Chapter 172: Eunuch Gao!
Wang Chong woke up to the sound of several pairs of footsteps. Of these footsteps, there was a particular set that sounded exceptionally powerful and clear. Lifting his head, he saw a bright radiance at the very end of the dark passageway of the imperial prison.
Wang Chong had never felt such an aura before. Grand, powerful, and radiant, like the sun that illuminated the world.
Who are they?
Wang Chong widened his eyes in astonishment.
In just a short moment, a pair of cloud-embroidered shoes appeared before Wang Chong. The owner of the shoes was a towering eunuch dressed in a cloud-embroidered yellow robe. He was extremely plump, reminiscent of the Maitreya.
(; the Chinese interpretation of Maitreyas appearance is very different from other locations)
Standing behind him were several other eunuchs, Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia, and prison guards. All of them seemed to regard him as their leader.
Wang Chongs eyebrows twitched as he stared at this plump and amiable eunuch in bewilderment. Regardless of whether it was his previous life or his current life, he had never met this person before.
Nevertheless, Wang Chongs instincts told him that this person had a massive background.
Hehehe, Wang gongzi has suffered. Ive come to visit you as a representative of His Majesty.
That plump eunuch walked up to Wang Chongs cell with a warm smile on his face. He seemed to possess a mysterious quality that made one feel intimate with him, as though one was his kin or bosom buddy.
Gonggong, youre being too polite.
Wang Chong replied with composure, but a bizarre feeling was welling up in his heart.
Hehe, gongzi, how do you find the conditions here?
That plump eunuch asked.
What does gonggong think?
Wang Chong flashed a bitter smile.
Hehe, its not a big deal for youngsters like you to suffer a little. Only after suffering some pain will one mature to shoulder huge responsibilities.
The plump eunuch looked around the gloomy and dark imperial prison as he chuckled.
Of course its easy for you to say so!
This was the only thought Wang Chong had in mind.
Despite that, Wang Chong had a good impression of this eunuch.
Gongzi, is the food still alright?
The plump eunuch continued asking.
The food is not bad.
Wang Chong nodded. Despite the standard prisoner meals in the imperial prison being leftovers, even moldy at times, Wang Chong had never suffered such injustice.
Zhou Xing would always have a separate meal delivered specially for Wang Chong. This was also the main reason why Wang Chong was still able to cope in here.
The plump eunuch nodded. He continued asking a whole bunch of things, and even though Wang Chong was confused, he answered the questions one by one patiently. This head eunuch felt very different from anyone he had met before.
Hehe, since thats the case, Ill report these to His Majesty then. Men!
The plump eunuch suddenly clapped his hands, and a commotion broke out among the guards behind him. Only at this moment did Wang Chong notice the two palace maids hidden behind the group.
Their short figures were hidden behind the Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia, so Wang Chong failed to notice them earlier on.
This person He actually managed to bring palace maids in here!
Wang Chong stared at the eunuch before him in astonishment. His curiosity over the other partys identity heightened. Even the prison in the Bureau of Punishments forbade one from bringing women in, needless to say, the stricter imperial prison.
Just the fact that this eunuch was able to bring palace maids in meant that he wasnt anyone ordinary!
Wang gongzi, the imperial prison is cold. These pills are a gesture of goodwill from His Majesty, so dont be shy and feel free to consume them.
The plump eunuch said.
The two palace maids held a silver plate in their hands each, and placed on top of the silver plates were silk boxes used for storing pills. Even though the lids were tightly shut, Wang Chong could sense that the pills within were anything but ordinary.
Wang Chongs intrigue deepened. He couldnt understand the meaning behind the presence of this plump eunuch. Was he here just to deliver these two pills to him?
Thank you, gonggong!
However, Wang Chong didnt stand on ceremonies. Stretching out his hand, he grabbed the two silk boxes on the silver plates.
Dah dah dah!
Just as Wang Chong took the silk boxes, flurried footsteps sounded. From the end of the passageway, a Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia rushed over.
The Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia looked around the prison, and upon seeing the plump eunuch, he swiftly walked up and whispered into the latters ear.
Hearing the words of the Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia, Wang Chongs heart jolted. Raising his head, he assessed the eunuch before him once more.
To think it would be him!
A huge storm raised in Wang Chongs mind. He finally knew the identity of the person before him. It was no wonder why he said that he could represent His Majesty.
It was no wonder why he could bring palace maids into the imperial prison.
Wang Chong didnt expect to see this legendary figure in the imperial prison.
Wang Chong suddenly spoke up.
May I request something of you?
These words were completely unexpected. In an instant, everyones gazes immediately gathered on Wang Chong. Even the Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia who had just rushed in subconsciously turned his head over in shock.
Oh? Gongzi, feel free to speak.
The eyebrows of the plump eunuch twitched slightly. A surprised look appeared on his face, but it slowly turned into one of interest.
