Book 10 Chapter 19 - So-Called Business, Only Requires Continuing Success

Ever since Jadefall City’s great chaos, news of the war against the south went out, so all of Yunqin’s merchants were also watching all of Yunqin’s chaotic situation.

Just a single weed falling from the walls of Central Continent Imperial City might crush a trading company of a hundred years.

This was precisely the relationship between the greater situation and business.

Inside of a quiet and secluded study, a refined long bearded middle-aged man was currently chatting with a stout elder dressed in a thin leather coat.

These two were both extremely famous in Yunqin. The refined long bearded middle-aged man was Flourishing Heights Bank’s boss Cheng Manying, while the stout elder was Flourishing Heights’ great shopkeeper Mu Zongli.

Flourishing Heights Bank was one of Yunqin Empire’s three great banks, their wealth equivalent to that of an entire nation!

Even though Cheng Manying, in the eyes of some scholars, this name was a bit too crude, he was the merchant who all of Yunqin’s businesses publicly admitted to be the most outstanding. His experiences until now were nothing short of legendary.[1]

When he was sixteen years old, his father, Flourishing Heights Bank’s master Cheng Dafa passed away from illness, so he thus took over Flourishing Heights Bank. At the time, Flourishing Heights Bank was only Mountain Yin Province’s largest bank. In the eyes of Mountain Yin Province’s other great merchant companies and other banks, a young master like this was going to result in the end of Flourishing Heights bank.

What no one expected was that under his hands, Flourishing Heights Bank actually became even more prosperous than when it was under his father’s hands. This was especially the case when he turned thirty-two, after managing Flourishing Heights Bank for sixteen years, Mountain Yin Province’s Great Origin City experienced a great fire, a third of the merchant companies burned down, the Flourishing Heights Bank vouchers they held turned to ashes. However, Flourishing Heights Bank actually continued to honor these merchants deposits purely by the descriptions of these merchants. When this deed sounded, all of Yunqin was shaken up. Everyone began to spread the news that Flourishing Heights Bank’s prestige couldn’t even be burned down even by flames. Then, after just a few years of time, Flourishing Heights Bank thus became one of Yunqin’s three great banks, Cheng Manying also thus obtaining the title of Mountain Yin God of Wealth from the other merchants.

For someone like Cheng Manying, his success was naturally not because of the luck of that fire, but rather because of his wisdom, his hard work, sharp insight, integrity and employment character.

Auspicious Virtue could be considered the fastest growing merchant company within Yunqin in recent years. Someone like Cheng Manying naturally wouldn’t overlook this type of company that similarly possessed legendary splendor.

Today, after receiving some more conclusive information from the Imperial City, he was discussing some countermeasures for dealing with the following grim situation, Cheng Manying thus asked about Auspicious Virtue’s recent movements.

In his opinion, regardless of whether it was adding color, fragrance and then even more so adding some fine diagrams and even poetry and literature on ordinary soaps or enjoying complete market dominance afterwards in the Golden Pomelo Honey Tea, making it impossible for others to compete against them, they displayed Auspicious Virtue’s extreme wisdom. The actions of this type of merchant company before the incoming storm were definitely worth researching and even using as reference.

“During these few days, Auspicious Virtue purchased more than ten grain shops in Sunrise Roost Province, the cost roughly equivalent to purchasing Great Unity Company.” When faced with Cheng Manying’s question, Flourishing Heights Bank’s great shopkeeper Mu Zongli seemed to have long been unable to hold back his own curiosity and desire to ask about this, his face full of confusion, immediately saying this in reply.

“Another huge expenditure?”

Cheng Manying’s brows immediately furrowed deeply. He stroked his own long beard. Only after remaining quiet for a moment, did he continue, “This is already enough grain to provide for a third of Sunrise Roost Province… I remember that previously, for the sake of monopolizing the Golden Pomelo Honey Tea business, they wantonly purchased land and agreements to plant produce, at that time even owing a huge amount of silver, did they already pay it all back?”

After a slight pause, this Flourishing Heights great shopkeeper continued, “Moreover, previously, according to Master An’s intentions, there was always someone who has been in touch with Auspicious Virtue. If they wanted silver, Auspicious Virtue would definitely contact us first… But according to my understanding, what Auspicious Virtue used was their own silver, not borrowing from any banks or merchants.”

Cheng Manying shook his head. “With Auspicious Virtue’s flow of silver, purchasing Great Unity should already be close to their limit. Now that they made such a huge purchase again, the flow of silver should have definitely reached a dangerous level… As long as there is a slip-up in a single business, there will be no way of making up for this hole, unknown how far they will fall.”

Mu Zongli nodded. “Up-and-coming merchant companies who haven’t suffered many setbacks will always make this type of mistake of expanding too urgently. I have already had someone investigate carefully. As long as this grain business doesn’t go well, Auspicious Virtue’s flow of silver wouldn’t be able to catch up. At the time, paying the price will be excruciating.”

“Their ideas aren’t bad, but they are too impatient.” Cheng Manying released a sigh and said, “The war against the south has already been set in stone. Autumn and winter will be for preparation, war will inevitably begin during spring. The recruitment of soldiers and accumulation of grain will definitely place the wheat business in great demand. However, when looking at it from the long term, when the work force decreases, the amount of foodstuffs produced will also decrease, unless large amounts of silvers are used to first build granaries, keeping some for storage first. However, Auspicious Virtue doesn’t have any extra silvers to do this type of thing at all, they can only continue these businesses as usual. As for those grain shops, would they easily let an outsider steal their business? If they want to force their way into a business purely by operation… it is harder than climbing to heaven.”

“I also find it incomprehensible.”

Mu Zongli also frowned, saying with regret, “Previously, every single thing this Auspicious Virtue has done has been done extremely beautifully. According to normal reasoning, Auspicious Virtue’s shopkeepers are all extremely intelligent and steady individuals, so how could they make such a huge mistake? Auspicious Virtue’s soaps and Golden Pomelo Honey Tea are extremely famous goods. Even if they were in a rush to expand into other businesses, getting into some cosmetics would be extremely easy, making more money too easy. Why would they go and do this grain business without any outstanding points?”

“I previously heard someone say that Auspicious Virtue purchased large amounts of flower fields in Wealth Waters Province. They most likely aren’t doing any cosmetic businesses, but rather some flower business.” Cheng Manying was a bit annoyed as he said, “In the end, just because of this southern war, they made such a blunder. Auspicious Virtue might very well just squander their fortune because of this.”

When Flourishing Heights Bank’s master couldn’t help but feel regret over the blunder made by a merchant company he had a favorable impression of, inside a small courtyard filled with chrysanthemums and orchids, Nangong Weiyang opened her eyes. Her hand hacked out in anger, crushing a redwood low stool in front of her into a pile of wood shavings.

This place was surrounded by mountains and the clamoring of people, yet it was a safe and peaceful place nonetheless. Lin Xi began his continuous day and night meditation cultivation all over again.

Nangong Weiyang was also somewhat in admiration that Lin Xi could actually continue meditation cultivation for so many days in a row. As such, she also began to try to carry out the continuous meditation cultivation Lin Xi conducted.

However, before she could even last seven days, she already felt so annoyed she couldn’t calm down and cultivate.

With his cultivation and willpower, Lin Xi could actually accomplish this, yet she couldn’t… that was why she was extremely annoyed and unconvinced, wishing to ask how Lin Xi was able to do this.

Right at this time, she heard Chen Feirong’s footsteps, knowing that Chen Feirong definitely had things to ask Lin Xi. As such, her face sunk, arriving at the entrance with a single step, pushing it open, and then followed behind Chen Feirong.

Lin Xi’s cultivation already reached the peak of Soul Master level.

After obtaining Gu Xinyin’s inheritance, his perception also became more and more sharp.

From the peak of Soul Master level to State Knight level, even though there was only a single step left, this step was precisely a huge doorstep, requiring a long time of meditation cultivation to break through. Moreover, as the medicinal strength in his body was depleted and faded away, even if he bitterly cultivated every day and night, this step, in his consciousness, was still extremely long. However, when he returned from the cultivation world to the normal one and thought through some things, his mood instead became even more calm.

After releasing a breath of turbid air, he looked at Chen Feirong and Nangong Weiyang who walked in. He didn’t say anything, only slowly nodding his head.

