Chapter 69: Investment
Gu Xuanchao dispensed with courtesy for the sake of time. He continued, saying, “A large Cloud-Piercing Shuttle costs at least ten million Origin Stones and can fit a thousand people at most. Every time you operate it, you’ll need to spend tens of thousands of Origin Stones. The cost of operation is high, the risks great, and the profits are limited. I wonder how Brother Su is planning on resolving these problems?”
Su Chen replied, “I wasn’t planning on using a large Cloud-Piercing Shuttle in the first place.”
“You’re not planning on using a large Cloud-Piercing Shuttle?” Gu Xuanchao was stunned. “Then what are you planning to use?”
“Cloud-Soaring Dragon Boats,” Su Chen replied.
Gu Xuanchao was taken aback. “Even though Cloud-Soaring Dragon Boats are cheaper and cost less to operate, you need at least two hundred people to drive them. The cost is still too high, and the speed is even slower.”
“I’m not going to use humans. I’m going to use Demonic Beasts,” Su Chen replied.
“Demonic Beasts?” Gu Xuanchao squinted. “So Brother Su has a technique for controlling Demonic Beasts then?”
“I’ll just be using some Beast Taming Medicine,” Su Chen replied.
Su Chen was inspired by the Sand Race’s Large-Crowned Flying Snakes to use Demonic Beasts to control the Dragon Boats. As long as the Demonic Beasts were compatible, they could easily replace large numbers of people and control the boats, becoming the cornerstone of the Flying Network. Even though raising Demonic Beasts cost money as well, it was much cheaper than tens of thousands of Origin Stones. In addition, Demonic Beasts possessed decent combat prowess themselves, so they might be useful in the event of a pirate attack.
Actually, using Demonic Beasts to control boats wasn’t something that Su Chen had invented. It had been conceptualized a long time ago, but because of the high requirements on the user, who both had to be a skilled Beast Tamer and had to carefully raise the Demonic Beast by hand, it wasn’t cheap either. As such, it had never gained mainstream popularity.
However, Su Chen had the confidence that he could greatly decrease the costs from this aspect because he was a great alchemist.
As Gu Xuanchao continued to discuss the Flight Network with Su Chen, he immediately realized that Su Chen wasn’t just speaking whatever came to mind. If he could get this done, it would definitely be a source of long-term profit. This would be extremely beneficial to the development of Swallow River City as well.
Gu Xuanchao had known Su Chen for more than just one or two days, and he knew that Su Chen wasn’t someone who spoke carelessly but rather was a young man who kept his secrets well-guarded. Everyone had faith that he would be able to do the job properly.
This was the benefit of Su Chen getting to know everyone from a business perspective.
If he had opened instead by telling them that he was here to marry Gu Qingluo, everyone would be on their guard against him. No matter what he did, they would mentally discount him.
But Su Chen wasn’t taking this route at all. He had appeared solely under the guise of a businessman. First, he publicly bought all of the places that people liked to spend money to establish a reputation for himself and demonstrate his deep pockets. Then, he would get to know the elders by chatting with them. Once they were acquainted, then success would come very naturally.
This was one of the benefits of making such a commotion. The Gu Clan’s important figures would all get to know him and perhaps even come to like him.
The next steps would be to deepen his relationships with them.
Even though nobility clans were rich, the money belonged to the clan itself. Every person still hoped to save up a little money for themselves.
Su Chen had already taken the appropriate steps to lay down the framework for the Flight Network.
The Flight Network was a large investment. It was very difficult for a single person to set it up. Merely having a ton of cash wasn’t enough. Once the path was opened, there would need to be someone responsible for protecting the boats. Otherwise, they would run into trouble regardless of how many Demonic Beasts were on the boats; there were more than quite a few pirates out there. If any one of them were to run into trouble, the losses would number in the millions or even tens of millions.
Because of this, he needed to gather a group of people who held quite a bit of influence and could help him organize things from top to bottom. Only in this way would the business be able to officially take off.
