Xuan Tian Ming, Just You Watch
Bai Ze looked at the old blacksmith in confusion, “What is the meaning of this, old sir?”
The old man stepped forward and kneeled in front of Feng Yu Heng and Xuan Tian Ming, saying: “This old one has spent a lifetime working on iron. Everyone said that I am the best blacksmith in Xiao Zhou. However, there is only iron in iron. My greatest desire in this lifetime is to be able to make a weapon that is sturdier than iron. The iron essence of Zong Sui was not something that we could get our hands on, but Da Shun now has something called steel. Even if this old one must throw away my life, I wish to follow the general and county princess to provide aid for my Da Shun. But…” He paused for a moment and turned to look at his young apprentice, a reluctance appearing in his eyes.
Feng Yu Heng could understand what was happening and asked: “Does the old sir have any worries?” As she said this, she turned to ask Qian Li: “When you went looking for the blacksmiths, what did you say?”
Qian Li was also a little confused: “We just said that they would be producing steel for Da Shun.” Thinking a little more, “Oh, we did say that they would be away for a long period of time. We told them to settle things at home because they would not be able to return for a year and a half on the lower end. In the worst case scenario, it would be three to five years before they could return. General had us give enough money to the families of the blacksmiths to live for half a year. If they still could not return after half a year, we would just keep giving more.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded then looked at the old man: “Old sir, the matter of producing steel will be like when humanity first discovered iron. It’s a process of trial and error. Although I have the method, you guys personally producing it is a whole different matter. That is why what our deputy general said is correct. This is a very difficult and bitter job. It is possible that you will not be able to see the sun for many days. If you are regretting it, it is not too late. Of course, if you decide to remain and participate in this writing of history, we will ensure that your family will be able to live without worries. Also, your contribution to mankind will last forever in history.”
Feng Yu Heng’s words caused everyone to become excited once more. First, they had received a promise that their families would be able to live without worries. Second, “writing of history” had caused them to become enthusiastic. They would provide Da Shun and even the entire world with a brand new beginning. This would be a glorious matter for their later generations!
The old man, who was still kneeling, kowtowed to Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng. Although he was also moved, he was still not without worry, saying: “This old one understands that once we have decided to participate in this matter to protect the country, after our job is completed, we will definitely need to be silenced. Just like the craftsmen who had worked on the imperial mausoleum, we cannot escape death. This old one does not fear dying. To be able to work on steel just once in this life makes it worth it; however, my grandson is still young. If we really are to be silenced, I hope to have him sent back. While he still does not know anything, have him go back and quietly live out his life.”
Once he said this, the other blacksmiths also said: “That’s right! We do not fear death. We just want to produce steel, but let these children go back!”
There was even someone who shouted: “Old comrades! Let us treat each other as apprentices. We absolutely must succeed in producing steel for Da Shun! How does that sound?”
Everyone shouted in unison: “Good!”
For a while, Feng Yu Heng also felt hot-blooded; however, she began to think about what they had said. She turned to look at Xuan Tian Ming and quietly asked: “I also heard about this rule, but…”
Xuan Tian Ming knew what she wanted to say, so he loudly said: “Ever since the fourth ruler of my Da Shun, the construction of the imperial mausoleum has not been done in secret. None of the craftsmen and workers involved in the renovation of the imperial mausoleum were killed. Although the production of steel this time is related to national defense, this prince has never had the intention of killing you to silence you.”
Once these words were said, Feng Yu Heng had a grasp on the situation and could not help but quietly let out a sigh of relief. Producing steel was a good thing, but using the lives of these people as a price was something that she could not do.
“I am a doctor.” She turned around and raised her voice, saying to the blacksmiths, “It should be that many people have heard about it. The reason that his Majesty conferred me the title of county princess Ji An is because of my skills in medicine. Precisely because I have the heart of a doctor, I must do my best to find ways to preserve life. Now, for the sake of producing steel, how could I have you die for it? Protecting the secret is definitely important, but we will think about how to resolve this matter from a different angle. We will definitely not do anything to harm you. That’s why if you wish to send your grandchildren back, we will arrange to have them sent back. If you wish for them to remain, do not worry and have them stay. Producing steel for Da Shun and working for the ninth prince will not result in being killed.”
“Really?” Practically none of them dared to believe their own ears, as they all asked: “Is county princess’ speaking truthfully?”
Feng Yu Heng nodded, “It is the truth.”
Xuan Tian Ming also said: “A man of character sticks to his word.”
“That’s great!” Everyone immediately burst into cheer. The young apprentices even began bouncing about, as someone loudly said: “That’s right! It has been a long time since the workers of the imperial mausoleum were last killed, so we too will not die!” While saying this, they all kneeled and kowtowed to Xuan Tian Ming and Feng Yu Heng.
Xuan Tian Ming asked Feng Yu Heng: “They are already here. Do you have anything else that you need to explain to them? Or do you need to test their abilities?”
She shook her head, “No need. To have been a blacksmith until this age, how could they be lacking in ability. I trust deputy general Qian’s ability to find good people, but… these people are not enough.”
