Empire Of The Ring Chapter 257
The temperature of Zeynep Farm in Baku was about 37 degrees in Fahrenheit, but Arirang Farm in Kazakhstan was about three degrees now. With the harsh wind added, the weather actually felt like it was over below zero.
Youngho and Jong-il shivered, as they got off the eight-seater Cessna airplane that just landed at Arirang Airfield. The temperature difference from Baku was about 15 degrees, which were hard to adapt in a short time. Moreover, the runway was empty without any stonewalls or windbreak since they could disturb airplane pathways. As the two walked to the control tower from the hangar, their bodies were frozen up.
“I got to spend several days to Baku and I can’t get used to this weather now. I feel weak.”
They both spent their New Year’s in Baku and they grew fond of Baku’s weather already.
“Why are you blaming the weather? It’s because you’ve been drinking for the past several days, you idiot! Your body didn’t have a chance to recover from it yet.”
For the past several days, Jong-il went to visit many governmental officials in Baku to say New Year’s greetings and his greeting often ended up to be a drinking session.
“You know you can’t skip liquors for New Year’s greetings. Besides, I didn’t drink those because I wanted to. It was all a sacrifice for our future.”
“Phew, you only make things seem greater than they actually are with your words.”
Jong-il was close with high officials in Baku, and the most important information came from his relationships with them, so Youngho could not blame Jong-il for drinking too much. Since he liked to get along with people, he always drank too much around the Christmas and New Year’s Day season.
“Man, I should take Insoo with me from now on. The guy’s strong. It’s such a waste that he doesn’t use that for drinking.”
“Oh please, you need to learn how to drink moderately. You have no line. You’re going to end up with a messed up body one day.”
“What about you? You’re the same.”
Youngho was also a heavy drinker if there was a chance.
“I know that, but I feel refined when I come here. I don’t drink as much as I used to do.”
It was in fact not true. The two often went out to hunt wolves and drank vodka to keep themselves warm in the cold. Still, Youngho felt better since he got to exercise more in Arirang Farm, whereas he was always in his study on Zeynep Farm in Baku. It was because there were too many things to be done in Arirang Farm and manpower was short.
“Why is the precious princess visiting anyway? There’s nothing she can do here in this cold.”
“What would royalties and nobles do for fun? It’s either partying or hunting.”
Princess Isabella was coming to visit Arirang Farm because she wanted to experience winter wolf hunting. Although it was already an unofficial fact that she would get married to Szechenyi, Youngho could not treat her visit carelessly.
Facilities on Zeynep Farm in Baku were in a perfect condition that it did not matter who was visiting, but Arirang Farm still had a long way to go. That was why Youngho came in advance to prepare for her visit. He had experienced the winter here last year, but he still could not help to cuss to the biting cold. The Serbian immigrants also complained that this winter was worse than the last year. It seemed that many people would have to suffer, because of the clueless princess.
Despite the difficulty, Youngho wanted to tie together the princess and Szechenyi no matter what. It was because there were many benefits for Arirang Farm to have the Denmark Royal Family as a family-in-law.
If they got married, it would be a huge issue in the world, and people everywhere would recognize Arirang Autonomous State since a royal princess had chosen the place to get married into. The whole world would know about the fallen Archduke’s Family of the Serbian Kingdom that was rebuilding its kingdom on Arirang Farm.
Before there was a royal wedding, Youngho wanted to make sure that the Autonomous State of Arirang was at least known to the world.
Youngho shared this concern with Jong-il since he was a clever person, but he did not have a bright idea either. At first, he suggested an ambitious idea to use the Intelligence Department to make an achievement to stop world’s terrorisms, which was nonsense. Another idea was to plan the Archduke’s coronation ceremony as a global event. Youngho smirked at this point. He thought that it was only going to be something to joke about, due to the size of the kingdom.
Despite Youngho’s disagreement, Jong-il insisted that this was the best way to promote Arirang for this Internet-driven generation. If they could get high views on their coronation clip, it would be the fastest way to spread the word about Arirang. Although Jong-il’s idea was not at all senseless, Youngho did want to risk to lose respect from Szechenyi’s future family-in-law, the Denmark Royal Family.
“Man, this kind of news is the only way to promote the Arirang Autonomous State. Or you can try sending the declaration of the autonomous state to small-sized countries at our level.”
“You’re ideas are getting out of control. Never mind. I shouldn’t have asked you.”
“You know you need to have an open heart for different ideas. My idea isn’t all bad.”
“Are we in the Medieval times? Are we going to fight with small countries and take their territories?”
“What you’re doing now is playing the Medieval times. I’m only trying to assist you, man.”
