Empire Of The Ring - LightNovelsOnl.com
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Naval officers who operated battles.h.i.+ps in the Caspian Sea had agreed to join forces with the autonomous state as Victor Jun convinced them, and the Army officers were being contacted by Lieutenant Colonel Kabak.
He would have earned the position of a colonel, but he had been missing out on the promotion list because he was not favored by the high-ups due to his upright character.
With the active help of Victor Jun and Kabak, it was only a matter of time until numbers of consular or junior officers were collected.
The only problem was that the Air Force officers were not yet to respond to the call of the autonomous state. It was because they had a Russian civil aviation company that offered to pay them billions of won in annual salary when their mandatory military service ended. The Air Force received commissioned training from the Russian Air Force, and the soldiers were often given contracts from Russia's private airlines during their commissioned education period.
They did not care about the future of Kazakhstan as they had planned to leave the country anyway. Kazakhstan's big enemies were Russia and China. Without the air force to respond to any attack immediately, the country would be helpless. Thus, Youngho had no choice but to establish an air defense network.
Sweden's air defense network was evaluated to be almost perfect, as it was built on the premise of Soviet invasion during the Cold War.
Sweden was still the country where Russian fighter jets made a series of deadly provocations across its airs.p.a.ce, so its air defense network was thought to be unrivaled.
Eriksson was out at Stockholm International Airport.
"Mr. Lee, you could've just called me instead of coming here. Is there any urgent matter? I thought you'd stay in Kazakhstan because of the circ.u.mstances there."
"I had to come. There are so many things that the autonomous state needs, so I have to almost run around to supply necessary things."
"I see. Let's go to the downtown office instead of going to the main office."
"I'm glad I'm not getting blindfolded this time."
"Hahaha… You know you don't need that kind of procedure anymore. You must have been pretty upset before."
"Oh, I'm just kidding. It's necessary for security."
"Since it's an information company, we made a fuss about our security."
"Your company must have a perfect air defense network. Am I correct?"
"Our defense system?"
"Yes. That's why I'm here today."
"Is there any sign that the state will be attacked?"
"It's a problem because we don't have a defense system to prevent even a light plane attack."
The Information Agency's downtown office was a five-story red brick building near the n.o.bel Inst.i.tute in the east of the city, with a magazine sign hanging.
Youngho was surprised that there were so many people working for a disguised magazine company.
"This is the largest circulation magazine in Sweden. We're publis.h.i.+ng five kinds of monthly magazines."
"Wow, I thought it was just a pretend magazine company, but it was real. When journalists travel around the world, they'll get all kinds of information."
"That information is also useful."
Unlike newspaper reporters, journalists in monthly magazines often reported in-depth contents. There would be many benefits for the agency to have such journalists handy. In the reception room on the fifth floor, Basten, the representative of the Information Agency, was already waiting for Youngho.
"Good afternoon, duke. I heard you've been having a lot of trouble lately."
"Well, nothing's been easy for me. I'm glad that I have a great partner like you to rely on."
"You came a long way to get here. I should take you to dinner, but I guess business should come first, right?"
After hearing Youngho's explanation while drinking tea, Basten nodded to express his agreement.
"You know, unless it's a multi-layered defense network, there's no perfect air defense. Both radar systems and missile interceptors are important. But I don't think it's a fundamental solution."
"Is there any alternative you suggest?"
"There should be a system that can strike directly against the enemy."
"What if we can't do that in the autonomous state?"
"I'm saying this in consideration of pilot dispatch."
"Swedish air power is strong, but the soldiers have no real experience. They should gain experience somewhere, so they're looking for a place like that."
"Isn't that the same for other countries?"
"Yes, it is. If the Swedish Air Force pilots can practice in Kazakhstan this time, I think we will effectively prevent the threat of Russia."
"What do you mean? Are you saying that you are sending Swedish pilots to our state? How can you move the Swedish Defense Ministry? I mean, I wouldn't worry if that is possible, but I hardly see that happening."
"The Swedish Air Force has a history of 80 years. It has an exceptionally large number of pilots who can fly fighter jets."
"Will the government of Sweden send fighter pilots?"
"It's a good opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Which military would deny it?"
"You mean Kazakhstan's Air Force is not as good."
"Well, that's what we a.s.sume. The bottom line is that we have confidence in our fighter jets too."
