The Human Emperor - Chapter 18: Foreign Sindhi Monks
At daybreak, when the entire Wang Family Residence was still relishing in their sleep, Wang Chong secretly parted a small gap in the doors and sneaked out of the room.
“Hold it right there!”
The moment his front foot step out, he heard a stern bellow from on top.
“Young Master Chong, Madam had passed down orders that you are not to leave the room for the next few days!”
“Before Master returns, it is best for young master to remain in your room! Please don’t put us in a difficult position!”
Outside the door, the figures of the two ‘Door Guardians’ blocked even the radiance of the rising sun. Lifting his head, Wang Chong saw two familiar figures staring coldly at him, guarding his doors impassively.
With a single look, Wang Chong could tell that they were extremely loyal and upright. There was zero possibility of them making an exception for him!
“Guard Shen! Guard Meng!”
Wang Chong called out their names.
The two Door Guardians were Shen Hai and Meng Long. Right after the two siblings returned home after getting in trouble, the little sister was grounded in her room for three days. On the other hand, Shen Hai and Meng Long were sent to Wang Chong’s door.
Wang Chong already knew of this from yesterday night.
“Young Master Chong, there’s no need for you to say anything! This is an order by Madam, please don’t make our work difficult!”
The two spoke coldly. Before Wang Chong could even speak, they had already sealed off all of his excuses. In fact, the two of them didn’t even look at Wang Chong while speaking.
In the Wang Family, Shen Hai and Meng Long weren’t the only guards. However, Wang Chong knew that the two of them had the highest standing and possessed a unique position in the family. The two of them had been loyal to the Wang Family and other than father and mother, no one else could command them around.
The reason why his mother sent Shen Hai and Meng Long to his own door was clearly to keep a watch on him so as to prevent any incident like the previous one from occurring.
If it was any other time, Wang Chong was willing to idle his time out at home until father came back. However, time waited for no one and the Sindhi monks would only stay for a maximum of fifteen more days.
If he didn’t manage to find them during this period of time and purchase the Wootz steel from them, Great Tang would find itself unable to lay its hands on such treasure forever.
“Guard Shen, Guard Meng!’
Wang Chong chuckled and called out their name. Even though the two guards his mother sent weren’t easy to deal with, Wang Chong was confident in convincing them:
“I know that you two are loyal and I won’t make things difficult for you both. If you all don’t hope for me to leave, I can remain inside. However, have you ever thought that my mother might be able to keep me in for a moment, but she is unable to lock me up for my entire life?”
“Sooner or later, I will still go out. If I were to cause trouble then, do you two think that it is completely unrelated to you?”
Wang Chong’s words caused the two loyal guards who were mentally prepared to reject every single excuse Wang Chong came up with to freeze.
The both of them stared at Wang Chong and their mouth opened several times, but not a single word came out.
Madam had tasked them to prevent Young Master Chong from getting out of the residence. The both of them thought that it would suffice as long as they did as they were told. However, hearing Wang Chong’s words, they realized that their thoughts were superficial.
Indeed, if Young Master Chong were to cause trouble after their Master returned, did this mean that they were free of blame? Weren’t they being irresponsible like that?
Others might have just shrugged Wang Chong’s words off, but Shen Hai and Meng Long were extremely loyal to the Wang Family. That’s precisely the reason why they felt unsettled by his words.
The more they thought about it, the more they realized it was possible for Wang Chong’s words to ring true. Their hearts started to beat nervously.
Seeing the faces of the two slowly turning bright red, he apologized to them in his mind. These two were the most loyal guards of the Wang Family and if possible, Wang Chong wanted to avoid such situations. However, to obtain Wootz steel and fight for an opportunity for the Great Tang, he had no choice but to do so.
“There’s no need for you two to worry, I am just saying it casually. As a descendant of the Wang Clan, the Wang Family is my home, so how could I possibly think of harming it?”
Wang Chong’s tone turned gentler and he used his words to dispel the worries of the two. Shen Hai and Meng Long heaved a long sigh of relief. Even the two of them were oblivious to the fact that a few mere words of Wang Chong were able to create a vast difference in their mood.
At the very start, they were determined to block out everything Wang Chong said. Unknowingly, they started to be roped into Wang Chong’s line of thoughts.
“Indeed, Young Master Chong is a descendant of the Wang Clan, so how could he possibly harm his own clan?” Even though the two of them didn’t say a word, they approved of Wang Chong’s words on the inside.
“I know that mother has sent the two of you over because of the trouble I had caused yesterday. However, as you all should know, the fault for the incident yesterday doesn’t lie on me. That Yao Feng had planned for my downfall and used Ma Zhou to frame me, claiming that I raped an innocent lady. Putting aside the fact I was punished by my parents, the incident caused the Wang Clan’s reputation to be sullied! Do you think that I can tolerate such an affair? Do you all think that a descendant of the Wang Clan should be fearful of them?”
Wang Chong said impassionately.
“Young Master Chong is right! If not for Madam’s orders, the both of us would also head over to teach him a lesson!”
“The Yao Clan went overboard this time. I knew that even though young master is playful, he hasn’t stooped to such levels.”
Shen Hai and Meng Long felt indignant as well.
The both of them had mistaken Wang Chong as well. They thought that Wang Chong really committed grievous crimes along with Ma Zhou and the rest, and that’s precisely the reason why they felt even more guilty now that the truth was out.
Wang Chong was both moved and gleeful. He knew that he was just a step off from convincing the both of them.
“Just one last push!”
