A week later, Locke returned to the division's logistics office.
When Locke came this time, he also met an 'old friend'.
Locke smiled and greeted a red-haired man not far away from him.
After seeing Locke, the red-haired man squeezed out a stiff smile and replied, "Hello!"
Perhaps because he did not laugh often, the forced smile on his face was extremely ugly.
This man was the same knight who interrogated Locke the last time.
Ignoring the whispering soldiers and onlookers, Locke held his head high and strode into the entrance of the logistics office, leaving the awkward red-haired knight behind.
Locke had never been much of a forgiving person, though he did care to not make enemies of people who were stronger and in a higher position than him.
This red-haired man had once wronged him, so he didn’t have to show mercy to the man now.
Now, Locke was facing someone in a position similar to his own, and the strength of his opponent was only a level higher than his own; hence, he found him quite insignificant. Maybe it was because he had met many big figures, or maybe it was the skyrocketing pace of his improvement. Although he himself did not want to admit it, the fact was that he had turned quite arrogant.
Giving an attitude to someone stronger and who had a higher position than himself caused Locke's mood to improve a lot. Now, everything to him looked bright and promising.
Seeing Locke gradually and leisurely leaving, Casal finally couldn't help it and punched a boulder next to him. The half-person-high boulder turned into dust under the power of the mid-rank Knecht.
Of course Casal was angry. He had been turned away by an ‘ant’ who was lower than him in terms of rank and strength. How long had it been since Casal experienced such humiliation? Ever since he had shown off his extraordinary talent in impetus, no one dared to treat him lightly again.
Although he was irritated by Locke, he still didn't have the guts to make a move on him. This was despite the people around him being one of his own, and him being fully capable of knocking Locke down with his own strength.
The other man had a stronger backing, so he had to bow his head to him. Just based on the fact that the division jarl personally came to pick Locke up last time, it was obvious that this low-rank brat was not an ordinary person.
Low-rank Knecht? Casal suddenly came to the realisation: this kid had advanced in such a short time! Reminiscing about the last time Locke came to redeem a potion, he had no choice but to accept it; everyone had their limits, and some were simply born with more privilege than others.
Casal had misunderstood Locke to be a noble child, even though he did not appear or act that way.
Currently, Locke was being hosted by a clever clerk. He seemed to have learned from his colleagues that Locke was a significant person. His diligence made even Locke himself a little uncomfortable.
"I want to check my military merit!" Locke didn't have time to waste time with the clerk and stated his purpose directly.
"No problem, Herr! One moment, please," The clerk quickly answered.
A clerk in the logistics department of the division should also have much backing. At least, he would not be a normal civilian. However, now he was being ordered around by Locke, who was a mere commoner through and through.
In addition to this clerk, there was the red-haired knight from before. As a mid-rank Knecht, he was a count’s retainer. Up till now, he had been able to survive the four-year war. He had quite a huge amount of victories in war as well. At the very least, he would be able to get a knighthood after the war. Even so, he didn’t dare act presumptuously towards Locke. The lord he was serving couldn’t be compared to George, the division jarl of 2nd Division, despite him also being a count. Both of them weren’t even at the same level.
The clerk dug through the files to check for Locke’s merit. Platoon jarls like him had hundreds of men in 2nd Division. The information recorded for each person was either detailed or brief, all slightly different, and it made up half of the room’s capacity.
Locke looked around curiously. The place he came to this time looked like a hidden room, being located at a relatively remote place in the logistics office. He had always been curious about mysterious places like this.
However, before Locke could find anything unusual about this place, the clerk over there exclaimed, "Herr Locke, you! You?"
Locke turned his head and looked, only to see the clerk panicking and pointing at the notebook in his own hands, attracting the attention of many people in this room.
Locke took the notebook from his trembling hands, taking quite a while before he found his name. Locke didn't know many words, but he knew how his name was written, so he only needed to focus on those letters.
It didn’t matter if he didn’t look at it, after taking a glance, even Locke himself almost fainted. How many zeros were there in the string of numbers after his name? Three? Four?
