Chapter 19: Hyderabad Ore
If they were to do so in the Abbasid Caliphate, Spasinu Charac, Damascus and such locations, there was no problem with it. That was because the merchants of the Abbasid Caliphate were interested in everything that could earn them a profit, regardless of whether it was jewelry, herbs, silk, tea leaves, pottery, mines… As long as it was something that could bring one profit, they would deal with it, even if it was something restricted.
This included slavery; the Caliphate’s merchants engaged in this trade as well.
However, in Great Tang, not everyone was interested in the mining and refining business. From the very start, their target audience was wrong.
Furthermore, few people in the capital knew how to speak Sanskrit. Even if they were to find a potential buyer, the language barrier prevented the other party from understanding what they were talking about.
Without a doubt, this method of theirs was unlikely to work. It would end in a loss for them, as well as for the Great Tang. Or perhaps, they might not have held much expectation for the trip here from the very start.
In the depths of the heart, they might have already been prepared to leave empty-handed.
“I have to change all of this!”
A gleam flashed across Wang Chong’s eyes as he stepped out of the carriage. Shen Hai and Meng Long hurriedly followed behind him.
“Two masters, greetings.”
Wang Chong walked over and bowed respectfully to them.
After noticing a presence behind them, the two Sindhi monks turned around. However, upon seeing that it was a young man in his teens, a disappointed expression appeared on their faces.
One of the monks put on a stern expression and waved for Wang Chong to leave.
Shen Hai and Meng Long exchanged a glance and they saw the laughter in the others’ eyes.
They could tell that these two Sindhi monks had a pattern to their behavior. Even though they were looking around for someone, there were also many people who approached him. However, after conversing with them for a bit, most of them ended up rejected by them.
Without a doubt, their young master was also one of the rejected group!
They were curious about this trip, but from the looks of it, they seemed to be overestimating Wang Chong. Their young master was still the same old young master, there wasn’t anything different about him!
“Seems like young master didn’t manage to reach a consensus with the other party.”
“It is not that they didn’t reach a consensus, they didn’t even come into contact with one another beforehand. Young master probably thought that he wouldn’t be rejected by the other party.”
The two of them chuckled.
However, an astonishing event occurred.
“Don’t be so hasty to reject me. I may be young, but I am the best candidate to purchasing your Wootz steel.”
Wang Chong’s tone changed and with a smile, a bunch of words that Shen Hai and Meng Long had never heard before came out from his mouth. Sanskrit!
Shen Hai and Meng Long were taken aback. Wang Chong’s accent was identical with the two foreign monks!
Their own young master actually knew Sanskrit!
How was this possible?
A look of disbelief appeared on their faces. They couldn’t believe their ears. Not only was the Sanskrit of their young master not choppy, it even sounded extremely fluent.
It sounded as though he had learned it for several decades.
But the problem was that where did their young master learn it from?
They have been in the Wang Residence for more than a decade now, but they had never seen Wang Chong learning under a Sanskrit teacher. In fact, there wasn’t a single Sanskrit teacher who had come to the Wang Residence in the past decade that they have been there.
If so, where in the world did their young master learn such fluent Sanskrit?
“You know Sanskrit?”
The two Sindhi monks were even more surprised than Shen Hai and Meng Long. Especially for the foreign monk who turned around and ignored Wang Chong altogether, his face spelled of nothing but astonishment.
They had been in the Central Plains for several months now, but this was the first time they had seen a Han who knew Sanskrit in Great Tang. Furthermore, it was an unremarkable teenager.
Somehow, this made the two feel a sense of kinship with the child.
“Heh, can’t a child know Sanskrit?”
Wang Chong said calmly. His Sanskrit was learned thirty years from now in his previous life. In that era, there were quite a handful of people who, like him, knew Sanskrit. However, right now, Wang Chong was well aware that he was probably one of the very few people in the capital who knew the language.
“I will not hide from you all, I am the grandson of the Great Tang’s Duke Jiu. Using your words, it is equivalent Sindhu’s Kshatriya. There aren’t many people in the Central Plains who are interested in the Wootz steel and able to afford it. However, I am one of them.”
Wang Chong said. In the midst of his words, he took out a token and flashed it before keeping it back:
“Do you see the two people behind me? They are the guards of my residence. Now, you should be able to believe me.”
The astonishment in the gazes of the two Sindhi monks deepened. Despite his young age, the young child actually knew about the Sindhu’s Kshatriya.
But soon, their expression darkened.
“Wootz steel? I’m afraid that you are mistaken. We’re not here to sell Wootz steel. We’re here to sell the Hyderabad ores!”
“The reason why we traveled so far to the Central Plains is to look for a wealthy buyer for our ores or a long-term collaborator.”
The two people said.
Wang Chong was shocked. Their reply was something beyond his expectation. However, Wang Chong was more concerned about another matter:
“Hyderabad ores? You are not selling Wootz steel but the Hyderabad ores?”
The two foreign monks nodded their heads seriously.
Wang Chong was stunned. This joke was a little too big for him to accept. All along, he thought that the two were selling the refined Wootz steel. Yet, to think that they were selling the primitive ores.
However, thinking about the matter, the Hyderabad mine had just surfaced and it was only a few years later did the name ‘Wootz steel’ appear in history.
He had forgotten that the name would only appear a few years from now and spoke of it before them.
“Gongzi, Wootz steel doesn’t sound like a name from the Central plain. Even though this humble monk has been to many places and seen many things, I have never heard of this type of steel. May I ask gongzi where you have heard of it?”
One of the foreign monks frowned and asked doubtfully.
“That… I have heard that the Sindhu’s Hyderabad had produced an incredible steel known as the Wootz steel, so I thought that you were selling Wootz steel.”
Of course Wang Chong couldn’t say that he had heard of it from his previous life. Thus, he made up a random excuse for the matter.
The two foreign monks were slightly taken aback. After a long conversation, they realized that Wang Chong had mistaken Hyderabad mine for Wootz steel:
“Sindhu only has Hyderabad mine, there isn’t anything known as Wootz steel there. I’m afraid that gongzi is mistaken.”
“However, the name ‘Wootz steel’ sounds nice and if gongzi doesn’t mind, we hope to bring this name back to our homeland. Perhaps, Wootz steel may become the official name for the ore of Hyderabad.”
“I don’t mind, feel free!”
Wang Chong quickly waved his hands to gesture that it wasn’t a big matter. At the same time, a bizarre feeling arose in his mind.
Wang Chong had forgotten how the name Wootz steel came to be in his previous life. However, from the looks of it, it seemed like he was going to be the one who gave Wootz steel its name.
This gave Wang Chong the ridiculous impression as though he was making history.
Upon hearing Wang Chong’s approval, the two Sindhu’s monk smiled. At the same time, the impression they had of the teenage child improved significantly.
“The two masters, if you don’t mind, may I take a look at the Hyderabad ores in your hands before we negotiate?”
Wang Chong abruptly said.
Upon hearing Wang Chong’s request, the two foreign monks agreed without much hesitation. It was understandable for a client to want to look at the goods before talking business.
One of the monks carried an ugly, pitch-black, dirty-looking iron can which had a bizarre outer appearance up.
“So this is it!”
Wang Chong was surprised. He had long noticed the pitch black bizarre-looking iron can in the duo’s hands. From the outer appearance itself, it was clear that it wasn’t something that came from the Central Plains.
However, Wang Chong never expected that they would have hidden the Hyderabad ore in here.
“Here you go!”
Indeed, the monk placed his right hand into the can and retrieved a black, mottled, uneven-surfaced, oval ore over to Wang Chong.
Looking at this ore, Wang Chong’s heart beat furiously. Hyderabad ore! He had finally caught sight of this legendary ore!
“I have finally found it!”
Wang Chong’s heart was thumping rapidly.
Compared to later on in his previous life, the name of the Hyderabad ore still was still modest.
