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Empire of the Ring - Chapter 391


Published at 11th of July 2019 11:14:22 PM
Chapter 391

Since the Arirang Autonomous State was exposed to the media, Youngho had to be more cautious in his actions . It was impossible for him to travel alone because he was the Duke and the prince consort of the Archduchess . However, he did not want to bring a big entourage group every time he went outside the state . He was worried that he must have been taken pictures already by many people not knowingly .



“What if I get recognize everywhere and someone asked for my autograph?”

“What are you talking about? Your Asian face is not that popular . The reporters can’t even distinguish between you and me, and I get asked to take pictures all the time because they think I’m you . ”

“What kind of idiots do that?”

“Oh, most of them . So, don’t even worry about it . You are free . ”

Jong-il said that Youngho was agonizing over nothing since many westerners find it difficult to distinguish Asians from other Asians . Still, it was funny that the reporters could not even distinguish the prince consort of the Arirang Autonomous State .

“My face was even on TV and in the papers, yet, they can’t even tell my face?”

“Maybe if they put your face on their wall and look into it every day, they might barely remember it . You know you’re just a plain guy . ”

“See how you talk to the duke . You’re just a baron, I’ve got to get you punished for that . Anybody out there?”

“Have a good time playing the Medieval alone . I’ve got to go to Almaty now . ”

“Don’t just come back from there without good news . ”

“Oh, don’t even get me started . It’s a lot stressful to bring immigrants from Tajikistan than you think . I’m almost going crazy when these people are even trying to bring their farm tools . ”



“Didn’t you already tell them not to pack any belongings?”

“They just don’t trust us enough not to bring their belongings . ”

It was heartbreaking to hear that people who were planning to move and settle down in a new place cherished their farming tools the most even though farm equipment could be bought from anywhere . Living in a place so poor, they seemed to think that the whole world was like Tajikistan .

“You said most of them are in ranching, right?”

“Oh, you can’t even call that ranching . They only raise a few goats and rabbits . All the smart people moved out from there, and the rest of them barely make ends meet . Life is even harder in the border area with Uzbekistan . ”

“Are Uzbeks still rioting these days?”

“Yep . You’d wonder why there hasn’t been a war already . ”

Because of the boundary lines that were drawn inconsiderately in the first place by Russia, Uzbek, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan were always in a territorial and ethnic dispute . In particular, many Uzbek people lived in border areas, where bloody clashes often took place and hundreds of victims were killed at times .

Koryoins as ethnic minorities in the middle of the dispute suffered tremendously by such clashes . That was why Youngho decided to help the Koryoin people to move to the autonomous state . The Korean immigrants from Kyrgyzstan were well-coordinated with Serbians, and no one objected to the addition of the state . The major reason for Serbians’ plausible compliance with the state’s policy was Youngho and Fatima’s relationship . Since the Archduchess married a Korean guy and even had a son with him, they took Koryoins as their brothers, not foreign immigrants .

Youngho wanted to give hope to the Koryoin immigrants who survived in such a difficult environment . The Arirang Autonomous State would also benefit from its growing population, and the Koryoin people, who had been scattered around the Central Asian region, would be able to live in a place where many Koryoins and Koreans lived, which would give them some kind of inner peace and comfort . Because they still spoke Korean, the state did not have much trouble communicating with them . They had not given up hope to go back to their homeland someday and kept their traditions and language . But now, they would not have to be so sad without a place to call their own . It was because of the Arirang Autonomous State . Youngho’s empire awaited for them to settle down .

***



Test production of bentonite clay had begun, and even the instant noodle factory and Turkish food company had begun their operations .

Turkey’s Eti the food company, which had set foot in the state to target the Russian market, began producing civilian combat rations to supply to Siberia .

The company’s original plan was to produce snacks such as biscuits, candies, and carbonated drinks, but there was a high demand for combat ration for civil use in Krasnoyarsk . The demand was so high that both factories, one in the autonomous state and one in Atyrau could not accommodate the demand since combat rations were also gaining popularity in Central Asia, in addition to supplying it to the military .

As the supply of lamb meat coming in from Turkey was short, Eti even bought the lamb meat that was produced in the autonomous state . It was good news since the autonomous state was making a lot of money too . Using fresh raw materials directly into the production process resulted in a difference in food quality and taste .

The freighter docked at Arirang Wharf was being loaded with instant noodles and combat rations . Next to Youngho, Mehmet, the sales director of Eti, grinned in satisfaction while wiping his sweat from time to time . Mehmet was an obese guy . Since Eti was also famous for making diet food, a sales director’s presentation of himself could affect the company’s sales, but he would not lose weight in spite of the disruption in his business .

