Chapter 338: Police
Vader got out of his bed with a flip and attempted to do a series of exercises with his body. He didn’t feel the least bit of pain from his back. Apparently, what the Knight was saying was right: as long as the wound was left as it was, it would quickly recover.
“How does it feel?” Kukasim asked. “It’ll be better if you’re able to rest up a little more.”
“I won’t be a burden. Didn’t I do a pretty good job yesterday?” Vader put on his shabby jacket and set his feet into his knee-high boots. “Besides, only by working for them earlier did I get a share of the wheat porridge. After all, I can’t eat your portion every time. One bowl is simply insufficient to split between the two of us.”
“Truth be told, I think that it’s pretty good. Compared to the porridge they offered for the needy, the wheat porridge here is much more substantial. I can still taste a bit of meat in them.” The old man shook his head. “Kid, you’re a member of the patrol team. It’s possible you’re not clear about life in the slum district. In that place, the gruel is just like a clear soup, except that the soup has a few more wheat grains. In order to make it appear a bit more nourishing, they normally cook it together with grass and tree leaves. While it’s possible the wheat porridge the Lord gave out will not fill our stomachs up completely, it will not starve us too badly either.”
“I only want the two of us to eat our fill.” Vader said with a smile as he finished tying his shoelaces.
“Alright.” Kukasim sighed. “In that case, make sure to take good care of your body and not overexert yourself.”
It was a strange feeling. He was originally just a scapegoat chosen by a street rat, but now his behaviour was resembling that of his own elder, Vader thought to himself. What was even more strange, was that it hadn’t actually felt that bad.
“I will.” He shook his head, as if he had found something amusing, and put on his hood. “You too.”
Right as he pushed the door open, he saw two men who were currently standing outside the door. The shallow blue color that had been embroidered on their shoulders and armbands, along with the white uniform they wore revealed the visitors’ identity—clerks under the employment of the city hall.
Vader’s brows couldn’t help but crease slightly. “May I know who you are looking for?”
One of the men took out a slip of paper and gave it a quick glance. “Are you Vader?”
“Did something happen?“ Kukasim had also noticed the situation that was unfolding outside the house.
“Congratulations.” The other man revealed a smile. “You passed the paper test to become a public security agent. What follows will be a week of comprehensive training.” He passed a small card over to Vader. “This is your temporary identity card. Head with it to the camp of the Second Army, someone will be there to receive you.”
His eyes were wide open. “I… have passed the lord‘s assessment?”
“No, not yet.” The clerk replied. “The paper test was just the first round of selection. You will still have to complete the training and receive the approval of the chief knight. Only then can you consider yourself through the assessment and an official public security agent.”
The two left promptly after saying their piece. They did not demand any money from him, nor did they try to win him over emotionally. The purpose of their visit was seemingly just to bring the news to him.
“You’ve made it!” The old man patted Vader’s shoulder emotionally and said, “Back then, you were still saying something along the line of how it was impossible for you to be chosen.”
Vader was shocked for a good amount of time before he muttered a reply. “Because those questions were really most odd.”
The old man was slightly startled. “What questions are you talking about?”
He involuntarily thought back to the incident a week ago. Once he came to know that His Royal Highness was recruiting public security agents—the new name for patrol guards, he went to the city hall as the recruitment posting had suggested and expressed his interest. The response had also been relatively quick; just five days had passed before he received a letter about a test.
Vader had been full of confidence. Not only did he fully satisfy the requirements for the post, he also possessed more than five years’ worth of practical experience. Besides, this town was indeed lacking someone to keep an eye on the populace. Because of that, he felt that his chances of being chosen were great. If he could become a member of the patrol team, he would be able to provide aid to Kukasim any time, even if his place of residence was in the inner city.
But he didn’t expect, indeed the test surpassed what everyone on the scene expected.
