The Human Emperor - Chapter 53: The Appearance of the Imperial Army!
“Relay my command, fetch the best sword in the clan and deliver it to the Bluebottle Pavilion. Let everyone witness the caliber of the best sword!”
Hearing the news, the Cheng Clan Elder Cheng Youqing passed down the order immediately.
“But elder, it’s 1200 gold taels…”
The stakes involved in the duel was extremely high. A member of the Cheng Clan tried to warn him, but he was interrupted before he could finish his words.
“Hmph, do you think that we’ll lose?”
Cheng Youqing glared at him in displeasure.
“I dare not to!”
The Cheng Clan member immediately lowered his head in fright.
“Regardless of the background of that attention seeking nobody, this is a good chance for our Cheng Clan. Using 1200 gold taels to rise above the other clans and vie for the position for the ‘Number One Sword in the World’, where else can we find such a good opportunity? In comparison to that, what does 1200 gold taels mean?”
Cheng Youqing said.
Regardless of whether it was the Cheng Clan, Zhang Clan, Lu Clan, or the Huang Clan, no one would dare to organize such an event. Otherwise, the other clans would alliance together against them.
But now that the Bluebottle Pavilion had stepped forward, the nature of the event had changed and it was a hard-to-come-by opportunity!
In the past, the Cheng Clan would inform the other clans whenever they received any news. But this time, the Cheng Clan didn’t say anything about the matter. They silently sent their best sword to the Bluebottle Pavilion to have it displayed.
The same situation also occurred with the capital’s Lu Clan, Huang Clan, Li Clan, and the other prestigious swordsmithing clans. All of them secretly sent their best swords over to the Bluebottle Pavilion!
Everyone ‘operated secretly’ against each other, but this time, no one said anything.
“Hehe, our Impenetrable Metal Sword Workshop only sells elite swords for 600 to 700 gold taels each. What rights does that fellow have to be selling swords at the price of 4000 to 5000 gold taels in the capital? Even we don’t dare to commit such an act!”
“If that fellow didn’t set such a rule, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to go challenging him. But now… He is looking for it himself!”
Not only the prestigious clans, the large weapon shops and workshops had been accumulating a lot of dissatisfaction in the past few days.
Wang Chong had been causing a huge commotion with his sword, and the one who took the brunt of the impact of his actions were, in fact, not the swordsmithing clans, but the huge weapon shops. The sudden appearance of this uninvited guest in the capital had incurred their ire.
“Go! Bring out the best sword of our Impenetrable Metal Sword Workshop. Even if we fail to get the title of first in the world, we should at least teach that fellow a lesson!”
As though agreeing on the matter, all of the weapon shops and workshops all took out their best swords and sabers and sent it over to Bluebottle Pavilion.
If anyone of them were to win the duel gamble, the other party would have to pay more than 4000 gold taels; if ten of them were to win, that would add up to 40000 gold taels. This was more than enough to strike a heavy blow to any influence!
Regardless of what everyone was thinking of, as more and more swordsmiths of the Central Plains joined this duel gamble, the scale and prestige of the duel gamble gradually rose higher and higher.
“Let’s go! Let’s show those Han of the Central Plains the might of the sabers of our Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu! Just because this is the Central Plains doesn’t mean that we can be underestimated!”
More and more weapon merchants of the Western Regions started to join in the affair as well.
The event snowballed, and there were signs that it was getting out of control! In fact, some of the powers outside of those swordsmithing clans and weapon shops were pulled into the matter as well.
“Hmph! Do you all really think that any one of your swords is worthy of the title of the number one weapon in the world?”
As the event continued to develop, no one noticed a brawny man with a full beard standing within the crowd, sneering in contempt as he stared at the swords and sabers displayed on the pavilion.
The Bluebottle Pavilion wasn’t some remote alley which few people passed by. On the contrary, due to its proximity to the royal palace, it was often filled with crowds. Those who traverse here were either very wealthy or powerful experts.
Such a major incident by the Bluebottle Pavilion had attracted the attention of many.
The full-bearded man was one of them.
“I have immersed myself in forging for many years, just to awe the world with my sword. When I finally craft the ultimate sword, I will show you all what the number one sword in the world is!”
The eyes of the full-bearded man were filled with indignance. Eventually, after staring deeply at the sword hanging on the pavilion, he retracted his glance and silently left silently. His appearance and departure didn’t catch anyone’s attention.
Leaving through the city gates, he walked on the paved roads, traveled across the mountains, traversed through the forest, and eventually, reached the remote depths of a mountain.
There was a clearing at the peak of the mountain, and even from afar, one could smell the heavy scent of a forge.
As one approached the peak, one could see broken swords scattered everywhere. At the center of the dense congregation of broken swords, a sword workshop towered.
Beside the sword workshop, a tall metal forge was still alit, and thick smoke was rolling from within.
The full-bearded brawny man walked over, crouched down, and removed a red glowing sword cast from within using tongs, placing it onto a metal board. Ding ding dang dang! He started to hammer it forcefully.
The sword cast was around four fingers thick and five chi long. Even though it was still a semi-complete product, it felt exceptionally strong.
(a chi = 33.3cm)
“Bronze, chromium, and tin… The secret formula that I’ve been researching for ten years! Finally, I am about to create the world’s strongest and sharpest sword! This time, I will show all of the swordsmithing clans in the world what a true master swordsmith is!”
As the thought flashed across his mind, the metal hammer in his hands started swinging faster with greater force. Countless sparks were emitted under his hammering.
Deep in the remote mountain, no one could have imagined that there would be an unknown master swordsmith here.
