Chapter 1198 – Commitment
The experienced William saw Tang Xiu try his best and used nearly everything to convince Long Hanwen with various soft and hard arguments and even praises, yet Long Hanwen didn’t budge. It made William secretly thank him for doing his best.
“Stop trying to persuade me, Tang Xiu. That man injured my son gravely and he has to pay a terrible price for that.” Long Hanwen clenched his fists with a grim face.
Tang Xiu exchanged glances with William, then immediately gritted his teeth, stretched out a finger and said in a deep voice, “Uncle Long, you just said that you want them to pay compensation, so this is my offer. What do you think about 100-million-yuan compensation for Long Zhengyu’s medical fee?”
Long Hanwen’s eyes narrowed and he sneered. “Heh, the Longs have never lacked money.”
“200 million,” Tang Xiu went on with a deep voice.
Long Hanwen was silent for a moment and then sneered yet again. “I already told you the Longs are not short on money. 200 million yuan is nothing to us.”
Tang Xiu’s eyes turned a bit red and he shouted, “1 billion! This is the maximum amount my Magnificent Tang Corp. can offer you. Uncle Long, I regard you as an uncle and this is me expressing my respect because of my deep relationship with Long Zhengyu. But things have already happened and Zhengyu is gravely injured. Even if you insist on burying Cal Solund along with him, it’s only to allay your anger. You will get no substantial benefits. We’re all businessmen and gaining profits is what we always pursue. The Long Group is indeed big, yet it’s still not that easy to gain hundreds of billions of yuan. I give you face and benefits today, so this is definitely killing two birds with one stone.”
Long Hanwen was silent and took out a cigarette pack from his pocket. After taking one and liting it up, he took a deep puff before pinching and extinguishing the cigarette in the ashtray. He then tilted up his head to speak to Tang Xiu. “You’re right. I’m a businessman and I can’t just let the money pass. On the account of our close relationship, I don’t need 1 billion, Tang Xiu, but 800 million is the lowest I can accept, else you can expect to see Cal Solund’s dead body.”
Tang Xiu took a deep breath and shot a look at William’s complicated expression. Then, he nodded and said, “I’ll remember this favor, Uncle Long. You can expect to have the money transferred to you soon. And… when will you release this Cal Solund, then?”
“When I receive the money,” answered Long Hanwen.
Tang Xiu and William stayed no longer and walked out of the villa. When they came out at the front gate of the Long Family’s villa, William spoke with an apologetic look, “I’m really sorry, Boss Tang. We caused you to suffer quite a loss, but I’ll definitely convey it to…”
Tang Xiu raised his hand to interrupt him. “I have nothing to lose. Don’t tell me your Harbo Group is thinking that I’ll pay the 800-million-yuan ransom for you?”
William was dumbfounded and his expression instantly froze, looking at Tang Xiu as though seeing a devil. It took him a long time to snap out of the shock.
“You just saw that I’ve done my part and took the favor in order to help your Harbo Group already.” Tang Xiu sneered grimly. “But let me tell you something. My Magnificent Tang Corp. is a business group, not some charity. Losing money for the sake of someone else’s life is not our responsibility nor is it our obligation. If you want to have Cal Solund back alive, you gotta hurry to contact the top executives of Harbo Group or any of his family members. But if you decide to forgo his life, then this is how far I can go to help you.”
William’s mouth opened, but his throat was as though being blocked by something and he was unable to say anything.
Tang Xiu lit up a cigarette and continued, “Mr. William, you’re well aware of Chinese customs and culture, so you should understand how precious a debt of gratitude is among us. I took this matter on my shoulders and now owe a favor to the Long Family. You can expect to see the announcement which I’m going to release to the media that my company has nothing to do with this matter anymore if you don’t want to put out 800 million yuan. However, I’d like to advise you out of goodwill. The Long Family has set the fixed number for the compensation already, so if your Harbo Group refuses to pay it and the issue drags on and gets bigger, I’m sure Long Hanwen will go straight to blow this matter up to the public. By that time, you can expect the Harbo’s reputation to go down the drain and become the laughingstock of the international business community.”
Disbelief overflowed in William’s eyes as he responded with a changed expression. He originally thought that Tang Xiu was trying to help him by taking him to meet Long Hanwen. It never occurred to him that Tang Xiu actually dug a pit for him to directly jump into.
He wouldn’t have come along with him had he known that it would be like this.
Clenching his fists tightly, William’s angry eyes glared at Tang Xiu and said, “You said you were going to help us, Boss Tang. Yet you actually dug a pit for me to jump into?”
