Fan Zhongyan and Cui Yingyu followed Ouyang Shuo to his office. Ouyang Shuo asked them, “What’s the thing that our territory is most lacking of?”
Zhongyan pondered for a while, “I think we need political talents more than anything. To keep each department running effectively, there has to be many officials and also appointed director.”
Ouyang Shuo nodded approvingly and beckoned Yingyu to hear her thoughts.
After thinking for a while, Yingyu said, “I agree with Mr. Xi Wen. In addition to basic level government workers, I think we still lack accountants and similar professionals. To tell the truth, even I, the secretary of the newly established Financial Division, am merely a layman.”
“Both of you had hit the mark. In overall, our bureaucracy is very weak, like a bare old tree with only branches and no leaves. At the village stage, the affairs are simple and each executive can hold the departments on their own. But once we reach the town grade, the shortage of talents would leave us stretched.
“The training of the talents is a long-term process, and cannot be achieved overnight. Therefore, it is very necessary for us to begin a process of developing talents for the territory from now on. I opened the adult literacy classes at the private school just for this reason.”
Ouyang Shuo knew deeply that the Six Tyrants of Handan would not have many problems in talents. They were like the great families in the Three Kingdoms, which possessed a rich reserve in talents themselves. Whether it was a family member or a subordinate group member. They could quickly build an effective bureaucracy as long as they appointed the players loyal to them to the right positions.
Individual players wanting to compete with them was almost impossible. Even a reincarnated person like Ouyang Shuo must go through matters step by step to gain a small chance to win.
Fan Zhongyan nodded, “ The Lord is right. To cultivate talents, we must run the basic education system and implement the imperial examination system. The latter is too early and we should give priority to basic education first. We are far from being able to meet our needs with only one private school just providing the crudest education.”
“Yes. My idea is to start a comprehensive college in the territory. The college will set up basic classes, intermediate classes, and advanced classes. The basic class will be like the adult literacy classes, mainly focused on reading and literacy. Intermediate class mainly develop basic governmental talents and basic professionals like the ones you two mentioned. And the advanced class will be there for teaching people how to be department executives.”
Fan Zhongyan applauded, “Wonderful! In accordance with the idea of the lord, we will be able to cultivate talents quickly and set up a new echelon for training talents. I very much agree with you! ”
Yingyu was puzzled and said, “Big brother’s idea is excellent. However, where are we going to find the faculty? The territory only has one great scholar, Master Fan?”
Ouyang Shuo smiled mysteriously. “So far yet so near.”
Yingyu stared incredulously, “Big brother, you aren’t referring to the three of us, right?”
“Why not? You can teach a crash course on maths, Xi Wen could teach a course on politics, and I could teach a course on laws and legal matters,” Ouyang Shuo said.
Yingyu sighed under big stress. Fan Zhongyan was peaceful because he once was the head teacher in an institute. He was familiar with teaching.
“I have already thought of the name- Lianzhou Institute. Although it just started, I hope that in the future, the Lianzhou Institute can become the cradle of our civil officers. Xi Wen will be our first principal.”
Fan Zhongyan got up and saluted. “The Lord has spoken, I just can’t refuse that. But I have only one request. I hope that the Lord can act as the honorary principal to show some orthodoxy.”
Ouyang Shuo smiled, “I promise you. The preparatory work for the college will be the responsibility of the Administration Division with the help of the Financial Division.”
The three of them discussed some more details, then dispersed.
Ouyang Shuo was ready to go to the market. This time, he wanted to buy all sorts of building blueprints with sufficient funds and also wanted to see what interesting things might be available.
He first spent 10 gold coins to buy the pottery workshop blueprints, the only thing missing in the grade 3 village infrastructure. Then he was ready to buy an intermediate barracks building blueprint and an intermediate shipyard building blueprint.
Prices for buildings that required blueprints to upgrade would increase ten times every grade. As a result, an intermediate barracks building blueprint was worth 20 gold coins, and an intermediate shipyard building blueprint was worth 50 gold coins.
Then, the blueprints of the three grade 1 town infrastructure, grain shop, butcher shop, and clothing store, each cost 20 gold coins. In addition, the building blueprint of the bank which belongs to the grade 2 town infrastructure is sold for 50 gold coins.
The last was the college building blueprint. A college or an institute belongs to the grade 3 town infrastructure and was worth 1000 gold coins. He naturally couldn’t afford that, so he bought a blueprint of a school, which belongs to grade 1 town instead, using 20 gold coins.
