Volume3, Chapter 43
Diksmuide, Belgium. June 1st, 1940.
The golden sun shines upon this ancient city. The pleasant morning breeze made all those who breathed it be at ease. The morning delivery trucks were already out delivering supplies to the local shops. The city was already awake and the housewives were in their homes quickly making breakfast. The smell of food wafted up into the air, creating a kind of warm and peaceful atmosphere over the city.
The city was as calm as ever, it was hard to believe that four days ago this area was a battlefield. Only the blue-gray military vehicles parked on the city center and the occasional pair of German soldiers wandering about with rifles in hand showed otherwise. From that day on, Belgium had fallen and their city occupied.
On the city square was the most luxurious hotel in Diksmuide or perhaps much of Belgium. Praised for its extravagant decorations and quality service before the war. Outfitted with more than 30 themed luxury suites and a group of quality chefs. Making it a must-stop for all important figures that entered the city.
Now was no exception, the occupiers were also quite large. The reception hall was already decorated with two long, scarlet Party banners. Reminding them of the new conquerors of Belgium. The rows of glimmering black cars were more than enough to show the importance of whoever was staying here.
All of the residents of Diksmuide understood that whoever was staying in the hotel was a very important figure. Perhaps even more important than all of the city’s inhabitants combined. Leaving everyone to wonder why someone would come to this ancient city.
Xu Jun is now leisurely sitting in a comfortable and elegant rocking chair. Looking at some pictures hanging on the wall, his mind busy in thought.
This room’s style brought a certain relaxation to him. When he first heard that there was a Chinese-style luxury suite, he could hardly believe his ears. Finally, setting his bedroom and office here. The result was that this old hotel really did not disappoint him. This Chinese suite indeed had a Chinese atmosphere.
However, the arrangement still left much to be desired. Although it was certainly luxurious, it was a bit tacky.
In the bedroom was placed sets of Qing Dynasty-style mahogany furniture. However, it still deviated significantly from the original. The woodwork was too bulky and cumbersome. Lacking the elegance and smoothness of the real thing. Only the silk bedding and the fine blue and white porcelain made up for that. For a connoisseur of Chinese culture, it could be considered decent but vulgar.
In the living room, Xu Jun felt much more relaxed. What truly surprised him was the designer’s effort and research. The entire room was neatly arranged with matching sets of simple and elegant furniture. The handsome lines and calming structure derived from its simplicity reminded him of his time in Grandfather’s study.
In order to meet the demands of European visitors, the designer covered the floor with Indian wool carpets. The kind of religious patterns and extravagant colors that gave a more refined look. However, what was upsetting was that other than the Chinese calligraphy, Japanese Ukiyo-e paintings also covered the wall. The kind featuring an ugly maid and the samurai warrior. Also, there was a few of those Japanese dolls and two decorative wakizashi. In the corner was even a set of samurai armor.
When Xu Jun first saw this he was quite disappointed. It seems the designer could not figure out the difference between Japanese and Chinese cultures. In truth, it was once very similar, but to put Japanese goods in a Chinese suite was simply too outrageous.
Growing a bit irritated, he ordered Hans to immediately find the hotel manager. Seeing his commander angry, Hans was quite perplexed. However, for something to ignite the General’s anger, it can’t be a minor issue. So he immediately led a group of twenty fully armed soldiers to capture the hotel manager.
When the fat Belgian manager was brought in front of Xu Jun, the poor guy was almost frightened to death. His mind in a jumbled mess as he tried to find where things went wrong. Now, he was being held at gunpoint by twenty grim soldiers, he surely committed an unforgivable mistake.
As the manager was howling for forgiveness, Xu Jun gave a bewildered look at Hans. He could not help but blame Hans for misunderstanding his intent. All he wanted is to put in a request for some redecoration. But now, it wouldn’t be hard to mistake the manager for someone about to be executed.
Xu Jun quickly comforted the manager and explained the situation. Hearing that he wasn’t about to die, he immediately stopped his tears. Almost flying to the attendants and proceeded to re-arrange the room.
After that fiasco, Xu Jun just got up after a full night of sleep. His spirit improved very much. In the beginning of the campaign, he hardly slept any at all. This was a rare treat as a reward from receiving Muller and Guderian’s victory message last night. Finally, deciding to stay the night in this place.
