Justice Across The DimensionsChapters List
Chapter 18: A Game of Prestige [18.1]
“That’s impossible. They must be different people sharing the same name. That must be it! There’s no way the Qi Wang we know could produce something as sophisticated as that! There’s no way he can! No, impossible!”
Qi Ze snarled with incredulity as he smashed the cup he was using onto the floor. The glass vessel broke into countless shards and splinters on the floor of the Qi family estate. One tiny piece bounced up and sliced a tiny gash on his cheek. But the blood that oozed out did little to quell the flames of anger raging inside Qi Ze, as he reeled with denial and disbelief at the information that Qi Wang was behind everything.
Next-generation smartphones with cutting-edge technology and a legion of futuristic droids?! Impossible! It cannot be Qi Wang! It cannot be him!
Doesn’t matter how the Patriot Lites were selling like hotcakes, it is still the only product Hope Apex Technologies is offering! There’s no way a fresh start-up like it can ever hope to compete against a goliath like the Qi Group!
It was public knowledge that Qi Wang left the Qi Group both financially and prospectively a crippled man with no means and friends, especially when Qi Ze had either inveigled or coerced everyone within his circle to not provide Qi Wang any help.
“Cold is the Friendship of the World.” At least that was what William Kidd wrote in his journal. The same was true when the world came tumbling down for Qi Wang the moment the Qis cast him out to the streets. Without money and influence, he was believed that he would live out the rest of his life in ruin and obscurity. Yet here he was now, making headlines on the news and working in tandem with government agencies!?
Even with the cold, hard facts now staring at him in the face, Qi Ze adamantly refused to acknowledge Qi Wang was the better man. Just when he thought he had scaled and conquered the mountain called Qi Wang, he could not believe that this mountain would turn out to be greater and higher than his expectations. Never.
Cascades of glassy crashes erupted again and again as Qi Ze went on rampaging, smashing whatever he could get ahold of onto the ground to vent his anger and frustration. He could smash everything in his house, but he won’t feel better at all, for the great mountain called Qi Wang he thought he had triumphed over was nowhere near being defeated at all. Once again Qi Ze was being overshadowed by the great peak he never realized to be far greater and higher, and with that he could still not yet fathom how he would never prevail.
Qi Xiaoyu could hardly even dare to squeak out any protest at Qi Ze’s maniacal binge of destruction. She backed herself to the wall as if eager to put as much distance between the beast-like Qi Ze and herself.
But Qi Wang was not the only reason for Qi Ze’s senseless tantrum. His projects have been tumbling to the ground like dominoes, and the cell phone company that he bought over at huge expense was hemorrhaging cash. Qi Xiaoyu might know little about running the company, but she knew enough to understand that Qi Ze’s blunders had caused the Qi Group to reach an astronomical deficit figure. The board members were already waving their pitchforks at him. Word began swirling from top to bottom of the Qi Tower that the board intended to relieve him. All this bad news culminated into the spark that lit the powder keg.
All the pressure from work only made Qi Ze tired of Qi Xiaoyu. The engagement party that they had talked about was delayed again and again. This filled Qi Xiaoyu with anxiety. Was Qi Ze growing cold on her, she wondered as Qi Ze no longer listened and doted on her like before.
But she could not let him go yet. He still was the inflatable float she needed to keep her lavish lifestyle afloat.
When Qi Qiuyu and Bai Qiujiang walked through the door, a house as if it had just survived a typhoon was hardly what they expected to find.
She frowned deeply at his bad temper, but she could never blame her pampered son. Instead, she pointed her fingers at Qi Xiaoyu.
“Why did you not look after Qi Ze just now? Look at the mess he’d done! What if he hurts himself?!”
All the trembling Qi Xiaoyu could do was to keep her head hanging on her shoulders while she replied meekly, “I’m sorry, Mother.”
She knew no amount of explanation would exonerate her if it would not make Qi Qiuyu dislike her more instead. Hence, she admitted to the mistakes.
Qi Qiuyu was no fool either. She immediately realized Qi Xiaoyu was swallowing the blame and it softened her. Squeezing her handbag into Bai Qiujiang’s arms, she marched towards Qi Ze.
“That’s enough, Qi Ze. Now put your temper aside and listen to my good news.”
“Good news?! What good news can I expect now?” hissed Qi Ze stiffly, hardly amused at all, “I’m going mad, Mother!”
But despite his manic tantrums, Qi Ze did not neglect to remember that he needed to behave rationally before Qi Qiuyu. After all, she was still the biggest shareholder to the Qi Group and the only reason he became President in the first place. He would not even be in the chair without her influence, and he could ill afford to offend her before she transfers to him the bulk of the shares she still maintains.
Qi Qiuyu placed a hand on the back of her son and gently led him to the couch where they sat down.
