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Chapter 133: In terms of greed, I would proclaim him the strongest!
The person in front of him is Wang Fugui, a trusted confidant of the Prince of Southern Jiang.
Previously, he had represented the Prince of Southern Jiang in contacting Lin Beifan and spent five million taels of silver to obtain the method of manufacturing defective hot air balloons from him.
At this moment, the other party, with a big belly, hurried over.
With a flattering smile on his face, he nodded and bowed, saying, “Of course, it’s all thanks to Director Lin’s support! Oops, look at me speaking out of turn… I should address you as Mr. Principal! Congratulations on your promotion. Becoming a Principal before the age of 20 is truly unprecedented. You will definitely be remembered in history and leave a lasting legacy!”
Lin Beifan laughed heartily, “Mr. Wang, you really know how to flatter! If you have more to say, I’m all ears!”
“Alright then! Since Principal Lin likes it, let me say a few more words!” Wang Fugui smiled broadly. “To congratulate your promotion and becoming a historical figure, I have prepared a sumptuous feast. I wonder if Principal Lin would honor us with your presence?”
“I would be delighted!” Lin Beifan replied with a smile.
The two of them arrived at a luxurious restaurant.
The restaurant had been booked exclusively by Wang Fugui, catering specifically to their needs.
The table was filled with various delicacies and exquisite wines, which made Lin Beifan thoroughly enjoy his meal.
Wang Fugui even arranged for a songstress to perform, specially brought in from Southern Jiang, adding to the delightful atmosphere.
During the course of eating and drinking, Wang Fugui frequently toasted and flattered incessantly. It must be said that he truly lived up to his reputation as a businessman. His words were incredibly sweet, almost making Lin Beifan feel light-headed.
This meal, Lin Beifan enjoyed it very much.
This is the kind of day corrupt officials should enjoy!
With that, after three rounds of drinks and five flavors of dishes.
Wang Fugui finally dismissed everyone and then raised his glass, sitting close to Lin Beifan, with a smile on his face, he said, “Principal Lin, are you satisfied with the food?”
“Very satisfied, thank you, Boss Wang, for the treat!” Lin Beifan held up his wine glass, smiling and saying, “Boss Wang, what brings you here this time? Can you tell me now?”
The other person moved closer and whispered, “I believe Director Lin already guessed the purpose of my visit! I came here this time for the imperial watercraft, the hovercraft!”
Wang Fugui further explained, “A few days ago, Principal Lin, you invented the second national treasure, the hovercraft! It is said that this ship is low-cost and easy to manufacture, but it can carry a large amount of food and troops, greatly enhancing the strength of the imperial navy! His Highness was very pleased to hear about it and hopes that you can share the manufacturing method of the hovercraft! His Highness will surely reward you generously!”
While Lin Beifan held the wine glass and tasted the wine, he hesitated and said, “Boss Wang, I am honored to serve His Highness! However, what you’re asking for is a matter of life and death! You must understand that the previous leakage of the aerial divine artifact, the giant air balloon, caused great anger in the court and resulted in the execution of a group of people…”
He repeated the explanations given to Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai, as well as the arguments presented to the Prince of Northern Hebei.
In the end, he shook his head firmly and said, “So, this is something that absolutely cannot be done. Please find another way.”
Wang Fugui forced a bitter smile and said, “I know it’s very difficult for you, Principal Lin! But the His Highness has emphasized multiple times that we must obtain the method for manufacturing the air-cushion ship! If we can’t retrieve it, I will lose my head. So, Principal Lin, please understand! You can absolutely trust that once the task is accomplished, you will be rewarded generously.”
At this moment, Lin Beifan finally relented and said, “I understand the difficulties you and His Highness face! Here’s my proposal: if you can meet my conditions, I will hand over the method for manufacturing the air-cushion ship to you.”
“Principal Lin, please speak!” Wang Fugui responded.
Lin Beifan raised five fingers and said, “5 million taels! If you can provide me with 5 million taels, I will give you the method for manufacturing the air cushion ship!”
“What? 5 million taels!” Wang Fugui widened his eyes in shock. “Principal Lin, that’s too much! You should know that the method for creating the flying divine artifact, the Air Balloon, is only 5 million taels! The air cushion ship is just a ship, yet you’re demanding 5 million taels. This… this is really unreasonable. His Highness will never agree!”
“It’s good if he doesn’t agree. I was afraid of having money with no way to spend it!” Lin Beifan said happily.
Wang Fugui realized that the other party deliberately made an exorbitant demand to politely refuse their request to him and the prince.
“Principal Lin, can you lower the amount a bit? How about 3 million?” Wang Fugui asked, hoping for some flexibility.
Lin Beifan shook his head without hesitation. “Don’t even think about it! I’m truly risking my life this time. I won’t settle for anything less!”
Wang Fugui became conflicted. “Principal Lin, give me some time to discuss with His Highness. Let me negotiate with him.”
“Of course, go ahead!” Lin Beifan replied.
After finishing the banquet, Wang Fugui hurriedly left with worries in his mind.
Then, two days passed without any sign of him.
It wasn’t until the third day when Wang Fugui appeared, his face filled with exhaustion.
“Principal Lin, what do you think about 4 million? Will it work?” he asked.
Lin Beifan firmly refused, “It’s still 5 million. I won’t settle for anything less than that.”
After a long while, there was still no sign of Wang Fugui.
