Oakheart International Airport, which had always been hustling and bustling, had no signs of tourists at all today. The entire place was so silent that one could hear a pin drop.
Only thousands of men dressed in camouflage uniforms were present with loaded weapons, waiting in anticipation.
"Zone one, clear!"
"Zone two, clear!"
The colonel, Lone Wolf, who carried two stripes and three stars on his shoulders, let out a long sigh of relief after hearing the report.
"The coast is clear. You may alight now, Great Marshal."
Zeke extinguished the cigar in his hand before he slowly walked out of the private jet.
He was decked out in a fur coat that rustled in the cold wind. His expression was bland but instilled fear in others, nonetheless.
He exuded an aura like that of a monarch overlooking the world, which made people hold their breaths.
Thousands of soldiers shifted their gaze to him uniformly, their eyes brimming with admiration.
He was a living legend and their faith.
"Welcome back, Great Marshal!" Lone Wolf hurriedly greeted.
Zeke nodded indifferently.
"Great Marshal," Lone Wolf continued gingerly, "Your family has sent some people to meet you. They are waiting in the lounge."
"They seem desperate for you to return to the family."
Zeke stood rooted to the ground as he looked toward the lounge.
There was indeed a row of people in suits, anxiously awaiting his return.
As their eyes met, the people inside shuddered and couldn’t help but kneel on the ground with pleading eyes.
It would be a major shock to anyone who saw this scene.
Did the dignified and influential Williams family of Atheville just get down on their knees?
Zeke snorted, his mind wandering.
He, the original young master of the Williams family in Atheville, had been forced by the head of the Williams family to take his twin brother’s place in jail fifteen years ago.
No one had spoken up for him in the family, including his parents.
He was released from prison five years later.
And in just a few years, he became a marshal with unparalleled power and the world’s number one God of War.
In the past, when he had experienced the cruelty of life, the Williams family had shown him no concern at all.
But now that he was rich and powerful, they finally remembered him.
A sense of self-deprecation flashed across Zeke’s face as he responded coldly, "Tell them the moment the Williams family made me go to jail on behalf of my brother fifteen years ago, Zeke Williams died. The Zeke Williams right now has nothing to do with the Williams family of Atheville. Don’t disturb me again or they’ll see torrents of blood before their eyes! Take care of it, Lone Wolf. Don’t interfere with my wedding reception."
Lone Wolf nodded hastily. "Yes, sir!"
Zeke walked up to the wedding car on the side.
He stroked the jade pendant hanging on his chest. His anger then vanished, tamped down by an obvious act of will.
He couldn’t help but think about the origin of that jade pendant
Ten years ago, when he had finished serving his time in prison, no one from the Williams family had come to pick him up; no one even sent their regards.
They had completely forgotten about him.
He was penniless and living on the streets. Starving and dying from the cold, he wanted to end his life there and then.
But at that critical moment, a little girl passing by had given him a cotton-padded coat and a jade pendant
"This cotton-padded coat will keep you warm from the cold, and this jade pendant will bring you good luck. As long as you’re alive, there is hope."
She rekindled that spark of hope in Zeke who, in turn, affirmed his determination to make a name for himself.
So he dusted himself down and embarked on the journey of becoming a soldier.
There were countless times when he was on the brink of death with no hope of survival whatsoever. Whenever he was in jeopardy, that beautiful and kind silhouette would flash across his mind.
She was Zeke’s conviction to live and motivation to keep striving.
After serving in the military for only five years, he had become the marshal of the armed forces.
In the midst of a national crisis, Zeke had been entrusted with a mission to lead thousands of troops and make a clean sweep across the borders of nine countries. He also had to force them into signing the Nine Nations Treaty of Alliance.
For five years, Zeke had not been allowed to make a comeback. He was prohibited from using his wealth and power in exchange for fair competition for Eurasia enterprises in those nine countries.
Since then, the Great Marshal had disappeared.
Only the ordinary man, Zeke Williams, returned to Oakheart City. Thereafter, he found the girl, Emily Clemons, who gave him the jade pendant back then and courted her madly.
After five years of dedication, it finally came to fruition.
Today was the day he was going to marry Emily.
And the day when the Nine Nations Treaty of Alliance expired.
Yesterday, for the first time in five years, he left Oakheart City to go to the United Nations to terminate the Nine Nations Treaty of Alliance, and today he rushed back to attend the wedding.
After tonight, his power and wealth would be automatically reinstated.
"Great Marshal," Lone Wolf called, handing him a list. "Your Grand Comeback Ceremony is scheduled in three days. Here’s the invitation list. Please have a look."
Zeke glanced at the list and said, "Send three invitation cards to my fiancée, Emily. I want her to know that in three days, her husband will be the powerful Great Marshal who overturns the world. Not just some man on the street!"
One hour later, the wedding hall was bustling with noise and excitement.
The guests were discussing what had just happened.
A moment ago, a team of fully armed troops had sent three invitation cards to the Clemons family.
It was not an ordinary invitation card, but an invitation from the Great Marshal, the legendary God of War, to his Grand Comeback Ceremony.
The entire world knew who the Great Marshal was. He was rich and powerful; the idol of many boys and girls.
Those eligible to attend his Grand Comeback Ceremony were either the officialdom tycoons or the consortium tycoons.
However, there was only one slot for ordinary people!
And it went to the Clemons family!
It was the ultimate honour one could ever receive!
The Clemons family was destined to have their own Cinderella story, going from rags to riches!
The crowd was overwhelmed with envy and jealousy.
Of course, they were even more envious of the bridegroom today, Zeke Williams.
How lucky was he to be able to marry Emily at this time!
In the boudoir, Emily’s mother, Madeleine Clemons, was weeping with joy as she held onto the three invitation cards.
"Our family has finally succeeded, Emily."
"After we attend the ceremony in three days, our status in Oakheart City will definitely rise."
"By then, there will be countless rich and powerful people who will suck up to us. Our family will likely become part of the upper-class society!"
Emily was full of pride. "Yeah, mom. This is really beyond my expectations."
"Emily," Madeleine suddenly said, her voice stern. "Our family is about to climb up the social ladders, and it’s a bit too easy for that poor boy, Zeke, to marry you with just a dowry of three hundred thousand. Don’t you think? How about this? We’ll ask for another three hundred thousand, and if he can’t give us that, he doesn’t deserve to marry you!"
Emily nodded, "Whatever you say, Mom. I’ll listen to you."
In no time, Zeke arrived.
With hopes and fears written on his face, he walked into the boudoir with flowers in his hand.
"Emily, I’m here to marry you."
However, the atmosphere in the boudoir was relatively cold.
Zeke felt a little embarrassed when Emily didn’t accept the flowers he had brought.
"Zeke," Emily’s mother, Madeleine, started. "If you want to marry my daughter today, you have to give us a dowry of another three hundred thousand."
Zeke frowned. "Haven’t I already given you a dowry of three hundred thousand? Why do you want another three hundred thousand?"
Truth be told, a few hundred thousand meant nothing to him.
As long as she wanted it, he could grant her the greatest wealth she could ever imagine.
However, his wealth wouldn’t be reinstated until after midnight. He really couldn’t get three hundred thousand at that moment.
"I’m sure you’ve heard that our family has received an invitation from the Great Marshal," Madeleine began.
"Our family is about to climb up the social ladders and become a noble family. Wouldn’t it be disgraceful to my family if word gets out that you became my son-in-law with just a dowry of three hundred thousand?"
Zeke was speechless.
You think I’m disgraceful just because you received an invitation from the Great Marshal?
But I’m that Great Marshal!
He looked at Emily. "Emily, what’s your take on this?"
"I think my mom is right," Emily replied.
"Once we attend the Grand Comeback Ceremony, there will definitely be a myriad of rich people proposing to me. Forget about three hundred thousand. I’m sure they can even afford three million. We’re already going easy on you by only asking for three hundred thousand."
Zeke sighed. "How about this? Let’s just get married first and not keep the guests waiting. After that, I can give you thirty million, let alone three hundred thousand."
Emily rolled her eyes peevishly.
"Who are you trying to fool? Isn’t that just an empty promise? Get the money quickly and borrow it if you have no money. Otherwise, we are not getting married today."
Zeke felt helpless. When he was about to tell them he was the Great Marshal, the bridesmaid, Lacey Hinton, couldn’t stand it anymore.
"Emi, I think it’s best if you get married first. The guests are waiting outside. If you’re going to haggle over the betrothal gifts and make a scene now, Zeke will only become a laughingstock. How can he raise his head in front of his relatives and friends in the future? They will make fun of him for a lifetime."
Zeke glanced at Lacey gratefully.
Although she was just a bridesmaid and only wearing light makeup, she was superior to Emily, in terms of both look and figure.
Zeke was very fond of her because she had helped him pursue Emily before this.
But unexpectedly, Emily had a fallout with Lacey.
She was jealous of Lacey’s good looks and had been using her. Their friendship was completely superficial.
"How could you stab me in the back, Lacey? Do you even treat me as a friend? It’s fine that you’re speaking up for Zeke, but you didn’t even get me any gifts on my wedding day. Oh yeah, I forgot. You gifted me a jade pendant ten years ago. A poor sister like you isn’t worthy of being my friend now. Take your stupid jade pendant and leave."
Emily removed the pendant and threw it to Lacey.
Zeke stared at that jade pendant, his brain was rumbling.
Lacey is the owner of that jade pendant?
It wasn’t Emily who had helped me back then, but Lacey?
I’ve fallen in love with the wrong woman for five years!
And for the past five years, I’ve even witnessed Emily bully my lifesaver!
God is playing games with me!
When Zeke regained his composure, Lacey was battered out of her senses and heading out the door.
After being humiliated and chased out by Emily in public, her mood wasn’t any better than Zeke’s.
"Lacey, wait," Zeke stopped her abruptly.
"Let her go, you asshole," Emily exploded. "If you dare stop her again, you get out too!"
"You’re asking me to get out?" Zeke sneered. "Oh, you’ll regret this."
"Regret? You will be the one who’ll regret," Emily retorted.
"Once I attend the Great Marshal’s Grand Comeback Ceremony, there will be countless rich men pursuing me. By then, you will not even be qualified to kneel and lick my boots!"
She had thought Zeke would butter her up when she took out the Grand Comeback Ceremony invitation card.
Little did she expect Zeke to get down on one knee, proposing to Lacey, "Lacey, will you marry
Everyone in the room was dumbfounded. Their faces were filled with disbelief.
Zeke Williams has just discarded his bride on the day of their wedding and proposed to the bridesmaid instead!
And it’s under the circumstance that the bride received an invitation card from the Great Marshal!
It was preposterous!
Lacey doubted for a moment, thinking she had heard him wrong.
"Lacey," Zeke said sincerely again. "Marry me. I promise you with the dignity of a man that I will make you the happiest woman in the world, with a lifetime of glory and wealth."
Emily was about to go bonkers. "Zeke, you bastard! I may forgive you if you kneel before me and apologize now. Don’t forget, you’ve been in prison for five years. You should thank the gods that I’m willing to give you this chance."
"Piss off!" Zeke roared.
That five years of captivity had scalded his heart. By bringing that up, Emily was obviously sprinkling salt on his wound with no qualms about hurting his pride.
"F**k!" Emily gritted her teeth. "We’re over! Just you wait after I attend the Grand Comeback Ceremony!"
In her heart, Zeke was just a simp who was only worthy of submitting himself to her.
Who was he to scold her?
Lacey’s eyelids hooded, looking thoughtful.
She thought of her marriage contract and her perverted fiancé.
A moment later, she looked up and took the flowers from his hand.
In a firm tone, she replied, "I do!"
Zeke heaved a sigh of relief, while the Clemons family blew up in a fit of anger.
"You b***h! You shameless whore! I’ll kill you,"
A slap sounded.
It was Zeke who had slapped Emily.
Lacey’s heart was racing.
She was well aware of how good Zeke had treated Emily in the past.
And to see him slapping Emily because of her…
Suddenly, another idea came into her mind.
Emily crumpled to the floor in a dead faint.
This simp just hit me for another woman! Who is he to slap me?
"From now on, Lacey is my wife," Zeke announced. "If anyone bullies her, I’ll kill their entire family! And if that’s not enough, I’ll dig out their ancestral grave!"
After silently enduring the pain for five years, the God of War finally broke out.
His tone was murderous, keeping the Clemons family on their toes as they held their breaths.
Emily suddenly had an illusion.
This man was not the same man she had known for five years!
"Let’s go, Lacey." Zeke gently took her hand.
"Lacey Hinton," Emily said through clenched teeth. "I dare you to walk out this door! Don’t forget, you’re just a parasite who lives off my family. Believe it or not, I can make your family go bankrupt right now."
In a quandary, Lacey stopped in her tracks.
She knew Emily had the power to do so.
Especially now that she had received the invitation card.
"Lacey, let’s go," Zeke consoled her. "Even if the sky falls, I will hold it for you."
Lacey’s heart pounded again as they exited the boudoir.
Emily let out a heartrending roar, "A whore and a simp. What a perfect match! I’ll make you both kneel before me and beg me like a dog soon."
Outside, the guests were looking forward to the appearance of the newlyweds.
However, as the door opened, it wasn’t the bride and bridegroom who walked out, but the bridegroom and bridesmaid.
Everyone present was dumbfounded, their eyes and mouth agape with incredulity.
A plot that was usually seen on TV was happening in reality.
The mass couldn’t accept it for a moment.
Coincidentally, there were also several media reporters at the wedding hall.
Thereupon, this breaking news took over the entire Oakheart City in just a few hours.
This wedding had become the talk of the city.
The bridegroom had discarded the bride on the wedding day and married the bridesmaid instead, even when the bride had received an invitation from the Great Marshal himself.
The bridegroom had made the stupidest move in the world!
Zeke drove away with Lacey.
Halfway down the road, Lacey suddenly said, "Stop, let me go down."
Zeke’s forehead puckered. "What’s wrong?"
"It’s just an act to save your pride that you proposed to me, no?" Lacey replied. "Now that the show is over, I should go home."
"Lacey, I am sincerely asking you to marry me," Zeke said earnestly. "You think I’m the kind of person who fools around with feelings just because of piteous pride?"
Lacey kept silent.
She understood Zeke well and knew that he most likely wasn’t acting.
"Won’t you regret this?" Lacey’s eyebrows drooped. "Emily’s got the Great Marshal’s invitation and her family is about to come to the fore. This is your chance to climb up the social ladder."
"If I want the invitation card, I only need to say the words" Zeke laughed. "Since they are so proud of it, I’ll make them servants at the Grand Ceremony."
Lacey sighed. "This is not the time for you to brag."
"I’m serious. Do you want to attend the Grand Comeback Ceremony? I can bring you there," Zeke said.
Lacey didn’t want to hear his nonsense anymore, so she changed the topic, "Also, I’m engaged to Jackson of the Hamilton family…"
"Everyone in Oakheart City knows that Jackson is a drug addict and a perv. The number of girls he has messed with can’t be counted on one hand," Zeke said.
"I know you don’t want to marry him. You had no choice but to agree to this marriage because of your family. Just say the word and I’ll save you from the fire pit."
Lacey smiled bitterly. "The Hamilton family has an extensive business empire. Aren’t you worried Jackson will take vengeance on you?"
Zeke suddenly laughed. "I was ready to fight against the world from the moment you said ‘I do."
Lacey’s head jerked up, looking absentminded.
The man had made her heart flutter once again.
She purely wanted to use Zeke as a shield originally, but now, her principles were a little shaken.
The Hamilton family ruled both sides of the law. An ordinary man like Zeke was no rival to them, be it power or wealth.
How could he fight against them?
Could a fleeting moment of passion withstand the cruelty of reality?
The Hamilton family might eventually destroy him.
"Let’s go home first." Lacey looked melancholy. "We’ll talk about it later when you get past my parents."
For a while, she felt rather flustered.
Lacey’s home was very crowded that day.
Early next month, she would marry into a rich family, the Hamilton family. Her uncles, Jeremy Hinton and Scott Hinton had come to her home to congratulate her and present her with gift money.
"Daniel, the Hinton family is really blessed to have Lacey marrying into the Hamilton family."
"The Hamilton family is one of the four major families in Oakheart City. Whatever leaks out of their fingers is enough to feed and clothe the Hinton family."
"Who knows if the Hinton family can take this opportunity to become a second-tier family."
Lacey’s parents, Daniel Hinton and Hannah Lawson sat in the host’s seats, their faces glowing
The flatteries of the crowd made the old couple feel proud.
"It looks like you two didn’t know. The Hamilton family actually got an invitation from the Great Marshal," Daniel said. "By then, the Hamilton family’s strength will surely rise. It will highly possible for them to become a first-tier family, let alone a second-tier family!"
What? An invitation card from the Great Marshal?
Sounds of exclamation filled the room, the atmosphere reaching a climax.
"Daniel," Jeremy said. "I heard you recently ran for the position of Head of Department at the hospital. How’s it going now?"
"Based on my qualifications, it’s basically hopeless to run for the position of Head of Department," Daniel replied. "But my son-in-law, Jackson, said he’ll help me. This position will be an ironclad guarantee once the Hamilton family intercedes."
His words were full of admiration and satisfaction for his future son-in-law, Jackson Hamilton.
And the crowd followed, praising the said man.
"Shit, Lacey’s in trouble!" Scott suddenly jumped to his feet, exclaiming with his phone in his hand.
Daniel’s heart twitched violently. "What is it? Show me quickly."
He snatched the phone over to see a piece of breaking news displayed on the screen.
"On the day of the wedding, Zeke Williams discarded his bride and proposed to the bridesmaid, Lacey Hinton instead…"
At once, Daniel had a heart attack and he spat out a mouthful of blood, collapsing on the sofa.
"That rascal… Damn… Damn it!"
The Hinton family panicked. "Quick, send him to the hospital. He’s having a heart attack."
Before Lacey and Zeke arrived at home, she received a call from her mother, Hannah.
"Lacey, are you trying to piss us off? Look what you’ve done today! You’ve brought so much disgrace upon our family. Your dad had a heart attack, and he’s at Heartland Hospital now. Hurry over."
Thunderstruck, Lacey dropped her phone to the ground, her face paled.
She didn’t think the incident today would be such a big blow to her father.
"Quick, to the hospital!" Lacey screamed her lungs out. "My dad had a heart attack."
"Hmm? Okay." Zeke made a sharp U-turn and drove toward the hospital.
Along the way, he made a call to Lone Wolf, who had picked him up at the airport. "Send me the Ammo Needle."
Zeke was ready to save his future father-in-law and give him a good impression.
Besides Great Marshal, he had another identityNeedle God!
He created the Ammo Needle that had saved
Many lives, from generals to civilians.
A puny heart attack was a piece of cake to him.
On the other end of the line, Lone Wolf’s eyes blazed. "After five years, the Needle God is finally making his move again! I wonder who’s the man worthy of the Great Marshal to take action personally."
"Don’t be such a snoop," Zeke continued. "Also, for the Grand Comeback Ceremony three days later, arrange for the Clemons family to be servants."
"Roger that," Lone Wolf replied.
After hanging up the phone, Zeke realized Lacey was looking at him strangely.
"What are you doing?" Lacey asked.
"I’ll save your father myself," Zeke replied.
"Also, I’ve arranged for Emily’s family to be servants at the Grand Ceremony." |
Lacey laid dispiritedly against the seat, sighing in disappointment
Why didn’t I find this man so boastful before?
Is the Great Marshal’s Grand Ceremony something he can meddle with?
Not long after, both of them arrived at the hospital.
The scene at the hospital made Lacey feel as if a knife was stabbing her heart.
Her mother, Hannah, was kneeling to Emily, begging her for forgiveness while Jeremy and Scott’s families stood by the side, saying nothing.
Emily looked proud and aloof, acting indifferent to Hannah’s pleading.
Zeke frowned. "Why is Emily here?"
Lacey got out of the car and darted toward Hannah. "Mom, get up. Why are you on your knees?"
Hannah wiped her tears and said, "You came just in time, Lacey. Quick, beg Emily to save your dad. He is in the emergency room, but Emily’s mother is the attending physician and refuses to save him."
Both Madeleine and Daniel worked in this hospital. They appeared united outwardly but were divided at heart. They had recently been competing for the position of the Head of Department with each other.
Coupled with what happened at the wedding today, the two families were practically archenemies.
It would be strange if Madeleine saved Daniel after what had transpired.
Now that it was too late to transfer to another hospital, Hannah could only beg Emily on her knees.
Lacey’s head throbbed.
She didn’t have time to think too much now. The most pressing matter of the moment was to save her father.
She had no choice but to let go of her dignity and plead, "Emily, my dad is critically ill. Please do me a favour and let your mom save my dad."
Emily sneered. "Isn’t it a little too late to beg me now? Didn’t you bring your husband with you? Ask Zeke to help you then. What are you begging me for?"
Only then did Hannah know that the person who came with Lacey was Zeke.
A fresh swell of rage rose in her at once.
"Lacey, are… are you trying to drive me crazy? Why did you bring this piece of trash with you? You’re blind to take a fancy to him… Don’t you know he is not only a good-for-nothing who lives off a woman but also someone who has served five years in prison?"
"I’m warning you, Williams. Don’t think you can step into my house. My house has no room for a piece of trash like you."
"Don’t worry, Emily. I’ll be sure to teach Lacey a lesson when we go back. It’s all Lacey’s fault today."
Emily felt much better upon hearing those words. "Okay. If you want my mom to save him, give us three hundred thousand for the medical bills, but it has to be paid by Zeke."
The Hinton family was in a dilemma.
It was because Zeke couldn’t fork out three hundred thousand that the marriage engagement had been annulled.
Emily was deliberately picking holes by insisting Zeke to pay the medical bills.
Zeke sighed. He didn’t expect Emily to be so crude and mean.
Just how did I spend five years with her?
"Haha. I believed we could end this happily, but now it seems that you’re determined to dig your own grave. If that’s what you want, I can only fulfill your wish."
"Hmph! Don’t change the topic by spouting nonsense," Emily sniggered.
"Why? You can’t get the money? Okay, I’ll give you another chance. Kneel and apologize to me, both you and Lacey. Then admit that you’re a simp who isn’t worthy of me."
"And that Lacey is just a loose woman who picks up my scrap!" Emily continued.
Lacey’s eyes were red as her heart trembled.
This demand is too much!
However, at the thought of her father not making
She had no choice but to compromise to the cruel reality as she bent her legs, about to get on her knees.
But Zeke quickly stopped her.
"Lacey, don’t beg her. I’ll treat your father’s illness."
Emily cackled arrogantly, "Lacey Hinton, I bet you didn’t know his true colours."
"Forget that he’s poor and can’t afford the medical bills. Just look at him, not willing to bow to anything, not even for saving your father’s life. All he does is talk big! He’s my jilted lover, and you’re only worthy of picking up what I’ve jilted."
Her every word pierced Lacey’s heart, which was long riddled in holes, like a knife on a chopping board.
Abruptly, Zeke hit Emily in the face, sending her to the ground and knocking off one of her teeth.
"As I said, Lacey is my wife. No one can insult her. Since you didn’t remember it the last time, let me remind you again!"
Zeke’s tone was forceful and lofty.
Thereafter, there was silence; dead silence.
The Hinton family was about to explode with rage.
Son of a bitch. How could you hit her when we’re still begging for help?
She’s not going to help us at this rate.
Lacey stumbled backwards, moving away from Zeke.
Is he a devil?
He’s going to get my dad killed!
She was disappointed, regretting her previous choice.
"Why… Why did you do that?" Lacey’s voice quavered.
"Not even the gods can insult my wife," Zeke said solemnly.
Lacey wanted to scold him but held back her words because of that statement.
Her mood right now was beyond words.
After a long time, Emily came back to her senses.
Her smile was terrifyingly hideous.
"Haha, nice one, Williams. The Hinton family has found themselves a wonderful son-in-law. Remember, it wasn’t our family who killed Daniel, but Zeke."
She walked into the office and slammed the door.
Hannah collapsed to the ground with a loud thud, her face white as a sheet.
"You… You get away… Get lost!"
At this moment, Zeke’s phone rang.
He fished for his phone and turned away after taking a glance at the screen.
Of course, he didn’t leave. He went to the emergency room instead.
Lone Wolf had just sent a message telling him that he had delivered the Ammo Needle to the door of the emergency room.
Looking at Zeke’s retreating figure, Lacey was devastated.
There was no grief greater than when the heart died, and that was exactly her feelings for Zeke right now.
On the other side, after Zeke took the silver needle, he went to the emergency room to treat Daniel, who had gone into shock.
"Many notable families are willing to give up their family property to ask the Great Marshal for help, but he will always ignore them," Lone Wolf mumbled to himself.
"But today, he made an exception for ordinary people! What is love? Why do people live for it? And die for it?"
On the side, Hannah was leaning against the wall, looking lonely and despondent.
"It’s over. It’s all over. Zeke Williams has ruined our family."
"Lacey, Jackson is a hundred times, a thousand times better than Zeke. Why did you insist on choosing Zeke?"
Jeremy and Scott’s families started hurling criticisms at Lacey, condemning Zeke.
They were also infuriated about this.
Of course, they weren’t angry that Zeke might kill Daniel, but rather about the fact that Lacey didn’t choose the Hamilton family.
How are we supposed to steal the Hamilton family’s glory if she doesn’t marry Jackson?
Jeremy had a brainwave. "Hey, stop crying. I’ve got an idea."
"Lacey, call Jackson right now. Apologize to him and beg for his forgiveness, then ask him to help us."
"The Hamilton family has an extensive network of connections. They even obtained the invitation card from the Great Marshal through connections. So they must know the leaders of the hospital!" |
Scott chimed in, "Jackson said before that he can make your dad become the Head of Department through his connections, so he definitely knows the leaders of the hospital."
Hannah’s eyes lit up. "Sweetie, give Jackson a call, quick."
Lacey instinctively wanted to refuse.
She couldn’t imagine her life after marrying Jackson.
However, when she saw her mother’s lonely and desperate eyes and thought about her father’s current situation, she gritted her teeth and made the call.
She decided to sacrifice herself to save her father.
The call connected.
"Hello, Jackson? I have a favor to ask." Lacey’s voice was a little choked.
On the other end of the line, Jackson was surprised.
Lacey would usually give him the cold shoulders, but why did she look for him first today?
Why is she asking me for a favor all of a sudden?
"What favor?" Jackson asked.
"Do you know the leaders of Heartland Hospital? My dad had a heart attack and needs a cardiologist to rescue him…"
Jackson was rejoicing inwardly.
It was the perfect chance for him to possess Lacey, and the thought of her perfectly sculpted body made him thirsty.
"I know the director of Heartland Hospital. He happens to be a cardiologist," he said.
"Really?" Lacey was delighted. "Please save my father!"
"I can save him, but," Jackson paused. "You must promise me something."
"What is it?" Lacey asked cautiously.
"Come to my place tonight." Jackson put on a nasty grin. "Let’s put on a little show."
Lacey felt disgusted by his words.
But at the thought that her father might…
It seemed she had no other options.
Biting her lips, she resigned to him in the end. "Okay."
"Haha, see you tonight!" Jackson said.
Tonight, your long hair will be the reins to my horse. It’s going to be good!
After hanging up Lacey’s call, he immediately called the director.
However, no one answered.
He simply tossed his phone aside and stopped trying.
"Baby, I’m coming," he started, throwing himself on a woman on the bed.
"Time is precious. Hinton’s life is not worth my time. I’ll just say that the director was on a business trip later and then find a random doctor to go over and fob it off."
Upon hearing that Jackson got hold of the director, the Hinton family burst with joy.
"As expected from the child of a prominent family. He has a wide range of contacts."
"That trash, Williams, only knows how to mess things up."
"You must take good care of Jackson during this time, Lacey. After all, whether your father can become the Head of Department depends on
"Who knows? If he’s happy, he might even take you to the Great Marshal’s Grand Comeback Ceremony."
Lacey’s eyes were slightly red as she remained silent.
She had clearly heard a woman’s voice on the phone just now.
"Zeke, I’m sorry…" Lacey sighed. "I guess this is life."
Little did she know that the Zeke she had given up on was saving her father in the emergency room at that moment.
Zeke looked solemn as his hands adeptly maneuvered the silver needles, puncturing each of Daniel’s acupoint with unerring precision.
Right then, an old man dressed in white came out from the operating room next door.
He was the director of the hospital who had just finished an operation on a patient.
When he passed by the operating room where Zeke was in, he suddenly stopped, frowning.
"Damn it. He’s not our doctor. How did he come in?"
He subconsciously wanted to walk up and chase him away.
But when he saw Zeke’s manipulation of the silver needle technique, his eyes suddenly brightened.
"Could… Could this be the Ammo Needle technique? The finest acupuncture technique created by the Great Marshal? God, I didn’t expect to see the Ammo Needle technique in my lifetime!"
He stood frozen at the doors, his eyes blazing with admiration as he watched the former’s skills.
Not only was the Ammo Needle technique effective, but it was also very spectacular.
Daniel, who was lying on the hospital bed, slowly regained his consciousness.
Seeing a strange man in casual clothes standing in front of him, Daniel was stunned.
He didn’t recognize who Zeke was and didn’t know that he was the ‘future son-in-law’ who gave him the heart attack.
"Who… Who are you?"
"Don’t move," Zeke said in a deep voice. "I’m giving you acupuncture."
"Acupuncture?" Daniel froze for a moment, then looked down as Zeke performed acupuncture on him.
A moment later, he trembled with excitement.
"Ammo Needle… The legendary Ammo Needle! Oh, my God! I can’t believe I’m seeing this with my own eyes, and it’s being performed on me! God, it’s my honor!"
Soon, Zeke finished with the acupuncture.
"Man, I’m really impressed," the director said, running up to him. "I can’t believe you know how to perform the Ammo Needle technique! You have my deepest respect."
Daniel hurriedly got off the hospital bed.
He felt comfortable and a little stronger than before.
"You’re amazing, my friend. Could you please teach me one thing or two? I’d like to learn from you."
"Yes, yes," the director also responded. "Please teach us."
"Please accept my respect, master."
Zeke was putting away the silver needles carefully. "I don’t accept apprentices."
It’s not that I don’t accept apprentices. It’s just that you’re my future father-in-law.
It’s nonsensical for you to call me master if I’m going to call you dad.
Zeke turned around and left.
"Master." Daniel and the director followed closely behind. "Please accept us as your apprentices."
At the door of the emergency room, the Hinton family was burning with anxiety. The director of the hospital had yet to arrive.
They began to wonder if Jackson had stood them up.
Lacey reached for her phone and was about to remind Jackson when Jeremy suddenly shouted, "Look, he’s out."
Everyone shifted their gaze to the door of the emergency room and saw three men walking out.
The one leading the group was Zeke, with Daniel and the director following behind.
"That trash is still here?" Hannah squawked. "Damn it! He didn’t go into the operating room to mess anything up, did he? That incompetent bungler."
"Why do you care so much about that trash?" Jeremy guffawed.
"The point is, Daniel has recovered. Look, he seems fine. And look who’s beside him; it’s the director of the hospital."
Hannah cried tears of joy. "It must be Jackie. He has long invited the director to rescue Daniel. We were wrong to blame Jackson. My son-in-law is reliable."
The entire family went up, surrounding Daniel and the director while ignoring Zeke.
Lacey looked at Zeke with a complicated expression in her eyes. Sighing, she walked up to thank the director.
"You’re surely gifted with a magic hand, director."
"Thank you for saving his life."
"Director, to express my gratitude, please allow me to buy you a meal."
The director looked completely nonplussed. "I’m sorry, but I’m not the one who saved Daniel. It’s all thanks to my master. I didn’t take part in any of this."
The Hinton family was bewildered.
The director has a master? Where is he?
"That’s right. My master saved me," Daniel said.
"Come, let me introduce you. This is the master who the director and I just met."
Daniel walked toward Zeke, bowing. "Master, no words can express my gratitude for you."
What the f**k?
The Hinton family glared so hard at Zeke that their eyeballs almost popped out.
Zeke Williams, lifesaver, master…
How do all these connect?
Daniel was startled, not understanding why the Hinton family had overreacted.
"You passed out, Daniel. You don’t even know what’s going on. You must be mistaken," Hannah started.
"He’s just a useless, poor bastard. How could he have saved your life? Don’t be humble, director. We all know the truth. It was Jackson who asked you for this favor to save Daniel, isn’t it?"
The director frowned. "As I said, I did nothing. It was all my master’s doing. Besides, who’s Jackson? He didn’t call me either. Oh, right, my phone rang twice just now, but the line cut off before I could answer. I’m not sure if it was him."
Suddenly realizing something, Lacey hurriedly called Jackson and turned on the speakerphone.
"Jackson, did you manage to get in touch with the director?"
"I did," Jackson replied. "But he’s on a business trip and won’t be able to make it back in time. I’ll contact another doctor for you,"
"You liar!" Lacey yelled. "You’re a big fat liar! The director is standing right in front of me now!"
Jackson felt a little embarrassed. "Is it? Maybe | didn’t communicate well with him."
"Piss off!" Lacey shouted. "You can’t fool me! You scum! Don’t bother contacting me in the future."
"F**k you!" Jackson’s fury sprang to life. "How dare you scold me?!"
"I’m warning you, we’re getting married on the first next month no matter what. If you have the guts to walk away, I’ll destroy the Hinton family. Also, stay away from that uncivilized man who you met today, or I’ll send someone to kill him."
Lacey hung up.
There was a dead silence after that.
The dust had now settled that Jackson, whom they placed their hopes on, didn’t take Daniel’s life into his heart.
But it was Zeke, whom they spurn and reviled, who had turned the tide.
The Hinton family were overwhelmed with mixed emotions.
"Master, I bet you’re hungry," Daniel had yet to figure out that the young man before him was Zeke Williams.
"Shut up!" Hannah shouted. "He has no right to be your master."
"You’re just a woman. What do you know?" Daniel chided. "I would have died today if it wasn’t for him."
"Open your damned eyes, you fool. He’s Zeke Williams. The one who caused your heart disease to relapse."
Daniel was astonished. He looked like he was about to have another heart attack again.
Master is actually the despicable ‘future son-in-law’?
Why is this melodrama happening to me?
The atmosphere turned awkward.
Even the director felt embarrassed for Daniel. "Uh… Haha, what a surprise. I didn’t know that Master is your son-in-law. You must have secretly learned medicine skills from him. I think you deserve to be the Head of Department with your capabilities. Get ready to step in."
At that, the director turned around and walked away, not planning to meddle in their family affairs.
Daniel was wild with joy.
He didn’t expect to be Head of Department so easily.
But at the thought that he got this position because of Zeke, he really couldn’t celebrate his victory in triumph.
