Chapter 33: Talent Ledger (Part Two)
Huai Qiugong flipped through a thick stack of paper on the table and laughed, “Three years after Heaven-Bless Emperor of Great Sui took the throne, you entered Great Sui through the Madam Fortress at Mountain-East Circuit. You used the name ‘Chen Sansheng’, and your traveling permit was issued by Xiang County in River-West Circuit. Who knew how many silver taels you used to buy it? But it isn’t important. The County Magistrate of Xiang Country was executed because of it, but the information released to the public was that he died due to an illness.”
[TL Note: In ancient China, all emperors would have a title. The Emperor of Great Sui’s title was Heaven-Bless.]
Huai Qiugong continued, “You lived at Xiang County for three years. Except for touring around, you locked yourself in your residence and read books. You are an earnest learner, and you were soon able to write beautiful calligraphy. Even the calligraphies and the knowledge of the teachers in the county were inferior to yours after three years. Afterward, your father… Khagan Wanyan Yong of Northern Liao wanted to kill his brother who tried to rebel, so he summoned you back. That was when you left Xiang County and went back to Northern Liao. I believe that your three years at Great Sui has influenced Wanyan Yong’s decision of submitting to Great Sui. Am I right, Prince Wanyan Zhongde of Northern Liao?”
Wanyan Liyao’s expression changed drastically, and he shrunk back subconsciously. He looked at Huai Qiugong with shock and fear.
“Don’t be afraid,” Huai Qiugong smiled and waved the stack of paper. “I just learned about it as well. Mr. Hou, the Head of the Intelligence Department, gave this to me earlier. There is more information on you in the Intelligence Department. If you didn’t live in Xiang County peacefully and tried to get military secrets, how could you have lived until now?”
“The Intelligence Department of Great Sui! Mr. Hou!” Wanyan Liyao memorized these two names, and his respect toward Great Sui increased.
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Great Sui was in the center of the continent, and it didn’t lack giant cities. Out of all cities, the biggest was Chang’an. Even the seniors who lived here all their lives couldn’t describe how big this city was. After the establishment of Great Sui more than 100 years ago, Chang’an hadn’t stopped growing.
All the emperors of Great Sui had done two things. One was launching wars against foreigners to increase the territory of Great Sui, and the other was to renovate and expand Chang’an.
The Emperor of Great Sui, Heaven-Bless Emperor Yang Yi, was better than his father in one thing; this emperor who didn’t appear as aggressive completed most of the renovations and expansions of Chang’an already. It was because the wealthiest merchant of Great Sui, Wu Yidao, was willing to donate half of his wealth, which was equivalent to hundreds of thousands of taels of gold, to renovate an entire city wall and build 48 new long streets.
As a reward, the Emperor gave Wu Yidao the noble title Gold-Sharing Duke and one of the 48 streets.
Chang’an was a huge rectangle when looking down from the sky, and the distance from east to west was 64 kilometers while the distance from north to south was 54 kilometers.
Just the task of renovating one of the four city walls wasn’t easy.
For more than 100 years, Chang’an was being renovated, and it was almost completed when Heaven-Bless Emperor came into power. Now, Chang’an could be considered as a complete capital city. The city walls were more than six meters wide and close to 20 meters tall.
About a dozen soldiers could walk on the city walls side-by-side, and all infrastructures such as arrow towers were built.
There was a heavy crossbow installed every 30 meters and a wolf fang slab every two steps.
[TL Note: Wolf fang slabs were defensive tools. Hundreds of sharp and long nails were placed on a giant wooden slab, and the slab would be tied onto the city wall by ropes. When enemies tried to siege, the slabs would be dropped to kill them.]
Just the amount of money spent on creating the heavy crossbows and wolf fang slabs was stunning.
Chang’an was divided into four zones – east, west, south, and north. The east, west, and south zones each had 13 city gates, and the north zone had ten, coming to a total of 49.
When Wanyan Liyao entered the city, he walked through the smallest Qian-Setting Gate, and that already shocked him. If he went through the Profound Virtue Gate in the middle of the northern city wall or the Eternal Stable Gate in the middle of the southern city wall, he would be stunned into paralysis.