1132 Borrowing Soldiers
Hearing the commander's call, Zhang Han quickly strode forward.
"I want to ask you something. Do you think that I'm opinionated?" An odd look appeared on Jiang Chen's face as he said this, defying Zhang Han's expectation.
Zhang Han hesitated for a moment and asked, "Commander, do you want me to reply truthfully?"
"When I fought you last time, I really felt like you were itching for a beating, especially when I saw that mysterious smile plastered on your face."
Only Zhang Han could be so frank and candid; ordinary people didn't dare say such things to Jiang Chen. However, Jiang Chen didn't get angry, and he stroked his chin.
"Commander, the reason behind this is quite simple. People mistakenly assume that you are acting dumb on purpose because you always keep a low profile but still aren't afraid of getting into trouble."
"Your wager with the Crane Battalion is a suitable example, and the Crane Battalion's soldiers probably assumed that you agreed just because you aren't willing to admit your mistakes."
Hearing this, Jiang Chen chuckled and looked at the thousand soldiers standing nearby.
"However, they obviously can't imagine that you possess remarkable abilities and can condense about a thousand wisps of Soldier Energy in only a few days."
Zhang Han wasn't trying to flatter him; he really accepted Jiang Chen wholeheartedly. On the first day, Zhang Han was anxious that the commander was just acting recklessly, but Jiang Chen soon proved his ability. If Jiang Chen continued at this pace, it wouldn't be difficult for him to surpass Jiang Xin.
"We will stop here for today. Go back to the camp," Jiang Chen passed down the order.
"Commander, don't you need to practice for a while?" asked a worried soldier.
It wasn't like everyone understood the speed of Jiang Chen's progress. The soldiers merely released their Soldier Energy. As for how much of it Jiang Chen could condense, only the commander himself knew that. They couldn't discern the Soldier Energy or see it unless Jiang Chen fought while using it. To keep this matter a secret, Jiang Chen had only informed Zhang Han and his first followers anout his progress.
"There isn't any need," Jiang Chen replied, then brought the soldiers along with him into the camp.
"He's really relaxed."
When the Xuanji Army's other battalions witnessed Jiang Chen coming back at nightfall, they all shook their heads and chuckled bitterly. Jiang Xin of the Crane Battalion was setting off every day with her soldiers before daybreak, and she only came back late at night. She strove hard and managed to condense more than a thousand wisps of Soldier Energy. Regardless of how they observed this matter, it still seemed that Jiang Chen would lose. As they thought about the spirit stone he'd wagered, they all thought it was a pity.
Soldier Energy condensation would only be useful so long as Jiang Chen was fighting alongside an army. At crucial moments, he still needed to depend upon himself, which was why Jiang Chen was still making preparations for the Wizard Clan's banquet. Time passed quickly, and when only three days were left until the drill, the mission to explore the Qi Li Continent was temporarily suspended, and they focused their attention on this major event.
On the day of the public drill, the atmosphere in the army camp was solemn. All battalions were getting ready. They would all proceed toward Ling Long Palace and comply with the instructions. However, the people had not forgotten the wager between the Tiger and Crane Battalions. Jiang Xin and Jiang Chen's gazes met.
Just when they were about to announce the outcome, a squadron brazenly intruded on the camp. Though this squadron did not have more than a hundred soldiers, in their presence, none among Xuanji Army's five battalions dared utter a single word. This squadron's soldiers were all wearing shining scarlet armor. They looked outstanding and heroic. They were all wearing capes that reached the ground, and they walked forward arrogantly.
"It's the Ling Long Army."
Jiang Chen recognized them. These soldiers all belonged to Empress Ling Long's main army. Still, he couldn't understand why they had come to the Xuanji Army's camp. However, he noticed that, upon seeing their leader, the expressions of the five battalions' soldiers became unsightly.
"You will always just be a mob."
The leader quickly informed Jiang Chen why. He had ordinary facial features, a square face, and narrow eyes. Nevertheless, he emanated a powerful aura that even Star Venerables couldn't bear. He swept the entire camp with his disdainful gaze. Most people were infuriated, but they didn't dare speak. Ren Hai, Xiao Li, and three other commanders stepped forward.
"Officer Li, I wonder, why did you come here?" Ren Hai asked.
"I'm here to ask for some soldiers." Officer Li wore an arrogant expression. Even though he was here to borrow manpower, it still seemed like he was just ordering them to hand over some of their soldiers.
"Officer Li, please explain in detail." Ren Ha was displeased by this request, but he could bear it.
"Fine, fine. Our Ling Long Army has three weapons of war, which will be used in today's drill. However, their usage consumption is too great and will be wasted. That's why I'm here to ask for some manpower," Officer Li said.
Hearing this, all five commanders of the Xuanji Army were infuriated. Officer Li assumed that their worth in the drill was lower than even yuan stone.
"This will greatly exhaust our soldiers," Ren Hai said.
"In the end, they will just have to slowly absorb the world's spiritual energy. Isn't that fine, then? It must be known that if yuan stones are used, they will turn into useless rocks. Do you know how expensive they are?" Officer Li exaggerated.
The shoulders of many soldiers in the five battalions shivered.
"We won't lend you anyone," Xiao Li refused him firmly.
It seemed like Officer Li wasn't surprised by this, and he just shrugged. He mocked, "What if there is an official order?"
"I don't believe that Empress Ling Long would issue such an order," Xiao Li said coldly.
"Hahaha! You assume that your Xuanji Army isn't a great disgrace."
Officer Li was quiet for a moment. Then he said, "There are two commanders among the five battalions who can't condense more than a thousand wisps of Soldier Energy. So, what will the Xuanji Army do on the stage? Why don't you clearly inform me?" Officer Li said forcefully, poking at the Xuanji Army's sore spot.
It was obvious that he was aware that two commanders had died due to Jiang Chen, so his words were reasonable. Jiang Chen immediately felt many reproachful eyes on him. Things wouldn't have ended up like this if he hadn't killed those people.
"It isn't two."
Ren Hai's expression was unsightly, and he gritted his teeth. He said, "Jiang Xin can condense 1500 wisps of Soldier Energy, and the Crane Battalion's power is greater than it was in previous years."
Officer Li looked over with a skeptical gaze.
"Crane Battalion's soldiers!"
For now, Jiang Xin forgot Jiang Chen, and she passed down the order and started condensing Soldier Energy. She reached a certain threshold earlier than expected because she had been provoked by Jiang Chen. Jiang Xin's body was greatly strengthened by the 1500 wisps of Soldier Energy, just like Ren Hai had said. She had great fighting prowess, and everyone around her moved back. Officer Li squinted, and his eyes almost seemed closed.
"It's shocking, but what about the Tiger Battalion? Since the Ferocious Tiger Battalion lost an experienced commander, they are surely weaker."
Xuanji Army's soldiers, who had become spirited thanks to Jiang Xin's performance, lowered their heads and heaved deep sighs. Now, more reproachful eyes turned toward Jiang Chen.
"You will probably be disappointed. I wonder, when did you receive this news?" Jiang Chen asked.
The eyes of every soldier in the Xuanji Army lit up. Is it possible that Jiang Chen has managed to condense more than a thousand wisps of Soldier Energy during this period? As they considered it, recalling that just ten days had passed, they all thought it unlikely.
"Is that the case? Why don't you show me?" Officer Li was of the same opinion, and he wore a sickening smile on his face.