The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1236
Chapter 1236: Easily Dealt With
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
After what seemed like seconds and like countless years, when the mood in the court was at its most oppressive and everyone believed that Wang Chong would shrink back from this challenge, everyone suddenly heard his young voice.
"Milords have already clearly stated the problem of Ji County. The periodic floods have caused the poverty in the county, and so if one wishes to address the poverty, one must address the floods!"
Wang Chong stood at the very last row and spoke slowly, but his words left everyone dazed.
Ji County had been poverty-stricken for some time, and when the officials from the Imperial Court first arrived, they were only thinking about how to address the poverty, but they did not seek to find the cause. As Ji County grew more and more impoverished, after countless court debates, everyone finally realized that the reason for Ji County's poverty was the floods.
This was Wang Chong's first court session, but he had been able to accurately reach the conclusion that the court had needed countless debates to reach. If any of them had been in Wang Chong's position, they would have never been able to accomplish this feat. This was a sign that Wang Chong was genuinely talented and could not be underestimated.
This kid… he's rather formidable and has a little skill!
Lin Changxin glanced at the red-robed Wang Chong, his eyes narrowing and his heart turning cold. The primary purpose of this challenge was to make Wang Chong look a fool and let him understand that the internal politics of the Imperial Court were not as simple as the battles on the border. But Wang Chong's first words had hit the nail on the head, causing Lin Changxin to feel threatened.
"…As for why the six or seven officials sent by the Imperial Court have failed to grasp the main point, causing the situation in Ji County to only get more and more serious, the reason is very simple. Rather than giving a man a fish, it is better to teach him to fish." Wang Chong turned to Lin Changxin and said, "Lord Lin, can I see the reports for Ji County?"
Lin Changxin was immediately struck dumb. He naturally did not wish to give Wang Chong the reports, but in front of so many officials, he was forced to.
"Give the reports to Lord Wang!"
Lin Changxin gave a gesture, and an official next to him quickly stepped forward to deliver a thick stack of reports to Wang Chong.
When government affairs were being debated, the Bureau of Personnel and Bureau of Revenue were required to have reports ready so that they could be available for others to inspect. This was a routine practice.
Wang Chong looked through the records, found the one for Ji County, and swiftly began to read through it.
The entire court was silent, no one daring to disturb him. In the past, they might have chosen to jeer at this moment. After all, Wang Chong was just a general. But now, all of them had serious expressions and did not dare to regard Wang Chong as they did before.
A few moments later, Wang Chong closed the report and passed it back to the official.
"It seems like my judgment was correct. From the county records of Ji County, one can see that the frequent floods have made the soil of Ji County extremely poor and unable to grow plants. Moreover, dealing with the floods will require the construction of large dikes, which will require a significant amount of time. More importantly, the floods have caused the people to become apprehensive and not dare farm their crops in that land. Thus, in this lowly subject's view, the plans for Ji County must be adjusted to fit its circumstances. The place is no longer suitable for farming and agriculture," Wang Chong lightly said to the assembled officials.
His words immediately set off an uproar.
"Absurd! The people need food to live, and if they do not farm, what will they rely on to eat? King of Foreign Lands, you are speaking nonsense!"
"Your Majesty, this subject censures Advisor-in-Waiting Wang Chong for speaking loosely on matters of state and misleading the people. Your Majesty, please punish him!"
"I thought that he could offer some wise opinion, but it was something like this! How laughable!"
Wang Chong's words had poked a beehive, and the agitated officials immediately began to sound off with their criticisms. If not for the fact that Wang Chong had just been made King of Foreign Lands and had a rather unique status, any other Advisor-in-Waiting would have been completely covered in the spittle from the invectives of the officials and driven out of Taihe Palace.
"Heh, so he was just a demagogue! And I was wondering how he could be this formidable!"
King Qi coldly chuckled to himself.
He had been worried for nothing. In the end, Wang Chong was still a good-for-nothing when it came to the internal affairs of the country and was only halfway-competent.
"Chong-er! This is a disaster…"
Wang Chong's big uncle Wang Gen felt his heart sink at this sight. Despite his many words of advice, Wang Chong had still fallen into a trap. The officials of the court would eat people alive. Wang Chong's words today would be enough for these people to use as a pretext to wipe away all the achievements Wang Chong had made through his two major battles on the border and make him the laughingstock of the world.
Wang Chong had spent so much effort and risked his life to reach this point, but all of it would be gone in a single night!
Wang Gen was filled with self-criticism at this time.
Wang Chong placed his hands behind his back and grinned at the reactions of the court officials.
"What will they rely on? Of course, they will rely on mining iron ore, copper ore, and silver ore!"
