Chapter 122 – Tour
After the ceremony, it was already 10 AM.
The military parade was ready. A thousand soldiers were gathered and lined up in the town square, waiting for their officers.
Ouyang Shuo invited the lords to follow him up to the viewing platform. The platform was divided into two sections. The front section sat the 5 lords, while the back section sat their officers. In the middle was Ouyang Shuo, to his left were Bai Hua and Mulan Yue; on his right was Xunlong Dianxue and Gong Chengshi.
“What you are about to witness is the expeditionary team that will be deployed to the Battle of Zhoulu. The best of the best from Shanhai have gathered right here. Shanhai has now revealed its secret to all of you.” Ouyang Shuo said with a smiling face.
Due to the limitation on the number of soldiers, the 1000 soldiers marched past the reviewing platform in squadrons. As the commander of the parade, Shi Wanshui had mounted a Qingfu warhorse and marched in the forefront. Behind him were 3 infantry squadrons, the 1st to appear was the heavy infantry squadron equipped with the Tang sword and Buren armor. Then following the infantry were the 2 bow squadrons and 3 crossbow squadrons in leather armor. The last to march were the 2 cavalry squadrons. Mounted on Qingfu warhorses, equipped with a Tang sword and horn bow, with lances in their hands. The first 50 cavalry were instead equipped with Mingguang armor.
As they watched the soldiers march past the viewing platform in step, different thoughts lurked in their minds.
Bai Hua’s attention was drawn to the Emperor-level historical figure, Shi Wanshui. Before this, she had met with Fan Zhongyang and Tian Wenjing, the two King-level historical figures. She’d thought that they were the rewards from Ouyang Shuo’s summoning talisman when he acquired the village creation token. But who knew that there was again another one hiding in the military?
Her completion rate during the village creation quests was considered high, and yet she was only rewarded with a Silver-level Village Creation Token and a King-level Summoning Talisman. If this is the case, it seems like the gold-level token must have been acquired by him.
Xunlong Dianxue was eyeing the calvary enviously. Having Qin Qiong as his territory general, it was natural for him to wish for a similar thing that Ouyang Shuo wished for: a fully-equipped elite cavalry unit. Unfortunately, whether be it warhorses, weapons, or armours, he still couldn’t acquire any one of them as of now. Who knew Shanhai had already gathered and equipped them all. What a freak.
Qin Qiong, who was seated behind Xunlong Dianxue watched the cavalry closely. The lance, the armor, the warhorse… the cavalry…. He was in a trance, and his mind faded back to the good old days when he’d fought like a dragon in the battlefield.
As for Gong Chengshi, he had his eyes on the heavy infantry. Nearby his territory too, there existed a bunch of barbaric tribes. Hence, he could instantly identify that the infantry was of barbarian origin. Heavy armors like those might be a burden to ordinary infantry, but to the barbaric warriors, they were just pleasant. Heavy armors and barbaric warriors were a match made in heaven.
While Mulan Yue, the little girl, was just here for fun, her general Mu Guiying’s sights focused when she saw the Qingfu warhorses. She recognized the warhorses, broncos from the center of Lianzhou Basin, raised by the nomadic tribes. She was puzzled and curious. How did Shanhai get their hands on the horses?
The military parade showed Shanhai’s strength to its allies, and at the same time consolidated Ouyang Shuo’s position as the leader of the alliance. In addition, it had shown the best weapons and equipment with the military parade, and so the future arms dealer slowly showed its teeth, waiting for its allies to jump for the bait.
The military parade ended, and his allies stared at him as if they would consume him on the spot. Ouyang Shuo acted normal, smiled, and said, “So, how was it? Since we still have some time, I will give all of you a tour around the town.”
Gong Chengshi was a straightforward man. He was the first to ask. “Brother Wuyi, the tour, it is a must. But that is not the main point. What’s more important is the weapons and equipment in the military parade. Are they for sale?”
Ouyang Shuo nodded and moments later shook his head.
“What?” Gong Chengshi didn’t understand.
“For sale, yet not for sale. Before this, I have made my promise. All of you will be in the priority list. However, there is one condition. That is, only after Shanhai has fully-equipped its own military forces will we then consider selling the weapons and equipment. All of you saw it clearly, even the 1000 soldiers I have now had not yet been fully-equipped. I have no extra weapons and equipment to sell as of now.” Ouyang Shuo did not lie to them.
“Although it is still not for sale, but brother Wuyi must have a price in mind. Why don’t you tell us, so we can prepare the funds earlier.” Bai Hua asked.
The other lords were concerned about the issue too.
I knew you would ask, Ouyang Shuo then made a gesture to Yingyu behind him. Yingyu smiled and said, “About the prices and the orders, why don’t the lords arrange your men to talk to us, the Finance Department? Such sordid affairs need not involve the lords yourselves.”
One who was a lord was a cunning fox. Instantly, they understood the meaning behind the words of Yingyu. Today’s meeting was aimed to pull the allies closer together. It was not a good time for the lords to negotiate deals. It was better to leave the matter to their subordinates.
