Chapter 280: Owner Bu Joins the Army
Translator: E.3.3. Editor: Vermillion
The Western Mystery City, located in the northwestern region of the Light Wind Empire, was an ancient city with a long history. This was a city that survived through the numerous devastations of each dynasty turnover.
This old city, akin to an aged man, was situated on the boundless plains of the northeastern grassland. It was the largest city in the northern region of the Light Wind Empire and acted as a significant military stronghold connecting the Northwest Plain to the Hundred Thousand Mountains.
Outside the Western Mystery City, above the ancient roads where storms of dust swirled and danced, a gust of wind blew and stirred the flying specks of dirt.
When the fierce wind ceased whistling, two figures slowly emerged from the yellow dust. One of them had a pair of eyes flickering red beams, in a way that was extremely forbidding.
Bu Fang covered his mouth and nose with one hand while the other hand waved incessantly to disperse the circling smoke that made him choke.
"The environment here left much to be desired," Bu Fang thought to himself with a frown.
After quite a walk, the swarms of dust floating around finally rested. Whitey's duplication followed Bu Fang's steps with eyes flickering red.
Bu Fang patted Whitey's belly, then lifted his head, and peered toward the lofty large city emitting a majestic sense of the older times. That was a city that made him breathe heavily due to the awe-inspiring pressure of a majestic city with such a long history.
That was the Western Mystery City. Bu Fang's eyes sparkled faintly. This was the destination of his journey, since he was set to join the army of the Western Mystery City and become a mess cook, which was essentially a military chef.
The man and robot trekked through the vast plain and finally reached the city gates after quite a while. The city gates were towering, almost equally grand as those of the Imperial City. Countless soldiers were on duty, guarding the entrance.
The soldiers were different from those of the Imperial City, at least absolutely dissimilar in their sense of determination. In their eyes were a kind of sharpness that didn't exist in the guards of the Imperial City. There was a sense of fierceness that Bu Fang couldn't quite describe.
Perhaps people were relatively bolder in the northwestern region, and therefore naturally cultivated soldiers with a greater sense of valiancy.
Worn out by the long walk, Bu Fang was covered with dust. Alongside Whitey, he entered the Western Mystery City with other travel-worn folks.
Once he arrived, Bu Fang decided to familiarize himself with the local customs and cultures of the Western Mystery City. He found an inn first since it was impractical to expect being immediately accepted into the army as a cook. He was a stranger here after all.
Bu Fang spent around a day and a half wandering in the city and even tried quite a few gourmet delicacies. The specialty dishes here were simple and plain, not as fancy as those in the Southern City.
There was an abundance of wheaten food, as well as the simple, unembellished kind of barbecue. Bu Fang tried them all and found them distinctive in taste.
However, he didn't encounter any gourmet delicacies worthy of being recorded in his recipe journal, which was quite a pity. He nonetheless recognized that he had yet to try all the delicious foods around here.
However, he had no time to seek them all out. He needed to find an army to join as soon as possible.
Bu Fang sat by the window of a bustling restaurant, savoring northwestern gourmet delicacies whilst enjoying the gorgeous scenery of the city. The security around here was excellent as patrolling soldiers with long spears could be seen in the city at all times.
Bu Fang called for the waiter, took out a golden coin, and handed it to this rugged man with a crippled leg.
"Sir... this is too much." The husky man immediately peered at Bu Fang with some perplexity. A golden coin for a meal... Now, this refined young man was well off.
"Not really. Other than the cost of the meal, consider the spare change a payment for answering my following questions," Bu Fang said calmly.
The waiter's eyes instantly lit up. He looked toward Bu Fang and patted his own chest, "You are generous, dear sir. Just ask me. I won't miss any details as long as I know the answer."
Bu Fang pondered for a short while, gazed at the waiter and opened his mouth: "How many armies are there in the Western Mystery City?"
The waiter was taken aback by Bu Fang's question. He eyed Bu Fang with scrunched eyebrows and replied: "Sir, there is only one army in our Western Mystery City, which is the Western Mystery Army that all men yearn for in the northwest."
"Huh? All men in the northwest yearn to join it? Is this Western Mystery Army really as good as you say?"
"To be honest, I was once a soldier in the Western Mystery Army. But one of my legs was paralyzed in a battle. Afterwards, I had to quit the army and become a restaurant waiter," he explained and patted his disabled leg.
"If it weren't for this lame leg, I would have definitely stayed in the army until the last drop of my blood dried! I heard that the empire has sunk into chaos lately and that war might erupt again... Nobody knows how many of my fellow comrades will die on the battlefields."
Regret and dismay were stamped across the waiter's face.
Bu Fang kept his silence. He wasn't familiar with such matters. Since this waiter had served in the army before, it must be only natural that he was overcome with emotions.
The Western Mystery Army... it sounded pretty distinguished.
"Can you tell me more about this Western Mystery Army?" Bu Fang asked.
"Yeah, of course. The Western Mystery Army is the most well-known troop in our Western Mystery City because it is the major force that protects the city," the waiter continued. "Because of the city's unique geographic location, we suffer all kinds of hazards every year. Sometimes spirit beasts that roam out of the Hundred Thousand Mountains would threaten the Western Mystery City. Issues like these need to be settled by the Western Mystery Army. Each time, the savage beasts would be slaughtered by the Western Mystery Army so that they don't jeopardize the safety of the city's residents.
