Chapter 282: To Bear the Pot or to Chop the Wood
Translator: CatatoPatch Editor: Vermillion
Dahe Region, Chunhui City.
This was one of the more prosperous cities in Light Wind Empire. It was very reputable, with an extremely developed economy and a high population. Although it was not as good as the three big ancient cities, it was still one of the most distinguished cities in the Light Wind Empire.
However, the usual bustle of this thriving big city was nowhere to be seen today as a panicked atmosphere descended upon it, cast by the numerous lit beacons throughout the city. All the citizens hid anxiously in their respective houses, shivering in fear.
The towering city walls of Chunhui City had long been mottled with cracks. Throngs of solemn-looking soldiers stood above it, each more mentally worn out than the other.
Outside the city, on the mountains and plains were military flags swaying amidst the winds, peppered with violent and fierce screams. Throughout the battlefields, throng clashed against throng in a messy mix of metals, humans and blood-fuelled emotions.
As Ji Chengyu sat solemnly atop his Scaled War Unicorn, he held up his longsword to the winds and yelled at the top of his lungs.
Then, the legion of soldiers behind him charged toward the patchwork Chunhui City walls, morale high and emotions burning-like a fierce tiger who was about to rip everything apart. In that very moment, Chunhui City turned into a injured prey for the tiger that was Ji Chengyu's frenzied army.
Up ahead, the heavy city gate of Chunhui City creaked, and from within, a sea of armored cavalrymen charged out. If one were to look at them now, they would instead see a sharp dagger thrown right at the heart of Ji Chengyu's army.
Both sides collided with each other with a loud rumble while high above on the city walls countless arrows rained down on the helpless soldiers below. Mere moments later, the first metallic wave clangs echoed through the rolling battlefield before being consumed in a chaotic mix of shouts, weapons colliding and bodies crumpling to the floor, each no longer distinguishable from the other.
Their ferocious killing intent soared, as if it wanted to dissolve the clouds above the heavens.
Soldier after soldier fell in the ensuing bloodbath, but none of the red-eyed survivors bore them any heed as they continued waving their instruments of death.
This was war...
High above in the heavens, several hundreds of meters up....
A figure donned in a black gown sat cross-legged there. The swift and fierce wind violently blew over the heavy stench of blood and killing intent from the ground. His gown fluttered. The Venerable Master of the Shura Sect opened up his eyes slightly. His true energy suffused the air as he clasped a gray pearl in his hand.
That pearl was emitting a barely discernible fluctuation-brilliant rays flickered on it and the magic array on its surface seemed to glow in response as if it had recovered.
A faint attractive force flowed out from the pearl, stealthily but continuously extracting the souls streaming out from the battlefield beneath. Along with them came the killing intent and resentment they held in life, all mixed together in a horrifying amalgamation as they were sucked into the pearl one after another.
Throughout all that, the Departed Soul Orb energy expanded unceasingly, becoming increasingly dreadful by the second.
The Venerable Master's eyes shone with fanatic glee as he gazed at ever-growing rays. He puckered his lips as he licked those withered lips of his.
Ultimately, Chief Liu still arranged for Bu Fang to enter the army. However, unlike what was promised in his sincere pledge, the army he was dispatched to wasn't some elite division of the Western Mystery Army.
"Senior... this is the Third Corp that this lowly one belongs to. You should know that for a lowly person like this one... How could he possibly have the authority to send someone into the elite corp directly?" Said Chief Liu as he bent forward, face filled with fear.
He was truly afraid. The pretty boy in front of him now was no ordinary lad but an existence that vastly outmatched him. That pressure... even thinking about it brought fear to his heart.
"Western Mystery Army's Third Corps? Didn't you say that Western Mystery City only has one army?" Bu Fang said as he looked at Chief Liu in suspicion.
"Indeed, there is only one army in Western Mystery, but the army is divided into three corps. The First Corp is the elite force of Western Mystery Army, the Second Corp is the main force... the Third Corps is where this one belongs to..." As Chief Liu reached the end of his sentence, his face turned somewhat embarrassed.
Bu Fang frowned. By now, he roughly got the gist of the situation. The Third Corps was probably the worst force in the whole Western Mystery Army.
Still, Bu Fang did not feel anything regrettable about this. His objective was simply to enter the force, and cultivate his culinary skills in order to complete the system's mission and obtain the reward.
As for which corp he was assigned to, he actually didn't care at all.
"Senior, while this lowly one might hail from the Third Corp... he still considers himself a part of the Western Mystery Army. For a powerful expert such as Senior... is there even a need to enter by the back door? Senior can just look for our general directly... wouldn't that be better?" As Chief Liu looked at the tall and thin figure of Bu Fang, he couldn't help but voice out the doubt in his heart.
A formidable existence like Bu Fang could just look for General Kongxuan directly to get an even better position, that much he could guarantee. Furthermore and more importantly... this person actually specifically requested to join the Cooks' Army Unit, but that was the place for chefs. What was an expert like him even doing there in the first place?
