ITDO - Chapter 97 - Soldier Selection
The city’s new barrack was crowded, but the people within it remained fairly orderly in the true military tradition.
Armies were very costly forces to uphold. Regardless of the power that employed them, they were a significant financial burden. In a world of low economic productivity like San Soliel, very few people served as full-time professional soldiers. Most armies were cobbled together with farmers and other civilians on occasion.
This bulk of part-time soldiers would only train on occasion and when war was imminent. On average their combat abilities were low, but their numbers more than made up for these deficiencies.
Wyatt followed the flow of people waiting to sign up. When he saw the dense crowd, he was shocked. Estimates placed the number of willing signatories at over 10,000. For Dragon City, with a population of slightly over 100,000, this meant that the vast majority of those eligible wanted to join the army.
‘This is the appeal of the dragon lord.’
Wyatt sighed. His heart suddenly sank. Given the number of people that had thronged to the barracks, he knew that very few of them would actually make the cut. He also saw that many of the city’s guards and former soldiers had lined up as well. While they might not have been elite, their presence raised the bar of the competition for almost everyone else.
Other than humans, Wyatt also saw many beastmen and elves. From the air they were giving off, it was clear that they were real warriors. This time, the soldiers that were being drafted were humans of Dragon City, so these beastmen and elves would be here to help in the screening process.
“Everyone pay attention!”
A large bear-headed beastman walked out of the crowd. His gaze contained traces of bloodthirst. Wyatt shrunk back a little after seeing him. He knew that he wasn’t an ordinary soldier and predicted that he might be at the level of human great knights.
The bearman shouted loudly in a broken rendition of the continental language, “The great Lord Galakrond is not here, but he is watching this place in his own way!”
The bearman pointed his hand at the stake-like objects that were placed on the surrounding fence. These were covered in strange and complex patterns, and on top of each one shone a glowing eye. These were outposts of the [Protective Detection] spells that Louie had cast.
Louie placed great importance in the army. Nevertheless, as a lord, it was improper for him to supervise it himself. He had thus placed the observational units around the fence in order to remain aware of what was going on, even if he wasn’t directly leading them.
After seeing the dozens of outposts, the people present were awe-struck. For the common folk, spells were inherently mysterious things. This feeling was amplified further knowing that it was their revered lord who was behind them. Thus many bowed their heads in reverence.
“Praise be to you, Lord Galakrond!”
“Praise be to you, our great lord!”
All kinds of names came out of the people’s mouths, causing a brief cacophony.
Seeing that the allotted time for the next events was approaching, the bearman, Lysfer’s trusted companion, directed the attendees to quiet down.
The bearman was a bit depressed. He was a seventh rank warrior but was now forced to train soldiers for Dragon City.
With their millennia of conflicts, humans and beastmen had a significant amount of bad blood between themselves. In fact, war was almost guaranteed in periods of poor harvests.
However, the bearman did not think too much about it anymore. The dragon lord had saved his people and even gave them a sumptuous meal. He knew that he could not return back to the land of the beastman, nor advance to the land of the humans. Perhaps Dragon City would be the only place where they could settle down.
He collected his mind and continued to shout in the continental tongue, “Lord Galakrond is benevolent and mighty. He does not want to see the elderly stay alone without support. Those who are the only sons of the family should return. Don’t make us waste our time trying to find you!”
The bearman’s words fell. The crowd whispered to each other and some regretfully left.
That said, a majority of people were still staying. In this poor world of constant wars, there were only a few families with only one child. This was mostly because their societies hadn’t yet undergone the demographic transition.
“The lord does not need so many soldiers. Only two thousand of you can stay, at the very most. Now, divide yourselves into queues to be tested!”
The crowd began to sort itself out. They were each inspected one by one by the beastmen, the elves, and even the priests that had been captured by Louie.
“No, this one is too short.”
“Your physique is too weak, disqualified.”
“This one had no problem.”
“This one has a disability.”
After a series of inspections, another group of people was eliminated.
Wyatt was lucky. He was able to stay with the rest of the people. He was now getting more and more nervous as if he was about to face a life-changing decision and feeling terrified about the next examination.
He sneaked a look at the people around him and noticed that many were as tense as him, causing him to feel relieved.
‘So everyone was nervous.’
“Lady Lysfer, the number of people left behind is more than expected. Could it be that humans actually have good physiques?”
The bearman came to Lysfer’s side and whispered with a surprised tone. Humans were more focused on farming and were more populous than the beastmen, but because the beastmen were born with physical prowess, they would grow into powerful warriors. They would rely on their combat ability to fight back and forth with the humans. At the peak of their glory, they were almost able to exterminate all human countries.
But from the selection today, the quality and the proportion of those that could become warriors was not insignificant.
Lysfer was a ninth rank warrior so it was impossible for Louie to not use such a good talent. Compared to the elves who were agile and good with the bow, he felt that the beastmen’s combat experience made them more suitable for training the army.
Other than being Louie’s exclusive property at night, Lysfer was also the chief instructor of these soldiers in the daytime.
The wolf girl folded her arms around her chest and gazed at the four thousand humans who were left behind with a grin, “If you eat good food for more than two months in a row yet still have bad health, then you are simply too weak.”
Lysfer’s words stunned the bearman. There was simply no mistake in her words. Due to the lack of supplies, most human civilians could not eat their fill and were malnourished, so it was natural that their physiques would be bad. Beastmen were also the same in that regard. They were more lacking in supplies compared to humans, but because of their innate talent and the basic qualities of their bodies, they were stronger than humans.
“Well then, continue! The lord does not need so many people. Use other ways to screen them. Leaving one thousand five hundred to two thousand people is enough.”
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