The hierarchical differences of the Norman Empire existed everywhere. At lunch, the canteen of the camp was divided into seven parts: common soldiers, corporals, sergeants, first sergeants, second lieutenants, first lieutenants and Major Guderian and lieutenant colonel Reinhardt. Everybody ate in their own area.
Food and dishes were also different for people of different ranks. From first lieutenant onward, each person could get some fruits before lunch. As for captains, they could have a cup of aperitif. Major Guderian and lieutenant colonel were directly serviced by the chief cook of the canteen.
Zhang Tie really broadened his vision.
"They even follow such a strict hierarchical system at lunch, aren't they afraid of mutual estrangement in the troop?" Zhang Tie asked a second lieutenant who was having lunch together with him.
"No way!" The second lieutenant who was having lunch with him cast a strange look at Zhang Tie. "Tell me, what the hell are you thinking about?"
"I'm thinking that if only I had some fruits before lunch!" Zhang Tie honestly answered.
"That's right. Because I'm thinking this too. Those first lieutenant company commanders who are eating fruits must be thinking about having a cup of aperitif. Those drinking that cup of aperitif must be admiring the treatment that the boss enjoys. So do the common soldiers.
"The corporals all dream about having as much meat as the sergeants. Sergeants all dream about having as much soup as the first sergeants. First sergeants all dream about having a military officer's dorm and a beautiful guilty slave to warm up the bed for them.
"We all have our pursuits. In the troop, one can only expect better treatment by rendering meritorious services and improving his own real strength. Therefore, it is stimulative for everybody!"
After thinking for a while, Zhang Tie found that it was true. The hierarchical system that existed everywhere was encouraging everyone to work hard and reminding them of their own status. The Norman Empire was really terrifying.
Hierarchy is order! Order is beauty!
Zhang Tie remembered the dictum that was held in the mind of every Norman soldier that adviser Vessie had told him.
A country which would even divide military weapons into different classes for military officers with different ranks was really amazing.
Zhang Tie racked his mind.
'Perhaps the residents of the Norman Empire have been put into different classes, resulting in different treatment since they were born. Many people might have been working hard to improve their social status and rank since they were young.'
The strict hierarchical system of the Norman Empire was well known across the entire Blackson Human Clan Corridor. Everything in this country, including cities and people, was divided into different classes. The cities of the Norman Empire were divided into nine classes, while its people were also divided into different classes and ranks.
The lowest class was guilty slave, closely followed by guilty citizen, then the average citizen, soldier, meritorious class, nobleman, and imperial class. Among the imperial class, the most honorable was imperial household. The emperor of the Norman Empire stood atop of the pyramid of rights across the country.
This was the most rough division. To be concrete, guilty slaves were also further divided into different ranks.
In the Norman Empire, the lowest class was LV 3 guilty slave. If LV 3 guilty slaves didn't violate the laws their whole lives, their children would be promoted to LV 2 guilty slaves. LV 3 guilty slaves could not be promoted any time in their lives. However, if a LV 3 guilty slave could render meritorious service, his or her children could then be directly promoted to LV 1 guilty slaves.
Similarly, LV 2 guilty slaves had one more privilege than LV 3 guilty slaves. Once LV 2 guilty slaves rendered meritorious service, they could be promoted to LV 1 guilty slaves. After that, once they didn't violate the laws, their children could get rid of the status as a slave and be promoted to guilty citizens.
At that rank, they started to have some social rights. If they could render meritorious services to the country, they and their children could become average citizens, who would then enjoy more social rights and means of promotion.
In the Norman Empire, a person or a family, if lowered to be LV 3 guilty slaves, they had to experience at least three generations' efforts before being allowed to enter the main-stream society once again.
Zhang Tie, for example, after being promoted to be a second lieutenant, had become a low-rank soldier.
In the Norman Empire, only people coming from families above the level of soldiers could be made into military officers. Colonel Leibniz was a high-ranking soldier. Only after being promoted to be a major general could he become a member of the meritorious class.
The pyramid structure of the social classes across the Norman Empire was as precise as a difference engine.
If a person wanted to be a member of a noble class, not only in the Norman Empire but also in other human countries, there was only one requirement—only those people who have rendered great meritorious services to human beings in battles against demons by killing them can gain the respect of everybody and become part of the nobility.
