Qin Ye excitedly picked up a leaf and rubbed it between his fingers. Everyone watched Qin Ye intently with bated breaths, eagerly awaiting his verdict.
Everyone knew the importance of a monetary system to a budding nation!
The imperial court meeting was going to be convened at the end of the year, and they absolutely had to have implemented a system of currency by then. After all, only primitive societies didn’t have a monetary system, and the last thing they wanted was to be labelled as a primitive society.
Besides, would his government, factories and Yin Construction continue to work forever just because he told them to?
Would anyone willingly work in the absence of remuneration?
Human beings are selfish creatures. The only people who aren’t selfish are saints, and saints count for less than 1% of the total population in the world.
Money. Money was the only thing that most people worked towards. Money was the driving force of the nation. The only reason why Qin Ye hadn’t rolled out the monetary system just yet was because of the sheer importance of the system - everything had to be perfect before he would allow it through!
Qin Ye’s eyes glistened as he stared at the leaves of the tree. That’s right… That’s the feeling… No wonder it felt so familiar all along! It’s the exact same feeling as the banknotes of the mortal realm!
Who would’ve thought that the greatest stumbling block I’m faced with right now would be so easily solved with a great expansion of Hell?!
“Call him…” His breaths grew ragged, “That guy--... The newly-minted director of the Central Mint of Hell. Call him over right now!”
“Gou Siping, my lord. I’ll call him over right away.” Huang Liangchuan responded. A split second later, Arthis waved her hands, and Huang Liangchuan instantly vanished from where he was.
Nobody spoke in the meantime. The implications were beyond them. Qin Ye paced anxiously around the foot of the great banyan tree with his hands behind his back, glancing up every few seconds with a bright glint in his eyes. If we can really use this… If this is truly banknote quality paper, then… this tree should never be used as a tourism destination!
Not even if it were the most idyllic sight in Hell!
The monetary system was worth more than a tourism destination! It was worth far more than that!
Time trickled by slowly… it had only been five minutes, and yet everyone felt as though they were on edge all this while. Then, just as Qin Ye looked up for the umpteenth time, Arthis raised her brows, waved her hand gently, and Huang Liangchuan and Gou Siping immediately appeared before their eyes once more.
“Greetings, dear lead--...” Gou Siping attempted to greet everyone, only to be promptly interrupted by Qin Ye, “Spare the formalities! I want you to take a look at these leaves right away and tell me whether they can be used for the purposes of printing banknotes right now!”
Gou Siping drew a deep breath as he looked at the sheet of snow-coloured leaves on the floor.
T-this can be used as printing paper?
If it could, then the problem plaguing the Central Mint of Hell would be resolved once and for all! Just look at the size of this colossal banyan tree! There must at least be several million leaves hanging overhead right now!
However, he didn’t dare to make any promises right away. Instead, he picked up the leaves and took a closer look at them.
Nobody rushed him. Everyone simply watched him intently with a burning gleam in the depths of their eyes, almost as though they were attempting to set him on fire by staring at him. Approximately ten minutes later, Gou Siping finally stood up, and glanced around with a look of amazement in his eyes, “This is truly remarkable…”
“My lord!” He took a deep breath and addressed Qin Ye with great excitement, “You can… you absolutely can! I’ve just done a simple test on it, and it’s quite clear that its resistance to abrasion is dozens of times better than the regular paper which we had earlier used! It’s difficult to tear this paper! More importantly, the veins of the leaves are hidden and unobtrusive, and the entire leaf is practically smooth as a mirror. It’s almost as though this was made for the purposes of printing banknotes!”
“Incredible…” He exclaimed emotionally, “The miracle of Hell’s great expansion… is truly beyond imagination!’
Qin Ye shut his eyes and took a deep, long breath.
It was as though a huge load had been lifted off his chest in an instant. He opened his eyes slowly and smiled genially, “Then, let’s try searching around and see if we’ve got any plausible alternatives to be used as substitutes for the colour shifting ink. If we really can’t find anything, then I’ll come up with something…”
“My lord.” Huang Liangchuan suddenly interjected, “I believe… that the monetary system is ready to be implemented.”
Without the colour shifting ink?
