Novel Name : Mercenary Black Mamba

Mercenary Black Mamba - Chapter 600

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“How dare you raise your voice like this!”
Jang Kyeong-mo tried to chastise his niece, while Jang Kyung-ju cleared his throat in attempts to shut the mouths of these proud, unyielding, old folks. But it was too late. The burning embers had already been set alight.
“Where are your manners! Why do you think big brother chose to do this! It’s because things have become too challenging even for him. I also don’t care anymore. Who would believe that I, Jang Kyung-nam, a well-known and respectable leader of the community, would have trouble sleeping at night because he’s worried he won’t be able to pay for his son’s lodging fees! Do you think any of this makes sense! Why don’t you say something? Why don’t you!”
“Haaigoo. Will you look at this guy being so rude to his elder! Have you thrown away the customs and traditions of our Jang family out the window!”
Jang Kyung-nam’s wife began pounding hard on the floor.
“Uh-huh! Get a grip of your selves. Our Jang family is not dead yet.”
“If you think not being dead is akin to being able to breathe, then you are gravely mistaken. As people, we need to be able to provide for ourselves and put food on the table. The head of the family should at least handle the interest.”
“Our eldest brother is also dealing with his own issues. You know this, so why are you behaving this way?”
“Do you have any idea what the tenant farmers are saying behind our backs? They say that a stone has burst open the head of a sly snake, and we, the Jang family, are that snake!”
“The bank interest hasn’t been paid for three months already. Any time now, they will show up to confiscate our property. Aikoo! This whole thing is killing me right now!”
These old folks, with their heads full of white hair, spoke nonstop like a group of chattering devils. The head of the family must make up for the losses, and yet the head of the family also suffered the most. Missus Jang should reimburse everyone who has been affected. And they must act like the people of gentry that they are…
Their loud yells and whining persisted. Most of the criticism was directed at Jang Pil-nyuh’s sister-and-brother duo. Jang Kyung-ju and his brother tried to control the situation, but it had already gone off the rails by then.
“Urgh!” Missus Jang let out a feeble moan before collapsing abruptly. The whites of her eyes showed, and foam began to bubble out of her mouth.
“Aiiigooo! Bak-sil-ah!!”
Jang Kyung-ju cried out in alarm. All the women present rushed in hurriedly to pour cold water over Ms. Jang’s face, and started to massage her arms and legs. Ms. Jang pretended to be unconscious after the situation became too hostile for her. But no one noticed that, thanks to her excellent acting skills. To be able to use her chronic illness to her advantage in this way, Ms. Jang was no ordinary person, indeed.
Even after Ms. Jang was moved over to the living room, the arguments still haven’t stop. Finally, amidst the heated conversation, Jang Gi-su and Jang Chul-su arrived. Jang Gi-su’s expression wasn’t so bad, but Jang Chul-su was pouting, as if he was dissatisfied with something.
“Good to see you, uncle. How have you been?”
“Good to see you, too. You must be coming from your work, then. It must be busy dealing with the country’s affairs, yet you still made time for us.”
Jang Kyung-ju gave his nephew, Jang Chul-su, a warm welcome. Even Jang Kyeong-mo’s expression brightened as well. As the vice-governor, his son was the pride of the family.
“Our family is facing an imminent peril, and the worries of our elders are only getting worse. So of course, we couldn’t just sit idly by and focus only on our jobs.”
Unlike his slick responses though, Jang Chul-su’s complexion wasn’t that good. He saw the dissatisfied looks on the elders’ faces and figured that they must’ve been arguing for a while now. Being stubborn like old farts would get you nowhere. Gathering like this every day to yap on and on without actually having a clear strategy was the very definition of wasting time.
The family has tried all sorts of methods in the past three years, but none of them seemed to work. Finally, the family had to take a loan from shady people. He tried very hard to find any skeletons in their closets, but their opponents didn’t seem to have any bodies buried in their backyard.
Even his other relatives, who occupy important positions in the political and government circles, shook their hands and refused to get themselves involved with this issue. He did prepare a way out of this, but he was hesitant to bring it up due to how unsightly it was. Indeed, if it hadn’t been for the phone call from his older cousin, he wouldn’t even be here right now.
“My son, how did it go?” Jang Kyung-ju noticed his son’s expression and asked cautiously.
