Wuxiaworld > Seizing Dreams > Chapter 133 part1

Chapter 133 part1

Yu Hao asked how his work was going, but Fu Liqun only answered simply, “It’s still okay, I’m going for a meeting now.”

Yu Hao uttered an “un” and hung up. After returning home that night, Zhou Sheng didn’t say anything after hearing about it. He felt a little rueful.

“This is the first time Gege’s borrowing money from us.” Zhou Sheng said, “That’s not easy.”

Yu Hao suddenly realised that that was true. Fu Liqun had never borrowed money from anyone when he was in college.

Several days later, Lin Ze said to Yu Hao, “Why don’t I just transfer you to a full-time post in advance?”

Yu Hao had noticed that Lin Ze had something on his mind these days, and it turns out it was because he was concerned about this. He quickly said, “Don’t! Let’s do it how we agreed to ba.”

Yu Hao was only a little worried about choosing his topic; what if he just goes to Khunjerab pass to do an investigation? But what about his manuscripts? He could only get Jin Weicheng to take pictures of his notes and send it to him, then write it on the train before sending it back through email…That day, while he was quarrelling with the head office about the manuscripts, he suddenly received Fu Liqun’s call.

“Yu Hao.” Fu Liqun said, “Um…Are you at home?”

Yu Hao, “I’m at the company, why?”

Fu Liqun said, “When you get back at night, help me sell that pair of blue sports shoes ba?”

Yu Hao, “???”

Yu Hao walked out of the editorial office and stood in the corridor. A few reporters were smoking. Yu Hao nodded, “Which pair?”

Fu Liqun said, “The AJ pair, blue with a white sole. Help me post it as a salted fish, tag it as ‘secondhand,’ mark it saying that it’s 80% new, and sell it for 1,200. If there’s any bargaining, don’t let it go over ten yuan, don’t yield too much. Once it’s sold transfer it to my bank card ba.”

Yu Hao, “Oh…”

That pair of sports shoes was the birthday gift Yu Hao had given Fu Liqun several years ago. Fu Liqun asked Yu Hao to help him sell it as a secondhand……Yu Hao suddenly felt like something was a bit wrong. After he hung up, he immediately called Zhou Sheng. Zhou Sheng picked up and said, “Wait for me at the office.”

“Those were the ones I gave him.” Yu Hao said, “He only has that one pair that’s blue with a white sole!”

Lin Ze and Situ Ye were baffled, listening to Yu Hao’s phone call. Yu Hao said, “Did he get into some sort of trouble?”

Zhou Sheng said, “It’s a job introduced by Yangming, it shouldn’t be that bad……wait, 1,200, and ten yuan, isn’t that 1190? Crap, where is he? Don’t tell me he bumped into a pyramid scheme ba?”

“Please don’t let it be a pyramid scheme.” Yu Hao frowned.

Lin Ze understood as soon as he heard, “Where did your friend go? I’ll ask around for you.”

Not a moment later, Lin Ze had already gotten news from his information network, “Yu Hao, it’s a pyramid scheme. I’m very sure.”

Yu Hao went over to look. Lin Ze had asked in a reporter group, and quite a number of people had answered him in the affirmative. In recent years, pyramid schemes have been rampant in cities in the south. The local public security and pyramid scheme companies were colluding, and they advised Lin Ze not to go over.

Lin Ze said, “Don’t worry, think about it first. Where exactly in the south is he, do you have any information?”

“No.” Yu Hao smoothed his hair and began recalling what Fu Liqun said to him. He doesn’t even know when Fu Liqun had gone there.

“I don’t know.” Yu Hao said, “He didn’t tell me anything.”

“Contact the friend who last saw him.” Lin Ze said.

Yu Hao pondered for a moment, then called Cen Shan. There was a time zone difference of six hours, so it wasn’t time to go to bed over there yet.

When Cen Shan heard, she immediately asked, “What’s going on? Yu Hao, make it clear.”

Yu Hao thought that this definitely couldn’t be hidden from her in the end, “I……un, it’s nothing, he seems to be in a bad mood recently. Did he say anything to you when the two of you met on New Year’s?”

Cen Shan answered, “I got off the plane while he got on one. We met at the airport.”

Yu Hao, “He left on the 1st of January?”

Cen Shan said calmly, “Yes. He had already bought his ticket that night and was waiting at the airport. We only met for 15 minutes. He told me that he wanted to go to the coast to find Yangming and said that he had told them that he would report there on the 2nd. He didn’t want to change his flight and give a bad impression to the leaders. I sent him to the security checkpoint, then stayed overnight at the airport hotel.”