“Mr . Lee, I didn’t know that we’d have success this quickly in the Russian market . It was a divine move to set up a joint factory in the Arirang Autonomous State . ”

“I’m still quite surprised too . I didn’t know the commander of the military unit in Siberia would do sales this well . ”

“Don’t you get more profit from directly dealing with local wholesalers in Siberia?”

“I can’t jeopardize my relationship with the commander just to make a few more bucks . Going through him could be more beneficial for us in the long run . The wholesalers of Siberia are tough and unruly as local mafias . It’s too much for us to deal with . ”

“It is indeed a great blessing for us to have a connection with the Arirang Autonomous State . Thank you again, Mr . Lee . ”

“Well, it’s my business too, but we’ll have to work harder . There will be a shortage of raw materials as combat rations will soon be available in Volgograd . If there’s any supply you can get here, including all kinds of spices, please do so . ”

“We really should . It’s also very expensive to transport supplies from Turkey . I’ll discuss it with the head office . ”

“And please consider building a local factory in Baku as well . The market in the Caucasus is pretty big . ”

“I’ve gone over that before, but I’ll consider it only if you are involved in the business . ”

“Well, I can help you if your company decides to make a factory there . It won’t be so difficult because I have a close relationship with the president of Azerbaijan . ”

***

There was a good reason for Youngho in asking about Eti’s intention to set up a food factory in Baku . Azerbaijan was a country that relied on the importation of most of the daily necessity products, so the Turkish food company would be welcomed by many if it was opened in the country .

Wheat produced in the autonomous state was being exported to Azerbaijan, and it had been supporting the state’s economic growth, so Youngho also wanted to help Azerbaijan .

Zeynep Farm that produced Zeynep Wine was located in Baku, Azerbaijan, so many officials of Azerbaijan thought that Youngho would never leave the country, but as they heard that Youngho had established an autonomous province in Kazakhstan and held a coronation ceremony, they were freaking out . Especially, Sevan of the Main Police Department who was very anxious . He said that if Youngho asked the president, the Serbian ranch area could even be designated as a special district as well .

Given the historical fact that descendants of the Serbian knights had lived there for hundreds of years, he said it was not too much to ask . Since the Grand Duchy was already recognized by Kazakhstan, it was not a big issue for Azerbaijan to do the same . Not to mention, it was an opportunity for the country to make a reason for Youngho and the Archduchess, Fatima, to stay in Baku .

Director Sevan was eager for a reason . It was also a good chance for him to establish his position if he made Youngho settle down, the prince consort of the Grand Duchy of Serbia .

Another reason was that Sevan felt special about Youngho since he was a great business partner and a friend . Also, they were almost a family since Jong-il married Karajan, who was Sevan’s relative .

He offered to accompany Youngho if he wanted to make an official visit to the presidential palace in Azerbaijan . So, the process of making a formal visit to Azerbaijan was underway .

Youngho was going to visit the presidential palace anyway because he had to maintain a close relationship with Azerbaijan, so he planned to take this opportunity . The high officials of Azerbaijan, who knew Youngho well from his businesses, also agreed to recognize the Grand Duchy of Serbia . Since the president would not ignore the public opinion that was positive toward the autonomous state, it was highly possible that a special district would be granted by the president .

The first official visit after the Archduchess’ coronation ceremony was decided to be at Baku in Azerbaijan .

Youngho was bothered by the complicated process of official events and visits after the coronation . There was no way out of this because he did not like to argue with formality . However, he could not make Fatima take responsibility since she declared that she would delegate all her foreign activities to Youngho . Fatima would not be taking a step out of the palace anytime soon .

He tried to talk to her into stepping up a little bit, but she did not even blink .

“Why don’t you come with me when I’m visiting a foreign country?”

“I’ve already declared that I’m out of public service . What would happen if the prince consort doesn’t keep his words?”

“Don’t you feel stuffy in the palace?”

“I’m too busy decorating the palace these days . So don’t even think about taking me . Alright?”

Only when Fatima moved, the knights, Vaso, and the other servants followed, but Kim Il-kwon and Suh Min-seok were the only two people who aided him for his official foreign visit . Even Kim In-hwa, who became Fatima’s personal secretary now, did not budge . Youngho felt sad, but it was better since he did not have to take a big entourage with him whenever he was on a business trip .



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