95 (1) – Expansion
“First, before I talk about doing business in a really big way, there is one thing I need to confirm. The smuggling in Gorren City… Do you have the authority to hand that over to me completely? If so, we can do business.”
“HA! Well, my friend, As unlikely as it would be that I would voluntarily hand over my smuggling business in Gorren, without a knife pressed to my throat, rest assured I am in total control. I have the final say in all things, and I make all the decisions alone.”
“Okay, let’s talk about our future.”
After confirming Hasad’s level of authority, Sanghyuk began to talk about the important things.
“How many dimensional travels do you think will come up to the Sun Continent in the future?”
“Well…no matter how immortal they are, wouldn’t it be very hard for them to come here where they’re weak? Honestly, I didn’t believe you were a dimensional traveller at first either.” Obviously Hasad had investigated him…though not to the extent he knew everything.
Hasad’s thoughts were the same as most of the Sun People. The Sun People, at this point in time, looked down on the dimensional travellers.
“First, what you need to know is that from now on, there will be countless travellers coming up to the Sun Continent, and as time passes, the rate at which they arrive will increase.”
“Is that information correct?”
“It’s information I can bet my life on,”
“Alright, then let’s say that this is the case, what does that have to do with this big business?”
“Dimensional Travellers are ceaseless, voracious ‘consumers’. They trust in their immortality and voluntarily jump into the Land of Death (死地) and overwork themselves in their perpetual search of treasure. So they relentlessly gobble up a variety of items endlessly.”
Sanghyuk continued with his words calmly,
“What they need the most, and how to sell things to them… I’m the expert on all of those things. In the world below, I already run a huge company, specifically targeting my fellow Immortals, so I know better than anyone how to do business with dimensional travellers.”
The big business that Sanghyuk had been talking about was business aimed at dimensional travellers, in other words, Players.
In truth, there was nothing wrong with Sanghyuk’s words.
The Players themselves were a huge market.
“So you’re trying to do business aimed at dimensional travellers? That’s your big business right?”
“Just to be clear, I’m making this proposal to Hasad, not to the Camile Merchantry. How to make use of this suggestion – Hasad-nim can make the decisions yourself.”
Sanghyuk faced Hasad in a similar way to when he’d faced Bacan. The reason was that NPCs, especially NPCs of a higher grade, with more sophisticated artificial intelligences, had very similar thought patterns to humans.
And humans were basically animals of ‘greed’.
Therefore, Bacan and Hasad, who resembled humans closely, were also as full of avarice as humans. Their desire for wealth would become a great opportunity for Sanghyuk.
If they were beings who were not programmed to be obsessed with profit from the start, then Sanghyuk wouldn’t have made this proposal to them.
“And how big do you think the business can be?”
“Dimensional travellers are immortal. The power of ‘immortality’ is far greater than you can imagine. They cannot be killed permanently, so their numbers can only increase. So they will eventually spread throughout the Sun Continent and this business could grow to a continental scale with them,”
To be honest, even the Camille Merchantry was not yet at the level of a national company. At best, it was only enough to be counted among the top few mercantile companies in the region that included Gorren city.
Moreover, Hasad wasn’t part of the top echelons of Camille, so no matter how much he had an advantage over Sanghyuk at the moment, he was only a small merchant when considering the huge Sun Continent.
Of course, for the humble Sanghyuk, he was an important being who could be of great help in his schemes…
“So what exactly is it that you want from me?”
Hasad eventually bit down on the bait that Sanghuyk threw at him.
While it was impossible to directly control their actions, like any artificial distributed systems there are certain words and syntaxes that had greater ‘weight’ in the neural network shared by all artificial intelligences used in EL. Sanhyuk’s words, which were layered with several synergistic effects, were enough to exert great power, at least against NPCs.
To be fair, it was due to Sanghyuk’s expertise from his previous life that allowed him to have NPCs ‘dance to his tunes’. Years of experiments by hundreds of thousands of Players in alternative wording, narrowing down of key words and phrases, and other tricks to increase ‘favorability’ during Player-NPC interactions had been documented, researched, verified and compiled in the Player forums. Sanghyuk simply used the tricks discovered by the massive Player base in EL, that he had personally tested and proved most effective. This level of effort and attention to detail, as mentioned before, is what distinguishes a professional from an amateur.
Right now, Sanghyuk felt that if he told Hasan that the wheels of a car weren’t circles but triangles, he would probably believe it.
So the words Sanghyuk had said to Hasad had left an intense enough effect that Hasad was already seeing himself as the head of a super large conglomerate that spanned the entire Sun Continent.
Since Hasad turned out to be an NPC who was much more ambitious than initially expected, it was impossible to not take the bait that Sanghyuk threw at him.
“It will take at least half a year for dimensional travellers to start reaching the Sun Continent en masse. In the meantime, I plan to expand my business into the surrounding areas, after settling in Gorren city. If Hasad-nim helps me out, I can expand my business much faster and less effort, right?”
“Alright, let’s say that I help you, what’s in it for me?”
“I’ll give you a cut of my business and divide the profits accordingly.”
In order to do business on the Sun Continent, someone’s stomach would need to be lined, therefore, Sanghyuk thought of giving up to 30% of the profits initially.(EN: “someone’s stomach would need to be lined” = “someone’s palms need to be greased.)
“First of all, I will give you a 25% cut in the business and as I expand the business, I will increase Hasad-nim’s involvement with my business gradually.”
Sanghyuk cleverly seduced Hasad by mixing in lies with the truth. It was true that he would give him a 25% cut, but it was a lie to say he would increase Hasan’s influence in Sanghyuk’s business.
Even the 25% offer didn’t mean he would give him 25% in all aspects of his business either.
For Sanghyuk, Hasad was only necessary in the beginning. Of course, the plan could change at any time depending on events, and Hasad’s growing influence within Camille due to Sanghyuk’s help, but one thing was for sure, and that was Sanghyuk never intended to be Hasad’s b!tch.
‘Maximize your assets to the fullest and give away as little as you must.’
Sanghyuk was smiling gently at Hasad, even as he thought about how to squeeze out his last drop of usefulness.
“It’s not bad, shall we talk more about the details?”
As soon as Hasad came to a clear decision, a message notifying him of mission completion appeared in front of Sanghyuk.
A Key Subquest of ‘Black Cat’s Rebellion’ – ‘Camille’s Purpose’ has been cleared.
Main Quest: Black Cat’s Rebellion has been updated.
The correction effect of ‘Pioneer’ has disappeared.
Sanghyuk, who had succeeded in attracting Bacan and Hasad to his side, felt as though he had finally taken a step past the starting line.
‘From now on, all that’s left is to run around and work hard.’
To be honest, he wasn’t sure for how long he could trust Bacan and Hasad, so he had to work harder now and develop enough power that he no longer needed the NPCs.
Edited by Userunfriendly