“Father. My chat with the president of Dae-il Spinning Co., President Yeo, went rather well.”
“Oh-hoh! How much did he ask for the shares, then?” Jang Kyung-ju’s expression brightened.
“We agreed on 35,000 Won per share. President Yeo owns 20,000 shares, so that will be 700 million Won.”
“35,000 Won! The bear performs all the tricks, but it’s the thief pocketing all the money, isn’t it! How are you planning to come up with the funds?”
“I’ve already agreed to get a loan of five hundred million Won from the Daegu Bank, using the shares to the travel company as collateral.”
“Is that so? In that case, I shall take care of the remainder.” Jang Kyeong-mo, listening from the side, quickly butted in.
“Nephew Jang, what is this all about?”
“Uncles, please gather around.” Jang Gi-su requested his father’s cousins to come closer. Even the other relatives who got involved with the funds pushed their butts forward to get closer.
“We secured the extra 4% today, which means our total shares are now at 44.8%. So we have more than President Bak Inbo now.”
“What does that matter, though? We may be on an equal footing with him, but the remaining 6% are still on President Bak Inbo’s side, no?” Jang Kyung-nam butted in.
“Keep listening, please. Elder sister’s husband seems to be putting his faith in the general shareholders. But once you get right down to it, they are all strangers, aren’t they? Even blood relations are torn apart by money issues these days. Who wouldn’t want to drink water after we have rammed enough salt down their throats? As proof, even President Yeo came over to our side. So, even if the rest of the shareholders decide to side with President Bak Inbo, we still have a chance at winning this. Our shares are 45%, while Hui-ja and her two siblings have a total of 7%. Add them all together, and we get 52%. That’s game over, everyone.”
“I see. Looks like there is a way for us to overcome this crisis.”
Both Jang Kyung-tek’s and his brother’s faces brightened almost instantly. Among the key members of the family, these two happen to be the ones most in need of money. Failing to find a way out of this dilemma would mean they would end up begging in the streets very soon.
“Once we call for an extraordinary general meeting, and swap out the chief executive officer with one of our own, the Good Heart Textiles will become our family’s company. Hyundai and Samsung wouldn’t be so special anymore. Soon, our family will also join the ranks of chaebols.”
Jang Gi-su triumphantly slammed his hand on the tea table.
“But what will you do about those children? Are you sure they side with us?” Jang Kyung-tek asked, sounding worried.
“I’ve already finished negotiating with Hui-ja. Hui-ja bought the company shares with her alimony, you see. She now possesses 16,000 shares, that’s about 3.2%. I agreed to hand over 30% of the Good Heart Travels’ shares plus 200 million Won in cash. If Wu-tak, with his 3.8% shares, chooses to abstain, then it’ll be game over for President Bak Inbo.”
“I would want nothing more than to have things work out the way you envision them. But President Bak is as sly as a fox. Do you think he won’t do anything to counter us?” This time, it was Jang Kyung-nam’s wife who voiced her worries.
“I shall take care of that part.” Jang Chul-su stepped forward.
“Prosecutor Kim Dal-su from the Daegu District Prosecutor Office agreed to help us out on that front. As a result, there will be a search-and-seizure investigation at the Good Heart Textiles next week. After all, no company out there has a spotless record, after all.”
“Now look here, nephew. Aren’t you going a bit too overboard with this one? If the value of the company fails, it will also impact us negatively in the end.” Jang Kyung-ju voiced his worries next.
“Please don’t worry. We have Man-su working as the head judge in the Gwangju appellate court, and with brother In-su working as Gyeongsangbuk-do’s district police commissioner, they will be able to apply external pressure. Meanwhile, I’ll utilize my administrative powers to investigate everything thoroughly, from the factory’s waste management down to the cafeteria’s hygiene.”
“I’ll make sure to find something, anything, and make it look like it’s all the fault of the present CEO. As you know, the husband of our older sister happens to be a man with a squeaky-clean record. We won’t stand a chance if you don’t use such means.”
“Huh. Seems like young bucks think differently from us old folks. We old farts really should just take the back seat and observe. Hahaha!” Jang Kyeong-mo laughed out loud. This is why having political power is so great.
“Thank you for your kind words. A family can only stand straight and true if their elders managed to find their feet first. That’s why uncles, I ask you to endure for a little longer and work together with us. As long as we snatch away the company’s control, we will have an inexhaustible supply of wealth, everyone. I swear, I shall be able to help you get back double the losses you all have suffered so far.”
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“The eldest son of the family head sure is different, I see.”
The expressions on Jang Kyung-tek and his brother’s faces loosened up at their nephew’s confidence. Jang Kyung-tek recalled that he was this close to almost suing his nephew, so he quickly made a sheepish smile and patted Jang Gi-su on the back.
“This time, things worked out because President Yeo is a lightweight. But the other folks have been friends with President Bak for a long time. Moreover, they have business relationships for just as long, too. Please don’t underestimate this task and give it your all. In turn, I shall prepare the necessary funds.”
Old man Jang Kyung-ju reminded his family.
This family meeting, which started as a heated argument session on who was responsible for this mess, quickly transformed into a warm and peaceful party. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to them though, Dubaiburupa’s towering shadow had already been cast over the Good Heart Textiles. Whether or not the external pressures from administrative and judicial authorities would have any effect still remains to be seen.
Just as the elder Jang Kyung-ju feared, Bak Inbo was not sitting on his hands idly. Somehow, details of the meeting made it to his ears, and immediately, he was making his next move.
Presently, inside Jang Kyung-tek’s sarangbang –
Jang Kyung-tek was snoring away while still in his outdoor clothes. For a man over sixty years old, a heated debate which lasted several hours was too much to handle, given his limited stamina.
However, the ringing phone woke him up from his tired snoozing.
He pushed aside the wooden pillow, slowly got up, and picked up the receiver. “Who is it!”
-Sir, it’s Lawyer Yi speaking. How are you?
“Uh-huh… What can I do for a lawyer such as yourself?”
All this talk of suing for damages is still running rampant. Which is why Jang Kyung-tek sobered up instantly. Lawyer Yi wouldn’t be calling him for a round of poker game, after all.
“I’d like to treat you to a plate of dageumbari (saw-edged perch) tomorrow in Captain Lee’s Sushi Restaurant. Why don’t you bring Elder Kyung-nam as well?”
“What’s all this about?”
“Don’t worry, sir. It won’t be terrible for you. Also, when you come tomorrow, please bring the actual shares with you, too.
As befitting his job description, Lawyer Yi didn’t reveal the real reason for his call. Jang Kyung-tek pondered his options for a bit before finally saying yes. He may have lived a relatively affluent, easy-going life as a landowner, but that didn’t mean he is a total fool.
Inside Bak Inbo’s favorite restaurant, Captain Lee’s Sushi Restaurant –
Before Jang Kyung-tek and Jang Kyung-nam could settle down, Lawyer Yi stepped inside the private room. The waiter laid out various side dishes and brought in a stainless steel bowl filled with cooked mussels and bottles of Kumbokju. Feeling thirsty, Jang Kyung-nam grabbed the bottle first.
After a round of booze went around, they exchanged some small talk about how fatty the mussels were.
Eventually, though, Lawyer Yi put down his soju cup with a loud tap. “Elders, it must’ve been quite tough for you these past few years.”
“Kmph. Well, there’s no point in bringing that up now.” Jang Kyung-tek poured himself a stiff one and gulped it down.
Lawyer Yi smiled warmly in response. This old man is too oblivious to how the real world operated. How could he reveal his inner turmoil so quickly in a negotiation! He should have already had some suspicions about what kind of a get-together this is, after hearing the instructions of bringing the shares along.
“I’m sure you already know that President Bak does not hold a good opinion of his in-laws.”
“Well, our eldest brother and the head of the family tends to discriminate people a bit. So a narrow-minded man obviously wouldn’t be pleased with this kind of treatment.”
“But President Bak does not see you two uncles in the same light as the others. He told me that you two are the only ones who have treated him like a human being, and would even exchange well-wishes during the holidays, too.”
Lawyer Yi came up with that story on the spot. He had no idea if the uncles from the in-law’s family exchanged greetings or swore at each other. But it didn’t matter either way. This is all a ploy to gain a favorable response from the other party, effectively lowering their wariness in the process.
“Is that so? Bak In-bo’s talents or wealth weren’t much to write home about, but he certainly had an upright character. I never discriminated against anyone, you see. Hahaha!” Feeling rather pleased now, Jang Kyung-tek began laughing happily away. He figured that there is nothing wrong if someone with such power looked at him in a favorable light.
