The Human Emperor Chapter 680
Chapter 680: All Embracing The Largest City
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Now that Wang Chong had a chance to repeat everything and had the authority to establish a fief, he wouldn't let the chance slip by. His mind was set on getting the fifty thousand valiant warriors of Wushang.
According to the laws of the Great Tang, once Wang Chong established a city there and made it his fief, the village of the Wushang people would fall under his administration, and no one would be able to take it from him.
In the future, this would become one of his largest chips in his bid to change fate and recreate the Great Tang!
It's about time for some things to get put on the agenda.
This thought on his mind, Wang Chong took the map of the Great Tang from the table and quickly left the room.
"What? The Young Marquis actually chose an impoverished and remote place like Wushang to establish his fief!"
"Has he gone crazy? Why would he give up such a good chance?"
"What a waste! The Wang Clan actually threw away such a good chance! This is a great show of favor from the Son of Heaven, something that countless people could only dream of. Wang Chong's ignorance can be excused by his youth, but Wang Gen is an old official of the court. Why didn't he try and advise his nephew to do otherwise? What was he thinking?"
The news that Wang Chong had chosen the distant Wushang as his fief sent massive waves through the capital. Everyone was struck dumb by this 'rash' decision.
Selecting a rich land to nurture the later generations was a choice that every great clan would make without hesitation, but the Wang Clan had unexpectedly chosen a most barren and uncivilized land for its fief. Not even if they had dashed their heads against the ground would anyone have expected such a decision.
When the news reached King Qi, he was first dazed, and then he sneered. "Hmph, it seems that we've overestimated them. Since the Wang Clan has chosen Wushang, inform the Bureau of Revenue and have this matter settled as quickly as possible. If too much time passes, something might happen and the Wang Clan might regret its decision."
It was rare for the Wang Clan to make such a low-level mistake, and he wouldn't let the opportunity go by. Quickly setting this matter in stone would be the best response to the Wang Clan.
But King Qi's satisfaction was not able to last for long. Soon after the Bureau of Revenue endorsed the decision, the situation was reversed. News quickly spread through the capital that the Young Marquis had chosen Wushang as his fief with the intent of exploiting the Silk Road to the west.
Moreover, the Young Marquis had decided to build a massive city on the Silk Road that would serve as a rest stop for merchants traveling through. He wanted to build inns, restaurants, and tea houses, and also store a large number of supplies. This city would serve as a resupply point for merchants and also assist them in their dearest need: protection.
This news shook the capital. The first to react to this news were the extremely powerful Hu merchants of the capital. All the merchants from the Western Regions, the Abbasid Caliphate, and Charax Spasinu rushed to the Wang Clan to inquire about this city. When would it be built? How big would it be? What was the specific location? What supplies could it offer?
These were the questions that concerned them.
The Silk Road was a vital path connecting the east and west, and a vast and uncountable fortune flowed through it. So great was the wealth flowing through it that all countries and all peoples knew of its name.
But this long trade route was always plagued by bandits and thieves, which were a constant pain to the merchants. It was for this reason that the news that Wang Chong was building a city on the Silk Road had immediately attracted the notice of the Hu merchants.
They were also the ones who paid the most attention to it.
If this city could offer resupply and could also offer protection in the case of bandit raids, all the Hu merchants would happily give the matter their full support.
More news quickly followed. On the same day that the Bureau of Revenue approved the location of the fief, a wastrel scion of the capital began to say that Wang Chong had already given the three million taels of gold awarded by the Sage Emperor to the master architect of the Bureau of Works, Zhang Shouzhi, giving the man who had built the Imperial Palace full authority over the matter.
And Zhang Shouzhi had already ordered his disciples to begin recruiting workers.
That wastrel scion had only learned of this news before anyone else because of his close relationship to Zhang Shouzhi's trusted disciples. Meanwhile, the Wang Clan and Zhang Shouzhi were still under information lockdown.
More news was released. The Young Marquis had already announced to the various great clans of the capital that the Wang Clan was not intending to enjoy the fief on the Silk Road alone. The Wang Clan was willing to open the construction of the city and the development of inns and restaurants to all the great clans of the capital. Everyone could enjoy the profits of the Silk Road together.
A single stone could stir a thousand waves, and this news made all the great clans of the capital almost go mad. The profits from the Silk Road to the west were so enormous that no one even dared to imagine them, and one also had to consider the fact that the city Wang Chong was building on the Silk Road was the sole fief. No one else could compete with him over it.
That was a true exclusive business!
If Wang Chong was willing to open this business to everyone, the great clans could obtain a nigh unimaginable fortune, and unlike normal businesses, this was not a single transaction. By participating, all the clans could obtain an endless stream of profit.
No great clan could refuse this proposal. The moment Wang Chong opened his mouth, all of them were struggling past each other to make their way to his door.
Wang Gen also quickly made his stance known. Wang Chong's decision of Wushang had his full support. Moreover, Wang Gen also stated to outsiders that Wang Chong's decisions were the decisions of the entire Wang Clan.
The Wang Clan from top to bottom had given its full support for the building of a city at Wushang.
With this last bit of news, everything was settled. The matter of building a city at Wushang instantly became the talk of the capital. Many clan patriarchs even felt like they had to personally take action, and paid visits to the Wang Clan, accompanied by gifts of gold and treasure.
With this, the greatest obstacle to Wang Chong's construction of the city was addressed.
"Siye, I'll leave this matter to you. No matter what, you must do your utmost to recruit, cajole, and subdue the people of Wushang."
In his study, Wang Chong and Li Siye stood across from each other. Taking a token from his waist, Wang Chong gave it to Li Siye.
"This is my marquis token. Take it with you. If it's necessary, you can transfer soldiers from the Qixi Protectorate, Beiting Protectorate, or any of the other surrounding armies, and have them work with you. The people of Wushang worship strength, but solely brute force won't be enough to make them yield. You won't need just incredible strength, but also wisdom and courtesy to obtain victory."
"Yes, this general will go!"
A hint of doubt flickered through Li Siye's eyes, but he quickly clasped his fist and bowed.
Li Siye had never heard of Wushang, much less been there, and he certainly didn't know why Wang Chong viewed it with such importance. However, it was the duty of soldiers to follow orders, and besides, Li Siye believed that no matter what Wang Chong did, he always had his reasons.
Taking Wang Chong's token, Li Siye quickly left, leaving Wang Chong alone in the room.
All was quiet. The expression in Wang Chong's eyes constantly shifted as a pensive look appeared on his face. The Wushang worshiped strength and would not easily submit. Otherwise, someone would have been able to make them surrender by now, and so many of them wouldn't have died during the otherworldly invasion.
But Wang Chong wasn't that worried about Li Siye. After all, Li Siye was the future Invincible Great General. By relying on his strength and courage, he could alter the course of a war, and through his personal charisma, he could win over many followers.
In all the Central Plains, only Li Siye could rely on his own strength to rally the troops and reverse the course of a battle, despite his lack of knowledge in military strategy and formations.
If not even Li Siye could make the Wushang submit, then no one could.
Now, it's time to think about how to construct that city.
With this thought, Wang Chong broke free from his contemplations and left the study.
A familiar figure was sitting in the reception hall of the Wang Clan, bearing a ruddy complexion and energetic air as they sipped tea.
Seeing Wang Chong come out, Zhang Shouzhi almost scalded his tongue in his haste to put down his tea and stand.
"I've made you wait a long time."
As Wang Chong spoke, he gestured for Zhang Shouzhi to remain seated and sat himself down across from him.
"Haha, I heard that Young Master was receiving a guest, so I told them to not disturb you. But I didn't think that Young Master would arrive before you were even informed."
Zhang Shouzhi smiled as he sat himself back down.
"Quite a few great clans have probably gotten in touch with you recently, right?"
Wang Chong took a sip from another cup of tea.
"Haha, with Young Master's blessing, everyone is now keeping a close watch on that fief by the Silk Road, all of them wanting a cut of the profits. I've counted, and almost eighty percent of the great clans in the capital have come to find me. I've received so much gold, pearls, agate, coral, and jade that my hands have gone soft.
"As for the remaining twenty percent, the majority of them lack the strength and know that they can't compete with the other clans, so they didn't come to see me."
Zhang Shouzhi was all smiles as he spoke. The matter of the fief by the Silk Road and his close association with Wang Chong had made him quite the popular character in the capital. The number of people coming to see him with gifts in hand, if lined up, would stretch from the eastern wall of the capital to the western wall. When one thought about how coldly he had been treated previously, his current situation became even more unimaginable.
"But, Young Master, with all these people, I've become a little afraid of all the wealth I've gathered! I request Young Master's assistance in indicating which people I should receive gifts from and which I shouldn't."
"Choose? Why should we choose? Just accept it all."
Wang Chong chuckled and took a cake from the table.
Wang Chong's words made Zhang Shouzhi's eyes widen. He had never dared to believe that Wang Chong would want to accept gifts from everyone.
The capital was home to countless great clans. Would the Wang Clan be able to repay all these favors?
"Ha, if they're willing to give, why shouldn't we accept? Moreover, don't worry about us not being able to fulfill our promise. The more money we get, the larger the city we can build. Once we've built a large number of restaurants, inns, and tea houses in the city, do we still have to be afraid of not fulfilling our promise?"
Wang Chong gave a leisurely smile.
This absent-minded attitude filled Zhang Shouzhi with alarm. Wang Chong actually wanted to wholeheartedly embrace eighty percent of the capital's great clans and bring them into his project. This daring was not something Zhang Shouzhi would dare to even dream of.