Chapter 13: Rescue
There was no time to seek for a suitable buyer. In the end, I transferred all my stock shares at 10 yuan lower than the market price, in exchange for 50 million in cash to lobby for Chu Yuan Jiang. But no one recognized my money, they only recognized faces. Every official was impartial and incorruptible, following the rules so strictly that I didn’t even get to visit Chu Yuan Jiang once.
Looked like this time it’s for real.
My only choice was to fly to City B, the center of all power. Whatever I wanted to do, I needed to tackle it from the roots.
The first thing I did was to pay a visit to a famous lawyer in this field, introduced to me by a business partner who used to be his classmate. Rumor has it that this lawyer Mr.Zhuang had deep background and strong connections, well-versed in the power and interest struggles under the table. He had managed to get his clients out from many big and prominent cases.
He read the materials I provided, and asked what I wanted. My answer was simple, “Save his life first.” Life sentence, or death penalty with reprieve would be enough. Clemency would be something to consider later.
He nodded, “It’s not difficult to save his life in this case. Don’t worry too much.” I passed him 300 thousand as the down payment. “How much will it cost to get it done?”
“The trial is a long process, and every step costs money. Take this as an example,” He pointed at the judicial process booklet, explaining to me, “after I get the oral and written testimony, an expert consultation meeting will be held, and once those experts sign on the conclusion, that would be an absolute evidence. Even the supreme court has to buy it, not to mention the regional courts. The price for each expert’s appearance is 50 thousand……”
“I want to know the total amount.”
“At least ten million.”
I sighed in relief. There would be plenty of places to spend money when we sought for clemency in the future. Ten million, such a bargain for a life.
But soon, even a political insensitive man like me knew an earthquake happened.
News and rumors were spreading in secret, but I wasn’t sure about the connection between them.
I was only a lawful businessman. Politics were not my expertise at all.
When the front desk girl in the law office’s asked in a sweet voice for me to come over, I had some ominous presentiments.
“This case is very complicated. You need to be careful.” Right after I entered the room, Lawyer Zhuang raised his eyes and pointed at the sofa in the room.
“Did something happen?” I sat down and asked.
He raised from his seat and poured me a cup of water in person, “Sorry, I can’t take your case now.” Then he padded on my shoulder, “I can’t return the down payments, how about telling you some news?”
“Even someone like you can’t handle this case?”
“This is a huge mess.”
“Do you know how much is behind this case?”
“This case has been in litigation for two years, and the higher up gives great attention. During the last two years, Chu Yuan Jiang was taken for inquiry multiple times, but there weren’t enough evidence. Now, I am going to read you a list, listen up: Liu Zhihong, the former deputy director of XXX department of the Ministry of CXXX, whose arrest is ratified, is involved in the Chu Yuan Jiang case; Chinese Malay David Chen, suspected of helping Chu Yuan Jiang with money laundry through casino cruises on high seas, is under criminal detention; Liu Dong, the former assistant minister of the Ministry of PXXX SXXX, and Zhang Huai, the deputy director of the Bureau of Economic Crime, are double designated due to suspicion in the Chu Yuan Jiang case; Chen Xin, the vice chairman of CPPCC (Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference) of XX province, and Wang Hua, the secretary of CDI (Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China) of XXX province, are under investigation related to the Chu Yuan Jiang case; Xu Heng, the Mayor of XX city, is double designated, said to be involved in the Chu Yuan Jiang case……”
“……” As I listened, cold sweat kept dripping from my back.
“These are what have happened in the last three month. Do I need to continue reading?”
“Chu Yuan Jiang is only involved in organized crime, how could this be so serious? How are such high officials involved? I am Chu Yuan Jiang’s brother for years and I know him well. He doesn’t have the power nor the connections…”
“’The drinker’s heart is not in the cup’ – the real interest is not in Chu Yuan Jiang. The reason those high officials got tracked down in his case, was not the power or the connections Chu Yuan Jiang have, but the powers behind him.”
“……” I rubbed my face with my hands, trying to clear my head. “Mr.Zhuang… Please, point me to a clear path.”
“To put it bluntly, Chu Yuan Jiang is just a Pawn. A Pawn doesn’t have much power, but it is the Queen and the King that are standing behind him. To win the game, the key is to kill the Queen and the King.”
“It is possible to save the Pawn?”
“Even the King and the Queen are gone.”
“Not even the slightest hope?”
“That depends on the attitude of the opposing King.”
“And their King is….”
“I can’t help you on this.”
After a silence, I stood up. “Mr.Zhuang, thank you.”
I reached out my hand, but he hesitated to stand up and looked at my eyes, “Have you even wondered, as the most intimate friend of Chu Yuan Jiang, whose company just got listed, which was very likely a new money laundry channel for him, why aren’t you investigated?”
