1067 An Offer You Can“t Refuse
There were many tall buildings located at the center of the planet’s capital city. One of the buildings stood out from the rest, towering into the clouds, and its structure was akin to the double helix structure of a gene sequence. The outer wall of the building was pure white, and its corners would occasionally flash with blue lights. It exuded a sense of technological advancement and art.
At the top of the building, there were eight anti-gravity suspensions holding up a helipad, similar to a floating island, shielding the ‘∞’ shaped signboard in the middle. It was the emblem of the Limitless Financial Group. This was a subdivision of the Limitless Financial Group. Unlike armed forces, unless there were special circumstances, commercial organizations would not build bases everywhere like the warlords.
A small aircraft from the atmosphere slowly descended on the helipad of the Limitless Financial Group branch. Han Xiao got out of the cabin, stepping onto the platform.
“Welcome, Your Excellency Black Star.”
Not far away, the receptionist who had been waiting for a long time quickly came up to greet him. Black Star had notified the Limitless Financial Group of his impending visit. Thus, they had arranged for a receptionist to guide him.
Han Xiao hummed in response, his face remaining expressionless. “Where’s Sorokin?”
“His Excellency Sorokin is already awaiting you in the reception room. Please follow me.”
The reception staff respectfully responded, leading the way.
Han Xiao followed him into the subdivision of the Limitless Financial Group, taking a private elevator to a certain floor.
When the elevator doors opened, a spacious area came into view. In the center of the room was a sofa and a table, and the four corners of the room were surrounded by exotic blue and green plants. The walls were completely made up of floor-to-ceiling windows. No other furniture was present, as though this entire floor was only used as a reception room.
Sorokin sat on the sofa, waiting. As Han Xiao approached, he stood up with a smile on his face. “Your Excellency Black Star, please have a seat.”
The elevator doors then closed, leaving only the two of them in the room.
Han Xiao sat down opposite Sorokin, and only then did Sorokin return to his seat. He smiled. “What a rare visitor. When you spoke of visiting me, I still didn’t dare believe it. For someone as busy as you, why would you suddenly come over to my place?”
“Why, am I not welcome?” Han Xiao tilted his head.
“Haha, you must be joking. Of course, I welcome you.” Sorokin maintained his smile, but he was secretly sizing up Han Xiao. It was a pity that he failed to notice anything.
On the surface, he put on a warm and hospitable look, but Sorokin was full of suspicion and doubt in his heart, speculating about Black Star’s intention to visit.
Recently, the rumors of the dynasty’s concession to Black Star had spread madly. Sorokin had naturally heard about it. Although he was surprised, there was no shock, as he had already anticipated this would happen the moment Han Xiao repelled the others in the rescue of Hila. His surprise came more from the fact that the dynasty really did concede.
Right now, Black Star was extremely popular within the universe. For this guy to suddenly run over at this juncture, he most likely had some scheme prepared. Could it be that he wished to cooperate on the issue of the Evolutionary Totem?
It was unlikely, and the dynasty also had no reason to let outsiders intervene. Furthermore, the Limitless Financial Group and the Black Star Army had been having commercial struggles for so many years. Even though both sides never mentioned it, they definitely remembered it in their hearts.
Sorokin was thus very vigilant at this point.
Han Xiao’s behavior was very relaxed, as though he had come to reminisce about the past. He softly smiled. “This is the first time I’ve come to visit you, and it’s very prosperous. It seems that the Limitless Financial Group has developed very well in the Flickering World.”
“This is all thanks to the business partners.” Sorokin picked up the liquor bottle on the table, opening it before pouring a glass for Han Xiao.
“Wow, good wine. This seems to be a high-end product from the federation, only given to select people.” Han Xiao raised the glass, swirling the amber liquid within and hearing the pleasant clink of ice cubes. He casually said, “Speaking of which, we can also be considered business partners in certain territories.”
“That’s right.” Sorokin nodded.
Han Xiao did not get straight to the point but rather spoke about routine matters first. Thus, Sorokin could not tell his intentions and could only follow alongside the conversation.
After taking a sip of the liquor, appreciating the mellow taste as it flowed down his throat, Han Xiao savored the aftertaste as he smacked his lips. He then sighed.
“Sigh, even to this day, I still regret that I almost became a closer partner of the Limitless Financial Group. Unfortunately, you chose Bloodshed Land instead.”
“Hehe, the matters of business have always been inaccurate. Compared to the Black Star Army, which has already matured and formed its system, the Limitless Financial Group is more willing to invest in a force that has huge potential but is unable to realize it. It’s not that the Black Star Army is lacking but rather that the Bloodshed Land needs us more. I find it truly pitiful as well that our cooperation could not be reached.”
Sorokin gave a long and passionate monologue but grumbled in his heart.
He had invested in Bloodshed Land mainly to support them in going against Black Star Army in the commercial sector, robbing the army’s businesses. Black Star had no reason not to know this, so bringing the partnership up but not mentioning the commercial battle, Black Star likely had something up his sleeve.
