Book 3 Chapter 38 Orders!
Zhuge Qing and Qing Yu left, leaving Teng Qingshan and the other two in the courtyard.
“We will be recruiting new blood on twelfth day of June. Therefore, we will be selecting the eight weakest centurions. Brother Qinghu, I am very worried for you!” Zhuge Yun jested, but Teng Qinghu remained very confident. “Young Sovereign, when the contest starts in the next few days, you just wait and see!”
“Oh?” Zhuge Yun turned towards Teng Qingshan in astonishment.
Teng Qingshan also beamed.
He was well aware of his cousin’s abilities. Even if he was unable to defeat the top notch centurion, he was still well amongst the top of the middle-ranking centurions.
During the next few days, the centurions and sergeants of the Black Armored Army went through rounds and rounds of competition. The intensity of the competitions amongst the top notch warriors brought liveliness and excitement to the training field. As for Teng Qinghu, as a sergeant who was promoted to a centurion, of course many would feel that he was a pushover.
This was why someone had challenged Teng Qinghu right from the start.
But Teng Qinghu unleashed one strike with the ferocious Inflamed Passion and two strikes with the sinister Flashing Fire. Using just three moves, he clinched three clear-cut wins against three centurions. It was then that the centurions understood: this Teng Qinghu was not one to be trifled with.
The summer evenings were still scorching.
Dressed in a black robe as usual, Ji Hong came to Sovereign Zhuge Yuanhong’s study. Just as he arrived at the door, a voice floated over from within the study. “Second martial uncle, come in.”
He pushed the door and entered the study.
Zhuge Yuanhong was reading a piece of paper he was holding.
“Sovereign, why were you urgently looking for me?” Ji Hong inquired.
Zhuge Yuanhong smiled. “The ninth son of my good friend, Zhu Tong, requested my aid.”
“Zhu Tong, the God of Wealth of our Yang Prefecture?” Ji Hong was startled. In the world, Yangzhou’s salt merchant and Yuzhou’s merchant are the most renowned. If one were to compare which merchant in the past three thousand years was the most famous, it was without a doubt Fan Li, the prosperous God of Wealth!
Of course, Fan Li was long dead.
Currently, the most well-known merchant was, without a doubt, Yang Prefecturee’s top salt merchant ‘Zhu Tong’. However, not many people knew how much wealth Zhu Tong had accumulated over the years.
Zhu Tong’s father can only be considered a small merchant. On the other hand, when Zhu Tong was ten years old, he established ‘Feng Yang Restaurant’. Within three years, branches of the Feng Yang Restaurant could be found almost everywhere across the entire Yang Prefecture, bringing huge wealth to Zhu Tong. With this as a foundation, Zhu Tong started to slowly invest in various trades.
Zhu Tong had a philosophy regarding his work.
One step at a time. Each time, he would only invest in one trade, and only after an investment became successful would he venture into another new trade.
Sixty years passed by, and Zhu Tong gained immeasurable wealth.
But the most intensifying thing was……
Zhu Tong, revered as the God of Wealth, was also an innate master! Even though he expended a lot of energy with his merchant work, he still managed to train as an innate master. Even Zhuge Yuanhong was full of praise and admiration for him.
As a result, there were too many people in the world who revered Zhu Tong.
“Zhu Tong’s homeland is under the jurisdiction of Qing Hu Island. Why would his son not enlist the help of Qing Hu Island and approach us instead?” Ji Hong was puzzled by this decision.
Facing the world’s top merchant, Zhu Tong, even the Gui Yuan Sect would have to show great respect.
“Haha, this God of Wealth has unparalleled gift as a merchant. Even across history, there are not many who can compete with him. But in spite of his immeasurable wealth, he truly has his share of frustrations!” Zhuge Yuanhong laughed. “Daughters aside, he has sixteen sons! Daughters will be married out of the family, so he will just need to prepare some dowry for them. However, with such an ingenious father, all of his sixteen sons are exceptional. How should Zhu Tong divide his immeasurable wealth? Each of his sons are all competing to be the next head of the Zhu clan!”