Bu Fang took the token from Chief Liu's hand and shot him an indifferent glance as he said,
"Don't worry, I don't have any evil intentions. I am just a chef who is here to gain some experience and to experience the feeling of being an army chef. If I truly wished to enter the army and serve the empire, wouldn't I just directly find the emperor instead? I merely do not wish to cause a stir. After I'm done experiencing the life of an army cook and have tempered my culinary skills, I will depart. I will not do anything that will jeopardize the Western Mystery Army."
Having said all that, he left without bothering about the stunned Chief Liu. There lay the recruitment point for the Third Corp that Chief Liu belonged to.
Looking at Bu Fang's departing figure, Chief Liu's face muscles couldn't help but twitch. He hesitated for quite some time before turning around and departing to find the Third Corp's commanding general.
Even though he had no idea how strong Bu Fang's cultivation truly was, such a formidable expert joining their forces... was a matter he still needed to report. After all, he was still a soldier of the Western Mystery Army.
Yet unexpectedly, the Third Corp's commanding general did not seem to care about this matter. Even though Chief Liu already did his best to describe Bu Fang as someone who was extremely powerful, the commanding general had only displayed a modicum of regret.
"According to your description, that youth might be a Battle-Spirit. For someone like him to deal with a bunch of untrained bums like you guys is as simple as lifting up a finger. However, for a Battle-Spirit to run off to be a cook in the Cooks' Army is indeed somewhat a pity. Just have someone watch over him."
"In a few days' time, our Third Corp will have to follow General Kongxuan out of the city for an expedition. Remember to have your subordinates be prepared. Also, get the cooks to prepare a feast for the men!" said the Western Mystery Army's Third Corp's General, Zhuyue. Having said all that, he chased Chief Liu away.
Chief Liu was stupefied. What Battle-Spirit... the pressure that pretty boy gave out, that fighting strength... it wasn't something that could be compared to a Battle-Spirit's!
Chief Liu's face was stifled red. He did not expect his report to be disregarded in this way.
"You want to join our Third Corp's Cooks' Army?"
A old man took the token in Bu Fang's hand and examined it. Subsequently, he stared at Bu Fang in doubt.
Just because those in the Cooks' Army Unit were chefs, that didn't mean they had it any easier than the warriors. In fact, their hardships were incomparable to that of ordinary soldiers. During their march, they had to carry a large steel wok by hand while carrying their kitchenware and guarding the provisions of the army. At times, when they were set upon by enemies who targeted their rations, they had to take to the fields themselves.
That was why very few joined the Cooks' Army.
Especially not someone like Bu Fang, the kind of youngster... who looked so fair and delicate. With just a look, one could tell that this lad was a young master of a rich family.
Even so, Bu Fang nodded seriously and the old man had no choice but to accept the application seeing as the token was real. Although he was in doubt as to why Bu Fang would want to join the Cooks' Army Unit, he approved his application. After all... beggars couldn't be choosers. The Cooks' Army had always been starving for more cooks, especially the Cooks' Army of the Third Corp.
Bu Fang followed the old man into the army camp. This camp could not be counted as being very big. In fact, when compared to the previous army camps he saw before, this camp looked somewhat shabby and small.
Clang Clang Clang!
The moment the old man entered the barracks, he picked up a large wok and started to hit it with a ladle.
Very quickly, from the barracks, a group of soldiers wearing linen military uniforms and an apron raced out. Among this group of soldiers, there were those who were very young and those who were very old. Yet there was hardly any who could be considered young and fit.
Giving them a rough headcount, Bu Fang estimated the entire unit to be around hundreds of people. While that might have sounded like a lot, it was actually very normal. After all, they had to prepare enough food for tens of thousands of soldiers.
"Old Zhang, what's with the d*mn hitting? Can't you just speak instead? Every day, you hit on that wok of yours. I swear it will break sooner or later!"
A loud voice resonated out from the barrack entrance. Subsequently, numerous figures strode over.
"Hey, Captain. Can't you see that a newcomer is joining us? We have to welcome him at least, right?" Old Zhang stopped hitting the pot and smiled.
That somewhat senior-looking middle-aged man narrowed his eyes as his gaze fell onto Bu Fang, who was behind Old Zhang. His eyebrow jumped and his heart was somewhat flabbergasted.
"You are the newcomer who joined our Cooks' Army Unit? Do you know the rules of our Cooks' Army Unit, then?" The middle-aged man curled his lips as he sized Bu Fang up.
The surrounding people immediately remained calm and composed while smiling rather subtly.
Bu Fang looked at the middle-aged man nonchalantly and shook his head.
"The rule is that you will have to show us some of your skills. If your culinary skills meet the standards, I will assign a wok to you, and you will be allowed to cook. But if it is not... tsk tsk, you will have to obediently chop a few months of firewood!" Said the middle-aged man as he narrowed his eyes and licked his lips.