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Chapter 125: < Protect – Episode 124 – New York Grand Festival  >
Princess of Pop
Lila was an icon that resonated with all races and gender, and as a result, she was a walking advertis.e.m.e.nt who could sell anything just by wearing it. As expected, advertisers came looking for her with lots of money. With the ticket money from the canceled North American tour excluded, she made 30 million US dollars with just advertis.e.m.e.nts alone, which stirred up the media.
Not a single person looked down upon Lila’s skills just because she was young. Even the anti-fans acknowledged her singing and dancing ability. She was a born singer who had a voice that could seduce just about anyone. She didn’t have a particular technique. She just sang from her heart.
“When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary.”
The lyrics of ‘You Raise Me Up’ made everyone go silent. She had a sweet voice, but the audience could sense the power behind her singing. Did all commemorative songs have to be reverent? Scott Warren’s performance was enjoyable from beginning to end. The family of victims might have been displeased by it, but he wanted to bring his country back up.
But that didn’t mean he wanted to insult those who lost their lives. There were many divas who could comfort the damaged, but he believed that Lila was the only one who could move all Americans regardless of their gender or age.
“You raise me up… To more than I can be… Come on!”
When people thought the song would stay calm, Lila called upon dancers in short shorts and tank tops. November was usually cold. But the heat of the performance didn’t know how to calm down.
What appeared between the flapping American flag was none other than a circus. A circus that should have been in Las Vegas showed off beautiful acrobatics which made both the cameras and people very entertained.
After that, soldiers, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, taxi drivers, and electricians appeared. They were just dressed up dancers, but the dancers were a diverse group of people which proved that they were representing the America of today. The climax of the show was the appearance of Arabians wearing traditional clothes.
The priest standing at the very front took a step forward. Did they fight? Not at all. They looked at each other and then hugged. After that, the American flag flapped once more. Revenge was going to take place. However, one couldn’t hate all Muslims. Lila put her arm around a Turkish singer on stage and sang together.
Ahn Soo Ho clapped with sincerity. No one stood a chance against the Yankees when it came to showmans.h.i.+p. Even if that was hypocrisy, the Americans’ endless effort to turn ideal scenarios into reality was something that had to be praised.
“If you make all of Islam into your enemy, you can’t do business.”
“But it’s different from China?”
“For China… it’s okay as long as the Communist Party is under control. Our superiority isn’t just with finance and the military, after all.”
No matter how powerful China was, it was all okay since the Communist Party was under coaxed. Scott minded Ahn Soo Ho and then asked him a question.
“Are you really going to invest 70 billion won, Soo Ho?”
“Why wouldn’t I? Don’t you believe me?”
“I do! But… I just want to make sure.”
The reason why Scott turned down all the sponsors was that he trusted Ahn Soo Ho. Wall Street was in the process of escaping panic and Ahn Soo Ho somehow became the white knight who would recover the crashed stock market. He hadn’t moved any funds just yet, but the announcement of Scott and Ahn Soo Ho’s collaboration caused a positive effect, and within a few days of the terrorist attack, the market started to recover.
Was that why? Ahn Soo Ho became the cover of the New York Times, and the public showed favorable responses to the rich foreign man. He was accepted by American society in an instant. That was different from the secret gatherings of the upper cla.s.s. A person who was only famous in Asia suddenly became a worldwide superstar.
Korea was the most excited of them all.
‘He’s Ahnsour no more! He’s now Ahnfeller or Ahnchild!’
Whenever they mentioned rich people of global scale, they always used Rockefeller and Rothschild as parodies. That meant Mansour was no longer effective. Some even raised the question of where he got all his capital. Since someone who wasn’t even from a rich family had money in the trillions, it was normal to be suspicious.
Some Korean people even reported Ahn Soo Ho to the National Tax Service asking them to expose any kind of tax evasion. Ahn Soo Ho, who got a Korean newspaper delivered in New York laughed bitterly.
It’s highly likely that he committed tax evasion!
Is Hosoo Entertainment staying quiet to CEO Ahn’s tax evasion?
