‘An army is valued by its speed; better early than late.’ While Wang Chong was still in his room, conflicted over the Stone of Destiny, he received a news from his cousin, Wang Zhu Yan.
On this aspect, with big uncle behind her, her intelligence network was much greater than his.
Wang Chong was spot on!
The Yao Clan’s Old Master Yao had truly put down his pride and appeared at his grandfather’s living quarter in the Four Quarters Embassy tonight!
The Yao and Wang Clan were officially in peace talks.
After Wang Chong’s reminder, when Big Uncle Wang Gen joined the conversation, he added the issue about having Cousin Wang Li’s name added in the promotion list as part of the negotiations and requested for the Yao Clan to cooperate with Wang Li’s promotion.
On this issue, Old Master Yao had no choice and accepted it on the spot. After that, they started negotiating about political matters.
It was a rare opportunity for the Yao Clan to be seeking a truce, hence, grandfather and big uncle made full use of this opportunity and added in more demands on the political aspect so as to scrape a layer of skin off the Yao Clan.
Wang Chong’s cousin, Wang Zhu Yan, was extremely surprised over the matter and her disbelief was clearly expressed in the letter.
“That old fellow sure reacted fast!”
After sending away the servant ‘Second Sister’ Wang Zhu Yan sent, Wang Chong couldn’t help but be impressed with Old Master Yao.
Wang Chong didn’t expect that Old Master Yao would pay a visit to his grandfather so soon. His sensitivity toward such issues and his decisiveness wasn’t something anyone could compare to.
Old Master Yao had never lowered his head to his grandfather through their decades of battle. Yet, for his offsprings, he made this decision with absolutely no hesitation.
This was also why the Yao Clan was fearsome!
As long as Old Master Yao was breathing, the Yao Clan was an indestructible entity. There was no one who was capable to destroying the Yao Clan!
However, this wasn’t what Wang Chong was concerned about.
Wang Chong was certain that with his performance, everyone’s impression of him had changed. Wang Chong even remembered the shock in his big aunt’s eyes when she was bidding farewell, as well as the delight his mother showed when she glanced at him.
Even his father, Wang Yan, in his letter, expressed intense joy and disbelief over the affair. Wang Yan had always held an unfavorable impression toward his son, and what Wang Chong found the most difficult was to change the impression his father had of him.
However, after the incident with King Song and Yao Guang Yi, Wang Chong believed he should have completely altered the impression his father had of him.
As for the clan…
Wang Chong glanced at the letter on the table. In the letter, Wang Zhu Yan had questioned him about the matter and her incredulity was expressed through her words. This was an indication of the clan’s current impression of him.
Even though it was insufficient for him to enter the core of the family just like that, without a doubt, he had earned everyone’s acknowledgment!
“… Currently, there’s just one more matter left!”
Wang Chong chuckled. As the saying goes, ‘joyful occasions come in pairs’. Wang Chong had received a note from Wei Hao, saying that the forging of the Wootz steel weapon should be completed within these few days.
As long as they were completed, he should be ready to rake in money.
Pulling up his robe, Wang Chong walked out from the room. The night sky was pitch black with a bright moon hanging high in the sky. Under the moonlight, lantern after lantern was hung along the corridors in the Wang Family Residence.
Walking along the pavement, wherever Wang Chong went, he could sense countless gazes with respect and admiration toward him, which was completely different from how the guards, servants, and maids viewed him in the past.
After this series of events, not only had the Wang Clan’s destiny changed, Wang Chong’s standing in the clan had also changed.
“About time for me to start training!”
Wang Chong moved toward the corner, pushed the shelf aside, and started dancing along the constellations, thus starting his practice on the 《Dragon Bone Art》. ‘Diligence can compensate one’s flaws’, he couldn’t halt his plans, but neither could he neglect his martial arts. During the period of hard work, he could sense that his strength had improved once more.
The matter by the border continued to play out in the capital. Under the rumors spread intentionally by some, the news of the Yao Clan’s Old Master Yao visiting the ‘Harmonious Garden’ of the Four Quarters Embassy to visit Duke Jiu and the Yao and Wang Clan shaking their hands to make peace caused an uproar throughout the capital.
Of the many years of fights between the Yao Clan and Wang Clan, this was the first time the Wang Clan had the upper hand.
Yao Guang Yi’s failure at the border had become the turning point of their battle. Even in the alleys, it was the topic of discussion, Yao Guang Yi’s incredible foresight and flawless plans had become a subject of mockery.
Many people had said that the Wang Clan’s ‘Duke Jiu’ had invited a secret strategist, who was in no way inferior to Yao Guang Yi, to assist them. At this very moment, everyone was privately discussing who this incredible ‘secret strategist’ could be.
Putting the commotion outside aside, as the ‘secret strategist’ whom these distinguished families and nobles were talking about, Wang Chong was living a peaceful life in ‘seclusion’ as he happily carried out his wealth-amassing plan.
And this plan was almost completed.
“Haha, Wang Chong, look! The Wootz steel weapon which you spoke of has finally been crafted!”
In the cavern at the western suburbs of the capital, Wei Hao lifted a 3 chi long incomplete black sword excitedly. This was a standard Central Plains sword, a double-edged sword. With a straight sword body and a width of around two fingers, its black body gave it a tough impression.
A chi -> 0.33m
“Right, Wang Chong, why did you request to add two grooves to the both sides of the blade. I don’t remember the swords of our Central Plains having grooves?”
