Chapter 788 – A Military Achievement Dropping from the Heavens
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Everyone knew the reason for the stark contrast in sacrifice: the students of the Orthodox Academy had obtained the protection of both the Imperial Court and the Li Palace. The most obvious example was that the Orthodox Academy had started taking in students three years ago and now consisted of more than three hundred teachers and students, yet only a few students were present on the frontlines, and they were all assigned to secretarial duties.
But nobody criticized the Orthodox Academy.
This was because everyone understood the malice concealed behind the Imperial Court's arrangements, and they also understood why the Li Palace would be so nervous.
More importantly, besides those students performing secretarial tasks, the Orthodox Academy had another person on the frontlines.
Although that person had probably forgotten his identity, Su Moyu, who was overseeing the Orthodox Academy in the capital, would not forget, nor would the priests of the Li Palace in charge of related matters, especially those from the Bureau of Ecclesiastic Education. He was a person of the Orthodox Academy, and a very important person.
Wofu Zhexiu was the strongest of the Wolf tribe's younger generation, and he was also the Vice Superintendent of the Orthodox Academy.
After Zhou Tong died, Zhexiu left the capital and came to the frontlines to do battle with the demons, returning to the lifestyle he was once most used to.
It was unknown whether he still had any memories of his life in the capital and the Orthodox Academy, but he clearly had no awareness that he was the Vice Superintendent of the Orthodox Academy. In this period of nearly two years, he had never once met with the students sent to the frontlines from the Orthodox Academy, much less instructed them in anything. He also had not accepted the command from the army to become the supervising general of Blue Pass, and when the Vice Principal of Star Seizer Academy, communicating through the now-pardoned Divine General Xue He, had wanted to express his goodwill by having Zhexiu train the elite black-armored light cavalry of Black Mountain Army, he had also refused. Instead, he had returned to his original profession in the army.
Scout, spy, ambusher, assassin…there were many names, but they all had essentially the same meaning.
Zhexiu was still living and fighting in his own way.
His life had originally consisted of countless battles strung together.
As for his way, it was naturally fighting alone.
Just like in years past, everyone felt that this sort of method of fighting was too primitive, barbaric, bloody, and low-class. It was very difficult to last on the snowy plains for too long, so they felt like they would hear news of his death at any time, yet he stubbornly continued to survive while also harvesting the fruits of battle.
In these two years, the military achievements he had attained all by himself were equal to the total military achievements of some sects or schools.
The officers and soldiers of the Black Mountain Army headquarters and Blue Pass once more thought of that saying that had been passed around for many years.
Zhexiu was a man who was born for military achievements.
And now, his military achievements were the Orthodox Academy's military achievements.
In this sort of situation, who could criticize the Orthodox Academy?
In the ten-some forts in the north, there was probably only one person in the past few years that could compare with Zhexiu in military achievements.
Interestingly, Zhexiu was famous while that person was unknown.
That person had once worked as a civil official in the headquarters of the Northern Expeditionary Army, but for some reason had been demoted to Seven Li Xi, becoming an ordinary officer in the roaming cavalry. Perhaps because he was skilled in strategy, had excessive strength, or simply had astonishing luck, in his period at Seven Li Xi, he had led the roaming cavalry along with a superior officer surnamed Chen in creating countless miracles, achieving countless victories, and accumulating an almost obscene amount of military merit.
However, perhaps because he was too conceited, bullied around his subordinates, or simply had a repulsive character, or maybe because he was from the south and not a person of Zhou, this officer had an awful relationship with other people in the camp. He would butt heads with his superiors and defy military law. The achievements that he had strenuously accumulated were used to lighten his punishments and were never once cleanly registered, so he was unable to gain as resounding a reputation as Zhexiu.
Logically speaking, with this person's abilities and the speed at which he accumulated merit, as long as he was just a little intelligent, he would assuredly have become a promising and nurtured member of the Northern Expeditionary Army, with a chance of even becoming the Great Zhou Army's youngest Divine General in a few years. However, the important officers in the army headquarters never gave him this sort of opportunity. Later, people finally understood what this disregard signified.
This intentional suppression of the young officer garnered much discontent and accusations of injustice in the camp at Seven Li Xi. After a battle three months ago, these emotions finally exploded. After a night of drinking, cavalry rendered the most bustling street of Seven Li Xi into ruins.
What happened next was very simple: the young officer was expelled from the roaming cavalry by an order straight from the Ministry of the Army in the capital, even expelled from the Northern Expeditionary Army, and was transferred to an extremely remote location.
This place was called Sloping Cliff and was located in the foothills southeast of Mount Han. This was not a critical stronghold that received the brunt of the demon assault, nor did it guard a crucial thoroughfare used to transport supplies. It was just a little-remembered and remote horse farm.
This place yielded nothing other than the frost-colored grass growing along the cliffs. It was an incredibly desolate place. Not even the migratory birds returning north from the south would stop here. The only reason there was a horse farm here was that the frost-colored grass was the favorite food of Dragonhorses.
Dragonhorses were the most important mounts of the Great Zhou Army. Setting up a horse farm just to satisfy their desires could be considered preferential treatment, but to the people banished here, such a thing was completely out of the question.
The young officer became yet another unlucky person that was banished to Sloping Cliff in the last several hundred years.
The officers and soldiers of Sloping Cliff knew of his history and achievements, and naturally felt a great deal of sympathy, yet none of them ever considered why such an outstanding young officer encountered such suppression from his superiors, a suppression that even seemed to come straight from the Ministry of the Army in the capital. They also did not consider that although this remote horse farm was far from the battlefield, making it impossible to gain any more military achievements, one also did not need to worry about being killed by demon experts here.
In brief, all these seemingly unreasonable matters inevitably had their reasons, but no one knew of them at the time.
As one of those involved, the officer naturally knew the reason, but he did not say anything. But perhaps it was for these reasons that in his two months at Sloping Cliff, his mood was rather downcast, his body smelling of alcohol every day.
Drowning one's sorrows in alcohol might not meet with success, but it fortunately did not interfere with his official business. The greatest effect on him was just that he slept rather heavily. Every night, he would sleep until sunrise, a state of affairs which lasted until one night, when two extremely heavy thumps came from the back of the camp…
He propped up his body and angrily yelled out his window, "Can't a person get some sleep?"
No one answered his question, and he fell asleep once more. Yet it was not too long before someone came to rouse him again.
Accompanied by his subordinates, he came to where the horse farm met the cliffs. Upon seeing the sight before him, he couldn't help but suck in his breath.
The slope was scored with trails left by tumbling rocks and dust was still in the air. A man lay on the ground, but the officer could not tell whether he was dead or alive. A girl of twelve or thirteen years of age sat to the side with her arms wrapped around her legs, her clothes in tatters, her body covered in dirt, and a dull-witted expression on her face.