The next day, another decree from the Sage Emperor reached the borders:
“To resolve the conflict between Hu and Han generals, the number of Han commanders in a border army regiment cannot be below 20 percent as long as the number of Han soldiers in a border army regiment exceeds fifty percent!”
This decree was delivered to Fumeng Lingcha, Go Seonji, Geshu Han, An Sishun, and many others… All of the Hu generals in the empire were subjected to this limitation.
However, this decree didn’t cause much of an uproar by the border. After all, demanding twenty percent of the commanders to be Han when the Han troops in the regiment numbered more than fifty percent was not overboard.
The Hu generals had indeed pushed their boundaries by appointing all of their commanders to be Hu. However, since the Sage Emperor had never interfered in this matter, the Hu simply did as they pleased.
But now that the Sage Emperor had passed such a decree, they had no choice but to follow it.
Even if it was Fumeng Lingcha and Go Seonji, they could only kneel down and thank the emperor for his magnanimity.
“Even though that wasn’t my intended outcome, the results are still satisfactory!”
Wang Chong heard the news while he was still in the ‘imperial prison’. Even though he was fairly satisfied with the outcome, he still felt that it was a pity that the ‘regional commanders’ policy was approved.
For the sake of this matter, he had done everything in his power. The old master had also written a memorial to the Sage Emperor. He had even earned the support and approval of countless Han generals.
However, the gears of destiny still continued to rumble on. Fate was not something that could be altered so easily.
That being said, his hard work was not completely futile.
At the very least, the ‘utilizing Hu talents’ policy had been abolished. This meant that it would be difficult for the Hu to wield as much influence over the Great Tang’s military as they did back then.
This would limit the destruction the rebellion of the Hu would cause to Great Tang. Furthermore, the decree stating that ‘the number of Han commanders in a border army regiment cannot be below 20 percent as long as the number of Han soldiers in a border army regiment exceeds fifty percent’ was also a huge improvement.
At least the Han troops had a real chance at promotion now.
As for the three months of imprisonment, that was actually the least of Wang Chong’s worries. In any case, he could spend this period of time cultivating his 《Little Yinyang Art》. Making a rough estimate, it should be enough time for him to achieve the Minor Accomplishment.
The chains shook, and Wang Chong quickly calmed down. Immediately after, balls of red light started flowing through his body.
“To think that he could survive even like that!”
Within the Yuzhen Palace, holding on a letter with the Sage Emperor’s verdict written on it, Yang Zhao muttered. There were many powers who had been paying careful attention to this matter, and Yuzhen Palace was one of them.
This matter would determine how those in power would treat the Wang Clan, whether they should get intimate with Wang Chong or keep their distance, and whether they should approve Wang Chong or oppose him.
This matter had caused many Hu generals to stand out and demand Wang Chong’s death; Fumeng Lingcha, Go Seonji, Geshu Han… Just their names were sufficient to leave Yang Zhao’s hair standing on end.
With such tremendous pressure, he thought that Wang Chong would be doomed. At the very least, he would be subjected to some severe punishment. Yet, he was only put through three insignificant months of imprisonment in the end.
“Brother, did you hear of the jinyuan note policy?”
Within the tent, Consort Taizhen suddenly asked. Regarding the verdict on Wang Chong, it seemed like the jinyuan note policy had played a crucial role.
“Hehe, little sister, you’ve asked the right person. Those senile bunch in the royal court are thinking that the Sage Emperor is just making up an excuse to get Wang Chong off the hook, but I can tell you that that isn’t the case. Everyone has underestimated the use of this jinyuan note!”
“If this policy were to be passed, it would contribute greatly to the development of Great Tang. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was conferred a nobility or given a ministerial position for this.”
Yang Zhao explained with a slight smugness hanging on his face.
Even though he was a coarse person who often spent his time in gambling dens, he possessed an innate talent and intuition when it came to money matters.
At a time when even the majority of court officials were unable to see through the value of Wang Chong’s ‘jinyuan notes’, Yang Zhao could sense the value of the policy as soon as he heard of it.
“Isn’t big brother being a little too exaggerated? Is that jinyuan note really that incredible?”
Consort Taizhen was surprised. She was only asking about the matter casually, and never did she expect her big brother to have such a high evaluation of it.
“Hehe, little sister, you’ve grown up in comfort so it’s natural for you to be unaware of the details. Do you know how much gold does Great Tang mine in a year?”
Yang Zhao chuckled. Without waiting for Consort Taizhen’s reply, he revealed the answer.
“Two hundred thousand taels! It sounds like quite a sizeable sum, right? However, I can tell you that a year ago, three hundred thousand taels was harvested, and the year before that, it was five hundred thousand taels.”
“Gold is a limited resource, and the quantity harvested is gradually diminishing every year. It might still be two hundred thousand taels this year, but in the next, it could be a hundred thousand, and in the year after the next, eighty thousand or even just seventy thousand. For an empire as vast as Great Tang to harvest only several ten thousand taels each year, do you know what this represents?”
“The empire will find itself short on money!”
“How is this possible?”
Consort Taizhen exclaimed in shock. Only then did she finally understand the severity of the matter. It would be a huge problem if the empire were to find itself lacking money in circulation.
