Chapter 559 - The Century Financial Group's Assets!
Nie Yan's mind trembled when Guo Huai informed him that Li Rui wanted to meet up. It appeared Li Rui had something important to tell him. Unfortunately when Li Rui came to him last time, he had no time.
Nie Yan contacted Li Rui.「Where are you right now? I'll come to you.」
「I feel like I'm being watched. I think it's better if we don't meet up and just talk through private chat. Guild Leader, I have some important matters to talk to you about,」Li Rui said in a prudent tone.
「Don't be a stranger. We're classmates! Just call me Nie Yan like usual,」Nie Yan said. He had always viewed Li Rui as a close friend of his. In the previous timeline, he shared a deep bond with Li Rui, Zhai Hao, and Li Xuchen. Even if their current positions were worlds apart in this life, he wished for their friendship to be exactly the same.
「Something has been nagging at the back of my mind for quite some time now, and I hope you can clear my doubts. You gave me, Zhai Hao, and Liu Xuchen the opportunity to join Asskickers United, and for that I'm really grateful. I'm aware I'm not as talented as Zhai Hao and Liu Xuchen. I can only amount to a run-of-the-mill junior captain at best, that much I recognize. I'm not great at running dungeons, nor am I an expert at PvP. I also know that people like the executive guild leader don't have a favourable opinion of me. That's not a problem. What I wanted to know is... how do you view me?」Li Rui asked. Nie Yan's answer would decide everything.
Nie Yan simply chuckled.「Conviction is just a game. Everyone has something they're good at. Some people are good at the game. Some people aren't. That's normal. Asskickers United has an ironclad rule. Everything has to be earned. You can't favour some people over others. I'm really happy that Zhai Hao and Liu Xuchen were able to rise to the top of the rankings with their own strength. As for you not being able to, I also understand. At the end of the day, though, this is still just a game. You, Zhai Hao, and Liu Xuchen are equal in my eyes. You're my fellow classmates and some of my closest friends.」
Nie Yan confidently spoke from his heart. The reason his faith in Li Rui was so unwavering was that he had a deep understanding of Li Rui's personality. This was because of the close friendship they shared for more than eight years in his past life. So, when Guo Huai informed him that there was a possibility Li Rui had betrayed Asskickers United, he'd sooner believe that pigs could fly.
「With those words, I'm satisfied. Honestly, being a junior captain isn't all that bad,」Li Rui chuckled. He was deeply moved.「Here, I have something for you.」He sent over a document to Nie Yan.
「What is this?」
「It's data I've collected from the Century Financial Group. It might be useful to you. I also have to apologize for something. Sesame Cake and the others leaving was due to me. After I found out they weren't satisfied with their salary here in Asskickers United, the Century Financial Group had me persuade them with all my power. I was left with no other choice if I wanted to gain their trust. Still, I didn't expect for things to end up like this,」Li Rui explained.
「Its fine. Those who want to leave will eventually end up doing so anyway. There's nothing you can do about it. I don't blame you, don't worry,」Nie Yan said. Glancing at the document Li Rui sent over, he was flabbergasted. It contained incredibly sensitive and difficult to obtain information. He had no idea how Li Rui got his hands on something like this.
「If you put it like that, I don't feel as guilty. Thanks.」
「Where did you get this information from?」Nie Yan asked. The more he looked at it, the greater his shock.
「A few guys I know work as higher-ups at the Century Financial Group. I got this information from them. I hope it'll be of use to you,」Li Rui said. Hearing Nie Yan's elated tone, he was happy his efforts hadn't gone to waste.
As Nie Yan continued looking over the document, many of his doubts were cleared. Much of the information contained inside was never revealed in his past life. Furthermore, all of the Century Financial Group's activities related to Asskickers United were described here.
Until now, everything he knew about the Century Financial Group was only what they showed him. Anything more was covered by a dense layer of fog. He knew they were strong. As for exactly how strong, that was difficult to say. However, this document removed all the guesswork. Everything about the inner workings of the Century Financial Group was laid out here.
The document was well organized. Important bits of information were divided and bolded. One could tell at a glance that it was written with great care and attention to detail.
Nie Yan had no doubt in his mind that Li Rui would do well working in the intelligence department. He seemed to have a knack for this kind of thing.
From the document, Nie Yan learned, that amongst other things, the Century Financial Group had a total of 11 auction houses, 51 properties, and 20 large shops spread out across multiple cities, such as Blaze City and Moonlight City. The exact revenue of these businesses was unknown. Everyone already knew they controlled Alliance of Mages and Divine Protectors. In fact, aside from those two, they also controlled 16 other guilds. They really couldn't be underestimated. Lastly, they also owned two gold farming organizations, both over 100,000 players in size, which provided them a ludicrous amount of gold every day.
