I normally say that I like Past Life Returner but I have not read it at all, not even the manhwa(comic). But this story is different, I love it. I...
The victim was “-red ship”, and the First Evil had sent messages to two others while working on him. “-m.cop” had ignored him while “-black eye” had almost met the First Evil in person. I did not know when he started targeting the prior Awakened but considering his age and computer proficiencies, he found them via the internet.
The confidential information from GOL for “-m.cop” pointed to a man named Waden Ruch. I knew the major players who founded the companies that would create the powerful IT Service industries, and Waden was considered to have pioneered the online music industry by founding Musicteca.com. He had been the first to sell music content via download. He created digital music distribution by collecting an online library of over a million music tracks and videos.
However, his business suffered after the dotcom bubble broke. His disappearance was said to have been due to an incident on a trip he took after his business took a downturn. However, I now suspected he died accidentally in a dungeon or had been hunted down by the First Evil.
“Musicteca? There’s a group like that?”
Jonathan asked me that question.
“It’s an online music distribution company.”
“The world is changing.”
“Put it in the list.”
Jonathan took the memo I had given him before and added Musicteca’s name. He then brought me its purchase status without my asking.
“We own only 2.5%, the funds for the purchase coming from the pension funds we manage. I will start buying them using our own private funds. Also, there’s an aggressive buying hand in the New York stock market.”
I nodded, and Jonathan had guessed that it was Jillian.
“He would have pension funds and millionaires backing him now.”
I spoke like it was nothing, but Jonathan seemed deeply interested.
“How much do they have?”
“200 billion dollars, 60% of it in pension funds.”
It meant New York and the Isle of Man controlled over 500 billion dollars in pension funds.
“The New York market is not the only one heating up…”
Jonathan was correct, as countries worldwide were changing their ways of investing their funds. They were customers of other elite Investment Firms, not just us, but they were investing more in us than ever before. For example, the California public employee retiree pension fund had invested 23% of their funds in us. Considering that the pension fund typically spread out their investments in multiple companies, the norm less than 1%, that number was insane.
“The Russian financial war had been shocking, but this is crazy. If we grab this chance, other pension funds will start coming in.”
“There aren’t more yet?”
“The scale is too large. I don’t know whether you know this yet.”
Jonathan handed me a California newspaper with a deep smile, and the main article was about the California public employee retiree strike. The strike had been to protest against the decision to have their funds managed by an investment group that had started as a hedge fund. It had been quite a large protest, and the California governor was seen trying to calm them down. I asked Jonathan,
“Did you have them lobby for us?”
“No, they just did this on their own.”
“Then, we will gobble them up.”
The important thing was that we retain the common and especially the preferred stockholder voting rights with the shares we bought with the pension fund during the contract period. Jonathan seemed to want to talk more about Jillian and pension funds, but I had more important things to do. I stood up with the GOL documents in my hand. (EN: A preferred stock is a class of stock that is granted certain rights that differ from common stock. Namely, preferred stock often possess higher dividend payments, and a higher claim to assets in the event of liquidation.)
I needed to give osome orders and called John Clarke as I headed to where “-black eye” worked.
<Please observe Waden Ruch, the Musicteca founder.>
<Do we treat him as a cat?>
<No, just tell me any significant events during surveillance.>
<Is he one of them?>
<I believe so.>
Jonathan’s book was still a bestseller, as it was in the main display of the bookstore. I pretended to read it while looking over the place. The person who used the alias “-black eye” was actually named Tina and I headed for her while holding Jonathan’s book.
I had dated a redhead while working in Wall Street in the past, and she had red hair and black eyes, which was an unusual mix. She did not look dangerous but blended in with other employees as she organized books. I approached her, and her name tag glistened under the light.
“I’m looking for a book like this one.”
She looked surprised and hesitated before answering. The manager came up at that moment, and he looked at Tina with annoyance.
“I apologize, sir. How can I help?”
I asked the same question, and the manager looked at Jonathan’s face on the book before telling me to go to the B corner. While Tina and the manager did not speak much, she followed him to a corner where the manager began to scold her.
I pretended to look for a book as I listened to them, and it seemed that Tina had not been a bad employee before but she was too vacant to manage customers for the last few weeks. I waited for them to end and the manager to go upstairs before going up to her.
“I apologize. Did I get you into trouble?”
I then observed her, and she was not trained nor had she sensed my approach. She did not seem to wear any insignias and did not look like anyone related to the Eight Evils and Eight Virtues. So, she may be like Yeonhee Woo. I lost most of my interest in her, but the First Evil may approach her again.
I decided to spend some time watching her, and I could observe the bookstore from the restaurant across the street. I waited until her shift finished, and she came out around eight o’clock. She looked even more timid wearing casual clothes.
I then started following her, but she seemed nervous as she continued to stop and look around. Then, she went into an apartment building, and a light came on in one of them. The place was her home, and it corresponded with the account information.
It was then a large man came out of the alley next to the apartment, and he also looked up at the lighted apartment and spoke in a quiet voice.
“Is she the third cat?”
I nodded, and John Clarke did not even blink. He seemed to be thinking of Ruch and Tina as if they were as formidable as the First Evil.
“Not everyone is dangerous. One lives as an entrepreneur and the other as a bookstore employee. However, we do need to keep them under surveillance. The employees?”
John led me to a dark alley and showed me three people. I had not seen them before, and they were obviously not members of the “Brute Squad”. They were sitting in a surveillance van disguised as a pizza truck filled with communication devices. (EN: Yep, I couldn’t resist the Princess Bride reference. ^_^ )
The employees looked at me with some curiosity, but nothing else. John explained to me after going into a nearby restaurant.
“They think they’ve been hired by the government.”
John seemed to want my response, as I had him chasing people with supernatural powers. I spoke firmly, even though he may not believe me.
“We do not belong to the government. Did you think about how to form your group?”
“There’s a firm that provides ex-military mercenaries, and I have successfully recruited those who had worked in government institutions. As you have seen in the truck…”
“Start by making arrangements to buy that firm.”
“Don’t worry, I will have it prepared with the trust company.”
John’s face was rigid as we were served steak.
“No worries, we’re the Good Guys. We’re not doing something evil. If you don’t believe me, just think about your rewards. Nothing is free in this world.”
Edited by Userunfriendly