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Chapter 361

“This is…!” Liu Mang and Lu Bu felt blinded by the sight before them. Liu Mang may not have seen much but Lu Bu have seen a lot of things before. One example was the amount of treasures such as gold and antiques, taken away by Dong Zhuo after he burned down Luoyang. Dong Zhuo even had soldiers to protect the carts of treasures. However, the sight in front of Lu Bu had caused him to stare blankly.

They had never expected there to be a secret room in Shouchun filled with mountains of gold.

“How is there this much money?” Everyone was stunned.

“There is probably several hundred thousand gold here!” Lu Bu quickly recovered. The one that have seen more piled up money in his life recovered faster.

“There is at least two hundred and twenty thousand gold!” Yang Hong gave everyone its figure. Having ten thousand gold was already enough for a rich and influential family to live off for hundreds of years. The amount here was enough for a nation to be considered rich. Even the nobles did not have this much. When the Han Emperor Ling was alive, he only had ten thousand gold. There was two hundred and twenty thousand here.

“Uncle Hong! Why is this here?” Liu Mang asked with a frown. Everyone loved money but Liu Mang wanted to know the origins of it.

“Master. This is left behind by the previous Lord.” This person was Liu Mang’s other father-in-law, Yuan Shu. He was someone who lived well even though he only managed to declare himself Emperor for about ten days.

One third of the money was from plundering Yangzhou and Yuzhou. Half of it was given by the Yuan Family. The previous head Yuan Shi only had two successors which was Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu. Yuan Shao went to Jizhou and developed there. He did not return to the Central Plains. On the other hand, Yuan Shu returned to Yuzhou and prepared to invade Yangzhou. Yuan Shao may have been his older brother but Yuan Shao was conceived from a servant girl that his father had bedded when drunk. On the other hand, Yuan Shu was the son of the first wife. As a result, he received the support of the family and managed to take Yangzhou.

When Yuan Shu proclaimed himself Emperor, he was the ruler of the Central Plains. His territory ranged from Nanyang to Guangling. Yangzhou and Yuzhou in the North was able to launch a pincer attack on Cao Cao’s Yanzhou. Yuan Shu did not attack Jiangdong which was at his South but he had enough power to pacify Jiangdong. Liu Biao lived in the same time as Yuan Shu and could also be considered one of the rulers of the Central Plain.

There were two powerful alliances during that time. The first one was Yuan Shao with Cao Cao and Liu Biao. The second one was Yuan Shu with Tao Qian and Gongsun Zan. Unfortunately, Yuan Shu proclaiming to be Emperor caused him to lose popular support and was chased off by Sun Ce. Tao Qian and Gongsun Zan were also dead. He soon found himself isolated.

The wealth Yuan Shu left behind were those that he could not take away. If he wanted to take away all that money, he would need thousands of carriages. By doing that, he would also not be able to escape with his life. In the end, he simply told Yang Hong about this wealth before1 his death.

Yang Hong did not immediately give the money to Lu Bu at that time as Lu Bu did not have any territory. He once again thought of telling Lu Bu ones Lu Bu had obtained Wancheng but in the end, he did not.

There were two reasons for this. The first reason was that the situation for the Lu Bu’s Army at that time was not good. The nobles were revolting and Sun Ce was attacking. It was impossible to move the money. The other reason was if he were to tell them about the money, information would leak and provoke attacks. He was also unable to say anything when Liu Bei attacked as it would disrupt Liu Mang’s movements. It was only now when Liu Mang needed money that he said anything. Amongst their neighbours, Liu Bei had just been chased away and Cao Cao is too busy to pay attention to the Central Plains. It was the best time to make use of this money.

“Why did Gonglu not use this money when he had it?” Lu Bu did not understand. The money here was enough to expand the army, rebuild the walls and buy provisions. If Gongsun Zan was able to hold off Yuan Shu for a year at Hebei, Yuan Shu should have been able to hold back Cao Cao for several years.

“Marquis Wen. Milord thought of doing so as well but he did not dare to take out this money!” Yang Hong laughed bitterly and shook his head. It would have been great if it had been as simple as Lu Bu expected it to be. When Yuan Shu proclaimed himself Emperor, his reputation fell. The people from ancient times followed the Heaven-picked monarch. Yuan Shu’s actions could be classified as a revolt. As long as the people lived well, they did not dare to support Yuan Shu. Many of Yuan Shu’s generals such as Chen Lan and Deng Ren had also defected.

Even Sun Ce who once worked for Yuan Shu had cut off all relationship with him and even attacked him.

Yuan Shu may have been rich but he could not buy anything. Besides that, amongst his neighbors, only Liu Biao did not attack. Everybody else decided to attack him. Even Liu Bei who had nothing to do with Yuan Shu came to attack.

He had money but he could not buy provisions. He had troops but no generals. He even had deal with the revolts himself. Why would he dare to take out this money? Not only would he still be unable to attack. Instead, he would attract more enemies and traitors who want to take that money.

“With this money, we would be able to buy provisions!” Liu Mang was very excited. With this money, Liu Mang would be able to buy provisions and even expand the industrial zone. He would be able to move forward the project for weapon manufacturing. He would even be able to give another recruitment order and turn Yangzhou into a prosperous capital.

“Uncle Hong. This is a huge contribution. I will definitely request a title to be given to you. Xu Shu. Dispatch troops to the other states immediately and buy as much provisions as you can. I am willing to buy three to four times the normal price.” Liu Mang’s vigor returned with this money, showing off the arrogance of a wealthy person.

“Yes, Milord!” Xu Shu nodded.

“Thank you, Family Head!” Yang Hong was indifferent to being given a title. What he wanted was for Yuan Shu’s daughter to be valued. This is to repay his previous Lord.

Liu Mang noticed this and then added, “Uncle Hong. I will still need to trouble you further. Go to Lujiang and call Ling Er, Fang Er and Yu Er over. I have not seen them for several months and miss them a lot!”

“Yes. I will immediately go and make preparations!” Yang Hong replied happily. Although Liu Mang had placed Yuan Fang after Lu Lingqi in importance, Yang Hong was not unhappy. After all, Yuan Fang was just a flat wife2 while Lu Lingqi was the real Queen.

Liu Mang truly had everything with his wives. There was Lu Bu’s barbaric daughter Lu Lingqi that was skilled in martial arts. Liu Mang was also unable to defeat her. She is normally disobedient and decided to come to Shouchun, causing the Wolf Cavalry to be ambushed and Zhang Fan to die. Fortunately, she has poor sense of direction and actually has not even left Lujiang. She got lost and had to ask for help at a local residence before being sent back to Wancheng. Lu Bu confined her in anger. If she had truly been caught by Liu Bei’s Army, Liu Mang would be at a lost.

His second wife was Yuan Fang. Yuan Fang did not contend for anything and was instead like a sister loved by the others. She was also very beautiful. However, Liu Mang and Yuan Fang had a political marriage. He was not particularly satisfied about this fact and became less concerned about her. This was why Yang Hong became happy when Liu Mang mentioned Yuan Fang.

Liu Mang’s third wife was Da Qiao, Qiaoyu. Qiaoyu married Liu Mang as a concubine but she was the real Queen Mother at home. She could comprehend everything. She knew that Liu Mang needed a quiet backyard when he fights at the frontlines. She was also older than Lu Lingqi and Yuan Fang. As a result, the other two also called her Elder Sister Qiaoyu. They listened to her and kept a harmonious relationship within the family.

“Father-in-law. The money from Lujiang is no longer needed. There is two hundred thousand gold here. You should take away fifty thousand with you!” Liu Mang said as he finally remembered about Lu Bu.

Lu Bu also blinked as he looked at Liu Mang and replied, “Just keep the fifty thousand gold in case.” Lu Bu also knew that Yangzhou was a money sink. The tens of thousands of gold he had brought last time was finished within a month. It was reasonable as there were many things that needed to be done in Yangzhou. Besides that, Liu Mang had also made achievements with that money such as the improvements to the ballista, the catapults, the ships and the cement.

The cement could be used for the civilians and also for the city defences. Most of the city’s defences were made of wood and were easily burned by fire attacks. This is especially true for the naval bases. Once there is fire, it becomes difficult to put out. It would be much better once they used cement. Besides that, the materials were also more convenient to use. When it is not used, it is just a pile of powder. When it is used, it becomes a hard stone. It is easier to transport unlike limestone which comes in large blocks.

Carriages transporting the gold continued busily until dusk. Liu Mang looked bored. With a stern man like Gao Shun around, the officials would not ask for corrupted tax. Liu Mang went back to sleep with relief.

However, before Liu Mang could sleep, a messenger dispatched by Cheng Yu came with information. “Report! Milord, there are thousands of Xiliang Cavalry outside the city!”

“What?” Liu Mang sat back up. “Men. Bring me my armor!” Zhang Xiu was still alive. If the Xiliang Cavalry is here, it meant that they are here to attack Yangzhou.

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Raws actually says Yuan Shu told Yang Hong about the money AFTER his death which feels weird because
A) The dead can’t speak.
B) A will is likely to get read by someone else in charge, hidden away, and then money stolen.
If anyone knows a way to speak after death, please tell me.

Couldn’t find an English equivalent for this flat wife 平妻. A flat wife is a legal wife that could fight for inheritance rights with the first wife unlike concubines but is lower in status. If I am not wrong, their male children have the same status as others.
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