The Human Emperor Chapter 661
Chapter 661: A New Plan
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Ladies and gentlemen, I won't hide anything from you. I truly did summon all of you today because I had something to request," Wang Chong casually said as he took a piece of fuling cake from the table and placed it in his mouth.
Wang Chong's words made the eyes of everyone at the table brighten, their expectations affirmed. Even so, none of them showed any signs of backing out. On the contrary, their eyes shone with anticipation.
After the southwestern war, all the clans who had taken part in the war, including those who had come as reinforcements later, were richly rewarded by the Imperial Court. Those clans who had dispatched experts to follow Wang Chong in the initial wave were given particularly large rewards.
This was truly a case where one man attaining the Dao meant that even his chickens and dogs ascended with him to heaven.
Wang Chong's influence in the capital was inconceivably large. All the clans wanted to work with him, because they knew that working with him would result in massive profit.
As long as Wang Chong made the appeal, countless clans were guaranteed to reply in the affirmative.
These people gathered at the top floor of the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion had formed their relationship with Wang Chong the earliest, so they had become members of Wang Chong's innermost circle, envied by countless others.
"Brother Wang, just say the word. Whatever you want, our Chi Clan will do everything it can to find it."
Chi Weisi immediately stood up and volunteered.
He didn't know about the other clans, but he knew that his Chi Clan's firm support for Wang Chong in the war had resulted in an immense reward for them. His two older brothers had even been promoted a rank, stunning the Chi Clan.
It had to be known that his two brothers had originally only been high-ranking commandants, but his relationship with Wang Chong had resulted in their being promoted to generals.
The difference between commandants and generals was like that of heaven and earth.
Wang Chong said nothing more, immediately flicking out prepared pieces of paper from his sleeve to land in front of the attendees.
Their curiosity was piqued by these prepared pieces of paper. Even Bai Siling and Zhao Yatong released Wang Chong for the moment and placed their focus on these small slips of paper.
Bai Siling looked in shock at the words written on the paper. She thought Wang Chong needed their help for something important, but not anything like this.
"Clay as well."
Zhuang Zhengping had also opened up his small slip of paper, and his expression was even more astonished than Bai Siling's.
Wasn't this what one used to make pottery? One could find it all over the capital!
Why did Wang Chong need such ordinary things?
For a simple thing like clay, Wang Chong really didn't need to summon the Zhuang Clan for assistance.
"I know that all of you find it very strange, but this matter truly is very important to me. In addition, whether it's lime or clay, I need vast quantities of it."
As if predicting their doubt, Wang Chong smiled and gave some explanation.
"What do you mean by 'vast'?" Zhao Yatong asked with a frown.
"Limitless, as much as I can get my hands on. What's available in the capital alone is far from enough for my needs," Wang Chong said.
All of them were stunned by these words, with even Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi widening their eyes. Not even Guo Feng or Chai Zhiyi knew just how much clay or lime there was in the capital.
If they knew at least one thing, it was that it was an amount far more massive than they could ever imagine.
As the capital of the Great Tang, this capital was undoubtedly the champion of the world when it came to the resources amassed within it. For Wang Chong to say that this was far from enough was practically absurd.
What sort of plan would require this much lime and clay? And up to now, Wang Chong had yet to tell any of them what he needed all this for.
What could even be done with such enormous quantities of lime and clay?
"Haha, all of you will know when the time comes," Wang Chong said with a smile.
For his victory in the southwest, Wang Chong had gained three million taels of gold and a large number of pearls, allowing Wang Chong to finally begin another of his plans.
Lime and clay formed vital parts of this plan.
Whether it was the Zhao Clan, Zhuang Clan, Chi Clan, or Bai Clan these great clans of the capital had operated in the capital for decades, even centuries. They possessed massive resources and networks.
This was the primary reason Wang Chong had summoned Zhao Yatong, Guo Feng, Chai Zhiyi and the rest.
This was a purely economic project. There was no killing involved or thick plumes of smoke, but to Wang Chong, this project's importance was no less than that of the southwestern war. To the Great Tang, it might be even more important.
But right now, no one knew what he was planning except him.
"Right, Wang Chong"
Chai Zhiyi paused for a moment before continuing.
"For this new plan, if you need a lot of resources and money, can you let our Chai Clan participate?"
Chai Zhiyi had spoken with great hesitation, but Wang Chong's reaction caught him completely by surprise.
"Haha, of course you can," Wang Chong replied with a roar of laughter.
With the results of the southwestern war beginning to manifest, even a stubbornly conservative clan like the Chai Clan was beginning to show interest, hoping to get a share of the profits and glory.
