Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Young and middle-aged adults were practical labor force of the farm, teenagers were focusing on studying, and the rest of the farm's population, women, did not only do homemaking.
Their work was hard enough as homemakers, but they had another secondary job. It was making hand-woven carpets.
No one forced them to work and set production quant.i.ties for them. However, ever since Youngho told them about carpet action in Istanbul, any women who were dexterous joined the production, since it was a great opportunity to make a fortune.
The quality of their handmade carpets was something that could be only seen at auction houses. Many worked so enthusiastically that many gathered after supper to work on making carpets. Some families would even have troubles because of women's enthusiasm.
Youngho was a little nervous since their efforts should be paid off by being sold at high prices, but since Mustafa said that the carpets sent as sample pieces were received well by the local people, he believed that Arirang Farm's carpets would be a luxury carpet brand in near future.
There were no residents who spent days in idleness as they worked diligently.
There was an uproar at the farm, as the teenagers who turned adults received a draft notice from the Kazakh Army.
Kazakhstan opted for conscription because of its small population, but exemptions were possible for those who enrolled in schools or who worked. In fact, the law was not strictly respected and many people could wiggle out of it. It was because the army received an overflowing number of recruits since military veterans received a special employment opportunity for government official positions after being discharged.
Since the farm needed a reason to get exempted from military drafts, Youngho hurriedly submitted a request to the president's office to allow the establishment of local laws and regulations of the farm.
The request was sent with a doc.u.ment of explanatory articles and it went on for several pages. With the supplementary articles, Youngho wanted to emphasize that the farm was under the government's control and it would work to benefit the country.
The most prominent things written in the articles were two things.
First, the farm's adults would serve in the Countryside Force of the farm primarily, instead of getting drafted to the Kazakh Army but the organization would answer the call to defend the country at any time: This article explained that the force was under the government's control.
Second, any products made at the farm would be supplied to Kazakhstan primarily: The automated factory was for civil use but the article emphasized that it could turn into a military use if necessary.
These articles were necessary since there was no government that would allow an autonomous state without any safeguards. The farm had only a small population, but for the government, it would be a sensitive issue to permit a state to operate under its own rules. The decision was up to President Nazarbayev. Youngho crossed his fingers for a positive response from the president.
"The devices related to the intelligence department are too expensive to buy. Any legitimate devices cost millions of dollars. It's not something we should just jump in."
Shaking his head, Jong-il flopped down into the couch.
"Aren't there any used devices?"
"No idea. I don't know much about these and I can't find other routes."
"Should I ask Edward?"
"Don't even. He's going to go through the trouble to get them for you, even if you said it in a pa.s.sing word."
He was right. Edward would try his best to contact all the people he knew to get what Youngho wanted. He was the one who earned information commission of a million dollar when Youngho first suggested making the grape farm as his base from the CIA, although there was a condition that Youngho would become a regular agent.
Edward had been such a helpful connection for Youngho and Jong-il.
"Why don't we just ask him about routes that we can buy the devices cheap?"
"Any intelligence devices would be controlled by the nation. It won't be easy."
"There must be something that they're getting rid of after a long use."
"Even discarded devices will be managed by the government authorities. If they ended up in civilians' hands, there will be all sorts of problems."
If something like communication monitoring devices fell into the public's hands, the situation would metastasize into a full-blown case. Many devices were customized and cause many rumors. It did not make sense for the CIA to sell them as used devices for little money.
"Just wait for now. I'm going to ask Philip and try to find other ways too. If nothing works, I'll talk to Michael to make a CIA's chapter in Central Asia."
The two proudly talked about the establishment of the new chapter but deep down, they felt the reality that they did not belong to the mainstream in the CIA. Although Youngho was overseeing Central Asian regions as a leader, he was someone who merely started out as a field agent through special recruitment, which meant that he would be done in the CIA's society when he retired. He was destined to be a disposable staff by the organization's executors.
If he was born in the U.S. and took the elite course by enrolling in the intelligence inst.i.tute, the headquarters could support him to establish a region's chapter making him the head, but he was only a small-fry agent. He was not even allowed to look at cla.s.sified information, but was only used as a messenger of information that he collected from different regions. His team was only being recognized because of Youngho's achievements so far.
Jong-il's unsatisfactory facial expression was telling him that he felt the same.
"There will be a day when we manipulate information and sell it. You can count on me."
"What? What do you mean? Sell information?"
Jong-il had no idea about Youngho and Eriksson' s secret partners.h.i.+p.
"You remember Eriksson from the time when we went to negotiate with Chechen rebels?"
"Of course. We received a huge allowance because of that. What about that guy?"
"That guy turned out to be an information seller. I don't know about the details but it could make us a fortune."
