Chapter 20 – New Commander - part 1
Despite getting weird look by the onlookers, Tong regained his calm and look at his HUD map .
Tong tracked the direction where Yan Zheng went and searched for his location .
In less than a minute, he managed to find the white spot in the map which had the name "Yan Zheng" highlighted on it .
Tong tapped on the white dot on the map and changed its color into red dot .
As long as Yan Zheng was in the radius of one kilometer, Tong would be able to find him instantly .
Although Tong had already thought up a plan to kill Yan Zheng, he still marked the location in his radar, just in case something went wrong .
For now, Tong would let him live, but once no one was watching or the current plan went smooth, he would take his life!
On the late afternoon, Zhang Bao's training camp .
All guards and soldiers treated Tong with respect . No one dared to call him "brat" anymore .
Tong managed to voice out his opinion about the current training they were doing, which made Zhang Bao and Gao Sheng embarrassed while Yan Zheng clicked his tongue .
The three of them had never attended military school or had any background in military .
Zhang Bao was like Zhang Jiao, a Taoist priest that excelled in gathering herbs and preaching people .
Gao Sheng was a commoner that happened to be good at fighting and was scouted by Zhang Bao . He ended up as a 1,000-man-commander after years of services .
And Yan Zheng was a bandit . He only knew how to bully the helpless merchants and villagers .
The culture of military and classes in the current late Han era had a long history .
Since the Qin dynasty (221 B . C . ), the imperial divided ordinary people into four classes, landlords, peasants, craftsmen and merchants .
Above them, there were the aristocrats or the noble class . By having one of the family member instated as a high rank official would get their entire family promoted into nobles . The official position held by the family member could also be inherited to another member of the family .
The emperor delegated all nobles to their own territories, governing their own regions and cities with the right to employ troops of their own using their own wealth . The imperial court only cared about taxes and tributes they could harvest from the nobles and the civilians .
However, as time passed, more and more wealthy families climbed up from lower standing . They equalized their social status with the nobles by amassing great amount of lands, slaves and private troops of their own .
Later, both nobles and self-proclaimed nobles infiltrated and dominated important positions of the imperial government, making the positions available to members of their own families and clans .
Though Hanwu Emperer attempted to reform this feudalism system in 141 B . C . by putting laws and restraints to the nobles, yet this noble system still persisted on to the later Han dynasty years .
Because of this feudalism system which nobles had the freedom to own troops, lands and slaves yet the emperors turned blind eyes on it, the land would later be erupted into a grand civil war, which would be recorded in the history and the novel adaption known as Romance of the Three Kingdoms .
The Zhang family was also considered as a civilian family . But because of this military delegation system, the officials ignored Zhang family's military activities, only asking for more bribery and taxes .
They thought it was common to have private troops to protect themselves from bandits and thieves .
Thus, Zhang Bao could blatantly recruit his Taoist sect followers and soldiers . Currently they were hosting a thousand men in the training camp .
However, Tong knew . In the late 183 to early 184 A . D . , there would be over 300,000 Zhang Jiao followers gathering here in Ji Province . He had to set up a proper training program as soon as possible before more people arrived .
Tong gave out his idea of the new training program which adapted from the modern military school .
He started off by suggesting to have soldiers building up the basic stamina and physical attributes by running around the camp . Then he would use the drill sergeant techniques to shape up the military discipline .
Zhang Bao tried to put Tong's idea into action . He split his force into ten companies of one hundred men each, and had the respective commanders, Gao Sheng and Yan Zheng included, leaded their own troops to run around the camp .
Tong also volunteered to run together to supervise them . He suggested Gao Sheng's men should try it first then Yan Zheng and other troops should follow suit after .
Zhang Bao gave out order for a new training . The first batch of one hundred troopers started running around the camp while the rest who hadn't run yet mocked and jeered the runners .
Tong planned to deal with this undisciplined action of the soldiers later . For now, he wanted to measure the army's current strength .
The result disappointed him . Within less than 10 minutes of jogging and running, half of the hundred men collapsed because of exhaustion . Their stamina was even worse than Tong!
Tong questioned in his mind .
'Are you sure you are a soldier? This is beyond pathetic . '
Tong had the experience of long running and marathon running in his previous life . He knew how to regulate his breathe and his footing weight when he ran or jogged so his breathing was steady throughout the session .
But these soldiers were downright pathetic . They couldn't even jog three kilometers with casual cloths . If they wore one of those 50 kilograms iron armors and 10-20kg spears, would they be able to walk?
What happened next shocked him more . After sending back the exhausted soldiers and guided a new batch of company to run, they also collapsed in 10 minutes .
This disgrace repeated to every group that was sent to run .
Zhang Bao, Gao Sheng and Yan Zheng were also tired after guiding all groups into running . Though they couldn't keep up and supervise with every groups, but their stamina was clearly better than Tong .
Tong took a short rest in-between each group running session . Though he was also exhausted from jog-running for over an hour, he was so frustrated that he forgot about his tiredness .
This army needed an overhaul .
Tong tried to think of a plan to discipline and turn these useless mobs into proper professional soldiers . He had a sudden inspiration .
Tong glanced at Yan Zheng with the corner of his eyes and smirked . Then he ignored Zhang Bao's chain of command, and gave out an order to all men himself .
"Stop panting out feces with your sewer mouths!"
"Gather and line up, you bunch of useless garbage!"
"Just because of a little running and you are now squealing like b*tches!"
"You call yourself a soldier? In my town, we call you a s*ssy!"
The buzzing noise in the entire training camp turned silent . All eyes were on the speaker, Tong .
Tong's ridicules made all of them furious . Why did this brat suddenly look down on them?
"Shut up brat! Who the hell do you think you are!?"
Half of these soldiers, which were sitting and laying down in exhaustion, were ex-bandits and the rest were farmers and Taoist followers .
The men that made the retort were hot-blooded ex-bandits . They didn't care about social standing or Tong being their young master .
"What are you looking at, maggots . "
"You can't even outrun me . Were your last life a snail?"
"Hell, I don't even know if you have the balls to pick up a weapon or not . "
"Oh right, I'm sorry . Maggots cannot understand a human language . "
"After all, right now none of you have the right to call yourself human . "
"You all are pukes . Nothing but useless dung-beetles that only care about eating shit!"
Three of the ex-bandits couldn't stand it anymore . Each of them grab a weapon and hacked it on Tong . They no longer care about punishment for killing the young master or they might offend Zhang Jiao .
Tong stood firm, letting the three attacking Tong wherever they wanted .
Five minutes later, the three ex-bandits were panting . Their weapons were already broken to pieces .
Tong stood still with his hands behind his back, watching the three with mocking face .
"Are you done?"
"I told you that you all are useless maggots . "
"You can't even kill a defenseless brat like me . And you call yourself a soldier?"
Tong turned around and looked at the shocked Zhang Bao, whose brain still couldn't process what Tong wanted to do .
"Uncle, what's the punishment for insubordination in our family?"
Zhang Bao snapped out of his thought and answered .
"Fifty whips by logs . Why?"
"Then uncle, what's the punishment for the commander who responsible for the soldier that committed insubordination?"
"The same punishment as the soldier, why are you asking? … AH!"
Zhang Bao managed to catch on what Tong tried to do . His face turned pale . This nephew of his was too ruthless .
"Last question, what's the punishment for a soldier that tried to murder a member of our family?"
Zhang Bao swallowed his saliva and sighed . Tong trapped him and used his words . He could already guess what would happen next, yet he answered .
"… We beat him to death . "
Tong smiled and said no more . He walked towards Yan Zheng a couple steps, pulled out his pistol, loaded and aimed at Yan Zheng .
A bullet penetrated through Yan Zheng's brain . His body collapsed on the ground like a marionette without strings .
Then Tong turned around and coldly gazed at the three ex-bandits .