Volume 1 Chapter 64 Negotiations
Even though there were only three people, this banquet in the City Lord Manor lasted an hour before it finally finished.
After they finished eating, Xu Yi and Viscount Leslie went into a hall that wasn’t big under the invitation of Count Sean. After chatting about a few things, Count Sean quickly changed the topic to Xu Yi.
“Chairman Xu, since you had this kid Leslie use his face to find me, you can’t be silent like you were at the dinner table after getting to see me, right?”
Viscount Leslie looked at Xu Yi after hearing this and Xu Yi nodded. He organized his thoughts and said with a faint smile, “Lord City Lord, this is my first time being honoured by your presence, so I was a bit nervous and couldn’t help being a bit silent.”
Count Sean waved his hand, “When this kid Leslie introduced you to me, he didn’t say it like this. He said that you were a person with many ideas and based on your Frestech Chamber of Commerce, I believe his judgement. You say that you are nervous meeting me? I can’t see it though?”
Xu Yi laughed and decided to abandon this method. After thinking about it, he continued, “Alright, it doesn’t matter if I’m nervous or not, I can only be not nervous right now. Lord City Lord, I asked the Lord Viscount to arrange this meeting, so naturally I have something that I need your help with.”
“It’s right that you have something. If you didn’t need anything, why would you see an old man like me? I am not some kind of beauty.” Count Sean said with a nod, “Speak, just what do you need? If it is like this kid Leslie and you want me to help you advertise your company’s products, I can’t do that. There are many companies in Banta City, I can be biased towards any of them.”
Xu Yi couldn’t help smiling as he thought that this Count Sean’s manner of speech was quite charming.
This was also good. If he was a stubborn old noble, the matters he wanted to talk about today would be hard to approve.
“Of course not. As the Banta City City Lord, if it was just to ask you to help me advertise, that would be too much of a waste.”
“Oh? Does that mean I have a bigger use?” Count Sean felt interested as he looked at Xu Yi.
“Hei…..Lord City Lord, I think you should have some understanding of the farmer support plan our company has introduced lately, right?” Xu Yi asked.
Count Sean nodded, “Not only do I have some understanding, I have properly investigated it. I have to say, the plan proposed by your company is quite excellent. If it can be implemented smoothly, I think it will greatly improve the lives of our Banta City peasants.”
“Improving the lives of the peasants is just a preliminary goal.” Xu Yi continued, “The most important reason our company is promoting this plan is to improve the commercial power of the farmers with these agricultural magic machines. By increasing the planting power of the farmers, they will be able to open more farms and increase their food production. While changing their lives, they will be liberated from their farms and they have more time to engage in different forms of work.”
“For example, working in your company’s factory?” Count Sean asked with a raised brow.
Xu Yi laughed, “Lord City Lord, working in our company’s factory is quite good. I think that if those farmers had the choice, they would definitely agree.”
Count Sean gave a slight nod, “I already know a bit about that. I’ve heard that a normal worker in your factory can earn at minimum six gold coins each month, this is quite a bit in our Banta City.”
“Actually, if I speak honestly, this salary is still low. I rather give these workers greater wages so they will work in our company’s factory for a long time. You might not know this, but Saltan City’s Leo Chamber of Commerce has been stealing many of our company’s workers with higher wages. It has caused us to recruit even more workers and train them, causing our production speed to slow down quite a bit.”
“Saltan City’s company?” Count Sean knit his brows, “There are actually companies from other cities coming here to steal our Banta City’s workers? You just let them steal them away?”
Xu Yi spread his hands and looked helpless, “There was no other way, the Leo Chamber of Commerce was offering a high price of ten gold coins per month. Many workers couldn’t resist this temptation and were stolen away.”
Count Sean gave a soft snort, “Ten gold coins? They really were willing to put in money. But why is this Leo Chamber of Commerce stealing your workers?”
“This is because the Leo Chamber of Commerce also produces magic machines like us.” Xu Yi explained.
“So it’s like this……Then what methods do you have to counter this? Why haven’t you raised the wages for your workers?” Count Sean asked.
“This……Lord City Lord, although we want to raise the wages for our workers, as a long term plan for our company, it isn’t the correct decision to increase the wages for our workers because this will disrupt our plans and will affect our company’s future development. So we can only use other methods, like giving our workers more welfare benefits instead. Of course, there are only a small part of the workers that were poached and most of the workers are willing to remain at our company.”
“I don’t care what plans your company has, but I hope that you will properly deal with this matter. Your Frestech Chamber of Commerce is our Banta City’s fastest developing and most promising company, I hope that you will not be defeated this easily.” Count Sean waved his hand as he spoke.
Xu Yi’s eyes opened wide in surprise.
Based on the meaning of Count Sean’s words, it seemed like he was very supportive of the Frestech Chamber of Commerce.
This was very good news for Xu Yi.
With the support of the Banta City’s City Lord, it would save the Frestech Chamber of Commerce quite a bit of trouble at least in Banta City.
“Lord City Lord can be assured, although the Leo Chamber of Commerce is several times bigger than our Frestech Chamber of Commerce, I can dare to guarantee that at least in terms of magic machines, they are not our match!” Xu Yi spoke in a confident voice.
Count Sean looked at Xu Yi for a while before nodding in satisfaction.
“Very good. Then let’s return to the previous topic. The farmer support plan that you have, its main goal is to free the farmers from their farms and let them take other work. I can understand this logic, but do you know that to Banta City and to the entire Lampuri Kingdom, farms are the most basic things? If there isn’t enough food being produced, everything else is for nothing. When people are hungry, they can do anything.”
Seeing Count Sean’s serious expression, Xu Yi also became serious. He gave a strong nod and said, “I understand the Lord City Lord’s worries. But Lord City Lord, I think that this is because you don’t understand the agricultural magic machines and that is why you have this kind of worry. In this aspect, perhaps you’ll doubt me if I say something, so I’ll let the Lord Viscount explain it to you.”
Count Sean’s eyes turned to Viscount Leslie to the side.
Viscount Leslie was already prepared. He calmly put down the teacup in his hand and gave a slight nod, “Lord Count, as for this regard, I can be a guarantee for Xu Yi. Take my territory for instance, during the fall harvest, I had around seven hectares of wheat fields on my territory. If it was last year, I would have needed to send out all my slaves and guards under me for half a month to finish the harvest. But after I bought two small Magic Harvesters from the Frestech Chamber of Commerce, I used less than two days to finish the entire harvest and I used no more than twenty slaves the entire time.”
Count Sean raised a brow, “Is this true? It was only two days? You used less than twenty slaves to complete it?”
“Lord Count, how could I lie to you? Not just me, you can also ask the other nobles in Banta City. As long as they have wheat fields in their territory that needs to be harvested, they would buy a small Magic Harvester. This will also save them large amounts of time and effort. Lord Count, your territory isn’t here, but if it was, I would strongly recommend you buy two harvesters because these things are just too easy to use.”
Count Sean seriously looked over Xu Yi before giving a slow nod, “I had heard a bit about this before, but I never thought it would be this shocking. Xu Yi, even if we don’t discuss the others, just based on this small Magic Harvester, your Frestech Chamber of Commerce has performed a great merit.”
Viscount Leslie said while laughing, “Lord Count, don’t be anxious, I’m not done yet. Other than the small Magic Harvester, the Frestech Chamber of Commerce has also released a small Magic Plowing Machine, greatly increasing the efficiency of plowing the earth before planting the seeds. Right now, with the help of the small Magic Plowing Machine, I have decided to open up another twenty one hectare of farmland and will plant them all when the time comes. If nothing happens, the food produced next year will be increased by several times.”
Count Sean didn’t reveal a pleasantly surprised look, rather he knit his brows.
“Leslie, how could planting crops be an easy thing. Even if you have this small Magic Harvester to increase the harvest speed and the small Magic Plowing Machine to increase the plowing speed, farming is not just harvesting and plowing. There is also taking care of the seedlings, planting the seeds, weeding, watering, and all kinds of other things that need to be done. If you open all these fields, will you have enough manpower to take care of them all?”
Viscount Leslie smiled and didn’t reply, as he looked at Xu Yi.
“Lord City Lord, the so called agricultural magic machines are not just the small Magic Harvester and the small Magic Plowing Machine. Our Frestech Chamber of Commerce will also build small Magic Excavators, small Magic Water Pumps, small Magic Earth Drills, small Magic Road Rollers, and other kinds of magic machines. Our final goal is to replace all manpower with magic machines and liberate all manpower from the farms. Just yesterday, I had discussed this with Viscount Leslie and have made plans to redesign all the fields in his territory. We’ll turn the fields in his territory into rice paddies which are more suitable for magic machines and easier to plant.”
“Wait, rice paddies that are easier to plant?” Count Sean was stunned, “Banta City mainly plants wheat, so why is Leslie changing to planting rice? This place isn’t a place rich in water like Karma City, perhaps it won’t be cost effective?”
Viscount Leslie revealed a smile, “Lord Count, Banta City isn’t lacking in water, only it is difficult to use. Now that there is help from the magic machines, it’s much easier to use them. Then again, wouldn’t one be tired of eating bread all day? It’s good to change what you eat.”
Count Sean looked at Xu Yi before giving a cold snort, “I remember now. The newest product your Frestech Chamber of Commerce is focusing on building is the Magic Rice Cooker. That thing, it requires people to eat rice, so no wonder you had this kid Leslie plant rice paddies. Do you want all of Banta City to change to planting rice paddies?”
Xu Yi smiled without saying anything.