The Human Emperor - Chapter 32: Wang Chong’s Self Confidence
Actually, the two had wanted to say 600 gold taels. The upper echelons of the Zhang Clan had already looked into the matter and verified that the Hyderabad ore was a top-quality metal ore that didn’t require much refining before it could be used for forging.
A weapon forged with such high-quality ore using the Zhang Clan’s forging method with the Zhang Clan’s insignia on it, it would definitely be able to sell for a high price.
An average steel blade could be sold for around a few dozen silver taels. On the other hand, the prices of famous treasure blades of the distinguished families could reach up to a dozen or even several dozens of gold taels.
This was a price which even rich merchants found it hard to bear.
However, the capital’s Zhang Clan was different. They had the confidence to sell a sword made of the Hyderabad ore for 600 to 700 gold taels. If the quality turned out to be superb, the price might even reach a thousand gold taels.
Only the capital’s Zhang Clan was capable of crafting a sword that could be sold for a thousand gold taels.
This was also why the two were confident.
In this deal, the Zhang Clan should be able to make a profit of 30000 to 50000 gold taels. More importantly, if they were to create a bunch of top-tier weapons, the reputation of the Zhang Clan would be bolstered.
This was also the reason why despite being respected elders of the Zhang Clan, they worked so diligently so as to make sure that this deal goes through.
“Hmph, then do you know how much this Hyderabad ore is being sold for?”
Wang Chong chuckled. These two fellows weren’t being truthful.
They had opened their mouth to speak, only to close it again. For a moment, they froze.
They had only known that the Hyderabad ore had been bought out by Wang Chong. Other than that, they didn’t really ask much about the details. After all, the other party had nothing to sell to them, so why would they ask about its price?
Wang Chong’s words had stumped them.
“This… The quality of the ore is top-notch and doesn’t require too much searing and beating to prepare it. So, it is likely that the price would be much more expensive than usual. Furthermore, the two Sindhi monks had shipped the ores here from their homeland, that would make the price even more expensive. Even so, at most, it should be only worth a hundred gold taels.”
The two of them said calmly.
A blade of superior quality from a renowned blacksmith was worth around a hundred gold taels. In the Central Plains, an average family of six didn’t spend that much money in an entire year.
The Hyderabad ores were of superior quality and the duo had given the ore quite a high evaluation. In Zhang Jian and Zhang Cong’s opinion, no matter how expensive the Hyderabad ores were, it shouldn’t exceed this price.
Hearing those words, Wang Chong laughed. Clearly, even though the Zhang Clan had known that the Hyderabad ores were extraordinary, they were unable to comprehend its full value.
At this point, Wang Chong finally understood why even though the capital’s Zhang Clan had approached the two Sindhi monks, only a small bit of Wootz steel was left in the Central Plains.
One must know that the Hyderabad ore had just come into existence then. It was a hard-to-come-by opportunity and the Zhang Clan had passed the opportunity by.
“I won’t hide the fact from you two!”
Wang Chong lifted up his hands and pointed out three fingers:
“The price that the two Sindhi monks had come up with was three times more than your conjecture. The price of a jun of Hyderabad ore is 300 gold taels!”
The two of them widened their eyes in shock. They were truly astonished. Neither of them had even imagined the possibility of the Hyderabad ore being so expensive. This was way beyond the price of all ores in the Central Plains.
“…I’ll just tell you frankly, I have absolutely no intentions of selling the contract of the Hyderabad ores to you. The thousand gold taels that you had offered me means nothing to me. As long as I sell a single weapon made of Hyderabad ore, I will be able to easily earn ten thousand gold taels. After selling a few weapons, I will be able to raise 90000 gold taels with ease!”
Wang Chong stared down at them from the stairs with a smug expression.
The two of them exclaimed in shock.
“Wang gongzi, surely you are joking? There isn’t a single ore in the Central Plains that is sold for 300 gold taels per jun! No one would buy the ores at such a price! If what you said is true, then we have to rethink the matter.”
“Also, a weapon being sold for ten thousand gold taels? Wang gongzi, we respect your grandfather! You might think that such words are amusing and interesting, but we do not share your thoughts. That is not a single person in the Central Plains who can sell it at such a price. ——Your joke isn’t hilarious at all.”
The two of them had a grim expression. They had come to negotiate with Wang Chong with sincerity, but Wang Chong’s attitude made them feel like they were being toyed with and disrespected.
“I am not joking!”
Wang Chong said impassively. He had finally understood why the capital’s Zhang Clan did not seize such a good opportunity even though it was right before them. Even if he didn’t appear, the Zhang Clan would not have managed to strike this deal.
He was the only one who could align the destiny between Great Tang and Wootz steel.
“Looks like you hadn’t done your homework before coming. The Hyderabad ores were being sold at 300 gold taels per jun and the matter wasn’t up to negotiations at all. I don’t know whether it is a price acceptable to you, but I can take it. ——On the other hand, if you are worried over whether I can gather 90000 gold taels or not, your worry is needless. I will be able to gather the funds required soon.”
“If you hope to work with me, I would recommend that you first think over the matter before coming to look for me!”