Wearing the silk pajamas provided by the hotel, he sat silently in the rocking chair. His gaze turning to the new set of uniforms on the wall. More specifically, the three stars on the shoulder insignia. After the surrender of the four British divisions at Arras, he was immediately promoted another level. Now he was a fully-fledged Army general. Only a step away from a Field Marshal. So long as he obtains a few more victories, it would be no problem to be promoted again.
Decorating the uniform was a lot of medals. Primarily from the Battle of Arras. A First-Class Iron Cross, a Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves, a War Merit Cross, an Aviator Badge, and a General Assault Badge. [Aka Tank Destroyer Badge/Medal]
That last medal made Xu Jun somewhat dumbfounded. The official reason was that this medal was to commend himself for crashing his plane into the enemy tanks. Thinking of the embarrassing forced landing, Xu Jun had some mixed feelings. Thinking back to the first crisis he encountered since entering this world, it was truly a miracle.
Then Xu Jun finally remembered something. Taking out his necklace, a silver light shone from the metal pendant. The pendent slowly turned as he held it up. It was a piece of silver metal with strange lines engraved within. With every rotation, sunlight was shone into his eye with a strange luster. It was his only connection to that future world. The last evidence of the “Spartan”. The last memory storage chip, given to him by Tom as he was left in this world.
Now that everything was on track and he was left with plenty of free time, he became very curious on the contents of the chip. Locking the door and closing the curtains. He sat on his bed and pressed the chips on his forehead. Suddenly, countless pictures surged like a tide into Xu Jun’s consciousness. This quick transfer was coupled with a searing pain, causing Xu Jun to almost cry out in agony.
Ten seconds later, this pain slowly subsided. The speed of the incoming information started to slow down as well. As the last piece went through, Xu Jun saw Tom’s face once again.
Tom was in the familiar command room, smiling towards him. Speaking to Xu Jun: “My dear friend, when you see this, we will have been very far away. If you can see this, you have safely reached the destination. First, let me congratulate you.
I’m sorry we place you in one of the darkest sides of history. However I believe, with your ability, you can help lessen the darkness of that era. We have completed our job. There is nothing more that we can do for you. You are now part of that separate timeline.
Now, you should understand your mission, you are the writer of this new history. The operation of the world will flow as you wish it to. In that timeline there are no future records. So everything is uncertain. However, that leaves you to guide your own future. Rather, not only you, but the future of the world. How can one not be excited about that?
As a friend who understands the confines of time and space. I will advise you that once you start to change the world, you must be careful. The world you knew will no longer exist. Somethings may never occur while new problems can arise. Soon will come the time when your knowledge will be of little help to you.
Think of history as a river. If you see the accidental factors that can divert it, then just predict the new course of the river. You cannot stop history from moving forward. Just as you can’t stop a river. All you can do is to find ways to divert it to a path you want.
This is all I can tell you. Everything else will be up to you to slowly comprehend. Also, regarding the spatial beacon. Be sure to destroy that as soon as possible. I sure you’ve found the exact location of it from Jack’s memory. Again, please complete that as soon as possible.
As I am recording this, we’re leaving that timeline and are prepared to repair the temporal breach the moment the beacon is destroyed. I’ve also included some information within the chip. Including some information and drawings of the successful weapons of the 1940’s and 1950’s. As well as some key technological advancements of the time and maps of energy and mineral deposits. I hope that they may be of some use to you.
By the time you see my message, the data has been transferred. Haha, you may be experiencing a little headache, but that is normal. Finally I want to express my heartfelt thanks for everything you’ve done. Take care, my friend.”
Then Xu Jun’s vision grew dark as the screen disappeared.
Xu Jun was blankly sitting in bed. His mind a mess as Tom’s advice was constantly echoing in his mind.
It’s true, he was no longer changing history because that history no longer exists. He will be the creator of the new history. Anything he does will have very real impacts on the world. Rather, tt will be the true history. As time passes, the future will grow less and less clear. There will certainly be unexpected situations.
Xu Jun finally decided to abandon his idealistic approach. He can’t always expect everything to happen as he envisions them. It was his time to use his strength to lead the world down a new path. Even if the future was uncertain, the fate of the world was still rested in his hands.
MD: Starting after this chapter will be the new series “King of Mercenaries”. The problem is that it automatically messes up with the order of both series when reading it through. Please click on the “Next Chapter” link below for easier reading.