After all, Jackson was the ideal son-in-law in his heart.
Emily and Madeleine were walking toward them from afar.
"Now that Hinton is at a critical stage, I don’t believe the Hinton family will not concede," Madeleine said.
"Hmph! I want the Hinton family to get on their knees and beg me like a dog," Emily replied.
"Especially Zeke Williams, I want to rip his face apart."
Her face was still aching from that slap just now.
But when they approached the Hinton family, they were instantly stunned.
Daniel had actually recovered, and his face was ruddy, not like he had just come back from the land of the dead.
"What… What just happened?" The pair of mother and daughter felt extremely lost as their plan for revenge went down the drain.
They sighed, readying themselves to leave.
"Stand there," Zeke said coldly. "Who gave you permission to leave?".
Emily shot daggers at him. "Shut up. You don’t get to talk here."
"Oh really?" Zeke sneered. "Then I supposed the new Head, Dr. Hinton, has the right to speak."
"Dr. Hinton, your subordinate is really unprofessional to refuse saving life because of a personal grudge. They even asked for a medical fee of three hundred thousand in public. What are you doing with such a subordinate? To harm society?"
Daniel was momentarily confused.
He didn’t know what the pair of mother and daughter had previously done.
Hannah was the first to react. This is a good time for us to take revenge!
"Daniel," she shouted. "Fire her now!"
"I knelt and bowed to her before this, but she refused to save you. She even asked us for three hundred thousand. I’m so pissed!"
Daniel’s anger flared up. "What?! Get the hell out of this hospital, Madeleine. You don’t deserve to be a doctor."
"Haha, I think you have not only a heart disease but also a brain disease," Madeleine said contemptuously.
"Everyone knows that I have the best hope of becoming the Head of Department. As for you, don’t even think about it. You want to fire me? In your dreams! Just you wait. When I become the Head, you’ll be the first-"
Before she could finish, her phone and Daniel’s phone rang at the same time.
Madeleine instinctively took out her phone and glanced at it. Her face paled while her hands and feet shivered.
The director had personally sent a notice in their group chat. Daniel Hinton holds the position of Head of Department.
"No way. How is this possible?!" Madeleine roared hysterically. "I clearly deserve to be Head of Department the most!"
"Hinton, you must have bribed the director! Did you? You scumbag! Just you wait. Your reputation will soon fall apart."
"Oh please," Daniel snorted. "I disdain to do that kind of thing. On the contrary, some people were dishonest. I bet you bribed the leaders, huh?"
"Bullshit!" Madeleine retorted. "If you didn’t bribe the director, why would he appoint you as the Head?"
"Well, all thanks to you," Hannah chimed in before Daniel could speak.
"Thank you for giving Zeke away. His outstanding medical skills saved Daniel. He has even accepted the director as his apprentice. Let alone the Head of Department. If Daniel wants to be the assistant director, the director has to grant him that position out of respect for Zeke. Who said my daughter picked up a jilted trash? My daughter has found a treasure! It’s a pity someone didn’t recognize this treasure!"
Emily and Madeleine looked at Zeke.
This trash who can’t even fork out three hundred thousand has accepted the director as his apprentice?
Why didn’t I realize his capability before?
Hold up. If I didn’t ask for another three hundred thousand at the wedding, the Head of Department position would have been mine!
Did I give away this opportunity myself?
Madeleine instantly regretted her actions.
She shouldn’t have asked for another dowry of three hundred thousand. What she had lost now was a far cry from three hundred thousand.
Emily, who had been silent, suddenly spoke up.
"Zeke Williams, I’m giving you a chance to get back together with me. Fire Daniel and make my mom Head of Department. This is your last chance. Think carefully before you answer."
Emily was full of confidence, her tone laced with arrogance.
She firmly believed Zeke would roll back to her like the simp he was if she relented.
After all, she would have a bright future now that she had the Great Marshal’s invitation card in her hands. Zeke would be riding on her coattails if he got back together with her.
The Hinton family tensed up.
If Zeke could make Daniel Head of Department, he could naturally fire him as well.
Zeke couldn’t help laughing, wondering who gave Emily the courage to say such words.
Why is she so convinced I will beg to get back together with her?
Gosh, it’s my fault for spoiling her.
"That moment you left Daniel in the lurch and forced Lacey and me to kneel before you, our five-year relationship was over. Get lost now! Don’t make a fool of yourself here!"
Emily flew into a howling rage.
"Zeke Williams, you heartless and ungrateful piece of shit! Just you wait. I’ll make you beg me."
"Lacey Hinton, don’t forget that I’m the only one now who can keep your business going. I can make you go bankrupt in minutes!"
"Also, once we attend the Great Marshal’s Grand Comeback Ceremony three days later, I’ll wipe you and the Hinton family off the face of the earth."
Hannah was appalled. "You got an invitation from the Great Marshal?"
"Of course," Emily sniggered.
Everyone was shocked.
"Emily," Hannah sounded gentle. "This is all Zeke’s fault. Get even with him if you want. Don’t implicate the Hinton family…"
"Haha. It’s too late to beg me now. Just get lost and anticipate your demise."
At that, she walked off with Madeleine, leaving Hannah feeling dejected.
"Relax," Zeke comforted. "The Clemons family is just going to serve as servants at the Grand Ceremony. If you guys want to go, I can take you in and make you guys the VIPs."
"Scram!" Hannah exploded. "You really think you’re a god or something? Are you trying to ruin my family? If you really want to be good to Lacey, stay away from her."
"You heard that just now. The Hamilton family and Emily want Lacey to go bankrupt because of you. Both their families got an invitation from the Great Marshal. Their status is very dignified, and it’s a matter of time before they destroy the Hinton family!"
Daniel uttered not a word.
Although he admired Zeke’s medical skills, he couldn’t watch the Hinton family be exterminated.
"That moment when Lacey agreed to marry me," Zeke said solemnly, "I had already decided to take on everything for her. I don’t care about the Hamilton family."
"As for the invitation card… If Lacey wants it, I can make her the VIP of the Grand Comeback Ceremony."
"You really know how to talk big, don’t you?" Hannah rebuked. "In a word, put that in your pipe and smoke it unless you can really take us to the Great Marshal’s Grand Comeback Ceremony."
Jeremy’s and Scott’s families had also butted in, giving Lacey advice she never asked for.
"Money is king in society. No matter how good his medical skills are, can he feed you?"
"Zeke isn’t reliable. He’s too ambitious. He can’t even fork out a dowry of three hundred thousand. You think you can be a VIP at the Grand Comeback Ceremony?"
"Still, Jackson is the best for you. Listen to your Uncle Jeremy. It’s not like we’re hurting you."
"If I listened to the both of you and waited for Jackson to save my dad, my dad would have died just now," Lacey refuted.
They were rendered speechless by that sentence.
"Damn girl, is this how you show respect to your elders?" Jeremy scolded, his face red.
Hannah quickly mediated the dispute, "Don’t worry. I’ll have a good talk with her when we get home."
"We’ll make a move first."
Daniel sighed, turning to leave.
But Lacey said, "Mom, you and Dad head back first. I have to go to the factory later."
Hannah nodded and left with the Hinton family.
"You heard them just now," Lacey said, eyeing Zeke with a complicated look. "Jackson is ready to make a move on you."
"Are you scared? It’s not too late to regret now."
"Scared? Regret?" Zeke echoed. "Those two words don’t exist in my dictionary."
"Why didn’t I find you so good at bluffing before?" Lacey mused out loud.
Zeke was speechless.
How am I bluffing? Did I say something wrong?
"Alright. You can stay and take shelter at my house in the meantime to avoid Jackson from troubling you," Lacey offered.
Zeke gladly agreed.
It didn’t take long for the two to arrive at Lacey’s steel mill.
This steel mill was founded by Lacey. It was the brainchild of her many years of hard work.
The steel mill’s largest and most dependable business came from Hamilton Construction, where Emily worked.
Coincidentally, this construction company was the property of the Hamilton family.
Emily had always been responsible for the business dealings between the construction company and the steel mill, and surprisingly, she was also the matchmaker who paired off Jackson and Lacey
If Emily wanted to sabotage her, the steel mill might really lose this business.
Just as expected, they received a notice as soon as they returned to the steel mill: Hamilton Construction is officially canceling all business dealings with the steel mill.
Despite mentally preparing herself, Lacey’s face was drained of color and hope after hearing that the cancellation was confirmed.
"Lacey," Zeke said. "Do you care a lot about this steel mill?"
"She’s my heart and soul, my child. How can I not care?" Lacey sighed sorrowfully.
"I was going to let you take over all the properties of the richest man in Oakheart City," Zeke said.
"But since you care about this steel mill so much, then let’s make it bigger and stronger. We’ll use this steel mill as a springboard to reach the peak step by step."
"Does it hurt you to stop bluffing for just a second?" Lacey said angrily.
Zeke felt emotionally exhausted.
I’m as rich as my country. The richest Schneider family in Oakheart City is just a random small setup that I staged five years ago.
Letting you take over all the property of the richest man in Oakheart City is just a matter of my words.
I’m not bluffing!
"You’re unemployed, right?" Lacey asked, then suggested, "Why don’t you work as a salesperson with me temporarily? I’ll pay you at the highest rate."
"Although… the steel mill might not survive for long after losing Hamilton Construction’s orders."
Zeke nodded. "Okay. Don’t worry, Lacey. I’ll get you a big order tomorrow."
If outsiders knew that the marshal of the armed forces was working as a small salesperson in this small factory, their jaws would definitely drop.
Lacey regarded Zeke with mixed emotions in her eyes.
He’s bluffing again.
Just after midnight, Zeke’s phone rang right on time.
Countless text messages were pouring in. His phone was ringing nonstop.
Zeke picked up his phone and let out a wee smile.
He received many congratulatory messages from the head of various consortiums, including rich people who were willing to give up their wealth, hoping that he would save their lives.
Zeke ignored them but found one of the most insignificant messages.
It was a message from the richest man of Oakheart City, Evan Schneider. Sir, when will you take over the Schneider family’s property?
When will I take over the Schneider family’s property?
Zeke replied, Acquire all steel mills in Oakheart City, except for Lacey Hinton’s.
Since Hamilton Construction no longer allows Lacey to supply steel to them, I’ll cut off all the supplies from every steel mill in Oakheart City.
Going out of town to find supplies? Then I’ll acquire every steel mill across the country!
The next day, Zeke simply washed up and exited his room.
The sun hit just right and a gentle breeze brushed against his face.
A coquettish figure was standing under a peach tree, surrounded by an air of melancholy.
Zeke’s heart palpitated at that breathtaking sight, and he couldn’t bear to disturb her.
Lacey was frowning as she was making a call, her tone filled with supplication.
"Mr. Lewis, please reconsider the collaboration. We can discuss the price again."
"What? What do you mean there’s nothing to discuss?"
Hanging up the phone, she dialed another number as she couldn’t resign to the outcome.
"Mr. Gray, after much consideration, I agree with your acquisition of the steel mill. But could you raise the price a little?"
"What? You want to lower the price… Don’t you think that’s too much?"
Hanging up the phone again, she looked more depressed.
Only then did she notice Zeke standing at the side.
She smiled bitterly. "The last few business partners called just now to inform us that they are cutting ties with the steel mill."
"I suspect Emily and Jackson are behind this. The steel mill may have to shut down today."
Zeke smiled. "Although you look pretty when you’re depressed, it breaks my heart. Don’t worry. Emily will come and beg you to cooperate with her."
"Also, I’ll reel in a big business for you today."
At that, he turned around and left.
Looking at his leaving figure, Lacey was amused.
This guy is good at everything, but his boasting is not to be complimented.
Not long after Zeke left, a BMW suddenly stopped in front of the factory.
Emily got down from the car, mocking, "Basking in the sun now, are we? How laid back."
"My company no longer needs supplies from you, so pay us back now. If you can’t pay us today, haha, I can only trouble you to mortgage the factory to us. You can then enjoy your life in prison."
Lacey could feel a chill wafting across her body.
I’m doomed. The factory has always been operating in debt. How am I supposed to pay them back?
Not only is the factory going to close down, but even jail time can’t be spared!
Schneider Group, Evan Schneider’s office.
Despite being the richest man in Oakheart City, Evan was like a servant before Zeke. He dared not breathe or even look him in the eye.
If Zeke could easily make him the richest man in Oakheart City, he could likewise destroy him with just a snap of his fingers.
The power of this man was beyond his imagination.
"Mr. Williams," Evan said gingerly. "I’ve acquired every steel mill in Oakheart City as per your instruction. I wonder what’s your plan for acquiring these steel mills. Please let me know so that I can make the arrangements."
Zeke drew in a deep breath. "Don’t supply anything to the Hamilton family through these steel mills."
"Also, all the steel orders from the Schneider family shall be given to Lacey Hinton from now on."
Evan nodded hastily. "Noted, sir."
"Do you have any business dealings with Hamilton Construction?" Zeke asked abruptly.
"The Hamilton family handles one of our construction projects," Evan replied.
"But the project has been overdue for two days and has yet to complete."
In the construction industry, it was common to have a year and a half overdue, let alone two days.
"Send a lawyer’s letter to the Hamilton family. If they can’t finish the project today, they shall expect disaster in prison," Zeke said.
Evan nodded incessantly. "Yes, sir."
"By the way, Mr. Williams, do you have a problem with the Hamilton family? They have gotten an invitation to your Grand Comeback Ceremony through connections. Should I cancel this family’s qualification now?"
Zeke nodded. "Yes, their admission tickets are null and void, but don’t tell them just yet."
Right then, Zeke received a call from Lacey.
"Zeke, hurry up and come back. Emily is making a scene at the factory."
Zeke burned with anger. "She’s got a death wish."
He didn’t stay at the building for long. He took the steel supply contract from the Schneider family and fled with an advance payment of five million.
When he returned to the steel mill, the factory was in a mess.
Ten bulky men who came with Emily were smashing the steel mill apart.
Over thirty employees of the steel mill were knocked to the ground, bruised and battered.
In a corner, Lacey and Hannah were trembling in fear.
Zeke clearly noticed that there was a palm print on Hannah’s cheeks.
His eyes turned slightly red, and a gleam of murderous intent flashed in his eyes.
"You trash, why did you come back?" Hannah’s temper sparked when she saw Zeke.
"Look at what you’ve done. It’s all because of you that my family ended up like this. Please, I beg you. Stop hurting my family, will you? Get out of here. Why aren’t you leaving?"
Zeke inhaled deeply, ignoring Hannah as he walked toward the ten bulky men in a murderous manner.
"From now on, this is the restricted area. Whoever crosses this line shall leave his life behind."
Shocked, Lacey hurried up to stop him. "Zeke, stop it. You can’t fight them."
"It’s only right to pay off your debts. Since you can’t afford to repay my company, I can only demolish your factory," Emily jeered.
"You want to stand up for them, Zeke? Fine, your wish is granted! Boys, get rid of this guy!"
Emily, Lacey, and Hannah were all well aware of Zeke’s strength.
For the past five years, Zeke had never gotten into = a fight. Even when he was ridiculed, he would control and suppress his indignation.
Faced with ten strong men, such a wimp would only be ravaged!
But little did they know, that for the past five years he didn’t strike at will simply because he was bound by the Nine Nations Treaty of Alliance.
Ten strong men immediately walked up to Zeke, glaring at him like ravening tigers.
Lacey was on pins and needles. "Zeke, run…"
"Lacey," Zeke called her softly. "Remember what I told you? If anyone bullies you, I’ll kill their entire family. And if that’s not enough, I’ll dig their ancestral grave. That’s a promise, not an oath."
As soon as he finished, he made his move.
He walked around Lacey and charged at the ten strong men.
Lacey squeezed her eyes shut in despair, unable to bear witnessing the next scene.
Even if he didn’t die this time, he would be crippled for life.
The sound of fists to fleshes, accompanied by a gut-wrenching voice, resonated.
However, silence engulfed the scene in just five seconds.
Lacey fluttered her eyes open to see an unbelievable sight before her.
Of course, it wasn’t only Lacey who was astounded, but also Hannah and Emily.
The men, now curled up in a ball, were paralyzed on the ground, groaning.
But the weak and lanky wimp, Zeke, stood upright, unscathed.
At this moment, the three of them were sharing the same doubts.
This wimp can fight?
Why did he hold back for the past five years if he can fight so well?
Is he the same Zeke Williams I’ve known for five years?
Emily was trembling the most.
She had mistreated Zeke many times in the past, and he never once retaliated.
Emily had always believed that the reason he didn’t was because he couldn’t defeat her.
But now it seemed like that wasn’t it. He was just reluctant to hit her because one slap from him would have been lethal.
A slight feeling of regret flitted by in her heart.He endured five years of humiliation because of love. Just how deep was his love?
Too bad I lost it with my bare hands.
Zeke drew out a dagger, hurling it in front of the men.
"Who hit my mother-in-law and which hand did it? Chop it off yourself. It won’t be just a hand if you force me to do it."
Hannah jerked her head up, tears glistening in her eyes.
She couldn’t remember how long it had been since someone protected her like this.
Not even her closest family member, her husband Daniel, had ever shown her such dominance.
But now, the useless ‘son-in-law’ whom she looked down on the most was going to chop off the other party’s hand just because they slapped her.
It would be a lie to say she wasn’t touched.
At Zeke’s murderous intent, the ten men cast a glance at Emily for help with terror coursing through their veins.
Emily drew in a deep breath, trying hard to quell her thumping heartbeat.
"So what if you can fight, Zeke Williams? Can you fight against the law?"
"I’m warning you, this steel mill owes my company money. It’s either you pay us every single penny, or expect a prison sentence."
At the mention of the law, Lacey and Hannah once again fell into despair.
No matter how good his combat ability was, it was useless if he had no authority.
Not only would Lacey end up in jail, but Zeke also wouldn’t be able to avoid that fate.
Only then did Zeke shift his focus from the men to Emily.
He casually threw a briefcase containing five million advance payment to her.
"I can pay you back the money. But I’m afraid you won’t dare to take it. In fact, you will beg us to provide you with supplies."
Emily couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
"Pfft, what a joke. Me, begging you to supply us? Unless every steel mill in Oakheart City has shut down, you can keep on dreaming! Are you sure it’s cash and not bricks in this briefcase? You couldn’t even come up with a dowry of three hundred thousand. Like hell, you can pay us back a million."
Lacey and Hannah regarded Zeke with a squirrelly look.
What is this guy doing? Making a fool of himself on purpose?
Asking someone to beg us for supplies? Is this some kind of joke?
He can’t even afford three hundred thousand. So how could he get a million for the goods?
Just then, Emily’s phone rang.
It was a call from Hamilton Construction’s project manager.
"Dawson, what’s up?" Emily answered the call.
"I’m not sure what’s going on with the Schneider family. They just sent us a lawyer’s letter," Dawson said in exasperation.
"The Schneider family wants us to finish the project today, or they’ll meet us in court. I need a large amount of steel urgently, so hurry up and purchase a batch. Then send it to us."
"No problem," Emily promptly replied.
After hanging up the phone, Emily immediately called the steel supplier.
"Hunt, quickly send us a batch of steel… What? Your steel mill was acquired? Okay, I’m hanging up."
Emily hung up and called another supplier.
"Floyd, I’m giving you a chance to be rich. I’m planning to purchase steels from you… What? Too late? Your steel mill has been acquired too? What the hell?"
Thereafter, she made another three to four calls to other steel mills.
However, she received the same answer. ‘Our steel mill was acquired last night’ was all she got in return.
This made Emily anxious. She quickly asked someone to investigate the person behind these acquisitions.
But the answer she received drove her to the brink of a mental breakdown.
"The other party sent an intermediary to discuss the acquisition. No one knows the buyer is!"
Where else can I buy steel if I can’t contact the real owner of these steel mills?
Just then, the project manager called again.
"Clemons, where are the steels? I’m warning you, if = we can’t finish the Schneider family’s project today, our construction company will be finished. You’re accountable for this if the Schneider family questions us!"
Emily blanched, her breathing stagnant.
"Calm down, Dawson. I’ll think of something."
After hanging up the phone, Emily’s gaze fell on Lacey.
"Was your steel mill acquired?"
Lacey shook her head. "Someone wanted to acquire it two days ago, but I didn’t agree."
"Well, lucky for you," Emily snorted. "Let’s continue our collaboration. Send me a batch of steel immediately."
Lacey felt a sudden flare of joy, not expecting to weather the storm like this.
"Did you forget what I said just now?" Zeke suddenly spoke when Lacey was about to agree. "Let me give you a hint. I said I’d make you beg us for the supplies."
As soon as he spoke, Lacey and Emily immediately realized that the situation wasn’t right.
Zeke was speaking conceited nonsense about Emily begging them to continue with the collaboration.
And the next moment, every steel mill in the city was acquired, and her company was deprived of supplies.
Did Zeke do this?
That’s impossible. How could he acquire every steel mill in the city when he couldn’t even come up with three hundred thousand?
Could it be a mere coincidence? But this coincidence is just… hard to explain.
Emily calmed her mind and gave a snort of disgust. "You want to control the court? Dream on! Don’t forget that if you refuse to collaborate, you guys have to give us a refund. As far as I know, the steel mill has been operating in debt. So how are you going to pay us back? Just rot in jail if you can’t."
Zeke glanced at the briefcase. "Open the briefcase."
Emily looked at the briefcase, then at Zeke, suddenly becoming a little disheartened.
This trash couldn’t have possibly gotten a million, could he?
She opened the briefcase with trepidation.
The briefcase is filled with notes of every colour!
There should be at least five million inside!
What’s going on?
Lacey was dumbfounded as Emily was trembling down to the soles of her shoes.
He actually got five million!
Emily was on the verge of a meltdown.
If this five million really belongs to Zeke, does that mean I’ve just lost a treasure with my own hands?
And this treasure was picked up by Lacey…
She had never regretted anything so much.
"Take the money and get out," Zeke said coldly.
Hannah, who was shocked, came back to her senses as she rushed toward that briefcase. "No, you can’t take it away. We only owe her one million, and there’s like at least five million here."
"Go away!" Emily clutched the briefcase tightly in her arms. "None of you are qualified to touch this money besides me."
Zeke looked stunned.
This woman wouldn’t be so brazen to try and get back together for five million, would she?
Indeed, Emily had that thought in mind.
Of course, only if she managed to figure out if the money belonged to Zeke.
"Zeke Williams, it was I who stayed by your side when you were at your lowest!" Emily’s voice quavered. "You’re going to dump me now that you’re rich? Not a chance!"
Zeke sighed. "Then do you want to get back together with me?"
"Yes, I do!" Emily was overjoyed. "With this five million, you’re worthy of me!"
"Great, let’s go register our marriage now," Zeke said. "Right, did you bring any cash with you? I’ve got no money with me now. I think it cost about ten bucks to get the certificate."
"What do you mean?" Emily was taken aback. "Isn’t there five million here?"
"This money is not mine. In fact, I’m so poor | haven’t eaten breakfast yet," Zeke said.
"The money is not yours? You’re too poor to afford breakfast?" Emily echoed in astonishment.
"F**k! You’re still the same broke ass. Well, what did I say? How can you get five million when you can’t even afford to pay us another three hundred thousand? You want to marry me, even if you’re broke? You wish!"
Zeke shook his head slightly.
Why didn’t I realize Emily was such a snob before?
"The money is not yours? Then where did you get this five million?" Lacey asked curiously.
Zeke appeared mysterious. "Have you forgotten my identity?"
"Aren’t you a salesperson at our mill? What has it got to do with five million?"
Emily laughed. "How shameless of you, a shitty salesperson at a small mill, to ask me to marry you. What a joke!"
Knowing that Zeke was inferior to her, Emily felt a little relieved.
"This is an order I reeled in for our mill today," Zeke said, handing Lacey a contract.
"This five million is an advance payment."
Lacey accepted the contract in a fluster.
Just how big is this order to give us an advance payment of five million?
After reading through the contract, Lacey cried tears of joy.
"The steel mill is saved, Mom. The steel mill is saved. We don’t have to go bankrupt."
"No way!" Emily ran up frantically, snatching the contract.
After reading it, her eyes turned red.
One hundred million. Zeke actually snatched a one hundred million deal from the Schneider family, the richest family in Oakheart City!
For a one hundred million deal, the net profit is at least ten million.
That’s ten million!
Zeke is a multi-millionaire!
Emily was demoralized after being hit with multiple blows.
"Zeke Williams," she shouted. "You… you just tricked me!"
Zeke shrugged. "I didn’t trick you. I’m just a small salesperson. This order is Lacey’s, and it has nothing to do with me."
"I don’t care," Emily shrieked hysterically. "Let’s get married, Zeke. Let’s register our marriage now. Give me this order. I can even take you to attend the Great Marshal’s Grand Comeback Ceremony."
If this order was given to her, she could earn ten million in commission.
Although she had the Great Marshal’s invitation card in her hands, it could only bring her insubstantial power and not a solid ten million.
Zeke ignored her and walked toward Lacey. "Lacey, stop crying. The Schneider family’s order is very urgent, so hurry up and get started."
Lacey quickly wiped off her tears. "Yes, let’s get started. Let’s get to work."
With that said, Lacey prompted her employees to start work, but Emily wouldn’t let them go.
"Lacey, please. I beg you," Emily pleaded, rushing up to them. "Return Zeke to me, will you?"
"Zeke, the invitation card will give us power and status, and in addition to your order as the start-up capital, we can establish a big company. We’re a match made in heaven. Please give me a chance and give yourself a chance!"
Zeke looked at Lacey slyly. "You wouldn’t possibly sell me out for this plastic sisterhood, would you?"
Lacey smiled through her tears. "Excuse you! | haven’t even agreed to marry you."
"You don’t have to beg me, Emily. If Zeke wants to go back to you, he can go back anytime."
Emily glanced at Zeke.
"I gave you a chance, but you didn’t cherish it. There’s nothing I can do about it." Zeke shrugged, looking up at the sky.
Emily flushed a slow, beet red, recalling her mockeries just now.
Now that there was no hope for reconciliation, she could only settle for the next best thing.
"Lacey, you must provide my company with supplies this time, please," she cried, begging.
"Otherwise, the Hamilton family won’t spare my life! You don’t want to see me get killed by the Hamilton family, do you?"
Lacey’s heart softened. She sighed and nodded.
"Thank you so much." Emily forced a smile and ran off. She was afraid Lacey would go back on her words.
"Will you blame me for helping her?" Lacey regarded Zeke cautiously.
Zeke shook his head. "Do you know what is it that I like about you?"
"What?" Lacey asked shyly.
"Your kindness," Zeke replied.
Lacey stomped her feet in aggravation. "Are you insinuating that I’m ugly?"
Zeke was at a loss for words.
A woman’s heart is as fickle as April’s weather.
Lacey angrily ignored Zeke and turned to her workers.
"Boys, let’s get to work. I will double your salary from today onward."
The workers’ spirits brightened as they hurriedly got into their positions.
"Thank you, Mr. Williams."
"Thank you, Mrs. Williams."
Zeke happily threw a pack of Yellow Crane Tower cigarettes to an employee just because he yelled ‘Mrs. Williams.’
"Pfft!" Lacey blushed.
Zeke’s face scrunched up as he looked at the ten strong men whom Emily had brought.
"Are you guys done yet? No? It seems that you guys want me to do it myself, huh?"
Suddenly, one of them walked out from the crowd and knelt on the ground with a thump, slapping himself in tears and snots.
"I was wrong. I deserve to die. I shouldn’t have done that. Please spare my life, sir."
Zeke sneered, "Trying to gain sympathy, eh? No deal! Leave a pair of hands and feet behind."
Hannah, who had been clinging to the briefcase, regained her composure, shouting, "No, no, no. Don’t! Just let him slap himself a hundred times. Don’t take his limbs."
Hannah was just an ordinary homemaker. How could she bear to see that gory sight?
"Well, aren’t you going to thank my mother-in-law?" Zeke said.
That bulky man prostrated himself to the ground, thanking her.
"Although I still don’t agree to this marriage, thank you for saving Lacey’s steel mill," Hannah said to Zeke with mixed emotions.
"I just did what I had to do," Zeke said.
After a moment of hesitation, Hannah spoke, "Emily’s status will definitely rise after she attends the Grand Comeback Ceremony. In addition to the Hamilton family’s threats, you guys will have a rough journey ahead, so be careful."
Zeke nodded, a trace of bliss gleaming in his eyes.
The underlying meaning of Hannah’s words was that she would stop interfering in this marriage and allow nature to take its course. Hence, she was reminding him to be careful.
"I’Il deposit the money in the bank for you first, in case you need it," Hannah said, tapping the briefcase.
Suddenly remembering something, Zeke hurriedly took out a purple bank card from his pocket.
"This is a gift from me. Kindly accept it. Take this card to deposit and withdraw money. You can enjoy VVIP treatment without having to queue up. The password is Lacey’s birthday."
This purple bank card, called the Bauhinia Royal Card, was limited to ninety-nine copies worldwide.
Only royalty and elite families were worthy of its possession, and they could spend one hundred million overdraft.
Lacey gave that card a once-over, her eyes sparkling.
The card seemed familiar, as if she had seen it on TV before.
But she couldn’t remember the details.
Hannah didn’t think too much of it, and treated it as an ordinary VIP card. She picked up the card and left.
As soon as she left, a row of black private cars stopped in front of the steel mill with a group of men in suits walking over.
"Oh no," Lacey gulped.
Zeke furrowed his brows. "What is it? Who are they?"
"They’re from the Industrial and Commercial Bureau," Lacey said.
"Today is the day for a weekly routine spot check. I didn’t expect them to inspect the steel mill. There has just been a fight here. This place is a mess. I don’t know if it can pass the review."
"Don’t worry, I’m here. It’ll be fine," Zeke comforted.
If he wanted to, he could easily make the capital of Oakheart City his own. A few rotten fish and shrimps from the Industrial and Commercial Bureau did not bother him at all.
With no comment, Lacey pouted as she personally welcomed the other party.
As Zeke had nothing to do, he went into the bathroom and smoked.
Halfway through his cigarette, he bumped into a man in a suit.
Zeke recognized him as the leader of the Industrial and Commercial team.
The other party was trying hard at the urinal for a long time but couldn’t seem to squeeze out a drop of urine.
His face flushed from suffocation. He was sweating profusely and groaning in discomfort.
Zeke couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.
You’re suffering from kidney stones, Zeke thought to himself. At this rate, he’ll die from a burst bladder.
Not wanting any casualties in the steel mill, he chose a few long silver needles from the Ammo Needle and walked toward the man.
"Don’t move," Zeke said. "I’ll help you crush the stones."
"Hey, hey, hey." The man in a suit panicked. "What are you doing? Stop it…"
Even famous doctors from around the world couldn’t get rid of his kidney stones. It would be an international joke if this man could cure it with just a few silver needles.
However, Zeke had already taken action before he could finish his sentence.
The silver needles were inserted from his lower back into his bladder.
The man cursed, "What the f**k," but suddenly stopped.
Almost immediately, the sound of rushing water and a comfortable hush sound were heard.
The man clearly noticed countless small fractured stones being excreted along with the urine.
He was so exhilarated that his eyes brimmed with tears.
The problem that had been troubling and causing him pain for five years had finally been solved.
What a miracle!
I’ve met a living god!
The man was so thrilled that he wanted to shake Zeke’s hand, not realizing that he had peed on his hands.
Zeke berated, "Go wash your hands."
The man shot him an awkward smile, taking out a name card. "Nice to meet you, Divine Doctor. Please accept my name card."
"I’m Liam George, the director of the Industrial and Commercial Bureau. If you have something to say, please go ahead."
Zeke didn’t reply but noticed the wolf’s head logo on his wrist.
"You were Blackie’s underling?" Liam’s eyes constricted, his hands shaking.
Who on earth is this man to have the nerve to call him Blackie?
"Yes, I… I was Black Wolf’s subordinate," Liam said.
"And you are…"
Zeke turned around and left without accepting his name card. "The name’s Zeke, Zeke Williams."
Liam couldn’t help but fall on his knees.
Zeke Williams, the legend from the armed forces, the God of War, who led thousands of troops to make a clean sweep of the borders of nine countries…
He’s a living god!
I can’t believe I’ve met a patron saint while I was peeing.
Zeke returned to Lacey’s side, who was looking sad and despondent.
"It’s over. They’ve discovered many problems just now. The steel mill will definitely have to close for reorganization. We’ll be in serious trouble if it affects the Schneider family’s order."
Zeke patted her shoulder gently. "Relax. We won’t."
"You don’t have to console me." Lacey sighed. "I’ve been dealing with them for over five years. I’m well aware of their style of doing things."
At this moment, Liam came out of the washroom.
He gestured to his subordinates, who then hurriedly gathered around him.
He briefly said a few words to them, then led them into the car and departed.
Lacey gaped in surprise. "Why did they leave? That’s unusual."
Then, suddenly remembering something, she scrutinized Zeke from top to bottom. "Aren’t you going to explain anything to me?"
"Explain what?" Zeke asked.
"For example, how did you know that someone had acquired every steel mill in the city, cutting Emily off supplies and that she would beg us for supplies?" Lacey questioned.
"And, how could the dignified Schneider family be interested in our small mill and give us such a large order?"
"Also, you said that the people from the Industrial and Commerce Bureau will not trouble us. And look, they have really left."
"Easy," Zeke said casually.
"I was the one who acquired every steel mill in the city and prevented them from supplying to Emily. As for the Schneider family, it’s just a little something that I’ve set up at Oakheart City. The Schneider family’s property is all mine. And the people from the Industrial and Commerce Bureau? They’re not even a speck of dust in my eyes."
Lacey was mentally exhausted. "Can you do something about your bravado?"
Zeke was dumbstruck.
What happened to trust between people?
Meanwhile, Emily had arrived at Jackson’s office with a stomach full of anger.
After explaining the ins and outs of what exactly happened, Jackson went ballistic.
"You’re a piece of trash, Emily. Do you know that? How could you mess up this simple matter?"
In fact, what happened today had all been planned by Jackson.
He had sent Emily to Lacey’s steel mill to threaten her with her bankruptcy.
That way, Lacey would beg him in return, and then he could threaten her with the marriage contract.
However, he had not expected Emily to play this good card so badly.
Emily felt aggrieved. After all, it wasn’t her fault that the plan fell through. She could only blame the person who had secretly acquired every steel mill in the city and stopped supplying to the Hamilton family.
However, she didn’t dare to express her inner thoughts. "Jackson, I think it’s more appropriate that you take care of this and separate them yourself. Zeke Williams has no right to claim your woman. He’s just a simp."
