Empire Of The Ring 246 The Second Winter 1

Empire Of The Ring -

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It was only early November, but the ground had frozen up already at Arirang Farm. It was time to prepare for harsh northern winds and continental winds since the winter would continue for five months from now.
The stonewalls and little trees that had struck roots would not be able to block all the winds, but their existence as windbreakers still brought emotional relief.
The first blocking line was the rampart of the palace that was overlooking the branch river of the Ural River and the second line was the windbreak wood and law walls around the different parts of the field of the farm where livestock was raised.
The winds that pa.s.sed through the two lines were lastly blocked by the stone walls that surrounded the residential towns. In order to protect people from wild animals and wind, the walls were built thickly and highly and they made the towns more livable and warmer place.
Although there was a limit fighting against nature with artificial means, Arirang Farm's various facilities helped to overcome harsh continental weather.
Also, to cope with the environment that did not have many trees around, the farm adopted an electric heating system and it was favored by the residents.
What the farm had adopted was Korean traditional Ondol Heating*. People did not feel comfortable with the Korean culture to take off their shoes in their houses in the beginning, but they learned how hygienic it was soon. Although Youngho liked the sensible aspect of the western culture, he only suggested Ondol Heating because he wanted to change the lifestyle where people stepped into their bedrooms with shoes on, and soon, people started to admit that taking off shoes at the door to the house was cleaner.
Besides the floor heating, the exterior walls of buildings were thickened to reinforce insulation, and people loved their houses, saying that they were much better than log houses. It was because the winter was extremely cold in Kazakhstan.

"Boss. It'd be great if I knew when the Denmark royal family is going to visit here. I'd rather be prepared when they do."

Kim Chun still called Youngho 'boss', even after he became the commissioner of the farm.

"Commissioner. Please stop calling me boss."

"I can't help it because I'm so used to this. I'll try to fix it."

No matter how many times Youngho told him not to call him 'boss', he did not listen since he was the one who thought that saying 'boss' is cool.
He had a strange fantasy about the wildness of men. Youngho was certain that he would have even become a mafia if he was asked before he became a teacher. Since Youngho and his friends were trained in Korean Navy Special Forces, he secretly admired Youngho's life.

"They're only going to stay here for a day or two when they visit. They can stay at the farm's hotel. The princess is such an easy going person and if we kept basic courtesy, she wouldn't mind."

"But this is a royal family that's the most influential in Europe after the United Kingdom. I pressured the construction director to hurry and finish building the palace as soon as possible, but he's too busy with the walls, phew."

Kim Chun did not like the fact that the construction director Nikolaevich Min did not comply with him, even though he was now the commissioner of the farm. Nikolaevich was someone whom he recommended on his own, but he could be as stubborn as a rock. He prioritized things based on reasoning and he did not budge, once he was determined.
Youngho had emphasized protecting the farm's towns from wild animals and winds, and he also had agreed with Nikolaevich's decision. However, Kim Chun was someone who liked to show off socially, so he wanted to proudly present the finished palace to officials of the city of Atyrau. He thought that exposing the palace to the public was the fastest way for the farm to be upgraded as an autonomous state.
Setting aside the autonomous state, Youngho only wished that the government would soon give permission to the farm's Countryside Force to become an independent military force, but Kim Chun was already dreaming big.

"Boss. I'd like to remodel the hotel's suite then."

He was asking for a budget. Youngho knew that he would not stop at remodeling the suite, but he would also fix the hotel's lobby and cafeteria. The small hotel only had 40 guest rooms, but the subsidiary facilities were as good as a mid-cla.s.s hotel.
It was something that a countryside town did not deserve, but he still was not satisfied. Because the Denmark royal family was the first guest of the farm ever since he was elected as a commissioner, he was showing concern.

"The facility is more than great as is now. No one's going to make fun of it."

"Then can I decorate the exterior of the hotel at least?"

"Sure if that's what you want."

Kim Chun wanted to impress the guests and receive compliments from their stay. He was eager to show everything the farm had.
Youngho was not sure how he did it but soon after the conversation, he had convinced the residents to have a cleaning day every week, and even Old Niksic was spotted sweeping around the corner of streets.


Automated machine tools for the bearing factory finally arrived and were carried to the factory building that was almost close to completion.
The automated system would produce bearings of indifferent sizes and materials as programmed and the system only took about 3558 sq. ft. What took up more s.p.a.ce was high carbon chrome steels which were the main material that went into the system.
Since it would take about a month to install the system, Youngho would be able to see the first products by Christmas.
From now on, that was the part where Kim Chun would s.h.i.+ne the most.
After hearing that the factory would be in production soon, he went around spreading the word to receive preorders. As for wolf skin products, he insisted that German market was also big as Russian market and he contacted Cho Sangchun in Frankfurt to look for the market.
He was so enthusiastic and determined to make the residents of the farm independent from Youngho's financial support in two years.
The farm's residents were also excited to hear that the bearing factory would soon be ready. It was difficult to expect abundant living from wheat farming and ranching, but as a cutting-edge technology factories were starting to settle at the farm, people were hopeless for the farm's future. Moreover, when H Rotem's branch factory would be built, the whole towns would be benefited by it, and everyone was eager.
The carpet and wolf skin products were also being received well in the market, so the farm was livelier than ever.

