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Chapter 115: Lin Beifan: Don’t Bully Honest People!
“This minister objects!”
Qian Yuanshen, the Minister of Revenue, stood up and said loudly, “Your Majesty, I oppose it. The funding required by Sir Lin is too large. Once allocated, it will undoubtedly affect the balance of the national treasury and have far-reaching consequences, even shaking the foundation of the country. I absolutely disagree!”
Lin Beifan remained calm, saying, “Sir Qian, it is true that the required funding is substantial! However, if we can research and develop high-yield hybrid rice, it will solve the food problem for tens of millions of people! It will enable people to live and work in peace and make the Great Wu regime more stable. Its benefits will last for generations! Compared to that, 10 million taels of research funding is not much!”
Qian Yuanshen’s face twitched.
Do you have the audacity to say that 10 million taels is not much?
Did you previously indulge yourself in the Ministry of Industry and develop an insatiable appetite?
“If spending 10 million taels can research and develop high-yield hybrid rice, solving the food problem for tens of millions of ordinary people, it is indeed very worthwhile! But what if it fails? What if it fails, and these 10 million taels go down the drain? Can you bear this responsibility, Sir Lin?” Qian Yuanshen rebuked.
Lin Beifan remained calm, saying, “Sir Qian, your words are too harsh! Previously, you said that I couldn’t research and develop a flying celestial balloon, but haven’t I accomplished that? So, there is hope for hybrid rice, isn’t there?”
“What happened before is in the past, and now is now!” Qian Yuanshen became excited. “Sir Lin, you were able to develop a flying celestial balloon, realize the dream of flight, and enhance national power. Both I and the people of the whole country appreciate your contribution!”
“But a flying celestial balloon and hybrid rice are completely different matters! Throughout history, countless sages have researched the food problem, but how many have succeeded? None, not a single one! Can you guarantee that you will definitely succeed?” Qian Yuanshen argued.
“Of course, I can!” Lin Beifan confidently declared. “I am willing to enter into a written agreement. If I fail to research and develop high-yield hybrid rice within two years, all the expenses spent will be returned to the national treasury, with interest calculated!”
“Sir Lin, even if you have the determination and ability, our national treasury doesn’t have that much money! All the funds in the treasury have already been allocated and there is simply no way to squeeze out 10 million taels! Therefore, I…”
Qian Yuanshen bowed to the Empress: “I object to Minister Lin’s proposal!”
Minister of Personnel Gao Tianyao stood up and said, “I also object!”
Minister of Industry Wang Rushui also stood up and said, “I also object!”
The other officials all stood up, and none of them agreed.
Even the Empress wasn’t entirely in agreement; 10 million taels was truly too much!
10 million taels already accounted for 1/10 of the national treasury, which could be used to undertake a massive project or even launch a war involving millions of people. It couldn’t be easily allocated.
If you applied for one or two million taels, she might reluctantly agree.
But 10 million taels was unacceptable!
“Sir Lin, you’re asking for too much. Can you reduce the amount?” she said.
“Alright then! I understand the difficulties faced by Your Majesty and the officials, so how about I take 5 million for now! The remaining 5 million can be paid next year!” Lin Beifan said with hopeful eyes.
Everyone was infuriated and speechless!
What difference does it make from directly asking for 10 million?
And you understand our difficulties?
If you truly understood, you wouldn’t make such a request!
What a despicable person!
The Empress said with dissatisfaction, “What I meant was, just ask for one or two million. 10 million really can’t be done!”
“But with less than 10 million, it’s really impossible to conduct the research!” Lin Beifan felt wronged.
I’m about to produce the hybrid rice that will benefit the nation and the people!
With this super rice, we can immediately address the food problem for tens of millions of people. It’s a great thing that can’t be bought with any amount of money!
And you offer only one or two million, is that fair?
You can’t bully honest people!
Seeing Lin Beifan’s aggrieved expression, the Empress and officials were speechless.
They made themselves seem like they were losing out!
Is earning less considered losing?
The Empress was extremely exhausted. “The national treasury really doesn’t have that much money! Let’s temporarily set aside the hybrid rice research and take it slowly. You can start researching something else, like that giant steel ship that can float on water!”
Lin Beifan nodded, “That works too, but I request a budget of 5 million!”
“The f**k!” exclaimed the Empress.
“F**k!” exclaimed the officials.
Everyone gave Lin Beifan an annoyed look.
5 million, you dare to ask for it!
“Sir Lin, you only spent 2 million on the previous project to develop the air balloon. Why do you need 5 million for the steel ship?” Minister of Industry Wang Rushui’s face twitched.
Even at my greediest, I wouldn’t dare ask for that much!
“Sir Wang, you don’t know the whole story!”
Lin Beifan chuckled. “The air balloon was actually quite easy to produce! In fact, we were able to produce 20 balloons in less than a month. The main challenge was in the research and development.
“But the steel ship is different!”
“First of all, to build a steel ship, we need a lot of steel! As we all know, steel is a very valuable material! If I want to build a ship, I first need to purchase a large amount of steel, which requires a lot of money. And then, the construction of the steel ship requires a tremendous amount of labor, which also costs a lot of money!”