Wang Chong dared to bet that even these two Sindhi monks didn’t know the true significance of the Hyderabad ore that was in their hands now.
The Xuanshui Street was crowded with many people and countless wealthy businessmen passed by him, but not a single person looked over.
Wang Chong was well-aware that if not for his appearance before the Sindhi monks, Great Tang would have lost its opportunity to obtain this precious Hyderabad mine.
Wang Chong stretched out his hands and took the Hyderabad ore from the hand of the Sindhi monk with a placid expression.
This was Wang Chong’s first impression of it. The Hyderabad ore was much heavier than it looked. Wang Chong made a rough estimation and determined it to be around forty to forty to fifty jin.
1 jin ~ 0.5kg
Given Wang Chong’s current strength, it was tiring for him to carry it.
“These two monks are powerful!”
Wang Chong subconsciously glanced at the two foreign monks. Before that, he had only noticed the Hyderabad ore on them and he wasn’t too focused on their strength.
To be able to carry this Hyderabad ore around as though it weighed nothing at all, their strength was definitely remarkable.
Wang Chong didn’t look at them for too long. His attention quickly returned back to the ore in his hand. The Hyderabad ore whose name would soon rattle the world looked black, mottled and unremarkable. In fact, it wasn’t wrong to say that it was ugly.
Just by the outer appearance itself, Wang Chong couldn’t tell its difference from the other metal ores.
On this aspect itself, it was no wonder that the value of the Hyderabad ore would go unnoticed. Despite the countless scholars and geniuses in Great Tang, not a single one of them was able to sense its value.
However, Wang Chong knew that the significance of other metal ores was incomparable to that of this ore.
This was the sharpest and most perfect material for forging weapons!
“We have just noticed the Hyderabad mine recently and it weighs around three to four times heavier than the other metal ores. This aspect, by itself, proves that it is one of the best ores.”
The business-like voice of the two Sindhi monk reached his ears:
“Even though it is still an ore, it contains high percentage of metal within, so there is no need for overly complex processing methods to extract what is needed of it. If you need high-quality metal, then the Hyderabad ore will surely fulfill your expectations!”
“Furthermore, the Hyderabad ore is extremely sharp. We have tried forging a blade with it and without much grinding, it is already extremely sharp. It is able to easily cut through other blades, making it an excellent material for crafting metal!”
“This is the first batch of the ore. The one who offers the highest price and buys the most of it will win our respect. That person would be the most suitable collaborator for us.”
The two Sindhi monks explained.
Hearing their explanation, Wang Chong couldn’t help but sigh. Given their direct description, it was no wonder that the duo returned empty-handed, causing the Hyderabad ore business to escape the Central Plains.
In comparison, the description used for the Wootz steel in his previous life was concise, elegant and prominent:
The world’s most elegant and sharp weapon, the nightmare of the battlefield!
——On this aspect, Wang Chong was even more knowledgeable than the two Sindhi monks.
条支: Spasinu Charac (Characene)
Spasinu Charac is the capital of the country Characene, and it is located between Euphrates and Tigris River.
At present, the location is known as Iraq.
The phrase itself refers to Antiochia, but there are many possible cities Antiochia can refer to. (At this, it refers to Spasinu Charac specifically)
I remember explaining it before but just in case, I will do it again.
It refers to all of the Chinese nationality.
After Qin Shi Huang conquered the entire China, the Qin Dynasty was established.
However, it didn’t take long for Liu Bang and Xiang Yu to start a rebellion and eventually, Liu Bang became the new emperor of China. His dynasty was known as the Han Dynasty.
In the years to come, the dynasty became prosperous and its citizens started to term themselves as Han people (I’m going to skip on the people behind and go with Han).
Even to date, even though it is rarely used, it isn’t wrong for people in China to identify themselves as Han.
The caste system of the India society.
Brahmin -> Kshatriya -> Vaishya -> Shudra (And even lower, Dalit)
Back then, the caste system formed an important part of the society.