Empire Of The Ring 340 The Black Forest, Taiga 1

Empire Of The Ring -

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Eriksson did not come alone to Batumi but brought a diamond appraiser with him.
Since he was going to buy 540 of rough stones, he needed to make sure that they were real.
The man in his 50s, who thoroughly evaluated the stones by labeling each of the stones for a long time, began to put numbers in his calculator as if he was done appraising them.

"Eriksson, are you pricing them here?"

"They're priced with a conservative method but we should tell you how much they cost before we leave. We're going to put them at a secret auction."

"Well, I don't care since I trust you, Eriksson."

"I know you wouldn't but I'd hate to be doubted by you or I won't know when my head would be targeted by you. I should make things right, hahaha…"

"Oh, I'm not such an ignorant person."

"That makes me more nervous. That's why I brought an appraiser with me."

The appraiser showed the LCD of his calculator that had the final number on it. The first number was five followed by other numbers. Number five caught Youngho's eye.
Eriksson, who talked with the appraiser, interpreted it to Youngho.

"Please understand our language since he doesn't speak English. I mentioned that you're someone to fear just in case he has a second thought. He says that his appraiser was never incorrect. The value of the rough diamonds is a little more than five million dollars."

"All of them?"

"You're right. If you hand me over all of them, I'll put them in an auction. If you're willing to sell them all right now, we'll pay you right away, but if you'd like to go through the auction yourself, we'll charge you the commission of 20 percent no matter what price they were sold at."

If Youngho would go through an auction and got six million dollars, he would only get 4.8 million after the commission was deducted from the original profit. In this case, Youngho would be losing 200,000 dollars from the original appraised price.

"That's a new way of selling them. I could lose money if I put them in an auction. What should I do? Could you give me an advice?"

"I suggest you put them in an auction. If you are lucky, you might end up earning twice the original appraisal price."

"It sounds like there's a high possibility that I will gain money from the auction."

"Jewelry should go to someone who knows its value."

"Alright then. Please put them in an auction for me."

"You made a great choice. If we promote this as the Serbian Archduke family's old heritage, this will gain value for its unique story."

On the way back to the autonomous state, Youngho still could not believe what had happened. The value of the rough diamonds was way more than he had expected especially when that diamonds had not been processed yet.
Processing the rough stone itself would cost hundreds of dollars. It seemed that there would be at least 1,000 carats of diamonds after processing the rough stones.

Youngho had never expected this to happen. In the beginning, he was forcibly pushed by Lieutenant Colonel Klimov to buy them from him but now, he thought that it was lucky that he met Klimov.
Youngho wondered how he should convince Klimov to collect more diamonds when he met him next time. Since it would look suspicious if he pushed the colonel without a reason, he needed a believable reason.


After watching the Koryoin immigrants from Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, moving into the autonomous state, Youngho's group left for Siberia.
Youngho, Park Young-sun, Kim Il-kwon, and Hong Sung-ki and Choi Sang-ho, who were the security guards of Zeynep Security Service, were the members of the expedition team this time.
It was an eight-hour flight from Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia. The size of the Krasnoyarsk region was 13 percent of Russia's total area and it was ten times larger the size of the Korean Peninsula. Also, the Yenisei River that cut across was a long river that was about 4,130 kilometers in length. Originated from Mongolia, the river flowed through Western Siberia to the Yenisei Gulf.
Since the river was ten kilometers wide near the city of Krasnoyarsk, it was used as a good means of transportation. It was even possible to access the city through the Arctic Ocean. This was why Youngho was interested in the Krasnoyarsk region. He could transport goods through the river in the thawing season.
Although it would be a long-distance trip if he used the Arctic Ocean, it was another way to transport logs when it reached the limit to transport them using land routes.
The Arirang Autonomous State preferred to use sea routes to transport goods since it was located near the Ural River. The car ferry of the state was made as an icebreaker so that it could break the ice on the river and sea in the cold season. An icebreaker was not hard to make, it was just a vessel with a thick and st.u.r.dy body and a strong engine.

"Boss. Once the weather warms up, you'd be able to take your private Jet here."

"Il-kwon, are you sure you're not flying the Jet because you're not confident? Does it make sense that the radar doesn't work due to the severe cold?"

"Well, I'm indeed not confident flying the new Jet since I've only flown old Jets. But it is true that Jets could malfunction when the temperature drops below -58 degrees in Fahrenheit."

The region of Krasnoyarsk got quite cold in the winter that the group could not bring the state's private Jet.

"People say that the ones that are produced now don't have such defect."

"But at least we don't have to worry about pilots now, do we?"

"You're right. Those guys were about to cry when I confronted them. I thought they were going to run away in the dead of night or something."

"You really scared them a lot, Boss."

"They were not scared because of what I said. They were probably scared of losing the precious Serbian girls."

