Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Random thoughts: In search of that perfect life?

What is life? 

Can write a book on this? But let's simplify it and say life is how we spend our time? "A sick spending the rest of his life in bed", we can replace "life" with "time", isn't it?

So, we spend most of our time at work, at home, with ourselves. Of course there are variations for retirees, men of leisure, home makers as well, but one way of another, we have at least one of these few domains as of how we spend our time. 

Is our work perfect? Defintely not, u might be pissed off with your boss, with different ideas about how to manage your team, bored down with politics etc.

Is our family life perfect? Do we not have money problems, quarrels, lack of attention, differences in bringing up of child, how best to take care of elderly etc?

Is my personal life perfect! No, we have our inner demons, we have our unfulfilled ambitions, and our untapped passion

Since our time is our life. How we spend our time determine the quality of our life.

The pursuit of FI is to free up time. The important thing to this, do u know what u want to do when u do have time at hand? "Ok la, think I will continue to work" I always hear this, if this is what you want, why pull your hairs saving and investing and not spend time on other things now. 

If "wanted to have 1 million, 200k is enough for me to sustain myself, and the rest I will set up a fund to help elderly", is your mantra, every second in investing and saving for the future is your "perfect life", because every second is well spent living your life according to your beliefs. 

Same same but different. 

So how I spend my time, has nothing/little to do with how others spend their time unless we have a common goal, or how much others have in their FI days.

Every second passed, you are one step closer to death, spend it wisely and most importantly, happily. Chase after what really matters, and if there are imperfection in the way you think your time is spent, make the best out of it. 

Make the best of time. The f** rich also only have 24 hours a day, it's how we spend it that make a difference. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Random thoughts: Paradox of kindness?

I have read this before: great compassion needs greet wisdom, or that compassion might amount to nothing.

I began to feel and understand this statement more. 

Kindness is rather paradoxical, pure kindness mean you do not think too much, you have the "intention" to help, and u did. What has wisdom got to this with kindness?

Kindness depends on the giver or the recipient? If only intention counts, then it depends on the giver?

What if the recipient do not accept your kindness? Who are we to determine what is better? Are there cases that recipients do not want our help but we still need to help? You bet! Think of depression cases. Would they want your "kindness"? To them it is "pity" or you are treating them like beggars. But we carry on as far as we could nonetheless. 

But if it's only/ more about the giver, note the pitfall of self-righteousness. (自命清高)

If it all about the recipients, how do we draw the line besides cases of "depression"

The biggest parodox is: Just continue doing it nonetheless. 

Better to be self-righteous and get a slap one day than missed a chance that is possible for u to make a difference.

Better to be over-zealous and realize you are unhappy of helping, because you care too much of other people business that are unimportant than you woke out one day and saw your own pathetic self. 

Of course, kindness with strings attached is not kindness. 

So, I am so kind to him, why is his ungrateful? The word "ungrateful" do not appear in the dictionary of "kindness"

If we to fatten ourselves, that is not kindness too. It's a transaction. It does not have to be a monetary transaction, it can be an emotional transaction. For example, after "helping" someone, you feel "happy" because u feel "damn power"? 

Did u see the parodox? Or there is none to begin with? 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Random thoughts: Recent retail experince

Recently, I need to set up a photo booth for my mid-autumn event. I needed a backdrop. It cost $250, it is a plain sky blue color cloth with stands, dimension is 3 by 2 m. It is rented, and have to be returned post event. (Lobang settled by my colleague)

I still need to worry about decorating it with mid-autumn theme. I am so busy that I asked my colleagues if I could just cut and past pictures from Internet and enlarged it to much bigger size, and put them up.

My colleagues told me it won't be cheap. I don't really mind forking out on my own (exceed budget), but the designing and cutting is also very lechek.

My colleague ask if I want to try my luck renting one of those backdrops from wedding photography studio. 

I decide to ask around more and did both people and online research. Wow, and I got a supplier from Aliexpress that have backdrop like this for only $80 (after shipping costs)

Of course, as with all online purchases, what u see might not be what u get, but at least I will have something to put up with minimum efforts. Best of all, I can recycled it and it's within budget. Now instead of 1 backdrop, I got 3. Talk about value for money!!

Aliexpress tracking system is also good enough for me. I know payment is verified, awaiting shipment and my most recent status just 5 working days after my purchase is being shipped out. 

I asked my colleague if he would have problem cancelling the previous backdrop order. He said not a problem, anytime, he had not pay and didn't commit to buy. I say once I received the goods and its in good conditions, he can proceed to cancel it. 

Last week, my family had a walk at the airport, I went to the bookshop and wanted to get a book "Chronicles of our troubled times" I flipped through it and saw various titles that really interest me, like "Greeks are not lazy"

It wasn't a thick book, and I think I can finished it within 2-3 hours. I looked at the price and it really pissed me off. Thirty over dollars? 

I did the shameless thing and search online, I saw different platforms selling online version of it and some offering monthly subscription for million of different book titles. I didn't bite.

I went to NLB, they didn't have the title. I guess it is very recently published.

Yesterday, I took my son to the library and tried my luck again. hey! They have it, I immediately placed a reservation for it, only $1.55. Kudos to NLB for being so efficient. 

If u ask me to buy "the intelligent investor" for 40 bucks, I would and I did, because there is a wealth of information and u can reread them several times to gain different insights or simply just refer to it from time to time. But that book, just doesn't make sense. 


In conclusion, it makes me feel that brick and mortar retail concept really need to rethink their service and value-addedness if they want to compete.

Random thoughts: Losing

No one like to lose. Especially investors, we swear never to lose money.

Can U imagine losing every quarter? Losing quarter after quarters for years?
We would most probably be bankrupt, right?

Now, if we are bankrupt, and someone ask u that the way to overturn the table, is to work harder and win at where u lost? In another word, stand up at where you fall, how would u feel? 

I think I might show the person the middle finger?

Sometimes, I think we are too harsh on our kids. I think they have been called "lazy", "attitude" accurately but unfairly.

It is a accurate description because they do not put in effort, and when led to the stream with water at their mouth, they still refuse to drink.

But it is unfair to just condemn them. Ask yourself how many failures u can take before it breaks you? Look, if you are not a good trader, u can try becoming a investor, and if u still fail, u can again walk off and be a saver. 

What if I tell you for the 10 years, no matter how you fail, u still try to hone craft as a trader? 

I felt my pupils have many problems, one of the most serious is lack of confidence and self-esteem. They doubt themselves. They wanted success but no longer think they can achieve it. 

If I fail my job for 3 years in a row, I think it might break me, in the sense I will start to set "more realistic expectations". But do we allow kids to set "realistic expectations"

I am very happy with the efforts put in and I see a change in their "hunger" for success. I finally see them smile after getting their results.

Numbers have not compassion and empathy. Do not break them further. 


There is another type of losing. Losing to your peers. 

You make money from the stock market, then u realize every tom and dick also make money, and u wonder if u are just lucky.

U decided to look at track record, then u realize u dun have one that is longer than the person beside you.

U think u are on the right track, but the person has 30% more profits than u. 

So u set the benchmark higher so that u stop losing.

Which is worse, losing money or losing to people? 

I know the worst, losing to yourself. Lost confidence, lost passion. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Random thoughts: Caught between a rock and a hard place?

Chill, this is not as serious as the heading suggested, ok?

If you are pragmatic, pursuing FI and generally frugal, but your wife wanted the finer things in life, something along the line of 5C, what would you do?

I guess depending on the threshold and how big is the gap, everyone's answer will be different. I guess not many would allow the family fiances go into ruin by living like there is no tomorrow. But how about taking a loan to live in a private condominium? How about a maid? A car? Annual overseas trip, best enrichment classes for children.

I felt very blessed that my wife did not ask for the sky, but I would definitely prefer to save more and live maybe another one of two notch below my means? So, is giving in to your wife necessary means you are throwing cautious into the winds?

I had my quarrels, so here is just my personal sharing of Dos and Don'ts.


1) Don't raise your voice when talking about money matters.

2) Don't tell her you know of a blogger AK that achieve FI below the age of 40, and how inspired you are by him. (You can be inspired but don't expect her to be)

3) Don't expect mountains to shift in one night

4) Don't expect her to give in all the time


1) Do show her how tight the fiances really are. (Provide breakdown)

2) Do give in whenever possible, hey, you married her to give her a good life, remembered? You said that in that vow, material satisfaction is still satisfaction.