After the first holy war between the humanity and the demons, it was clarified in the "Human Clan Brilliant Magna Carta" formulated by countries, armed forces, and religious groups on all continents that 'only people who kill demons can be awarded with the title of nobility'. This rule had gained the the approval of all the people, countries, and armed forces.
As having not killed any demons, even Lin Changjiang, the governor of the Northern Border Military Zone of the Norman Empire was only a member of the meritorious class, instead of a member of the noble class.
Human noble class in Black Iron Age was the representative of real elites and heroes, which was in complete opposition to the nobles that appeared in the history before the Catastrophe.
After staying in the Iron-Blood Camp for merely one morning, Zhang Tie realized that he already had a good impression about this place. Even average soldiers of the Norman Empire could enjoy a good treatment. However, as the "Iron-Blood Camp" was more special in the Army of the Norman Empire, the military officers here could enjoy an alluring treatment.
In non-war time, everybody in the Iron-Blood Camp could enjoy a salary 1.5 times higher than that of soldiers with the same rank in other regiments. In war-time, everybody in Iron-Blood Camp enjoyed a salary two times higher than that of soldiers with the same rank in other regiments. That was to say, Zhang Tie could get eight gold coins a month here. Before this, he had not imagined that he could possibly get this much gold coins per month.
This was only one privilege of the military officers in the Iron-Blood Camp. Additionally, each military officer here could get some fixed items which were mainly cigarettes and sugar bars and some other small items which were all hard-to-get in any other place.
Besides abundant material treatment, the experience as a soldier or military officer in the Iron-Blood Camp was also a huge plus in the eyes of superiors. In the Iron-Horn Army, any main battle officer of regimental level had served in the Iron-Blood Camp fore more than three years. Therefore, Zhang Tie understood the expression "gold-plating" which was used to describe those who served in the Iron-Blood Camp.
There was another name for the Iron-Blood Camp across the Norman Empire - Double High Camp. One of them referred to the high casualty rate, while the other to high possibilities in breaking through bottlenecks in each level of the Iron-Blood Fist. Because of "Double High", there were generally two kinds of soldiers here.
First were the trouble-makers, bastards, and army ruffians. Troublesome and untamed guys whom their superiors disliked would be thrown into the Iron-Blood Camp. They would then grow or die inside.
The second were people who were truly violent. They were war maniacs who dreamed about breaking through their bottlenecks in training the Iron-Blood Fist skill through tough exercises and battles here.
This was also what Zhang Tie had seen when he entered the Iron-Blood Camp of No. 39 Division for the first time. Some people were lazily lying and sleeping under the trees in the hot day while the others were practicing Lying Tiger Move in the training ground under the hot sun, their skin being heavily scorched to the point that even a layer of it had cracked and rolled up.
In the Iron-Blood Camp, besides one hour's drill in the morning, no other training would be arranged for average soldiers. Everybody could do whatever they liked such as training or sleeping. Nobody would care what you were doing because the battles that Iron-Blood Camp experienced screened off those unqualified for it. If you were powerful enough, you would survive the battles. If not, it would be normal for you to be eliminated. By then, you should not blame anyone else.
Soldiers were relaxed. As a low military officer, of course, Zhang Tie would be even more relaxed. It had nothing to do with him, big or small. On the first day he registered in the Iron-Blood Camp, he had found out that he had nothing to do at all in the afternoon.
No. 39 Division of Blackhot City was now in LV 2 combat readiness which meant that none of the common soldiers were allowed to leave the camp without receiving an order.
The military officers of the Iron-Blood Camp, though, followed the rule of 'register thrice: in the morning, noon, and evening'.
In the morning, military officers had to attend morning exercises together with soldiers for one hour. At noon, they had to have lunch in the station. In the evening, it was time to go back to their own dorms and go to sleep before 12:00 pm. Military officers were forbidden to sleep outside. Besides these, the Iron-Blood Camp had no more constraints on Zhang Tie.
This way Zhang Tie found out that it was actually not as boring as he had imagined in the Iron-Blood Camp.
Before he would be driven to Kalur for the incoming battles, he had roughly two weeks to stay in Blackhot City, during which he could do a lot of things...