Wei Hao scratched his head in incomprehension as he stared at the grooves that stretched along the blade of the sword on both sides of the blade.
“It’s called a blood groove, and it’s designed for killing an opponent. After the sword is stabbed into a person’s body, his blood would spurt out through the blood groove, causing him to lose a large amount of blood within a minimal period of time!”
Wang Chong smiled.
Wei Hao was taken aback, and he nearly dropped the sword from his hands:
“Blood groove? Killing an opponent? Wang Chong, this sword sure is savage!”
Wang Chong smiled silently. Weapons made of Wootz steel, including the Damascus scimitar, were weapons created to induce bloodshed. In fact, all swords were weapons of murder. This was the primary concept of their existence.
‘Wealth should not be entrusted to the upright, command over troops shouldn’t be entrusted to the benevolent’, if one didn’t have enough courage, one should stay away from weapons.
“Pass it to me!”
Wang Chong took the Wootz steel sword from Wei Hao. Feeling its weight, the Wootz steel sword was significantly heavier than ordinary swords, weighing around 20 to 30 jin.
If one didn’t possess superior strength, it would be difficult to wield a 20 to 30 jin weapon for extended periods of time.
“The first Wootz steel weapon has finally been crafted!”
Wang Chong thought. With a casual swing, a dark shadow flashed in the air, and kacha, a chunk of rock from the cavern broke apart and fell on the ground.
“Woah, that’s sharp! Your sword really isn’t normal!”
Wei Hao cowered backward in fear. The Wootz steel sword was just complete and he had yet to test it, so he didn’t know that it would be this sharp!
He was well aware of how tough the cavern walls were. The reason why the Wei Clan chose this place was because the stone walls were sufficiently firm and tough to serve as a forge.
Even though the space wasn’t large, the Wei Clan spent half a year in order to dig out this limited space. The masters of the residence had their go on the walls, and even using the sharpest blades, they could only sheath out a few debris.
Yet, with a single glide of Wang Chong’s sword, the stone was easily cut apart.
“It’s still a semi-complete product now. After it’s been inscribed on and refined, its sharpness wouldn’t amount to just this much.”
Wang Chong said calmly.
Wei Hao was shocked speechless. To be honest, he didn’t know what Wang Chong had done with the sword. Not just him, even the blacksmith masters beside him didn’t know what cold forging or that sort were.
It was truly a mystery how Wang Chong knew all of these.
“Honestly speaking, Wang Chong, the Sindhis demanded quite a huge sum. With just these few swords, do you think you’ll be able to earn that much money? I’m worried that your effort may be expended on the wrong side!”
Wei Hao said worriedly.
Other than Wei Hao, no one knew that Wang Chong owed 90000 gold taels to the Sindhi monks. This matter had been lingering on his mind and he was constantly worrying about it.
“Hehe, rest easy. When the time comes, you’ll understand.”
Wang Chong said indifferently. Taking the few Wootz steel sword in his hands, Wang Chong’s heart started beating nervously as he thought about his cousin Wang Zhu Yan.
After settling the matter of the forging of the Wootz steel weapons through the craftsmen of the Wei Clan, and it was time for his cousin, Wang Zhu Yan, to make a move.
“You brat, what are you trying to do by making these things?”
In the Xi Shi Pavilion at the west of the capital, a red mat was laid over the floor and the bed was crafted from golden jade. Wang Chong’s cousin, Wang Zhu Yan, was lying in a comfortable position on the bed.
A hand of hers was toying with Wang Chong’s Wootz steel swords while the other was pinching up purple-red grapes using its slim fingers and placing it elegantly into her mouth, slowly chewing on it.
Even Wang Chong had to admit that this cousin of his was truly an incredible figure. In terms of martial arts, she was capable of challenging most of the geniuses in the capital; in terms of conduct, she was quiet and elegant. Even the delicate princesses in the royal palaces would look up to her in admiration.
There wasn’t anywhere she wasn’t able to blend into in the capital.
“Second Sister, have you forgotten what you have promised me a while ago?”
Wang Chong bent forward and smiled politely. Even though his standing in the clan had improved, he dared not to act arrogantly before this cousin of his.
She was the Sakyamuni Buddha while he was the monkey trapped in her palms. Before he had gained capabilities, it was best for him to lie low first.
“Hmph, given your performance recently, I can help you on that. Just that, other than this, do you have anything else you have forgotten to tell me about?”
Wang Zhu Yan turned around and stared deeply into Wang Chong.
Wang Chong was confused. He was unable to comprehend her words, “What do you mean by anything else?”
“Hmph, you still wish to put on an act before me?”
Wang Zhu Yan harrumphed coldly in displeasure:
“Do you need me to remind you? What happened in the Eight Gods Pavilion?”
It was as though a lightning had struck him. In that instant, cold sweat drenched Wang Chong’s back.
What the heck!
How did she know? Was she looking at him 24 hours a day for seven days a week? He thought that he would be able to hide the incident at the Eight Gods Pavilion from her, but it turned out that she knew everything all along, just that she pretended to know nothing at all.
At this instant, Wang Chong was speechless. He felt completely bare before his cousin, as though there were no secrets that he could hide from her.
It means that the both ends are sharp. If I’m not wrong, most other swords tend to have a sharp and blunt edge.
Xi Shi Pavilion:
Named after one of the Four Great Beauties in China.