Chapter 322: A New Designation

 Chapter 322: A New Designation [Volume 5 – A Distance Within Reach]

At this time, the airship captain approached with a flight bill and performed a military salute before handing it to the general.

The airship captain said respectfully, “General Dong, please look over the itinerary and sign it. The journey to our final destination, Blackflow City of Trinity River County, is rather long. As such, we plan to stop three times on the way for rest and supplies. Our midway points are Plateau Mountain City, Weiming City, and Vast Depth City.

This fat general was Dong Qifeng who was preparing to take office at Blackflow City. He received the itinerary but was still glancing at his aide-de-camp, the iceberg-like beauty, through the corner of his eyes.

The lady was quite clear what the general was concerned about. Thus, she introduced the three stops with great emphasis on their famed characteristics—some were known for their good food, some for their scenery, and Weiming City for its beauties.

Dong Qifeng was radiant with delight after listening to this introduction and repeatedly said "good". He then reached out to grope the aide’s buttocks yet again.

The aide-de-camp didn’t even raise her eyebrows, her expression cold and defensive. This was exactly Dong Qifeng’s favorite type. This general fancied ladies who were ice-cold on the outside and as passionate as fire on the inside.

Dong Qifeng had taken the journey toward his new post as a vacation trip and wouldn’t miss any attraction along the way. Otherwise, it was little more than a day’s journey—who else wouldn’t fly directly?

Dong Qifeng was quite satisfied with this arrangement. He checked the safety measures and found that he would be escorted by two military use gunships. He immediately decided that there was nothing to complain about and signed his name with a wave of his big pen.

Ignoring everything else, the three big characters Dong Qifeng were, in fact, written with an impressive style. This was a clear display of his great power.

“Enough with the blathering. Let’s board the airship! This general has to hurry on with the journey!” Dong Qifeng waved his large hand and boarded the airship first.

But his entourage hadn’t even finished entering the cabin when a light jeep arrived as if it were flying. It rushed directly toward the airship and came to a halt at its side.

A major jumped down from the vehicle and shouted loudly, “General Dong, please wait! I have orders from General Xiao asking you to return to headquarters immediately!”

Dong Qifeng poked his head out of the cabin door and asked curiously, “General Xiao?”

The major passed over an official document and said, “This is a handwritten order from General Xiao. Please take a look.”

Dong Qifeng received the document and glanced over it. However, the order only asked that he return to headquarters and didn’t explain any details. The general’s expression immediately turned gloomy after receiving such an order all of a sudden and for no good reason.

There was only one General Xiao who could give orders to General Dong in the expeditionary army, and that was the deputy commander-in-chief, Lieutenant General Xiao Lingshi. The expeditionary army commander-in-chief, Luo Mingji, was an imperial marshal. His role with the title was merely to oversee the general situation and wouldn’t involve himself with the details. Almost all military affairs were handled by the four deputy commanders-in-chief, and Xiao Lingshi was one of them.

But whatever opinion General Dong may have regarding this lieutenant general of humble origins, he wouldn’t express it at this moment. He simply gave out some instructions, returned to the jeep, and traveled back toward the expeditionary army headquarters with the major who came to convey the order.

The convoy of jeeps rapidly drove all the way and practically sprinted through the headquarter gates. The major then led Dong Qifeng straight to Xiao Lingshi’s office in the eastern building. The moment he stepped into the building, Dong Qifeng suddenly caught sight of a familiar figure, and this person was one who shouldn’t be here at this time.

Dong Qifeng said in great astonishment, “Du Yuanze, why are you here? Didn’t I send you to take over the seventh division?”

That person was, indeed, Du Yuanze. The man smiled wryly and whispered, “General, let’s go in first. General Xiao is already waiting in the conference room.”

A layer of dark clouds emerged in Dong Qifeng’s heart. He gave a nod, then followed Du Yuanze up to the top floor and into the conference room.

