The Human Emperor Chapter 693
Chapter 693: Information On Talas
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Yuan Shusong, don't speak nonsense! How could the Emperor of Arabia say something like this? Can you really treat marketplace gossip as the truth? Do you know what sort of disaster would occur if these rumors got out?" Old Eagle harshly reproved.
Yuan Shusong froze. Knowing that he had spoken too rashly, he immediately shut his mouth.
"Enough! Old Eagle, what he says is true!" Wang Chong extended a hand and stopped Old Eagle.
All the sovereigns of all the countries bordering the Great Tang, no matter how much they internally loathed and insulted the Great Tang, would never dare to say such things before their assembled ministers.
Because such words would bring down a calamity.
And these words truly would cause an intense war between two countries, no laughing matter. But Wang Chong knew that the Emperor of Arabia really was someone who might say such words.
Unlike the other countries around the Great Tang, Arabia was extremely far from the Central Plains, with many li and many countries separating them. And Arabia was extremely expansionary. From the moment it had been founded, it had expanded in every direction, killing and conquering.
Arabia had not been able to possess such a large territory in a single generation because it had started with it, but because it had engaged in constant expansion. From this perspective, Wang Chong didn't find it strange at all for the Emperor of Arabia to say such words.
In truth, the Arabs were already stretching their claws to the Great Tang.
Hearing Wang Chong's words, Yuan Shusong raised his head and shot Wang Chong an excited glance. For some reason, this 'Young Marquis' seemed different from all the other nobles.
"Master Yuan, please, continue."
Wang Chong raised his hand and explained, "The Imperial Court currently requires a few people who understand Arabia, but people who have actually been to Arabia are few and far between, so there is naturally no one to ask questions to. Thus, we have a great need for Master to give us pertinent opinions, as this will be of great importance to us and the Imperial Court."
Wang Chong spoke with great solemnity. Although Wang Chong could be considered in this world as someone with some understanding of Arabia, he had still never been there. Whether in this world or the last, Wang Chong's understanding of Arabia originated from paper and the mouths of others.
He had never had any firsthand experience.
"This" Seeing Wang Chong ask the question so seriously, Yuan Shusong hesitated for a few moments before finally giving his earnest opinion. "Since Lord Marquis has permitted this lowly person to speak, this lowly person will speak boldly. When this one was young and traveled through Arabia, he felt that Arabia would sooner or later become an enemy of my Great Tang. With their personality, they would eventually come to eye the Central Plains. In addition, the Arabs have muscular bodies and are raised on a diet of horse milk, goat milk, and dates, and there's also the hot and arid climate. Purely in terms of daring, they far surpass the Han of the Central Plains as natural warriors. Moreover, their customs nurture an appreciation for valor and courage, not purely battle. Thus this lowly one feels that Arab warriors are even stronger than our Great Tang soldiers!"
The room was utterly silent.
Old Eagle didn't put much stock in these words. The people of the Great Tang were known throughout the world for their valor. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been able to suppress the surrounding barbarians, much less create the current golden age. And yet Yuan Shusong had personally been to Arabia, so his words could not be completely rejected.
As for Wang Chong, his heart sank like a stone.
Wang Chong had always known that the Arabs would not be easy to deal with, but Yuan Shusong's words still left him rather shocked. Yuan Shusong had probably gone to the Western Regions and seen the Anxi Protectorate army, but he had still made such claims. This could only mean that the Arab warriors were incredibly strong.
Yuan Shusong lowered his head and sternly said, "Lord Marquis, the disposition of the Arabs means that they will sooner or later be a great foe for the Great Tang. They absolutely cannot be underestimated!"
"Have you said these words to anyone else?" Wang Chong gravely asked.
"This lowly person once submitted a memorial with these words upon returning from my travels. Alas, the Chamberlain of Dependencies seized the memorial and imprisoned me for seven years."
With these words, Yuan Shusong gave a deep sigh.
Wang Chong and Old Eagle were both astonished.
"Those bastards! Do they still care for the rule of law!"
Old Eagle clenched his fists in rage. Neither of them had expected Yuan Shusong to have had this sort of experience.
"These fellows truly did go overboard."
Wang Chong's eyes had also widened. If Yuan Shusong had not made the claim, Wang Chong wouldn't have believed in it even if he were beaten to death. The Imperial Court had established the Chamberlain of Dependencies in order to receive the emissaries from the various countries and display the magnanimity of the Great Tang.
But in the present age, the Chamberlain of Dependencies was slowly forgetting its purpose, becoming a place that only wanted to get on the good side of the foreign emissaries and suppress the people from its own country.
Old Eagle turned to Wang Chong and said, "Lord Marquis, we really have to do something about this. The Chamberlain of Dependencies is growing more and more excessive with every passing day. If this continues, the Chamberlain of Dependencies will eventually become a place that solely serves foreigners."
Wang Chong said nothing. The matter of the Chamberlain of Dependencies was extremely complicated and could not be resolved with just a few words. This was because the Chamberlain of Dependencies was under the direct command of the Sage Emperor, but the Sage Emperor had neither the time nor energy to handle such a trifling concern.
Moreover, the true controller behind the Chamberlain of Dependencies was not the Sage Emperor, but King Qi. As long as King Qi was present, it would be no simple matter to topple the Chamberlain of Dependencies.
