The Human Emperor - Chapter 51: Charax Spasinu Merchant, Mosaide
“Wang Chong, Wang Chong… You’re finally here! I would be at a loss if you didn’t arrive soon!”
The moment Wang Chong stepped into the Bluebottle Pavilion, Wei Hao immediately rushed out, drenched in sweat.
Wang Chong frowned. He stared at Wei Hao with a bizarre look.
Wei Hao was a straightforward person, and there was rarely anything he could worry him. This was the first time that he had seen him get so anxious.
“Something happened! Something big has happened! The ones who want to ruin your business came!”
Panicking, Wei Hao stuttered.
“Calm down, speak slowly. Even if the sky falls, I’ll be there to shoulder it! What do you mean by ruin my business?”
Wang Chong said as he did a calming gesture.
Perhaps it was due to Wang Chong’s tranquil attitude, Wei Hao gradually calmed down. Then, he recounted the matter to Wang Chong. It turns out that yesterday evening, when Wei Hao was about to return, a Charax Spasinu merchant named Mosaide suddenly arrived.
That fellow kept speaking inarticulate Chinese. From the very start, he kept speaking all kinds of praises for the swords in the Central Plains, something about how it was unthinkable, and how the swords were like compared to the Western Regions.
Wei Hao was delighted of the thought that he had finally met someone he could leech off. However, in the blink of an eye, the other party suddenly took out a saber and requested to challenge Wang Chong.
Only then did Wei Hao realize that ‘Bastard, that fellow is here to ruin the business!’.
Given Wei Hao’s nature, he immediately demanded the other party to leave. Yet, at that moment, the fellow started to feign that he was unable to understand what Wei Hao was speaking, saying words like ‘My Chinese is not good, I don’t understand what you are saying!’.
All in all, he stubbornly sat in the Bluebottle Pavilion, resolute to face-off against the sword that Wang Chong had hung on the pavilion. Wei Hao had argued with him for a long time, and the ruckus they had caused had attracted the attention of quite a few people. In fact, the business of Bluebottle Pavilion had been impacted as well.
Wei Hao wanted to throw him out, but this fellow seemed to be a weapon trader. In addition to the fact, he was loaded with money. As long as he didn’t break the rules, Wei Hao wasn’t in a good position to evict him.
“Wang Chong, if you were any later, I might have collapsed from the pressure! The fellow kept prattling on how he wanted to hang his weapon on the Bluebottle Pavilion to display it before everyone else, and that since you were able to do so, why can’t he do the same? Then, the argument started to escalate to the relationship between Central Plains and Charax Spasinu! I really can’t deal with him.”
Wei Hao spoke everything which he had bore in his stomach out. He thought that selling Wang Chong’s sword would be simple, and that it would just involve passing over the product and taking the other party’s money. He didn’t expect for it to get so complicated.
“Where’s that Charax Spasinu merchant?”
Wang Chong asked.
“He’s inside. I’ve stalled him for now, saying that we’ll chat after you arrive.”
The moment Wang Chong appeared, Wei Hao seemed to have found his pillar of support and calmed down.
“Let’s go, bring me to him!”
Wang Chong had someone prepare a room for the two Sinhi monks before following behind Wei Hao.
In one of the rooms inside the Bluebottle Pavilion, Wang Chong finally met with the Charax Spasinu merchant that Wei Hao spoke of.
“You are Mosaide?”
Wang Chong stared at the bearded man before him.
“You’re the owner of the sword?”
Mosaide stared at Wang Chong in shock. He didn’t expect the owner of the sword to be just a teenager.
However, upon seeing Wang Chong nod his head in response to his question, he dumped all of his thoughts to the back of his head. His passion for swords had allowed him to disregard everything else. Age or whatsoever weren’t in his list of concerns.
“Great! I like your sword a lot. You must be an incredible swordmaster! This is a top-notch saber from Charax Spasinu, as well as a sword that I value greatly. I want to face-off with you!”
Mosaide stood up from his rattan chair with a passionate expression.
“Didn’t I say it already? It’s not allowed!”
Wei Hao lashed out. Why wouldn’t this fellow listen to anything he said? If not for Chamberlain of Dependencies’s order to treat all foreign guests and merchants with respect, and one was strictly forbidden from laying their hands on them, he would have thrown him out long ago.
Wang Chong replied.
That simple word of his seemed to contain endless magical strength. The entire room suddenly turned completely silent and still.
Wei Hao stared at Wang Chong in shock with his mouth was wide opened, unable to believe his ears.
The reason why he had rushed down to find Wang Chong and stalled for time was so that Wang Chong could reject his offer. Otherwise, he could have just accepted his request yesterday.
However, despite all of the efforts he had put into rejecting the other party, Wang Chong immediately accepted the other party’s request without the slightest bit of hesitation.
Mosaide was also surprised.
He had been to the other weapon shops, and when he first entered, the other party would be extremely passionate. However, when he brought up such a request, they would all reject him and urge him out of their shops.
Before this, the gongzi (Wei Hao) had tried all means to reject his request. Mosaide had also prepared a long speech to convince the swordsmith to cross blows with him. Yet, despite it, the other party accepted his request readily.
This caused Mosaide to be stunned.
“Wang Chong, you’re insane!”
Wei Hao finally recovered from his shock, and disregarding Mosaide’s presence, he grabbed Wang Chong’s arm and dragged him to the room beside.
“That fellow is obviously here to ruin your business. You know that he’s up to no good, so why did you agree to his request?”
Wei Hao said flustered in a suppressed voice.
Wang Chong’s decision caught him off-guard. As the situation was too far off from what he had expected initially, he was unable to accept it all of a sudden.
