The Human Emperor - Chapter 24: Eight Gods Pavilion
“Don’t be too happy yet. Our little uncle is at Heavenly Dragon Mountain, but I am unable to handle him. Currently, he is plagued with military affairs, but you have to be prepared to deal with him.”
Wang Zhu Yan said.
Wang Chong felt a headache. This was the problem when one’s clan gets too large and prosperous. The moment something happened, everyone would come knocking to demand an explanation.
“I will find a way myself.”
Wang Chong said as he lamented how troublesome the matter was.
His image as a profligate scion was etched too deeply into the minds of others. Even though Wang Chong did it all for the family, his little uncle wouldn’t know it. Unlike his Wang Zhu Yan, he didn’t have unreserved trust for him!
However, it was good enough for him to drag out the matter. As long as the matter dragged on for long enough for the truth to be revealed, he would be alright.
Wang Zhu Hong nodded her head and asked no further.
“Right, why did you come out from the Court of Judicial Review with those foreign monks?”
Wang Zhu Hong suddenly thought of something and stared at Wang Chong in alarm:
“It can’t be that you got into trouble at home again?”
“Of course not, there isn’t such a thing!”
Hearing Wang Zhu Hong speaking of this matter, Wang Chong placed his hands behind his head and leaned against the walls of the carriage, relaxing his entire body. In the first place, he had intended to look for his cousin for this matter. It was better now that she was asking about it herself.
“If not, why would you bring them to the Court of Judicial Review?”
Wang Zhu Hong couldn’t help but find something amiss with the matter. Her words gradually grew sharper and sharper.
The Court of Judicial Review was a place where people lodged their complaints and criminals were imprisoned. Why would anyone come to such a place for no reason? Could it be that this fellow’s old ways were acting up again? Had he gotten himself into more trouble even though the matter with the Yao Clan wasn’t settled yet?
At this point, Wang Zhu Yan’s gaze was filled with so much hostility that it felt as though she was staring at a nemesis.
“This… Actually, it is nothing much. I just owe them a bit of money.”
Wang Chong chuckled.
“You really just owe them a bit of money?”
Wang Zhu Hong was doubtful of his words.
Wang Chong answered seriously.
Hearing that he only owed them money, Wang Zhu Hong heaved a long sigh of relief. “How much do you owe them? Ten taels? Or twenty taels?”
Halfway through her words, she reached into her sleeves to take out a few silver ingots.
“This… I’m afraid that it isn’t enough.”
Wang Chong was a little embarrassed.
“How much is it? It can’t be that you owe the other party one gold tael?”
Wang Zhu Hong was taken aback. However, she still pried open her seat and took out a golden sheet. Wang Zhu Yan’s father was the eldest son of the Wang Clan, so compared to Wang Chong’s father, Wang Yan, he was slightly more lax with money.
Wang Chong shook his head again.
“It can’t be that you owe the other party ten gold taels?”
“Wang Chong! Don’t tell me that you owe the other party a thousand gold taels!”
After which, Wang Zhu Yan gritted her teeth and her expression was completely unsettled. A thousand gold taels was sufficient to send the Wang Clan into poverty. Even if they were to sell off the properties of the Wang Clan, they couldn’t fork out such a sum for him.
“That’s not it! It’s 90000 gold taels!”
Wang Chong shook his head and stretched out his hands, gesturing to show that it was a huge sum.
Wang Zhu Hong’s body trembled vigorously. Shocked by the sum Wang Chong spoke of, her face turned pale. Even when she heard that Wang Chong had got into deep trouble and was reported to the emperor by Old Master Yao, she only felt slightly displeased and angry. However, upon hearing that Wang Chong owed another person 90000 gold taels, she lost her composure!
Would they be able to fork out such a sum if they were to sell every single property of the Wang Clan?
It wouldn’t even reach ten thousand gold taels!
“Haha, Second Sister, I am just fooling you! Look at your expression, how can I owe someone else so much money?”
Seeing Wang Zhu Yan’s cold expression and sensing that she was on the verge of cursing him, Wang Chong suddenly stood up and chuckled.
“You are just joking?”
Wang Zhu Hong was slightly stunned. “That is to say, you don’t owe the other party so much money?”
“Of course not.”
Wang Chong waved his hands and chuckled.
“You brat! You better not! Or else, I will slaughter you!”
Wang Zhu Yan threatened him angrily. But at the same time, she felt the tension gripping her heart being released.
This fellow had truly given her the scare of her life! She thought that he had owed another person so much money!
“However, there is a matter which I really need Second Sister’s help on. That two foreign monks want to refine some metal ore, but being on a foreign land, they don’t have any connections. I feel that it is a profitable business, so I offered them my help. Second Sister, you are well-connected in the capital, so can you introduce some master blacksmiths to me?”
Wang Chong grinned.
Blacksmiths are a unique occupation in this world. They are able to enchant weapons through inscriptions to grant its wielder strength, speed, and agility.
That’s why master blacksmiths possess exceptional standing in the society. The average people would be unable to employ their services. Thus, Wang Chong could only entrust this task to his cousin, Wang Zhu Yan. However, there were some parts of it that he couldn’t explain to his cousin.
“You brought the two foreign monks to the Court of Judicial Review for this matter?”
Wang Zhu Yan’s eyes widened.
“What else could I be up to?”
Wang Chong shot back with a question of his own.
“If it is just this, then there’s no problem. Your Second Sister does have some connections for this matter.”
Wang Zhu Yan paused for a moment and stared at Wang Chong in amazement:
“You brat, to think that you would be able to strike a connection with these foreign monks just by loitering outside all day long!”
She wasn’t resistant to the idea of Wang Chong trying to conduct business. At the very least, there was a clear improvement in the attitude of this lad.
“Hehe. Second Sister, I will be depending on you then! Alright, I shall not interrupt you any further!”
Smiling, Wang Chong opened the doors of the carriage and leaped out of the carriage.
“You brat! You better show some improvement and stop causing trouble!”
From afar, his cousin Wang Zhu Yan’s voice sounded from the carriage.
“I got it!”
With his back facing the carriage, Wang Chong waved.
Only when his cousin’s carriage disappeared into the distance did Wang Chong retract his gaze. Kachacha, he stretched his neck and a bright gleam appeared in his eyes.
“Looks like I have to be careful on this matter! Cousin Zhu Yan tends to be gutsy, but even she was shocked speechless by my debt. If I were to tell her that it was real and I had even filed the contract in the Court of Judicial Review such that I can’t renege on the deal, wouldn’t she kill me?”
Wang Chong thought.
90000 gold taels. Wang Chong had intended to tell it to his cousin, but it was fortunate that he changed his words halfway through after sensing something amiss with the situation.
Otherwise, he would be in deep trouble once more.
After stretching his body for a little, Wang Chong turned and moved quickly to the carriage which was sitting below a lush large chinese scholar tree.
The doors of the carriage opened and two familiar faces appeared from within. They were Shen Hai and Meng Long. Wang Zhu Hong had told the two clearly to return to the residence first, but from the looks of it, not only did the two not return to the residence, they even followed behind her carriage secretly.
Wang Chong nodded his head, seemingly not surprised by the appearance of the two.
“Let’s go, to Eight Gods Pavilion!”
After which, Wang Chong leaped onto the carriage. Back then, in his cousin’s carriage, he suddenly had an epiphany.
Wang Chong knew where he could gather the 90000 gold taels!
The whip cracked and the carriage turned at the corner. It was a path different from the one Wang Zhu Hong took before, and the road led straight to the Eight Gods Pavilion.
The Eight Gods Pavilion was radiant and magnificent; its grandness was something the Vast Crane Pavilion could not compare up to!
To the normal civilians, it was an existence that they could only look on in admiration.
The reason was simple. That was because the Eight Gods Pavilion was not open to the public.
In the Great Tang, only the sons of distinguished families could enter. It was the place where the profligate scions of the capital fooled about and enjoyed themselves.
It was said that even the princes and princesses of royalty sometimes appeared here as well.
In the Eight Gods Pavilion, there was a distinct and strict hierarchy, along with many different rules. Even though they were all teenagers and youngsters, they were segregated according to their birth, forming many different ‘small social circles’.
The person from a circle could possibly look at another person from another circle command him arrogantly around. Influenced by the previous world Wang Chong came from, he did not like this aspect of it.
That’s why in his previous life, after going there a few times, Wang Chong had never gone there ever again. He didn’t want to make friends with such people.
The reason why Wang Chong ended up hanging out with Ma Zhou and the rest was the result of this as well.
However, this time, the current situation warranted for it. 90000 gold taels wasn’t a small sum and if Wang Chong wanted to raise the funds to obtain the right of distribution for the Hyderabad ores, there were no better targets than the young masters and princesses of the Eight Gods Pavilion.
“Young Master Chong, we’re here!”
Just when his thoughts were slightly wandering, he suddenly heard Shen Hai’s voice by his ear.
Wang Chong’s mind jolted and he returned back to his senses. Unknowingly, the carriage had stopped.
“Wait here for me, I will be going in!”
Wang Chong pushed open the door and as soon as he stepped out of the carriage, a loud ruckus gushed over him as though a tsunami.
“Eight Gods Pavilion!”
Wang Chong lifted his head and saw a towering mountain-like reddish-purple infrastructure. Actually, rather than an infrastructure, it was a series of buildings surrounding a giant courtyard.
The patios in the courtyard had arched layered roofs and looked extremely grand.
This was the Eight Gods Pavilion!
Wang Chong’s gaze swept across his surroundings and he saw hundreds of luxurious carriages outside the Eight Gods Pavilion. These carriages were intricately designed and they were lined up one after another in a neat formation, the sight of which left one overwhelmed.
Wang Chong knew well that every single carriage here belonged to a distinguished family of the Great Tang Empire.
This wasn’t the first time he was seeing these carriages, but the feeling he felt from them this time was extremely different.
“…These are all money!”
Wang Chong laughed heartily as he walked forward.
Before he had even approached the Eight Gods Pavilion, he could hear ruckus leaking out from its interiors. If one were to pay closer attention, one could discern many different sounds from it; bellowing, ordering for alcohol, fighting hounds, birds, cursing… The entire place was truly bustling.
Wang Chong flashed his token and walked straight through the entrance, by the corridors, up the stairs, all the way until he reached the third floor.
Wang Chong’s footsteps were fast and he didn’t attract anyone’s attention.
Wang Chong chuckled. The number of heads he could see with a single glance was amazing. Many exquisite round tables were scattered all over the third floor, and many different people filled the seats around the round tables.
This was the place where scions chatted, drank and played.
Many people were gathered here to chat about trifling matters and about females, enjoying themselves much in the process.
“That lad, Youngster Wei, should be here!”
Wang Chong smiled. Following the gazes of the crowd, he looked toward the southeast corner of the third floor. Over there, a large crowd was gathered and their loud cheerings reached even the heavens.
Wang Chong squeezed through the crowd toward the southeast of the third floor and saw a fence that was circled in a way to form a fighting ring.
On the ring, two teenage silk-robed youngsters were currently crossing blows intensely in the ‘ring’. One of them was a round-faced youngster who was around Wang Chong’s age.
The other combatant was slightly older, around sixteen or seventeen. His martial arts was also clearly at a higher level than his opponent. He was able to send the other youngster flying with every move of his, and the crowd awarded with generously with their applause every time he did so.
On the other hand, even though the round-faced youngster could not match up to him in terms of fighting prowess, he was extremely brave and resilient. Despite being sent flying time and time again, he still continued to charge at the other party.
“This fellow really hasn’t changed at all!”
Wang Chong looked at the round-faced youngster and laughed on the inside. The chubby round-faced youngster who was being teased by his opponent and sent flying back again and again was the person he was looking for, Wei Hao, also known as Youngster Wei.
His real name is Wei Hao, whereas ‘Youngster’ was his nickname.
“…If I didn’t appear you, you would probably have to munch on six months worth of white radish.”
Wang Chong looked at Youngster Wei and scoffed within.
Just in case you don’t know, the whip actually doesn’t hit the horse. It is the cracking of the whip that surprises the horse and gets it to move.
Note 1: I realized that there is a Hyderabad in both India and Pakistan. The Hyderabad here refers to the one in India.