“Hahaha, good steed, truly a fine steed!”
Wang Chong commented in delight.
Since King Song had chosen to gift it to him, Wang Chong didn’t stand on ceremonies. He walked over and took the ‘White-hoofed Shadow’s’ reins from the stableman.
Wang Chong had never raised a horse before, but he knew that good horses had to be raised from young, and they had to be treated with utmost care and concern.
Only then would one be able to sync one’s thoughts with one’s own horse. This was a valuable trait in the battlefield, and it would help one slaughter enemies, as well as to escape from a difficult situation.
Wang Chong led the colt down the bowl of water and stroked it. He could feel the water flowing down the White-hoofed Shadow’s coat. It felt as though not a single drop of water would stick to it, and with a sweep, all water would immediately slide off.
“Gongzi, feed it these beans, and it’ll acknowledge you as its master.”
The stableman said as he took out a bag of yellow beans from his waist. Wang Chong took it and fed the White-hoofed Shadow. As expected, after eating the beans, the gaze directed toward Wang Chong grew softer and more intimate. It even stroked Wang Chong’s chest with its head.
Having bathed in blood for several decades, Wang Chong thought of his war steed as a part of him. Toward this colt, he instinctively felt intimate.
Stroking its silky coat, Wang Chong felt as though he had found back the soul of a warrior within him from his previous life, and an urge to howl welled up in his chest.
However, it was fortunate that Wang Chong held it in especially since King Song was still here.
“Hehe, raising a good spirit steed isn’t easy. You’ll have to massage it well to loosen its bones and muscles constantly from now onward. Other than that, you must also use Origin Energy to open up its meridians. I’ve gotten a cultivation technique specially prepared for spirit steeds from the royal palace for you. It’ll help to raise its strength, speed, and endurance. Take it!”
With a flick of his fingers, a piece of white paper around the size of a palm flew toward Wang Chong.
“Thank you, Your Highness!”
Wang Chong chuckled as he caught hold of the paper. Even though it was just a small piece of paper, he knew that its value wasn’t inferior to the White-hoofed Shadow in any way.
“Right, Your Highness, I’ve something to give you.”
Wang Chong suddenly remembered something and he said.
“Oh? What is it?”
King Song’s interest was piqued.
Wang Chong didn’t say a thing. He led the colt into the study and took out the wooden box that Yang Zhao gave him earlier today.
“This is… King Qi’s letters! So Consort Taizhen is really helping me!”
Looking at the letters in the box, King Song fell into contemplation.
It was due to Consort Taizhen that King Song ‘fell out of favor’ previously. Yet, the reason why he was reinstated was also because of her. This left King Song with a bizarre feeling inside.
“Un, Yang Zhao gave these letters to me. This is probably the meaning behind those letters as well.”
Wang Chong nodded gravely.
In truth, Yang Zhao’s motive of giving these letters to Wang Chong was to have him pass them on to King Song.
“Hehe, regardless of the truth, at least Consort Taizhen chose to side with us instead of with King Qi and the Yao Clan. This should be beneficial to us, right?”
King Song chuckled as he folded the letters and kept them. At the same time, an idea appeared in his mind.
The night gradually grew deep, but the bustle in the Wang Clan didn’t die down. If anything, it seemed to be growing more and more lively. Other than Wang Chong’s little uncle who had to return to Mountain Tianzhu, and the old master and old madam in the Four Quarters Embassy, all Wang Clan members who could afford to be present were all here.
The Song and Wang Clan had several generations of fellowship behind them. Since they had missed one another in the day, naturally, they couldn’t miss such a huge affair in the night.
Together with King Song, Lu Ting, and the old butler, the whole group of people sat together around four large tables placed together. There were fifty to sixty dishes placed all over, and everyone was eating delightfully.
For the past few months, this was the happiest meal Wang Chong had.
“Your Highness, do you remember the matter you promised me before I was locked in the imperial prison?”
When the night banquet came to an end and King Song was about to leave, Wang Chong suddenly asked.
“Hehe, of course I do. Speak, I’ll agree to your request no matter what it is.”
King Song chuckled heartily.
Wang Chong was currently the most outstanding offspring of both the Song and Wang Clan, as well as the future ‘military advisor’ that King Song regarded highly. After the Consort Taizhen incident, King Song already possessed no doubts about Wang Chong’s capability.
“I hope that Your Highness can send my big brother, Wang Fu, to the southwest of Great Tang. If possible, deploy my father along with him.”
With a lowered head, Wang Chong asked gravely.
Amidst the night, the surrounding suddenly grew silent, and even the call of the cicadas seemed to have vanished. Other than Wang Chong and King Song, there was no one else in the area.
Taken aback, King Song stared at Wang Chong in astonishment. He didn’t think that Wang Chong would bring up such a request.
“Is this your big brother’s intention?”
King Song’s first reaction was that Wang Fu might have made a request of Wang Chong to be dispatched to the southwest.
“That’s not it!”
Lamentation seemed to linger in the air as Wang Chong shook his head. “I hope that Your Highness can keep this matter a secret from my big brother.”
Currently, the eyes of the empire were all fixated on the northern Yin Mountains, the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate who were growing stronger by the day, Zhang Shougui and the Eastern Protectorate Manor, and Go Seonji and the Western Protectorate Manor.