“Sir, I’ve already arranged for all the things your respected self has asked me to take care of.”

Chen Feirong gave Lin Xi an extremely courteous bow of respect. “The routes marked out in Qin Zhiyan’s book are not mistaken either. Only, I have some questions I am unclear about, wish to consult sir about them.”[2]

Lin Xi opened his mouth, but before he could say anything, Nangong Weiyang instead already interrupted and said, “I also have questions to ask.”

Lin Xi stared blankly.

Nangong Weiyang already gave Chen Feirong beside her a look. “However, I can wait until after you finish your questions first.”

Chen Feirong couldn’t help but chuckle. During these days, she developed some understanding of Nangong Weiyang’s nature, only feeling like she was extremely interesting. However, after chuckling, her expression instead became respectful and serious again. She didn’t speak any nonsense, saying with a tone of consulting a senior for guidance. “Why did sir invest so much into the grains business?”

Lin Xi raised his head slightly, looking at the colors of autumn outside his window with great fondness, seriously replying with a quiet voice, “The businesses I had Auspicious Virtue do before, no matter how good they are, they are still small-scale. The only things that can truly control the lifelines of this world are clothing, food, housing and transport.”

With only this line, Chen Feirong’s mind trembled slightly, her expression naturally becoming increasingly respectful.

“Scented soaps, cosmetics, these are all non-essential things. People can live without these things. However, these things, if a single one of them is missing, then there is no way to live… I thought over many things, but things like salt are controlled by Yunqin government, impossible to smuggle. However, the transactions of grain are not restricted.”

“Compared to when Yunqin was first established, its national power can already be considered extremely great. However, didn’t I have you do some research before… even though everyone can eat their fill, there is at least a quarter who are either filling their stomachs with coarse grain, or they are hard pressed financially, needing to sacrifice in some other areas in order to eat their fill, sometimes even needing to borrow silvers. Most of these are laborers and tenant farmers.” Lin Xi looked at Chen Feirong, continuing, “If we can seize this fourth of the population… able to ensure that they don’t have to worry about food, then there is no need to worry that Auspicious Virtue cannot earn money in this grains business.”

Chen Feirong naturally understood clearly that even if it was the nation’s military strength, in the end, it all came from the money and grain received in tax, while soldiers, at the very basic level, had to have rations and fodder satisfied. However, her confusion was just like Cheng Manying’s. Her brows furrowed slightly, asking in guidance, “Sir… however, if we want to compete against the other companies, we don’t have any tricks, we only have operations.”

When he heard Chen Feirong say this, Lin Xi shook his head slightly, releasing a light sigh inside.

The people of this world didn’t even know what well done steaks were… so how could they possibly know how the ‘God of Wealth’ became rich, how could they know that this fourth of Yunqin’s adults were extremely similar to the clients of the God of Wealth back then? Moreover, Yunqin’s people were simpler than the clients he dealt with, even less picky.

The people of this world didn’t know which path was that of success. Without seeing a path of success, even the most wise individual could only continue with a lamp in the darkness, watch themselves walk a bit further than normal people. However, he knew that this was a successful path, he only had to follow this path and inevitable success was sure to follow.

In a matter that lacked tricks, competing only in operation… how could the people of this world compare to him who had equivalent to thousands of years of business experience… Among the people of this world, who understood how to run a business better than him?

“What I want to compete in is precisely the operation of this business.”

Lin Xi handed several sheets of paper he had already finished writing beforehand to Chen Feirong, saying, “You can consult these for what to do from here on out.”

Nangong Weiyang was a bit entranced. When she heard Lin Xi say this, her forehead immediately furrowed slightly, wishing to seize those papers and read through them first.

Chen Feirong suppressed her urge to immediately read through them. With a nod, she continued to ask, “The other matters sir had me look into are all matters related to the east and the black market business… could it be that sir wishes to take over this corrupt official’s underground black market business? With my understanding of sir, sir definitely wouldn’t allow Yunqin’s soldiers to die under the things your respected self smuggled out. That is why it is a bit difficult for me to understand why sir had us use up so much time in doing these things.”

1. Cheng = hold/contain, flourishing/vigorous; manying = full up

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