Chapter 159: Arirang Hotel (3)
Youngho was taking a walk with Leon on a stroller. Leon had been nagged to go out whenever he opened his eyes.
In was Sunday and the wine factory was closed. Only Serbian children were running about on the quiet farm. Since the construction of the playground near the reservoir was not completed, the children always gathered on the grassy field near the mansion.
As Youngho turned his face from the bright spring sunlight, he spotted Jongil who was walking down a hill with his little son holding his hand.
“Hey, Boss! Why don’t we go hunting this afternoon with Insoo? Gerhardt said there were too many deer in the front mountain.'”
“Someone must be wanting a deer head from Gerhardt. He never complained about such thing before.”
“What? Is that what he meant?”
“Yeah, people rarely want deer meat anymore because it smells bad.”
“Zeynep still likes raw deer meat and I do too!”
“That’s just because you two are weirdos.”
Anyone related to Zeynep Farm had a deer head decoration on the wall above their fireplace. If someone was not given a deer head, it meant the person was not an important connection.
It was because the security crews would go hunting for deer under the pretext of training. It would not be weird if deer were dried up in the mountain but they still frequently appeared.
The deer were after little sprouts of grape trees but once they were caught in the security crews’ eyes, they were turned into a great dinner meal to go with drinks.
Now, most of the Korean security crews lived in apartments downtown and they would come to the farm to hunt deer on the weekends if they did not have work. Even last week, two teams crowded in and had a barbecue party with deer meats. Because they made noises in the late night in their drunk, they were kicked out by Sangchun’s father.
Although Sangchun’s father loved to drink, he did not like people having a drinking party without inviting him. So, many of the smart crews would invite the father and knock him out first and then enjoyed the party without him.
Anyway, Youngho decided to go for hunting in a long time. Szechenyi got excited as Youngho told him to get ready. He was in love with hunting that he could even jump up from his bed from his sleep when someone mentioned ‘hunting’. He immediately got ready and was waiting for Youngho at the porch. It seemed that his Serbian blood was calling him to the mountains since they used to live in the wild.
Szechenyi was willing to be a great teacher of his heritage to Leon. He said that he would teach Leon the Serbian knight’s breathing techniques and hunting skills Since the breathing technique was only taught to Youngho and Szechenyi, Jongil was jealous of them. There was still a tension between him and chief Niksic. However, Youngho could not teach Jongil himself. Not only he was still fumbling but also he promised to Niksic that he would not let out the secret to strangers.
Niksic only taught it to Youngho because he was Fatima’s husband and Leon’s father. The technique was traditionally taught from father to son, and Youngho would be the one to teach Leon in the future.
Although Youngho would not need those techniques since he was the owner of the ring, Niksic insisted that any Serbian knights or royalty should know about the techniques. The breathing techniques resembled Korean dan-jun breathing exercise* but it was still different from it.
In Youngho’s eyes, Szechenyi, who now mastered martial arts taught by Jongil, was now a different person. Following from behind on the mountain, his now-adult body looked like a natural warrior’s.
He learned business administration and humanities in college but his body was a natural-born warrior. Youngho thought that he would make a great CEO of a security company.
“Let’s take a break! Or we should at least put on the leather shoes now.”
“Hyung, I don’t feel tired at all now.”
Insoo was already out of breath after running without leather shoes to train his body. However, Szechenyi was perfectly fine.
“Hey! You think we’re teenagers? Man, my thighs.”
Jongil also complained. They had to stop running for a while.
“Jongil hyung and Insoo hyung, you can follow me after putting on the leather shoes.”
“Wait, he’s treating us like old men now.”
“What? Did I hear it wrong? So, you’re saying you can beat me with your martial arts now?”
“Well, I didn’t say that, but I’m confident that I can beat you Jongil hyung.”
“Man, I wish I heard it wrong. You can beat me now?”
“If only we competed with strength, not skills.”
“Youngho, can I beat him up? I’ve got a challenger. Just don’t tell old Niksic, he’d kill me. I don’t care about the knight’s breathing techniques. I’m going to show him who the real master of martial arts is.”
“Stop playing with the little child, man!”
“Insoo. Didn’t you hear? Szechenyi just challenged me! You saw it, right?”
They carried two deer on wooden poles to the farm. As they were passing the reservoir, Serbian residents who were taking a break crowded in around them. As Cha Insoo, who was not fond of deer meat, gestured them to take the deer, the residents cheered. They did not mind the bad odor of wild deer meat.
“Hey! What about us?”
“They do hard labors, you know. They need it more than us. You always fool around here, why do you need to eat meat?”
Insoo did not care about Jongil’s words. Jongil’s face turned pale in worry that he would not be able to get some for his raw meat. He had promised to Zeynep that he would be getting her raw deer meat.
The meats and the skins were distributed to Serbians and Gerhardt took the heads. Jongil could only take some meat for himself and Zeynep.
Two elk deer could feed twenty Serbian families on Zeynep Farm. Since they only ate sheep’s meat usually, deer meat was a special treat for them.
With a little bit of meat that Jongil saved, the gang was having a discussion to make it a soup or barbecue. It seemed like the friends would have a drinking party soon. With Sangchun joining, the gang started to pour the drinks down their throats.
Kim Ilkwon, who recently visited Moscow on his way back to Baku from South Ossetia, brought a report about the current state of hotel business in Moscow.
