Qin Ye understood a very simple principle as far as arms dealing was concerned, and that was that premium goods were always the most desirable. This was because premium goods almost always crushed regular goods in terms of their effectiveness in battle.
For instance, when Formosa bought the Usonian avenger missiles and stinger missiles, they were told that the same price could also fetch them 10,000 units of gatling guns.
But would they change their mind?
What the hell would they need a gatling gun for, when they could simply launch a missile and obliterate all of their enemies once and for all?
And if Usonia had changed tacts and offered to sell Formosa a nuclear weapon for double the price, do you think Formosa would even hesitate a single bit before they jumped on the offer?
The profit margin of premium arms are dozens of times greater than regular arms! I should have thought of something like this earlier!
More importantly, if these feudal officials haven’t done anything to keep up with the times… hehe… then, let’s just see what happens when they get their very first taste of modern marketing and luxury goods salesmanship.
“Lord Qin?” Wang Shu was stunned. She suddenly paused to look at Qin Ye.
“Minister Wang, please stand down for a moment.” Qin Ye waved his hand, and glanced towards another chubby middle-aged man, who sensibly nodded back, “Lord Qin, would you like to hear my report?”
Minister of Industry, Rao Xingrui… Qin Ye nodded, “Minister Rao, if we focus all of our efforts on the construction of the auditorium, will we be able to complete its works before the end of December? Academician Gu, we’ve got the design drawings for that, right?”
“Yes.” Gu Qing nodded, “I’ve churned out several design drawings some time ago, one of which includes that of an auditorium. It’s not considered large by any means. I’ve constructed it with the number of Yin spirits, governmental personnel, civil servants and organizational representatives in mind. Thus, the auditorium is designed for a maximum seating capacity of three hundred people.”
Qin Ye needed a proper stage if he were to promote Hell’s armaments as the LV of all arms dealers!
Something larger wasn’t good, because it would feel empty and cold, and he naturally wouldn’t be able to generate enough hype for his promotions. The present size of the auditorium was simply perfect for his purposes.
Rao Xingrui thought for a moment, “If we suspend all works and reassign all seasoned workers and experts to the construction of the auditorium, we might just be able to make it.”
“Firstly, there’s no issue with the need for rest and sleep. The main factor to take into consideration is the issue of mental fatigue. This is something that can be easily resolved by working in shifts. The auditorium isn’t a complex building, and there’s hardly any difficulty in its construction. A three-hundred seater would be even less of a problem. We shouldn’t have any issues meeting the end-December timeline given the circumstances. That said… does Your Majesty truly wish to suspend all other works?”
He was in agreement with Minister Wang Shu’s perspective earlier.
Qin Ye responded, “Prime all construction units and divisions, and prepare a list of the personnel to be mobilized at the ready. Also, I’d like you to make preparations for a shift schedule, with all Yin spirits to work in three hour shifts. This matter is of top priority. I’ll apprise you of the exact particulars in due course.”
Qin Ye didn’t say much more. He was the one who had called for such monthly progress report meetings. Thus, after receiving all of the progress updates, everyone left, leaving Arthis, Oda Nobunaga and Wang Chenghao in the meeting room.
“I’ll need a set of premium equipment.” He got straight to the point, “And it has to be the most premium, sturdiest product that Hell can produce without talismans. Furthermore, it has to be something that none of the other underworlds have ever seen, whether in terms of materials or workmanship. And they mustn’t be able to replicate it.”
“What are you trying to do?” Arthis raised her brows quizzically.
“Make a prototype!” Qin Ye’s eyes gleamed as he fervently suppressed the surging excitement in his heart, “I’ve just had an epiphany. The use of blight vermin carapace is completely unprecedented in the field of armament productions. It has the potential to be marketed as brand names like Adidas, rather than our generic products like Adivon In fact, we might even be able to develop its own product series!”
Both Oda Nobunaga’s and Arthis’ jaws dropped at the same time. On the other hand, Wang Chenghao simply stared at Qin Ye as though he had just seen a ghost.
Intuition told them that they were on the cusp of opening another can of worms.
“Make a production run, sell the product once, and in limited quantities, before vowing never to sell it a second time! As long as we can ensure the premium quality of the product itself, something like that… might even become something unique to the twelve envoys! It’s just like how Oda-san’s Umamawari horse guards are almost synonymous with his own existence. We’re selling a symbolism; a spirit!”
