Justice Across The DimensionsChapters List
Chapter 15: A Game of Prestige 
Qi Ze never liked his father, but he knew full well how Qi Wang loved him dearly as a son and how Qi Wang would go to great lengths to satisfy him so long as his requests were reasonable.
Children usually feel grateful for the love and care that their parents shower upon them. For this, they would often try to reciprocate the sentiment with just as thankful a gesture.
Yet there would also be offsprings who see this love as a right. They enjoy the love their parents give them and take it as a rightful privilege. Instead of feeling gratified by what their parents give them, they instead become resentful and hateful the moment said love showed any signs of waning or disappearing.
No appreciation; just hate and anger – that was what Qi Ze felt.
Conveniently neglecting the fact that he had never once tried to get in touch with Qi Wang since the divorce, Qi Ze had practically spent his life after that pretending that his father never existed, forgetting Qi Wang’s love for him before. All it took was just a little cold treatment that caused a spark in his heart that, coupled with the kindling of anger and acrimony, erupted into a bonfire of hatred and rage, turning Qi Wang from father into enemy.
For this reason, he could hardly even put up as fake a smile as possible. In fact, he would have immediately spun on his heels and left if he had not remembered how he still needed Qi Wang’s help.
But Qi Wang was no stranger to such narcissistic behavior. In fact, he knew people like Qi Ze for what they were: selfish ingrates who only want to profit on a silver platter without putting in any effort. People who hanker for the most and the best while not willing to pay the price for them.
But in one way or another, the world is always fair. Karma works in strange ways and its price always comes due. Always.
Qi Ze was only too vexed at Qi Wang’s dismissive behavior.
His face looked so sour, like a nine-year-old who had been told that Mummy would not be buying him a toy, even as he was, for all intents and purposes, an adult. Perhaps one could argue that he was hoping that this might compel Qi Wang into agreeing to help him.
But the cunning Qi Xiaoyu knew better. Qi Wang might not be their social superior in an upscale ballroom, but she knew that they needed to approach him subtly because they needed his help.
“Don’t be angry, Father. Please. Qi Ze is not doing this on purpose. He’s just frustrated because of work. You know he’s inexperienced and the board is harassing him even after a few minor blunders. Look at him, Father. He’s grown all sallow and scrawny…”
Qi Ze merely gave a scoffing “hmph” and averted his gaze, saying not a word.
Why should I beg Qi Wang? I might not have contacted him, but what about him? He might have changed his number and moved to some place else, but I haven’t changed anything! Why did he not call me instead if he’s sincere in helping?
He has time to build some tin-pot robot, time to accompany some trollop out of nowhere; but he doesn’t have time to watch over his own son?! And now he’s giving me the cold shoulder?!
The more Qi Ze thought about it, the angrier he became. He could come! He should! Why did he not come to help me on his own!? Bai Qiujiang came to him last time! Why did he not come to help me if he’s serious about giving me a hand?! No. It’s only because he no longer cares about me.
All it took was one look at Qi Ze’s expression and Qi Wang immediately guessed his mind.
Original 1 was undoubtedly a genius. Qi Wang had no questions about that. His feat of rejuvenating the Qi Group from what seemed like its ashes decades ago was proof enough of that. Nevertheless, it was a shame that his genius was not mirrored in his ability to educate his children. He loved Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu dearly, but instead of nurturing them into good and honorable people, both his children turned out to be egotistical self-seekers who bore little to no respect for him as their father.
And by sparing the rod, Original 1 had unequivocally spoilt his children, making what monstrosities they were today his fault as much as theirs. He loved them, but at the same time neglected disciplining and guiding them.
Meanwhile, Chen Yang and Han Duoduo did not know what was going on at all. But they remained silent and watched closely, preferring to not get into Qi Wang’s way.
Qi Xiaoyu’s loads of flattery somehow managed to break the ice. The taut creases and wrinkles on Qi Wang’s face eased and he motioned at the bench beside him, gesturing Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu to sit down.
“Let’s hear it then. The reason for you looking for me.”
Qi Xiaoyu finally sighed with relief. Qi Wang had softened and it was their chance. She tugged at Qi Ze’s arm and dragged Qi Ze who only looked none too reluctant to sit down.
“Qi Ze, that’s enough. It’s important that we speak to Father.”
Qi Ze pouted and finally, swallowing his pride and anger, grouchily said, “Father, I need help in looking through a few projects at the company. I’m not really certain which is the best for us and I would like an opinion from you.”
Those words came from Qi Ze with the tone and demeanor of a superior making demands of his subordinate – words that bore zero respect nor warmth.
The agents of the Special Security Detachment making up Qi Wang’s security detail and were now keeping a distance would have given anything to march up to Qi Ze and give him a tight slap across his face for such disrespect.
Qi Wang’s importance to the Ministry of State Security made him just as valuable as giant pandas. To say that he was a national treasure would hardly be an exaggeration. Everyone in the MSS has only the greatest respect for him and not even his own son should treat him with such apparent contempt.
