Before performing any class change ceremonies, Cheng Yang gathered his four team Captains so that they could discuss the future of Phoenix Village’s military force.
Soon, Yu Kai and the other had gathered in the main hall of Cheng Yang’s Standard Grade Meditation Hall, sitting on stools in a circle around the brazier.
Once everyone was gathered, Cheng Yang started to speak. “Now that the main class change statues have reached High Grade, each one can perform two hundred and twenty class change ceremonies. Soon the number of people in each team is going to skyrocket leading to inefficiencies in management. Does anyone have any ideas for solving this problem?”
Cheng Yang’s college friends could only stay silent since they had no experience with this kind of problem.
“My Lord, the obvious solution is to create a longer chain of command.” Old Lee said, “Even with just fifty seven people in each team, its difficult to manage everyone during a battle with just a Captain and Vice Captain. A small increase in soldiers could lead to the dissolution of the command structure entirely.”
Cheng Yang nodded, “In that case, do you recommend we use a modern military command structure or one of the ancient systems?”
“Why do we need to follow any specific system?” Yu Kai asked, “We can just create our own. How about… ten people to a squadron, four squadrons to a battalion and five battalions to a brigade?”
“That’ll work for now while we are small but what about later? What will come after a brigade? That system will only support a thousand soldiers.” Cheng Yang asked.
“Above a brigade we can have a regiment.” Liu Hau said, “Then above that how about a Ministry? I recall they had Ministries in the ancient era. Then all of the officers for each level can collectively be known as the Executive Department of Generals?”
Lau Hui snorted, “How many officers do you think there will be in a thousand soldiers? There would be dozens of generals. What if our forces expand to ten thousand? Or a tens of thousands? Generals would be like dogs. What would we call Ministry leaders? Marshals? Grand Marshals?”
“I didn’t…” Liu Hau was stunned by Lau Hui’s rebuttal and was too embarrassed to defend himself.
“Don’t worry about the titles.” Cheng Yang said, “In the past there were several levels of generals, so it’s not unprecedented. Our titles don’t need to follow convention and we can make up new ones as the army grows. I’m open to any ideas so long as they would benefit the territory.”
“In that case my Lord… I think you should step down from your Captain position.” Old Lee recommended, “Since you are the Lord of the territory it isn’t necessary to directly lead the army. Especially since it puts you on the same level of authority as any other Captain.”
“This…” Cheng Yang fell into deep thought, “Your suggestion is a reasonable one. These days even though I was a Captain in name, my true role was that of an overall commander and rarely acted with my team. In that case, tomorrow I’ll announce that Zhao Chuan is taking over my position as Captain.”
Old Lee nodded in satisfaction seeing how much his words were valued by Cheng Yang.
“Should we give each brigade a name?” Liu Hau asked, “I think it would be more convenient than numbering them.”
“We shouldn’t do that until each brigade has a sense of unity. We should use numbers for now and then take input from the soldiers for the name.” Yu Kai said.
“Waiting to name the brigades was my intention in the first place.” Cheng Yang affirmed, “Once the territory levels up again, we’ll be able to build the Barracks. That’s when we’ll name the brigades in a formal setting which will make it more grand.”
None of the others doubted when Cheng Yang said. They all agreed that it would be better to wait until the names could be official.
“My Lord,” Old Lee said, “I have an idea but I’m not sure if its appropriate to say.”
“Old Lee, we’ve only known each other for a few days but I trust your judgement.” Cheng Yang encouraged, “I won’t be offended by anything you suggest.”
“As the supreme leader of the territory you should stop acting intimately with your friends in public.” Old Lee declared, “It is natural for the public to gossip and if they see that your three close friends all assumed leadership positions in the military it would hurt your reputation and undermine your authority.”
“I don’t think that’s-”
Yu Kai interrupted Cheng Yang, “Yoko, I know what you’re thinking but Old Lee is right. Old Lee wasn’t the only one who realized it might cause problems, me and the others already decided to bring it up today but Old Lee beat us to it. From now on, in public we should act more formally around each other even though in private we are the closest of friends.”
“In that case, I’ll try not to show preference for you three in public.” Cheng Yang relented.
“In addition to that, I also think that you should form a personal guard.” Old Lee continued, “Now that you’re not a team leader, it’s necessary to form a small group that answers only to you. If you have a small group of elite soldiers to use your Sacrificial Blood Cloud on it can be useful at critical moments.”
Cheng Yang rejected the proposal without even thinking about it. He knew that Old Lee was just thinking about his safety but creating an elite team wasn’t something he could do at the moment. The only way to gather talented soldiers for a personal guard would be to take them from the brigades. Cheng Yang didn’t want to hurt the core of his military force so he could only wait until he could poach talents from Cloud City.
After settling the matter of a personal guard Cheng Yang suddenly remembered something important. “There’s one more thing I have to tell you that I forgot about. When the class change statues leveled up they gained the ability to sell skills. Right now each statue has a single skill you can buy. However, you can only get it when you level up, so work hard.”
Liu Hau smiled, “I’ve worked hard since the world ended and my experience bar has reached 42% so I should be able to level up in under a week. That skill is exactly the encouragement I needed to reach the next level.”
“Good, I was hoping it would motivate you. Why we’re done here you should go check the statues status pane. I think you’ll like the skills offered.”
When Cheng Yang finished speaking, Old Lee made one last proposal, “My Lord, I also believe that we should increase the number of loans we make to the territories Loggers. The amount of wood we’ve gained after the last two days both from scavenging and harvesting was just five hundred units. It will be a long time before we can solve our housing crisis or even build the Standard Grade wall so as to give the civilians space to lie down. Its far too crowded, we have twelve thousand people living on a square kilometer piece of land.”
Cheng Yang nodded, “I’ve been worried about this predicament for a while. Tomorrow, I’ll loan two thousand Experience Fragments to Loggers without tools. Hopefully with that we’ll be able to build the wall tomorrow.”
After a few more topics were raised, the group dispersed for the night.
After that, Cheng Yang gathered all of the soldiers in order to make an announcement.
The first thing he announced was his resignation as a team Captain. When Zhao Chuan heard the news he felt agitated at first, but when he Cheng Yang announced he would be promoted Zhao Chuan was able to relax.
He was able to predict the that result since he was the only Vice-Captain on Cheng Yang’s team but he couldn’t help but feel nervous. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. Cheng Yang was happy to gain more authority in the village.
Cheng Yang’s next announcement that several new leadership positions would be created in the army. Each brigade would have a General and three Commanders. Under them each battalion would have a Captain and two Vice-Captains. Finally, each squadron would have an Officer.
Each squadron would have at least two people from each class except for the Priest class. Since there were so few Priests they would serve the brigade as a whole under the direct command of the generals.
Generals and Commanders would be appointed by Cheng Yang. The Captains and Vice-Captains would be appointed by the Generals and finally the squadron officers would be appointed by the Captains. This was done to limit the effects of a single corrupt individual in a leadership position.
Of course, this was just in name. Cheng Yang, the Lord of the territory, was the most corrupt of all. Even so, Cheng Yang knew that no one would challenge his decision to make his friends generals in the future. Their S-Rank Innate Abilities ensured that their strength would match their rank.