"Hmph! Williams, that piece of shit," Jackson snorted. "It’s not my turn to strike yet."
"Phoebe, have you done everything you were told to do?"
"Don’t worry, Mr. Hamilton," said his secretary at the side in a coquettish manner.
"I’ve followed your instructions and made Jeremy’s son-in-law the section chief of the Industry and Commerce Bureau." Jackson smiled in satisfaction.
To his knowledge, Lacey’s family was afraid of Jeremy; they obeyed him.
If Jeremy spoke up and forced Lacey to marry him, Lacey would most likely comply.
As such, he had made a deal with Jeremy.
In return of making Jeremy’s son-in-law the section chief of the Industry and Commerce Bureau, Jeremy would force Lacey to get engaged with him tonight.
And if Lacey didn’t agree to it, Jeremy would let his son-in-law seize Lacey’s steel mill.
The plan for tonight was foolproof.
It was the evening when Lacey got a call from Jeremy
Jeremy’s son-in-law had become the section chief of the Industry and Commerce Bureau, and they had invited her and Zeke to a celebration feast.
Upon hearing that, Lacey’s eyes lit up. She quickly accepted the invitation.
Hanging up the phone, she said to Zeke mysteriously, "I finally know why the steel mill wasn’t held accountable by the Industry and Commerce team today."
"Why?" Zeke asked.
"Uncle Jeremy’s son-in-law became the section chief of the Industry and Commerce Bureau. It must be because of him that they didn’t probe deeper today."
Zeke remained silent.
The director of the Industry and Commerce Bureau, Liam George, personally stepped forward today. Why would he do what he did today for a mere section chief?
It’s because he was grateful for my kindness in curing his disease that he let you go today.
"Come on. Let’s go to the celebration feast. I want to thank Uncle Jeremy and his family properly." Lacey said.
Zeke creased his brows. "Your uncle invited me as well?"
Lacey nodded. "Yeah, he insisted for you to attend."
Why would Jeremy take the initiative to invite me when he had disapproved of my marriage with Lacey all this while?
It seems this celebration feast is a trap.
I hope they’re not targeting me this time, Zeke thought to himself. Otherwise, I don’t mind banishing them from this country.
Jeremy had been challenging him many times. Zeke had lost his patience.
As a precautionary measure, Zeke secretly sent a message to Lone Wolf.
Lacey got a phone call from her parents on her way to the party.
"I think we shouldn’t invite Zeke to the party," Daniel said.
"What? Why?" Lacey asked in confusion.
"I mean, look at Jeremy’s son-in-law. He’s a section chief in the Industrial and Commercial Bureau," Daniel sighed. "Zeke is just a small office worker. Frankly, he’s a leech in our family. Our relatives are going to make fun of him."
"But Uncle Jeremy has insisted on Zeke joining us. Won’t he get angry if Zeke doesn’t show up?" Lacey asked.
Daniel paused for a few seconds. "Fine. Let him join us then. We have to listen to Jeremy’s request."
After hanging up on the call, Lacey turned to look at Zeke.
Lacey suddenly didn’t want Zeke to join the party anymore.
If she compared herself to Jeremy’s daughter, Lily Hinton, they were worlds apart.
Lily would definitely show her section chief husband off at the party.
The only reason Jeremy had invited Zeke was to make fun of Lacey.
The thought of it hurt Lacey’s head.
She turned to look at Zeke who was soundly sleeping in the passenger’s seat and sighed, "You sure are useless…"
The two of them arrived at the Royal Hotel not long after that.
One of the luxurious dining rooms was already filled with people.
Not only has Jeremy invited Lacey and her family, but all the other relatives as well.
The party was as huge as a wedding party.
Both Lily and her husband, Skye Hans, were the focus of the party.
All the relatives were busy congratulating Jeremy. Not one of them noticed when Lacey and Zeke came in.
"Skye, you’re amazing. I can’t believe you’re already a section chief at such a young age."
"Lily has surely found herself a great husband. They are such a perfect match!"
"Hans, please take care of my son once he graduates, okay?"
Lily Hinton was proud when her relatives praised her husband, while Skye pretended to be humble.
Lacey let out a breath of relief when she realized that none of her relatives had noticed her.
However, she was relieved too soon, as Lily noticed them. "Lacey! Welcome. So, what does your husband do?"
The moment Lily opened her mouth, everyone shifted their attention towards Lacey and Zeke.
"H-he works at my factory…" Lacey stuttered.
"He works for you? So, he’s basically living off of you?" Lily half joked.
The crowd exploded into laughter, embarrassing Lacey.
"Hey, I’m just joking. Don’t get angry at me, alright?" Lily finally said when the laughter died down. "But, his future is doomed if he continues to work in a factory. Skye, why don’t you give him a job?"
"That’s going to be hard," Skye laughed wryly. "I heard he was an ex-convict?"
"That’s right! How could I forget Zeke has been locked up for five years!" Lily exclaimed.
That statement garnered everyone’s attention.
The could not believe Lacey’s boyfriend used to be a prisoner.
If they compared Lily and Lacey’s partners, they were like heaven and earth.
Even though the relatives said nothing, their stares were enough to kill a person’s soul.
Both Daniel and Hannah drooped their heads to hide their embarrassment.
They wondered what sins they’d committed in their past life for their daughter to find such trash.
Daniel would’ve chased Zeke out if not for the crowd still staring at them.
As for the fact that Zeke had helped him secured his position, Daniel completely forgot about it.
Jeremy, who remained silent the whole time, suddenly spoke. "Talent is not the only reason Hans got his position. He had help as well."
"Help? Doesn’t it take someone high up in the hierarchy to appoint a position such as Hans’?" one of the relatives asked.
"It was Jackson from the Hamilton family," Jeremy said proudly. "From what I know, Skye and Jackson go way back."
The revelation shocked the crowd.
"You mean one of the four big families in the Oakheart City, the Hamilton? Holy cow! Hans sure knows a lot of people!"
"He won’t have to worry about his future if he knows someone like that!"
"I also heard that the Hamilton family has gotten an invitation from the Great Marshal! Hans! Can you ask the Hamiltons if they can secure a guard position at the Grand Ceremony? Heck, even a cleaner position will do!"
The relatives were all satisfied with Skye Hans.
"Also, Jackson Hamilton is interested in Lacey, but she chose that ex-convict instead," Jeremy continued. "Seriously, did her parents not teach you anything? She’s just embarrassing the whole Hinton family!"
The crowd could not believe their ears. Lacey has chosen an ex-prisoner instead of a billionaire.
"This is my private matter! You don’t have the right to tell me what to do!" Lacey cried out.
"Of course I do! I’m your uncle!" Jeremy scolded. "How can you compare that useless piece of shit with Jackson? Does he know anyone in the Industrial and Commercial Bureau? Can he secure a section chief position like Skye? Heck, can he get an invitation to the Grand Ceremony? How do you think others would look at Hans if they learned he has an ex-convict as a relative?"
Lacey’s eyes reddened. She couldn’t believe she had to suffer such embarrassment from her relatives.
Zeke took out a cigarette and lit it up with a smile.
If these people knew who I really am, they would’ve pissed their pants instantly.
There was only one reason the Great Marshal would smoke. It meant that he was furious.
When the Great Marshal got angry, blood will be spilt.
At the same time, Liam George, director of the Industrial and Commercial Bureau, entered the hotel with a party of people for dinner.
They were told that the largest private dining room had already been booked.
Just as Liam was about to head to another place, his assistant, a fat man, suggested, "Sir, why don’t we go and take a look if they’re about to finish? It’s already quite late for us to head to another place."
Liam thought about it and nodded. "Okay, go."
The assistant nodded and ran towards the dining room that Lacey and her relatives were in.
The door swung open as the assistant barged into the room.
"Hey! You lot! Hurry up and leave! I’m taking this room!"
"Who the f**k are you?" Jeremy got out of his chair and scolded.
"Don’t you dare curse at me! I’m from the Industrial and Commercial Bureau! Get lost, or I’ll have all of you arrested!" The assistant laughed.
"The bureau? Do you know who my son-in-law is? He’s your new section chief!" Jeremy challenged.
But, instead of getting scared, the fat man smiled even more hysterically.
He scanned the crowd and finally laid his eyes on Skye.
"I see. So, Mr. Hans is here as well! Is this how you treat the person who promoted you?" The assistant scolded.
After realizing who the fat man was, Skye’s face turned pale.
"M-Mr. Douglas, please calm down," Skye pleaded as he ran towards the assistant and offered a cigarette. "My father-in-law has no idea who you are."
The fat man did not accept the cigarette and instead laughed, "Keep your cigarette. You’re now fired. Get lost!"
In an instant, Skye felt as if his whole world had collapsed. He couldn’t believe he had lost his job just hours after he got it.
"Mr. Douglas! Please spare me! I have nothing to do with this family anymore! We haven’t even signed the papers yet! It’s not official! Just forgive me this one time! I beg you!"
All of Jeremy’s relatives looked as if they had just been punched in the face. They couldn’t believe that Skye Hans, the person they were proud to have in their family, was nothing in front of the fat man.
Hans had to forfeit his relationship with the family to save his position.
"Y-you ungrateful bastard!" Jeremy yelled.
"How dare you turn your back on us?" Lily also scolded. "To hell with being the section chief! How dare you treat us like this?"
Skye turned around and pushed Lily away, so hard that he made Lily fall to the floor.
"Do you really think you’re in the position to talk? Give this room to Mr. Douglas this instant!" Skye roared.
They were a family just a moment ago, yet everything changed in a blink of an eye.
Lily couldn’t hold in her tears any longer.
Jeremy had no choice but to draw his final card.
"Do you know who my niece is promised to? Jackson Hamilton!"
The fat man looked at Jeremy and laughed even louder. "Let me guess, you guys are the Hinton family, right?"
Jeremy nodded. "That’s right! This is Jackson’s fianceé, Lacey Hinton!"
"Indeed, I have to show some respect to the Hamilton family," the fat man said. "But, do you really think Jackson is willing to get on my bad side because of you guys?"
His statement stunned the whole crowd.
Even the Hamilton family could not scare the fat man.
"Still, Lacey Hinton is quite the famous person now," the fat man stated, looking at Lacey. "The news of her rejecting Jackson is really something. So, which one of you is the trash she picked instead?"
Lacey was so embarrassed; she wanted to find a hole to hide in.
Zeke stood up slowly, his eyes filled with murderous intent.
Hannah Lawson quickly pulled Zeke on his shirt, terrified. "Sit back down! Just let him say what he wants."
"Don’t worry about it," Zeke said nonchalantly. "I’ve had it with people making fun of Lacey. It’s time || make an example out of them."
Zeke then took a puff of his cigarette before shoving it down the fat man’s throat. Before the fat man could even realize what was happening, Zeke grabbed him by his neck and lifted him off the floor.
A 300-pound man was easily raised with just one arm of Zeke!
The fat man struggled in pain as he gasped for air.
But no matter how much the fat man squirmed, Zeke’s tight grip held him firmly in place.
The Hinton family could not believe their eyes as Zeke punished the man who dared challenge the Hamilton family.
But they also felt relieved, as this will cause the fat man to shift his attention from the family to Zeke.
The Hinton family thought they might be able to live if they cut off their ties with Zeke.
Lacey was terrified and quickly stopped Zeke. "Hey! Let him go!"
Zeke swung his arm and threw the fat man to the floor.
The fat man quickly tried to cough the cigarette out, but only blood came out.
"You f**ker! Men! Take him down!" the fat man yelled.
Lacey quickly grabbed Zeke’s hand and pulled him towards the window. "You have to run, now! Go as far away from the city as possible until things die down!"
Before they could reach the window, however, Jeremy and a group of their relatives blocked their way.
"Oh, you’re not leaving," Jeremy smiled cruelly. "You have to take responsibility for what you’ve done."
Lacey could only look at the crowd with a pale expression.
"Don’t worry, Lacey. They won’t be able to do anything to me," Zeke insisted.
"You… you…" Lacey didn’t know how to reply him.
Liam George heard the commotion and rushed into the dining room along with everyone else.
The sight of his assistant lying on the floor angered Liam. "Who did this?"
Jeremy quickly pointed at Zeke. "He did this! We don’t know him!"
Realizing things were about to go sideways, Daniel quickly pulled Hannah away from Zeke.
The moment Liam laid his eyes on Zeke, he wished he’d never came to this place. The director of the bureau would rather meet with Satan than the man in front of him.
"Liam George. Is this how you educate your men?" Zeke smiled at Liam. "Kicking people out of their room and insulting them?"
Liam quickly collapsed to the floor and begged, "My apologies, Mr. Williams. I will take all the responsibilities for my subordinate’s action."
The director then turned to the fat man and scolded, "Preston Douglas! You’re f**king fired!"
The fat man could only look at Liam in despair.
Who the f**k is that man? Did he just make Liam George plead for his life?
"Get lost," Zeke ordered Liam. "If I see this happen again, I’ll hang your head for everyone to see."
Liam quickly thanked Zeke before running away with the crowd he came with.
The director was already covered in sweat because he knew Zeke was serious about having his head hanged.
The room was in complete silence as the Hinton family stared at Zeke with their jaws dropped.
The event that had just happened in the last few minutes were unbelievable.
Skye, the pride of the family, was first humiliated by the fat man.
Then, the master of the fat man kneeled to Zeke, the person they looked down on.
Everyone couldn’t help but begin to wonder who Lacey’s boyfriend really was.
Zeke turned to look at Lacey affectionately and asked, "Have you had enough to eat?"
"What? Oh, yeah," Lacey paused before responding.
"Let’s go for a walk then," Zeke suggested.
"Okay." Lacey nodded.
Once they were at the door, Zeke lowered his head to look at Preston, who was still in shock. "These people said they don’t know me. You heard that, right?"
What Zeke meant was that since the family and he weren’t acquainted, Preston was free to do anything he wanted with them.
A smile appeared on the fat man’s face. "I understand. Thank you, Mr. Williams."
The Hinton family was dumbfounded as they watched Zeke and Lacey leave.
As soon as they were out of the dining room, Lacey asked Zeke worriedly. "Zeke, are you really going to leave Jeremy and the others like that?"
"I’ll do whatever you want," Zeke smiled.
Lacey took a deep breath. "Since they are family… Please let them go."
"Okay," Zeke nodded. "But, let them first beg your mom and dad for forgiveness. It’s time they repent for their sins."
"You’re right," Lacey beamed.
And as Zeke has expected, Preston began to threaten Jeremy and his family.
"Well, it’s just a position at the bureau anyway," Preston snorted. "I haven’t introduced myself, right? I’m from one of the four big families, Preston Douglas. If I want to, I can wipe the Hinton family off the earth with a snap of my fingers."
The Hintons could only tremble in fear as they didn’t even have the right to beg for forgiveness from the Douglas family.
Just as the Hinton family was pondering what to do, Jeremy acted.
The eldest brother quickly offered a cigarette to Daniel.
"Daniel, I’m still your brother… You won’t leave me to rot, right? I know I was a d**k to you. Please forgive me for that."
The others began to follow Jeremy’s lead and started pleading towards Daniel and Hannah.
"He’s right, Daniel. You’ve surely found yourself a wonderful future son-in-law! He’s the pride of the Hinton family!"
"The things we spoke of just now… Yeah, that was so disgusting…"
"Skye Hans is no match for your future son-in-law."
"They’re right. Zeke is still young and has quite the temper, but that’s a good thing. Just help us get on his good side."
Both Daniel and Hannah were taken aback.
The couple had been looked down on by their relatives for years.
They had no idea to which of their relatives’ pleads they should listen to first.
When they replied to any one of them, the other party would smile warmly back at them.
The person with the worst fate amongst them was Skye Hans.
A man that used to stand at the highest point in the group.
Skye begged for Lily’s forgiveness, but the lady kicked him aside.
At first, Lily was hoping to use Skye to taunt Lacey.
And yet, not only did Zeke outshine Skye, the latter had even tried to use Jeremy as a shield.
After the party ended, Daniel refused Jeremy’s invitation to drive them back. Instead, he decided to walk back home with Hannah.
On their way back, Hannah started to cry.
"Honey, what’s wrong?" Daniel panicked.
"We have been married for 30 years, and your relatives have bullied me for that long. Zeke had just joined our family a few days ago, and he has already helped me so much… Even an ex-prisoner is better than you!"
"I’m sorry, honey. These past few years must’ve been hard for you…" Daniel apologized.
"Say, do you really think Zeke is a normal person? How can someone scare Liam George that much? Could he be hiding his identity?"
"Honey, I think you should stop reading those novels," Daniel laughed wryly. "Things like that could only appear in fiction. If he really is noble, why did he suffer in the Clemons family for five years? Plus, he couldn’t even pay a dowry of three hundred thousand for the wedding last time."
Hannah thought about it and said, "Then, how do you explain the Liam incident? I also remember something else. Didn’t Zeke sign a billion-dollar deal with the Schneider family? There’s no way the wealthiest family in the city would sign a deal with Lacey’s factory. Could it be that Zeke knows someone in the Schneider family?"
After hearing what Hannah had said, Daniel slapped his own head. "Right! If I’m not wrong, the head of the Schneider family went to prison once. It was around the same time Zeke was there. Maybe they met each other there?"
"That’s most likely the case," Hannah nodded. "Isn’t the Schneider family one of the hosts of the Grand Ceremony? Since Zeke knows the head, can’t he get us a ticket? I mean, if our family can participate in the ceremony, we’ll be reborn! We can outshine the Clemons if we get in!"
"You’re right! Let’s ask Zeke once we get back!" Daniel exclaimed.
"Let’s call Lacey and tell her to bring Zeke home," Hannah proposed.
Lacey and Zeke had been staying at the steel mill the past few days because Lacey’s place was in the same district as the Clemons.
The two families had been close in the past, but ever since Zeke appeared, their relationship broke.
Lacey was preparing a bowl of noodles in the kitchen to repay Zeke for his intervention while he waited in the living room, watching the television.
"It’s good to have a home," Zeke smiled.
The door suddenly opened and in came Daniel and Hannah.
Zeke quickly got up to welcome them.
Hannah nodded, "Please, have a seat."
Hannah’s tone wasn’t as forceful as before, but it wasn’t entirely welcoming either.
It sounded more as if she was talking to a stranger.
As soon as Hannah sat down, she asked, "Zeke, tell me, how do you know Liam?"
"I helped remove his kidney stone once," Zeke explained.
"I see…" Hannah couldn’t hide her disappointment. "And here I thought you could get us some tickets to the Grand Ceremony."
"You guys want in? I can bring you there tomorrow if you want," Zeke said.
"Everyone knows the tickets have all been distributed," Hannah scolded as she rolled her eyes back. "How the heck are you going to do that?"
"My presence will be the exclamation point of the ceremony. I won’t need a ticket."
Hannah chose to ignore Zeke and walked straight into the kitchen. "Lacey, are you really trying to feed someone your food? Give me the pan."
Daniel threw Zeke a pack of cigarettes and walked back into his room, sighing.
A bowl of noodles and a pack of cigarettes. Those things were used to repay Zeke for what he had done for the older couple.
Despite the insignificance of those two things, Zeke was happy with what he got as he chowed down on the noodles.
Lacey tapped away on her phone, shaking her leg. She waited until Zeke finished his food and said, "You don’t mind sleeping on the couch, right?"
Zeke was about to respond but Lacey continued before he could object, "It’s decided then."
Zeke stared at Lacey in silence, wondering if her parents knew just how mischievous their daughter was.
"Lacey, wait up," Zeke called out, stopping the woman in her tracks.
"I’m going to propose to you at the ceremony tomorrow. You better be prepared."
"And the tickets?"
"I don’t have them."
"I see," Lacey laughed.
Zeke couldn’t help but frown. What’s with that laugh?
The man then took out his phone and messaged Lone Wolf. "I’m going to propose to a normal lady at the ceremony tomorrow. Spread the word."
Lone Wolf replied shortly after. Noted. I’ll send someone to pick you tomorrow.
The whole night passed by quietly.
As soon as the sun rose the next day, Lacey was woken up by a commotion outside of their house.
She walked out of her room with her eyes still halfclosed and saw her parents standing by the window glaring outside.
It sounded as if something had gathered in their area.
"Mom, what’s happening?" Lacey asked out of curiosity.
"Lacey! Come! Look! Something huge is going down!" Hannah exclaimed.
Lacey joined her parents at the window. The moment she looked out of it, her jaw dropped.
Outside their apartment were countless expensive cars. There were so many of them; they blocked the entire street.
The most important thing was that these cars all had black plates, meaning they belonged to the army.
Everyone peeked out their windows to catch a glimpse of what was happening.
"Oh my God! Is there anyone alive who can move such a huge army?" Hannah exclaimed.
"I heard that the Great Marshal is going to propose to a normal girl at the ceremony today," Hannah said. "Could it be that these cars are here for that girl? To think that she’s living in the same district as us!"
What? Lacey felt as if she was struck by a lightning and turned to look at Zeke.
I’ll propose to you at the ceremony.
Zeke’s words sounded in Lacey’s head.
The Great Marshal is going to propose to a lady living in the district.
A daring thought appeared in Lacey’s head.
"Zeke, don’t tell me… This is all you?"
"Do you like it?" Zeke smiled.
"I-I don’t know…" Lacey stuttered.
"What are you talking about?" both Hannah and Daniel asked.
"Dad, mom, Zeke told me he’s going to propose to me at the ceremony yesterday…" Lacey explained.
"What?" Daniel and Hannah exclaimed. "Are you saying… that Zeke’s the one who arranged all of these? Doesn’t that mean he’s…"
"Let’s go. We shouldn’t keep them waiting," Zeke smiled as he took them down.
The family went down with Zeke, feeling as if they were dreaming.
None of them could believe that Zeke was the Great Marshal.
When they walked out of the building, they noticed that the crowd had gathered around the Clemons family.
"Oh my God! Emily, since when did you become the marshal’s woman? I can’t believe I’m staying in the same district as the Great Marshal’s fiancé! What an honor!"
"So, the army is here to drive you to the ceremony?"
Emily was the center of attention; she couldn’t hide her smile.
"At first, I was wondering why the Great Marshal would invite a nobody like me to the Grand Ceremony," Emily said. "I’ve never expected that he’d actually want to propose to me at the ceremony."
"Of course the marshal would fall for you! You’re gorgeous!" one of the neighbors complimented.
"He’s right! How did you and the Great Marshal meet?" another neighbor asked.
"You guys know my brother is in the army, don’t you?" Emily said. "I went to visit him a few days ago and bumped into a young soldier there. Now that I think about it, that must have been the marshal. It must have been love at first sight."
The neighbors cheered even harder after that as they showered Emily with compliments.
Lacey and her family were in awe.
What’s happening? Are these cars here for Emily instead of Lacey?
The way Emily described how she came to meet the Great Marshal made sense as well.
It woke the entire Hinton family up.
What followed was disappointment.
They couldn’t believe how naïve they were for thinking that Zeke was the Great Marshal.
There was no way the Great Marshal was an ex-prisoner.
In the end, the Hinton family concluded that Zeke must’ve heard about the Great Marshal preparing to propose in the district they were living in and had used the scenario to trick them.
Hannah turned to stare at Zeke and scolded, "Is it fun to play with our feelings like that? Come on, Lacey, let’s go back in."
Zeke was completely speechless. When did I play with your feelings?
It was then Emily noticed the Hinton family. She smiled coldly.
Emily walked towards Lacey and pulled her back. "Now that I think about it, I have to thank you, Lacey. If you did not take Zeke away from me, I would have never met the Great Marshal."
Lacey’s face reddened and she dropped her head in shame.
Even Emily’s mom, Madeleine, made fun of Hannah as well. "Weren’t you boasting that you found a good future son-in-law? I remember he helped Daniel become the Head of the Department. So what? I’m going to become the director of the hospital when my daughter marries the Great Marshal! The first thing I’m going to do is kick Daniel out of the hospital!"
Hannah was terrified and began to beg Madeleine. "Wait, Madeleine… It was all a misunderstanding."
Zeke, who had remained silent the whole time, suddenly spoke. "You guys are just there as mere servants. What’s there to be proud of?"
Upon hearing that, the neighbors scolded Zeke to gain the Clemons’ favor.
"Zeke, are you jealous that we got an invitation and you didn’t?" Emily snorted. "Well, whatever. I still have to thank you for dumping me. Oh, don’t worry about missing out. I’ll make sure to take some pictures for you to see."
"No, we will take pictures of you working as servants," Zeke smiled.
"Yeah, right. A mere peasant like you at the ceremony? Dream on!" Emily scolded.
"Lacey, come on." Zeke ignored Emily’s remark and turned to Lacey.
The Hinton family quickly ran from the scene.
"Zeke, can’t you just keep your mouth shut?" Hannah scolded once they were far away from the crowd. "We can’t provoke the Clemons any further. Do you want to see my whole family perish?"
"Don’t worry. We shouldn’t be afraid of those mere servants," Zeke asserted before he walked towards the line of black cars. "Come on. We shouldn’t keep them waiting too long."
"Enough with your jokes! They will shoot us on sight if we get close to them!" Hannah snapped at Zeke.
"Honey, why don’t we head to the plaza outside the hall? We should be able to get a good spot if we leave now," Daniel suggested.
"Right. Let’s go," Hannah nodded.
With that, the Hinton family quickly got into their own car.
Zeke stood still, with no idea on what to do.
Without having much of a choice left, Zeke called Lone Wolf. "I’ll head there on my own. You guys head back first."
"Yes, sir!" Lone Wolf replied.
On the other hand, Emily was walking towards one of the most luxurious cars with the neighbors following behind as if they were escorting royalty.
Yet, before Emily could even get close to the car, the line of vehicles left.
Emily’s face reddened as she waved at the cars to signal them to stop.
Not one of the cars stopped.
It was an awkward scene.
"S**t! That useless Zeke wasted our time!" Madeleine cursed. "They told us to get ready by 9, and it’s already 9:10. Come on, Emily, we have to head there on our own now."
"Right. Let’s go," Emily nodded.
Madeleine’s explanation made the neighbors believe that there was indeed a time limit.
"Right! You guys should hurry up!" one of the neighbors cried out. "Remember to take some photos to shut the Hintons up!"
Lacey and her family sped through the traffic and arrived at their destination in an hour.
They stopped in front of the hall where the ceremony was being held.
As soon as they got out of the car, four men in suits surrounded them.
One of the men that looked like their leader walked up to the Hintons and offered them three tickets.
"It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Hinton. Here are your tickets," the man said.
The Hinton family could not believe their ears.
This person is giving us tickets to the ceremony.
They turned their eyes to Zeke and asked, "You were serious about the whole thing?"
Zeke frowned as he did not arrange for the tickets. "No, we don’t need tickets to enter the ceremony."
"Of course it’s not him," a man suddenly laughed.
Everyone turned their heads and wondered who said that.
A young man walked out of a Benz parked not far from them.
The man wore a branded suit, a pair of Giuseppe Zanotti dress shoes, and a Swiss watch.
The person was none other than Jackson Hamilton.
Ever since his men failed to separate Zeke and Lacey twice, he decided to do it on his own.
Lacey’s face darkened as soon as she saw Jackson.
"You got us the tickets?" Hannah quickly asked.
"I heard that your family wanted to join the Grand Ceremony. So, I decided to get you some in the name of the Hamilton family," Jackson nodded.
"Oh my! Thank you so much! This is a dream come true!" Hannah exclaimed.
Daniel was also smiling widely, liking Jackson even more.
Yet, Lacey wasn’t happy with it. "Mom, there’s no way we can accept such an expensive gift."
Because the moment her parents took the ticket, it meant that they were accepting Jackson as their son-in-law.
Lacey did not want to marry such a playboy.
"Are you dumb? Jackson is showing us his gratitude. How can we reject something like this?" Hannah scolded. "Plus, the Clemons are out to get us. As long as we can get into the ceremony, our standings will definitely be higher. By then, the Clemons will have to think twice before they mess with us."
"You don’t have to worry about a thing," Jackson quickly assured. "Emily Clemons is just a mere employee under the Hamilton family. She’ll have to get through me first if she wants to mess with you."
Lacey tried to argue, but Jackson stopped her. "Come on, we should head in. The ceremony is about to start. But… I only have three extra tickets, which means this young man here can’t join us."
Jackson pointed at Zeke as he spoke.
"He’s just an outsider. Let’s just leave him here," Hannah quickly said. "Lacey! Come on! The clock’s ticking!"
"You know what, I think I’m going to stay here. I don’t feel so good," Lacey sighed.
"Are you sure? How about I take you to the hospital?" Jackson offered.
"It’s fine. She can rest here. Come on, let’s go," Hannah quickly stopped Jackson. She knew that there was no way they could change her daughter’s mind.
"I see… I’ll get the best doctor to check up on you once the ceremony is over," Jackson nodded. He knew he would win her hand in marriage as long as he got Lacey’s parents to side with him.
The three of them walked towards the gate as Lacey stared at them with admiration and disappointment
She had always dreamt of participating in the Grand Ceremony and see the Great Marshal in the flesh. Yet, the chance of her doing that slipped away just like that.
Lacey turned to look at Zeke and said, "Come on, let’s head back."
However, Zeke shook his head. "No. We can’t leave yet. In a few seconds, your parents will be denied entry into the ceremony, and they will be in trouble. I have to protect them."
"Seriously, how can you joke with such a serious face?" Lacey laughed wryly. "Whatever. It’s a waste to leave now since we are already here."
Lacey continued to stare at her parents.
On the other side, Jackson sighed at the Hintons. "I think Lacey doesn’t like me that much."
"What? Of course, she likes you. She just doesn’t know it yet," Hannah quickly comforted. "I’ll talk to her once we get back."
"You don’t have to worry about Zeke. That guy has nothing when compared to you," Daniel added. "Zeke is more like a short term fun for Lacey. She’ll change her mind in a few days."
"Thank you." Jackson let out a sigh of relief.
Soon, they arrived at the gate. It was crowded with people who didn’t have tickets but wanted to a part of the excitement nonetheless.
There were also news outlets live streaming the ceremony.
Every person who passed through the gate garnered the attention of everyone there because only VVIPs could get their hands on such tickets.
Hannah and Daniel followed closely behind Jackson as they were showered with stares of admiration.
The gate was tightly guarded with armed security.
After handing the tickets to the guards, Jackson led the old couple in. However, they were stopped.
"Hold it! These are fakes!"
"Impossible! I got them through the official channel! There’s no way they are fakes!" Jackson exclaimed.
"I’m not repeating myself. Leave!" the guard warned.
"Wait? What’s happening?" Lacey, whose eyes never left her parents, panicked. "They can’t get in? Zeke… Did you really guess it right?"
"I wasn’t guessing," Zeke said as he pulled Lacey towards the gate. "Come on, that Jackson brat is going to drag your parents down with him."
Jackson continued to struggle at the gate. "There must be a mistake! Do you think you can shoulder the consequences of wasting my time?"
The guard smiled coldly as he threw the tickets into the trash and snapped his fingers.
A dozen guards surrounded the three people with guns pointing at their heads in an instant.
"Consequences? You’ll have to explain the fake tickets first. Do you know that forging these tickets warrants you a death sentence?"
Reality struck the three of them instantly as they realized they were about to be killed.
"W-wait!" Jackson yelled as he pointed at Daniel and his wife. "I-it’s them! They told me they got their hands on the tickets and asked me to join them! I’m innocent!"
The Hinton couple couldn’t believe their ears as they stared at Jackson angrily. This young man is using us to shield himself.
"Y-you bastard! You tricked us!" Hannah roared.
Lacey witnessed the whole incident and cursed Jackson. She quickly ran to her parents and said, "Wait! I can prove their innocence! The tickets belonged to that man over there!"
"This is their daughter! She’s just covering for them!" Jackson laughed hysterically.
"Funny. It’s their honor to have us here. We don’t need no tickets," Zeke suddenly said.
"What? Are you humiliating the Great Marshal? Apprehend them!" Jackson yelled.
Lacey and her parents turned pale. They couldn’t believe Zeke was still putting up with his act.
But the reaction from the guards shook the whole crowd.
The guard saluted towards Zeke and said, "Mr. Williams, Ms. Hinton. I apologize for the commotion! Please, proceed through the gate."
Zeke turned to look at Daniel and Hannah. "They’re with me as well."
The guard then saluted towards the older couple. "Sir, ma’am, I apologize for the misunderstanding. Please, you may proceed."
The crowd stared at Zeke and the Hintons so hard; their eyeballs almost fell out of their sockets.
Not only did the guard forgive Zeke for his remark, but Zeke and his partners were able to pass through without a single ticket.
All the crowd could think of was Zeke’s identity.
"Come on, let’s go," Zeke smiled.
The Hinton family followed Zeke through the gate, feeling dumbfounded.
The guard then turned to look at Jackson and ordered, "Take him and wait for further instruction."
Jackson could only stare at the guard blankly as he wet his pants.
"W-wait… I’m innocent… You can’t…"
Yet, before Jackson could oppose further, the guard slapped him.
The guard stared at Jackson angrily and scolded the man internally.
Heck! Even if you are innocent, there’s nothing you could do when you have angered the Great Marshal. If he orders you to die, you will have to die.
The Hinton family walked into the luxurious hall. It was filled with people that they’d only seen on TVs and news. It felt as if they were in a dream.
It was then that Lacey realized Zeke was not putting up an act.
"Zeke… S-seriously, what the heck is all this?" Lacey asked in a trembling voice.
Both Daniel and Hannah also laid their eyes on Zeke.
"You’ll know soon," Zeke smiled as he believed the Hinton family should be able to guess his identity once he proposed.
Seeing that Zeke wasn’t going to come clean, Hannah and her husband chose not to question him any further.
All the older couple could feel at that moment was regret, as Zeke was much more reliable than Jackson Hamilton.
They couldn’t believe how stupid they were to try and please Jackson and ignore Zeke instead.
The only question that remained was how Zeke managed to enter the ceremony without a ticket.
Could he be the Great Marshal? But… There’s just no way the Great Marshal was once a convict, right?
"What? Zeke Williams! How the heck did you get in here?" a voice shouted.
The Hintons and Zeke turned. It was Emily and her mother.
"Is there a rule that says we can’t?" Lacey asked.
"Your presence here is a humiliation to the ceremony," Emily snorted.
"Oh, right! I remember that the ceremony was hiring servants! They must’ve got the job," Madeleine recalled.
"I see!" Emily laughed. "It’s normal for a whole family to work as servants."
"I can’t imagine how stupid you must be to not understand the position you’re currently in," Zeke frowned.
"Position my ass! It’s simple. We’re the masters and you’re the servants," Emily chuckled. "Hannah! Go get me some coffee. Milk, no sugar!"
