative. Song Hu had already announced the entire story to all of the seventh division officers while checking the prisoners of war.
This was also a type of psychological warfare. Dark Flame was resisting a tyrannical rule and not rebelling. The two involved completely different meanings.
Those old veterans who had been tempered through the flames of war naturally weren’t lacking in resolution, but they also needed to see what they were fighting for. At least in the eyes of most middle and junior officers whose benefits were unrelated to this matter, this new general was simply trying to cause trouble without the capability. He had tried to reorganize a mercenary corps for no reason but was reorganized instead.
No soldier was willing to serve a foolish and incapable commander.
Qianye observed their expressions and continued, “Since Dark Flame has won this battle, we have the authority to reorganize the seventh division. This is the law of Evernight. If you are willing to join Dark Flame, your status and salary will remain unchanged. It will only increase in the future according to your accomplishments.
Most of the officers were surprised by this promise. On Evernight Continent, even those few ten-thousand-strong mercenary corps couldn’t compare to the expeditionary army in terms of resources. Dark Flame’s armaments had already exceeded their expectations, but to actually be able to provide the same salary—didn’t this mean that their true strength could already match that of an expeditionary army division?
“There are likely some of you who want to return to the expeditionary army system and are thus hoping for General Dong Qifeng’s counterattack. However, going with Dong Qifeng isn’t the only way to return to the expeditionary army system. Dark Flame can do it as well.”
Qianye’s words ignited a huge bomb and everyone under the stage was visibly moved. Even Zhu Wuya who had fought a battle against Dark Flame was somewhat dumbfounded.
The expeditionary army division designations weren’t permanent. In truth, the rise and fall of number designations here were even faster than in the imperial regular army. Numerous divisions had been dissolved in the recent war after their commanders fell in battle and more than half the troops were lost.
However, every designation had a defensive region to watch over. Qianye’s intention was to actually establish his own designation, which also meant that he would completely drive Dong Qifeng out of this defensive region. In order to accomplish this, both strength and connections were indispensable.
Qianye took in everyone’s reactions and said, “Whatever ideas you may have, I don’t really mind. But right now, you will help me complete the seventh division’s reorganization. Whoever dares to play petty tricks during this process will be killed without mercy! That is all, dismissed.”
The group of officers dispersed with heavy hearts.
In the following days, the entire seventh division was dismantled and mixed into Dark Flame’s ranks. The batch of surrendered officers were all reappointed in separate groups, but most of them merely played an auxiliary role. According to Song Hu, these officers could only be trusted after a bitter fight against the expeditionary army.
Fortunately, the expeditionary army’s regional forces possessed the characteristics of a personal army, especially true for the lower level officers. This was just another job for them, and it was inherently no different from being a hunter or mercenary. They were all here to exchange their lives for money. The only difference was that the expeditionary army had greater authority, their status relatively more stable and their profits better ensured.
As long as Dark Flame could stand tall without falling, the warriors would gradually form a sense of belonging to it. The factions on Evernight Continent were fickle and complicated with no everlasting loyalty to speak of. Apart from the common belief that the dark races were the enemy of the human race, even the Great Qin Empire was just a distant symbol of authority.
Qianye watched the officers leave in succession and went through his plans once more in his mind. Using Dark Flame as the skeleton, he would break up the original seventh division soldiers and fold them into its ranks. In this way, he could form a unit with considerable combat strength within a short time.
The urgent matter at hand was to repel all potential interference from the expeditionary army. Although Song Zining had stated that he would settle things with the expeditionary army leaders, it was best to be prepared.
After repelling the interfering expeditionary forces, he would march west to open up new territory.
Blackflow City was an adverse territory. It was below average both in terms of location and resources while its staple income, in the past, mostly came from grey trade. The city was enough for a seventh division commander, but it was insufficient to accommodate Qianye’s plans and dreams.
The only path ahead was to head west. The vast land there with its boundless resources would serve as the true foundation for the future.
Meanwhile, the airship port at the expeditionary army headquarters was bustling with activity.
Numerous military-use jeeps had arrived in quick succession. When the airship port guards saw the expeditionary army insignia with a golden star on it, they immediately stood ramrod straight and performed a resounding salutation. “Greetings, General!”
The jeep windows were lowered and an obviously chubby face appeared from within. His puffy eyes were especially conspicuous. He seemed quite pleased with the sentry’s attitude and raised his hands to his forehead in response. Afterward, he leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. No one knew what he was thinking, but there was a smile emerging at the corners of his mouth.
This squad of jeeps overtook several cars that were lining up for entry and drove directly into the airship port toward a certain landing platform.
This was obviously jumping the queue. However, the cars and travelers who had been waiting in the tedious line dared not utter a word of dissent after seeing the general’s insignia on the car. Special privileges weren’t a rare sight, especially in such a place as Evernight where there was never any lasting peace.
The motorcade drove all the way in and only stopped after reaching an airship. A beautiful female aide-de-camp with dazzling long legs jumped down from the front seat. She then opened the back door and said with a clear voice, “General, we’re here.”
That general with a square face and big ears glanced outward before moving his fat body out of the car. His bearings were actually quite nimble. As he passed by, the general firmly groped the female officer’s buttocks secretly with his left hand. The beautiful aide-de-camp’s face turned frosty and jab at those fat hands in reverse.
The attack was quite ruthless, but the general remained unfazed as if that hand wasn’t even his. The tenacity of a champion’s body far surpassed that of ordinary people, and it was just right to use it in such an occasion.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
5/7 of the week. Enjoy ^_^