But this was precisely what Wang Chong wanted. The plan that he was about to begin required capital and manpower far greater than he alone could provide.
The Chai Clan might have believed that Wang Chong wasn't willing to share the glory, but it was the exact opposite. Wang Chong needed many clans like the Chai Clan to participate in his plan.
"Brother Chai, Brother Guo, as well as the rest of you, if any of you want to participate, Wang Chong will not refuse you. The more the better! Although I can't guarantee anything else, I can say that this project will be able to provide much merit to all your clans," Wang Chong said with a smile.
The eyes of the attendees brightened. These words alone were enough to gain their participation.
Leaving the Taibai Immortal's Pavilion, Wang Chong headed east.
After several thousand meters, Wang Chong had the carriage stop by an area shaded by dense foliage. Thump! The carriage door opened, and a figure that seemed to know that Wang Chong would stop here entered the carriage.
The figure bowed to Wang Chong.
"Haha, there's no need for Sir Zhang to be so polite. Just call me Wang Chong. Please, sit!"
Wang Chong pointed at the seat across from him and smiled.
"The best way to show respect is to obey."
Zhang Shouzhi clasped his hands and put aside any further courtesy, seating himself across from Wang Chong. From Lion City to the decisive battle in the southwest, Zhang Shouzhi had been Wang Chong's constant follower.
Zhang Shouzhi had played a key role in Wang Chong's success, and he was one of the critical members of Wang Chong's innermost circle.
"Just what matter would have you personally pay me a visit?" Wang Chong said.
He had only come here because he had received a letter from Zhang Shouzhi.
"It's really nothing. I just received a request from someone to ask a favor from Young Master," Zhang Shouzhi replied with a smile.
"To be able to request this from you, this person must have quite some status. Speak. Cheng, Zhang, Huang, Luwhich of those four clans ran over and persuaded you to come on their behalf?" Wang Chong said with a chuckle.
After getting used to Zhang Shouzhi's harsh and demanding character, one would find it almost inconceivable that he would suddenly rush over to request a favor on someone else's behalf. But for Wang Chong, it wasn't very difficult to guess the perpetrator.
Zhang Shouzhi was a master architect, one who had built the Imperial Palace. Those who could build a close relationship with him, besides those bricklayers and other construction workers, could only be the sword-smithing masters from the four clans of Cheng, Zhang, Huang, and Lu.
"Haha, Young Master is truly perceptive. It really was the capital's Huang Clan who came to find me to request a favor from you," Zhang Shouzhi said.
"Is it about that matter?"
Wang Chong's expression had clearly chilled.
Zhang Shouzhi nodded, his expression also growing much more serious. Before Wang Chong had even left for the southwest, he had requested the four great sword-smithing clans as well as all the sword smiths and shops of the capital to forge a large number of war implements.
But at the crucial moment in the war, a large number of armaments had been missing. This problem had arisen from the Huang Clan.
They had utterly failed to fulfill their quota of armaments.
In the end, this resulted in Wang Chong lacking any reserve steel walls to fill in the gaps.
Wang Chong knew of this, Zhang Shouzhi knew of this, and all the craftsmen who had taken part in the battle knew of this.
If the Annan Protectorate army had been defeated and Wang Chong had died there, nothing would have come of it. But Wang Chong had come back alive, and with a great victory.
The Huang Clan was clearly worried that Wang Chong would come to balance the accounts, so they had sought help from Zhang Shouzhi, who had a very close relationship with Wang Chong.
"Hmph, at least they still had the face to mention it."
Wang Chong's face was a sheet of ice.
"Ah, Young Master, you can't blame them for this. The Huang Clan did not fall behind on purpose. This is a clan that's been operating in the capital for many years, a name that has existed for centuries. They wouldn't so lightly go back on their word. The Huang Clan is facing its own difficulties," Zhang Shouzhi said.
"What difficulties? If those other clans were like the Huang Clan, we would all be corpses on the southwestern battlefield," Wang Chong said with a grim smile.
The steel walls were an extremely important part of his plan. Without those steel walls, the terrain of the mountain alone would have been wholly insufficient to stop the charge of the Mengshe-Tsang army.
For the Huang Clan, the only thing on the line might have been some money and an agreement, but for the Annan Protectorate army, this was the lives of one hundred thousand soldiers.
This was the reason for Wang Chong's fury.
Upon returning to the capital, he had paid a visit to all the clans, except the Huang Clan.
The Huang Clan had clearly noticed something, resulting in today's meeting.
"I also went to inspect this matter, making a personal visit to the Huang Clan. The Huang Clan did not willingly break their agreement with Young Master. It was just that at the time, there was simply no metal that they could use," Zhang Shouzhi said with a sigh.