"Besides, the Great General of the Western Mystery City, also the eldest son of the Western Mystery City Lord, general Kong Xuan, has a formidable cultivation level. It is said that he has recently reached a breakthrough to the echelon of Battle-Saint and has become the strongest warrior in the Western Mystery City. With him here, our city is definitely more invincible!"
"This is not an exaggeration. The Western Mystery Army will not be at a disadvantage even in the face of the Imperial Army!"
The waiter went on and on. He was obviously very familiar with the Western Mystery Army and took great pride in it. He unknowingly patted his chest proudly from time to time as he recounted these tales.
Bu Fang listened to him carefully and nodded along sometimes.
"Here is the last question..." Bu Fang paused and peered at the waiter before continuing: "If I want to join the Western Mystery Army... how should I go about it?"
"What? Sir, you want to join the Western Mystery Army?"
The burly man before him instantly widened his eyes, staring at Bu Fang with utter astonishment. This pale-faced, gigolo-like of a man... with such smooth and refined skin, evidently came from a rich household. Why was he even interested in joining the Western Mystery Army?
Bu Fang smacked his lips and handed another gold coin to the man: "My objective in joining the army is certainly to train myself and make myself stronger."
The muscular waiter's eyes sparkled when he saw another gold coin. He stored it away without batting an eyelid and puffed his chest as he guaranteed Bu Fang this: "Sir, since you trust me so much, I'll cut straight to the chase. It is not difficult to join the forces. With the war going on, army recruitment won't stop. However, to genuinely be part of the Western Mystery Army is not a piece of cake. Here, I personally know some fellows in the troop. I can take you there tomorrow and put in a good word, just so they can cut you some slack, haha."
Bu Fang was taken aback, but then he nodded as the corners of his mouth curled.
The waiter rubbed his head in a good-natured way and then staggered away, dragging behind his crippled leg.
Bu Fang returned to the restaurant the very next day and found the waiter waiting for him by the entrance.
"Sir, let's go. I've already asked for a half-day-long break. I'll accompany you there. By the way, you can call me Er Niu." The burly man smiled.
Bu Fang nodded and followed behind Er Niu. The two then headed toward a certain direction in the Western Mystery City.
The city was vast in size, but the recruitment center was not far from them. Therefore, they decided to go on foot. After around one hour, they finally arrived at the place that Er Niu mentioned.
The recruitment center was in a large building. It rested in front of a mansion and at the gate stood a long queue.
"Sir, do you see this? Everyone here wants to join the army but more than ninety percent of them will be allocated to some small campsite. It's pretty difficult to join the genuine Western Mystery Army. Let me go and ask around for you, but I cannot guarantee anything." Er Niu stated seriously.
Then, Er Niu lugged his crippled leg and walked toward the group of soldiers. Bu Fang watched Er Niu's movements, realizing that he was indeed acquainted with this place. At the moment, he was conversing with an armored soldier.
Not after long, Er Niu brought over that soldier.
This soldier carried a somewhat domineering manner. He held his head high and squeezed his hands behind his back. Er Niu stood by him, smiling from ear to ear.
"Chief Liu, this is the young man I told you about. He wants to join the Western Mystery Army, so..."
"Want to enlist in the Western Mystery Army? Heck, who doesn't want to join us... Why should I let him through the back door?" Chief Liu glimpsed at Bu Fang's gentle, refined appearance and the strange puppet behind him. Then, he shot a glance at Er Niu and questioned him.
Bu Fang knitted his eyebrows. What was going on here?
"You lad... want to join the Western Mystery Army? Of course, there is a way... but, don't you need to show me some sincerity?" Boss Liu sneered coldly.
Er Niu instantly glowered. He already gave Liu a golden coin for this!
Bu Fang cast a look at Er Niu's expression and realized instantly that the fellow before his eyes considered him gullible and wanted to rip him off. Once he got his money, whether he'd live up to his promises was another story.
However, Bu Fang couldn't really be bothered and simply responded calmly: "Just make sure of the arrangements first, money is not a problem."
Bu Fang fished out a couple more golden coins from his pocket and played with them in his hands. The shining coins clicked and attracted Chief Liu and Er Niu's gazes.
Chief Liu's eyes instantly glistened as the beaming smile on his face grew wider and wider.
He stretched out a hand in hope of grabbing the golden coins, but of course, snatching things from Bu Fang was never an easy feat.
"Not a problem, not a problem. I'm the right person to consult if you want to join the Western Mystery Army! Er Niu, you may head back now. This young master, please follow me." Chief Liu coughed softly and drew his hands behind his back. He instructed Er Niu and then led Bu Fang into the mansion.
Er Niu wasn't suspicious of anything. He and Chief Liu were old comrades on the battlefield. Though Chief Liu was indeed a greedy man, their military bonds remained. Er Niu was sure that Liu would make the right arrangements for Young Master Bu.
Therefore, he bid goodbye to Bu Fang and stumbled away with his lame leg.
Little did he notice Chief Liu's narrowed eyes as he twisted away his head. A cold sneer smeared across Liu's face.