The room wasn’t that big at all. There were only ten-odd people seated here, but their general’s stars were sparkling on their uniforms—apparently, most of them were generals. It could be said that most of the high-ranking officers under Xiao Lingshi were gathered here. Xiao Lingshi himself was seated at the end of the long table. No clues could be obtained from his expressionless countenance.

Seeing Dong Qifeng and Du Yuanze enter, Xiao Lingshi gestured for them to sit down and said slowly, “I received news just now from Blackflow City that a certain mercenary corps called Dark Flame has annexed the seventh division. They have dispatched a messenger to the headquarters requesting us to revoke the seventh division’s designation number. At the same time, they expressed their willingness to join the expeditionary army system. The designation they applied for is Dark Flame Independent Division.”

“Dark Flame Independent Division!”

Discussions immediately broke out within the conference room as soon as this new title was announced. Even those generals weren’t an exception—everyone felt that this Dark Flame Mercenary Corps was crazy. They were actually demanding an independent division designation?

The expeditionary army’s main fighting units were classified into two types—dispatch divisions who were assigned to guard the cities, and field divisions used to supplement the gaps in the defensive lines. However, there was also a number of specialized organizations, and the independent division was one of them. This designation represented greater authority and scale.

An independent division could recruit 50% more troops than an ordinary division, and the staffing structure would also increase accordingly. Moreover, only the deputy division commander position required the approval of the expeditionary army headquarters. The appointment and dismissal of all other senior-officer positions would be left to the division commander.

Dong Qifeng’s ears began to ring immediately after hearing Xiao Lingshi’s words. He could no longer hear anything else, and for a moment, he couldn’t even comprehend the meaning of those words. It took him quite some time to collect his thoughts and immediately began to roar without a care for his composure, “That’s my seventh division! How can it be revoked just like that?!”

In order to obtain this lucrative post, he had used up numerous big favors and tens of thousands of gold coins in bribes. Additionally, the clan had forked out a huge sum when he formally received the appointment order—it was titled as a donation to the expeditionary army, but was, in truth, a compensation to the Wei clan and the expeditionary army headquarters.

The Sishui Dong Family was willing to pay such a price because the Blackflow City was almost untainted by the flames of the recent war on Evernight Continent. Although the campaign received a mixture of praise and criticism, being able to force the dark race army to take a detour was proof of the seventh division’s strength.

Obtaining the seventh division was like picking up one of Evernight Continent’s most mature scopes of influence. Dong Qifeng was prepared to use this as a foundation to develop an even more glorious family business. But he had never expected the situation to actually be turned on its head during the short period that he was getting ready to take office.

Up until this moment, Dong Qifeng still hadn’t realized what exactly had gone wrong.

He had discussed all the steps beforehand with Du Yuanze and a number of his trusted aides. Dong Qifeng had assigned his personal guards to take control of some important characters across the Blackflow defensive region even before his official transference with the Wei clan.

There were old veterans who had served in the imperial regular army among Dong Qifeng’s personal guards, while the others also possessed experience handling clan affairs. It was reasonable to say that such an arrangement was absolutely safe. Why then had matters not developed as he had imagined?

The group of generals and high-ranking officers stayed silent and allowed Dong Qifeng to shout as he pleased, most with a shade of schadenfreude in their eyes.

Most of these high-ranking officers were born of humble civilian families or, at most, landowning households. They had no favorable impression toward the high-level aristocracy. To them, both the Far East Wei Clan and the Sishui Dong Clan were outsiders who were here to compete for profits on Evernight Continent.

Comparatively, Wei Bainian who had managed to defend Blackflow City during the war probably received more recognition. This Dong Qifeng, on the other hand, was virtually unheard of before this incident.

Only when Xiao Lingshi frowned and gestured for his silence did Dong Qifeng calm down.

