Chapter 254 - Betrayal
During the 10th month, the Langshan mining field and the Northern Salt Fields both contributed 17,000 gold. Out of this, Ouyang Shuo took away 5,000 gold and gave the rest to the Finance Department.
They had completed the Three Flower Winery in the west district. It would start its operation in the next month. According to Du Dun’s estimations, in the 11th month, the winery could yield at least half of its full operational target and contribute a total of 3000 to 4000 gold.
They had also completed the expansion of the mulberry fields. However, the nurturing of the mulberry tree required a long growth cycle, so the mulberry garden would only begin operation next year.
Thanks to the advancement in rank of the Fallen Moon Guild and the establishment of the Shanhai City office in the capital city, new players and NPC talents streamed into Shanhai City every day.
For the talents that came in, Ouyang Shuo distributed them to the other subordinate territories so that the territories could advance together at the same approximate pace.
Along with the large quantities of work occupation players and the NPC talents the Cui Chamber of Commerce recruited that joined Shanhai City, the production of weapons in the three big military factories had started to exponentially increase.
However, as a direct result of the increased weapon production, resources such as leathers and tendons became lacking. Leathers were still fine, as they could still obtain them from the nomadic tribes through the Friendship City market.
However, tendons were restricted items, so even the Cui Chamber of Commerce could not lay their hands on them.
In the end, his little aunt solved his problem.
In truth, the adventurers would spend their daily lives hunting in different places, earning experience to level up. And out there in the world, countless creatures like wild wolves and bisons existed. However, these creatures wouldn’t drop any items after they died. Hence, the players could only gather and harvest their body parts.
Hence, adventurers would possess miscellaneous items like tendons and leathers. The quantity they held ranged from a few to tens in number.
After his little aunt prompted him about it, Ouyang Shuo acted immediately and mailed her 10,000 gold. He made a request to make a large scale purchase from the Snow-War Rose Mercenary for all the miscellaneous items from the players.
Naturally, Lin Jing would not decline. In fact, they had heaps of tendons and leathers that laid in the storage warehouse of the Snow-War Rose Mercenary. They had left these items aside to collect dust. To them, all of these materials were not only useless, but they also took up their storage space. However, they were unwilling to sell them off in the capital city shops as the price was too low.
And now, this big shot was willing to suck them all away without limits. This deal was a win-win situation for both parties. After a round of discussion, they decided that the price would be two times higher than the shops in the capital city.
Despite this, such an expense was nothing in comparison to the profits he would gain from the weapons production.
Ouyang Shuo knew the truth very well in his heart. The only reason that the lords did not touch the materials in the hands of the adventurers was that the lords had yet to come across the related technical manuals. Hence, they could not march into the military industry.
Even so, Ouyang Shuo himself had only realized this fact after his little aunt prompted him.
However, the situation would eventually change in the future. One way or another, the lords would find a way to lay their hands on the weapon crafting technical manuals. At that point in time, the prices of the materials would skyrocket through the roof.
After he bought all these materials and stocked them now, Ouyang Shuo had no intentions of selling them in the future. Since he intended to make Shanhai City the largest arms dealer in the China server, he knew that the future demands and consumption rate of materials would be incredibly high. As such, he had to repair the house before it rained.
And so, when everyone busied themselves with their own stuff, the merchants that the Snow-War Rose Mercenary group sent out covertly obtained all kinds of materials from the adventure players. Then, these items would enter the storage warehouse of Shanhai City.
First was Jian Ye. Then, they slowly expanded to all of the system capital cities.
The players felt gladdened and had a heated response. Some of the players had the materials stored in the guild warehouse to save their spatial storage space. When they received this news, they all started to take out the materials from the guild warehouse. Then, they sold them off to the merchants.
Hence, the materials stored in the guilds rapidly vanished.
Such an abnormal situation naturally caught the attention of the guild higher-ups. After they learned about the situation, they immediately took out all of the materials in the guild and sold it off to the merchants. Everyone felt delighted and satisfied.
When the players placed their materials into the guild warehouse, they would be giving their approval to the guild to handle it for them. Of course, after the guilds sold off the materials, the guild would grant them guild contribution points accordingly.
All of a sudden, a vigorous wave of material acquisition rippled through the whole China region.
As time went by, the acquisition attracted more and more attention. Soon, the group behind the purchases was exposed to the public. All the top ten guilds and the renowned lords heard about it. The Snow-War Rose Mercenary had started to crazily suck in all kinds of materials.
Gossips and talks were part of human nature. Hence, they had developed a series of incredible skills to dig out concealed information.
Slowly, players managed to unveil the relationship between Shanhai City and Snow-War Mercenary Group. The curtains were raised, and the cooperation between the two was exposed, which attracted countless pairs of eyes toward them.
Then, someone revealed the kinship between Ouyang Shuo and Lin Jing to the world. A core member of the Snow-War Mercenary Group had leaked this fact. This individual had visited Shanhai City together with Lin Jing.