During this period, Lin Beifan secretly contacted other vassal kings and confidential representatives from other countries.
Due to Lin Beifan’s high asking price, not less than the cost of manufacturing the Air Balloon, many people hesitated and hadn’t agreed yet.
But Lin Beifan was not in a hurry. There was only one option available, and sooner or later, he would get their money.
Meanwhile, news of this matter reached the ears of the Empress through Bai Guanyin.
The Empress was stunned, “This guy has started engaging in activities that betray the country again! I now suspect that he created the air cushion ship just to swindle money from them!”
“No need to doubt, that’s exactly it!” Bai Guanyin said with a suppressed smile. “The production of the air cushion ship requires the air bags from the Air Balloon. But their air bag manufacturing method has issues, they are not durable and prone to leaks. So even if they manage to make it, they won’t be able to use it!”
“That’s excellent!” the Empress couldn’t help but laugh. “In that case, I will lend my support to Sir Lin!”
On the second day of the morning court, the Empress announced publicly that she was preparing to deploy the new national treasure, the air cushion ship, for a military exercise on the river to demonstrate our country’s might.
Another day passed, and the Empress, accompanied by officials and the common people, arrived at the riverside outside the city.
The Empress ordered the already constructed air cushion ship to be pushed into the river.
Then, the boats were connected with iron chains, forming a massive waterborne land.
Next, the soldiers were ordered to step onto the land one by one.
On that day, this waterborne land composed of air cushion ships was filled with over ten thousand people, steadily floating to the other side.
The entire process took less than half an hour!
This scene profoundly shocked everyone!
In less than half an hour, over ten thousand soldiers could be transported to the other side!
If there were even more air cushion ships, wouldn’t it be possible to transport even more soldiers simultaneously?
It could even carry more provisions, important materials, and so on!
Truly, the air cushion ship was a formidable weapon on water!
The undercover agents, feeling the immense threat, realized that the water weapon, the air cushion ship, posed a much greater danger on the battlefield compared to the Air Balloon!
Although the Air Balloon could fly, its carrying capacity was limited, at most two people. Even if you made 100 of them, you could only transport a maximum of 200 people.
What could 200 people do?
At most, they could conduct reconnaissance, carry out small-scale surprise attacks, but their combat capabilities were limited.
In real battles, it’s all about the strength of the troops, transportation capabilities, and logistics support!
At this moment, the air cushion ship demonstrated its tremendous advantage!
It could easily connect boats with iron chains and float across the river, transporting a large number of troops and supplies!
Moreover, its transportation capacity had no upper limit!
No matter how many air cushion ships were built, they could transport as many troops and supplies as needed!
Furthermore, it was said that the cost of manufacturing air cushion ships was not expensive, and the process was not overly complex…
As a result, the military strength of the court was significantly enhanced!
If a war were to break out, the court would have a greater chance of winning!
This urgent news quickly spread back.
On the second day, Wang Fugui appeared once again in front of Lin Beifan.
Without hesitation this time, he said, “Principal Lin, His Highness has agreed. 5 million taels, give me the manufacturing method for the air cushion ship!”
Lin Beifan shook his head, “5 million is not enough, I want 6 million taels!”
Wang Fugui was bewildered, “Why are you raising the price?”
“Can you blame me? Isn’t it because of you all?”
Wang Fugui was even more puzzled, “Blame us?”
Lin Beifan felt annoyed and said, “You didn’t want to buy it for 5 million before! But now, after yesterday’s military demonstration, everyone has realized the immense value of the air cushion ship. The court is paying even closer attention. What do you expect me to do? I’m also desperate!”
Wang Fugui panicked, “Principal Lin, but we had previously agreed…”
Lin Beifan became even angrier, “Who agreed with you? I always said 5 million, and you disagreed! Now it’s 6 million, buy it or forget it if you don’t want to buy!”
Wang Fugui’s expression kept changing, and finally, he gritted his teeth, “6 million, I’ll buy it!”
And so, Lin Beifan earned an extra 1 million!
Afterward, Lin Beifan secretly met with other representatives of the vassal kings and the country.
Without exception, he raised the price for all of them!
Considering their respective financial capabilities, he increased the price by at least 500,000 and up to 2 million, and he refused to negotiate!
Now it was a seller’s market. Whether they wanted to buy it or not, he was being willful like this!
In the end, they all reluctantly accepted!
In this wave alone, Lin Beifan earned over 40 million taels!
He made even more than he did with the previous air balloons!
When Bai Guanyin saw this huge sum of money, she was stunned!
When the empress saw this huge sum of money, she was also stunned!
The empress was both shocked and delighted, yet also perplexed, “This guy is so greedy! In less than half a month, he has embezzled over 40 million, which is almost equivalent to half of the national treasury!”
Bai Guanyin remained expressionless and said, “Actually, since he took office, the amount of money he has embezzled is already equivalent to a national treasury! In terms of greed, I would proclaim him the strongest!”
The empress nodded in agreement.
“But by offending so many people and making enemies everywhere, he won’t be able to go anywhere in the future!”
The empress’s gaze softened, and she smiled, “It’s best if he can’t go anywhere! In that case, he can stay obediently in the capital and serve me! However, what I’m most eager to see now is the reaction of the other vassal kings when they realize that they have paid a fortune for the manufacturing method but can’t produce qualified air-cushion ship. I wonder what their expressions will be like?”
“It will undoubtedly be quite spectacular!” Bai Guanyin smiled.