3) Start changing your habits first. Stop taking your starbucks coffee, stop taking cab, buying comic, etc. Look at your favorite PC game flashing outside that shop, and talked about the storyline, the gameplay, how it has accompanied your childhood. If she said the magic word "buy", you strike lottery, and say, "Its Ok, I rather save the money for the family"

4) Give her more control over "assets", sense of security is precious. You will be surprised how often women will say, "Its Ok, thank you" when you offer to pay without her asking, and asking if she like to have something without her even looking.

Of course, we all like to be in those drama stories, where we all suffer together and then later, because of your frugality and hardwork, you achieved FI and can live like no tomorrow, you think she should also have delayed gratification so that both of you can have a bigger pie later on in life.

Good for you, I live by the day. Thank you

Recent action: Bought Singpost

Just a head up.

Singpost fell in higher volume today. Guess Alibaba might finally decide no deal for venture of Quatium Solutions? Perhaps the next CEO also ran away? LOL

I believe Singpost can grow earnings by 10-20% over the next 2 years, with or without Alibaba. Of course, a JV with more capital injection is welcome. With Alibaba, it might grow at an higher end of that range. 

As mentioned in previous post, logistic is the crown gem.

Quarter to quarter, they might not be doing well. But it is growing ok YOY ( seasonality is a factor). December is the peak period and a weak Q2 should not be over-extrapolated.

SP mall will be back in operation soon and the omni channel will be the next frontier to be fought in e-commerce and Singapore and Singpost has first mover advantage in SEA.

I might be wrong, I have no insider information.

Again, the tactic is simple. Buy small, start small and if it falls, buy again. 

The next 2-3 months will have plenty of market moving news.

Appointment of CEO, even the non-appointment of one after the acting CEO assure investors it should take place this year will be a mover.

The review to be taken by the new team, including dividend payment sustainability 

Alibaba's commitment or lack of, to grow its presence in SEA through Lazada and Singpost or with Lazada only. 

Have fun, get ready for the ride. 

I didn't even go into Fed ...  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Random thoughts: did what I want, without FI

Yesterday was kind of memorable for me. 

Before that, I was very busy at work, overseeing a lot of responsibilities for the first time. I was very kanchong as I was afraid of not doing it well. Maybe it will affect many people, and some people rather drastically if things dun turn out well, I did not sleep well for the past 1 week. Yesterday was the last day, it was a load off my shoulder. 

I took "leave" from my wife, spent a longer than usual time with my dad at dinner, and did night cycling with my friends. 

We call ourselves the uncles riders.

We were chit chatting how long have we not cycled, and I realized it has been more than 4 years. 

As we cycle along east coast, I enjoy every moment of it, and felt young.

The beautiful full moon out at the sea.

The amusement of seeing so many people, adults included playing Pokemon go.

Didn't know I could ride to Marina Barrage from east coast. It was a beautiful place, beautiful view. 

The weather was cool, not too humid with the breeze making me feel refreshed.

Didn't know cycling felt so exhausting. I am indeed turning weak. 

Although physically tiring, it was mentally liberating. 

Little pleasures in life. And the tough week prior to that is the icing of the cake. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Random thoughts: Order of importance

Words are important, it is a tool of communication.

But, while what is said is important, what the speaker felt is even more important. 

While what the speaker felt is important, how you feel is more important. 

While how you felt is important, what you do about it is more important.

While what u did is important, how convinced is your actions is right is more important. 

While being right is important, how it achieved its intended consequences is more important. 

While achieving is important, how it can be sustained achieving is goals in the long run is more important. 

When you understand what is most important, you no longer get bothered by the words. 

Who is bothering you? I, myself or me?

Not the above? 

That's a lot of people bothering you man!

Recent Action: Yangzijiang

"I am a poor Poker Player, I let people know my move. LOL"

"I am also inconsistent, since I was just blogging about restraining my buy"

Hey, Rolf and SMOL, see I preempt your poking first. See how I see you up up and even before I pen anything down, I thought about your reactions.

OK, enough bullshit.

While the STI is showing plenty of resilience, Yangzijiang is falling.

Plenty can go wrong with YZJ.

It can suffer a double whammy, HTM turn sour and the lower Margin of shipbuilding is already playing out. If you google HTM or more macro... there is plenty of articles on the bad debts of China and how YZJ will have to write down it HTM

First of all, let me say I just bought at half of what I would usually buy, so that I can reinforced it 60 cents. I look at YZJ by the business rather than numbers.

