But now wasn’t the time to be considering these things.
Qin Ye took in the expressions in every single person’s eyes. Some evinced worry, some revealed apprehension, while others were simply deep in thought. Rather than to concern themselves with defences from external forces, it would be prudent to first concentrate on consolidating their forces and establishing stability internally. Cathay… no, Insignia Province couldn’t even properly be considered their territory as yet. It would be highly premature to be pointing their sword at the rest of the world right now.
Besides, given their history of conflict with each other, he was almost certain that Anubis would come knocking on their gates with hundreds of millions of Yin soldiers as soon as they learnt of the present situation in Hell.
Time is truly running out…
We’re talking about a time frame of at most two to three hundred years. If we can’t fill the shoes left behind by the old Hell by then, there’s no way that the other underworlds would show mercy just because I’m a budding King Yanluo.
In fact, I would be the first to be placed on the chopping block.
Knock, knock, knock. He rapped on the table, “We can table these issues for discussions later on. But right now, what’s most important is our internal development… Now, let’s move on to the third item on our agenda. This relates to the monetary system of Hell.”
“In the month that is to come, I’d like everyone to focus all of their attention on developing the monetary system as well as the system of loans and returns. But as soon as all of that has been sorted out, and the inventory of our goods have been completed and verified, we’ll immediately be moving into the planning phase for the various industries of Hell.”
“I’ve brought back the requisite materials to set up various production lines with me this time. These are all brand new industries to Hell. Where are we going to store the goods produced?”
Huang Liangchuan’s eyes flickered slightly. There was something on his lips, but he fought it back with great difficulty.
He… had just spotted a critical issue.
In fact, this was an issue that not even Qin Ye might have spotted. Yet it was precisely because it was such a critical issue that he simply couldn’t afford to disclose it right now. After all, he would still have to give face to the future King Yanluo of Hell, and not disgrace him in front of everybody.
Qin Ye continued, “Therefore… Gu Qing, I’m afraid the plans you’ve come up with thus far might have to be revised, or even overhauled.”
Gu Qing nodded to signify his understanding.
Then, Qin Ye turned around and made a grabbing motion, and an image formed entirely out of Yin energy materialized in the air. This was none other than the topographical map of the present Hell. He pointed to it and continued, “Therefore, the third item on the agenda is to set up Hell’s commercial district. This is where the merchandise and goods produced by Hell will be gathered, stored and sold. The plan is temporarily to locate it close to Hell’s Gate for now. Mr Gu, I’d like you to think about this matter in greater detail. As for the name, we’ll call it… The Dead End…”
Everyone participating in the meeting looked up in horror and stared at Qin Ye as though they had just seen a ghost. About that… we’ve got no gripe with the establishment of the commercial district. After all, it only makes sense to set up a storage and distribution point for the goods and merchandise to be produced. But couldn’t you come up with a better name than ‘The Dead End’? What kind of a freak show do you expect that to be?!
Oblivious to the stir he had generated, Qin Ye rambled on, “The commercial district will also have to dovetail with the future residential districts in Hell. Therefore, the next thing we’ll have to look into will be transportation infrastructure. In that regard, we’ll need roads. Hell can’t forever remain so tiny…”
Arthis interjected, “That’s right. We’ve managed to retrieve a divine artifact this time. Given the amount of latent Yin energy stored within the Book of Life and Death in hand, we need only set the divine artifact in place, and Hell will immediately undergo its next great expansion.”
Qin Ye turned around with great surprise. This was fantastic news!
He knew that getting Hell to the size of a county was one of the next milestones he had to work towards. After all, Yin beasts would only appear in Hell when it reached the county-level. There were also some additional functions of Hell that would have to wait until Hell expanded to that level as well. Thus, if Hell were to expand from a village to a town right now, it would only be a single step away from the next qualitative expansion to a county-level underworld!
However, it clearly wasn’t the time to indulge in his joy and excitement right now. Notwithstanding the prospects of Hell’s advancement, the multitude of things to be sorted through right now was of far greater importance.
“That’s great news.” He took a deep breath and suppressed the wild thumping of his heart, “As Hell expands, we will naturally begin to see the development of other cities in the vicinity. Naturally, we will need a highway to facilitate movement between cities. Therefore, I’ve decided to look ahead and plan for the construction of the first national highway of Hell, the Yellow Springs Road!”
Qin Ye was displeased.
What’s the meaning of this?
How could you guys make such an expression of dejectedness in the face of such wise decisions of the future King Yanluo of Hell?
Thus, he began to applaud his own decision.
Some applause is due here.
