Chapter 196: The Road to Riches

“Come… take a look at the Southsea Huanghuali in Hell.”

Qin Ye walked over and took a look, and he was completely stunned.

There was a knot right in the center of the stump. And this knot… actually formed a beautiful, perfect pattern!

It wasn’t like one of those intricately designed carvings. Instead, it resembled the most quintessential of landscape paintings, almost as though an expert had splashed ink on a canvas before improvising from there.

Freestyle.

It was like a freestyle masterpiece of a female artist, hazy yet graceful, distinct yet illusory. It was a mesmerizing piece of art.

In fact, it was so enrapturing that it was difficult to fathom how something like that was simply growing out of a tree. To this end, it even looked somewhat artificial.

“This is what we call the ghost face.” Gu Qing explained excitedly, “It’s actually formed out of the nodules and bumps, otherwise known as knots, that arise naturally during a tree’s growth. The Southsea Huanghuali generally grows in a harsh environment. Therefore, it’s known to grow slowly, and it develops many branches. It’s also because of this that the grains tend to be twisted and somewhat irregular. This generally lends to a greater propensity to develop a ghost face, and a denser and richer one at that. That said… this is still the first time I’ve seen a naturally occurring ghost face as vivid and lifelike as that.”

Everyone grew silent. Arthis and Qin Ye stared at Gu Qing, eagerly awaiting his final conclusion on the matter.

Gu Qing deliberated for a moment, “The species of these trees seem to tick all of the identifying characteristic traits of the Southsea Huanghuali. I’m over 90% certain that this is none other than the Southsea Huanghuali! In fact, if not for the fact that it looks so peculiar, I would have immediately confirmed without any reservations that this is the prized wood known as the Southsea Huanghuali! The fragrant rosewood that is coveted across all of Cathay!”

Qin Ye’s lips trembled, “I’ll give you three seconds to reconsider your phrasing…”

Gu Qing paused, and then coughed dryly, “Then… I confirm that this is the Southsea Huanghuali.”

“This is the Southsea Huanghuali with incomparably vivid and lifelike ghostfaces… Forget about the price of wood. I can assure you that the price of this stump alone is worth the market price for the entire tree!”

Qin Ye felt his heart pounding through his chest!

The wealth of ten billion…

I was wrong. I’d always been wrong! I had never been starting from scratch. In fact, there couldn’t have been a more perfect start to the redevelopment of Hell! 

“Nature’s haunting work… is truly unimaginable…” He stared at the red ma--... No! What do you mean by red maple?! He knew full well that the Southsea Huanghuali was something classified as threatened and vulnerable as a result of earlier overexploitation, and there are regulations governing the amount of it that can be traded and sold in any single transaction. After all, exceeding the regulated amount would mean diminishing the supply of Southsea Huanghuali quicker than it could recover. But… would a market in great demand for these woods care about matters such as these?

The Southsea Huanghuali was known by many names, like the four great timbers, wood of hysteria, gold-centered wood. The only other timber that could give it a run for its money was the red sandalwood. From what he could remember, a classical bed made from Southsea Huanghuali could be sold for 16 million RMB, while a set of two chairs were worth 8 million RMB. The only reason why Southsea Huanghuali trinkets are more commonly seen in the market is precisely because it is incredibly rare to find large pieces of such raw wood in the market. One could say that the supply of Southsea Huanghuali in his possession was sufficient to even influence its asking price in the market!

How many tycoons like Huang Liangchuan were there out there, begging, yet unable to purchase a single one of these prized pieces? In the hands of the right craftsmen, any company that secures these pieces of raw fragrant rosewood could literally propel them into the ranks of honored guests among the ultra rich! His forest was like a key that could unlock an immeasurable future for any furniture company out there! Anyone who gains access to his supply of wood would be set for the rest of their lives!

And he, on the other hand, would profit greatly from all of the pent up demand for the wood as an upstream seller. All he needed to do was to establish a system of currency in Hell before his source of riches were depleted, and then Hell can truly and finally be considered to be out of its predicament. At that time, Hell would finally be self-sufficient.

In other words, these woods right now were the key to breaking out of the vicious cycle of poverty.

“Mr Qin, the supply of so much wood would surely drive the entire wood furniture market insane!” Gu Qing concluded, “As for how it ought to be done, that is entirely up to Mr Qin’s discretion.”

