Wuxiaworld > I Have a Mansion in the Post-apocalyptic World > Chapter 26: The Middleman

Chapter 26: The Middleman

Chapter 26: The Middleman
Translator: _Min_ Editor: Lis_, Rundi

"Welcome, you must be Mr. Jiang. My friend from the mysterious East."

After Jiang Chen had entered the room, he saw a white male with blond curly hair approach him with an amiable smile. He used a hand gesture that he learned from one of the kungfu movies and greeted Jiang Chen.

Although he was white, Mr. Robert’s face was nowhere close to white. His skin looked as coarse as sandpaper. However, his composure and clean appearance made Jiang Chen sense his respect.

"Nice to meet you, you must be Mr. Robert. Mr. Bruce introduced you to me." Jiang Chen felt a little weird but returned the same hand gesture.

To be honest, it was awkward using the foreigner's way to greet others. The idea was simply a bit confusing, but that was what happened.

"Bruce is a nice guy. He took a bullet for me in the Middle East. It was a pleasure to meet him again, and as the famous Han proverb goes, a friend’s friend is my friend. Am I right?" Mr. Robert extended his hand.

"Of course. Your Han is remarkable." Jiang Chen held onto Mr. Robert’s hand and firmly shook it as he expressed his shock.

Although, Jiang Chen didn’t know if what Mr. Robert said was truly a proverb.

"Haha, of course. I always had a keen interest in this mysterious eastern kingdom. There are opportunities everywhere." Mr. Robert’s eyes rested on Jiang Chen, and then he gestured gracefully. "Please come in, my friend. I have a Lafitte from 1982. I wanted to try it for a long a time."

"I can’t say no to this invite."

The wine tasted different than the wine provided by the hotel. The bloody red liquid expelled an exquisite fragrance of time. Even for someone like Jiang Chen, who had no experience in wine tasting, he still tasted the difference.

The man who stood by Mr. Robert’s side was as silent as a rock. However, Jiang Chen sensed the monstrous nature from his stature. He had a pair of shades on, but his protruding nose indicated that he was a Slav. His bear-like vibe perhaps indicated that he came from a Soviet country.

"My bodyguard, Nick Belarusian. We met in Kane. He’s also a good guy and responsible for my safety." Mr. Robert noticed Jiang Chen staring. "Bruce is a good guy, but Black Water International sometimes does shady business. They are also a bit too close to the FBA, so I had to find a different partner."

Despite the conversation revolving around him, the statue-like bodyguard did not show any reactions.

"Is your business dangerous?" Jiang Chen sat on the chair and casually changed the topic. "I heard from Bruce that you are a renowned middleman in the UA. Crude oil and gold?"

"Absolutely. Apart from the relatively safe crude oil and gold, I have to sometimes obtain firearms for my employer. If I get my hands on those, there will always be someone after my life."

Mr. Robert lit up a cigar. He offered Jiang Chen one as well. "Your country has strict gun control, which makes it feel like heaven to me. However, good times are always short lasting. I have a flight to South Africa at 3 o’clock."

"You sure you have enough time?" Jiang Chen glanced at the clock, it was 11 already.

"Don’t worry," Mr. Robert waved his hand and smiled. He then sat straight up. "I am very interested in Mr. Jiang’s business. Is there anything I can do to help you?"

Jiang Chen paused for a brief moment. He dusted the cigar and sat up as well.

"I hope there is no confusion here, my friend. I accidently overheard your conversation with Bruce last night. It was an accident, but business always sprouts from occasions. I have been looking for opportunities here in the Far East, and I am still exploring. My instinct tells me that we can be great partners."

"Hmm?" Jiang Chen didn’t make a fuzz about eavesdropping. With a slight interest, he continued the conversation, "For example?"

"Mr. Jiang, businesses are paid in gold right? However, to my knowledge, your country's law prohibits the large sell-off of gold because it would attract the government's attention. Especially, gold without the proof of ownership."

"Looks like Mr. Robert is extremely knowledgeable about our country’s laws. However, is there no issues with selling gold in the UA?" Jiang Chen nodded without disagreeing with his comment.

"Of course there are problems. Though in the UA, we speak with the law and with evidence, not with politics. I have a professional team to deal those kinds of issues. Even if I have a little problem with the FBA right now, I am still here chatting with you, right?" With a mysterious smile, he continued, "How I do this? Let me give you an example. I incorporated a shell company in Saudi. I received a batch of crude oil from Iran. According to the sanction, my action is against the law. However, if the crude oil is sold through my shell company in Saudi, then the crude oil will be legal to sell within the international market."

[If you already told me this, are you not afraid?] Jiang Chen immediately understood why. With such a strong bodyguard, he must have a strong security team.

He now has a clear understanding of Mr. Robert’s business. This middleman has the ability to access the black market.

"It looks like we do have a partnership opportunity." Jiang Chen smiled.

"I am an honest businessman," Mr. Robert saw that his deal was made and a delighted smile appeared on his face. "I’ll accept the gold regardless of the amount. As long as your gold is sold through my mining company in South Africa, it will be legal once it enters the international market. You don’t have to worry about the specifics. You can just sell the gold to me. I’ll take a 9% processing fee."

Jiang Chen considered it.

9% was not a lot to begin with. All of his gold had no costs associated with it. It would be okay to sell a small amount to the gold shop but if he did offer ten tons of gold, not a lot of gold shops would dare to accept it. Even if he sold it in smaller batches, there was a high chance he would be suspected. The Liu Anshan guy also gave him a weary feeling. He probably wasn't that clean either.

It’s always better to be careful. Although selling gold to foreigners is considered smuggling, Mr. Robert probably has it figured out.

Mr. Robert saw that Jiang Chen was silent. He wasn’t sure either if the 9% is too high. However, this business was not risk-free. The capital to purchase the gold would be a problematic amount. If the amount was over 20 million USD, then he must take a private loan to fund the deal. The interest would not be a small number.

However, if Jiang Chen possessed a large amount of gold, he could lower the fee by a percentage.

Just as Mr. Robert was about to lower the price, Jiang Chen suddenly opened his mouth.

"No problem, but I have a condition."

Jiang Chen words surprised Mr. Robert at first, but a joyful smile ensued.

"I can guarantee the quality of the gold. It’s the 24K gold you guys commonly refer to. I believe you have the expertise to determine that as well." Of course, the gold in the bank would be authentic. "However, you have to be responsible for the transportation. I will only transport the gold to a location within the country. Also, you must pay in USD, on the spot. I will take no further responsibility once the transaction is complete."

"No problem, my friend!" Mr. Robert agreed without hesitation. "Looks like we have a deal?"

"Of course, cheers." Jiang Chen gladly extended his hand.

"Cheers." Mr. Robert cheerfully held onto Jiang Chen’s hand as they both stood up.

"Here’s my card. If you are ready, why don’t we arrange a time in the future? Also, it would be best to prepare a Swiss bank account, it is the most convenient."

"Absolutely, I wish you the best of luck."

"Can I learn a little more about your background? How much are you going to sell, Mr. Jiang? I’ll have to prepare enough liquidity." Mr. Robert asked this slightly intruding question to prepare for the worst.

"Oh, there's no rush. I’ll give you a call on July 15th. The amount is probably a few tons." Jiang Chen exited the room and left a stunned Mr. Robert.

His face was completely blank. He didn’t even realize he dropped his expensive cigar.

A few tons?

With the current market condition, an ounce of gold traded at 1,350 USD. One ton of gold would be 43,402,500 USD. At a processing fee of 9%, he would make 10 million with just three tons of gold.

This is ridiculous. 9%?!

Easiest money of his life.

A few tons of gold?! He would have done it with 7%. How wealthy was Jiang Chen to not even negotiate. It also strengthened Mr. Robert’s assumption that the gold was definitely from illegal sources.

[What kind of business is he doing? Did he rob the central bank?]

"Oh God." It took Mr. Robert a while to recollect his thoughts. Then he gasped, "Oh my, I am going to be rich."

He only made half a million selling 10,000 barrels of crude oil with the risk that the UA military may detain the shipment. However, Jiang Chen decided the fate of a billion dollar deal in a few minutes.

"Nick, do you think our friend from the Far East is reliable?" Mr. Robert murmured as if he was still dreaming. He knew Nick has no understanding of business, but he needed someone to tell him that this was not a dream.

"Sorry boss, I don’t know a whole lot." Bruce expected Nick’s response. He was silent, before he continued, "However, I know this man is dangerous."

"Really? Does he know martial arts?" Mr. Robert laughed at the statement. He made a funny pose as if he was Bruce Lee.

Nick stared at the pretentious boss and shook his head. He knew his boss quite well. Whenever Bruce was excited, he would always make some funny poses to express his excitement.

"From a soldier’s instinct, this guy is stronger than Bruce." It was his job to ensure his safety. Therefore, he gave his honest opinion.

Mr. Robert was surprised by the comment. "He is not a merchant? No way, my instincts are usually right."

Nick hesitated for a moment before continuing, "Maybe he is a merchant, but his combat technique is quite strong. My instincts tell me that even if he can’t beat me with firearms, we are a 50/50 split in close combat."

Mr. Robert took a while to process the comment. He has seen Nick’s ability before. In Kane, when he sold firearms to the government forces under the permission of the UA government, the civil forces attacked him. Nick immediately pulled out the gun of the wounded government official and used the remaining 9 bullets to bring him back to safety. He killed more 10 civil militants during the exchange.

Now Nick is saying Jiang Chen’s close combat power is comparable to his?

Mr. Robert, all of the sudden, burst into laughter.

"No wonder the Far East is a mysterious kingdom. Why don’t we head to Egypt next time? Hahaha."

No wonder Jiang Chen didn’t hire any bodyguards. His prowess in fighting is enough in this gun prohibited country. However, it had nothing to do with their agreement.

Mr. Robert is an honest merchant. He always believed that honoring agreements would bring him long term returns. He never did things that killed the egg laying chicken.

Even if he saw diamonds in a refugee camp in Africa in the hand of a starving kid, he would only exchange it with candy, not bullets. After all, a bullet is much more expensive than candy.

Mr. Robert never doubted Jiang Chen’s ability to provide the few ton of gold, nor did he have the ability to investigate his background on this mysterious piece of land. What is business without the proper risk?

Mr. Robert was willing to make a bet. Jiang Chen’s decisive attitude was definitely backed by tons of gold.

Plus, there was nothing to gain for him in the end if it was a lie.