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He was extremely drunk last time he visited there, and because of that, he freaked out whenever he heard any word sounded close to Volgograd.
Luckily, Youngho was not planning on taking him this time but he decided to tease Min-seok a little.
"Isn't it the secretary's job to follow wherever his boss is going?"
"I… I do not speak Russian, so I'm only going to be a bother instead of being helpful."
"It's alright. They speak English."
"Um… I… I need to keep in touch with the Korean whole wheat import company. Oh! And I need to teach Leon some Korean too ."
Youngho ended up chuckling because of Min-seok's excuse using his own child.
Min-seok had been taking care of Leon lately. In fact, Min-seok's absence would lead to Fatima's suffering with Leon, the little devil.
Since there was a chance that Youngho would need to fly to Siberia to take a look around the site for logging during this trip, he was going to only go with Il-kwon and two security guards. At the moment, he was just waiting for Sergey's call.
Jong-il would have to stay in the state because he was busy taking care of the immigration of Koryoins from Kyrgyzstan. Jong-il would be in charge of the state and Youngho's other businesses when Youngho was absent, so it was not a good idea for them to be absent together, especially when the IS problem was rising at the moment.
Cha In-soo was too busy to make time for traveling because of Zeynep Security Service, warehouse business in Vladivostok, and the Countryside Force at the autonomous state.
Youngho was thinking about recalling Cho Chul-hwan from Arirang Hotel in Batumi to the autonomous state to take over the Countryside Force instead of In-soo. It was overwhelming for In-soo to take care of two businesses and the Countryside Force at the same time. Since the Countryside Force needed someone trustworthy to be in charge, his good friend Cho Chul-hwan seemed to be a perfect candidate for the job.
The Batumi's hotel already had a good manager Um Sang-taek anyway, so it was unnecessary for Chul-hwan to be there.
"He will like it. But his wife probably won't like it at all since she is now used to living in Batumi."
"Okay, but do you think it'll be a good idea to call Chul-hwan?"
"Yeah, of course, I'd like that. No one will be a better fit than Chul-hwan. Besides, he had three months of training in Navy Seal in the United States. He will turn the security guards into special forces in no time. Hey, by the way, you need to recruit more guards after he takes over the job. I've heard there are over a hundred applicants from Korea, is that true?"
"Yeah. They are extremely eager to come. Some even sent me e-mails telling me that they will visit for the interview."
In Korea, it was not easy to make a lot of money with security guard positions. Many of the highly trained guards only got paid about 20,000 dollars a year. Since most of Youngho's juniors who were discharged from the Korean Navy Special Forces U.D.T Unit worked as security guards in Korea with low salary, they were eager to come to work at Zeynep Security Service.
"I want them all. They'll be great reinforcement to our security team. If we don't have room for security guards, we will hire them as Countryside Force guards. "
"We still need them to learn to speak English at least."
"I don't care as long as they have a good personality and morality. We can always teach them English as we train them here."
Zeynep Security Service had been growing ever since it began taking requests from hotels in Istanbul. Due to the highly educated and trained security guards at the company, the security company was already recognized as the top security service. Everyone wanted to hire security guards from Zeynep Security Service, so the company needed to recruit more guards. Moreover, if Youngho decided to start the logging business in Siberia, the business would also need security guards there as well.
As soon as Chul-hwan heard from Youngho, he flew to the autonomous state the very next day alone. His wife and children would pack their belongings in Batumi and follow later.
"You dummy! Are you crazy? We are not even in a rush. Why did come by yourself? You could've come with your family when things were ready. Your wife would be mad at us now."
"This b.u.t.t head probably thought we were in the middle of a war or something. He goes anywhere to fight."
"Shut your mouth! I know you wouldn't have called me if you were not busy."
Even though Jong-il and In-soo were talking trash to him, Chul-hwan could care less about what they were saying. Although he had been managing Arirang Hotel in Batumi with Um Sang-teak, running a hotel was not for him. He rather liked to use his body and play rough. He was just glad to be in the state to work for the Countryside Force.
"You saved my b.u.t.t Youngho! Do you know how much I suffer from running the d*mn hotel? I was never meant to manage the hotel and work in a service position. I mean, I've had some people leave the hotel because of me. Phew, glad those days are over now."
"What?! If you're having such problems, you should've told him that earlier."
"I was not so proud of what I've done at the hotel. Why would I open my mouth to ruin my reputation?"
With his husky body and stern face, Chul-hwan could seem like an intimidating person to strangers. It seemed like one of the managers of the hotel, he had scared off numbers of guests instead of attracting them.
"So, your wife didn't refuse to come here?"