The betrayal enraged Xie Siyun and Lin Jing, and they directly expelled the betrayer. Then, they ordered a life-long pursuit on her, which stripped her of the slightest glimpse of hope of continuing to live in Jian Ye.
Without a doubt, someone had perpetrated the betrayal. Even if the betrayer had to restart everything in the game, the perpetrators would still compensate her with a large amount of money.
As for the person behind it all, Ouyang Shuo didn’t even need to crack his head. Certainly, the likes of Di Chen did this.
The exposure itself did not infuriate Lin Jing and Xie Siyun—the betrayal did. A core member had betrayed them, an old friend that had fought alongside them for so many years. And yet, who knew that temptations of the outside world had corrupted her, which caused her to throw away their years of friendship for money.
Clearly, as the real world and the virtual world connected together, the interpersonal relationships and organizational ties in the gaming world would grow even more intricate and cloudy.
Ouyang Shuo felt nonchalant about this matter. As the cooperation between the Snow-War Mercenary Group and Shanhai City increased, it was only a matter of time before their kinship was unveiled. He had mentally prepared himself long before this.
After the exposure, Shanhai City would surely be placed into an even more precarious position. The world would realize that unknowingly, Shanhai City had obtained such clout and influence. They even reached out its hands to the adventurers. And this was only the tip of the iceberg. What about the ones underneath the ocean? The true prowess of Shanhai City remained unknown.
Shanhai City, just when you thought that the curtains that masked its prowess were raised, what it revealed was just more mystery. How would a city like this not shock the world?
Since the world learned about their relationship, Ouyang Shuo didn’t plan to hide it anymore. He proceeded to send another 20,000 gold to his little aunt. He asked her to sweep away each and every piece of material in the hands of the adventurers.
For this, Ouyang Shuo ordered the Construction Division to choose a cave and modify it. They made it a special storage area to keep the overly excessive materials, especially the leathers that took up too much space. If he relied on the players to smuggle it through the teleportation portal, the teleportation fees would be 10% higher than the trading tax.
Hence, Ouyang Shuo just traded through the auction platform. He clenched his teeth and paid the 3,000 trading tax gold. As Gaia oversaw the trading platform, the players could not decrease the selling price to avoid the trading taxes.
As the acquisition went on, piles after piles of leathers, rolls after rolls of tendons, and all the other materials were sent over through the platform to Shanhai City. Then, they transported the materials to the cave to store them away.
Soon, they had nearly filled up half of the huge cave.
With such a large quantity of materials, the Bow and Crossbow Division Secretary Wu Peng and the Armory Division Secretary Wang Gao estimated that they had sufficient materials to make millions of bowstrings and over forty thousand sets of Mingguang Armor and leather armor.
The two of them felt the happiest about the lord’s material acquisition. They had never thought that their problem regarding the supply of materials would be cleared off overnight. Moreover, it went way beyond their expectations.
As for the other lords, most of them sat on the fence. They watched him, as he continually swept up the materials in the market. Firstly, they had just gone through the food crisis, so they were financially incapable of acquiring the materials. Secondly, even if they acquired the materials, they would not use the materials in the near future. The materials would simply take up space and consume gold. It was simply not worth the effort.
Most importantly, in the eyes of the other lords, there were wild creatures everywhere. They could just acquire the materials later from the adventurers when they needed it. As such, why go through all the troubles and fight with Shanhai City now?
Ouyang Shuo knew the thoughts of the other lords very well. He could only sneer coldly. No one could beat him in terms of understandings regarding Earth Online.
In theory, the wild creatures were indeed endless.
However, the creatures were distributed evenly across the world. Even if Gaia had spawned more creatures around the capital city in favor of the adventurers, their numbers would not be too high either.
Most of the creatures lived deep in the woods and high on the mountains, precarious places where the adventurers would normally drift away from.
And as the players got past the newbie stages, they wouldn’t need to kill these creatures to earn experience anymore. To be more precise, the experience they gained from killing these creatures was too little. At this time, the players would travel into the savanna or deserts to fight raiders and bandits.
Hence, players killed the most creatures during the first year of the game. This time was also the best time to acquire materials. After this, the supplies of materials would grow less and less. Additionally, when the players advanced to the higher levels, their personal wealth would also steadily increase. At that time, the gold that they could earn from selling materials would be nothing in their eyes. Sure enough, they would not have the motivation to kill these creatures and harvest these materials anymore.
Also, in comparison to the bow arms, the bowstrings were more easily worn. They required frequent changes. In the army of the Tang dynasty, a bow would require three bowstrings. Hence, they clearly had an immense consumption of tendons.
This round, Ouyang Shuo had swept away all the materials at just the right time. He had acquired all of the materials that the players had stored for nearly the whole year; he had taken the biggest and most delicious bite of the cake.
The acquisition had cost him a total of 33,000 gold. Other than the immovable 100,000 gold, he only had 3,000 golds left.
However, his marvelous action had consolidated the strongest foundation toward the military industry of Shanhai City. For an extended period of time, he wouldn’t have to worry about the supplies of materials anymore.
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