A young agent, puffing with indignance, muttered, “That Qi Ze is getting overboard, Captain. I say we toss him out now. Mr. Qi is not yet finished with his meal and we know how he always has problems with his stomach. We cannot risk him suffering another gastric attack.”
The staff at the research center of the MSS had made sure that Qi Wang is always fed on time. In fact, his schedule was observed to the strictest detail. How dare this young brat come and disturb Mr. Qi!?
Zhang Liang kept a stoic expression as he kept a close eye on Qi Wang who looked hardly fazed. The MSS’s most prized researcher had made no attempt to ward away Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu.
The protective detail was assigned to keep Qi Wang safe and the agents operated under his auspices. Therefore, the agents were instructed to stand down unless he gave them his say-so.
Being no stranger to Qi Wang’s inventions, the agents have only the utmost respect for him. They worshipped and idolized him so greatly, that they could not stand watching him being berated and disrespected by a good-for-nothing like Qi Ze.
Even if he was Qi Wang’s own son.
Qi Wang tapped a finger lightly on the table as he studied Qi Ze from head to toe, failing to miss the impatient look simmering on his son’s face. With a lackadaisical chuckle, he said, “It’s been a year since I left the company. I daresay I am no longer familiar with the workings of business anymore. I don’t think I’m good enough to help you with that.”
That was not the answer Qi Ze expected. He did not come all the way here and put up a good face, only to receive a rebuff straight into his face that came no less humiliating as a slap to his face.
“If you had no intention of helping me, you should just say so, Father! There’s no need to keep pulling my leg just for the fun of seeing me fall!”
Qi Xiaoyu’s expression had soured significantly too. She initially thought Qi Wang would never refuse his son’s pleas and she definitely did not expect things to go sideways.
Is he still angry about us?!
But Qi Wang, hardly perturbed by the visible and dramatic change in their attitudes, said jovially, “I really am unqualified to advise you on which project you should commit to. But I’ve started a new company of my own and my new product shall be on the market soon. That said, I’ve decided to increase production by building more factories. You know how these things need lots of cash. How about giving me two hundred million? In exchange, you’ll have four million original shares. You are my son, Qi Ze. Trust me on this. In less than one year, I’m sure your holdings will increase one hundredfold— ”
That earned him a venomously disdainful scoff from Qi Ze who cut him right off, “You?! Two hundred million?! What makes you think you’re worth that much?! I’d rather toss them all into the sea!”
Knowing how their attempt to get help from Qi Wang had failed miserably, Qi Ze tugged at Qi Xiaoyu brusquely, and they left with Qi Xiaoyu offering zero resistance at all.
Qi Wang cast a long gaze, watching them leave as he shook his head wearily.
So much distrust and anger in him...
“Uncle, are you all right?”
Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu might have not recognized Han Duoduo, but the latter knew exactly who they were. The rudeness they had blatantly showed Qi Wang only irritated her greatly. But she knew Qi Wang loved them both dearly as a father and she got worried about him.
Qi Wang smiled at her. “I’m fine, Duoduo. I only feel sorry for the boy. I’m showing him a way to make some money, but alas, he chooses to not believe his father – me.”
Han Duoduo remarked sharply, “I believe you, Uncle.”
To her, Qi Wang was the most extraordinary person in the world and she was sure Qi Ze’s blunder would cost him heavily in the future.
“Me too,” added Chen Yang suddenly, “I believe in you too, Mr. Qi.”
Qi Wang grinned at them and their meal went on with no more mention of Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu. After that, Qi Wang left Chen Yang his card and told him to call him if he ever needed help.
Chen Yang could have not been any more awed when he received the name card. He might even frame up the name card as soon as he reaches home! After all, that was the name card personally given to him by his hero!
Meanwhile, Qi Ze and Qi Xiaoyu went home where Qi Qiuyu, after weathering a tempestuous fit of tantrums by her son, found out what happened. She shook her head gravely at the end of his story.
Qi Wang had fallen a long way since his departure. That was what she thought. Dismissing Qi Wang’s salvation of the Qi Group from the brink of utter devastation – a feat nothing short of miraculous that many had likened to Moses’ parting of the Red Sea – as mere projections of the steady fundamentals of the company, she mused that Qi Wang would never amount to anything without cash and support.
“He’s nothing but a useless old man now. You can very well ignore him the next time you meet. And you say he’s asking for two hundred million? What a senile fool.”
That was what Qi Qiuyu told her son to make him feel better as she perished all thoughts of expecting help from Qi Wang ever again. She would rather have Bai Qiujiang employ more consultants to mollycoddle Qi Ze than to spend one more cent on that delusional beggar!
Bai Qiujiang did as instructed. He found a few good men to serve as consultants to Qi Ze and helped to solidify his seat as President to the Qi Group. Slowly and steadily, the name of Qi Wang slowly ebbed into oblivion.
Would anyone remember a person deemed to be senile and delusional?
Along came fall – October the first. A new corporation, Hope Apex Technologies Co., Ltd., unveiled a new line of cellphones, the Patriot Lite series.
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