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Chapter 56: The Final Day!
While Wang Chong was cooping up in the Wang Family Residence, another person in the capital was busy as well.
"How is it? Have you found anything yet?"
Deep in the Duke of Su Residence, Su Bai was currently lying on a golden weaved rattan chair, fiddling with a jade thumb ring, twirling it about his hands.
Behind him, two young and beautiful ladies were fanning him.
While cooped up in the Duke of Su Residence, Su Bai hasn't been idle. Wang Chong's matter had been lingering in his head all day long. The Yao Clan and King Qi had allied with one another, forming a powerful coalition. On top of that, the Yao Clan's Old Master possessed exceptional means, making him an extremely powerful ally.
If Su Clan wanted to ride on the boat of Yao Clan and King Qi, they had to quickly make a stand.
As such, Wang Chong was an indication of loyalty from Su Bai to Yao Feng, as well as the indication of the Su Clan's stand to the Yao Clan. As long as they managed to settle this matter properly, his relationship with Yao Feng will grow more closer.
As the future successor to the Su Clan, as long as he managed to achieve close ties with Yao Feng, how could the relationship with Su Clan and Yao Clan be poor?
As for the loss the Yao Clan had suffered awhile ago… Su Bai didn't pay much heed to it, and he wasn't sure what had gone on as well. To Su Bai and the Su Clan, as long as Yao Clan's Old Master retained his position, such a matter meant nothing at all.
"Gongzi, we've been keeping an eye on Wang Clan. However, that fellow, Wang Chong, had been staying in his residence, rarely leaving it, after obtaining that sum of money. It's difficult for us to obtain any concrete news on him."
Just when he was contemplating over the matter, a voice suddenly sounded. Before Su Bai, a twenty-year-old lanky scout bowed and answered respectfully.
"Rarely leaving his residence?"
Hearing those words, a deep crease appeared on Su Bai's forehead.
This was contrary to what he had expected. After a profligate scion like Wang Chong borrowed so much money, shouldn't he spend his time playing around like a degenerate?
Cooping up in his residence, this was unlike him.
"Yes! We've looked into it, and in the past month, he's only been out seven or eight times. There are several times that we followed him into the market, but due to the overwhelming amount of people, we lost sight of him. As for the other times, he was with Wei Hao."
The lanky scout replied. There were many scouts like him in the Su Clan.
Until now, they still didn't realize that he had been intentionally shaken off by Wang Chong. They thought that the market was simply too crowded, causing them to lose sight of their target!
"However, we did notice some movements from Wei Hao. The Bluebottle Pavilion under the Duke of Wei Residence is currently facilitating the sales of a sword, and they had initiated a sword duel gamble which has caused a commotion…"
Before the lanky scout could say anything, Su Bai interrupted him impatiently.
"I don't care anything about Wei Hao or swords whatsoever. Don't report this kind of meaningless things to me in the future. You just have to focus your attention on Wang Chong! It's more than a thousand gold taels, I don't believe that he would be keeping it to himself!!"
The lanky scout hurriedly replied.
"Also, it has been almost a month already. Help me contact the gongzi from the other clans and three days later… No, seven days later, have them bring their debt note to the Wang Clan to ask for money! I want to make them embarrass themselves before the Wang Clan Old Master's seventieth birthday!"
Su Bai sneered coldly as he laid on the rattan chair.
The lanky scout immediately left the room to carry out his instructions.
Meanwhile, the sword duel gamble in the Bluebottle Pavilion was still getting larger and larger.
9600 gold taels!
This was the price of the sword hung on Bluebottle Pavilion on the fifth day.
Initially, Zhao Fengchen was still hesitant and he was still musing whether to buy it or not. However, upon seeing the newest reported price, the thought immediately vanished from his mind.
——He didn't buy the sword when it was 4800 taels. Now that the price had increased by a single fold, there was even less reason for him to buy it. Otherwise, wouldn't he be wasting his money?
As such, the 'legend' of the Bluebottle Pavilion continued on.
On the sixth day, 19200 gold taels!
——This was a price that no one had ever seen before!
When Wei Hao hung that price up, he was also shocked by it. When Wang Chong had marked the sword with the price of 600 gold taels on the first day, he didn't think much of it.
Even when the price started to increase exponentially, Wei Hao didn't realize the true meaning behind it.
This was the first time in the Central Plains that the price of a sword had exceeded '10000 taels'. Given the current state that top-notch swords were only worth from 600 gold taels to 1000 gold taels, this was truly an astronomical sum for a single sword!
"How could this be!"
Staring at the price which he hung himself, Wei Hao felt like a drunk man who had suddenly awakened from his confusion. He finally understood what he had been doing the past few days.
Even the Four Great Swordsmithing Clans were stunned.
Wang Chong had done all of these under their eyelids, and they even sent someone to wreck the business on the first day.
After which, they had been keeping an eye on the matter as Wang Chong doubled the price, but no one truly noticed what Wang Chong was aiming for.
Until the plaque on the Bluebottle Pavilion suddenly turned into a shocking 5-digit figure!
"Wang gongzi, if you wish to take back your words, it's still not too late!"
Oblivious to everyone else, just when Wei Hao had hung the plaque out, Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian had secretly paid the Wang Family Residence a visit.
A grim look was on their faces.
"You two know of it?"
Wang Chong invited the duo into the backyard garden which he had been training at. While executing his punching technique, he spoke to the duo with a smile.
Compared to a few days ago, Wang Chong's aura had obviously gotten significantly stronger!
——This was due to the Dragon Bone Art!
