Volume 32, Chapter 416.3: Recruit Tang Dong

Huo Yuhao changed into his uniform and his leather armor on the spot, grabbing his other uniform with his left hand and his spear with his right hand before he jogged towards the drill grounds on the left side of the army camp.

The drill ground was very spacious; Huo Yuhao almost couldn’t see the end of it. There were phalanxes hard at work on the drill ground, and cavalry companies riding left and right. The Sixth Reserve Legion’s soldiers were clearly training hard.

The Star Luo Empire’s military system was arranged in ascending order: small team, medium team, large team, battalion, division, and legion. A small team had ten people. A medium team was made up of five small teams, for a total of fifty people. A large team was composed of three medium teams, for a total of a hundred and fifty people, while a battalion contained three large teams, for a total of four hundred and fifty people. A division consisted of three battalions, with a total of one thousand three hundred and fifty people, while a regular legion consisted of six divisions, seven thousand two hundred and ten soldiers. Adding in transportation units and logistics units, as well as other auxiliary units, a legion contained about ten thousand people in total.

The reserves were a little different. Every Reserve Legion consisted of nine divisions of soldiers, and in addition to other auxiliary units, a Reserve Legion had about fifteen thousand people.

Huo Yuhao quickly found the assembly point for new soldiers, because the veteran soldiers who were undergoing training here were in strict formation, and seemed very intimidating. On the other hand, several hundred new soldiers were assembled not far from where he was, and they seemed a lot more relaxed and loose in comparison. They didn’t stand properly, their postures were loose and undisciplined, and there were even people who loafed at the back, or were sitting down on the ground.

Huo Yuhao hurriedly ran over once he found this group.

There were three men standing in front of those new soldiers, who looked like officers. Distinguishing officers was very simple: those who wore golden armor were definitely officers, and were at least medium team leaders.

Soldiers like Huo Yuhao, who were also wearing a private first class’ leather armor, would typically become small team leaders. Medium team leaders wore chainmail armor, and only large team leaders or officers ranking higher than large team leaders could wear plate armor. Officers like battalion commanders, division commanders, and legion commanders wore armor that was made from a different material. They were distinguished from each other with special markings, such as the color of the plume feathers on their helmets, or the color of their capes, the equipment of their bodyguards, etc.

The bodyguards of the Western Field Army’s marshal, White Tiger Duke Dai Hao, had all been wearing chainmail armor. This meant that they were all at least medium team leaders.

“Recruit Tang Dong, reporting.” Huo Yuhao walked briskly up before those three officers. He didn’t know any military salutes, but he knew how to stand at attention.

All three officers were wearing chainmail armor. When they saw the leather armor on Huo Yuhao’s body, their faces showed some surprise.

The officer who was standing in the middle had a tough and muscular frame, and seemed to be around thirty years old. He said, “Eh, you must be the one who became a private first class. Seems like your physique isn’t bad. Your name’s Tang Dong, right? Come here.” He waved at Huo Yuhao.

Huo Yuhao quickly took a few steps forward and arrived in front of the three officers.

Huo Yuhao’s consciousness twitched, but he couldn’t feel any soul power undulations from these three officers. Officers were typically promoted for two different reasons: the first was a promotion from an accumulation of military merits, while the second was promotion from an increase in fighting strength. 

However, officers who rose through the ranks because of their fighting strength typically didn’t become commanders. Normal soldiers also had chances to become high-ranking officers, and would have to accumulate military merit. However, their rise through the ranks was a lot more challenging compared to soul masters. 

In the end, a soul master was considered the most exalted and powerful profession on the Douluo Continent. No matter how much effort a normal person put in, he would almost certainly be defeated and killed by a soul master if he fought one alone on the battlefield.

The officer scrutinized Huo Yuhao for a few moments. He couldn’t tell from Huo Yuhao’s appearance how he was any different from a normal person. He frowned and said, “Tang Dong, how did you become a private first class?”

Huo Yuhao smiled simply and honestly and said, “Sir, I am quite strong, and the recruiting officer let me become a private first class because of that.”

“You’re strong? Come, let’s try.” He reached out toward Huo Yuhao with his right hand as he spoke.

Huo Yuhao switched his spear to his left hand and draped his uniform over his left arm so that he could free up his right hand. Huo Yuhao’s right hand gripped the officer’s right hand, and the officer’s palm immediately contracted as a wave of strength considered quite strong for normal people compressed Huo Yuhao’s right hand.

But how could this little bit of strength be anything to Huo Yuhao? He didn’t even have to use any soul power; his physique was already much stronger than normal people!

Huo Yuhao didn’t push back. Instead, he let the officer twist and clutch as much as and however he wanted. The officer felt as if Huo Yuhao’s palm was made from steel, and he couldn’t make Huo Yuhao move an inch no matter how much strength he used.

“Very strong!” This officer didn’t continue the contest. These lower-ranked officers were all veterans in the army, and he didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of so many recruits. He tested Huo Yuhao for a moment more before he released his grip, and gestured at the recruits in front of him. “Join the formation.”

“Yes, sir.” Huo Yuhao acknowledged as he turned and jogged into the recruits’ ranks.

Most of these recruits had curious and novel looks on their faces. Everybody watched the other soldiers train not far from where they were. Some of them were rubbing their fists, and some were so lazy and idle that they were lying around in different positions. Everyone was in a different position. However, the officers didn’t say anything to restrict them. They were just standing in front of everyone and speaking softly, chattering amongst themselves.