Ji Hong chuckled, “Dividing of the family property? Haha…… This is interesting! Members of large sects compete to be the Sovereign, while his sons fight to be the Zhu clan’s next Head of the Household!”
Normally, only one son would inherit the position of “Head of the Household” in large clans. Once that son inherited the position, he would also gain most of the family’s wealth.
On the other hand, the rest of the sons would only receive a small portion of it.
Of course, in terms of the wealth belonging to Zhu Tong’s family, even a little is a great deal.
But how many of his sons were easily satisfied? Even if they said that they do not covet the family property, how many of them were willing to ignore the immeasurable wealth lying in front of them?
“Sovereign, that Zhu Tong is an innate master with a long lifespan. He doesn’t have to worry about this yet,” Ji Hong pointed out.
“If one doesn’t plan for the future, there will be imminent doom! Furthermore, this God of Wealth is no longer interested in accumulating more wealth. He is preparing to fully devote himself to the study of martial arts. Therefore, he would have to choose a heir.” Zhunge Yuanhong said, “All of his sixteen sons are intelligent. Thus, he has set a rule, giving each son a sum of money. Within ten years, the one who can earn the most would be the next head of the clan!”
Ji Hong laughed, “This solution is quite foolish. Isn’t Zhu Tong concerned that there may be some sects who would meddle in the contest and support a particular son from behind closed doors?”
“Foolish? If a God of Wealth who can earn millions of silver at the age of ten is considered foolish, there would be no intelligent men in the world.” Zhuge Yuanhong chuckled.
Ji Hong could not help but feel embarrassed.
Truly, who in the world would dare to call Zhu Tong foolish? Even if Zhu Tong did commit an foolish act, there would definitely be some people who would say that there must be some profound reason that others could not understand.
“For what reason did his ninth son approach Sovereign Zhuge Yuanhong?” Ji Hong still remained quite puzzled.
“He requested for me to send some martial arts experts to protect a cargo of goods!” Zhuge Yuanhong added. “The reward is a hundred thousand taels of silver!”
To seek the aid of experts from Gui Yuan Sect, this price was not considered high.
“Sovereign, did you agree?” Ji Hong inquired.
Zhuge Yuanhong nodded, “I met Zhu Tong’s sixteen sons when I visited him some years back.”
“Each of them are tough characters. His ninth son, in particular, is quite popular with others. Although he looks young, he is actually capable of elaborate schemes. I have a feeling that the future head of the Zhu Clan will be either his eldest son, his ninth son, or his thirteenth son.”
Across the Nine Prefectures, who was not aware of Zhuge Yuanhong’s intelligence?
“It doesn’t hurt for us to help him.” Zhuge Yuanhong smiled. “Did you pay attention the contest among the centurions a few days ago?”
“Yes, I did.” Ji Hong nodded.
“Did you see the spear skills of Teng Qingshan’s cousin, Teng Qinghu?” Zhuge Yuanhong mentioned.
“Hmm?” Ji Hong was startled by this. “That Teng Qinghu has two impressive skills. One is ferocious while the other one sinister. What about it? I don’t recall a supreme spear skill within our Gui Yuan Sect.”
“Let me give you one more hint. I once presented Teng Qingshan with a manual for ‘Ardent Flame Spear Art’.” Zhuge Yuanhong told Ji Hong.
“Ardent Flame Spear Art? To Teng Qingshan? I have seen the Ardent Flame Spear Art before. There are eighty-one steps in total, but the art’s might is average.” Ji Hong was a bit hesitant at first, but he eyes immediately lit up. “Sovereign, you mean…Teng Qingshan…that Spear Art……”
Zhuge Yuanhong nodded. “Each step of the Ardent Flame Spear Art is quite ordinary, but I am certain that Teng Qinghu incorporated his two skills! However, Teng Qinghu’s potential is quite average, so he is only able to comprehend the two skills. I reckoned that Teng Qingshan comprehended the Ardent Flame Spear Art and combined those two skills before teaching them to Teng Qinghu. Furthermore, Qingshan is likely be able to display a prowess with the skills stronger than the might that Teng Qinghu demonstrated!”