The rest of the audience, including Arthis, stared vacantly into the air as they perfunctorily applauded Qin Ye’s wise decision. Several seconds later, when Arthis finally managed to pull herself together, she boldly asked the question that was on everyone’s hearts, “Speaking of which… how serious are you about the name?”
It’s so low we could give up right now!
It’s bad enough that the commercial district is going to be called ‘The Dead End’, and yet you even want to call our national expressway the ‘Yellow Springs Road’?! Are you trying to pay your last respects to us as soon as possible? Do you know how sad your friends up in the mortal realm are going to be when they learn of these developments?!
Qin Ye stared at the rest of the meeting attendees, completely baffled at their reaction. He coughed lightly as he continued, “Before I table the third item on the agenda for discussions, could I check if the old Hell used to have a flight system?”
“Yes.” Arthis leaned back into her seat and gazed at the roof, “To be more precise, these are flying Yin beasts that travel as quickly as modern day aircrafts. The strangest part about these creatures is that there naturally exists an interspatial realm within its body.”
“That’s good.” Qin Ye nodded and pointed at the topographical map of Hell right now, “As the number of cities in Hell increases in future, roads and highways will no longer be sufficient for the purposes of large-scale mobilization of troops or transportation of special materials. Therefore, I believe that it would be important to get a headstart on the construction of an airport. The first airport should be located in the vicinity of Hell’s Gate. We shall name it - Departure Airport.” 
The entire room was silent again.
The three names had left everyone at the meeting completely flabbergasted!
‘The Dead End’, ‘Yellow Springs Road’, and ‘Departure Airport’... Surely there could be no cooler names than that!
“Eh? You guys have a problem with the names?”
“No… none at all…” “Anything that pleases my lord…” “We were just too caught up in the depth of profundity of my lord’s thoughts… please give me some time to extricate myself from these mires…” “My lord… are these names… open to discussion?”
Qin Ye firmly foreclosed any possible discussions, “Of course not! I shall personally etch these names onto the plaques on the respective days of completion of each of these structures!”
ARRRRGHHH… We refuse to participate in the inauguration ceremonies! Just the mere thought of the horrific sight fills me with embarrassment and shame!
This meeting had truly exposed the great depth of vocabulary which was at the disposal of the future King Yanluo.
“Alright, if there aren’t any further questions, then let’s move on and look at the final agenda for today.” Qin Ye cleared his throat, “We will be establishing Hell’s military forces very soon. Oda Nobunaga will be taking charge as the commander of the troops for the time being. Naturally, the first and second points mentioned earlier are of the highest priority, while the third and fourth points on the agenda are merely of secondary importance for now. I imagine we’ll only need to revisit these secondary issues some time next year. I’m only mentioning them right now in order to prime you for what is to come.”
After all, Gu Qing would still need some time to look through the present design plans for Hell and revise them in light of today’s discussions. Furthermore, they would need to await Hell’s second expansion. In the meantime, there was also a need to redistribute the ghostpower of Hell and redeploy the various divisions of Yin Construction in order to commence works on the airport and roads. The sheer number of things to sort through made Qin Ye’s mind throb in pain.
“Does anyone have anything else you want to raise for now? If not, I hereby conclude this meeting. Oh, by the way, the prime minister of Hell shall henceforth be Arakshasa. She’ll be based in Hell, so you can report directly to her if there’s anything you need. Apart from that, I’d like all of the contents of today’s discussions to be sorted out and organized, and we’ll engross it as a red-letterhead document to be disseminated accordingly. I’ll carve out a seal for these official documents. Finally, remember to send me daily updates for my perusal. No works are to be carried out without my prior approval.”
Arthis nearly couldn’t resist the urge to shoot to her feet and give Qin Ye a tight slap across the face.
Bloody hell! Can’t we have a proper conversation about these things anymore?! I’m just sitting here, minding my own business, and I’m suddenly appointed as the prime minister of Hell?! And it’s fine to be a prime minister, but on what basis should you be working your ass off making money in the mortal realm, while I stay here and do my best to look pretty like a wallflower?!
I haven’t even attained the rank of a Challenger yet!
Besides, I can make money in the mortal realm as well! Who says you can’t make money off live streaming? And you’re telling me that I’ve got to use a genset if I want to play computer games right now? What about internet access?!
Truth be told, Arthis was fully aware that there was no correlation between her existence as a Judge and her inability to access the internet at all.
