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That afternoon, the two sat in the elegant dining room and talked for a full three hours. Their food was reheated several times and they missed the opening of the stock market in the afternoon. After returning home at night, Xiao Yun directly placed a long distance call and contacted his elder brother.

“A mobile phone connected to the local landline?” The voice coming from the receiver was twice as deep as it was in reality and displayed a sense of dignity. 

Xiao Yun nodded involuntarily and continued, “Yes, it’s similar to the radio set used in the field, but there would be more than one receiving channel, and the call quality requirements will not be very high.”

As a three star general of the Xiao family, it was natural for him to understand these basic things, and he soon grasped Xiao Yun’s meaning. “If you want to use this kind of technology, it can be tried.”

“That’s right.” Xiao Yun’s voice exuded excitement. “According to the military’s current wireless communication capabilities, this thing should not be difficult to make in theory. The shape and size also needed to be considered. Today I talked with Chen Yuanming for an afternoon. He and I also drew up a few prototype phones on paper. After sorting things out on the stock market, I’ll fly back to Shenyang immediately! “

“So fast? Didn’t you say you were going to stay till the end of the month? How are things going on the stock market?”

“Chen Yuanming said that he will withdraw his capital mid-February. He has never missed on the stock market so I think it will soon reach a high point. The difference between leaving one or two days earlier will not be big.”

“Hmm …” The other side pondered for a while. “OK, come back around the 10th. I will study this and then sit down and talk with a few related departments. If it’s feasible, we can start this project.”

“No, brother, we cannot launch a joint project.” Xiao Yun flatly rejected the proposal. “I will take the lead in registering the company and building an entity with scientific research capabilities as the main body in charge of operations and sales. The factory can only arrange production and will not be involved in other things. “

“Oh, the implication of this is not small.”

From the voice over the phone you could hear neither happiness nor anger, but that only made it more intimidating. Xiao Yun took a breath and refused to give way. “Yes, I can’t trust the system in the military factory. Moreover, things for military and civilian use must be separated, otherwise the operation will become too big and there will be fewer peaches to be picked.”

“So, you are planning on stealing talent from the country!”

“Haha, it will be better than having those top talents study how to make refrigerator compressors. I really have to poach them. This is not a one-shot deal, but its a big cause that can move the whole of China. For now, the central government has not really set foot in this domain, but does that mean it doesn’t care? This is communications! It’s the country’s most important weapon, and the government won’t allow people to taint it for too long, as such we need to be bigger and stronger and place ourselves in a position where no one dares to move against us easily.”

“… Thinking so far, fourth son, this is not your style.”

Listening to his eldest brother’s light comment, Xiao Yun suddenly reddened a little. Yes, many of these topics were discussed with Chen Yuanming this afternoon. Left on his own it would be difficult for him to think so long term. It was just that the other party was only a few years old. How old was Xiao Yun. He had really lived his life in vain.

Xiao Yun smiled bitterly after calming down. “To be honest, this entire idea is not mine …”

“That little guy named Chen Yuanming?”

“Yes. I used to think he was only a genius in stock trading, but now it seems that his vision goes beyond just stock trading, and he is really a good partner …”

“I know what you mean.” His brother unquestioningly interrupted him from the other side on the line opposite, “But that little guy is unreliable. I have already previously checked all the military, business, and commercial families and there is no such person at all. His age is wrong, his identity is wrong, his attitude is also wrong. He is not the type of person we can use at present, especially when it comes to the military industry.”

Xiao Yun had nothing to say because he already understood matters, so when he talked with Chen Yuanming this afternoon, their discussion did not involve the slightest hint of cooperation. Xiao Yun couldn’t help with this because even if he knew Chen Yuanming’s true identity it would still be useless. This was a big piece of cake, and Chen Yuanming’s funds were large enough to cover the entire project but a strong dragon cannot repress a local snake[1]. If the military industry was to be used for communications, then the leaders will rather have the meat rot in the pot than placed into the hands of outsiders.

Chen Yuanming might have already understood this fact, so he also did not mention a word about cooperation this afternoon and did not embarrass himself. That child was too thorough and sophisticated. He will never talk nonsense about things that should not be said.

