Chapter 272: Relatives
Translator: WQL Editor: EbonyFrost
Milkyway Shipyard was located in the cove of Jinhai City. It occupied 1.16 million square meters of land area and 1.28 million square meters of the sea. The dock's shoreline lasted 1400 m. Including the soon to be completed 10,000-ton dock, there were six docks and berths of different sizes. Recently, the Milkyway Shipyard could produce various fishing boats, passenger liners, and freighters as well as medium and small-sized naval vessels. It employed over 4000 workers. With assets of about 7.5 million gold coins, the Milkyway Shipyard could rank top three in Jinhai City in terms of scale and manufacturing strength.
Such a great undertaking had been accumulated by five generations after over 100 years of development. Since the beginning of Zhang Tie's great-grandfather's grandfather to Zhang Tie's grandpa, the Milkyway Shipyard of Jinhai City completely changed its status from a tiny rough berth which was opened to repair small fishing boats to a large-scale shipyard which enjoyed a high rank in Jinhai City, even in Jinyun Country.
Zhang Tie's grandfather played an extremely influential role. Since Zhang Ping's father took over the family business, its assets were less than 100,000 gold coins. Through his dozens of years of management, the scale of the shipyard increased ten times over.
Hearing his eldest uncle's introduction, Zhang Tie started to admire the elder whom he had never met.
After paying a visit to the Zhang clan's shipyard, in addition to Zhang Tie's newfound understanding about the circumstances of his father's family, Zhang Tie was able to develop a picture of the overall situation.
Zhang family's old home was a beautiful estate which occupied over 20 mu, namely about 13340 square meters. From the outside, although it didn't appear very magnificent, it was every bit that of rich and powerful family's home. In the old house, Zhang Tie finally experienced this family's background.
Zhang Tie's grandfather had four wives. Including Zhang Tie's father, Zhang Tie's grandfather had 11 children, five of which were daughters, with the remaining six being sons. Among the five daughters, two were married away from Huaiyuan Prefecture and didn't come back today, the other three daughters were in the Huaiyuan Prefecture and had all comeback today. Among the 11 children, Zhang Tie's father ranked eighth. Therefore, besides two younger uncles and one younger aunt, Zhang Tie had four elder aunts and three elder uncles. After the introduction, Zhang Tie could still remember his uncles and aunts' faces and names. However, when his uncles and aunts' spouses had gathered here, making Zhang Tie feel dazzled.
Zhang Tie finally understood why Huaiyuan Palace would create a Clansmen Pavilion. Since there were so many relatives, if such a professional agency wasn't created to manage personnel affairs, nobody would know the relationships between clan members anymore.
When Zhang Tie came back to the old family home, he had 20-30 more elders. Additionally, Zhang Tie had over 20 cousins, some of which didn't join the family party due to various reasons. Additionally, many of Zhang Tie's cousins had children. Therefore, Zhang Tie also had 10 nieces and nephews.
Among Zhang Tie's nieces and nephews, the eldest had been 12 years old, only 3-4 years younger than Zhang Tie. As they were still too naughty, they didn't even feel like calling Zhang Tie uncle.
Amongst all the relatives and elders, only the members of Zhang Tie's father's blood brothers' families felt more genial. Others, although being also very passionate, looked slightly curious but mostly indifferent towards Zhang Tie's family.
Zhang Tie didn't mind this either. After all, they hadn't been in contact for dozens of years, it was impossible to have no estrangement among the brothers and sisters with the same father and different mothers. Let alone, there were many underhanded plots like struggling for family properties in such rich family. Zhang Tie's father might be viewed as a competitor who would share the properties of the family in the future in someone's eyes.
"Zhang Ping, where does your family live?" At supper, when Zhang Haitian, Zhang Ping's father, asked him in a calm way, all the other people at the 5 tables in the dining hall instantly became quiet. Even the servants who were serving dishes in the dining hall stood aside and didn't move anymore.
"Papa, Zhang Ping's family came back too abruptly, I arranged for them an average apartment on Xinhai Road." One of Zhang Tie's elder uncles spoke out.
The Zhang Haitan slightly nodded.
"Papa, I fail to consider it properly, when eighth younger brother and sister-in-law came back. I've didn't prepared well, causing them to suffer discomfort." At the sight of their father being silent, another elder uncle of Zhang Tie's sitting at the main table hurriedly opened his mouth. He was the eldest son of the first wife and was called Zhang Lin. He was also the designated successor of the of Zhang Haitan and the future head of the family.
Of course, Zhang Lin should be meticulous at this moment.
"As we came back too suddenly and didn't want to bring trouble to the home, I didn't notify eldest brother. I beg for eldest brother's forgiveness. We feel right at home in the apartment. With three bedrooms, one parlor and one dining room, it's enough for us." Zhang Tie's father hurriedly explained.
