Chapter 311 - Dance of Words [2 in 1]
Chapter 311: Dance of Words [2 in 1]
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
When Anthony wanted to be shameless, he could be really unrivalled at it. Over the next few days, Cedrick did not give up and came for another few visits, but the result was the same—there was no progress.
Anthony insisted that he could not remember anything. No matter how he crazy acted, tried to intimidate him, or attempted to persuade him, he would act like Cedrick was the background… No, it was worse than that—he would treat him as air.
In terms of speed, Cedrick was not faster than Su Zheng; in terms of computer skill, Anthony could crush him easily with just a single finger; in terms of plotting and planning… Brother Han curled his lips into a smile, and instantly, all the plans in Cedrick’s mind were exposed and neutralized.
Therefore, with no advantage on his side and the fact that he was not on his home field—with his criminal evidence was in the hands of these people—Cedrick could not use any of his tricks. He could only pray that Anthony would one day change his mind…
Even though Cedrick was reminded by Ye Shuang that he could borrow the force of another party, he was only convinced for that temporary moment. After he calmed down and gave it another thought, the more he studied, the more he felt like this choice was not a clever one.
As a famous thief, Cedrick was already on many people’s radars, and many parties could not wait to get their hands on his weakness. The only reason Cedrick had survived for so long was none other than the fact that he had not exposed his weakness to anyone. However, if it was revealed that he still had close family in the world, the situation would drastically change.
If assisting the FBI to find Anthony, at most, that was a business transaction between Cedrick and the FBI. But if he surrendered to the FBI to get them to help him find his family, this was no different from handing his weakness over to those who wanted him behind bars… The most important point was, after he became famous, Cedrick would not believe that the FBI had not spent the time to go over his personal information and family history.
He had no idea why the news of his biological father and three older sisters had not been exposed. Perhaps someone helped to cover them up, or perhaps his parents were too young to register their marriage back then, so they were only married in real life but not officially. In other words, they were only living together. In any case, no matter what, since the FBI did not find out Cedrick once had a father and three old sisters, then even if he came to them with this request, the result would not have changed.
Therefore, the crucial turning point could only be on Anthony’s shoulders, but the sad part was that Cedrick was powerless to move the man.
“Can you really not remember anything?”
Brother Shuang also could not do anything to Anthony, so Ye Shuang could only wait until she changed back to Sister Shuang before she went over to continue the interrogation. She pretended like she had just heard the gossip from others and accosted Anthony from her neighboring door, who appeared like he was going out to play.
Anthony blinked several times. After he confirmed the identity of the person who grabbed him, and his face lit up with a giant smile as he enveloped Sister Shuang in a bear hug. “Xiao Shuang, I missed you so much!”
“Stop kidding.” Sister Shuang used her slender arm to peel off the large golden retriever easily and asked in a serious tone, “I’ve heard about the incident with Cedrick, were you being serious when you said you cannot remember anything at all? I heard from Edward in France that the incident in Kansas three years ago was quite a big one. It shouldn’t be something small like a random street fight, right‽”
Anthony pouted and puffed up his cheeks in indignation. “But I really cannot remember it anymore.”
“Fine, actually, I do remember a little bit.” Seeing the disbelief on Ye Shuang’s face, Anthony changed his story without a trace of hesitation and admitted proudly that he had been lying. “How is that thief’s life story related to me? Those people involved are all complicated characters.”
Ye Shuang’s lips twitched slightly, and then she held her forehead powerlessly. “Since you’ve already started the lie, then try not to be exposed in the future. Alright, we’ll just continue to pretend that you cannot remember anything.”
Cedrick was not that important to Ye Shuang; therefore, even though it might appear selfish, Ye Shuang did not want to push Anthony for the sake of Cedrick, who currently had not clarified his stance. To put it frankly, after Anthony explained that there might be more trouble involved if they pursued this case, the choice of standing with Anthony or Cedrick could not have been clearer for Ye Shuang.
Since that’s your own father, then go and look for it yourself! Since the clue appeared once, then chances are it will appear again.
There was no rule that said Anthony was the only opening that he could use. Furthermore, finding his family might not even be a good thing. After all, reality and imagination were two distinct things.
What if Cedrick’s biological father was a horrible person? What if he was a lousy man and would only drag his family down? What if his three sisters were like the stepsisters in Cinderella—lazy, pretentious, condescending, and ugly?
Since Cedrick’s mother had chosen to divorce his father all those years ago, there had to be a reason behind it. The reason for their break up was an unknown, and the situation was so bad that the son only knew about his real father after the mother passed away. This went to show how disastrous the relationship between the couple was. Who knew, perhaps it might be lucky for Cedrick to have grown up without the man’s influence?