More than a hundred applicants were sitting in a large hall, while the Knight handed out papers to them one by one. He requested that they answer all of the questions listed on top of the papers and write them down in a neat and orderly fashion. He had even said that the person who would ultimately be looking through their papers would be none other than His Royal Highness himself. This format immediately led to a loud outcry among the crowd. Even though the requirement that one needed to be literate had been clearly stated, no one had expected that it would actually be incorporated into the test.
At that moment, over half the people were dumbfounded. Even though Vader was able to understand the questions on the paper, he sat frozen at his place after carefully scanning through it one more time—What sort of weird questions are these?
This was one of the question, for instance. “You’re a coachman for a four-wheel carriage and are travelling along a narrow strip of mountainous road. Inside your carriage are two citizens. At this moment, a group of refugees suddenly appears on the road ahead. You cannot avoid them, and can only choose to collide with them head on, or let the carriage fall from the precipice. The former choice will cause the deaths of a large number of refugees while the latter choice will cause the death of the two citizens. No matter the choice you make, you will always be able to rely on your athletic skills to survive. In this case, what would your choice be? Please explain your reasons in a minimum of 300 words.”
This question would putting anyone at a loss. Even though it mentioned which side was the commoner and which was the refugee, the specific number of refugees was completely unclear. Because of that, even if he wanted to weigh his choices, he was clueless as to where to begin. Moreover, he had always believed that running over a bunch of refugees wasn’t anything too serious. However, perhaps that wasn’t the answer His Royal Highness was after.
In that case, should he choose to have the citizens die? Could it be that that was also an accurate answer?
At that point, he had even convinced himself that His Highness was deliberately making things hard. He believed that in reality, the true public security agents had long been decided already.
“It’s nothing. Perhaps it’s just been my imagination.” Vader inhaled a mouthful of air. “Well then, I will be heading to the camp now.”
“Mhm.” Kukasim heartily laughed and said. “I believe you will definitely become an official public security agent.”
The camp of the Second Army was located on the north side of the small town, outside the stone walls that made up the inner city. When Vader rushed to that place, he discovered that the Chief Knight was already waiting for him in the camp.
“From today onwards, all of you are police cadets.” After waiting for everyone to arrive, Carter opened his mouth and said, “In the coming week, all of you will be required to stay in this camp and receive special training. The people who pass will stay, while the people who fail will scram back to where they come from! I will teach you all discipline, and what it means to work under His Royal Highness!”
In Vader’s memories, this was exactly how a test should look, except… there were only 15 people remaining out of the 100 applicants. He cast a few quick glances around. From their dress and complexion, with the exception of himself, the rest of the people should be natives here.
As expected, the literacy requirement hadn’t been a joke.
“Permission to speak!” Someone raised their hand and said.
Carter’s lips parted into a grin and said, “Oh? Seems like you’re pretty familiar with customs in the army. Speak.”
“Haha, my big brother is in the First Army.” He stroked the back of his head and said, ‘Sir, may I ask what exactly is a police? Aren’t we supposed to be public security?”
“The police is part of the public security service. Think of them as the crew that is responsible for enforcing law and order within His Highness’s territory. They’re required to arrest criminals, crackdown on illegal acts, maintain order in the territory, carry out policies issued by His Royal Highness and the city hall and help the commoners in need.”
“Help the commoners? But you just said that we will be serving under His Royal Highness…”
“There is no distinction between the two. Serving the people under His Royal Highness means serving His Royal Highness as well. What, do you want to enter the castle and attend to him personally?” Carter shrugged his shoulders and said, “We can talk about that once you have become an outstanding knight.”
But knights are nobility… Vader thought. Compared to commoners like them, the difference in social status was like heaven and earth. Not something one can bridge just by thinking about it.
“Remember, you’re both executors of the law and guardians of the people. For now, go to your tents and change into your uniforms.” The chief knight clapped his hands. “After that, I just happen to have a mission that I would like to entrust to you all to complete.”
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