Gonggong, can you find a way to bring him out?
As he spoke those words, Wang Chong pointed to Zhang Munian who was locked just right next to him.
These words left Zhang Munian dumbstruck. The other prisoners who were surveying the situation curiously were also stunned.
Dont! Im here as well, Wang gongzi, ask them to let me out too!
Why should he be let out? Let me out instead. I deserve it more!
Lord, save me! I didnt commit any mistake, I dont deserve to die. I want to go out!
The prisoners immediately flew into an uproar, and they started bellowing frenziedly.
The eyebrows of the plump eunuch shot up, and he harrumphed coldly. Suddenly, the temperature in the imperial prison plunged. The rowdy prisoners abruptly fell silent and fear surfaced in their eyes.
Gongzi, can you tell me why I should save him?
The plump eunuch turned around to survey Wang Chong in interest. Clearly, Wang Chongs words had attracted his interest.
Despite being locked in the imperial prison, he was thinking about saving another person instead of saving himself. This had piqued his curiosity.
Thats because this person will contribute greatly to the empire!
Wang Chong replied earnestly.
Graveness finally appeared in the eyes of the plump eunuch. For the first time, he assessed Zhang Munian carefully. The latters eyes were widened, and his astonishment didnt seem to be any less than anyone else here.
Gongzi, can you tell me the reason?
The plump eunuch asked.
If it was anyone else who said those words, he might have just laughed it off. However, this youngster After witnessing the other partys astonishing deeds, even he did not dare to underestimate his words.
Especially after Wang Chong had said that this person will contribute greatly to the empire.
I cant explain it clearly now so I can only hope that gonggong will believe me. On top of that, he shouldnt have been here. Its all because of King Qis selfish act that he was sent here.
Wang Chong replied calmly.
Wang Chong and Zhang Munian had talked about this matter. The latter should have been locked at the Bureau of Punishments.
Some time ago, Zhang Munian was about to be released when, for some reason, the decision was retracted. Eventually, he ended up being brought to the imperial prison.
This matter remained a mystery to Zhang Munian. He couldnt comprehend the bizarreness of the situation. However, he was a prisoner on the death row in the first place so he didnt give it much thought.
However, Wang Chong had a completely different view of this matter.
After asking Zhang Munian on the details of the incident back then, Wang Chong could roughly deduce the happenings.
King Song had indeed helped him, and Zhang Munians punishment had been annulled. However, someone seemed to have undone everything that King Song did later on.
Judging from the time, it was during the period that King Song was demoted and King Qi laid his hands on the Bureau of Military Personnel and Bureau of Punishments.
King Qi didnt know who Zhang Munian was, but opposing to those supporting King Song and supporting those opposing King Song would never be a wrong move.
Thus, he canceled the annulment and even sent Zhang Munian to the more strictly guarded imperial prison.
So, to speak of it, Wang Chong was probably the main reason why Zhang Munian was brought here.
The plump eunuch frowned, and he seemed to have recalled something.
Tell your warden that His Majesty wants this person. Take him out.
The plump eunuch casually flashed the token by his waist. Wang Chong didnt catch a clear look on it but deference immediately appeared on the faces of the other prison guards.
As though the token was an incredible object.
The prison guards immediately rushed forward to unlock the cell. They walked in and took off Zhang Munians cuffs before grabbing both of his arms and pulling him out. Putting aside Zhang Munian and the other prisoners, even Wang Chong himself was dumbfounded. He became even more sure of the plump eunuchs identity.
Unfair! This is unfair!
Why did you release him instead of me? I want to go out as well!
Let me out too!
Zhang Munians release was like a ray of hope amidst of the desolate future they could already see before them, and it incited all of them into action. With reddened eyes, they grabbed the iron bars locking them and bellowed loudly.
Shut up! All of you, shut your mouths!
The Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia roared ferociously.
I still have some things to attend to so Ill be leaving now. Lord Sun, Ill leave the rest up to you!
Leaving behind a few subordinates, the plump eunuch brought Zhang Munian out of the imperial prison. At the same time, a middle-aged official walked up to him.
Wang Chong stared at the other party in shock. The person before him was Lord Sun Qian, the finance minister of the royal court.
Gongzi, you spoke of the usage of customs gold unit (jinyuan notes) to replace gold as a currency. Under His Majestys decree, Ive come forth to understand a little more about the matter. I hope that gongzi can cooperate with me!
Its basically just the usage of standardized bank notes.
What is unique about this currency is that its value is pegged to gold.
During that period of time, banks did issue notes, but its specific to that bank.
E.g. you deposit 1000 gold taels into a bank and get 1000 gold taels note in exchange. However, you can only change it back into gold taels in that specific bank. In such a sense, it wasnt suited for conventional usage.
On top of that, the banks back then werent large enough to dabble in bank notes by their own.