GDK 754: My Fifth Corps doesn’t need trash like you bunch!

There were seven divine guard corps in the City of Shadows. Each corps was limited to one thousand divine guards.

A squad consisted of ten divine guards. A company was formed of ten squads led by a Captain. A Corps consisted of ten companies, led by a Chief.

The seven Corps of the City of Shadows were responsible for ensuring the safety of the City. They were also in charge of causing destruction to enemies of the City, projecting the City’s influence, occupying resources, and even plundering. In short, they were responsible for doing all things from noble to despicable. 

Besides Avery, seven of the ten Captains also disappeared from the Fifth Corps. They likely had left with Avery. The remaining three Captains did not participate in Avery’s rampage as they had their own families in the City. However, after the ruckus, two of them resigned from their posts and left the Fifth Corps.

Many other divine guards had left as well. The only Captain that remained was called Lamont. At present, the entire Fifth Corps consisted of less than two hundred divine guards.

Of the one thousand Fifth Corps divine guards, about half had left with Avery and the Lavers Family. The other half left because they knew that they would accomplish nothing in the Fifth Corps while some did so in protest of the actions taken by the House of Sainte. It was for these reasons that the Fifth Corps became dysfunctional, crippled, and severely understaffed. 

Wallace, aware of the condition of the Fifth Corps, divided all of its duties between the First, Second, and Third Corps. With that, the divine guards of the Fifth Corps had no work to do. They killed time by drinking and chatting. There wasn’t a dash left in them.

In the work lounge of the Fifth Corps, Lamont, the only Captain who had not resigned, was drunk and prostrated, teasing and flirting with several female divine guards. He was living the life!

“Captain Lamont, I hear that the owner of the Celestial Pearl will be coming to the Fifth Corps soon. Our happy days are coming to an end!” a squad leader who worked under Lamont remarked as he filled his glass with an amber-colored fine wine to the brim. His face was red and hot.

Previously, when Avery was around, all these bottles of fine wine obtained from looting and gifted by small family clans were for Avery’s taste buds alone. But after Avery’s departure, the large collection of fine wine became ownerless. These divine guards conveniently took it for their own, drinking to their heart’s content everyday.

Lamont, who was also rather intoxicated, let out a groan and said, “He’s just a small merchant. What does he know about running our Fifth Corps? If it wasn’t for his relationship with the House of Sainte, would he have gotten the job? That kid knows nothing about our work!”

“Captain, you know, they should have chosen from among we veterans in succeeding Avery’s place. And from how I see it, among us, you, Captain, are the most qualified to take over. But unfortunately, the City Lord did not even consider any of us as candidates. And against reason, he handed the position to this immature and inexperienced little merchant. Ugh…” the squad leader had drunk a little too much to say words implying fault on the City Lord.

Lamont responded with a long sigh and replied, “Who knows what was going through the City Lord’s mind…”

Lamont did not leave with Avery or resign as other Captains did because he had his eyes set on the most powerful seat in the Fifth Corps. In Lamont’s wishful thinking, the position as the Chief should fall to the only Captain remaining - him. 

Unfortunately for Lamont, things didn't go as he had hoped. Not only did Wallace not even consider the old bunch as potential candidates, he temporarily stripped the FIfth Corps of all their privileges, tying Lamont’s hands.

Lamont’s lofty aspiration was thwarted. Though sullen and disappointed, Lamont spent his days drinking those fine wines conveniently located in the Fifth Corps to numb his grief.

“Captain Lamont, that merchant Bryan has absolutely no clue about the duties of our Fifth Corps, nor does he know a thing about how things work inside the Fifth Corps. Hehe, after he takes office, we've just gotta place stumbling rocks in his path and not allow him to manage the Fifth Corps well. Then, sooner or later, the City Lord will find that he is incapable and will remove him from the seat. When that day comes, perhaps the City Lord will remember that a veteran like Captain Lamont is suited to be the Chief!” the squad leader suggested with a sinister smile.

Lamont smiled drunkenly. He happily raised his wine glass and said, “Ayy let’s drink!”

Lamont was actually planning on doing exactly that. That was why he remained even after learning that Han Shuo would soon take office. His mood was lifted to hear that the squad leader’s words resonated with his intention. 

Meanwhile, Han Shuo, Sanguis, Bollands, Gilbert, Stratholme and Ayermike arrived at the front entrance of the Fifth Corps. Before they had even stepped inside, they could smell the intense fragrance of alcohol and hear the sound of merrymaking. There wasn’t any air of august left. 

Those who didn’t know might even think that they were entering a pub instead of a military base.

Ayermike raised his head and was startled when he read the enormous sign that read ‘Fifth Corps’. He remarked, “How could a military agency of the City be like this?”

Stratholme too shook his head and remarked, “It is obvious that the divine guards would be low in quality. Bryan, it seems that you are up for a big renovation!”

Han Shuo, wearing a calm and collected face, nodded. He said, “With you guys around, we can enlist and train new divine guards to rebuild the Fifth Corps. If any of those in there is not tactful, we’ll kick their ass out of the Fifth Corps!”

“This way please, senior!” Bollands walked forward to the entrance and bowed at Han Shuo.

“Who’s there?” just as Han Shuo and his party were entering, a lazy shout sounded from the inside. Following that, two divine guards whose arms were around each other’s shoulders walked into view. Their faces were red through and through. Each of them was holding a half-emptied bottle of wine. It seemed that they were enjoying life to the fullest.

“The newly-appointed Chief of Fifth Corps has arrived. Gather all your men!” shouted Bollands in a stern voice.

“Oh, I seee,” unexpectedly, the two divine guards weren’t alarmed at all. On the contrary, they put on grins as they sized Han Shuo up. One of them asked drunkenly, “Which of you iz da new Chieff?

“Cut your fucking nonsense and gather everyone!” shouted Gilbert furiously when he saw the two showing not the slightest respect.

“Who tha fack are you? Arr you da new Chieff? You don’t luk like one! Don farking shout at me iff you not the new Chieef!” the divine guard shouted back at Gilbert drunkenly without fear or a sense of shame.

Gilbert let out a reverberating roar of fury and charged at the divine guard, slapping him.

Although not every divine guard in the Fifth Corps was a midgod, all those who could afford to stay were. That divine guard who quarreled with Gilbert had long made it out that Gilbert only possessed lowgod strength and naturally, didn’t take Gilbert as a threat. The divine guard even revealed a mocking sneer as he let Gilbert’s palm slap towards his face. Suddenly, at lightning speed, the divine guard clawed Gilbert with his free hand.

“Pow!” the divine guard was sent crashing to the floor by Gilbert’s slap. His scratch that landed on Gilbert, however, had no effect. It did not even scrape one bit of Gilbert’s skin. 

Han Shuo wore a cold smile as he watched the two divine guards’ performance. He had sent in a few of his demon generals into the Fifth Corps earlier and had heard and seen everything that Lamont and the others said and did. He was very much aware of their intentions.

“Bollands, Sanguis, break their arms and legs!” instructed Han Shuo. 

Bollands and Sanguis who wanted to give them a beating long ago immediately pounced on the divine guards without a word. They joined hands with Gilbert and subdued the divine guards in a split second.

Crack! Crack! Crack! Crack! 

Sounds of bones breaking in two played along with miserable shrieks. The two drunken divine guards suddenly regained their senses. They glared at Han Shuo and screamed, “Even if you are the Chief, you cannot punish us so severely for no reason!”

“Insubordination. That is severe enough,” Han Shuo put on a calm smile and asked, “Weren’t you quite drunk just a minute ago? How is it that you have turned sober so suddenly?”

“I will sue you! I will go to the House of Sainte and sue you!” shrieked the divine guard at the top of his lungs.

Bam! Gilbert threw a punch at the divine guard’s mouth. His lips and gums were bleeding and messed up. It was then that Gilbert cussed, “Sue my fist motherfucker! Do you think the House of Sainte will help you? What a retard!”

The other divine guard who was about to shout something immediately shut his mouth when he saw his partner’s bloody mouth.

“What is going on?” Lamont whose face was deep red walked over with several squad leaders. He feigned being angry and shouted, “Who are you people? How dare you commit such violence to our divine guards of the Fifth Corps?”

“Look at their filthy, drunken faces. You call them divine guards? Pfft,” sneered Gilbert disdainfully before he announced proudly, “We are from the House of Han. My master is here to assume command of the Fifth Corps. Those two jokers belittled my master, so they were disciplined. Do you have a problem with that?”

“Before you come up with official documents showing your identity, you are all outsiders. They did nothing wrong!” Lamont glowered at Han Shuo and coldly groaned, “Even if you are the new Chief, you must act according to the rules!”

“From today onwards, in the Fifth Corps, I am the rules!” Han Shuo put on a faint smile and said, “You are Lamont, aren't you? Alright, Lamont, I hereby expel you from the Fifth Corps. Now get yourself and all your drinking buddies out of the Fifth Corps! My Fifth Corps doesn’t need trash like you bunch!”

“Dismissing us just because we drank is unjustified!” shouted Lamont angrily as he stared at Han Shuo, not backing down.

“As I have said, in the Fifth Corps, I’m the rules,” Han Shuo let out a soft sneer and suddenly, he was in front of Lamont. Han Shuo gently pressed his left palm on Lamont’s chest.

Pow! 

Lamont was sent flying straight to the exit. He fell down the stairs and out the Fifth Corps. Two streams of blood slowly flowed from the corners of his lips. He glowered at Han Shuo with hateful eyes as he yelled, “I will sue you! I will sue you!”

“Go ahead,” Han Shuo waved his hand and said impatiently, “Don’t ever get close to the Fifth Corps or I’ll break your fucking legs.”

“You, you, and you!” the imposing Gilbert pointed at those divine guards whose faces were red and shouted, “What are you still standing here for? Get out before I kick your asses!” 

Those divine guards pointed out by Gilbert were all aligned with Lamont. They were frightened. The squad leader who had been ingratiating Lamont even started weeping, pleading, “Please forgive us, we only took a few cups of alcohol, we did not mean to offend Your Lordship. Please, we still want to stay in the Fifth Corps!”

“All those who drank are dismissed from the Fifth Corps. Shoo!” Gilbert shouted impatiently, “You better stop talking crap and start walking out. Make one more noise and you’ll crawl out with broken legs!”

After hearing Gilbert’s threat, with Sanguis and Bollands staring at them with cold, vicious eyes, the divine guards dared not stay a second longer. They left the Third Corps unwillingly. After most of the Captains left, Lamont became the most influential figure in the Fifth Corps. He had even been buying other divine guards using the fine wine that Avery left behind.

After the layoff, there were less than fifty divine guards left in the Fifth Corps. None of the fifty engaged in the vice of heavy drinking. They were very much self-disciplined. After a moment of observation, Han Shuo noticed that most of the remaining divine guards had a grave and stern air. They were watching the farce going on at the entrance with cold eyes. Their gazes towards Han Shuo were filled with astonishment and bewildered. It seemed that they were considering their next course of action.

Han Shuo had learned a little about those fifty before coming to the Fifth Corps. A majority of them came from impoverished villages and had absolutely no family clan to fall back on. A portion of them were placed there by the House of Sainte. Their loyalty lay with the City of Shadows instead of the person in charge.

To Han Shuo, these were the characters worthy of his attention and care. They would be the foundation that would enable the quick turnaround of the Fifth Corps. Han Shuo considered one of his most important tasks after taking over the Fifth Corps was to win these people’s trust and approval. 

After booting Lamont and his lackeys, the troublesome ones, out of the Fifth Corps, Han Shuo marched straight to the assembly hall and yelled, “All of you divine guards, assemble!” The fifty something remaining divine guards silently gathered before Han Shuo as he commanded.

“You will keep whatever position was previously assigned to you in the Fifth Corps. Before we have enough men, all of you are in the First Company, led by me!” Han Shuo did not waste words to stir up public sentiment but coldly instructed with the relevant commands.

Han Shuo knew that there was no point in talking too much and that the only true way of subduing these untamed talents was with his charisma and ample demonstration of his capability.

 

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