Empire of the Ring Chapter 219: Ah! The Kurds 2
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Youngho's grandparents lived in the city of Gangneung in the province of Gangwondo, South Korea when he was young.
Every summer, Youngho, and Yunsuh would stay there.
Since his grandparents did any favor they asked, they used to count their days till summer.
This was the summer when Youngho was in his fourth grade.
He left his grandparents' house to go to a beach nearby with neighborhood friends but he had to encounter trouble.
There were so many booths of merchants and small business owners lined up along the beach, which attracted kids. On that day, he was so preoccupied with eating with his friends, that he spent all of his money including the money he had to pay for leaving his clothes in the dressing room. Luckily, he still had money left to pay the bus fare to return home.
Unwillingly, he had to put his clothes on the beach. So, he had an idea to dig up some sand and hide the clothes and his friends all agreed with him, saying that it was a great idea. They found a safe place far away from the waves and hid their clothes.
After playing for several hours, the group was ready to return home.
However, they could not remember where they hid their clothes.
They should have hidden their clothes to a discernible spot nearby but they had not thought through about it that far. The kids searched the whole beach until it got dark but their clothes were nowhere to be seen.
It was hilarious to see kids searching for their clothes for hours in the hot summer heat. Sweat and tears were all mixed with sand on their bodies.
Eventually, the gang who could not find their clothes was able to get on a bus in their bathing suits and arrive downtown of Gangneung only because of a merciful bus driver.
Youngho still remembered the kids' pitiful look as they walked downtown in the dark.
It was totally embarrassing and shameful.
The scene of Yunsuh rolling on the floor with laughter when Youngho entered their grandparents' house was still embarrassing to him.
Youngho was reminiscing his past because of the war orphans.
Eleven-year-old kids these days were impudent and cunning because they had access to more things in the world due to the development of technologies. However, the orphans were different. They did not even say that they needed to go to the bathroom but they just wetted their pants in the bus. They were not even embarrassed by their behaviors.
Youngho thought that they must have been shattered by the traumas of war.
Jong-il, who usually was the complaining one, did not say much but rather cleaned after them and treated them even more kindly. Since the kids did not even express basic desires for hunger or thirst, it was sad to watch them. Only a few of them carefully expressed their needs but most of them were speechless.
At Zeynep Farm, Zeynep welcomed the kids with joy.
She liked the fact that the foundation was finally doing its job.
Hugging and patting the dirty kids, she almost acted like their mom. Since Zeynep was a pretty girl, friendlier and younger than Youngho and Jong-il, the kids seemed to be more relaxed around her.
Zeynep wanted to take care of all of the kids but what the kids needed was not a sister, it was a mom. Youngho convinced Zeynep to adopt one kid and send the others to the homes of Serbian immigrants.
The descendants of Serbian knights in the ranch had great pride and dignity since they were the descendants of the knights of the Kingdom of Serbia. They did not receive regular education because they were dragged as slaves but they held great self-esteem as knights.
Their consideration for others was great even if they had nothing to eat or drink, they would give food for others sacrificing themselves.
The Serbian immigrants in Zeynep Farm were not knights but it did not mean that they were not compassionate. Thankfully, Serbian people accepted the orphans with compassionate hearts. They had experienced hardship in life as minorities in Serbia and they had sympathy for the war orphans. There were more than enough Serbian families that volunteered to take care of the orphans, so eventually, they were all taken to their new homes.
What the kids needed were to be taken cared of in loving homes with genuine hearted parents and siblings in order for them to get over their horrible memories. Luxury food and clothes were meaningless but attention and care were the best treatment for their traumas.
There was a reason that Youngho brought a nine-year-old girl to his mansion.
She was particularly silent, so he wanted to take care of her himself, and he thought that she might improve if she stayed with a baby. Also, she was the one that Zeynep had the most pity on from the moment they first met.
Fatima and Zeynep cleaned the girl with care and treated her in a friendly manner. Soon, her rigid face was gone and she began to follow Zeynep around wherever she went.
She intuitively knew who was most affectionate toward her.
