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Chapter 1104: Biting a Path of Blood
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The rare mineral corridor line. t.i.tat.i.tan Star and Maklou were proceeding with various preparations with top secrecy. Progress was excellent. It could be said that the entire fleet was prepared, save the breath of the east wind, which Yan Xiaosu was supposed to take care of.
This east wind was difficult to create, but the other aspects of the route could not slow or stop. Time marched on steadily, pressuring the t.i.tan chamber of commerce. For some matters, you had to strike while the iron was hot, or variations would occur.
In the end, the designation of the route saw Yan Xiaosu in charge of a stretch with six federations, three empires, and another three independently governed planets. In all, he needed to obtain 12 shipping special customs permits.
This was a matter that any route entrepreneur had to settle. The Milky Way Alliance permit had no effect here. Each star’s affairs had to be negotiated with the business owner.
Only, without these customs permits, the route could not enter the business consortium and commence operations.
But up till now, out of 12 countries, Yan Xiaosu had not managed to obtain a single one!
Talks with a few major shipping companies had broken down as well. From the get go, their conditions were bad and worse. In the end, they had taken up the offer of the New Time Shipping company that Laurel had introduced. 50 percent for 50 years. It was the best offer.
Beaten down? Fine. Vicious compet.i.tion, fine. This was business as usual. Obtaining the Milky Way Alliance permit was useless. With all the countries, they spoke of cooperation, but as long as you did not meet their conditions, they would drag the issue. They could afford to, but the t.i.tan Chamber of Commerce could not afford to. And the route could not afford to.
In truth, the way these countries saw it, they were not worried about the t.i.tan Chamber of Commerce obtaining the permits. They completely snubbed t.i.tan Chamber of Commerce. That was the root of the issue.
KO Group’s influence was limited to the Solar System, and weakened the further one strayed from the Solar System. As for t.i.ta Star, there was even less influence to speak of. The way that other federations saw it, they were just a mining planet. A mining planet should just honestly ship its ore. What influence?
This was like the Arabian countries during the era of petroleum. Once the fossil fuel sources had been replaced, they had no value to speak of. Even in the era where fossil fuels were king, they were only slightly more prosperous, and had no autonomy at all.
On this point, Yan Xiaosu understood well. All this while, the t.i.tan Chamber of Commerce had progressed smoothly, and this had caused Yan Xiaosu to forget the basic nature of business. And at this point, it was very difficult to turn back.
It was not that he did not wish to make concessions. But the moment they began to concede, the t.i.tan Chamber of Commerce would completely be at their mercy. If the first step went this way, then the opponent would not hesitate to increase their demands subsequently, and would eventually take a hand directly in the business. Even an idiot could see that far.
Build a relationship? That was a daydream. In business, greed only grew. Swallowing poison did no good for one’s thirst.
On one point, Yan Xiaosu was exactly like w.a.n.g Zheng in character. Unsatisfied!
The more that it was said to be the Milky Way Alliance rules, that everyone followed thus, that one had to do things properly, the more he was discontent!
When there was a will, there was a way. But this way was lost on the cowardly and the ignorant. Or there might be a new way.
He had to think, he had to find it!
Yan Xiaosu was a resourceful person. Since the shipping companies were not cooperating, he had thought of the stupidest method. He had talked to all the stars individually. Although it looked like a fool’s errand, Yan Xiaosu had some tricks up his sleeve.
Laurel was at her wit’s end. This time around, she had used much of her power, but things had continued to develop in a way that she had not expected. There had to be a reason, and the results of her intelligence gathering had left her disheartened. Margate Interstellar Airline had used extensive resources and undercut itself in order to gain the power of many major shipping companies.
This was not only about the petty matter of the s.p.a.ce program, but they were gunning for the motherload that this transport route represented. It was revenge, with money included.
“Margate Interstellar Airline has already sent a high level delegation towards Maklou.”
When the news came back, Laurel had no more reservations, but called a meeting.
In an instant, everyone understood. The reason why the major shipping companies were so difficult, why the shipping compet.i.tion had been so intense. Even if it was a lose-lose situation, there was no reason for everyone to stonewall them. Margate Interstellar Airline was determined to win this time.
