Chapter 294 “The Secret of the coup day” (Part two)
Not waiting for him to say anything more, Du Wei went ahead: “Once upon a time there was a man and he had a lot of chickens in his home. Then one day, one of the hens laid some eggs. The man was very happy of course and took the eggs away in exchange for money. Once or twice was fine, but after a long period of continuous harvest, the chicken stopped laying eggs altogether. It’s not due to any special reason, it’s because the hen saw that her eggs were being taken away so casually despite her efforts, leaving it with nothing in the end. This alone wouldn’t be anything major. One hen’s egg would only mean an egg or two per day less for the master, but there were other hens in the home. Those other chickens were also planning to lay their own eggs, but seeing what awaited them, none did so out of fear. Why? They didn’t want to lose their eggs after spending so much effort to lay them. From then on, whenever an egg would come in the future, those hens would secretly stash it away, never willing to pass it onto their master. Your highness, help me do the math for the chicken master. In order to reap the small benefit from the first chicken, he lost out on the eggs from all the other chickens. What would be his loss? Just think about it. If that master had held some discretion and didn’t take every single egg, or just half will do, then he wouldn’t have fallen into that dreaded situation! In order to earn a quick buck, he incurred more damage than he could ever recoup!”
Prince Son was a clever person so he immediately got the hint. Smiling: “Du Wei you are good. After beating around the bush, you are indrectly scolding me saying I’m being too ruthless and peeling too hard now aren’t you?”
Du Wei shakes his head: “Scold you? Of course not, I wouldn’t dare! But your Highness, to tell you the truth, if you must have it then I will still give it to you. But these things are after all inventions I created through much effort. To give it away so casually, my heart is bound to feel unconvinced…. These are my true words. Even in front of you, I’m still going to say this. You have treated me very well thus far so a gift here and there is not an issue. However, what about later in the future? I’m the hen in your hand. I’m not going to produce only this one egg now am I? What are you going to do when I produce more eggs? Are you just going to ask me to hand it over again? To tell you the truth, even if we have a good relationship, do you expect me to accept such a thing after being continuously robbed of my asset?”
Furrowing his brow, Prince Son ponders for a moment before nodding: “You are correct. Even if it was me, I most certainly wouldn’t be happy about it.”
“And!” Du Wei slowly spoke: “There are so many magicians on the mainland, we have no lacking of talented people! When the magic academy was established, we also started the spirit of sharing philosophy. At first you had your doubts, but its proven later that many mages out there have their own exquisite researches, they just didn’t take it out to share. So, other than myself, there are many other intelligent people out there who can come up with fresher and newer things with time. Perhaps some of those ideas will be greatly beneficial to the country! But if everyone knows that I, Du Wei, was immediately robbed of my invention by the royal family upon reveal… with that example at the forefront, do you think other hens out there would be willing to lay their own eggs? Even if they did lay an egg, they would stash it away and never see the light of day!”
This logic was nothing more than a revised version of the “Golden Goose” story. If this explanation was said to an overbearing monarch or Prince Son’s father, this logic would fall on deafs ear. But Du Wei understands Prince Son was an intelligent person, so this reasoning should impress him and not rouse his anger.
Of course, it’s not difficult for Du Wei to play a little trick to slide by on this occasion regarding the balloon fuel, but what about the future? When this Regent finds out about the gunpowder and other technical things he didn’t show yet, how was Du Wei going to deceive him yet again?
Small little tricks can only be used once or twice, any more than that and the effects won’t show. In that case, why don’t I end it all for once by using some heavy logical persuasion?
Moreover, Du Wei does have some confidence in this Prince Son. He’s not a fatuous monarch and should be quite open minded.
Although Prince Son was a little unhappy inside, but after careful consideration, he knew it’s the smart thing to do. With a faint smile: “Your reasoning is correct. Umm, in this case, you must’ve an idea already don’t you? Quit hiding it, how should we proceed with this business?”
“Very simple, I’ll sell the finished goods like the hot air balloon to the military at a below market price and serve as the long-term supplier for the army. However… I won’t sell the techniques involved in the manufacturing of my goods.”