With Zhuge Yuanhong’s vicious eyesight. He could easily speculate this after seeing the skills Teng Qinghu displayed during the competition amongst the centurions.
“Creating a more powerful spear art by incorporating the Ardent Flame Spear Art? And within merely a couple of months? This……” Ji Hong shook his head in disbelief. “I still cannot believe that Teng Qingshan has already reached this level!”
“Second martial uncle.” Zhuge Yuanhong spoke out.
Ji Hong bowed slightly.
“This time around, let Teng Qingshan handle the task of protecting and delivering the goods for that ninth young master ‘Zhu Chong Shi’! Let him also pick two centurions as well as two ten-man teams from the Black Armored Army!” Zhuge Yuanhong smiled. “I’m dispatching Teng Qingshan to lead the troops for a hundred thousand taels of silver, so ninth young master got the better end of the deal.”
“I will send some men to deliver the news to the ninth young master, requesting him to bring along his people and wait outside the north entrance of our Black Armored Army barracks one day from now,” Zhuge Yuanhong added.
“Yes.” Ji Hong received his orders and quickly left the study.
Zhuge Yuanhong looked towards direction of the Black Armored Army’s camp. “To create such a level of Spear Art within a few months! I had underestimated you earlier! Seems that not long from now, our Gui Yuan Sect will also be able to have a genius who is ranked in both the «Hidden Dragon Ranking» and the «Earthly Ranking».’”
Within the Gui Yuan Sect, no one had been able to be listed in the «Hidden Dragon Ranking». The same could be said about the «Earthly Ranking».
For a person to be listed on both rankings…
It was to say that the person must be able to be listed on the«Earthly Ranking» before the age of thirty! This condition was too harsh. In this world, there were, of course, countless talented individuals with perseverance. Zhuge Yun could only be considered a genius within Gui Yuan Sect, but there were many who with more talent than him in the whole Yang Prefecture, let alone all the Nine Prefectures.
To be concurrently listed on both the «Earthly Ranking» and «Hidden Dragon Ranking» was an achievement that would make his name resonate across the Nine Prefectures.
Morning training on the training field.
Teng Qingshan, who had just received his orders from Ji Hong, stood before the camp. He coldly ordered, “Centurion Chang Du Hong and Teng Qinghu, each of you will choose a ten-man team from your subordinates. We will set off for Chu County tomorrow morning!”
According to the commander’s orders, he was to choose two centurions. Among them, Du Hong was the oldest and had the most experience. And this time, with himself around, it would also be a good opportunity to let his cousin, Teng Qinghu, get some valuable training. That was why he had chosen these two centurions.
Du Hong and Teng Qinghu bowed to receive the orders before they each proceeded to quickly pick a ten-man team.
“It didn’t occurred to me that we would be back for such a short period. Before we could see the newcomers’ recruitment, we’re already being sent off again!” Although this was what Teng Qingshan was thinking, deep down, he was full of anticipation. Chu County was located in the far north of Yang Prefecture. From Jiangning County to Chu County, they would have to cross a distance of two thousand Li. Considering that they had to escort cargo during this trip, it would be good if they could travel two hundred Li each day.
“Brother Qingshan is travelling to Chu County?”
Du Hong and Teng Qinghu came over, lowering their voice.
“Yes, we have been given a task to escort some goods. Old Du, would there be any dangers on this trip?”Teng Qingshan asked.
“The ones who asked the Black Armored Army to escort their goods are definitely involved with powerful merchants! It appears that this will definitely not be easy.” Du Hong frowned.
Teng Qingshan looked towards the north.
Teng Qingshan was not afraid of any danger. He had been in Jiangning County the entire time since he came to this world. Finally, there was an opportunity for him to venture outside and explore the world.
“I will need to take a closer look on the battle prowess of the world’s current expert during this trip.” Teng Qingshan was filled with anticipation. Killing was forbidden within the Gui Yuan Sect, but once they were outside, he would be the leader. At that point, it would not be tough to keep his true capabilities a secret when engage experts in combat.
“Everyone, get ready and have a good rest. We will be setting off early tomorrow morning. The round trip will be a total of four thousand Li (2000km).” Teng Qingshan instructed his men.