The Human Emperor - Chapter 17: Wang Chong’s Discovery
The greater the expectation Madam Wang held toward Wang Chong, the greater the disappointment she felt. This emotion wasn’t just directed toward Wang Chong, it was also directed toward herself.
A son’s misdeed is the fault of the mother’s upbringing. If she wasn’t so lenient toward Wang Chong, how could the situation evolve to such a point?
“Mother, I’m sorry. I know that I am at fault!”
Wang Chong kneeled on the floor with his head lowered. He felt extreme self-reproach. Even though his actions were for his father and the Wang Clan; even though Wang Chong did not think that he was at fault, his mother wasn’t aware of any of it at all.
Wang Chong was also unable to find a way to explain the situation to her. He needed half a month, when his father had discovered Yao Guang Yi’s ploy, for his mother to understand the efforts he had put in for the family.
“Mother, brother isn’t at fault on the matter at all!”
Suddenly, a slightly obstinate but clear bell-like voice sounded by the side. Upon hearing her brother admitting that it is his fault over and over, keeping his indignance to himself, Wang Xiao Yao suddenly couldn’t hold it in anymore and stood out.
Even though she was afraid of her mother, Wang Xiao Yao couldn’t stand seeing her own brother suffer such great injustice.
“This matter isn’t brother’s fault, why must you say that brother is at fault!”
Wang Xiao Yao stared at her mother in protest.
“What did you say?!”
Madam Wang was taken aback. Her eyes were widened and her entire body trembled in anger, “You still dare to refute my words!”
“Little sister, don’t say anymore.”
Wang Chong was also taken aback. He quickly pulled the hands of his younger sister but this time, she shook it away.
“Hmph, why can’t I say it?”
The Wang Family’s little sister’s obstinacy was working up once more. This time, completely ignoring Wang Chong’s words, she said, “That Yao Feng ordered Ma Zhou to frame brother for raping a lady. So, brother and I went to teach him a lesson. Are we at fault for doing so?”
“What? You said that the Yao Clan’s Yao Feng ordered Ma Zhou to frame your brother?”
Madam Wang was truly surprised. She stared at the kneeling Wang Chong and the stubborn Wang Xiao Yao with widened eyes. It was apparent that she was oblivious to this matter.
“Of course! I saw it for myself! That fellow Ma Zhou even admitted to it!”
Wang Xiao Yao said boldly.
The thoughts of a ten-year-old girl are innocent. At this point, she still thought that the reason why Wang Chong brought her to the Vast Crane Pavilion to teach Yao Feng a lesson was to exact vengeance on him for the incident.
One has to repay their gratitude and grudges. On this matter, she was completely supportive of her brother’s actions.
Madam Wang was initially at the peak of her anger, but at this moment, her anger had subsided significantly. She stared at the two siblings speechlessly. From the very start, Madam Wang had never believed that Wang Chong would rape a lady.
Her child may be stubborn, rebellious, indolent and hung out with bad company, but no matter how low Wang Chong had fallen, Madam Wang believed that he wouldn’t stoop to such level and commit such atrocious deeds.
The reason why she punished him was because even though Wang Chong did not do so, when the news of the affair broke out, his reputation, along with the Wang Clan’s reputation, had been soiled over the affair.
Outsiders were not concerned with the truth. All they knew was that Wang Chong was the one who did it, and Wang Chong was a descendant of the Wang Clan!
“Is that true?”
Madam Wang asked. However, her gaze wasn’t directed toward Wang Xiao Yao but the kneeling Wang Chong.
Wang Chong hesitated for a moment before nodding his head. Even though the reason for his trip to Vast Crane Pavilion wasn’t primarily for vengeance, the words of his little sister weren’t completely false.
Madam Wang sighed deeply. For a moment, she couldn’t find a word to say to them. The two siblings had caused such a great problem, implicating both the Yao Clan and Wang Clan in the matter, to the point even the emperor was alarmed on the matter. Logically speaking, she had no choice but to teach them a harsh lesson.
However, Yao Feng made use of Ma Zhou to frame Wang Chong, causing his reputation in the capital to fall into the gutters. It was perfectly understandable for Wang Chong to fly into a temper and lead his younger sister to the Vast Crane Pavilion to teach him a lesson.