As Xiao Lingshi saw it, this entire incident wasn’t complex at all. Wei Bainian had visited the expeditionary army headquarters to handle the final resignation procedures before he left Evernight Continent. At that time, he had personally brought Dong Qifeng’s appointment papers and a copy of the first set of issued military announcements. Thus, according to the timeline, the two parties had, in fact, completed the handover procedure even though Dong Qifeng hadn’t personally arrived at Blackflow City.

The expeditionary army headquarters could confirm this. Hence, Blackflow City was definitely lost in Dong Qifeng’s hands—even the man himself couldn’t utter any objection or question this fact.

Following which, Xiao Lingshi had Du Yuanze recount his experience that day.

Du Yuanze stood up and narrated how Dark Flame had taken down the seventh division. Many generals frowned silently after listening to the battle process. They were very clear as to how terrifying a skilled sniper like Qianye was on the battlefield. Even champions wouldn’t be willing to face such a dangerous enemy.

Dong Qifeng could no longer endure after Du Yuanze concluded his story. He stood up once again and roared, “Rebellion! This is a complete rebellion! I demand that Dark Flame be announced as rebels. Afterward, mobilize the expeditionary army forces around Blackflow City and annihilate that brat Qianye along with that damned mercenary corps of his! Otherwise, won’t anyone be able to disregard the expeditionary army’s prestige?!”

Dong Qifeng wasn’t a complete idiot. He still knew how to strive for his profit by making use of the expeditionary army’s great status. Some of the high-ranking officers nodded in agreement, but the generals, on the other hand, only glanced at each other and showed no signs of movement.

With a wave of Xiao Lingshi’s hands, his personal guards immediately led Dong Qifeng and Du Yuanze out of the conference room with an extremely respectful yet unyielding attitude.

The room was pervaded by a moment of silence after the doors were shut.

Xiao Lingshi was a staunch general who had always defended the best interests of the expeditionary army with no fear of confronting the upper continent aristocracy. Those familiar with his character knew that his present attitude was rather thought-provoking.

One of the generals broke the silence first and began to express his doubts, “The Wei clan extricated itself from this matter quite efficiently. But if it was really so clean, how could a mercenary corps actually devour the entire seventh division?”

Naturally, the expeditionary army headquarters couldn’t keep constant watch over a new mercenary corps from a third-rate war zone like Dark Flame. The last time the generals heard of this name was during the recent war on Evernight.

Dark Flame had reaped abundant rewards in a single campaign, and the amount wasn’t less than the handful of ten-thousand-strong mercenary corps on Evernight Continent. This was sufficient proof of their combat strength. But in the eyes of the expeditionary army generals, there was no way it could reach the stage where it could devour an expeditionary army division whole. Dark Flame’s rapid expansion was a recent matter, and news of it hadn’t even gotten around to the headquarters. There was naturally no shortage of people concealing and misdirecting this information deliberately.

An old white-bearded general said after a moment of silence, “According to Lieutenant Colonel Du’s statement, it seems the Wei clan hadn’t taken part in this at all. Since they, themselves, have no intention to lodge a complaint against the Wei clan and we didn’t witness the situation, it’s inappropriate for us to bring up new problems.”

This old general was Wen Ruocheng, Xiao Lingshi’s chief staff officer, and his words had always carried some weight. Everyone couldn’t help but form their own plans after hearing the tone of his voice.

The previous general spoke once more, “Dark Flame’s commander isn’t a champion as far as I know.”

Wen Luocheng replied without batting an eyelid, “Speaking of which, that Qianye can’t be considered a champion, but his combat strength is more or less already at that level. However, the division commander’s position must be held by champions. This is the military’s iron law and there will be no accommodations. Since Dark Flame has applied for a designation, then they must’ve taken this into consideration. When the time comes, it’s fine as long as a champion takes office.”

All the officers in the room glanced at each other when these words were spoken.

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-Legion-'s Thoughts

6/7 of the week. Enjoy ^_^

All along Chinese history, those surnamed Dong are always fat and destined to suffer :P

TL: Legion 

ED: Moxie

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