Wuxiaworld > Empire of the Ring > 63 A Plot Hidden in the Frontline 2

63 A Plot Hidden in the Frontline 2

On a Lufthansa airplane going to Volgograd, Russia, Youngho was surprised by what was offered as a meal. It was Korean bibimbap. It was proof of the growth of Korean travelers all over the world. With exceeding joy from having a Korean dish at an unexpected place, Youngho gulped down the food. He also packed some Korean gochujang paste tubes by asking a flight attendant since he wanted the Fatima siblings to try them when he gets home. At Volgograd Airport, Sergey was waiting for Youngho. Since Youngho did not inform him of the reason for his visit, Sergey jokingly asked why he was here. "I came here to drink vodka and sweat in banya*." "You know what a real sauna is now!" "I've been thinking about banya for a while." "Haha. There's nothing like banya that could restore your body after vodka. Boss is waiting for you. Let's hurry. He'll be getting impatient by now." "I'll be going back to Baku tomorrow, so I don't think I can handle too much today." "Oh man, boss wanted to drink all night long tonight. You need to stay a little longer." After going through the birch woods, the car was now entering Yaniv's mansion. The mansion was rebuilt after the previous attack, and now it was looking even more magnificent. There was a beautiful garden in front of the mansion. Yaniv came out to greet Youngho at his porch. After a fuss of loud greetings, they entered the living room for tea. "Lee, Zeynep's wine is just amazing. I feel like I'm going to be an alcoholic soon from drinking it too much." "I bet the wine that's aging now in the oak tanks will taste better. They'll be ready by fall." "Will they be premium quality?" "It wouldn't be a problem if we raise their price." "I feel sorry that I'm buying it at five dollars from you. How about I pay you fifteen dollars for the wine aged in oak tanks? I'll sell them five dollars more than what I pay you." "I was going to release them at ten dollars. Our factory will be only slightly more than a year old by fall; I don't think it's fair to receive fifteen dollars for each bottle." Yaniv thought for a while and looked at Sergey. "Sergey, you know why I like Youngho?" "Because he is an honest merchant." "No, I like him because he knows the value of his products. We can push the price of twenty dollars a bottle but the market will reject the wine not long after that." "…" "Lee, if you give them to me at ten dollars, then I'll distribute them at 15. I don't want to ruin Zeynep's wine's reputation by being greedy." Youngho almost hugged Yaniv. He was a mafia boss, but he was a flexible businessman that Youngho would like to have business with. Even though he was a cruel mafia, Youngho had also seen his humane side. When Youngho and his gang were invited to the party on Yaniv's yacht, Yaniv, who did not have children, fell for Zeynep's cuteness. Youngho saw that he tried to earn Zeynep's affection whenever he could. Ever since then, Yaniv sent gifts to Zeynep and the siblings once in a while. After all, he loved children. Seeing Youngho satisfied with the business talk, Yaniv asked to go for a drink. However, Youngho was reluctant since he needed to deliver an important message about the upcoming mission. "Lee, is there a problem? I'm sure you didn't come to Russia just to drink with me. You must have an important issue, what is it? You can be honest, it's between us." Yaniv had already guessed that Youngho came for a reason ever since he heard that Youngho was coming. "Mr. Yaniv, I was asked to do a favor from someone, and it's such a difficult one that I am still deciding what to do about it. But it's something that would help our business as well. That's why I came here to discuss it with you." Youngho respected big-hearted Yaniv. He told everything about how he worked for the militia and the recent arrest of his friend, Um Sangtaek. Although Youngho had to change the story a little bit to leave out anything related to the CIA, everything else was true. "…And my friends got married in Yerevan but I still felt uneasy, so I investigated what was going on. After inquiring here and there, I met the director of the Armenian Intelligence Bureau. What he told me was that the Armenian government was at stake. If they ended the war, the Armenians will tear down the government, so they needed to show something that will assure the people that they are still fighting against Azerbaijan. During that process, my friends, who are foreigners of the land, were arrested as spies." Yaniv was engrossed with Youngho's long story. His facial expression kept changing at different parts and he broke out in laughter when Youngho told him that he asked for the payback for his beating at Main Police Department in Azerbaijan. At this point, Yaniv could see why the Armenian Intelligence Bureau was in favor of Youngho. "I just explained my idea to