Roping in partners for something like a Flight Network was totally normal. With this as the foundation, he’d be able to drag the Gu Clan down with him. And not just the Gu Clan — he could pull a bunch of clans down with him, further increasing his influence and prestige.
Yes, that was Su Chen’s thought process.
He wanted to take Gu Qingluo as his wife, but he didn’t want the entire Gu Clan to be on his payroll. Instead, he wanted the Gu Clan’s members to give HIM money.
Did you think that giving the other party money was enough to rope them over to your side?
People were quite sly and would pull the rug out from under you as soon as they were on the other side. Not every person would work for you after receiving some benefits from you. Others might do you a favor but merely put in some good words for you, so that the price they paid was never even close to what they were given.
But if you took their money, then things would be completely different.
Not only could you use the other party’s money to do business, but you could even ask the other party to work for you.
You won’t do it? How are you planning on getting your money back then?
As such, Su Chen’s plan wasn’t to give them money but to ask for it.
He wanted to tie himself to the Gu Clan so that they would benefit together. From that point onwards, they would be inseparable.
And at that point in time, he wouldn’t need to worry about Gu Qingluo anymore.
Actually, he might not even need to bring it up himself — there might be quite a few people who would propose marrying Gu Qingluo to him.
Of course, there were many more steps he would need to take before the situation reached that point.
Gu Xuanchao continued to ask question after question about the Flight Network, and Su Chen answered them one after another.
This wasn’t a scam in the first place, as there was just a small ulterior motive hidden in the plan. As such, his responses were all quite detailed and contained no falsehoods. Actually, his subordinates had already secured the first node of the Flight Network and had begun its construction. The Demonic Beasts that would drive the Dragon Boats were also being prepared.
After all of his questions were answered, Gu Xuanchao was visibly moved.
If Su Chen’s plan succeeded, the Cloud-Soaring Dragon Boats would be much cheaper to operate than a massive Cloud-Piercing Shuttle. The profits would also be quite substantial.
Gu Xuanchao’s eyes began to glow.
He said, “Brother Su, would it be possible for me to get in on this business of yours?”
“This......” Su Chen pretended to play hard to get. “Honestly, there have been quite a few friends who have made an investment lately. I’ve almost collected all the money I need at this point, so I’m not lacking any money......”
“Aiya, how could you possibly have enough money? This is just the beginning. You’ll need money later on anyways,” Gu Xuanchao said anxiously. “Anyways, a Flight Network isn’t meant to be just limited to one location. It should be spread out over multiple regions! Brother Su, you can’t possibly do something like buy all the wine taverns, brothels, and casinos like you did here, right? You’ll need some people to do things for you.”
“That’s true.” Su Chen nodded. “What kinds of connections does Fourth Elder have......”
Gu Xuanchao said, “I know a number of people in Clear Level City from when I lived there in my youth. I know all the influential figures there; if I put in a word for you, our Dragon Boats will be able to come and go from there as well.”
“Alright!” Su Chen smacked the table. “If that’s the case, then it’s settled. I’ll leave it to Fourth Elder to figure out the route from Swallow River to Clear Level City. In turn, I’ll set aside 1 million Origin Stones’ worth of shares. You can decide how much you want to buy.”
Gu Xuanchao was originally planning on only investing 300,000 Origin Stones. When Su Chen said that, Gu Xuanchao felt like he would regret passing up on this opportunity and laughed loudly, “Then a million!”
“Let’s do it!” Su Chen and Gu Xuanchao laughed loudly and clapped their hands.
A million wasn’t a small number for Gu Xuanchao either. That was pretty much all the savings he had on hand right now. He felt a sharp pain in his heart when he handed over the money, but Gu Xuanchao had decided to throw caution to the wind for the sake of profits further down the road.
He wasn’t worried about what might happen if Su Chen incurred losses. Wouldn’t they still have shares in all of these wine taverns and casinos?
If Su Chen hadn’t showed off his incredible spending power before this, Gu Xuanchao wouldn’t have agreed to hand over the money that quickly.