Wang Chong said. This wasn’t arrogance, but confidence in his capabilities.
The Zhang Clan didn’t know what kind of changes would occur in the weapon industry along with the onset of war. The Great Tang had been way too peaceful, it hadn’t suffered a setback for too long a time.
A long period of peace, along with a massive army, made the attitudes of the dwellers of the Central Plains towards the smithing industry completely different from the Sindhis and Arabs.
In the Central Plains, it was sufficient as long as the weapon was of decent quality and that it wouldn’t hinder a soldier’s fighting. Even a distinguished smithing clan like the Zhang Clan did not possess the attitude of pursuing utmost perfection in every single one of their work.
Of the treasured weapons that they had made, they were willing to accept it as long as it was of acceptable quality. Thus, the prices of weapons in the Central Plains hadn’t been too expensive.
On the other hand, the Sindhis and, going further west, the Arabs, due to their limited population and frequent wars, they highly valued the quality of their weapons.
The smithing of a good weapon took a significantly more time and effort in Sindhu and the other countries compared to the Central Plains.
As such, the weapons in Sindhu and Abbasid Caliphate were much more expensive than in the Central Plains and thus, the price of ores rose along with it as well, making the commodity more expensive than it was in the Central Plains.
Rationally speaking, the smithing standards of the countries in the Western Regions was in no way superior to that of the Central Plains. However, just by their dedication to their occupation as craftsmen, the weapons forged in the Western Regions far surpassed the quality of the Central Plains.
Even though the current level of standards of both parties didn’t differ by much at this current moment, as time passed, the gap would only grow bigger.
If Great Tang wanted to catch up with them, it had to first lose a series of war before it would start valuing the smithing industry once more.
At that moment, those truly high-quality weapons made by master blacksmiths through dedicating their time, effort, blood, sweat and tears into it would showcase their true value.
The weapon industry in the Central Plains would then go through an overwhelming change.
It was impossible for the Zhang Clan to know that the change would occur in just a few years’ time.
However, Wang Chong had cut a step ahead of them. To him, no matter where he looked at it from, the deal on the Hyderabad ores was worth its price.
“Wang gongzi, since you aren’t willing to sell, we’ll drop the matter. We will look for you again in a month’s time. Of course, by then, it might be more appropriate for us to look for the two Sindhi monks!”
The two men were furious. Clearly, they did not take Wang Chong’s words seriously. No matter what, it sounded like excuses to them.
As an elder of the distinguished Zhang Clan, they felt that they had already offered the best deal in their politest attitude. Wang Chong’s ‘fooling around’ made the two of them extremely displeased.
“Farewell, Wang gongzi!”
Then, they turned around to leave.
“Hehe, I won’t be sending you off!”
Wang Chong looked at the silhouette of the two and smiled faintly. Even without the Zhang Clan, he could search for other smithing experts to assist him. The capital’s Zhang Clan found the Hyderabad ore too expensive and thought that Wang Chong was haggling insincerely with them.
A month later, when he finally forged the Wootz steel weapons from the Hyderabad ores, the Zhang Clan would know that he wasn’t lying at all.
When they know the true value of the Hyderabad ore, they would be coming over to beg him. But by then, the price wouldn’t be as it was.
After all, the Zhang Clan wasn’t the only prominent smithing clan in Great Tang.
Wang Chong chuckled and went back into the residence.
“That lad truly went too far! Doesn’t he know that we’re helping him? Let’s see how he can come up with 90000 gold taels in a month! The Court of Judicial Review isn’t a joke!”
“Selling a weapon for ten thousand gold taels? What a joke, is he mistaking gold for silver? What kind of weapon could reach such a price?”
While walking, the both of them complained furiously.
They had come to negotiate with him earnestly, but they didn’t expect that Wang Chong would be so ‘arrogant’, treating them with no respect whatsoever.
“Let’s go back and report the matter to our clan head. I would like to see how he would earn ten thousand gold taels from smithing weapons. ——In fact, let’s go contact the Sindhi monks straight in a month’s time.”
As they spoke, they got onto their carriage and returned back to the Zhang Clan.
The matter with Hyderabad ore wasn’t something that could be done on a whim. Wei Hao still needed time to look for experienced blacksmiths for Wang Chong.
Wang Chong decided to devote all of his efforts into his martial arts during this interval.
If he didn’t recall wrongly, the royal court was currently discussing the establishment of the Three Great Training Camps and in at most three months, the Three Great Training Camps would be officially established.
Wang Chong wanted to join the Kunwu Training Camp, but just determination itself wasn’t enough. More than that, he needed abilities that surpassed the others. After all, Kunwu Training Camp wasn’t somewhere just anyone could enter.
Besides, Yao Feng had suffered greatly in Wang Chong’s hands in the Vast Crane Pavilion, and Wang Chong did not believe that he was a person who would simply take it lying.
Regardless of what, he needed to possess strength surpassing that of others to protect himself.
“This Body Tempering Pill will be the key to whether I will be able to enter the Kunwu Training Camp or not.”
Wang Chong pinched the heavy Body Tempering Pill with his thumb and forefinger. Then, he lifted his head, opened his mouth and placed the Body Tempering Pill into it.