IMUC-Chapter 20: Leaping Through Ranks

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“Enough with the banter, Officer. I’m injured and can’t spar with you, so just tell me, what are you doing here” Kyle playfully remarked to his close friend Joseph.

“You little brat, you truly are… amazing! You’ve made us proud!” Officer Joseph’s scolding tone took an unexpected turn, transforming into genuine praise, as he had done countless times before.

“I’ve heard all about your accomplishments. Going to the frontlines, achieving the rank of Corporal in just three days, gathering crucial enemy camp intelligence, leading a hundred soldiers, and single-handedly obliterating an entire large enemy base against all odds,” Officer Joseph spoke with emotion, extending his thumb in admiration. “You’ve truly outdone yourself. Do you realize how pivotal this counteroffensive battle is for our army? By destroying a large enemy base, three medium-sized camps, and securing a victory in a transitional battle, you’ve reversed the situation in the frontline combat zone! This flawless counteroffensive has become the talk of all military units and the entire country!”

“As the greatest hero of this counteroffensive battle, you’ve become an idol for all soldiers and a national symbol. It has even sparked an upsurge of enthusiasm among young people to enlist.”

In comparison to his swift promotion to Corporal, this time Kyle had gained widespread fame with just one battle!

“Don’t shower me with too much praise, or I’ll grow a big head,” Kyle chuckled, exuding confidence from his youthful and handsome face.

Just like Captain America, who had shone during World War II with his Super Soldier Physique, Kyle, possessing the even more formidable Extracting Card System, faced little difficulty in becoming an American hero.

However, this battle had significantly boosted his reputation in the military, exceeding Kyle’s expectations.

Kyle blinked and asked Joseph with anticipation, “By the way, with such remarkable achievements, has the Commanding General mentioned anything about my rank?”

“You brat, you’re already a Corporal, and you’re still concerned about your rank.” Officer Joseph felt a little dissatisfied in his heart and he blew on his mustache and said sternly, “Military rank is earned step by step. What matters is repelling the Germans and defending our homeland. But, well, you have indeed achieved great merit in this counteroffensive, and your rank has been elevated a bit.”

Kyle picked up on the key point in those words and eagerly asked, “How much of a ‘bit’ are we talking about?”

“See for yourself.” Officer Joseph seemed reluctant to say more and retrieved a soldier’s ID card from his uniform pocket, tossing it to Kyle.

Kyle swiftly caught the card and opened it. It was a newly issued personal soldier’s ID card, featuring a black-and-white portrait taken when he enlisted.

Kyle Doffer: Male, 22 years old, United States Second Lieutenant rank.

“Second Lieutenant?!” Kyle was taken aback. This was more than just “a bit.” It was a substantial leap!

From Corporal to Second Lieutenant, there was a two-rank difference, equivalent to a three-step jump.

Kyle had made a three-step leap when he was promoted from soldier to Corporal, but that was merely a soldier rank, the lowest officer position. This time, however, he had vaulted to a genuine officer rank and had become a Commissioned Officer!

“Officer Joseph, I see you’re also a Second Lieutenant, right?” Kyle looked at Joseph with a puzzled expression, suddenly understanding why his instructor was displeased.

“So, now you’re happy. You don’t have to address me as Officer anymore.” Joseph clenched his teeth and spoke with a stern expression on his face. “It took me ten years of a slow progression to reach the rank of Second Lieutenant, and you, you achieved the same in less than ten days. So you can imagine how I feel.”

“No, I don’t think you can even imagine how I feel.” Joseph complained with a touch of resentment, “You’ve been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Joseph let out a sigh and continued, “We are currently in the chaotic period of World War II, and the country urgently needs role models to inspire young people’s enthusiasm and aspirations to join the military, as well as boost the morale of the army. And you, who stepped forward voluntarily, naturally earned the rank of Second Lieutenant.”

Joseph paused for a moment and continued with a smile, “You’re not like ‘Captain America,’ relying on propaganda films and empty titles. Your rank as a Second Lieutenant is a testament to your true strength and achievements!”

“Captain America.” Kyle’s heart skipped a beat, and he couldn’t contain his excitement as he asked, “Is it Steve?”

“Yes, it is.” Joseph retrieved a folded copy of the New York Daily News from his pocket and grumbled, “That kid underwent a successful Super Soldier experiment, and his physique went through astonishing changes. But instead of heading to the battlefield, he spends his days with politicians, making military propaganda films, singing and dancing to raise funds for war bonds, and creating a righteous image for himself as Captain America.”

Kyle eagerly took the newspaper, and Lucy helped him unfold it as they both examined its contents.

On the front page, a large black-and-white photo dominated the space. It depicted a young man clad in blue and white striped tight clothes, with a handsome and heroic face and a tall, muscular physique.

“Buy an extra E-Series war bond, and the soldiers on the battlefield will have one more bullet!”

“Who is both strong and brave enough to save America from fire and water? Answer Captain America’s call and join our fight!”

These bold English banners adorned the newspaper, placed above the headlines and subheadings.

“It really is Steve.” Kyle smiled as he gazed at the tall young man in the photograph, faintly recalling the memory of his past frailty.

Captain America, Marvel’s first artificial superhero, had finally made his debut.

Even though his introduction came through these humorous and somewhat absurd political propaganda methods.

“Joseph, I don’t have a Mission right now, do I? It’s been two weeks since I last saw Steve, and I really want to meet him. I hope you can help me with that.” Kyle looked at Joseph with anticipation, suppressing the eagerness in his heart.

He needed to obtain the Super Soldier Ability Card as soon as possible. He had grown tired of being limited by the peak physical capabilities of an ordinary human.

“I understand.” Joseph furrowed his brows a little as he heard Kyle’s request. Personally, he harbored a strong dislike for Steve, but since it was Kyle who made the request, he had no reason to refuse.

Joseph nodded and agreed, “Alright. Steve is currently traveling across the United States for promotional activities. However, two days from now, he will be delivering a propaganda speech at the training base in Europe, and I’ll be returning there as well. I’ll arrive early to pick you up and take you there.”

“Okay, I can wait for these two days.” Kyle nodded in agreement, his hands clenched into tight fists.

Obtaining the Super Soldier Ability Card successfully would mark a significant leap in his journey in this Marvel World!


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