"You know what, Lacey, take my phone," Zeke laughed and gave his phone to Lacey. "Remember to take photos of them serving people and send them to the group chat. We shouldn’t enjoy that view ourselves."
Lacey quickly nodded. Even though she did not believe that the Clemons were at the ceremony as servants, Zeke’s words were a pleasure to hear.
"You! Just you wait! The Great Marshal is going to propose to me later!" Emily roared. "I’ll have your family buried by then!"
Hannah and Daniel could not hide their worries when they heard what Emily had said. Both of them stared at Zeke, warning him not to anger Emily even more.
Suddenly, the light dimmed and the music grew louder in the hall.
"Quiet down!" someone ordered through the microphone.
The noise lessened and the crowd shifted their attention to the stage.
Emily moved her finger through her throat at Lacey and warned, "The Great Marshal is going to propose to me soon! That will be your end!"
Lacey’s face turned pale, but Zeke grabbed her hand to give her comfort.
Lone Wolf appeared on the stage as the host. His tall figure and serious face were enough to scare any crowd.
Lone Wolf scanned the people before he started to address. "To tell you the truth, the Great Marshal never wanted to host the Grand Comeback Ceremony, but your passion has moved him. He decided to honor that tonight. But, as you all know, the Great Marshal doesn’t like to make public appearances… Well, unless you are his enemy. That is why he won’t appear in front of everyone today. But, the Great Marshal still wants to thank all of you for attending this ceremony.
Even though the crowd could not meet the marshal, not a lot of them were disappointed as they had predicted it. Being able to join the ceremony was already more than they could ever ask for.
"The Great Marshal only has one agenda today," Lone Wolf continued. "And that is to propose to his future wife."
"Let us offer our blessings to the Great Marshal and his fiancé!"
As soon as Lone Wolf finished his speech, the crowd exploded into cheers. Everyone was eager to see who the lucky lady was.
An army, armed with swords and dressed in uniforms, walked down the stage and into the crowd. All of them had gifts in their hands.
The gift boxes were all made from pure gold and decorated with pearls and diamonds.
The crowd couldn’t help but wonder what kind of gifts were inside the boxes as the boxes could be considered as gifts themselves.
With Lone Wolf in the lead, the army walked towards Emily and Lacey who they stood together.
Emily’s face was already covered in tears, while Lacey’s face was in despair.
The moment the Great Marshal proposed was the moment the Hinton family perished.
Without giving much thought, Lacey tried to hide. Zeke stopped her immediately. "Don’t move."
Lacey turned and stared at Zeke furiously.
What? Do you want me to suffer embarrassment?
Lone Wolf stopped a meter away from both ladies and saluted.
"Please, accept these gifts from the Great Marshal himself."
Emily looked at the gifts and thought of herself as the happiest woman ever.
"T-thank you…" Emily replied with her shaky voice.
Lone Wolf frowned and stared at Emily. "Who the hell are you? Get lost!"
"W-what?" Emily couldn’t believe her ears.
"Everyone must remain a meter away from the Great Marshal fiancé, except for the Great Marshal himself!" Lone Wolf pushed Emily away.
Emily was completely stunned as she realized the woman the marshal was going to propose to wasn’t her.
A-a meter away?
Emily looked around her. There was only one person standing a metre away from Lone Wolf.
The woman that was being proposed to was Lacey.
That realization turned Emily’s world upside down.
Lacey was completely stunned. She turned to look at Emily and then at Lone Wolf.
Her surprised expression is so cute. Zeke chuckled.
Lacey thought she was dreaming, or to be more precise, she couldn’t accept the truth.
Lone Wolf saluted her again. "Mrs. Marshal, please accept the gifts. One Rolls Royce, one manor, 888 million in cash, and 50 kilos worth of jewels."
Lacey stared at him, speechless.
The crowd couldn’t help but exclaim as each of the gifts was worth millions.
Lacey shivered as she pointed at herself. "You… you mean me?"
"Yes," Lone Wolf nodded.
Lacey could not believe her ears, while Daniel fell to the floor, grasping his chest. The older man was having a heart attack, which wasn’t a huge surprise…
Zeke quickly fed Daniel a miracle pill to help with the heart attack.
Instead of worrying about her husband, Hannah. Just stared at Lacey with tears in her eyes. In just an instant, her family had risen from the ashes to the highest point.
"Lacey! Say yes!" Hannah cried.
Yet, Lacey did not give her reply.
The Great Marshal who could face thousands of armies without changing his expression grew worried.
Lone Wolf and the army were more anxious than Zeke himself.
"Why did the Great Marshal suddenly propose to a stranger like me?" Lacey suddenly asked.
"10 years ago, the Great Marshal was penniless and homeless. It was you who gave him a coat and a jade pendant as a comfort," Lone Wolf explained. "That was how the Great Marshal came to be."
"I see! That was him? I’ve never thought that he would become the Great Marshal!" Lacey exclaimed. "But, please tell the Great Marshal that we aren’t suited to be together…"
Everyone could not believe their ears.
Lacey has just rejected the Great Marshal’s marriage proposal.
"May I know the reason?" Lone Wolf asked.
"The Great Marshal is proposing to me because he feels like he owes me. I’m not looking forward to a marriage without love," Lacey explained. "To be frank, we aren’t living in the same world either. Plus, I already have a husband."
Lacey turned to look at Zeke.
Lone Wolf wanted to say something, but Zeke stopped him with a glare.
"l-I see… Then, we shall respect Ms. Hinton’s decision," Lone Wolf said and signaled the army to retreat. "Honored guests, please, enjoy your meal."
The crowd finally quieted down and sat down respectively.
As Madeleine and Emily quietly sat down, Lone Wolf stared at them and scolded, "What the hell are you two doing? Join the servants! How dare you try to sit with these VIPs?"
Emily and Madeleine could not hide their embarrassment. Zeke was right again.
They stumbled into the corner and joined the other servants.
"Lacey, why did you reject the marshal?" Zeke asked after they were seated.
"I’m just a normal citizen. There’s no way I’m a match for someone as special as the Great Marshal," Lacey explained. "Plus, I don’t think I can get used to such an extravagant life."
Zeke couldn’t help but smile warmly.
Special? Fine. I’ll make you into a special woman first. Not used to an extravagant life? Then I’ll make your business successful first!
The servants began to serve the food. Perhaps it was God’s doing, but both Emily and Madeleine were assigned to the table where the Hintons were seated.
Emily took a huge hit due to the sudden changes in their status.
And now, she still had to serve the Hinton family. It was so embarrassing; Emily even thought of dying.
Hannah wasn’t going to let the chance slip by. She quickly took her phone out and took pictures of the Clemons.
Emily and her mother were furious, but they couldn’t do anything about it.
The ceremony ended in a few hours.
As soon as the Hintons were out of the hall, Hannah scolded Lacey. "Seriously… How can you be so dumb? Are you trying to kill me?"
"It’s not too late to accept the marshal’s proposal," Daniel added. "This is the only chance for our family to shine."
Lacey only nodded silently.
"Don’t worry, I can make you guys successful even without the name of the Great Marshal," Zeke said.
"You? You dare compare yourself to the marshal?" Daniel scolded. "Did you forget you’re working for Lacey? You don’t even have the position to say that.’
"I see! The reason we get to enter the Grand Ceremony was all because of Lacey. You dare to take all the credit?" Hannah scolded Zeke. "I’m warning you. You’ll have to go back to whichever ditch you came from if Lacey decides to marry the marshal! Let’s go!"
The older couple walked to their car as Lacey looked at Zeke with mixed feelings.
The woman could tell that things weren’t as simple as they seemed.
The Hintons and Clemons both arrived back at their district around the same time.
The whole neighborhood was waiting to welcome Emily back to try and get on her good side.
All of them thought that Emily had become the wife of the Great Marshal. As Emily got out of her car, the neighbors quickly surrounded her and cheered.
One of the neighbors who had always hated Hannah cheered the loudest.
"Emily, how did the proposal go? You saw the Great Marshal, right? He must be so dreamy!" the neighbour complimented while sneaking a stare at Hannah. "I told you, you’re the only person who’s gorgeous enough to marry the marshal. I’m right, aren’t I? Luckily some idiot took your ex away from you!"
Emily did not say anything. She ran back home.
"I can’t believe how a person can be so stupid," Hannah smirked. "Take a look at the mirror before you try to suck up to someone else."
"What the hell are you talking about?" the neighbor scolded. "So what if I’m sucking up to the Clemons? It’ll all be worth it! As for you, your end is near!"
"Oh? That’s funny. Let’s see who is going to meet her end soon," Hannah laughed and sent the few pictures she took at the ceremony to the community’s group chat.
Notification tones rang throughout the crowd.
The neighbors retrieved their phones, their eyes widening as the photos had been clearly taken from inside the ceremony. It proved that Hannah and her family had been invited.
Yet, that wasn’t the main point. The pictures showed the Hintons sitting at the VVIP table while the Clemons worked as servants to the Hintons.
There was even a picture where a colonel saluted to Lacey with priceless gifts behind him.
The crowd exploded. Zeke was right about the Clemons being invited to the ceremony as servants!
The woman the Great Marshal had planned to propose to was Lacey.
The neighbors quickly surrounded the Hintons and began to flatter the family as they cursed at the Clemons.
As for the neighbor who hated Hannah, her face turned so pale, that she almost fainted. It took the woman some time to regain her posture before trying to suck up to Hannah like everyone else.
"Hannah, I’m so sorry! My eyes were blind! Please forgive my rudeness! Look at you and your beautiful daughter! I’m so jealous of you! The Clemons are nothing more than mere servants to you."
Hannah went back home with a huge grin on her face. But before she went into her house, she took out a hundred dollar bill and gave it to Zeke. "Go and get us some food. We’re celebrating tonight!"
Hannah then pulled her daughter back home and slammed the door behind Zeke.
Zeke was dumbfounded as Hannah had just asked the Great Marshal to go and prepare food for dinner.
Yet, Zeke had no choice but to do as he was told.
As for Daniel and Hannah, they kept trying to persuade their daughter to rethink her decision.
As soon as Zeke walked out of the district, he got a call from Lone Wolf.
"Marshal, what should we do with Jackson?"
Zeke thought for a moment before giving out his order. "Let him go. I still need to take the Hamilton Group from him and give it to Lacey. It’s time for her to live an extravagant life or else she’s going to reject me again. Another thing, station ten thousand soldiers in Oakheart City. They might come in handy when we want to take the other families down."
"Yes, sir!" Lone Wolf replied.
As soon as Jackson returned to his mansion, he got a visit from Emily.
"What do you want?" Jackson questioned Emily impatiently
"Are you going to let Zeke off the hook?" Emily asked. "I have a plan to bring him down."
"Oh? Tell me."
"Didn’t you know that Lacey got a huge deal with the Schneider family recently? They need to produce a huge amount of metal," Emily explained. "According to my sources, Lacey still owes the supplier a lot of money. If we ask the supplier to stop supplying the mill unless she pays, the factory will shut down in two days. This will affect the Schneiders’ doing their business, which will anger them. Zeke will come running to beg for your help by then."
"Heck, you sure are one scary woman," Jackson exclaimed. "I happen to know the supplier. This will be a piece of cake. But… Wouldn’t the Great Marshal stop us if we try to harm Lacey?"
"You don’t have to worry about that," Emily smiled. "You know that my brother is in the army, right? He called me just now and told me the whole army has learned that Lacey has rejected the Great Marshal; they’re furious. My brother even warned me to stay away from her. Let’s see how the Great Marshal is going to protect her now."
"Shit! That’s why I was released!" Jackson sighed. "T’ll take care of this right away! Zeke and Lacey, both of you are so dead!"
Zeke was woken up by a loud voice early morning the next day.
"Listen! Someone has just sent ten thousand soldiers into our city!" Daniel exclaimed.
"Something big might go down soon!" Hannah guessed. "Why else would anyone deploy that many soldiers during such a peaceful time."
Zeke stared at Lacey affectionately. They’re here for you.
Lacey’s phone suddenly rang. After she’d answered it, her face turned pale.
"Lacey? What’s wrong?" Zeke quickly asked.
"Something happened at the factory!" Lacey replied before she left in a hurry.
Zeke frowned and called the richest man in all of Oakheart City, Evan Schneider.
"Find out what’s happening with Lacey’s factory."
Zeke could not believe that he would be able to use the soldiers so soon.
As soon as the call hung up, Evan ordered his men to investigate the matter.
Evan Schneider was the richest man in all of Oakheart City, a person who had an influence in every corner of the city.
Evan called Zeke back in just five minutes.
"The supplier stopped supplying products to the factory because they haven’t been paid yet. If no one helps Lacey now, the factory might go bankrupt. Initial report suggests that Jackson is behind it," Evan reported.
Zeke couldn’t help but laugh.
I didn’t even have to do anything for them to make their move. Good, I’ll use this chance to take the Hamilton family down.
"Stay put and await further instruction," Zeke ordered Evan.
Lacey stared at the dozen of legal documents in front of her at the steel mill.
The contents of the documents were mostly ordering her to pay the supplier or they would bring the matter to court.
However, most of the steel mill’s capital had been spent on the deal with the Schneider family. There was no way they could pay the supplier without many choices left, Lacey could only go and negotiate with the supplier.
The atmosphere in the meeting room was heavy.
All the suppliers of the steel mill had gathered together.
Smoke from cigarettes filled the room, causing Lacey to cough violently.
"I don’t get it. Why do you want to cancel the contract?" Lacey asked.
"Because you have offended someone you shouldn’t," Darren Collins, the representative of the suppliers, laughed. "That said person is forcing us to do this. Please understand."
"Offended someone?" Lacey frowned. "Jackson Hamilton? It must be him. Does that bastard want me dead?"
"Let’s cut to the chase," Darren smiled. "Either you go and beg Mr. Hamilton for forgives, or pay us now."
There was no way Lacey was going to beg Jackson. "Please, give me some time. You must’ve heard that we just got a deal with the Schneider family. As soon as we complete the contract with them, our factory’s production rate will definitely skyrocket. By then, I’ll buy the supplies from you at twice the price. This will benefit both of us."
"As I said, cut the crap. You better pay us now." Darren ignored Lacey’s suggestion.
"Fine! I’ll go get a loan from the bank to pay you!" Lacey scolded. "But you better not regret your decision!"
"Regret my ass! Go get me my money!" Darren scoffed.
Lacey left the meeting room completely frustrated and was ready to head to the bank. She called her mother for her bank card on her way there.
The family had a million left from the deposit the Schneider family had paid them. It was kept in Hannah’s bank account.
Lacey needed the money for the emergency.
Hannah panicked after she got Lacey’s call. The older woman quickly grabbed her card and left for the bank.
"Do you still have the card I gave you?" Zeke asked.
When Lacey had gotten the five million from the Schneider family, Hannah wanted to deposit the money herself. Zeke had given her his Bauhinia Royal card so she could skip the line.
"What’s the point? Can it help us get the loan?" Hannah scolded.
"It might come in handy," Zeke explained.
"Fine!" Hannah sighed.
Both of them arrived at the bank not long after.
Zeke was surprised to see Lily Hinton at the bank as well.
Lacey was begging Lily to help her. The latter didn’t budge despite Lacey’s pleas.
"Sh*t!" Hannah cursed. "Lily is the lobby manager here. There’s no way she’s going to help Lacey, especially after what happened at the party."
"Don’t worry, we don’t need the loan," Zeke comforted. "The card I gave you should be enough to help Lacey."
Hannah turned to glare at Zeke angrily. There was no way she would believe him, as she still thought of Zeke as someone who couldn’t even give three hundred thousand as a wedding gift.
Lily raised her head even higher when she saw Hannah and Zeke.
"Oh my, why is my aunt here as well? Isn’t your son-in-law someone who can scare the director of the bureau? He should be able to help you!" Lily mocked. After what had happened at the hotel, Lily investigated Zeke and learned that he’d help cure the director.
There was no reason for Lily to be afraid of Zeke.
"What? Him? He’s no one," Hannah laughed awkwardly. "Plus, he’s not my son-in-law yet. Even if he is, we are a family, which makes us closer, doesn’t it?"
Lily looked at Zeke hysterically before turning back to address Hannah. "Well, since Aunt Hannah is begging me, I guess I have no choice but to help. I can lend you a five million loan first, but the interest you will have to give me is thirty percent."
Lacey frowned instantly. Lending money from a loan shark would be better than having to pay a thirty percent interest!
"Please, Lily, thirty percent is too much. Can’t you lower it a little? Just think of it as me owing you a favor…" Lacey begged.
"And why should I do that?" Lily snorted. "My ex lost his job because of you! Thirty percent!"
Lacey’s face turned pale. "B-but… Fine… Thirty percent…"
Before Lacey could agree to it, Zeke scolded, "Isn’t it your job to help us apply for our loan? How dare you ask for a thirty percent interest to yourself? You’re an insult to the banking industry! Call your manager out! I want to have a talk with him!"
Zeke’s voice was loud enough to attract everyone’s attention.
"B-bullshit! Since when did I ask for that?" Lily refuted as her face turned pale. "How dare you frame me! According to the rules, I won’t be approving the loan!"
Lacey and Hannah were speechless. They couldn’t believe Zeke had suddenly butted in once they were about to close a deal.
"Zeke! What the hell are you doing?" Lacey cried.
Even Hannah tried to push Zeke, but he remained unmoved.
"You bastard! Are you trying to bankrupt my daughter?" Hannah yelled.
"Forget about the loan," Zeke said. "Take the purple card I gave you. There should be enough money in there to help Lacey."
"Like you have any money!" Hannah roared. "You don’t even have a few hundred thousand!"
"Mom’s right! We need five million!" Lacey cried out angrily. "Your money won’t be enough!"
Lacey also believed that Zeke wouldn’t have more than three hundred thousand in his account.
"Just give her the card," Zeke repeated.
Hannah thought of begging Lily, but the latter just snatched the card away.
"Let’s see how much this poor ass have! I hope you have enough to help Lacey!" Lily laughed. "If not, you better get down on all fours and beg me for my help!"
Lily then walked to one of the counters and ordered the banker, "Withdraw all the money out from this."
Hannah turned to stare at Zeke furiously. "You better do anything Lily asks of you later! If Lacey really goes bankrupt because of you, you’re dead!"
But Zeke only smiled at Lacey, "Is one hundred million enough?"
Zeke’s words made everyone laugh. Not one of them had seen such a person who could boast as Zeke did.
Lacey was speechless. Instead of replying Zeke, she walked towards the counter.
The banker swiftly processed the card. The moment the numbers appeared on the screen, her face turned absolutely pale.
One, two, three, four… There are eight zeroes here! There is actually a hundred million in this account!
The banker was completely petrified.
"What are you spacing out for? Take the money out!" Lily ordered.
"S-sir… how much do you want to withdraw?" the banker asked Zeke.
"Just withdraw all of it!" Lily scolded.
"But… our bank doesn’t have enough cash lying around," the banker stuttered.
The bank they were at was a sub-branch, which meant that they only had the power to move around ten million a day.
"Not enough?" Lily couldn’t believe her ears. "Are you kidding me?"
The banker turned the screen around and showed Lily, "There’s a hundred million in this account!"
Lily jumped the moment she saw the screen.
A-A hundred million… Where did he get the money?
The hall was suddenly hushed into silence. Everyone looked at Zeke in shock.
One hundred million. Turns out this unassuming young man’s a billionaire.
Thinking of the way they had ridiculed him just a while ago, the crowd felt embarrassed.
Hannah Lawson and Lacey exchanged glances. Their eyes spoke volumes too complicated to express in words.
Zeke was indifferent as he said, "Please get the cash for me, thank you. I’m in a hurry."
Lily quickly recovered from the shock and asked, "Lacey, Zeke, you need five million, right?"
"I’ll just get five million for you first."
Zeke replied, "As you said earlier, get us the whole sum."
Lily turned beet red.
Firstly, the cash available in the bank was way below one hundred million.
Even if there was enough, they could not let him withdraw the whole sum.
That would seriously affect the performance of this particular branch and could even affect the stock exchange of the head office.
As the junior manager in this branch, she was in no position to shoulder such a huge responsibility.
She smiled bitterly, "Zeke, Lacey, I beg you. Please do not make things difficult for me. You cannot use so much cash even if you can take it now. Besides, it would be a problem to keep that much cash on hand."
Zeke sneered, "I can take all of it and set it on fire fun. How is that of any concern to you?"
Burn a hundred million in cash… he must be joking!
Lily pleaded with them desperately but Zeke remained indifferent.
Feeling helpless, she called the general manager for help.
When the general manager arrived, he, too, tried to pacify Zeke.
"Mr. Williams, we’ve neglected you before. That was our fault, so I will surely grant you an appropriate redress. I can’t call the shots for a withdrawal of such a huge amount, so why don’t we head up to the VIP room and talk about it?"
Zeke sneered, "Talk? You’re not in any position to talk to me. This card Rogers gave me, is it really that hard to withdraw 100 million from it?"
Rogers? The boss of International Financial Bank?
The General Manager suddenly remembered something and hurriedly asked the teller, "Where’s Mr. Williams’ bank card? Let me see it."
The teller quickly showed the purple bank card to the general manager.
After one glance, the General Manager’s mind was blown away.
It was the Bauhinia Royal Card!
It was limited to only 99 copies worldwide.
Each one was in the hands of princes and nobles.
Even the richest man in China wasn’t eligible for it.
The person in front of him wasn’t just wealthy. He must hold a very unique and highly respected position to be able to obtain this card.
Heavens! How did my little branch offend such a great god!
The General Manager did not dare sprout nonsense and said quickly, "Mr. Williams, please wait a moment. I will arrange the withdrawal for you now."
With that, he entered an office nearby and dialed the number of the boss at the head office.
"Boss, send over a hundred million in cash immediately."
"There’s no room for negotiation… to be precise, we’re in no position to talk to this customer."
"The reason is that this man holds the Bauhinia Royal Card… if we offend him, we might as well forget about establishing a bank."
After hanging up, he took a few deep breaths to collect himself before heading out.
As he approached Zeke, he bowed respectfully. "I’m sorry for the long wait, Mr. Williams. The cash is being sent over as we speak."
Zeke nodded his head coldly before he cast a glance at Lily, who was standing nearby.
The general manager understood the meaning behind his gaze at once. He commanded, "Lily, please get out. Our bank does not need staff like you. From now on, you will blacklisted. You will not be allowed to work in any financial institution."
Lily Hinton was shocked.
Even if Zeke had a hundred million, that was no reason for the general manager to cut her off from the entire banking industry.
Could it be that this guy isn’t just rich? Does he hold some special position?
However… how can that be possible? He’s just a piece of trash who’s been incarcerated before, a useless son-in-law.
Lily approached Lacey and begged her pitifully, "Lacey, I’m sorry. I apologize to you. We’re family. You can’t do this to me! Please give me another chance…"
Lacey felt sympathetic towards her and was about to agree when Zeke sneered, "It’s strange. Just moments ago, you forgot I was family when I was ordered you to kneel. Lacey, let’s go to the VIP room and wait."
With that, Zeke took Lacey and Hannah away.
Lily Hinton stumbled out of the bank, feeling lost and confused.
She turned around to take another look at the building. The longing in her eyes turned into vicious cruelty.
"Damn, why are you always ahead of me in everything! I will not accept this willingly. That one hundred million belongs to my whole family. You shall not take it for yourself."
A hideous smile appeared at the corners of her mouth as an evil plan began to form in her mind.
In the VIP room, both Hannah and Lacey looked at Zeke, trying to read him.
Zeke felt uncomfortable under this type of scrutiny. "Lacey, do you have something to ask me?"
Lacey nodded. There were so many questions she wanted to ask.
However, before she could open her mouth, Hannah spoke first, "Zeke, come on, have a sip of tea."
"Aunt… I mean, mom wants to ask you, where did this one hundred million come from?"
Zeke replied, "The Schneider family gave it to me."
Despite the Bauhinia Royal Card itself having an overdraft limit of one hundred million, Evan Schneider had still insisted on giving him a spending allowance of that amount.
As far as Zeke was concerned, one hundred million was just pocket money. He was free to spend it on anything he wanted.
Lacey slapped her forehead as she came to a sudden realization. "The Schneider family paid the full payment for their order in advance."
Zeke neither agreed nor disagreed with her statement.
This one hundred million has nothing to do with that order… it’s for me to personally spend on…
He was about to explain when Hannah smiled bitterly, "I suspected you were some low-key anonymous rich man. I was really confused."
Zeke was silent.
You aren’t confused. Your suspicions are correct!
Lacey looked at Zeke questioningly, "This money is really the money the Schneider family gave me? We have no deals with the Schneider family. Why would they care for us so well?"
Hannah Lawson suddenly remembered something and hurriedly said, "Lacey, I recall there was a rumour that the Schneider family’s also under the Great Marshal’s control. The Great Marshal is surely still in love with you and has instructed the Schneider family to take special care of you. If that’s true, then it isn’t surprising that the Schneider family would pay in advance for the order."
Lacey nodded her head thoughtfully, though she was not totally convinced.
It was not long before the one hundred million in cash was delivered.
Three fully loaded armed escort vehicles were required.
Hannah Lawson had mentally prepared herself, but at the sight of so much cash, her breathing quickened. She was shaken.
These were fortunes ordinary people could not hope to earn in a few lifetimes. Yet, it now all belonged to the Hinton family.
Due to the huge amount of money, the bank had personally sent escorts to transport the cash.
On the way back to the factory, Hannah was sobbing.
"Success, after working hard all of my life, finally, success is here…"
Zeke said nothing, feeling helpless.
It’s nothing more than my pocket money. You’re overreacting.
If I had shown you my true wealth, you would have died of shock.
I guess not revealing my true identity from the start was the right thing to do.
In the steel mill, the suppliers headed by Darren Collins were starting to be impatient after waiting for so long.
Upon seeing Lacey, everybody surged forward and surrounded her.
"Ma’am, I think you might as well give up. How can you get a few million in cash, just like that? It’s no small feat! I advise you to hurry up and look for Mr. Hamilton. Bow and apologize to him for your mistake. That’ll save us a lot of trouble."
Before Lacey could speak, Zeke stood in front of her. "I’ll give you one last chance. If you’re still stubborn now, we won’t relent when you beg us later."
"Pfft!" The suppliers couldn’t help but laugh, "Do you have a bigger head than others or a thicker neck? Beg you? Why should we beg you?"
Upon hearing these words, Zeke made a gesture with his hands.
Three fully loaded armed escort vehicles drove into the factory. The escorts opened the back doors of the vehicles when they came to a stop.
Oh my goodness!
The sound of shocked exclamations filled the air.
Colorful currency notes are filled in all three vehicles!
That… That has to be at least one hundred million!
Lacey’s factory was only worth one million at most. Where did this one hundred million come from?
They seemed to have lost a big client.
Remembering Jackson Hamilton’s promise, they suppressed their feelings of regret.
Darren put on a fake smile, "Ma’am, I’ve underestimated you before. Nevertheless, do not think you can compete with the Hamilton family with this mere one hundred million. Boys, let’s take the money and leave."
Zeke stopped them. "Stay right where you are. You can take the money, but only after we’re clear about the contracts."
With that, Zeke took out a few contracts from the car and handed them to Darren.
"The supply contract clearly states that you will provide us with one million tons of raw material before tomorrow."
"If you cannot deliver it on time, you will pay damages for breaking the contract or mortgage your factory to us.
Darren laughed scornfully, "Haha! With a few sheets of paper, you believe you can threaten us? Don’t even think about it."
"Even if you kneel and beg, we won’t supply anything to you. You will delay the Schneider family project… then you can sit it out in prison."
As he spoke, Darren stretched out his hand to snatch the money.
Zeke suddenly shot out a leg, sending him flying with a single kick.
His foot landed heavily on Darren’s tummy.
His 120 kg body flew straight up like a kite with a broken string. He hit the wall and fell to the ground.
Darren spat out a mouthful of blood. He clutched his chest, screaming, "My rib… My rib’s broken…"
Everyone in the crowd began to panic.
Lunatic, this man must be a lunatic. He just assaulted a man over one simple disagreement!
Furthermore, with just one kick, Darren Collins who weighed 120 kg was sent flying, landing with broken ribs.
How could this guy be so powerful? … Could a human exert so much strength?
The group of suppliers were shocked. They dared not say a word.
Zeke threatened, "Remember, deliver the one million tons of raw material tomorrow or pay the compensation for the damages. If you cannot pay for damages, your factories will be mortgaged to us."
Darren Collins endured his pain, shouting angrily, "Zeke, you’ll pay for this, you’re going to die! Just you wait! I’ll send someone after you tonight!"
Zeke just ignored him. Taking Lacey’s hand, he said, "Lacey, let’s go."
Once they were at a distance, the group of suppliers gathered around Darren.
"Collins, you’re okay, aren’t you?"
Darren Collins gritted his teeth. "I’m contacting my henchmen this instant. I want that bastard dead."
Lacey returned to her own office and slammed the door shut with a bang.
She rebuked him, "Zeke, you were reckless just now! Everyone knows Darren’s involved with triads. If gangsters really show up, there’ll be trouble."
Zeke simply smiled.
| control the national machine of power, the army.
In the face of the state’s machine of power, the gangsters stand no chance.
"Do not worry. He’s an insignificant character. He cannot do much."
"An insignificant character?" Lacey rubbed her temples as if she were having a headache. "Who’s given you such blind courage? You don’t seem to care about triads. These few days, you’ve got to be on the lookout. Furthermore, you’ve really offended the suppliers this time. They surely won’t deliver any supplies to us now. Without the raw materials, how will we fill the Schneider family’s order? Oh, troubles never come singly."
Zeke took a slow sip of tea. "Perhaps, they’ll mortgage their factories to us tomorrow."
Lacey rolled her eyes, "You’re daydreaming. They’ll only mortgage their factories to us if their brains turn to mush."
She ignored Zeke and took out her mobile phone, trying to contact new suppliers.
Darren Collins was sent to an emergency ward.
Two of his ribs had been fractured. There were numerous bruises all over his body.
Throughout the ordeal, he screamed nonstop, like a pig being slaughtered.
It was really too painful to bear.
This only made him more furious.
As soon as the surgery was done, he dialled a number.
"The Fearsome Foursome? I want two people dead. It’s better if you manage to make it look like a car accident. There’ll be less trouble."
At the other end of the line, four brawny men with bulging muscles replied, "Understood!"
After hanging up the phone, the leader, a brawny tattooed man, stretched himself. "Brothers, cheer up and get to work."
After some time of searching, Lacey was still unable to find other suppliers.
It must be Jackson up to his tricks again.
She was at the end of her wits, sighing and feeling resigned.
If the Schneider family’s order can’t be met, my small little factory will be in serious trouble if the client seeks recompense.
Zeke comforted her. "Lacey, don’t worry. We shall cross our bridges when we come to them. Let’s go home for lunch."
Lacey smiled sadly, gazing at Zeke. "I envy you."
"Why would you say so?"
Lacey replied, "You’re so unemotional. You live a carefree life. At a time like this, you can still think about food."
Zeke was speechless.
As he drove, Lacey sat by his side, still trying to reach other suppliers on her phone.
As they were crossing a long narrow bridge, Zeke frowned.
He sensed something dangerous approaching.
After ten years of military service, he was very sensitive to danger and could instinctively make predictions in advance.
He looked ahead and then behind through the rearview mirror. He could almost know exactly what was going on.
In front, a big truck was slowing down.
At the back, there was another huge truck that was deliberately accelerating.
Their car was in between. If these two trucks collided, their car would be destroyed. They would lose their lives.
It was impossible to overtake the truck in front from the side because the bridge was too narrow and the space beside the truck was not wide enough for a car to pass.
It did not take a bright person to guess that Darren Collins was responsible for this arrangement.
Zeke sensed that the danger of death was close.
Lacey’s life is at risk.
If he made a slight mistake, death would result.
Zeke grabbed a cigarette and was about to light it but Lacey snatched it away, "Don’t smoke. It’s bad for your health."
Zeke smiled, "Did you know that in this whole wide world, you’re the only one who dares snatch my cigarette away? However, We allow it."
Lacey chuckled, "Yeah, you refer to yourself as ‘We,’ Your Majesty."
"Lacey, fasten your seat belt properly."
Surprised, Lacey asked, "Why?"
"We’re in danger.
In an instant, Lacey anxiously fastened her belt and instinctively looked right and left. "There’s nothing wrong."
Zeke smiled. "As long as I’m with you, no danger is too dangerous to you."
With that, he turned the steering wheel to the left sharply.
The car went headed to the pier.
The instant the car hit the pier, Zeke turned the steering wheel straight. Both the left wheels of the car were left hanging above the pier.
The car was tilting at an angle of 60 degrees!
"Ahh!" Lacey yelled in fear, "Zeke, what the hell are you doing?!"
"Overtaking!" Zeke answered as he stepped on the accelerator at the same time.
The driver of the truck in front was stupefied. "Damn, how did he do that?!"
Immediately, the driver steered left, trying to force the car against the pier.
Nonetheless, his reaction was slow by half a second. Zeke had made it past him in three seconds.
"Are you crazy?" Lacey was still in shock, "Aren’t you afraid of going into the river?"
Under the bridge was a 30-metre deep river.
Zeke slowed the car down and stopped. "Lacey, you carry on, drive home. I have to finish dealing with the two trucks behind us."
Lacey quickly turned around. Only then did she understand what had just happened. She turned pale.
"Just… just now, those two trucks were trying to squash us? Were they sent by Darren Collins?"
Zeke nodded his head.
Lacey trembled out of fear. "I already told you not to offend Darren Collins. Look what happens when you don’t listen to me."
"Look, Darren Collins is using triads against us now. Let’s go, quickly."
Zeke patted her shoulder. "You go ahead. I must stay to take care of things."
Lacey was firm with her decision. "No, we have to go together."
Zeke sighed, "They are desperadoes. They won’t stop until they catch up with us. You won’t want to trouble your parents. You go back and get help while I deal with them. If I can’t handle them, I will find a way to escape. This is the safest plan of action now. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine."
Lacey was still reluctant after hearing his words.
Finally, under threat and bribery, Lacey reluctantly left.
"Please remember, take care of yourself no matter what. If anything bad happens to you, I will not go on living."
Silly woman, you underestimate your hubby.
He got out his mobile phone and dialled Lone Wolf’s number. "Lone Wolf, bring a team over here. Today, we will destroy a gang."
The two large trucks slowed down and stopped next to Zeke.
With murder in their eyes, the Fearsome Foursome got off the trucks holding steel pipes and walked towards Zeke.
