Chapter 861: Two Hundred Thousand Warhorses!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the war of the southwest, almost all the soldiers of the Ngari Royal Lineage were lost, and at the triangular gap, the soldiers of the northern region suffered a similar fate. There were two Great Generals and one wise minister, but none of them had any soldiers to command, a truly difficult problem that needed to be resolved.
"You don't need to worry about that. I've already prepared everything," Dalun Ruozan indifferently said, apparently having already predicted that Dusong Mangpoje would bring up this topic. As he spoke, he glanced at Huoshu Huicang.
Dusong Mangpoje suddenly turned in understanding to Huoshu Huicang. In this period of time, he had kept so close to Huoshu Huicang that he might as well have been his shadow. He knew everything about Huoshu Huicang's comings and goings, but he had never seen him meet anyone, much less borrow soldiers.
But Dusong Mangpoje knew that Dalun Ruozan would not lie.
"My deepest apologies. I did not tell you everything."
Huoshu Huicang was quiet for a few moments, a hint of apology in his eyes.
"Before I went to the Great Snow Mountain Holy Temple to see you, I had already complied with the Great Minister's orders and gone to see many people to borrow soldiers. Our Ü-Tsang has already been defeated three times and lost many soldiers, but we've essentially not won once in our battles with the Great Tang, and even Zhangzhung Training Center was destroyed. Just like us, they also wanted an opportunity to alter our situation, seeking out a chance to topple the Great Tang and revitalize our Ü-Tsang."
As Huoshu Huicang spoke, he turned to a gloomy corner of the prison.
The prison was silent, and then after a few moments, a muscular figure with a saber slung across his waist, his body exuding a baleful and bloody aura, walked out from the shadows.
"Great General Dusong, long time no see!"
Upon seeing this figure, Dusong Mangpoje's body shuddered in understanding, and relief began to wash through his eyes.
Several days later, in the early morning, the smithy in the western part of the City of Steel was cleared of all craftsmen. All light sources were covered up, and Wang Chong was left alone in the smithy, unfinished Wootz Steel swords piled up around him in small mountains, on piles of burning pine branches.
These future alluring and precious swords were pitch-black and utterly unappealing. But Wang Chong was well aware that they would soon glimmer with cold light, their surfaces covered in enchanting whorls and lines.
"It's about ready!" Wang Chong said as he felt the surrounding temperature and humidity. The quenching of Wootz Steel swords had very strict requirements. It needed to be done in the early morning, before dawn's first light, a brief moment that Wang Chong needed to grasp. Moreover, the secret to forging Wootz Steel swords was one that Wang Chong had never spread to others, not only for his sake, but to prevent the secret from being leaked to the Arabs.
Thus, up until now, although Wang Chong had taught the first few steps for forging Wootz Steel to other craftsmen, he continued to personally carry out the last and most crucial steps.
With a thought from Wang Chong, a flood of majestic Stellar Energy burst out from his body to wrap around the unfinished swords. Splash! Water flew everywhere as the red-hot swords were thrown into the massive metal basin in the center of the smithy.
The basin contained the quenching fluid that only Wang Chong knew the mixture to. Hisss! As the swords were thrown in, the massive basin began to let off thick clouds of steam.
The steps to forging Wootz Steel were all extremely strict, and in normal circumstances, each Wootz Steel sword would have to have its own smith working on it. But Wang Chong was different. In both the west and the east, in all the history of smithing, rarely did Saint Martial experts participate in the actual work of forging swords.
That was simply an extravagant waste of resources!
With his powerful cultivation and his understanding of temperature, moisture, and the steps of the forging process, Wang Chong was the only person capable of forging several hundred Wootz Steel swords in one go.
Time slowly passed, and less and less steam began to rise from the surface of the metal basin. Finally…
Waves of water surged as Wang Chong used his tremendous Stellar Energy to bring the swords out of the water. In the dim sunlight, the nearly five hundred swords gleamed like scales, a school of fish swimming and rolling through the air, shining with a silvery light.
Just glancing at this sharp light made one feel like their eyes were being cut, and even the sunlight seemed to be cut in two.
Anyone who saw this sight would be astounded by this beauty!
Wootz Steel swords!
Under Wang Chong's control, these nearly five hundred precious Wootz Steel swords were finally finished. He was the only person in the world capable of such a feat.
Wang Chong relaxed, and when he looked at those simple and extremely sharp Wootz Steel swords, an indescribable joy filled his heart.