As he said that, Du Wei pondered for a moment before continuing: “I can give the military about twenty percent less than the market price, and I guarantee the reliability and quality of the balloon airships produced by the Tulip House! But in return, I demand three things: the first is not to default on my payment, and in addition, I ask for a long term exclusive right as the supplier and a contract agreement signed directly by your highness the Regent of the empire. Business is business, clear and precise. If we ever encounter any small disputes, we can rely on the basis of the word.”
Noticing Prince Son’s face turning gloomy again, Du Wei hurriedly added another sentence: “We can openly preach about our deal to the public and make this a precedent. Once others know about this, there’s bound to be more hens willing to come forward to let you have a taste of their eggs!”
(I don’t know why, but this part gave me the weird vibe of a woman coming to let the guy taste her)
Only with the last sentence did Prince Son look somewhat better. Brooding over the entire proposal, he finally laughs: “Du Wei! You are so clever! Fine, I’m convinced! We shall do as you say. It’s just that since the deal involves the imperial armament, are you sure you can provide that much supply?”
Du Wei replies: “This is not something you need to worry about. I’m also prepared to expand the size of my workshop. Now that the army wishes to procure from me in bulk, I intend to establish a new factory in accordance to an idea I got in the northwest.”
“Yes, ‘factory’.” Du Wei nodded: “Not a workshop, a factory. This factory will specialize in the manufacturing of hot air balloons and related products to the military armament. Umm… I’ve got the name all figured out. This new industry, I’ll call it: Boeing Airlines.”
Then Du Wei immediately developed a plan: the manufacturing process of the hot air balloons wouldn’t be difficult. Du Wei even made a price quote on the spot. In accordance with the different sizes of the hot air balloons in his possession, he divided it into three classes and set the price accordingly. Based on the existing technology, the largest balloon can at most carry a dozen personal at best. From high to low, the biggest will cost eight thousand gold, six thousand for the middle sized, and a thousand for the smallest balloon. But the key here wasn’t the balloons, it’s the fuel. Priced at fifty gold coins per barrel, he accepts the military’s procurement plan.
Carefully making a rough calculation, Prince Son’s eagerness to form his own air force was too obvious. Right away, he issued out six million on the budget line for the order.
With the hot air balloon thing out of the way, Prince Son continues to laugh as he watches Du Wei: “You’ve had this idea in mind from the very start didn’t you? Hmm… then I’m assuming that exploding jar thingy will be the same. You are only going to sell me the product and not the technology behind it right?”
Du Wei smiled and said, “Yes, I’m also in the middle of improving its lethality and I’ve already sold some to Governor Bohan of the Nuling province. Your Highness, if you have the military make the purchases from me, I’ll be happy to lower the price by another ten percent compared to Governor Bohan’s price.”
With the two business deal down, Du Wei became overjoyed.
He may not be making much on the hot air balloon … But the fuel was a consumable! As long as your hot air balloon takes to the air even once, you will consume the fuel! This type of consumable business was the most lucrative! And there’s the gunpowder too!
Like this, he has practically monopolized the imperial army’s weapons order. With these results, how can he not strike it rich?
In the remainder of the time, both men avoided to mention the Pope’s decree again. If the Regent’s not going to mention it, Du Wei’s not going to do something so silly either.
The main reason Prince Son had Du Wei buy the thing down was because he didn’t want it leaked into the public and have an outsider receive the baptism of the Pope!
Du Wei’s got it planned out already. The Pope was selling the decree in the name of aiding the relief fund, then he can just spread the news that he bought it for the sake of the refugees!
To the outside, he will say: Although Duke Tulip is not a faithful follower, but as gratitude to the Pope’s kindness, he purchased it as a form of contributing to the southern disaster relief fund. However, since he’s not a believer, the part about the baptism by the Pope can be voided. As for the decree, he can use it as a souvenir or momentum in his collection.
Hmm, yes, let’s do exactly that.
With the business end done and over with, Du Wei can sigh a breath of relief. In their following conversations, Du Wei brought up some gossip news of the Northwest’s uniqueness and of how he played the ambassador from the prairie grassland.
Before they knew it, the two had conversed till sun fall. Just as Du Wei was ready to take his leave, Prince Son suddenly exhaled a long sigh.
