Closing her eyes and leaning back against the headboard of the bed—Yan Mingqing was still asleep after all—Lin Songmei decided to just continue thinking along her little thought train. Might as well keep riding it if it works and it’s fun to think about.
What to think about though? What other things crossed the little invisible line between the cultivation and... normal, worlds?
The Daoist Times, that was one that popped to mind. Songmei had found out that the parent company that owned the Daoist Times also owned several of the largest news companies across all the four continents: Clocktower’s Net, Sky News, Purple Star Observer, and the Sentinel.
Of course, the people who owned that parent company were cultivators... that seemed to be the trend really. Cultivators more likely than not owned the biggest companies. There were big companies owned by non-cultivators, but they also pretty much had the lifespan of cultivators. That was a lucrative part of sect income after all, making life-extending or disease curing medicine for the non-cultivating world.
The thing was though, after a while, most of the rich non-cultivator business owners eventually had a child who was a cultivator. That child—super talented or not—would always be supported by enough wealth to get to a fairly high realm. Then, they’d just take over the business and oops, suddenly that’s a cultivator owned business.
Otherwise, non-cultivator business owners usually had their business bought out by massive sums of money, or just their business drowned by aggressive tactics.
Kinda sad, pretty unfair... but that was life...
There wasn’t much Songmei could do about it either. At least most of the time—maybe ninety-five percent—the cultivator business owners didn’t do anything illegal. They’d compete in a fair way, and if the non-cultivator was good enough... well Songmei didn't really know about business.
From what she knew it wasn’t like they were just gonna be like “oh well, you’re pretty good, I’ll just back out of this field and let you monopolize it.”
Taking a deep breath and settling back into a rhythm, Songmei took a moment to slow down her breathing and thinking.
Back to the Daoist Times though, they had a HUGE following! She’d watch a few episodes here or there, but from the comments, forums, and more, she could tell, they were popular!
They also had a newspaper that they’d send out once a week—Xueli was an avid reader of that—along with online individual articles. Seeing their exhaustive coverage, Songmei couldn’t help but commend them. They really covered all their bases, hitting every generation. All of this too was free!!
Songmei hated, maybe even despised, news sites that had most of their stuff behind a paywall.
How was she supposed to do any school project??
It’d always be her teacher assigning some ‘recommended’ or ‘good’ resources for her to use. Then, when she went to read it, it’d slap her with a paywall.
Every. Single. Time...
She didn’t have any money to give!! She was poorer than the paper they used to print their papers!
She was glad that was no longer the case though...
Starlight Lake treated her well... each direct disciple—Songmei couldn’t speak for inner or outer disciples—got an allowance. Most of the time though, it varied. The sect paid a minimum, but then a disciple’s master could add onto it.
As for her... Xueli was... generous, to say the least. Xueli liked to shower Songmei and Mingqing with gifts. It could be something small, like some stationary, some jewelry, but also... sometimes Xueli would just bring back an entire trampoline and plop it in the center courtyard, having bought it on impulse after seeing an advertisement.
Because of that... Songmei’s pockets were padded... very nicely padded. Of course, it couldn’t compare to the person laying next to her at all.
Surprisingly though, unlike the very bad novels or the very bad movies Songmei had seen, where the rich person is super out of touch with the rest of the world, Mingqing was pretty grounded. Maybe it was the household though, the Kunpeng household was known for... strict upbringings to say the least...
Though, Mingqing would still sometimes drop the most mind-boggling, eye-popping facts out of nowhere.
Just thinking about it, Songmei could help but feel herself get a little weak... It was a totally different world that Mingqing was used to!
For example... there was a time where it was a movie night, Songmei, Mingqing, and Xueli!
It wasn’t too much, Xueli had decided to show Songmei and Mingqing one of her favorite movies (it was old... really old). Xueli had said it was “a classic from before she was alive” but Songmei didn’t really believe that. Neither did Mingqing.
The movie was unimportant though, it had happened before the movie itself. Songmei and Mingqing were cuddled up under some covers together while Xueli had her own. All of them were sorta near each other though as it was right around the new year where everything was really buttcheeks-go-numb cold.
While cuddled up, Songmei was just munching on some snacks while the beginning credits were rolling. The whole spiel, “don’t redistribute,” “don’t sell,” don’t whatever. That whole thing. However, near the end of it, where it said “distributed by so-and-so,” Mingqing almost leapt out from under the blankets while pointing at the screen, shouting, “Wait a second, my parents own that company!”
A moment of shared disbelief between Songmei and Xueli later, Mingqing shrugged and sat back down. “Just look it up, you two can check, I’m pretty sure there’s a fairly long list of stuff they own, this is just one of their... branches?”
Songmei couldn’t even imagine saying she “owned a company” but “it wasn’t a big deal” since it was just one along the “media branch or whatever.”
Clenching her fist and shaking it a little, Songmei’s response was just...
Damn rich people!
Anyhow, Xueli and her had looked it up, and found out that in the “Kunpeng Clan’s Media Branch” as Mingqing called it, there were... so many companies.
The main parent company that owned a ton of other companies though owned that media distributing group, but also owned a famous literature publishing firm, a music label, along with a bazillion news groups!
Showing Xueli at the time, Songmei felt like her jaw was going to drop. No wonder the Daoist Times kissed up to Mingqing so much!! Her family owned their entire company!!
No wonder the Kunpeng clan was at the top of cultivator society... they owned half of it!
Songmei wouldn’t have even been surprised if they had also funded her orphanage...