These were only the Century Financial Group's operations in the Viridian Empire. As far back as the defeat of Victorious Return and failed acqusition of Asskickers United, they had started shifting most of their financial resources to the Satreen Empire. They controlled a significant portion of Angel Corps, allowing them to influence the decisions of the guild. Furthermore, they had another 30 guilds under them, both large and small, whose total strength couldn't be estimated. The number of assets they owned in the Satreen Empire was comparably fewer, a total of five auction houses, 20 properties, and three 100,000-man strong gold farming organisations.
As for how much gold the Century Financial Group raked in every day, Nie Yan had no way of estimating. The extent of their strength shook him to the core. The fact that they could take over the entire Viridian Empire back then wasn't without reason!
「This information changes everything. Truly, I can't thank you enough, Li Rui,」Nie Yan said.
「It's no problem. Also, this is just something I heard. I'm not sure if it's true, but recently a financial group from South America has been putting a lot of pressure on the Century Financial Group. After entering Conviction, they started recruiting people like mad. So far, they already have six gold farming organisations and a large amount of shops across the Viridian and Satreen Empires. They're rapidly accumulating power but are operating in the shadows. Barely anything is known about them. Besides that, there's also several other powers, I'm not sure about their movements, but they've been aggressively expanding into the Century Financial Group's market. I can't confirm this information for myself. It's just something I heard in passing from the Century Financial Group's people,」Li Rui said. His source of intelligence was limited. He had no way of confirming this rumour.
South America? Nie Yan raised an eyebrow. He suddenly recalled a certain someone, Qin Han who had offered a toast to him in the classroom during graduation day. That fellow said he would be entering Conviction. With all these new powers entering the game, it seemed like the future of the Viridian and Satreen Empires would be anything but dull.
「In order to gain the Century Financial Group's trust, I provided them with some non-vital information. I received a total of 160,000 gold and some money for it. I had Zhai Hao deposit everything into the treasury,」Li Rui said. The things that didn't belong to him, he wouldn't take.
「Take the money for yourself. Perhaps it'll come in handy. Just treat it as a budget to fund your intelligence gathering.」Nie Yan smiled. Li Rui had definitely put in a lot of effort to obtain this information. He couldn't shortchange him.
「This, how is this okay? If I take this money, I'll have really become a spy for the Century Financial Group,」Li Rui chuckled, tactfully declining.
Nie Yan chuckled. Li Rui was the same in his past life. He hadn't changed one bit.「How about this? From today onward, you'll be helping Guo Huai with gathering intelligence for the guild.」
「Wait, what? That's definitely not a good id—」
「Well, it's okay with me. So, it's decided. I'll let Guo Huai know,」Nie Yan said.
Learning that Nie Yan wanted to have Li Rui join him in overseeing the intelligence department, Guo Huai voiced his adamant disapproval. However, after seeing the document that Li Rui provided, he was completely floored. Even with the combined effort of Asskickers United's entire intelligence network, they couldn't obtain information as detailed as this, especially since this was concerning the Century Financial Group. This organization was too secretive, which was why Nie Yan and the others hadn't obtained any concrete information on them until today. He didn't expect it to be obtained by Li Rui of all people, not to mention the information was authentic at a glance.
「Are you sure he's trustworthy? Could this be a plot by the Century Financial Group, using this information to access our inner circle?」Guo Huai voiced the doubts in his hearts. He still couldn't let go of his suspicions against Li Rui.
「I trust him,」Nie Yan said with absolute confidence. Guo Huai's doubts weren't without merit. However, they were mostly unfounded. Many things contained in this document were extremely disadvantageous to the Century Financial Group, to the extent of threatening their foundation. If it was really to allow Li Rui to infiltrate Asskickers United's inner circle, they would never allow such information to be leaked. They would be better off spending some money to find a spy.
「Since you trust him that much, I won't say anything else. I'll trust in your judgement as well. From now on, I won't doubt him anymore either. Send him my apologies. Before, I held some prejudice against him, so my attitude toward him wasn't great,」Guo Huai said. Li Rui would soon become a fellow colleague in the same field of work. So goes the saying, "Trust those you work with. Suspect those who don't." If he still continued suspecting Li Rui after this, the intelligence department might as well cease operations.
Nie Yan passed on Guo Huai's words. Li Rui graciously accepted the apology. The two had fairly agreeable personalities. He trusted they would get along just fine. After saying a few words, he left Li Rui in Guo Huai's care. If they ever ended up getting into an argument, he could still mediate.
Guo Huai picked out a few useful pieces of information from Li Rui's document. Starting now, Asskickers United would be launching their counterattack against the Century Financial Group, from impeding their activities to targeting their key businesses. All sorts of plans were set into motion.