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Chapter - 20: Tough Mission
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Zhang Hu and the other guy looked at each other, then, without saying anything, they started to rush toward each other. The dull and clanky sounds of weapons hitting each other resounded through the hall, two men immediately engaged in a fight. A small hole was cut on Zhang Hu’s shirt by his opponent, but, he left a deep wound on his opponent’s left shoulder, which made him bleed. Zhang Hu let out a laugh and said, “Huo Biao, you’re no match for me!” The man, whose name was Huo Biao, spit, then he took a few steps back and sheathed his sword. After gazing at Zhang Hu, he sneered at Wu Qi with an insidious look, said, “Little man, you’re in deep trouble! The man you just hit is the Bursary Officer of Little Meng City. If you flee now, I bet you won’t make it fifty miles before you are caught and killed!” The skinny man who was still in Wu Qi’s handsd started to yell, “Ridiculous, this is ridiculous! How dare you assault a governmental officer? You peasant! Guards, guards! Take them down, take all of them down! I want a curfew now; I want a raid on the Vigorous Tiger Residence! This is a rebellion, they are killing government officers!” A team of City Guards in black clothes and armor rushed over, pointing their spears at the villagers from Meng village, who were gathered in front of the Bursary Office. These villagers looked at each other and wondered what to do. Some of the more bad tempered villagers had already drawn their weapons and were getting ready to fight. Wu Qi slapped on Bursary Officer’s face again, this slap broke his cheekbone, making him stop screaming. Now he can only produce a sorrowful noise. Wu Wi kept slapping on his face while staring at Huo Biao and, with a sneer, said, “I’ll bet that you will be the one who have to leave Little Meng City.” Huo Biao’s expression changed as he stared back at Wu Qi, then looked at Bursary Officer again, then he took a few steps back again. Zhang Hu burst out laughing and pointed his blade at Huo Biao, shouting, “Huo Biao, I’ll join the bet as well. You have offended little brother Wu Qi, so, you’re the one who should be fleeing from Little Meng City! Ha ha, Little Meng City will become a better place without you!” The City Guards outside of Bursary Office approached, then the leader of these guards yelled, “Listen! Let go of Bursary Officer, drop your weapon, put your hands in the air, and come out right now! Failing to comply will result in death!” Hearing what the leader said, the villagers from Meng Village immediately drew their weapons, getting ready to fight with these City Guards. What these humble villagers want was simple, Zhang Hu and Wu Qi were both their friends, when a friend was in trouble, they would jump up and help them. As for what the consequences of attacking City Guards would be, they never bothered to think about something that complicated. Lu Chengfeng looked at these villagers in surprise and admiration, then he coughed loudly and raised the iron token from his waist. With a stern voice, he shouted, “I’m the new General, Lu Chengfeng, keep your weapons and return to your posts!” The City Guards immediately retracted their weapons when they saw the iron token. The leader of City Guards got down on one knee together with all the guards, paying their respects to Lu Chengfeng. With a swollen and bleeding face, the Bursary Officer gave an inarticulate cry, “Bastards! Hurry up and save me! If something bad happens to me, my young master won’t spare any of you! This man is just a tiny little General, my young master is the Mayor, he is THE MAYOR!” These City Guards trembled and stood up again, pointing their spears toward villagers once more. Lu Chengfeng burst into anger, and snapped sternly, “How dare you! As the City Guards, disobeying the order from General is equivalent to staging an armed rebellion! You guys want to get your family's killed? Drop your weapons and stand aside!” Some of guards trembled when hearing what Lu Chengfeng said, almost dropping their weapons. But, they still held their weapons firmly, pointing them at the villagers. Lu Chengfeng’s face darkened, he turned around and stared at the bleeding Bursary Officer, sneered, and said, “So, the order of a Bursary Officer is higher than me, the General! City Guards of Little Meng City. Perfect, you guys are perfectly fit for your post!” The leader of the City Guards felt embarrassed and looked at Lu Chengfeng, grumbling, “General, please don’t make things difficult for us!” Before Lu Chengfeng says anything, Wu Qi let out a loud laugh. He dropped the Bursary Officer on ground, then, with all his strength, he stepped on his right shoulder. With a ‘crack’, the Bursary Officer struggled and screamed immediately, holding his right shoulder with his left hand, he twisted his body few times, like a mudfish, and passed out. Wu Qi snapped, “According to the military law of Lu Kingdom, what is the punishment for disobeying an order?” Lu Chengfeng grind his teeth and shouted, “The death sentence!” Xiaohei let out a roar, like mad cow, and then thrust the long halberd in his hand toward the heart of the City Guard leader, who was stunned by Lu Chengfeng. The City Guard leader never expected that Lu Chengfeng would give out an order to kill him, but, it was too late for him to regret his actions, the halberd had penetrated his leather armor, and impaled his chest, sticking out three feet out from the other side. Xiaohei grinned hideously and, with a massive force, he raised the leader high up and threw him away. Blood spilled as the corpse flew far away, landing right in front of the Internal Affairs Office. Those bystanders in front of Internal Affairs office dispersed in horror and screamed, then, a few officers who were working in Internal Affairs office walked out, full of fear, checking what happened from afar, but not daring to say anything. More City Guards had rushed to the scene, they were all terrified by the dead body of their colleague, few hundreds of them simply stood blankly in the middle of the Square, with mixed emotions they kept looking back and forth between Lu Chengfeng and the dead leader. Wu Qi stood beside Lu Chengfeng, then with a stern voice, he said, “Take a closer look, this could be you! Those who disobeying General’s order, no mercy! All of you are the City Guards of Little Meng City, and that means