There was no clear way to promote the Arirang Autonomous State. It was not a place with rich mineral resources. It was just a semi-deserted vast wasteland.
“I’m just going to plant trees and farm wheat when the spring comes. That’s the only things that will cover the deserted surface.”
“Well, that’s a great choice. What’s important is how it looks on the outside, not what’s on the inside. Let’s expand the wharf plant trees around it and the residential towns as well. We can also try decorating around the airfield with trees or stonewalls. They’re just so empty now.”
As Youngho and Jong-il were engrossed in their visions for how the future farm would look like, Kim Chun, who had been marking the border of the autonomous state, came back with a great plan.
“Boss. I’m going to do a project that will involve every heavy equipment on the farm.”
“What is it?”
“I’m going to make several hills all around the Autonomous State of Arirang.”
“I’ll dig deep in the places where the underground water is found and make hills with the dug-up dirt. If we plant grass and water on those small hills with the underground water, they would turn into green hills. If we can make several of them, the autonomous state will be safe from dust storms.”
The man-made hills would act to cut off the wind’s paths and would turn into bigger hills in time, by collecting dust blown by the wind.
“That is a groundbreaking thought. It’d be great if we can get Dr. Park Youngsun’s advice, before starting the project. You can do anything you want with the heavy equipment, Commissioner Kim. They’re only idle during the winter anyway.”
“I’ll get to work once you fill the gas station in the residential place full with gas.”
The winter was especially harsh because of the wolf packs that kept showing up around Arirang Farm. It seemed that all of the wolves in Kazakhstan had gathered to seek for food.
The farm’s ranch had a few thousands of livestock already to get byproducts from them, and they were a good target of the wolves. The wolves began to show up, regardless of the time of the day.
There had been a few incidents where some high school boys fell into danger when they went beyond the stonewalls, which was forbidden for unarmed commoners. Luckily, they could survive with the help of the dogs that came along with them at the time. They would have been gone if the dogs were not around. Youngho was shocked to hear that the wolves followed the four-wheeled bikes that the boys drove, instead of chasing their dogs.
He had limited wolf hunting in order to save some wolves for Princess Isabella’s visit, but that caused a rapid growth in the number of the wolves. It was certainly not sensible to threaten the security of the farm only to entertain the princess.
It was stupid of him to think that wolves were almost gone because the residents of the farm had killed many of them previously for their skin. As soon as the sound and smell of gunfire ceased, the farm turned back into a playground of the beasts.
Jong-il’s escalated voice urged everyone to launch a mop-up operation on wolves.
“People will get hurt because you want to marry off Szechenyi. I’m going to mobilize my guys who are getting trained for the Intelligence Department. Tell Insoo to send the military trained people for this operation too.”
Innocent Szechenyi was blamed for nothing.
Youngho could not say anything since it was his fault.
“I didn’t think it through very well. I didn’t think their number will grow this fast.”
“What would you have done if those kids got hurt? Man, that’s a bad story.”
For the next few days, the wolves around the farm had to suffer troubles.
People who welcomed this news the most were the ones who earned money for dressing wolf skin and fur. Also, old people of the farm were benefited since wolf meat was known to restore weak bodies. Most of the meat went to them and the rest was gone to young people who enjoyed the meat as snacks for drinking.
Jong-il, who enjoyed hunting wolves for the past several days, entered the farm’s office proudly.
“How many did you even kill? Man, you’ve massacred them.”
“I caught a few younger ones alive. Tell Princess to take them and raise them on her own.”
It would be a problem if the number of wolves did not decrease, even after hunting them every year. There were other dangerous creatures such as venomous snakes and insects in the semi-deserted region, so it was quite dangerous to go to grasslands without any protective gear, but it was also impossible to contain farm’s kids inside the walls. A fundamental solution would be needed soon. Unless the farm’s population grew sharply, if the residential and farming areas were expanded, the farm would have to continue to hunt down the wolves and be cautious for dangerous creatures around the farm.
It was not a good idea to increase farming areas since empty farmland after harvest could cause dust. Thus, the farm would be somewhat free from the dust when grassland was formed around the residential areas and farmland was developed in the southeastern part since it was on the opposite side of where the wind blew from.
Thankfully, there were several streams within the farm’s territory. Grasslands could be developed around the streams and if trees were planted around there, the farm would be a green place in time.
Youngho’s mind was busy to think of different ways to improve the farm’s environment. Maybe he could make a bigger waterway to flood some deserted farm areas once a year to speed up the restoration process.
With many thoughts in mind, he could not fall asleep even though it was almost midnight. The perfect medicine for this was a good drink. His hand slowly moved toward the interphone that was next to his bed. Although he had scolded Jong-il to stop drinking insensitively, it was nonsense to drink alone at this hour.