The Human Emperor Chapter 859
Chapter 859: U Tsang The Royal Capitals Prison
Chapter 859: Ü-Tsang, the Royal Capital's Prison!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Let's go! Lord Marquis must be getting nervous. He'll definitely be delighted to hear this news!" Li Siye said.
Six thousand jun of Hyderabad ore was equivalent to six thousand sharp and unstoppable Wootz Steel swords, more than enough to equip the five thousand Wushang Cavalry. This meant that Qixi now had a truly terrifying force that could decide the outcome of a battle. No normal person could imagine this kind of power.
The two thousand-man units of Wushang Cavalry combined and escorted the Hyderabad ore onto the plateau, traveling through the northern regions of the Tibetan Plateau to return to their own territory… not the Qixi Protectorate, but the City of Steel. There, many craftsmen, smiths, and furnaces had been prepared, Zhang Shouzhi having already readied a large workhouse and many pine logs shipped from the capital. Only there could the Hyderabad ore be forged into the famous Wootz Steel swords!
As the large convoy and the two thousand Wushang Cavalry crossed through the northern region of Ü-Tsang, countless Tibetan vultures appeared in the sky, along with countless Tibetan scouts in the distance. These people constantly came and went, but Li Siye and the others treated them as if they didn't exist. The Tibetan scouts only ever dared to observe from a distance, not ever daring to approach.
After the battle of the triangular gap, the soldiers of the City of Steel and Qixi made all the Tibetans in the north pale in fear. Moreover, the northern region of Ü-Tsang no longer had the soldiers to deal with them.
Several hours later, when Li Siye and the convoy of six thousand jun of Hyderabad ore arrived at Wushang's City of Steel, the entire city exploded with cheers for the returning heroes. Zhang Shouzhi, Zhao Jingdian, and even Cheng Sanyuan, Su Shixuan, and Xu Qiqin rushed back to welcome him.
The most important object in Wang Chong's plan had finally arrived, firming up everyone's resolve.
Wang Chong was recruiting mercenary tribes en masse in the Western Regions when he got the news. He immediately left the mercenaries to the Gangke King and Xue Qianjun, and galloped back to the City of Steel. Upon his return, he immediately went to the large smithy made from steel modules set up in the western part of the city and gathered more than one hundred elite smiths to begin work on forging the Wootz Steel swords.
Six thousand jun of Hyderabad ore!
This was probably the largest Hyderabad ore deal in the Central Plains since Wang Chong's reincarnation, perhaps in the entire world!
This was not the only piece of news to galvanize the crowd. On the Western Turkic Khaganate's side, once the three thousand Wushang Cavalry had finished sweeping through the nearby water sources and crushing the thirty thousand soldiers the Turks had in the Qixi area, it had even begun to threaten the Turkic tribes and shepherds even deeper into the steppe. In the face of Wang Chong and Qixi's edge, the Khagan's court in Mount Sanmi finally responded.
The Western Turks were willing to offer two hundred thousand high-quality Turkic warhorses in exchange for the Fourth Prince and the withdrawal of the Qixi Protectorate army from Western Turkic territory! All the warhorses would be delivered as quickly as possible to Qixi, but Wang Chong's soldiers also had to first withdraw from the Turkic steppe and no longer attack any of the Turkic shepherds!
When this news arrived at the City of Steel, everyone was left stunned.
That this Turkic Fourth Prince would be worth so much had left them all slack-jawed and wide-eyed! Although Hulayeg had said that the Fourth Prince was deeply cherished, as the Black Wolf Yabgu would not otherwise have brought him to the battlefield to help him build merit, this value was still beyond what they had imagined.
"Truly picked up a treasure!" Xu Keyi muttered to himself as he slowly digested the news.
He had been on the front lines of this entire incident. He had taken part in the battle for Qixi Armory and had personally captured the Turkic Fourth Prince and the other captives. In addition, he had been the one to report the news of the Fourth Prince's capture to Wang Chong. But those two hundred thousand warhorses still felt like a dream that he could wake up from at any moment.
He clearly remembered that Hulayeg had stated in one of his letters that the limit of the Western Turkic Khagan was one hundred thousand high-quality Turkic warhorses, but the current price was double that.
"Hulayeg! It must be that bastard's doing…"
Xu Keyi suddenly understood as the image of that plump horse merchant flitted through his mind. This could only be his work. Otherwise, not even the great harm to the Turkic soldiers and shepherds on the western border would have compelled such a price from the Turks.
"This fellow is really quite impressive!"
