Chapter 160: Light and Shade (1)
The design of the new hotel in Moscow would be done by Istanbul’s construction design company and the construction would be done by a Russian construction company through Yaniv’s connection. The company was owned by another mafia boss based in Moscow.
To Istanbul’s company, designing two buildings was like rain in drought because the business had not been doing well due to terrorism.
The site of the hotel was by Moskva River, where it would be looking down on Arbat Street. The new hotel would be built on an already existing old apartment building site after tearing down the old one. As Youngho worried how to deal with the residents, Yaniv looked at Youngho as if why he was worried about such thing. The apartment was run by the city government and the government would just announce them to evacuate.
The forceful way of the government was quick and easy since they could chase away the residents with authority but Youngho convinced Yaniv to take care of the residents and find their new homes since Arirang Hotel would get blamed by them afterward if they just chase them away.
An important thing to discuss at this point was the hotel’s share. As if Sergey had thought that Youngho did not have enough funds, he had come up with an amazing offer. When Youngho invested five percent of Arirang Hotel’s franchise fee, five percent of management cost, and twenty percent of construction cost, he could have thirty percent of the hotel’s share.
Judging by the site’s size, it seemed that he would pay twenty million dollars at most. He was not sure how Yaniv got a site of an existing apartment building, which was still useable for many years, in such a short period of time. It was impressive. Youngho only assumed that Yaniv must have had a secret deal with Moscow’s high officials.
After finishing with the business in Moscow, Youngho bought a jewel box and a bunch of crystal craft items for Zeynep. It was because her interest had switched from taking care of her puppy to collecting various items of craftwork.
She had a little workshop for herself next to the mansion and had been making decent items on her own. Also, the place had become a playhouse for little kids on the farm that it was always crowded.
The Serbian residents’ woodcraft skills were amazing since they had been making their own household items ever since they were dragged as slaves. Youngho had frequently seen little kids at the ranch working on little craft pieces, sitting outside in sunshine during their free time. Their knife skills were amazing because they were the descendants of knights.
Since Zeynep asked to make a woodcraft workshop for her, Youngho made a log cabin and bought tools for her and she spent the whole winter in there.
He was impressed that Zeynep, a seventeen-year-old girl was making wooden items by herself in wood dust. So, he bought different woodworking machines for her. For those reasons, she now asked Youngho whenever he went on a business trip to get her craft items from different countries.
Beautiful Zeynep who now turned seventeen was beaming. There was a rumor that when she walked on the streets, more car accidents occurred. Although she was an attractive woman to many men in Baku, to Youngho, she was still a pitiful little girl who was waiting for her death in an Istanbul slum area.
Because of that image and because she lost her parents at a young age, Youngho did any favor that Zeynep asked him. She also thought Youngho as her fatherly figure, so she comfortably asked anything to him. He often forgot to bring Fatima’s gifts from a business trip but never forgot about what Zeynep asked for.
Zeynep, who just received Russian craft items from Youngho, was showing her affection to him. She hugged and kissed him multiple times and left to her workshop taking all of the gifts with her.
“My, my. She’s not a young kid anymore but she still acts the same. She should feel embarrassed.”
Fatima was blushing.
“Why are you embarrassed? I love it.”
“Dangshin*, you like everything she does. That’s why she’s spoiled.”
Recently, Fatima had been calling Youngho with different names; oppa, dangshin, and yeobo*. It seemed that she was beginning to take control of marriage.
“That’s alright. If she gets a boyfriend, she won’t even look at me.”
“No, even if she gets a boyfriend or gets old, she’d act the same to you.”
Since Youngho was like a father to Zeynep, she did not feel ashamed of expressing her affection to him, even though people might look at them with a little repulsion.
“By the way, you brought so many things. What are those for?”
“I couldn’t only get things for Zeynep. Other kids would want things for themselves too.”
“Oppa, sometimes you can be so meticulous.”
“What are you talking about? I’m a delicate and sensitive guy.”
Fatima’s laugh was telling him that he was not the person he says to be. She probably was thinking that Youngho only brought those to save Zeynep’s face to her friends.
“Mr. Lee, I have the final cost of an arms deal. It’s ninety-five million dollars including the commission. Your share is ten million dollars.”
It was from Eriksson calling to inform Youngho about the cost of the arms deal for Columbia rebels. It was a strange thing that the information agency was giving more percentage of commission to Youngho since it was a money-hungry organization. Youngho wondered if they were expecting more deals from the rich rebel force but since it was none of his business, he agreed with the amount.
“Okay, what is the delivery date?”
“As soon as they get the deposit amount, 20% of the total cost, they’d be entering the port. And they’ll immediately unload the supply upon receiving the rest amount. We’ve already reserved a cargo handling area.”
Youngho did not know which arms company Eriksson was dealing with but they were fast since they were already prepared. It seemed that the cargo ship was already near the port. It meant that the Information Agency trusted Youngho that much. He was nervous. If something went wrong with the deal, he would never be able to have a deal with the Information Agency again.
Youngho immediately called Edward in Panama and informed him about the cost and the details of the deal. Edward was also tensed up too upon hearing that mafias were already waiting around the port. He had no idea about the Information Agency’s involvement in the deal since Youngho had told him that the Russian government and mafias were supplying arms for the rebels.
He told Youngho that the Columbia rebels were paying five million dollars as commission to Youngho. Coming from rebels, not arms companies, it was a high amount. It was because the cost of the arms was cheaper than they expected. Youngho did not feel good about receiving such amount of money because all he did for his part was making calls.
After the money transaction and unloading of cargo were completed without any problem, Eriksson sent the commission to Youngho’s account.
The Information Agency treated arms deals as an information business too since, without information, there would not be secret arms deals. They made more commissions especially in secret deals like this. There was no need for technology transfer and they made more bargains out of those kinds of deals for the cost was paid at once with cash.
The deal was closed and Youngho made a lot of money out of it.
These days, Youngho sometimes felt like his major job is a middleman of the Information Agency, not an agent. The money he made from selling gold bars was used to benefit his family and Serbian residents by distributing money with them and expanding his hotel business for the future. However, the money he made from information deals did not seem like money properly earned. An astronomical amount of money did not even feel real.
How much on earth would the arms companies make through deals that they could pay a jaw-dropping amount for a commission? It was such an irony that arms companies that promoted conflicts and wars around the world were the ones getting rich.
They say that lights are always followed by shadows.
As Youngho was thinking that the arms deal was easy money, he heard about an injury of his security crew who was on private guarding duty. Allegedly, he blocked an attacker before his client and was stabbed in his armpit which was not covered by the bulletproof vest. His lung was also damaged by the knife that he had to go through an operation. Thankfully, the surgery went successful and he was now recovering in a hospital.
Nothing like this ever happened before, so everyone was alarmed to hear such news. It was more alarming since the client was guarded by two veteran security crews. The other crew had a minor cut on his arm from the attacker’s knife while subduing the attacker. His injury was only minor because he quickly reacted to the situation as soon as he saw it coming.
The attacker must be a person with high skill since he could injure two veteran crews. The captured attacker was an Asian.
It was highly likely that the attacker belonged to a Chinese assassins organization prevailing in Central Asia. Although Youngho’s security crews were masters when handling guns, they were not great with knives. It seemed that the attacker knew that the crews were wearing bulletproof vests and aimed at the armpit.
If Youngho did not come up with a measure for this, there would be more injuries. If it was a Chinese organization as he expected, they would definitely have an avenge war for their lost member. It was not like he did not expect any risk when starting the security company but he did not know that his crews would get seriously wounded that easily.
It was a kind of pride. Because most of his crews served in Korean Navy Special Forces, he thought that they would be indestructible. They had been focusing on training assault skills only and not defensive skills. The crews now, did not train hard privately but only focused on team martial arts skills that looked good on the outside.
From the incident, Youngho realized how foolish he had been. His company had turned into a spurious team of security guards that if the Chinese assassins come back to avenge their comrade, half of the crews would easily fall.
The security crews only had advantages from having guns and possessing some lethal movements. With their skills, it would be impossible to beat professional assassins swinging knives especially if they were in a small room.
The client, who was the target of the assassin, was an owner of a tungsten mine.
Tungsten was a valuable mineral that was a necessary material for weapons. In Europe, it was only produced in Sweden and Spain. Since it was rare and valuable, many related companies competed against each other to secure more amounts. Since Zeynep Security Service was protecting such important mineral mine business owner, it seemed that the assassin was hired from other company that was after the mineral.
Luckily, the client was unharmed.
The client had never mentioned the risk factor in advance, which was a breach of contract. Naturally, Youngho decided to cancel the service contract and exclude the client from the service list.
Although the contract was canceled, his security crews were furious and ashamed at the same time. The company must have been looked down from the assassin’s organization because they dared to attack their former client knowing that Zeynep Security Service was protecting him.
Not only it was disgraceful but also it could be a threat to the company’s reputation.
Youngho and his friends had to deal with the assassin’s organization. It was a matter of pride but more importantly, they had to stop the Chinese group making its foray in Azerbaijan since they would be a major threat to Youngho’s security company.
Youngho called Sergey in Volgograd to discuss the measure for the problem.
If it was related to Central Asian Chinese organization, Russian mafias could be affected by it too. Although it was against his will, Youngho now would have to cooperate with Russian mafias for this.
*Dangshin- a Korean word for “luv”
*Yeobo- a Korean word for “honey”