There was no way Ahn Geungan was clean since he managed to climb up to the position of leader of the Great National Party. Shinyeok Group’s rapid climb to the top was also not possible with entirely legal means - it had its roots in some dark history. Ahn Geungan was the leader of the Great National Party and also the chairman of Shinyeok Group. Just these two statuses made it clear that what ran through his veins was not clean blood but the blood of a sinner.
Getting hold of evidence of Ahn Geungan’s illegal activities was akin to shattering his dreams of being the President of South Korea. It would even put him in prison and shake the foundations of Shinyeok Group!
Xia Lei’s words put pressure on Ahn Geungan but he was a man who had been through much and he quickly calmed down. He chuckled. “You are a smart one, Xia Lei, but who are you trying to scare? You say you have something which can put me behind bars? Let’s have a look.”
Xia Lei looked down and turned his phone over.
“Don’t have anything?” Ahn Geungan suddenly hit the table. “My patience has its limits, Shentu Tianyin! I won’t give you a day now. Give me a reply, now. That, or get this punk out or you’re done!”
Shentu Tianyin made to speak but Xia Lei abruptly slid his phone along the table, over to Ahn Geungan.
Xia Lei’s phone slid to Ahn Geungan and a picture was displayed on the screen. The Ahn Geungan in the picture was quite young, with a full head of long black hair and wearing a plaid shirt. An elderly man was holding onto his leg, pleading with him and a group of people were tearing down a house to one side.
The picture looked to have been taken in the 70s or 80s, when Seoul was expanding rapidly. Gangsters, government officials and businessmen colluded with each other to take the land and ancestral homes of the people, becoming rich off others’ misfortune. Shinyeok Group grew during that period - it was just a small factory before that.
Ahn Geungan’s face darkened again when he saw the picture. The arrogance he displayed earlier died out. The reason was simple - he had no idea who had taken that picture, why the picture existed and how it was in Xia Lei’s hands!
Xia Lei spoke evenly, “Ahn Geungan. You say I’m a thief but what are you? You’re a robber. You are even hard-hearted enough to take an elderly man’s house from him. How can a person like you be the President of South Korea? I wonder how many Koreans would vote for you if this picture gets released to the media.”
Ahn Geungan held his anger in check. “How did you get this picture?”
“You want to know?”
Ahn Geungan nodded.
Xia Lei smiled. “But I don’t want to tell you. Want I do want to tell you is that I have more than just this picture. Take a look, then decide what attitude you’re going to take with me.”
Ahn Geungan picked up Xia Lei’s phone and swiped, bringing another picture up on the display screen. He was not young in the picture anymore - he looked about 40. He was in a private karaoke room with his arms around two young women. His hands were thrust into the necklines of the two women and he looked to be groping them. However, these two women were not karaoke hostesses; they were dressed in office clothing. One of them even had tears in her eyes and looked fairly humiliated.
Ahn Geungan recognised these two women straightaway. They had made mistakes in Shinyeok Group and he had punished them in this way. He had had his fun that night but he did not expect this picture to exist.
If this picture were leaked, he would not only lose his chance at presidency but he’d have to resign from being leader of the Great National Party too!
Ahn Geungan swiped to the next picture and saw a contract. He recognised this contract too. If this contract appeared on the desk of a prosecutor, he would receive a summons in under 24 hours.
Ahn Geungan swiped past the picture of the contract but there were no more.
However, just these three pictures were enough to put fear in Ahn Geungan!
He did have some dirt on Shentu Tianyin so he wanted to use it to make her leave Xia Lei and be with Ahn Suhyeong to realise the dream the Ahn family had - get a rich daughter-in-law, a male descendant for the Ahn line, and the Vientaine Group for the Ahns. They could also use Shentu Tianyin as a stepping stone to enter the Chinese market, eventually surpassing Korea’s Samsung Group and Hyundai Group!
This dream was still possible for him two minutes earlier but it was shattered now. Ahn Geungan’s problem now was not trying to force Shentu Tianyin to do as he wanted but to persuade Xia Lei not to leak these pictures!
Ahn Geungan was silent for a bit before he said, “Mr Xia, can your people please step outside for a moment?” After a pause, he said to his Shinyeok Group representatives, “You guys too.”
The Koreans got to their feet, bowed and left.
The people on the Vientiane Group end didn’t move - they looked at Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei, waiting for their instructions.
Shentu Tianyin asked softly, “Do we get them to leave, Hubby?”
Xia Lei nodded.
“Go outside as well,” said Shentu Tianyin.
The people from Vientiane Group exited too and the large meeting room held just Shentu Tianyin, Xia Lei and Ahn Geungan. The atmosphere in the meeting room was heavy, silent. However, this silence was just the calm before the storm and was not going to stay for long.
