Ouyang Shuo came out of the Basic Market, and walked down the commercial street, heading into the area of the woodworkers. Thinking of the south-pointing chariot from before, he walked into the carpentry workshop.
The woodshop was full of excitement, very different from the mood from last time.
Lu Guangzhi, saw Shuo coming in, stepped forward and smiled, saying, “Guangzhi greets the lord!”
“Master Lu, you have some good news?”
Master Lu couldn’t even open his mouth before his apprentice on the side, giddy with joy, blurted out, “Lord, this morning we succeeded in making a south-pointing chariot!”
“Yes, yes, and just as the lord predicted, Master Lu ranked up to an advanced carpenter now!” another apprentice exclaimed.
Master Lu stared at both apprentices for being so rude before their lord. He turned back to Shuo and apologetically said. “They are still young, and yet to know anything of courtesy, please do not blame them for their words, sire!”
Ouyang Shuo waved the event off, indicating that it was alright. “It seems I should really be congratulating Master Lu!”
“This is all due to the blessings of the territory, when the upgrading gold rays swept the whole village in the morning. Something in my mind broke free; it gave me the insight to the most important part of the south-pointing chariot.”
_Oh? There was such a thing? The upgrading rays of the territory could also help talent breakthroughs? This should be part of the hidden settings of the system_. Shuo thought. After all, in his last life, he hadn’t played in lord mode, not knowing that some obscure details could be considered normal. He guessed that, having such a big effect, it was somehow related to Shanhai Village being a gold-class village. Otherwise, this hidden fact would’ve been more exposed and well known by the public.
Shuo nodded his head. “Has Master Lu heard about the privatizing of the territory?”
“I have heard of it; my apprentice has told me.”
“So, about the privatization, especially the effects on the carpentry workshop, what do you think?” Ouyang Shuo asked him.
Master Lu hesitantly said, “Sire, to tell the truth, I do not yet have the plan to acquire the carpentry workshop.”
“Oh? Why not?” Ouyang Shuo was surprised.
“Since the establishment of the woodshop, except for the south-pointing chariot, there has not been much else to do. I am worried that once I have to buy the woodshop, we will not be able to maintain our livelihood.”
Ouyang Shuo smiled and took out from his storage bag the <Wooden Ox-Horse Technology Manual> and smoothly handed it to Master Lu. “Take a look at this manual, do you believe you can make this?”
Master Lu took the manual and looked it over carefully. He was so attracted by the contents that he forgot Ouyang Shuo was standing there, waiting for him to answer.
Ouyang Shuo stood there leisurely, patiently waiting. As to what Master Lu had said about the woodworking business dilemma, he had a few thoughts.
Earth Online, although known to be very realistic, still had some blurry and vague areas early in the game, mostly to ensure that the Lord players could actually build out in the wilderness. The most direct manifestation of that was in the building constructions.
Take the small courtyard residences as an example. In addition to the speed that the residences could be put up, there were also a lot of accessories included. Simply put, for the people to live in a completed courtyard, they would need furniture, and it was automatically generated. If it didn’t appear after the house was built, having to sleep and live on the ground would’ve been rather embarrassing.
The other shops and businesses were the same way. After the smithy was built, its required internal facilities will be automatically generated, so that once it was built, it would operate smoothly. These costs of the facilities were reflected in their building blueprints.
For some simple things, like pigsties, fences, and the like, because there was no need to generate internal furnishings, they didn’t need building blueprints to be built directly.
Of course, with the passing of time, after the territories were increasingly built up, the rules would change and be less fuzzy, becoming more consistent with reality.
It was because of this design that the villagers didn’t need to find a carpenter to build furniture. It was no wonder that Master Lu was worried about his prospects after privatization.
Twenty minutes later, Master Lu finished reading the manual. Looking up and finding Ouyang Shuo still there, he fearfully said, “The contents were too attractive I couldn’t pull myself out from it. I beg the lord’s forgiveness!”
Again, Ouyang Shuo waved his hand. “Do you think you can make it?”
“If it was before today, I would not dare to boast. But now, with the lucky promotion to an advanced carpenter, and the experience I have developed from the south-pointing chariot, I have the confidence to craft the wooden ox-horse just like the descriptions of it in the manual!”
“Well, if that is the case, I have a proposal. I hope that Master Lu can consider about it.”
“Please, my lord!”
“Well, the territory requires a great number of these wooden ox-horses. So, my proposal is that you will not only acquire the workshop, but also expand its scale. Then, the territory will use the name of the Material Reserves Division and sign a commission processing agreement with your workshop.
“The Material Reserves Division will provide the manufacturing technology and raw wood as materials, and your workshop will be responsible for the production of wooden ox-horses. For each wooden ox-horse, the Department will pay you 20 copper coins. This will keep you busy and solve the plight of the woodworkers, you see?” Ouyang Shuo inquired of him.
