I met Jamie again after a few days. She did not question why I had Jeonil’s company credit card issued since she had already realized that Jeonil was not an altogether clean company. For the price of fame and wealth, Jamie would remain silent about the illegal activities.
The company card was the first step, and as I held the plastic card with Jeonil’s name on it, my money worries completely disappeared.
“Please have cash ready in the linked account. You will not receive reports of how the money was used.”
Jeonil’s money was all mine and not mine at all at the same time. These were company funds, and if not used for managing the company, it immediately becomes embezzlement.
However, Jamie did not even blink and acted like she had already anticipated the situation.
“This country is nice for establishing firms. I knew it from the first, but the more I learn, the more I like it.”
Obviously thinking ahead, Jamie next mentioned the best accounting firm and legal firm in Korea, Samwoo Accountings, and Kim & Park Law.
“These two firms will solve most of the problems in this country for us, and I confirmed their ability. I hired these guys as the first step for Jeonil.”
Jamie handed over two profile files, and she had hired Daehwan Cho as the Accounting Director and Chungsik Park as the Legal Director. These two men were acknowledged to be the top in their fields and were partners in their firms, and they were expected to aim for vice-CEO or CEO in a few years. They had committed to give up their positions to join Jeonil.
While they could not make illegal things legal, they would be able to make them look legitimate.
“However, there are conditions. They will not move until the head office receives funds. They are insuring themselves, as they are unable to believe that fifteen billion dollars will really come into this country.”
Jamie looked at me straight, and I could see that she also wanted confirmation.
“You do not need to worry about that, as the money will come in stages.”
I spoke while holding the company card. Jamie must have researched the situation Korea was in during the past few days.
“Are you excited?”
I asked frankly, and Jamie nodded.
“Do you think I can manage this?”
“I believe that position makes the person.”
“I am grateful that you gave me this chance, and I won’t let you down. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She had meetings all day today, and the first was at the Blue House with the Secretary of Civil Affairs. The President was at the end of his term and he and the President-elect who just won the election yesterday were waiting for her. I spoke as she stood up.
“You have to mention that the real estate market needs to be opened quickly.”
“This is the first time there has been a change in the ruling party, and the President-elect has won this election in his fourth attempt. However, the President-elect now has to face the burden of rebuilding our economy. Our first news is the press conference the President-elect held in the Blue House.”
The footage came after the anchor’s briefing, and Jamie appeared from the beginning. She was shaking hands with the current President and then the President-elect. Based on the short clip, the star of the news report was not the President-elect but Jamie.
Jeonil Investments was mentioned at the end of the press conference. The overall tone was that the New Government had succeeded in attracting an investment that was worth about fifteen billion dollars and will overcome the current financial crisis with investments like this.
The next day was Saturday, and Jamie came into my office for the first time. One sees exercise equipment first when coming in, and her response was similar to Jonathan’s. I spoke to her as she was busy looking around the office.
“Congratulations, Jamie. You have become the most sought after person in the political and financial fields in this country.”
“You’re right. I can’t reveal my face once I head out to my hotel.”
Anyone with a name in Korea wanted to meet her, and that was why she came in with her face hidden with a hood.
“The two men I mentioned yesterday confirmed that they will work for us.”
Daehwan Cho from Samwoo and Chungsik Park from Kim & Park made quick decisions, as they were faster than anyone else at smelling out the money.
“My former colleagues will come to Korea this evening. I finished negotiating with the real estate consultancies in this country and only need an office…”
Jamie’s eyes widened as her eyes followed the exercise equipment, and saw how much the weights were set for. She looked at the walls and windows carefully and mostened her lips as she stood near the window that had a view of the streets.
“Do you know that this lovely building is for sale? However, the prices will fall.”
“You will need to be careful with the timing. You cannot be too fast or too slow.”
“Hotels are busy, and my old competitors have all come to Korea.”
As she had mentioned, the five-star hotels in Gangnam were doing brisk business. This was called a firesale, and it meant selling furniture after a house burnt down at a cheap price. Korea’s situation was a few times worse. The fire was spreading, becoming fiercer, like a wildfire. The animals ran from the flames, and only charred corpses were left where the flames had swept.
It was a feast time for eagles, as they only needed to choose which prey was juicier and tastier. Since there was so much to eat, there was no need for eagles to fight. As they considered the choices, the flames spread even further to provide them with more prey.
“My specialty is real estate, but I find it lacking to only invest in it. A chance like this will never come again.”
She looked at the upper part of the building across us, and I could see employees busily working from afar. How many would survive?
Jamie used the English name I had presented to her in the fake business card.
“Are your clients interested in only this country’s real estate?”
It was an inevitable question and my client’s permission (my permission) was required before proceeding.
“They only look at the numbers, which is profit. You do not need to limit yourself to real estate, but you know that investments come with responsibility.”
“There will be a high return in this country now. Enough dollars would make children presidents. I will take your words as permission to expand my investments to firms.”
I nodded, as in the previous timeline, the biggest shares in the major Korean firms would be gobbled up by foreign eagles. Jamie’s eyes burned, and she looked like she was ready to soar as the largest eagle in the sky.
“I also went through your special orders and cannot say much about them. Most of them do not seem profitable, and with Seoul’s real estate…”
Jamie was about to go on a long explanation.
“I know that you want to show your passion, but stop there.”
Jamie probably tried to stare at my eyes to understand me and the logic behind the Special Orders. However, she was unable to meet my eyes, as I needed to make her understand now.
They call it the “Thousand Yard Stare”. Veterans who had fought in many battlefields had it, and stripped of the mystique, it was simple. It was the gaze of someone who had seen death, up close and personal, coming forward and reaching for them. It was the look of a person, who to survive, had become a predator. It was the eyes of a killer, who measured lives as nothing more than assets or liabilities, who wouldn’t hesitate to remove obstacles in their path, without remorse, without guilt. Jamie saw my eyes, and death looked back at her, something she understood at the instinctive level.
I did not need to even speak to intimidate her. Jamie gulped and wore an awkward smile.
“I…had been overexcited, wasn’t I.”
“I understand. If you want to expand your investments to firms…”
Jamie looked like she completely understood my rules.
“I recommend you headhunt the business loan teams from the three largest banks as your recruits. Bring another list.”
On the last day of the year, in my previous life, my father came home drunk. While he had not mentioned it to us, he had been sentenced to a forced voluntary resignation at a young age. I still remember the day Father came in, supported by Mother. However, today Father came in alone with a laugh.
I could smell liquor from his breath, and he sat down at the entrance without even taking off his shoes. He called Mother, and when she took off his shoes, he lay down on the floor. Mother looked at Father with a worried face that said that the inevitable bad news had come.
Mother became aware of me, and she stopped my father from talking.
“Come to your senses. Sunhoo is here.”
Mother had sensed that a dark shadow had fallen over our family, and she didn’t want him to say that he had been fired in front of me.
However, what Father said was different from Mother’s expectations.
“Can I change companies? Can I?”
“You can do whatever you want. I said that Sunhoo is here. How much did you drink?”
“Your husband will go to a better company! Those bastards are the problem!”
I heard my father make a sound that either could be a laugh or a cry.
Edited by Userunfriendly