Past Life Returner 18
My lips were sore, and I had scratches everywhere on my face. My left eye was almost closed shut, and the reflection that stared at me in the store window looked like a gang had beaten me. I had expected this to happen, which was why I had used Sungho’s name to stay out of the house. Since it was the final exam season, I was supposed to be staying at Sungho’s house to study until tomorrow, which was Constitution Day.
I had two ten thousand won bills in my pocket, my mother had given me the money to buy some treats to eat when studying with Sungho. (EN: $50.50. Yep, mom gave pocket money to a guy who’s worth TRILLIONS of won. ^_^ )
I stopped by a public bathroom in the park before going to an Internet cafe, and my clothes dried quickly despite wearing them wet after washing because it was a hot midsummer night. Pedestrians did not glance at me after I put on a wrinkled baseball cap out of my bag. The smell of cigarettes in the Internet cafe made me feel nostalgic.
I sat in one of the cubicles with a note hand-written by the owner instead of a membership card and accessed an American messenger site. I looked over the market conditions as I waited for Jonathan.
There was a monster called the Abyssal Ants, and while their size was less than that of a human palm and could be stomped to death, there were two reasons why the Awakened disliked them. They tended to swarm and were voracious and indiscriminate eaters. I had never seen them move around solo, and they moved for only one purpose in swarms numbering from a hundred minimum to tens of thousands. They were always hungry and would gnaw at everything in their path.
After they left everything in ruins, they would continue to move for new prey since the ants had endless hunger. The Hedge Funds and the investors that controlled them were just like that. They moved in groups and would eat anything in their path. They were touring Southeast Asia now.
Since the money they should have gobbled up was now in my pockets, they would be desperately famished by now. Their antics were now more aggressive than they had been in the original history, as they were attacking the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia at the same time. Originally, the financial world had viewed Southeast Asia as one group, but it was a bit different this time.
I felt the worry in their movements since they must have noticed what was going on. They now knew that an unknown group had monopolized the position that the baht would fall on July 1st and had taken all the profits.
-N: I have been waiting. Don’t you think they have now noticed what is going on?
Jonathan had to know what I was talking about with only that vague hint if it was him.
-J: They will be seriously interested in knowing who emptied their pockets.
-N: They are attacking the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia in one group. Isn’t it evident that they are rushing things?
-J: That they are afraid of us? Can’t that be a good thing?
-N: It might cause some problems in my calculations. Mistakes are made when rushing things, and I can’t calculate what mistakes they will make.
-J: You’ve done enough. Let’s forget it. Have you checked your email?
-J: As we have talked, I have assembled a task force of six people. How about inviting them to Korea? They should know who the actual owner of Jonathan Investments is.
-N: You haven’t told them who I am, right?
-J: Of course.
-N: You remember what I said before. I’m in your shadow. Please keep that in mind, Jonathan.
Jonathan began to report on new developments, and he had commissioned the processes for dividing the company to a new firm and had selected eight other firms to continue the process. If we changed firms after a process was completed, each group would only work with the documents they received without knowing what they were handling. They would be unable to see the whole picture.
-N: How many paper companies do you think will be laid out?
-J: Considering the ones we will have in tax havens, over a thousand. The commission fees are going to be astronomical. How are you going to distribute them? Have you thought of a plan?
-N: I’ll send you an email in the morning.
-J: Morning? I forget that you’re in Korea sometimes.
-N: What about Jeffrey K?
-J: He’s positive about it.
-N: That’s nice. I have another thing for him to do, along with buying out the investment firms.
I could not continue using other people’s servers when emailing or chatting with others, and the same went for phones. While I had chosen GOL messenger after looking over its security system, to hackers, the messenger was horribly vulnerable, with only anonymity and traffic volume as protection.
-N: Do you know Predict?
-J: Of course.
-N: It’s our first priority to buy out.
I would not have chosen Predict if it was only for their database products. The fact that Predict achieved a record-breaking rise from late 1998 to when the dotcom bubble exploded and reached a market capitalization of 200 billion dollars was a minor factor before the Day of Reckoning.