Qi Ze drooped his head over his shoulders and sank into the couch without a word, teetering on the brink of erupting. It was all he could do to prevent himself from showing his impulsive and brutish self.
Bai Qiujiang, still toting Qi Qiuyu’s handbag, strode over and sat down beside Qi Qiuyu and looked at Qi Ze too.
On the other hand, Qi Xiaoyu froze at the very spot she stood on as her gaze transfixed on both Bai Qiujiang and Qi Qiuyu for a second.
Wait a minute… What are they...
Her face twisted with a hint of horror. But she struggled to keep her face straight. She quietly inched towards an empty armchair and lowered herself silently into it, eager to listen in.
“Qi Ze, you know about Hope Apex Technologies, don’t you? I know you’ve always been so interested in delving into high technology. Well, now’s your chance. That start-up’s a very good choice. The Patriot Lite model that’s now making record sales is this company’s main product. Even the central television channel is singing praises about it. I’m thinking if we can buyout this company into a part of the Qi Group, we’d be able to enter the business of cell phones and ink a partnership with the government. Think about it. By that time, we can negotiate with the government to have policies that will favor us. The Qi Group will be stronger than ever.”
Qi Ze balled his hands into fists. Hoarsely, he croaked, “What are you trying to say, Mother?”
Qi Qiuyu paused to swivel her head around, giving Bai Qiujiang a look as if to glean confidence from him, and she continued.
“The President of Hope Apex Technologies is Qi Wang. We’ve confirmed it, Qi Ze. Your father. Talk nicely to him. He loves you and he’d surely share the technology of his products with you. Look at how well the Patriot Lites are doing. If only we can share a part of the market, the profits could be astounding.”
Both Bai Qiujiang and Qi Qiuyu could have never been more regretful the moment news came out that Qi Wang was none other than the person behind Hope Apex Technologies.
If only they knew before. They would then have poured whatever amount of money Qi Wang requested. They would have been the largest shareholders in Qi Wang’s endeavor and would be sharing part of the cake with him.
But it was too late and there is no medicine for regret. They could not bear seeing Qi Wang now, for no matter how shameless and brazen they could be, they knew how unkind they had been to him.
But Qi Ze was altogether a different equation. No father would hold a grudge against his son. His only son, especially. They might not share the same blood, but Qi Ze had grown up all his life upon Qi Wang’s knees, calling him “Father” for more than twenty years. Surely that would have to mean something. Without any other offspring to call his own, Qi Ze was like a true son to Qi Wang and surely he would eventually become heir to Hope Apex Technologies one day?
If Qi Ze would inherit Hope Apex one day, giving him the keys to the kingdom now or in the future would hardly mean anything surely?
But these were plans devised by Bai Qiujiang and Qi Qiuyu, with complete negligence to what Qi Ze thought.
The impassive instruction by Qi Qiuyu for Qi Ze to visit Qi Wang again was the last straw.
“I’D RATHER DIE THAN TO GO GROVEL AT HIS FEET, MOTHER! HE DOESN’T EVEN CARE ABOUT ME! I WON’T GO THERE ONLY TO HAVE MYSELF HUMILIATED! YOU WANT QI WANG’S COMPANY? WHY THEN DON’T YOU GO AND MEND THINGS WITH HIM!? WHY ME?!”
Before anyone could say anything, Bai Qiujiang blurted, “No, you can’t,” to Qi Qiuyu.
For years he had been anticipating the coming of the day where Qi Qiuyu finally signed her name on the papers that ended her union with Qi Wang. How could he ever accept them getting back together again?! Where would that leave him then?!
Qi Ze glared at Bai Qiujiang with such rage akin to a predator’s angry glower. “WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!?” he snapped fiercely at Bai Qiujiang, “WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT TO MY MOTHER REUNITING WITH MY FATHER?! THIS IS OUR FAMILY MATTER AND YOU CAN WELL SOD OFF!”
Bai Qiujiang’s face spasmed with indignation at the disrespect his biological son was showing him. But before he could retort anything, Qi Qiuyu stopped him.
She shook her head at him, gesturing him to cool down and not argue with Qi Ze.
Bai Qiujiang’s face sank when he noticed the look on Qiu Qiuyu’s face. Through the years, no one but him understood her more.
It was obvious to him that Qi Qiuyu had a mind to speak to Qi Wang about reuniting.
Qi Ze might have only suggested it, but Qi Qiuyu clearly did not object to the notion and he understood full well that nothing would change her mind.
“You're right. Qi Wang does maintain certain feelings for me. He asked me for two hundred million before and if I had given him the money, I would have been one of his major shareholders. Since you’re so opposed to the idea of meeting him, I’ll go.”
It has been a year since she last spoke to Qi Wang, but she believed that nothing could affect her place in Qi Wang’s heart.
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