"Well, I knew he was something else. He just felt different."
Jong-il was indeed fast-witted.
Youngho thought that it was time to tell him about the secrets. In the past, he worried that Jong-il would recklessly try to sell information, but now that was not his concern. Since Jong-il was a father and husband, Youngho was certain that he would not take thoughtless actions.
"Can you believe if information sellers' abilities to manipulate information is way ahead of the United States?"
"You said a private group is more superb than us. You mentioned a consulting chain group like McKinsey has more manpower than us."
McKinsey & Company was one of the three biggest consulting groups that had 14,000 employees in 58 company branches in 28 countries. The company boasted of a faster and more a.n.a.lytical information network than American CIA.
"Eriksson is part of such organization, the Information Agency's. He might look strange because he's too smart, but his a.n.a.lytic ability is just outstanding. Since you're smart, you can probably make a fortune from doing information businesses."
"Dude. You finally admit that I'm a genius. But, what about it? I can't make such organization in my lifetime."
Youngho did not like to see his friend boast of his outstanding cleverness, but it was true that Jong-il had an amazing talent.
"I said it's about manipulating and a.n.a.lyzing information. You interpret information I throw at you in the most amazing ways sometimes. Don't you remember? You stopped the bombing of Chechen oil pipeline."
"I just said something as pa.s.sing word and you interpreted it."
"Anyway. I'm saying it's what we achieved from receiving one phone call."
Jong-il seemed to be lost in thought after listening to Youngho.
"Ed. How are you doing these days?"
"I'm a little frustrated since I work at a desk now. I've had my best days when I was in the field. It's not so fun here being a salaryman."
"You should visit Baku some time."
"I miss the Caucasus, but I didn't want to trouble you since you're so busy. Can I visit with my family during the winter break?"
Youngho felt sorry that he did not invite him earlier.
Although his connection to Armenia had ended a long time ago, his guilt stopped him from calling Edward.
"You're always welcome. If you come to Baku, I'll take you around to Arirang Farm in Kazakhstan as well."
"That's exciting. I heard many emigrated there."
"It's less than 5,000 people. They are all settled down now and doing quite well."
"You called in a long time. I'm a.s.suming that you need something from me?"
Working in the field of intelligence, he was quick-witted.
Since he had offered to help Youngho, Youngho could call him without feeling burdened.
"You got me. I need some electronic devices, but had no idea where to get them. Thought you might know the route."
"It must not be something usual. I'll look into that and let you know when I see you in the winter break."
Edward already sensed what Youngho was looking for since Youngho would not have called him to look for usual devices.
It seemed that Edward would bring a great Christmas gift to Baku.
In the meantime, the farm could hire recruits for the intelligence department and start the department's operation when the devices arrive.
As Edward began to look for devices, Jong-il began to recruit people for the intelligence department.
This affected Cha Insoo since Jong-il tried to take security guards from the security company that Jong-il was in charge of. His reason was that Asian recruits would be less noticeable by the public in Central Asian regions, but Cha Insoo did not want to let go of his core members.
"Insoo, please. The company won't collapse just because I take some of your guys."
"Then why don't you take the new recruits and train them? The guys you are asking are in supervising positions. Also, I need to train Arirang Farm's special school's students as well. It just can't happen!"
"Okay, then. I'm going to take the brightest ones from your new recruits. Say nothing about it!"
"Hey! Why do you need to take my guys, when you have Koryoins? You don't need to have physical strengths when collecting information. Instead, you need someone who can communicate with Central Asians."
"What? Koryoins? Wait a minute. That's a great idea. They can speak both Kazakh and Russian. Man, it turns out that you can use your brain when you're cornered."
Jong-il decided to take Cha Insoo's advice.
"Alright, then. There won't be no transferring from the security company, right? Man, you almost made my liver shrivel."
Insoo was relieved since he did not have to give up his employees whom he had trained.
"But, you need to tell me any information your employees collected in the field. Anything works."
"So, you want to receive reports from me? Dude, you're going to act like a boss. How dare you."
"A boss? No, it's only sharing of resources."
Seeing the two teasing each other, Youngho chuckled.
It seemed that something never changed no matter how much time had pa.s.sed, since their time of Naval Special Forces.
Youngho wished the relations.h.i.+p of his friends would last like this forever, but he knew that as their kids grew and they got older, they would be satisfied with much bigger resources.
So, he decided to let out what had been on his mind.
"Okay. Can you all listen to me if you're all settled down?"
As Youngho spoke in a stern voice, they dropped their playful att.i.tudes just like good elementary school kids.
"It's simple. I want to get rid of several companies I have."
"You know, the companies belong to Zeynep Corporation."
"Who are you going to sell them to?"
"I'm going to pa.s.s them to you."