Book 6 Chapter 33 - Becoming a Master

After several days of no rain, Deereast City Manor’s dust seemed to have accumulated quite a bit.

By closing the doors, the air inside the halls could become a bit cleaner, but it would seem a bit dark as a result. They had to light some candles in order to make reading not as straining on the eyes.

Li Xiping, who was used to dressing in a gray gown, sat in front of a table. He stared at a scroll document for a long time, and then he finally couldn’t help but raise his head, releasing a sigh of admiration into the unmanned hall. “He truly is a genius… no wonder the imperial princess recommended for him to enter Green Luan Academy.”

He released a sigh of admiration, a completely heartfelt one for Lin Xi.

An overhaul of the irrigation works was a huge expense. Without a prepared budget, even if all of Deereast City’s various sectors lived frugally, they still wouldn’t be able to gather enough. Only by submitting approval to higher authorities step by step would they get some more money next year. Lin Xi’s plan was to build a massive reservoir, dig up a drainage and build locks on the waterway, so the construction would take even longer than just building a river dam, the amount of silver needed even more massive.

However, all because he could solve the shipping issues of various trading companies in shallow water, and then have them contribute through a monthly installment payment plan, the various merchant companies all gave their approval within a day or two. This type of ability really was completely unrelated to cultivation, but rather something gained purely from knowledge, experiences and competence.

The building of a water reservoir that could raise water levels through locks, allowing merchant ships to move through, this was something that Li Xiping had heard of before. However, to do this as a form of disaster relief, starting the project through monthly support, for Lin Xi, this was just too common of a concept, but for this world’s people, it was too stunning. Moreover, in Lin Xi’s project prospectus, he also proposed the buying and selling of ‘passage water’.

This agreement stated that all of the great merchant companies who assisted with silver, depending on how much money they invested, they could become masters of varying sizes of the constructed reservoir.

When it came time for winter’s shallow waters, when the reservoir opened its locks and released water, if their own merchant companies didn’t have any ships moving through, they could also sell this right to other businesses who wished to move through.

This really was like buying the water used for passage.

Like this, companies whose businesses were doing quite well and had cash on hand, after investing quite a bit, even if they couldn’t use this benefit well, their merchant company stuck in a slump, they could still profit through this means. It was because no one knew what would happen along this Breath River, no one knew if another great merchant company would appear. However, if they didn’t have traveling authority during winter, they had to purchase it from others.

This buying and selling of ‘passage water’ was what left Li Xiping with the most inconceivable feeling since it didn’t hinder the benefits of fisherman and small merchant companies at all. It was because the small merchant companies’ goods were small, not having any of the large ships that couldn’t move through shallow waters to begin with.

In the past, when great merchant companies wanted to move through shallow waters during the winter, they had to rent and use large amounts of small ships. This would save them quite a bit compared to always keeping many small merchant ships and a lot of staff to maintain them, but during these two months of time, it was still an astonishing transport expense.

There were many methods in this project prospectus that were never used by important officials before, methods that were completely unprecedented.

Li Xiping didn’t know how Lin Xi could have such astonishing knowledge and ability, so he couldn’t help but release a sigh of astonishment when no one was around.

“You want to invite me to become a shopkeeper?”

Within a secluded wine shop, Lin Xi looked at Auspicious Virtue’s master Xing Derong, asking this.

Right now, he was already Swallow Descent Town’s Substitute Town Supervisor, not having much belongings to bring with him from East Port Town. However, Judicial Sector’s document carrying Xu Chengfeng’s judgment had already been passed down and the newly appointed Town Police who was being transferred over hadn’t arrived yet, so he still had to complete this final matter in East Port Town, supervise the execution of Xu Chengfeng.

In an hour of time, Lin Xi had just received the group of personnel the Judicial Sector sent over to carry out the execution, and then he just called over some Trade Sector personnel to decide on some early procedures before they began work on the dam.

In Yunqin’s royal court system, the towns didn’t have execution departments, the executions of criminals were all conducted by the city level Judicial Sector Executioner and corresponding personnel. Meanwhile, the local Town Supervisor and Town Police, Enforcer, Warden, and others were to be present. After verifying the criminal’s identity, after the action has been done, they are to verify everything once again, and only then can the signed document be considered complete.

Swallow Descent Town’s river dam construction had already begun as well. Apart from the Trade Sector personnel he previously transferred over already present, the craftsmen he had Thriving Prosperity and several other merchant companies help recruit were also hurrying over.

When there was a merchant company’s master who suddenly impatiently came to meet him, Lin Xi initially thought that the other party was in a rush to purchase ‘passage water’, wishing to invest silver.

He clearly understood that budgets were one thing, but the actual expense was a whole different story. The more silver he had on hand, the better, so he naturally wouldn’t refuse him. However, he never expected that the other party didn’t seek him out for the ‘passage water’, but instead for the best selling ‘soap’ his dad back in Deerwood Town was selling.

When he reunited with his family in the small bamboo fenced lakeside courtyard, the first night he chatted with his parents, chatting about the family business, he heard his dad tell him that there was a merchant company who always closely followed his shop, earning large amounts of silver as a result. Who would have thought that it was precisely this Auspicious Virtue who took the initiative to come to him.

Moreover, what the other party expressed was even more so unexpected.

“Not to become a shopkeeper.” When he heard Lin Xi’s words, Auspicious Virtue’s master Xing Derong shook his head politely and modestly, saying, “With Young Sir Lin’s status and reputation, how could I dare ask Young Sir Lin to become a shopkeeper of my small merchant company?”

Lin Xi was a bit stunned. “Then what exactly is your intent?”

“I wish for Lin Family and my Auspicious Virtue to operate jointly, serve as masters together.” Xing Derong took a deep breath. He looked at Lin Xi, seriously saying this.

Right now, Xing Tianyang was currently sitting next to Xing Derong, his head lowered while listening. When he heard this, his entire body trembled, unable to help but raise his head. Even he never thought that his father would actually speak this type of world shattering sentence.

Lin Xi looked at this extremely serious Xing Derong and indescribably shaken Xing Tianyang, unable to help but laugh. He looked at Xing Derong, saying, “You aren’t joking?”

Xing Derong said with a resolute expression, “How could I possibly dare to play a joke on Young Sir Lin? If sir does not believe me, then we can write the official cooperation document right here.”

Lin Xi said with a laugh, “How are we going to engage in this joint venture?”

Xing Derong spoke in a resolute voice, “Both sides are masters, neither side above the other.”

After a slight pause, out of fear that Lin Xi might have misunderstood him, he continued, “Deer Forest Province’s greatest trading company, the Rong Chen Company, is made precisely by Rong Family and Chen Family, the two masters of equal status.”

“You aren’t scared of suffering a loss?” Lin Xi felt more and more shocked. After giving Xing Tianyang who still greatly respected his father’s decision a look, he then turned around to look at Xing Derong and asked this.

Xing Derong said with a sigh, “Previously, there was still a bit of hesitation, but after seeing that project prospectus, I became sure that Young Sir Lin is a genius. As long as Young Sir Lin agrees, I definitely wouldn’t feel any regret.”

“Sure.” Lin Xi smiled. He picked up a bowl of red soup cabbage pork noodles, starting to eat it in a natural manner.

Xing Derong was shocked. Immediately afterwards, he seemed to have woken up, his voice shaking a bit in disbelief. “Sir Lin agrees?”

He never expected Lin Xi to agree so naturally, in such an easygoing manner.

“Mmhm.” Lin Xi nodded towards Xing Derong and Xing Tianyan, indicating that the two can also relax a bit, to eat first before they continued talking.

When he saw Xing Derong also pick up a bowl of noodles with an expression wild with joy, drinking a large gulp of the soup like he was proposing a toast, he then chuckled inwardly, saying, “We can give it a try.”

“Prepare a document.” Xing Derong turned around to look at Xing Tianyang, ordering.

“There’s no need to rush. Since I agreed, both sides naturally need to trust each other. Could it be that you’re scared I’ll go back on my decision?” Lin Xi tapped his bowl with his chopsticks, saying, “We’ll talk after eating.”

“What Sir Lin says indeed makes sense.” Xing Derong was overjoyed, now calming down. After eating a few mouthfuls, he couldn’t help but directly ask about some matters regarding business. “Sir Lin, your ideas are exquisite, we can definitely make a killing on this soap business. However, I am just scared that if it gets too popular, the manufacturing process not difficult either, it would instead draw the attention of other great merchant companies. I wonder if sir has any ideas on how to deal with this.”

Lin Xi casually said, “This isn’t all that big of a deal either… once one becomes used to using something, the first impression is always the strongest. You can make these soaps a bit more exquisite, rub a Auspicious Virtue Trading Company symbol on them, make some fancy designs. When the other merchant companies notice it and want to do something, everyone will have already gotten used to using Auspicious Virtue’s. Also, Auspicious Virtue can also make some especially elegant soaps, the materials and designs especially great, gift them to some scholars. That way, when the time comes, the scholars will all use Auspicious Virtue’s soaps, Auspicious Virtue’s soaps will have already been deeply embedded in the people’s hearts, even if other merchant companies want to get in on this business, they might not be able to do it as well as Auspicious Virtue. Moreover, these soaps are things with small profit margins, trying to compete with you all by relying on depressed prices isn’t realistic. The only thing you need to be careful of is if some great merchant companies monopolize the raw materials. That is why if Auspicious Virtue has the ability, you should produce your own raw materials.”