Madam Wang didn’t like it when Wang Chong and his younger sister causing caused trouble, but no matter what, her husband was still a general who guarded the border; Madam Wang hoped that her children wouldn’t be cowards who were fearful of everything.
On this aspect, Madam Wang actually didn’t think that the Wang siblings had done anything wrong.
Madam Wang sighed. “I will explain this matter to your big uncle. As long as you aren’t at fault for this matter, even if Your Majesty asks about this matter, we will be able to account the matter to him.”
“Thank you, mother.”
Wang Chong stood up and heaved a sigh of relief. He turned around to look at his younger sister and a sense of gratitude rose in his heart.
At this moment, Wang Chong couldn’t help but feel thankful that he had brought his younger sister for this operation. Otherwise, this matter wouldn’t be settled just like that.
“Hehe, I did well, right!”
Seeing her brother looking over at her, the Wang Family’s little sister raised her small head smugly. Wang Chong grinned and secretly shot her a thumbs up, feeding his sister’s pride.
He didn’t dote on her for nothing, at least she was sided with him!
“…However, even though Yao Feng was at fault for this matter, you two still went too far.”
At this moment, the voice of their mother, Zhao Shu Hua, sounded in their ears once more. Upon hearing her words, the faces of the two siblings crumbled.
“Especially you, despite being a lady, to fight with others like a man, look at what you are becoming!”
Madam Wang’s gaze fell upon the one who just refuted her words, Wang Xiao Yao.
“Yes, Yao-er admits her fault!”
Wang Family’s little sister had a nasty expression on her face that spelled of ‘I knew it would end up like this’. With her head lowered, she kicked at the empty air in frustration. Her mother’s words entered by the left ear and escaped by the right.
“If such a thing happens again, tell your brother that you will not go! If he dares to speak any further, tell me and I will break his legs…”
Madam Wang didn’t pass on this opportunity to ‘educate’ them and she continued to nag on.
Wang Family’s little sister’s eyes started to swim about. Clearly, she wasn’t interested and she wanted to flee.
Looking at this sight, Wang Chong broke into laughter internally. He already knew what she was going to do.
“Mother, I’m hungry. Can we eat first?”
The Wang Clan’s little sister’s small hands suddenly pressed on her stomach and a pitiful look appeared on her face. At the same time, her stomach grumbled loudly as well.
Madam Wang’s heart softened but very soon, her face steeled once more. “We’ll talk about food later on. However, you mustn’t fight with anyone else in the future.”
“Hm? Look, who’s that!”
The Wang Clan’s little sister suddenly lifted her head. With widened eyes, she exclaimed loudly. In that instant where her mother turned around in puzzlement, Wang Xiao Yao grabbed the hand of her brother and escaped:
Wang Chong burst into laughter. As though they had rehearsed this innumerable times, he ran along with his little sister. Behind their back, Madam Wang’s furious voice bellowed:
“Wang Xiao Yao! If you dare to run, I will ground you for three days!”
Wang Chong had managed to escape punishment for the matter at Vast Crane Pavilion for the time being.
He had also managed to obtain news of the two Sindhi monks today.
On the other hand, Wang Xiao Yao was grounded for three days. When Wang Chong went to her room to look for her, he wasn’t allowed to enter.
Also, even though Father Wang had said that he would deal with them after returning at night, there were no signs of him even though it was already deep at night.
Most probably, his father had already been deployed back to the borders, just like how it happened back in his previous life.
Wang Chong lay on his bed with his hands behind his head. Somehow, he wasn’t able to fall asleep.
Everything that occurred in the day appeared before him once more. Wang Chong would have never imagined that the two Sindhi monks had already returned back to their homeland.
“That shouldn’t be. Is the Great Tang really unfated with Wootz steel?”
Wang Chong found the situation hard to accept.
Given his current situation, the Wootz steel was his best chance at accruing a huge wealth without much capital. Even though it wasn’t that Wang Chong had no other methods up his sleeves, the other means were far inferior to this one. Otherwise, Wang Chong wouldn’t have subconsciously thought of ‘Wootz steel’ in the first place.
Not only so, there was another reason why he was determined to lay his hands on Wootz steel.
In his previous life, the Great Tang had slipped by this opportunity. Eventually, its enemies utilized the Wootz steel and thousands and thousands of Great Tang elites fell under the blades forged with Wootz steel.
This was a huge blow for the Great Tang!