“Hehe, little sister, there’s nothing much to be surprised about. Such a matter has occurred in the previous dynasties as well, just that the severity of the matter differs. Given the prosperity and scale of the current dynasty, I find it a peculiarity that it could persevere up until now without any major problems occurring.”
Yang Zhao smiled. He had not been idle since entering the palace. Using the name of Consort Taizhen, he had gathered a massive amount of information regarding Great Tang, diligently trying to learn as much as he could. ——And of course, most of what he learned was regarding money.
“The annual expenditure of the royal court is immense. The palace’s internal expenditure, the development of new land, the upkeep for the military, the salary of the officials… All of these add up to a massive sum. Even if one possesses a mountain of gold and silver, it’ll be impossible to keep up with this massive expenditure. The bulk of the royal court’s income comes from taxation, and without a huge amount of gold and silver flowing through the population, the sum earned from taxation will be limited.”
“However, the jinyuan note changes everything.”
At this point, Yang Zhao smiled gleefully.
“With the jinyuan note, the royal court will be able to craft and issue as much money as it requires, thus reducing its dependency on gold and silver. That will be, in the truest sense, a mountain of gold and silver, a supply of currency that will never dry out! That Wang Chong is indeed a genius!”
The compliment that Yang Zhao offered Wang Chong came from the depths of his heart!
That is what a true genius is!
Yang Zhao couldn’t understand the memorial and the Wootz steel sword, so he couldn’t say anything much on those matters. However, just on the jinyuan note itself, he was confident that the other party was a man of great talent!
He had no idea how Wang Chong could come up with such a revolutionary idea. Compared to Wang Chong, all of the finance ministers from the inception of time, be it Guan Zi or Tao Zhu Gong, were all far too lacking.
Yang Zhao rarely conceded to others, especially on a matter regarding ‘money’. But this time, he felt true respect for the other party.
In the tent, Consort Taizhen fell into deep contemplation.
In the Wang Family Residence, Big Uncle Wang Gen, Big Aunt Wang Ru Shuang, Uncle Li Lin, Mother Madam Wang, little sister, Cousin Wang Zhu Yan and Wang Liang, were all gathered together. Wine cups toasted with one another, and everyone’s faces were flushed in delight and excitement.
When Wang Chong’s verdict was passed, the happiest of them all were the Wang Clan members.
Even though the Wang Clan had been growing distant internally, and there were numerous shady dealings beneath the surface, for this crisis, they had gathered together and worked as one. Thus, when they heard this news, they celebrated as one as well.
None of them had realized it yet, but under the threat of Wang Chong’s execution, the entire Wang Clan had unknowingly gathered as a whole once more.
Even the usually strict big uncle was a bundle of smiles today. He even took the initiative to pour a few cups of pomegranate juice that came all the way from the Western Regions for little sister.
Such a sight was unthinkable in the past.
“Thank you, everyone. Thank you! …”
Using tea as a substitute for wine, Madam Wang lifted her cup and thanked everyone with reddened eyes. She could barely hold back her tears as she spoke. The worry she had been put through in the past few days had nearly shattered her heart.
“Sister-in-law, don’t cry. Everything is over, it’s alright now.”
Big Aunt Wang Ru Shuang hurriedly consoled her.
Madam Wang nodded and hurriedly wiped away her tears. On the other hand, the witty Wang Family little sister lifted her cup of pomegranate juice up high and declared:
“Come! Let’s toast to Third Brother’s swift release!”
Her words had piqued a wave of laughter amidst the group. All of them stood up.
The ‘imperial prison’ was completely isolated from the world. Oblivious to the various happenings outside, Wang Chong cultivated quietly.
“Lad, who are you?”
Just as Wang Chong was in the midst of his cultivation, Wang Chong suddenly heard a bright voice.
At the same moment, a familiar mechanical voice suddenly echoed in Wang Chong’s head.
【Divergence of Destiny: Mysterious Prisoner】
【Mission Reward: 100 Destiny Energy!】
That voice caught Wang Chong by surprise.
“Who is it?”
Wang Chong abruptly opened his eyes and surveyed his surroundings. However, it seemed that nobody other than him had heard the voice.
A few other prisoners even shot bizarre glances at Wang Chong.
“Hmph, I’m talking to you. How did you get in here?”
The same voice echoed once again, but this time, it sounded slightly displeased. Its tone was extremely arrogant.
Wang Chong was taken aback.
He never thought that he would meet with this kind of situation in the imperial prison.
“Only those who have sinned would be locked in the imperial prison. I wrote a memorial that offended the Sage Emperor, that’s why I’m locked in here. May I know who elder is, and why you are locked in here?”
Wang Chong asked.
The other party’s voice had sounded right within his head. Without a doubt, this was an extremely formidable spirit secret art.
Those who were locked in the imperial prison were all sinners so the other party must have committed some kind of crime as well.
“Imperial prison? Hahaha, you actually think you’re in the imperial prison?”
Unexpectedly, the other party started laughing, as though mocking his naivety.
Guan Zi, also known as Guan Zhong, is a Chancellor of State of Qi during the Spring and Autumn Period (BC720 – 645)
Some of his feats:
-Introducing state monopolies to salt and iron
-Uniform tax code
-Starting the first government sponsored brothel.
Tao Zhu Gong, also known as Fan Li, (BC536 – 448) is rich businessman during the Spring and Autumn Period. He’s also the Chancellor of State of Qi, but during in an era after Guan Zi.