"She loved it! She was so excited to be your neighbor. She didn't have many friends in Batumi. You know Armenians like her are not welcomed around the Caucasus region."
"I am sorry to hear that. I thought you were doing well there."
"It's alright. It was not perfect but we were living the most luxurious life than ever. I'd better not complain."
Since Chul-hwan's family who moved from Korea lived a poor life in the past, they appreciated what they had now. That was probably why he did not say anything to Youngho even though he was not satisfied with his life in Batumi.
Hearing his friend's story, Youngho felt sorry that he did not pay more attention to his struggles. He gave Chul-hwan a big hug instead of saying how sorry he felt.
"Umm… I don't like this. Why are you hugging me?"
"Just take it, you son of a gun. I am measuring your body to see how much fat you got."
Although he pretended that he did not know what Youngho was doing, Chul-hwan also hugged him back.
The presence of Chul-hwan made a big difference for the Countryside Force. After a few days of Chul-hwan being in charge, the whole force already looked like a sophisticated military unit. It was because he applied a strict incentive and punishment system to the force. If there was anyone who did not follow his order, his salary was deducted. Since they needed to be paid to live, the soldiers of the Countryside Force had no other choice but to follow the order of the chief. Not to mention, Chul-hwan's appearance probably made it more effective.
"Don't you think your standard is a little too high? They are not from the regular army."
"You know this is necessary until they are disciplined. At the right time, I will give them back their deducted salaries. It would make them more dedicated to the training, order, and to the chief. The carrot and stick approach. This is what we used to do at the U.D.T. Unit, remember?"
The system of the Countryside Force was not the only thing that Chul-hwan changed. He also suggested a few great ideas after looking around the metal lab facility and repair shop. It was quite impressive how much had changed after Chul-hwan came. Seeing the changes, Youngho felt more comfortable to leave the state for his trip to Volgograd.
Along with Il-kwon, Hong Sung-ki and Choi Sang-ho, who had been working at the Vladivostok warehouse complex for four years now, were on the flight to Volgograd. They were going on a business trip with Youngho since they could speak Russian.
"Sung-ki. Wasn't the head position of the s.h.i.+pping company's security team enough for you? Why did you step down from it?"
"Boss. It is really boring to watch the ocean for years. Also, I want to get married. I'm already over 30 years old. Everyone around me is married."
"I was over 30 when I got married. I only have one child."
"It's different because you were always busy. I am not busy like you."
Hong Sung-ki who successfully defended Baku during the invasion of Armenian special force was one of the few people who still called Youngho 'Boss'. Youngho had placed him as the head of the security team of Arirang s.h.i.+pping long time ago. But after a few years, he wanted to step down and come back to land.
"Il-kwon. Do you know any single woman for Sung-ki? After he lost your younger sister to another guy, he's got no luck."
"I already tried to help him a lot. But it seems like he doesn't have dating skills."
"Secretary Kim! You didn't even help me. I've heard that you were supporting Chul-ho while I am on the sea. You are responsible for my singleness!"
"Mr. Hong. I wasn't helping anybody. How can I stop people from falling in love?"
"I don't care whatever you say! If you don't take this responsibility, my single soul will hunt you down in your dreams!"
It snowed terribly in January of Volgograd. The atmosphere in Yaniv's mansion in the forest was quite warm unlike the freezing weather outside. Youngho was not surprised that Yaniv constantly offered to drink more vodka to the whole group.
"You've got to try bear hunting, Lee. I will give you some bearskin later. I caught two bears and President Putin only caught one the other day. He was quite upset that day. "
Yaniv was proud of his bear hunting skill.
"You know he is known to be very compet.i.tive Mr. Yaniv. Don't you worry about him taking his back on you?"
"I had no choice. We had a huge bet. I've always lost, so I practiced shooting before going on the hunting trip this time. At least I proved how excellent the rifle made in your state. I bet he will use your rifle next time to hunt bears."
"I'll send a few more high-quality rifles to you. There had been some upgrades to our rifle."
"Is that so? Send me some then. I'm going to have to make him feel better with the new rifle."
Their conversation continued until late at night. They had plenty of topics to talk about such as the wars.h.i.+p Youngho ordered previously, and the ground-breaking ceremony of the American corporation's factory in Volgograd.
"Mr. Yaniv. There is no big merit if I only collect the trees from Siberia if I don't own the property."
"Don't you know Russia had been selling some land to foreign corporations?"
"I am not talking about buying a small area. I am talking about a site at least as big as the Arirang Autonomous State."
"Oh, don't you worry about it. I've already picked a perfect place for you. Go take a look at it and let me know if you like it."