Chapter 340: The Final Sprint (2)

Qin Ye gasped deeply. Although he already knew that the set of armor produced using the blight vermin carapace as a base material couldn’t be poor by any means, he had never expected it to draw such high praise, even from experts in these fields!

Oda Nobunaga was a warlord, and his assessment of the armor couldn’t be far off. Zhao Seven was a captain who was habitually sent to the frontlines of battlefields. Their unanimous affirmation of this set of armor meant that the final and most important preparatory work leading up to the upcoming imperial court meeting was finally complete!

Qin Ye fully appreciated the fact that danger and opportunity were two sides of the same coin. The upcoming imperial court meeting was a delicate situation where Hell simply had to rise to the occasion and display a good showing of force. It was to make Hell’s presence known throughout the East Continent, and keep the twelve envoys in their places. Yet despite the precariousness of the situation, Qin Ye was able to see beyond the crisis, to the potentials of trade routes, profitability and the overall big picture with great objectivity.

That said, he knew that it wasn’t going to be easy to convince the twelve envoys to transact with him. For that, he would need leverage - one which lay in benefits, otherwise known as armaments!

Premium armaments!

Armaments that only Hell could manufacture and produce!

He cleared out the numerous threads of considerations in his mind and ran his finger across the New Tigerform Battle Armor with great emotion. Now that the centerpiece of his preparatory work was in place, he could finally rest at ease. With that, there was only one final piece to the puzzle which remained!

“I’m truly looking forward to it…” He sighed and retracted his hand, “I’m already eagerly anticipating your arrival…”

Just then, Su Dongxue walked over with small, dainty steps, holding a stack of documents in her arms, “My lord, Mr Li Jixi has returned with the survey forms from the various underworlds.”

Speak of the devil!

Qin Ye’s eyes glistened. The final piece of the puzzle was none other than the returned survey forms!

He immediately received it with great excitement. Incidentally, the survey form right at the top of the stack was filled out by none other than Chaghan, Lord of the Bamboo Region.

“What is your preferred mode of communication? B: Messenger bird.” His heartbeat accelerated, and he licked his lips as he read on.

“What is the preferred mode of entertainment in your fiefdom? He didn’t fill this one out. The options given were A: LOL. B: Mahjong. C: Naruto. D: Patty. In other words, his answer wouldn’t have been any of the above…” His crafty, cunning eyes curled up brightly, and a crooked smile crept up the corner of his lips, “Question 3: What is your favourite brand and fashion style? A: Tang style. B: Ming style. C: Armani. D: Paul Smith. Still no response? Ah! That’s right! There wasn’t the option of Yuan Dynasty style.”

“... Question 5: If Hell were to conduct Olympic Games, which event would you participate in? No response.”

“... Question 12: How well do you understand electricity? If Hell were supported by the infrastructure of electricity, which electronic appliance or amenities do you find to be of greatest importance? A: Computer. B: Cellphone. C: Television. D: Movies. … No response!”

“... Question 20: If Hell were to kickstart the entertainment industry, which type of television series do you hope Hell would focus on? A: Science fiction. B: Xianxia. C: Wuxia. D: Family friendly. … No response!”

He read on quickly and soon arrived at the final, twenty-fifth question, only to realize there was still no response. Furthermore, there were a few words written at the end in striking red ink.

“I have no idea what you’re trying to do!!”

Very good… Qin Ye could practically hear his heart thumping out of his chest. Chaghan… I sincerely hope you don’t regret these callous words of yours at the imperial court meeting later on.

Was Qin Ye infuriated?

Not at all!

He crushed the piece of paper in his hands into a ball and chuckled coldly to himself, “You’ve only answered five questions, yet you dare to stir the ire of the new King Yanluo of Hell? How ignorant. How foolish.”

Without hesitation, he picked up the second sheet of paper and looked at it.

It was the response of the Lord of Jiaozhi, Gao Changgong.

He had responded to at least ten questions, far more than the previous questionnaire that Qin Ye had just skimmed through. However… it still wasn’t enough!

At least, not to Qin Ye!

Rustle, rustle, rustle… One by one, Qin Ye looked through each and every one of the survey forms that were returned to him. Then, when he finally got to the response from the Lord of Licchavi, he paused for a moment.

“Your Majesty was ordained by the heavens, and carries the weight of the world on your shoulders, so how can you indulge in such trivialities and frivolity?!”

He didn’t respond to a single question.

Rustle… After going through each and every survey form that was returned, Qin Ye finally raised his hands, instantly setting the stack of papers ablaze and reducing them to ashes in just an instant. Then, he finally shut his eyes and got lost in his own thoughts. The excitement in his heart right now even caused his eyelids to tremble slightly.

The results were far better than he could have ever imagined!

“Only a single person responded to every single question in the survey form, and that’s none other than the Lord of Tangming, Zhou Gongjin. Four envoys filled out half of the form, while six envoys responded to five or less questions. And then there’s the nil response from the Lord of Licchavi, Yu Qian…” After some time, he finally opened his eyes, fervently suppressing the overwhelming ecstasy in his heart as he began to speak lyrically, “Have you heard of the third industrial revolution?”[1]

Arthis and Nobunaga shook their heads at the same time.

They couldn’t wrap their minds around how these seemingly unimportant pieces of paper could actually divert Qin Ye’s attention away from the amazing New Tigerform Battle Armor. Why does King Yanluo appear to view these sheets of paper as something of equal importance, if not more? Why does he treasure these responses so much?

Qin Ye turned around, and his eyes glinted with confidence as he smiled faintly at them, “It began in 1970, and it saw the advent of electronics, televisions, computers and cellphones… It brought us out of the age of energy proliferation and sent us hurtling straight into the age of information. In other words, we transitioned from televisions into networks of computers and the internet in just twenty-odd years. Do you think this movement merely represents the addition of one type of resource to the list of many? No! This is the age of information explosion! You can’t begin to fathom how fearsome societal progress has been these last twenty years if you haven’t personally experienced life in the mortal realm in recent times.”

“The exchange of information on all fronts have resulted in a frenzy of growth in all walks of life, be it industries, technology, the arts and culture, and even personal experiences. And it’s a phenomenon that pervades every aspect of society, whether on the macro level or the micro level. And what have these feudal officials been doing all this while?”

He gazed into the distance and snorted contemptuously, “They’ve been busy butting heads with the three daolords in a desperate struggle for territory! They’ve been trying so hard with the sole intention of getting back into the old Hell in order to seize Hell’s legacy! And the only other thing they’ve been doing is to look internally to cultivate their own forces!”

Both Arthis and Oda Nobunaga stared back at Qin Ye with a bright flicker in their eyes. Several loose strands of information in their minds had slowly begun to come together like a neat little kaleidoscope. Qin Ye’s insightful remarks have given them the basis for constructing these thoughts into one unified notion.

And this single unified notion was none other than the notion of information inequality.

But, what exactly did that mean?

They didn’t know. Isn’t this simply going to be a conference of sorts? What’s most important is still the product that is the set of battle armor, isn’t it? What else could we possibly achieve with a mere conference?

Almost as though he could read the bewilderment in their minds, Qin Ye turned around and began to walk out of the room slowly, “Come. You’ve been working in your respective offices and roles over the last six months. But, there are certain things that will only be apparent when you take a step back and look at the big picture from a bird’s eye view.”

Arthis and Oda Nobunaga glanced at each other, and immediately followed behind Qin Ye.

Moments later, they walked out of Hell’s Gate, only to notice that a magnificent and tasteful building had already been erected at the side of Hell’s Gate.

It was completely different from the usual ancient styled building in the vicinity. This was something that looked no different from the citizens’ assembly halls back in the mortal realm. That said, the present building was far smaller. The entire structure was constructed with white pillars. Qin Ye walked right up to its luxurious mahogany doors and pushed on it. Oda Nobunaga’s eyes brightened up immediately, “This is…”

The door opened up.

There were rows after rows of seats arranged in tiers within the building. Countless Yin spirits from Yin Construction were putting on the final touches on the interior of the hall.

The interior of the building was semi-circular, with a ten-meter wide platform taking center stage. Like a wide basin, the stage was located in the lowest part of the whole room, while the stairs rose from the centre of the D-shaped hall until it reached the highest point of the building, located on the circumference of the arced walls.

It was new and novel.

It was nothing like they had ever seen before!

But if Wang Chenghao were here, the design of the building would most certainly have been met with disdain. After all, wasn’t this structure no different from the tiered lecture halls back from the First Academy of Cultivators? The only difference was that it was a slightly more upmarket and luxurious version of it.

Fortunately, the one here was Oda Nobunaga. To him, this building was constructed in a completely different style. It was shocking to him, both in terms of culture, and as well as experience! That feeling was just like when Cathayans went overseas for the first time, or when foreigners entered Cathay for the first time.

As Oda Nobunaga looked over, both the astonishment in his heart and the curiosity in his mind only continued to grow. The auditorium was small, yet it was incredibly gorgeous!

The entire east continent, save for Hindustan, had influences from Cathay. Nippon was no exception to this. Thus, he understood the magnificence of Cathayan structures. But, even then, the kind of luxury displayed in this auditorium was completely different from the kind that he knew of the Cathayan architecture.

The walls on both sides were adorned with relief sculptures.[2] This was a style that had never been seen in ancient Cathay. After all, ancient Cathayan architecture was largely centered around the use of wood, and its designs tend to be atmospheric and elegant. Yet the decors in this building exuded a completely different kind of magnificence that he was used to, and the key to all of this lay in the marvelous relief sculptures that ran down the hallways in the building. It was almost as though they were transported to a corridor of myths and legends.

Luxury permeates every corner of this place… Oda Nobunaga reeled in shock for some time, before finally coming back to his senses.

A particular notion was already at his fingertips, and yet he didn’t quite manage to grasp it in hand.

“While you’ve been working, I’ve arranged for several musicians to prepare piano pieces and percussive performances, and even sorted out the personnel for the event. In fact, I’ve even crafted and vetted through the speeches of the hosts, and even trained them on how they are to hold themselves during the event… Perhaps you might think there’s not much to it.” Qin Ye smiled faintly, “But the shock that you’re experiencing is the confluence of different world views, different aesthetics, and different cultures. Language, architecture and performances… all of these things carry nuances and little subtleties that come together to form something that we call… civilization.”

“In other words, we’re showing the twelve envoys a completely different culture despite being of the same heritage. Think about it. What happens when a person who has immersed himself in the ancient Cathayan culture for thousands of years sees the majestic pyramid for the very first time? The kind of shock and amazement is far more impactful than you could ever imagine.”

He paused for a moment, before adding, “And that’s not all. Whether the venue, the performances, the activities, and even the music, everything has been rehearsed time and again over the last three months, until every single crinkle and crease has been ironed out perfectly. I want the launch of our armament to set a whole new benchmark. It’s almost going to be a whole new ritual! I want them to feel that they’re being spoilt over here. I want them to experience a whole new level of indulgence and enjoyment. I want them to feel that rush of adrenaline and that surge of ecstasy. I want to give them the impression that each and every launch of a new product from Hell is akin to a groundbreaking event, and the party that lands the deal on each product would have their names etched into the annals of history forever! This way, they wouldn’t feel like their expenditure is in vain when they happily fork out copious amounts of money to us.”

Arthis froze in shock. Her mind spun, and she immediately connected the dots, “Are you talking about… the luxury stores in the mortal realm? And those ancient premium luxury restaurants?”

“Exactly!” Qin Ye snapped his fingers, “We’re not simply selling a product to them. We’re going to be charging them the auction fees, the venue fees, the service fees, and so on and so forth. However, we’ve got to make them feel like what they’re getting is worth every cent that they’ve spent! That this is basically the true cost of such premium luxury goods. And the upcoming launch of the New Tigerform is going to be the first premium good to be launched in the history of all underworlds!”

Bzzt!

Oda Nobunaga finally grasped it. It was almost as though a ray of enlightenment had been shone straight into his mind.

He finally understood. He finally understood it! That said, it still astounded him that a simple launch event could be used to achieve such incredulous ends!

Furthermore, this tied in perfectly with the concept of premium armaments that they were trying to brand Hell with. No… in fact, it could be said that what Qin Ye was doing would completely redefine the entire category of premium luxury goods! It simply accentuated the luxurious charms of these goods!

Everything from beginning to end would be undergirded by top-quality service...He swept his gaze about the auditorium, taking in every bit of the new culture he could see… And then, he shook his head helplessly.

Even his own adrenal glands were soaring.

Suppressing the deep admiration in his heart, he cupped his hands respectfully to Qin Ye, “Lord Qin, what do you call this masterstroke?”

“This is called advanced marketing science. Or, you could simply call it… a dimensional strike.” Qin Ye’s eyes blazed with passion, and he licked his lips avariciously, “I’m crushing the existing two-dimensional feudal lords with a whole new dimension of reality. With this… I’m confident of taking them down and reining them in completely!”


1. The third industrial revolution brought forth the rise of electronics, telecoms, and computers.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter