119 Chapter 119
Matt returned to his quarters in the previous Cheng clan main house, this was the room that he was supposed to be staying at and only a couple of people knew that he was running around town. He needed to think about his police force more throughout, he only wrote down some main points he remembered from some police-themed shows back in the day.
His clan members were a bit violent in their approach, they kicked ass and took notes down later as well. This needed to change a bit, the collateral damage that some members caused while chasing down criminals was also a problem. The high-level cultivators were akin to supermen just busting through buildings, one badly placed Qi attack could cost someone's life in the near future. Injuries were already happening constantly, like when Zhang Zhi split the flying ship apart without caring for any for the slave girls on it.
'I'll need to write down a better guideline for them...also about that Xing Clan.'
He grabbed a jade slip from the side, on it was the detailed information about what that family did and where they produced all their income from.
'Hmm... slaves...prostitution...gambling...debt collecting... quite the stereotypical mafioso or yakuza bunch...'
That wasn't all that was in there, there was also information about the other families.
'Situ Clan eh? They sound like a farmaceutical company from Earth... just hiking up the prices for things that cost close to nothing, guess they are a bit better than the previous one as they don't force anyone to buy their stuff or threaten anyone. '
'Kuan Clan just sounds like a stingy landlord, though they are going a bit overboard by forcing the farmers to pay up even during drought seasons.'
The two other clans didn't sound so bad on paper, they mostly just strongarmed people to sign bad contracts or milked the populace that had nowhere else to go to for food or medicine. He would just have one of his more intelligent people crunch the numbers and see what would be a good price. It was supposed to be a good price for both parties, so the farmers wouldn't starve or the landlords wouldn't go out of business either.
It would be nice if he could replace everyone in this town with his own family members, but they didn't have the sheer numbers for that. All of these cities were large and required a lot of manpower to manage. At most he could place some trusted people here and there to manage the things from the top, just keep the other clan's up on their toes so that they don't suck the regular people dry.
'The Xing Clan is considered the largest one from these three and they are the shadiest one as well.'
He found that out just previously when he got attacked by ninjas, and they weren't dudes with blue hair but actual assassin warriors.
'Hm, maybe I should make my own ninja unit...'
He had an information and spy division, but he didn't look much into it as his grandpa was responsible for those guys. He would need to have Zhang Jin fill him in.
'I only gave him some techniques that could be used for things like that, he sounded ecstatic back then...'
He knew by now, that the cultivators were really crazy about new techniques. The moment they found something even half worthwhile they wanted to lock themselves up in a cave of months and train.
\"Hmm... so should we continue with the Xing Clan... or shift our attention to the other two...\"
There were plans in the works to lower the taxes, build free schools and free clinics around the city but the Zhang Clan hadn't moved against the other two clans that much. At most they inspected their stock and told them to shape up before the next one came along. It would cost quite a penny to transport food from their own town, but it would stir up the monopoly that the Kuan clan had. The Zhang Clan was also proficient in making pills, so they could slowly edge the Situ Clan out, forcing lower prices onto the market.
'Not like they can threaten us if we lower the prices, if they want to survive they will have to meet us in the middle.'
He could outright force the three families to work for him, even doing things like killing their Patriarchs if they didn't listen. But he thought that it was better to do it on more peaceful terms, he didn't want the Zhang Clan to just look like another group of bloodthirsty cultivators. The people would probably be happier if they knew that the ruling clan wouldn't just react with violence in the time of some kind of transgression.
Still, he also wanted his clan to earn their upkeep. It was always hard to find that fine line where the profit margins were high but the people working were still happy and content with their jobs. He was thinking about one certain thing that didn't really exist in this world, this thing was the weekend... and days off work.
Something like a Saturday and Sunday that were free was a foreign concept in this world, you were supposed to work all day every day or at least that what the landlords wanted you to do. What if he implemented a mandatory day off work, to spend with your loved ones or just chill.
In his previous world, things like this were already tried. A certain business owner observed and created the weekend because the workers would work harder and spend their hard-earned money back into the company that they were working in. This was a win-win situation for both parties, soon enough it was widespread and became the norm.
No one wanted to work ten or twelve hours a day for six or seven days a week. If they did that they were far too tired to spend their money on anything and just rested which was a blow for the economy.
'All up to the business owners if they give their workers a steady hourly wage, some of them have to work the whole day depending on the workload...'
He wanted to boost the people's productivity while lowering their workload, he would give them more time to enjoy the world around them while still making a profit as the workers would work harder at their jobs even though they worked fewer hours.
'This will also generate more opportunities, people will have free time on the weekends and will be able to spend all that hard earn cash!'
Most regular people weren't really able to enjoy things like theaters or concerts, not having money or free time to do that. But Matt was planning to convert that hologram technology into something more accessible, building a cinema wouldn't be that far fetched.
He had various crafting manuals, he could produce various weapon and armor pieces as well as magical accessories that shielded you from harm. It shouldn't be that hard to produce something like a camera or a screen that showed those recordings, he just needed to find the right materials and make it work on spiritual energy, he was even close to producing a prototype but it was quite bulky making it look like one of those old-timey televisions, just ten times bigger.
'But I'm getting ahead of myself, let me clean up this mess with these three families first, after they are contained I can move along with the other plans.'
He nodded to himself and placed the jade slip to the side, the thoughts of using slips like these as digital storage devices already crossing his mind.
'The Xing Clan sounds like the worse... they might be the hardest to deal with and might not want to change their outdated ways...'
He rubbed his chin while sipping on some green tea, it tasted quite nice along with the honey made from some spirit bees.
He looked back to the jade slip and brought out the information about loansharking, he was quite informed how things like these worked. They would hike up the interest rates the longer you didn't pay it back, though in his old world you would mostly have to put something down of worth so that the company lending you money had something to gain even if you didn't pay them.
'Guess the lives of these women are the thing they are after...'
There was a shortage of food and necessities in this city, everything required coins or spirit stones. People died a lot and the women were forced into taking those loans to support their families if anything happened to their husbands. Though there were other reasons, like gambling and just badly made decisions or bad investments.
Though these things were more or less legal in a sense. The people didn't have to take those loans, no one was forcing them. But not like they really had a choice, it was either this or getting thrown out of their houses, starvation or getting turned into a beggar.
Matt didn't really have anything against prostitution, he thought it was a good source of revenue for the city. He just didn't like that the working ladies weren't getting much for their time, the pimps were taking like eighty or seventy percent of that the women earned in the day. If they caught one of them trying to sell her services on the side without giving them a cut, she would be beaten up harshly.
'Should I just force them to make changes, or is there any other way...I guess we could try that...'
The escorts were low-level cultivators, mostly ranking in the ones that couldn't get past the 3rd level of Qi condensation bottleneck. So most of their loans were taken in coins.
'Gold coins are easy to come by, if it's not in spirit stones I think we can stomach it...'
Even though he didn't consider a gold coin to be much, even one was more than what a normal person could earn in a month. But if you took it into account that a gold coin didn't even compare to low grade spirit stone at all, it wasn't so bad. A lot of cultivators wouldn't even trade spirit stones for coins as they valued cultivation materials way more.
Matt had quite a lot of coins on himself, he had sold of various weapons of lower quality while bringing his crafting back up so he could cover the costs. He used up most of the spirit stone resources, but gold coins would be fine and this was an investment for the future as he was aiming to get more daily system points after getting the happiness of the citizens up.
He took out his communication jade and called Zhang Kuo, after receiving a greeting he gave out his order.
\"I want you to organize something for me. Get some people to go to the pleasure district, mostly target the working girls. I want you to buy off their debts, the women will have to pay it back partially at least but lower those insane interest rates that the other clans were forcing them to pay up.\"
\"That's not all, they can still work in their old profession but they would take most of the cut. Also set up the usual, in case they have nowhere else to go.\"
They had a system set up for people that had no living quarters and no families to take them in, they could stay in some Zhang Clan made shelter. They would perform some manual tasks for the clan, acting as errand boys and girls, cleaning ladies or handymen. If they showed talent in martial arts they could even be recruited into the clan.
\"Well then, I'll leave you to it. As always, don't try to be too forceful.\"
Zhang Dong hung up as Zhang Kuo received the message. His brows showing a tint of sweat, the man seemed to be on top of things, but even he was getting tired from the strange requests that this new Patriarch was giving him, he needed an assistant.