“So, you’re saying even Korean big corporation is planning to build hotels in Moscow?”
“Yes, Boss. It’s rumored that the famous Korean L Hotel will be making its foray in Moscow near Red Square soon. They say it’s going to be a small five-star level hotel. Although there won’t be a lot of rooms, since it will be near Red Square, they’ll have a great advertisement effect.”
Youngho had never thought about having a hotel in Russia. It was because of Yaniv, since he would want to join any business that Youngho was starting but at least for the hotel business, Youngho wanted to do it alone. However, Moscow was such an intriguing place for his business. He would have to pull Yaniv and Sergey into his business anyway since he would need mafias’ power to do business in Russia.
Youngho imagined a high-class bar in his hotel, crowded by Russians alcohol lovers. Because they liked drinking, the bar would raise great sales.
“Aren’t land deals not permitted in Russia? We’d have to sign a long-term leasing contract if we start Arirang Hotel there. Wouldn’t it be hard to sell the business in the future?”
Youngho asked a question to see how much he had investigated the Russian market and Ilkwon answered him right off the reel.
“Boss, that’s an old story. Land deals are now permitted in Russia. The country is trying hard to attract foreign investments. For foreigners, they can lease properties for a hundred years and if a local corporation body is established, you can even buy lands.”
Russia recently instituted a new system that allowed people’s personal properties. If Youngho could take advantage of Yaniv’s power, he could even own a state land in Moscow’s downtown.
It would not make sense to invest near a hundred million dollars to lease land to do business for a few dozens of years but if he could own land, that would be a different story.
On top of that, he could ask for more support from the Russian government since he was a foreign investor.
If Yaniv agreed to invest in his hotel, he would be able to buy some more hotels in Western Europe with his funds. Since he already had an experience of opening a business in Vladivostok, Russia, Youngho decided to boldly proceed with his new business plan.
After considering different facts, Youngho contacted Sergey.
“Hey! So, you can make a call first.”
“Brother, I think I’m always the one who calls you first.”
“Hahaha, I’m just joking. So, I received the offshore oil field sales report a few days back. What are you up to now?”
“Brother, are you interested in stepping into hotel business at all?’
“Boss doesn’t even want to mention. It’s not a mafia’s business, you know. And, also, he doesn’t think it’ll make him money.”
It seemed that Yaniv thought that mafias would be looked down if they were involved in hotel businesses.
“It’s like a golden goose in the world of tourism. Boy, Mr. Yaniv lost his business sense. So, that means he wouldn’t care if I open a hotel in Moscow?”
“Wait, you’re saying you’re going to do it alone?”
“That’s why I called you, brother. You won’t ignore me if I start a business there, right?”
“Hmmm. If you’re opening a hotel here, we’ll have to rethink about that. Boss is next to me, I’ll ask him about it.”
After a moment, another voice greeted Youngho.
Yaniv wanted to see Youngho immediately. He was intrigued by his business proposal. He said that he changed his mind about the business now since Youngho wanted to start a hotel, not anywhere else but in Russia.
Yaniv did not dare to start businesses in Western Europe because he feared people’s prejudice. Many people were not fond of businesses of foreign mafias in their countries. However, since Youngho was starting the business in Russia, Yaniv thought that he might be able to make his way into Western Europe too as an investor of Arirang Hotel.
Hot tempered Yaniv wanted to close the deal fast. Since he kept asking, Youngho had to fly to Moscow with Ilkwon soon.
Meanwhile, Yaniv was waiting for him with a possible site in mind already.
“What about this? Do you like it?”
Yaniv was treating Youngho as a hotel expert already since he was running two other hotels in South Ossetia and Baku already.
“Mr. Yaniv. I only bought those hotels through amazing deals by luck. A plan doesn’t automatically pop in my head just by looking at a site.”
“If you made a judgment that it would be worth trying, it’ll probably be successful. If you fail, I can force mafias in Moscow to stay in the hotel too.”
That sounded like a terrible mafia’s business plan. However, Sergey was smiling next to him. It seemed like it was a sensible idea to both.
“Brother, shouldn’t we do market research? I’m going to invest in here but it’s going to be troublesome if you force it like this.”
“Boss will be managing the hotel, what’s to worry about?”
Yaniv added to Sergey’s words.
“What is management anyway? Isn’t it a success if it’s filled with people?”
It was a business management skill unheard of that Yaniv’s idea even sounded fresh. It seemed that Youngho’s brain stopped functioning every time he came to Russia.
Youngho started explaining the historic value of Baku’s Arirang Hotel’s statue decorations and how Istanbul’s experts had praised its value.
“So, you’re saying, it would attract more people to the hotel if it was built as a classic architectural structure instead of building a modernized one? Hmmm. That’s different. Alright, I like your idea of making a unique hotel building!”
Although Yaniv had a rough personality, he still had an outstanding sense of business. He already understood where Youngho was getting at.
“You have made an excellent choice, Mr. Yaniv.”
Youngho started to flatter Yaniv.
“You can flatter people? What do you want? It sounds like you want to use Arirang’s brand name, am I not right?”
Yaniv was fast-witted that he soon found out Youngho’s real intention behind his compliment.
“Even though there are only two now, isn’t Arirang Hotel a global hotel chain since they’re in different countries?
*Dan-jun breathing exercise- hypogastric breathing