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Chapter 163: < Protect – Episode 162 – Ultra  >
“This is… troublesome.”
w.a.n.g Cho Shan looked puzzled after seeing the retired tyc.o.o.n’s comical death. Since he didn’t see what happened to Goreo Village himself, that didn’t matter, but in contrast to the investigative officials of Guangzhou and Hong Kong, Ahn Soo Ho’s repressive operations didn’t lead to a single casualty. Even in the midst of a crazy gunfight, there was no sign of a life being endangered.
Getting hit anywhere by a bullet was dangerous, but getting hit on the chest or abdomen area was especially risky. It was better to just get shot in the head and die immediately, but the death that Zhouxun Bao suffered was a lighter down his throat which was much worse.
Ahn Soo Ho brushed off his hands and then looked back at w.a.n.g Cho Shan.
“Are you going to arrest me?”
“You didn’t see or hear anything.”
“I didn’t see or hear anything.”
w.a.n.g Cho Shan nodded in response.
The secret that Zhouxun Bao exposed was China’s shame that was better off buried away. In reality, there were countless dirty truths that were hidden away. There was no place with a bigger scale than the standing committee, and even the regional offices had dirty secrets that kept them from keeping their heads up. No matter how shameless they were, they couldn’t dare to be confident about terrorizing the common people.
“Zhouxun Bao strongly resisted, so he inevitably died. Is that how it should be reported?”
Ahn Soo Ho patted w.a.n.g Cho Shan on the shoulder and got out of there. w.a.n.g Cho Shan sighed and then flinched.
Did he kill Zhouxun Bao to get him involved in it? He shook his head. He was just a public officer. In other words, he was just a material part that made up a bigger machine.
As soon as Ahn Soo Ho got out of the building, he was faced with Oh Chang Ik.
“How’s the situation?”
“It’s in the seizing stages.”
The vacant spots of the organizations that got swept up by the Hong Kong police’s crackdown were soon filled again. That was because people like Oh Chang Ik got involved. Ahn Soo Ho didn’t give off the protector nuance, but Oh Chang Ik and Blackie used his name to their advantage.
“You guys sure are stubborn.”
Telling such criminals to live nicely was like telling a drug addict to quit drugs.
“I don’t care what kind of trouble you get into in Hong Kong, but once I hear that you’re selling people… You know what’ll happen then, right?”
“That won’t happen.”
Ahn Soo Ho turned down Oh Chang Ik’s offer to drive him back to the hotel and walked through the noisy streets of Hong Kong. This was the first time a gunfight broke out after Hong Kong was returned to China. He heard an announcement telling everyone to refrain from sightseeing and shopping and to go back to their accommodations. He stopped at the International Commerce Center. He then followed a woman who appeared to have been waiting for him.
“Welcome, Mr. Ahn.”
“You look just fine for someone who was victimized by a terrorist attack.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you earlier.”
Ahn Soo Ho sat on the couch across from Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin. He was offered tea, but he refused.
“Let me hear it.”
“Don’t you already know?”
“Predictions and the truth are different.”
Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin frowned. He wasn’t particularly insulted by what Ahn Soo Ho said, but nothing had been going his way during the madness in Hong Kong. This was the first time he felt powerless.
Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin sighed and then started talking.
“Premier Yuhaipung called me himself.”
The Chinese intelligence agency managed to find Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin after a long pursuit of late Kim Taek Sun’s trace, and if Ahn Soo Ho hadn’t gotten involved, it would have just ended with a warning or money.
“If you want to live, prepare to be disgraced.”
He did have the stance of supporting Hong Kong independence, but he wasn’t so devoted that he was willing to give up his life and wealth. Pride was only worth anything when one was alive.
“What are you going to do now, Chairman Hw.a.n.g?”
“A prosecution investigation has been scheduled.”
Ahn Soo Ho shook his head.
“There’s no such thing.”
Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin blinked and then exclaimed.
“Then is the war that the Hong Kong police proclaimed against crimes…”
Ahn Soo Ho smiled in response, and that was a clear enough answer.
“I don’t know how to thank you, Soo Ho.”
“I didn’t do it for you. You know that.”
“Anyway, I’m still thankful.”
This was no more than a deal.
“That’s enough of that… What about the preparations?”
“We can begin anytime.”
“Then let’s do it now.”
In contrast to Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin’s dignified stance during their first meeting, he was being submissive now. He felt instinctively afraid of Ahn Soo Ho’s influence, which scared even the Chinese Communist Party. Hw.a.n.g Chi Rin picked up the phone. He spoke in Chinese and then looked back at Ahn Soo Ho.
“Tell me your target.”
Ahn Soo Ho smiled.
s.h.i.+lla Group was Korea’s top company in media and entertainment. From the perspective of the upper cla.s.s, they were just as unique as Ahn Soo Ho. s.h.i.+lla was originally a clothing company before they branched out to department stores, duty-free shops, home shopping, newspapers, TV channels, multiplexes, music, productions, sports, and entertainment management.
s.h.i.+lla Group was especially unrivaled in the entertainment industry. They had many connections related to movies, dramas, variety shows, and music, and they established multiple channels to lead the trends. Just by getting on s.h.i.+lla Group’s good side, people became stars, and if they got on their bad side, they would become third-rate forever.
“What kind of bulls.h.i.+t report is this?”
Executive Director Jeon Joon s.h.i.+k slammed his desk and expressed his anger.
“We have to evacuate right now? Those crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.ds! We invested so much money in Chungmuro and the broadcasting companies! What on earth is the problem?”
When a normally quiet person got mad, it was even scarier.
“We have to report this bulls.h.i.+t to the chairman? Do they want to see me die?”
The department stores and home shopping was where s.h.i.+lla Group made the most sales, but the most profits made compared to the money invested were actually movie dramas, variety shows, and music.
“Why would our profits suffer?”
“Because of Hosoo Entertainment.”
Jeon Joon s.h.i.+k groaned in response.
Hosoo Entertainment Group
Just 1 year after being founded, the new group was growing exponentially in the Korean economy. Some thought that they were going to be doomed in the near future, but the ones who actually knew thought otherwise. Capitalism was going to be doomed before Ahn Soo Ho ever went bankrupt.
‘This is driving me crazy. If we fight with money, we won’t stand a chance.’
Since broadcasting companies put them down, they bought a broadcasting company, since the producers put them down, they bought a production company, and since the stadiums turned them down, they built their own. From the financial world’s standpoint, Hosoo Entertainment’s behavior was beyond shocking.
‘The CEO is crazy, but so is everyone working for him.’
It was already cheating that they had Daesan Group behind them, but the live ammunition that Hosoo Entertainment had was enough to make everyone nervous. That included s.h.i.+lla Group. That was because 10.3% of their holding company, s.h.i.+lla Media Holdings stocks belonged to Hosoo Investments.
Hosoo Entertainment established their own music site.
Hosoo Entertainment made their own movie and drama production company.
Hosoo Entertainment planned their own performance facilities.
Hosoo Entertainment created their own music broadcast.
Hosoo Entertainment trained their trainees through their own academy.
‘This makes no sense… but they keep succeeding.’
What determined the success of a celebrity management company was who had better control of the stars that the public wanted. s.h.i.+lla Group controlled the trends by using their designer brands, newspapers, and broadcasts, and even manipulated their music channels and sites to control the music industry as well.
s.h.i.+lla Group was the law of the entertainment industry.
But once Hosoo Entertainment appeared, those rules shattered. They didn’t think much of it when they first popped up. But as time went on, they took over their compet.i.tors and even took over a broadcasting company. Even until that point, they didn’t feel too threatened by them. It didn’t matter if they came from money or not. They believed that once anyone joined the upper cla.s.s, they would have had to follow by their rules.
In most cases, rich people didn’t attack other rich people. That was an unwritten rule followed by even Daesan Group. However, Ahn Soo Ho was a rebel who defied all of that.
