Chapter 2 Weird Black Pearl (2)
Back on the Star Forest’s Boulevard, Zhou Weiqing grew angrier and angrier as he thought about what happened. Although he had managed to survive by some miracle, but his impression of his fiance had already dropped to rock bottom. If he had not chanced upon the black pearl, he would probably have perished in the forest then.
“Difuya, just you wait. One day, I will have my revenge and make you regret this day.” Zhou Weiqing said viciously. He had never hated anyone so much, even those who had mocked him since young, at least they had never taken direct action against him. Yet, Difuya had been so vicious towards him, furthermore the reason for doing so was in fact just a misunderstanding. Clearly, Zhou Weiqing was someone who could hold a grudge.
As he neared Heavenly Bow City, Zhou Weiqing slowly calmed down. He was wearing only an outer robe with nothing inside. Luckily, he still had a few pieces of gold in the robe. His father was very strict with him, so he did not have a huge allowance.
“Should I go home?” Zhou Weiqing stopped to think. “No, I definitely can’t go home like this. That damned Difuya will certainly complain to her father the Emperor about me peeping on her. If that old fellow hears about it, then it won’t be just a simple beating for me.” Thinking of the stern fierce eyes of his father, he couldn’t help but shudder. He had grown up to many a beating, any time he got into any kind of mischief meant a beating from his father. This time, if his father knew about him peeping at the princess bathing, he wouldn’t be able to defend his actions. For his own safety, he better not go home.
However, if he did not head home, where could he go especially with only a few pieces of gold? Zhou Weiqing was in a dilemma. Although he was tall and well built, he was still a 13 year old kid, and did not have any particular professional skill he could live on. Even if he ran away from home, how could he survive for more than a few days outside and alone. For a time, Zhou Weiqing looked extremely gloomy. Despite his misgivings, he continued shuffling towards the gates of Heavenly Bow City.
“Eh? Why are there so many people ahead?” Just as the city gates were up ahead, Zhou Weiqing suddenly realised there was an uncommonly large crowd at the side of the gates, almost several hundred people, and there were soldiers guarding the perimeter.
What is going on here? Filled with curiosity, he quickly walked over to have a look. Luckily although the area was crowded, it was not tightly packed, and he was able to squeeze his way to the front to look.
Just ahead of the crowd, here was a row of long desks surrounded by people. Behind the desk was a notice with the large words “Military Recruitment” displayed clearly. Below that was written: To protect the borders of our empire, Heavenly Bow City is now recruiting 3000 fresh troops. Looking for healthy males of 16 to 26 of age, with priority to those with great inborn strength or heaven energy. Country first then home, to join the army and protect your country and home is the manly thing to do.
The Heavenly Energy referred to here was those who were level 1 or 2. If someone was able to cultivate to level 3 and awaken their Power Jewel, they would not need to join via this recruitment, and could directly apply to military schools or even Jewel Master schools, which would mean a much brighter future.
Normally, Jewel Master’s Power Jewels were awakened before the age of 16, if not, it was likely that it would be impossible to do so in the future. Thus, the recruitment here was for ordinary soldiers.
Join the army? Looking at the notice, Zhou Weiqing was highly tempted. Of course, if he signed on to the army, he wouldn’t need to go home! He would be fed and paid, and perhaps he could forge a name for himself in the arm
This fellow was still very young, and caught up in the moment of excitement, he did not think things through and consider the difficulties of joining the army. After all he was at an age where impulses ruled decision-making. Furthermore, after being called useless and trash everyday, and with his father being so strict with him, he did not want to stay at home anymore.
Having made up his mind, Zhou Weiqing squeezed to the front and told an old recruiting soldier : “Big bro, I want to apply, I want to apply.”
Although there were several hundred people in the surrounding crowd, but the actual number of applicants weren’t actually high. After all, Heavenly Bow City was the prosperous capital city of the empire, and the living standards of the commoners here were much higher than the norm. Also, since Heavenly Bow Empire was a small country, there were frequent border clashes with the other small surrounding countries. As a result, joining the army was quite a dangerous occupation. As such, it was not a normal occupation of choice for most people, let alone the nobles of the land.
There were around 20 soldiers in charge of recruitment sitting behind the desks, and they were all veterans, having at least of the rank of squad leader or higher. The one which Zhou Weiqing was currently facing looked to be around 30 years of age, and though he was just sitting there, his tall and strong physique was clear. From the lazy look that was currently on his face, those who had been in the army long enough would easily recognize and experienced and slick soldier.
“Hey brat, you want to join the army?” Seeing that someone finally approached him, the squad leader was overjoyed. After all, there were 20 soldiers here, and Zhou Weiqing had chosen to approach him, letting him feel that he had a lot of face.
“Yes! I want to join the army!” Zhou Weiqing exclaimed clearly. Looking at all the squad leaders dressed smartly in their armor giving off an awe inspiring aura, further firmed his resolve to join.
The squad leader nodded in satisfaction and asked: “That’s great, which branch of the service do you want to join?”
“Ah?” Although Zhou Weiqing’s father was the commander-in-chief of the army, but he personally did not know much of the inner workings of the army, and he asked weakly: “What’s the difference?”
“Of course there is a difference, although the treatment of all basic soldiers are the same, but the requirements, tests and training of the various branches are quite different. For example, those in the light infantry would be more focused on stamina; on the battlefield they are the busiest, having to run around everywhere. With higher stamina and being good at running, it will improve their chances of survival on the battlefield. In fact, most of the other branches all started out from light infantry, many of the recruits do start training in the infantry. Of course, there are also other basic branches, like wagon supply units, logistics, army cooks etc. However, most of those do not have much future advancement.” As he went on speaking, his mouth twisted in scorn as he mentioned the latter.
As soon as he heard about survival on the battlefield, Zhou Weiqing’s earlier enthusiasm was somewhat extinguished. Oh yes, joining the army would mean having to fight on an actual battlefield, and he did not have that much skills, if he were to die as cannon fodder in a fight, that would definitely not be worth it.
“Ahem, Officer Bro, Can I consider a bit more?” Being afraid of death was human nature, especially for someone like Zhou Weiqing who was only 13 years of age, even though he looked like he was 16.