The database language they had made was the ubiquitous standard in the eighties. Data considered top secret such as dungeons, monsters, skills, abilities, items, insignias, box rates, and others were handled in the databases written in the language they had made. While each country and guild made their own databases using Predict’s development tools, the best databases had been made by their in-house programmers.
The guild controlled by the Second Virtue, Revoluchion, had considered their database, as important as their battle skills in the original timeline. If I had a chance to see Revoluchion’s database at least once, the battle against the Eight Virtues and Eight Evils might have been a bit different. Of course, I knew that my intervention would change history, such as different internal development team members. Therefore, it was important to decrease the variables as much as possible.
-J: Dear God, now IT?
-N: As I have said, I will put anything that earns a profit in our portfolio. I am planning to invest aggressively in other IT firms if there’s an opportunity.
-J: It’s not a mere investment in Predict’s case.
-N: I want a hold on the current CEO Donald Pinn as much as I can.
-J: You’re not going to interfere with their management and only enjoy their growth? However, Donald will not sell his company. Even if you succeed in a hostile M&A, he will just leave the company in anger.
-N: Predict is our top priority, and we will probably succeed if we give him the best possible stock options ratio in the field to Donald. The same goes for his annual income. If he leaves with those two conditions, it can’t be helped.
We would keep him motivated with stock options and buy Predict above their actual value with the maximum price available. Would he not be allured by the prospects?
Owners of massive capital are not mentioned in Forbes. They either anonymously monopolize basic resources such as metal, oil, and grain or are hidden in conspiracies embedded in history. However, there was a symbolic honor in being one of the richest people ranked in Forbes each year.
Counting his stock options and other benefits, Donald Pinn was ranked seventh in 2017, with fifty billion dollars. If we took out commission fees and other costs, that was about how much we had earned in Thailand. I felt that we still had a ways to go when thinking about that.
-J: It would be better to make one of our paper companies into a normal one and treat it as such.
-N: That’s right. The reason we’re separating the company lies in that.
-J: Oh? Aren’t we doing this for tax reasons?
-N: No, as I have said before, I do not want our finances to be revealed in full. We cannot transact everything we will be handling from real estate to firms under the Jonathan Investments’ name.
-N: Then, without any mistakes, let’s begin with Predict.
-J: All right.
-N: Don’t let Jeffrey handle this M&A.
-N: You have already approached him in person, and he knows you. Jonathan Investments will expand only as an investment firm, and you will be the major shareholder and CEO of the company. However, you will not be known in other fields.
-J: Then I’ll go with it for now. It doesn’t mean I won’t be watching. I will.
I folded my arms and leaned against the chair. Jonathan had been mistaken about the reason behind separating the company, as he had said. It was not simply for taxes. A long while passed without any messages.
-J: Sun, I want to go into your head to see the big picture you’re drawing.
-N: I should have made things clear the last time. It’s my mistake.
-J: No, you had said that no one should know the owner. I misunderstood your meaning.
-N: Do you understand now?
-J: We are going to buy Predict, but we should not be the ones who have bought it as far as the world knows.
-N: Yes, all transactions are going to proceed like that.
-J: Some selected paper companies will be made into real companies, and the CEO of that company won’t know anything about Jonathan Investments and us. Is that right?
That was the core. They would be our companies, but the CEO and the employees would not know about our existence.
-J: However, there have to be connections that will connect our subsidiary companies and us.
-N: That’s why we will need several imaginary friends under a detailed design.
Like my friend Sungho.
-N: You don’t need to worry. It won’t be difficult after we divide the company. We will create paper companies that will be in charge of controlling other companies and will create paper companies to control our controllers. We will build several layers with this method.
-J: So, no one would know where the commands are coming from…
-N: The parties will think that they received their commands from above, which is why the separation should be done in as many layers as possible.
-J: Forget about your master plan for a second. Where did you learn all this?
-N: Do you know now what you should do?
-J: Yes. Sun, you do know what we’re doing…
The American government could imprison us for life.
-N: I do. I understand that Predict M&A will need some more time. Look at the time now. We should earn money. Our next investment…
Edited by Userunfriendly Investments. ^_^