Let me try playing nice and see what he’s up to, Sorokin thought.
At this moment, Han Xiao suddenly raised his head, smiling as he spoke. “In fact, this is what I came for today. Today is different from the past, so I would like to represent the army and provide an opportunity to cooperate with the Limitless Financial Group.”
Hearing this, Sorokin narrowed his eyes as he quickly calculated. He suddenly came to a realization.
I understand, so it turns out that Black Star had such an intention.
After the Evolutionary Totems were released to the world, the Limitless Financial Group need not continue to put pressure on the Black Star Army’s business any longer. The obstacles between them both had been cleared, and business cooperation could now be carried out normally. With the Limitless Financial Group’s size and the Black Star Army’s prestige, if they cooperated, it was indeed a win-win situation, mutually benefiting both parties.
For this reason, Black Star no longer pursued the conflict of interest from the past twenty years and took the initiative to talk about cooperation.
This mentality of abandoning former grudges and making money together was very suited to Sorokin’s taste. He thought that he had already guessed Han Xiao’s intentions and relaxed. The smile on his face was no longer just for show but rather a genuine smile.
“Your Excellency Black Star, your suggestion is exactly what I was thinking. Right now, there are plenty of opportunities to shine with the Flickering World. If the two of us work together, we’ll be invincible and occupy the bulk of the market in the Flickering World!”
“Since Your Excellency Sorokin also thinks that way, things will be easy!” Han Xiao slapped his thigh. “Then, let’s decide on the date for me to officially become a shareholder of the Limitless Financial Group.”
The next moment, the air within the room instantly solidified.
Sorokin’s smile froze on his face.
What, shareholder position? Weren’t we talking about normal business cooperation? How did we get to this part?
Seeing the playful look in Han Xiao’s eyes, Sorokin’s heart thumped violently. He began to realize that he had mistaken Han Xiao’s intentions.
“Your Excellency Black Star, forgive me if I’m being too offensive, but the cooperation you’re suggesting is…”
“The opportunity that I’m providing to cooperate with the Limitless Financial Group is to allow me to be a shareholder of the Limitless Financial Group. Didn’t you just happen to have a vacant position?” Han Xiao smiled meaningfully. This was his true intention.
Sorokin’s eyes narrowed, finally confirming that Han Xiao did not come with good intentions.
Taking advantage of the fact that Gorutan’s position was now vacant, Black Star wished to replace him? Did he think that the shareholder position was some trophy that he could claim? Whether he could take it or not, only Sorokin could make the decision!
For this empty shareholder position, Sorokin had already formulated a detailed strategy to allow him to break into the galactic black market. The position was a bargaining chip used for trading with Secret Master, so he would naturally not give this position to others. This was related to the blueprint of his business empire in his heart, and being a Protector of the Galactic Black Market was a critical step, with no margin for error allowed.
Sorokin’s smile faded, and he carefully said, “Then I’m truly sorry. While Gorutan indeed suffered from an accident, since he’s still alive, he can still be considered a shareholder. Even if he died, his shares would be transferred to the financial group to await withdrawal. I have no intentions of establishing any new shareholders for the time being. If you wish to discuss any other sort of cooperation, I’ll be happy to accompany you, but the shareholder position is off limits.”
Han Xiao did not take it to heart, only smiling. “If I didn’t remember wrongly, this is the second time you have rejected my request to be a shareholder.”
Hearing this, Sorokin remembered, and it seemed like Black Star had mentioned the same time once when they first met more than twenty years ago.
“That’s right, I rejected you at that time. Today, the answer is still the same,” Sorokin indifferently replied. “The Limitless Financial Group’s foundations are huge, and any change in its shareholders have to go through the consent of all other shareholders. At the same time, the three Universal Civilizations each only have one shareholder within the Limitless Financial Group, to ensure check and balance. Right now, with Kant among the shareholders, the federation and the church will not allow another ally of the dynasty to enter this circle.”
Han Xiao blinked, before speaking in a knowing tone, “Sorokin, twenty years have passed, and times have changed now. I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.”
“Haha, firstly, regarding consent of all shareholders… do you think the others will support or reject me?”
Sorokin was taken aback for a moment, and his brows then wrinkled sharply.
He suddenly discovered that for Black Star, this issue no longer posed any problem.
Black Star was no longer what he used to be, and his position in the universe far exceeded that of twenty years ago. He was also responsible for building a shared battlefront for the Beyond Grade As. Based on this alone, he would be able to obtain the support of both Manison and Kasuyi. Kant, as a fellow ally, was even less likely to oppose him.
Sorokin suddenly had a bad feeling about this.
At this point, Han Xiao smiled and slowly said, “As for the checks and balances between the three Universal Civilizations… Do you think the federation and the church are more willing to allow another dynasty shareholder to appear, or do you think they value the Evolutionary Totems more? In other words, do you think they will openly oppose me at this moment?”
