Chapter 94: Reputational Spokesperson
Translated by: kevin1782
Edited by: Isalee
Ulyanko was also a fan of kung fu. While Ulyanko stared at him with admiration, it greatly boosted Jin Fang’s ego. He patted Ulyanko’s shoulders with much force and chuckled, “No problem, I’ll teach you a thing or two when I’m free later.”
Ulyanko called Jin Fang ‘Shifu’ a few times after his wish was granted. Only then did he reluctantly go to Gao Yang whilst still yenning for Jin’s lessons. He pouted as he spoke. “I really didn’t expect you all to be so awesome. Ram, you’re famous. Your merc corp is also very renowned now. Somebody said there were three Easterners who had come to Misurata, a guy called ‘Ram’ who a ferocious sniper, and a kung fu expert. I knew straightaway that it was you guys. Heavens, if I knew Shifu’s kung fu was so awesome, I’d have definitely given you all discounts.”
Gao Yang’s ego was also satiated. He gleefully said, “Knowing now ain’t too late either. I welcome you to give us a discount anytime.”
Ulyanko nodded quickly and in response. “No problem, it’ll be a ten percent cut whenever you guys buy stuff in the future.”
Gao Yang opened his arms in bemused resignation and said, “That’s too insincere, I remember you saying that before. On the behalf of Grolev, you said you’d give me a ten percent cut from then on. Why’s it still a ten percent discount now?”
Ulyanko’s face didn’t change at all as he smiled. “Discount on discount, ten percent cut from the ten percent off. Alright, now let’s talk big business, what do y’all want?”
Grolev immediately said, “We’re going to South Africa and want to go using your means. Quote a price man.”
Ulyanko shook his head with helplessness on his face. “Hey, bro, that’s only passing by. Not a big deal man. Please, I was so afraid that I would delay your needs. I brought my whole team of cars here even. And you just told me that you want to go home. That’s bad, very bad.”
Grolev apologetically said, “Sorry, I didn’t expect your business to be so big now that you even brought a team of cars. But you only used fifteen minutes to get here, okay?”
Ulyanko sighed. “No choice, business is hard to come by nowadays. I have to grab opportunities. Misurata’s really bustling with war. I of course have to grab this chance to expand my stored goods. I say, don’t y’all have any other requests or needs? I have everything here.”
Gao Yang thought for a while and commented, “We actually still need a lot of items, but we’re going home now. We surely won’t bring too many items. But wait till we’re back again, we’ll surely have lots and lots of things to buy. For example, a 12.7-mm apex sniper rifle, night-vision equipment, whole sets of defensive equipment and other stuff. Of course, the pretext is that we can withstand your pricing.”
Ulyanko felt energy surge up within him. The items Gao Yang listed didn’t sound like he would be buying a lot, but all of it was expensive stuff. For example, although there were many mercenaries on the Libyan battlefields, almost all the troops had very low quality equipment. Even if there were well-equipped teams, they would not seek sellers at the eleventh hour and purposely insist on buying when they were at the battlefields.
Strictly speaking, Ulyanko was known as a second-class trader. It was different these days from the eighties and nineties: there were indeed not many places in Africa that were in war right now. To be frank, Ulyanko was just a weapon retailer. He could only grab opportunities to sell some stuff wherever the war went. In addition, competition amongst arm traders was very intense. Ulyanko still held high regards for Gao Yang’s orders.
Gao Yang’s Satan Mercenary Corporation was new in business, but reputation was swiftly earned. It was very clear that they were going the elite path. The items they bought would be high-class. If Ulyanko were to forfeit the Satan Mercenary Corp’s business, then he would really be wasting his time vying for business for the past few years.
Snapping his fingers clearly and loudly, Ulyanko was all smiles. “I have a suggestion. All of you should deliberate over this. I feel that we can work together long-term, and I will satisfy all of your needs. Also, the pricing will be reasonable. As for all of you, just clearly tell other people that the firearm trader who supplied every piece of equipment is me. As long as all of your clothes say a few sentences, all of you can enjoy a twenty percent discount. How’s that?”
Gao Yang smiled and replied, “What you mean is, we advertise for you? Or rather, Satan Merc Corp is your company’s spokesperson? Or reputational spokesperson?”
“Bingo, that’s correct. That’s what I mean, how’s that?”
Ulyanko’s words reminded Gao Yang. Since Ulyanko started it by sending himself to the door, Gao Yang would definitely not be courteous. He said without hesitation, “Of course, no problem at all. We will tell everyone that you supplied our equipment. You provided everything that was necessary in time, and with very cheap services. We can also accept advertisement phrases on our clothes. No problem for all of that.”
Ulyanko’s face showed that he was astonished and elated. Just as he was about to speak, Gao Yang added in a timely tidbit to cut him down. Ulyanko’s face immediately fell.
“As long as you can provide every piece of equipment for free.”
Ulyanko was astounded. “F*ck, you ask for too much. How is that ever possible? Ram, we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars here for business. And you’re asking me to give it to you for free? You must be joking, right?”
