Wuxiaworld > Empire of the Ring > 174 Koreans in Remote Places 1

174 Koreans in Remote Places 1

"Papa!" Rena came running toward Youngho and hugged him. They looked like a long-lost family who had finally met after a decade of searching. After a long greeting ritual of hugging and kissing, Youngho looked up and saw Katya. She was covering her mouth to hold her laughter. The scene was enough to make everyone in the military base believe that he was Rena's dad. Youngho's westernized face and his mustache were convincing enough. After greeting Katya with a light kiss on her cheek, he also greeted a military commander. The people at the base thought that an owner of a global hotel chain had visited South Ossetia with his own airplane. As Youngho invited the commander to have dinner and some drink at his hotel tonight, he gladly accepted it. It seemed that the drinking party tonight would be over after emptying several Russian vodka bottles. Oilfield was found at the hills of the borderland of Georgia and many related oil men crowded in at Tskhinvali. Among them, there were staffs from Korean Resources Corporation. Hearing the news that a new oilfield was found, they had come to see if it had commercial potential. Their job was to go to different nations exploring resources and saving the data to provide the database to related corporations. Before coming here, they had searched if he could find any Korean connections to get help from, but they had not found a single trace of Koreans. However, they were astounded to see a hotel named 'Arirang' in South Ossetia, which was a small country of the Caucasus Mountain Range. They got more excited to see the big Korean flag fluttering by the wind at the entrance of the hotel along with other smaller flags of the world. Since they had been traveling to the most remote places of the world, their joy to find a Korean hotel was indescribable. Youngho and military high-rankers were drinking at the open-air café on the first floor of the hotel. The staffs of the Korean Resources Corporation paid a visit to Youngho after hearing that the owner of the hotel was there. As unknown Asian faces showed up, Ilkwon who had been sitting next to Youngho without drinking put his hand to the front pocket inside his jacket. He misunderstood them as the Central Asian assassins that they met in Kazakhstan. Youngho stopped his hand after seeing the Asian faces since he had heard about Korean people staying at the hotel from Katya in advance. "You must be Koreans. It's a pleasure to meet you, my name is Lee Youngho. If you came to talk to me, could you wait for a little while at the table over there? I'll get to you soon." "I'm sorry to bother you when you're with a guest. I was just being hasty for seeing another Korean here. My name is Park Youngsun." After drinking more with the military guests, Youngho gave them a bunch of gifts that he prepared beforehand, it was because they let him use the airport in the military base. For them, being invited to the hotel and receiving gifts from the owner would be something to brag about. The word would spread in the whole town by tomorrow that the owner of Arirang Hotel is a polite and down-to-earth person. "This is my personal secretary and bodyguard. I apologize for what just happened." "No, no. He was doing his job serving you. It's us who made a mistake." The Korean staffs looked awful as if they had been exploring in the wild. According to Katya, they had asked why the Korean flag was in the middle in front of the entrance and why the hotel's name was 'Arirang'. As she told them that the owner was a Korean and the hotel was one of many in different nations, the man who asked the question was moved to tears by her answer. Feeling pitiful, she gave them some ramen noodles and kimchi that she had been saving for Youngho. The man in his late forties was the man who Katya talked about. "Katya talked about you, Mr. Park." "Ah! Your wife had treated us so well. She gave us ramen and kimchi, so our staff got to have some Korean food in a long time. You've got such a beautiful wife and what about the little girl. She reminded me of my little girl in Korea." When Park Youngsun was finishing up his sentence, Rena came into the hotel and fell in his arms. She came to convince him to stop drinking but to come with her to the guest house next to the hotel. He did not have time to explain but Katya had become his official wife to the Korean staffs. *** The exploration team was not recognized very well by people even if they went to the roughest and most remote places of Africa and a desert of heat killing temperature to collect samples of minerals and usually slept in the open meanwhile. Listening to their struggles, a hope rose from Youngho's heart. Because of these people who went to the most remote places in silent, Korea could secure some foreign minerals. Feeling sorry and thankful at the same time, he drank with the Korean staffs all night long. The next day, Youngho also flew the staffs multiple times to the hilly places of the South Ossetia where the newly found oilfield was. Although he and Ilkwon's flying skills were not competent enough, they tried their best to help them so that they could find the exploration field easily. The staffs thanked them, saying that they could narrow down the exploration zones from looking at the field from above in the sky since the colors of the land with oil crude were different from other lands without oil resources. Youngho thought that they must be experts who could find out the existence of minerals just by looking at the color of rocks on the surface of the earth. Even though he flew low above the land that they could even see rabbits hopping around, it was obvious that they were experienced technicians who could tell about the minerals just by skimming through the surfaces. On the same day, Youngho also flew with Katya and Rena in the sun-setting sky. Rena's face on the airplane was the one of a dreaming girl. It seemed like the scene of the beautiful sky would last in her heart for a long time since she still looked like she was dreaming when she stepped down from the airplane. "Mr. Park, I have an offer. Would you be willing to hear it?" Youngho carefully brought it up when they were having dinner. "An offer to someone like me? What is it? You can tell me, Mr. Lee." "I heard that you'd be going back to Korea and become a lecturer at a university. I wondered if it was because the work is too hard