Chapter 604 - Unstable Situation

Xia Lei went with Shentu Tianyin to Angel Wings Building early the next morning.

Shentu Tianyin had called for a board meeting to lay out the battle plan for the stock market after 0930 hrs. Xia Lei entered the meeting room too, just to listen in. 

“At yesterday’s close, the market has fallen by 2880 points. The various media outlets are also stirring up negative news about me, and spreading it. This, of course, will lead to individual shareholders and large account holders to dump the Vientaine Group stock that they have on hand. This is our chance to buy in. We will be buying stock, and the other party will be buying stock too. We will not lose to our opponent in terms of speed and capital, so we are sure to win this battle!” Shentu Tianyin was quite a force as the person presiding over the meeting. 

“That’s right. The other party spread bad news in order to eat up our shares when the price dropped. This reduction in cost to the other party is also beneficial to us. If the market situation is good, the account holders would all just wait for the price to rise, and won’t sell their stock,” said a shareholder.  

“But if the other party changes the bad news to good news, even the individual account holders would join in the buying. What should we do then?” Another shareholder raised an objection. 

“That won’t happen. No one would want to lose money. That person’s aim is to take control of Vientaine Group. He wants to eat up at least 50% of the shares, so he won’t be so stupid as to increase the price of the shares. If that happens, he will have to spend several times what he is spending now to meet that goal. Remember, I said that there is a chance, not that it is definite,” said Shentu Tianyin. 

“Yep, yep, you’re right, Tianyin. Who would want to lose money in this world? Besides, the shareholders won’t sell anymore if the prices go up. How would he be able to eat up our Vientaine Group shares then?” said one of Shentu Tianyin’s uncles. 

A faint smile appeared in the corners of Shentu Tianyin’s mouth. “From what I see of that person’s methods, she does not hold as much capital as we believe. According to my investigations, she currently has about 15% of the stocks, and this amount is scattered across several accounts. Gathering these accounts would take some time, and I won’t give her this time.” 

“That’s right! How dare they move dirt on our heads! We will short our stocks once our stock reserves crosses the safety line. That person will bleed money!” A shareholder was stirred up by Shentu Tianyin’s words. 

The meeting room buzzed with discussion, and there was not much pressure. 

The atmosphere in the room, plus Shentu Tianyin’s calm confidence puzzled Xia Lei. ‘The procuratorate has issued a warrant for arrest, and could turn up in front of her at any time. How can she still be so calmly and confidently laying out her plan right now? Where is her confidence coming from?’ thought Xia Lei to himself.   

“Chairman, if someone comes to investigate…” The shareholder left his sentence hanging. 

“I understand what you’re worried about, and I can confidently tell you that I will be your Chairperson today, tomorrow, next year, and in ten years,” said Shentu Tianyin softly. She scoffed. “Investigation? I’m waiting for it. If the investigation takes place, our stock prices will keep falling, and we will buy up as much as our funds allow. Once the danger has passed, I will come forward to clarify the situation and release good news. I estimate that the market will be up by ten upper limit points. When that happens, we will have control of at least half the stocks of Vientaine Group!” 

Applause rang out in the meeting room. No one raised any doubts about Shentu Tianyin’s position anymore, and no one doubted her capability to lead. 

Ring ring ring, ring ring ring… 

Xia Lei’s phone rang all of a sudden. 

“Excuse me. I’ll go out to take this call.” Xia Lei glanced at the screen, and headed to the door. 

Shentu Tianyin glanced at him, and went on to give her instructions. “Let’s get to work now. Send instructions down to the Vientaine Group securities company. All the traders will be moving just one stock today, and that will be our Vientaine Group stock.” 

Vientaine Group was going at full throttle, not just eating up their own stocks on the stock market, but also off the market, acquiring the shares of those big account holders through other channels. It was a two-pronged approach, attacking and defending at the same time! 

Out in the corridor outside the meeting room, Xia Lei unlocked his screen and answered the call. “Any result, Boss Shi?” 

Sho Boren’s voice came from the phone. “Yeah, we found something, but you might not like it.” 

Xia Lei’s heart sank. “Please tell me, Boss Shi. What is the result?” 

“I passed your pleas up to the higher-ups, and they do feel that you have indeed worked hard for the country. You can even say that you have matchless achievements, but… the country has its laws. Your wife was too ambitious, and embezzled close to three billion in state-owned assets. If a big case like this isn’t settled, then won’t it send the wrong signal to corrupt officials? This must be punished, no matter what. You have to understand the difficulties of the higher-ups too.” 

“I know, but…” Xia Lei’s heart was crushed, and he didn’t know what to say anymore. 

“Let me finish. The law is not above human emotions. You have contributed so much to the nation. Won’t you feel betrayed if we have your wife killed? What the higher-ups mean to say, is that, well, to put it clearly, I’m just guessing here. Uh, it’s like this… I think she has to hand over the state-owned assets she has, and pay a fine of twice the value, then go to prison for five years.” 

Embezzling close to three billion in state-owned assets was a capital offense. However, Xia Lei’s connections made it possible for Shentu Tianyin’s sentence to be reduced to the surrender of her illegally-obtained assets, a fine and a prison term of five years. This was already quite a light punishment.  

It was a light punishment, but Xia Lei could not find it in himself to be happy about it. From his perspective, this was acceptable. Since the media had blown things up, there had to be a punishment for Shentu Tianyin, or it would send the wrong signal to the corrupt officials, and throw doubt on the dignity of the law. However, Shentu Tianyin would not accept this. She had said to him more than once that she would rather die than spend a day in prison.

