Chapter 60 Promotion
Only after the remnant of the cavalry scout team reached the 13th Cavalry Army camps their faces started to relax slightly..
The military intelligence that they collected was handled by the scout team leader according to army regulations and the information was delivered to the intelligence regiment. Shaar and Kevin started to go towards the Praetorian Guard camp.
Looking at these cavalry scouts with whom he fought together side-by-side quietly leaving the camp, Shaar suddenly felt a dull rage inside him – almost no one spoke a word in past two days when they were rushing back. An invisible fire started to burn fiercely in Shaar’s heart and it was burning stronger with each passing day.
Watching those cavalry scouts walking away, Shaar looked at the team leader’s back……
Suddenly he felt that he was very lucky.
At least, the old man died on his bed and he could personally bury him. As for what happened to the team leader and his son – in order to return to camp as soon as possible, they didn’t even have the time to bury the body of his son!
Both Shaar and Kevin didn’t have any time to rest. Just after they reported that they carried out their orders successfully in the Praetorian Guard camp, they didn’t even had enough time to untie their belts as someone was waiting for them outside to convey a message to them: The general wanted to see them, now.
When Shaar entered General Adrick’s big tent for the second time, he immediately felt that the atmosphere was extraordinary. At the entrance of big tent, the Praetorian Guards on duty were doubled and everyone had a pre-war anxiety all written all over their faces.
When Shaar and Kevin were waiting to be announced, they stood outside of the big tent and suddenly they heard an angry shouting voice coming from within the tent followed by a suddenly burst of an intense quarrel.
A moment later, several military officers walked out the big tent and Shaar recognized that one of them was the silver-haired middle-aged man, Burtler the centurion of the 3rd Legion he met last time. The others that came out were probably also Centurions of the 13th Cavalry Army.
When those eight people walked out, some of them had faces full of anxiety while others had an indifferent face and there were even some who had flaming rage in their eyes. When they were walking Kevin immediately pulled Shaar away to let them pass and pounded his chest in salute.
Waiting for these people to walk further away Kevin noticed the puzzled look on Shaar’s face and started to explain: “It must be the pre-war conference. Those Centurions probably started an argument in order to snatch the vanguard role – this is a common occurrence. Seeing the look on Centurion Butler’s face, it is very likely that it fell into his hands. “
The map on the wall of the big tent was painted with various colors. Many numbers and military symbols were marked on various areas. Furthermore, those symbols were also painted in different colors.
When Shaar saw that the map it looked like it was changed beyond all recognition. Shaar was startled and subconsciously glanced at it a few times……
This …… was probably the markings of a military map? Shaar remembered reading a book which was devoted to these things. When he was still young, he found it quite fun and took a map of Primal Wildfire and drew on it for a while.
Ah, so the square symbol represented their own camp, the round symbols represented the logistics camps and the dotted line represented the logistical lines.
All the triangles represented mountains and hills, while the ellipses represented low-lying terrains. The areas on the map that were painted with a little green flag symbol meant that it had been searched and a safe area.
The places that were marked by a small cross meant that there was an enemy encounter at that position.
While staring at the map, Shaar was in a small trance and only recovered after Kevin pulled him. When Shaar raised his head, he suddenly noticed that General Adrick was standing next to him, watching him with interest.
This tyrannical General’s face was somewhat red and beads of sweat could be seen on his forehead. Holding a small dagger with a golden hilt in his hand, he casually cut a thick paper into several small pieces.
He looked at Shaar without stopping the movements of his hands and carefully examined him for a long time. Only when Shaar felt some tingling on his scalp, General Adrick pulled back his scary piercing eyes.
“Can you read the military symbols on the map?” Adrick caught Shaar’s expression when he entered the tent.
After hesitating, Shaar replied: “I know some.” Catching his curiosity, Kevin who was standing next to him leaned in to have a closer look at Shaar. After taking a breath, Shaar continued: “I read some books which had those things on them.”
“Very good.”Adrick nodded, picked up a charcoal and threw it to Shaar: “Mark the place where you fought the Odins on the map for me.”
Holding the charcoal, Shaar didn’t hesitate and walked towards the map and accurately marked the position. He then drew a small cross on that place and after thinking for a moment, he added a small round circle next to it. His last action immediately made Adrick reveal a hint of satisfaction in his eyes.
The last symbol that Shaar drew represented the enemy’s frontier force according to the Byzantine military symbol.
“It seems like you really understand these things”, Adrick smiled. Withdrawing his attention Adrick nailed the dagger on the table and put on a serious expression again: “I heard the result of this your mission. Well done……”
While staring at Shaar he asked: “Did you really kill six of Odin’s Icefield hunters?”
“……it is five.” Shaar thought for a moment and replied in a very frank tone: “I killed five and wounded one. Kevin finished him off.”
The general nodded and then stood up in order to walk around the table and stopped in front of Shaar. The stature of this tyrannical general was towering and vigorous. While standing in front of him, Shaar felt that it was not a human who was standing in front of him but a lion instead – The King of Lions!
Adrick looked at Shaar with flashing eyes: “Raise your head and fix your stand!”
Immediately afterwards, the generals big rough hands patted on Shaar’s shoulder and pinned a badge on his chest: “This is your military rank.”
A deep seriousness could be heard in his voice: “Normally you should be a private but taking into account the fact that you performed outstandingly during the mission and killed five Odins, according to the Imperial Military Law I am promoting you to sergeant.”
This badge was only a piece of slightly polished black iron sheet and originally Shaar did not care about those things. However seeing this black iron sheet, Shaar suddenly remembered that the scout team leader, whose son died, seemed to wear this type of badge.
“I hope that you can understand something – in this army this badge represents the glory, the blood and the sacrifices……” Adrick spoke with a very dignified voice: “Furthermore, you have killed five enemies and according to Imperial Military Law you can obtain a black metal Medal of Courage. The military law office was already notified of your achievement and your medal will arrive soon.”
While talking about, he suddenly turned his head and looked at Kevin: “Kevin, how long were you in the army until you obtained your first Medal of Courage?”
Somewhat embarrassed Kevin scratched his head and bitterly smiled:”I don’t remember the time clearly, but it should be after a year……”
“Ha! It seems like this newly arrived kid is stronger than you!”
Finishing the conversation Adrick walked back behind his table and said: “Kevin take this kid to receive his newly-arrived warhorse. Starting today, the Praetorian Guards will be equipped with cavalry equipment!”
Kevin’s eyes immediately lit up: “General, can we going on the offensive?”
Adrick glanced at Kevin and showed a faint smile. Kevin immediately understood and excitedly pounded his chest, before pulling away Shaar who was still in a daze.
After leaving the tent, Shaar suddenly remembered and asked Kevin about medal of courage.
According to Kevin’s explanation, among the ordinary soldiers of the imperial army, if they managed to kill five or more enemies in the battlefield they can obtain a medal of courage. This medal would become a future merit for being promoted.
The black metal medal of courage was only awarded to ordinary soldiers with no military appointments. Once promoted to a military officer, you can’t obtain this medal anymore.
In addition, owners of the black metal medal of courage also had a special privilege: All of the retired veterans who obtained this medal would be exempt from paying all taxes to the empire for the rest of their lives.
Hearing this, Shaar somewhat disapproved the idea of paying taxes in his mind – he lived in Primal Wildfire Town and was not a native of Byzantine Empire. Therefore, he didn’t have to pay taxes to Byzantine Empire.
When Kevin and Shaar returned to their tent, this bald man was very excited. There was a very simple reason for his excitement:
“Praetorian Guards are rarely provided with cavalry equipment, since the general issued this order then it is very obvious ……There is a major battle for us to fight in!”
Pausing of a moment, he smiled: “Alright, now I will lead you to pick up your warhorse so that you can stop torturing my backup horse.”
After experiencing a battle, Kevin’s attitude towards Shaar warmed up a bit. It was very obvious that he started to accept Shaar as a comrade.
“Since you are a sergeant now, you will be regarded as a ‘real soldier’! Generally speaking private soldiers can only act as an auxiliary unit in the army. Only after becoming a soldier, one can get a position to fight with the main force. Since we are a cavalry unit, our recruitment requirements are stricter than the infantry regiment. Now you can receive two warhorses,s along with cavalry equipment which includes an armor, shield and lance……”
Suddenly stopping mid sentence Kevin halted his steps and slapped his head: “Ah! I have almost forgotten an important matter.”
“What?” Shaar asked puzzled.
“Your squire!”Kevin smiled: “You are now an official cavalryman and an official cavalryman will be provided with a squire. As the general’s Praetorian Guards, we receive a special treatment and we are provided with a personal squire. If it was some other squad, several cavalrymen had to share one squire.”
“Squire? What do they do?” Shaar’s understanding of the army was very obviously limited.
Kevin frowned: “You understand the military map, but don’t know about this?”
Bearing with him, he patiently explained: “Look at me, my current military rank is a cavalry captain and I use three warhorses, two sets of permanent equipment, weapons, shields, uniforms ……In this case, someone has to take care of my warhorse, he needs to feed the horses, scrub the horses, clean my armor and weapons ……Someone has to do these chores right? Certainly it is impossible for me to take care of these matters; otherwise just looking after my three warhorses, I would be busy every day and have no time for other matters.”
Pausing for a moment, he smiled and continued: “A squire is your follower. You are responsible for going to war ……all other matters will be left to your squire. Even if you are wounded, your squire will be responsible for taking care of you.”
Talking about this, he patted Shaar and walked forward while taking loudly: “Come on, I will lead you to porters camp first to chose an appropriate candidate. First I need to explain something: according to the tradition of our Byzantine army, a squire of a cavalryman gets his expenses covered by his master! Anyway, your pay is not low so you can afford to hire a personal squire.”
Hearing about this, Shaar suddenly remembered an important matter and rushed up to Kevin: “Hey! How much do I get paid right now – where do I receive it?”