Qin Ye took several deep breaths to calm his wildly beating heart. After several seconds, his voice boomed across every corner of Hell like thunder, “Yin Construction personnel are to stop all works with immediate effect. The seven division heads, Huang Liangchuan and his Radiant Sunset Support Group are to immediately head to the annex hall to convene the second meeting of Yin Construction.”

With that, he led Gu Qing straight to Hell’s Gate.

Time crawls whenever one’s heart is fraught with anxiety and eager anticipation. Qin Ye’s twenty minute trek felt like an entire day. And when he finally arrived at the annex hall, everyone was already there staring at Qin Ye with an apprehensive look in their eyes.

“Take a seat.” Qin Ye wasn’t in the mood for nonsense, and he gestured for everyone to take their seats. Five Yin spirit scribes stood behind with their pen and paper in hand, ready to take the notes of the meeting.

“This is the head of Cathay’s central planning department, Mr Gu Qing. He was previously in charge of the urban planning and design of the projects in Alkebulan, as well as the construction of the first specialized district in Cathay. With decades of experience in city and urban planning, as well as construction, he is henceforth appointed the first CEO of Yin Construction. He will be in charge when I’m not around.”

Nobody had any objections.

Nobody dared to have any objections.

This was the advantage brought about by his rule with an iron fist and cold-blooded methods earlier. Qin Ye nodded and drew a deep breath, “We’ve managed to resolve the greatest problem inhibiting the redevelopment of Hell - the problem with finances and resources.”

Although he had already run through what he was going to say many times in his head prior to this, he could still feel his heart racing as he said these things, “Just a moment ago, Mr Gu Qing ascertained that the trees outside are all Southsea Huanghuali trees.”

“What?!” “This… Lord Qin, you must be joking!” “Such a large tract of it? Southsea Huanghuali?! The gold-centered tree?!” “Unbelievable… To think that we’ve been cutting them down every day! Is this really the Southsea Huanghuali?”

The entire meeting buzzed with excitement as soon as Qin Ye dropped the bombshell!

They were all in the construction industry. No, even if they weren’t, the reputation of the fragrant rosewood was practically ubiquitous!

Its value had soared over the last decade or so. At over ten million a ton, none of them dared to even consider the possibility that these trees could be the coveted Southsea Huanghuali. None of them knew the identifying traits of these trees either. After all, most of the members of Yin Construction right now used to be nothing more than wage earners, so how could they possibly have seen or smelt the fragrance of the Southsea Huanghuali in real life?

And while there were a handful of tycoons amongst their midst, how many of these tycoons would be involved in the construction works at the work site?

This was naturally why the Southsea Huanghuali had not been identified to date.

“This is… really the Southsea Huanghuali?” Huang Liangchuan’s eyelids were twitching uncontrollably as he fought hard to suppress the urge to leap to his feet. He had his suspicions in the past, especially when leaning against the tree for rest and shade, but he had always dispelled it, thinking it was too good to be true!

Bloody hell… To think that over a hundred thousand Yin spirits are leaning against these trees and resting under their shade every day…

“That’s great!” Hu Feng was the first to snap back from their reverie. He shot to his feet and cupped his hands at Qin Ye, “My lord, there must be several thousand tons out there! In fact, just the trunk of these trees would be a thousand tons on its own! But we can’t discard the rest. After cutting off the leaves and cleaning up the wood, we’re talking about a thousand tons of the branches as well. With those, we can make smaller items, such as bracelets, necklaces, pendants, small sculptures, and other trinkets. With that… we can properly embark on the large-scale redevelopment works of Hell!”

Qian Tianyi sighed with great emotion, and similarly stood up and cupped his hands, “My lord, I won’t lie to you. We were severely hamstrung without the injection of funds. This will truly allow us to spread our wings and fly. The injection of funds is everything! My lord, I can assure you that under your and Gu Qing’s leadership, you will see a completely different look in Hell in just ten years’ time!”

Song Ming glanced out of the windows with twitching eyelids, “Several thousand tons of wood… We’re talking about tens of billions here… To think that we were still deeply concerned about when Qin Gardens Phase 1 would finally be completed. Qin Gardens Phase 2 was something that was well beyond the horizon. With the citizens having no place to call their own, we were concerned that they would one day revolt. But now…”

The division heads exchanged knowing glances and cried out in joy, “Even developing three phases of Qin Gardens concurrently wouldn’t be an issue!”