“The day before yesterday, Suseong-dong madam paid a visit to President Bak. She just wasted time trying to test the mood until she left, but President Bak isn’t a dummy. He immediately figured out what it was she wanted.”
“Hmm, I see.”
“I will get straight to the point then. We’ll pay you 35,000 Won per share.”
Both Jang Kyung-tek and Jang Kyung-nam eyes opened wide. Only yesterday they were seriously considering selling the shares at break-even price. But now, the situation has changed.
“Why should we sell them when the company is about to become our family’s?” Jang Kyung-tek played hard to get. Indeed, as long as the family gained control of the company, none of this would matter.
“Fut!” Lawyer Yi smirked as if he found the two older men rather pitiful, and stared back at them. “You shouldn’t speak of unrealistic things, sirs. Including Chauffeur Baek’s 10% would get us 52%, after all.”
“Nonsense. President Yeo agreed to hand over his shares to Director Jang yesterday. Which means our family will be the majority shareholder now.” Jang Kyung-nam said something that he shouldn’t have, but was too busy basking in a sense of superiority to realise this. An old man like him simply had no clue how intense the battle for the shares can get.
Lawyer Yi cringed inwardly, but displayed none of that while he continued. “Please don’t tell anyone about this. But, just who is President Bak? No matter how clever Director Jang thinks he is, he can’t even compare to that wily fox’s toenail. So let me just get to the point. Do you think Hui-ja will forsake her father and side with the in-laws? And did you know that Utak wants to leave Ms. Jang’s home and live with President Bak?”
Jang Kyung-tek and his brother started to feel anxious. To be honest, it was this lingering feeling of anxiety that had brought them to this meeting.
Nephew Jang and Pil-nyuh sounded so confident back then, but the husband of their niece was no pushover. It didn’t take a genius to know that the general shareholders would support Bak Inbo. Besides, no can be absolutely sure that his kids would abandon their father and side with the in-laws.
It felt like there is still some hidden conspiracy that could possibly meddle with what was supposed to be a sure-fire transfer of shares.
“I know you must’ve regretted a great deal after purchasing those CBs.
If you fail to seize this opportunity, this will just add another regret in your lives, sirs. I’m sure you already had to sacrifice far too many farmlands after listening to Director Jang’s assurances. You might have finished paying off the private loan, but you still have the bank interest payment breathing down your neck, with your remaining land and estates tied up as collateral. What will you do if you don’t decide quickly enough now and end up homeless?”
“Hmm, hmm!”
“Truth be told, even President Bak doesn’t have a lot of financial leeway at the moment. He can only purchase around twenty thousand shares, and that’s about it. So why don’t we add five hundred more and round out the price at 630 million Won? That should be more than enough to solve your problems in one go, yes? By then, you can get your house’s affairs in order, the debt collectors will stop harassing you, and you can buy back the lost farmlands, too. I mean, one must think of one’s survival first before anything else, wouldn’t you say?”
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“Hmm, hmm!”
The minds of Jang Kyung-tek and his brother are easily bewitched by the sweet whispers of the devil. The lawyer’s sentiments resonated especially loudly in their hearts. The two older men felt incredibly desperate at the moment, but still couldn’t bring themselves to agree to this unplanned sale. They were still members of the Jang family. The very thought of betraying their own weighed quite heavily on their conscience.
Jang Kyung-nam glanced at his older brother, and the two locked eyes for a while. They fell for Nephew Jang and Bak-sil’s recommendation like a couple of hypnotized men, and ended up wrecking their own homes. They could read in each other’s eyes the desire to go back to how things were before.
Just as the two elders ruminated slowly, Lawyer Yi decided to add one more thing. “This really is your last chance… How do you gentlemen plan to endure the humiliation when one wrong choice will make you both homeless? President Bak came to this considerably difficult financial decision for the sake of you two, after all. But if you are not ready to accept his goodwill, there’s not much we can do. It’s unfortunate since opportunities like this won’t come ever again.”
Lawyer Yi drove in the final nail. There is an old saying: that even dogs will not want to sniff on a lawyer’s crap. But these two old men can barely keep their wits up at his dazzling words.
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