There were the main battlefronts of the empire under present circumstances.
But Wang Chong knew that the place where the empire would suffer the most tragic defeat was in the southwest, not the north.
That battle would shake the entire empire’s foundation! Its effects would continue to linger for the next few decades to come.
Wang Chong did not know whether he could prevent this battle, so all he could do was to try his best to make preparations for it.
Wang Chong felt regretful that he wasn’t able to participate in this war in his previous life and devote his albeit limited strength to protecting Great Tang.
Thus, he was determined not to miss it in this life.
“Wang Chong, you truly baffle me.”
Seeing that Wang Chong was unwilling to speak any further, King Song could only shake his head. If it was anyone else who had raised such a bizarre request, he would have ignored it outright.
But Wang Chong was different.
In the past few months of interacting with him, what that had left the deepest impression on King Song was Wang Chong’s extraordinary line of thoughts and foresight. The very act of getting Consort Taizhen to speak up for him so that he could reinstate his official was not something anyone would have thought possible.
Yet, Wang Chong thought of it, and even more incredibly, he succeeded in realizing it.
King Song didn’t dare to use common sense to gauge Wang Chong’s requests anymore.
“… Rest assured, I’ll do it for you. If I redeploy them using the name of the Bureau of Military Personnel, your big brother won’t get suspicious. However, your big brother has been wanting to fight in the battlefield. Aren’t you afraid of him getting angry when he learns that you’re the one who deployed him to the southwest?”
King Song joked.
To attempt to deploy his own big brother elsewhere, Wang Chong was truly bold.
“There’s a war waiting for him in the southwest.”
Wang Chong replied.
King Song glanced at Wang Chong contemplatively, but soon, a smile reappeared on his face. He patted Wang Chong’s shoulder before leaving together with Lu Ting.
The duo slowly walked away from the Wang Family Residence and gradually disappeared amidst shadows.
With King Song’s departure, only Wang Clan members were left in the area. Scanning the area, Wang Chong saw Cousin Wang Liang sitting alone under the pavilion, chewing on a stalk of grass with a bored expression.
Wang Chong suddenly remembered big aunt and uncle’s request, and so, he walked toward the other party.
Wang Chong sat down beside him.
Wang Liang replied nonchalantly, not paying Wang Chong much attention. Those who were unaware might think that he was uninterested in holding a conversation but Wang Chong knew that this was simply his personality. This was how he treated everyone.
“Cousin, big aunt and uncle asked me to look for you.”
Wang Chong smiled.
“Hmph, I knew it.”
Wang Liang replied. He was no fool. He had already guessed it since Wang Chong came to speak to him the previous time.
“I heard that your wooden bird sculpture business failed and you lost several hundred gold taels?”
Wang Chong asked.
It was best to speak straightforwardly to Cousin Wang Liang. Having known him for two lives, Wang Chong knew that he wasn’t as doltish as he seemed on the surface.
“Hmph, thank you for that. I heard that my father earned quite a bit of money working with you. He helped to repay my losses.”
As Wang Liang spoke, a gloomy shadow flashed across his eyes.
Ever since young, he had wanted to become a rich merchant. However, it was a pity that his ambitions seemed to outweigh his talents, and most of the businesses he dabbled in ended up in failure.
“There’s no need for you to thank me for that. I’m only here to ask you if you’re interested in traveling overseas.”
Wang Chong asked.
“Did my father put you up to it?”
Wang Liang asked. He didn’t like having his parents arrange his future for him.
“That’s not it. It’s just that I have some things overseas that I need someone to bring back for me.”
Wang Chong said as he recalled the valuable treasures exposed on the islands overseas.
There were Three Great Swords in the world; the Wootz steel sword (Damascus sword), the Malay Kris sword, and Japan’s Nihonto. Even though many things had changed due to the differing time-space continuum, some things still remained the same.
Wang Chong had already obtained the Wootz steel sword so he decided to turn his attention to the Malay Kris sword. The reason why this weapon was known was not due to how formidable the swordsmiths was. Neither was it because of advanced technologies being harnessed for its production. Rather, it was plainly due to the material used to craft it.
Just like the Wootz steel, the Malay Kris sword was known for its material.
The Wootz steel sword was known for possessing the greatest sharpness in the world due to the properties of the Hyderabad ore.
On the other hand, the Malay Kris sword was known for its overwhelming resilience. However, different from the Hyderabad ores, this property came from the celestial.
——The Malay Kris sword was made from incomparably valuable meteorites.
There was a huge amount of iron meteorites being scattered across the islands from the Philippines to India. No one knew when they appeared there.
For a very long time, those things were treated as though normal rocks and no one paid them any heed. However, several thousand years later, the indigenous population coincidentally realized that these rocks could be used to forge weapons.
In this world, there was no Philippines, and Wang Chong had never been overseas before, be it in this life or his previous one.
However, since the Hyderabad ore existed in this world, why shouldn’t those meteorites? As long as the possibility turned out to be true, that would be a huge fortune.
Just by thinking about the thousands of massive iron meteorites scattered over those remote islands, and that no one other than him knew about it, Wang Chong couldn’t help but feel agitated.