the director of the intelligence bureau that Armenia would have to make a local battle to satisfy the people. The director promised that there won't be any expansions of the war. Then he introduced me to an agent of the US CIA. He came to find out what was going on in Armenia." "I see. Is this at all related to us?" "The US CIA already knew about our relationship. They asked me to get help from you since you are at a position where you can influence the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan. If they could get the approval of Russia and Azerbaijan, they'll be able to have a fake local battle between the two countries, which could promote the national interests of both. The CIA anticipated that if I tell you this, you could deliver this message to President Putin." "…" "I don't care about the two countries' interests. My only wish is to see my friends live safely in Yerevan." There was a long silence in the room. "Yaniv, this is my opinion, but I think that the Armenian government will try to maintain their power if Russia and Azerbaijan agree to the mission. They want to show that they did not give up the war with Azerbaijan, so that the Armenians inland and overseas will keep supporting the government politically and financially, and they will earn some more time. The US also won't force the end of the war because of the Armenian-American pressure in the government." Yaniv, who thought in silence for a while, finally opened his mouth. "Wow, you are just extraordinary. Your expectation is reasonable and correct. So, you're saying you've received an informal consent to the mission. Okay, I will recommend the mission to President Putin. So, it'll be all sorted out if Putin and Aliyev agree to it on a phone call." "You're absolutely correct." The saying that 'the older ginger is spicier' was right. Yaniv realized the intention of the US CIA's splendid mission. It would cause them more problems if the Armenian people or their army rebelled against the government, so the CIA chose to help maintain the government. Also, the fake battle would be an opportunity for Yaniv to make money by selling daily necessities and grains, since the prices would rise again. "You won't be safe if your name is mentioned to the government of Azerbaijan, will you? I'll ask President Putin not to mention your name to President Aliyev." "If you please, then I'll be able to sleep well at night without any worries." Youngho was glad that Yaniv was on his side since Yaniv cared about his people to a great deal. "All right. I'll go to Moscow tomorrow. Man, I feel like I'm in the center of a huge conspiracy." "I've got to say, you are. You should get more attention in this, since you're the one convincing the heads of two countries." "Hahaha…. Okay! Let's do this together." *** Youngho ended up spending more time away from home, meeting different people related to the mission. He was finally in Baku after ten days. The Fatima siblings were excited to see Youngho back. Zeynep gave Youngho a big hug before starting to dig through his luggage for gifts. She naturally thought that Youngho had brought something for her from his long business trip. Youngho sighed in relief because he had a big stuffed animal which Yaniv gave him for Zeynep. The night of Youngho's return, the farm family threw a barbecue party for him. At the stinky smell of doenjang-jjigae, a Korean soybean paste stew, which Cha Insoo's mother had cooked, everyone held their nose while Youngho and Jongil gulped it down. With fresh vegetables that they had grown on the farm, their table was full. Seeing Youngho who was eating meat dipped in doenjang paste**, Fatima tried eating the same way. She could not understand why the Korean guys went crazy over dipping meat pieces in doenjang paste. Park Jongil smirked at Fatima's weird face. "Fatima, you'll get used to this soon. You're going to say, 'why did I not like it earlier' soon." "Jongil-oppa. This is worse than instant ssamjang paste. It smells awful." Fatima shook her head. The stink was hard for foreigners to bear. "This is the taste of our hometown. For thousands of years, the food has been embedded in Koreans' bodies. It's good for your health. It's known to get rid of the oily taste in food." As everybody started to pay attention to him, Jongil kept on explaining about doenjang paste. "You know, our ancestors used it for wounds too. In the ancient times, soldiers in war used to carry this around and put it on their wounds before bandaging them. Also, most importantly, if you consume this regularly for a long time, your body will be naturally balanced and you'll have great-looking skin." It seemed that Jongil made his long speech praising deonjang for Karajan to listen to. He was convincing Karajan to like deonjang, so that he could eat deonjang at home when he marries her. *banya- Russian sauna **doenjang paste- a traditional Korean think fermented bean paste