Youngho and Il-kwon were talking about the pilots and mechanics, who were sent by Cessna—the American airplane company as jet instructors at the autonomous state. He managed to force them to settle down at the state by confronting them and threatening them. He lied that the traditions of the Serbian Kingdom required girls to marry men once they joined their hands together because holding hands meant that they were engaged. The poor American guys did not know what to do to hear such rule. Youngho urged them that they should marry the Serbian girls and live in the state as soon as possible. It was an exaggeration but he needed talented pilots and mechanics that could work for the state.
Because of this, even Cessna sent an official apology on behalf of its dispatched employees. However, Youngho did not budge. He requested them to get married at once or to pay for the damage. The American pilots and mechanics needed to make a decision quickly.
Despite Youngho's nonsensical request, the guys were willing to follow the tradition of the Serbian Kingdom. They said that they would take the girls to America soon to introduce them to their parents. There would be good news soon. It seemed that they liked the state anyway since they were willing to move to the state.


At the airport of Krasnoyarsk, Sergeenko, who was still intimidating by his look, was waiting for Youngho's group.
He was quite friendly now since it was their second time to meet. There was a reason that he was glad to see Youngho. It was because Youngho had given him an envelope of money when he said goodbye at the airport last time. 2000 American dollars was a lot of tip for his service for a few days.
When Youngho first saw him, he did not expect a lot because of his scampish look but he was actually a sincere person. Since Youngho was going to work with him quite often, he paid him for his job well-done. Many said that compliments could make whales dance and money could buy the devil's heart.
This time, Sergeenko brought a weird-looking car that puzzled everyone. The front wheels were regular tires but rear half of the vehicle was a caterpillar. The rear wheels were made out of rubber but they had iron spikes all over them. The vehicle seemed to be durable and effective in snow and ice. Youngho always thought that the light armored vehicle that he had was the best but this one was extremely genius-looking.

"Sergeenko, where did you find this snowmobile?"

"Boss sent this for you to ride. I was scolded because I took you in a van last time."

Because of the low temperatures, in Russia, snow was quite dry and it was not so slippery. Many Russians did not use chains or snow tires despite frequent snow since they were used to it.

"You must've gone through trouble because of us."

"No, I think it's an honor to serve someone like you, Mr. Lee."

Youngho was not sure what Yaniv had told Sergeenko about him. He only shrugged. Maybe it was the effect of the envelope he gave last time.

"This car would get you anywhere in Siberia with ease."

"You could even stay in the car for a few days if you're trapped in the snow. This is a six-seater but the cargo area is quite large that you won't feel discomfort inside it."

"I like it a lot. I was going to rent an armored vehicle from the local military unit but this is much better."

The next day, the expedition team set off on the snowmobile that was fully loaded with extra gas, water, and supplies. Sergeenko did not come along since the group was surveying the Taiga forest. Instead, he gave an AK rifle and a lot of ammunition to Youngho saying that wild tigers and wolves of Siberia might be a problem. There were a power saw and different tools in the vehicle as well. Sergeenko told Youngho that those were tools to build a temporary log cabin. He said that Russian people would make their own cabin when they were on a hunting trip since tents were not safe in snow storms.
Taking his advice, Youngho took as many tools as he could.

"Boss. This vehicle seems to be made for Siberia."

"This must have been a military vehicle before. There's no way that this kind of vehicle was made for civil use."

"It'd be great to have some for the ranch in Baku."

"Isn't there one for each at Zeynep Farm and Serbian ranch?"

"Well, they're not so great to drive on the mountainous road with piled-up snow. This will take us freely around the Caucasus Mountain Range."

"Why don't you order several ones when we return? We can have some in Baku and some at the autonomous state."

The snowmobile was not so fast but it moved smoothly. Traveling on it was quite comfortable. The only downside of it was that it took two days to get to the forest whereas it was only a one day trip before.
Park Young-sun also seemed as if he was mesmerized by the snowy Taiga region as Youngho did last time.

"This is where I dreamed to come ever since I was young."

"Any geologist would dream of being here."

"Even Russian people wouldn't know the whole Siberia yet. Except for the areas that had been logged and exploited, people must've not laid their eyes on other untouched areas."

"There's a tundra region when you pa.s.s the Taiga and the swamp regions. With the economic ability of Russia, it must've been overwhelming to develop the whole region."

"That must be the only reason why those regions are still preserved."

This might be the reason that those diamonds fell into Youngho's hands. If the whole area was developed, he would not have had a chance to do a logging business in Siberia. Since the region suffered from severe coldness in the winter and humid swamp in the summer, people were reluctant to take the land.

"Dr. Park. You must be against exploiting this area."

"Personally I am but I can't ignore the economic thinking. You might think that it will be okay since you're going to plant trees after cutting them down but nature doesn't go back to where it was in the beginning."

"I was going to plant as many trees as I have chopped down but you sound like it's not going to work."

"Have you thought about how long it will take for trees to grow in this cold region? The surrounding environment is not like the past, and it will be almost impossible to restore it."

"But what else can we do? At least I'll have to try."

"I'll try to find the most effective way to restore the environment."

Come to think of it, the Arirang Autonomous State was busy planting trees everywhere and it was quite opposite in the Taiga forest in Siberia since Youngho was going to chop down its beautiful trees. It was sad, but Youngho could not resist the logging business since his mind was already drawn to the free diamonds of the forest. He should try his best not to disturb nature.

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About Empire Of The Ring 340 The Black Forest, Taiga 1 novel

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