Chapter 21: Military Region
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The military region that Mo Wen was heading towards belonged to 19th Army Corps of the Jing Hua Military Region. There were about 15,000 students training for combat, but not all of them would serve in the same corps. Some would be relocated to different areas of the Jing Hua Military Region.
The 19th Corps was stationed on the rocky terrain of the Tai Xing Mountain Range. It took Mo Wen seven to eight hours of bumpy mountainous driving on a windy road through the mountains to reach it. Finally, the road led to a canyon containing a large basin, and he could see modern military bases visible on the horizon.
The vehicle slowly came to a halt at the front of a huge parade ground. All the students, nearly two thousand of them, descended one after another and gathered together. The majority of the students were male. Males and female students were separated and under the command of superior officers who were dressed in distinctive uniforms.
The students were sorted into four battalions: one female and three male. The battalions gathered in an orderly fashion and the students stood neatly on the parade ground. The formations were still a bit messy, but they seemed to be getting into better shape.
A few uniformed officers came towards the fourth battalion, where Mo Wen was. One of the officers stood in front with an upright posture and fine disposition. He had two stripes and two stars on his epaulets which signaled that he was a Lieutenant Colonel. To the students he announced, “From now until the end of the month, I will be your chief instructor. I am Zhou Zhen, but you may call me Battalion Leader Zhou.”
Five young officers stood behind him in their soldier uniforms marked with one stripe and two stars; the honors of First Lieutenant. Zhou Zhen continued speaking, “Now, you will split into five companies which will be separately led by five instructors. From now on, you are a soldier. Do you understand?”
The crowd remained silent.
The chief instructor frowned and bellowed, “Do you understand?” while shooting daggers at the new students standing still in a daze.
“We understand!” shouted the students, but their voices remained relatively incoherent.
“Louder,” the chief instructor ordered.
“We understand.” This time, the voices were in unison and rung throughout. The chief instructor nodded with approval and said, “There will be no training today so that you may familiarize yourself with the environment of the military area. All of you will wake up at five o’clock tomorrow morning.” After the speech, the chief instructor turned around and left.
Immediately afterwards, the five instructors separated people into five companies with about one hundred in each one. During training, people were separated into companies led by instructors for individualized training. Mo Wen was sorted into the third company, which was led by a male instructor named Zhang Lizheng. He was tall and stern-looking, but young. In fact, he did not seem much older than them. However, Zhang Lizheng had a sharp gaze that made others feel uneasy when he looked upon then.
Soldiers appointed to train students of Hua Xia University were usually among the most elite members of the military. Although Zhang Lizheng was young, he was already a First Lieutenant. This kind of leadership would assure that the students would have a great and promising future ahead.
Zhang Lizheng separated his one hundred people into ten squads containing ten people each. A squad leader would be selected to manage their squad. Zhang Lizheng didn’t bother about the selection of the squad leaders. After separating his people into the ten squads, he simply told them to choose their own squad leaders and promptly left.
For a moment, there were waves of competition for the squad leader positions sweeping through the parade ground. However, what student of Hua Xia University was not outstanding? Subsequently, the competition for the squad leaders’ positions became extremely intense. Mo Wen was not fond of the limelight or managing positions, so he didn’t compete for the squad leader position.
Besides the 4th Battalion, 3rd Company, the other three battalions also allowed their students to select their own squad leaders without instructor interference. The students were separated during training and even though they trained in close proximity, each battalion was a separate unit. The battalions did not interact unless there was a major event.
Eventually, the squad leader of 3rd Company, 9th Squad was selected to be Chen Zhongqing. He was tall and apparently had a few years of martial arts experience under his belt. Chen Zhongqing’s speech was simple, but had won quite a few supporters. People knew that if he became the squad leader, he wouldn’t bully squad members nor would he allow other squads to bully his. There were other competitors, but they all eventually lost to him.
After the squad leaders had been selected, the students began selecting their dormitories. Each squad had their own dormitory with ten beds.
The dormitories on the military base were not as comfortable as the ones in Hua Xia University. The rooms were relatively small and contained five bunk beds with a desk beside each bed. There was no other furniture provided. Although the dormitory was plain and simple, nobody complained; they were all excited.
Mo Wen was the first to reach the dormitory, so he chose the lower bun – what he considered to be a good location. Behind Mo Wen stood a medium sized teenager with a few pimples on his face. He was looking at the dormitories curiously and said, “This is where the soldiers live?”
Every man had dreamt of being a soldier. Some men never had the chance to be one, perhaps for many reasons, and some men enlisted in the military after two years of their mandatory service, but then had to leave with regrets. In a big region like Hua Xia, only a few soldiers could spend their entire life in the military.
It was definitely interesting and exciting for the students to experience living in a military region and to embrace the military lifestyle.
A tall young man, with a slightly plump but very sturdy body, threw himself onto a bed. A neatly folded blanket was on the bed. On the blanket laid a summer soldier uniform including an undershirt, jacket, and two epaulets with private ranking decorations. The young man cried, “Ha, a soldier uniform! I am finally a soldier.”
Although Hua Xia University only required the students to train for a month, it would be recorded in military records as an equivalent of a year of service as a private. These records would be documented in their overall life record as well.
Touching the neatly folded soldier uniform, Mo Wen’s heart was heavy. In his previous world, where he was the Miracle Physician, being a soldier was regarded as an occupation reserved only for the lowest class. Many women did not wish for their husbands to be soldiers. This was because wars frequently broke out in that world, and the role of soldiers were essentially reduced to a sacrifice. Unless it was a last resort, very few people wanted to be in the military. However, in this modern world of peaceful and prosperous times, being in the military was an honor and had become a way of showing one’s excellence and strength.
The atmosphere in the military region reminded Mo Wen of the royal military’s secret weapon – Tiger Fiery Knights. As an Imperial Court Physician, he had the honor of seeing this troop once. It was a terrifying troop who claimed that they could besiege a city and seize a fortress with only five hundred knights. They could also stabilize the country and protect the sovereign with three thousand knights, and conquer the world with ten thousand knights.
Simply ten knights from that troop could endanger Mo Wen’s life even though he was highly skilled in Inner Qi. However, in the whole of that dynasty, the number of Tiger Fiery Knights had never been more than two thousand.
In comparison to all the troops of that lifetime, not just including the Tiger Fiery Knights, the troops of this modern world seemed to lack the killing spirit.
A youngster, who was almost as tall as Mo Wen, smiled and uttered, “I am Wang Yuan, I will be sleeping on the upper bunk in the future” after walking towards Mo Wen. He had chosen the same bed.
Wang Yuan had a fair complexion and delicate face. He initially looked like a pretty boy, but after looking closer, one could see the energy behind his eyes. His strong gaze resembled that of Instructor Zhang Lizheng, but held a different nature. Mo Wen was good at discerning people, and Wang Yuan definitely had something extraordinary.