Master Lu, after listening to all this, was very excited. He was a carpenter, and carpentry was his roots and sustenance. Not only could he solve the plight of being a woodworker, but he now had the chance to climb the ladders! Immediately and without hesitation, he said directly, “I don’t need to consider anything, I promise this will be done.”
“As for the specific entrustment agreement, the people of the Material Reserves Division will talk to you later. I will be there when both parties sign the agreements.”
Master Lu nodded in agreement, still looking very excited.
Leaving the woodshop, Ouyang Shuo found out that it was already around noon. After getting lunch, he took a short nap in his quarters. After waking up, he didn’t return to his office, instead, he walked into the next administrative office. The area had become a bit crowded, as the Administration Department, Financial Division, and Material Reserves Division all had to operate out of here.
Ouyang Shuo had spent the morning buying eight sets of building blueprints. He presented them together with the weapons workshop blueprints he already had to Zhao Dewang, telling him where he wanted the buildings constructed. He wanted them completed as soon as possible, after that there would a big project waiting for the Construction Division.
Since his formal appointment as Secretary of Construction, Zhao Dewang had become more motivated. After Ouyang Shuo gave him the task, he swore to complete it. Indeed, he patted his chest and said he would be the quickest to turn the blueprints into reality!
Ouyang Shuo gave him more encouragement, taking the opportunity to win people’s hearts. Although he had given leadership of the Administration Department to Fan Zhongyan, it didn’t mean that he would let all the departments under the administration leave his control.
As the saying goes, no one is ever perfect. Ouyang Shuo knew that even Fan Zhongyan had considered some ideas that were too radical, and that some would fail. Therefore, he had to ensure that the administration was still under his control so that Fan Zhongyan would stand down and wouldn’t have the chance to implement those radical changes to Shanhai Village.
He didn’t think himself as the protagonist of a young adult novel, with an invincible aura. As long as the historical figures worked for the good of the territory, he could feel at ease walking away, and everything would be harmonious and smooth. In this way, the territory would still be running according to his will, without any deviation from his plans.
Then, Ouyang Shuo went to Material Reserves Division head Zhao Youfang, telling him about the woodshop proposal from the morning, and scheduling Youfang’s follow-up.
“This kind of entrustment agreement will be one of the main modes of cooperation between the future Material Reserves Division and the shops or private workshops. Therefore, the Material Reserves Division must do some preparatory work on the commission agreement. Director Fan and I will review the agreement to ensure that it does not have any loopholes.
“In addition, before the tailor makes up the linen clothing for everyone, we need to have a similar agreement. I suggest that both of these people hold a signing ceremony at the same time, and we invite all the talented people in the territory to join in. Let them realize the benefits of privatization to help improve their enthusiasm.”
Zhao Youfang heavily nodded his head, watching Shuo with worshipping eyes. He said excitedly, “I truly admire how lord is seeking to remove any obstacles to privatization! The talented people will no longer have to worry about privatization affecting their livelihood! We won’t even have to urge them, they will even take the initiative to collect apprentices.” Zhao Youfang knew how much effort and conditions Ouyang Shuo was forced to expend to get the skilled people to recruit apprentices.
Ouyang Shuo nodded and expressed his admiration for Zhao’s insight. “Yes, this is the magic of privatization, only by appealing to the vital interests of the individual can we inspire their enthusiasm and stimulate the rapid development of the economy. There is a lot of progress in you as you can now see the meaning behind this entrustment agreement. It seems like working in the Material Reserves Division has made you grow up a lot.”
“It is the lord’s wisdom to assign me to the Material Reserves Division; I am not to be praised.” Zhao Youfang said respectfully, still excited in his heart.
Ouyang Shuo waved his hand and said, “Well, you do not have to be too modest. About the lumber field, you can recommend a new foreman, and present the recommendation to Fan Zhongyan for approval. You need to get familiar with the affairs of the Material Reserve Division, so learn more about them as soon as possible. If you don’t understand something, don’t be shy, take the initiative and go right to Secretary Cui and Director Fan and ask how things work. Or, of course, you can come directly to me. Also, do not slack off on the literacy classes and the homework on that side of things. You cannot fall behind, and must still put in more hard work.”
This was the first time Ouyang Shuo had given such personal instructions to Zhao Youfang. It was plain to see that he had high expectations for Youfang!
Youfang was also clearly aware of this and was grateful to Shuo for the advice. At this moment, no longer able to contain the excitement in his heart, he declared, “What the lord had given me, I will never forget. From now and thereafter, I will improve myself and will not disappoint my lord!”
Ouyang Shuo patted his shoulder, smiling, and said no more.
*[Long Taos]: side characters in Chinese operas who perform acrobatics and fight scenes
*[12.47 to 13.07]: don't ask me about the tree sap
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