The Human Emperor Chapter 802
Chapter 802: Cement Road Ii
Chapter 802: Cement Road (II)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As the crowd looked on in astonishment, this massive carriage mounted the road and came to a stop.
Zhao Jingdian suddenly turned his head and asked, "Elder Xie, I would like to ask you, how much weight can an ordinary carriage bear?"
"This… normally seven to eight hundred jin, with twelve hundred jin being the maximum."
Although Xie Gufeng didn't know why this question was being asked, he still gave his honest reply.
"Why twelve hundred jin?" Zhao Jingdian asked with a smile.
"This is quite simple. Once it's too heavy, two horses won't be enough to pull the carriage. One might need three, four, or even five horses, but this is a whole new problem. Not just any horse can work with four other horses to pull a carriage, and no normal driver can control them. Moreover, one also has to consider the ability for the surface of the road to bear the weight. If it's too heavy, the wheels will sink into the earth and will either get stuck or greatly hinder any movement. In long journeys, this will lead to a substantial delay that goes against the purpose of using carriages in the first place," Xie Gufeng explained.
The answers to Zhao Jingdian's questions were basically common sense. Any member of a great clan who had worked with carriages a little understood these things. A merchant wouldn't get up early if they didn't stand to make a profit, and if they could transport more on carriages, why wouldn't they?
Xie Gufeng paused a moment before adding, "In addition, twelve hundred jin added to the weight of the carriage itself is already very heavy, around seventeen or eighteen hundred jin, maybe even two thousand. This weight is already quite frightening."
"Haha, Elder Xie, I understand."
Zhao Jingdian began to point at the Wang Clan guards.
"You, you, you… all of you, get on the carriage."
With a sweep of his hand, Zhao Jingdian ordered ten-some agile warriors to get onto the carriage. This strange action immediately drew the focus of the crowd, the clan experts avidly watching this scene.
Although they didn't know what Zhao Jingdian was doing, all of them understood that he must have a particular purpose behind his actions.
"Elder Xie, this should be about twelve hundred jin, right?" Zhao Jingdian asked with a smile.
"This– yes, indeed."
Xie Gufeng's eyes went wide. All of these guards were tall and muscular, and ten-some of them all together was far more than twelve hundred. It was at least seventeen hundred jin.
Zhao Jingdian smiled and picked out another batch of Wang Clan guards. "You, you, you, all of you go up as well!"
All the guards chuckled as they climbed onto the carriage with practiced movements. There were now twenty-some Wang Clan guards in the carriage compartment, all of them squeezed together. It was at this time that the rest of the crowd finally understood why Zhao Jingdian had brought such a large container.
Xie Gufeng could no longer hold back his surprise. Twenty-some bulky men packed together… such a method of transportation had never been tried before. After all, this was a weight of two to three thousand jin.
"You, you, you… all of you go up as well."
Zhao Jingdian appeared to think that this still wasn't enough weight, ordering yet another batch of chuckling guards onto the carriage. Some of them stood on the edge of the carriage while others hung from the protruding sides. In short, the entire carriage was completely packed.
Everyone was flabbergasted by this sight. There were now thirty people on this one carriage, when an ordinary carriage would usually hold only three or four people. This was ten times the normal weight, an absolutely absurd number.
Xie Gufeng suddenly took a few steps forward and said, "Milord, please forgive me if I misspeak. If you put so many people onboard, two horses will find it very difficult to pull the carriage."
Zhao Jingdian was putting too many people on this carriage, and even though Xie Gufeng sensed that he was trying to prove something, this method was clearly implausible.
"Haha, we can only know if it will move once we try."
Zhao Jingdian gave a careless laugh.
"Elder Liang, begin."
Zhao Jingdian gestured to the old driver on the carriage. "Hyah!" A whip snapped in the air before cracking onto the horses.
The carriage began to roll, its wheels rumbling as the two horses pulled the carriage holding thirty people forward.
At the start, it was obvious that the horses were using a great deal of energy to pull the carriage forward at a very slow speed. But then they began to speed up, the carriage and its load of thirty people zooming forward.
At this sight, the crowd practically exploded in shock. Their unfocused eyes immediately went wide.
"Thirty people! How! It's actually moving, and so fast!"
"What's going on here? A carriage with thirty people should be practically immovable. How did he do it? How could a carriage with so many people be moving!"
"A carriage with more than ten people shouldn't be possible to move. At that weight, it would sink deep into the road. How could it be moving so quickly?"
This sight completely overturned their understanding of carriage weight. These descendants of the great clans usually left the matter of shipping goods on carriages to their subordinates and rarely bothered themselves with such things.
But this did not mean that they couldn't understand the significance of this event. If a carriage could hold ten times more, the clans could make ten times more with each trip.
They might not have cared about the minor details of carriage transportation, but they certainly cared about the massive profits this entailed.
And the scene Zhao Jingdian was directing was far from over.
With a shout, the carriage driver Liang Bo snapped his whip. One of the carriage shafts suddenly separated, and the newly-freed horse let out a neigh as it charged along the cement road.
And then, the stunned crowd watched as the remaining horse continued to pull the carriage with thirty Wang Clan guards all by itself.
"This, this… how?! What horse could have such strength?"
"This is too much. I've never seen such a scene in my entire life."
"Does this still count as a horse? How did they pull this off? It's inconceivable!"
"No, this isn't because of the horse. It must be the carriage!"
"No, it's not the carriage. It's that slurry road or whatever."
"No, it's because of the horse."
The crowd began to quarrel amongst themselves in consternation over this never-before-seen sight. As Zhao Jingdian listened to these arguments, a smile crept onto his lips.
These arguments meant that his painstaking plans had not been for nothing, meant that the marquis's plans were right on track.
Breee! In the distance, the carriage had traveled twenty-some zhang before finally coming to a stop. Zhao Jingdian made a gesture, and the thirty Wang Clan guards chuckled once more as they jumped down from the carriage and gathered around Zhao Jingdian.
"Honored guests, you have all seen it. This is the 'cement road' that Lord Marquis spoke of. As long as we can build these kinds of roads, our carriages can hold greater weights and transport more goods, producing more profits while saving on manpower and resources."
Zhao Jingdian scanned the crowd, his eyes shining with wisdom and confidence.
"Moreover, all of you should have seen that this road is extremely smooth and level. Although there were thirty people on the carriage, it did not shake once. Honored guests, all of you are from the great clans, with large businesses and great wealth. There are inevitably times when you are required to travel for negotiations. If you traveled along this sort of road, at least everyone would travel with much less jostling and shaking."
In an instant, the crowd fell silent. The majority of the people growing up in great clans didn't work hard or manual labor, and what they craved the most was comfort.
Zhao Jingdian's words were even more alluring to them than the fact that that one horse could pull a carriage carrying thirty men. If Wang Chong really did create this network of roads, everyone present could reap the benefits.
"With regards to this slurry… no, this cement road, we don't oppose investing any money. But once we've invested all this manpower, wealth, and resources, what will we do once other people start taking advantage of these roads? Won't we have just spent money and effort so that other people can enjoy them for free?" A scion of twenty-seven or twenty-eight walked out of the crowd, throwing up his arms in the air as he spoke, many concerns in his eyes.
"That's right. If we put out the money but then others enjoy the results, won't we essentially have donated our money?" Another clan expert walked out and voiced his agreement.
The other clan experts, including those from the Zhao Clan and the Bai Clan, began to look at Zhao Jingdian. Although they didn't add their opinions, their eyes clearly communicated that they felt the same.
These people… it's exactly as Young Master predicted.
As Zhao Jingdian looked around, he couldn't help but mentally sigh, his admiration for Wang Chong swelling.
Although Wang Chong was far away in Wushang, he had predicted everything that had happened and was about to happen.
No one would get up in the morning unless they stood to benefit from it, and the great clans would never do something that they didn't stand to gain from, much less donate their money. If they could not be persuaded, perhaps they might still help out with building the new roads, but the aid would be drastically reduced.
If handled improperly, this matter would have a massive effect on the marquis's future plans, even result in a failure at Talas.
Thankfully, Young Master already made plans.
Zhao Jingdian held his hands behind his back, his expression calm and unpanicked.