As soon as the American stock market opened, Vientiane Group’s shares rose rapidly. The same thing had happened to Chlorella’s stock, all thanks to Isabelle’s article. Her publication was evidence-based and with that, it brought along a new crowd of eager investors.
There was demand and not many were willing to sell their share that night. Xia Lei literally did not require much effort to sell away all of his Chlorella shares. The company’s shares were destined to face another rise but Xia Lei had decided to pass. Rather than getting investigated by the American Securities Regulatory Commission for malicious manipulation, leaving now was the best approach.
In total, Xia Lei had managed to earn two hundred and sixty million USD from Chlorella’s shares. Truthfully, these were all achieved through his manipulation alone. If he had continued to manipulate the marker more, he would certainly have profited more. His profits would triple or even quadruple its current amount.
Selling off all of the shares he held in Chlorella Company, Xia Lei returned his attention to Vientiane Group’s shares once again.
Surprisingly, despite the initial violent rise during the market’s opening, Vientiane’s share was falling. The phenomenon was absolute worrying.
Though the Vientiane Group had no presence in America, the group was widely famous in China. Any investor would be able to obtain information about it on the web. With Vientiane’s financial reports, its debut in the American stock market was supposed to witness a rise. It was weird that it rose for a good two or three hours but plummeted later on. Judging the trend from the chart, it wouldn’t even hit below the issue price.
“As expected, Centennial Funds have started their attack on Vientiane.” Xia Lei thought to himself darkly.
The frequency of him thinking about his ex-wife right before another marriage was not a good sign.
The loud ringtone of his phone chased away his thoughts. As soon as recognition sank in, he realized that he really wasn’t getting away from Shentu Tianyin today.
It was a call from Shentu Tianyin.
“Hu… Xia Lei, you’re right. Someone is targeting Vientiane’s share!” Shentu Tianyin’s tone hid none of her anxiety. The woman was understandably nervous and agitated.
Xia Lei understood where she was coming from. Vientiane Group held great fame in China. If the group’s share had plummeted on the first day of its debut, the Chinese media would go ham with plastering it all over the headlines tomorrow morning. In that case, Vientiane’s share in China would be highly threatened.
“Do you remember the company I mentioned earlier?” asked Xia Lei.
“Of course. Centennial Fund, right?” Shentu Tianyin’s voice rang through the speaker.
“Yes, Centennial Fund.” Xia Lei continued, “What is your next course of action?”
“Since they’re short selling, I need to buy long,” answered Shentu Tianyin.
“I’ll help you out. I have four hundred million USD on hand. I’ll put them all into Vientiane’s share now.”
“You… Why are you helping me?”
“We were once a married couple. Even if it’s all in the past now, we still can be friends. To me, you’re my best friend. I’d like to help you out now that you’re in trouble.” Xia Lei chuckled. “But of course, I’ll still be able to profit off Vientiane’s shares.”
The hint of sadness in Shentu Tianyin’s voice was unmasked. “What kind of a best friend am I to you? What is the nature of our dynamics?”
Xia Lei wasn’t sure how to answer that.
“Come on, speak.”
“Best friends are best friends, just like… a BFF?” said Xia Lei.
“Yikes, I don’t want a BFF as ugly as you.” Shentu Tianyin giggled, but her laughter brought a bitter aftertaste.
“What about I call you bro? Being bros sounds good.”
“Are you saying that I’m a tomboy?”
Xia Lei followed with another dry chuckle. “Tianyin, let’s just return to the topic. I studied the trend. If we wish to open a position, we need to do it below the issue price.” The man took another good look at the lines. “If the issue price is eleven dollars, we’ll open the position at ten and a half dollars. My manipulation will consist of a quarter. Now, we wait till the share price rises to eleven dollars to open the position at ten dollars fifty cents. After two manipulations, I’ll buy everything when the price is ten dollars.”
“Are you sure that the share price would drop to ten dollars?”
“Of course. I entered the American stock market with one hundred and forty million USD and now I have four hundred million USD. My predictions are on point. You need to have some faith in me. You’ll be able to protect Vientiane and earn some money at the same time. What’s not to like about it?” Xia Lei convinced with a smile.
“I believe you. I’ve never once doubted your ability,” said Shentu Tianyin. Xia Lei’s capabilities were the most charming things about him.
“Alright then, I’m going to start working now,” uttered Xia Lei.
“I… Let me end the call instead. I’m scared of you hanging up on me.” And with that, Shentu Tianyin cut the call.
Xia Lei sighed. There was a momentary pause before his fingers started to work again.
A few minutes later, surveillance footage of Centennial Fund’s headquarters was sprawled all over the laptop screen.
There seemed to be some commotion in the multipurpose meeting room. The old director of Centennial Fund, Connor, threw his coffee mug onto the tile floor and began to point fingers at his subordinates. “Trash! All of you are trash! Chlorella’s shares rose rapidly but that bastard had already withdrawn. All the money he profited was ours! He bought shares from us at a lower price and sold it back to us for a much higher price! Now you all still have the face to tell me to continue short-selling Chlorella’s share? Are your brains filled with shit?”
No one dared to utter a word.
“That Isabelle bitch made valuable information known to the public. It’s weird that she has evidence. Resuming our short-selling strategy is only equivalent to tossing money into the lake. I’ve decided that from now on, we’re going to buy long for Chlorella’s share and short-sell Vientiane’s share.” The silence that followed was deafening until Connor disrupted the tension, “What are you all stalling there for? Get to work!”
Everyone quickly left the multipurpose meeting room.
Connor started to mumble to himself. “Who the hell is that bastard? His strategy is spot-on and all manipulations were extremely precise. The man can’t be someone unheard of in the capitalist circle.”
Unbeknownst to Connor, Xia Lei really wasn’t someone well known among capitalists. But this was something no one would believe.
Xia Lei closed the surveillance window and made a phone call. “Uncle Xia, Sleep, Uncle Xia sleeps with his butt naked, Uncle Xia is a bad guy.”
Honick was once again reverted into his puppet form. Xia Lei proceeded to lay down instructions to have Honick manipulate the four accounts. The man could no longer care less about doing this himself. Unless he was planning to go up against major opponents, Xia Lei had decided to save his energy.
By the time Xia Lei returned to the bedroom, his three pregnant wives were already asleep. However, aside from Fan Fan, Liang Siyao and Long Bing’s eyes immediately shot open as soon as he entered the room.
Xia Lei gestured for them to stay silent before joining them in bed. He lodged himself snug between Long Bing and Liang Siyao. Against the covers, Long Bing and Liang Siyao wrapped one of their legs around his body. Then, they snuggled their heads into the crook of his neck.
Everything felt mundane but romantic.
Meanwhile, in Naha military base, Okinawa, Japan…
In the hangar, a Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was in the middle of a refuelling session while some Japanese soldiers bustled around loading military supplies onto the plane.
Several Mitsubishi off-road vehicles drove into the hangar and opened its doors to reveal Hattori Mei and Sirita with a huge bunch of freelance agents from the FA Organization.
Hattori Mei glanced at her wristwatch. “This will be taking off in another half an hour. It’ll bring you to Korea. There, you’ll be able to sneak into China through a boat. Your arrival in Chinese territory will be greeted by our people. They will help you go into hiding in Jingdu.”
Sirita scowled. “That’s not our plan.”
Hattori Mei answered, “Indeed, this isn’t your plan but this is the best approach around this. According to our informant, Thunder Horse Jingdu headquarters has already established an air defence system. They even equipped themselves with an S4000 air defence missile system. Even if the plane hijack was a success, you won’t be able to come close to their premise. Sadly, there’s no point destroying their Haizhu and Shudi branches either. Are you sure you’re going to stick with your ineffective plan?”
“I’ve got nothing against land-based operation but I must warn you that the FA Organization represents no country. If you wish to use us as cannon fodder, you’ll pay for it.” Sirita’s words had an edge.
“No one is trying to use the FA as cannon fodder. We’re allies with the same goal.”
Sirita scoffed. “You keep saying that we’re allies, going on about noble things like unity and cooperation. If that really is the case, why is there no Japanese involvement for this land-based operation?”
Hattori Mei clapped her palms lightly.
A beat later, an old man emerged out of a small door in the hangar. The old man looked to be in his sixties and his physique was rather small. Despite that, the piercing intensity of his eyes was immense and suffocating. There was a very worn-out leather suitcase in his hand along with a katana in his other hand. From the looks of it, the sheath and the handle of the katana seemed to indicate that the weapon was at least a century old. The old man’s footsteps were slow. While there was nothing special about his appearance, his presence was intimidating and unique.
The old man came to a halt beside Hattori Mei and bowed to her. “My Lady.”
Hattori Mei returned the bow. “It’s nice to see you again, sensei.”
The old man’s attention was brought onto Sirita. His eyes were peaceful, imposing transparent intimidation.
A smirk appeared on the edge of Sirita’s lips. She could tell that this old man was a ridiculously strong samurai.
Hattori Mei introduced him. “This is the protector of the Hattori clan, Hattori Hyakusai. He has represented our clan in past battles. I’m sure this is sufficient to prove our sincerity, right?”
Hattori Hyakusai raised his katana. In that split second, tens of ninjas clad in dark ninja uniforms showed themselves at every corner of the hangar.
Solemnly, Sirita replied, “Yes, I believe that you’re sincere.”
Hattori Mei smiled sweetly at her. “I wish you all success in advance.” Pausing for a bit, she came closer to whisper into Sirita’s ear. “If you managed to kill Xia Lei, please cut off his dick and bring it to me.”
Sirita had no comment.