Chapter 138: In Debt Again and Again

Even though the factory installations had already been razed to the ground, there were still tall light posts around the facility that were in good working condition. As soon as they were switched on, the bright flood lights immediately painted a beautiful sheen of lustre over the pieces of machinery and equipment lying around, casting the spotlight over the beautiful pieces of engineering marvels around. 

Qin Ye took a deep breath to suppress the burning anticipation in his heart. Secretary Wu keenly picked up on Qin Ye’s eagerness and smiled, “The commencement of any construction works first requires you to prepare the land for its purposes. Therefore, the first piece of equipment on site would invariably be the excavator. The excavators on the market are currently divided into three different grades, namely the foreign brands, the joint venture brands, and the domestic brands. The order I’ve just given you ranks them in order from first to last, not in terms of their quality, but in terms of their price.”

In the past, Qin Ye would have had no interest whatsoever in such machinery and equipment. But right now, he was listening with great interest. And how could Secretary Wu miss the telltale expressions on Qin Ye’s face? Secretary Wu immediately rode the wave and elaborated, “There are even sub-distinctions among the domestic brands alone. Products of Mistriver, Tai Prefecture and Zhao Prefecture are the best in quality. Rest assured, we’re in the business, so we naturally know what brands are a good bargain, and what aren’t. Things like selling price and reputation of the goods are things you can look into and verify at any time.”

Qin Ye listened carefully. Although he didn’t think that Sun Kangliang would dare lie to him, he still had to be careful and cautious during the handover process. After all… he’d seen far too many businessmen to treat them with callousness.

“What about the price?” Qin Ye had already calmed down by now, and he surveyed the entire room full of construction equipment and materials as he asked with a deep voice.

“Foreign brands cost approximately 1.3 to 1.4 million or so. A good joint venture product costs well in the region of 800,000 to 900,000 as well. That said, domestic products are generally far cheaper than that. We’d purchased second-hand goods from the Mistriver Group.” Secretary Wu smiled as he pointed to a lady behind him, “She’s a sales representative from Mistriver Steel, and she has the exact specifications of the excavator with her. You can run through the figures with her if you wish.”

Qin Ye received a sheet of specifications from her and scanned through its details.

“Model number: EC140B. Engine model: D4D, EAE1, Cathay. D4D, EAE2, North Usonia. D4D, EBE2, Nippon… Transmission model: M2X63-CHB. Number of support wheels: 14. Number of track sections: 45 tracks, 41 tracks…”

It was quite professional.

Unfortunately, he didn’t understand a single thing.

Notwithstanding that, there were times when one had to pretend to understand something even though one knew nothing… And the sales representative would similarly look at their paymasters in front of them and give them a platitudinous look of praise.

The service provided was undoubtedly well-rounded.

Qin Ye continued to scan through the document to the very end, until he saw a striking line of words.

“Total price: 580,000 RMB.”

Qin Ye was stunned and startled, “How much?”

580,000 for a domestic brand excavator?!

Then the two million I have… no, isn’t this just a huge sum of money?

Do you have a misconception of what “far cheaper” means? Why do I get the feeling that… I’m not even worthy to break into the construction scene?

“It’s 580,000 alright.” Secretary Wu took out his phone and showed Qin Ye a receipt settling out a detailed list of items with the same faint smile on his face, “Your request to Chief Sun was for a large quantity of building materials, together with a few construction equipment and machinery. If you want brand new, top quality goods, I’m afraid you would only be able to afford three of these pieces of equipment and machinery. Chief Sun had taken the liberty to procure for you some second hand goods that haven’t been used for too long. That said, the total price for everything still amounts to 4.8 million. Please take a look.”

Qin Ye took the cell phone from Secretary Wu and scrutinized every line of it. Minutes later, and with a growing throbbing sensation at the corner of his eyes, he muttered, “Then… what about the excess 2.8 million…”

“Chief Sun says that you can treat it as his personal loan to you. This sum has been routed through the accounts of his brother-in-law’s company, and there wouldn’t be any issues if you’re able to pay it off within four years. It’s completely interest free. You can treat it as a personal favor of Chief Sun to you.” Secretary Wu maintained the faint smile on his face.

Qin Ye: “Hahaha…”

You have the cheek to call it a personal favor…

If it’s a personal favor, why don’t you just write off this sum of money?

