There were many ways to complete military service. Those enlisting would be divided according to their physical condition. Those with physically weak bodies would be assigned to less taxing places and, as Duan Qianji had mentioned, did not need to leave the planet. For those with poor health, they might be assigned to a city office to help with easier jobs, such as administration. However, these jobs were also restricted by the postings. The majority of people were thus assigned accordingly, and more than 70% of postings required the person to leave the planet.
Every year, many military personnel were sent to foreign planets. Not for holidays, they were required to undergo rigorous training and would need to toil hard there. Therefore, most people were unwilling to get sent there, and families with pressing or dire circumstances would try various methods to get a more relaxed posting.
This resulted in many underhanded transactions happening on the black market every year, especially so in remote areas. By manipulating the assignments, one could even use this as a means of revenge.
It had already been 500 years since the New Era had started and many laws and policies had lost the significance they'd had when they were first introduced. Yanzhou’s military was no exception. Officials in the military would sometimes turn a blind eye. After all, the end of days were over, and in order to go on living happily, sometimes corners had to be cut.
This situation was not just limited to Yanzhou. It existed in every single continent as well.
Fang Zhao had not yet enlisted, yet he already had these postings. He did not need to worry about being assigned to an arduous foreign planet. Duan Qianji also hoped that Fang Zhao would remain in Qi’an City and be of use to Silver Wing Media. After all, the nucleus of the Polar Light team was Fang Zhao.
Fang Zhao left the rooftop office and headed for the 50th floor, taking advantage of the afternoon’s free time to summon his team over.
"Wasn’t the project meeting scheduled for tomorrow?" Zu Wen yawned. He had been about to take his afternoon nap.
"This is not a project meeting. I have received a number of military postings," Fang Zhao said.
Zu Wen was snapped out of his daze. "Is it what I’m thinking it is?"
"Is it the type… that grants preferential treatment?" Rodney rubbed his palms gleefully.
Everyone else stared at Fang Zhao, awaiting his reply
Fang Zhao nodded. "Thats right"
"Ah Hah—" Zu Wen let out a strange sound. "Why did I clear my military service so early?! I could have been living the life and enjoying special treatment! I wouldn’t even have to travel to foreign planets to mine for minerals!"
"Zu Wen, were you also assigned to mining?" Zeng Huang asked.
"Yeah. Where else?" Zu Wen felt his stomach clenching when he remembered his time in the military. "Luckily, my family pulled some strings and spent a million dollars so that the person in charge would assign me to a planet with a well-developed base."
"You had it good. The planet I was assigned to had horrible conditions. The weather was bad, too, and it snowed all year long." Zeng Huang shuddered as he spoke.
"Zeng Huang and I completed our military service during year three of university. During year one and two, we completed the curriculum for year three as well, so when we returned, we could directly continue with year four and have it not affect our graduation," Wan Yue said. "But it seems like Fang Zhao has not served in the military yet."
Generally, students would try to complete their military service together with close friends or family. Waiting till after graduation would only serve as a hindrance to their work.
During university, the original owner of Fang Zhao’s body had been kept busy by composing, dating, and striving for good results and awards. Therefore, he had not completed his military service.
"I have also completed my service. But, Boss…" Fu Yingtian paused. He had joined the team through Zu Wen’s recommendation and followed Zu Wen’s way of calling Fang Zhao "Boss." However, he was still not used to speaking to Fang Zhao in the same easy manner as Zu Wen.
Seeing Fang Zhao glance over, Fu Yingtian got a little nervous. "My little brother is in his third year of university. He spends most of his days coding and severely lacks exercise. This year, he and his classmates decided to defer their studies and serve in the military. He… he is really talented in science and technology… It's just that he loses track of time when he gets busy. He frequently stays up all night and his health condition isn’t that good. Last year, he also contracted an illness… Boss, the postings that you have… could you sell me one?"
Hearing Fu Yingtian’s words, Fang Zhao nodded.
Fu Yingtian felt relieved as Fang Zhao consented. Having joined the Polar Light project team, he had saved quite a bit of money. It would be worth it if he could purchase a credible posting. He had asked around on the black market, but there were no guarantees and there was a risk of being conned.
He knew his own brother best. If his brother was posted to mine at a planet with poor weather and working conditions like the one Zeng Huang had mentioned, chances were, he would be sent back halfway through due to illness or health issues. Military service was not that bad to the extent that people died, but according to his experiences, he knew how tough it could be.
If it was absolutely fair and people were assigned their positions according to the rules, he would have accepted it with no questions asked. However, now that everyone was using their own means and methods, why should he abide by the rules? He had not done so previously, but this time, given the circumstances, he could let the people he cared about suffer less.