He counted four zeroes carefully. His merit was 10000! Locke's lips trembled, what was going on?
Locke was aware of what he deserved. When he was promoted to the post of platoon jarl as a first-rate soldier, he used up all of his military merit. Since then, he had participated in very few battles, with the siege of Farlans being one of them. As a platoon jarl, there would also be some minor merit awarded every month.
But no matter how he calculated, his military merit wouldn’t exceed 100 points. Even sixty or seventy would be pretty decent already.
The conditions to obtain military merit were very strict. Putting aside completing important missions, one could only obtain merit by killing enemies and claiming their waist tags. Serf soldiers were worth one point, third-rate soldiers were worth five, and second-rate soldiers were worth ten.
In other words, Locke's merit was equivalent to killing a thousand second-rate soldiers. What was this nonsense? Even if he was a high-rank Knecht like Wyr, when faced with a thousand second-rate soldiers, there was no other choice than to run away.
Not only was Locke stunned by his merit count, every member of the logistics department who heard the news showed an expression of disbelief.
"Did you note it down wrongly?" Although Locke craved the merit himself, he still asked to be sure.
"No! No! Brother Locke!" The one who answered him was the Division Jarl George, who walked in sideways owing to his fat body. As the jarl of 2nd Division, he hurriedly left the job at hand and rushed over after hearing that Locke had arrived at the logistics department.
"Hello, Jarl George," Locke bent down slightly for a knight's salute.
The rest in the office also greeted him.
At this time, George did not have the arrogance of a division jarl. Last time, he called Locke a junior, but this time, he spoke to him as if they were on the same level. EvenLocke was shocked at being addressed as ‘brother’, to say nothing of the others present.
"This merit was issued to you by Prince Kenzir, Margrave Marmen, and Princess Angelina. I attest to its authenticity!" George said in a rough voice. He was here to explain to the rest. After all, the amount of merit was too great. If any rumors were to spread, it would not only affect Locke, but also 2nd Division's credibility.
After saying this, George pulled Locke by the shoulders and left. Everyone else would probably remember Locke for good after seeing how intimate their jarl was being. They reckoned he was probably a descendant of some big family, especially the clerk who had served Locke, who was particularly excited about it. If a big figure like him put in a good word for him in front of the division jarl, his future would be bright and possibilities would be endless.
As George sent him off, Locke finally got a rough idea about what had happened. Of his 10000 points, 2000 were rewarded by Kenzir, 1500 points were given by Marmen, and the rest were from Angelina.
Locke knew that Angelina was put in charge of the caster unit, but he knew nothing of the mysterious unit. The casters that he had seen these years were numbered fewer than five, and he had only seen all of them from afar. All he knew was that this should be a unit more elite than Lion's cavalry division.
From the words of George, Locke could also tell that Angelina probably assigned all the merit she could as the leader of the caster unit. Even George, a division jarl, pined for that huge amount.
The things that could be exchanged with those military merits was a fortune, even for him, the patriarch of a large noble family. George could only be envious of the good luck of this commoner. More importantly, he would not dare have any plans to get that merit for himself.
Nobody would dare to pilfer the rewards personally issued by the three great figures at the top of the Faustian hierarchy.
After leaving the supply camp, Locke still felt a little dizzy from the shock. No wonder Angelina took him advancing to a low-rank Knecht for granted and suggested he change his equipment. Many things clicked in his head right away.
It was only when he approached their camp that he suddenly realised that he seemed to have missed the most important thing. His weapon and armour was still the same. The points wouldn't be worth much if they were just left there, so he might as well use them up in the afternoon then. Locke was decisive just like that.
It wouldn't be an overstatement to say that he had the most merit out of the entire army.
The towering and lifeless palaces almost seemed to be nestled together among the mountains, with their walls standing tall and straight, lined with stacks of arrows. The grey and grand marble columns at the gates were testament to the glory that the city once possessed.
The city of Audis, the royal capital of Shalor, was located on the top of the mountains. This city had been the glory of the many Shalorian kings, and it was about to be turned into catacombs. It stood quietly against the cold northern breeze.
It had been almost a month since the siege began.