After making the decision to continue the deception against Cedrick, Ye Shuang pretended like she had not heard the last sentence from Anthony. “Remember, when other people ask you about it, do not change your story or else there might be plenty of trouble for us.”
She was worried about Anthony, so she added in a concerned tone, “I don’t think you will expose this to other people, but I believe when Brother Han or other girls ask you about it, you might just let slip the information from your lips… Hmm, Brother Han knows about the limitation, so there won’t be any difference even if he finds out, so the problem is for you not to fall for any beauty tricks.”
“Hey, I am a man with principles,” Anthony said like his dignity was injured. “Han would only keep this in his record and then use it as leverage later to make me work for him. I definitely will not breathe a word about this to other women, so Xiao Shuang, you are the only person who knows this.”
“Ha ha…” A faint smile appeared on Ye Shuang’s lips. I’m not sure whether I should be proud of that or not.
After getting the answer to the question that she was curious about, she turned and released the golden retriever into the wild. No matter where he was going, she also had to leave the home.
“My uncle has gotten the carpet pulled out from underneath him.” Her date for the day, Xu Jian, arrived at the scene, and the first thing that he said once he sat down made Ye Shuang feel the wonders of this world.
“Er…” Ye Shuang blinked several times, and then she gave the reaction that she thought she should give after she recovered. “Do you mind giving me more details?”
Xu Jian nodded. “I was about to tell you that.”
He ordered from the waiter, and while they waited for their orders to be served, Xu Jian used the time to arrange his thoughts. He toyed with the glass and was silent for a while. “Things happened a bit too suddenly, so temporarily, I still have no idea what is happening up there. However, from the looks of things, my uncle was completely unprepared when this happened… I’ll try my best to summarize the situation.
“The Xi Hwa Organization is the base that the organization planned to use to expand its influence in our country. Its major use is to create a server for the flow of money to facilitate the laundering of money. Therefore, my uncle and a few other members that work with him had constant communication with the organization to sign the contract or enable the movement of monetary asset.
“However, about one month ago, my uncle suddenly lost contact with the middle man.”
Xu Jian spoke slowly like he was cautious and confused by the words that left his lips. He was not only explaining the situation to Ye Shuang—at the same time, he was also trying to understand the whole incident. “Initially, none of us paid much attention to this anomaly. After all, most countries have their Financial Investigations Unit. Whenever there is an instance of moving too much money, the organization is notified that it is a high-risk transfer. Whenever that happened before, the middle man would go into hiding. That was something that was quite common. He would always show up after the wind blew over, or a new middle man would be selected.
“But normally, this kind of situation at most would last for one or two weeks…”
With a frown, Xu Jian paused for a moment. “After all, those who join this organization definitely have some heavy desire for money, and their worldview is a bit… Cough!”
It appeared as if he just remembered that his own uncle was part of this organization, and Xu Jian quickly coughed twice to swallow back his criticism. He took a sip of the tea to skip over this sensitive topic before continuing.
“In any case, there has always been a need to maintain constant communication between the middle man and the company manager, or else how could the organization supervise the managers and ensure that they will not do anything too drastic or away from what the organization needs them to do?”
“In other words, the middle man that your uncle is supposed to deal with has been missing for a long time, right?” Ye Shuang asked.
“Yes, it feels like our system has been abandoned.” Xu Jian smiled bitterly. “My uncle now is also caught in a conundrum. On one hand, he is worried that the disappearance of the middle man is a sign that something bad has happened and that he will be arrested and thrown into jail at any moment, but on the other hand, if something really did happen to the middle man, then he will be able to inherit the entire the Xi Hwa Organization…”
Ye Shuang concurred with pity. “Meaning he has the urge but don’t have the guts? On the one hand, he hopes that someone will show up to assure him that everything is fine, but on the other hand, he also thinks it is not so bad for him to become the leader. To be honest, with your uncle’s current ability, I don’t think he has the power to organize such a large company. Furthermore, the accounts of the company in question are fake. Just the issue of creating real and valid sales channels and turning the black into white will crush him.”
“I also cannot understand why my uncle is acting so…” Xu Jian tried his best to figure out a comment that would not appear so negative. “…naïve.”
Ye Shuang sighed. “Your uncle is not suitable for illegal activities. On paper, he is the CEO for the Xi Hwa Organization, but in reality, he is nothing more than a sitting duck… However, what you said about the Chinese base being abandoned does need some follow up. Perhaps something has happened to the organization.”
Xu Jian was confused. “Why are you taking out your phone?”