But it was also Chen Yuanming’s attitude that caused Xiao Yun to feel even more guilty. Did this technology really need the military industry? Probably not. Today, technology was changing so fast that all you needed was a reliable partner, and you could put up your stall in a few short years. Yet, Chen Yuanming had given this idea to him without a word, so he needed to reciprocate with this show of goodwill.

After hesitating for a moment, he finally opened his mouth, “No capital injection or participation, but a part of the profits must be given to him, even if it is only in the form of technology shares, otherwise how can I live with my conscience?”

The other side also remained silent for a while. “In theory, dividends are fine. I’ll have to talk to the old man and other relevant people about this, but the premise is that it will not involve core management. Even if he receives shares, it will not come with controlling interest and the share quota will not exceed 5%.”

Xiao Yun breathed a sigh of relief, 5% didn’t sound like much, but if this turned into an industry worth hundreds of millions, it would be a significant amount. As long as the company did not fail, the dividends would always be available, and that would repay his favor. After finalizing this matter, he chatted with his elder brother for a short while, and then Xiao Yun hung up the phone. In any case, for his next step, he finally had a goal and sufficient motivation, the only thing left was hard work.

After thinking about it, Xiao Yun opened the door and walked towards another room. After moving to this hotel, he had reserved a single room for Xiao Junyi. Shanghai was a city of land and money yet even Xiao Junyi’s mother, who was from the Liu family, had failed to hold on to their ancestral property in the end. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, their home was unified and placed under the state ownership, leaving only a small apartment suite in Jing’an Villa. This was a place that the old lady was unwilling to let go off, but the suite was less than 30 square meters in size and and it was a little difficult for even one person alone to live in it, so when he visited Shanghai, he could only make do with renting outside. In this regard, Beijing was more comfortable …

He knocked twice on the door, and it was soon opened, the young man standing inside the doorway raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“Why, am I not welcome?” Xiao Yun asked in a deep voice.

That pair of peach blossom eyes narrowed up immediately, and he flashed a smile, “I don’t dare, Uncle, please come inside ~~”

While glaring at his surprised nephew, Xiao Yun pushed the door open and walked in. He saw that the room was brightly lit, and the TV wasn’t on. Instead, a pile of books had been spread on the desk.

“Oh, young master, you are studying. This is rare.” Xiao Yun couldn’t help laughing when he saw the contents of the desk. His sister-in-law had said that this naughty child did well on his final exams this year, so he didn’t expect to him to come to Shanghai to continue to work overtime. It was rather strange.

In fact, when it came to intelligence, Xiao Junyi was really not stupid. From childhood, his father had been working in the three eastern provinces[2]. When Xiao Junyi was born all the elders who were old enough had also left to the countryside for military training. He was the youngest son of the eldest family, so this child was a bit spoiled by his elders. So, even the old man had to consider his old wife and his eldest-daughter in law if he wanted to straighten him up.  

Later, when the upheaval ended, some family members were promoted, others went abroad, and there was simply no time to discipline the child. As a result, the boy had developed a temperament that was not afraid of the heavens. He was almost like a socialite. Although, he was admitted to a key university, his grades were hanging in the midstream and he never studied hard. But this time … Xiao Yun smiled, and understood what was going on in this child’s mind. He was too proud.  His peers had very little talent and so, because his net worth and academic qualifications were among the best, he naturally had the capital to be proud.  However, when compared to Chen Yuanming this was not enough.  

At the age of 16 or 17, the average person could do something notable, but at most it meant forming cliques and working in groups to achieve small things. But Chen Yuanming just made hundreds of millions of yuan in one year. If you insist that his feats on the stock market were down to luck, then this afternoon’s discussion was pure talent. No one could catch up with such a person, but for those who refuse to admit defeat, it will become the driving force for progress.

Glancing at his nephew who stood next to him, Xiao Yun sat down on the sofa and asked, “How are you? Did you enjoy the conversation this afternoon?”

“I wasn’t able to even put in a word.” Xiao Junyi nonchalantly sat on the opposite side, but there was no smile in his peach blossom eyes.

“Oh! are you angry? But you took the initiative to bring up the topic. I was looking to talk to Yuanming but you beat me to it. It wasn’t fun to listen to us all afternoon?”

Looking at his nephew’s expression, he saw that his annoyance was not feigned. This boy just wanted to meet the little guy who made him feel so bad. What he didn’t expect was that he was unable to say a single word. He was basically ignored all afternoon. For such a proud man the blow was a bit big.