Arthis’ and Oda Nobunaga’s eyes brightened at once. They had both lived through eras where wars were fought in the absence of firearms, and they naturally knew of the significance of the emergence of a special, symbolic force on the battlefields!
It was deterrence, inspiration and devastation all rolled into one. However, the creation of such an elite, special force was more easily said than done. In fact, it was like searching for a needle in a haystack. These forces would easily become the trump card of any monarch around. Their existence was no different from the soul of a nation’s army, or the banner or totem of troops on the battlefield.
Qin Ye began to explain, “Arms can be more profitable than even the peddling of drugs. And our greatest advantage lies in the Hall of Tremors! We’re the only ones who can forge the most authentic armaments of Hell in there. Arti, how will it affect the armaments produced if one doesn’t have the benefit of the Hall of Tremors?”
“It’s not a matter of how it will affect.” Arthis’ eyes gleamed, “All armaments in their possession have been distributed and allocated to them by Hell back in the days. These are artifacts that can only be forged in the Hall of Tremors. The only other alternative to equip one’s soldiers is by purchasing or trading with foreign underworlds altogether.
“Then, it’s all set!” Qin Ye smacked the table excitedly, “We’re selling a symbol. We’re selling a feeling of gratification. Furthermore, I plan to destroy the mould in front of them right after the limited production run. This way, they’ll know that what they’ve bought from us is completely unique, and there’s nothing else like it in the rest of the world! The only one who can surpass them would be us and us alone!”
Arthis, Oda Nobunaga: ……
Hang on… are you sure you’re selling arms right now? Why is it beginning to feel like you’re attempting to sell something else altogether…
And to think you can even come up with something as crafty and cunning with something as simple as armaments… You must truly be the devil incarnate…
“A limited-edition product?” Wang Chenghao understood everything.
He came from a wealthy family after all.
Bloody hell… you’ve even shipped out the marketing strategies for luxury goods?!
“That’s right!” Qin Ye snapped his fingers, “Thus, the price should naturally be higher. After all, we’re talking about a limited-edition good that will never be sold again.”
“Even if you aren’t going to reproduce it, there’s no need to destroy its mould, is there?” Oda Nobunaga finally spoke up. But as soon as he did, Wang Chenghao immediately shook his head. This was the first time he was expressing his own opinion, “Talk is cheap, but actions carry real weight. This is to signify that we’re true to our words, and we would never be selling to others. Therefore, they would have to bear the exorbitant cost of our mould, design fees, etc. It is a one-time production after all. And as for whether it’s truly going to be a one-time production… that will depend entirely on what the market sentiment is like.”
“We can wait out a couple hundred of years before running a thanksgiving giveback promotion at the Hungry Ghost Festival or the Qingming Festival or something like that. No, there’s even more. As soon as we hit a critical mass of armaments produced, we can even begin to sell chests that work no differently from lottery - one might not necessarily be able to obtain what they want, but every chest they obtain would have a certain chance of containing one of the classic armaments previously sold. At that time, we can structure the lottery however we want, be it ‘spending 50 billion Yin spirit stones entitles you to an additional draw’ or ‘make a one-time recharge of 50 billion Yin spirit stones to another shot at the lottery’...”
You’re absolutely wicked!
Oda Nobunaga clammed up as he stared dumbfounded at King Yanluo’s new confidante.
He had entered King Yanluo’s inner circle silently and furtively, and word on the grapevine had that he was recommended by King Yanluo himself. Oda Nobunaga had initially thought he was merely a Bronze-ranker, yet to think that he turned out to be a Challenger in disguise!
“Well said. It looks like those days of mobile gaming wasn’t lost on you after all.” Qin Ye gave Wang Chenghao a look of approbation, before tapping the table gently as he continued where Wang Chenghao left off, “We’ll have to ensure a perfect debut of our products. But since we don’t have a design institution, we’ll need a physical template to work with. Arti, I plan to work with one of the classic armors that have yet to even be released to the old Hell, or perhaps that which has only just been released. Either ways, it has to be something that the twelve envoys don’t know about.”
“Where am I supposed to get these things for you…” Arthis looked as though she still didn’t quite buy Qin Ye’s idea.
“No, you’ve got the means to do so.” Qin Ye smiled faintly, “Blight vermins are densest where there are divine molts, aren’t they?”