That it is a alpha shipbuilder is not in question, of course the reason why it is alpha has also got to do with its strong balance sheet which is helped by HTM. You can't take that away for better or worse. While they have been reducing their HTM, this latest quarter show an increase in HTM assets and more "government-linked" projects. This is my story:

Government is twisting YZJ's arm in the restructuring of shipping sector. The bad debts restructuring of yards, should be transfer to its new investing company in which it had an 11% stake. It is for the private sector to share the burden, but some sweeteners are also given, such as the first building orders from SOE.

The risk of this company going bad is not low.

So what is the meat to invest? YZJ is going up the technology value chain. I read shipping news at least weekly, way before LNG and gas carriers are the "in" thing, they are already claiming their ambitions in this sector, the same with large containership, etc. In short, they read the industry very well, also restricting that rig building to only 1. (Now laid up in Tai Chang yard, might not be delivered in the end.)

Second, they have been shareholder friendly. Dividends at 30% payout since IPO, I expect dividends to be 3-3.5 cents this year. But it is still a decent 4% as I wait for the upturn. There is also no fund raising yet.

Third, the shipbuilding cycle is at its bottom. No one knows how long more it will last. But it has been around for more than 5 years, and when the 3 Korean Giants who are all market leaders bleed big time, and that China has only 70 yards in the white list, and according to Yuan going to be only another 35 going forward, we know the sector is in doldrums. YZJ have at least 1.5 years without any orders to continue to keep its yard busy. Cancellations risk not accounted here.

Fourth, reward is reasonable high.

Fifth, Ren's leadership. His son is already COE, although he is still clearly in charge. Succession planning anyone? He is candid, not shy from admitting his mistakes. With government's arm-twisting to invest in RongSheng, he managed to say "Not yet", and "No" to more rig orders. Everyone can say HTM will blow, it might, just like DBS also got a big slap in the face. I will not underestimate his ability, there is already impairment done for HTM, my take is when his HTM blows up, China Banks will also blow... It is not going to be nice wherever you are...


YZJ is not your bao jia durian. Its valuation is attractive for a reason. It is risky.

It is a risk I will take.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Random thoughts: All that I did not know about Singpost

This is a random thought series. No numbers or valuation call. 

I was rather intrigued by Singpost business, creating an Eco-system to feed  into logistic. Singpost aim to be an e-commerce logistic player, many forgot the "logistic" behind the equation. But here goes, what I didn't know, or cannot confirmed till now. I was very intrigued reading the annual reports of Amazon, and EBay, and Internet rocket, the owner of Lazada which Alibaba bought a stake in.

1)B2B, C2C, B2B4C? = SMS?
 In E-commerce there is B2B, C2C concept etc. Alibaba's Taobao is kinda of C2C, consumer to consumer. But I guess the Giants like EBay, Amazon are all BC2BC all rolled into one (my own understanding). Isn't alibaba too? Consumer and Business, the line is not that clear if u ask me.  

Singpost claim it is B2B4C, it makes me think which company doesn't provide the logistic support, either through in-house capabilities or through 3-party, so the 4C is hardly important, in my sense.

2) e-commerce and marketplace
 I didn't know there is a difference. Ecommerce, you owned the inventories and if successful, u have a higher margin of return, marketplace u just get everyone in as the middleman, so you need volume (much more than e-commerce) to bring in the tilt. Singpost, Taobao is defintely more/ all marketplace 

3) e-commerce start-up keep burning cash for a long time

I read that Taobao was cash burning for a long time, not sure if it has already turn the table. But Internet-rocket has a stable of online companies, almost all are unprofitable in the 3-5 years in operation. Lazada, food panda, and all its subsidiaries etc, while market leaders, are all unprofitable. 

My own understanding is this:

Ecommerce is the bait, the many money spinners are actually something else. Alipay for Alibaba, Logistic for Singpost, Venture capitalists for Internet rocket.

5) Beside scale, products and consumers' experince count

Amazon annual reports are really good read. I always think of scale as a crucial factor in ecommerce. 

They talk about speed of delivery, in-house products differentiation (shows), etc. 

It also talk about Coporate culture, which is really enlightening, taking risk etc. The "consumer experince" part is not something I keep hearing when I read about Singpost. It seem they are more focus on scale and variety of products.