"Weren't you just a shareholder of Saab AB?"
The Gripen, a multipurpose fighter, could take off and land without a runway—only if there was an unpaved road stretched about 700 meters.
On top of that, the fighter jet's advantage was a field maintenance team consisting of only five to six people could complete equipment replacement and refueling in less than an hour from just 30 minutes.
The plane was characterized by a combat system with superior stability and an integrated electronic system, as well as ample load weight compared to flexible adaptability and size.
It was also a good price for a fighter jet of its great performance. If pilots could be dispatched to the autonomous state, it was a jaw-dropping deal. Thus, Youngho decided to buy the second-hand aircraft used by the Swedish Air Force for 40 million dollars per unit and signed a contract with the Strategic Air Command to acquire 20 units that were to be transported through two deliveries.
In response to the dispatch of fighter pilots, he also ordered ten more JAS39 units—the latest model. Finally, he signed the contract to get the Swedish air defense network system. Youngho benefited most from his relations.h.i.+p with the Danish royal family when signing this deal. Sweden and Denmark were of the same northern Germanic descent, so the two countries had a strong relations.h.i.+p.
"I think I'll be able to sleep with my legs straightened out, now that I'm relieved from my worries. I really appreciate your consideration."
"Not at all. A businessman doesn't make a losing deal. We're on the same boat, so I'm glad that I could give you discounts."
"I feel like I've received a big gift since I've been promised a technical partners.h.i.+p and even pilots."
"I'm pleased to see my client happy. Our company received a lot of praise from the government for this deal. The Swedish government was also happy that this would be their start to exporting its air defense system."
"It's a system that hasn't been introduced overseas yet."
"If it proves to work in the Arirang state, it will be a new product of Sweden."
"Then I must be attacked."
"Hahaha… I guess that's the only way we could tell the effectiveness of the system. By the way, is there a reason why you don't do bank transactions?"
"Banks in Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan don't keep secrets so well, so most businessmen prefer cash. It became my habit, too."
Both knew that cash transaction was quite c.u.mbersome. It was because the receiver would have to check whether they were counterfeit or not and count all of the bills. In addition, safety measures for transportation should be prepared as they were quite bulky.
"If you don't feel comfortable with cash, I have other means of payment. Would that be fine?"
"Is it gold?"
Youngho had tons of gold bars but he could not give them away because gold was the last bastion in the time of emergency. What Youngho was trying to offer was the paintings and jewelry he stole from the president's villa and the house of his second daughter.
"Do you have any interest in paintings and jewelry?"
"Are they also a legacy of the Archduke?"
"Hahaha… There's no way that the Serbians kept paintings from hundreds of years ago. It was in my private possession."
"They must be great paintings if you liked them."
"Mafia had them, so I bought them randomly. I don't know if they're authentic."
"I'll send them as soon as I get back to the state. You can appraise their values."
"Then did you collect the jewelry for yourself?"
"Some I did, and some belonged to the Archduke Family."
"The Archduke Family must've owned all of the wealth of Europe."
"I heard it was an invincible, rich kingdom."
"The legend of El Dorado must have been on the Balkans."
"I was blessed to meet my wife. I'm pretty much indebted to her family."
"I should go to flea markets a lot, too."
"If so, keep an eye on the little girl with a sloppy display stand."
It was easy for Youngho to spend this amount of money since he had more than 7.2 billion dollars worth of cash from the president's villa. That was excluding his gold bars. From the Presidential Palace and the villa, he acquired about a hundred tons. Combining it with Youngho's own gold bars, they were added up to 130 tons—which was more than the central bank of a small country would have stored. He had nothing to be afraid of now.
Youngho finished his schedule and was going back home.
Next to him, Eriksson was sitting. Basten sent him with Youngho because he wanted to check out the paintings and jewelry that Youngho talked about as soon as possible.
Basten was excited that the best secret auction market of the century was about to open. The wealthiest people in Europe were proud to have famous artists' paintings because of their cultural vanity.
"If the paintings that the mafia had were fake, I'd be very embarra.s.sed."
"The Russian mafiowned paintings are authentic. Their appraisals are known to have no mistakes."
Youngho worried that there might be fake paintings since they were not from the mafias but from the Kazakh President and his daughter. Their friends or relatives might have deceived them into buying fake paintings. He only hoped that the President and his daughter had a good eye for arts.