This is 2.8 million we’re talking about… This is hardly a large sum of money to a construction company… perhaps it can’t even commission the construction of a set of public toilets. But… to someone like me who had been struggling to get by with my humble coffin business just a few months ago, how am I supposed to repay such an enormous sum in just four years’ time?!

Sigh. Good and evil will be rewarded in the end, and the way of heaven is good. If you don't believe it, look up and see who the heavens have spared…

“Mr Qin, do you have any questions?” Secretary Wu immediately noticed that Qin Ye’s expressions had grown peculiar. No… it wasn’t just peculiar, but Qin Ye’s expressions had turned from rosy and radiant, to livid and ashen, and then completely black and grim. It was for this reason that Secretary Wu probed cautiously.

“It’s nothing… I’ll take a look over here on my own, and I’ll get back to you shortly.” Qin Ye tightened his grip around Secretary Wu’s phone and walked to the other side of the excavator, and then gritted his teeth as he hammered the excavator several times - Dong! Dong! Dong!

Sucker!

You’re a sucker for hardship!

What’s wrong with being a simple man? Isn’t it great to lead a simple, pure and free life? Why did you have to take on this damned, deadly mission?! And you’re already 2.8 million in arrears before anything has even begun! Bloody hell… this reeks of being cornered by creditors…

“Mr Qin?” Secretary Wu’s shadowy figure appeared at the end of the aisle between the various vehicles as he asked worriedly, “Are you alright? We heard a strange crashing sound earlier…”

Qin Ye responded lightheartedly, “I’m fine. I’ll call out if anything happens.”

Then, as soon as Secretary Wu turned the corner once more, he immediately clutched at his chest once more - It hurts… bloody hell… where did this faint prickling sensation come from?

“Reject them?” He rubbed his temples as he thought aloud.

Yet, he sighed almost as soon as he blurted out those words.

An interest-free loan was truly a favor when all was said and done. Even though these equipment and machinery were worth nothing more than a drop in the ocean given the sheer magnitude of Hell, it didn’t change the fact Hell was currently destitute, and these equipment and machinery were still aid rendered in times of trouble. There was simply no way Qin Ye could refuse these.

Meanwhile, back in Qin Ye’s dorm room, an ancient mirror lazily rolled over and murmured, “Eh? I’ve detected that an Emissary of Hell isn’t complying with the rules of engagement between the netherworld and the mortal realm. Should I do something about it to set things straight?”

With an oppressive debt of 2.8 million looming over his head, Qin Ye had no choice but to inspect the receipt in detail.

“This is the bulldozer.” Secretary Wu walked alongside Qin Ye and explained, “It is generally used in conjunction with an excavator to complete the initial set of works. The excavator would go in first, and then the bulldozer would go in to pick up the dirt and debris dug up by the excavator. This was something that we’d specifically picked out for you. This is generally more effective than other bulldozers of its kind because of its automated feature and continuous track system. All you’ll need to do is to simply load the dirt and debris onto the tipper trucks, and you can send those trucks away to the dump sites. Every one of these come in various shapes and sizes. If you want the whole set, it’ll set you back approximately eight to nine million immediately. Therefore, we went with only the bare essentials.”

“These are the lifting machines, commonly known as the tower cranes. They are also self-erecting variants, mast variants, and grapple variants. The standard tower cranes are the ones most commonly used in construction works. Also called a boom lift, cranes that are used within factories don’t cost more than 20,000, but those that can be used for construction projects up to thirty storeys high…”

Qin Ye listened in awe. Fortunately, Secretary Wu didn’t continue to talk about the price, so he was able to set his heart more at ease as he listened on intently.

Secretary Wu continued, “This is the T5013 model, and it has a three-ton lifting mechanism, sixty-three modes, and an RCV slewing mechanism. It has a height of twenty meters, and it functions using the imported Schneider electronics. This bears the mark of the Zhao Prefecture Industries, and it is top of the line. It’s also a second-hand product in relatively good condition. Some of the smaller companies in this industry aren’t able to secure another project after the completion of their previous one, and they were forced to lease out their machinery and equipment in order to keep their business afloat. We took the liberty to purchase one of these cranes from them.”

Qin Ye didn’t know how to react.

He would’ve liked to rent these equipment and machinery as well…

But all of these things had to be incinerated if they were to be transported to Hell in the first place! How was he going to return these things after use?!