6) omni channel marketing 
Jagged peak omni channel marketing technology is touted as one of the reason  why it was acquired by Singpost. I just realize it means merging of online-offline retail experince through multiple e-platforms.

It's an important piece if the SP mall at paya lebar is to be successful.


I am writing to summarize what I read so that I can crystallize my thoughts. If my info is inaccurate, I stand to be corrected. 

I mean I now see Singpost through more facets other than "Alibaba's Magic", which is the much touted info by analysts after its corporate governance issue.

I also have more opinions on the reports by analysts instead of taking them wholesale. For one, I do not think Alibaba will give up Quantium Solutions through Lazada. I think "consolidation" is going to be theme of big players, the smaller players will hope to cash in by being "absorbed"

I am not saying that Alibaba's investment will go through, but I don't think the main determining factor is the competition of Lazada

The acquisitions of 2 small US e-commerce companies also made more sense now. US is one the biggest e-commerce market in terms of product offerings, it cannot be a missing link in Singpost's offering regardless of how stiff the competition is.

But I think the acting CEO is stretching it when he said it allowed Asia pacific customers access to US and vice versa. I don't really think US consumers need anyone else beside EBay, Amazon to get anything from the rest of the world. (With the exception of China perhaps) 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Random thoughts: overcoming the urge to "buy"

Regular readers would have know that I kaisi and sold quite a bit of shares immediately after Brexit. Cash is now about 30% of my investible fund. Usually, I would be "dying" to replenish my portfolio to maximize dividends.

Surprising, my Emergency fund and my investible fund is both at my "historical" high, I would usually have a hard time keeping my hand off trigger, but this time now, I am really quite restrained given that I am looking at several counters that I have researched on earlier. 

So what cause the change? 

Laugh, it's because I have been reading SunTze War Strategies, both Sun Tze and Sun Bin's work. 

Ok, this is a random thought series, move on now if u are Into financial stuff. 

Despite my hectic work schedule, I have been reading 2 books on and off. The first is "Alibaba" and second, Sun Tze War Strategies.

Initially, I read just the online PDF version, it didn't give me the kick. So I borrowed the book version where Sun Bin's version of the "science" of war is also included. It is more specific and elaborated. 

It was a very engaging read as compared to when I was reading it during college days, because i saw a different dimension to the theories. I keep trying to find parallel with the investment world. 

Even when I was reading how Alibaba killed off eBay because of its "complacency", I can relate to its concepts of war. The fund raising strategies etc, keep ringing parallel, it's like reading 2 books at the same time.

I used to think of money as "soldiers" and counters as "territories" that offer dividends or capital gains. 

Slowly, I began to feel that money are soldiers but counters are "generals"

That go hand in hand. 

The tactics, the overall strength, the wealth etc... 

Everything I feel like buying now, I got this nagging feeling, 孤军无援。No reinforcement. 知己,I realize my annual injection of capital to this investible fund is really small, maybe just 10K a year. How do I hold and defend my territories, how can I support my "generals"? 

Also, I keep asking myself, how confident am I in making money out of this? I am no longer so gung ho. 

Also, I start to question how much I might "win" if my assumption is right, and how much I am willing to "lose", the win lose profile do not seem very favorable except for 1 counter. 

It seems very silly on hindsight that I am willing to take 20-30% profits with also 20-30 possible loss. Where is the meat to risk the "troops"

I also look at business at another angle. I see the management as really part of the business, and begin to really appreciate that business even with the low profits at the wrong cycle. 

I start to look at the elements of victory, such as timing, terrains, formation, etc and I felt very inadequate that all I have is perhaps using "timing" and "terrains"

I do not have with me the tools of "mass destruction" aka fire of leverage, my formation is perhaps only 1 type, but I do have my empire behind me. (My wife did not oppose to my investments)

So I decide to be very selective in my battle. 

Sitting on cash used to be very bo Liao, as there is nothing to blog about, but now, I keep thinking of "养兵千日,用在一时” (same as Buffett's swing hard once for home run)

The irony is, I also felt less motivated to share what I think of an business, of course I know how I feel does not "move"
Market, but I somewhat feel that the least people talk about certain angle of a business, the better, at least before I buy the company. 

Ok, enough bullshit. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Random thoughts: Rethink work-life balance

Is there really such a thing as work life balance?

There is, but it is not about work load per se, but about not bringing the baggages of work home. 

Let's face it, for most of us, we spent the most time at work unless we are man of leisure. I think for most, it's inevitable that we bring work home. But that should be it. Bring work home but not the stress and baggages that come with work.

Over the weekend, I had a long backlog of work. I did some of it, and felt unrest. Since I was working every day, hence the rest of the time that I spent with my family felt more like a chore than enjoyment. This is unwise. The fact that I am easily irritable didn't go unnoticed. Of course, irritable does not mean I throw my temper or become very impatient, but there is no point not enjoying the "now" because of the future "stress" of unfinished work.

I could have ask for "time off" for work nicely, but the tone and aggressiveness in request, etc should not show I am irritated.

Also be wary of mental imprisonment. You are not doing any work but your mind is at work, that lesson, that pupil etc. Physical presence counts but wholly presence is better. Already companionship is at war with Smartphones. 

Work life balance need the balance of the heart.

It is not easy, but when I think of my wife also juggling with work, I complain less.
When I think of the time when "working" is a luxury, I grumble less.
When efficiency is compromised, I tend to be irritated, I need to learn to slow down and listen when my child talks to me, the "disturbance" might not take too long. LOL

Of course, when I struggle for time, I yearn FI, but I know it's all a bubble.

Balance is at the heart.

Random thoughts: The useless commander

In the era of spring-autumn, before the warring states, there were hundreds of states, some vassals of bigger states, some independent. Many unheard of in history. 

In the south western part of China, the state of Kang is led by a new commander whose father just passed away. His generals are displeased with him. He never expand his territory, only training his troops. 

His advisor told him that without bigger land and populace, he can never hope to raise a big enough army. 

Not only did he become a mockery among the warlords, the bandits harassed his convoy of merchants. While he always send his elite guards to ensure the county's lifeline is not cut off, his state is held in contempt by others. There is even sobotage, cases of arson. 

His generals all clamored for war. We should at least clear the area of bandits. 

He did sent troops to re-captured several hills occupied by bandits, but never ventured far. 

His advisors told him he was too timid, both in strategies and warfare. They wanted him to set fire to the nearby forest to flush out bandits once and for all. He again refused. 

However, because of his cowardice, no warlord actually bothered to attack him, there is no much glory in defeating a useless bum. But they did ask for tributes, which the commander paid duly.

His people, while appreciate the peaceful life, had hope for a greater ruler. 

One day, Song and Chu went to war.

It was chaos, the smaller states are ordered around to aid in war. 

The useless commander called all his people, and asked them. We have been called the beggars of China. Are you ready to live life like this? All his people yell No.

The smaller states of Ou and Guo have been boasting that they have been the strongest in our region, and their armies are now drafted by the state of Chu, leaving their states vulnerable. Is it time to for them to pay back the humiliation they given us? "Hell Yes!"

We need no bold use of fire or whatever strategy, I only know, we now have the army to take them out. I don't pretend  to know how to use a small army to take out a big army, but I know when we strike, we must win! 

Hell yes! Shouted his people. 

It was a opportunity not to be missed, the neigbouring states are mostly empty, 
Guarding not against the useless commander. In one swop, he captured several states. 

He even took a swipe at the bigger trio states of Deng, Utai and Ouyang. He knew he cannot defeat them but he plunder them and set their key fortress on fire. They will take a long time before they have strength to attack him. 

When he captured the 2 smaller states, he reward those who willing to pledge allegiance richly. When the 2 states launch a counter attack, he pretend to retreat and together with the infiltrates deal a bigger damage to the 2 states. 

The 2 states are very much weaken.

His advisors told him to wipe out the 3 states. 

He told him the bigger states will never sit back and do nothing, the state of Kang is now a bigger meat compare to the 2states, and we should not be confused by the "show of weakness" neither so they be "greedy" or they would lose whatever they have gain. 

We can never be a giant. But when the chance come, we can be prosperous.

We should not lose our head. His advisor told him that with the new fame, they could actually borrow troops from the bigger states. Many would gladly do it in return for lands or golds. 

The commander laughed! What happened if we borrow the troops and lose the battle. We have to pay back the damages and yet weaken our defenses.

Let's just hope we survive another decade.