Yet it was also unacceptable to allow it to do as it pleased.
"There should be someone called Zheng Chenzhou in the Chamberlain of Dependencies, right? Think of a way to replace him," Wang Chong indifferently said.
"Lord Marquis is referring to the one from the -Tsang First Prince incident?" Old Eagle inquired.
Wang Chong gave a cold nod, his expression exuding a domineering aura.
"It's about time that the Chamberlain of Dependencies was taught a lesson. Let that Zheng Chenzhou with his good relationship with the Tibetans be the first lesson."
In the past, Wang Chong truly wouldn't have been able to deal with any of the officials from the Chamberlain of Dependencies, but now, the Wang Clan was at its zenith of influence and status. Coupled with its relationship to King Song, it was now capable of altering the make-up of the court. Replacing a person like Zheng Chenzhou who had attempted to suppress him and had a good relationship with the Tibetans was truly as easy as flipping over his hand.
This was also a warning to the Chamberlain of Dependencies.
With just a few words, Wang Chong had decided the fate of an official of the Chamberlain of Dependencies, leaving Yuan Shusong stunned. He had gained a new understanding of this youth's power and status.
Wang Chong smiled at Yuan Shusong and voiced his true goal. "Master Yuan, I won't hide it from you. I'm currently planning to construct an academy to teach the languages of the Western Regions, Arabia, Charax Spasinu, Sindhu, -Tsang, and all the other foreign countries, increasing our Great Tang's understanding of other countries. I'm prepared to support this academy for the long term with a large amount of capital, but this academy still lacks a teacher. Is Master interested?"
The kingdoms of the Western Regions all had different languages, and so in order to manage the western border, one needed talented personnel who could understand the languages of the Western Regions, including Arabia and Charax Spasinu.
And raising them himself was currently the best method.
"Can I treat Lord Marquis's words as the truth?"
Yuan Shusong immediately raised his head, his face brimming with happiness.
"Master's answer?" Wang Chong said.
"Most welcome, most welcome"
Yuan Shusong was excited beyond belief. His lifelong dream had been to build a school so that he could teach foreign languages and increase the Great Tang's understanding of foreign countries, avoiding any miscommunications and disasters.
Unfortunately, in his many years in the capital, he had found no assistance, only contempt and ridicule. Downcast and dejected, Yuan Shusong had decided to leave the capital and set off for the Western Regions.
When Wei Guo and Wei Wu had found him, he had already finished packing his luggage.
Never had Yuan Shusong imagined that at his most dejected, his fortunes would take a sudden turn.
"Hahaha, Master, I'll leave everything in this field to you," Wang Chong said with a hearty chuckle. "Old Eagle, have this matter taken care of and get that school constructed as quickly as possible. In addition, tell Elder Hu and Elder Ye to pick a few talented and intelligent people from the clans and send them to the school to learn foreign languages."
With Master Yuan assisting him, Wang Chong's plan for the Western Regions had been given a great boost. With this critical individual joining his side, the greatest gap in his plan had been filled.
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
Old Eagle quickly left with Yuan Shusong.
Not long after Yuan Shusong and Old Eagle left, Wang Chong welcomed his final guest for the day.
"This lowly one, Yang Hongchang, pays respects to Lord Marquis," boomed the voice of a slightly plump merchant as he strode proudly in and bowed to Wang Chong. All ten of his fingers were decorated with agate rings, and his waist was adorned with a token made of jade and red coral.
"There's no need for courtesy. Rise," Wang Chong said with a slight raise of his hand. Unlike with Yuan Shusong, Wang Chong cut straight to the point with this middle-aged merchant.
"I hear that Sir is an excellent businessman with connections to the Hu merchants of the Silk Road. I have also heard that Sir once entered Arabia to sell porcelain and tea leaves?"
"Lord Marquis is too kind. The clan truly does engage in a little business and work with a few Hu merchants. But the Hu merchants are very anti-foreigner and are unwilling to trade with foreign merchants, so our business has never been very large, with only a few small business deals.
"As for Arabia and Charax Spasinu in the early years, this one did not know the immensity of the heavens and earth, and lost no small amount of money. All that this one managed to gain was a little reputation," Yang Hongchang said.
Wang Chong nodded. The merchants from the Western Regions, Charax Spasinu, and Arabia were extremely xenophobic. The Yang lineage that Yang Hongchang belonged to was one of the few families in the Great Tang that did business on the Silk Road.
"There is a city on the Silk Road known as Talas. Has Sir Yang heard of it?"
Yang Hongchang finally raised his head and looked at the Young Marquis, surprise evident on his face.
"Around seven hundred li west from the Anxi Protectorate headquarters is Talas. That is the territory of the Sh Kingdom of the Nine Tribes of Zhaowu1, and the lord of the city is called Sa'id. In this lowly person's younger years, this one had the fortune to meet him while trading in the Western Regions."
1. The Nine Tribes of Zhaowu, , appears to be the name the Chinese gave to the people that lived in the region of Sogdiana. The nine tribes were Kang, An, Cao, Sh, Mi, He, Huoxun, Wude, and Sh. Note that the two 'Shi' are tonally different.