“This is a road roller, used to level and compact the ground in foundation works… This is a pile driver… In summary, the equipment alone already costs well over two million in total.” Half an hour later, Secretary Wu finally completed his series of explanations and paused right next to the building materials, “This is a 5cm diameter split steel bar. We’ve already done the tensile test and cold bend test. These are all of the same brand, the same furnace serial number, the same variety, the same size, and part of the same lot.”

And he came full circle to discuss the issue of money once more. Qin Ye’s mind was already numb from these figures.

“The price of steel wire of numbers 6.5-10 on the wire gauge is 3,540 RMB per ton; the price of steel wire of numbers 12-14 on the wire gauge with secondary threads is 3,590 RMB per ton, and the price of steel wire of number 16 on the wire gauge with secondary threads is 3,560 RMB per ton…, you are free to verify all of these details. There are sixty tons in total. If Mr Qin wishes to take a closer inspection of the goods, we’ve also brought along an inspection device and our expert.”

“There’s no need.” Qin Ye shook his head. These were things that only professionals would understand.

“There are also some samples of wood and their corresponding specifications on the side. Mr Qin, would you like to take a look at these?”

Qin Ye thought about it, and then refused. Hell was currently full of wood, and all he needed was simply a sawmill and some other wood-processing equipment.

Secretary Wu brought over a stack of documents, and Qin Ye looked through the same for the next twenty minutes before finally signing his name onto these documents. As he returned the documents to Secretary Wu, he added, “Tell Sun Kangliang that if he encounters anything peculiar in future, he can approach me directly. He’ll know what I’m talking about.”

“Thank you, Mr Qin.” Even though Secretary Wu didn’t understand just what this enigmatic phrase meant, he still smiled genially and nodded at Qin Ye before leaving the room with his entourage of representatives and experts.

They were finally gone. The facility was his to use for the next two days. Qin Ye sat in the excavator’s control seat and sighed wistfully as he gazed into the distant night sky.

It’s all too costly…

I guess the construction industry truly functions on credit. How little do I have right now? I don’t think I have enough to even be able to complete a single storey of any of the neighbourhoods around. My efficiency would be incredibly low given the state of my equipment right now as well. Yet all of this had still set me back by several millions at once. And this was even after Sun Kangliang noticed my lack of funds and took the initiative to procure second-hand goods to boot.

Qin Ye didn’t even have the courage to ask Secretary Wu how much it would cost to construct an entire neighbourhood from scratch.

Then… how much money would I need to reconstruct the entire Hell?

Qin-poorest-King-Yanluo-in-history-Ye simply dared not think about these things.

“I’ll have to locate the missing link as soon as possible.” He frowned as he stood up and paced around, “Hell’s financial system hasn’t been developed yet, but there will certainly come a point in future when the economies of Hell and the mortal realm become interdependent on each other. Otherwise… how long is it going to take for me to earn billions on my own just so that I could finance the reestablishment of Hell?”

“The best way to do it would be to exchange the specialty products of Hell for goods in the mortal realm. But… I’ll probably have to check on these matters with Arthis later. Things are far too inefficient right now… That said, that old hag didn’t say anything about these things earlier on. Given how she only seems to know to eat, drink and poop, she probably doesn’t know a thing about Hell’s finances anyway…”

Arthis was catching up on her serials when she suddenly furrowed her brows - she had sensed that someone was slandering her from afar…

Qin Ye didn’t immediately paste the talismans on the good. He had previously checked that the incineration of goods with the talisman was completely different from the effects of regular incineration - nobody would notice a thing when it happened. That said, this was still a provincial capital when all was said and done, and it was far better to err on the side of caution.

When the clock struck four in the morning, he finally affixed the talisman to everything. After infusing each talisman with his Yin energy, everything quickly began to char and turn black, albeit without a single bit of fire or light. There wasn’t even a single trace of burning stench. It was… almost as though everything had turned into paper. Within ten minutes, the machinery, equipment and construction materials that were originally placed neatly all across the entire facility grounds disintegrated into black paper ash and scattered into the night sky.

“Everything is finally ready.” Having been high-strung for several days on end, he finally loosened his tense spirits and relaxed his body. He gazed earnestly at the scattering ash that was floating into the dark of the night, and he finally shut his eyes with another heavy sigh.

Everything was ready.

The boat was ready to sail.

And the east wind was blowing.

All that he needed right now was the final piece of the puzzle that was the design drawing from the design department, and the construction site in Hell… The inauguration of the construction works would be something that he had painstakingly forged from poverty!

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