Chapter 559: Spring of the Royal Territory (1)
Now, the Kurdish young people who volunteered to become the Royal Bodyguards were motivated, but they were not trained at all. Instructors were struggling because they did not understand military terms.
Even though they were from the militia, they only used personal equipment and had never seen heavy equipment. They had only used conventional weapons as they focused on guerrilla warfare only. They lacked basic military knowledge that it was difficult to teach them.
No matter how great a weapon was, it was only a scrapped metal to a soldier who could not operate it.
Although the militiamen who had plenty of battle experience were learning faster, other Kurdish young people who only learned how to read needed basic education.
Cho Chul-hwan shook his head, saying that the Royal Bodyguards had become a school, not a military training institution.
“When do you think they’ll be a proper soldier? Jeez, it’s a problem that I can’t kick out the adult volunteers to go back to school.”
“If they study hard for a year or two, they’ll be great soldiers. They can be a reserve force later, so don’t be anxious.”
“It’s frustrating that I can’t even speak to them freely without an interpreter. We’ll be the only military that pays, gives accommodation, and teaches soldiers.”
“Oh, come on. We were all like them when we were in the training camp. We were just a bunch of silly young guys.”
“But they could communicate with us. Instructors are stressed since it’s like talking to a wall.”
“Why don’t you choose Kurdish-speaking assistants? Maybe they can be trained to become instructors for the Kurds. I think that’ll be more efficient.”
“Hmmm, I guess that’s a good way to do it. They can get training now, but most of them can’t even control simple equipment. Can you believe that most of them can’t even drive a car?”
“They’ve been living in a place that’s almost like a battlefield. How can they learn to drive? I bet none of them owned a car. If they can write their name, that’s a lucky case.”
The Syrian Kurds should not be viewed from a general perspective. Other than their lack of education and basic knowledge, because they were people who lived their whole lives in war, they were emotionally unstable as well.
“It’s a nation that’s never been treated properly. We can’t expect too much from the Kurds right now. Time is the only solution, so stop grumbling. Now that they’ve become our people, we should take good care of them, and they’ll pay us back someday. Their loyalty to the royal family is higher than any other ethnic group.”
“I’m only training them because they’re so eager to protect the royal family. If they were not, I would’ve sent them back home already.”
“They’re innocent people. Why would anyone want to get a hard training? It’s because they’re faithful and loyal people. Be nice to them. They’re going to take over our backs someday. I trust Serbs and Koryoins, but it’s hard to meet people so unconditionally loyal like them.”
“Alright, alright. I’ll train all of them no matter how long it takes, don’t worry.”
“Is there any other problem?”
“I hope we can build a proper training center… We’ll also need accommodation and a lecture hall.”
“Where are you going to have the training center?”
“There’s a place that’s 70 kilometers from the new town east of the Ural River. It’s surrounded by hills, so it’s perfect for a shooting field.”
“I didn’t know there were hills in the newly incorporated land.”
“I took a light plane and looked over it, and the hills were a lot higher than what the royal palace site, so it would be the best place to defend the entire royal territory. There were plenty of grasslands and bushes.”
Having been so busy, Youngho had not yet explored the newly incorporated area.
Cho Chul-hwan stressed that the hills were much higher than the one at the royal palace site. The royal palace site was too far from being considered a hill, but it had risen more than 50 meters from the ground.
If he was right, it meant that the terrain at the newly incorporated area was high overall.
Since it was rare to find hills at the Arirang royal territory, Youngho was intrigued to hear that there was a new high ground because even a little bit of a high ground was useful in many ways.
When Youngho said he would be exploring the newly incorporated area with Cho Chul-hwan, Kim Chun followed him. He was also curious to hear that there were hills around the area when most of West Kazakhstan was flat.
“If there was a mountain in the east, I would have recommended it to you. Commander, you are not mistaken, are you?”
“Commissioner, Korea is where 70 percent of the land is mountainous. I’ve been living on hills and mountains all my life. How can I mistake a hill for a mountain?”
“I’ve never heard of mountains in this area.”
“The royal territory is as big as 8,400 square kilometers. If you take a closer look, you’ll find dozens of such mountains.”
Fields of Kazakhstan in May were full of wildflowers and all kinds of grass.
