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Chapter 63 - Mastermind

“Let’s talk in the study, shall we?” Chu Pengzhan said with a gesture, leading Lin Yi up to the second floor.

The study was at the very end of the hallway- most likely designed to be away from outward disturbances. Yet Lin Yi didn’t understand why they had to talk in the study- there wasn’t even a butler in a villa this big, what was the difference having the discussion in any other room?

This villa might have once been bursting with life and splendor, but what remained was a cold emptiness. Lin Yi observant as always as he made his way up the stairs- the villa was kept tidy and clean, but there were traces of wear on the staircase rails: the villa had been occupied for long periods of time before. Afer all, Chu Pengzhan wouldn’t have caused that wear, he was barely back here once a week.

Lin Yi, naturally, left Chu Pengzhan’s business alone- it didn’t involve him.

It was that mentality that resulted in Lin Yi’s composure, unaffected by any unexpectancy.

The wear on the leather chair in the study proved Lin Yi’s earlier point, as well. The chairman had sat in the chair very often once.

“Yi, sit anywhere.” Pengzhan said as he leaned back in the leather chair behind the desk. “There’s a fridge at the back with drinks inside- get whatever you’d like. Don’t worry about them being expired either, Li Fu makes sure to change them periodically.”

“I’m not thirsty.” Lin Yi said, shaking his head. “Uncle Chu, why don’t we get to business?”

“Sure, we can start.” Pengzhan nodded in agreement.

“Well, I’m sure you know this already, but the robbers from yesterday robbed the bank as a cover- their objective was Miss Chu... “ Lin Yi started. “I don’t know why they were after her, or why they went through such lengths of planning… It was probably easier to have her kidnapped at the school gates, or in front of the villa…”

“Haha, I see the point you’re getting at. You’re reminding me to have their true intentions investigated, aren’t you?” Pengzhan smiled. “What you say is true. It was an unnecessarily elaborate plan for a simple kidnapping- but there is a logic behind that.”

“What logic?” Lin Yi hadn’t expected Chu Pengzhan to have thought out things this far ahead- perhaps he’d been over-worrying.

“It’s as you said.” Pengzhan retracted his smile, his tone solemn. “Robbing the bank was a cover, but everyone else in the world didn’t see it that way- as far as they were concerned, Mengyao was a random hostage they happened to take with them when escaping.”

“The two crimes were fundamentally different, and it served to effectively misdirect police forces; it gave the perpetrators more time to plan their next course of action. One thing I can’t understand, however… How did they know Mengyao would be at the bank, at that time and date?”

“I actually gave that some thought- everyone needs to get a bank card every year for the school, and it’s usually closing time for the banks by the time school ends. There’s only one twenty four hour bank nearby, and it’s only natural to assume that Miss Chu would visit that particular one.” Lin Yi expressed his thinking on the matter, but Pengzhan’s explanation never crossed his mind before- he didn’t know what these people wanted, or who they were, after all, though it did seem obvious in hindsight. “Are these people trying to get at you, Uncle Chu?”

“Most likely.” Chu Pengzhan said with a nod. “I was going over the contract with another party at this business trip, and they were putting up some pretty unreasonable conditions. I didn’t agree to them, but they weren’t willing to take any steps back on their side, either. They kept dragging it on, as if waiting for something… It may very well be connected to Yao Yao’s kidnapping…”

“Oh?” Lin Yi blinked, seeing the sense in Chu Pengzhan’s words, about how the robbers were misdirecting police attention. The case would take much longer to be solved, giving them more time……

The whole thing was starting to make sense- all the other party had to do was imply that Mengyao was in their hands, and there wouldn’t be much Chu Pengzhan could do other than sign a contract littered with unreasonable terms.

“I’m positive that’s the case at this point, but there’s not really any evidence to back the suspicion……” Pengzhan sighed. “Though, evidence mattered little when it concerned people at their level.”

“What kind of people are they?” Lin Yi asked, understanding immediately that the opposing party had to at least be on the same playing field as Pengzhan Industries itself.

It wasn’t surprising then that Baldy ordered for Mengyao to be completely untouched- the kidnapping was for intimidation purposes against Chu Pengzhan. If possible, the opposing party hoped to keep Mengyao as intact and as unharmed as possible- angering the chairman would result in a clash between the two superpower companies and very heavy losses for both sides.

Lin Yi let out a sigh of relief at that thought- At the very least, Mengyao’s safety was more or less assured, even if a kidnapping were to take place again.

“Well, don’t trouble yourself too much, Yi. I’ll take care of it! I’m Chu Pengzhan, you know? This kind of thing isn’t enough to get me to back down…” Chu Pengzhan was about to continue his statements when he stopped, waving the matter away with his hand instead. “Let’s not dwell on the topic- what’s important here is that you stick with Yao Yao. Remember what I told you- make sure to give her some love. Yao Yao’s mother left her when she was very young, and I’m always away on business trips… She really does need that love.”

Motherless from a young age, huh? Lin Yi sighed silently- a girl of a rich house, but with a deceased mother and a father who was never around… It wasn’t much different from being an orphan, in all honesty. Lin Yi was an orphan himself, and he understood the loneliness that came with it. As such, he looked up at the chairman and nodded. “Leave it to me, Uncle Chu. I understand how Miss Chu feels.”

But Lin Yi was making assumptions- Chu Pengzhan never said anything about the mother dying… Although, it wasn’t Lin Yi’s fault for misunderstanding the meaning behind the word ‘left’- the kid was motherless himself, after all.

“Yes- that was precisely the reason I asked you here for. The two of you… Well, we’ll leave that topic for another day, it’s not something to just throw at you. We’ll have this talk somewhere down the road, Yi.” Pengzhan said after some hesitation, deciding to take things slow. Lin Yi didn’t need to know the promise made between Old Lin and Pengzhan’s father just yet; he feared that the kid wouldn’t be able to handle the information so abruptly.

Lin Yi hadn’t missed the hesitation in Pengzhan’s voice, but he didn’t prod further. The chairman didn’t think it was time yet, and Lin Yi couldn’t do much else other than wait.

“Well, these guys aren’t after Miss Chu’s life, so that’s a relief!” Lin Yi had been worrying about the Miss- who knows, she might drop dead one day under his protection, and he’d be completely fucked. The cancelled salary would be one thing, but the responsibilities that resulted in his failure were far bigger a problem. There was his own reputation as well! He’d never let anyone die before, not when he was watching!

Naturally, that didn’t include the enemies- Lin Yi would never let an ally die under his watch!

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