Xiao Junyi pouted his lips and didn’t respond. However, it could be seen that he was not completely incensed, he just needed to … adjust his mindset. Xiao Yun smiled, and no longer delved into this issue.

“But you heard everything today. I will leave Shanghai in a few days and return to Shenyang to start this business. What are you going to do? Will you come with me?”

After joking for a while Xiao Yun got back to the point. Yes, a family business must be done with family. As the only person in the family with a serious educational background in business, Xiao Junyi was the perfect candidate to assist in this matter. When starting a business, even if the foundation was already laid, there were still many issues. It would always be good idea to take this nephew along to hone himself. Besides, the eastern provinces were his father’s world it would certainly be easy to discipline him if he was right under father’s eyes, right?

Xiao Junyi thought for a moment but shook his head. “It’s not yet time to go.”

“Why, does your school not allow it? I remember that my senior year was just an internship. It’s better to come out and do something than to be stuck in that ivory tower.”

“No. It’s not that.” Xiao Junyi paused, and finally confessed, “I’m curious about Chen Yuanming. He will not participate in this project, right? The military industry will not allow outsiders to intervene, but he does not seem to mind at all.  I’m just a little curious … “

“Curious about what he’s going to do next?”

“Aren’t you curious?” Xiao Junyi replied.

Xiao Yun suddenly couldn’t help laughing. Curious? How could he not be curious? That boy had given him too many surprises, so now that they had to part ways, he was still a little reluctant. However, this project could not be delayed. Xiao Yun knocked on the arm of the sofa.

“Curiosity can’t be eaten for meals, there’s still work to be done.”

This was true. Xiao Junyi scratched his hair helplessly, “How about this? I’ll stay in Shanghai for another half a month to see what the boy is going to do next. I’ll go North[3] in March. You must have a lot of things to prepare at the early stages that don’t require my help as a junior. Just let me off.”

This was really a heartfelt request. Xiao Yun smiled slightly and simply clapped. “Okay, then you can stay here for a few more days. You really need to pay attention. If we don’t maintain our relationship with Yuanming it would grow cold. Since we are asking others for help, we can’t let it cool. So …” Xiao Yun looked his nephew up and down, “Your “young master[4]” temper also needs to be changed. Although Yuanming is young, he is very sophisticated. Don’t offend him.”

Xiao Junyi pursed his lips, “Look at what you are saying, am I that kind of person?”

“You’re not, but the people around you are, OK.” Xiao Yun retorted testily.  Xiao Yun stood up, “Don’t study too late, there is still time tomorrow.”

“OK.” Xiao Junyi sent his uncle to the door and suddenly asked, “Uncle, since I’ll be taking someone out to play, there should always be some compensation. The money has been delivered to our mouth, so the food can’t be too bad … … “

“Oh, you’re still keeping this up.” Xiao Yun couldn’t help but laugh out loud. “Okay, this time Yuanming’s meals in Shanghai will be on you. I’m giving you a chance to perform …”

“Uncle!” Xiao Junyi chased after him seriously.

Xiao Yun smiled and patted him on the shoulder, “It good to have this intention. Leave the rest of the details to the adults, I won’t treat Yuanming shabbily.”[5]

After sending his uncle away, Xiao Junyi closed the door and leaned his head against it. In fact, this was the most annoying thing. In the eyes of everyone, he was still a child, but the actual child was being treated as an adult. Such a big gap in treatment was something he had never experienced before, so he was curious, amazed, and full of interest, but also full of loss and powerlessness …

“Fuck!” Xiao Junyi lifted his head and hammered it against the door lightly. A cynical smile returned to his face. What was good about being a genius? He will do it too!

In the next few days, there were frequent meetings and discussions. Xiao Yun and Chen Yuanming talked about the mobile phone project many times. Each time they got more in-depth and more detailed. As a small shadow, Xiao Junyi was stubbornly attached to Xiao Yun every time, but there were not enough spots to join the conversation. He had the ideas and the ability, but communication was not his strong suit after all. Whatever he could think of, they had already thought of. In this kind of frustration and reluctant torture, he finally survived till February 10th and with a smile, he sent away his uncle. Xiao Junyi exhaled a long breath. Finally liberated! But just how should he get along with the other person now….

