The Human Emperor Chapter 681
Chapter 681: The Third Plan
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Building a city had always been an extremely expensive and massive undertaking. Zhang Shouzhi's greatest worry as a master architect was that money would run out midway through the project, leading to its abrupt end.
But with all the capital that had been accumulated, he could build a few cities and still have a little extra. This was no longer something as simple as a few million taels of gold.
For the first time in his life, Zhang Shouzhi didn't need to worry about money, yet he was in no mood to celebrate. On the contrary, he was worried, worried for Wang Chong.
The money from a great clan was not that easy to accept!
"Young Master, this is no laughing matter. I hope that Young Master can be a bit more prudent!" Zhang Shouzhi harshly said.
Wang Chong quietly smiled. He naturally knew what Zhang Shouzhi was worried about. If his goal was simply using his fief to make money, then taking all this money from the great clans really would be a problem.
But Wang Chong had ulterior motives. Making money was just an excuse to conceal his true aims. Moreover, the larger the city was and the more great clans it could hold, the more assistance it could provide to the Western Regions, and the more resources and support it could receive from the clans.
From a certain perspective, it was only this method that could give his fief the largest possible influence.
A general required extraordinary insight and daring. Zhang Shouzhi did not possess these traits.
"I have my own plans for everything. There's no need for Sir Zhang to worry about it."
Wang Chong faintly smiled, raising a single finger as he spoke.
In addition, I hope that construction on the city can be started as quickly as possible. One month, one month at most, excluding the time needed to transport materials and tools. In the span of one month, I hope that the city can be finished.
Zhang Shouzhi's body trembled at Wang Chong's words and he suddenly raised his head. Building a city was an extremely time-consuming and exhausting task, and more time would be needed the larger the city was.
It was normal for an ordinary city to take one or two years to complete. For Wang Chong to take all this money from the great clans and put it all in a city that needed to be finished in a month was utterly impossible.
"Haha, human effort can achieve anything. Did Sir Zhang forget about that city of steel we built on that mountain to fight against Mengshe Zhao and -Tsang?"
Wang Chong seemed to see through Zhang Shouzhi's heart, grinning as he spoke.
"But not even this will be enough!"
Zhang Shouzhi was still a little anxious.
Only a god could pull off the miracle of building a massive city in a month. Wang Chong's request was simply implausible.
"It's naturally impossible for an ordinary city, but perhaps not for a city of steel."
Wang Chong smiled and waved his hand behind him.
"Wei Guo, Wei Wu, bring it over!"
Thump! The main door was pushed open, and Wei Guo and Wei Wu walked in with a large iron box. Zhang Shouzhi glanced at the box and immediately seemed to know its contents. With a laugh, he strode out of his seat and opened the box before it could even be properly put down.
"Hahaha, my expectations were right on the money! Young Master truly was prepared!"
Zhang Shouzhi's face turned exultant as he looked at the rolled-up white diagrams in the box. Reaching in with his right hand, he took one of the diagrams and unrolled it. Not one tinge of his previous concern was visible on his face.
As the diagram was unfurled, a complicated and mysterious design was revealed. In the past, unless Wang Chong personally explained it, not even the most formidable craftsman of the Great Tang would be able to decipher the secrets of this design.
The majority of them wouldn't even be able to understand what they were making.
But after working with Wang Chong on the walls of steel, Zhang Shouzhi could tell at a glance that these were designs for a part of a steel wall. However, this was larger and more complex than the steel walls that Wang Chong had used in the southwest.
"Right, right! Hahaha This is what it means to have true wealth. Young Master, ever since our time in the southwest, I just knew that you would build a true city of steel. My predictions were correct. Although one month is a little short, if it's a city of steel, I'm willing to do all I can and expend all my strength to complete it!"
Zhang Shouzhi's eyes were shining bright, his body trembling in excitement. He held the white diagram like it was the world's most precious treasure. The gifts from the great clans were truly rather tempting, but a true architect saw the diagram to a grand building as the most tempting treasure in the world.
A city of steel!
Although he had only seen a small portion of an enormous building, starting from this moment, there was no person or thing in this world that could drag Zhang Shouzhi away from this steel city that had never before appeared in this world.
Not even an imperial decree or attempt on his life would make him give up on this venture, much less withdraw.