Their behavior could confuse others, but how could they confuse the Eye of the Asura Huo Yuhao, whose spiritual power was already in the concrete-material realm?

Huo Yuhao paid a little more attention, and discovered that although these three officers seemed like they didn’t care about those recruits, but in reality, their attention was indeed focused on the recruits, and their eyes became sharp and focused from time to time as they observed them.

Naturally, Huo Yuhao didn’t remind the recruits behind him. Instead, he stood up straight near the edge of the formation, and didn’t move an inch as he waited calmly.

New soldiers continued streaming in and adding themselves into the formation, and this group of recruits became larger and larger.

They were around five hundred in total when noon arrived.

One of the three officers suddenly turned and jogged away. It didn’t take long before another officer wearing sparkling silver steel plate armor was escorted back by the officer who had jogged away in front of these recruits.

This new officer’s aura was conspicuously different. He was tall, and his rectangular face had hints of majesty and dignity.

These recruits had been standing around for a long time, and they were already wandering in all directions, but they shaped up a little now. Even they could tell that this new officer was quite a high-ranking one.

The officer planted himself in front of those five hundred recruits. The officer in chainmail armor who had just wrestled with Huo Yuhao suddenly hollered at the top of his voice, “Squad, attention!” He was very loud, and his voice sounded like rolling thunder. Many recruits were startled by his voice and shivered in response. Everyone actually quieted down within a few moments.

The officer in plate armor surveyed the recruits as he lowered his voice and said, “Listen up! From the moment that you enlisted into the Sixth Reserve Legion, you’ve become one of the Star Luo Empire’s glorious soldiers! A soldier’s sacred duty is to follow orders, and a soldier that fails to follow this rule will be dealt with according to military law! 

“I am Zhuang Tian, the large team leader of the second large team of the third battalion of the Sixth Reserve Legion’s seventh division! You recruits will be under my charge over the next three months. Now, your bunks will be assigned, and your tasks delegated! Fighting soldiers will stand to my left after this, and auxiliary soldiers will stand to my right.”

This speech sounded very simple, but it emanated a somber sternness. This large team member was a soldier who had been on the battlefield and seen blood before. His ferocious aura instantly sent chills down the recruits’ spines.

This officer waved his hand, and the officer in chainmail armor immediately took a few steps forward. He took out a name list from somewhere and raised his voice as he read, “Tang Dong, fighting soldier. In charge of the bunk for large team one.”

Huo Yuhao hadn’t expected his name to be called out first, but his reactions were quick, and he instantly ran to the large team leader’s left side and stood at attention. He was standing up straight and didn’t move a muscle, just as he had been doing, but his expression was a little foolish and naïve from beginning to end.

Names were called out one after another, and more and more people quickly stood behind Huo Yuhao. However, some soldiers appeared on the other side, and the recruits who were assigned there had black faces. Auxiliary soldiers and fighting soldiers had very different statuses in the military. Under normal circumstances, only fighting soldiers could accumulate enough military merit to be promoted, while auxiliary soldiers would have far fewer chances.

Many auxiliary soldiers seemed very unconvinced, but they didn’t dare to protest because they were intimidated by the large team leader’s might. They just muttered under their breath.

The officer took more than an hour to read through the list of five hundred people. Huo Yuhao had been counting silently the entire time; in the end, two hundred soldiers were assigned to be auxiliary soldiers, while three hundred were chosen as fighting soldiers.

The large team leader slowly turned around after the last recruit joined the line that he was supposed to. He turned towards the group of auxiliary soldiers as he lowered his voice and said, “Do you know why you guys are auxiliary soldiers? You have been selected after an integrated assessment. Everyone has been monitored and observed ever since you joined, and every word and every gesture that you made, along with your physique, were all part of this criteria. In the end, you guys aren’t qualified to become fighting soldiers. 

“Now, you have two choices – one, remain as auxiliary soldiers. Auxiliary soldiers will receive the same pay as normal fighting soldiers, but it will be hard for you guys to get a promotion. Second, you can return everything that you’ve claimed from the quartermaster and leave the camp. But you have to remember, once you leave the camp, your names will be recorded, and the army will never take you in again. If you remain as auxiliary soldiers, you might have a chance to become a fighting soldier if your performance is outstanding. For now, you will be given ten minutes to consider. I want an answer from everyone after ten minutes!”

Zhuang Tian turned towards the three hundred fighting soldiers after he made his speech to the auxiliary soldiers. His face suddenly darkened as he said coldly, “Recruits! Don’t think that everything is over just because you guys have been chosen as fighting soldiers! Let me tell you, in the basic military training that you will receive in the subsequent three months, you will be eliminated and demoted to an auxiliary soldier if you don’t pass! Only those who pass this training with flying colors can become fighting soldiers! 

“Don’t think that I am being harsh; I am trying to be responsible for you and your family! Only the most outstanding soldiers are worthy of stepping onto the battlefield! Otherwise, you will only be going to your deaths! In that case, it’s better for you to remain in the backlines or go back home to farm! 

“You may return to your respective bunks that we have just assigned to take care of any arrangements there, and you may have lunch! Assemble here in two hours!”

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Translated by: cy
Edited by: GNE and RED

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