After a slight pause, Lin Xi then added, “Either way, this soap gets used up quickly, almost every household needs it, it’s a business that will continue for some time. In the future, as long as we are always at the very front, continuously making some modifications on the design and effects, it’ll be enough.”

Xing Derong and Xing Tianyang both already long became stupefied from listening, only feeling like the things Lin Xi spoke about were too exquisite.

“Our Auspicious Virtue’s main business used to be the honey business, I wonder if Sir Lin has any suggestions.” After Xing Derong stared blankly for a moment, he couldn’t help but ask this with a slightly trembling voice.

“When I was in Deerwood Town, I would often eat the golden pomelos from your Valiant Cloud Town’s nearby mountain forest.” Lin Xi thought for a bit, not directly replying and instead asking, “I hear that when the golden pomelos are transported out of Deer Forest Province, the price would already be extremely high? Only the high officials and nobles would be able to purchase them?”

“Sir Lin wishes for Auspicious Virtue to do this golden pomelo business?” Xing Derong was stunned again, saying with shock, “Once the golden pomelos leave the province, they are as precious as gold, the reason is because only our Deereast City’s region could produce this type of sweet pomelo. Even if it is transplanted to other areas, not only are the pomelos small, they are also bitter. However, golden pomelos don’t last long during transport either, the color will change and it will dry up if not transported within ten days, the flesh also losing its original taste. Transporting them outside the province alone exceeds ten days. Only by using fast horses to travel through the night could it be delivered in time, the amount not great, the price becoming as high as gold as a result.”

“We can make some golden pomelo honey tea.” Lin Xi laughed and said, “Cut the golden pomelo into slices, cook and then cool them, then place them in honey. Store them in jars and seal them with wax, this way, they won’t spoil easily at all. I would often do this back home. Once you send it out of Deer Forest Province, it should sell quite well, the profits shouldn’t be low either.”

Xing Derong was a bit skeptical. “This idea is excellent, only, I don’t know if everyone will accept it…”

“You’ll know if you just try it.” Lin Xi waved his hands confidently. When he thought about how the pomelo tea this world didn’t know about was going to make an appearance, he immediately couldn’t help but smile brilliantly.

He didn’t care much about the glory, splendor, wealth and rank of this world, that was why when he saw Xing Derong was serious, he didn’t really care if the other party was some second or third rate merchant company, just casually agreeing.

He didn’t have any plans to make Auspicious Virtue an extremely great trading company either, just feeling that trying it out shouldn’t be that bad of an idea, this world having some more interesting things wouldn’t be bad either.

However, towards these ideas of his, he naturally also had absolute confidence.

It was because as a business, what was most important wasn’t the quality of one’s goods, but rather if others would receive them well, if they needed it.

He was someone who came from the same world as Principal Zhang. These ideas had been proven for who knew how many years, things that everyone needed. Perfumed soaps was something people of his past world used for who knew how many years, and were still using them, so it was naturally a good business that could be continued for a long time. As for pomelo tea, there are naturally quite a few who enjoy it, which is why it has existed for so long. For Yunqin, it would even more so be a novel item, because only Deereast City produced pomelos. Yunqin had so many people from other provinces, they should at least want to try out the taste, right?

It had only been a few decades since Yunqin was established as an empire, most of the territory obtained through war. Most of the commodities only satisfied the most basic needs, how could it possibly have as many fancy styles as Lin Xi’s past world?

Among the people who were determined to act against Lin Xi, the Liu Family Liu Ziyu was from obtained great benefits precisely through associating with merchant companies. Under Liu Family’s formidable advisor Su Zhongwen’s guidance, he even more so began to pay attention to this aspect.

However, it was a pity that Liu Ziyu and Su Zhongwen didn’t know that on this side, Liu Ziyu and Lin Xi were naturally like heaven and earth, an immeasurable gap between them.

Right when Lin Xi and Xing Derong were chatting about these matters, Jiang Xiaoyi was currently watching people fish not far away on the river.

Xu Sheng and some fishermen were pulling up their cages one after another, seeing if they caught any Ironhead Dogfish.


A wave of cheers sounded, the atmosphere on the river cheerful. A loud water splashing noise sounded from the second iron cage, smashing the entire cage until it continuously shook, inside was a large Ironhead Dogfish.

Under the sounds of cheers, Jiang Xiaoyi who also cheered just happened to see someone by the river, immediately becoming stunned. Shortly afterwards, he cried out in pleasant surprise, “Why are you also here?!”

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