A lot of people are bound to bring forth ideas. To cope with the cold weather that made it difficult to produce vegetables, some residents suggested building greenhouses. And some people with woodworking skills said they could even make luxurious furniture with intricately carved patterns.
Residents also began to produce high-quality hunting rifles with the machine tool ordered from Bulgaria. With delicately crafted wood gun grip and copper alloy muzzle and other exposed parts, the rifle looked quite luxurious. It was something that would look great if displayed on the wall.
The prototype rifles were proven to be superior, so the farm decided to produce them on a large scale. Although it was a large-scale production, only about 20 rifles would be produced, but if they were packaged in a decent case, they would be great as gifts.
It seemed that this could be popular in Russian market since Russians liked luxury-looking products. If Sergey saw this, he would immediately agree to become a seller.
Youngho ordered to make a luxury case for the prototype. The content of the product was indeed important, but packaging played a huge role in drawing the buyer's attention.

Arirang Farm was originally designed to produce grains.
However, when the immigrants arrived, Youngho had to find ways to feed them. So, he turned his eyes to higher value-added businesses, but there was a limit for them to be developed as the machine industry.
Therefore, what he had found was informatization.
Although the farms were lagging behind in the manufacturing industry, people could quickly catch up with information technology if they were trained.
Youngho provided a laptop to every family so that they could be adapted to using computers. At school, students were learning about computers, IT, and AI techniques. Older people might not be able to adapt to these technologies, but younger generations were different.
The winter of Kazakhstan was long, and young kids and youths could not play outside for extended periods of time. They would seek ways to utilize computers for fun, and maybe this could offer opportunities to those who were talented in technologies.


At a guest room of Moscow's Arirang Hotel's, Sergey opened the high-quality hunting rifle's case.

"This is a hunting rifle? Well, I'm excited to see what else would be made from the farm in the future."

"How do you like it? Doesn't it look decent?"

"I feel like I'm looking at an art piece. Those Serbians are indeed skillful. What can't they make?"

"They won't earn much from selling wolf skin and rifles, but things like this is their hope. We'll soon produce hand-crafted hardwood furniture as well. It would be a luxury display cupboard that master craftsmen hand-carved and polished multiple times."

"Keep talking. I'm listening."

Intrigued by the description, Sergey listened carefully.

Come to think of it, there were many collectors who valued hand-crafted products, rather than ma.s.s-produced products in factories. Thinking that any hand-crafted products would make money, Youngho asked for a market.

"Brother Sergey. What if a store that is specialized in hand-crafted products was open in Moscow?"

"Do you still want to open a new business in Moscow after seeing what happened to this hotel?"

As a result of searching all of the gang groups in Moscow, Sergey could guess which group was responsible for damaging the hotel, but it was too late. The group had already left Moscow after sensing that they were exposed.
Other groups might fill their empty spot, so the hotel staffs were still cautiously watching for surroundings. It was not something that would end easily, because there were too many gangs in Moscow.

"Do you think they'd even be interested in small shops?"

"Oh, they'll handle anything if they can make money. How about this? I'll sell your products for a while. All of the products you bring from the farm are high-quality goods. Just put them in great packages just like this rifle. Russians like luxurious stuff. They'd love it."

Sergey's satisfied face made Youngho smile. He should not express excitement if he was mindful of the hotel, but he was still happy.

"Do you think there will be enough demand?"

"There're lots of wealthy people in Russia. Also, many people give gifts to officials as bribes. If you can, make them in the best quality. There are tons of people who would not mind high prices of products that will be sent out as gifts. Not to mention, I've got a lot of connections who'd preorder the products I'm selling, if I told them. Don't worry about it."

Youngho did not know that he would get this much compliment from Sergey. He had thought that the Serbian immigrants were good at making things for their own use in the house. Since he did not have any knowledge about handiwork furniture and products, he needed to reinvestigate the residents' work.
If they had outstanding talents, Youngho's job would be to make a way for them to practice their skills, so they would not die out. He had been only caring about making money to prepare for the future, but he had not been considerate of residents' great heritage. Those were the invaluable legacy that should be preserved.

If he had a chance, he wanted to talk to each resident of the farm.
The only way to learn about people's specialties and experiences was to communicate with them frequently. Not everything was about money in life.
Thinking that he was the one who saved them and supported their living, he might have been ignoring what they truly wanted. There might have been many residents who were ignored and hurt by Youngho's decisions for the farm. Because most of them did not have any techniques and education, Youngho sent them to America, to get trained to become technicians in factories, and this could have been huge innumerable mistakes that he made.
Youngho was convicted to spend some more time with the residents this winter and listen to their thoughts and worldviews as much as possible. He was glad that he had realized this now. Every single member of the farm was cherished, and maybe their lives in Serbia might have been better if it was not for the flood.
He was embarra.s.sed to think that he might have been boastful of what he had done for the farm's residents, just because he provided them materials.

*Ondol Heating- Korean traditional floor heating system.

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About Empire Of The Ring 246 The Second Winter 1 novel

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