[Vol 1] Chapter 3 – First Steps

TL: Benguin
Editors: Chichén Itzá

Time flew by in the blink of an eye, and before anyone knew it, a year had already passed. Under Wufeng’s leadership, the second platoon was engaged in extensive training without breaks throughout the year; by doing so, he became a lot more familiar with the soldiers under his command. Also, since the soldiers saw how Wufeng never displayed the same arrogant and demeaning attitude as the other members of the aristocracy, they began to interact with Wufeng with more familiarity.

Liang Chongxin was born in a family of wealthy workshop owners from the Huzhou Prefecture in the Jiangnan Commandery that is renowned throughout the world for the high quality of their four essentials materials for calligraphy and scholarship: the inkstone, paper, brush, and the ink. Many scholars from all parts of the empire enjoy using these Huzhou specialties, which is greatly driving the demand up. Making it impossible to fully supply the market of the capital.

The craft of making these quality goods is also a very skill-intensive industry, and the Liang family for many generations has been in the business with great prestige. For Liang Congxin however, he holds no interest in his family’s business, so instead he spends his time learning and practicing martial arts, and thankfully, his parents did not opposed. His way of life persisted until he was twenty some years old. Being still unemployed, Chongxin was very embarrassed, so four years ago, he kept the appearance of traveling the world and joined the army with the hope to make a name for himself before returning home, bringing honor upon his family name.

Due to the talent he showed during his time in the military, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal and squad leader. However, due to his freeman status, along with the lack of connections, he was unable to advance any more in rank; furthermore, since Wufeng was assigned to the squad as their leader despite being a recruit, many of his brothers in arms found this to be highly unfair.

Wufeng only found out this piece of information later in the year after he became more familiar with the soldiers. Being aware of this, Wufeng was also somewhat pensive, in accordance with Chongxin’s abilities, not to mention a platoon, he’s even capable of leading a battalion or a brigade as a lieutenant colonel or brigadier general.

However, facing the Empire’s favoritism for individuals with strong social background, many talents as Chongxin were neglected, decreasing the Empire’s strength day by day.

Seeing this situation, surrounding nations have also continuously provoked the Empire with border friction with the intention of seeking to exploit them in their moment of weakness.

Internally, there are a few talented magistrates on the borders who recognizes the urgency that the Empire currently faces and secretly have prepared for the possibilities of conflict. Similarly, the Imperial court isn’t completely incompetent either and have also raised more troops and weapons to prepare for the worst scenarios.

Most of Wufeng’s command consist of raw recruits, but they are young, athletic, and hard-working. The only thing that they truly lack is the experience which could only be found on the battlefield.

The Third Division that Wufeng was assigned to was a mixed division, with the Fourth Brigade and the Fifth Battalion, which formed part of an infantry Battalion. Because it was a newly reorganized, many veterans from other battalions were transferred to provide the backbone and improve the combat effectiveness of the unit. For Wufeng’s platoon, he also taught them a relaxation technique that his master taught him, allowing the soldiers to recover faster and maintain a healthier body. This technique, along with the year of intensive training, allowed Wufeng’s unit to stand out heads above the rest.

During Wufeng’s journey around the world, he studied politics, military strategy, culture, and economics at the world recognized Heidelberg University. After comparing the military doctrines of the east with the ones of the west, it gave him the idea of a revolutionary military organization system that was much more effective than the current one; however, he had to perfect it before it is ready to be implemented.

In the blink of an eye, another year had passed, entering the year 689 of the Continental Calendar. During these years, the platoon under Wufeng’s command had placed top in the war games, martial tournament, and team training. Wufeng himself had demonstrated his talent and modesty that greatly differs him from other aristocratic officers, earning the good graces of his superiors at the battalion and company level.

As such, when the first company’s Captain was honorably discharged due to a training accident and Wufeng’s Major were transferred to replace him, Wufeng was chosen as the replacement as Company Leader, promoting him to the position of Major as well. Under his recommendation, Liang Chongxin was promoted to sergeant and was chosen to accompany Wufeng as his deputy. Replacing Liang Chongxin is Kang Jianguo for his martial prowess, who was also promoted to the rank of corporal.

During these two years, Liang Chongxin couldn’t help but admire and respect his superior. Wufeng’s knowledge, analytical ability, and stratagem had all made Chongxin speechless. As for his recent promotion, when Wufeng had first recommended it, he hadn’t really put in any hopes of it succeeding, but once again he was wrong and the proposal smoothly passed.

Recalling his young superior’s actions over the past two years, Chongxin could clearly see that despite the youthful face, Wufeng displays an intellect and maturity that is far beyond his age. Even now, despite the familiar way that they acted around each other, Chongxin still cannot fathom the depth of the mystery that is Wufeng; furthermore, Wufeng had also gifted him with stacks of books with regards to military stratagem for his improvement.

What is Wufeng thinking? What is his goal of joining the army? These are questions remain unanswered, yet Chongxin feels that Wufeng is not a simple man, and his desire to help is sincere. Comparing how he had been treated in the army before and after Wufeng’s leadership, Chongxin soon decided that since the path that he will take in this life is his to choose, he will devote it to Wufeng.

After taking his post as the leader of the Third Company, Wufeng had all the company start on its training exercise, citing the second platoon’s performance as a standard. The overall length of this exercise is three months, with a focus on the improvement of the overall unit’s combat ability.

Liang Chongxin was appointed as the organizer of this excursion as well as handing out the rewards and punishments for those who acts in contempt of the command in accordance with military law.

When Wufeng had announced this at the company meeting, the crowd had an immediate reaction. Kang Jianguo was a regular soldier before his promotion, so many of his peers were jealous of his fortune; however, under Wufeng’s command, he was given the opportunity to advance. Similarly, Liang Chongxin’s promotion was also because he received recognition as part of Wufeng’s staff. For both these individuals, they would normally have been stuck in their role as foot soldiers if it weren’t for Wufeng’s help. Thus, the regular soldiers felt that this was a great opportunity to gain some attention by showcasing their talents and advance in the ranks.

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However, when the company started their exercise, Wufeng did not personally lead and observe, an action that differs from his normal habits. Instead, he delegated the task to Liang Chongxin, emphasizing the importance of supervision and training methods for the best outcome before going into the city. While Chongxin did not really understand the reasons behind Wufeng’s mysterious actions, nevertheless, he did as he was asked and oversaw the training every day, bringing the original training methods of the Second Platoon to the entire company.


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