And they stood a good chance.
t.i.tat.i.tan Star’s side was relaxed. The Lan family and Mu Sen had expressed that they could wait, and should not be hasty. The quality and loyalty of their partners was the most important factor.
Yan Xiaosu was very grateful, and this was not just about his dignity. In the past, both sides had worked closely and built profitable foundations, and they had remembered their time together.
But on Maklou’s side…
Yan Xiaosu was completely blindsided. All he knew was that w.a.n.g Zheng had been there on a Milky Way Alliance mission before, and then struck up a friendship with someone of authority.
But no matter what, an old proverb came to mind. Friendship, in the face of profits, was as useful as the virginity of a prost.i.tute.
Even if Maklou was not currently pointing fingers, they could not pretend that nothing was wrong. They had to prove their meticulousness for the relationship to be long lived.
If they could not show results, then why would anyone continue to support them? It was calm now, and possibly the calm before the storm. When the time came, it would be fiercer than ever, and even more direct. Relationships? In a snap of the fingers and a poof, and it would be gone.
Gabre was the most panicky. His investment this time around was unprecedented. Although it was not all his body and house, it was more than two-thirds of his life savings. The last time Jasper had gambled, and he had not followed. This time he had, but it seemed like he was unlucky.
Of course, it was not just about his personal loss, but he had already made his guarantees to his family, and also brought in many people. If the news of a crumble leaked out…
But panicking was useless. If one’s specialty was of no help to the problem, then no amount of effort would remedy things. This was not even a problem of money.
All eyes were trained on Yan Xiaosu.
Big Brother, if you have a trump card, now would be the time to pull it, right?
The rates that the major shipping companies had provided were unreasonable; they were purposely out to trip them. Margate Interstellar Airline had bypa.s.sed them to directly negotiate with Maklou. This was more than vengeance now.
If they still could not secure the custom permits for the route after using every trick in their book, then the Maklou situation would change. Even with the support of t.i.tat.i.tan Star, the situation might very well end up in bidding!
Once bidding started, the t.i.tan Chamber of Commerce, with no shipping experience, would not even be qualified to intervene. The support of the t.i.ta people was useless. Once in the Milky Way Alliance, t.i.ta Star also had to abide by the basic rules, and Mu Sen could not act with impunity. Once you broke the rules, how could you expect others to abide by them?
Yan Xiaosu smiled slightly. At this moment, anybody could panic but him. “On Maklou’s side, I have no news yet, and that’s the best news. Let those Margate b.a.s.t.a.r.ds go bang around in the dark. We proceed as planned. As long as we are sure of our primary goals, we’ll be fine. Laurel. Out of the 12 planets, which is the easiest to convince?”
Laurel’s heart was beating wildly when she saw Yan Xiaosu’s smile. He was always hard to read. Did he have a trump card or not?
But she had already fired, and there was no pulling back the arrow now. This time around was different. She had brought in many “VIPs” who were also invested. If it all came to naught, it would go beyond her personal loss to affect her reputation and dignity. How would she stand in the industry in the future? She would become a laughing stock.
It has to be said that Yan Xiaosu’s composure had given Gabre and Jasper a measure of confidence, but it was ineffective on Laurel. Putting on a brave front did not bring success!
Laurel ordered her thoughts, and continued evenly, “Tarwo Federation is the most likely possibility. Elections in half a year, and their current president, Mogadi, seems to be a level-headed person. But the population polls for his successor are not looking good, and his support rate is at a new low.”
And if the new route could be closed on schedule, it would be a great push for Mogadi’s successor. That would undoubtedly be a huge help.
Yan Xiaosu nodded. “Then we will begin from Tarwo Federation. We will take the first, and then there will be a benchmark for further negotiations.” The negotiations were like dominos. As long as the first one was taken, the rest could be pushed over. “We can give Tarwo Federation the best terms, and then get the word out that the later terms will be worse. Taking a bit of a detour is no big deal!”
Yan Xiaosu did not believe that these alliances were that stubborn. For the profits, they all looked adamant. All he had to do was find a gap, and they would eventually crack!
Whether w.a.n.g Zheng had a solution or not, he could not sit idly by. He would bite his own path of blood!