The Human Emperor - Chapter 285: Bulk Purchase From the Royal Court!
Chapter 285: Bulk Purchase From the Royal Court!
After making the arrangements, Wang Chong went to find Big Uncle Wang Gen alone.
“Chong-er, Imperial Army Logistics Official Li Qingyou came to look for me, and he has expressed interest in purchasing your Wootz steel weapons!”
Upon seeing Wang Chong, Wang Gen immediately dove straight into the topic.
“What?!!” Hearing those words, a shocked expression appeared on Wang Chong’s face. His entire body froze for an instant before frenzied joy swept across him like a raging torrent, drowning his awareness.
Hearing that name, Wang Chong immediately realized that the matter he had been anticipating the most had finally happened…
A purchase from the Royal Court!
Even without the memories of his previous life, there was no way Wang Chong wouldn’t know the significance of this name. In Great Tang, Li Qingyou’s name was associated with a single thing—business.
All supplies involving the Imperial Army were personally handled by Logistics Official Li Qingyou.
Wang Chong had heard of this numerous times from the head of the Zhang Clan.
But there was another significance behind this name that only Wang Chong knew of.
This was the man who organized the greatest buyout of Wootz steel across the entire Central Plains in his previous life!
Even though that buyout failed eventually, the event left a deep mark in history.
According to Wang Chong’s plan, it should be around one or two years before this would happen, so he was caught off-guard by the sudden news.
Two days ago, he sent a message to the Zhang Clan and allowed them to increase their production of Wootz steel sword from just a handful to thirty in this month so as to boost its reputation within the Imperial Army.
The final goal was to attract the attention of the official who was in charge of buying all supplies for the Imperial Army, Li Qingyou.
Wang Chong was confident that as long as Li Qingyou were to witness the might of the Wootz steel sword for himself, he would surely be enticed. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have convinced the Royal Court to mass purchase Wootz steel sword in Wang Chong’s previous life.
It was just that Wang Chong hadn’t expected Li Qingyou to move so swiftly. That matter only happened two days ago, and he had already gotten into action and contacted Big Uncle Wang Gen.
“Hahaha, I truly didn’t expect this. This is really an unexpected surprise!”
Wang Chong clenched his fists tightly in excitement.
Wootz steel swords were extremely valuable, and they could easily rake in a huge profit. However, the sales would have to be carefully controlled to maintain such a profit margin. As the saying went, “rarity determines the value of an object”. Even though Wang Chong had sold a weapon to the Grand Marshal at 300,000 gold coins, that was a price unimaginable to the ordinary civilians.
To maintain such a profit margin, Wang Chong could only sell one of such swords per month, and it was unlikely that it would fetch such a price in the future.
Wang Chong could earn around three million each year from the sales of these swords, but no amount of money would be sufficient for him if he wanted to change the destiny of Great Tang, and time was clearly not on his side.
The quickest way for him to maximize his profit was selling straight to the Royal Court!
Not everyone had the financial ability to fork out 300,000 gold taels to buy a weapon like the Imperial Army’s Grand Marshal. However, the Royal Court didn’t face such a limitation.
In Wang Chong’s plans, the main seller he was looking at for his Hyderabad ores was the Royal Court!
He would have to grasp the timing well. Too early, and the Wootz steel sword might still be too obscure for the Royal Court to be willing to fork out a generous sum to purchase it.
However, after Wang Chong’s effort in building up the reputation of the Wootz steel over the past few months, the timing had finally ripened!
“Wang gongzi, pleased to meet you.”
Under Wang Gen’s lead, Wang Chong met the famous Logistics Official Li Qingyou in the Jade Tavern.
“Lord Li, you are too polite,” Wang Chong chuckled as he took a seat opposite to Li Qingyou.
Li Qingyou was a figure that was extremely hard to catch in Great Tang.
His scope of activities was mainly limited to the Royal Palace, and he maintained a low profile as well. Even though he did leave the Royal Palace at times to inspect and collect goods from the swordsmithing clans, he would leave as soon as his business was done.
Wang Chong had long heard of the other party’s name, but this was the first time he had met him in person.
“Lord Wang should have told you about the matter?” Li Qingyou seemed to be a candid person. Instead of starting with pleasantries, he dove straight into the topic when he spoke. “The Royal Court hopes to purchase a thousand Wootz steel swords from gongzi!”
“Since Lord Li is so candid, allow me to reply frankly as well. A thousand Wootz steel sword is impossible!” Wang Chong chuckled and waved his hands.
“Why? Are you unsatisfied with the price?” A glint flashed across Li Qingyou’s eyes. He seemed to be unsurprised by Wang Chong’s reaction. “Pardon my bluntness, but it’s impossible for the Royal Court to purchase it at the same price as gongzi usually sells them outside. 20,000 gold taels is already quite a high price for us.”
20,000 gold taels was an extremely low price compared to the current market condition outside. But this was how the Royal Court usually worked.
“Hahaha, Lord Li. You’re misunderstanding me,” Wang Chong chuckled. “It’s not that I’m unwilling to sell to the Royal Court, but that I am unable to do so.”
“Oh? Why is that?”
“That is because I only have a hundred ingots of Wootz steel in my inventory,” Wang Chong replied with a smile.
Wang Chong had only bought three hundred jun of Wootz steel from Arloja and Ablonodan, but Li Qingyou wanted a thousand weapons in total. He didn’t have sufficient material to meet Li Qingyou’s demand.
No matter how high Li Qingyou were to raise the price, this request was an impossible one.
But since Wang Chong had come to a meeting with Li Qingyou, there was no doubt that he had a purpose in mind.
“Pardon me, but Lord Li intends to purchase the swords to build an army equipped with Wootz steel right? However, is 1000 really sufficient?” Wang Chong asked with a smile.
In truth, Imperial Army Marshal Zhao Fengchen had mentioned to him the incredible aspects of organizing an army equipped with Wootz steel sword multiple times. Now, Li Qingyou was harboring the same thoughts as well.
It wasn’t too hard to see the potential of an army equipped with Wootz steel swords on the battlefield.
“This…” Li Qingyou was taken aback. He had only intended on buying a batch of weapon to give it a try. He hadn’t really thought through the details.
“Lord Li, if you wish to build an army equipped with Wootz steel swords, a thousand men won’t be sufficient. On top of that, 20,000 gold taels for each sword is indeed a little too low for me to accept. However, if Lord Li can pay me 8,000,000 gold taels in advance, I might be able to find a way to equip ten thousand of your men with Wootz steel weapons. In fact, I could even lower the price of it to just 18,000 gold taels each,” Wang Chong said.
Watching the negotiations by the side, a deep frown appeared on Wang Gen’s forehead. However, Li Qingyou’s eyes lit up instead. What that attracted him was the discounted price of the Wootz steel sword to 18,000 gold taels.
“Would 8,000,000 gold taels be sufficient?” Li Qingyou asked for confirmation.
Those were very casual words from him, but they resounded loudly in the Jade Tavern. It was so haughty that even Wang Chong couldn’t help but blink.
He sure is rich!, Wang Chong thought.
This was the difference between the a logistics official of the Royal Court and an average prestigious clan.
Eight million gold taels was a sum so huge that very few clans could fork it out.
And yet, to Li Qingyou, it seemed nothing more than pocket change.
However, this was to be expected. After all, Li Qingyou had the entire wealth of the Great Tang Royal Court behind him.
Once again, Wang Chong felt that his plan of working with the Royal Court was right.
Li Qingyou swiftly came to a deal with Wang Chong, and he made use of this chance to make Wang Chong affirm it by sealing it with a contract.
After all, words are empty.
As the logistics official, it seemed like Li Qingyou was well-accustomed to such practices.
“Chong-er, why did you agree to his deal? Isn’t that a huge loss to us?”
After leaving the Jade Tavern, Wang Gen finally couldn’t hold himself back anymore.
The current Wang Clan floated and sank as one. Even though the one making the loss was Wang Chong, Wang Gen didn’t think that he was completely unrelated to the matter.
“Big uncle, the other party has already come knocking on our door. Do you think that we can turn down the offer?” Wang Chong smiled.
“This…” Wang Gen was taken aback. If it was just Li Qingyou by himself, there would be no need for the Wang Clan to fear him. However, Wang Gen knew that the Sage Emperor was standing behind Li Qingyou.
This was also the main reason why Wang Gen remained silent throughout the entire negotiation in the tavern.
“Big uncle, don’t worry. This isn’t a losing deal to us!” Wang Chong consoled with a smile.
He knew what his big uncle was frustrated with. The main reason why Li Qingyou looked for Wang Gen instead of him or Li Lin straight was to suppress Wang Chong and gain leverage over the negotiation.
And this was exactly the reason why Wang Gen felt frustrated upon seeing the formation of the deal.
However, Wang Chong really didn’t think too much of it.
“Five years! Who knows what will happen within five years?” Wang Chong sighed beneath his breath.
Probably even Li Qingyou couldn’t understand the true nature of the deal he had just made.
Too many things could happen within five years.
If that catastrophe didn’t strike within the next five years, and Wang Chong was still living then, he could consider completing the deal with Li Qingyou…
Shaking his head, Wang Chong quickly came to.
After seeing Big Uncle Wang Gen off, Wang Chong looked at the drifting clouds in the sky with a head full of thoughts.
Of the 8,000,000 gold taels, around three million to five million will be expended on the fortress in Jiannan’s Lion Rock Hill. As for the rest, I’ll use it to fulfill the next step of my plan.
The expenditure on the Lion Rock Hill was likely to be an endless abyss. Never had there been a precedent of a private fortress being built before Wang Chong. The barriers, walls, storage facilities… There were simply too many requirements in the construction of a fortress for a private party to build one.
However, the fortress in the Lion Rock Hill was currently at the top of Wang Chong’s priority list. No matter how much money he had to pump into that endless abyss, he was determined to push through with it.
This was also the reason why Wang Chong asked for an 8,000,000 prepayment from the Imperial Army Logistics Official.
If even five million wasn’t enough, he was willing to pump more into it.
But with such immense investment, the fortress should be up to par to Wang Chong’s expectations.
However, with the sealing of this deal, there was something else he would have to settle as soon as possible.