The munitions were collected in just three months. Now Lin Yuan had people in his hands who possessed an unprecedented execution power. Everyone believed that Lin Yuan would lead them to a better life. There was plenty of food rations and weapons. Not only that, the weapons could also be called sophisticated.
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Lin Yuan had weapons armories and factories built in every city. The daily work of the blacksmiths was to build weapons and the better the quality of the weapons, the more monthly payment they could get. The quality represented their pay, so even if the blacksmiths didn’t eat or drink, they would still also be thinking about how to make the weapons sharper, more resilient, and not easy to break.
Looking at the long knives in front of him, Lin Yuan thought of the enemy weapons collected in several battles. Before the troubled times, in the peaceful era, the number of weapons was almost nearly counted for. No one would just commission bows and arrows or knives for fun. If they did then arrest would probably greet them at their front doors.
So in the troubled times, when the weapon armories were opened, most of the weapons had already become rusty. And because of technical limitations, there were many long knives that, while still sharp, easily broke when just a bit of force was used on them.
It was like modern utility knives. If it was not sharp anymore, just smash and break off that section with a stone and continue using the new sharpened part.
The consumption and wear of weapons was huge, and the costs to be invested were equally as astronomical.
Lin Yuan sometimes even regretted that he didn’t major in science and engineering. He really didn’t know how to make steel.
Now except for Lin Yuan, the weapons of the several rebel factions were not very good. The cost of building weapons was too high so for them it was better to fight more battles and seize more weapons, which was a much more convenient and cheap way to obtain more weapons stock.
Anyway, the battles definitely must be fought, and if they could come away with a satisfying amount of spoils in weapons then that would just be an unexpected benefit.
After Lin Yuan inspected this batch of weapons he had Chen Baisong call someone to carry it away.
These knives would still shatter, but they were much better than what they used before. In fact, sometimes Lin Yuan felt that people degenerate in certain aspects, such as the forging craftsmanship of the Bronze Age. The toughness of the bronze weapons dug up during modern archaeological digs could even equal that of the weapons manufactured in modern times and even surpass the weapons created in Europe in the Middle Ages by more than a star and a half.
Many of the swords used by Europeans in the Middle Ages were directly created from pig iron, and they would break with a little effort.
This kind of situation was maintained for a very long period of time.
However, the forging technology of bronze had not been passed down, and the forging of weapons had fallen stagnant.
Lin Yuan picked up the long jian that the blacksmiths carefully crafted for him——the jian was not very practical on the battlefield, it was easy to break and was not easy to use or operate, so the jian was generally a symbol of status, and could be taken as ancient men’s “luxury” good.
Since the artisans dared to send it to Lin Yuan, it proved that this was their most proud work.
Lin Yuan first picked up the long jian and tested the weight, then lifted the jian and slashed it towards the wooden table next to him. This was not easy, but in the end he cut off a corner of the wooden table. Lin Yuan turned the tip of the sword to the ground and slowly pressed down on it.
The jian’s body bent, becoming more and more curved, and when it reached less than half of its original height, the sword broke.
“Let them try again.” Lin Yuan said to Chen Baisong, “It could be better.”
Chen Baisong had no expression on his face, but his heart was dripping blood. Such a fine jian…..
Lin Yuan sighed. He didn’t notice the regret in Chen Baisong’s eyes: “Did Song Shizhao and Luo Ben arrive yet?”
Chen Baisong: “They should be on the way.”
Lin Yuan nodded and said, “When they come, I can relax.”
At first, Lin Yuan was worried that Song Shizhao and Luo Ben would not get along, but in fact their relationship was quite good. This caused Lin Yuan to be a little surprised. After all, Song Shizhao was even cautious of those who had no real talents, let alone someone like Luo Ben who did have real talent.
Although they could not be called very good friends, on the surface, the relationship was well maintained and amicable. He heard that if they had the opportunity they would meet up for a chat and drink together. Song Shizhao pretended to be drunk and didn’t pay the bill. And Luo Ben had thought it would be Song Shizhao’s treat so he did not bring money with him. So in the end he could only call someone over to save the awkward situation.
Chen Baisong was also aware of how busy Lin Yuan had been recently, and that Lin Yuan hardly had much time to sleep. He accompanied Lin Yuan during this period and had also developed black eye bags.
Lin Yuan yawned. While he felt that he should take a nap, his brain was a little too stimulated to sleep.
Lin Yuan said softly, “I wonder how Ni Wenjun is doing.”
Ni Wenjun, who was far away in Hanyang, sneezed. The advisor next to him was taken aback and quickly expressed concern: “There was a cool wind last night. General must take care of your health.”
Ni Wenjun waved his hand. He was born tall and big, with a muscular physique, a square face, big eyes, and had a loyal, righteous appearance. He said to the people around him: “It’s nothing serious, but a little cool breeze, what can it do to me?”
The advisor saw that there was nothing wrong with Ni Wenjun, so his worries settled.
Ni Wenjun asked: “What happened to the grain and grass rations?”
The advisor said: “It is all prepared.”
Although there were many old and rotten grains, they could still be considered as grain and could fill the stomach.
Ni Wenjun asked again: “And the weapons?”
The advisor had a smile on his face. He had been busy with this recently. As the saying went, a workman must first sharpen his tools if he is to do his work well. Although food and grass rations were important things, what couldn’t soldiers eat? So long as whatever went down the stomach would not poison and could prevent starvation then it was fine. But weapons were a different matter. He felt that he had done a good job, and the pride could not help but show up on his face: “Previously, many of the weapons we seized were too worn down, so this subordinate sent someone to buy a new batch. They are all peerlessly sharp and they will surely make the soldiers indomitable.”
Ni Wenjun was about to praise him, but the servants outside the house reported: “General, Imperial Supervisor Zhou asks to see you.”
The imperial supervisor was the person sent by the emperor to monitor in the military barracks, but now that the government was under the control of Ni Wenjun, the imperial supervisor naturally lost its original function.
“Zihao is here.” Ni Wenjun showed a smile on his face, “Call him in.”
Zhou Zihao’s given name was Zhou Zheng while his courtesy name was Zihao. He had the appearance of a scholar and looked like a modest gentleman. Ni Wenjun considered himself to be someone suited to being the emperor and weren’t the officials around the emperor all such literati? Therefore, he had always treated Zhou Zihao with respect.
The advisor standing on the side saw Zhou Zihao and wanted nothing more than to kick him out.
All those who followed Ni Wenjun wanted to get Ni Wenjun’s fan and regard.
Ni Wenjun was only one person and the seats around him were limited. People like them were all pursuing greater interests. They wanted to occupy a place beside Ni Wenjun and become the person Ni Wenjun valued most. Even if they were asked to kill off their colleagues in order to climb up, they would still raise butcher knives at each other without hesitation.
Ni Wenjun himself was born in a fisherman family and had no education. Most of his advisors began learning halfway through and did not come from any scholarly families. This gave Zhou Zihao a chance to come forward.
But Zhou Zihao’s face was black when he came in, and one could tell at a glance that his mood was not very happy at the moment.
Ni Wenjun himself was in a good mood and asked, “What’s wrong, Zihao? Did you meet something unhappy?”
Zhou Zihao snorted coldly. He had always been like this in front of Ni Wenjun. He knew that Ni Wenjun advocated the noble character of the literati, so no matter whether he possessed this thing or not, he must have it in front of Ni Wenjun. He said with a swipe of his sleeves: “General, why not ask what ridiculous things brother Wu did? Where does he put General’s great cause? Is he anxious for General, or is he trying to secretly plot against General!”
This accusation was too serious. Advisor Wu flushed red and furiously said: “You, you are slandering me! You take advantage of General’s favor and spout lies! You are trying to sow discord! General! Don’t listen to this person’s nonsense!”
Zhou Zihao turned around and said coldly, “Brother Wu, please don’t speak anymore! Zhou doesn’t want to interact with a jackal like you!”
“Ai.” Ni Wenjun stepped in to smooth the edgy atmosphere, “What is this? It’s just a matter of discussion, but it’s more fierce than fighting in a battle. Didn’t Zihao tell me last time that it is good for colleagues to be in harmony?”
Only then did Zhou Zihao reeled in his temper and calmly said to Ni Wenjun: “General, he replaced the fine grains with old grains in order to have enough grain and grass rations. It was only reported this morning. Those old grains hands are old enough they can turn to ashes. General, if the soldiers eat this kind of food, can they still even fight? Since ancient times, the food and grass rations have always been transported first before soldiers and horses even set off. Without the grain and grass rations, how can the soldiers and horses move?”
Ni Wenjun was taken aback, he turned his head and looked at Advisor Wu: “Didn’t you just say…..”
Advisor Wu gritted his teeth: “Zhou Zheng! You are exaggerating. Although it is old grain, it will not turn into ashes. Where can there be any fine grains now in war? If fine grains were available, they would have been bought out by the big households long ago. Even if we force them to hand it over it still won’t be enough to feed the whole army!”
Ni Wenjun nodded: “It makes sense, Zihao, the output in the farm fields is not very good nowadays…..”
Zhou Zihao said to Ni Wenjun: “General, I know he must be cunning and shrewd, so I brought the grain he put in the granary. Please have a look.”
He took out a small cloth bag from his pocket, and when the cloth bag was opened, a musty smell came out and filled the room.
Even Ni Wenjun couldn’t help holding his breath. This kind of old grains…..how many years has it been?
Ni Wenjun had also lived through hard days, but no matter how hard off he was, he had never eaten chaff that would become ashes with just a pinch.
Zhou Zihao clenched his fists and applied a little force. The chaff instantly turned into ashes. As soon as he let go, the ashes scattered into the air.
Floating slowly in the air, and then falling to the ground.
Ni Wenjun’s face turned black. He turned to ask the advisor, “This is what you give to this general’s soldiers to eat? Even your horse doesn’t eat this, right? The soldiers are putting their lives on the line for this general, but you are trying to kill them!”
The advisor didn’t dare to quibble at this time. He knelt down and said tremblingly: “General, there is not enough money! Weapons are made of fine iron. If we don’t have weapons, how can we kill the enemy in battle? General! This subordinate is doing this for you!”
Ni Wenjun also knew that there was not enough money. Although he had some money, what was the price of weapons nowadays?
Weapons were too expensive, so the food rations would naturally take a back seat.
Zhou Zihao sneered and said: “I knew you would say that, brother Wu. General is a talented person, and all people of insight in the world are willing to support General. A couple days ago a merchant came to my door, willing to send food rations to General. Why, brother Wu, you actually never thought of this? Or is it that you want credit, so you don’t care?”
Ni Wenjun: “Wait, you said that a merchant wants to send food to this general?”
Zhou Zihao only then knelt down: “The general is destined by the heavens! Even merchants will naturally submit to the general.”
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Although he promised Jiang Guang he would buy his food rations, he did not promise how much money he would pay Jiang Guang.
He was just a merchant, it was not like he could go up against power after all.
AN: Jiang Guang: Fuck! He wants to dig a pit for me!
Fortunately, I definitely dug a bigger pit for him ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
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