The Human Emperor Chapter 719
Chapter 719: The Crucial Qixi
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the army, the most important thing was intelligence, and the most basic requirement of an intelligence report was accuracy. The Big Dipper Army was an elite army of the Great Tang, a valiant existence that could rely on tens of thousands of soldiers to contend against the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of -Tsang and make it consider very carefully before moving east. Thus, it was even harsher on its requirements for its intelligence reports.
If a scout on the front lines sent back such irregular information, they could be harshly punished according to military law. This was the reason for the officers' rage.
"Milord, who is the scout assigned to Wushang? According to military law, he can be transferred back, discharged from his post, and investigated!" a furious officer said.
"The one who should be discharged is not him, but all of you." A gentle, calm, and dignified voice rang out in the study, instantly silencing the room. All the officers pursed their lips and looked straight ahead.
"The second, third, and fourth wave of scouts have already sent back their reports, and their reports say exactly the same thing as the one you all saw. In addition, Qixi Protectorate's Fumeng Lingcha sent me a letter. I'm afraid that what they say is all true."
Geshu Han held his hands behind his back, no emotion visible on his face.
As Geshu Han spoke, the entire room remained silent, but all his officers revealed expressions of disbelief on their faces.
"But, how could it be? It's such a huge city! Is it really possible to do in one night?" one of the officers suddenly muttered.
These words voiced the thoughts on everyone's minds. Even though they respected the Great General, and none of them doubted his words, even now, Wang Chong's building six-meter-high walls in a single night sounded like a fairytale.
But none of them knew that even though Geshu Han appeared calm, he was just as shocked as his subordinates.
One night two zhang high Just how did he manage to do it?
Geshu Han's mind was in turmoil.
During the war of the southwest, Geshu Han had already seen that the youth in Wushang possessed an astonishing daring and talent. But now that he was experiencing it once more, Geshu Han still felt rather moved.
In Geshu Han's lowest estimates, Wang Chong's City of Steel should have needed at least seven or eight months, but it now seemed that this was far too much time.
Many laws and rules immediately seemed inapplicable upon encountering that youngest son of the Wang Clan. Geshu Han had lived through many battles and developed a very tough personality, so there were few things that could move him. But right now, Geshu Han truly found it hard to understand that youth in Wushang.
The plan couldn't keep up with the changes. It seems like the one I developed to be used in several months won't be seeing the light of day. I will have to think of something else!
Geshu Han's eyes turned as countless thoughts flashed through his mind.
It had been a very long time since he had met such a formidable opponent. Although he had still not met this scion of the Wang Clan, in a place that no one had noticed, they had already engaged in a clash.
There was no doubt that Geshu Han had underestimated his opponent.
If he was capable of building six-meter-tall walls in a single night, then there was no doubt that he had been intentionally slowing down at the start so as to catch them unawares. Only when everything was ready and the time was right had he truly revealed his lofty prowess.
Coldness flashed through Geshu Han's eyes.
Only those familiar with the Big Dipper Great General knew that this was a sign that his will to fight had been stimulated, that he was truly beginning to treat someone as his opponent.
It's not that easy to establish roots in Wushang. Young Marquis, this is only the beginning
With this thought, Geshu Han quickly regained his composure.
Anxi, Longxi, Beiting, Qixiall these factions had been left dumbfounded by Wang Chong's engineering feat. In the distant northwest of the Great Tang, in Wushang, all the spies and scouts of the various factions were personally witnessing an unbelievable sight.
In the barren and deserted lands along the Silk Road, Wang Chong was displaying modern science and construction philosophy for the first time in this world.
Under the command of Wang Chong and Zhang Shouzhi, the one hundred thousand workmen labored with unprecedented speed to build an unprecedented City of Steel.
When the scouts arrived in the morning, the walls had only been six meters tall, but by night, they were fifteen meters tall.
Never in the Great Tang's history or even in the history of the Central Plains had a city been constructed with such speed, nor had there ever been this sort of modular city.
More and more people gathered around the City of Steel. All the factions had noticed that something strange was going on and sent more scouts, demanded that the news be confirmed three times over.
Even many Hu from the distant Western Regions came over.
All of them looked on in stupefaction as the enormous and grandiose city rose from its foundations.
This sight was a dream, a miracle!
Before this enormous and unprecedented City of Steel, every person felt tiny and insignificant, as ants before an elephant.
And a deep respect!
Such were the emotions of every person that watched as the City of Steel was built, felt toward the architect and owner of this city, Wang Chong. So deep was their respect that it seemed like they were looking up a high mountain at a mysterious and unfathomable god.
