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Chapter 54: The Future Imperial Army Marshal
"Wang Chong, it's exactly as you said. The Imperial Army really came!"
These were the first words which Wei Hao said upon hurriedly rushing into the Wang Family Residence. Back then, when hanging the sword on the Bluebottle Pavilion, Wang Chong had told Wei Hao to call him if an Imperial Army member were to come.
Wei Hao didn't expect that the members of the Imperial Army would really come.
At the highest level of the Bluebottle Pavilion, Wang Chong saw the several Imperial Army members which Wei Hao spoke of. Since his rebirth, this was Wang Chong's first time meeting these guards of the emperor.
The Imperial Army was tasked with the responsibility of protecting the capital and ensuring the safety of the emperor. Of the armies of the world, they were considered as 'royalty'. Bearing the emblem of the royal family, rarely did anyone have the opportunity to interact with them.
This applied for Wang Chong as well.
This was also the reason why Wei Hao was so surprised by this.
"What a strong scent of authority. No wonder no scion dared to offend the Imperial Army easily!"
Looking at the people standing before him, Wang Chong thought.
As the guards of the emperor and the royal family, they often came into contact with the powerful nobles who travel to and fro the royal palace, and as time went by, the deep scent of authority started to rub off them. Compared to them, the other soldiers felt like 'officials' or 'constables'; even without their token, it was easy to identify them.
On the other hand, these Imperial Army members surveyed a person intensely, yet they were austere and reticent. It was easy for ordinary civilians to feel fearful, apprehensive, and uncomfortable before them.
Their disposition was something ordinary people could never possess.
"The guards of the emperor are indeed incredible. As expected of the strongest and most elite army in the world!"
Wang Chong complimented them in his mind.
Wang Chong had met the Imperial Army in his previous life before as well. Compared to their state in his previous life, at this moment, the Imperial Army still held the image of the awe-inspiring, strongest troop.
The Imperial Army were known for their battle prowess, and they depend on it for a living as well. Their strength wasn't something that anyone could compare up to. However, in a few years' time, as Great Tang gradually came to a downfall, the scions started to penetrate into the Imperial Army and they tried to buy their way through the ranks. On the other hand, those capable ones were eliminated from the Imperial Army, causing the downfall of the strongest army in the world.
When they were required to guard the capital and the world, the Imperial Army fell with a single confrontation, causing deaths that spread over a thousand li. That became the greatest humiliation of the Great Tang then, as well as the thorn in everyone's heart, including Wang Chong.
"… It's enough for such a tragedy to occur once. No matter what, I won't allow something like that to happen to the Imperial Army once more."
Wang Chong suddenly felt a sour sensation at his nose. In his previous life, when the tragedy struck, he was right in the capital. He witnessed the corpses of the Imperial Army being stacked up at the alleys around the palace first-hand. It was an unforgettable sight.
Fresh crimson blood flowed through the alleys as though a river of blood, causing Wang Chong to feel incredible astonishment, as well as… agony! It was the first time Wang Chong had experienced the loss of his kin ——his big aunt and uncle!
Taking a deep breath, Wang Chong quickly calmed down. Regardless of how the Imperial Army was in his previous life, it was a matter that had already passed.
In this current life, Wang Chong had already succeeded in changing the fate of the Wang Clan. What had happened in his previous life may not necessarily happen in this one.
Upon calming down, Wang Chong's glance slowly swept across the three. Upon seeing the man who had a lightning-shaped scar on his glabella, Wang Chong's attention was abruptly jolted
Wang Chong recognized the person standing before him.
Wang Chong could never have thought that the one who came would be him, one of the legendary top three experts of the Imperial Army. In his previous life, he managed to become the marshal of the Imperial Army.
His greatest distinguishing feature was the lightning-shaped sword scar on his glabella.
In his previous life, he was reputed for carrying two sabers, one by his waist, and one on his glabella. It was due to this that Wang Chong immediately recognized him.
Compared to the Zhao Fengchen that Wang Chong remembered, the one before him looked significantly younger. There were still marks of youth on him, and he had yet to become the valiant figure he had in his past life, exuding an aura as though the entire universe was within his grasp.