Qin Ye’s smile deepened, “Then, the walls surrounding Fengdu Necropolis shouldn’t contain any divine molts, should it? I recall seeing the walls standing tall back when we last returned to Fengdu Necropolis.”
Arthis nodded, before promptly shooting to her feet and gasping aloud, “You’re suggesting…”
“City guards.” Qin Ye smiled treacherously like a malicious ghost, “How could there be no city guards stationed around the entire length of walls surrounding the most important parts of Hell? The city walls extend for thousands and thousands of miles, and each segment of the wall is further fortified with several towers. There must be a variety of armors to pick and choose from, ranging from the most basic ones issued to Netherworld Operatives all the way to those only befitting of Infernal Judges! There may be blight vermin, but it would never be densely packed! I’m most certain that there wouldn’t be any issues for you to retrieve a dozen sets of armor all at once!”
“Furthermore…” He waved his hand, and a Qiankun Pouch opened up in the air. A scroll flew out and unraveled itself, revealing a picture of a magnificent set of armor. Everyone immediately stared intently at it.
“I was previously looking through the old Hell’s legacy, and I happened to chance upon a gorgeous set of armor that looks mighty and powerful, and its defensive capabilities are top of the line. Most importantly… it doesn’t need Yin talismans for its production, and its production method isn’t complicated either. The set of armor you see shows the old Hell’s latest and greatest work to date. Better still…”
“A thousand sets of these have just been issued to the city defense army, right before Ksitigarbha ascended into paradise.”
“It’s called Tigerform.” He stared at the set of battle armor with an impassioned gaze, “It’s practically a godsend in our arms-dealing endeavors! All you need to do is to retrieve a single set of this. And then, you can watch as I pry open the wallets of the twelve envoys!”
Everyone stared at the armor with flickering eyes. Oda Nobunaga’s eyes were even growing bloodshot. After all, he could see from the production design diagrams that the armor itself was truly top of the line!
It was a tyrannical armament!
As a former daimyo, he asked himself whether he could resist the allure of such a fantastic set of armor.
The answer was a resounding, “No.”
Naturally, he believed that others would react in the same manner as well!
“Great stuff…” His voice trembled with excitement as he ran his finger softly over the diagram, “How amazing… truly… These exquisite designs will give its wearer an edge over their opponents on the battlefield! That’s right, we’ve got the Black Armored Troops. If we arm them with these and have them perform a thing or two… I can almost guarantee that the twelve envoys will fall head over heels in love with these in an instant!”
Arthis immediately left without saying another word.
Likewise, Oda Nobunaga soon took his leave. Arthis’ expedition wasn’t going to be easy, and it was going to take at least two to three days.
With that, Qin Ye and Wang Chenghao were the only two remaining back in the annex hall. Qin Ye twirled a pen in his hand and glanced at Wang Chenghao, “Is there anything you want to say to me?”
He wasn’t lying when he said that he wanted to groom Wang Chenghao and give him a stage to unleash his full potential.
After all, Qin Ye subscribed to the notion that there were no fools in this world, only inexperienced people. He believed in nurture over nature. Even if he wasn’t able to achieve much right now, would he truly remain the same after three hundred years, given the right opportunities?
Wang Chenghao scratched his head and responded thoughtfully, “But, Brother Qin, what you’re doing… is no different from a typical luxury good marketing practice. Have you ever considered what might happen if the twelve envoys are already used to these things? Do you think they’d fall for the allure of these practices?”
Qin Ye glanced at Wang Chenghao with some measure of satisfaction. His decision to groom Wang Chenghao hadn’t been borne out of a surge of emotions or mere irrationality. Rather… it was because he was presently surrounded by “ancient people”, Arthis and Oda Nobunaga included.
The differences in their paradigms were practically separated by an invisible wall.
A wall that was built upon modernization of thought and psychology.
Some things were best done with a traditional mindset but with a modern approach. After all, such moments of synergy could cause sparks to fly and fires to ignite, just like right now.
Thus, he needed a modern person whom he could personally trust.
“Of course… I can’t be sure.” Qin Ye smiled faintly as he picked up a sheet of paper from the table, “Thus, I’ve prepared this.”
Wang Chenghao received it from Qin Ye, and his eyes widened in an instant, “Holy shit… You’re out of your mind… You should have been a game developer… Your talents are completely wasted here!”