All the elders of Zhang clan knew the details surrounding Zhang Tie's return. However, nobody mentioned the affair about Zhang Ping escaping marriage by faking death. They all knew what was happening yet didn't reveal it, making it seem as though Zhang Tie's dad had wandered in the outside for a personal undertaking for dozens of years.
Looking at Zhang Ping's face which seemed older than that of the other brothers, the Zhang Haitan went quiet. No one knew what he was thinking. "Previously, we didn't treat you well, causing you suffer a lot of bitterness outside for all these years. This time, as you've come back, you can share 5% of the shipyard of the family. With this share, you could only participate in sharing profits of the shipyard instead of daily management."
Hearing Zhang Haitan's words, Zhang Tie's father directly stood up from his chair. Look him in the eyes, he firmly told his father, "Papa, the scale of Zhang's shipyard is due to the efforts of you and my elder brothers. As I was not at home all these years and had not made any contribution to this home, I've always felt shameful about what I've done. Therefore, I will not accept this share. If you insist on that, you are forcing me and my family to leave Jinhai City!"
Zhang Tie had not realized that his dad was so strong-willed. Seeing his father looking back at him and his elder brother, Zhang Tie didn't speak but revealed a brilliant smile as he silently raised his thumb towards his father below the table. Zhang Tie's elder brother also nodded towards Zhang Ping with a smile. Looking at the two sons' expressions, Zhang Ping felt warm inside and released tears.
Zhang Tie saw that his mother was also smiling as she grasped Zhang Ping's hands under the table. At the same time, Zhang Tie's elder brother silently patted on his wife's thigh twice.
After looking over Zhang Ping for half a minute, Zhang Haitan felt uncomfortable as he also let out a sigh of disappointment.
"Dear, even though Zhang Ping doesn't want a share off the shipyard, why not directly give him the manor in Changman, letting them settle down in Jinhai City. As Zhang Ping's two children have grown up, it's time for them to get married and have their own undertakings. If you're concerned about them, it's not too late for you to take care of your grandsons." Sitting beside Zhang Haitan, his first wife slowly said.
The elderly person moved his eyebrows as he glanced at Zhang Tie and Zhang Yang and slowly nodded.
"Eighth younger brother, if you aren't even prepared to accept one manor, you'll really make us uncomfortable then." Zhang Lin opened his mouth once again.
"Thank you, dad, I will accept the manor. We will move there tomorrow!" After thinking for awhile, Zhang Tie's father made the decision as he sat at the table once again. Seeing this, Zhang Ping's elder brothers sitting on the same table nodded too.
Not knowing whether it was an illusion, Zhang Tie felt that when his dad accepted the manor, many people present let out a breath as the atmosphere became lively once again.
"Zhang Yang, it's said you've just retired. What's your plan?"Zhang Haitan turned to Zhang Yang and asked him seriously out of concern.
On hearing this question, Zhang Yang was relived as he had discussed it with Zhang Tie in the morning. Zhang Yang had long made the decision, "As Huaiyuan Prefecture has a well-developed trading industry and gathers numerous commodities from both east and west continents, I'm preparing to start a trading firm!"
"Is there any problem with capital?"Zhang Haitan went straight to the point.
"No, I will start small. I plan to buy a storefront in Jinhai City. After slowly developing the skills, I believe that I can succeed!" Zhang Yang proudly answered.
Zhang Haitan nodded. No one present derided Zhang Yang's low threshold. This was due to Zhang Haitan usually repeating on phrase.--As long as a person could steadfastly push forward, sooner or later, he would succeed.
"What about you Zhang Tie, what's your plan?" The Zhang Haitan now focused on Zhang Tie.
"I will report in Hidden Dragon Palace next Monday!"
When Zhang Tie uttered this, the whole room became quiet once again as everyone cast their eyes onto Zhang Tie with mixed expressions of amazement, surprise, admiration and shock. Everyone present knew what Hidden Dragon Palace was. From its name it's meaning could be derived. It was the gathering of the elites of the Zhang clan. Everyone who joins Hiding Dragon Palace and survives would be the elites of the Zhang clan. Almost all the members of the Zhang clan's elders association and those big figures who ruled the crucial agencies of Huaiyuan Palace had undergone training at Hidden Dragon Palace.
Because Zhang Tie had told his parents about his plan yesterday, his family members were not stunned about this. Previously, Zhang Tie thought that his parents would disagree with his plan. Zhang Tie had not imagined that both of them would support his decision.
"Fine, fine, fine..." The Zhang Haitan started to laugh loudly, "I wouldn't have imagined that two of my progeny would awaken ancestral bloodlines and enter Hidden Dragon Palace, hahaha..."
"Your cousin is also in Hidden Dragon Palace. He's not back today. When you arrive there, you can contact him..." Zhang Lin also smiled as he said this. However, Zhang Tie saw something else in the eyes of his eldest uncle...