Xidu, the company of Baohua.
Baohua was one of the tycoon international trading firms in the Northeast. Chen Xiang, its chairman, was a regular member of various rich lists. This morning, a conference was being held among middle and top level management teams and the host was none other then Chen Xiang himself.
The man was in his sixties. Being serious in both his speech and manner, he often intimidated others with his appearance alone. He had more titles than he could count, granted by organizations of both the business and the political circle. He was recognized as one of the most influential figures in this city.
"Today is a rare occasion that we manage to get everyone together and have a talk, if you like. This long overdue meeting should have been held right after the Spring Festival holiday, but I was abroad then, trying to settle a project that was very important to our company."
Chen Xiang was not reading off a script and his eyes were darting this way and that. The employees sitting below all kept their faces straight so as not to be seen absent-minded by the boss.
"We have long entered the age of information and it's been years since the issue of economic globalization was raised, but our country has its special circumstances and did not venture into this area until a decade ago… this is a major project worth tens of billions. Companies from three countries will be working together and those of our country will lead the project… our industry peers all take great pride in overseas investment, which baffles me. Are they proud of investing in the foreigners or are they proud because they think they now have a say in the economic affairs… there is this saying that I agree with: because you're ignoring me as I am today, you don't deserve what I become tomorrow. But I think it's still missing something. We shouldn't put our faith in the elusive future; hope lies in the present. So the saying should really be: because you ignored me as I was yesterday, you don't deserve me today…"
He was still making his moving and fiery speech when the door of the conference room was shoved open. A team of people filed in.
The leading ones wore government official uniforms, who glanced around the room first, then fixed their eyes on Chen Xiang in unison. One of them announced loudly, "Chen Xiang, you are now suspected of being involved in contractual fraud, illegal fundraising, and murder. With the approval of the prosecutor, we hereby put you under arrest. Here is the warrant!"
An earthquake ransacking the conference room would not have stunned those present like this. Chen Xiang's face ashened, but he forced out a severe tone. "Where are you people from? Do you have any idea who I am?"
"Of course we do, or else we'd be arresting the wrong person. Take him!"
The captain gave his hand a wave and two police officers came up to Chen Xiang and handcuffed the man. The captain said, "We respect human rights. You are allowed to ask for privacy protection."
"You, you people…" Frightened and infuriated, Chen Xiang was shaking so violently that he could not make out a full sentence. The caption replied deliberately, "Ok, he doesn't need that. Let's go!"
With that, the team filed out, leaving behind a roomful of baffled onlookers.
The capital city, airport.
The owner of certain finance corporation was on board his private jet, waiting for the takeoff signal. He was heading for the Big Sam. Although the private airplane control was very strict in this country, it really all depended on the circumstances. With his wealth and background, it had never been an issue.
However, he was half an hour into the waiting and the signal was still not coming, which he found rather odd. "Go ask what's going on?"
The assistant went as told and returned promptly. "It seems they have received an order to permit no takeoff in this time period."
The man felt his stomach turn. That did not sound good.
He was right to think so. A couple of minutes later, the hunch became true.
"Wang Huicheng, you are suspected of illegal access to insider trading information, fabricating and disseminating false information, disrupting the securities market, manipulating securities trading prices, and obtaining illegitimate interests. You are hereby under arrest and not allowed to leave the country!"
"Take him away!"
Similar cases were happening everywhere in the past few days.
With that, the business circle as a whole was shaken to the bone with everyone looking over their shoulders. Surely such strikes had happened before, but never did they come so rapidly, so fiercely, and so mercilessly!
All those moguls were with honored titles such as members of this committee or deputies of that congress. No title had saved them from being arrested.
Those who knew little could only play the role of curious onlookers, while those who knew better had grasped the meaning behind the series of actions.
For one, it was to stop capital flights. For another, it was to clean out the parasites and stabilize the market. Moreover, it could indirectly weaken Shamanism.
In order to expand and develop, an organization had to have Human Resources and money. All their secret bases, refining materials, daily supplies for their members, etc., had to be supported by a lot of money.
As a result, there were quite a lot of businessmen among them—for instance, that Zhang Wei in the northwest branch.
As for the informers inside the government, those above did not have a specific list of names, so they could only take a safer route by transferring cadres away so as to break down their system gradually. As for the businessmen, there was no need to go gentle. A member of Shamanism or not, none of those who got crushed were innocent.
Then, to the common folk, such actions meant little apart from contributing to the subject of their gossips.
Transferred or arrested, what did it have anything to do with them? They were still single, unable to afford an apartment, and their game characters were killed because of the sneaky teammates.
Before anyone realized, spring had arrived.
After a bleak winter, people of the Northeast were finally able to thin their clothes down a little and change into something lighter. Peach trees had long blossomed in Shengtian by the side of the streets, their pinkness setting off against the gray of the city.
From the day Gu Yu ate that red fruit, in the first year, he obtained the essence-consuming method and the two travelled together to search for secret places.
The second year was when the negotiation took place, after which they got Phoenix Mountain, Xiaozhai learned the Thunder Technique, Tianzhu Mountain was developed, and Qiyun was established.
In the third year, the monastery had its first innate state member, a calamity took over Huo Zhou, Mount Emei was developed, the chief warriors of the northwest branch of Shamanism were annihilated, and the "Three-year Plan" was put into a test trial.
Now came the fourth year. After two years' worth of research and preparation, various plans were finally fully implemented onto this mega country with an area of over 10 million km^2 and a population of close to 2 billion.
At the bell of the last class of the day, He He ran into the classroom, still panting. Her little cheeks were flushed and her clothes a little dirty from playing outside.
It was an ordinary primary school in Bai Town, where an additional class had been set up for the children of the Grass River Mouth migrants. He He was in the third grade now. Her grades were all right and she was only a little too fond of playing.
The lovely class teacher entered on her high heels, a stack of books between her arms.
"There, take one each. Pass on to the student behind you."
The little fellows sitting in four rows passed the books along. He He read the cover after receiving hers and the name was "Teaching Manual of the First National Fitness Program for Primary and Secondary School Students".
She flipped through it. Inside was the drawing of a little man in different positions with captions on the side.
"Starting from tomorrow, we will give up our old setting-up exercises and begin to learn this fitness program. Every day after the second class, we will have twenty minutes for it. We will all gather in the playground and learn it together. This book is very important too. Read it as often as you can so that you can learn it by heart soon. Ok, now we will begin our class."
The class teacher taught Chinese. The young and gentle woman began to lead the students to read the text together with her. It was an affectionate performance.
He He followed her half-heartedly. Finally, the school was over.
Music began to ring out both inside and outside the building. The class teachers led the students to the playground, where they were dismissed by class.
Most of the children of the migrant class were not picked up by any family member. He He burst into a sprint carrying her school bag as soon as she was out of the gate. But she did not forget to make an appointment with her friend first. "I'll go play with you after dinner!"
The settlement building of Grass River Mouth was not far and it only took her seven or eight minutes to hurry back home.
She ran all the way up to the fifth floor and knocked at the door.
It was quiet inside. No one came to answer the door.
He He found it very strange. She found her key and unlocked the door, calling, "Grandpa?"
Still, there was no answer.
She felt uneasy, for not only was there no familiar pleasant smell of dinner, there was also an indescribable suffocating feeling.
The little girl crossed the living room and entered the kitchen. She found no one. She moved on into the bedroom. Still no one. Finally, she opened the bathroom door. There was a dead silence of two seconds and she dived forward, crying.
The old man was on the floor with a bruised cheek. It seemed he had smashed his cheek on the edge of the toilet when he fell down. The body reclined there, completely still.