Wang Chong smiled as he waved his hand, gesturing for Wei Hao to calm down.
Honestly speaking, Wang Chong had been aiming for the Imperial Army from the very start, and the merchants from the Western Regions weren’t within his consideration.
However, Mosaide’s appearance was an opportunity to Wang Chong. As long as he made full use of it, it would be nothing but beneficial to him.
“That Mosaide doesn’t have any ill intentions! Contrary to your expectations, he isn’t here to ruin my business.”
Wang Chong explained with a smile.
Wei Hao may not know much about Mosaide, but Wang Chong, who possessed decades of memories behind him, knew clearly that Mosaide’s actions bore no ill intentions.
This could mainly be attributed to the different habits and culture between Charax Spasinu, Abbasid Caliphate and Central Plains.
In Charax Spasinu and Abbasid Caliphate, most people had a habit that when purchasing swords, they would test their own sword against the other.
If the other party’s sword was of higher quality than theirs, such that it was able to shatter their own sword, they would happily buy the better sword. But if it was the opposite, they would ignore it.
This was the usual custom in Charax Spasinu and Abbasid Caliphate, and such actions were silently approved by the entire industry.
Through such actions, the poor quality swords were eliminated. As such, all of the swords remaining were mainly high quality ones, and the difference in quality wasn’t too great.
Thus, the weapon industry in the Charax Spasinu and Abbasid Caliphate kept improving, and the quality of weapons produced in the Western Regions was continuously being brought to greater heights, resulting in the prosperity of the industry.
This kind of top tier swords was often able to receive a price worthy of its quality. Along with such a custom, the social standing of the master swordsmiths was heightened and they were respected figures in the west.
With the passing of time, the prosperity of the weapon industry in the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu far exceeded that of the Central Plains.
And everyone in the two countries benefitted from such a custom.
Based on Wang Chong’s memory, a few years later, the weapon traders from these two countries would start to venture into the Central Plains, bringing such a custom along with them here.
The weapons of the east and west would clash together; the forging techniques and aesthetics would clash together; the customs and behaviors would clash together…
Based on Wang Chong’s recollection, it was after the weapon merchants of the Central Plains started to accept such a custom that the price in the Central Plains started to soar rapidly.
Only with competition will there be prosperity!
When the Central Plains started to accept and get used to competition, the weapon industry in the Central Plains also began to improve by leaps and bounds, and ushered in an era of prosperity for weapons.
When master swordsmiths started to spend more effort and time on their weapons, when master swordsmiths started to have higher expectations of the weapon they created… A qualitative change in the weapon industry of the Central Plains was induced.
When the high-quality weapons created by the blacksmiths were able to be sold for even higher prices, and they had seen the rewards of their efforts for themselves, they would go ahead and forge more top-notch weapons.
This worked in a virtuous cycle, and everyone within the process benefitted.
Knowing the future of the Central Plains, Wang Chong was not resistant to the idea of the Charax Spasinu merchant. On the contrary, he intended to make full use of the matter, and it was highly possible that it may prove to be extremely beneficial to his plan.
“Even so, you shouldn’t have agreed to that request!”
Even after hearing Wang Chong explain the sales custom in Charax Spasinu, Wei Hao’s expression didn’t calm down in the least. His face was still marked with worry:
“You don’t know how sharp those weapons from the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu are. Those swords are capable of cutting through floating hair. A Western Region trader had once gifted my father a scimitar, and it easily broke the other sword which my father had treasured for numerous years. I’ve seen it for myself. It was because I know how incredible those fellows are that I kept rejecting his request!”
Wei Hao was still extremely worried. In the Central Plains, the blades of the Western Region still weren’t famous yet. However, due to his father, Duke of Wei, Wei Hao understood how powerful the weapons of the Charax Spasinu and Abbasid Caliphate were.
“You are worried that I would lose to him?”
Wang Chong chuckled.
Wei Hao was at a loss for words.
“Rest assured, I know how powerful the sword I crafted is. I won’t lose to him.”
Wang Chong smiled.
Wang Chong knew of how powerful the swords from the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu were. He had seen many of them in his previous life. However, Wang Chong was even more confident in his own weapons.
In this era, it was impossible for a weapon that was stronger than one forged from Wootz steel to exist.
After placating Wei Hao, Wang Chong walked back into Mosaide’s room.
“Master! You’ve agreed to it!”
After Wang Chong walked in, Mosaide eyes immediately lit up as he said:
“Don’t worry, I understand the difference in the rules between the Central Plains and Charax Spasinu. If your weapon was damaged in the midst of doing so, I will compensate you. On the other hand, it would be even better if you can break my saber. ——If so, I am willing to purchase your weapon at a much higher price!”
“There is no need for compensation. As for buying my weapon… We’ll talk about it later!”
Wang Chong chuckled. 2400 gold taels was the price of the third day. He hadn’t had the opportunity to change the price reflected on the banner today. If the Charax Spasinu merchant thought that he could buy Wang Chong’s sword at that price, he was sorely mistaken.
Wang Chong wasn’t prepared to sell the very first true Wootz steel sword out so ‘cheaply’!
It would be a big loss on his side!
“Can you allow me to see that saber of yours?”
After hearing Wei Hao’s words, Wang Chong was suddenly interested in the top-notch Charax Spasinu saber in Mosaide’s hands.
Chamberlain of Dependencies:
He is in charge of dealing with diplomacy; handling guests at the capital.
Technically, based on what I know, those from Charax Spasinu could be known as ‘Persian’, but I’m not too sure of the fact, so I’ll just stick with ‘people for Charax Spasinu etc’ for now.