“Why aren’t you talking?” came Shi Boren’s voice. 

Xia Lei sighed. “Tianyin doesn’t want to go to prison.” 

“I don’t want to die either. I want to live for 500 years. Who’s going to grant me that?” said Shi Boren angrily. “Your head is full of thoughts about pampering your wife — have you given a thought to the law? What position does it hold in your heart? What position does your country hold in your heart? If she were my wife, I’d be the first to shoot her dead!” 

“Uh…” Xia Lei bit the bullet, and said, “Can’t the punishment be lightened even more?” 

“I sold my old face to the devil over this damn matter of yours. You want a lighter punishment, still? Go talk to them yourself.” 

“Then I’ll… I’ll discuss this with Tianyin.” 

“There’s no use discussing it.” Shi Boren’s tone softened. “Lei, let me be honest with you. I see you as a son. I don’t want to see you destroy your future like this. Don’t you know that the higher-ups are already being very forgiving of you by reducing the punishment by so much? If you’re still not satisfied by this, then how are you going to go about in the future?” 

Xia Lei fell silent. He had no idea. He had tried all that he could, but what he’d managed to do was still not enough to satisfy Shentu Tianyin. 

“Lei, Ling Han asked me to tell you something too.” 

“I’m listening.” 

“He said: Do not throw all your cards on the table so easily. Sometimes the gamble you participate in was all a scam from the beginning.” 

Xia Lei stared blankly, and spoke after a while, “What does he mean by that?” 

“How do I know? The way these cultured people speak annoy the hell out of me.” 

Xia Lei was still turning over Ling Han’s words in his head. 

“All right, you find your own solution if you’re not happy with this. I have no other solution for you. That’s it. I can’t be bothered with you anymore. Oh, right, I nearly forgot. A task force will come by Angel Wings Building tomorrow morning to take her away. Don’t even think of getting her to escape. She’s been restricted from going out of the country.” Shi Boren hung up as soon as he was done speaking. 

Xia Lei’s heart grew cold instantly. 

The task force would come arrest Shentu Tianyin in 24 hours. They could come right now, but this was probably a bit of kindness from the higher-ups, to let him and Shentu Tianyin have a good last night together, and give them time to settle what they needed to settle. 

Just then, the group of people walked out of the meeting room, all with smiles on their faces as they talked about their imminent victory. 

‘Tianyin knows that her opponent is Gu Kewen, and that Gu Kewen doesn’t have as much capital to fight with her. She does not seem worried about the stock market battle, but why is it that she seems unworried about the charges against her too?’ thought Xia Lei to himself. 

“Hubby, who called you?” Shentu Tianyin walked over. The confidence on her face from earlier had vanished, and the smile was gone too. Her mood had plummeted instantly. 

Xia Lei felt like his heart had been stabbed by a needle when he saw the change in her, and he felt tortured. 

Shentu Tianyin came to his side, and stuck close to him. She rested her chin on his shoulder. “Was it Boss Shi? What did he say?” 

“He said…” Xia Lei started to speak, then stopped. It was a simple matter to just tell her, and let her know in one sentence, but he could not speak.  

“Tell me, what did he say? I know that he must know the result already.” Tears fell from her large eyes and onto Xia Lei’s shoulder. 

“We’ll talk about it at home tonight.” 

“No, I want to hear it now.” 

“Tianyin…” Xia Lei sighed. “All right, I’ll tell you. He said that the higher-ups want you to surrender the state-owned assets you embezzled, and pay a fine of double the value, and… and also…” 

“Also what?” 

Xia Lei braced himself and said it.  “Also go to prison for five years.” 

Shentu Tianyin’s tears fell faster. “You worked so hard for the nation, and sometimes even leave for months at a time. You risk your life for the country, but they’re sending your wife to the killing ground. Are their hearts made of steel?” 

Xia Lei bit his lip. He didn’t know what to say to her. 

“What are your thoughts on this?” 

“I’m still trying to fight your case, but Boss Shi was quite firm. I am likely to not get any better deal than this, because this is the lightest the punishment can get.” 

“I don’t want to go to prison! I’d rather die!” Shentu Tianyin was losing it. 

Xia Lei put his arms around her shoulders and said gently, “Tianyin, just compromise and the world will open up to you. From my point of view, the state-owned assets belong to the government anyway, so they have to be returned. As for the fine, money can be earned again. The five-year prison term… I can plead on your behalf. I can get a very comfortable place for your prison term, and I’ll visit you every week. Wait for this period of danger to pass, and we will work hard to build up your business again. It’s possible that you will be out in two or three years. Won’t that be great? Two or three years will pass in the blink of an eye.” 

Shentu Tianyin removed herself from Xia Lei’s embrace. She choked as she said, “If I surrender those assets, a third of Vientaine Group will be chopped off. I would still have to pay double the value in fines, so another third of Vientaine Group will be gone. I will lose my control of Vientaine Group. I will have nothing. Does this seem like something that’s ‘very good’ for me?”  

“You’ll still have me, and Thunder Horse Group. Even if you lose Vientaine Group, you will have us, won’t you? We can expand Thunder Horse Group together, and become the Rheinmetall AG of China. Isn’t that a very good thing too?” Xia Lei tried to talk Shentu Tianyin round. 

Shentu Tianyin was silent for a bit. “Hubby, tell me the truth. When are they coming for me?” 

“This time tomorrow.” 

Shentu Tianyin let out a long, drawn out sigh. “Let’s not go home tonight, Hubby. Let’s spend the night here.” 

“So you agree to it?” 

Shentu Tianyin said nothing. She turned and left. 

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