Wang Chong had a deep impression of this matter, that’s why he was so obsessed with this matter and wanted to reverse it.
In this life, the Wootz steel had just come into existence and its name hadn’t rung far and wide yet. This was a good opportunity for Wang Chong to accrue massive wealth and at the same time, bring some benefits to the Central Plains. To think that his plan would end in failure.
“What is going on? Could it be that due to my rebirth, the Great Tang would end up being unable to obtain even the slightest bit of Wootz steel?”
Lying on the bed, Wang Chong had a feeling that something was wrong, as though he had neglected something important.
‘The stone of other mountains could be used to polish jade’, Wang Chong had never thought that using other people’s strengths was anything wrong. In his mind, Wang Chong tried to recall every single detail regarding the Wootz steel.
Wang Chong clearly remembered that there was a clan which came into contact with the two Sindhi monks and bought Wootz steel off them at a high price. If these two Sindhi monks were to leave just like that, wouldn’t that mean that the clan would be unable to purchase the Wootz steel and everything wouldn’t happen?
Wang Chong was perplexed.
After a few moments, Wang Chong suddenly recalled something and he abruptly leaped up from his bed in shock:
“That two Sindhi monks can only speak Sanskrit, they don’t know the language of the Center Plains at all. Given how Big Golden Tooth doesn’t know a single thing about Sanskrit, how could he have possibly spoken with them, even saying that they had weird accents?”
Wang Chong finally knew why he found the matter was amiss. The Sindhu came from the far West and their monks there rarely came to the Central Plains.
Most of the Sindhu who came knew a little bit of the language of the Central Plains and there was no problem for them to communicate with the population. However, these two Sindhi monks were different, they only knew how to speak Sanskrit. Even the Hu from the Western Regions were unable to comprehend their words.
That’s precisely the reason why no one knew what they were here for. Even more so, no one knew that they were trying to sell Wootz steel. As such, a huge uproar was incited when the matter regarding the Wootz steel ores was revealed in his previous life.
Someone once said that if only the Great Tang didn’t lack people who were able to converse in Sanskrit; if only someone was able to ask those Sindhi monks back then; if only the Hyderabad Wootz steel mine could be purchased for Great Tang’s usage, the Great Tang’s military prowess would be very much stronger than how it was.
Big Golden Tooth had said that they spoke in a weird accent. If he had met them, he wouldn’t have said so.
“Something is wrong. Big Golden Tooth never met Sindhi monks, the ones whom he saw were Tocharian monks!”
After contemplating over the matter once more, Wang Chong remembered a famous quote in his previous life and he immediately understood the situation. The Tocharians were neighbors with the Sindhu and they believed in Buddhism as well. Many Buddha statues were built in his territory and it was a splendid sight. Often, there were many Tocharians who would travel to the Central Plains to spread their teachings.
As the Great Tang lacked understanding of the countries in the extreme West, the people of this era often confused Tocharian monks for Sindhi monks. In fact, some of them even thought of the Tocharians and the Sindhu as the same race.
When Big Golden Tooth said that these people spoke with weird accents, he was obviously referring to Tocharians!
At this point, Wang Chong’s heart was filled with delight. The depressed feeling that was weighing on his heart disappeared without a trace. If the ones Big Golden Tooth met wasn’t Sindhi monks, that meant that the Sindhi monks were still in Great Tang. In other words, there was still an opportunity for him!
In that instant, Wang Chong could feel pressure relieving from every single cell in his body.
Even though Big Golden Tooth had provided Wang Chong with inaccurate information, Wang Chong did receive some important news from it.
“White Agate Jewelry Shop.”
Wang Chong recalled the location Big Golden Tooth spoke of.
The homeland of the Tocharians, Tarim Basin, was far from the Central Plains. The monks would often ride on the merchants from the Western Region when heading to Great Tang. Wang Chong knew from his previous life that the carriages were mostly fixed. Only some specific businessmen would ferry these monks over.
Sindhu was neighboring the Tocharians and there was only a single path to the Great Tang. If he could ask about the whereabouts of the Tocharian monks from the White Agate Jewelry Shop, he would definitely be able to trace the whereabouts of the two Sindhi monks.
At which, Wang Chong could no longer stay seated.
‘The stone of other mountains could be used to polish jade’
Usually, it means that one can use the talents of our countries for themselves. In this context, it means that there’s nothing wrong with not relying on oneself.