"Lord Marquis, to construct this City of Steel is enough of an accomplishment to leave this old man fulfilled for the rest of his life!"
The wind blew over the smooth, fifteen-meter-tall walls, throwing Zhang Shouzhi's beard into disarray. The master architect looked down from the walls in excitement, his face filled with pride and accomplishment.
He had constructed countless buildings and cities in his life, even participating in the construction of the Imperial Palace. But if he had to say what his proudest accomplishments were, one would be Lion City on the shores of the Erhai, the city that had changed the fate of the Annan Protectorate army and salvaged the southwest.
The other would be this City of Steel beneath his feet.
In the history of the Great Tang and the history of humanity, all cities were built with earth and stone, but this city had shattered those traditions.
This was the first pure City of Steel!
The amount of steel and manpower required to construct this city was not something any clan, faction, or master architect could imagine.
Simply put, this city had required the mobilization of the world, of all the great clans, all the sword shops and sword smiths, all the experienced craftsmen from all the provinces and prefectures. All of them had been used by him to construct this city.
Such a feat had only been seen once before, during the construction of the Imperial Palace.
This honor would make any architect proud and content.
This would arouse and enrapture the heart of any architect.
"Sir Zhang, this is only the beginning. Are you really already satisfied? In the future, we will leave behind many more marks, not just in the Great Tang, but in many other places, and it won't just be this City of Steel."
Standing next to Zhang Shouzhi, Wang Chong smiled.
Zhang Shouzhi froze for a moment, then began to laugh. "Haha, you're right! This old man is still too easy to satisfy. With Lord Marquis here, could I still be afraid of not leaving behind a shining record, of building even grander and more magnificent buildings for everyone to admire?"
He was nearly sixty and had originally planned to enjoy his retirement, but after traveling with Wang Chong and building various fortifications, he had slowly begun to forget his age. He began to feel younger, filled with passion and enthusiasm.
Right now, even he wanted to know where his limit was.
"Oh yes, how are the preparations for the 'beehives' going?" Wang Chong suddenly said.
"This In truth, they were ready a long time ago," Zhang Shouzhi quickly responded. "According to Lord Marquis's orders, all the beehives were enclosed with wooden slats. Not even the escorting guards or the workmen who built them know what they're for."
Wang Chong nodded. As he turned to those numerous scouts and spies ten-some li away, a harsh light flitted through his eyes.
"A storm is coming. We'll have to use them soon. In addition, now that the walls are fifteen meters high, we can begin to install them," Wang Chong said.
Zhang Shouzhi nodded. For the sake of constructing this city, Wang Chong had developed many ingenious things, such as the block and tackle, the crane, and even a brand-new measurement, the 'meter'.
Not many people knew of this measurement, only Zhang Shouzhi, his disciples, and a few of the higher-level craftsmen.
After trying it out, Zhang Shouzhi had discovered that this brand-new measurement was much more precise and convenient for construction than the foot and zhang, so he had begun to strenuously promote it to those around him.
Many of the engineers had already accepted it and begun to spread it, widening its usage.
Wang Chong quickly left the City of Steel.
With the walls of the city now fifteen meters tall, everything was on the right course. Zhang Shouzhi was supervising, so the completion of the City of Steel was just a matter of time, and Bai Siling and Zhao Yatong were there to command the experts. The City of Steel was currently a sturdy fortress and wouldn't be facing any problems for the short term.
I should begin to work on that matter now!
Standing on the steel walls one last time, Wang Chong pondered his plans, his eyes gleaming.
Wushang was close to Qixi, its fate connected to it. Although Fumeng Lingcha was currently brimming with hostility toward him and was trying to stir trouble, Qixi did not belong to Fumeng Lingcha, but to the entire empire. But in the Battle of Talas, in that conflict between the Great Tang and the Abbasid Caliphate, Qixi Protectorate, the closest source of reinforcements in the rear, was unable to send a single soldier in reinforcement. This was absolutely inconceivable!
If Gao Xianzhi had requested reinforcements in advance, the Qixi Protectorate would have dispatched a large army to reinforce him, and perhaps the war might not have ended so badly. The Great Tang would not have completely abandoned the war and begun to lose its influence in the region.
Yet even though Wang Chong was deeply dissatisfied by Fumeng Lingcha, he had to admit that this matter didn't have much to do with Fumeng Lingcha. It wasn't that he was unwilling to reinforce Gao Xianzhi and the Anxi Protectorate army, but that at that time, Qixi Protectorate did not have a single soldier available!
Yes, not a single one!