“So, building a steel ship costs much more than the air balloon. 5 million is even on the low side!”
Everyone couldn’t help but nod, as it seemed to make sense. However, they still felt that he had ulterior motives.
The Empress looked at the expressions of the officials and thought to herself, “You don’t need to doubt, he definitely has ulterior motives!”
Last time, with the 2 million research budget, he managed to embezzle 1.99 million.
With this 5 million budget, he can embezzle at least 4.9 million.
You old foxes are still a bit naive compared to him.
Minister of Revenue Qian Yuanshen snorted and ignored Lin Beifan, addressing the Empress directly, “Your Majesty, 5 million is still too much. The national treasury simply doesn’t have that much money. Please consider it carefully!”
“Well, Sir Qian, how much do you think is acceptable? I can make some adjustments,” Lin Beifan said.
“At most 2 million, no more!” Qian Yuanshen snorted.
Lin Beifan sighed slightly disappointedly, “Alright, 2 million it is! Although it’s a bit less money, I can barely develop a water-based weapon!”
Qian Yuanshen instantly regretted it, feeling like he gave too much!
This cunning fox!
“Sir Lin, don’t get too excited yet!”
Qian Yuanshen sneered, “Let’s be clear from the beginning. If you use funds from the national treasury, which involves the foundation of the country, there is no room for failure! If you spend this money and fail to produce anything, what crime should you be held accountable for?”
“Then let’s set a three-month limit!” Lin Beifan declared loudly.
“If within three months, I still can’t produce the desired result, I will return the 2 million to the national treasury as promised!”
“Agreed! It’s a deal! Your Majesty and all officials, please bear witness!” Qian Yuanshen saluted.
Thus, Lin Beifan managed to scrape together 2 million from the national treasury. Although it was a little less, money is still money.
He now aspired to move up to the next level, which required a significant amount of money. He could only constantly seek new sources of funding.
Due to his previous success in researching the flying divine artifact, the Air Balloon, Lin Beifan, now armed with new research funds, attracted a lot of attention. Everyone was curious to see what groundbreaking invention he would come up with.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Lin Beifan seemed to be living a carefree life, enjoying himself without seeming to be concerned about this matter.
In the capital city, everything appeared peaceful and prosperous, with music and dancing abound.
But beyond the capital city, there were disturbances and chaos.
Among them, a major event occurred in the region of Eastern Jiang.
A demonic cult called the Tianyi Sect suddenly emerged, causing trouble and deceiving the masses. In a short period, they managed to gather tens of thousands of common people and incite rebellion, posing a potential threat to the imperial authority.
During the court meeting, the Empress was deeply angered.
“A demonic cult that emerged out of nowhere dares to threaten Us! Currently, my imperial uncles are just watching it as a joke. If it is not promptly extinguished, it will undoubtedly destabilize the political situation! Ministers, do you have any good strategies?”
“Your Majesty, such a demonic cult can be eradicated by sending troops!”
A senior general stepped forward and respectfully said, “Please grant me 100,000 troops, and I will surely crush the Tianyi Sect and capture all the demons! We need not worry about a small cult!”
“Your Majesty, this plan must not be pursued!” an anxious junior official spoke up.
He hailed from the Eastern Jiang region and had come to report this matter.
“Why must it not be pursued?” the empress asked.
“Because the leader of the Tianyi Sect is revered as the compassionate Holy Mother, with the aspiration of saving all beings! They possess the ability to deceive people and have been manipulating the commoners to do their bidding. The commoners are ignorant and obey their commands!”
“In case of a conflict, the commoners will be the first to suffer, and this has happened more than once!”
The junior official wiped off the cold sweat from his face. “If we send troops to suppress them, it will inevitably lead to a massive bloodshed and heavy casualties! Moreover, they are all experts and would escape at the first sign of trouble!”
“Therefore, Your Majesty, this plan must not be pursued!”
The crowd was astonished. “So that’s the case! They are truly heartless!”
Even the empress was greatly troubled. “My esteemed officials, do you have any appropriate solutions?”
However, the situation was extremely tricky, and no one dared to speak up.
“Could we dispatch elite experts to carry out targeted assassinations against the members of the Tianyi Sect?” suggested an elderly courtier.
“That is a viable approach, but it would be extremely difficult!” the junior official spoke again.
“The opposing side has several innate experts, so we would need to send more than ten innate experts ourselves, and we must act swiftly! Otherwise, once they decide to escape, we won’t be able to stop them! We must prevent them from infiltrating the commoners…”
Everyone nodded with grave expressions.
The lethality of a single innate expert was tremendous!
With a simple wave of their hand, they could claim dozens or even hundreds of lives!
Swarming tactics were useless against them!
Everyone contemplated possible solutions, including the empress.
Eventually, when surveying the officials, she noticed a person swaying and dozing off, utterly uninterested.
You wretched scoundrel!
Everyone is concerned for our welfare, yet you’re idling around!
Is it only when there’s an opportunity for personal gain that you can show concern for us?
Can’t you be a little less self-centered!
Thus, the empress called out, “Sir Lin, do you have any wise suggestions?”
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