Ahn Soo Ho’s way of charging head-on startled his compet.i.tors and made them stop the schemes they were in the middle of devising. In all honesty, both s.h.i.+lla Group and Hosoo Entertainment Group had a way of using violence to stop anything from getting in their way. But s.h.i.+lla liked to use their connections and weaknesses to threaten while Hosoo Entertainment simply used money to get their way.
On the outside, it just looked like overpaying or panic buying, but they actually bought cheap compared to their future worth. The old men looked down on Oh Joo Kyung of Hosoo Entertainment Group, but she was actually quite skilled in business and negotiation.
“We can’t leave this alone. We have to keep Hosoo Group in check. Is there a good way to do that?”
“If we mess with them the wrong way, they could try to take over our company as well.”
“I know. So we have to think of a way that they won’t notice.”
“What if we use the media? Let’s create some kind of negative scandal regarding their celebrities.”
“We’re already doing that. What else?”
“They’re probably needing more employees for their new broadcasting company. Let’s plant some informants.”
“We’re already doing that, too. What else?”
“How about we buy some treasury stocks just in case?”
“We can’t beat them with money.”
No matter how hard they tried, all of the methods they could think of only elicited disappointments.
As soon as the interphone rang, he reflexively picked up the phone.
“Executive Director Jeon! Rus.h.i.+nbo Group put a halt to the multiplex operation! I’ll reexamine the negotiation!”
That meant that the multiplex project that they invested 15 billion into could all go down the drain. That was just the beginning. The interphones of the other executives in the room started ringing as well.
“Close the department store in Shanghai due to hygienic issues?”
“What’s that supposed to mean? Plagiarism? A lawsuit?”
“I thought China’s ban against Korean culture was over!”
All of their businesses connected to China fell through. The climax of the neverending nightmare came through Executive Director Jeon Joon s.h.i.+k’s phone.
“Our stock prices are plummeting? Why?”
All of s.h.i.+lla Group’s affiliate companies were suffering in the stock market.
“It has begun, CEO Ahn.”
“Are you going to bring s.h.i.+lla down?”
Ahn Soo Ho was on his private jet from Hong Kong.
He kept an eye on how the hedge fund combining the capitals of Hong Kong, England, China, and j.a.pan would hara.s.s s.h.i.+lla Group with an amused look on his face. The vulture fund that was created just in case the South Korean market was to get shaken up due to cold American-Chinese relations were all pushed forward. As long as the a.n.a.lysts weren’t stupid, they probably realized that an M&A begun.
“How many people do you think go missing every year in Korea?”
In response to Ahn Soo Ho’s random question, his secretary shook his head.
But of course, some of them returned within a week while 20% disappeared forever without a trace. These kinds of numbers could only be obtained in Korea. South Africa, Africa, China, and India had no idea how many people went missing in their respective counties.
“Among those who go missing, the only ones society cares about are the underaged children. No one cares about young adults or fully-grown adults.”
How could the Korean police, which claimed to resolve 99% of crimes, be so careless about missing people? Because they lacked manpower? Or because they lacked the skill?
“Did you know our country has the largest child export in the world?”
Just like how the matchmaking company, Jamie Bricks International was the biggest human trafficking organization, no one knew the darkness that truly existed behind the masks of large corporations.
“The quick-witted ones have been providing something very basic to the powerful people of this land.”
In response to Ahn Soo Ho’s words, his secretary’s face grew pale.
“That’s right. It’s exactly what you’re thinking. I just found out, too.”
While Ahn Soo Ho looked through JBI’s head office, he found out that the human trafficking organization’s roots were deeper than he expected.
‘Some of the missing people are given to Ultra.’
JBI had a cooperating company in each country, and they not only conducted human trafficking in South East Asia but in Korea and j.a.pan as well.
“Do you mean to say s.h.i.+lla Group has been kidnapping people?”
“That’s right. For many years.”
“Oh my G.o.d!”
s.h.i.+lla Group was JBI’s cooperating company in Korea.
< Protect – Episode 162 – Ultra  > The end.