Chapter 264 Heroes
“What? A battalion of private troops has wiped out a group of troops from the Qing Special Forces?!” a general exclaimed in a command center. “You aren’t joking, right? Has it been confirmed yet?”
The staff officer in front of the general said, “It’s absolutely true. It just happened yesterday. We had our people rush to the scene to confirm it after getting the news from a soldier called Chen Wudi they sent back to give a sitrep. The soldiers they killed should be from the Qing Special Forces. It’s just that we do not know why this group of Qing troops would enter our military’s hinterlands or how they got in.”
“How could you allow our enemies to infiltrate so easily? You might as well wait until they arrive at our HQ’s doorstep before you realize they’re here!” the general roared.
The staff officer hemmed and hawed before saying, “We suspect they were sent here to carry out a decapitation strike, so they deliberately traveled in the mountains. They did not bring a full-strength force with them because they wanted to travel quickly and quietly to avoid detection.”
“How did all of them get wiped out then?” the general asked in a composed voice after calming down.
“We have written statements from the private troops who mentioned they were from the Iron Second Battalion. They said they were able to wipe out their enemies this time because their battalion commander is wise and courageous. He took advantage of the Divine Arms Battalion’s uniforms they were wearing to fool the Qing Consortium soldiers into believing him and then immediately launched an assault after forcing them to disarm,” the staff officer said.
“Why does this account sound so weird?” the general wondered. He felt that something was amiss, but he did not know where the problem lay.
“I also find it quite weird. However, it does make sense that the Qing soldiers were aware they wouldn’t be able to defeat the Divine Arms Battalion.” The staff officer said, “How should we handle this matter?”
“How many people from this battalion of private troops died in the battle?” the general asked.
“400. It’s equivalent to the number of deaths our enemies suffered,” the staff officer said.
The general said with heartfelt emotion, “A battalion of private troops was actually able to wipe out the Qing Special Forces and their casualties did not even exceed our expectations? This is a great triumph! This is exactly the triumph we need now!”
The staff officer immediately understood what the general meant. Everyone had been very optimistic about the Divine Arms Battalion’s mission and hoped they would lead them to their first victory in the war. It would have boosted the morale of the military.
However, the higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment. The Li Consortium’s higher-ups and generals were crestfallen at the defeat of the Divine Arms Battalion. In the combat meetings held over the past two days, everyone in the command center seemed overwhelmed by a sense of defeat. The combat staff officers did not even dare to cough openly in fear of getting reprimanded.
But now it was great news that they heard a battalion of private troops had wiped out the troops of their enemy’s Special Forces.
At their level, they did not actually care about how many soldiers died in the battle. All they were concerned about was how this result would affect the overall situation!
The general said, “Report this to the Board immediately, and request for the battalion of private troops involved to be commended. I want to rename the Iron Second Battalion to the Heroes Battalion. The active battalion commander will be officially appointed as a major as part of the Li Consortium’s combat troops. On top of that, I want them to be equipped with the best gear we have.”
The staff officer was stunned for a moment. This was going to set a precedent for their entire military organization!
Even though there were military ranks in the private army, their soldiers were never officially appointed any rank. Therefore, the officers of the private army were just like regular employees, and they could even pay bribes to get appointed to certain positions in the organization. However, the Li Consortium had never considered the private soldiers as their people before.
But with an official appointment now, everything was going to be different. Someday Ren Xiaosu might even get transferred to the Li Consortium’s regular troops and hold an important position!
As for reporting to the Board, that was only standard protocol. At a time like this, the Board would not interfere with decisions regarding the appointment or removal of an officer. As long as the move was beneficial to the war, they would not stop it from happening
But suddenly the general said, “After these private troops have been equipped with their gear, deploy them to our most impregnable defensive line. I’ve received intel that the overall commander of the Qing Consortium military has changed to Qing Zhen.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” the staff officer asked after a slight hesitation.
“Qing Zhen is an extremely prideful man. It would be really embarrassing if word of his Special Forces getting wiped out by our private troops got out. How could a proud person like him possibly tolerate a failure like that?” The general tapped his fingers on the table and sneered, “Send these private troops to our most impregnable defensive line to let Qing Zhen fight them. Let’s wear out his military forces!”
The staff officer finally understood that the general was planning on using these private troops to lure Qing Zhen into a battle at their most robust position on the battlefield.
The battlefield was a large chessboard, and the players involved could not show any emotion. So what if they were the Heroes Battalion? They were still just chess pieces. The sacrifice of the Heroes Battalion would make them martyrs for others.
When the staff officer left, he suddenly thought of a saying: “The merciful cannot control the military; the fair cannot manage wealth.” The ancients had always been right in such regards.
Full of pent-up anger towards Ren Xiaosu, Tang Wanyi of the Personnel Division had just returned to the command center. When he came back, he was ready to write up some dirt about Ren Xiaosu so that he could deal him a fatal blow at a critical point in the future. Heh, how could he expect to survive in the military after offending someone in the Personnel Division? How nonsensical!
But at this moment, someone lifted the Personnel Division’s tent flap. A combat staff officer came in with a document tucked under his arm and said, “Who’s in the Personnel Division?”
Tang Wanyi immediately put on a placating smile and said, “Over here!”
Everyone used to say that other than the chief of staff, normal staff officers held no real authority. But in wartime, these staff officers had the most presence around the generals. If any of them badmouthed you in front of the higher-ups, you would probably not survive the backlash. And it would be even worse if the staff officer was a favorite of the leaders!
Although the staff officer was submissive before the generals, he was not so polite with those in the Personnel Division. “Execute the order on this appointment document. The private troops’ Iron Second Battalion will be renamed the Heroes Battalion, and Ren Xiaosu will be appointed with the rank of major. Equip the battalion with supplies and then deploy them to the designated battlefield at the indicated time.”
Tang Wanyi was stunned. “What? Ren Xiaosu? Appointed to major?”
Tang Wanyi was a smart person and knew what was going on!
The staff officer gave Tang Wanyi a look from the corner of his eyes and said, “What? You have a problem with that?”
“No, I wouldn’t dare. I’ll get to it immediately,” Tang Wanyi said bitterly. What the fuck? He had to travel all the way back there again after just returning?!
Before the staff officer left, he said, “It seems like you have a grudge against this Ren Xiaosu. But let me remind you, his rank is higher than yours now. Besides, he’s now a war hero who will be the role model for our entire military. If you’ve offended him before, you had better reconcile with him quickly. Know what your priorities are.”
Tang Wanyi even wondered if Ren Xiaosu and him were destined to be at odds with each other!
On that very night, Tang Wanyi arrived at the private army’s camp once again. This time, his attitude was much better. He not only brought the appointment document but also five truckloads of food rations and another five truckloads of weapons!
But that was not all. Even the trucks were left behind for Ren Xiaosu and his men so they could use them to get to the front line quickly.
Tang Wanyi looked at Ren Xiaosu and said with a smile, “Sir, I’m sorry if I offended you last time. You’re a magnanimous person. If there’s anything else about me you’re unhappy with, please tell me clearly. Tell me, what can I do to get your forgiveness?”.
Ren Xiaosu gave it some thought. “Why don’t you do the splits for me?”
Tang Wanyi was speechless.