Racking up achievements, seeking capital!
Hitting the nail on the head!
Jiang Xiao revealed Junior Leopard's thoughts in a sentence.
He came to the Navy barracks of Jiang City for this reason. As for the complicated relationships within Jiang City and the behind-the-scenes of various influences, he was in no mood to deal with all that.
He came here to destroy and kill the water bandits so as to gain merit.
That was all.
So as soon as he entered the city, he showed a domineering stance and without hesitation, he beat Guard Ding's third son until he was half dead and even tied him up and brought him to the County Administration. He charged him for rebellion. Although this charge was not valid, he wanted to make a point to the influences in Jiang City that he had arrived and that his temper wasn't good. They weren't to mess with him, or he would release the dog!
Just like what Jiang Xiao had said, Junior Leopard took no notice of the Magistrate and Garrison. Even if his rank was lower by one tier, it hadn't occurred to him that his rank was actually lower.
After beating his son half to death, he went to the Garrison Mansion to make a report and even brought a charge against the unlucky Third Young Master.
Guard Ding was a clever man. He didn't dare to offend this malefic. He was also afraid that something would happen to his baby boy. Hence in helplessness, he contacted the supervisor of the Wu Family in Jiang City. He treated Junior Leopard and the Magistrate to dinner in the most expensive restaurant in Jiang City and offered apologies on behalf of his son and pleaded for Junior Leopard to let him off the hook.
Junior Leopard was also someone who could go with the tide. Thinking that he was new here and had just assumed his position and formally Guard Ding was also his own superior, he couldn't let their relationship become too strained. Adding on to the fact that the supervisor of the Wu Family and the Magistrate were both in attendances pleading for Guard Ding's son, Junior Leopard decided to follow the tide. After a round of drinks, everybody was happy and they all got the things that they wanted.
After having had their fill of wine and rice, Junior Leopard drank a few more cups and took a rest at the branch of the Wu Family till the next morning. He then led Little Du to the navy barracks under the guidance of the servants of the Wu Family.
"I'm Wang Cheng, leading the Navy of Jiang City to pay respect to the Commander!"
What surprised Junior Leopard was that when he reached the Navy barracks, the Deputy Commander Wang Cheng had already led the officers and soldiers of the navy to wait outside the barracks. When they saw him coming, they paid their respect in unison. This shocked him.
Looking carefully at those leaders in front, they were all extremely respectful. This caused Junior Leopard to be somewhat suspicious. He had long heard that this Jiang City Navy barracks was full of untamed people and they also colluded with the water bandits here and committed transactions that could not be known in the light. Since when did they become so docile? Could the sun really rise from the west?
Shocked as he was, he couldn't ignore the hundreds of people kneeling on the floor. He hurriedly said, "Fellow brothers you don't need to be so formal. Zhou Bao has just arrived, and I'm young and inexperienced. In the future I'll need everybody's help in many areas. Such formalities cause Zhou Bao to feel ashamed!"
As he spoke, he stepped forward and lifted up the officers who were kneeling.
As a result, the process of taking over the Navy barracks was surprisingly smooth. In the beginning, Junior Leopard was somewhat suspicious of whether these few old sly men were creating a trap for him. However, when the Vice Commander Wang Cheng brought him into the barracks and brought three captains and one quartermaster to narrate in detail about the workings of the whole Navy of Jiang City, Junior Leopard was able to conclude that this group of people did not seem to have any resistance towards him. On the contrary, they were extremely cooperative.
This was quite unexpected to him, but at the same time, it calmed him and he relaxed.
Although Jiang City was small, and the rank of a Navy Commander was not high (after all he led an army himself), his power within the barracks was great. It was a completely separate concept from being an Admiral's personal guard. If he wanted to produce results here and complete Li Yuan's mission, without the cooperation of these local bullies, it would be difficult.
Originally he was scared of this group of old soldiers and local bullies being uncooperative and plotting against him. He thought of a few ways to suppress them hence, when he was in the city, he unforgivingly sought out Guard Ding's Third Young Master. This was seen as a way of establishing his might and showing his determination towards all the forces in Jiang City.
This was a fluke but aslo his first show of action. Now that he had reached the Navy barracks, he was preparing to reveal his capabilities when he realized that everything he had prepared was useless. The whole navy barracks was extremely respectful and their attitude expressed that they were willing to let him take over without qualms.
While it was all smooth sailing he had some regret deep in his heart because he was not able to show his capabilities to this group of subordinates. Of course, that excluded the shock that Little Du had given them.
"Commander, these are this months Navy's income and expenses. Please check it out!" Right when he was busy entertaining silly ideas in his head, the quartermaster Wang Datong brought a thick account book and placed it on the table before Junior Leopard.
Junior Leopard frowned as he looked at the thick book, "Excellency Wang, these matters are always handled by you. You should continue being in charge. When I see this I get a headache!"
"That can't be done!" Hearing Junior Leopard's words, Wang Datong's face lit up with joy,"You are the new Navy Commander. You must be very clear about our barracks' expenses; otherwise I can't tell you what will happen if something goes wrong in the future.