He gave me a polite smile, “That’s a question I want to ask you. Go back and think for yourself. That’s as much as I can say.” Then he reached out a hand and shook with me in courtesy.
I walked out, and halfway I turned back. “Are you saying that someone is protecting me?”
Zhuang looked at me silently.
I clenched my teeth, “My brain is too dull. Please, Mr.Zhuang, shed me some light.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Seek help from whoever that’s protecting you.”
“Thank you so much. I…I am a bit short in money at the moment. Once I am done with this, I will pay you back with the utmost gratitude, and send you a jinqi banner.”
“You are welcome, Mr.Ou.”
I spent another month and used up my 10 million to build all kinds of connections and meet all kinds of people, but at times like this, money was the least useful thing.
I didn’t ask for much, but at least show me the splash if I was only throwing money in the water, and let me know what was going on.
Finally, I got to meet an overseas Chinese man that’s close to the higher up. His family name is Xiong, and everyone called him Master Xiong. He knew the things in city B quite well and it was said that an insider was his best friend.
“There is no use panicking. This case is in the spotlight at the moment. Don’t put yourself in the line of fire.” He talked to me while watering his flowers, “If blocking the bullets can solve the problem, you could be a hero if you want; but even if you sacrifice yourself right now, do you think it would solve the problem?”
I was sitting in the garden of his mansion located at the suburb of city B, drinking tea.
The bitterness filled my mouth, and slipped out from the corner of my mouth in my smile, “I have a lot of strength, but I don’t know where to use it.”
“Heh heh, don’t you feel tired after so many days of campaigning?”
“I can’t make myself rest.”
“You have been struggling for such a long time, but from what I can see, you haven’t even found the front porch, let alone the door itself.” He finished watering and picked up a scissor. The beautiful flowers were all ruined by his gardening skills.
I handed him a basket, “That’s all because I have gone to the wrong people. Had I come to Master Xiong earlier, I would have found the door a long time ago.”
“Do you know the Lin family?”
I shook my head. He put the scissor aside and gathered the broken branches in the basket. He sat at the table across me, and I filled him a full cup of tea.
“The establisher of the Lin family rose from military merits. From the Eighth Route Army, to the Liberation Army, to the Volunteer Army, the Great Elder Lin was heavily involved. Among the second generation, one of his sons continued their career in the military, now wearing stars on his shoulder. The other son is said to be not as talented, so he became a businessman. You know, so many weapons are sold every year through the middle east. Some bridges are needed.”
“Once his business got big, you know, no man is immune to affairs, so the younger Master Lin had a son outside of marriage, which got caught by his wife. Her family is comrade-in-arms with the Great Elder Lin, so the younger Master Lin had to send the illegitimate son to the countryside to be a rich outsider. The son could live a prosperous life, but by no means can he be considered one of the Lins and touch the family business.”
“It’s been so many years, the single daughter of the younger Master Lin has already got married, but neither her or her husband show any interest in succeeding their father’s business. The year before last year, younger Master Lin’s wife passed away due to cervical cancer. Supporting such a big business on his own without a successor is hard, so younger Master Lin started to think, maybe he should bring the countryside kid back home.”
“As for the Great Elder Lin, he didn’t really like this grandson, but he is the only successor of his second son, so he gave the grandson a task.”
Master Xiong gave me a look, “Get it?”
“I am still confused…”
“The countryside he was at, coincidently, gave him a chance to deal with some family troubles. If he could handle it well, it would be a justified reason for him to be accepted into the family, otherwise……there is no way.”
“Is Master Xiong talking about city X?”
“Yup, the countryside.”
“I am from the countryside, how come I never heard anybody talk about a Lin family.”
“That dude’s name is Lin Ye…”
Master Xiong frowned, “Lin Ye! DaBiao, the man with him, was serving under your brother! DaBiao used to be the bodyguard of his uncle. He was trained in the special forces.”
I was stupefied. Somewhere in my chest was so empty. I felt so sick that I wanted to puke.
“I…I heard that Lin Ye….was…was a loafer…”
“Heh heh, how can this be brought on to the table? He might be a loafer, but not the man working for him. Do you know that even the old doorkeeper in your brother’s house worked for Lin Ye? He really did a great job, completely overturned people’s opinions on him. Not long ago, on his great grandfather’s 80th birthday party, he was introduced to us formally.”
jinqi: in China, it is common practice to show gratitude by giving a red banner with praising words to someone/group/organization who has offered great help while serving in their position, for example, a doctor or a policeman that has saved your life.
A sample picture of jinqi:
A family tree of the Lin family: