Silver Overlord Chapter 154
After listening to Gong Tieshan’s question, Yan Dechang, who wasn’t good at conversations, hesitated for a while. He cast a glance at Yan Liqiang before he finally said, “I see Lord Gong is well-informed. I’m not really the one who came up with these kukri knives. It was my son, Liqiang, who designed the concept of these knives. I only followed the design Liqiang drew and forged them into a real thing”
“Ah, so it was Liqiang who came up with the kukri knives?”
Gong Tieshan was truly shocked. He wasn’t shocked when he knew Yan Liqiang was the youngster who saved those drowned people, nor was he appalled when he knew Yan Liqiang ranked first amongst the top three for the Martial Arts County Trial Exam at Qinghe County. However, when he heard that Yan Liqiang was able to invent such a marvelous weapon at such a young age, he was baffled. This was because from his perspective, those who were able to invent and create these sorts of knives definitely had to have invested their time in weaponry craftsmanship for dozens of years, if not a genius in the art of blades. At the same time, they were also first-class masters who possessed exceptional knowledge about blades. However, he did not expect for Yan Liqiang to be the ‘inventor’ of these kukri knives.
He shifted his scrutinizing gaze at Yan Liqiang and asked, “Could it be that Liqiang has learned the way of the blades?”
“I haven’t learned how to wield a blade, I’m learning how to wield spears!” Yan Liqiang calmly replied.
“Then how did you even think of designing this kind of kukri knife?”
Aside from Gong Tieshan, Qian Su was also somewhat curious about this question. Qian Su knew beforehand that Yan Liqiang had created this blade, but he didn’t know how he was able to create such an ingenious and wonderful knife in the first place.
Yan Liqiang smiled, “Funnily enough, it was during the past few months when I was eating a whole roasted lamb. At that time, a few big brothers from the Weaponsmiths Quarter sliced a roasted mutton leg for me, and when I held the leg with my hand by pinching the hoof, I felt a bizarre sense of inertia and strength as I swung the leg it felt smooth. At that moment, I thought to myself about forging such a blade like the mutton leg, which I can use the weight and the structure of the blade itself to achieve a greater power. After that, I referenced the mutton leg’s model and designed this knife”
His words were the very definition of ‘selling dog meat under the guise of a sheep’s head’. Just because the stature of a dog and a lamb were similar, there wasn’t much difference between the shape of a dog’s leg and mutton’s leg. Yan Liqiang had explained the design of the kukri knife based on the mutton leg instead of a dog leg, and he had connected his inspiration to the process of discovering and creating the kukri knife to the mutton leg he had eaten. There wasn’t a single flaw or mistake to nitpick from his explanation. More importantly, he really did have mutton leg at the Weaponsmiths Quarter a few months ago. Qian Su could attest to that.
Gong Tieshan was silenced by Yan Liqiang’s words for half a day. In the end, he ferociously slapped his own thighs and said with overbearing emotion, “F*ck. I have eaten mutton legs for dozens of years. Countless people have eaten a myriad of mutton legs for hundreds and thousands of years. Why hasn’t anyone thought of it yet?”
Gong Tieshan continued to stay in the Weaponsmiths Quarter until nightfall. He had a meal with Yan Liqiang and the other two, and he consumed quite a lot of wine as well. It wasn’t until he had a little bit too much that he finally returned to the Gong Barracks under the escort of a group of guards. Meanwhile, the one hundred Yan Curved Knives that Yan Liqiang and his father had given to him as a gift had already been entrusted to Qian Su to handle. He was tasked to call a few people to pack them inside the carriage and make the deliveries to the barracks.
Just when Gong Tieshan was about to leave, he grabbed Yan Liqiang’s hand and addressed him as his nephew directly, prompting Yan Liqiang to address him as Uncle Gong in return.
After sending Gong Tieshan off, Yan Liqiang, Qian Su, and Yan Dechang then returned to the living room in Qian Su’s courtyard.
“Liqiang, those one hundred kukri knives were forged with great effort during these past few months in our workshop. If we had sold them off, they would have raked in at least four hundred or so taels of silver. Why were you so generous to give them away as you pleased?”
The reason Yan Dechang came to deliver those kukri knives with delight was because he thought he could earn a sum of money. However, he didn’t expect Yan Liqiang to give away all those knives all at once. Those kukri knives costed a great deal. Though Yan Dechang didn’t say anything at that moment, he still felt pain in his heart.
“Father, drink some water and calm down” Yan Liqiang had a smile on his face as he poured a cup of water for Yan Dechang. He then stood behind Yan Dechang and gave him a shoulder massage like a good son, “Naturally, I have my own reasons for giving away those kukri knives to Commandant Gong. Father, don’t worry. Commandant Gong will definitely give us the opportunity to earn back the sum of money by tenfold or even a hundredfold before long.”
“How is that possible?” Yan Dechang turned to look at him with a certain gaze of disbelief.
“Then tell me, Father. What is the purpose of our family’s business right now?”
“Of course, it’s for the sake of earning money!” Yan Dechang spontaneously said.
“Earning money isn’t wrong. But Father, tell me, how do you earn that money”
“Well” Yan Dechang was stunned. He hadn’t really given a careful thought to this question before.
“Father, if you don’t want to say it, then I will say it. If it’s for the sake of providing for the family and making a fortune by conducting an ordinary business, then you will have to depend on your skills to earn money. The skill in terms of business will be the ability to acquire something at a low price and sell at a high price. Regardless of what you are going to sell, the price of selling the item should exceed its original cost. The difference between these two would be the profit. With the presence of profit, one will be able to earn money”
“Yes, this is the principle of doing business!” Yan Dechang nodded.
“Those who conduct businesses all have the desire to earn money. But at the end of it, at the highest level of conducting business, it is not for the sake of earning money!” Yan Liqiang smiled and continued to loosen Yan Dechang’s shoulders.
“If earning money isn’t the highest level of conducting a business, then what is?” Even Qian Su who was just drinking tea to remedy his hangover at the side couldn’t resist asking him this question, much less Yan Dechang himself.
“Earning people’s trust!” Yan Liqiang said those three words with a resolute tone. With glistening eyes, he continued, “As long as we earn their trust, making money will easily be accomplished. If we aren’t able to earn their trust, even if we do rake in a lot of money, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a good thing. In fact, that might attract misfortune instead. Just like our family now are we really short on money? Of course not. The fields and properties that our family owns in town are sufficient for us both to live our lives until old age without worrying about food or clothes, provided that the situation remains unchanged. However, that’s all there is. If something happens then, how many of those properties and fields will be useful for us? Just like the Hong Clan in the past, they were flourishing in the prospect of wealth in normal times, but when something did happen albeit just King Cobra alone it was enough to make the entire Hong Clan disappear from the town. Father, do you want us to end up like the Hong Clan?”
This was a profound perception that Yan Liqiang had acquired through his previous experience. If he hadn’t experienced the extreme pain from the incident from last time, Yan Liqiang would have never been able to think of such things. The Yan Clan that had been thriving on the ascendant suddenly became the second Hong Clan just because of the Prefectural Governor’s words. They were instantly wiped out. Those properties were nothing in the face of power and authority. Sometimes, money was useless no matter how much wealth was accumulated.
It was also at that moment that Yan Liqiang truly understood why many people said that the world’s wealthiest Rothschild family pursued influence instead of wealth when their master came to China during that time. It was their influence that had protected the world’s wealthiest family, not wealth itself. Money was just a projection that came with the family’s influence.
Besides his own martial power that had the capability to protect the Yan Clan, the influence that the Yan Clan possesses should be able to protect them as well. Moreover, the one fact he couldn’t deny was that other than the meager influence that the Yan Clan currently had over Liuhe Town, the Yan Clan was completely out of the rankings outside of Liuhe Town, even in Qinghe County. The clan was just a minor landowner.
This was why Yan Liqiang currently needed to build up the Yan Clan’s influence one step at a time after having dealt with the threats of Ye Xiao and the others. They had to learn how to earn people’s trust.
A few hundred taels of silver were nothing. If money were to be discussed seriously, the sum of wealth Yan Liqiang had obtained from the Shatu people was more than enough for him and his father to use for ten lifetimes. However, just having wealth and nothing else wouldn’t work.
As for Yan Liqiang’s question, Yan Dechang instinctively shook his head and said, “Of course not!”
“That’s right. This is why we should stress on being methodical when conducting business if we want our family to survive for a long time. Our number one priority is to earn people’s trust, followed by earning money. As long as we can earn their trust, then the money will naturally flow in. Moreover, we will be able to sustain ourselves”
Yan Dechang started to understand his words a bit, “You gave those kukri knives to Commandant Gong just to earn his trust?”
“Yes. Father, just trust my insights. Based on Commandant Gong’s behavior toward others, as long as we show him a great amount of respect today, not only are we able to establish our relationship and become friends, Commandant Gong will definitely give us a bigger surprise in the future. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been embarrassed to look for us. Just wait and see” Yan Liqiang said confidently. This was also part of the experience he had as a person who had lived two lives.
With a son like this, what else could Yan Dechang say? Yan Dechang was thoroughly convinced by Yan Liqiang’s words. His words were completely clear and he didn’t need to ache for those one hundred kukri knives anymore. “Alright, we will do what you want, Liqiang. Father will listen to you from now on!”
Aside from Yan Dechang, even Qian Su who was just beside him was truly convinced as well when he heard those words. A youth just less than fifteen years of age was able to say that the highest level of conducting a business was to earn people’s trust instead of earning money. Qian Su wondered to himself and concluded that he had truly never seen someone like this before. Aside from the fact that he was just a youth, even those people who had loitered in the markets until the age of hundred might not possess such comprehension to say those words.
“Liqiang, Uncle Qian has been living a luxurious life and has been spending money quite extravagantly. I even have to go around and prepare everything at any given time too. Even if I am able to reap a little more while assuming the position of a Quarter Master, it’s really not enough for me to spend the money. On top of that, I have to take care of so many people in the Weaponsmiths Quarter in terms of their food, their livelihoods, and the basic necessities in life. Each of them looks up to me. It’s not really that great to be a Quarter Master!” Qian Su smiled at Yan Liqiang with his squinted eyes. He then continued half-genuinely, “So Liqiang, since you were able to speak of the principles of business so impressively, could you show Uncle Qian a way to make money and allow everyone in the Weaponsmiths Quarter to gain some benefits?”
“Does the Military Governor’s Office allow the Weaponsmiths Quarter to earn money by themselves?” Yan Liqiang asked Yan Dechang a question.
“As long as it doesn’t affect the ordnance production or violate the laws and discipline in terms of criminal activity, our Weaponsmiths Quarter is able to do whatever we want!”
Yan Liqiang smiled, “I have a way of earning money here. However, this method is too easy. There aren’t many people in the Weaponsmiths Quarter. Even if I put a city or mountain of gold or silver in this place, the Weaponsmiths Quarter will never be able to use it. If you want to earn some more money, I suggest we join hands with Lu Clan and earn it together!”
“What kind of method easily earns you money?” Qian Su asked in disbelief.
“If I sell soil at the same price as coal, or perhaps a bit more than coal, what do you think of this method of earning money, Uncle Qian?”
Slightly shocked from the proposition, Qian Su then burst into laughter, “Liqiang, are you joking with me? If soil can be sold as expensive as coal, then I can simply find a hill and dig one mound of soil. By then, I will be able to acquire a mountain of gold or silver. This is nothing more than the method of turning stones into gold by the immortals in the legends, right?”
Yan Liqiang said nothing, but he smiled as he looked at Qian Su, “Ahem ahem Perhaps Uncle Qian has forgotten about how I used moxibustion on the belly button to save those drowned people in the past? I had a dream for the past few days where I met that old man with the white beard again. He told me of a method of how I can sell soil for the same price as coal…”
The smile on Qian Su’s face instantly went stiff…
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