After a round of ‘shopping’, he had spent 210 gold on the building blueprints. Now he only had 490 gold left. Apart from 200 gold reserved the Four Seas Bank and some for the militia’s class change fees and the following cavalry’s class change fee, there were not many funds available.
Ouyang Shuo sighed. As long as he came to the Market, it was like he was never going to have enough money. Fortunately, in more than ten days, the first batch of salt from the salt pans could be sold. At that time, he would get another four to five hundred gold as a return.
Since a number of workers demanded in the salt pan was large, there had to be one worker for every 2 mu. Hence, as of this stage, Ouyang Shuo had no plans for salt pan’s phase three to expand the scale and would only be maintained at 500 mu.
Ouyang Shuo opened the goods manufacturing technology column, searching for the <Wooden Ox-Horse Manufacturing Technology manual>, priced at 20 gold coins. The wooden-ox horse1 was just an upgraded version of the wheelbarrow and was not so magical as the book <Three Kingdoms> described.
Although it didn’t have this kind of exaggerated effect, the wooden ox-horse was still a practical means of transport hauling. Just like Yingyu mentioned before, as the timber and other resource demands are increasing, transporting would become a major problem. Moving hundreds and even thousands of units of wood, stone, and iron ore from the collection points to the village was very costly in manpower.
Transporting all the stuff would be much easier with wooden ox-horse. Not to mention, moving all the salt in the fields from the port to the market was going to be a big project.
Ouyang Shuo spent 20 gold coins and purchased the <Wooden Ox and Flowing Horse Manufacturing Technology manual>. He then had a look at the properties of the wooden ox-horse.
Name: Wooden Ox-Horse
Materials needed: 20 units of wood.
Capacity: 200 Kg
Durability: Tens of miles daily for individuals, 30 miles for groups
Evaluation: A transportation vehicle of detailed craftsmanship, able to overcome various terrains and save manpower.
Lastly, Ouyang Shuo turned to the ‘other items’ column in the special items trading platform. After tens of minutes skimming through the list, he had his eyes on a certain item, it was a token, with a very simple use.
[Class Change Token] (civil servant): After using this token, the user may class change directly to a civil servant.
In the Shanhai village, persons like Yingyu and Zhao Youfang, who were already designated as civil servant, were still in their original jobs. They were not class changed to an official civil servant yet. Although It did not affect the duties they had to perform, it did affect their administrative efficiency.
Ouyang Shuo did not hesitate to spend 20 gold coins to buy the Class Change Token. This token was intended for Cui Yingyu. Her current career as a businesswoman, which did not match the position of the Financial Secretary. Although it was a little expensive, making Yingyu a civil officer in advance was worth it.
Looking over the other special items longingly, Shuo touched his purse and sighed. He then picked his purchased goods from the other transportation formation, put them in his storage bag and left the Basic Market.
Walking on the road, he could hear the villagers occasionally gossiping in small groups.
“Hey, auntie, have you heard about that? Our village is ready for privatization!”
“What is privatization?”
“Privatization is not something. It is a big thing. Mr. Gu said that we will all be living on our own, rather than in groups anymore!”
“Oh, how can we do that? Does the lord not want us? There are four people in my family. We have nothing but some old clothes. If we were going to live our own lives, what could we count on?”
“Auntie, you misunderstand the mercy of our lord, he will not leave us. I hear that after privatization, the lord would give us some food and meat, and a new set of clothes for everybody!”
“Oh, that is wonderful. At least we will not go hungry.”
“The benefits are far more than not being hungry. Mr. Gu said that after the privatization, the Lord would start paying us wages. As long as we work hard and save some money, we can buy our own house to live in. The Lord will give the farmers some land as long as you hand in some grains at the time of harvest. Thinking about this, I think that we can live better if we are more diligent.”
“Mazu’s blessing, this is indeed a big thing. Where did you get this information? I have to see it for myself.”
“It’s just in the square in front of the lord’s house. Mr. Gu posted a bulletin notice there!”
“Oh, then I will go there to take a look with my husband.”
“Hurry up. I have to go home and talk to my other half. I hear even the shops will be selling off this time! I want to talk to my family to see if we can borrow some money to buy a smithy!”
Listening to the villagers’ talk, Ouyang Shuo laughed with pleasure. The Administration Department was quick to post the notice, letting people be active about this in advance.
_Wooden-ox horse_ _1_ 木牛流马 _: lit. wooden ox and flowing horse, a mechanical transportation vehicle_ _created during the ancient China era of the Three Kingdoms. Shortened for the sake of simplicity of the text._
*[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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