Everyone gradually departed from the annex hall, including Arthis who vanished with a cold snort. Although she wasn’t happy about the outcome of the meeting, she could appreciate the fact that Qin Ye’s movements were restricted as well. After all, a new semester was soon about to begin, and this being the final semester before the commencement of their combat practicum, it would naturally mean that Qin Ye would have his hands tied with the affairs back in the First Academy of Cultivators. Therefore, she gritted her teeth and decided that she would stomach this great injustice and catch up on all of her downloaded drama serials as nourishment for her soul.
The internet might not have changed the lives of all human beings, but it had most certainly changed the life of a particular Infernal Judge.
Qin Ye also got up to his feet and prepared to leave. There were still discussions to be had with Oda Nobunaga. But just as he was about to transform into a wisp of Yin energy and vanish from Hell, a voice suddenly called out from behind, “Lord Qin, please wait.”
It was Huang Liangchuan.
Qin Ye immediately ceased his transformation and asked, “Is something wrong?”
Huang Liangchuan looked around warily. After ascertaining that they were the only ones left in the room, he coughed lightly and began to speak with caution, “Lord Qin… earlier… I noticed a slight issue that has been bugging me all this while, and I hope that Lord Qin could shed some light on this.”
Qin Ye laughed and took his seat again, before promptly gesturing for Huang Liangchuan to sit down as well, “You can speak your mind. I don’t have that many rules around here.”
Huang Liangchuan sat down, and then paused for a few moments as he deliberated over the exact words to use, before finally speaking cautiously, “Lord Qin, about the commercial district, I wonder who is going to be purchasing these goods from us?”
“Of course it would be--...” Qin Ye was about to say that it would be the citizens of Hell, but he immediately swallowed his own words.
He wasn’t stupid. He simply hadn’t been exposed to such works on a grand scale before. Thus, as soon as Huang Liangchuan probed further at the crux of the issue, he immediately realized where he had gone wrong.
The citizens of Hell didn’t have much spending power.
The production lines which he had brought back to Hell weren’t for commercialized goods. Rather, they were mainly for the production of basic necessities. How much were these things worth? Even if every single citizen of Hell bought a single article of these basic necessities, he would sell out in no time. After all, Hell was lacking in every sense right now. Anything that they produced would naturally be snapped up in just an instant.
But what happens after every citizen of Hell each owned an article of these basic necessities? Who would they sell the excess goods to?
Or would they no longer sell them?
And what about the production lines? Would they have to be shut down as well, especially when the monetary system was just being introduced? Would that not be tantamount to forced layoffs within a short span of two or three years after their initial appointment to their respective roles at the production lines? What would that mean for the government? Would the citizens still be able to retain their confidence in the government if its policies were changed in such a short span of time, according to the leaders’ whims and fancies?
What if they were to implement governmental subsidies?
Wouldn’t that drain their reserves too much? Isn’t it ironic that the production lines aren't bringing them money, but causing them to throw good money after bad? And it wouldn’t even serve its purpose of granting the citizens of Hell the sense of satisfaction that they so desired! In fact, they would be used no differently from a disposable consumer good.
You blew hundred of millions in RMB just for these crappy, disposable goods… How are you going to justify having that rewarding cup of hand-ground coffee that day?!
“Do you have any ideas in mind?” Realizing the severity of the problem at hand, Qin Ye shot to his feet in cold sweat. Fortunately, Huang Liangchuan was an expert in these fields, and he spotted the problem before it could even surface. Otherwise, the belated discovery of this issue might well turn into a huge stumbling block for Qin Ye.
Huang Liangchuan gritted his teeth, “Initially, I didn’t. But… after Lady Arakshasa talked about the situation in the world right now, I suddenly had an idea…”
Qin Ye’s eyes gleamed brightly, “Are you saying…”
“Establish trade routes!” Huang Liangchuan nodded earnestly, “Since the underworlds are a reflection of the corresponding mortal realms, then I think we can safely assume that certain goods may be lacking or be in higher demand in certain underworlds. There has to be a market for the goods which we’re producing. In fact, there are no products in the world that there isn’t a market for! It all depends on whether we can match the right product to the right buyer!”
“Production for one’s own consumption is one of the most wasteful and meaningless endeavors possible. It’s only by establishing a trade route that we will truly be able to prosper in the long run!”
1. The chinese words used here are 驾鹤机场. The first two words are actually directly translated to ‘riding a crane’. This refers to the idea that people ride a crane into the sky when they gain immortality, and it is a euphemistic way of referring to a person who has passed on. The joke doesn’t work well in english, so I’ve taken the liberty to simply call it Departure Airport instead, in line with the dad joke that relates both to flight, and can also be used euphemistically to refer to someone who has passed on.