One diagram, two, three Zhang Shouzhi opened up scroll after scroll, his expression as excited as if he had come upon a hidden cache of treasure.
Wang Chong quietly sipped his tea as he watched, a smile on his face.
From the moment he learned that he was receiving a fief, he had placed all his attention on the city of steel to be built on the Silk Road. Time was limited, and the Western Regions would soon be immersed in that war. He did not have two or three years to build a city.
Thus, using a modular design to build a never-before-seen city of steel was Wang Chong's best option!
In normal circumstances, even with the use of modular design, building a city in a single month was still an impossible task. This massive and complicated project was not something any great clan, wealthy house, noble, or Imperial Prince could accomplish.
However, Wang Chong had completed the most complicated part: having all the great clans of the capital invest themselves in the project!
With these people invested, Wang Chong could borrow the wealth, resources, and manpower of all the clans of the capital, could mobilize the strength of the entire Great Tang to build that 'City of Steel' so vital to his plans!
With the success of his plan, this was no longer a problem of Wang Chong building his own fief. This was the entire Great Tang, the entire world, helping Wang Chong build his fief!
This was a matter of mythical proportions, a project requiring a massive amount of resources, capital, and also political power. It was unprecedented in the history of the Great Tang, but now, under Wang Chong's hands, this project that no great clan had ever dared to imagine was about to be realized!
"All the diagrams for this city of steel are here. I give you full authority over any men, resources, or money required for the construction. In addition, I will have the four great sword-smithing clans and all the sword smiths and shops of the capital work with you. In this task, Wei Guo and Wei Wu will do everything they can to assist you!"
Wang Chong smiled at the elated look on Zhang Shouzhi's face. Putting down his tea cup, he stood up.
"In addition, when all the money from the great clans has arrived, I can truly mobilize all the sword shops, smiths, mines, and ore deposits of the world to assist in the construction!"
"Hahaha, I already had this intention, and I would have done it even if Young Master didn't say anything. Just thinking about this project gets me excited. If Young Master does not mind, I wish to take my leave now and formally begin the preparations," Zhang Shouzhi excitedly said.
For an architect, construction was life. To create a massive engineering project that would be known for the rest of time was every architect's dream.
And this massive city of steel on the road to the west that no one had ever imagined before definitely qualified!
Zhang Shouzhi quickly took his leave, bringing with him that box stuffed with diagrams. He called over more than thirty of the Wang Clan's guards and even requested Miyasame Ayaka to escort him home. It was like the box did not contain diagrams but the world's most priceless treasure.
Only one thing is left!
In the reception hall, the now-alone Wang Chong raised his head and begun to rap his fingers on the table as he thought. In order to alter the fate of the empire's western border and the fate of the Anxi Protectorate, it was far from enough to just build a city on the Silk Road.
Similarly, simply recruiting the warriors of Wushang was also not enough.
If Wang Chong wanted to resolve the problem of the Anxi Protectorate once and for all, this was far from enough. In Wang Chong's plan, he was still missing the last of the three parts.
"Take me out of the city!"
Leaving the residence, Wang Chong boarded a carriage that took him through the streets of the city and out of the gate, entering a mountain. In the middle of the lush mountains was a mine.
The perimeter of the mine was heavily guarded by well-equipped and energetic guards.
Wang Chong's being made a marquis was a major affair for the entire Wang Clan!
In celebration, all the branches of the Wang lineage had sent gifts. These armored soldiers had been sent by his grandfather's old subordinates. These were elite soldiers, carefully selected, all of them powerful and extremely reliable.
And behind them was a place that he regarded with the utmost importance.
The appearance of Wang Chong caused figure after figure to hurriedly come out of the mine. They strode toward Wang Chong's carriage and bowed.
"Jingdian, there's no need for this much courtesy in front of me."
Waving his hand, Wang Chong turned to the mine.
"How are the preparations going?"
"Reporting to Young Master: all the lime and clay has been prepared. In addition, according to Young Master's order, we have recruited many masons and had them begin mixing," Zhao Jingdian respectfully said.
"Mm, lead me in to take a look!" Wang Chong said.
Before he had even finished speaking, he was already striding toward the mine, walking even faster than Zhao Jingdian.