The Human Emperor Chapter 723
Chapter 723: Warhorse Transaction Concluded
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Unfortunately, this still isn't enough to hold me!
The flash of a sharp sword appeared in the darkness, and a cruel light flickered in Wang Chong's eyes. Clang! A sword rang out as Wang Chong unsheathed his Wootz Steel sword and struck.
After what seemed like both a second and endless epochs, a beam of astonishing light suddenly shot out of the darkness. A single slash had been enough to cut Hulayeg's cage of top-class Arabian steel into pieces.
With a jolt, Wang Chong flew out of the cage. His right foot pressed upon its remnants, allowing him to shoot off it like a bird.
After traveling ten-some zhang, Wang Chong stepped on the wall to his right and continued his ascent. Through a repetition of this action, it took only a few moments for Wang Chong to see a point of light in the darkness, one that was rapidly expanding.
The mouth of the pit! A thought flashed through his mind as he looked up.
The metal cage had been extremely heavy, causing the descent to be extremely fast. Judging from his current situation, he had been dropping for only a few seconds, but he had descended around seventy or eighty meters.
For ordinary people, this situation was certain death, but to an Imperial Martial expert like Wang Chong, it was barely worth mentioning.
Whoosh! With a final shake of his sleeves, Wang Chong flew through the mouth of the pit like a sharp sword and lightly flipped onto the ground.
Screams came from nearby, and when Wang Chong opened his eyes, he saw that the gloomy underground room was full of Hu bodyguards, all of them wounded and bloody.
In the middle of these bodyguards stood a mysterious man, dressed in black, with a travel-worn turban on his head and a white mask over his face. His hand was currently grasping a dagger that was pressed against Hulayeg's neck.
"Get back, get back"
Hulayeg's face was filled with panic, and when he saw Wang Chong, his fear only deepened.
"Impossible! You how did you get out?"
Wang Chong grinned as he slowly walked forward.
"Solitary Wolf, let him go." Wang Chong made a gesture with his right hand and spoke to the mysterious man behind Hulayeg.
"Yes, Lord Marquis!"
Solitary Wolf's body blurred as he quickly drew back.
Hulayeg was dumbfounded.
Wang Chong silently smiled.
He had dispatched Solitary Wolf to this area long ago and sent him all over the Western Regions. Solitary Wolf had been working in the area for so long that he had put down roots, mingling with the locals and even learning a good deal of Hu languages.
Wang Chong had almost failed to recognize him on their meeting. Of course, for such an important mission like finding Hulayeg, Wang Chong's first order of business had been to call Solitary Wolf back.
If Hulayeg believed that everything would be fine once he had deceived Wang Chong into his residence, trapped him in the steel cage, and sent him plunging into the abyss, then he was truly far too naive.
Wang Chong would have never risked entering the Western Regions without making ample preparations.
"Hulayeg, have you finished thinking about our deal?"
Wang Chong walked up, pulled over the only chair in the room, and slowly seated himself. "As long as you can help me get three hundred thousand horses, we can still carry out this transaction."
Hulayeg froze, clearly surprised that Wang Chong wasn't going to kill him.
"Are you serious? Three hundred thousand horses isn't a small number!"
The moment money was brought up, Hulayeg immediately calmed down, the shrewdness of a merchant appearing in his eyes. Since he couldn't beat Wang Chong and Wang Chong wasn't going to kill him, he might as well consider doing business.
This was the instinct of a merchant. Everything proceeded from profit.
"Since you know that I'm the Young Marquis of the Great Tang, do you think the majestic Central Plains lack the money for a couple hundred thousand horses?"
Wang Chong smirked. Hulayeg was a meticulous and suspicious person, so persuading him was rather difficult.
Hulayeg's eyes widened and he instantly fell quiet.
It was true that Hulayeg rarely did business with strangers, as this wasn't safe. He had only decided to scheme against Wang Chong because he had recognized who he was.
And it was also because he knew that he was speaking to the Young Marquis that he trusted him more than he would an ordinary person.
A person of this stature, and a Han noble at that, would not easily go back on their word. He had the endorsement of the entire Great Tang.
In terms of reliability and ability to pay, Wang Chong actually far surpassed any other party he had worked with.
And besides, three hundred thousand horses this was truly a massive amount of money!
Hulayeg suddenly found himself somewhat tempted.
"I'll trust you for now, but the price?" Hulayeg said, a look of cunning in his eyes. This was a business deal, and since his counterpart had the backing of the entire Great Tang Imperial Court, if he didn't try to squeeze out a little more money, he would be letting down his reputation as the 'Turkic Fox' of horse merchants.