As snow melted in the winter rain, spouts showed their heads through wet earth. They would live for about two months and then dry up in the hot sun and summer drought, but the sight at the moment was beautiful that it could not be thought of as a semi-deserted place.
The light-armored vehicle that was being driven by royal bodyguards, that was ahead of Youngho’s group, drove without a hitch.
There was not so much dust because of the grasses all over the place, so Youngho was enjoying the spring breeze with his side of the window open.
While sticking out his head through the window, he was startled as the vehicle ahead slowed down. A gentle hiss was starting about 500 meters ahead of him.
It took about ten minutes to reach the summit on a gentle slope of the huge hill. It was so gentle and huge that it could be mistaken as flat land from a distance.
It was more like a huge hilly country than a hill, but all the surrounding areas were below it.
On the other side of the area, there were some trees growing.
In western Kazakhstan, the only place to see trees was around the Ural River, or the small riverside areas belonging to its tributaries, and it was almost a miracle that trees were found in this place. It was a special case that trees grew on hillsides.
“It’s amazing to be able to see wild trees at the royal territory. We usually can’t grow trees or grass without a spring there. We need to take a closer look.”
Kim Chun and some of the guards drove down the hill and came back to report that there was a little spring. It was a miracle for a spring to form in a semi-deserted area. Curious, Youngho also drove down to check.
“That’s quite a lot. It’s not even a low-lying area, but it’s amazing to see water coming out.”
“It’s proof that there’s waterway under the ground. It must be full of water to come out like this. If you build a training camp in a place like this, you won’t have to worry about water.”
Cho Chul-hwan was satisfied to see water and to establish a training camp here.
“Shouldn’t we have to preserve the place if there’s a spring instead of building a training camp? Does it make sense to build a training camp and shoot guns in a place like? By the power of the Commissioner of the royal territory, I strongly oppose building a stronghold here.”
“The Duke here also agreed to it, and if you oppose it, it would be a mutiny.”
“I didn’t expect this place to be this beautiful and big. Your Highness, this is an area that must be preserved.”
Youngho also thought that it would be wasteful to use it as a training ground for soldiers.
“Commander, do you think it’s possible to make this place a military base only and do as little damage as possible?
“Oh! I knew you’d do this. This is a location directly related to the security of the royal territory. If you build a stronghold at the summit, it becomes an impregnable fortress. The training camp can be built somewhere else, but the stronghold should be here.”
“Establishing a stronghold here will damage the nature. I don’t know about strategy, but in today’s era of cutting-edge weapons, there’s no physical front and rear. Why would you force to build a stronghold here? Commander should make concessions this time.”
“Even in these days, where fighters and missiles are the dominant forces, infantrymen are supposed to sweep the streets at the end. If the enemy were to enter this area, it would be the case that the entire country has already been subdued, but it is the soldier’s duty to protect the country until the end. And having a stronghold here will also have a psychological effect on the enemy too. They won’t underestimate us this way.”
When Cho Chul-hwan persuaded him quietly, Kim Chun no longer strongly opposed it.
Kazakhstan needed to build a perfect defense system because its enemies were everywhere. Knowing that Cho Chul-hwan was strongly insisting to have a stronghold even though it was a scenic spot.
Youngho thought that it was a great blessing to have friends who gave their youth to him in such an uneasy place. He looked at his friend with a strange look as he was sorry and thankful at the same time.
“Your Highness, the way you look at me today is giving me goosebumps.”
“It’s because the Commander of the Royal Bodyguards looks great today. Why don’t we go share a drink tonight?”
“If we drink alone, Park Jong-il will get upset. Would that be alright?”
“He’s probably drinking with someone in the U.S. right now.”
Seeing the two chattering as if everything was resolved, Kim Chun snapped at the two.
“You two are going to develop this place no matter what.”
“Commissioner, you have to give in a little. I think the Commander has a point.”
“Can’t you at least look for another place for training?”
“That’s something I can yield. As long as we can have the stronghold construction done, I’ll try my best to preserve nature.”
Cho Chul-hwan was no longer stubborn about it because the purpose of the project would be achieved if a stronghold could be built here. Training centers could be built anywhere if it was not here.
“I think we’ve come to an agreement. Let’s go back and have a drink. Please join us today, Commissioner. Have you been drinking lately?”