or because you missed your family." "I'm exhausted now. It's not only difficult to find mineral resources no matter how hard you try but also it's not easy to announce it even if you found the resources because of intertwined interest of different sides. So I wanted to find a new job." "I wonder if you'd be willing to take another job offered by me." "…" "I'm planning to develop about 49000 acres of farmland in Kazakhstan. I already signed a contract with the Kazakh government but I'm worried about beginning the farm not knowing about the geological features. I need an expert to look at the site." At Youngho's words, Park Youngsun dropped his jaw. It seemed that he could not calculate the size of the vast site. "It's about twelve times of the size of Bundang Newtown in Korea." "What?! Twelve times?" "I think I'll be able to circle around the area when flying about thirty minutes with the Cessna airplane." "I don't understand why you're trying to develop farmland when you have a big hotel chain already." "Well, let's just say that I have a thing for farming. I have a grape farm in Azerbaijan, that is double the size of Yeouido and I have a bigger ranch but I still want more." It sounded like he was bragging but Youngho had informed him about the truth so that he could trust him. "…" Park Youngsun had no words to say. He said that he had worked his whole life for his country, but what remained in him were all sorts of wounds from traveling to remote places and stomach ache from not being able to have regular meals. The leader of the exploration team, Park Youngsun, had been widowed a long time ago. He had a daughter that was the same age as Zeynep in Korea and she was staying at his sister's house. He admitted that the passions of his younger days had ceased now and he only wanted to live peacefully with his daughter in Korea. Working as a lecturer, he wished to grow a little garden in a rural house and write his own book based on his past experiences. For those reasons, he refused Youngho's offer. He told Youngho that his will is great but once he successfully developed the farmland, all sorts of Korean corporations would jump in and instigate the Kazakh government. They would eventually make the prices of land skyrocket although it could be bought with some investments now. It was because he had witnessed it many times that once the information about foreign mineral resources was opened, the corporations that only care about their own profits overly competed with each other, making the mineral prices went up dramatically. He shook his head that Korean corporations were blinded by their own profits and never thought about making a consortium like many Japanese corporations. *** After returning to Baku, Youngho called Kim Chun. "Branch head Mr. Kim, the location of the airfield at the developing site would not change, right?" "Sure enough! Boss. The site is barren that it can't be used for anything else other than an airfield or storage area. " "Could you build a control tower and runway first? You've got to make it long enough in case a sky truck would land there. Also, could you please find out if I can develop additional land from the government of Atyrau?" "Boss, are you trying to expend the agricultural area?" "I'm trying to keep other agricultural companies away from our site. Once we developed everything and installed all the facilities, the government will try to push other companies to share our facilities but I won't allow it." "That's a great idea. They might ask to use the waterway or airport that we've made. I'll make sure to secure additional site from the government." "If they ask for more deposits, just give them what they want. Don't worry about the amount. Also, a Korean geological expert will be joining the development team soon. Can you find a decent place for him to stay, please? It was hard to convince him to work with us." "Alright, I'll get on it. It'd be great to have an expert with us. We might be able to develop mineral resources buried at the site." "For now, we'll secure the ground that we could use as farmland." "Since you're supporting the development process so well, I'm more motivated to work. I'll double the size of our site!" *** After listening to what Park Youngsun said, Youngho was baffled since Korean corporations would make once was free of charge land expensive due to over-competition. The resources that could be bought with investing in facility development, would become high of value just because corporations want to monopolize the resources for their own profits. If that happened in Kazakhstan, Youngho was willing to take them down even though they were his own people. To prevent such thing in the future, he wanted to buy out all of the developable land nearby of his farm site. He did not want to share the infrastructural facilities that he put an effort into. He would do whatever it takes to stop Korean corporations making their forays into farming business in Kazakhstan only to make money. When Park Youngsun said that he did not want to participate in such dirty competition with large corporations, Youngho suggested an idea; which was buying out the nearby land. Eventually, Park Youngsun accepted his offer since he agreed with Youngho's idea. He said that he would burn the last passion he had if he could produce an enormous amount of food resources that could be competed against large corporations. Because he met Park Youngsun in South Ossetia, Youngho could open his eyes to the unknown potential risk of the farming business. In order to survive, he needed to stay firm and secure his facilities and land that he invested in against other competitors or he would be losing years of hard work while doing good for others only. Park Youngsun did not want to see that happen and Youngho also agreed with him. Then what he had to do was to secure the land nearby his facilities. The investment cost would still stay the same even if the size of the land increased since the infrastructural facilities would stay the same. Once the airfield construction was completed, Youngho would be able to go in and out of the farm site freely without the Atyrau International Airport's interference since his farmland was extraterritorial. That meant, he would not have to go through screening when coming and going from Baku if he flew into the farm since he was not going to land in a foreign airport. It seemed that he would take advantage of his airplane frequently from now on.