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"Alright. I'll get this sort with Michael. He probably won't reject this."
"Well, there's no reason for rejection. These are our own agents, not the CIA's. If he acts cheap and doesn't want to spend some money on security service, just take back your offer and come back."
"Being an ambitious person he is, he won't reject it. To the American government, this also means that it's going to have an allied force. There's no reason to dislike our offer."
Jong-il had brought a list of recruits that he had picked himself as agents.
For the people who would be working in Kazakhstan were all Koryoins, since Serbians of Arirang Farm would stand out among Central Asians and not to mention, their Kazakh and Russian languages were still not fluent. Any agents that would be active in Baku were picked from young people of the Serbian ranch village in Baku.
There were good reasons for picking Koryoins as primary recruits. Most importantly, there were many Koryoins scattered around Central Asia, so they could blend in anywhere and would not be easy to get spotted. Also, many Koryoins were born from a Korean parent and Kazakh parent. They knew different languages and cultures.
The Koryoin recruits and their families that moved to the Autonomous State of Arirang did not have trouble with moving in and getting along with Serbians. It was because they had already heard that Arirang Farm was a great place to live from other people and they felt privileged.
Since the farm had formed a private intelligence organization, Youngho needed to report it to the CIA's European chapter. Before going to see Michael, he tried to find a way to have it his way. If the number of agents increased, Michael would, of course, try to use them for his own good. Youngho could not let that happen.
"Jong-il. What languages do the agents speak?"
"They can speak Russian, of course, and Kazakh."
"That's great. That means they can't speak English."
"Not speaking English is a good thing?"
Jong-il did not seem to get Youngho's intention.
"Yeah. You know we were recruited by the CIA because we could speak English."
He thought that the CIA would not try to hire recruits who were not communicable with the majority of the organization. It would not be world's end when they were drawn into the CIA, but he did not want them to be controlled by the CIA, but he thought that CIA would be interested in supporting the new intelligence team under Youngho since they would be Youngho's eyes and ears in Central Asia.
"You don't think Michael will dismiss the group, right?"
Jong-il worried that the group he had put effort into forming might not get approved by the CIA.
"There's no way. The U.S. is eager to make its way into Central Asia. Refusing this opportunity is nonsensical for them."
"I heard that the new president ordered to cut all sorts of budgets. I'm not sure the CIA will have money left for us."
Youngho thought it was highly unlikely to cut off budgets for the CIA's intelligence activities and expenses. Any presidents would want to draw the intelligence organization that knew every detail about them on their side.
"You're a person like Don Quixote."
"Chief, was that a compliment right there? Jeez, it's been such a long time since I heard a compliment from you."
"Compliment? What compliment?"
At the CIA's European chapter in Frankfurt, Michael smiled after listening to Youngho's offer. Youngho's idea was a daring, one like Don Quixote, but was very innovative. He had heard that Korean corporations would be having businesses in Kazakhstan, but hearing that they were already on a highway building project was quite surprising.
He also smirked at Youngho's hopeful ambition to take over businesses in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, once the roads were completed. When Youngho said that he already recruited twenty agents, he was like a monster to Michael.
"Chief Michael. Just know that I work hard, day and night to save the European chapter's face."
"You focus more on your private business, than the CIA's work."
"All of my businesses are related to the CIA's work. If I stopped all those, where would I get information? I'm only doing it for the CIA's sake. Also, chief, you're the honorary citizen of the Republic of Arirang."
As Youngho's words lengthened, Michael waved him off as if he was too lazy for that.
"Okay, all I can give you is three million dollars of information expense for each agent. Just send me the list of your agents."
This was something Youngho did not expect to receive. Although he would complain that the information collected was not satisfactory in the future, it was still a lot of money. However, Youngho wanted to push him further.
"Chief. You should also spare old equipment and devices for us too. Do you want us to work with bare hands?"
Michael pretended to know nothing about the devices. Knowing Youngho's trick, he was not going to let him have it this time.
"I have formed Countryside Force. You can support us with some weapons, you know."
"That is completely irrelevant with the CIA."
"Kuh, you know that when Arirang Autonomous State gets stronger, it's helpful for America."
"You're such a bother, Youngho. Alright, alright. I'll request that to the headquarters. Now please stop."
"Then you could slip in some old communication monitoring devices, okay?"
It had been two days since Youngho had been stuck with Michael at the chapter.
"Chief. I have so much work to do. You can trap me here for this long."
"Ah, get over with it. I know your schedule's quite flexible. Just help me out, before you leave."
"Chief, you know that you'd make a great dictator, right? Should I make a country for you?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Youngho. You're begging me to get weapons for your little autonomous region. How could you make a country?"
"The size of the farm is bigger than the island of Guam. If I'm done developing the area, the Kazakh government will probably give me more."
"You know the approval for an autonomous state is not a common event. The Kazakh government will try to use you as well. What do you think?"
"What is an autonomous state anyway? It's like a republic that could follow its own line of conduct. The Kazakh government will try to use that fact to wiggle out from other country's influence."
"Well, it's probably for that reason. The government asked me to get patrol boats."
"Hmmm, patrol boats…"
"The government agreed to talk to the Korean government to buy their boats. It seems that the government wants to strengthen its naval power."
"What would you say if the U.S. government offers to help their Navy first?"
"Well, if you make an excusable cause for the Kazakh government to get out of Russia's pressure, the government will gladly take your offer. You can do it through an agency as well. The government already dealt with an American drone factory, so Russia won't suspect us."
Michael, who had been thinking for a while, began to talk again.
"I can't trust the reports from the U.S. Emba.s.sy based in Kazakhstan. You met the president privately already. You must be more accurate than those reports."
"I know the government is trying to get out of Russia's influence. You don't think it will chase us away, do you?"
"Are you trying to send a military advisory group or something?"
"If the Kazakh government entered into a relation to do commissioned education for naval officers with Korea, we think that it'd also be possible to do the same with the U.S."
The U.S. was preparing to approach Kazakhstan from the governmental level.
The nation willed to separate the whole Central Asian region from the influence of Russia and China if possible, but there had not been a cause for the U.S. force to reside in Kazakhstan, but now Michael just saw an opportunity.
It would also be beneficial for Youngho if the U.S. would make its foray deep within Kazakhstan.
Since Youngho visited Frankfurt in a long time, Yunsuh served lots of special food for him.
With Yunsuh's family, Szechenyi, and Youngho at the table, it looked full in the dining room.
"Wow, how can you guys have great food all the time? It's like a buffet here."
"Why? You think this is too luxurious? I thought you'd be sad if I only have vegetables out when you visited here in a long time, so I showed off my cooking skills."
Yunsuh was flattered by Youngho's remark.
"Hyung, we don't eat like this every day. We eat sandwiches all the time here."
"Hey, you. Why don't you visit home when you're on a break? Where have you been anyway? Your sister's dying to see you."
"Phew, she thinks I'm still a kid. Baku is too quiet for me. I go to the library all the time and study."
"He's busy seeing his girlfriend these days. Don't blame him."
Having been living with Szechenyi, Sang-chun took his side.
"Does Princess Isabella ever mention anything about hunting?"
"Oh, she's been ready to go back to Baku for hunting. She hasn't been able to make time because of royal events. She'll bring a big group of entourage."
"We just remodeled a hotel that has 40 guest rooms. Don't worry about that."
Kim Chun had been making a fuss about remodeling the hotel at the farm, in preparation to receive the royal guests.
"I feel like Arirang Farm deserves to earn autonomy. A hotel is great."
"Not only that. We have a military force of our own and we're getting a patrol boat soon."
"No way, hyung. What if the Kazakh government disapproves it?"
"The government requested that to us first."
Looking back, the force had more than enough weapons, but it did not have enough men. The farm was going through the same situation as Kazakhstan. He would only have about 200 men and call it a defense force.
As soon as she heard the word hotel, Yunsuh's face brightened.
"Oh, oppa. So, we get to stay at the hotel when we visit there?"
"You won't have to go to the hotel. I think our construction director is making the Archduke's palace a hotel. It's got too many guest rooms."
"He's saying that it needs to be big, so it can look like other European royal palaces. Also, since it's located in a remote place, he said all important guests should stay at the palace in the future."
The number of guest rooms was reduced from the original plan, but there were still more than thirty guest rooms being made. It was to take care of the entourage of important guests. Including huge event halls, dining hall, and other glamorous subsidiary facilities, the palace was going to be extremely complex for new visitors.
The palace was about 80 percent completed and the exterior of the building looked marvelous.
"Oh wow, what does that make me, then?"
"You're just a sister of the prince consort. What else can it be?"
"I mean, Leon will become the Archduke, right? I'm his aunt, am I still nothing?"
"You'd be the aunt of the Archduke."
"You're saying there's no t.i.tle for me?! Not even a countess or something like that?"
That night, Youngho could not finish his meal, due to Yunsuh's endless inquiries.