"Something goes wrong? What could possibly go wrong?" Junior Leopard was somewhat confused, his face was earnest. "Excellency Wang, the reason why I came here is because of the Admiral's order, to lead the army to fight a war. As for the rest, I really have no idea about matters of provision and money. Even if you show it to me, I won't be able to understand. Why are you making things difficult for me?!"
"This...!" Wang Datong didn't expect Junior Leopard to be so frank, to straightforwardly say that he didn't know anything. It looked like he would act as he saw fit. Everything he originally wanted to say escaped him and for the moment he stood there dazed and dumbfounded.
"Your Excellency, you're the Navy Comander. There are some things you should be aware of. Even if you don't look at the account book, you should at the very least have some understanding of the Navy barracks expenses!" Wang Cheng spoke out at this moment and he said to Wang Datong, "Datong, you should keep this book and tell His Excellency the rough figures."
"Yes!" Wang Datong nodded, "Your Excellency, this Navy has 496 people in total. There are three captains and 30 team captains. Every big team has 100 people and a small team has 10. There are 400 normal soldiers. The Commander and Vice Commander each lead one group of men and horses. Each team has 50 people. Furthermore those looking after the horses and miscellaneous stuff add up to 93 people. A soldier's salary every month is 500 bucks, a team captain 800 bucks, the captain and quartermaster 1000 bucks each. The total salary every month is 51,000 bucks. Adding on to both of the Commanders' salary, every month we require 55,000, which is 55 taels of silver!"
"55 taels of silver?!" Junior Leopard said softly, "55 a month, then per year it is 660 taels. Are there any problems?"
"Uh, yes. Our navy barracks' salary is allocated once a year. Originally the set standard was 800 men...!"
"800 men?!" Junior Leopard was stunned for a while. He then understood and nodded, "En, since it's pegged to the standard of 800 men, there shouldn't be any shortage?!"
"Logically speaking, with the standard of 800 men, we'll at least get 1000 taels every year. However, for the past few years, whenever the money has been distributed to us, there always is at most 500 taels. Hence, there are some inconsistencies!" Wang Datong said somewhat embarrassed.
"Why is it so little?!"
"Ugh, I don't know. Although this salary is distributed by the military,it gets cut with every tier it goes through. Heaven knows how much those bastards have gobbled up!"
"You should just directly tell me that you are short of money. Why go through all this bullshit?!" Junior Leopard smiled, "Since you are short of money every year, how do you all manage?!"
"We take from one side to fill the other side. After trying to make it work for the last few years, I have run out of any more ideas!"
"What a coincidence. You guys are fine for the past few years, but when I assume office, you're unable to do it anymore!"
"This is a problem that's unavoidable. A few years ago, even though the salaries were not enough, we could still earn some extra money on the Luo River. We could receive protection fees from the merchants. Life was still passable. However, during this period, the water bandits on the river become more and more powerful. We were completely out of their league. After going a few times, not only did we not fish benefits, but we also spoiled the merchant goods. It had been a long time since anyone had come to hand over protection fees. Due to this matter, Commander Gao personally led the troops to kill the bandits. In the end, he paid for it with his life! Aye!" At this point, Wang Datong heaved a long sigh. The atmosphere within the barracks all of a sudden became sullen.
"So that is the case?!" Junior Leopard finally understood. He really didn't know all these before his arrival. This was too strange. This group of Navy soldiers didn't collude with the water bandits. They were beaten till they hid in the barracks and didn't dare to come out.
This was vastly different from what he thought. However, this was only Wang Datong's version of events. Even though it sounded credible, wouldn't it be a shame if these guys were to band together to play him and he fell for it?
Thinking about it, Junior Leopard turned his gaze unto Wang Cheng, "Commander Wang, you're the old folk here in the barracks. How should we handle this matter in your opinion?!"
Wang Cheng smiled bitterly, "Do we have any other choice? We either beat down the water bandits by the Luo River, or we starve together. There is no other way!"
"I see!" Junior Leopard nodded, "Since Commander Wang has said so, we can only do as he says. I personally don't like using my brains. I don't wish to make trouble. Even though I'm a Commander, I'm used to charging at the fore of the ranks. Everyone here is my senior. If you have any ideas please put them forward. When the time comes, I'll just be in charge of charging at the fore!"
"How can this be, you're the Navy Commander! Besides...!"
"Of course it's possible. I'm the Navy Commander conferred by the Admiral. I have to respond to this cause. However, if I'm to lead the soldiers to fight, I'll screw it up. I'm myself am not afraid however, this concerns the life of the other soldiers, hence we should be more careful on how we deal with this matter!" Junior Leopard smiled bitterly, "Okay, let's settle this. You guys come up with the plan to deal with the water bandits. I'll listen to you all. Just think about it slowly. Let me know when you get the results, and I won't give you any trouble!" Junior Leopard then cupped his fists and left the barracks. This caused the few people in the barracks to stare at each other and smile bitterly.
When had they ever met a commander with such a personality before?
Each of them sighed in their hearts. They didn't know whether it was a blessing or a curse to meet such a fellow!