"Wang gongzi, do you know what you're doing? This isn't a joke!"
The duo's expression didn't soothe in the slightest. They didn't find Wang Chong's 'joke' funny in any way:
"19200 gold taels for more than thirty people; if you lose, you will have to pay a total of around 576000 gold taels! I don't think that the Wang Clan is capable of forking out such a sum!"
A stern expression appeared on their faces, and hints of worry could be seen on it. Wang Chong was simply too young, young people tended to be complacent, and complacency made it easy for one to commit errors!
The sword duel gamble at the Bluebottle Pavilion was no joke!
In fact, one could say that if things go wrong, it will prove to be a fatal blow to the Wang Clan. The Duke Jiu's prestige which he had built up over the years would be ruined here.
Hearing those words, Wang Chong chuckled. On the first day, 600 gold taels; on the second, 1200 gold taels; on the third, 2400 gold taels… Eventually, on the sixth day, it became 19200 gold taels!
Wang Chong's thought had shown through on this sixth day. In the other world, this was the classical hunger marketing strategy. But in this world, it was still a novelty and no one had tried it before.
Even Zhang Cong and Zhang Jiang didn't realize that they had slowly accepted the price of the sword.
The first thing the duo came here to do wasn't to question whether it was reasonable to sell a sword for 19200 gold taels. Rather than that, they were more focused on if the other party was able to afford to pay up for the gamble once he lost the gamble if he had raised the price to such a level.
This was the underlying intentions behind Wang Chong's actions!
If Wang Chong had marked the Wootz steel at 19200 gold taels from the very start, he wouldn't have been able to achieve such effects.
"Do the two elders think that I will lose?"
A sonic boom rang from Wang Chong's fist. While practicing his fist art, he spoke to the duo without looking at them.
"Wang Chong, do you still not understand the severity of the matter? Merchants from Charax Spasinu, Abbasid Caliphate, Silla, and Goguryeo, along with the various swordsmithing clans, great weapon shops, and workshops, as well as the leaders in the army, many parties have already been implicated in this matter. This matter is no longer a prank, and you won't be able to shirk the debt if it comes down to it."
"If you don't handle the matter properly, you'll be bringing the Wang Clan a massive unprecedented calamity!"
Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian shook their heads. It was no longer a problem whether Wang Chong would win or not, but that it was impossible for him to win. The Wang Clan was never a swordsmithing clan, so it was impossible for them to have any master swordsmiths under their command.
As such, Wang Chong couldn't possibly emerge victorious over those swordsmithing clans who had centuries of history behind them, as well as the prestigious weapon merchants from the Western Regions.
Wang Chong was looking for trouble for himself and the Wang Clan!
"For the matter of duel gamble, you won't have to worry about it. Isn't tomorrow the very last day? If there's a need, I'll look for you."
Wang Chong smiled calmly. Throughout the conversation, there wasn't moved by any words that the other party spoke of.
The reason why Wang Chong was willing to go so far for the Hyderabad ores wasn't because of his courage, but because he was confident.
Swordsmithing was a form of art!
Be it the material of the sword or the craftsmanship behind it, none of those in this era could exceed that of his!
Not only did the Wootz steel make use of the Hyderabad ore and the 'Hyderabad method', Wang Chong even added in the swordsmithing skill which he knew from another space-time continuum. Also, the groove on the sword would prove to be a valuable addition to the strength of the Wootz steel.
In this era, the Wootz steel was a representation of top-notch swords!
Even though it would be going too far to say that no other swords and sabers could match up to it, there weren't any that could surpass it. At the very least, such a sword couldn't possibly be produced by the swordsmiths of Charax Spasinu, Abbasid Caliphate, Goguryeo, Nanzhao, nor the Four Great Swordsmithing Clans of the capital!
It was because Wang Chong had such confidence that he dared to accept this bet. However, it wasn't convenient for Wang Chong to speak of these to Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian.
"Sigh, Wang gongzi, before tomorrow afternoon, regardless of when you have thought the matter through, feel free to look for us. As long as you can hand over the Hyderabad mine contract to us, we'll think of all means to minimize your loss. The sword of our Zhang Clan can't be said to be the first in the world, but there aren't many people who can win against us. We will be able to be of assistance to you tomorrow!"
The two heaved a long sigh as worry flooded their mind.
Wang Chong was still young, complacent, and rash. He clearly didn't think of the consequences before starting this affair, and the duel gamble at the Bluebottle Pavilion served as testimony to the matter!
It was a pity that Wang Chong wouldn't listen to their advice.
"Let's just hope that this matter doesn't get too out of hand!"
"That arrogant child who hasn't suffered a setback in his life… We can only hope that the Wang Clan doesn't suffer too much of a blow over this matter!"
Zhang Cong and Zhang Jiang sighed once more before bidding their farewell.
"The capital's Zhang Clan might be a good working partner in the future!"
When Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian left, Wang Chong contemplated and muttered to himself.
The Zhang Clan didn't wait for everything to be settled to rub salt on their wounds and steal the contract. Rather, they looked for him in advance and proposed to minimize the loss. On this aspect, the impression the duo gave Wang Chong was favorable.
In the future, if he wanted to carry out some plan, the capital's Zhang Clan might prove to be a good collaborator.
As he thought so, Wang Chong left the garden.
The sun rose, and in the blink of an eye, it was the seventh day!
"Finally, it's the day of the showdown!"
Wang Chong thought.
Silla & Goguryeo belongs to the current Korea.
Nanzhao is a kingdom in the Southern part of China (Modern: Yunnan)