National Tax Service is preparing an explanation!
There are reports claiming that they have connections with Ahn Soo Ho!
Jang Seol Hyun stole the newspaper and threw it in the trash.
“Don’t worry about that nonsense.”
“You sure do a good job ignoring bulls.h.i.+t.”
“You get used to it. It’s kind of cute if you think about it.”
Trash news was cute? The media’s tendency to report on anything even if it wasn’t true had been a problem for a really long time. After the performance the day before, New York was vibrant once again. It was almost like magic. Magic that even got the least motivated people to work. The way it wasn’t cold or hot was the same vibe that New York had before the terrorist attack.
“Director Navarros will take care of the tax evasion issue, CEO Ahn.”
Ahn Soo Ho nodded in response. He trusted Daniel with it. That was why he hired him in the first place. Ahn Soo Ho’s complicated a.s.set structure wasn’t something that could be handled by any financial consultant. Ahn Soo Ho, who was planning to leave America soon asked Jang Seol Hyun about her schedule. Her movie was postponed, but that didn’t mean she had free time.
“What are you going to do, Seol Hyun?”
“I’m going to follow Lila around for a few days.”
“Not for tourism but for a concert? That’ll be tiring.”
Lila’s canceled North American tour came back to life. Her strong will to give courage and hope to Americans, as well as Scott Warren’s business skills, created an impressive result. And it wasn’t just an independent concert. She was going to work with other musicians for an epic collaboration.
“I feel like this might be my last vacation before we get married…”
“You don’t have to be so modest. Mrs. Park isn’t that inflexible.”
“Just trust me. She’s a pretty feisty character.”
He wasn’t making fun of his mother. Ahn Soo Ho perceived Mrs. Park Ok Nam to be a fairly open-minded mother. A lot of things have changed, but 10 years ago were no different. There were many negative stereotypes about celebrity daughters-in-law.
“Who’s going to take care of her?”
Ahn Soo Ho looked back at the secretary. As Hosoo Entertainment and Ahn Soo Ho became more famous, more attention was put on Jang Seol Hyun as well.
“A total of 15 security guards will operate in a three-s.h.i.+ft system to take care of her.”
“If the men from our group are pulled out, Holly Corporation will help.”
“Make sure it’s handled well… Sorry, but what’s your name?”
Ahn Soo Ho, who was staring at the secretary this whole time, asked for her name.
“Ahn Mi Young.”
“We’ve met before, haven’t we, Ms. Ahn?”
“Yes, we have.”
He changed his tone in response.
“Are you Chul Hyun’s daughter, Mi Young?”
Ahn Mi Young acknowledged it.
“You’ve grown very beautiful, Mi Young. I almost didn’t recognize you.”
Ahn Chul Hyun was his cousin, and he was higher up in the family tree, but Ahn Chul Hyun was much older in age. He remembered hearing that his second daughter entered a foreign university a few years back. Did she not get plastic surgery? She still had the same face she had when she was little.
“Do you know her?”
“She’s my cousin, Ahn Chul Hyun’s daughter.”
“Oh! Then I guess I can follow you around. You’re older than me, right?”
“Yes, I am.”
Ahn Mi Young, who was 28 years old this year, mumbled her answer. The truth was she partly wanted to be recognized. However, a new employee being close to the owner was something that could cause a backlash. She knew that. But the fact that she wanted to depend on her blood relations was also true.
‘Did she put her in on purpose?’
There was no way Oh Joo Kyung didn’t know this.
Since Hosoo Entertainment Group was beginning to open its doors to blood relations, friends.h.i.+ps, and academic ties, she should’ve been cautious since she was the chief secretary. If Jang Seol Hyun became the CEO’s wife, other Ahn’s and Jang’s were bound to start joining. That was something that couldn’t be stopped.
After taking care of Jang Seol Hyun’s schedule, he went to City Hall to resolve two more things. The current mayor of New York was a Democrat. The northeastern States was the traditional field of the progressives. But with the New York catastrophe, it was finally possible for things to turn over to the Republicans.
New York’s mayor was surprisingly a black woman.
“How was the funeral?”
“It went fine. Thanks for asking.”
Her expression of grat.i.tude meant a lot of things. After the vice mayor’s death, many famous people of New York died with him. Considering what they went through, City Hall was surprisingly calm. The New York grand festival was partly responsible for that, but the one whose most responsible was Wall Street’s chaotic recovery. However, what Ahn Soo Ho was here for was far from the stability of New York.
“Hm. How much do you want to know?”
“Just tell me the truth, s.h.i.+rley.”
She tapped her desk with her fingers and then asked her secretary and advisor to leave.
“The leader of the Democratic Party wants to make Scott into a villain.”
He had seen that coming.
“They were planning to summon Charlotte as a witness. Until you got involved, that is.”
“Do you want me to pay for it?”
“No, it’s not that… Some of the leaders think you should be summoned by the grand jury.”
“Really? I’ll go.”
The New York mayor shook her head violently.
Putting Ahn Soo Ho out as the grand jury’s witness? She didn’t want to imagine what horrible thing could happen next. It was best to keep a ticking time bomb as far as possible. At times like these, she was relieved that he wasn’t American. If he was, there was no way he would have been able to avoid being summoned.
“Are you willing to meet Charlotte, Soo Ho?”
“I’m not sure. In any case, I just let Scott commit suicide. She probably won’t forgive me. Not right now, at least.”
The person Charlotte couldn’t forgive was mobilizing the huge s.h.i.+p that was America and threatened both political parties. The New York mayor suddenly changed topics.
“A few days ago an FBI agent came here and told me something interesting. What was her name again? Karen?”
“Special Agent Emily Karen?”
“Yeah. That’s it.”
“What did she say?”
“She told me to freeze all New York funds under Huxley Group.”
Ahn Soo Ho clapped with joy.
“So what did you say?”
“I kicked her out. Huxley Group? I filed a complaint to the FBI. But while she was getting dragged away, she mentioned your name, and that bothered me. Did I make a mistake, Soo Ho?”
If all Huxley Group funds in New York were to freeze, Barbara Huxley was bound to get rid of all her traces and hide. The only reason why Ahn Soo Ho stayed in America was so that he could see what kind of reactions the English b.i.t.c.h and the French hypocrite would show.
They both acted like nothing happened.
Did Jacob Smith lie?
‘Just because he was an African black man doesn’t mean he was stupid.’
For the white people, Africa was still the land of death, but for Ahn Soo Ho, it was a field that he played in when he was bored. Even Jacob, who butchered everyone else, cherished his own flesh and blood.
“A mistake? No, s.h.i.+rley. But I have a warning for you…”
When Ahn Soo Ho hesitated, the New York mayor pulled in her chair.
“Don’t trust Huxley Group’s reputation too much.”
“Are you saying there’s a problem?”
“Call Agent Karen and ask her.”
Ahn Soo Ho shrugged his shoulders and got up.
After being seen off by the New York mayor, he got into his car and took out his phone. Huxley Group’s funds in New York probably exceeded at least 30 billion dollars. That was nothing compared to Wall Street investment firms, but Huxley Group was an English company, not American.
The New York mayor probably wouldn’t be able to ignore Ahn Soo Ho’s warning. It was possible that she could freeze Huxley Group’s funds in New York tomorrow. But he wasn’t too hopeful. That was because the New York Mayor Anna s.h.i.+rley Baker was one of the s.h.i.+ts that Scott Davis took in. When people said that the elections of the 21st century were a beauty pageant, that wasn’t completely false.
Ahn Soo Ho speed dialed someone. He was going to catch Barbara Huxley himself. However, it was more convenient to leave the French African amba.s.sador with someone else. After ringing for a long time, somebody finally picked up.
Mother Russia, which even took on bears with their bare hands had done things for Ahn Soo Ho as well. Rather than feeling ashamed of doing things without thinking, they rather felt proud of it.
‘Sahel’s lion? Ha!’
There was no one better to face off with a French hypocrite than a Slav.
< Protect – Episode 124 – New York Grand Festival  > The end.