Laying out his cards!
This was the only thought running through Sorokin’s mind.
His expression also sank.
Since the dynasty had opened up the sale of Evolutionary Totems, temporarily dissolving the hostility between the federation and the church, in order to ensure the smooth implementation of this decree, and Federation and the church might turn into boot-lickers, not just to please the dynasty, but also to please Black Star who held the Evolution Cube.
Furthermore, Black Star had their allies as captives, and he had enough chips to force both civilizations to compromise. If he insisted on including the conditions of being a shareholder inside the redemption clause for the captives, then both the church and the federation would not stop him. In the end, Black Star would still become a shareholder of the Limitless Financial Group!
At this moment, Sorokin suddenly noticed a detail he had ignored previously. Once the problem of the Evolutionary Totem was settled, he would obtain the benefits provided by the church and the federation as a result of completing the transaction, but he would also lose their protection at the same time.
This means that if Black Star wished to be a shareholder, he, as the head of the financial group, did not even have the veto power anymore!
Either he closed both eyes and allowed Black Star to become the shareholder, giving him an astronomical amount of dividends for nothing, or waited for the three Universal Civilizations to help Black Star sanction the Limitless Financial Group in the commercial field and force him to submit.
He could only say yes or yes!
Thinking to this point, Sorokin looked deeply at Han Xiao.
What an impeccable move, completely utilizing his influence. Could it be that Black Star had predicted such a point long ago?
Han Xiao only smiled, slowly savoring the liquor with a nonchalant expression, awaiting his answer.
Seeing this, Sorokin’s expression warped many times before he slowly spoke.
“Black Star, this hand of yours… was beautifully played.”
“Then, what will you choose?” Han Xiao playfully replied.
“… Do I have a choice?”
Hearing this, Han Xiao laughed, putting down the glass and stretching out his hand.
“Then… I wish us both a happy cooperation?”
Gazing at Han Xiao’s offered hand, Sorokin deeply breathed in, suppressing the feeling of having stepped into sh*t, and squeezed out a smile, gripping Han Xiao’s hand.
“Hope we have a pleasant cooperation.”
Seeing the derision in Han Xiao’s eyes, Sorokin almost could not hold back his urge to attack, but he quickly quenched the thought.
He recognized the reality. Since he could not resist, he could only take the lesser of two evils. Even if it meant carving out a piece of his flesh, he decisively promised and yielded to Han Xiao.
Han Xiao could clearly feel the killing intent released by Sorokin in that instant. It was as though he was faced with a mountain of corpses and a sea of blood. The pressure was even stronger than Hila’s, and it was not possible to obtain such an aura without reaping the lives of millions if not billions.
This old fogey was indeed once a cold-blooded murderer…
However, Han Xiao did not put it to heart, smiling as he withdrew his hand. He knew that Sorokin was used to pretending to be a pig to eat the tiger, only knowing how to bully the other party but not daring to take action.
After all these years, Han Xiao had sort of understood how Sorokin behaved, and he did not care one whit about his personal reputation at all.
If one took the initiative to attack, Sorokin would definitely pretend to lose and get himself beaten up, then make use of public opinion to add fuel and jealousy to let the whole universe know of your unreasonable attitude. It would lower his reputation, and the chance of obtaining the shareholder position would be forever lost. Even without the support from the federation and the church now, his identity as the head of the Limitless Financial Group was still a shield of sorts for him. After all, he did not belong to any random organization or a gray area but rather a legal galactic business. Using violence against such people would have huge repercussions, which will definitely appear in headlines.
Now that Han Xiao had gotten what he wanted, he stopped teasing Sorokin but wiped his smile off his face. “Since we have reached a consensus, please announce this to the universe as soon as possible. I won’t bother you any further.”
“Alright, have a nice trip back.” Sorokin reluctantly smiled, sending him off.
The moment Han Xiao left the room, Sorokin’s expression sank thoroughly.
He got wrecked this time!
This was not as simple as the shareholder changing from Gorutan to Black Star. It had also undermined Sorokin’s business strategy, causing him to miss the opportunity to enter the Galactic Black Market.
As a businessman, watching an important business opportunity slip through one’s fingers was a pain that could not be described in words.
Moreover, with Black Star guarding against him, he would not sincerely cooperate with the Limitless Financial Group. Thus, it would be difficult to obtain any benefit off this shareholder. He could only give Black Star the dividends in vain and maybe even need to deal with any potential backlash from Black Star’s end.
Just thinking about it made Sorokin upset.
For a long time, the Limitless Financial Group had been using commercial means to hinder the development of the Black Star Army and had only recently stopped their attacks. However, their circumstances were actually flipped over, to get suppressed by Han Xiao now.
The glass of liquor he was holding shattered, the shards falling all over the floor.
Sorokin however did not wipe his hands, allowing the amber liquid to drip between his fingers.
His expression was ugly as he muttered, “I hate these Beyond Grade As…”