Wang Chong smiled at these words. Hulayeg had undergone a momentous shift, turning from caution, doubt, and treachery to greed and desire.
However, Wang Chong would have been concerned if Hulayeg were not greedy. As for money
When the great calamity arrived, all monetary systems would crumble. Gold would become useless.
If he could buy enough warhorses to alter the Great Tang's fate, Wang Chong was even willing to give him all the gold of the Great Tang.
In any case, when the time came, gold would be worth little more than rocks.
"A high-quality warhorse has a market price of eighty taels of gold. I will give you one hundred!" Wang Chong thrust out a single finger, his expression confident and relaxed. "But I only want high-quality warhorses!"
"Fine, fine, no problem!"
Hulayeg's eyes instantly brightened at these words. When buying in large quantities, high-quality warhorses wouldn't cost eighty taels of gold each, but perhaps only seventy-five.
The price of one hundred taels that Wang Chong was giving meant that he made twenty-five taels of gold for each horse. To a penny-pinching merchant like Hulayeg, this was an irresistible temptation.
It had to be said that when he dealt with -Tsang, Mengshe Zhao, Goguryeo, or the other kingdoms of the Western Regions, even at the price of seventy-five taels, the other party would still want to haggle, and the talks would last for ages.
Such a straightforward patron was a dream come true for a horse merchant like Hulayeg.
"But do you truly only want high-quality warhorses? What about the others?" Hulayeg asked, quickly finding this request a little strange.
"Mm, I don't need any other kind, only high-quality warhorses," Wang Chong said.
The difference between ordinary and high-quality warhorses wasn't large. They could all fight and gallop, but the difference became clear when traveling vast distances or charging on the battlefield.
Ordinary warhorses could only charge straight, but high-quality warhorses could bond with their riders, the two becoming a single unit. In addition, high-quality warhorses had better skeletons and muscles.
Since Wang Chong was recruiting the Wushang, he naturally needed to give them the best horses. After all, in his plans, the opponents the Wushang Cavalry were to face were the Arabian cavalry. Only the high-quality steeds of the Turkic steppe could match the huge and sturdy Arabian warhorses.
"No problem! Leave it to me!"
Patting his chest, Hulayeg agreed with astonishing speed.
"With regards to the warhorses, there's nothing I can't do on the steppe. But the matter of money?"
As Hulayeg spoke, he rubbed the thumb and index finger of his right hand together, a gesture that everyone in the world could understand.
"There's no problem with that. For this first transaction, I require one hundred thousand warhorses. To express our sincerity, we'll first make a deal for ten thousand warhorses. In one month, I want to see ten thousand high-quality steeds at my City of Steel. At that time, I will hand over the payment for those ten thousand horses.
"Just ten thousand warhorses shouldn't be a problem for the great number one Turkic horse merchant, right?"
Wang Chong glanced at Hulayeg.
"Haha, what are you saying? It's just ten thousand high-quality warhorses. In twenty days, I can get them to Wushang for you."
Hulayeg heroically patted his chest.
If Wang Chong wanted one hundred thousand horses in a single month, Hulayeg really wouldn't have been able to do it. After all, it took time to gather these horses from the various tribes.
But just ten thousand high-quality steeds, with Hulayeg's connections and relationship to the chiefs of the various tribes, wasn't a big problem at all.
Moreover, ten thousand high-quality warhorses was one million taels of gold, enough for him to start paying bribes and prepare for the rest of this historic deal.
The two parties quickly reached an agreement. According to the customs of the Western Regions, when signing the contract, both sides bit their thumb and used their blood to leave behind a fingerprint.
"Oh, that's right, Hulayeg, I heard that you have a steward called Yalug?"
Wang Chong suddenly raised his head, a faint smile on his face.
"What of it?" Hulayeg asked, his heart beginning to thump.
Hulayeg truly had found a few stewards to handle his financial affairs, but vanishingly few outsiders knew of this.
Hulayeg never brought them with him when conducting business, and these stewards never showed their face in public.
Hulayeg had some deep apprehensions of the matter and so intentionally kept it hidden.
Not even old friends who he had known for decades had ever met them, much less outsiders.
Hulayeg had no idea how Wang Chong, who had come to the Western Regions for the first time and was meeting him for the first time, knew about his stewards. He even knew that one of them was called Yalug.
"Haha, it's nothing. I'm just asking. But it's difficult to know what's in a man's heart, so Sir Hulayeg should pay a little more attention."
Wang Chong turned and left, a smile on his face.
Hulayeg was still perplexed, but when he saw Wang Chong raise three fingers behind his back, his face instantly lit up in understanding.
Wang Chong quickly left Hulayeg's residence.