Yu Hao, “……”

Cen Shan said, “What’s wrong? I also want to ask, did he change his phone number?”

Yu Hao answered, “Un……seems like it. I want to look for him and give him a surprise, then have fun with him for a few days.”

Cen Shan said, “Yu Hao.”

Both sides fell silent for a moment. Zhou Sheng arrived at the office. When he saw that Yu Hao was talking to Cen Shan, his expression changed in an instant.

“Tell me the truth, what exactly did he……”

“I’ve something to do on my side, I’ll talk to you again at night.” Yu Hao quickly said and hung up first.

“You called up sis-in-law?” Zhou Sheng said.

Yu Hao said, “I just wanted to ask if Gege mentioned…”

Zhou Sheng said, “Why did you go to her? Who else did you inform?”

Yu Hao said, “Gege’s asking for my help! Zhou Sheng! It’s not the time to worry about his face right now!”

Zhou Sheng said, “Do you know why he went to the south? That’s the reason, don’t you get it? Now that you’ve let sis-in-law know, what do you want him to do in the future?”

Yu Hao, “His life is already in danger now! When comparing one’s so-called dignity versus safety, which is more important?”

“For him, dignity is more important.” Zhou Sheng said, “Yu Hao, you don’t understand.”

“Then forgive me for not agreeing with you this time, Zhou Sheng.” Yu Hao said, “You have to tell Xue Long and let Xue Long inform his parents. This isn’t a responsibility we can afford to bear!”

“I can bear this responsibility!” Zhou Sheng said, “Don’t call anyone else!”

Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng. The two of them drew their swords and nocked their bows. Situ Ye helped smooth things over, “Don’t fight now, finding him should be of the utmost priority.”

Yu Hao let out a prolonged breath and frowned silently.

Yu Hao had thought that they would give each other a little support and strength, but he didn’t expect that that night, Cen Shan only met Fu Liqun for 15 minutes at the airport. Yu Hao couldn’t guess what they talked about in those 15 minutes; the only thing he could guess was that the meeting that time probably wasn’t too happy, and may have been even more painful instead.

Yu Hao kept scouring his mind for the words that Fu Liqun had said to him before.

“Li Yangming’s mother is playing mahjong.” Zhou Sheng said, “And asked me to mind my own business. I don’t think his family’s going to care.”

Yu Hao roughly understood Li Yangming’s family situation from Fu Liqun. After he came out of the closet, his parents hardly seemed to care about him, gave birth to another kid, and treated everything as if they didn’t have a gay son like him. After he finishes college, they’d pull some strings for him and get him to move someplace else so that he could quickly become independent, and they could wash their hands of him. They didn’t expect him to give much money to the family either. Zhou Sheng used the excuse of Li Yangming owing him money to make some inquiries for half a day. The other party’s parents knew nothing, didn’t have the time to pay attention to him, and told him to ask someone else. Li Yangming hadn’t returned home in nearly half a year, and they didn’t know anything either.

Zhou Sheng threw his phone onto the table. The four people in the office didn’t speak.

Sunlight streamed in through the window. Zhou Sheng flipped his wrist slightly, the Golden Crow Wheel on his wrist reflecting the sunlight and landing between Yu Hao’s eyebrows.

“From now on, listen to me.” Zhou Sheng’s tone carried an air of unquestionable authority.

“Okay, okay!” Yu Hao said, “I’ll listen to you!”

Yu Hao was a little angry now. Lin Ze tossed him a glance, signalling for him to keep his calm.

“I have to think of a way to find him.” Yu Hao said, “Ah Ze, I need your help.”

Lin Ze said, “Go ba, keep in contact through your phone.”

Yu Hao immediately packed up and went home. Zhou Sheng called his company to ask for leave and explained his situation. The other side was rather easygoing and asked him not to worry, and if he needed it, the company could also offer their help and charge according to the time spent.

At home, Zhou Sheng ordered take out and looked down at his phone.

“You don’t understand, Yu Hao.” Zhou Sheng said, “For Gege, going over there this time means that he’s already gambling with the last bit of dignity, and he has none left. If you notify the college, his family, and tell sis-in-law, you’ll only turn him into a laughingstock! It’s not difficult to bring him back from the South, what’s difficult is what comes after that, what would you want him to do?!”

Yu Hao said, “I understand, I understand it clearer than you do. But what obstacles can’t be overcome?”