After the supper, Leon played around the mansion making noises and he approached the girl. It seemed that he liked her since he was very friendly to her.
Looking at Leon, the wordless girl carefully touched Leon's hand and hugged him silently. Since she stayed in that position for a while, Fatima approached her to see what was going on but she had to stop. The girl was crying silently hugging Leon with her arms.
The Koryoin town, which was half day away by land from Arirang Farm, was livelier now since a team of the Arirang Foundation delivered supplies for the town every ten days.
Youngho had agreed to provide food and necessary supplies and gold collecting equipment and to pay for their gold at the black market price.
The kids of the town were also sent to Arirang Farm to receive education with Serbian kids. They stayed in Arirang Farm and were sent to their homes at least twice a month.
Aside from the inconvenience of transportation, it was hard to even think about going outside to study since they had no money or opportunity but the town people were relieved that they had somewhere to send their kids to get an education.
It had been a month since Youngho visited the town and now he was there to discuss a matter with Kim Sungchan.
"I'm happy that our kids are doing great in Arirang Farm. It feels like a huge burden had been lifted up from my heart. It's all because of your consideration."
"You've taught them well until now. How did you decide to teach Russian to the kids?"
The Koryoin kids could speak not only Korean but also Russian.
"We'd live in small town for the rest of our lives but it's not right to hold back younger ones' future. I taught them time to time but if I had known that they would be leaving our town this soon, I would've put more effort."
"No, there's nothing to worry about. The Russian teacher on the farm said that they're doing great. Also, they get along with the Serbian kids as well. They'll become a great influence in the future."
Since the Koryoin kids grew in an isolated town, the town people had concerns about the kids' sociability but surprisingly, they were doing great with other Serbian kids.
"Please take care of our kids well."
"Of course, I will. Do not worry. I don't know much about education but I made the best educational environment. I have great expectations for the kids."
After talking about the kids for a while, Youngho finally asked a question that was on his mind.
"Sir. This is not a great environment for the town people. Have you ever thought about moving to Arirang Farm?"
Kim Sungchan was surprised to hear it.
Since it sounded as if Youngho was saying that the town people should give up the gold, he was silent.
"The rumor that there is gold here will spread eventually. I'm just worried about the town people's safety. All sorts of people will come here to get gold and we should prepare for such a situation."
It was not like the town people had bought the land and they were protected by the law. Anyone could enter the land and take the gold. People would come and some even try to rob the gold that they had collected so far.
"If I hire experts, we'll be able to collect more gold. I'll guarantee the town's portion of gold. In fact, with your manpower, the maximum amount of gold you could collect a year is about five kilograms. It would be silly to take the risk to collect only that much."
The amount of gold collected here could not be compared to the gold being produced in Baku.
"I understand where you're coming from but why do you care so much about us?"
"I'm a nosy person by nature. It's hard to overlook the town when I know what's going to come. There must be a reason that we came across with each other."
"I won't say that gold is not a part of my calculation but it's not a major part."
Kim Sungchan thought about Youngho's words for a while, he then said,
"In truth, I have no lingering attachment to the town itself. Since the kids had already left the town… Okay. I'll do as you said."
Youngho could already tell that Kim Sungchan was a wise person, although the relationship between them had not been that long. Being a son of an independence fighter, Kim Sungchan was educated by his parents and learned to be diligent and loyal. He knew the way of the world through his knowledge and Youngho was dying to have someone like him on Arirang Farm.
"Sir, if you come and help us on the farm, it'd be like having thousands of troops and horses."
"For what does this old man know that I dare to guide you? I'll just get old and die in time."
Although he did not say that he was interested, his face seemed to be excited about the new life that was being offered to him.
"You'll see it when you get there but people's minds are not stabilized yet because too many things are going on right now. I also need your wisdom. Please teach us. I'll open my eyes and ears for you."
"I'm the one who needs to learn more about the world."
Kim Sungchan joining the farm would help Youngho gain a great counsel on top of Park Youngsun's knowledge. Their great synergy could have a beneficial effect on the farm's development.
Youngho was excited.
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