Wang Chong clenched his fist tightly:
“Guard Shen and Guard Meng, once I have decided to do something, I would do it. Even if I was grounded then, I would still do it when the opportunity arises.”
“I don’t know whether you two have thought of it, but there’s actually another way other than keeping watch on me and preventing me from leaving the house. You both can follow me out as well. Since there’s something that I must do, you two might as well follow me to wherever I will be going.”
“This way, if you realize that what I am going to do is detrimental to the Wang Clan, you all can stop me in time. Wouldn’t this be better than hindering every action of mine?”
Shen Hai and Meng Long was stunned for a moment. The both of them stared at each other and for a moment, they couldn’t find a word to say. Initially, they thought that they should only keep a watch on Wang Chong and prevent him from causing trouble outside.
However, they suddenly realized that Wang Chong’s words made sense. They couldn’t find any words to object to it.
Just like what Wang Chong said, ‘guiding is superior to hindering’. Madam and Master could ground him for three days or even longer than that, but they had to let him out eventually.
At that time, what that would happen would still happen.
The other guards might be able to turn a blind eye to it, given how it had nothing to do with them. However, Shen Hai and Meng Long were different. They were loyal to the Wang Family and they were unwilling to see such a situation happening.
“Young Master Chong, we will not hinder you from leaving the residence. However, we will say it first. Regardless of where you go, we will follow behind you, even if you were to just go to the latrine.”
“Young Master Chong should know that we are uneducated people. If Young Master Chong were to stir trouble outside, bring problems to Master and Madam, please do not blame us for being merciless and getting physical on you then!”
After pondering for a moment, they came to a conclusion.
“Rest easy! My cultivation realm is unable to match up to you. If such a thing were to happen, you all know what to do!”
Wang Chong chuckled.
Even Shen Hai and Meng Long did not realize that their attitude had taken an 180-degree turn from before with just a few words from Wang Chong. In fact, they didn’t even find anything amiss about the situation.
This was something the two would have never thought possible to happen.
Bringing along the two powerful guards, Shen Hai and Meng Long, with him, they headed to the city west under the morning sun.
Not long after the three of them left, a guard of the Wang Residence rushed into the inner residence.
“Madam, Young Master Chong had gone out!”
Hearing those words, Madam Wang was taken aback. Her body trembled and she jolted upward. She quickly asked:
“What about Shen Hai and Meng Long? Why didn’t they stop him?”
Shen Hai and Meng Long were extremely loyal to the Wang Family and it was impossible for them to disobey her orders. That was also the reason why Madam Wang sent them to look after Wang Chong. With them there, even if Wang Chong were to sneak out, they would be able to pursue him and bring him back.
However, the words of the guards that followed made her even more astonished.
“Madam, they went out with Young Master Chong!”
The guard answered honestly.
Upon hearing the news, Madam Wang was so shocked that the teacup in her hands fell onto the floor. To her, this was even more astounding than Wang Chong sneaking out:
“How is this possible?!”
It didn’t take long for them to reach the White Agate Jewelry Shop. After speaking to the merchants from the Western Regions, he successfully tracked down the location of the two Sindhi monks and hurriedly galloped over to the location he was given.
At the bustling Xuanshui Street which was packed with carriages and people, Wang Chong finally spotted the two Sindhi monks. With only a brown cassock draped over them, their right shoulder was exposed, revealing their dark chest and arms. Contrary to Wang Chong’s expectations, the two Sindhi monks weren’t completely bald, there was still a layer of thin black hair remaining on their heads.
The two of them proceeded slowly ahead. Amidst the congested crowd, their existence wasn’t really conspicuous.
“I have finally found them!”
Looking at the two Sindhi monks outside the window, Wang Chong heaved a long sigh of relief. His heart lifted as though he had managed to found treasure. In this era, there weren’t many people who knew of the Sindhu yet.
However, Wang Chong knew that in another spacetime continuum, there was an even more prominent name to address them, ‘Indians’.
“Young Master Chong, are they the people whom you are looking for?”
In the carriage, Shen Hai and Meng Long also saw the two monks from the carriage’s window. They had followed Wang Chong out from the residence and along the way, they had been worried that Wang Chong may be going to meet those unseemly bad company of his and cause trouble for the Wang Family.
However, upon seeing that Wang Chong had circled the entire street just to search for these two Sindhi monks, the two of them heaved a long sigh of relief. Finally, they felt the grip on their heart loosened.
In place of their relief, their curiosity was sparked.
They wouldn’t have found it weird if Wang Chong was looking for what Ma Zhou, Li Zhou, Yao gongzi, Li gongzi or of that sort. Yet, two foreign monks… This was a little too bizarre.
This was the first time Shen Hai and Meng Long felt interested in what their young master had been doing outside.
“Heh! Don’t underestimate them!”
Wang Chong knew what the two was thinking and he chuckled. In Great Tang, monks were one of the most unremarkable bunch. However, Wang Chong knew that these two weren’t just any ordinary monks.
“Don’t judge them by their skin tone. In a few years, countless people in the capital will feel endless regret for losing the chance to be associated with them.”
Shen Hai and Meng Long stared at one another and the curiosity in their mind intensified.
Wang Chong simply chuckled, not explaining any further. On the streets, the two Sindhi monks were using their own method to sell the Wootz steel ores.
Wang Chong realized that the duo wasn’t just randomly grabbing passers-by to sell their goods. Rather, they aimed for those who were dressed extravagantly and looked wealthy.
“It is no wonder that the two were unable to sell out their goods.”
Wang Chong shook his head in disapproval.