Qian Li was shocked, “These many people is not enough?” He said with worry: “If any more people come, the secret will be even harder to keep.”
Feng Yu Heng said: “The secret can only be kept a secret with more people. Go find some more. We need at least two to three times more people.”
Qian Li clicked his tongue. He could not understand why it would be easier to keep a secret with more people, but he knew that if Feng Yu Heng said to do it like this, he naturally needed to just do as she had said. Not saying anything further, he only nodded in compliance.
She then said to the blacksmiths in front of her: “I only just arrived at the military camp today and will need a few days to adjust. This guy will show you a dagger made of steel. Everyone can think a little more about it. When the matters of the army have been taken care of, I will come to help produce steel.”
The blacksmiths were very happy and stepped forward to surround Bai Ze. As for Feng Yu Heng, she pushed Xuan Tian Ming and left the forge. While walking, she said to Qian Li: “The next group of people that will be brought in, do not place them all together. Spread them out into groups of five. Arrange for them to each have their own forge. Ensure that each group does not recognize any other group. Make sure that they never meet.”
Qian Li was a little moved, as he seemed to have thought of something, “County princess’ meaning is…”
“Spread them out and form an assembly line. For one, it will make them easier to control. Also, they will not know how exactly the other parts work. Since all of the parts will be leaked out in the future, I dare to guarantee that nobody in the world will know how these parts are assembled.”
Qian Li happily nodded, “County princess really is amazing. This humble general will go do it.”
“Go!” She sent Qian Li off then said to Wang Chuan and Huang Quan: “You two go take a look at mother. His Highness and I will take a stroll around Xu Tian Cave.”
The two also nodded and left without a single worry. Feng Yu Heng and Xuan Tian Ming being together would be the safest. Moreover, this was in the military camp. There was absolutely no need for them to worry.
Seeing the people at her side sent away, Xuan Tian Ming smiled and teased her: “Are you preparing to get intimate with husband?”
Feng Yu Heng rolled her eyes, “You sure are optimistic.” However, she was still unable to stop her lips from curling into a smile, “This Xu Tian Cave is so spectacular. I just wanted to wander around a bit and make my face more known. That way there won’t be anyone who won’t recognize me and make moving around more difficult.”
Xuan Tian Ming did not understand, “Make your face more known?”
“Un.” She gave him an explanation, “Just become recognized more easily. Make sure the soldiers that are standing guard here all recognize me, so I can enter even if you are not here. Also, I need to make sure I receive the same treatment as you.” Speaking to this point, she was a little uncertain. Stopping in her tracks, she wrapped around to the front of the wheelchair and asked him: “Can I receive the same treatment as you? How about you tell me first, does this place have any forbidden areas? Where can I go? That will save me the trouble of losing face when being rebuffed.”
The two happened to stop in front of a guard post, and Feng Yu Heng’s words happened to be heard by a guard on duty. That person was unable to endure and began to laugh.
Xuan Tian Ming laughed at her: “Look, even the guard on duty can’t bear to continue listening. This military camp is mine. You are my wife. How could there be any place that you cannot go?”
“What if though!” Feng Yu Heng’s eyebrows became vertical, as she glared at the guard, “You are not allowed to laugh.” She then turned to ask Xuan Tian Ming: “Is there really no place in the military camp that I cannot go?”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “There is no area forbidden to you, and there is nothing that you cannot do. Not only are you my future princess, you are also the commander of the Divine Intent Army, and you are the only one capable of producing steel for Da Shun. Here, any power that I have, you also have. All of the soldiers that respect and admire me also feel that way about you. Heng Heng, even if there comes a day when you sneak these 30 thousand soldiers out to fight the world, I will not say no, and neither will they.”
“But… you aren’t worried that I will rebel? You really are not worried that I will lead them away someday?” Feng Yu Heng was a little afraid to believe that she had so much power. She was puzzled and asked Xuan Tian Ming: “Is this just what you are thinking, or do all the soldiers think this way?”
Xuan Tian Ming did not reply directly. Instead, he turned his gaze on the soldier that had just laughed and asked: “Say, what do you think!”
The soldier immediately said: “This servant is loyal to the general and county princess. The county princess’ standing in this servant’s mind is the same as the general’s!”
Feng Yu Heng was a little moved and a little bit proud. Covering her small mouth, she did not know what to say.
Xuan Tian Ming continued: “As for whether or not you will rebel, Heng Heng, even if you did it, you will have your own reasons. To take a step back and say it, if you really do have bad intentions, only I, Xuan Tian Ming, can be blamed for being a poor judge of character. I cannot blame you.”
The smile on her face disappeared and was replaced with a solemn expression, as she told him: “I will never do anything for no reason. Please do not worry. I, Feng Yu Heng, will definitely be worthy of the soldier’s trust. I will also be worthy of you, of Da Shun and the world. Xuan Tian Ming, just you watch, sooner or later, a day will come when our soldiers will hold steel weapons. Out of a hundred battles, there will not be a single defeat! Just wait and see, sooner or later, there will be a day when those who had sought to harm us will all receive the retribution that they deserve!”