Qin Ye blinked vacantly, tacitly inviting Huang Liangchuan to explain himself. Huang Liangchuan took some time to organize his thoughts before speaking. Having started off on the wrong foot with Qin Ye, he wanted nothing more than to salvage the situation and earn himself some brownie points once more, “Although I don’t know much about the minting process, I do know one thing about the various unique features of banknotes in the mortal realm.”
“Whether it be embossing, paper type, serialization, or even the use of the colour shifting ink, all of them serve one sole purpose.”
He glanced at everyone solemnly, “And that’s anti-counterfeiting measures.”
“Aesthetics are only secondary. The monetary system is the driving force of any nation’s economy, and anti-counterfeiting measures naturally take the top priority. That said…”
Qin Ye smiled brilliantly and clapped his hands. His reward for extending an extra measure of mercy to Huang Liangchuan had already arrived.
Everyone had their own weaknesses. But making a mistake doesn’t immediately make a person a failure.
“There’s no need for additional anti-counterfeiting measures at all.” Qin Ye smiled and took it from where Huang Liangchuan left off, “Firstly, if we mint Hell’s banknotes using the leaves of the great banyan tree, there’s no way they can be counterfeited at all, because… I can just restrict entry to this entire locality, and I’ll build the Central Mint of Hell right here.”
“The second reason has to do with Hell’s size right now. Given how small we are, all of the machines that can be used to mint Hellnotes are already under our control. Once we set up a system of registration, it will immediately become apparent who has been in contact with the minting devices. Counterfeit notes would practically become an impossibility.”
“Thirdly…” He smiled and looked at Arthis, “We’ve also only got a single Infernal Judge who can brand the notes.”
And if that’s the case, what reason is there to use colour shifting ink?
Huang Liangchuan heaved a sigh of relief. With the burden of proving himself now off his chest, he now directed his train of thought to other possibilities, and he courteously built upon Qin Ye’s reasons, “That’s right. However, I would recommend that we make sufficient provision of manpower for the Central Mint of Hell’s purposes. After all, the printing material is scattered all over the floor. The personnel in charge of minting cannot possibly harvest everything on their own. They would be completely overwhelmed. We’ll need sufficient labourers who have signed a confidentiality agreement to work hand in hand with the Central Mint of Hell.”
Qin Ye paced around slowly as he listened. Then, as soon as Huang Liangchuan had finished making his recommendations, he took the next several minutes for his deliberation, before finally issuing his orders, “Gou Siping, look for Su Dongxue immediately and have her start organizing the manpower required for the Central Mint of Hell. However, you will have to be mindful of the fact that the matters pertaining to the establishment of the Central Mint must be kept on the low profile. Everyone involved will naturally need to first pass a background check. You don’t have the requisite access to information in this regard. Have the Death Inquisitors take charge of these matters.”
Gou Siping left. With that, everyone began to shower Qin Ye with flattering, laudatory messages, “Congratulations, Your Majesty. There’s nothing stopping Hell’s soaring growth anymore!” “We’re quickly becoming a civilized society! It’s Lord Qin’s prescience that enabled Hell to achieve so much in less than a year!” “Once the monetary system has been fully rolled out, we’ll have no issues driving the nation to work!”
Luck always favors those who are prepared… Qin Ye patted the trunk of the great banyan tree. Hell was now all set.
“Let me know if there’s anything of concern in the near future. Arakshasa, you’re in charge of Hell for now. And make sure to properly brand the newly minted Hellnotes.” With that, Qin Ye eased the tension in his mind, operated the shard of King Yanluo’s Seal, and returned to his own dorm room back in the mortal realm.
It’s tiring… but it is also truly rewarding…
He lay in bed with his eyes wide open. Time flew by in the blink of an eye, and the summer vacations were over before he knew it. A month had never passed so quickly before, yet he could still clearly remember every single thing he had done over this period of time - even the exact documents which he had approved.
The great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment washed over him like a tidal wave. It wasn’t the result of a sense of exhilaration from the great expansion of Hell. Rather, it was the result from having come so far in this long, arduous journey of Hell’s rebirth and growth that had slowly but surely nourished his soul.