Zhou Sheng was a little tired and seemed a little too impatient to explain it to Yu Hao any further. However, Yu Hao said, “He can withstand it! He’s tougher than you think! I believe he can get back up! I’ve experienced his kind of despair before…”

Zhou Sheng said, “He’s not you! If someone can really get up after facing any kind of obstacle, would you still have that day?”

Yu Hao couldn’t say anything to that. He knew that he couldn’t win against Zhou Sheng in an argument, and rather than using the term ‘win,’ it was more appropriate to say that Zhou Sheng was able to see through things more clearly than he could.

At this time, news from Lin Ze arrived.

Yu Hao scrolled through the introduction of the destination that Lin Ze had sent him, which was information sent over by other reporters. Pyramid schemes had been prevalent in the southern region for nearly 15 years. The local government and pyramid marketing organizations were in collusion with each other, from social matters to political ones. The situation was rather complicated.

And what was even more troublesome was that most of these pyramid marketing organizations were legal. The locals relied on such companies to boost GDP and provide them with protective umbrellas.

Lin Ze sent him a screenshot of a group chat, showing the animated discussion of a group of reporters.

【Are you going to mess up their nest?】

【Male god, don’t sink into that much despair please.】

【They can sue you to death with their lawsuits alone. Those organizations are all legal hooligans, you must be careful.】

Yu Hao looked at the screenshot. Lin Ze sent him a few pieces regarding the huge “direct sales companies,” and they were all suppressed after the reporters wrote them.

【Don’t think of them as illegal organizations.】Lin Ze sent Yu Hao a text,【These companies are all completely legal, or at the very least, they’re legal on the surface. If you say they’re restricting the personal freedom of their employees, they’ll tell you that it’s an enclosed, military-style management during training. Employees have all signed the contract. If you say that they beat people up, they’ll say that it’s a personal dispute and has nothing to do with the company. Also, most companies don’t beat people inside now, they’ll just lock you up and brainwash you.】

【You can question their business model, but they have products.】Lin Ze said,【They all use the guise of selling medicine and health care products, and then get their employees to take items mixed with dextrin to develop downlines. This is different from the battery plant. Before setting out, you must think it through.】

Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng again. Zhou Sheng responded with a simple “un,” both of them were thinking.

Huang Ting also started sending messages in the group. He had been so busy the whole day that he hadn’t even eaten yet. He asked them:【Has Liqun been brainwashed yet?】

Yu Hao:【I don’t think so.】

Huang Ting:【Do you only want to save him, or all the people who are also being locked up?】

Yu Hao hadn’t figured it all out yet. Zhou Sheng bit a cigarette and answered for him:【Bring Gege back first, then we’ll save however many we can. Aside from the guy who brought my brother into that pyramid nest.】

Chen Yekai:【Have you informed the college?】

Zhou Sheng:【No. I have the final say in this matter.】

Huang Ting:【You can’t afford to bear this responsibility. Fu Liqun is still a student right now; you must inform the college and his family as soon as possible.】

Chen Yekai:【The college can’t do anything, I support Zhou Sheng. But, are you sure he’ll come back with us?】

This ‘us’ had leaked out quite a bit of information at once.

Yu Hao answered:【I’m sure.】

Zhou Sheng:【Not sure.】

These two texts were sent out at the same time. Zhou Sheng looked up and glanced at Yu Hao, then withdrew his text.

Chen Yekai:【Okay, the two of you make the call ba. Call me at any time.】

Huang Ting:【I strongly recommend that you communicate with Fu Liqun’s parents. You two have to think of every possible means to find clues right now. When he calls you next time to ask for money again, see if you can find out where he is. I’ll do my best to provide assistance for you both.】

Ou Qihang:【I got some information, look at this document.】

In the group, Ou Qihang sent a word document that marked the approximate areas where the pyramid scheme companies were located. It included each company’s general name and listed its scope of business. At first, Yu Hao thought that these companies were places that would lock people up, beat them, and force their employees to give them money. However, from the looks of this, each and every one of them had proper scopes of business.

【Twelve companies in total.】The contents sorted out by Ou Qihang were even more detailed than what he got from Lin Ze. Lin Ze’s piece was better at summarising the situation, while Ou Qihang’s clues were important intelligence provided by what the local people knew.

Ou Qihang sent a picture of his own ID:【I finished all my final exams today. I’m on standby at school. If you’re buying tickets to go over, remember to call me too.】

Chen Yekai:【There’s no need now, go home and accompany your mother first.】

Ou Qihang stopped talking. Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng printed out the information and read it page by page, each of them immersed in their own thoughts as they frowned.