Zong Sui Presents a Treasure and Shocks Everybody Present
Following this eunuch’s announcement, Zong Sui’s special envoy, the fourth prince of Zong Sui, Li Kun, entered Fei Cui Hall with five people.
In Feng Yu Heng’s eyes, Li Kun was a little more than 170 centimeters in height, but he was very sturdy. He should be walking the path of a martial artist and not that of a scholar. The people of Zong Sui dressed in a similar manner to the people of Da Shun, and it had a little bit of a Tang dynasty flavor. This caused Feng Yu Heng to feel a little nostalgic.
While she was observing, Li Kun had already reached the middle of the hall. Sweeping aside his robe, he kneeled on one knee and saluted: “Son of my country, Li Kun greets your Majesty and your Highness. I wish a long life to your Majesty and a long life to your Highness. I hope that Da Shun Country continues to prosper and has plentiful harvests.”
The Emperor laughed loudly, “Fourth prince of Zong Sui, you’re getting better and better with your words! Quickly, please rise.”
“Thank you, your Majesty!” Only then did Li Kun stand up. He then bowed deeply and said: “In the past year, my Zong Sui was able to prosper with the blessing of Da Shun and had plentiful produce. Today, this lowly prince specially brought Zong Sui’s special tribute to Da Shun’s ruler. It will also serve to show that my Zong Sui is still loyal to Da Shun as it was before.”
As he said this, one of the people at his side handed over a list of gifts to Da Shun’s eunuch. The eunuch then handed it to Zhang Yuan, who finally handed it to the Emperor.
Li Kun continued: “This year, Zong Sui prepared a total of 138 parts to the tribute. The majority have already been handed over to a minister for inspection. Another two parts are national treasures that this lowly prince brought to court today. Would your Majesty please personally take a look.” As he said this, he moved to the side, and three people came forward, with each one holding something. “This is one of the national treasures, commoner’s brocade. In the past year, Zong Sui produced a total of four bolts, and they have all been brought by this prince to offer as tribute to Da Shun.”
Upon hearing mention of commoner’s brocade, the men in the hall could be said to have remained calm but were a bit expectant, but all of the women looked stared straight over.
This was commoner’s brocade. At last year’s new year’s banquet, Zong Sui was unable to offer any, but they were able to produce four bolts this year, and they had brought it to this hall. Could it be that they would be blessed on this day to see this national treasure fabric?
Everyone craned their necks and looked at Zong Sui’s prince. This reaction made Li Kun very satisfied, thus he decided to wait for a little and enjoy this feeling of being gazed at by countless people for a while.
The Emperor was a little unhappy and really wanted to tell him to hurry up, but when he looked again at the thing behind the commoner’s brocade that had yet to be offered, the words that had reached his mouth were swallowed back down.
Instead, it was Xuan Tian Ge that began to feel upset and shouted: “Hurry up! Since you brought it here, just bring it out for all to see. If you don’t want to let people see it, just let the palace servants throw it into the warehouse. What are you dawdling for?”
This was the first time Li Kun had come to Da Shun. There were people that had come to tell him about the circumstances in Da Shun, including what type of people were in the imperial family and their personalities. But he still did not understand why did a young girl dare to speak like this in front of the Emperor, the Empress and the numerous officials? Was she a princess? In Zong Sui, even if she was a princess, she should not have this sort of right? He could not help but look towards Xuan Tian Ge.
Xuan Tian Ge frowned, “I told you to show the fabric to everyone, so why are you looking at me?”
Li Kun was completely terrified by Xuan Tian Ge, and he no longer wanted to ask who this girl was. He quickly turned around and personally removed the cover from the commoner’s brocade.
Commoner’s brocade was much rarer than Da Shun’s Sichuan brocade, but the color of the fabric gave people a feeling of it having been made in heaven. One could not see any signs of it having been dyed. Apparently, commoner’s brocade was most suited for when a girl was to be married because commoner’s brocade was usually red. As a wedding dress, when worn in the sunlight, it would give off the appearance of a phoenix being reborn from a fire.
Only three or four bolts of this amazing thing were produced each year. If the year was bad, none could be produced. How could it not be considered valuable. For everyone to be able to see it today was very rare. Aside from everyone praising it, all that could be left to do was sigh and feel helpless. This was something that imperial concubines would fight over and still not get, so what could the family of these officials hope for.
But someone remembered Feng Yu Heng in this sort of moment. They had heard that his Highness Prince Yu had carried trunk after trunk of national treasures into the Feng manor when presenting his betrothal gift. He had practically emptied the warehouse that had been gathering these items for ten years. They could not help but begin to envy Feng Yu Heng. When they looked at the clothes they were wearing, which was made with fabrics that were already quite expensive, they could only sigh once again. This truly was a case of people should not be compared and neither should items. 1
After looking at the commoner’s brocade and receiving plenty of praise and admiration, Li Kun waved his hand, and the attendant immediately brought forward something and handed it to Da Shun’s eunuch.
As everyone was admiring the commoner’s brocade, Feng Yu Heng saw Xuan Tian Ming mouthing a question to her: “Do you want it?”
She was able to read lips and immediately put on an awkward appearance. This thing had not even been sent to Da Shun’s warehouse, and he was already interested in it. She understood a bit that this was how the fabrics in her warehouse had been taken.
Helpless, she shook her head and mouthed back: “No, I have enough.”
However, he mouthed back something more complex: “All nice things must belong to our Heng Heng.”
She let out a “pft” and laughed, “This is a good way of thinking!”
The two looked at each other and smiled and neither said another word.
At this time, the bolts of commoner’s brocade were taken away by palace servants. As the women began to retract their gaze, the men in the hall began to sit up straight. They knew that the main event was about to arrive.
