Chapter 86: Territory Upgrade
Ouyang Shuo knew little of the discussions among the 3 Song siblings that was aroused by the seemingly ordinary gifts he’d sent to Song Jia. That was the difference in strength that caused their different point of views.
At 2 PM in the afternoon, Ouyang Shuo led his 3 directors to the city wall. After a month’s time, the main structure of the city wall was finally completed. The rest were the ancillary facilities’ construction of the city gate tower, arrow towers, turrets and the drawbridge. 9 meters high and 5 meters wide, the stone-made city wall looked magnificent, giving off an immense sense of safety to those that laid eyes on it.
As he climbed to the top of the northern city wall, he looked around. Every square inch of land, every drop of water; the plains, the mountains, the rivers... Everything that came into his sight belonged to Shanhai Town. Ouyang Shuo became broad-minded and lion-hearted.
“Good, the Construction Division has done a great job supervising the completion of the city wall. They shall be rewarded.” Ouyang Shuo turned and looked at Cui Yingyu, “The Finance Department will draft a standard of incentives and submit it to me for approval.”
Yingyu nodded. Zhao Dewang on the side said fervently: “My lord, to be able to embrace your ratification is the biggest reward to the Construction Division, we dare not ask for more.”
Ouyang Shuo waved his hand, “Ey, you get what you deserve, Secretary Zhao need not be humble and decline it. This wall, will be the greatest line of defense for Shanhai Town. With it, the military can launch operation Spring Assault with ease. The Construction Division must accelerate the construction of the affiliated facilities to ensure that a complete defense system utilizing the city wall can be formed early.”
“The Construction Division promises, we will finish and complete everything within a week’s time.” Zhao Dewang patted his chest and said.
In comparison to the city wall, the drawbridge was progressing slower. Even when more workers were assigned to it, it would still require another 2 weeks to complete.
After the city wall was built, Ouyang Shuo had a big plan for his territory. Back at his manor, he asked the concierge to invite the manager of the brick kiln workshop over.
The manager, Tao Wang, was an advanced kilnmaster, aged 32, dark-skinned, honest, and loyal. As he received the summons, he rushed over to the manor from the kiln workshop outside of town.
After Tao Wang arrived, Ouyang Shuo then called over to his office the 3 directors, Zhao Dewang, Hao Jianceng and Zhou Haichen. Due to his extraordinary performance during the official assessment, Hao Jiancheng was promoted to assistant secretary of the Construction Division. This was the first time he had the honor to be called over to Ouyang Shuo’s office, and the young assistant looked excited.
“Master Tao, please make a brief report regarding the kiln workshop.” Ouyang Shuo said.
Tao Wang stood up and answered in great respect. “My lord, there are 120 workers, 4,000 units of green bricks, a production rate of 120 green bricks per day, with an average of 1 brick per worker per day.”
Ouyang Shuo nodded and said, “I have a plan to discuss with all of you. The territory layout was generally based on a grade 3 village layout. However, after the blessings of time, the current layout is now unable to catch up with our rapid development. We have to look forward one, two or even three steps ahead in matters like territory layout.”
Hao Jiancheng nodded in agreement. As the planning manager of the Construction Division, he was very clear of this situation.
“Our city wall was built in reference to the standards of a grade 3 town. That said, are we going to add wall after wall when we get to a grade 3 county, grade 3 prefecture and grade 3 capital? Of course not, the walls will obstruct the development of the city. Therefore, from now on, we will plan and assess our city layout according to the standard and point of view of a capital city.”
He continued, “The future capital city will occupy a land of 100 square kilometers with a total of 3 city walls. The first wall will be 3 kilometers long on all four sides. This is the city stone wall we have just completed. It will be the royal palace wall in the future. The second wall will be 6 kilometers long on all four sides. Its construction will start during the county stage, and it will be the inner capital wall. The third and last wall will have sides as long as 10 kilometers This will be built during the prefecture stage, and will be the outer wall of the capital.
This was the first time Ouyang Shuo had exposed his future plan for the territory, showing his domineering and ambitious true nature. Everyone present, including the 3 directors, were moved greatly as they listened to his plan. Their blood boiled with tidal upsurges of emotions.
“Coming back to our main theme, taking the completion of the city wall as an opportunity, we will adjust the future planning of the territory. There are 2 adjustments needed to be done. First, the general layout of territory; second, the construction materials of the buildings. We will first talk about the construction materials. The general construction materials as of now are stones and mainly wood As a result, the buildings are not safe due to their weak performances against fire hazards. Therefore, we will seize this opportunity and change these wood and stone structured buildings into a combination of brick and stone structures. The Construction Division will have to coordinate with the brick kiln workshop, and adjust the consumption-production rate of bricks to ensure the constant supply of bricks.” Ouyang Shuo instructed them.