“Look at the silly smile on your face. You look like an idiot.” Arthis’ voice resounded from behind him. Qin Ye didn’t even look up, “What do you know about these feelings of mine… Sigh… It’s an indescribable feeling… Speaking of which, why have you returned? Lady, how many times must I rehash to you that you’re not my type?”
Qin Ye was ostensibly over cloud nine… After all, to be able to speak such immoderate words directly to Arthis without even batting an eyelid…
Arthis rolled her eyes, “The Central Mint of Hell won’t start its minting process for the next month or so at the very least. There are still the issues of office locations, deployment of security guards, establishment of printing lines, and so on and so forth. So, do you really take issue with the fact that I’ve made a short trip back to grab my computer and my phone?”
“... Of course not… But there’s still some niggling feeling that there’s more than meets the eye…”
“That’s not the point.” Arthis masterfully interrupted Qin Ye with the switch and bait technique, “So, what do you have lined up below?”
Qin Ye glanced down at the bottom half of his body.
That’s a rather targeted question…
Ah… She’s not asking about that… He coughed dryly and looked up at Arthis awkwardly.
“Cough cough… About that…” Qin Ye coughed up a storm as he adjusted the peculiar expressions on his face. And then, he finally spoke with a somber expression, “With the establishment of the Central Mint of Hell and the minting of Hellnotes, we’ll finally be able to pay the wages of our military personnel. So… the only thing that’s left to do pertains to our army…”
Arthis muttered, “I guess being thick-skinned can have its benefits as well. I mean, not even Local Bully could’ve adjusted his expressions and flipped around an awkward situation so quickly… Hey, put down your pillow… Let’s talk things through properly like adults… What I’m asking is what you plan to do once your negotiations with the Lord of Hanyang at the end of the year goes well?”
Qin Ye bashfully set down his Sponge Bob pillow - Can’t you just indulge me with some fun for once?
He rolled his eyes at Arthis, and then turned away as he explained, “What do you think is most important for Hell right now?”
Arthis responded quizzically, “Isn’t it the imperial court meeting at the end of the year?”
After all, that was a hurdle that had to be crossed.
If Hell didn’t flex its muscles at the end of the year, then the nations that surrounded Cathay would instantly… stir with an uprising!
Qin Ye nodded slightly, and then shook his head again, before finally quipping back with something seemingly unrelated, “Do you know what’s most costly to any government out there?”
Arthis frowned in confusion, “The construction of bridges? Roads?”
Qin Ye shook his head, “No. It’s war.”
“The greatest expense to any government out there is to raise an army.
He sighed wistfully, “Although Yin soldiers don’t need any form of sustenance or maintenance in general, the bulk of the cost will lie in the research and development of technology. The weapons forming part of the old Hell’s legacy, such as the Netherflame Chain Crossbow and the Soul-Launching Coffin, will require much testing and experimentation, all of which will have to be supported with large amounts of funding. Furthermore, the resources at our disposal are completely different from what was available to the old Hell, so there’s no telling what would have to be invested in the course of updating the technology that is available to us…”
“And where would the money come from?”
Arthis stared at Qin Ye begrudgingly - If I knew the answer to that question, would you still be seated in your position right now?
Qin Ye answered his own question in a slightly despondent manner, “Since there’s no way for us to generate revenue for Hell internally, then… we’ll have no choice but to get in touch with external factions and forces. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Anubis or Hades… But for now, the dozen or so feudal officials would naturally be the best candidates.”
He turned back and gazed deeply at Arthis, “The show of power at the imperial court meeting at the end of the year will make them acknowledge us. However, that only gets us a foot in the door. What follows after that is the establishment of overseas trade routes. But… where will the trades take place? How will the trades take place? How do we make arrangements to preclude any possibilities of leaking the whole truth about Hell’s strength right now? That’s what I’ll be focusing on next!”
“Whether Oda Nobunaga’s training of our Yin soldiers, or the implementation of the monetary system, everything is being done in order to solidify our odds of earning a ticket into the underworldly equivalent of the world trade organization at the show of power at the end of the year. So… what do you think I’m planning to do next?”
Arthis blinked vacantly for some time, and then abruptly shot to her feet, exclaiming with a shrill voice, “You… y-you’re thinking of establishing a city?!”
“A trading port city?!”Previous Chapter Next Chapter