When the mood of the court was at its most furious, Wang Chong suddenly spoke, and his voice immediately suppressed all the impassioned criticisms. The hall instantly fell silent.
"King of Foreign Lands, what do you mean?"
In the end, it was still Investigating Minister Lin Changxin who voiced the question on everyone's mind. His expression was grave and there was a questioning look in his eyes.
"It's very simple! A loss in one corner can be regained in another. Although Ji County is no longer suitable for farming, I happen to know that this place is abundant with iron, copper, and silver ore!" Wang Chong confidently said.
Everyone was left flabbergasted by Wang Chong's words. Even King Qi was so shocked that he could not speak.
Ji County actually had silver, copper, and iron ore!!
A most impoverished county was actually home to such precious mines? How could this be? This had to be nothing more than a fairytale! The Imperial Court had dispatched at least six officials there, but none of them had heard anything about any ore veins!
Wang Chong's words had left everyone dumbfounded!
"King of Foreign Lands, can we take your words as true?"
A civil official suddenly stepped out: the Remonstrance Minister Han Xiaoyun, his expression solemn. If Wang Chong's words were true, not only could the Imperial Court and the common households make money, an impoverished county would also be able to rise above the other counties.
"One of my subordinates happened to be passing through the area, which is why I know of this. As for whether it's true or not, the Imperial Court can dispatch a fast rider and find out whether it's true in just a few days."
All the officials had doubtful looks on their faces. Ji County was not a very important place, but if Wang Chong somehow knew of iron, copper, and silver ore veins that the inhabitants themselves didn't know about, then one could only say that Wang Chong's 'subordinate' possessed all the good luck in the world.
Wang Chong raised his head high, his expression confident and assured. He only grinned at these questioning gazes, giving no explanation.
When he was looking through the Ji County records, he had specifically looked at the map. He then thought back and realized that Ji County possessed large quantities of iron, copper, and silver ore. These ore veins were deeper in the ground than usual, so the generations of commoners had failed to discover them and were still in their impoverished state.
But Wang Chong was different. By using his memories, he knew to buy Wootz Steel from the Hyderabad Mines, knew to send his cousin Wang Liang to the overseas islands to bring back Meteoric Metal ore. He was naturally capable of discovering ore veins in Ji County. Moreover, in the future, during the great calamity, the earth would sunder apart, exposing all the ore veins hidden deep underground.
"Iron ore veins can be developed into mines, and the ores can be used for smelting and forging weapons. Many peasants can be recruited for this so that they have work. As for copper and silver ore veins, they can be used to cast coins and fill the treasury. At the same time, some of these coins can be allocated to Ji County for the purpose of controlling the floods.
"The floods of Ji County will take a long time to bring under control. This was also one of the reasons the officials sent to Ji County before all failed. The common people need to eat, and they cannot wait for that long. But what if the Imperial Court allocates money? If all the people are mobilized for two or three years to focus on building dikes and dams, the floods can be controlled while the soil will have time to recover. Once the dikes are finished and the floods completely brought under control, the people can once more begin farming—honing the edge of an axe won't delay the task of cutting firewood!"
Wang Chong softly smiled.
Wang Chong's words left all the officials and generals in the hall amazed and astounded. Meanwhile, King Qi's complexion was so dark that it seemed like the bottom of a pot.
He had certainly not commanded Lin Changxin to deal with Wang Chong just so that Wang Chong could burnish his reputation. His original plan was that no matter how smart Wang Chong was, he could think of some way to ruin it and make the plans fail. But if there really was iron, copper, and even silver in Ji County, and if Wang Chong's plans really were implemented, if they didn't succeed, even a fool could tell that someone had intentionally ruined them.
Because these factors alone were enough to make Wang Chong's position impregnable!
He had already completely lost this round!
King Qi clenched his fists and ground his teeth. Although he hoped that Wang Chong was lying, it was clear that someone of Wang Chong's current status would not use this sort of thing to play a joke. The risk of being exposed was too great! And from the reactions of the officials, Lin Changxin's attempt to make trouble for Wang Chong had only made things worse. Not only had he failed to attack Wang Chong's reputation, he had actually widened Wang Chong's influence.
Another civil official stepped forward. "Lord Wang, where are the ore veins that you speak of? We can immediately dispatch men to begin prospective excavation."
Without delay, Wang Chong immediately listed out three areas. Areas in which ore veins were hidden deep underground would have special features. The presence of silver, copper, and iron ore under these areas would cause the topography to be different, making them easy to recognize.
"Did you hear it? Note these areas down and immediately send them to the Ji County officials. Dig strictly according to the areas noted on the map," the official said.
A minor official in charge of sending messages standing at the edge of the court immediately strode out of the hall.
Meanwhile, Wang Gen exchanged a few glances with Wang Chong and breathed a sigh of relief.