Zhao Dewang nodded to indicate understanding. The lord had thrown out bomb after bomb. The Construction Division had just completed the massive city wall project, and was now given another gigantic territory-upgrading project. There wasn’t a second to rest at all.
“The Household Registration Division will have to prepare and allocate workers appropriately. My suggestion is to increase the kiln workers to 200 men.” Ouyang Shuo talked Zhou Haichen.
“No problem.” Zhou Haichen accepted Ouyang Shuo’s suggestion.
“Now here comes the main issue: the adjustment of the territory layout. In principle, within the 5 registration categories, namely the farmers, workers, fishermen, herdsmen and craftsmen. Other than the craftsmen, the others will have to be shifted out to the suburbs. The settlements will be decided according to their occupations. For example, kiln workers will be placed around the kiln workshop, while miners will be settled somewhere near to the mining field. This way, we will not only ease the congestion of populations in the city, but will also provide convenience to the workers.” Such a decision was made as the first step to separate the urban and rural populations. These settlements would be the perfect prototypes for the establishment of village communities in the future.
The decision was also the first step that denoted the transformation of Shanhai Town from an agricultural rural village to an urban city. When the other 4 occupations were scattered around the suburbs, the city was left with only craftsmen, tradesmen, and the other business-related personnel, granting purity to the town and making it more lively.
“My lord, I very much agree to the settlements, but there are 2 questions in mind.” Director Fan of the Administration Department was the first to speak.
“Please speak up!”
“After the establishment of the settlements, how are we going to implement administrative works there, and also how do we guarantee the safety of the residents?” His well-reasoned questions were incisive and straight to the point.
Ouyang Shuo was fully prepared. The plan to establish settlements was not a provisional or premature plan, but it was a plan well thought-out after a series of serious considerations. Just like operation Spring Assault, the proposed plan was a deterrent to solve the existing issues faced by the town.
“Good questions! For the administrative work in the settlements, we will adapt the system of self-government The residents will elect a well-respected man as the settlement chief. He will be in charge of the taxes and household registrations, and will report to the Administration Department.”
About the settlement chiefs, Fan Zhongyan was surely familiar with it. The settlement chiefs had long existed during the Spring and Autumn Period, so they were the best candidate to manage the settlements.
“As for the safety of residents, there is nothing to worry about. As long as operation Spring Assault is progressing smoothly, the territory will be cleared of external threats. There will be no more concerns regarding safety. Secondly, we will set up military camps both inside and outside of the town. They will ensure the safety of everyone in the territory.”
After he finished answering Fan Zhongyan’s questions, he continued on saying, “For the buildings within the city wall, we will have to make some adjustments too. The West district was initially a residential area, but as the residents will be shifted out to the suburbs, only the Southwest district will remain as a residential area. The Northwest district will be changed to a business district, and every workshop will be moved there. In the Northeast district will only remain the military camps, arsenals, stables, the weapons workshop, Armory Division and other military buildings. The Southeast district looks empty with only the Culture and Education Division in it, so we can build some residences for officials in that area, specifically for officials with the position of at least deputy secretary.”
He continued. “The iconic commercial street will remain as is, but commence a round of comprehensive renovation of the shops. The square in front of the lord’s manor needs to be refurbished, so pave the floor with quartz stones and decorate the square with some flowers and sculptures. I want it to be a gathering place of leisure for the residents. Lastly, the two crossroads in the city will also need to be paved with quartz stones. The territory is now already a grade 2 town, but the roads are still mud roads. This is too inappropriate.”
Zhao Dewang felt a great twinge in his heart as he listened to Ouyang Shuo’ plans. From what was mentioned so far, the workload of this project was comparable to that of the construction of the city wall.
Ouyang Shuo ignored Zhao Dewang, and turned to Cui Yingyu. “The expenses required for the whole plan will be classified under public expenditure by the Finance Department. Any concerns?”
“We can barely make it.” Yingyu said cautiously.
Ouyang Shuo nodded, “Good. If the funds are insufficient, come look for me. I will figure it out. The whole plan will have to be done within a month’s time. Is there any problem according to the Construction Division?”
“If it includes the settlements, we can hardly make it.” Although he did not want to disappoint his lord, to make a promise and not to be able to keep it later on, the lord would be furious and might kill him.
Ouyang Shuo shook his head with a smile and said, “The settlements will not be a concern of the Construction Division. Since it will be a self-governing community, the residents will build their own houses.
Zhao Dewang breathed a sigh of relief and said immediately, “Then I have no problem.”
“Very good. I have only mentioned an overall plan for the territory upgrade. The details will be drafted by the Construction Division, and will be submitted to me for approval.” Ouyang Shuo said finally.
“Rest assured my lord, the details will be done in 3 days.” The manager of planning, Hao Jiancheng, said as he patted his chest.
“Alright, that will be all, you are dismissed!”