“We’ve got sufficient ghostpower! All we need is resources!” “And once we have resources on hand, developing five square kilometers of land can’t be considered much!” “With that, the Yin Division wouldn’t merely be an enterprise in name anymore!”

The chatter heated up with great excitement in the annex hall, so much so that even the scribes began to record their discussions with great anticipation. The seven division heads burned with passion - How difficult can things in Hell get… With only a handful of machines, what’s the use of twenty thousand Yin spirits? There can only be dozens of Yin spirits working on the sites each time, and the rest of the nineteen thousand Yin spirits would just idle about, watching and cheering their colleagues on.

Not only does this undermine confidence, it destroys their morale. In fact, there has lately even been a surge in discontentment and unrest, and it was just that the division heads didn’t dare to report these to Qin Ye.

But right now, there was no longer any concern in this regard.

With tens of billions in wealth right under their noses, they could finally hold their heads high and declare - Work hard! Anyone who doesn’t finish their work tonight can forget about getting reincarnated!

And that was exactly how a division head should behave…

“Silence.” Qin Ye was equally excited, but he had to maintain his distant and cold persona. He coughed softly, and the entire annex hall was silent once again. Only the sound of ragged breaths could be heard as everyone looked back at Qin Ye with somewhat bloodshot eyes.

Qin Ye was stunned. Gu Qing smiled, leaned over and whispered, “Mr Qin--... My lord, this is but a habit that they’ve developed from their work back in the mortal realm. No matter how great the project is, resources must still be prioritized. You can say that their attempt to vie for resources right now is merely a condition reflex from their work back in the mortal realm.”

Qin Ye finally smiled.

That’s right… that’s what a construction company should look like.

He had previously brought back a handful of machines for the construction works, and everyone paid lip service to him and gave him their token agreement. But… did anyone vie for these machines?

No.

Because they all knew that these were no more than drips and draps. Fighting over it would only make them look bad.

But things were different now.

Hell’s development was going to proceed proper with the injection of funds. The early bird gets the worms! Those who are late to the party would only get scraps left behind by the rest!

“There’s no need to rush. We’ll let Mr Gu Qing take a look at the designs once more. I sincerely believe that Gu Qing is more qualified than the person who had come up with the design to begin with. What we’ve got to discuss right now is…” Qin Ye paused, and his expression turned somber, “How do we get the stock out there?”

Everyone grew silent in an instant.

This wasn’t their forte of the division heads at all.

However, it was the forte of another person around.

Huang Liangchuan’s eyes immediately lit up. His reputation as the glass magnate wasn’t empty and baseless. Perhaps there might be others better than him in glass manufacturing out there, but when it comes to marketing, he was second to none!

“My lord…” His heart began to thump frantically. His opportunity had finally arrived. This was an opportunity to secure a foothold in Qin Ye’s heart. Anyone who succeeded in doing so would most certainly soar to great heights in future!

He was well aware that he had rubbed Qin Ye off the wrong way earlier, and he had always been thinking of ways to make amends for his previous actions. Now was clearly the perfect time to do so.

I don’t want to brag about these things, but when it comes to matters of business, especially how to create a business empire, everyone apart from Chairman Qin and I are complete and utter trash at these things…

“Eh?” Qin Ye smiled faintly and turned to Huang Liangchuan, “You’ve got some thoughts?”

“If I might just offer my two cents worth.” Huang Liangchuan coughed lightly as he fervently suppressed his wagging tail, “I think that we will have to regulate the supply to be released, and through a select few partners.”

He knew his place - a subordinate should never leave things hanging in front of his chairman and attempt to show off their intelligence.

Therefore, Huang Liangchuan immediately explained, “We should regulate the amount precisely because the Southsea Huanghuali is a threatened and vulnerable species right now. Release too much at once, and we would catch the attention of the market monitoring authorities. That could be troublesome for us. Even though the supply could be easily explained away, our identities simply cannot withstand the scrutiny of a thorough governmental investigation. It would be prudent to save ourselves some trouble that way.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter