Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“So, what request do you have, Black Star of Floating Dragon?”
Han Xiao was once again seated in Rockfess’ luxurious property, but this time, it was a private meeting between the two of them. They were seated face to face with the servants serving them tea.
After a couple of pleasantries, Rockfess went straight to the point.
“My time in precious. Please let me know if you have any requests.”
Han Xiao put down his glass and leaned forward. “I shall be straightforward then. My mercenary group is the Floating Dragon’s Field Team, and we have been operating for a year and a half. It is time for my mercenary group to expand. With the prestige of Ames on my shoulders, I cannot continue to have little battles and skirmishes. Blades and Sky Ring should be the target of my Black Star Mercenary Group. The stronger the Field Team, the stronger Floating Dragon will be. Thus, I need some funds to support me. I want to build a stronghold that belongs to my mercenary group and not rent a temporary gathering point.”
His preparation plan for Version 2.0 was to expand his camp before pulling all the players from Planet Aquamarine into his mercenary group during the Mutation Disaster. Both Godora and DarkStar would be his competitors, and Han Xiao wanted to give the players a third choice. Apart from the original ‘righteous’ and ‘evil’ path, Han Xiao wanted to provide the path of ‘neutral’.
As such, there was a huge problem that he faced. In order to contain thousands or millions of players, the size of his camp would have to be greatly increased. If not, he would not be able to attract new members.
The most important factor to attract players was benefits. Even if Bun-Hit-Dog’s program was able to brainwash a large number of spectators to be attracted to mercenary groups, it would be difficult to sustain their interest for a long time. Thus, it was key for him to provide players with missions and resources. With regards to this, Han Xiao already had a plan. He had created the mercenary group so that he could be the middleman to distribute the missions and form the bridge between the players and clients. At the same time, he would be able to borrow the almost endless mission resources to groom his own faction and keep players in his camp while building up the reputation of his mercenary group.
Apart from taking advantage of the mercenary groups, he also intended to make use of NPC resources to bring him more benefits.
Other than the resources given by missions, another important point was the special produce of a faction. On top of attracting investments, class knowledge, and skills, producing machinery would be his specialty. However, it would be impossible for him to fulfil a large order alone, and he had to consider the problem of mass production. He needed to form his own assembly line and build a factory of his own. With his current knowledge and skill, he would be able to just about create an assembly line.
Thus, the second problem would surface. Where should he place the assembly line? After accepting so many players, his mercenary group would need a large, fixed gathering point that was akin to his faction’s Main City. If not, he would not be able to incite a sense of belonging in all the players. Only after building up his own Main City would his forces look like a proper army. However, the location, security, resources, and functions of this gathering point were all problems.
As such, the third problem surfaced—transport! With the members under his charge exploding in numbers, going out on missions would be a problem. It would be ridiculous for the players to rent a ship whenever they wanted to travel, and it was not beneficial to attracting the players to his Main City. He needed to have a spaceship that belonged to his faction. If not, he needed to come to a long-term agreement with some Galactic Travel Agencies.
These were only the fundamental problems, and there were still many more little problems that he would face along the way, such as finding a stable supplier for materials, contacting a construction company, and so on. Expanding his faction was akin to expanding the operations of a company. If he wanted to expand his scope of influence, he had to prepare many things in large quantities, and that all required money.
Together with the reward from Nagakin, Han Xiao had about 500,000 Enas left. After a series of calculations, Han Xiao truly found his entire wealth to be pretty pathetic, and his heart would ache if he had to fork out the expenses required for his faction to expand. Thus, he decided to meet Rockfess and talk to him about the matter of investment.
“Expanding the scale of the Field Team…” Rockfess’ eyes narrowed. “Is this Ames’ order?”
“You should understand that Ames would never bother about such affairs,” Han Xiao replied. “I am the one in charge of the Field Team, and this is my own plan.”
“I knew that it wasn’t her idea,” Rockfess said with a smile that did not seem like a smile. “How much money do you want?”
“How much are you willing to give?” Han Xiao threw the question back.
Rockfess immediately changed the subject. “Up until now, I have provided nine sponsorships to Floating Dragon, a total of about 24,000,000, and this will not be the final figure. I intend to keep sponsoring Floating Dragon. Jenny and I can be considered old acquaintances, and the benefits that she brings me are the reason that I will not waver in my investment. Enjoying the prestige of Ames, I am able to earn a profit that is to my satisfaction.”
After saying those words, he kept quiet and looked at Han Xiao with a smile, obviously waiting for Han Xiao to say what sort of benefits he could provide.
Through investing in Floating Dragon, he gained the acknowledgement of Jenny and enjoyed a portion of Ames’ influence. He then borrowed the influence for political activities or negotiations. It was equivalent to exchanging his investment for influence and to use influence to make money. The amount of money that he was able to make definitely exceeded his initial investment. Such returns could only be gained if he invested in the headquarters of Floating Dragon. Why should he make an investment in Floating Dragon’s Field Team? Furthermore, this was Han Xiao’s personal plan. He would only provide money if it was Ames’ plan; Black Star did not command such respect.
Han Xiao smiled and suddenly said, “I believe that you have my information in your hands. If that’s the case, you should know that I have a bunch of undying warriors under me.”
“Yes.” Rockfess nodded. “I have also noticed that they are not with you right now.”