Donkey Kong was slapping the steel pipe against his palm as he laughed hideously, "You, punk, you’re a lucky one. You escaped from our first attempt. This time, however, you won’t be so lucky."
Zeke was calm and collected. With well-practiced dexterity, he put on a pair of white gloves as he asked, "Darren Collins sent you guys, didn’t he?"
Donkey Kong replied, "A corpse does not need to know much. Boys, save the sweet talk, go get him."
Waving their steel pipes, the Fearsome Foursome moved like a gust of strong wind, straight towards Williams.
At the same time, Zeke moved too.
It seemed like a casual move when he raised his right hand, firmly grasping Donkey Kong’s steel pipe. He pulled it off with ease.
The steel pipe was soon in his possession.
Donkey Kong was dumbfounded.
Just moments ago, he had felt a powerful force on the steel pipe. Resistance yielded no effect.
It felt as if… the pipe had been fed to a machine.
How could a human’s strength be as powerful as a machine?
Before he could recover from the shock, he felt something cold hit his tummy. Warm liquid flowed out.
He looked down… his eyes nearly popped out of their sockets!
The steel pipe had pierced right through his stomach!
For an instant, he felt no pain. There was only pure, undiluted horror.
He quickly realized he had come upon a real obstacle.
Zeke had not finished yet. The steel pipe was then aimed at Easy Kong!
Following the dull sound of tearing, Easy Kong’s tummy was pierced through.
Then it was Sunny Kong and Sexy Kong…
The whole attack and counter-attack took less than five seconds.
At that moment, the Fearsome Foursome had been pierced through by the same steel pipe like skewered mutton!
The steel pipe crushed the spine of Sexy Kong, causing him to die on the spot.
The other three stared at Zeke in fear and horror.
This man in front of us has to be a demon!
No, not even a demon could be so vicious!
F***, what type of enemy did Darren Collins send us to finish off!
Zeke squatted down and said with a sheer, "As a family, you must be skewered up together neatly one by one."
The living members of the Fearsome Foursome were speechless.
Zeke demanded, "Tell me, who sent you?"
The three of them groaned in pain, unable to reply him.
Zeke picked up another steel pipe and pierced them again. "Spit it out, who sent you here!"
The three men remaining from the Fearsome Foursome broke down. "Darren Collins, it’s Darren Collins who sent us."
Zeke nodded his head, satisfied with their confession
"Remember this. If anything happens in the future, come after me and me alone. I’ll kill the whole family of whoever dares touch my wife! Otherwise, even if you become ghosts, I’ll come for you like a Ghost Buster."
He then picked up another steel pipe and aimed it at their hearts.
The setting sun was sinking in the west.
A pool of blood was sparkling in its fading light, contrasting with the sky fascinatingly
Five military trucks slowed down and stopped beside Zeke.
Heavily armed soldiers in camouflage got out of the vehicles and surrounded the scene.
The four dead bodies lay on the ground skewered together, bloody and terrifying. It would be too cruel a sight for normal humans, but the scene had no effect on the group of trained army personnel.
Lone Wolf strode all the way to face Zeke and gave him a military salute.
"Great Marshal, I apologize for arriving late. I’m sorry you had to get the job done yourself."
Williams nodded and took off his blood-stained white gloves. "Take them and follow me to visit someone."
"Yes, sir!" Lone Wolf replied.
It was night time; everywhere was dark.
Darren Collins’ office, however, was brightly lit.
After the surgery was done at the hospital and he was bandaged, Darren had returned to his own factory.
Owners of the factories that supplied raw material to Lacey’s steel mill were all gathered there as well.
Someone asked quietly, "Sir, are you certain you’ve solved that little problem?"
Darren sneered in reply, "I’ve asked the Fearsome Foursome to personally deal with the matter. There’s no doubt this guy would meet Hades in the Underworld soon!"
When they heard the name ‘The Fearsome Foursome’, everyone present let out sighs of relief.
The Fearsome Foursome were well-known in the world of crime and gangsters in Oakheart City. In terms of combat effectiveness, they were among the top ten.
If the four attacked together, there was no way Zeke could escape death.
Right when everyone felt greatly relieved and complacent, there was a knock on the door.
Darren shouted impatiently, "Who’s that?"
"It’s me!" Zeke’ cold clear voice rang through the door.
Darren frowned, "Damn, this fella hasn’t died yet… or is this his ghost seeking revenge?"
The door was suddenly kicked open.
In the darkness of the night, Zeke walked slowly into the office. He took a seat on a chair he found.
"Damn it," Darren Collins uttered between gritted teeth.
The Fearsome Foursome failed!
The crowd looked at one another, bitter with disappointment.
They had seriously underestimated Zeke.
"What are you here for?" Darren Collins demanded.
Zeke replied, "To collect my debt!"
"What debt?" Darren Collins asked.
Darren replied with disdain, "You head back first. I will send the liquidated damages over tomorrow."
The most urgent action at the moment was to get rid of Zeke. Only then could he contact The Fearsome Foursome and find out what happened.
Zeke sneered, "Even if you’re given a year, you wouldn’t be able to pay for these liquidated damages."
As he spoke, Zeke snapped his fingers. "Come in."
The sounds of hurried footsteps came from outside the office.
A figure entered.
When the crowd were able to make out the face of the figure, they were gawking.
It’s the richest man in Oakheart City, Evan Schneider!
My goodness, why would Evan Schneider come to a humble little place like this?
Furthermore… he was invited here by Zeke.
Zeke was just a salesperson in a small factory. How did he know someone like Evan Schneider?
Just how mysterious is Zeke’ background?
Darren reacted quickly. He went forward to greet the visitor. "We’re honoured by your visit. You bring glory to our humble premises. Mr. Schneider, please take a seat."
Evan waved his hand impatiently. "It’s not necessary. I’m only here to talk with you about the agreement."
"Agreement?" Darren Collins and the others were puzzled. They did not have any business dealings with Evan Schneider.
To be precise, they did not qualify to have any business dealings with him.
Evan Schneider took out more than ten agreements from his attaché case and threw them on the table.
Darren and the rest looked and felt as if they were suffocating.
These were the raw material supply contracts they had signed with more than a dozen steel mills in Oakheart City!
How did these agreements end up in Evan Schneider’s hands?
Darren suddenly realized something. In a trembling voice, he asked, "So, the mysterious buyer who bought all the steel mills in Oakheart City was you?"
Evan shook his head. "No, it was Mr. Williams. I’m only working for him."
The crowd was shocked.
Evan Schneider? Working for Zeke!
Ridiculous! This’s absolutely ridiculous! This can’t be true!
Evan Schneider continued, "The contract stipulates that you will provide these steel mills with no less than 10 million tons of raw materials before tomorrow."
"If the content of the contract can’t be fulfilled, please pay ten times the liquidated damages. It’s approximately one billion."
That piece of information was like an explosion that sent everyone’s mind abuzz.
Even if everyone in the crowd were sold off as slaves, they would not arrive at such an amount!
These agreements had been a trap.
Zeke had set these traps up!
It had turned out that right from the very beginning of this competition, they had already lost.
Evan Schneider stole a glance at Zeke.
Zeke responded by nodding his head.
After rebuking Darren, Evan Schneider left promptly, as if he had just been relieved of great responsibility.
Evan knew that after this, the office would turn into a deadly struggle between life and death.
He didn’t have the heart to witness it.
Darren spoke through gritted teeth, "Williams, I really underestimated you."
"Nevertheless, do you think you’ve got me cornered? Haha! How ridiculous!"
Zeke shrugged his shoulders. "How are you going to get out of this? Do enlighten me."
Darren smiled cruelly. "Murder, get rid of the evidence and destroy the agreements."
When Evan Schneider left, he did not take the contracts with him.
Zeke replied, "Let’s wait and see."
Darren rushed outdoors and called, "Come in!"
However, nothing happened.
Darren Collins called again, "Security, get in here!"
However, the order remained unanswered.
Darren Collins’ hands started trembling, "You… what have you done?"
"Only what should be done. You’re looking for the Fearsome Foursome? I’ll let you say goodbye to them."
Zeke then called out through the door, "Come in!"
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
The sound of uniform footsteps came from all directions.
They even shook the ground and it trembled slightly.
Darren and the others turned pale as they hurriedly looked outside.
One look was enough to scare them to the point of a mental breakdown.
A heavily armed troop, at that!
Judging by the numbers, a whole battalion.
Damn, how did a whole battalion of heavily armed soldiers suddenly appear here?
Were they brought here by Zeke?
Zeke… where on earth did this man come from?
The troupe soon surrounded the office.
Lone Wolf entered in huge strides.
Two bars of three stars on his shoulders seemed to sound the death knell. Darren and the others were scared stiff.
Behind Lone Wolf were two warriors carrying a steel bar.
On the steel bar were skewered four corpses!
The Fearsome Foursome!
"Oh my goodness! The devil is here!"
"Oh! Help me! Help me!"
"Sir, we’ve made a mistake, please, forgive us!"
Darren Collins and the others were shocked out of their wits by the way the Fearsome Foursome had died. Some of the suppliers covered their heads, while others knelt on the floor, begging for mercy.
They were in a state of complete mental collapse.
Upon facing such a devilish human with superhuman powers, not many would remain sane.
Lone Wolf took out his pistol and casually shot a person trying to escape.
The sound of the pistol shot brought the crowd to their senses. They knelt down and begged for mercy, not daring to move. The sound of their wailing was deafening.
This was a real-life battle of life and death.
Lone Wolf holstered his pistol, swiftly saluted Zeke and said, "Great Marshal, please give your further instructions."
The Great Marshal!
Zeke is… The Great Marshal!
The legendary God of War!
About four of five of the group fainted in fear.
Zeke said coldly, "You know what you should do."
"I know, I know." Darren Collins kneeled and prostrated himself so hard that his head was bleeding. "Tomorrow, we shall mortgage the factory to Lacey."
Zeke sneered, "You think I’m interested in your little factory?"
Darren Collins was shivering in panic. "No, sir! No, Sir!"
Zeke got up and made a mark on the map hanging on the wall.
The location he had marked was the bridge on the Winrood River, the place he almost had an accident.
"All those who were involved in sending the Fearsome Foursome to murder me and my wife, hand over your mortgage papers to Lacey tomorrow. Then, come to this place to carry out your own sentences. If you force me to mete it out, more than one life will be involved."
Darren’s heart suddenly stopped beating. He died on the spot.
Zeke checked the time. It was already past three o’clock in the morning.
"Arrange a place to sleep for me." Zeke ordered Lone Wolf, "It’s already so late. I do not wish to disturb Lacey."
Meanwhile, Lacey brought with her more than thirty workers from her factory to support her husband at The Winrood River bridge.
There was total silence at the bridge but for the deafening sound of rushing water. No one was around.
Two trucks were parked silently on the bridge.
Near the trucks was a patch, blood-red in colour and fearsome to behold.
This patch of red aggravated Lacey’s mind so much that she blacked out and collapsed on the ground in a faint
Poor Zeke didn’t last long enough for her to return with help!
The next day, she was awakened by people calling her name.
"Lacey, come on, wake up, don’t frighten us!"
Slowly, Lacey opened her eyes.
At that point, her mind was totally blank.
She turned her head and looked at her side.
Beside her, her parents and her uncles, Jeremy and Scott were there. Even her grandpa and Jackson Hamilton, as well.
However, a piece of white cloth was attached to each person’s arm… a sign of mourning.
Lacey’s memories began to return. As if her heart were breaking, she screamed, "You… Why are you wearing that piece of white cloth?"
"Dad, mom, please go and save Zeke. Quickly, go and save Zeke. He must still be alive."
Hannah Lawson quickly held her down, "Lacey, be calm. Stay calm."
"Zeke might be already… Oh! My poor daughter!"
With that, Hannah Lawson burst into tears.
Lacey wept aloud, "He can’t die. He must still be alive. I’m going to look for him now."
"Enough of this." Grandpa Adam Hinton scolded angrily, "Lacey, Zeke’s dead. You should snap out of this."
"Our family was able to say our last goodbyes to him. He cannot expect more as we have done everything we could. From now on, we have nothing to do with him."
"Pull yourself together and say your final goodbyes to Zeke. After that, get engaged to Jackson Hamilton."
Lacey struggled to sit up. "No, I’ll never marry anyone other than Zeke! If he dies, I’ll die with him."
"Damn it!" Adam Hinton hit the floor with his cane, "You… you’re going to be the death of me! What do you see in Zeke? How can he compare with Jackson Hamilton?"
"I have already accepted the Hamilton family’s betrothal gift, and the Hamilton family has promised to let the Hinton family be an affiliated family of theirs. This is an opportunity for our family to rise above the mundane. If you waste this opportunity, I’ll beat you to death!"
However, Lacey remained adamant. "Zeke died for me. For the rest of my life, I am his. I’ll never remarry!"
"You… beast!" Adam Hinton lifted his cane to whack Lacey.
Upon seeing this, Daniel Hinton hurriedly stopped him. "Dad, that’s enough. Don’t push Lacey anymore."
Adam Hinton vented his anger to Daniel instead, smashing his crutches on Daniel’s back.
"I… Why did I give birth to you! You’re such a useless being… I should have strangled you alive."
"You can’t even control your daughter. How dare you argue with me… I’ll beat you to death…"
Hannah Lawson’s heart ached for her husband. She quickly went to grab the cane.
"Dad, you’ve gone too far. Look at Lacey’s condition now. How can you carry on forcing her? You’ll only be forcing her to end her own life."
Adam Hinton turned white.
"Get away from me. I’m Daniel’s father. Even if I kill him, it’s not a crime. You useless thing! You can’t even control your wife and daughter. Why should I keep you as my son? You disgrace the Hinton family name."
Upon seeing this, Jeremy and Scott Hinton joined in to chide Lacey’s family.
"Lacey, look at what you have done. Because of your wayward and stubborn behaviour, there’s no peace in our family. Are you proud of yourself?"
"Daniel, you’re really worthless. Dad worked hard to raise you without ever expecting you to be filial, but you can’t even stop your wife from arguing with the old man. You’re trash! It’s truly a tragedy for the Hinton family that scum like you had been born into it."
Lacey felt totally disappointed when she watched the scene in front of her.
All this while, grandpa had favoured the families of Uncle Jeremy and Uncle Scott. He has always looked down on dad.
To change her family’s situation, Lacey had worked hard and gone through hardships to find this steel mill with some measure of achievement.
Every year, she was the one who brought in the most money for the Hinton family.
She had never thought that all her sacrifices could not compare to the two uncles’ sweet talk.
And now, to merely climb the social ladder, the Hinton family would sacrifice her personal happiness.
A family like the Hinton family was not worth her trying to protect it.
Lacey laughed manically and scolded them, "Stop it, all of you!"
"You evil beast, how dare you talk to your elders like this…" Uncle Jeremy reprimanded angrily.
Suddenly, Lacey picked up a pair of scissors and aimed it at her throat. "Get out, give me some peace and quiet, or else, I’ll kill myself in front of you all."
Instantly, there was silence.
Hannah Lawson felt her body give way. She collapsed on the floor, crying. "Lacey, are you trying to take away my life? Please put down the scissors. Just put it down. If anything happens to you, I cannot go on living."
Lacey sighed, "Mom, all of you go out. Grant me some peace and quiet. Leave me alone."
Daniel Hinton went wild. He wiped the cold sweat from his brow before bellowing, "Get out, all of you! If anything happens to my daughter, I’ll kill you all."
Jackson Hamilton, who had been silent all this while, spoke, "Lacey, I know that at this point, you don’t realize the truth. Let me tell you about the real situation. Last night, I sent men to search for the Fearsome Foursome, but they were nowhere to be found. This means they’ve murdered someone and have run away to escape the law. All these points to the fact that Zeke is dead. Besides that, Darren Collins will not let any of your family members escape. If I don’t help, The whole Hinton Family will be buried together with you. You’d better think about your choices carefully."
Adam Hinton cursed, "Now, you’ve heard the truth. If Darren Collins vents his anger on us, the entire Hinton family will be annihilated! The only one who can help us now is Jackson!"
Lacey sneered, "Rest assured, even if I die, I will not involve your Hinton family."
Jackson Hamilton smiled, "You will come and beg me for help sooner or later."
With that, Jackson Hamilton turned to leave.
However, when he opened the door, he saw someone standing there.
It was Zeke!
Not only was he alive, in fact… he was safe and sound!
Had The Fearsome Foursome failed in their assassination attempt? How could the four of them combined fail?
Jackson Hamilton’s heart jumped. He felt the premonition that something bad was about to happen.
Zeke walked into the room and looked at the pair of scissors pointed at Lacey’s neck. His heart felt as if it had been pierced by a knife.
Under the gaze of countless pairs of shocked eyes, he slowly walked to Lacey’s side.
"Lacey, I’m sorry I’m back late."
Lacey was shocked first. Then, she punched him hard with both fists, crying hysterically.
She wanted to vent all the grievances in her heart.
"Naughty, naughty, naughty! What did you do last night? Didn’t you know I was worried sick! If you had come back any later, I would have taken my own life because of you, you bad boy!"
With his heart full of remorse, Zeke held Lacey in his arms. "Lacey, it was my fault. Don’t worry, I’II never leave you again."
Adam Hinton banged on the table angrily. "Let go of her, Zeke, let her go! I’ll never recognize you as a son-in-law of the Hinton family. If you really care about Lacey’s wellbeing, leave her as soon as possible. You may have escaped death this time, but Darren Collins will not let you off easily. You’ll only bring calamity upon the Hinton family. Only Jackson Hamilton can help my family now. You go as far away as possible!"
With eyes full of fury, Zeke gazed at Adam Hinton.
Yes, this is definitely the man who forced Lacey to pick up the pair of scissors!
All of a sudden, Jackson Hamilton proclaimed gleefully, "Everyone look, Darren Collins’s here with many people. Lacey, this is your last chance, I’m advising you, don’t suffer more than necessary."
Adam Hinton took a look at the scene outside, Upon seeing Darren Collins, he turned pale instantly.
He immediately went to try and separate Lacey and Zeke from each other.
However, Zeke stretched out his hand and blocked him. "Whoever dares to touch Lacey will die!"
Adam Hinton turned beet red, "You evil creature, you’ve brought death to my whole family…"
At this moment, Darren Collins walked in with a group of people.
Adam Hinton quickly spoke up, "Mr. Dawson, all this is the fault of Zeke. It has nothing to do with the Hinton family. If you want revenge, get Zeke. Even if you kill him, we shall not interfere."
However, Darren Collins did not pay heed to him. Instead, he went straight to Lacey.
Lacey felt nervous and tensed instantly. She held the pair of scissors silently.
Daniel took hold of a bench quietly.
If anything happened, he would attack.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Darren Collins did not do anything.
Instead, he knelt down with a thud, quickly and simply.
With trembling hands, he took out the contract, saying, "Ms. Lacey, I’ve offended you yesterday. I deserve to die."
"I’m sorry to let you know that I cannot deliver the raw materials on time, nor can I pay for the liquidated damages. I can only mortgage the factory to you. I hope you will be willing to take over it."
The other suppliers did the same, apologizing and offering their mortgage contracts.
Everyone looked on, dumbfounded.
Madness! These people have all gone mad.
Liquidated damages? Considering Darren Collins’s power in the world of triads, breaching a contract was commonplace. Lacey would not dare oppose him.
On top of that, he had, on his own initiative mortgaged his factory.
It was unthinkable!
Zeke prompted, "Lacey, why don’t you receive the contracts?"
Lacey recovered from her shock. "Did you do this?"
Zeke smiled, an indication of silent admission.
"How did you do it?" Lacey continued to ask.
Zeke explained, "Using understanding and reasoning."
Lacey was at a loss for words.
Still, Lacey would not take the contracts. She said, "Concerning this… sir, we can extend the deadline for supplying the raw materials… I will not accept this mortgage contract."
If Lacey accepted the contract, he would die alone. That was enough for him.
If she did not, his whole family would lose their lives.
Darren started begging her, "Ms. Lacey, I beg you to accept it, please. If you do not take it, I won’t get up …"
The crowd grew even more surprised.
It was strange to see someone beg so harshly to give away his factory.
What could this useless Zeke have done to Darren Collins?
Jackson was annoyed beyond description.
Darren had betrayed him.
Gritting his teeth in anger, he asked, "Darren Collins, what the devil are you doing? You’re a leader of gangsters, how can you kneel down to such an ordinary person!"
It would have been better if he had kept quiet. He had now spoken and attracted Darren’s attention.
If not for you, Jackson Hamilton, I would never have gotten involved with this god, Zeke!
I would never have fallen so low!
Furiously, he rushed forward, slapped Jackson with a loud smack and yelled, "I was forced to. You shut up!"
Jackson covered his face, looking at him in disbelief as he cursed, "F***, you dared to hit me, you f***ing dared to hit me! You’re dead meat!"
Darren shouted in anger, "Death? If I die, you will die with me."
He had thought it over. He was going to die anyhow. So, he might as well teach Jackson a lesson first
He could vent his anger and please Zeke. It was a win-win situation.
The two wrestled with each other into one entwined heap. Jackson was screaming nonstop as he struggled against Darren’s attacks.
Darren was a leader of triads, so brawling was right down his alley. Jackson was no match for him.
The Hinton family watched in bewilderment.
Darren Collins was an important leader of the underground triads, but he was nothing to the Hamilton family
In assaulting Jackson Hamilton now… it showed that had a death wish!
Zeke casually threw the pair of scissors in front of Darren as he muttered, "Trash."
Was it not unbecoming of a triad leader to fight so hard with ordinary folk?
Seeing the pair of scissors, Darren’s eyes lit up. He picked them up and stabbed them on Jackson’s thighs.
Blood spurted out to a distance of two metres.
Jackson screamed like a pig being slaughtered.
He screamed so loud that even his driver heard him.
The driver rushed in, turning pale upon seeing the scene. He swiftly kicked Darren aside, carried Jackson on his back and ran off.
Jackson screamed with all his might, "You scoundrels, Darren and Zeke, just you wait! I want you both dead! The Hinton family, listen up! In ten days’ time, bring Lacey to me, or the Hinton family will be done for!"
Jackson Hamilton’s threat shocked the Hinton family.
Darren resumed kneeling and begging in front of Lacey to receive the mortgage contract from him.
Slowly, Lacey took the documents from Darren, who immediately fled the scene after. He looked like someone who had been relieved of a great responsibility.
Zeke smiled, "Lacey, you haven’t had your breakfast yet. Let me treat you to breakfast."
Adam Hinton shouted in a rage, "Eat! You still have the mood to eat!"
"You even dared pass a pair of scissors to Darren Collins. You’ve utterly offended Jackson Hamilton now. If The Hamilton family were to pursue the matter, you alone must accept the blame! Lacey, if you don’t want the Hinton family destroyed, in ten days, go to the Hamilton family on your own. Otherwise, we will forcefully take you there!"
Lacey looked towards Zeke.
She knew Zeke would not let her down.
Zeke proclaimed, "Don’t worry, Lacey. In ten days, the Hamilton family’s assets will belong to the Hinton family. As in Lacey Hinton."
Everyone was dumbfounded.
They had thought that he would say things like ‘I’ll protect you’, ‘I’ll take care of the Hamilton family problem’, and so on.
They never thought he would brag so outrageously as to involve the whole Hamilton clan.
Perhaps he was biting off more than he could chew.
Adam Hinton snorted in disdain. "Hmph, at this moment, it’s uncertain if you can even live for more than ten days. Yet, you dare speak such words. Let’s leave now."
Adam Hinton left, taking with him Jeremy and Scott Hinton.
Lacey and her family were relieved.
Once they left the room, Lacey flashed her large eyes at Zeke. "Now, tell me, just how did you take control of Darren!"
Daniel and Hannah were all ears, eager to listen as well.
Zeke began, "Do you remember that some time ago, a mysterious buyer bought all the steel mills in Oakheart City?"
Lacey nodded her head. "Of course I remember. Is he involved in this?"
"Yeah, that buyer signed a contract for the supply of raw materials with Darren and the others, but Darren couldn’t supply the amount according to the stipulated time. Darren paid all the liquidity in his hands to the other party as a breach of contract. He has no money to compensate us for the breach of contract, so he can only mortgage the factory."
Daniel and Hannah understood what had happened.
It had turned out that all these were the handiwork of the mysterious buyer, not Zeke.
However, this mysterious buyer was doing Lacey a big favour.
Why would he help Lacey?
He couldn’t have been sent by the Great Marshal, could he?
That’s highly likely.
However, Lacey was full of doubt.
Simple logic told her that things could not have been so simple.
She was about to probe Zeke further, but Hannah interrupted her.
"Zeke, Lacey was going to end her own life for you just now. You must have seen that. You have our blessings to be with Lacey, but we hope you will not disappoint her as she loves you with all of her heart."
The burden that had always been on Zeke’ shoulders was finally lifted.
Finally, his father and mother-in-law have both accepted him.
Quickly, he responded, "Dad, mom, rest assured. In the future, I’ll give my all to treat Lacey well. After all, Lacey’s my only relative in this world."
Hannah sighed, "You poor child. Life has been hard for you."
"Without any family, you grew up alone. If you don’t mind, you can treat Daniel and I like your own real parents. We will treat you like our own son."
Zeke was incredibly moved.
In truth, he had ‘family’; both his parents were alive. They were the Williams family in Atheville.
Sadly, those ‘family members’ had sacrificed him for their own benefits.
He appreciated that the elderly couple could resist the temptations offered by Jackson Hamilton and choose him, Zeke.
Although they weren’t related by blood, they were better than his blood related family members.
Lacey laughed childishly and she said halfjokingly, "Dad, mom, are you sure about that?"
"If I’m with Zeke, Jackson Hamilton would retaliate relentlessly against us. Aren’t you both afraid of Zeke?"
Hannah sighed, looking worried.
Daniel, who had so far been silent, spoke up, "If the Hamilton family wants to retaliate, so be it. If it comes to that, we can just give up the factory. If worse comes to worst, we’ll leave Oakheart City. As long as you’re both happy together, that’s all we ever desire."
Hannah became very emotional. She said, "Daniel, all of your life, you have suffered quietly in the face of oppression. Today, you’ve finally mustered up your courage for your daughter."
Daniel’s honest face was all smiles.
"Father, mother, rest assured," Zeke said sincerely. "From now on, I’ll be the pillar of our family. Even if the worst challenges should come upon us, I’ll protect our family. I’ve said I’ll make Lacey the richest person in Oakheart City. Who’s the Hamilton family? Why should we even pay heed to them?"
Lacey said angrily, "Which family are you part of? I haven’t agreed to it yet. Let me tell you this. Unless you stop this habit of telling tall tales, I’m not going to marry you."
Daniel and Hannah were caught between tears and laughter.
This son-in-law of theirs could certainly tell tall tales that were unique and refreshing.
Even to the extent of being the wealthiest in Oakheart City!
Zeke laughed helplessly.
The most important tie between two people was none other than faith!
Lacey, father and mother, you can be assured.
The moment you accepted me, I’ve already made up my mind to get rid of all obstacles and raise you high above the ordinary!
A Land Rover moved slowly onto the Winrood River bridge and stopped there.
The driver turned out to be Darren Collins.
In the back seat were The Fearsome Foursome.
Of course, they were cold and stiff.
Looking at the rushing water beneath the bridge, Darren Collins started to wail loudly.
More than once, he had fantasized about death but now really facing it, he broke down, feeling fearful.
He was overwhelmed with the feeling of remorse.
Nonetheless, it was too late for regret.
The Great Marshal’s command was more fearful than the lord of the underworld, Hades’ record book of life and death.
For the sake of the older folks and the young children in his own family, he had to sacrifice his own life.
Quietly, he calmed his own emotions and started the car. He then drove right into the Winrood River.
On the bank of the river, with a cigarette dangling from his lips, Lone Wolf looked at the surface of the river.
After the huge splash had subsided, he pressed the button on the walkie talkie, "Zayne, time to work."
For Zeke, today was a day worth celebrating.
This was because Daniel and Hannah had finally accepted him.
Zeke decided to take the old couple to a high-end restaurant for a meal.
On one hand, it was regarded as a celebration. On the other hand, he must gradually show his true identity to the two elders.
He had to slowly show them he was the Great Marshal.
Lacey raised both hands in agreement when Zeke’s suggested eating out.
"I agree, I agree. It’s to celebrate my taking down of a few factories."
Daniel and Hannah were agreeable to the idea too.
The family of four went downstairs.
When they reached the ground floor, Daniel suddenly seemed alarmed. "Go back, let’s head back first…"
However, the moment he turned around, a voice called out, "Daniel, stop right there!"
Disappointed, Daniel sighed and stopped in his tracks.
It was the security captain of the community property who was calling to him.
Daniel Hinton greeted him with a smile. "Mr. Zachary, what a coincidence. Are you looking for me?"
Mr. Zachary was rather displeased. "Hinton, you tell me why I would want to see you."
Daniel Hinton felt guilty as he smiled, feeling rather embarrassed.
Zeke frowned, "Mr. Zachary, what’s the matter?"
Mr. Zachary spoke, "What else? I’ve said many times to not park your cars in front of the fire hydrant. You just don’t seem to follow my instructions."
Daniel Hinton quickly offered a cigarette to Mr. Zachary. "I’m truly sorry, Mr. Zachary. I was in a hurry today. I didn’t notice the fire hydrant. I won’t do it again, I promise."
Mr. Zachary looked disdainfully at the cigarette Daniel Hinton offered. He didn’t accept it.
Obviously, he did not think much of this cheap cigarette.
He replied coldly, "If an apology is of any use, everyone in our community would be parking here. We go by the book. A one-thousand fine. Quickly, cough up the money."
Hannah felt regretful.
One thousand would be enough to pay for groceries for the whole family for one month.
It was regretful that such a considerable amount had to be paid for such a small mistake.
Hannah begged, "Mr. Zachary, please overlook this small mistake this time. The next time, if Daniel repeats this mistake, I’ll break his leg. As for today’s fine, let’s just forget it."
Mr. Zachary did not bother replying Hannah. Instead, he took out the ticket book and started writing.
Zeke suddenly spoke up. "Mr. Zachary, I feel that the fault lies in the fire hydrant, not in us."
Mr. Zachary was amused by Zeke. "The fault is with the fire hydrant? What’s wrong with it?"
The Hinton family burst out in laughter.
Zeke’ words made no sense at all.
If word got out about this scene, all the neighbours would surely have good laugh.
Zeke casually brought out two cigars, giving one each to Daniel and Mr. Zachary.
Mr. Zachary was not prepared to accept a cigar.
However, when he caught a glimpse of the label on the cigar, his eyes lit up. He took it respectfully and studied the label carefully.
Zeke said, "The set-up of this fire hydrant is very inefficient. If there’s a fire, it will not be of much use. I suggest moving it eighty meters to the north."
Mr. Zachary did not respond. He was too engrossed with the cigar and had not heard Zeke’s words.
Lacey sighed in disappointment. "Uncle Zachary, please hurry up with the ticket. We’re in a hurry to go out for lunch."
Lacey was beginning to worry less about money. One thousand did not bother her much.
Mr. Zachary finally kept the cigar carefully and saluted Zeke military style.
"Yes, this comrade is right. The fire hydrant was in the wrong position. I shall have the hydrant moved in the afternoon."
"Yeah, Old Hinton, once the hydrant is removed, this place will be vacant. You can use it as your personal car park."
Lacey and her parents were shocked.
It really is our fault, but Mr. Zachary has just agreed that the fire hydrant’s in the wrong place…
Is it really because of just one word from Zeke?
Furthermore, Mr. Zachary has gone the extra mile, taking the initiative to offer the vacated space as a personal car park for them.
This change in his attitude is just too quick to be true.
Zeke smiled. "Father, mother, Lacey, let’s get into the car."
"Oh, yes!" The Hinton family snapped back to reality, quickly turning around to get into the car and leave.
Mr. Zachary immediately took out his walkie talkie. "Entrance security take note, entrance security take note, immediately let PTA121 through. In future, including this time round, let them come in and go without checking their documents."
After he had put away the walkie talkie, he brought out the cigar again.
He was so emotional that both his hands shook.
It was no ordinary cigar. It was one that had been issued by Zhongnanhai.
It was not available even to personnel at colonel levels.
This young man must hold a position high up in Zhongnanhai or at the very least know people of very high positions.
His status must be highly respected.
"Who would think that a tiny remote community like ours could be the residence of such a big god? In future, the Hinton family will be served well!"
In the car, Daniel was full of pride. "The parking problem is finally solved. We don’t have to park far away anymore."
Hannah heaved a sigh of relief. "The most important thing is that we’ve saved a thousand in fines."
Lacey, however, was not amused.
My parents’ way of thinking small will never be changed.
"Dad, mom, the parking lot and the fine are insignificant. The most important thing’s Uncle Zachary’s attitude toward us. Why did it change so fast and so suddenly?"
When she pointed this out, Daniel and Hannah realized that they had missed the most important point in the encounter that had just taken place.
They both turned their gaze to Zeke.
"Zeke, mind telling us what that was all about? | get the feeling that Mr. Zachary was in awe of you."
Zeke smiled sheepishly. "Father, mother, do not be too surprised. This is just the tip of the iceberg where my power is concerned. In future, you may need to adjust to being higher above normal people and being revered by many."
Lacey gently pressed her finger on Zeke’s forehead, "Just look at you. You’ve only handled a security guard. There’s no need to make such a big deal out of it."
Daniel and Hannah both laughed.
That’s true. Mr. Zachary is just a security guard, it’s nothing to be alarmed about.
Very quickly, Zeke drove them to the Grand Millennium Hotel.
It was the most luxurious hotel in Oakheart City; a five-star one.
Hannah was anxious as she asked, "Zeke, you aren’t giving us a treat here, are you? I heard that one meal here costs at least one hundred thousand."
Daniel added, "I also heard that this hotel only serves members. Being wealthy alone isn’t enough. Even the rich may not enter unless they’re members or invited by members."
Lacey held Zeke’s hand to prevent him from getting down the car. "Let’s go to another restaurant. This isn’t a place for people like us."
Zeke said calmly. "This is the first time I’m inviting my parents to a meal; how can I settle for less? I’ve already booked a table here. Let’s get down."
The Hinton family were stubborn, but they were no match for Zeke’s persuasive powers. They got down from the car together.
When we can’t get it, it would be so embarrassing. Oh, well, let it be. There won’t be any friends or family members to witness our shame.
This Zeke has got swollen-headed after handling a security chief.
This is a good opportunity to cut him down to size.
They were at the door when someone called out to them.
"Daniel, Hannah! Hello there. Fancy meeting you both here too."
Upon hearing the greeting, the Hinton family turned around.
They became embarrassed when the realised it was their acquaintances calling out to them.
It does seem as if that which you fear most would come to pass.
The people calling out to them were people they were familiar with.
They were Daniel’s colleagues, Lawrence Herbert and his son, William.
Speaking of which, the two families had some history.
Lawrence was the assistant director of the hospital where Daniel worked.
Lawrence was once interested in setting William up with Lacey.
The problem was that William was not only quite unattractive in appearance. He was also uninterested in learning and improving himself besides being unemployed.
Naturally, Daniel and Lacey did not agree to this arrangement.
Unfortunately, Lawrence took this to heart and would find fault with Daniel at every opportunity to make work difficult for him at the hospital.
If Lawrence saw the family being driven away by the hotel staff, he would definitely gossip about the incident with the colleagues at the hospital.
Daniel worried he would be given a bad name and embarrassed at work.
Lawrence Herbert put on a smile and asked, "Daniel, what are you guys doing here?"
Daniel said perfunctorily, "Nothing much, just strolling around."
Lawrence Herbert pointed out, "Just strolling around brings you to this grand hotel’s entrance? You’re not thinking of eating here, are you?
Having his fib pointed out to be a lie, Daniel felt even more embarrassed. He could not find anything to say.
Zeke quickly helped Daniel out. "Dad and mom were tired of strolling. So, I invited them here for a meal."
Dad and mom?
William, who had been so focused on Lacey, now noticed Zeke’s presence.
His eyes were full of rivalry.
"Lacey, this is your new intended?"
William Herbert grew even more upset.
This chap’s dressing looks cheap. He’s not goodlooking and is way below my qualities. What does Lacey even see in him?
With the intention of insulting Zeke, he said, "As far as I know, you need a membership card to enter this restaurant. Do you have one?"
Zeke shook his head. "No."
This restaurant belonged to the Schneider family. In effect, he was the owner. He does not need a membership card to enter.
Lawrence Herbert and William Herbert could not help but snigger.
He doesn’t have a membership card and still dares to be so frank about it. This guy is out of his mind.
Lacey and her parents were so embarrassed that they did not even dare to lift their heads up.
Daniel tapped Zeke’s shoulder and said, "I’m not hungry yet. Shall we take a stroll over there?"
However, Zeke was insistent. "Dad, mom, we’re already here. Let’s just make do."
Daniel was a little cross. He shot Zeke an irritated glance.
This guy really doesn’t follow rules. You’ve already been told that a membership card’s necessary. You don’t have one. How are you going to pull it off?
William Herbert gloated gleefully, "Lacey, this new catch of yours is not the prize you think he is. He obviously cannot enter this restaurant but yet still wants to bluff. Why don’t you let me take you and your family inside? Then you can see what real class is like."
Lacey looked surprised. "Do you have a membership card?"
Lawrence Herbert’s status in society wasn’t really sufficient for membership in this hotel.
Lawrence Herbert replied with pride in his voice, "It’s not necessary to be a member to enter."
"We’re not just going in for a meal today. We’ll be given special treatment as important guests."
William was getting impatient. "Lacey, don’t dawdle, just come in with me."
Lacey declined his invitation coldly. "No, I’ll be staying with my hubby."
William snorted, "Hmph, you’re so rude. Don’t you want to know why I’m here today? I have a blind date with the hotel owner’s daughter. This girl’s qualities are many times better than yours, yet I’m willing to give you a chance now. It’s your honour. If you don’t cherish my offer. Just wait. You’ll regret it."
Without further ado, the father and son walked towards the entrance.
A beautiful waitress asked respectfully, "Sirs, do you have a membership card?"
Lawrence said, "I’m Lawrence Herbert. Your employer has an appointment with me. I’m his doctor."
The pretty waitress bowed slightly, "Mr. Herbert, please come with me."
When the two entered, William Herbert provocatively raised his middle finger at Lacey’s family.
Daniel felt a little bit embarrassed. "Forget it, let’s leave."
Nevertheless, Zeke smiled. "Dad, mom, we’ve been insulted. How can we leave without first showing our worth?"
With that, he walked straight to the entrance.
The pretty waitress met him at the entrance, "Sir, do you have a membership card?"
Zeke replied, "No, I don’t."
The pretty waitress replied, "Sorry, you cannot enter without one."
Lacey’s family grew more embarrassed.
"That’s right. But I’m Zeke."
Upon hearing the name, the four pretty waitresses were stunned.
Their boss had already informed them in advance, telling them that the boss’ boss was coming today and that his name was Zeke.
The waitresses had imagined the big boss to be some middle-aged man with a huge tummy. They did not expect someone so young and athletic.
The four of them quickly bowed in unison, "Welcome, Mr. Williams. We’re honoured by your visit. Mr. Williams, please follow me, your room has already been prepared."
Zeke turned around. "Dad, mom and Lacey, come, let’s go in."
The Hinton family were dumbfounded.
They had never expected the pretty waitresses to show Zeke so much respected. They had even bowed to welcome him.
They also noted that when the girls spoke to Lawrence Herbert, they had only smiled politely in a professional manner.
The pretty waitresses hurried to Daniel’s side.
"Sir, let me take your coat."
"Ma’am, let me take your handbag."
Daniel Hinton’s family were surprised by their hospitality. They awkwardly let the girls help them carry their stuff.
Then, in a daze, they let the pretty girls lead them inside the Grand Millenium.
The waitresses led them to the doorway of a very luxurious room.
Just when they were about to enter, Lawrence Herbert’s voice came from behind them, "You… how did you get in?"
They turned around to look and saw Lawrence and William sitting at a normal table in the hall.
Daniel immediately felt proud and vindicated.
"My son-in-law is an important person. We don’t need a membership card or appointment to enter. Oh, why are you sitting down to eat in the common dining hall? Why not come inside our room and let us show you what real class is?"
Hannah was also full of pride. She instructed the pretty waitresses, "Girls, please put our stuff in the room first."
"Sure, ma’am," the pretty girls replied sweetly.
Only then did the father-and-son pair realize that the people carrying the Hinton’s stuff were the four pretty girls who had welcomed them previously.
Only one waiter had led them in. He was not really concerned about them.
The great difference in treatment was obvious.
It was the Herberts’ turn to be embarrassed.
Daniel continued, "Hannah, Lacey, you both go in first."
"I’ll stay here with Zeke to smoke and speak to Hospital Director Herbert for a while."
Hannah had not shown off enough and so, she was not willing to enter the room yet. In the end, it was Lacey who dragged her into the room.
Daniel and Zeke sat beside the Herberts and gave each one of them a cigarette.
Daniel spoke, "I had wanted to phone you to invite you to Lacey’s wedding dinner. However, since we have met today, I might as well inform you in person."
William’s heart was full of jealousy as he spoke, "Uncle Hinton, how can you decide with such haste about a wedding? As far as I know, these two haven’t known each other for long. It’s better to be careful. We can see a person’s appearance but we cannot see what lies in the heart."
Daniel smiled. "Oh! That’s old history. Young people nowadays have the freedom to find their own mates. We elderly should stay out of that.
Wealth isn’t the most important. The most important thing is that they like each other. Furthermore, those without power and money cannot win Lacey’s heart. I have faith in her discernment."
Immediately, the Herberts blushed uncomfortably.
Daniel was obviously telling them that they could not compare with his son-in-law’s wealth and power.
Zeke smiled. "Father, let us go back to our room. Let’s not make mother and Lacey wait for too long."
Daniel nodded. "Yeah, we should head back. Old Herbert, come by for a drink later."
With that, the two got up and left.
Lawrence did not reply. He puffed hard on his cigarette to vent his dissatisfaction.
A pretty waitress hurried to Lawrence Herbert’s side, saying, "Sir, smoking isn’t allowed in the main dining room. Please put it out."
Lawrence got so angry he lost the rhythm of his regular breathing.
Just moments ago, when Daniel Hinton and Zeke were smoking there, it was allowed.
The moment they leave, smoking wasn’t allowed in the main dining hall?
What type of regulation is this?
At the doorway, Daniel turned around, "Young miss, do me a favour. Let them finish smoking."
The pretty waitress replied, "Alright, that’s fine, sir."
Lawrence Herbert was too furious for words.
As soon as they entered the room, Zeke gave Daniel a thumbs up and a little flattery. "Dad, that was awesome."
Daniel laughed heartily. "Haha! Of course. You all should have seen how Lawrence Herbert’s face turned beet red just now! After being oppressed by Lawrence Herbert in the hospital for so long, it’s the first time he has suffered in my hands."
Hannah Lawson was not pleased. She scolded Daniel, "You fool, why did you ask me to come in here first? I wanted to tell them that our Zeke has taken the old hospital director as an apprentice. Even the director of the Industry and Commerce Bureau has to show respect to Zeke. His son is nothing compared to our son-in-law. He isn’t fit to even lick Zeke’s boots."
Zeke felt on top of the world.
Seated nearby, Lacey felt speechless and helpless.
To be truthful, she did not agree with her parent’s way of handling the situation.
However, the way things turned out was indeed satisfying.
Hannah continued grumbling for a little while before she started looking at the menu.
After reading a few pages of the menu, Hannah sighed, "The food in this big hotel isn’t expensive, some only cost ten bucks a plate."
Lacey frowned, "Really? How can that be possible?"
Hannah lifted the menu up. "You take a look. I won’t lie to you."
Lacey glanced at it and suddenly laughed, "Mom, read carefully, the price is in thousands!"
"This dish costs ten thousand, not ten."
Hannah could not believe her eyes, "Ten thousand a dish? Is this dish made of gold?"
Daniel puffed hard on his cigarette to hide his shock. "Hmm, old ladies know so little. In here, ten thousand a dish is considered normal."
Hannah glared at Daniel, "You speak as if you’re not shocked yourself. Look, your cigarette butt is about to burn your lips."
"Oh? My gosh!" Daniel quickly spat out the butt. There was a blister on his lip.
Hannah sighed, "Just one dish in here is almost Daniel’s salary for one month. Zeke, we really cannot afford this. Let’s go to another restaurant."
Zeke smiled. "Dad and mom, just order as you wish. Our expenditure here is free."
Free of charge!
The whole Hinton family gazed at Zeke in shock.
How high his status must be to be worthy of such privilege!
In the main dining hall, Lawrence and his son were seething with fury. They had been thoroughly humiliated.
Lawrence said with gritted teeth, "Damn it. Isn’t that Zeke a toy boy for Lacey? How could he have so much influence?"
William chided, "Father, put that aside for now. Later, when you treat Mr. Raynor, we’ll be respected by him if he’s cured and recovered. When that happens, we can ask Mr. Raynor to cancel Zeke’s membership and drive him out. Our humiliation would be avenged."
Lawrence nodded, "Hmm, you’re right. Yes, William, you have to work hard, too. When Mr. Raynor’s daughter Susan Raynor comes later, you must impress her and win her hand. If you’re married to Susan Raynor, our family’s status can easily be higher than that of Daniel Hinton’s family."
William laughed, "Father, don’t worry. I’ve already checked Susan Raynor’s background. I guarantee I’ll capture her heart. Look, she’s here."
Not far away, two attractive figures could be seen approaching. Heads were turning their way.
One of them must be Mr. Raynor’s daughter, Susan Raynor.
The other was Emily Clemons!
It was a long story. The opportunity for Lawrence Herbert to come and treat Mr. Raynor was Emily Clemons’ doing.
Emily Clemons and Susan Raynor had attended the same university. They had been hostel mates and had a good relationship.
Later on, Susan went abroad to further her studies and the two gradually communicated less and less.
Now that Susan was back, Emily could not wait to get in touch with her and be in her good books once again.
Although Susan Raynor’s family was not among the top four prominent and respected families, her family was still considered respectable. It was to Emily Clemons’ advantage to be close to Susan.
She heard that Susan’s father suffered from a severe, intractable headache and for a long time, had sought treatment in vain.
So, she contacted Lawrence Herbert, asking him to try and treat Mr. Raynor.
Whether he could be treated successfully or otherwise, at the very least, it would show that she cared. Susan would surely be grateful.
Susan spoke, worriedly, "Emily, my dad has seen many famous doctors, including some from abroad. None of them could help. Can this doctor you’ve recommended… really cure him?"
Emily consoled her. "Don’t worry. The doctor I’ve recommended is a leader in the medical industry, not just in Oakheart City but in the whole of Rivermouth province. Even if it can’t be cured completely, there will at least be some curative effect, which can relieve Uncle Raynor’s suffering."
Susan sighed, "I guess trying is better than not trying at all."
At this moment, William and Lawrence had walked up to meet them.
William took one look at Susan Raynor and was immediately besotted with her.
He looked at Susan with fascination feeling as if he was about to drool.
Susan was quite put off by his gaze.
When Emily introduced them to one another, William wanted to shake Susan’s hand, but she ignored him. "Come, let’s go. I shall bring you to meet my father."
William was a bit embarrassed, but he did not say anything. As he followed her lead, never once did he take his eyes off her buttocks.
While on the way, Emily suddenly received a call from Jackson Hamilton. There was something urgent he had to discuss with her at the office.
So, Emily had to leave.
Susan brought Lawrence and his son to her father’s room.
Although Mr. Raynor was just in his early sixties, his illness had changed him into an old man looking like someone in his seventies or eighties, with grey hair and a listless spirit.
Even now, he held his head with both hands, hitting his head with his fists and groaning in pain every once in a while.
Apparently, his headache was back again.
Susan rushed forward and massaged her father’s head, feeling sad for him. "Father, I’ve invited Rivermouth’s best doctor in this field to come and visit you. Let him treat you. Your headache will be gone in no time."
Mr. Raynor sighed sadly, "Oh, my illness, I know it well. There is no cure. You mustn’t worry about me. Just take care of the hotel’s business. That’s all you need to do."
Susan persisted, "Dad, the doctor is already here. There’s no harm trying. Who knows, it might actually work this time."
Mr. Raynor was resigned. "Alright, then. Just do what you want to."
Susan quickly signalled Lawrence to begin.
Lawrence swiftly went forward, took out his box of acupuncture instruments and said, "Master, please don’t move. I’m giving you acupuncture treatment now. I’m not claiming that ‘when the needle arrives, illness departs’, but at the very least, it will lessen much of your pain."
Suddenly, Mr. Raynor broke out in laughter.
He did not know how skillful this man was as an acupuncturist, but for sure, he was a skillful fibber.
So many brain specialists from various countries had been consulted but were unable to find a cure. It would be quite odd if a little Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner could help.
Mr. Raynor’s first impression of Lawrence Herbert wasn’t good.
Lawrence Herbert skillfully inserted acupuncture needles on Mr. Raynor.
As an experienced TCM practitioner, he did it with dexterity.
As the Chinese saying goes, ‘a person who knows can discern skill while a person who does not, can only watch as a spectator’.
Susan Raynor had no knowledge of acupuncture. As she watched Lawrence Herbert’s skill and dexterity, she felt herself grow more and more hopeful.
Quite quickly, the acupuncture was done.
Mr. Raynor’s head was covered with silver needles, causing him to resemble a hedgehog.
Lawrence let out a sigh of relief. "It’s done, the treatment is done. After five minutes, the needles will be removed. More than 50% of the pain should be gone after."
Gratefully, Susan said, "Thank you Mr. Herbert…"
However, before she could finish speaking, she distinctly noticed the corners of her father’s mouth twitched.
Following that, his whole body started twitching. His body went limp and he slumped downwards.
Susan grew alarmed, "Dad, are you alright?"
Lawrence Herbert reacted quickly, catching Mr. Raynor before he fell onto the floor.
After observing Mr. Raynor, Lawrence Herbert broke out in a cold sweat.
Mr. Raynor’s face paled and his breathing was irregular. It was obvious that the acupuncture Lawrence had given him had failed and caused blockage of blood vessels in the brain.
It was highly possible that his brain could suffer irreparable damage.
He had seriously underestimated the condition of Mr. Raynor’s illness.
Blood began flowing out of Mr. Raynor’s ears.
This was… a sign of cerebral infarction!
Without proper treatment, Mr. Raynor would most certainly have a cerebral infarction. The probability of death was 70 to 80 percent.
However, with the few instruments he had brought, there was no way he could treat the patient in the present situation.
It’s over for me. If anything happens to Mr. Raynor and if the Raynor family were to hold me responsible, with their influence and power, I’m done for
Susan panicked. "Mr. Herbert, what’s happening to my dad?"
Lawrence swallowed, taking deep breaths to calm himself down.
Stealthily, unseen by anyone, he brushed away the blood from Mr. Raynor’s ears. Pretending to be calm, he said, "It’s nothing, just a normal reaction. I cannot do the following step alone. William, go and get Daniel Hinton to assist me."
He was preparing to frame Daniel for what had happened and put the blame on Daniel.
William soon realized that something was wrong. Quickly, he ran to Daniel for help.
At Daniel’s table, the family were happily enjoying their tasty meal.
Upon hearing William’s words that a life was in danger, Daniel Hinton grew immediately anxious.
Many doctors care about their patients, and to someone like Daniel Hinton, a patient’s life was the most important. He got ready to go and help.
Hannah, on the other hand, held a different opinion.
She disliked Lawrence’s family and did not want Daniel to go and help them.
William begged, "I’m begging you. Please do not delay. Or else, someone might really die. Furthermore, if Mr. Raynor is cured, would he not reward you? This is the opportunity for your family to rise above being mediocre."
Hannah was, at last, convinced. Reluctantly, she agreed to let Daniel go.
The whole family followed William to Mr. Raynor’s room.
Lawrence instructed Daniel Hinton, "Daniel, you hold Mr. Raynor’s head steady for me and I’ll perform the acupuncture."
Daniel hurriedly replied, "Yes, I’ll do that."
As he was going to help, Zeke stopped him. "Dad, you’d better stay out of this."
Zeke had seen Mr. Raynor showing signs of cerebral infarction. Lawrence and Daniel were not in a position to treat him. In fact, they could only endanger him further.
Susan Raynor glared angrily at Zeke. "If you will not help the dying, how can you be worthy of the title ‘doctor’?"
Daniel pushed Zeke’s hand aside and walked up to help. He said, "Ms. Raynor is right. Zeke, do not stop me. Saving a life is important."
Oh! It seems like I shall have to save a life today.
Daniel Hinton held Mr. Raynor’s head steady for Lawrence Herbert who was disinfecting the needles to use for acupuncture.
However, as he was ready to insert the acupuncture needles, he stared at Daniel Hinton and exclaimed, "Damn it! Daniel, did you touch the silver needles I inserted just now in Mr. Raynor’s scalp? There’s blood flowing out of Mr. Raynor’s ears! This’s an indication of cerebral infarction… It’s all because of you messing with the silver needles I had inserted just now!"
"What!" The term ‘cerebral infarction’ struck fear in Susan’s mind like a thunderbolt.
Susan Raynor blacked out and slumped onto the sofa.
Cerebral infarction may result in the loss of life.
Daniel Hinton was confused. "No… I didn’t touch any silver needle. When I held Mr. Raynor just now, there was already blood oozing from his ears."
"You’re lying!" Lawrence Herbert said angrily. "I had done a good acupuncture job on Mr. Raynor. He was about to wake up. You’re to blame for messing with the needles. Now the acupuncture technique has failed… you’ve killed Mr. Raynor. You’re a murderer. Ms. Raynor, quickly, get some guards to seize this murderer."
With gritted teeth, Susan Raynor’s eyes reddened as she called out, "Security guards, apprehend this whole family."
At that moment, she was confused and had no time to think. She just accepted everything Lawrence said as the truth.
From outside the entrance, two huge muscular security guards came in. Their physiques were formidable enough.
Lacey’s family were frightened out of their wits.
Murder. Furthermore, the victim was Mr. Raynor. How could they take the blame?
Hannah and Lacey started begging Susan Raynor.
Susan Raynor paid them no heed. Instead, she ordered the security guards to seize Daniel Hinton.
Daniel had a mental breakdown.
Only then did he realize there was a high probability that Lawrence had set him up.
Lawrence had wanted to shift the blame to him.
He truly regretted not listening to Zeke who had warned him not to be involved in the acupuncture treatment.
Now, not only did he step into the trap. He had also compromised his family as well.
He gritted his teeth and glared at Lawrence. "Lawrence Herbert, you scoundrel, you set me up!"
Lawrence Herbert smiled as his evil plan had successfully been carried out.
A security guard stretched out his hand to seize Daniel.
However, Zeke moved faster.
He caught both security guards by the throat, raised them in the air and then let them go.
Both guards were flung outward.
The whole ordeal took less than three seconds. Neither of the guards had enough time to react.
Zeke steadied Daniel Hinton with his hand saying, "Dad, don’t worry. When you accepted me into the family, I promised you that no matter what challenges we face, I’ll take them on for you."
Daniel was in despair.
You’ll take them on for us? With what power can you do that?
In this present situation, not even if gods descended from heaven could Mr. Raynor be brought back to life.
He lowered his voice and said, "Go, quickly take Lacey and leave. Do not worry about us."
Lawrence began to shout, "Ms. Raynor, call the police. Quick, call the police. This man has been in jail before. If he leaves, it will be difficult to catch him."
Susan grabbed the phone in a panic and called the police.
Zeke yelled angrily, "Unfilial! You’re not thinking about helping your father but thinking of calling the police! How stupid of you!"
Lawrence argued back. "What’s there to help? Mr. Raynor is suffering from cerebral infarction. It will lead to brain death in less than half an hour, and he will not even have time to get to the doctor."
Zeke said, "I can save him."
Lawrence Herbert asked, "Do you even have a medical degree?"
"No, I do not."
"Ms. Raynor, you’ve heard what he said. He isn’t a qualified doctor… call the police, quickly. Don’t let him touch your father!"
Zeke had walked up to Mr. Raynor and was ready to give him acupuncture.
Zeke had invented the technique known as ‘Ammo Needle’; it had amazing effects.
Susan grew frantic. "Ridiculous! Don’t you dare touch my father!"
At that moment, two more security guards heard the commotion and rushed in.
Susan Raynor hurriedly ordered, "Quickly, stop him. Don’t allow him to touch my father!"
As the two security guards were about to make a move, Zeke suddenly grabbed the teacup next to him and squeezed hard.
The porcelain cup turned into powder on the spot, flowing out between his fingers!
"I have the power to save him or kill him. If any dares to obstruct me, I will let him end up like this teacup!"
When the God of War displayed his power, he was unstoppable.
Everyone present was stunned by the display of immense power. No one dared to move.
The feeling… it was as if this man had turned into a huge mountain of might that can only be seen from afar and was unapproachable.
Zeke patiently applied needles on Mr. Raynor’s back to heal him with acupuncture.
After two minutes, Susan Raynor recovered from her shock.
Through gritted teeth, she spoke, "Shameless man, if you dare hurt my father, I’d demand you pay with your life."
Daniel was sweating anxiously as he cried out, "Zeke, stop, stop quickly. You do not have the ability to help him. To treat cerebral infarction, the only way is to do a craniotomy. Any other action may cost him his life!"
The moment Daniel spoke, Zeke stopped.
However, he stopped not because of Daniel’s order but because he had finished his treatment.
He was very satisfied with this acupuncture and walked to Lacey with a smile on his face. "Lacey, please pour me a glass of water."
Lacey glared at him in anger and ignored his request.
At that point, there was no movement or sound from Mr. Raynor. She thought he had died.
Susan, too, thought the same.
She turned beet red and gritted her teeth in anger.
"Zeke, I want you to die. Your whole family, too. Dad, don’t you worry. I’ll avenge you!"
At this moment, the motionless Mr. Raynor suddenly opened his eyes.
"Susan, what’s going on? What happened just now?"
After that exclamation, the group was suddenly silent.
Mr. Raynor isn’t dead. He’s just awoken!
This young man had turned death into a miracle of life with just a silver needle and healed the condition that only a craniotomy could save?
A miracle! This was indeed a miracle!
Susan Raynor rushed to her father’s side, weeping and crying. "Dad, you’re awake… I was so frightened just now. I thought you were…"
"Dad, how do you feel now?"
Mr. Raynor closed his eyes, trying to concentrate on his feelings.
After a moment, he opened eyes wide and they shone with joy.
"Unbelievable, unbelievable… I don’t feel a headache anymore! There is some pain on my scalp like needle pricks, but it’s nothing compared to the pain of sensory nerves I’ve suffered before."
Zeke laughed scornfully, "There are so many needles stuck on your scalp. That’s why you feel the needle pricks."
Lawrence quickly came to his senses. He went forward to bow and cried out, "Mr. Raynor, congratulations! At first, I was thinking of just trying my acupuncture technique on you. I never thought it would really work. Don’t move, I’ll remove all the silver needles I’ve inserted just now."
Lawrence was trying to take all the credit for himself.
Mr. Raynor looked at Lawrence Herbert in gratitude, "Mr. Herbert, you sure are a Divine Doctor! I… I don’t know how to thank you enough. If there’s anything you need, I will not refuse you in the future."
Lawrence and William Herbert were so happy they could cry.
However, Zeke snorted, "Mr. Raynor, you’re thanking the wrong person."
Mr. Raynor scolded Zeke, "Who are you? How dare you speak so rudely to me!"
Zeke said, "I’m the one who just saved your life. It was I who used acupuncture to bring you back to life. If not for me, Lawrence Herbert would have killed you with his needles."
Lawrence Herbert said furiously, "You… you’re talking nonsense! It was I who performed acupuncture on Mr. Raynor and healed him of his headache. You don’t even have a medical degree. The needles you used had no effect."
Zeke sneered, "Why don’t you ask Mr. Raynor, which needle inserted caused him so much pain that he fainted. Furthermore, ask him which needle inserted healed him from unconsciousness."
Susan Raynor suddenly realized something and asked, "Father, do tell us, how did the acupuncture affect you?"
Lawrence Herbert had inserted needles on his scalp while Zeke’ acupuncture had been done on his back.
Once it has been made clear which needle had awoken him, the truth would be known.
Mr. Raynor thought carefully.
"The needles had firstly been inserted on my scalp. It felt painful as if I was burning like fire. It only grew more and more painful. The pain was as if I was being burnt by magma! It was so bad that | fainted."
He continued, "After that, from my back flowed in a cool feeling. It was very comfortable. The cool feeling pushed back the burning sensation from my scalp, causing me to wake up. Now, my brain feels cool. Not only is the pain gone, but I can also think clearly now."
The truth was finally revealed.
Lawrence Herbert had nearly killed Mr. Raynor, while Zeke had brought him back to life from the brink of death.
Lawrence looked at Zeke with eyes full of fear. "Impossible, that’s impossible… The only way to treat cerebral infarction is craniotomy. How can he be cured only by acupuncture…"
Susan Raynor was furious. She slapped Lawrence’s face hard.
"Scoundrel, quack doctor, you almost killed my father! You have to be punished. Security, hand them to my lawyer and prosecute them for attempted murder!"
Attempted murder was a serious crime punishable by time in prison.
Lawrence Herbert and his son were terrified. They begged Susan Raynor not to prosecute them.
Nevertheless, the furious Susan ignored their pleas.
Lawrence had no choice but to beg Daniel, "Daniel, Daniel, please beg your son-in-law to help us. I can’t go to prison. I have parents to take care of and children who depend on me. You help me now and I will give my position of assistant director to you."
Daniel Hinton was tempted.
The position of assistant director at the hospital was indeed desirable. He could be working under only one superior and have many subordinates.
However, before he could reply, the security guards took Lawrence away.
Susan bowed lowly to Zeke. "Divine Doctor, I’m sorry I accused you wrongly just now. Thank you for saving my father. The Raynor family owes you a great debt."
With that, she took out two cards.
A bank card and a shiny golden membership card.
"In this bank card is ten million. This is the fee payable to the Divine Doctor. The other card is the Supreme VIP Card for my line of hotels. With this card comes lifelong privilege at my hotels. You may use everything free of charge."
The Hinton family were astonished
The Raynor family was truly generous. She was paying ten million for medical fees.
She was also giving them lifelong privileges at their hotels
These gifts were really too valuable. Hannah did not dare accept the cards. "This, Ms. Raynor, is too much. We dare not accept the cards."
"Please accept, or else for the rest of my life, I would feel indebted," Susan Raynor begged them.
Still, Hannah Lawson did not dare accept the cards.
Zeke could see that Hannah really wanted the cards.
He said, "Mother accept them if you wish to."
Upon hearing those words from Zeke, Hannah carefully took the cards in her hands and held them tight, as if afraid someone would snatch them from her.
Zeke said, "You all must have finished eating. Let’s go now."
"Oh, yes. Let us leave now," Daniel replied quickly.
"Please wait." Mr. Raynor called out after knowing that the Hinton family had saved him.
"Is there anything else?" Zeke paused in his steps.
Mr. Raynor said, "Mr. Hinton, which hospital do you work in? I believe you seem interested in the position of assistant director. I have friends in the medical industry. I can make some arrangements. Mr. Hinton, please let me have your contact details."
It will be advantageous to keep in touch with this Divine Doctor.
Daniel was wild with joy. He immediately told them his name and contact number.
Susan and her father brought him back to the Hinston family’s place.
Mr. Raynor heaved a euphoric sigh of relief. "I knew it. There are a lot of prominent figures in Oakheart City."
Susan was overwhelmed as well. "You’re right. It’s such a shame! Someone like him will give the TCM practitioners something to be proud of on an international level."
Mr. Raynor replied, "Let’s forget about the Hinton family for the time being. I told you to be on the lookout for Mr. Zeke. Is he here yet?"
"Wait!" Susan shuddered all of a sudden. "Dad, do you mean the guest we are welcoming today is… Zeke?"
Mr. Raynor was confused. "Yes. What about it?"
"Dad, that man just now was none other than Zeke," Susan Raynor told her father.
"What?" Mr. Raynor was shocked.
He lost himself in his thoughts for quite some time. "Our boss’ boss is such a young and exceptional man? I mean, he has such great medical skills."
"His peers are no match for him at all. Too bad! He’s already married, or else…" Mr. Raynor took a peek at Susan before he finished his sentence.
Susan blushed all of a sudden because she knew what her father was up to.
"Dad, what are you talking about? I don’t want to be married to anyone else apart from the Great Marshal!"
"Fine! Fine! I get it!" Mr. Raynor was speechless and found his daughter hilarious at the same time.
Susan is a capable young lady, but she has an overly high expectation when it comes to her relationships.
The Great Marshal is someone beyond our reach.
If the Great Marshal is the benchmark she has for her future partner, I’m afraid she’s gonna spend the rest of her life alone.
Susan called Emily the moment she reached her office.
"Emi! I have great news! I’ve met a skilled doctor! I’m sure he will be able to treat your father!"
Emily sighed, "He has been in a vegetative state for five years. The doctors have come to a unanimous agreement that it’s over for him."
"I don’t think there will be anyone who’ll be capable to treat my dad… Susan, thank you so much, but you don’t have to worry about my dad."
"Emi, I’m serious! I’m sure he will be able to treat your father!" Susan assured Emily.
"He managed to heal my dad’s cerebral infarction through acupuncture. I’m sure he can come up with something to deal with your father’s vegetative state!"
"What? Are you serious?" Emily was shocked. "Did he seriously heal your dad’s condition through acupuncture? We can consider that a medical miracle!"
"If that’s the case, I’m sure he will be able to treat my father as well! Susan, please tell me how I can get in touch with him! I will employ every single resource I have if that’s what it takes to hire him."
Susan sighed, "He’s an exceptional man. He’s my father’s boss’ boss."
"I’m afraid he might get irritated if you were to get in touch with him out of the blue."
"Don’t worry! I will bring this up and ask for his help when the time comes!"
Emily expressed her gratitude over and over again.
Susan stared at the gigantic photo on the wall and lost herself in the process of thought right after she hung up the call.
It was a photo of his idol, the Great Marshal’s back.
She stared at Zeke’s back when he was treating her father with acupuncture techniques and realized that he seemed like the Great Marshal.
Susan’s heart pounded furiously. She felt as though she had fallen head over heels for Zeke.
Have …. Fallen in love with him?
Suddenly, she blushed when that wild idea flashed through her mind. She immediately lowered her head and stopped staring at the picture on the wall.
"Susan! You’re from a prominent family as well! How could you fantasize about having a relationship with a married man?"
"Pull yourself together, Susan! Urghhhh!"
She was certain if her close acquaintances were to run into her, they would be shocked because of what she was doing.
After all, she had always been an indifferent woman in front of others, yet she was currently behaving like a cute little girl.
Emily got in touch with her mother, Madeleine, almost immediately.
She told her about the great news she had received. Someone who might be capable of treating her father, her husband, had shown up.
Madeleine shed tears of joy. She urged Emily and told her to procure the skilled practitioner’s help at all costs. No matter what it would take, they were determined to save Emily’s father.
Emily hung up the call and walked into the building of Hamilton Construction.
Jackson had called her and asked her to drop by the company in an anxious manner previously.
Hence, she rushed over as he had requested.
Meanwhile, Jackson was throwing a tantrum inside his office.
Darren Collins had the guts to stab the heir of the Hamilton family in front of the Hamilton’s. Because of this, Jackson was enraged and about to lose his cool.
He vented his anger on Emily the moment she showed up.
"Emily, you damned b****! Look at what you’ve done!"
Emily shuddered in fear when she saw him going ballistic. "Jackson, what’s wrong?"
"You idiot! It’s your fault! You’re the one who suggested the idea!" scolded Jackson.
"Darren turned his back against me and stabbed me! Are you sure you’re not one of his accomplices? Everything seems too suspicious!"
Emily was dumbfounded when she heard his words.
She was the one who had goaded Jackson into action previously. Emily told Jackson to coerce the supplier and stop supplying Lacey with the steels her mill would require.
Emily was certain Lacey’s steel mill wouldn’t have made it through the crisis.
However, she managed to brace herself through the crisis and returned the favour to Jackson instead. He was backstabbed as a result.
Emily immediately begged for forgiveness. "Jackson, I’d never set you up with Darren. It’s a misunderstanding! It must be a misunderstanding!"
Jackson was enraged. "Get the hell out of my company! No subsidiary of the Hamilton Group will employ such an employee like you anymore!"
"I will deal with the Hinton family on my own! You should stop getting in my way!"
A chill ran down Emily’s spine when she heard Jackson’s words.
She was a procurement specialist for the Hamilton family. In fact, she enjoyed her role because she would be compensated handsomely in terms of money.
Her life would be turned upside down should she lose her job as a procurement specialist.
She begged Jackson to show him mercy and even tried to seduce him.
However, Jackson was determined to terminate Emily because he deemed her as the one behind his misery
In the end, Emily had to pack her stuff and leave Hamilton Construction’s building.
She was pale and haggard with her mind all over the place.
Emily stared at the passerby on the street and lost = herself in her thoughts.
She had no idea what to do next.
Suddenly, a brochure on the ground caught her attention.
She picked it up and went through the content of
The Schneider family, one of the top conglomerates in Oakheart City was hiring.
Her eyes gleamed when she saw the position of a procurement specialist.
She had managed to generate a fortune while she was attached to the Hamilton family.
Emily was certain she would be able to gain more with the Schneider family.
"I’m afraid I can barely meet the minimum requirements with my capability. Oh! Susan’s hotel is one of the Schneider family’s assets!"
"I’m sure Susan will be able to help me! If she’s willing to help me, I’m sure I will be able to make the cut!"
She immediately called Susan after she made up her mind.
Susan accepted her invitation without any hesitation. She would keep Emily company and follow her to the Schneider family’s place for her interview tomorrow.
Emily was delighted because Susan promised to employ her connections to help her. She expressed her gratitude over and over again.
It was getting late in the evening.
Lacey spent some time with her family in the living room watching TV after their dinner session. It was a heartwarming scene.
Daniel reached for a cigarette and handed it over to Zeke. "Zeke, join me. A cigarette after dinner is the best."
Zeke took the cigarette. "Thanks, dad."
Lacey knitted her eyebrows. "Zeke, put the cigarette out. Have you forgotten what I’ve told you? I will only allow you to court me if you quit smoking."
Daniel rolled his eyes. "Silly girl! What are you talking about? What’s wrong with Zeke smoking to release his stress?"
"It’s what a man does to get rid of accumulated pressure! It’s the same for drinking! Zeke, just forget about her! Join me!"
Lacey was irritated as she turned to Hannah instead. "Mom, look at dad! Hurry up and put their cigarettes out!"
However, her mother decided to take Daniel’s side instead. "I think your father is right."
"Daniel, why don’t you go get some of your precious Yellow Crane Tower and share it with Zeke?"
"Zeke, please pay no heed to Lacey’s words. She must have been spoiled by us back in the day."
Lacey’s parents finally realized how exceptional Zeke was after what happened today. Hence, their attitude changed as they finally learned how to cherish his presence.
Lacey was speechless at how her parents reacted.
Arghhhh! Mom! How can you betray me! You were the one who set the rules! You said no cigarettes allowed at home!
Lacey felt irritated as she sat aside on her own, ignoring the three of them.
Daniel returned with the Yellow Crane Tower he saved up for special occasions. He handed over a pack to Zeke.
"Zeke, Lacey and you aren’t young anymore. Both of you should get married as soon as possible. I mean, you guys don’t want us to worry about you guys, right?" Hannah urged them.
Zeke nodded. "Mm. Mom, that’s what I have in mind as well. I know Lacey has always wanted a grand wedding ceremony."
"Hence, I wish to hold a grand wedding ceremony at a grand hall that can accommodate at least ten thousand guests."
"Do you think you’re organizing a concert? A grand hall that can accommodate ten thousand guests? I don’t think such a venue exists in Oakheart City," Lacey mocked her husband.
Zeke replied nonchalantly. "Are you sure? If that’s the case, I’ll build one myself!"
"Haha," Lacey replied in a contemptuous manner.
Zeke felt speechless all of a sudden because he couldn’t figure out what his wife meant with that contemptuous reply.
Are you looking down on me? Hmph! We shall see! I will impress you and take you by surprise once I’m done building it!
Daniel and Hannah decided to call it a day and returned to their room after the TV session they had together.
Lacey glared at Zeke with an irritated expression on her face. "Hmph! Don’t you dare to take advantage of my parents just because they’re on your side! I will not allow you to have it your way!"
"If you go against my words again in the future, I… Get ready to spend the rest of your life on the couch!"
Lacey returned to her room angrily right after she finished her sentence.
Zeke heaved a long sigh as he looked in the direction of Lacey’s room.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Hannah saw Zeke sleeping on the couch through the peephole of their bedroom door.
Daniel broke the silence. "Sigh, Lacey went overboard again. How will she conceive if they aren’t sleeping together?"
Suddenly, Hannah suggested. "We should give Zeke a hand, right?"
Daniel asked curiously, "What should we do?"
Hannah reached for the pillow and handed it over to Daniel.
Daniel finally figured out what Hannah was up to and gave her a thumbs up. "My dear, you’re so smart!"
Hannah urged, "Stop talking and let’s get going already!"
She pushed Daniel out of their room with all her might and scolded him. "Daniel, how dare you keep me in the dark about your fortune? Go spend the night on the couch!"
Daniel shouted in return, "Fine! Do you really think I wish to spend the night by your side?"
The irritated man held on to the pillow he had with him and walked towards the couch. "Zeke, why don’t you join Lacey in her room? I have to spend the night here."
Zeke was speechless because he saw right through their plan.
Seriously? That’s such a horrible act coming from them. It seems like they’re going all out to play matchmaker with us.
Zeke nodded immediately. "Alright, dad."
He decided to grab the opportunity they had created for him instead of wasting it like a fool.
Zeke held on to his pillow and stood in front of Lacey’s room. His hand trembled as he tried to knock on her door.
Zeke got worked up all of a sudden because he didn’t expect happiness to arrive so soon.
Lacey, who was in her room, clenched her teeth with all her might. She had heard the conversation her father had with Zeke.
She immediately figured out the intention behind her parents’ fight. It was obvious the fight was but a deliberate setup.
Seriously? Are you guys sure I’m your daughter?
What kind of parents would matchmake their daughter in such a manner?
They actually tried to send him into my room? What the hell! Arghhhh!
However, Lacey opened the door and allowed Zeke to enter her room in the end because she knew her parents wouldn’t give up until they achieved what they had in their minds.
"Lacey, please pardon my intrusion." Zeke took a deep breath and enjoyed Lacey’s lingering scent in her room as he finished his sentence.
Lacey instructed him in an irritated manner, "You’re sleeping on the floor."
She headed over to the wardrobe and got him a quilt.
Even the quilt smells great because it belongs to Lacey.
He lay on the quilt once he laid it on the floor. Zeke saw Lacey’s feet the moment he turned around.
He saw her slender and porcelain-like pair of legs. Her legs were as delicate as her.
"I heard that woman with a small pair of feet usually give birth to a daughter. I think a daughter is great! I can protect both of you."
Lacey’s face turned gloomy all of a sudden. "You fool! Stop talking nonsense! You better stop, or else I’m going to throw you out from the window right now!"
The next day morning, Lacey headed over to the steel mill and reported to work right after she washed herself up.
She had become busier ever since they had procured another few factories.
Zeke was heartbroken deep down. "I definitely wouldn’t have allowed you to take over the factories if I knew this would happen."
He washed his face and headed out of Lacey’s room.
Hannah had already prepared breakfast for Zeke. She greeted him enthusiastically the moment she saw him. "Zeke, hurry up! Come over and try the dishes I prepared for you! I have made you some xiaolongbao."
"Thanks, mom," Zeke replied with a smile on his face.
Daniel was delighted. "You’re welcome! We’re a family, after all!"
Zeke was indeed hungry and chomped down all the food served.
He finished a whole tray of xiaolongbaos almost instantly.
Zeke wiped his mouth as he told Hannah, "Mom, please pack a few of the xiaolongbaos for me. I will drop by Lacey’s place and bring her some. She left in such a hurry. I’m sure she hasn’t had her breakfast, right?"
Hannah grinned. "Sure! I’ll go pack some for you immediately."
Zeke left with the xiaolongbaos Hannah packed for him while Daniel walked out of their room.
"Zeke is a great man. Look at how he takes care of Lacey."
Hannah rolled her eyes as she was annoyed. "You’re right. I mean, he’s definitely better than a heartless man like you!"
Zeke headed over to the steel mill right away.
He took a detour when he passed by the Schneider family’s building because he needed to get Evan to start working on the grand hall he would need in the future for his grand wedding ceremony
Zeke ran into an acquaintance the moment he entered Schneider Tower.
Susan was waiting for Emily as she would be tagging along with her to the interview session.
She was surprised because she ran into Zeke before Emily was there. Susan rushed towards Zeke and greeted him.
"Mr. Williams, what a coincidence to run into you at the Schneider family’s place!"
Zeke replied nonchalantly, "Mm, I’m here to carry out my role as a supervisor."
"Supervisor?" Susan was dumbfounded when she – heard his words, but managed to return to her senses almost instantly.
Zeke was her father’s boss’ boss. Her father’s boss was Evan Schneider.
That would indicate that Schneider Tower belonged to Zeke as well.
Susan nodded. "I’m sure Mr. Williams has a lot to deal with."
"Can I have a few seconds of your time, Mr. Williams?"
Zeke replied, "Speak."
Susan reached for an invitation card she had with her. "Ten days later, the Global Medical Association Forum will be held in Oakheart City. My dad is an advisor of the said forum, and he would love to have you as an honourable guest. May I know if Mr. Williams is free on that particular day?"
Zeke shook his head. "I’m not free."
He walked away right after he finished his sentence, leaving Susan behind all alone.
What? That’s it?
However, Zeke turned around and returned to Susan before long. He took over the invitation card and explained in a callous tone, "My dad might be interested."
He turned around and left once again after he finished his sentence.
Susan pouted her lips in irritation. She threw several air punches in Zeke’s direction.
"Hmph! Something must have been wrong with you! How dare you treat me in such an indifferent manner!"
Coincidentally, Emily, who made her way into the building, saw how irritated Susan was.
She was shocked because Susan had always been known by others as an indifferent woman.
Susan would get full of herself in front of others and behave arrogantly whenever she was around other men. It would make her seem as though she didn’t want any of them near her.
However, Susan had actually pouted her lips and threw punches like an irritated little girl. Emily was utterly shocked and thought to herself.
Has she… fallen in love? Oh, God! What kind of man could he possibly be to be able to conquer such an indifferent woman’s heart?
Emily rushed over to Susan’s side. "Susan, I’m so sorry, I’m late! I was caught in a traffic jam."
Susan finally returned to her usual indifferent self. "Mm. It’s fine. Oh, Emily! I have great news for you! I ran into the man I told you about again!"
"Really?" Emily got worked up all of a sudden.
"Where is he? Can I have an audience with him?"
Susan told her, "I’m afraid that’s impossible. He’s the Schneider family’s supervisor. He’s currently in the tower for work."
"Apart from that, he’s a… callous man who tends to ignore others. Don’t worry! I have invited him to participate in the Global Medical Association Forum that will be held in ten days. I’m sure your mom will take part in the event, right? I’ll introduce him to you guys then."
Emily nodded vigorously. "Thank you so much, Susan! You’re doing my family a huge favour!"
Susan urged her, "Let’s go! It’s time for your interview! We don’t want to be late!"
Emily attempted to poke her nose into Susan’s business as they made their way further into the tower. "Susan, let’s be honest. Do you have a thing for him?"
Susan blushed all of a sudden. "… T-That’s not the case… W-What are you talking about… F-Forget about it…"
She immediately denied Emily’s words.
Emily smiled and reassured Susan. "Haha! Susan, stop lying to me as well as yourself. To be honest, you guys seem like a pair made in heaven! I mean, you’re a gorgeous lady from a wealthy family whereas he’s an exceptional young man."
Actually, Emily didn’t mean her words as she was jealous deep down. She was merely trying to flatter Susan.
Emily had a crush on such an exceptional man as well.
He was a skilful divine doctor and supervisor of the Evan Schneider, top conglomerate’s leader in Oakheart City.
She was determined to seduce Zeke should she have the opportunity to.
Emily would rather be his mistress if she couldn’t be his wife; she was merely going after his fortune.
Meanwhile, Zeke walked into Evan’s office and delivered his instruction to build a grand hall that could accommodate ten thousand people.
Evan immediately gave his consent. "Mr. Williams, don’t worry. I will definitely prioritize this project over all of our ongoing projects."
Zeke nodded. "I want it done within two months. I’m sure you’re able to do it, right? I don’t want to delay my marriage."
Evan swore upon his life. "If I can’t finish it within two months, I shall deliver my life to your doorstep."
Zeke nodded and made his way out of Evan’s office.
Suddenly, a secretary walked in right when Zeke opened the door.
"Mr. Schneider, this is a Michelin grade meal I have prepared for you. Please enjoy your meal."
Evan ordered his secretary. "Put it aside for the time being."
Zeke was intrigued by the attractive scent of the meal. He felt as though it was a pretty decent meal and requested, "Till take this. My wife has yet to have her breakfast."
Evan’s secretary glared at Zeke. "Who the hell do you think you…"
Evan was horrified and immediately interpreted his secretary, "Shut up! Mr. Williams, feel free to take it with you."
"Is it necessary to get you another set? I’m afraid this set is getting cold."
Zeke replied, "Forget about it. Let’s procure Michelin instead. I’ll have them prepare our meals from today onwards."
"Sure. Consider it done," Evan replied.
Evan’s secretary was dumbfounded after Zeke left.
What the hell? Who the hell is that man?
The owner of the top conglomerate in Oakheart City actually addressed him in such a polite manner and treated him with respect!
He actually procured Michelin just to serve his wife breakfast?
Oh, God! Just how much does he love his wife? Fine! I should forget about it!
Zeke reached the parking lot, but a familiar voice stopped him right when he was about to get into his car.
"Hold it right there, Zeke Williams!"
Zeke turned around and realized it was an acquaintance of his, Emily Clemons.
She was about to return home right after her interview session. Emily didn’t expect to run into Zeke either, but she decided to stop him since they met in the parking lot.
Zeke stopped and asked, "Yes?"
"Yes? Why else would I stop you? I’m here to tell you I am officially a procure specialist for the Schneider family."
"I’m currently in charge of the one billion order your steel mill secured from the Schneider family. You better ensure the products you produce are of top-notch, or else I shall deal with you accordingly based on the terms developed."
Zeke sneered and thought to himself.
Are you showing off in front of me? A mere procure specialist is showing off in front of her supervisor? Nonsense! She must be a fool!
Zeke ignored Emily and simply got into his car.
Emily was irritated when she was ignored by the man. She decided to get into Zeke’s car and sat right beside him because she was annoyed.
"Get out of my car!" shouted Zeke.
Emily replied him, "Stop shouting at me! I’m here to strike a deal with you!"
"I’m not interested in what you have to offer!" Zeke rejected her immediately.
Emily went on. "Forget about it! Who do you think you are? I have just gotten word from my boss that they are gonna spend ten billion to build a grand hall that will be able to accommodate ten thousand people."
"I’m sure I will be in charge of the procurement of the materials needed, including steels. The fortune involved in this particular project is ten billion."
"Why don’t you work with me to destroy Lacey’s steel mill? We’ll split the fortune into half for each of us."
"I will consider returning to your side if your performance is up to expectation."
Zeke was speechless.
She must have lost her mind, right? Who the hell does she think she is?
Stop seducing me with the same excuse over and over again!
Zeke started his car and replied in a callous tone. "I’m warning you to stay out of Lacey’s way. If you get in her way again, I don’t mind sending you over to the crematorium."
"Get out! Now!"
Emily grew irritated and got out of the car angrily. "Zeke Williams! We shall see! I’m sure you will regret your decision today!"
"Since you’re not interested to work with me, I’ll get someone else instead!"
Zeke departed and sped his way out of the parking lot. He almost ran into Emily who got in his way.
Emily’s face flushed all of a sudden. "F*** you! Go to hell, jerk!"
She soon regained her composure and plastered a wicked grin on her face.
Emily didn’t hit on Zeke because she wanted to work with him. She had her own hidden agenda behind her action.
Ten minutes later, Emily walked into the tower’s security room. She managed to retrieve the footage of the parking lot’s surveillance camera.
She proceeded to send the footage to Lacey and attached a description.Look at your husband. He’s having an affair with someone else behind your back.
If others were to come across such footage, they would definitely think that the man and woman inside the car had done some sort of hanky-panky activities.
Emily could imagine how much despair Lacey would feel when she figured out that Zeke had spent some time with his ex-girlfriend in the car alone.
"Hmph! Zeke, Lacey, how dare you guys go against me? I want both of you dead!"
"This is but the first step of my revenge!"
Emily proceeded to call Lacey’s uncle, Jeremy.
"Jeremy, let’s strike a deal."
Lacey’s uncle, Jeremy, was confused. "I heard you’ve fired by the Hamilton family. Who do you think you are to strike a deal with me?"
Emily told him the truth, "The Hamilton family? What a joke! They are but nothing to me!"
"I am now part of the Schneider family as a procurement specialist."
"I will be in charge of the procurement for a huge project worth ten billion, which will be launched soon."
"I want you to take over Lacey’s steel mill. As long as you’re able to get your hands on it, I’ll have you take over the steel orders worth a billion. We’ll split the profit into half for each of us."
"What? A billion?" Jeremy’s heart skipped a beat when he heard the fortune involved.
He agreed without any hesitation at all, "Sure! Let’s seal the deal!"
"To be honest, I have been preparing to get my hands on Lacey’s steel mill as well. I’m at the final stage of preparation. Everything will be ready soon."
"If everything turns out accordingly, the steel mill will belong to me by tomorrow."
Emily replied, "I can’t wait for the great news! I look forward to working with you as well."
Jeremy gulped down two glasses of water after he hung up the call to calm himself down.
He rushed over to pay his father, Adam Hinton, a visit right after he regained his composure.
Jeremy initiated a conversation with his dad. "Dad, I have something to discuss with you."
"Speak," replied Adam.
Jeremy told him what he was up to. "Dad, when we decided to take a different path from one another, you gave me a plot of ten-hectare land while Daniel was given a plot of five-hectare land."
"I mean, I’m not in the line of business either. I can’t possibly fully utilize the plot of land given to me. Instead, I think Lacey might need it since she’s currently expanding her business."
"Is it fine for me to exchange the plot of tenhectare land of mine with the five-hectare that Lacey owns?"
Adam’s eyes widened. He glared at Jeremy, "Hmph! I think the one you want is Lacey’s steel mill, right?"
"She built the mills on the plot of land given to them. If you manage to get your hands on their plot of land, that means you will be the owner of the steel mill."
"Jeremy, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think you’re able to run a business on your own. Please allow Lacey to take care of the steel mill instead."
Jeremy was embarrassed as his father had managed to see through his plan immediately.
However, he tried to justify himself once again. "Dad, I’m doing this for the Hinton family’s sake!"
"I’m sure you’re aware of Zeke’s presence, right? Lacey is currently head over heels in love with him. I’m sure she will hand the steel mill over to him if he were to request for it."
"Does that mean you want an outsider to reap what we have sowed previously? Seriously? Do you want to forsake one of our own?"
Adam had a serious expression on his face all of a sudden.
Before long, he heaved a euphoric sigh. "Mm. You’re right. Fine, you have my consent. I do not want an outsider to be the owner of the plot of land as well."
Adam searched high and low for the legal title of the five-hectare plot of land owned by Lacey’s family as he told Jeremy his decision. Finally, he found it and handed it over to Jeremy.
Although he had distributed the plots of lands he had to his sons, he still held on to the legal title of the lands.
The legal title was but a piece of paper, but it felt tremendous for Jeremy. It wasn’t just any piece of paper for him.
What he had in his hand would secure him a fortune of ten billion.
He picked Lily up and rushed over to the steel mill the moment he got his hands on the legal title.
Lily had found out that Lacey’s family-owned assets worthy of a billion back when she worked as a lobby manager.
Ever since then, she had always wanted to get her hands on Lacey’s steel mill. Lily was the one behind the idea to get the steel mill by force through the legal titles.
Meanwhile, Zeke enjoyed being around an irritated Lacey in the steel mill because she was one of a kind even when she was mad.
Lacey could no longer keep her cool. "Y-You… This is no laughing matter!"
"If you can’t explain yourself, you better stay away from me for the rest of your life!"
Zeke teased rhetorically, "Stay away from you? I’m afraid your parents won’t allow that to happen."
Lacey was about to cry because of how shameless her husband was. He actually made use of her parents against her.
"Damn it! Stop making use of my parents against me! You jerk! I will be in charge of my marriage! | don’t care what they say!"
Zeke asked in return, "Lacey, do you really think I’m the kind of man who would return to his ex? I will never go back on my words!"
Lacey shouted angrily, "Men are all the same! They tend to repeat the same mistake over and over again!"
"Stop lying to me! What about this video right here? Why don’t you tell me what’s going on?"
Zeke was heartbroken as he saw the tears streaming down Lacey’s cheeks. "I have evidence to prove my innocence."
He showed her the dashcam. "My car’s dashcam recorded what happened back then. Please check it out."
Lacey couldn’t wait anymore and watched the footage of the dashcam immediately.
She was touched when she figured Zeke didn’t turn his back against her. In fact, he had declined Emily’s offer and took Lacey’s side instead.
However, Lacey put on an indifferent front as usual. "Hmph! I-I’ll tell dad and mom if you try to bully me in such a manner again in the future!"
Zeke murmured to himself. "I’m afraid dad and mom won’t take your side either."
Lacey heaved a long sigh because she felt dejected.
They actually prioritize Zeke over me as of now. If | were to tell them what happened, perhaps they will take Zeke’s side and blame me for not having enough faith in him. What the hell!
Zeke flicked Lacey’s forehead. "Have you learned your lesson yet? I’ll penalize you without any hesitation if you dare doubt me again in the future."
NH Chapter 53 It Is A Part Of My Life
"Hmph! You damned thug! Move aside! I have got lots of work to do!"
Zeke’s past subordinates would definitely be dumbfounded if they had any what was going on.
The Great Marshall actually tried to hit on a girl.
Suddenly, a black Lexus stopped in front of Lacey’s office.
Jeremy and Lily walked out of the car.
Lacey knitted her eyebrows. "What sort of business do they have with me?"
Although she didn’t appreciate Jeremy’s presence, she had to be courteous as he was, after all, her uncle. Hence, she stepped out of her office to welcome him.
"Uncle Jeremy, Lily, what brings you guys here today?"
Jeremy surveyed the surroundings of the steel mill. His eyes glinted greedily. "Mm, I’m here to check on the environment of the steel mill."
"Lacey, you did a great job taking care of the mill."
Lacey was surprised because Jeremy had always looked down on her, but was now actually complimenting her out of the blue.
Lacey replied cautiously, "Not really."
Jeremy went on, "Lacey, I’ve talked to your grandfather, and we do not want to waste your talent handling this steel mill anymore."
"I have decided to hand over the ten-hectare land of mine in the eastern area to you. I’m sure you will be able to build a new steel mill on a larger scale."
Lacey couldn’t believe her ears when she heard what her stingy uncle told her.
He’s offering me his ten-hectare land? I’m sure he’s up to no good.
She decided to proceed with caution. "Uncle Jeremy, are you seriously going to hand over the ten-hectare land of yours in the eastern area to me?"
Lily scoffed, "You must be dreaming, right? It’s a plot of ten-hectare land we’re talking about. Do you really think we’re giving it to you for free?"
"You should consider yourself lucky! In return for the plot of ten-hectare land, we only want this plot of five-hectare land of yours."
Lacey waved at them immediately. "Nope! That’s impossible! My steel mill is built on this plot of land of ours. I can’t possibly move it with me, right?"
Jeremy assured Lacey, "Don’t bother about it if that’s the case. Don’t worry! Uncle will take good care of this steel mill of yours."
It was obvious what Jeremy was up to by then. Perhaps even a fool could figure out his intention.
The steel mill was Jeremy’s ultimate goal.
Lacey got worked up all of a sudden. She could barely keep her cool as the steel mill was a brainchild of hers.
In fact, the steel mill was a huge part of her life. She would never hand it over to someone else.
Lacey made her stand clear and rejected them. "Uncle Jeremy, forget about it. I will never hand this steel mill of mine over to you!"
"You have no idea how much it means to me! The steel mill is a huge part of my life! No! It’s even more important than my life!"
Jeremy sneered. "Forget about it? I’m afraid that’s not up to you to decide."
"I have the legal title of this plot of land with me. That makes me the legal owner of this plot of land!"
Jeremy reached for the legal title he had with him and showed Lacey as he finished his sentence.
Lacey could no longer keep her cool when she saw the legal title Jeremy had with him.
She knew her steel mill would be as good as gone soon.
Lacey took a deep breath and tried to calm herself down. "U-Uncle… T-That’s too much!"
"I’ll go tell grandpa what’s going on immediately!"
Jeremy sneered once again. "You don’t have to waste your time anymore."
"I couldn’t have gotten my hands on the legal title if your grandpa was against the idea, right?"
"I mean, he was the one who suggested that I take over your steel mill."
Lacey’s pupils constricted all of a sudden. Her lips were trembling as she tried to catch her breath.
In order to fulfil Uncle Jeremy’s greed, grandpa had actually decided to make a move against me?
He’s trying to take away something I’ve poured all my blood, sweat, and tears into for half of my life!
He must be biased! He must have lost his mind to be biased to such an extent!
Lacey could no longer hold back her tears of wrath. "Y-You guys are so cruel! How could you guys do that to me!"
"Not even a stranger would have done such a thing!"
Suddenly, Jeremy lost his composure. "You damned brat! Is that how you’re supposed to talk to your uncle?"
"Do you want me to punish you based on our family rules?"
"Get out of my sight immediately! I want you to be responsible if the operation of the steel mill is affected because of you!"
Lacey clenched her teeth and made up her mind.
"I shall dismantle everything! I will dismantle this steel mill if that is what it takes to prevent you guys from achieving your goals!"
Lily smiled contemptuously, "Dismantle it? Who do you think you are to have the rights to dismantle this steel mill?"
"This steel mill is built on our plot of land. You don’t even have the rights to be here, let alone dismantling it."
"This is the legal title for the ten-hectare plot of land. Take this with you and get out of our sight, or you’ll be leaving with nothing at all."
Lacey felt despair all of a sudden.
Clap! Clap! Clap!
Zeke, who had remained silent all along, clapped his hand all of a sudden.
"Marvellous! What a splendid job from the Hinton family! You guys have actually managed to redefine what betrayal means."
"Lacey, let’s go. Don’t worry! It belongs to you, and only you. They won’t be able to take it away from you!"
Lacey, whose eyes brimmed with tears, replied, "But… They have the legal title with them…"
Zeke assured Lacey, "Don’t worry. It’s just a piece of paper. I’ll get them to get on their knees to beg you to take over the steel mill tomorrow."
Lily chuckled when she heard Zeke’s words, "On our knees? You? Why don’t you go and look at yourself in the mirror? Who exactly do you think you are?"
Zeke cast a stern gaze at Lily and drew a circle on the ground using his leg. "You guys will have to kneel here for a day if you want us to take over the steel mill again! Lacey, let’s go!"
Zeke brought Lacey away with him.
Lily spat on the ground after they left. "Who gave you the audacity to make such a statement?"
Jeremy’s cheeks flushed as he could barely hold back his excitement. "Lily, do you know why || insisted on taking over this steel mill?"
Lily asked curiously, "Why?"
Jeremy finally told her the reason behind his action, "That’s because I will soon secure a deal worth a billion for steels."
"What? A billion?" Lily was utterly shocked.
Jeremy reached for his phone with his trembling hands and called Emily. "Emily, I’ve gotten my hands on the steel mill. What about the order worth a billion?"
Lacey wept as they made their way home.
It’s too late! Everything’s gone!
My efforts, my dreams, my ambition! It’s all gone!
Zeke was heartbroken because of what Lacey had to go through
However, he remained silent instead of comforting her because he knew Lacey wouldn’t believe his words even if he told her his plan.
He decided to walk the talk and show Lacey what he was capable of.
Zeke was determined to finish the Hinton family off.
He parked the car right after they reached home and tapped on Lacey’s shoulder. "Lacey, go ahead and wait for me upstairs. I’ll join you after I make a call."
Lacey nodded obediently and headed upstairs.
Zeke reached for his phone and made a call, "Evan, Lacey’s steel mill has been taken over by someone through illegitimate means."
"I want you to trick Jeremy Hinton and get them on their knees to beg for Lacey’s forgiveness."
Evan replied humbly, "Sure. I’ll work on it immediately. I’ll get him to surrender himself by tonight."
Zeke walked into the house and saw Hannah crying hysterically as she was scolding Daniel.
"Daniel! If you’re a man, follow me to dad’s place and confront him! We have to get the steel mill back!"
"I have never seen someone as biased as him! It seems like that senile fool doesn’t even think of us as part of his family! To be honest, I don’t think he treats us as humans!"
"The steel mill is what we rely on! It’s our source of income! Are you seriously going to hand it over to them?"
Daniel remained silent and finished the cigarette he had.
Although he seemed to be relatively calm, he was heartbroken deep down as well because he had not expected his father to treat him and his family in such a cruel way.
He was in such dire straits because of his father.
Daniel couldn’t help but doubt that he wasn’t one of Adam Hinton’s sons.
Although he was abhorred, he had no guts to retaliate against his brothers, let alone his father.
He knew what would be in store for him even if he were to confront Adam. Daniel wouldn’t be of much help, and he might be beaten up by Adam instead.
Hannah could no longer hold back her anger because of her husband’s behaviour, "Get out! You don’t deserve to stay with us!"
"You can’t even defend our daughter! You’re a coward! I don’t need such a coward like you!"
"Don’t come home if you can’t get the steel mill back!"
Despite being a coward, Daniel could no longer suppress his anger when he heard Hannah’s harsh words.
"Shut up! I’ll get going immediately!"
"If dad refuses to return Lacey the steel mill, I’ll commit suicide in front of him!"
Daniel rushed out of the house right after he finished his sentence.
However, Zeke got in his way and stopped him. "Dad, that won’t be necessary."
"Uncle and grandpa will definitely get on their knees in front of us and beg for forgiveness tonight. They will surely return the steel mill to us."
Everyone was shocked and stared at Zeke in disbelief when they heard his words.
Zeke reassured them with a determined look on his face. "Trust me!"
Daniel turned around and looked at Hannah as he was trying to figure out what she had in her mind.
Hannah remained silent for quite some time before she heaved a heavy sigh. "Fine! We’ll deal with it tomorrow."
Lacey cast a confused gaze at Zeke as her mind was all over the place.
S-Should I believe him?
Emily rushed over to the steel mill once she received Jeremy’s call.
She sneered over and over again after she confirmed the authenticity of the legal title.
"Zeke, Lacey, I knew it! You guys are no match for
"Hmph! He who laughs last laughs best!"
Jeremy tried to flatter Emily, "Zeke and Lacey are definitely no match for Ms. Clemons. They are but parasites of society! Please pay no heed to them, Ms. Clemons."
"Ms. Clemons, about the contract… Did you bring it with you?"
Emily showed them the contract she brought with her. "This is a tentative agreement. Please sign after you have verified the terms."
"The project for the grand hall has yet to be launched, but this agreement will take effect once the project is officially launched."
Jeremy expressed his gratitude, "Thank you so much, Ms. Clemons. Rest assured that we will honour the agreement we have. I will definitely rebate the half-million that belongs to you."
Suddenly, a black Mercedes-Benz made its way into the steel mill and parked right beside Jeremy.
A middle-aged man in a complete set of tuxedos walked out of the car.
Emily’s eyes gleamed the moment she figured out who he was. She rushed to his side and welcomed him. "Mr. Geoffrey, such a trivial matter isn’t worthy of your attention at all. I will be able to deal with it on my own."
Jeremy was curious. "This is…"
Emily explained patiently, "He’s the manager of the procurement department, Mr. Bent Geoffrey."
Jeremy rushed over and bowed respectfully as he shook Mr. Geoffrey’s hand. "Welcome, Mr. Geoffrey. Thank you for gracing our steel mill with your presence…"
Mr. Geoffrey moved his hand away from Jeremy immediately and asked in a callous tone, "Skip the formality. Who’s the person in charge of the steel mill?"
Jeremy stepped forward once again, "That would be me. I am the person in charge of the steel mill."
Mr. Geoffrey nodded. "Great."
As soon as he finished his sentence, he beckoned to the direction of the entrance with his hand.
Two police cars showed up in the steel mill with its sirens screaming.
Everyone was dumbfounded. "Mr. Geoffrey, what’s going on…"
Mr. Geoffrey sneered, "Previously, the steels provided by your company failed to match up to the benchmark the company set. It has caused an enormous loss for the company in terms of actual financial loss and the company’s image."
"As the person in charge, you have to bear the responsibility and go through a series of investigation behind bars."
What? This place must have been jinxed!
Jeremy trembled in fear because of the misfortune had befallen the moment he took over the steel mill.
He immediately explained himself, "Mr. Geoffrey, I have just taken over the steel mill."
"I wasn’t the one who supplied the steels for the Schneider family previously. Someone else was behind the particular deal. Please go after that person in charge instead."
Mr. Geoffrey sneered, "I believe that’s an internal affair of your company. It has nothing to do with me at all."
"All I have to do is to deal with the person in charge of the steel mill as of now."
Jeremy was handcuffed by police immediately.
He broke down and lost his cool as he shouted at Lily hysterically, "Lily, go get Lacey!"
"She’s the person in charge of the steel mill! We shall return it to her!"
Lily was frightened by what was going on. She only managed to return to her senses when she heard Jeremy’s words.
She cried and replied, "Don’t worry, dad! I’ll go get Lacey immediately!"
"That damned Lacey! How dare you set us up!"
She rushed towards Lacey’s place immediately as she was afraid the police would take her away with them as well.
Emily stiffened all of a sudden, her mind all over the place.
She would never have expected such an incident to occur. Things turned out exactly the other way around, even though she had racked her brain to develop the malicious scheme.
If she hadn’t persuaded Jeremy to take over the steel mill, Lacey would be the one taken away instead.
Great! Lacey manages to get off the hook while Jeremy has to spend his time behind bars for the time being. What a day!
Mr. Geoffrey sneered and snatched the contract worthy of a billion from Emily. "Are you kidding me? They can’t even fulfil the previous contract worthy of a billion, but you’ve actually signed a contract worthy of ten billion with them."
"I hope you didn’t strike a deal with them secretly behind my back, did you?"
Emily got anxious all of a sudden and explained herself. "No! I didn’t! I did nothing of sorts!"
"I… I didn’t expect the Hinton family to be such a cunning bunch! If I had any idea of what’s going on, I would have never worked with them!"
Mr. Geoffrey scoffed, "I will investigate what’s going on myself. I do hope that you are as innocent as you proclaim to be."
"Apart from that, this particular steel mill will be blacklisted. The Schneider family will never work with them anymore."
Emily replied in a humble manner. "Don’t worry, Mr. Geoffrey. I will never work with the Hinton family anymore!"
It was getting late, but Lacey’s place was brightly lit as they couldn’t fall asleep. None of them could move on from what had happened with the steel mill.
Lacey couldn’t bear it when she saw how upset her parents were because of her. "Dad, mom, please go to bed and get some rest. We’ll deal with what happened to the steel mill tomorrow."