“Well, to ask of course… Hello! Mr. Edward, I happen to have some questions for you…” After Ye Shuang made the call, she asked the question directly. He initially did not know about the reason behind this call, but once he found out, sweat started to break out on Xu Jian’s face because he could hear terms like ‘your organization’ being mentioned by Ye Shuang. Other than that, he also heard that the person on the line was the organization leader for the region of France…
Xu Jian kept wiping at his cold sweat. Whenever he thought that he had gotten to know Ye Shuang, the girl would have the ability to change his mind. When Ye Shuang said that she was making a call to ask, Xu Jian had thought that she would be calling someone like Anthony and then ask him to do some follow up for her.
However, his first love was much more direct than he thought. Somehow, she had gotten to know people who were of a higher level than his uncle in the organization. As one of the more economically vibrant European counties, France had always been an ideal location for money-laundering. Naturally, in that respect, one could imagine the difference in level between the leaders of France and China.
“Ha ha ha, please don’t say that.” Ye Shuang did not have time to focus on Xu Jian’s complicated expression and emotion. She was too focused on dancing around the topic with Edward. “What are you saying about you won’t sell out the organization? When we were in France, didn’t you do something similar to that? By the way, I’ve asked Anthony to help secure my telephone connection, so no one will be able to eavesdrop on us, don’t worry.”
“I’m not afraid of other people listening in on us.” The fatty on the other side of the line was as stubborn as she remembered. Then, he added in a lazy manner, “I’ve already told you, I do not have any hostility against you, and I admit, I do hope that we might be able to help each other in the future, but there is a condition to all that… Have you found the answer to the three hints that I gave you? If you do not understand anything, then we’ll just act like we have not met each other. I do not need an ally who will only pull on my leg.”
“Ha ha ha…” Ye Shuang laughed but cursed internally. How could she get an answer so soon? She had just returned to the country a few days ago. After discussing it with Han Chu and finding some clues, they had already asked Anthony to trace and find more clues. However, this was an organization that had forty years of history. Going through all of its records would need plenty of time. So far, Anthony had only been working on it for a few days—how would the man be able to find what Edward needed so fast?
Then again, since this was the chip that she needed in this negotiation, of course, Ye Shuang would not be so dumb as to tell all that to Edward. No matter whether there was authentication from Anthony or not, she could only throw out the speculation that they had as the truth… After all, even if the speculation was far from the truth, there was no rule that forbad her from lying, right?
“Of course, I’ve already found out about the current situation.” Instantly, Ye Shuang switched into a confident tone and continued in a tone that brooked no argument, “Cynthia is your mother and probably the earliest founder of the money-laundering organization… or at least one of its core members.”
After arranging all the clues and matching them to the speculation, Ye Shuang bravely accepted this as the most rational possibility. However, she used a tone that sounded like she had already found out the truth like she was not speculating but had already confirmed the validity of certain truths.
When the first conclusion was made, she could hear Edward’s breathing on the other end of the line stop for a brief second. This minute sound might have been hard to discern for other people, but for Ye Shuang, it was more than enough. This also proved that Edward was following her words, and after making sure that the man was not going to refute what she had said, Ye Shuang sighed under her breath and continued with an even higher measure of confidence.
“I am right, aren’t I, Mr. Edward? If your mother was not personally involved in all of this, you would not have needed to purposely give me this hint. If we follow this trail, with Anthony’s help, many other things will continue to surface soon.”
She equipped the great actor skill that she had unlocked but had not put into use for a long time. As Ye Shuang spun her lies, she followed the man’s breathing to discern the correctness of her statement and adjusted her conclusion based on her findings. “Egmont and the current organization that you’re in have a very deep relationship…”
The breathing slowed down, a sign that the person was being cautious. “Or to put more accurately, they should be one and the same. Egmont was formed in 1995, and your organization already existed more than forty years ago… The hint that you gave us is already quite clear, so we found out the truth very quickly. The money-laundering organization is the predecessor of the Egmont Group.”
The breathing on the other end became agitated and all over the place. Then Ye Shuang heard the affirmation from the man for the first time. “A very nice result. I’m surprised to find out that Anthony’s ability is much stronger than I anticipated. I initially assumed you would need at least another one more month before your investigation could reach such a point.”
Well, actually your prediction is quite accurate. Anthony honestly is not that crazy. To find the real answer amid all the fake and real clues, based on Anthony’s own prediction, he would have needed about a month before he could come up with any real reason. Ye Shuang swallowed her silent tears. Actually, she had been forced to do this—there was no evidence at all.
“But your mother seems to have passed away before the formation of Egmont.” She waited for Edward to continue, but the man did not say anything. Ye Shuang thought about it, and even though it was a bit rude, she had to continue her probing. “There was not anything big that happened in the year of 1990. The only thing of note is that in the year of ’89, the organization FATE was established, and Egmont was formed in the year of ’95… These two are both organizations to counter money laundering, but one is official, and the other is unofficial.