Chen Yuanming had no problems now that he was alone in the big family room. This time, he did not intend wait for exactly 15 days. Recently, the attitude reflected by the stock market was quite obvious. Some bookmakers had already started to cash out, and some stocks were also experiencing very strange fluctuations. A storm was brewing. It was time to withdraw …

But after exiting the stock market, he still had some hesitation about what to do next. Giving the PHS business idea to Xiao Yun was just a flash of inspiration. In fact, it is still too early to develop PHS as even local calls had yet to become very popular, so it was obviously a bit ahead of the times to jump to higher-end mobile communications. Besides this kind of advancement in industry also required a stronger network of relationships and product maintenance. Since he couldn’t do either of these two things now, it was better to give up the idea to build a good relationship. Yet, unexpectedly, Xiao Yun still gave him a 5% profit share, and it was not gross profit but net profit. This number was a bit alarming and was far more than he had imagined.

No one knew better than him how exaggerated the PHS industry will become in the future. How many cities and families were there in China? If every household chooses to install a local phone, how many people would be unable to resist applying for this PHS business? In the next few years, China will rapidly enter the telephone era, and communication was about to undergo radical changes. If a part of the market can be captured now, future growth and advancement will be incalculable. And he was now on the express train to this Golden Avenue.

But for the time being, this road was not a place where he could flex his muscles. His roots were too thin. He was almost alone, and it was difficult to really control such a huge industry. Even the most lucrative, low-end clothing and catering industry needed him to find a suitable and fully trusted front-end agent to begin operations. For him today, the most important thing was not funds, but allies. However, a kind of thing like trust, could you find it even if you looked for it?

Alas, there was still a long way to go … He shook his head slightly. Chen Yuanming woke up from his musing and stretched his waist. Just as he was about to turn off the TV and leave, he saw a figure walking towards him quickly.

“Yuanming, has the market closed?” The young man in front of him greeted him with a cordial and appropriate smile, and a demeanor that brooked no refusal. “Do you have any arrangements for the evening?”

Chen Yuanming frowned slightly. This boy was like a piece of dogskin plaster[6] that couldn’t be thrown away. Since Xiao Yun left, he had run here to pick him up every day and had almost become his own exclusive driver – or rather motorcycle driver. In just these few days they had traveled all around Shanghai. Although there wasn’t any of the past childish “hazing” behavior this time, hanging out was still a waste of time, yet he couldn’t ignore these kinds of overtures, for now, …

However, these feelings could not be directly expressed. His cooperation with the Xiao family had just gotten on the right track. How could he hinder the really important things for this small matter? Chen Yuanming smiled, “What else can I do, I’ll just go home to read books and the newspaper.”

As if he did not notice Chen Yuanming’s momentary hesitation, Xiao Junyi threw down the key in his hand in a good mood, “Aren’t books always available.? Leave it to me, I will be your host tonight and take you to see something interesting! “

The author has something to say:

In fact, the characters are constantly developing, please don’t rush, and slowly enjoy reading and playing.

Translator Notes

Thank you, Martha and Kofi Supporter A, for your donations via Kofi. Your gifts serve as fuel every time I unduly delay. 😀

[1] A strong dragon cannot repress a local snake” – meaning an outsider with great power/influence may not be a match for a local thug on his home turf

[2] Three Eastern Provinces (Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning)

[3] Referring to Beijing

[4] Prideful

[5] Basically saying here that its good XJ has the intent to take CY out to eat as thanks but he should leave the details to the adults (he already had plans to give dividends) and he won’t treat CY badly so there’s no need to fete him (and thus no extra pocket money is needed).

[6]  Gou Pi Gao (狗皮膏), more commonly called Gao Yao (膏药). Is a sort of traditional Chinese medicated plaster or patch. Gou Pi Gao literally translates to mean dog skin patch because, back in ancient times, a medicinal paste was smeared on an aged piece of dog skin and applied to the affected area. Around the 11th century, the use of dog skin was phased out and was been replaced with adhesive cloth patches.

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3 Comments on INVESTMENT LIFE – CHAPTER 37Tagged , , , ,
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2 years ago

Thank you for translating!
I just caught up recently and I am loving this story!

2 years ago

He needs an “adult” to help him with all his plans. I can’t wait to see who he chooses 🙂

2 years ago

Thank you so much!

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