From his handsome face, a hint of gloom flickered in his eyes. Seeing this, Du Wei’s heart moved…
To tell the truth, this time upon his return Du Wei kept getting the weird feeling that Son has changed a lot, especially his speech and tone. Compared to back then, there seems to be a lot of worry mixed into his words. When Du Wei first became acquainted with Prince Son, this young man was merry, intelligent, calm, and extremely calculative. A first rate character in Du Wei’s opinion! But now two years have passed. Meeting once again, Du Wei found the relaxed and easy going person from back then has changed. How should he put it, mature? Or the scent of aging?
Just imagine. The Prince Son from back then can riddle the enemy to his end by keeping up with his merry and carefree attitude! But looking at him now, that smile, those eyes, there’s always a shadow of fatigue in there.
Seeing Du Wei was about to leave, Prince Son suddenly sighed and whispered: “Du Wei … It’s been so long since someone can accompany me and talk about all this with me… Hmm, since you returned this time, you might as well stay longer and not rush back to the Northwest. There’s not going to be anything major happening anyways, so wait till spring before you go back.”
“…… Oh?” Du Wei became stunned.
Prince Son made a faint smile, but that smile was particularly strange: “There’s going to be a show if you stay. Hmm… Very few people knows about this matter. In another month when spring comes around, I’m going to make a lively show for everyone to see!”
A flicker of sharpness came from Prince Son’s eye. As if smiling in a very relaxed manner: “Du Wei, I know you have a question that’s been bugging at you all this time but never asked me… Aren’t you curious as to why on that celebratory day the Temple would suddenly mobilize their Holy Knights to aid me? After all, my brother’s daughter is the Temple’s holy maiden. Based on their relationship alone, the Temple should’ve sided with my older brother, yet they took my side. Why?”
Du Wei’s heart began pumping, his face utterly calm as he quietly eyed the Regent.
Now this was the Son that he knew, the Prince Son who had secret cards up his sleeve one after another and sent the crown prince to his death.
He smiled darkly: “Because … I promised the Pope one thing! For centuries, the Temple has tried and tried again, but they never could accomplish this thing!”
“…… What?” In the end, Du Wei eventually couldn’t resist exclaiming.
Without emotion, Prince Son’s eye became utterly determined!
“I promised the pope that I would openly accept his baptism, and then formally recognize him as my godfather! Using a godchild’s identity, I will give him a gift and the ceremony will be held a month from now in the spring.”
Upon hearing this, though Du Wei doesn’t hold much loyalty to the guy, he still can’t help but voice his opinion: “Your highness, this cannot happen!”
Du Wei looks aghast, shocked by the absurdity of the promise: has this guy gone mad to make this type of promise?
Imperial authority and religious authority has been fighting for nearly a thousand years! And never once has the Temple ever yielded. In fact, they’ve been doing nothing but try to dominate the royal family! And now Son was saying he will bow down to the Temple?
Even to this day, the rivalry between both sides has never truly placed a winner.
But…… Who’s Prince Son?
He’s now the Regent! Although Augustine the 6th was nominally still the emperor, but everybody knows that the true ruler of this land now lies on this prince. In the future, Son has to take the throne and become the emperor!
Having such an identity, how can he recognize the Pope as his godfather?
Don’t joke around! The Emperor of the Imperial Empire is taking the Pope as his godfather? Never once since the founding of the empire has something so outlandish happen!!!
Du Wei’s complexion went into turmoil and took on multiple shades of white. Prince Son wasn’t a fool so how can he not understand the meaning behind his move, but why?
He quietly looks at Du Wei: “Do you want to say, I am the future emperor and this is tantamount to the royal family bowing down to the temple?” This is theoretically saying the Temple’s influence is above the authority of the imperial power, right? The damage will be far reaching, right?”
Du Wei’s face turned series and dignified: “Yes … That’s exactly what I want to say. However I like to hear your side first because I know your highness isn’t someone so shortsighted! You’re not the type of person to compromise very foundation of the royal family just so you can come out on top of the coup.”
As if smiling, he looks at Du Wei with some warmth: “
“Du Wei, only you know me this well. If I was to let Biliaibuer and the others know, they would no doubt cause an uproar. I’ve made the preparations and have stabilized the situation with enough power in my hands. If there’s anyone making trouble when I make the announcement, I’m confident I can squash any riot. Du Wei… I’m glad I didn’t make a mistake, I was right about you. You are very smart.”
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