Even so, there were many outstanding features to the current Zhao Fengchen. Of the trio, his disposition and authoritative aura clearly stood out.
If he didn't recall wrongly, the current Zhao Fengchen should already be a commander of the Imperial Army, one of the leading figures of the organization.
In the future, he would reach even greater heights. In the truest sense, his future was bright. The unparalleled authority over the Imperial Army was waiting for him!
"To think that it would be him, I could have never imagined it!"
Wang Chong's heart was beating furiously at the moment, but it wasn't because of this that he had remembered him. To Wang Chong, he had another identity:
——The most famous Wootz steel weapon collector in the Central Plains!
He was nearly involved in all legends regarding the Wootz steel in Wang Chong's previous life!
Zhao Fengchen was the typical 'martial arts fanatic'. He possessed exceptional love for top-notch weapons, especially for Wootz steel weapons. In his previous life, of the highest priced Wootz steel weapons, nearly a third of which was his doing.
Zhao Fengchen's interest in the solidity, sharpness, as well as the highly aesthetic patterns of the Wootz steel had reached an insane level. In his previous life, Zhao Fengchen was the one who led the craze for the Wootz steel in the Central Plains!
When the incomparably sharp Wootz steel sword was paired with his outstanding cultivation, he created a legend of his strength in the Imperial Army.
"… To think that I would manage to catch a whale with my rod!"
Wang Chong suddenly felt his entire body lighten, and comfort gushed through his body.
This was truly fate! Wang Chong had just intended to attract a few wealthy Imperial Army members to buy the Wootz weapon, but to think that he would manage to bait Zhao Fengchen, a 'legendary whale'!
Zhao Fengchen's love for Wootz steel weapon was publicly known to have reached an insane level. If Wootz steel weapons could be considered as a poison, then Zhao Fengchen must have reached the terminal stage, and no medicine could save him anymore.
For such a famous figure to suddenly appear in Wang Chong's plan, Wang Chong suddenly felt extremely confident of his future.
"You're the owner of the sword?"
Zhao Fengchen spoke. The feeling the youngster gave him was weird. When others found out that he was from the Imperial Army, they would more or less show some apprehension against him. Yet, this youngster simply stared at him silently. It was inconceivable to him what the other party was contemplating over.
Recovering from his thoughts, Wang Chong smiled. His gestures and expression exuded magnanimity.
Zhao Fengchen didn't report his name to Wei Hao, and his actions clearly showed his intentions to conceal his identity. As such, Wang Chong complied with his wishes. Since Wang Chong knew his true identity, it was impossible for him to let him off the hook so easily.
"I wish to buy the sword hanging in front of your pavilion. I wonder if you can remove the black cloth and show it to me. If the sword pleases me, I am willing to offer a high price that you will be satisfied with—— A price higher than the one you have offered!"
Zhao Fengchen immediately dived into the topic at hand and revealed the intentions behind his visit. His way of doing things was straightforward.
"How much can you offer?"
Wang Chong followed suit and asked him frankly.
"I can ensure you that it won't be less than 8000 gold taels!"
Zhao Fengchen's hand gesture made Wei Hao feel as though his eyes were playing tricks on him.
"Am I going mad? Who are they! The price outside is just 4800 gold taels, and this fellow actually offered 8000 gold taels! ——Are all of the Imperial Army members that rich?"
Wei Hao's lower jaw was about to fall to the floor. He only spent up to ten gold taels in a month, but 8000 gold taels… Given his expenditure, it would be more than sufficient to last him for his entire life!
What is generosity? This is generosity!
This is what being wealthy means!
"Hurry up and agree to it!"
Wei Hao hurriedly urged Wang Chong by the side.
Only a fool would reject 8000 gold taels! If a single weapon could sell for 8000 gold taels, then the 90000 gold taels which Wang Chong owed the two Sindhi monks wouldn't pose a problem at all.
He had truly struck it rich this time!
Wang Chong stared at Zhao Fengchen with a calm expression. The single word that he uttered caused Wei Hao's dream to be shattered.
Wei Hao and Zhao Fengchen spoke almost at the same time.
"Wang Chong, you're insane! Why would you reject such a good deal?"
Wei Hao was about to go insane from his anxiety.
That was 8000 gold taels!
If he were able to sell the sword for that much money, he would have more than sufficient money to pay for the 1700 debt along with its interest, as well as the fee for the violation of the contract with the Sindhi monks over the Hyderabad ores.
Given the monthly expenditure of the duo, it was sufficient to last them for several decades.
Thousands of gold taels!
Yet, Wang Chong rejected it flatly! Wei Hao felt as though he was unable to keep up with this thoughts.
"Gongzi, surely my offer isn't inadequate?"
Zhao Fengchen's reaction was different from that of Wei Hao.
Honestly speaking, the youngster before him had left him surprised. Most people would find it hard to resist the overwhelming fortune of 8000 gold taels, yet the youngster before him rejected his offer without any hesitation!
Zhao Fengchen was shocked. At the same time, he found the situation incomprehensible.
"This is your first time here, so you might not be aware of the rules of the sales of my sword: The buyer isn't allowed to view it, touch it, or unveil the black cloth covering the sword! Do you understand my words?"
Wang Chong said calmly.
Wang Chong wasn't surprised by Zhao Fengchen's generosity at all.
Possessing the memories of his previous life, Wang Chong was clear of the background of this Zhao Fengchen.
The person who stood before him was the son of the main family of the capital's wealthiest clan. At the same time, Zhao Fengchen had a secret to him that very few people knew of:
——Zhao Fengchen actually possessed a sliver of the royal bloodline!
At his great grandfather's generation, a princess of the royal palace married into the Zhao Clan. That was to say, Zhao Fengchen's great grandmother was a member of the royal family. This sliver of royal bloodline had created a unique position for Zhao Fengchen, causing him to be highly valued within the clan. It could be said that the Zhao Clan's support for him was relentless.
Regardless of what was it that Zhao Fengchen needed, the Zhao Clan would definitely provide him it!
The reason why Zhao Fengchen could reach such great heights in the future, becoming the marshal of the Imperial Army at such a young age, was closely related to the support of his clan!
The Zhao Clan had been concealing this secret all along, only exposing it many years later.
The Zhao Clan was known to possess wealth that rivaled the entire country, and they're the number one wealthiest clan in the capital!
Whether it was to Zhao Fengchen or to the Zhao Clan, 8000 gold taels meant nothing at all. Thus, this was actually a good opportunity for Wang Chong.
However, this wasn't what Wang Chong wanted.
No one knew more than Wang Chong how popular the Wootz steel would get in the future. 8000 gold taels may be a lot of money to ordinary civilians, but compared to the potential the Wootz steel weapon industry held, it was an unprofitable business!
How could Wang Chong be moved by such a small sum!
"Rules can be changed, and 8000 gold taels should be more than enough to make up for gongzi's loss, right? I just want to take a look, there shouldn't be anything detrimental to you, right?"
Zhao Fengchen persuaded Wang Chong, attempting to get him to change his mind.
"Hehe, I just want to ask you a question then. If you aren't satisfied with the sword after viewing it, will you still pay the 8000 gold taels?"
Wang Chong's words were directed at the very core of the problem.
For a moment, Zhao Fengchen was at a loss for words.
He would be willing to pay 8000 gold taels for a good sword, but if the sword concealed within the black cloth was just a rotten lump of steel, he would be a fool to pay such a price.
Even though the Zhao Clan's wealth could rival the country, they hadn't reached the level of extravagance where they would dump 8000 gold taels on a rotten lump of steel.
Son of the main family:
As the clans inherit for generation, there will be 'branch family' and 'main family'.
For example, in the Wang Clan, Wang Zhu Yan's family can be considered as the 'main family' of the current generation whereas Wang Chong's family is the branch family. This is because Wang Gen is going to inherit the bulk of Grandpa Wang's influence, wealth, and power. Meaning, he's going to be the new leader of the family -> Thus the title 'main family'.
Wealth could rival the country:
By country, this usually meant the royal family. It is a typical saying in Chinese to show how rich one is.