Sure enough, they saw Li Kun take a step forward and loudly say: “Aside from commoner’s brocade, my country has a second national treasure- iron essence!”
Once the two words “iron essence” were said, Feng Yu Heng saw the faces of the men in the hall become solemn. Everyone looked towards Li Kun’s other two attendants. The thing that they were holding was larger than the bolts of commoner’s brocade, and it appeared to be quite heavy. But it was still covered, and they could not tell what it was.
She pondered for a long time and still could not tell what this iron essence was.
She then heard Li Kun say: “One hundred years ago, the matter of Zong Sui refining iron essence was spread through the five countries. Everyone knew that a weapon made with iron essence would cut through iron as if it were mud. This iron essence has led to many victories in battle for my Zong Sui. The second treasure that was brought here today is a set of swords made of iron essence.”
This time, he did not keep people in the dark. After he said it, he turned around and removed the cover.
At this very moment, people once again craned their heads to take a look, but this time, it was the men. Women did not have a very good understanding of these things and did not think much of it.
But the men were different, especially the generals. They understood the value of such things too well. Just thinking about it, in this era of cold steel, when two armies faced off if one side had stronger weapons, what sort of scene would it become? It would become a one-sided slaughter!
Feng Yu Heng saw Ren Xi Feng’s father, General Ping Nan decide to stand up. Circling around his table, he took a few steps forward then stopped and looked straight at the swords.
At this time, the old general’s eyes were glowing, and his gaze was sincere and openly saying: I want this!
It was not just General Ping Nan. Even Xuan Tian Ming, Xuan Tian Hua and Xuan Tian Ye looked straight over. None of them were willing to look away.
As for Feng Yu Heng, she also stood up subconsciously then squinted her eyes to look at those weapons.
She finally understood. This was the reason Zong Sui’s princess was able to request a marriage to Xuan Tian Hua!
That princess’ betrothal gift was the method of producing weapons with iron essence!
This was equivalent to giving the troops of Da Shun a direct boost in strength. It was no wonder that the Emperor would agree. It was no wonder Xuan Tian Hua was so troubled and said such things to her.
She turned her gaze from the weapons to look at Xuan Tian Ming. It was as though he had a telepathic bond with her, as he looked over at the same time she looked at him. It was not just Xuan Tian Ming, as Xuan Tian Hua also looked at her.
With the three looking at each other, Feng Yu Heng knew that her guess was correct.
This treasure from Zong Sui had caused the entire hall to fall silent for a long time.
The Emperor observed everyone’s reactions, but his heart sighed helplessly. Da Shun had not produced such good weapons in a long time. In the past ten years, who knew how times Da Shun had tried, but they were still unable to find a method to refine iron essence.
In truth, it was not just Da Shun. The other countries had also had a taste of iron essence, but not a single one of them was able to announce their success over these years.
Iron essence had become Zong Sui’s greatest secret.
Some people had tried to go and steal it, but the divine thieves only found out after entering the country that the method for refining iron essence was passed down verbally to the ruler. Whenever it was to be made, the craftsmen were gathered by the ruler, and he would personally explain to them how it was made. Once these craftsmen gained knowledge of this secret, they would not go outside. After the weapons were all completed, they would be taken care of by these secrets.
But Zong Sui was still a small country. A small country had kept this exceedingly large secret for many years. The Emperor understood. Since Zong Sui had brought forth this sort of betrothal gift for a political marriage, it was already too difficult for them to keep this secret. They had to rely on Da Shun to help them succeed. It could also be said that, by sharing the secret with Da Shun, it would also share the burden of this danger with Da Shun.
Of course, a danger to Zong Sui was not considered much by the Emperor, but for this political marriage, they had declared that they wanted his seventh son. This was something that troubled him a great deal.
Xuan Tian Hua was the one child that he could not bear to trouble. He was also the one who understood what the greater good meant and what it meant to be universally loved. He originally thought that he would not insist on anything for this child, and he would allow Xuan Tian Hua to do as he pleased. Regardless of whether it was choosing a wife and having children or any path he chose in life, aside from the throne, he would give Xuan Tian Hua anything he wanted. But now…”
He looked towards Xuan Tian Hua and saw that the child who usually had a calm appearance now had a face filled with grief. He knew that Xuan Tian Hua did not want to marry the princess from Zong Sui. Xuan Tian Hua had made his position clear when the news came to Da Shun, but when he mentioned the conditions of this exchange, Xuan Tian Hua pondered for a night then agreed.
In all his years, the Emperor had never felt distressed over any child. Even when Xuan Tian Ming’s legs had become as they were, he did not feel distressed, as he knew that he could continue to favor and dote on him. But Xuan Tian Hua agreeing on that day had truly caused him to feel distressed.
A set of swords caused everyone to feel shocked.
Li Kun said: “I invite Da Shun’s general to test out the weapon!”
But nobody went to try it out. Iron essence had existed for 100 years, so how could they not know the quality of such a thing.
Previously, Zong Sui had treated this as a national treasure and sent it to Da Shun as a tribute, but after sending roughly ten swords, Da Shun was not even willing to bring them onto the battlefield. Instead, they only spent their time researching how it was made, but they never once succeeded.
This time, something that they had begged to receive for 100 years was brought to their doors.
Feng Yu Heng continued to remain standing, as she slightly frowned while staring at the weapons made of iron essence.
This sort of thing was called iron essence by the people of this era?…
1: The idiom is in two parts. The first part is: “People should not be compared with each other. If all you do is compare yourself with others, you’re better off dead.”
The second part is: “There are differences between all things. If you continue comparing them all the time, you may as well just lose it.”