The greatest shortcoming of the Wushang Cavalry was slowly being taken care of. No one doubted the strength of this cavalry, but without the appropriate weapon, they would never be able to utilize their full strength, a fact which greatly pained Wang Chong. However, the matter of Wootz Steel could not be rushed.
This was not an ore that could be found anywhere in the Central Plains. And even in its area of origin, the Hyderabad mountains, the production was extremely low. Mining it was extremely difficult, and the reserves were extremely small. If not for the foundation Wang Chong had established early on and the Sindhis' fear that they would lose a big customer like Wang Chong with the roads being cut by the Arabs, it would have basically been impossible for Wang Chong to get his hands on the six thousand jun of Hyderabad ore.
With these Wootz Steel swords, we can finally contend with the Abbasid Caliphate's Mamelukes. Even the fact that we have fewer soldiers won't matter as much anymore! Wang Chong said to himself as he snatched at one of the Wootz Steel swords in the air.
"Xu Keyi, come in. These Wootz Steel swords can be distributed to our brothers," Wang Chong said without even raising his head. Whoosh! While still speaking, he neatly placed the Wootz Steel swords on the ground. With this done, Wang Chong turned and left the smithy. Only one batch of Wootz Steel weapons could be made each day, and not even Wang Chong could do anything if he missed this chance.
"Yes, Lord Marquis!"
Outside, Xu Keyi opened the curtains and swiftly strode in.
"Congratulation to user! 2000 points of Destiny Energy have been rewarded!"
At this moment, the familiar voice of the Stone of Destiny rang out in his mind, catching Wang Chong by such surprise that he immediately stopped walking.
What's going on here? Why was I suddenly awarded Destiny Energy?
This was not Wang Chong's first time forging Wootz Steel swords, and nothing like this had happened before. But Wang Chong quickly realized that he was wrong and that the Stone of Destiny's reward had nothing to do with the Wootz Steel swords.
Before Wang Chong had fully left the smithy, the fierce neighing of horses resounded through the City of Steel, thousands upon thousands of them. Rumble! The City of Steel began to shudder and tremble as tens of thousands of warhorses quickly surrounded the city.
Without a second thought, Wang Chong immediately shot out of the room.
Outside the gates, a massive crowd had gathered, many of the craftsmen attracted by the ruckus. As Wang Chong himself walked out, he saw countless warhorses, all of them of excellent quality, neighing and whinnying. This was a vast sea of horses, with a rough estimate placing the number at one hundred thousand at the minimum.
"Hahaha, Lord Marquis, I've returned!"
A brash laughter suddenly grabbed Wang Chong's attention. Hulayeg, riding at the front of the pack, was happily waving his arms at Wang Chong as he yelled.
Even though there were so many people outside the city, Hulayeg had immediately picked Wang Chong out from the crowd.
Hulayeg rapidly galloped up, and when he was ten-some zhang away, his horse made a flying leap that brought it to a steady landing next to Wang Chong.
"Lord Marquis, I completed my mission and brought the warhorses back!"
Hulayeg chuckled as he gave a comical bow, a flattering look on his face.
"Two hundred thousand warhorses in total, all delivered. I hear that Lord Marquis is prepared to head to Anxi, so these warhorses will probably be useful. That's right. The Western Turks wanted to only give you gelded horses, but I secretly switched some of them. There are ten thousand mares and ten thousand stallions here. In the future, Lord Marquis can build up your own herd."
Wang Chong's eyes brightened in delight, and he gave Hulayeg a solid pat on the shoulder.
"You've truly rendered a great service this time!"
Just like how the Central Plains placed a strict embargo on salt and iron exports to the Eastern and Western Turks, the Turkic Khaganates placed severe restrictions on the trade of warhorses. Although there were still warhorse transactions, all mares and high-quality stallions were forbidden from being traded, and all the tribes respected this law.
If Hulayeg really had managed to get Wang Chong ten thousand each of high-quality mares and stallions, then he really could set up a pasture and breed his own herd.
This wasn't a matter that was urgent, but it was a project that Wang Chong would have to start one day. Moreover, the land that he had occupied in the northeast corner of the Tibetan Plateau was an ideal pasture for raising horses.
"Xu Keyi, gather some people to handle these horses. Leave behind the ones that we need and then call the Imperial Court to take the rest. Hulayeg, let's go! I'll hold a feast today so that everyone can celebrate your achievements."
"Many thanks, Lord Marquis!"