Struggling hard, was it ultimately to give his family and himself a better life?
Fu Yingtian had only intended to ask how much a posting cost, yet he heard Fang Zhao say, "Mhmm, you can have one. Anyone else?"
Fu Yingtian was flabbergasted. The few people around froze like statues as they watched Fang Zhao.
A few seconds later, Zu wen took a deep breath. "You mean you are giving them to us?!" Still finding it incomprehensible he added, "Really, you giving them to us for free?"
Fang Zhao nodded.
"Wait, Boss. Do you know the market rate on the black market?" Zu Wen rubbed his eyes, struggling to control himself. "10 million!" Without giving Fang Zhao a chance to reply, Zu Wen continued, "On the black market, it is 10 million! The lowest it has ever gone was also 5 million! Those are the ones you have where you can choose your own posting. Back then, I would have gotten one for myself but I just didn’t have the money."
Fang Zhao replied to Zu Wen’s incessant chatter with two words: "I know."
That was all?!
Zu Wen’s eyes widened.
Fang Zhao glanced at the people in front of him. "Zu Wen, Song Miao, Pang Pusong, Zeng Huang, Wan Yue, Fu Yingtian, Stiller, Zhang Yu—the eight of you can have one each. Use it on whoever you see fit. Let me know when you've made the choice."
"Ha!" Zu Wen roared with laughter. "I love you, Boss!"
As he shouted, Zu Wen went in for a hug. Fang Zhao sidestepped and shoved him into a room. "You have all received benefits, make sure you give me good work."
"Yes! I guarantee all the work will be done to perfection!" Zu Wen was no longer sleepy. He was really excited. If not for the fact that this could not be publicly announced, Zu Wen would have shown it off in front of his friends.
Other departments distributed red packets; here they distributed postings!
Military postings that were worth millions!
Even if there was no urgent need to use them within the family, it would still not be sold. The postings given by Fang Zhao still had value even if there was no immediate use for them.
Pang Pusong wasted no time and made a call to his mother. "Hello, Mom, I obtained a posting. Let Uncle and Cousin know that they no longer need to worry!" Pang Pusong’s cousin was his maternal uncle’s daughter who was going to be of age soon. Her body was frail and she was frequently sick. His uncle had recently been borrowing money and asked for favours just so that his daughter could get sent to an easier place where she did not have to suffer.
Back when Pang Pusong had been a freelancer looking for jobs, his uncle had been of great help. Previously, having the chance to audition at Silver Wing Media was due to his uncle pulling some strings. If not for his uncle, Pang Pusong would not have met Fang Zhao. Pang Pusong was very grateful to him and hence had no qualms about giving the posting to his cousin.
Two days later, Fang Zhao received Pang Pusong and Fu Yingtian’s requests and passed them on to Duan Qianji.
Duan Qianji was astonished at Fang Zhao’s decision to give the postings to his subordinates, but she respected his decision.
"I will ensure that this matter is handled properly. Fang Zhao, what about your choice? Have you decided when to enlist? Which position do you want?" Duan Qianji paid no heed to others. She was only interested in Fang Zhao’s decision.
"I wish to complete the Polar Light project first," Fang Zhao replied.
"That’s true. If Polar Light wins the endorsement deal, you will be busy. You will probably be unable to serve your duty this year. You are still young, you will still be eligible to serve in the next couple of years. As long as you still have the posting and it is within the time period, you can enlist in the military as and when you want to."
Duan Qianji hoped that, when the time came, Fang Zhao would be assigned somewhere within Qi’an City, in the vicinity of the company. She had not known that Fang Zhao had spent the last two days reading up on mining on foreign planets and had taken a special interest in the most far-off ones. If Duan Qianji had known, she would surely have recalled the postings.
After returning to the office and informing Pang Pusong and Fu Yingtian, Fang Zhao filled up the self-feeding machine with food for ‘Curly Hair’ before deciding to retreat to his office to rest. That was when he received an incoming message.
"Big Zhao, what's up?" Zeng Huang asked as he emerged from the washroom and saw the weird expression of Fang Zhao's.
"I’m going to drop by Qi’an Police Station."
"What happened?" Zeng Huang was worried. Why would he be called to the police station for no reason?
"Don’t worry. It’s not a big deal. I will be back in no time."
Hearing Fang Zhao’s words, Zeng Huang relaxed a little. "All right. As long as it’s nothing."
"Fang Sheng has been arrested, thats all," Fang Zhao replied.