Gao Yang smiled, “Nope, not a joke, think about it. How many years have you been in this sector? Is there any merc corp that’s completely equipped by you? No! Why? That’s because your nickname is too notorious. Who would do business with a guy whose nickname is ‘Vampire’? I’m saying that, without the need or a situation that calls for it, who would spend big bucks on your items? Think, give it a good ponder.”
Ulyanko shook his head in quick succession and said, “No, you can’t teach me how I do business. I have been in this trade for a decade. You don’t have any right to pinpoint at how I do stuff. Also, all firearm traders are the same. Our trade products are at different prices at peaceful times and wartimes. This is not my unique style of doing things. So please don’t think that you got ripped off or anything.”
Gao Yang also shook his head and said, “I’m not teaching you how to do business, I just want to tell you what we can bring to you. Think about it. A very renowned merc corp, using all your equipment. They let you provide supplies and reinforcement services, and they tell each person they meet about how fair your prices are and how good your reputation is. What’s that? That’s the celebrity effect, man.”
“Don’t joke with me, Ram. However vivid and attractive you might have portrayed it, I will not possibly provide free stuff for you or anything. Really.”
Gao Yang sighed and said, “Having a good spokesperson would allow you to get more orders. Wartime or peaceful times. Think closely, what time is it nowadays? Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria. Heavens, all of Middle East is stirring up. The golden era for firearm trades is coming right up. Don’t you want to grab the opportunity first and walk in front of others by producing a spokesperson with a good reputation to your competitors?”
There was no doubt. Ulyanko was moved. Just as Gao Yang had depicted, the golden era for firearm trade was approaching. Or rather, it had arrived. Ulyanko had to grab any chance to increase his reputation. Of course, Ulyanko’s reputation was already very big; a pity however as his reputation was very negative. Hence, getting a good spokesperson was indeed very essential.
Despite the great temptation, Ulyanko struggled hard for a long time but he still shook his head at last. “Nope, nope, providing for free… I still can’t accept it. Maybe when I see the benefits you bring me I’ll change my decision. But for now, no. Definitely no.”
Gao Yang sighed and held up the satellite phone in his hand. It was just that he used his hand to cover the screen. He spoke to Grolev, “You see? I told you to call that American, and you insisted on calling your friend. You saw it. Not that I didn’t give him chance, we should still partner up with that American.”
Ulyanko was anxious and really white around the gills. “Damn it, which American? Sam? Eagle Claw? Nope, they’re all sons of b8*ches, totally have no credence to speak. Alright, alright! I can provide everything at cost price for what you need. Cost price! Don’t say
‘free’ anymore, for God’s sake, cost price! The lowest limit I can take!”
Gao Yang friskily said, “Just the cost price? That can’t do, I can have free stuff, why pay money still? Bro.”
Ulyanko gritted and grinded his teeth. “Stop acting man. Ram, there’s no firearm trader who’d supply you with free stuff. Nobody will! Free! I’m willing to supply you the equipment for the cost price, that’s definitely the best deal you can get. Quickly seal the damn deal with me man, for God’s sake!”
Gao Yang resignedly shrugged his shoulders and extended his hand to shake with Ulyanko. He then said with the you-got-a-good-bargain attitude, “Alright, you won. Deal. We’ll be your representatives, Bro.”
Shaking firmly and roughly with Gao Yang, Ulyanko sourly said, “Alright, now tell me what y’all need, when y’all need them, and where. I have to say this in advance, the transport fees will be included in the cost price.”
Gao Yang nodded and commented, “No problem, the transport fees can be included in the cost price, but you have to send us to South Africa for free, including every piece of equipment on us.”
Ulyanko grimaced and said, “You’re really Satan in human form, no wonder you’re called Ram (Baphomet). Alright, alright, I’ll send you guys to South Africa for free. Damn it! Stop saying the word ‘free’, I loathe that word, cough up what you need.”
Gao Yang pondered and discussed with Grolev and the rest in a low volume for a while. Then Gao Yang took off his old bulletproof vest and gave it to Ulyanko. “Here you go, the sample goods. Four of the same brand, a 12.7-mm sniper rifle with the best scope also. But we’ve not thought of the stuff we want yet, so we can talk about it later. Or if you have good recommendations it’ll do too. Also, we want night-vision devices, four sets — the helmet type. Two low light-levels, two thermal visions, and rocket launchers. Uh, forget about the clothes and boots and stuff, we can buy those ourselves.”
Ulyanko shook his head and said, “Nope, let me settle everything, I’m gonna supply you everything you use. Therefore, you tell me the brand you want and the size number, I’ll buy and prep everything.”
Gao Yang sighed and said, “Alright, we’ll let you settle everything. However, this is a little too rushed, and we still haven’t figured out what we need. How about this, when we decide on what we need, we’ll give you a call. We need to rest and recover for a period of time, and hence there’s no need to hurry too much, yeah?”
- https://www.economist.com/node/15810608 Celebrity effect. Extra: Chinese actor Wu Yi Fan saved the brand Burberry, I guess?
- Exact translation from the author ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Not GT’s or my stand in this.
- South Africa is a country in Southern Africa. Always remembered that one, ‘cuz my English teacher would be telling us about general knowledge and common mistakes students made when writing expository essays.
- NVDs - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_vision