you have to obey the order from General, or else, you’ll be considered as an outlaw!” The City Guards became stirred, few middle-ranked officers loosen their grip on the weapon, lower down their head and kept quiet. Lu Chengfeng continued with a harsh tone, “Belay this! Gather all the officers, lieutenant and above. I want to meet with them now! I will count to one hundred. Any that are absent will die!” Xiaohei walked to the front of a drum located outside of the General Office, and started striking it with his fist. A resounding thump sound had soon spread across Little Meng City. With each strike on the drum, Xiaohei counted. Soon, foot pattering came from outside the Square, those officers had started to gather. When they saw the dead body and the blood on the floor, their footsteps stalled and they had weird expressions on their face, then, a fear and respectful look appeared in their eyes when they looked at Lu Chengfeng. Zhang Hu and the others saw things had left their control, he hurried and brought the villagers over to those thirty over pushcarts and left. He waved at Wu Qi before he left to show his gratitude, Wu Qi holds his fist back to Zhang Hu but didn’t say anything to him. After a hundred strikes on the drum by Xiaohei, the hall of the General’s Office was packed with over one hundred and thirty officers. All the commanding officers for the eight thousand soldiers in Little Meng City were here, the highest ranking officer among them was of the deputy General rank, and, there were eighteen of them. Wu Qi didn’t understand anything about the military system of Lu Kingdom, but Lu Chengfeng was so mad that he was trembling. According to the military system of Lu Kingdom, a battalion consists three thousand soldiers, and the highest rank officer in the battalion would be deputy General. There’s not more than eight thousand soldiers in Little Meng City, therefore, the maximum deputy General would be three. But right now, there was a total of eighteen deputy General in front of them, forty over captains and the rest were all lieutenants. What were all these about? It simply means the military had too many redundant officers, and these guys were enjoying their free meals in the army. Besides these redundant military officers, the Bursary Officers, War Room Officers, Recruitment Officers and Barbarian Officers were all from the Yi family. Just like the Bursary Officers who was beaten by Wu Qi, the other three officers were all Yi Yan’s relatives. With a dark face, Lu Chengfeng sat behind his table within the hall, kept knocking his hand on the table surface. Wu Qi sat beside Lu Chengfeng, smiled and whispered, “Eight thousand City Guards, how much do they get payed a year? What are the military expenses every year? And all these deputy Generals, captains, lieutenants, they get even more to spend on meals, gambling, and even hookers! Does Little Meng City, really only have eight thousand soldiers?” Lu Chengfeng’s body trembled. Wu Qi narrowed his eyes and enjoyed the moment, he never would believe that damn fatty Yi Yan would use his own money to pay for these redundant officers. So, the answer was pretty obvious. These military officers were getting their pay and allowance from the government without doing anything, and they might even sell military equipment secretly. In short, all sorts of dark things were happening here. Lu Chengfeng groaned, and slowly gazed at each of the officers standing in the hall, after some time, with a deep voice he said, “Tomorrow noon, I want to review all the soldiers in the city. If any soldier in your troop doesn’t fulfill the military requirement, strip your armor and get the hell out from here!” All these military officers raised up their head and looked at Lu Chengfeng, some of the officers had a mocking smile suddenly. Many of them just left the General Office’s hall straight away, without saluting to Lu Chengfeng who was their General. Lu Chengfeng was so exasperated by their response that he pressed his palm forcefully on the table, leaving a sunken palm-shaped hole on it silently, wood chips being blown away by a sudden breeze. He murmured, “Absolutely lawless, ridiculous!” Wu Qi breathed out a long sigh, and, with a smile, he shook his head, saying, “Young master, you better get prepared to replace all these men. The City Guards of Little Meng City are rotten to their core!” All of a sudden, Wu Qi recalled the third battalion of the Heavenly Guards that were sent to Meng Village. That was an elite troop, and the leader was an intrepid man. Why is he different from all the other military officers he had seen just now. After remain silence for some time, Wu Qi suggested, “That War Room Officer, Recruitment Officer, and Barbarian Officers, we should get rid of them as well, right?” Lu Chengfeng grabbed the pen and paper on the table without saying anything, and started to draft out four official memos, firing all of his subordinates, including War Room Officers, Recruitment Officers, Bursary Officers, and Barbarian Officers. Pondering for some time, he drafted another four official memos, appointed Laohei as the new Bursary Officer, Xiaohei as Barbarian Officer, Wu Qi as War Room Officer, and, Zhang Hu as Recruitment Officer. Wu Qi stared at the newly drafted appointment memos, then he kept shaking his head. Laohei was an honest and loyal old servant that followed Lu Chengfeng, he would be the right person to manage military resources storage. There was nothing much to do in the Barbarian Office, what they did was counting barbarian’s head every day, and pay each with one hundred coins, this was an easy job and just right for Xiaohei who was a simple-minded dude. As for Wu Qi himself, he felt in this world without modern weapons, he could even be an Admiral that lead the army of one kingdom, let alone be a War Room Officer in this Little Meng City. With the freaking high intelligence inherited from Le Xiao Bai, commanding an army and fight in battles was a piece of cake for him. But, as for the last appointment memo, tough, this is really tough. “Big Brother Zhang Hu, I don’t think he would accept this offer to become Recruitment Officer!” Wu Qi told Lu Chengfeng honestly. Lu Chengfeng rolled his eyes, then he gazed at Wu Qi and said, “As the chief right-hand man for me, this matter, you’ll solve it for me!” Wu Qi stared at Lu Chengfeng blankly, with his mouth wide opened, speechless.

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