Later on, the crowd dispersed into 2. The first group consisted of Zi Luolan, Mu Guiying, Qin Qiong and Ju Shou. Led by Yingyu, they would enter the manor into the office of the Finance Department for the arms trading discussions. Ouyang Shuo would lead the others on a tour around the town, with Fan Zhongyan and Tian Wenjing tagging along.
They’d been to the back mountain, and the manor was quite the same for everyone, so those two had nothing to tour about. So Ouyang Shuo first brought them to the cultural area to the west of the manor, leading them to tour the 2 hidden-class buildings Mazu Temple and Recruitment Hall, along with Lianzhou College.
The mysterious Mazu Temple, Recruitment Hall’s incredible features, and Lianzhou College’s teaching structure all had strong impacts on the lords.
In this small town of Shanhai, how many more surprises were there left to be explored, and how many secrets were hidden from the outside world?
The one the lords were most interested in was the operating structure of Lianzhou College. After all, Mazu Temple and Recruitment Hall belonged to hidden-class buildings, so not things envy could get them. With Lianzhou College, however, they would be able to learn from it.
Ouyang Shuo did not hide it from them. He taught them his experiences in building the college. 1st, an institution which belonged to a grade 3 township building wouldn’t able to be hidden for long. Telling his allies earlier could help them strengthen their territories. 2nd, without attractive territory properties like Shanhai’s, they wouldn’t be able to attract enough juren or jinshi as teachers in the institution. It was simply impossible for the other lords to catch up to his Lianzhou College.
As for the southeast military district, without Ouyang Shuo saying anything, the other lords consciously avoided the area. They did not recklessly ask to tour the military district. Therefore, Ouyang Shuo brought them over to the northwest commercial district. Here, the workshops were all busy operating, and the streets were booming with energy.
Lastly, Ouyang Shuo brought them up to the north city wall, standing on the high wall watching the beautiful scene of Shanhai Town.
The strong and mighty city wall had enough of an impact on the lords, yet when everyone saw the moat around the town, they all went dead silent.
Just how insecure he is feeling, building such a strong defensive system so early?
Mulan Yue looked at the Shanhai lord’s banner flag on the city wall. “Ah, this flag is so beautiful. En, I will have design a flag of my own too when I get back. It looks so great.”
“Indeed, indeed.” Gong Chengshi agreed, and he too, seemed eager.
Watching the golden dragon on the banner, Bai Hua teased Ouyang Shuo and said, “Brother Wuyi, what ambition, having your eyes on the greatest throne.”
Ouyang Shuo smiled and said nothing. It could be taken as a tacit assent.
As the time came nearer to lunch time, Ouyang Shuo invited them to a lunch. The meal would not be held in the manor but instead at Restaurant Sangu.
Restaurant Sangu stood in the middle of the commercial street, where the location was booming the most. It was split into two floors, with the a cabin on the first floor taken by Ouyang Shuo as the venue for the meal. Before this, Ouyang Shuo was the only one willing to dine there, but now, with the increase of residents’ pay wages, people often dined in from time to time. Some talked business on the food table, while others invited friends and relatives for gatherings.
Sanniang was already waiting at the entrance. She saw Ouyang Shuo coming, and quickly came forward. She smiled and said, “My lord, the banquet is ready. It’s only waiting for you, sire.”
Ouyang Shuo nodded and said, “Thank you for your hard work. Have Yingyu and the others arrived?”
“Mistress is already here. She is with the guests on the first floor.” Gu Sanniang answered.
“Alright, let’s go too!” Ouyang Shuo turned and said to the lords.
After they arrived, Yingyu obscurely nodded to Ouyang Shuo, implying that matters regarding the arms dealing had been done. Ouyang Shuo smiled and kindly asked everyone to be seated.
For this banquet, Gu Sanniang had given it her all.
There was fresh seafood from Beihai Town, with lamb and pork from the ranch, various vegetables from the vegetable farm, and poultry from the agricultural market. Last but not least, there were also wildfowl from the barbaric tribes, so indeed it was a sumptuous banquet.
As for the drinks, White Tea and Three Flower Wine, the two special local products, were served to the guests. Adding up the luxurious raw materials with Gu Sanniang’s cooking skills would be comparable to a high-class banquet in the real world.
The lords were speechless and actually had become numb. A meal with meat in their territory would be considered a luxury meal, yet Shanhai had been eating this all along with their own resources.
‘Wuwu… After this meal, I wouldn’t be able to eat in my own territory anymore.” Mulan Yue said in silly tone.
The other lords nodded in agreement.
Ouyang Shuo grinned, lifted his cup of wine and said, “Come, let us drink once for the first Shanhai Alliance meeting!”
After the banquet, the atmosphere became lively.
Without anyone realizing, their relationship had gotten closer. The feeling of strangers faded, and they were more familiar with each other. As the saying went: ‘A table of wine and food is the best place to make friends’. These words were definitely supported by countless life experiences.