But the good news was still coming. Several days later, carriage after carriage packed with steel modules appeared outside the City of Steel. The historic cement road that went between the capital and Wushang had drastically decreased the transportation time of the steel modules.
The arrival of the first caravan was a prelude to an endless stream, all of them coming from various places across the empire to deliver the steel modules to the City of Steel.
Everything was ready, with only one crucial piece missing. The string of orders that Wang Chong had issued nearly a month ago was gradually beginning to show effect. Massive quantities of supplies, weapons, and warhorses were gathering in Qixi, and bags of grain from the even more distant Jiaozhi were currently being transported to the capital to be sent on to the City of Steel.
Some time ago, Wang Chong had dispatched Zhang Munian to Jiaozhi to research hybrid rice strains. The rice in Jiaozhi could be harvested three times each year, and the produce from that region alone was enough to sustain a local war, with no need for the Bureau of Revenue to allocate any grain to it.
Moreover, with Wang Chong's support, Zhang Munian's hybrid rice research was gradually spreading elsewhere.
Everything was developing on the right track.
The projects that Wang Chong had begun after the war of the southwest were slowly proving their worth.
An eagle shrilly called out as it flew in the skies several li out from the City of Steel. This three-foot-long eagle made only a single circle in the air before immediately turning back. In the direction the eagle flew was the looming Tibetan Plateau. A Tibetan scout was waiting there, his eyes aimed at Wushang's City of Steel.
From his angle, he could only see smoke roiling up from the city while countless soldiers, craftsmen and merchants gathered around.
The Tibetan scout took everything in, received the eagle, and then immediately began to gallop back into the plateau's interior.
A few moments later, another sharp call could be heard as that muscular eagle soared once more into the sky. This time, however, it did not head toward Qixi, but over the plateau and to the royal capital of the Ü-Tsang Empire.
Time slowly passed, the massive eagle flying through dark clouds and thunderstorms. One day, it broke through the clouds and descended. It did not land directly in the capital, but flew past it to where a stalwart man was silently awaiting its return.
"I've troubled you. Eat up."
A wide palm was raised up to receive the eagle while the other hand offered up a large chunk of meat. With this done, Huoshu Huicang removed the scout's report from the bird's leg. After glancing through it, he walked forward and passed it to another person.
"This boy truly is our Ü-Tsang Empire's greatest foe. As expected, he's planning to move out in response to the incident in Anxi."
Dusong Mangpoje glanced through the letter, unable to repress his grimace as he deeply sighed.
"Alas, at the battle of the triangular gap, all our soldiers in the north were lost, leaving us without the strength to threaten him. Otherwise, we could definitely use this time to give him a little trouble," Dusong Mangpoje regretfully said.
As a famed general of Ü-Tsang, he had been locked in a stalemate with Longxi's Big Dipper Great General for many years, but never had he been handed such a massive defeat as by that Wang Chong in Qixi. Now that he thought back, he realized that he had still been too reckless, resulting in the greatest humiliation of his entire life.
"But it's too late to talk about that. We lost, and the Western Turks lost as well. There's no one left in Qixi who can threaten him, and no one can contend against the Great Tang's power. If we can't stop them, then I'm afraid that our soldiers will never again be able to charge out of the plateau."
Huoshu Huicang nodded.
"Everything that's happened is exactly as he predicted. Let's go. If we want to defeat that boy, prevent any reinforcements from reaching the Anxi Protectorate army, and deal a damaging blow to the Great Tang's influence in the Western Regions, we can only rely on him."
Dusong Mangpoje nodded, a look of respect in his eyes, and he followed Huoshu Huicang to the nearby steel building on the outskirts of the royal capital.
There was only one place in the Ü-Tsang Empire that was completely made of steel.
After showing their tokens, the two Ü-Tsang Great Generals walked side by side into the gloomy prison, descending the stairs. The prison was dark and damp, the torches spaced every four feet along the walls emitting a weak light. Guards lined the walls like stone statues, only their fierce eyes proving that they still breathed.
Both of the generals felt a mixture of emotions as they silently walked through the corridors. Deep within the prison, in the only one-man cell, the pair finally saw that person.
Through the bars, they could see a man listlessly sitting on the floor, his hair disheveled and his clothes ragged. A long period without a bath had left this man with a pungent stench, but that person seemed to not care. He was muttering to himself, his eyes completely focused on the ground.
When Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje walked in, he was currently scrabbling some complicated symbols on the floor with his fingers. The pair could see that the ground was covered in all sorts of strange pictures, words, and symbols. They covered the entire cell like ants, extending from the floor to the walls.