Chapter 17 - Industry
After the simple tour, everyone returned to the Chamber. As Shanhai Village had just been upgraded to a grade 2 village, it was time to let everyone know what the next steps they were going to take were.
Everyone sat down, and Ouyang Shuo went straight into the main topic. “With everyone’s joint efforts, Shanhai Village has successfully upgraded to a grade 2 village, and we’re also the sixth in China to achieve this feat! This is the result of the hard work of all the villagers and every one of you gathered here. It is truly worth celebrating! Therefore, I have decided that tonight we will hold a grand bonfire party to celebrate. Tonight’s celebration shall be prepared by Cui Yingyu.”
Cui Yingyu nodded. “Big brother, you can be rest assured, I will make it as grand as possible. Speaking of which, this is the first time our territory has undertaken such a celebration! You have to personally perform a show to help out with the entertainment!”
As she finished, General Shi took the lead in applauding that idea. Even the normally sedate Zhao Dexian looked excited and cheered at the idea.
Ouyang Shuo gave a wry smile. “Yingyu, you are trying to checkmate me. But your idea is very good, I firmly support it. Hmm, it is more joyful to share the joy than to keep it to oneself. Everyone here will have to prepare at least one performance or play. If you want to cheer, how can you not get dragged into the water? If your sire has to contribute, then you do as well.”
Yingyu laughed, as performing a program was, for her, naturally something that took no effort. The other people looked a bit unpleasant and depressed as if they’d lifted a stone, only to drop it on their own foots.
“After the upgrade, there are a lot of things to do. Here, I’m going to make general arrangements. We have much to do, so please hold your advice and opinions until I am done.”
“First of all, work arrangements for the Construction Division. The private school, hospital, and other buildings cannot be built at the moment due to the lack of building plan blueprints. However, there are still great responsibilities that lie upon you. We do not need blueprints to construct the basic mining field and the simple arrow tower, so build them as soon as possible. The Material Reserve Division needs to stay in good communication with you to pick the field to be developed. Build two arrow towers, one on each side of the village entrance. In addition, the second phase of the 15 small residential courtyards needs to be done quickly, and you must pay close attention to it. And the very most important of all is to cooperate with the Salt Pan Division to carry out the construction of the second phase of the Northern Saltworks.”
“The Northern Saltworks is the only industry in the territory at the moment. It is also an extremely important source of funding for the future of the territory. I have decided that the second phase is to open up another 400 mu, for a total size of 500 mu. This will require a lot of labor. Household Registration Office will have to actively cooperate with the present stage, and make it a priority to channel people to the salt fields. The total number of salt workers will need to reach 250 people in order to maintain full productivity in the salt harvesting operation.”
“Material Reserves Division, the numbers involved in quarrying and logging will remain about the same at 20 people after the completion of the primary mining field. The number of fishermen should gradually increase to 30. As for militia, we will directly be expanding them to 50 people. Make formal preparations, 10 people in a squad, led by a Sergeant; five squads as a platoon, led by a Lieutenant. The rest of the labor will be sent to the Reclamation Division to cultivate more farmland, up until a total size of 2000 mu. As the arrangements above, Household Registration Division will allocate manpower as needed, and confirm proof of residence for the new work arrangements. If there are any questions, they can now be raised.”
Digesting the orders that Shuo had laid out before them, the directors considered their field of specialties and divisions before they spoke up with comments or suggestions.
General Shi was the first to stand up. “My lord, I have something to say. With the militia expanded to 50 people, it will be necessary to have 5 sergeants to command the teams.”
“General, by your recommendation, report to me for approval. As far as possible, please choose from the veterans for your recommendations, but make sure your choices are good ones, do not promote them unconditionally.”
“Ability is the only premise. In addition, Zhang Daniu and San Gouzi can be directly promoted to team leader. The squad leader of the militia is naturally you. As the North Salt Fields are on track, it is time for you to move and concentrate on the militia team training. As for the safety of the fields, rotate Zhang Daniu and San Gouzi with a militia team in charge.”
General Shi grinned. He would no longer be stationed in the salt field, which obviously made him very happy. However, he was not a fool and had long deduced something was going on from Ouyang Shuo’s words. He directly asked, “My lord, what is the main reason behind this expansion of the militia?”
Ouyang Shuo nodded his head approvingly. “The expansion of the militia is to deal with a variety of new security challenges. With the new upgrade, our territory has increased to 250% of the original size! I am expecting that in half a month, a beast riot is going to come out of the wilderness, and we will encounter massive beast attacks. Therefore, General, you must not only see the development of the militia, but you have to establish a detailed defense against the beast attacks and combat program, report to me for review.”
General Shi spoke up loudly, “Sire, I will see this done!”
Cu Yingyu rose next. “Big Brother, on the number of fishermen, I have a different view. At this moment, we only have four fishing boats. Each boat can only take two men, while the shipyard is only making a boat a day. To get 30 fishermen to work will take at least another 11 days. As far as I know, a fisherman can harvest 50 units of fish a day on average. With the amount of fish harvested, we simply cannot eat it all. Why do you need so many fishermen?”
Ouyang Shuo understood her point. Fish could not be used as a staple food and was not easy to store for a long period of time, it could not replace the role of harvested food and forage. For this, he had his own plan.
“Yingyu, what you have said is naturally true. But you have not considered, if the fish can be salted, then dried. Dried fish is not a living thing, and can be easily stored. The market price of a unit of dried fish is 15 copper. It takes two units of fish to make one unit of dried fish, and one unit of salt can be used for 50 units of dried fish. Excluding the cost of the salt, a single fisherman’s daily harvest can create a profit of 355 copper for the territory. Once the first batch of salt in the salt fields is produced, the construction funds of the territory could be financed entirely by the sea! As for the fishermen who are not yet in boats, arrange for them to work on salting the live fish.”
Cu Yingyu could see that Shuo had calculated everything, and said in sincere admiration, “Big Brother has thought this through, I am far from your level!”
Ouyang Shuo waved his hand. “I am no genius. I have been worrying about funds and plans for the territory for some time, and came up with this idea.”
This was certainly not Ouyang Shuo just coming up with words to comfort her on the spot. He had been considering all these plans and points as early as when he had selected the Lianzhou Basin to establish his village. As a lord player, if he couldn’t make full use of marine resources, then he was really remaining willfully blind to his geographical advantages.
Sea salt and marinated salted fish were the two ways to accumulate early capital that he wanted to get established. To this end, he had not hesitated to spend his early reward money on the and those three special sets of building blueprints.
This was the advantage of rebirth. While the powerful representatives were paying heavy real money to buy the game currency, he was developing a perfect industry so as to provide a steady stream of building funds. This advantage would become more and more apparent later on.
His current industry had just started, resulting in limited profits, but he was just beginning. Once he expanded the scale of development, naturally the profits would increase several times over.
It was the consensus of strong lords in the past that for sustainable development, they had to develop their own industries. After all, they could only use credit points to buy the game's currency for less than a year’s time.
Finally, Zhao Dexian stood up, saying, “Sire, I have some questions. As sire has arranged for the Reclamation Division to cultivate 1500 mu of farmland, there is naturally no problems. My question is, for these mu of farmland, I was wondering what crops sire might want us to plant?”
Ouyang Shuo decided to test him, asking, “Secretary Zhao, based on Lianzhou Basin’s climate conditions, what do you think are the most appropriate crops to plant?”
Zhao Dexian was a farmer, and had a lifetime of experience dealing with farmland, and was clear on the planting time for all kinds of crops. He answered, “This is the middle of the season. Winter is not over, spring is not here, it is not suitable for planting any crops at this time.”
Ouyang Shuo smiled mysteriously, and said, “Good answer. However, the Lianzhou Basin has a special climate, and there is one crop that you can grow in winter here, namely sweet potatoes. Although the best planting season in November was missed with the monsoon, we still have suitable growing conditions. If we plant now, we can harvest them in April and May, and completely solve the problems of crop shortages.”
Zhao Dexian was momentarily surprised, and then replied gloomily, “I am ashamed to say that I did not think of such a crop.” In fact, this could not really be blamed on him. His previous village of Zhao Jiagou had been in the forest and had very rarely planted sweet potatoes, so he did not think of such a crop on the spur of the moment.
Ouyang Shuo smiled. “So, these mu of farmland should be planted with sweet potatoes as quickly as possible and must be completed before the end of the month. As for the seedlings, I will buy them from the Market.”
After answering Zhao Dexian’s questions, the doubts of the others had been cleared, and Ouyang Shuo announced the end of the meeting. Waiting until the crowd dispersed, he headed over to the Basic Market to procure some items.
The treasury only had 10 gold coins at the moment. But he had set aside four gold coins to grow the militia, so he really only had six gold to use.
He first spent a gold coin to get enough seedlings to plant 3000 mu of sweet potatoes. Three mu was the maximum amount of areas he wanted to devote to sweet potatoes for now.
Then, he spent another gold coin and bought 500 units of salt. This salt was enough to make the salted fish for now. Later, his salt fields would produce more than enough salt on their own.
As for the remaining four gold coins, he simply purchased 4000 units of grain directly. With the initial remaining 3100 units of food from his previous purchases, as well as the fisherman harvesting fish as a supplement, it would be enough to support the entire village on its way to becoming a grade 2 village.
With his procurements done, Shuo’s pockets were now empty. After arranging for people to put the purchased material into the warehouse and granary, he had nothing more to do for the moment.