Chapter 8: Weird Black Pearl (4)
Translator: Zen Translations Editor: Zen Translations
Of course, there were also shortcomings of the longbow, namely that the archer had to have a strong body and constitution, have great skill on many different fronts, as well as the ability to cooperate well with each other. This meant a long time spent training and fighting together before an archery unit was mature.
The importance of archers in an army was undisputed, especially so for Heavenly Bow Empire. In fact, when Zhou Weiqing’s father was younger and still a commander, he led troops of archers in a model battle of success for archers. At that time, their opponent was the Kalise Empire on their southern front, whose army was mainly made of cavalry.
At that time, Admiral Zhou had chosen a gentle slope which the Kalise Army would pass by and set up an ambush.
At that time, Heavenly Bow Empire’s archer troops consisted of only 2000 men, divided into 3 units. The unit covering the left used trees and trenches as cover, and the unit covering the right had a river as a natural barrier cover; the last unit was behind the other two and personally led by Admiral Zhou himself. In front of each unit, there were around 150 dismounted heavy cavalry troops equipped with heavy tower shields in a protective formation of 6 rows. With such a formation numbering mostly archers, and facing more than 3 times their number in enemy cavalry, they had won in a convincing slaughter-fest. This was also the battle that propelled Admiral Zhou to fame, and brought him into the upper echelons of the Heavenly Bow Army ranks.
Knowing his father’s history, when Zhou Weiqing held the bow, he couldn’t help but feel a rush of passion and excitement. As his father’s son, he had been trained with a longbow previously, but holding such a longbow which had been on the battlefield just felt different.
Taking a deep breath, Zhou Weiqing held the bow in his left hand, while expertly using his thumb, index and middle finger to pull back the drawstring, using his strength to unwaveringly draw the bow into a perfect crescent, taking aim in front.
The soldier’s eyes lit up, and he exclaimed in praise: “Nice! Little bro, you have used a bow before right, very standard actions, but let’s see how your accuracy is. For us archers, as long as we have good accuracy, we are extremely important in the army.”
With such a proper posture, how could Zhou Weiqing not be accurate? After all, as long as Zhou Weiqing’s father was at home, he took pleasure in “torturing” his son with training. Although Zhou Weiqing was not able to cultivate, but in terms of training in different weapons and combat, he definitely had the best possible training. Even when the Admiral was out at work, he would still assign training for Zhou Weiqing to complete, and would even check afterwards. If he failed the check…. hehehehe..
As a result of that, Zhou Weiqing not only knew how to shoot, but was also very accurate, which was also one of the reasons why he had been so happy to choose to join the archer unit. After all, Heavenly Bow Empire was renowned in the region for its archers, and Admiral Zhou had definitely given him a lot of training in that area.
After taking the position for a while, Zhou Weiqing slowly put down the bow, not even out of breath and his back straight. He was after all still 13 years old, and although his strength was no weaker than an ordinary adult, he still could not sustain that position for too long.
“Alright, that’s enough. Little bro, from now on you are one of our brothers in the archery battalion. Our battalion is part of the 5th Regiment of the army, and the 5th Regiment has a total of 10 battalions out of which 4 are archers, and we are of the 3rd battalion.
In Boundless Mainland, the formation of armies in the various countries were pretty much the same.
10 men to a Squad
10 Squads (100 men) to a Company
10 Companies (1000 men) to a Battalion
10 Battalions (10k men) to a Regiment
10 Regiments (100k men) to a Field Army Group
Of course, Heavenly Bow Empire’s army did not consist of Field Army Groups, its entire army was made up of 5 Regiments, totalling 50k soldiers.
“Ah? Is that it for the test?” Zhou Weiqing asked in surprise.
The archer replied with a laugh: “Why? Did you think it would be harder? We’re recruiting fresh troops not picking a son-in-law, as long as the recruit is healthy and in good shape, and is able to draw the longbow, it is considered a pass. You foolish youngling, probably just reached 16 years old right, and you will continue growing in stature so there won’t be any issues there. More importantly, all the recruits will be having a 3 month basic training. Of course we will not be sending fresh recruits into the battlefield. Alright, now go over to that side to collect your equipment. Little bro, let me tell you that you are extremely lucky to be able to enter our 3rd battalion, you will know why when you see our battalion commander who is personally giving out the equipment over there.” As he spoke, he put a tick on Zhou Weiqing’s form before returning it to him.
The archer gave Zhou Weiqing directions to the temporary battalion headquarters which was situated not far from the field, it had likely not been set up for long, and there were still wagons delivering goods there.
Was he about to become a real soldier now? Since young, Zhou Weiqing had been scolded by his father for being a useless bum, and he had never felt such a sense of accomplishment as today. Even though the test earlier had been extremely simple, but he had passed it on his own merits. Zhou Weiqing thrusted his chest forward in pride as he strode towards the Battalion headquarters.
As he entered the headquarters, the form in his hands was his entrance permit across the various sentry checkpoints, and with the directions from the sentries he was able to easily find the 3rd battalion’s headquarters. In front of a large warehouse there was a sign which read: New Recruits report here.
Zhou Weiqing was so excited by now, and hurried towards the warehouse and raised his hand to move aside the curtain to get in. In an unbelievable coincidence, just as he raised his hand forward, someone was walking out at the same time. It was summer time at the moment, and the curtain on the headquarters was extremely thin, and was mostly just to ward off mosquitoes. Due to Zhou Weiqing’s excitement, his actions were very large, and in grabbing the curtain, he also grabbed onto something round, soft, yet springy. Zhou Weiqing subconsciously squeezed, and at the same time there was a loud hmph from the other end before he was kicked away.
The kick was not that heavy, but Zhou Weiqing was still knocked back 7 steps, almost landing on his butt. The curtain was shoved aside and someone strode out.
It was a beautiful young girl, looking to be around 16 years of age, around 1.7m in height and very slender. She had a head of blue hair tied in a ponytail, and was dressed in a suit of black uniform, which Zhou Weiqing recognized as the uniform of a battalion commander. Of course, she was not wearing the armor which would complete the whole battalion commander gear.
Princess Difuya was already very pretty, but was no match in comparison to this young lady who was a whole level ahead in terms of looks. Her skin was as fine and smooth as milk, and her most dazzling feature was her pair of large enchanting light blue eyes which were gentle and nigh perfect. Her features were blemishless, giving anyone who looked upon her an impression of being as gentle as still water.
As he looked upon the young girl, Zhou Weiqing was stunned as he realised he knew her. Although he had only seen her once from far, but she had definitely left an impression on him then. The reason for that was because the girl in front of him was Heavenly Bow Empire’s top genius on the young generation, and was also known as the top beauty of the empire. Her name was Shangguan Bing’er.