“It seems…” Ahn Geungan finally spoke. “It seems I’ve underestimated you, Mr Xia. These pictures you showed me, I didn’t even know they existed. How did you get your hands on them?”
“If I tell you, you’ll go have that person killed. See, if I know that that’s what you’ll do, why would I sacrifice my source? Don’t be naive and face reality. If this is your attitude after thinking over things then I’m prepared to contact the Korean media.” Xia Lei waved his hand. “Hey, the one surnamed Ahn. Could I trouble you to hand your phone to me?”
Ahn Geungan did not move but he forced a smile on his face. “Mr Xia, is there a need to cause such unhappiness between us? I’ll take back the words I said earlier. Tell me - what do you want from me?”
Ahn Geungan had softened his stance - he had been forced to.
Xia Lei let out a chuckle. “You were a savage wolf in the beginning and was acting all arrogant - what are you like now? You’re like a dog. This isn’t you. Do you need me to get you a mirror to look at yourself, to see how you’ve changed?”
The corners of Ahn Geungan’s mouth twitched, and his eyes were full of hate. However, all these vanished in a second. He seemed calm. “If you’re trying to humiliate me then you’ve reached your goal. You have the upper hand. Are you satisfied now? If you are, then name a price. If you’re not, then keep cursing me - I’ll listen.”
This was Ahn Geungan’s control. He did not panic at this development and it was clear that him being able to operate till today was no coincidence.
Shentu Tianyin grabbed at Xia Lei’s thigh under the table. This was a signal from her that she did not want the matter to be blown up into an irreparable state.
Xia Lei understood what she wanted and said, “All right, I forgive you since you have a good attitude.”
“Name a price.” A faint smile appeared on Ahn Geungan’s face, and he gave off the impression of harmlessness.
Shentu Tianyin was about to say something but Xia Lei grabbed her thigh under the table and spoke before she did. “Ahn Geungan, how about this: you transfer the shares of Era Mobile to Vientaine Group at the price of one yuan. Additionally, the investment Vientaine Group made in Korea is to be transferred to their accounts in cash at the current market rate.”
“You’re being an intolerable bully!” Ahn Geungan’s control dissolved when faced with these conditions. This was equivalent to swallowing all of the investment Shinyeok Group had put into China!
Xia Lei spoke softly, “Ahn Geungan, didn’t you say it yourself earlier? You think nothing of billions, so how is this making you nervous? If you think this is too much for you to lose then I should just contact the Korean media.”
Shentu Tianyin piped up, “Yes, that bit of money is nothing to me.”
“Don’t forget that I have dirt on you too, Shentu Tianyin!” said Ahn Geungan angrily.
“I don’t know what dirt you have. Even if you did get something from Gu Kewen it’s just a card you can play. Okay, I’ll break it down for you. You play your card and someone here investigates my wife. I can interfere and reduce her punishment and losses to the minimum. However, if I play my card you will lose everything. You don’t need me to remind you of that, do you?”
If Xia Lei played his card, Ahn Geungan would first lose his seat as leader of the Grand National Party, then his right to run for President of South Korea! This loss was something Ahn Geungan could not bear.
“Let’s not talk about dirt. The equity exchange is my best offer,” said Ahn Geungan.
“Shit, you think I’m one of the members of your parliament?” Xia Lei pounced to his feet and strode towards Ahn Geungan.
“You… What do you want?” Ahn Geungan grew nervous when faced with the pissed off Xia Lei.
Xia Lei grabbed his phone from Ahn Geungan’s hand and started dialling.
“Wait!” Ahn Geungan panicked. “I… I agree!”
Xia Lei stopped dialling.
“But I have a condition. You have to give me the originals of those pictures,” said Ahn Geungan.
“Then I want the same. Give me the originals of what you got from Gu Kewen,” said Xia Lei.
“We’ll talk again another day. I have to get it from South Korea,” said Ahn Geungan.
Xia Lei pressed Ahn Geungan back down in his seat. “Settle the matter with the shares first, then other matters.”
“Don’t overstep!” Ahn Geungan was mad that his stalling method had not worked.
Xia Lei sneered, “Get ready to make headlines - I just have to make one call.” He started to dial again.
Ahn Geungan had no other recourse. “I… I accept.”
“Tianyin, call your people in to talk to Mr Ahn about the one-yuan deal. I have change if you don’t have any,” said Xia Lei.
Shentu Tianyin smiled. Her smile was like sunshine. “I’ll make you something delicious at dinnertime,” she said.
Xia Lei smiled too. To him, this was a hint at something between husband and wife.Previous Chapter Next Chapter