“They are natural born mercenaries, and their numbers far exceed your imagination. I know all of them, and expanding my mercenary group also includes expanding my numbers. I do not need to hire any other mercenaries on the market. With your investment, I will be able to rapidly expand my forces and become a large mercenary group. At that time, I will give you satisfactory benefits. Even if you have Jenny’s approval, you will require the appearance of Floating Dragon’s troops to help you persuade the other party at times, right? What about a large mercenary group willing to accept your private hire at no cost?”
Han Xiao selectively revealed some details of his plans. In order to persuade others to invest, he would naturally have to paint a picture of the possible benefits. While the stock market existed in Galaxy, a mercenary group was far from entering it. Thus, he naturally did not have the right to gain something without risking anything of his own.
He was not afraid of revealing the existence of players. The players would enter the galaxy eventually, and they would then be exposed to everyone. Since Galaxy was currently going through an update, even if he told Rockfess some information, the other party would not be able to do a thing because it was impossible to find any players for the time being!
This was his new plan. Allowing the NPCs to recognize the potential of players and attract their investments.
At that moment, he was only testing his idea to see the feasibility of his plan.
Rockfess fell into deep thought and did not say a word. Han Xiao’s suggestion did indeed interest him. Helping Floating Dragon build up their Field Team might be a good plan. While Black Star was a member of Floating Dragon, he did not trust Black Star enough to invest without any worries.
Han Xiao thought that he would have to wait for a long time. However, Rockfess made a decision less than ten seconds later.
“I will not invest.”
“What a pity.” Han Xiao shook his head. “You missed out on an investment that could bring you endless benefits.”
At that time, Rockfess added, “However, I can give you a loan. 4,000,000 Enas and a three-year limit. On account of Floating Dragon, I will give you a simple interest plan. If you return the money within a month, I will not charge you any interest. Paying me back after one year and before two years, I will charge you a ten percent interest. More than two years and before three years, twenty percent interest. Above three years, forty percent interest. These are my conditions.”
Han Xiao’s mouth twitched. This interest rate was truly explosive. If he exceeded three years, it was enough to make his pants explode. It was no different from borrowing from loan sharks at that rate. Furthermore, this was on account that he belonged to Floating Dragon. If not, it would have been impossible for Rockfess to lend him any money.
Being rich is truly…
“Alright, I agree.”
Han Xiao nodded. He was not worried about paying back the loan. Version 2.0 would be launched within a year. As long as the players returned, Han Xiao would probably count money to the point that his brain would cramp!
Not to mention returning the loan, even if he wanted to buy the whole Noriosse financial group… cough cough, he still would not be able to afford it.
Rockfess took out his communicator and sent him a contract. With both parties signing their names, the contract became legally binding. In the majority of the civilizations, this contract would be protected by the law. In his previous life, there had been a few guilds that did not wish to repay their debts. This had caused their Favorability to plummet with all these civilizations, and their upper limit of Favorability with those factions was set to 2,999 points. It meant that they would never be able to reach the level of [Respect]. On top of that, their personal Trust level was also reduced, and they would not be able to borrow again. In serious cases, they even ended up as fugitives.
If a guild wanted to take out a loan, it required a great deal of effort to raise the Favorability with a faction. If they did not return the money, it was akin to throwing away all of that Favorability. Any guilds with foresight would never permit such an action, which was akin to shooting themselves in the foot.
Han Xiao did not have the intention to do so either.
Han Xiao received a notification of an incoming transfer. Taking a glance, the amount of Enas in his savings increased to 4,581,010.
Rockfess had given him the money without any fuss. For a wealthy merchant who would spend 7,000,000 Enas to buy an accessory, such a small investment was nothing to him.
However, to Han Xiao, this was a large sum of money.
“Let’s work well together.”
Standing up, Han Xiao shook Rockfess’ hand and left the luxurious property under the lead of the butler. He returned directly to the inn, where Herlous and the others were waiting. After supervising Sylvia’s homework for a while, he went back to his room.
I was really able to get an investment. If seems like the influence of a faction is truly greater than I thought. With money on hand, I only need to choose a place, and I will be able to construct a large camp. Er… which planet would be better? It cannot be too far away from Planet Aquamarine but has to be tightly connected to the galaxy…
Du du du…
Just when he was in thought, his communicator rang, and Head Butler Jenny called. Her expression was unfriendly, and she immediately interrogated Han Xiao when he picked up the call.
“Rockfess already informed me that you sought a loan from him. Why didn’t you inform me beforehand?”
“Jenny, would you have agreed?”
“Don’t call me Jenny, you should call me Head Butler. And, of course, I don’t agree.” Jenny’s tone was strict. She had never believed in expanding, and setting up a Field Team was an unnecessary expenditure to her in the first place. Ames would never require a powerful army.
“Then why should I tell you?” Han Xiao replied. He understood Jenny’s personality. She was an individual who wanted extremely tight control of business and finances. She would never agree to the expansion of the Field Team. While they belonged to the same faction, there were clashes in their ideals and responsibilities.
Of course, the main reason was because Jenny did not trust him enough. After all, he was a mercenary who had joined Floating Dragon midway.
“I command you to return the loan,” Jenny said in a tone that brooked no argument. “Without my permission, you are not allowed to accept any form of funds!”