McBurney thought that there could be problems later on if, by any chance, Roman Dmitry was standing there because he didn’t know how the Southern Training Center worked yet. Thus, he said, “Roman. Southern Training Center doesn’t force training on ‘nobles’. If you do not want to train, you can watch it from the shade of the trees, just like everyone else.”
Sometimes there were people who thought they also needed to train and waited in the sun, only to later argue that they were being discriminated against when they saw the appearance of the other nobles. McBurney was tired of all that.
Unlike Viscount Bale Frank, who was the commander, the instructors didn’t have much power in the training center.
Roman asked, “Are you talking about them?”
Roman’s gaze turned toward the shade of the trees. There were nobles who were busy talking with each other rather than coming to train on the training ground.
McBurney nodded at Roman’s question. Nevertheless, it was a moment that somehow made him feel ashamed.
“I will train.”
Roman refused to go to the shade of the trees even though he knew the truth. He wasn’t like the other nobles at the Southern Training Center. The other nobles only thought that war didn’t happen here, and the commander was the one who would give orders to the soldiers anyway. Also, wasn’t war something that soldiers actually fought? That was their common sense—A commander watches war from afar and gives his orders.
Nevertheless, those who had actually experienced war had entirely different opinions. Looking directly at McBurney, Roman said his thoughts out loud.
“You are not wrong. The enemies’ attacks do not know about nobles and their identities on the battlefield. Nevertheless, even nobles should receive basic training. Of course, most have the misconception that the one who has the position of a commander is in a safe place. A war in the plains might be mostly safe. However, if one is being chased after being defeated in war, or if attacked by an enemy who came from the rear, the nobles will not be able to recover from it, let alone give proper orders due to their weak strength.”
That wasn’t all. War wasn’t always fought in plains. Often, war is fought within mountains, rivers, swamps, and other places. Thus, in order for a commander to do their job as a leader in various terrains, it was necessary for them to train in the same way as the soldiers.
“I understand the training at the Southern Training Center is a process of grasping the strength of the soldiers and passing the experience of you all, who have stayed here for long. Thus, you don’t have to do that for me. I decided that I needed training, so I am ready for any training, regardless of my status.”
Roman was done. Now, it was as if he wouldn’t say another word until training started.
As Roman stood and gazed directly into his eyes, his heart started to pound intensely.
McBurney had fallen in love with who Roman Dmitry was.
People risk their lives even for those whom they barely know?
Even the day before, McBurney’s motivation was down on the ground. His skepticism as an instructor was huge, but after hearing the words of Roman, he felt his pride rising again.
‘He has a perfect grasp of my intentions.’
It was the first time he met a person who thought in the same way as himself, despite him being a noble and saying he would do the training voluntarily.
It wasn’t just an impulsive thought. McBurney, who had served on the battlefield for a long time, eventually developed an eye to see if the other person was being honest or not, and now, Roman’s calm eyes did not show someone who did not know about war.
The enthusiasm he had a really long time ago was finally revived within McBurney. He thought it would be extremely helpful to someone like Roman, so he wanted to impart the best education he could to Roman.
‘I was only going to conduct moderate training, just like any other day. But I will have you do the most difficult one from now onward. Even if a disaster hits the Southern Front, I will make sure you have the minimum physical strength and military knowledge to survive and win against your enemies. I will do the best I can.’
With that one decision, McBurney opened the gates of hell for the trainees. The first week of training was focused solely on physical training. Originally, the trainees only had to warm up with a simple run, but now, right from the start, McBurney told the trainees to put heavy things on them and climb up a mountain.
“The purpose of this training isn’t simply to improve your physical fitness. Wars can break out suddenly, and you all, who do not know when they will, sometimes will have to climb mountains with heavy items. In this exercise, you all will not only strengthen your bodies but also learn how to climb mountains quickly. Regardless of the weather, you all will have to climb a mountain at least once a day from now on.”
Tak. Tak. Tak. Tak.
Hundreds of soldiers ran down the mountain with pale faces. As if climbing up was not horrible enough, they now had to run down as well. Still, this was just the start. The soldiers, whose stamina had completely depleted right from the start, simply filled their stomachs and immediately gathered at the training ground.
“This training is quite basic. War is a battle of mental strength that will never end. So, in order to fight to the end without losing your concentration from sunrise to sunset, you need to test your limits. From now on, you all will proceed with infinite slashing training without any counting. I will warn you in advance—Do not give up. Those who do give up will have to proceed with extended training in their sleep time.”
Curses came from all over the training ground. Normal soldiers could not refuse the orders of an instructor, so they could only accept the harsh reality they had to go through. McBurney’s warning wasn’t in vain. Many soldiers fell in the scorching sun. Some were shivering and even trembling. Nevertheless, he continued to train people.
‘On the battlefield, you will have to go through a more brutal time.’
The Southern Front was no exception to war. As much as he was moved by Roman’s words, he wanted to share the reality he had seen on the Western Front.
“I-I need a break.”
The trainees’ voices sounded like they were dying. They were only conscripts. As they weren’t actual soldiers and didn’t even receive proper military training, they couldn’t keep doing the training that drove them to the extreme.
McBurney even thought he would stop the training if most had similar reactions and couldn’t go on, but he couldn’t. It was because Roman’s soldiers, from start to finish, were perfectly carrying out the training while being led by their liege.
Roman swung his sword. It was an action he had already repeated hundreds of times. Even though his skin was red due to the heat from the sun and his entire body was drenched in sweat, he did not stop training. Furthermore, he wasn’t even using mana. He was just immersed in pure physical training.
Simultaneously, the soldiers surrounding Roman only looked at him, bewildered. They couldn’t believe Roman’s actions. Even if he rested in the shade of the trees, no one would have said anything, but he was out there training with the soldiers.
‘Just like one refines their sword before fighting, it is necessary to strengthen the bond between the soldiers and myself.’
Heavenly Demon Baek Joong-hyuk didn’t rise to the top as soon as he was born. He started from the bottom-up, so he knew what emotions and thoughts those receiving orders had. They always complained, even about the most trivial things.
Even today, while the soldiers were training in the intense heat of the scorching sun, their leaders were sitting and chatting in the shade while smiling. Wasn’t it natural for resentment to rise from within them in such a situation? Still, it didn’t mean that there would be extreme results such as a revolt, but surely, the weight of their leaders’ words would turn lighter to them.
Suppose there is a leader who is training with them and another who isn’t. Whose command would the soldiers follow? It was a difference no one could overlook easily. They would undoubtedly follow the orders of the leader who suffered with them, and it wasn’t uncommon for the outcome of a war to be reversed due to such differences. This didn’t mean that he should always suffer with them—Just until the trust was established. And if it was judged that the action was sufficient to affect the war, there was no reason for the commander to move directly to win.
It was a complex reasoning. Still, while training himself, Baek Joong-hyuk never avoided such things to strengthen his solidarity with soldiers. Seeing him at the forefront of his soldiers, even the other Demonic Sect members began to follow him.
The conquest of Murim wasn’t done by one person alone. The trust between him and his men, built from the bottom-up, was what had brought that true.
Now, even Roman’s soldiers looked like they were going to die. Like other soldiers, they, too, had the urge to give up, but they couldn’t because of Roman. When their leader was working hard, how could the soldiers give up?
The soldiers of other nobles had collapsed on the ground already. They were resting on the ground, gasping for air, but Roman’s soldiers couldn’t do that.
That day, not a single one of Roman’s soldiers sat down until the training finished.N♡vεlB¡n: Transforming Moments into Memories.
The first day of training was finally over.
After sunset and finishing their training, the soldiers came out to wash themselves.
“Haa, this feels nice.”
“Those who said the training would be fine were lying. There was no mention of us rolling on the ground like this,” the soldiers grumbled.
Fortunately, Roman’s soldiers looked fine.
Was it because they did not like this?
A soldier under another noble, who was there, said, “Why do you people only think about your own position? Can’t you cut down a little bit on your enthusiasm while thinking of other people?”
Throughout the training, they couldn’t openly demand Roman’s soldiers to rest. McBurney wouldn’t have pushed the training this much if Roman’s soldiers had given up, but they were training so perfectly that he didn’t even allow any leeway.
Most of them came to hate Roman’s soldiers while panting on the floor. They thought Roman’s soldiers’ stamina must have been built perfectly over the years, but the other nobles’ soldiers didn’t have anything like that.
And because of that, when they saw Roman’s soldiers training without any issues, they were annoyed. And the moment they met in the bath, they began to raise their voices.
“Unlike you all, we were conscripted. Our training period was so short, so how the hell do you think we can withstand a training of the same intensity as you guys? If we had enough time, we all could have done the same thing as you all.”
Just then, hearing those words, one of Roman’s soldiers came forward.
“I am curious about those things you are saying. Just how much time is enough training time for you?
The soldier of Roman who came forward looked menacing. His body reflected well-sculpted muscles. It proved he had been training hard for so long, and he had muscles any man would admire.
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The soldier flinched when he saw him. He felt pressured the moment he saw the other soldier’s body up close.
“We only had one year of training. We are different from you people, who have been training for years. So, take it easy. That way, the instructor will lower the intensity of the training for all of us.”
One year—That wasn’t a short period of time.
Hearing those words, Roman’s soldier laughed. The moment he heard they had been training for a whole year, he wondered how could one sound so silly. Was it because he remembered the past? As a soldier of Roman, he couldn’t stay quiet after hearing something like that.
“Don’t make excuses like not having enough time. We didn’t even have one year of training, unlike you all. It has been less than one year since we first began to train together. No, to be precise, it has been only three months since we started to train sincerely. And you all are saying you didn’t have enough time to prepare? Don’t get me wrong. You people had plenty of time. The only problem is that you just didn’t do your best.”
The soldier of Roman who said that was also one who had successfully passed the enlistment test. He was once an ordinary human who trembled in fear while taking the test. He was Henderson, who had come from Lawrence after watching Roman’s actions.
Editor’s Thoughts: Roman’s insights are quite good to see. Also, Henderson humbled that guy so fast lol.