“First, I have to be honest. The following content is just my speculation, and I do not have any actual evidence.” Ye Shuang frowned and paused for a moment. “A money-laundering organization and an anti money-laundering organization are naturally on opposite sides of the camp, but no matter which kind of organization it is, the similarity is that they need to master a lot of economic channels… Let’s assume that the initial ideal of your organization is for justice and then there is a branching out into the formation of the new Egmont, does this mean that there was a higher up who betrayed the group’s original belief?”
She waited for a while but did not hear any counter from Edward, so Ye Shuang continued with determination. “If that speculation is correct, then the organization that has gone against what it stood for, that was undeniably a usurpation of power. There is no need for us to discuss the winner, as it cannot have been clearer. Then what happened to those higher-ups that failed, aka the losers?”
To hold onto the original belief and rebuild a new organization that is reflective of that belief or being purged for that one failure?
Ye Shuang was silent for quite some time before asking carefully, “…Edward, does your mother’s death have anything to do with the organization?”
The breathing on the other end of the line obviously quivered twice. Just as Ye Shuang thought the man would not answer, she heard Edward’s typical low and lazy voice that said, “Ah, now I can hear it already. Actually, you have not found any evidence yet, have you?”
What the f*ck, is now the time to talk about that? Is that the point? Ye Shuang was speechless. “Actually, I think the result is more important. After all, we are not people who walk on the straight and narrow. Sometimes, having a suspicion is more than enough—there doesn’t need to have actual evidence to make a verdict.”
“You’re right about that.” Edward was merely sharing his new discovery; he did not plan to hound Ye Shuang about that endlessly. “Looks like Anthony’s ability is still within the range that I am familiar with… Fine, like you said, none of this requires actual, valid evidence, and I admit that your guesses are all correct.”
He seemed to have used the short change of topic to adjust his feelings, and soon, Edward’s tone became slow and despondent again. “Since you have brought up FATE, then I believe you have already guessed that my mother was involved in FATE, which was established in 1989. However, there are many things that she needed to stay her hands because this is an official, government-tied organization. It’s because of that she wanted to build a similar organization that is non-official to combat money-laundering… Of course, she passed away in 1990 before she could do that. Naturally, the reason behind that is not as innocent as it appears as well, but so far, we cannot find out any suspects or evidence. The Egmont that was built in 1995 was started by my mother’s friend, and I suppose that he was one of the higher ups in the organization, and I am one of the earliest member of the Egmont Group.”
“A spy?” Ye Shuang whistled. “Enduring hardship to hide within the organization that called the hit on your own mother and waiting patiently for twenty years to wait for a chance to take revenge… If that is not a plot for a movie, I don’t know what is.”
“Endure hardship?” Edward repeated slowly, and there was a trace of cruelty in his laid-back voice like he had practiced patience until he had almost gone insane from it. “I would not call it endure. For me, it is more like an enjoyment… FATE once invited me to join them because of the connection to my mother. They even promised to help me discover the truth to my mother’s death, but I rejected them.
“The law does not represent justice but fairness. However, what I want is not fairness but revenge.” Edward sighed. “I’m going to celebrate my fiftieth birthday soon, and I have a wife and two lovely children. Many people might think that my need for revenge has dwindled with the passage of time and the peacefulness of my life, but in reality, the hatred has sunk its teeth into my soul, and it will not leave.
“In the past twenty years, I’ve successfully made these people lose their dearest family as well. Sometimes, it’s their children; other times, it’s their lovers. Some were captured by opposing parties, some died from drug overdoses, and some were arrested by the police. Since I am living in this living hell, why should they have the right to enjoy life?
“I need to make these people lose little by little. The only joy in my life is seeing these people’s loss with my own eyes. Since they like money that much, then I will give them more than enough money than they will ever need in their life… But they will not get anything more than that.”
The tone that spoke on the phone was slow and calm; it sounded like he was talking about the common weather. Yet, Ye Shuang still could not stop herself from shivering.
F*ck! Forgot this person was the plotter and planner! A perfect and emotionless crazy criminal!
At the end of the phone call, Ye Shuang basically was listening to the maniacal indulgence of Edward’s mind. Xu Jian could not hear the content from the call, so he could only watch as Ye Shuang’s expression turned stranger and more depressed.
When Ye Shuang finally ended the call and picked up the glass, Xu Jian had the chance to ask, “What’s wrong?”
“…I suddenly realized that working together with a maniac might not be a good idea.” Ye Shuang looked conflicted.
Xu Jian did not understand it. He asked, “So, what did the man say about my uncle’s situation?”
A gobsmacked expression surfaced on Ye Shuang’s face, and then the conflict in her eyes deepened. “I forgot to ask.”
F*ck! That was because the maniac completely led the story astray!