“I don’t like your tone, William.” Tang Xiu frowned. “Do you think Long Hanwen will promise you to release Cal Solund without me? You have injured his son gravely and now he’s still in a coma with his fate unknown. He may even die at any time. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and life for a life. That’s how the Chinese face such issues. Further, Cal Solund may indeed be the one who made Long Zhengyu seriously injured, but it was you who pulled the strings from the back, am I right? Do you think you can escape responsibility if he dies in China?”
“Hell! Were you trying to help me or harming me?” William angrily yelled, “It’s 800 million, for God’s sake! Such a number even in Chinese yuan is not a small figure!”
“Now I’m getting really angry with you speaking to me like that, William,” replied Tang Xiu indifferently. “I helped you out of goodwill, yet you pay back with a bite. Is this your way of doing things, huh? Do you think Long Hanwen and his Long Group are really short on money and lack 800 million? As far as I know, just their share in the development of the Star City’s New Metro will provide them at least 8 billion in revenue, yet you yell at me that I’ve dug a pit for you for such trivial 800 million?”
William fell into silence and thought that Tang Xiu’s argument was reasonable. 800 million yuan to the Long Group was indeed nothing. He had sent some people to investigate the Long Group’s details after he instigated Cal Solund to deal with Long Zhenyu and made him severely injured. But the results made him startled as he never expected that the trivial dispute would even provoke such a fearsome entity like the Long Group.
Still, he didn’t have 800 million at hand!
Likely even the higher-ups in his company’s HQ would skin him alive if he were to bring it up to them.
What should I do?
This thought filled his mind as to how to solve this problem, and the dilemma struck him for a while.
After observing William’s constant change in expression, Tang Xiu lightly said, “I’m well aware that this incident is rather unexpected to you, Mr. William. But this is a grave matter as it involves someone’s life, after all. If you feel that it’s not easy to handle, I have an idea that can help you.”
“What is it?” William hurriedly asked after staring blankly.
“Long Zhengyu is quite an expert martial artist himself, but Cal Solund can injure him seriously, which means that he’s a practitioner. Or rather, a cultivator. I don’t think he became a cultivator by himself, so there must be some powerful people or his elders at home who taught him. This matter is related to his life, so I don’t think you need to contact anyone from the Harbo Group’s HQ. Just contact his family directly and I’m sure such a trivial 800 million are nothing to them.”
William’s eyes shone and he felt a bit excited inwardly. His life was at stake before. He was sure that he couldn’t bring this up to the Harbo Group’s HQ, but he forgot that Cal Solund’s father was the major shareholder of the company and also a very powerful Big Boss himself.
His eyes suddenly wore a complicated expression as William looked at Tang Xiu.
“Money is just an insignificant thing to me, Mr. William.” Tang Xiu indifferently said, “Let alone a billion, I can easily get tens of billions if I want to. I’m sure you’re perfectly aware of how fast my company can make money, aren’t you?”
“Yeah.” William nodded without a word.
“Since you understand my company’s money-making power, you should also be aware of the fact that I don’t need to set you up for 800 million yuan given my identity. If I were to collude with Long Hanwen to push you into the pit, the amount you’d have to take out wouldn’t be just 800 million. Why do you think Long Hanwen would cut 200 million yuan when I offered him 1 billion before? 200 million was on the account on my face and also a favor I used.”
It was the point William missed to recall before. Now that he heard Tang Xiu mention it, he carefully analyzed it and felt that Tang Xiu was right. In actuality, the difference between 1 billion and 800 million was not much. Tang Xiu offered 1 billion for compensation and Long Hanwen directly cut 200 million yuan, which showed that the number was just trivial to both of them.
Could it be… that I misunderstand Tang Xiu? Meaning… he actually has such good intentions from the beginning to help me solve the trouble?
William’s mind raced fast with such thoughts. Eventually, an ashamed expression was gradually cast on his face. He slightly bowed and said, “I was at fault and yet I treated you unfairly, Boss Tang. I deeply apologize now and hope that you can forgive me. You have done so much for me, so you can rest assured that I’ll immediately contact Cal Solund’s father right away, the major shareholder of Harbo Group.”
“Cal Solund’s father is actually the major shareholder of your Harbo Group?” asked Tang Xiu in surprise. “He has such high status, but how did he become your…”
“Cal just graduated, so his father ordered him to follow me to study.” William quickly explained, “But he’s a bit impulsive and, in the two years he has been following me, he has caused many scenes already. But I used to help him deal with the troubles, so he doesn’t know how to stop and restrain himself. I really had no idea that he would cause such big trouble this time.”
Tang Xiu sneered inwardly after hearing this, but he looked unperturbed on the outside. “Well, I think you need to contact his father fast since he has such an identity. I’m afraid Long Hanwen will kill him otherwise should he think you’ll delay. You may not believe it, but the Longs are the most powerful family in Star City that even the government officials are wary of. There won’t be any big repercussions and troubles for him even if he kills Cal Solund.”