Heavenly Jewel Change Volume 3 (Chapter 15 - Chapter 21)

The next step was basic routine administrative business, and under the various Fifth Regiment’s Company Leaders leadership, the new recruits were dismissed, and the various recruits returned to their respective Battalion headquarters. After all of that was completed, Shangguan Bing’er once more entered the stage.

“Good, starting from today, the 1000 new recruit brothers now officially belong to our Fifth Regiment. Next, we will be examining the results of your three months of rigorous training. The recruits who shows outstanding displays in the upcoming Fresh Recruit Tournament, will be directly promoted to the rank of Squad Leader. Alright, all the various Battalions, your preparation starts now.”

“Yes.” All the Company Leaders said in compliance, rapidly leading their respective troops to start their formation.

The Fifth Regiment was an Infantry Regiment, and amongst the ten Battalions, four of them were archery Battalions, and of the other six, four were Light Infantry Battalions and two Heavy Infantry Battalions. Without a doubt, the two Heavy Infantry Battalions were the trump card Battalions of the Fifth Regiment. The Battalion Commanders responsible for these two Battalions also held the duty of the Fifth Regiment’s Vice Regimental Commander. Of course, they were currently not here, but were at the front lines.

Due to the difference in the type of soldiers, therefore, the so-called Fresh Recruit Tournament was actually not with all ten Battalions competing against each other, but being carried out according to their service arm. If not, if we were to let the Light Infantry and Heavy Infantry to fight against each other, what would be the point?

The three main main service branches were quickly divided into their respective tournament areas. For the Heavy Infantry Recruits consisting of only 2 Battalions, it was very simple, they just need to face off straightforwardly, and charge against each other without weapons, purely a competition of strength. The soldiers which were overwhelmed would be eliminated immediately, and this will carry on till a single winner arose; this final winner would also be directly awarded with rank of Squad Leader. In the Fifth Regiment, it must be known that a Squad Leader of the elite Heavy Infantry Battalions were sometimes given even more authority than a normal Company Leader of the ordinary Battalions. As such, this reward was one of the best of the whole tournament.

As for the Light Infantry, their Fresh Recruit Tournament was actually split into two portions, one was similar to the Heavy Infantry competition with a direct charging clash, while the other was the individual operational prowess of soldiers, without needing to draw lots, the four Battalions would be in their own formations and it would be a 500 vs 500 free for all, with anyone who was overwhelmed and beaten would be eliminated. The next round would then begin, after a fifteen minute rest, until a final winner was left.*

To be honest, the Fresh Recruit Tournament was actually not of any big significance to most ordinary recruits, and it was just a formality for them. However, for those skilled recruits who had ambitions, it was truly the perfect opportunity. With this, they had the opportunity to prove themselves amongst the huge amount of recruits, it was not just simply the quick promotion to Squad Leader, but also the opportunity to leave behind a mark in their service history, which would allow easier future promotions, for example Xiao Se.

As for the archery Battalions, their Fresh Recruit Tournament was the most unusual. For the four Battalions, they would be split into two sides, each with 200 recruits. There would be a 200 yard middle spacing between the two sides, and both sides would be shooting arrows against each other. All the arrows were blunted and stained with lime, thus as long as any hit, it would leave an obvious trace, and the target which was hit would immediately withdraw from the battlefield, it could also be said to be the simplest fight of the Tournament.

However, although this method of competition was relatively simpler, but it also also had its intrinsic meaning. How many recruits could actually shoot accurately at a distance of 200 yards? Those who could even shoot that far would already be considered pretty good. Therefore, for the Archery Battalions, this was actually a very direct and effective way to select talented soldiers. Several Company Leaders, even Shangguan Bing’er as a Battalion Commander, was paying most attention there. Also, they were responsible for directing the recruits of their own Battalion. Of course, being a wide open, spacious location, it would not be easy to dodge the opponents’ arrows.

At this time, the Battalions were arranged in their respective formations, on the left was the first and second Battalions, and on the right were the third and fourth Battalions. This Fresh Recruit Tournament was not just a competition between recruits, but was also a competition between the various Battalions, if one side totally overwhelmed the other side, that was a manifestation of their overall strength.

Chapter 16 Fresh Recruit Tournament (1)

The reason why Xiao Se did not favor the 3rd Battalion’s fresh recruit Company was mainly because she had been watching critically during the recruit training, and had found that the First and Second Battalions both had many talented recruits. Although they may not be very accurate in shooting at a 200 yards distance, but they were at least able to shoot that far, and with an acceptable control. In comparison, the Third and Fourth Battalions’ recruits were obviously not as good, although Mao Li Company Leader was quite good at leading, but it would be difficult to just fight against greater talents. With just a short training of a few months, it was not sufficient for hard work to make up for the lack of natural talent.

Zhou Weiqing was standing right beside Mao Li Company Leader, and said in a low voice: “Company Leader, can you point out all the skilled recruits on the opposing side to me.”

Mao Li looked at him questioningly, saying: “What are you planning?”

Zhou Weiqing grinned and took off the Purple Dawn Bow he was shouldering on his back, saying quietly: “I’ll make a roll call!”

Mao Li’s eyes brightened. He was originally very worried in his heart for this fight, and had not thought much about Zhou Weiqing participating in the Fresh Recruit Tournament. In his eyes, Zhou Weiqing had only practiced a little Heavenly Energy and might have slightly greater strength, but archery was skill dependant, and it was not just a matter of having some extra strength. However, when he heard Zhou Weiqing mentioning ‘Roll Call’, he was actually pleasantly surprised; that was because this terminology was only used amongst archers, and meant killing/sniping a target. It was generally only used by archers who had proper training from a master, to know such a term. Obviously, this Battalion Commander’s Personal Aide recruit, who had also ‘touched’ the Battalion Commander’s chest* was no mere simple recruit.

“Alright, that’s good. I’ll tell you now and you try to memorise it. On the opposite side, from the left, the fifth, ninth ……”

Shang Gong Bing Er was standing at the side watching the Fresh Recruit Tournament with a critical eye. Of course, she was paying most attention to Zhou Little Fatty naturally, and looking at him and Company Leader Mao Li talking in whispers, she was rather curious to what they were discussing.

“Battalion Commander, which side do you think will win at the end?” Xiao Se’s resounded out unharmoniously in Shang Gong Bing Er’s ear.

Shang Gong Bing Er turned her head and said: “Naturally it is our Third Battalion, I have confidence in Company Leader Mao Li’s leadership abilities.”