As a descendant from a lineage of hermit swordsmiths, the full-bearded brawny man possessed the bloodline of an ancient swordsmithing tribe, the Rouran Tribe. Coincidentally, this was also the ancient tribe that first created metal weapons in the world.
Even though it had disappeared along with the passing of time, the full-bearded brawny man inherited an ancient Rouran secret manual!
The greatest wish of the full-bearded brawny man was to inherit his ancestor’s will and forge the world’s sharpest and toughest sword. Regardless of how powerful the other party could be, it would be impossible to break this sword. Through such, he would cleanse his ancestors’ of their shame!
And this was an ideal opportunity to do so!
Ding ding dang dang!
Deep in the mountains, the frenzied wind roared, and the flames rose up to several dozen of zhang high. It burnt furiously through the night, even til the arrival of dawn.
Only until the sun was right above the forge did the flames in the depths of the mountain finally stop.
The full-bearded brawny man looked at the freshly forged sword he held in his hands in satisfaction. Despite his fatigue, he stepped out of his sword workshop and left the mountains. Soon, another sword would appear on the Bluebottle Pavilion!
The effects of the duel gamble at the Bluebottle Pavilion gradually grew larger and larger. In just the short span of a single day, more than twenty swords had appeared on the Bluebottle Pavilion. Furthermore, this was after a careful selection of the swords.
Even the entrance fee of 1200 gold taels didn’t stop them.
The Four Great Swordsmithing Clans in the capital, the weapon merchants in the Western Regions, the weapon shops and workshops in the capital, as well as unknown master swordsmiths… Wei Hao was busy all day dealing with the various parties.
Even he didn’t expect the incident to develop to such a level. Mosaide’s appearance was like an ignition, triggering the entire weapon industry in the capital into action.
A great amount of swordsmithing clans, weapon shops, workshops, and even external powers had joined in. The events was as though a leaking dam, impossible to be stopped by anyone.
Like a rolling snowball, more and more people stood outside the Bluebottle Pavilion to watch the commotion.
“Tsk tsk! 4800 taels, to think it had become 4800 taels!”
“Tsk tsk! Let’s see how many swords are there hanging on the pavilion. 20… 30… If the owner were to lose, he will probably lose his entire fortune!”
“Heh, let’s see how he’ll cope when he loses even his underwear!”
“Haha, that fellow truly has kicked on a metal board this time! The capital’s Zhang Clan, Huang Clan, Lu Clan, and Huang Clan are all top-notch swordsmithing clans. Yet, this fellow chose to take them on a duel gamble. He is truly making a mockery out of himself!”
“Hehe, let me tell you, this is what being complacent means! In a place like the capital, countless talents lay below the surface. This isn’t something any other places could match up to! What can you do when the other party is intent at committing suicide?”
Before the Bluebottle Pavilion, the mock of the crowd could be heard. Even though the ‘The Number One Sword in the World’ had caused quite an uproar, it was something only those of the weapon industry was obsessed over.
To these ordinary people, they were more focused on another matter.
This storm was caused by that fellow behind the Bluebottle Pavilion, and as such, the attention of the crowd had always been on him. They weren’t concerned over how incredible his sword was, but rather, how pitiful he would be after his loss.
Thirty top-notch swords weren’t just jokes. They were more than capable of causing the bankruptcy of that fellow.
Some of them even opened a gambling den before the Bluebottle Pavilion.
The event kept developing and slowly, it attracted the attention of a unique group.
“Hehe, look at the commotion at Bluebottle Pavilion! There are so many people there that they probably number in thousands!”
“The Number One Sword in the World, such a prestigious title!”
“Look at those swords, they’re truly not bad. Just that, they’re a little too expensive!”
“Pui! If it is truly a top-notch sword, money means nothing at all. I just fear that they are mere ordinary goods!”
“Indeed! How can those 600 to 700 gold taels sword be considered as top-notch swords? It is one thing if an ordinary noble were to buy it, but it would be shameful if a member of the Imperial Army like us were to wield it!”
On top of the hundred zhang tall golden-plated walls of the Great Tang royal palace, a row of Great Tang Imperial Army members was currently standing by the city walls, looking at the Bluebottle Pavilion.
From the towering palace walls, the Bluebottle Pavilion looked exceptionally short and small. Even so, the dense assembly of people there was extremely conspicuous.
The Bluebottle Pavilion was just a short distance away from the Great Tang Empire. The ruckus there had long attracted the attention of the Imperial Army. As life within the palace walls was boring, the moment the duel gamble which pitted the swords of the Central Plains against the sabers of the Western Regions appeared, it had caught the attention of many of the members of the Imperial Army.
“Hm, who is that? It looks like Commander Li!”
Just when they were chattering, someone suddenly spoke and the group immediately turned their heads toward where their colleague was looking at. Beyond the city walls, a few familiar figures were currently walking toward the Bluebottle Pavilion.
“Shhh! It’s Lord Zhao!”
“Shut up, don’t speak!”
The faces of the Imperial Army members immediately grew stern and all of them fell silent.
Even though it was a distance of several hundred zhang, it didn’t take them long to reach their destination. Under the gaze of the Imperial Army members, the three figures quickly reached the Bluebottle Pavilion.
“We’re from the Imperial Army!”
The trio took out a token from their waist and announced their identity.
Wei Hao was still busy sorting out the information of the guests who were involved in the duel gamble. Upon hearing these words, his eyes immediately widened and he abruptly stood up. Facing the three, he suddenly calmed down.
Before the three could even speak, Wei Hao took in a deep breath, gazed at the trio directly, and walked by the table toward them:
“Hold it for a moment! I’ll call someone over! ——”