The Human Emperor Chapter 713
Chapter 713: Going Forward With Ones Dreams
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Formidable, Lord Marquis. Our recruitment mission is no longer a problem," came a whisper from the more-than-two-meter-tall figure of Li Siye sitting next to Wang Chong on the plaza. As they looked at the roaring bonfires and listened to the sounds of laughter, Wang Chong felt a true happiness.
Li Siye had received a personal lesson in the power of the Wushang. Even though he had stepped forward and used his Wootz Steel sword, he still could not overcome the Wushang. In truth, someone more powerful than him would still find it just as difficult to subdue the Wushang.
The strength of these people could not be described in terms of a village, lineage, or tribe.
But Li Siye had never imagined that though he had met with failure despite all the time he had used, Wang Chong would solve the problem with barely an effort. He remembered how at the very start, the Wushang Chief had come forward and personally rejected Wang Chong.
But then there was a sudden reversal. Not only had he agreed to Wang Chong's request for soldiers, both sides were now mingling by the fireside, feasting and drinking together. Such a contrast seemed almost inconceivable.
The more time he spent with Wang Chong, the more inconceivable Li Siye found Wang Chong to be.
There seemed no problem in the world that he could not handle. So it was for the southwestern war, and so it was for Wushang Village. His abilities seemed to have no upper limit. Li Siye truly couldn't think of a problem in this world that could truly trouble him.
Of course, what won Li Siye's admiration the most was Wang Chong's decision to bring food with him on this trip.
"Lord Marquis's bringing this food was truly a wise decision. I feel right now that this chicken, duck, fish, beef, and sheep have played an even greater role than our activities from last night!" Li Siye sincerely said.
The breadth of Wang Chong's thinking would always be difficult for others to imagine. There was the spreading of plague through the Tibetan Plateau, the burning of the Mengshe granaries at the last moments of the war, and now there was the decision to bring all these various foods with him on a recruitment mission
It wasn't strange for such actions to appear useless or unessential in the moment, but only when everything was over would one finally understand just how much thought Wang Chong had put into those actions, how far ahead he had been thinking. And when one felt this, they would be all the more inclined to bow to the floor and serve him.
Wang Chong merely smiled in reply.
"When this matter is over, I need to go to the City of Steel. I'll leave Wushang Village to you. In addition, I've already arranged for people to deliver a large amount of food to Wushang Village. Fifty to sixty thousand Wushang is far too many for this amount of food to suffice!"
"This general understands! I will definitely accomplish this mission," Li Siye deferentially said.
"Ah, then it's fine."
Wang Chong smiled, patted Li Siye on the shoulder, then drained his bowl of wine. While Li Siye looked on in surprise, he put down his wine bowl and walked to the edge of the plaza, to a place where the glow of the bonfires didn't reach.
A stone-like figure stood there, as imposing as a mountain as they silently stood guard in the darkness.
"Warrior, what is your name?" Wang Chong said with a smile.
The stone-like figure glanced in surprise at Wang Chong but then quickly turned away. After a long while, Wang Chong heard a muffled voice.
"Cui Piaoqi, a good name! Do you drink?"
"Apologies. While on duty, I cannot drink."
"Haha, good! It's truly not proper to drink while on duty, but just because you can't drink now doesn't mean you can't drink at another time. This is a jar of wine I brought from outside. Take it."
The muscular figure finally raised his head, his eyes taking in the youth before him with both surprise and confusion. There were so many people in Wushang Village, so why did this youth come to find him, even gift him a jar of wine?
Wang Chong saw that the man was still resisting and finally said, "Heheh, take the jar of wine and I'll stop bothering you."
The man spoke in his muffled voice and finally took the jar. As he lowered his head, the light of the bonfire just so happened to reveal the words written on the surface of the beige jar:
The person raised his head in shock, but Wang Chong was already gone, a contented look on his face. At that moment, no one was able to see the complicated emotions in Wang Chong's eyes.
Some people could do everything over again, but some matters could not be repeated!
In the past, you and I were indifferent to death, and rode together across the shattered earth, battling across the world to safeguard the people, as close as brothers. But now, you and I do not know each other. I recognize you, but you do not remember me
That jar of wine was a fierce wine that was once the favorite of both of us. We sealed our friendship on this wine.
Time and place have moved, and though we can't go back, our dreams are still the same. This is enough.
With these thoughts, Wang Chong quickly departed Wushang Village.
Seven or eight li west from Wushang Village was the border of Wang Chong's fief. Here, a different kind of activity was taking place.
"The crane, the crane!
"Careful! Pay attention to the different structures of the parts. Every piece has its own model number. Don't attach the wrong one!
"Raise it a little higher, higher! Remember to align the second level of the steel wall, or else it will be uneven and leave a gap!
"The eastern wall has already been set up, with all the connectors attached. All workmen, listen up! Begin to pour the molten iron to reinforce the structure!
"Pay attention to the ladders! The steel walls are very heavy. Strengthen them all again for me!
"Teams two, three, four, and five, go and rest. Teams seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, and twenty, prepare to ascend the scaffolding! Quickly! Change shifts!"
More than fifty thousand burly craftsmen and people from the various areas and clans of the Great Tang had gathered at the City of Steel, all of them like appearing like ants as they worked on the walls.
The fief allotted to Wang Chong was particularly large, and because the lands around the Silk Road to the west were rather barren, the Bureau of Revenue had made an exception and increased the size of Wang Chong's fief by several times the normal. In any case, this was a barren and deserted land. If Wang Chong could really succeed, it could only be a boon to the Imperial Court and the empire.
The prosperity of the city was the prosperity of the empire, and besides, Wang Chong was making his money off the Hu.
Wang Chong didn't stand on courtesy, taking this increased size and expanding his city to the limits.
The current city was more than ten times the size of the Lion City that he had set up near the Erhai. Constructing such a massive city required a similarly massive workforce. The fifty thousand workmen were only the first batch. The second batch of fifty thousand were still on the road, and there was still a third batch and fourth batch
Just guaranteeing a place to stay and food and water to consume for these workers required a logistics network of more than thirty thousand people.
One also had to add the caravans transporting construction materials, the people guarding the site, and the other miscellaneous workers, bringing the total number of people gathered at the City of Steel to over one hundred thousand. Just managing this number of people for this grand engineering project was not something any normal person or faction could accomplish.
But the City of Steel was currently running in a very organized fashion. The workmen, the suppliers, the guards, the caravans the one hundred thousand were all working together like some exquisitely constructed instrument. They were constantly moving, assisting in the construction of the miraculous City of Steel.
The City of Steel was still in the middle of construction, but it was already an engineering marvel, the focus of all the craftsmen of the world. Many people even crossed vast distances to volunteer for the project in the hopes that they could leave their own marks and sweat on the legendary city.
To brand their names upon it.
This would be a craftsman's greatest pride.
"Lord Marquis, the materials for the early stages have already arrived. The smithing clans of the capital and the other prefectures have already begun to work in producing the steel modules we need. Right now, more than ten thousand sword shops and smiths are helping us forge refined iron to create the modules. In addition, I've dispatched people to these places to test the quality of the refined iron. The City of Steel is a very important project, and I do not wish for a single mishap."
On a wall of the busy City of Steel, Zhang Shouzhi stood next to Wang Chong as he confidently and earnestly spoke. He held high hopes and enthusiasm for this City of Steel.
Zhang Shouzhi had barely slept while he had been in Wushang, but he did not feel tired at all.
"I've troubled you for all this, but the construction of the City of Steel must be hastened. A long night will have many dreams, and the terrain here is complicated. Only by quickly finishing this city can we stand here with feet firm."
Wang Chong held his hands behind his back, walking along the wall as he spoke to Zhang Shouzhi.
"Understood. We've already had many people spying on us, and they don't rest, whether day or night. I've already had the soldiers increase the patrols and their range so that the spies can't approach," Zhang Shouzhi harshly said.
While the two were speaking, a sharp cry came out of the air, particularly noticeable in the hive of activity that was the City of Steel. Wang Chong and Zhang Shouzhi raised their heads and noticed a small black dot high in the sky opening its wings. It flew over the City of Steel, making circle after circle.
And as one looked further into the sky, one would see many other black dots circling in the air over the City of Steel.
Cry after cry could be heard, each of them different.
Upon careful inspection, there were sixty or seventy different birds looking down from the air. With just a rough glance, Wang Chong was able to distinguish the rock eagle of the Western Regions, the Turkic hunting hawk, the Goguryeon gyrfalcon, the Tibetan vulture, and even the Mengshe Zhao stork.