"If worse comes to worst, let’s forsake the steel mill. I will start up something else and begin another venture!"
Daniel put out his cigarette and spoke in a ferocious manner, "Lacey, we are aware of what you’ve sacrificed for the steel mill. We will never give up on it!
"Don’t worry! I will force your grandpa to return the steel mill to us, even if it’s going to cost my life!"
Hannah took a peek at Daniel. "Hmph! Finally, you’re acting like a man!"
"Let’s tuck into bed for the time being. We’ll talk about it tomorrow."
Zeke, who had remained silent all along, broke the silence all of a sudden. "Dad, mom, let’s wait for another minute."
Everyone stared at him in disbelief. "What are we waiting for?"
Zeke looked at his phone. "It’s about time."
As soon as he finished his sentence, someone knocked on their door.
Zeke smiled and told Lacey, "Lacey, go get the door."
"It’s getting late. Who is it?" murmured Lacey to herself as she made her way to answer the door.
It was Lily on their doorstep.
Lacey tried to chase her away petulantly, "Lily Hinton, please leave! You’re not welcomed here!"
Lily tried her best to calm herself down because she didn’t want them to find out that she was upset.
I can’t let Lacey know that dad has been sent behind bars! If she knows what’s going on, she definitely won’t take over the steel mill again.
She replied in an arrogant manner, "Lacey, we don’t want your steel mill anymore. Please take it over."
Everyone was dumbfounded when they heard what Lily had said.
What the hell is going on?
Uncle Jeremy had spent so much effort to get his hands on the steel mill! Why did he decide to return it to us all of a sudden?
What exactly are they up to?
Lacey kept her guard up because she was afraid they might be up to no good. "Why have you guys decided to return it to us all of a sudden after what you guys did to get the steel mill?"
Lily replied, "We managed to gain a better understanding of the operation of the steel mill and realized that you’re better suited to manage the mill."
A weight was lifted off Lacey’s shoulders when she heard Lily’s words.
She immediately agreed. "Alright, I’II…"
However, Zeke interrupted Lacey before she could finish her sentence. "If you want to return the steel mill to us, I’m afraid it won’t be such an easy task."
"Have you forgotten what I told you guys back when we were at the steel mill? Get on your knees and beg us."
Lily went berserk all of a sudden. "Zeke, you better watch your mouth!"
"You should be grateful that we’re returning the steel mill to you guys! Stop pushing your luck!"
"I will dismantle the steel mill instead of returning it to you guys if you keep pushing your luck!"
Zeke sneered, "If that’s what you wish, by all means, please proceed."
As soon as Zeke finished his sentence, he closed the door.
Lacey and her parents were anxious because of Zeke’s action.
They’re willing to return the steel mill to us, but Zeke doesn’t seem to want it back! I can’t afford to lose the steel mill!
Lacey scolded Zeke, "What the hell do you want?"
Zeke replied with a smile on his face, "Don’t worry. I’m sure she will get on her knees today."
Thump! Thump! Thump!
Someone knocked on the door again.
Lacey answered the door once more.
Lily stopped putting on an arrogant front. "Lacey, please allow me to apologize for what my dad and I have done. We’re the ones at fault."
"Can you please forget about the part where I have to kneel? After all, we’re a family…".
"A family? Why didn’t this particular concept crossed your mind back when you were there to take over the steel mill by force?" asked Zeke.
"I’ll give you one last chance. Get on your knees, or We won’t answer the door anymore."
Zeke closed the door again as soon as he finished his sentence.
Lily was anxious and stopped him immediately. She begged, "Lacey, p-please forgive me…"
Lacey couldn’t make up her mind. She took a peek at Zeke and made up her mind. "I’ll listen to Zeke’s instructions."
Lily had a furious look on her face, but then recalled the fact that her father might be suffering behind bars as they spoke.
She clenched her teeth and got on her knees as instructed. "Lacey, please forgive us."
Zeke told her, "It doesn’t work if you get on your knees here."
"Get your ass back to the steel mill and kneel on the circle I have drawn back them."
Lily could barely remain her composure. "Stop pushing your luck and challenging my limits!"
Zeke sneered. "This is your last chance. If you have decided to forsake it, I can’t do anything about it either."
Zeke closed the door again once more.
Lacey and her parents were anxious as they hesitated.
Should we believe Zeke?
They knew Lily wouldn’t give in to their request because of how arrogant she was.
However, they couldn’t make up their mind because of how determined Zeke seemed to be.
The enraged Lily, who was now shut out, kicked a pot of flower downstairs.
Damn it! Jerks!
No one has ever bullied me to such an extent!
Hell! Go to hell! Each and every one of you should suffer in hell!
Lily was on the verge of breaking down whenever she recalled the fact that her father was still behind bars.
She thought about it and decided to give in to Zeke’s request for the time being.
"Fine! I’ll put my dignity aside for today."
"I’ll go get the cops to go after all of you tomorrow once you have taken over the steel mill."
"Hmph! I’ll get two male inmates to give you a special service by then."
Lily made up her mind and knocked on the door once again. "Lacey, I’ll do whatever you guys have requested immediately."
"Please keep to your words and take over the steel mill tomorrow."
Zeke replied nonchalantly right when Lacey was about to open the door again. "I’ll send someone to keep an eye on you."
"Don’t try anything silly. We will not honour our promise if you fail to kneel as requested."
Lily left angrily.
Lacey began to interrogate Zeke once Lily left. "Can you please explain to me what exactly is going on?"
She was almost certain because she had a strong instinct that Zeke was the mastermind behind the scheme.
Zeke replied half-heartedly, "You should ask Lily. Perhaps they have finally realized what they did was wrong and decided to atone for their sin."
"Let’s go, honey. It’s time to sleep."
Zeke yawned over and over again as he made his way into Lacey’s room.
Lacey got worked up all of a sudden. "Zeke! Who told you anything about spending the night in my room? Go spend the night on the couch!"
Hannah glared at Daniel immediately. "Daniel, I’m afraid you’ll have to spend another night on the couch."
Lacey was speechless.
Dad! Mom! That’s too much! Stop bullying your daughter!
Lacey was irritated as she made her way back to her room.
She saw Zeke, who was on his phone on her bed, the moment she entered her room.
"The floor!" shouted Lacey.
Zeke heaved a helpless sigh but did as instructed nevertheless.
Lacey looked at Zeke with a complicated expression on her face, "Zeke, is Uncle Jeremy up to something? Why did he decide to return the steel mill to me all of a sudden?"
Zeke smiled when he heard her words.
Exactly what I expect from a female entrepreneur who built everything from scratch! He’s indeed up to something.
Zeke reassured her, "Don’t worry. Just take it over as requested. They won’t be able to harm you as long as I’m by your side. They are not a threat to me at all."
Lacey massaged her temples. "Should I believe you?"
Daniel, who was in the living room, returned to his room with his pillow once Lacey returned to her room.
He was surprised the moment he stepped into his room because Hannah was crying all alone.
Daniel asked curiously, "My dear, why are you crying?"
Hannah expressed how she felt, "Sigh… Ever since I have gotten married to you, we have always been bullied by your brother and his family."
"I can’t hold back my emotions. Never would I have thought that Jeremy and his family would apologize to us and admit their mistake."
Daniel apologized with a look of guilt, "I’m so sorry, my dear. You must have had it rough ever since you got married to me."
Suddenly, Hannah asked, "Daniel, could it be… I mean, it seems like Zeke was the one behind what happened, right?"
Daniel nodded, "You’re right. It seems like that’s the case."
Hannah went on, "I feel like Zeke isn’t an ordinary man. Perhaps he has another identity."
"But I can’t figure out why he’s constantly trying to court Lacey…"
Daniel pondered, "We can’t be sure what he’s up to. We should proceed with caution."
Hannah replied, "I don’t think Zeke is up to no good… I don’t care! He will be my son-in-law!"
The two mumbling pairs finally fell asleep after the end of the conversation they had.
The next day morning, Lacey was roused from a deep sleep by Lily’s call.
The latter urged her to rush over to the steel mill and take it over as soon as possible.
Lacey agreed immediately as she had been waiting for it throughout the night. "Alright! I’ll be there…"
Suddenly, Zeke interrupted their conversation. "Get your grandfather to return the legal title to us, or else let’s forget about it."
Lily hesitated for a while before she brought herself to reply, "Fine!"
Lacey was about to rush over to the steel mill right after she hung up the call.
Zeke got in his way and told her, "I’ll go with you."
Lacey nodded and replied, "Sure! Go get ready then, we’ll depart soon."
Zeke took his time washing himself up.
Lacey was anxious because he decided to have his breakfast right after he washed himself up.
She urged him repetitively because she was frantic with worry.
Zeke took his sweet time as he enjoyed his breakfast. "Lacey, they’re the ones who are trying to beg us. Don’t worry."
"But…" Lacey tried to explain herself again.
"Have you forgotten how your beloved Uncle Jeremy treated you and your family back in the day?"
Lacey felt abhorred all of a sudden when she recalled what Jeremy and his family had done back in the day.
Finally, she stopped urging Zeke and ignored the call from Lily because she knew what the call was about.
Zeke wiped his mouth after he finished his meal and asked Daniel and Hannah, "Dad, mom, do you guys want to tag along?"
"I believe grandpa will show up at the steel mill too."
"He owes you guys an apology. I believe it’s time for him to apologize for what he’s done."
Daniel was hesitating while Hannah immediately took upon Zeke’s invitation, "Yes! Of course!"
"That old geezer used to look down on us because of how useless Daniel used to be!"
"I’m sure he’ll stop looking down on us since he’s the one who has a favour to ask from our exceptional son-in-law!"
The family of four made their way downstairs together.
They ran into the head of security of their residential area the moment they got downstairs.
Mr. Zachary greeted Daniel enthusiastically and offered him a cigarette, something he had never done before.
Daniel was proud of himself because his life had never been the same ever since he acknowledged Zeke as his son-in-law.
He could finally hold his head high ever since then.
Soon, they reached the steel mill and saw Lily.
Lily was pale and haggard.
She rushed over when she saw Lacey. "Lacey, this is the legal title! Please take it…"
Zeke stopped Lacey and asked, "Where is grandpa? I told you to get grandpa over. I want him to hand the legal title over to us instead."
"Grandpa is on his way! He’ll be here soon!" assured Lily.
"We’ll talk once he gets here. Dad, mom, Lacey, let’s wait for him in the office," said Zeke.
"Alright." They made their way into the office.
Lily gritted her teeth because of how irritated she was.
Fine! I’ll let you guys get full of yourselves for the time being!
Once you guys take over the steel mill, I’ll get the cops to arrest each and every one of you!
Soon, Adam Hinton reached the steel mill as well.
He was engulfed by wrath.
Actually, he knew his eldest son, Jeremy Hinton, was arrested by the cops.
He was aware that Lily was trying to return the steel mill to Lacey because she wanted her to take Jeremy’s place behind bars instead.
Adam didn’t blame Lily at all. Instead, he held a grudge against Lacey and her family.
He blamed Lacey for producing steels that failed to meet the requirements stated and deemed her the reason behind Jeremy’s arrest.
Hence, he wanted Lacey to take Jeremy’s place behind bars as well.
However, he was forced to be there to deliver the legal title to them on his own.
Although Adam was one of the masterminds behind the hostile takeover of the steel mill, he showed no signs of remorse.
Lily rushed over to usher Adam in an aggrieved expression and tone. "Grandpa, you’re finally here."
"Uncle Daniel went overboard! He insulted me and scolded you! He said you’re a senile and biased geezer who has always sided with our family."
Adam had a gloomy expression on his face all of a sudden. "Hmph! He must have lost his mind to utter such unfilial words against me!"
"Why did I ever give birth to such an unfilial child!"
"Hurry up! Go get them out! I will settle scores with them today!"
Lily nodded and rushed towards the office to get Daniel and his family.
"Dad, you’re here," greeted Daniel respectfully.
Adam replied nonchalantly, "Daniel, it seems like you’ve finally learnt how to spread your wings, huh?"
"You unfilial son, how dare you order me to deliver the legal title to you?"
Daniel remained silent when he heard his father’s words.
Hannah was irritated and talked back against Adam, "Dad, you handed it over to Jeremy previously, but you decided to return it to us out of the blue. We have to verify what’s going on, right?"
Adam cast a stern gaze at Hannah. "I’m talking to my son! Who the hell do you think you are to have the rights to interrupt our conversation?"
Hannah stuttered due to anger.
It had been years since she got married to Daniel, yet she had never been acknowledged as part of the Hinton family.
Adam Hinton showed them no mercy.
Suddenly, Zeke broke the silence. "Grandpa, I believe you know where Uncle Jeremy currently is, right? I believe you know what’s about to happen once you hand over the legal title to us, right?"
Adam rolled his eyes. "Shut up! I don’t have time for you!"
"Lacey, I’m here now. Come over and take the legal title."
Lacey didn’t take the legal title Adam handed over to her. Instead, she turned around and looked at Zeke as she wanted to know what her next best course of action would be.
Zeke smiled wryly.
Judging by the look he had on his face, he was certain Adam was aware that Jeremy was behind bars.
Although he knew what would await Lacey, he insisted on handing the legal title over to her.
Adam is such a mean guy. He didn’t even bother holding back against her own granddaughter.
I shall stop showing you guys any mercy since you guys have no intention to hold back either.
Zeke told Adam, "We will take over the legal title under one condition."
"I want you to transfer the ownership of the title to Lacey. I don’t want such conflict to occur anymore in the future."
That was precisely what Adam had in mind as he would be able to send Lacey behind bars and set Jeremy free once he transferred the ownership to Lacey.
He nodded. "Sure!"
Zeke reached for his phone and made a call.
Before long, someone from the Bureau of Land showed up.
Of course, they were part of Zeke’s plan as well.
They carried out the required procedure online, right at the steel mill. The legal title was soon transferred to Lacey.
Lily had a wicked smile on her face the moment they verified the authenticity of the updated legal title.
"Great! Lacey, haven’t you and your family gotten full of yourselves? How dare you humiliate me and ask me to get on my knees!"
"Hopefully you are able to keep it up behind bars as well!"
Adam replied in a sarcastic manner, "Lily, mind your manners."
"After all, Lacey is your cousin. You should drop by and visit her occasionally once she’s arrested."
Lacey and her family were confused by their words as they had no idea what was going on.
Lacey asked, "Lily, what do you mean by behind bars and visit us?"
"Fine! I’ll tell you guys the truth. The Schneider family dropped by previously because the steels you produced weren’t up to standards."
"As the person in charge of the steel mill, my dad was arrested by the cops."
"Thankfully, we’re able to prove otherwise now that you have become the person in charge of the steel mill. I’ll get the cops to arrest you and set my dad free soon!"
Chills were sent down Lacey’s and her family’s spines.
They had been tricked by Lily and Adam.
It’s a conspiracy against our family.
Dad and Lily want Lacey to take Jeremy’s place behind bars.
It seems like Adam knew what’s going on all along. How could he set Lacey up and…
Hannah broke into tears because of how abhorred she was. "Dad… You… That’s too much!"
"Lacey is your granddaughter too! How could you…"
"Do you seriously consider yourself her grandfather?"
"You insolent fools!" Adam widened his eyes and pursed his lips. "You guys asked for it!"
"You shouldn’t have produced such low-quality steels! You’re the one who caused Jeremy to be sent behind bars!"
Daniel shouted angrily, "If it weren’t because of the scheme you came up with Jeremy to take over the steel mill, he wouldn’t have been sent behind bars either!"
"He deserves it! He should have seen it coming his way!"
"I… I’ll beat you to a pulp, you unfilial son!" Adam raised his walking stick and beat Daniel. "Jeremy is your brother! How can you say he deserves it?"
Daniel didn’t evade his father’s attack either. He allowed his father to hit him as he wanted.
The excruciating sensation he felt physically was nothing as compared to what he felt deep down.
His eye brimmed with tears, "Jeremy took over the steel mill in a hostile manner, yet you didn’t even bother standing up for us."
"He wanted Lacey to take his place behind bars, yet you remained silent as well."
"However, you decided to beat me to a pulp just because I talked back against you and said he deserved it?"
"Have you never once thought that you are the biased one?"
"Biased? I’m your dad! I get to decide to whom am I biased towards on my own. Stop telling me how or what I should do!"
He hit Daniel once again with his walking stick as soon as he finished his sentence.
Lacey and her family were utterly disappointed.
Suddenly, sirens were screaming at the steel mill’s doorstep.
Lily was delighted. "Grandpa, it’s the police!"
"I called them just now and told them that Lacey had become the steel mill’s person in charge."
"I’m sure they’re here to arrest Lacey!"
Lacey and her family panicked.
Daniel told Zeke immediately, "Zeke, get the person from the Bureau of Land to transfer the land to me instead!"
"I’ll take Lacey’s place behind bars!"
Zeke shook his head. "Dad, no one will be sent behind bars today."
Daniel asked, "Why?"
Zeke assured Daniel, "I have faith in Lacey. She would never have produced such low-quality goods to fulfil the contract."
"Lacey, are you sure the steels you have provided the Schneider family fulfil the terms required?"
Lacey assured Zeke, "I have personally gone through every single batch of orders myself. I’m sure every batch matched the quality and benchmark required."
"I’m sure everything will be fine if that’s the case," said Zeke.
Hannah couldn’t calm down. "But the Schneider family stated otherwise…"
Zeke said righteously, "It’s the Schneider family’s fault! Let’s get them to compensate us for our loss!"
Lily could no longer hold back her laughter. "Get the Schneider family to compensate for your loss? Have you lost your mind?"
The police car stopped.
Two police got out of the car followed by Jeremy.
Jeremy cast a provocative gaze at Daniel and sneered.
A policeman with a pair of glasses asked, "We received a call just now, and the person told us Jeremy wasn’t the person in charge of the steel mill. Instead, the person in charge is someone else."
"May I know who’s the person in charge of the steel mill?"
Lacey and Daniel replied simultaneously, "It’s me."
The police with a pair of glasses knitted his eyebrows. "Who exactly is the person in charge of the steel mill?"
Lily got ahead of others before they could reply. "It’s Lacey! The low-quality steels were produced under her supervision. She admitted it just now!"
Daniel and Hannah had an awful expression on their faces.
Jeremy scolded Lacey, "Lacey, how could you do this to me? You’re the reason I had to spend a night in the cell! You shouldn’t have resorted to such methods to generate profit!"
"Sir, please take her into custody and make her an example!"
"Such a loser doesn’t have the right to proclaim herself as part of the Hinton family!"
The police with a pair of glasses looked at Lacey. "Are you sure you’re the person in charge of the steel mill?"
Lacey clenched her teeth and put on a strong front.
"Mm! I’m the person in charge of this steel mill! Please take me with you!"
"However, I will never admit I have provided lowquality steels to the Schneider family!"
To everyone’s surprise, the man bowed and saluted Lacey respectfully.
"Ms. Lacey, actually we are here to compensate for your loss."
"What happened was nothing, but a misunderstanding."
"The Schneider family called us and said it was their mistake instead. They had proven your innocence because no defective product had actually been detected."
"To express their sincerity, the Schneider family has offered compensation worth a million."
"We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding and the inconvenience we have caused you. Please forgive us."
What the hell?
Everyone was dumbfounded all of a sudden as things took a drastic turn of events.
What happened was a misunderstanding?
Lacey doesn’t have to spend her time behind bars? Instead, she got the Schneider family to compensate them a million for their loss?
Jeremy and his family almost puked blood.
Lacey thought she must be hearing things. "Erm… Sir, I… I’m not hearing things, right?"
The police immediately reached for the portable safe box he had in the police car. "Ms. Lacey, you’re not hearing things. Here is the million from the Schneider family."
"If there’s nothing else, we shall take our leave now."
"Of course, if you are displeased with what happened previously, you can sue us as well."
Lacey stuttered all of a sudden upon realizing how luck was on her side.
"I-It’s… fine. I-I have no… intention to sue anyone. A-After all… I wasn’t adversely affected either."
Jeremy felt a strong urge to slap someone when he heard her words.
You weren’t adversely affected, but I spent a night in the cell because of you!
I deserve the fortune from the Schneider family! Will never hand it over to you!
The policemen heaved a sigh of relief and departed right after they got into the car.
Zeke handed the safe box to Hannah, "Mom, please verify if there’s a million."
Hannah, who was dumbfounded, finally returned to her senses. She held on to the safe box and assured Zeke, "O-Okay! I’ll go and verify it immediately!"
She rushed into the office with the safe box and locked the door because she was afraid others would go in after her.
Zeke gave Lacey a thumbs up. "Honey, you’re the best! You managed to earn a million without doing anything over the night! I’m impressed!"
"Shut up." Lacey looked at Zeke in the eyes.
She knew Zeke must have been the one behind the scenes because of how absurd things were. Lacey refused to believe it had nothing to do with Zeke.
Jeremy shouted angrily, "Shut up, Zeke!"
"Do you think that million belongs to Lacey? It belongs to me! I spent a night behind bars for it!"
"You have to hand it over to me!"
Lily nodded vigorously. "That’s right! That’s a compensation from the Schneider family to my dad! You guys shouldn’t have gotten your hands on it!"
However, Lacey rebutted their statements, "I’m sure you guys heard what the police told me, right? It’s for the person in charge of the steel mill."
"I believe I’m the person in charge as of now."
Daniel raised his objection. "Nonsense! Do you think you’re the person in charge just because you have said so? Why don’t you refer to the legal title?"
Lacey showed him the legal title, "Are you talking about this piece of paper?"
Jeremy scoffed, "Hmph! Don’t forget that your grandpa is the owner of the legal title! Dad, why don’t you tell him who’s the owner of this plot of land!"
Adam flushed all of a sudden and remained silent.
Lacey cast a thoughtful gaze at Zeke. "Did you insist on the transferal of ownership because of this? Did you foresee this coming our way?"
"Nah! I must have been lucky!" assured Zeke.
"Ha… Ha… Do you really think I will trust you?" asked Lacey rhetorically.
Jeremy’s face turned pale when he heard their words, "What? Transferal of ownership?"
Lily stuttered, "Dad… J-Just now… t-they insisted us to transfer the legal title to them. H-Hence…"
Jeremy’s heart skipped a beat. He almost passed out when he heard what Lily told him.
The legal title’s ownership… has been transferred!
Jeremy knew he was as good as done.
"Y-You… damned brat!" Lily Hinton pointed at Lily in the face viciously. "You shouldn’t have been so swift with your actions!"
Lily decided to reach out to Adam. "Grandpa, help me."
Adam took a deep breath and tried to calm himself down. "Lacey, you should hand over the million to your uncle."
Lacey replied stubbornly, "Why exactly should I do
"Why? Because he’s your uncle!" replied Adam.
"After all, your steel mill has been generating a fortune all along. I’m sure a million means nothing to you. Your uncle’s financial condition is not as good as yours. You should hand it over to him without any condition!"
Zeke burst into laughter all of a sudden. "I have never come across such a shameless bunch of seniors like you guys. How could you guys ask for pocket money from your nephew and your granddaughter?"
Jeremy shouted angrily, "Damn it! Shut up! You have no rights to speak in front of us!"
Zeke grunted and replied, "You want the million? We’ll hand over the million to you under one condition."
"Go on," replied Jeremy.
Zeke went on, "We’ll give it to you once you transfer the ownership of the ten-hectare plot of land at the eastern area to Lacey.
Lacey was anxious all of a sudden and stopped Zeke. "No! I don’t agree with that!"
"The ten-hectare plot of land in the eastern area is worthless! Per hectare cost twenty to thirty thousand at max. Ten-hectare cost only two to three hundred thousand."
"We will suffer a huge loss if we were to purchase a plot of land which merely cost two to three hundred thousand with a million."
However, Jeremy agreed without any hesitation.
"Since Zeke promises to give me the million, he can’t go back against his words anymore."
"I’ll hand over the legal title of the ten-hectare plot of land once I receive the million."
The ten-hectare plot of land was but a plot of wasteland for Jeremy.
He wouldn’t even flinch even if he were to give it away for free, let alone a million.
"Deal!" replied Zeke.
Lacey shouted angrily, "Zeke, what’s wrong with you? Why are we engaging in an unprofitable deal?"
Zeke lowered his voice and whispered into Lacey’s ears, "Don’t worry. Do you believe me if I tell you that this ten-hectare plot of land will be able to generate a tenfold and a hundredfold fortune for us?"
"What do you think? It’s about time for you to trust me, right?"
Lacey cast a thoughtful gaze at Zeke before she nodded. "Alright, it’s a deal from me."
Zeke had never let Lacey down.
She decided to trust him again.
Soon, they carried out the required procedures and transferred the ownership of the ten-hectare plot of land over to Lacey.
Hannah reluctantly handed over the safe box to Jeremy.
Her eyes brimmed with tears as they departed with the safe box containing a million. "Zeke, are you sure you’ll be able to generate a fortune worth a million with this plot of land?"
Zeke shook his head. "Nope."
Lacey and her family were disappointed.
Zeke went on, "But I can create a tenfold or even a hundredfold fortune."
Lacey and her family raised their heads at his words.
Based on the current real estate market, it would be a miracle if that plot of land could double in value.
Tenfold? Hundredfold? Seriously?
Daniel had to leave as he had to rush to the hospital for his shift.
Before heading home, Hannah told Zeke, "Remember to come home for lunch."
Lacey didn’t dive into her work as she cast a sceptical gaze at Zeke. "Please explain what happened with the Schneider family to me."
"They are such a prominent family! It’s impossible for them to make such a silly mistake. They couldn’t have mistaken the low-quality steels as the ones we supplied them."
"I mean, the timing seems too much to be a coincidence."
Zeke decided to tell her the truth, "Actually, the Schneider family belongs to me."
"Evan Schneider is but a puppet of mine."
"I was the one behind everything."
Lacey had a headache when she heard his words. "You… What should I do with you?"
"Fine. Forget about it. I have no intention to poke my nose into your business either."
"I have a lot to deal with. Why don’t you drop by the = workshop and keep an eye on the quality of the steels produced?"
Zeke felt helpless and speechless at the same time.
Thave told you the truth, but you refuse to believe my words. You leave me with no choice but to lie to you.
Actually, Lacey wasn’t the one to be blamed either.
Perhaps only a mentally retarded person would believe that the top conglomerate’s leader, Evan Schneider, was someone else’s puppet.
On the same day, certain news took Oakheart City by storm and affected the whole corporate world of Rivermouth.
The Schneider family had launched a ten billion worth project called Love in a Fallen City to build a grand hall that would accommodate ten thousand people.
Many were attracted by the fortune involved as the project was worth ten billion.
Suddenly, countless corporate players were eager to be part of the project, wanting a share of the fortune involved.
The Schneider family’s project worthy of ten billion stole the limelight and grabbed everyone’s attention.
Rivermouth’s corporate world, which had been stagnant for years, finally heated up.
As the Schneider family’s procurement specialist, Emily was one of the few to know the details of the project.
When she saw the address of the project, her eyes gleamed.
She recalled that the Hinton family had a plot of land near the project site.
Emily knew the Schneider family would offer a higher rate as compared to the market rate if they had the intention to procure that plot of land.
She was tempted and wanted to procure the plot of land from the Hinton family beforehand so she could sell it to the Schneider family.
The Hinton family don’t pay attention to corporate news. I’m sure they have no idea the potential price of that particular plot of land.
Emily was tempted and stopped hesitating. She made up her mind and got in touch with Adam.
Meanwhile, Adam and Jeremy were celebrating as they had managed to get their hands on the million in exchange for the ten-hectare plot of land.
Adam was confused when he figured out the aim of Emily’s visit.
"What the hell is going on today?"
"Emily, you’re the fifth person who has come after us, offering to buy that particular plot of land."
"That particular plot of land is nothing but a plot of wasteland. What’s going on? Why is everyone coming after that plot of land today?"
Emily replied, "Oh! It’s nothing!"
"I’m sure you know that my mom has been expelled by Daniel from the hospital. She has nothing to do recently and wishes to buy that plot of land to start her own farm."
Adam had his doubts and told her, "Sigh! You’re late! We’ve already sold off the land to someone else!"
Emily was disappointed, "Oh. Who did you sell it to? For how much was the plot of land sold?"
Adam told her, "We sold it off to Lacey for a million."
"What?" Emily got worked up all of a sudden. "You sold it off to Lacey for a million? Fool! A bunch of fools!"
Adam was irritated when he heard Emily’s words. "Emily, who exactly are you referring to?".
"A ten-hectare plot of land in exchange for a million! It’s a good deal!"
"Deal? You have no idea how you have been set up by them!" Emily scolded Adam.
"I’ll tell you what’s going on. The Schneider family has another huge project which involves that particular plot of land of yours. It’s a project worthy of ten billion!"
"That plot of land would have cost at least five million as of now."
"Haha! Aren’t you a fool to get rid of it for a million?"
Adam could barely catch his breath when he heard what Emily said.
Five million! At least five million! We just lost five million!
Jeremy’s face turned pale as well.
He thought they were the ones who got a deal, but they were the one who had made a loss instead.
In fact, it was a huge loss for them.
He clenched his teeth, "Damn it! Lacey and her family are a bunch of cunning b****! How dare they set us, seniors, up!"
"Dad! Let’s go get the legal title back!"
Adam glared at Jeremy because of how naïve he was. "Nonsense! The legal title’s ownership has been transferred to Lacey! She’s currently the rightful owner of that plot of land!"
Jeremy clenched his teeth. "Damn it! She’s such a mean girl!"
"Dad! They don’t deserve to be part of the Hinton family! Let’s expel them from the family!"
Adam clenched his teeth. "Hmph! We will not let them off the hook easily!"
Meanwhile, Emily felt as awful as Jeremy and Adam.
She couldn’t get her hands on the plot of land. Instead, Lacey and Zeke had got ahead of her.
Emily was irritated.
She initially wanted to generate a fortune through that particular plot of land. Eventually, she would form a company with her mother.
However, she knew it was hopeless. She would never achieve her plan anymore.
All Emily could do was to establish a clinic as instructed by her mother.
She called Madeleine Clemons, her mother.
"Mom, remember your plan about the clinic? I’ll support you with everything I have."
"Great!" Madeleine replied, with a bright smile on her face.
"Do you need my help? Have you sorted out everything regarding the required procedure to establish a clinic?" asked Emily.
"I’m at the last stage as of now. All it takes is another few visits to the Industry and Commerce Bureau before everything is in place," replied Madeleine.
"Business will be tough in the initial phase, but don’t worry! I’m sure I’ll be able to build my customer base through my participation in the Global Medical Association Forum. Our business will be great after that!"
Emily asked, "About the forum… Are you sure you will be able to take part in it?"
"I have already talked to Susan beforehand. She promised me to connect you to the prominent doctor she told me about during the forum."
"Don’t worry. I have already gotten my hands on the invitation card through an ex-leader of mine. Everything will be fine."
"Emily, remember to get in touch with Susan throughout this period. After all, she’s the only one we can count on to reach the prominent doctor. We need her connection to save your vegetative father."
"Mm. I’ll meet her for dinner tonight. I’ll try my best to get the doctor’s contact from her."
Emily searched for Susan’s contact number after she hung up her mother’s call.
She was extremely anxious deep down because Susan had yet to give her the doctor’s contact number.
Emily had no idea if Susan didn’t have it, or if she didn’t want to give it to her.
Emily had faith in herself. As long as she could get her hands on the doctor’s contact number, she would be able to conquer him with her charm.
She planned to get him to be one of the attending physicians at her mother’s clinic. Their business would definitely be a big hit with his aid.
Hence, Emily was determined to buy Susan a meal and attempt to get the doctor’s contact number again.
Meanwhile, in the workshop of the steel mill.
Zeke followed Lacey’s instructions and kept an eye on the production of steels. Suddenly, he received a call from the woman.
"Zeke, my best friend wants to drop by the steel mill, but she has no idea how."
"I’m not feeling well. Can you please go and get her on my behalf?"
"Sure. May I know how your best friend looks like?" asked Zeke.
Lacey was enraged by his words.
"Zeke, you heartless man!"
"You don’t care that I’m not feeling well, and you want to know how my best friend looks like instead?"
"Hmph! Get out of my sight in the future!"
Zeke was speechless because he felt as though it was a deliberate set up to take him by surprise.
It’s tough to maintain a relationship…
Zeke was exhausted. He decided to head over to Lacey’s office and apologize for what he did.
"Lacey, it’s my fault. I should have been concerned about you first…" said Zeke.
Lacey replied half-heartedly, "My best friend drives a Lavida with the license plate number ending with five-two-eight."
"Go get her immediately and get rid of the bag of trash over there as you make your way out."
"I’ll deal with you at a later time."
How Does Your Best Friend Look Like
She pointed at the bag of steel scraps outside of her office.
Zeke’s lips curled upward as he took a peek at the bag of trash.
He had already figured out what Lacey was up to by then.
"Sure," answered Zeke without any hesitation. He reached for the bag of trash and lifted it as he marched out of her office.
Lacey’s eyes widened all of a sudden because it was a bag of steel scrap.
That bag of trash was at least three hundred pounds.
Lacey thought Zeke wouldn’t be able to move it on his own. She decided to set him up because of what he did to irritate her back in the day. She was hoping to be able to laugh at him.
However, he lifted it effortlessly in front of her.
"He’s so strong!" Suddenly, Lacey blushed as she recalled something.
Zeke lifted the bag of trash and reached the steel mill’s RORO bin.
Before he could get rid of the trash, a Ferrari 488 stopped beside him.
Evan Schneider, the owner of the top conglomerate in Oakheart City, got out of the car. He was dumbfounded when he saw Zeke.
The rich and powerful Great Marshal…
He’s actually taking out the trash on his own?
I’m not seeing things, right?
Zeke rolled his eyes and looked at Evan’s gobsmacked face. "I believe that’s enough."
Evan finally returned to his senses and bowed immediately. "Mr. Williams, I’m here to offer Ms. Lacey some money."
"We’ll buy the ten-hectare plot of land newly gained by Ms. Lacey for ten million. What do you think?"
Evan knew the Schneider family would eventually belong to Lacey.
No matter how much his offer would be, it was actually pointless because it was merely changing hands between the same owner.
However, he knew Zeke had no intention to unveil his actual wealth at the moment. Hence, he decided to offer ten million out of courtesy.
Ten million was considered a lot; it actually made sense.
Zeke nodded. "Just about right. Where’s the money?"
Evan replied, "It’s in the trunk of the car."
"Oh, right! Mr. Williams, it seems like the car Ms. Lacey has is relatively old. This car is for her as well."
Zeke shook her head. "No need for that."
"I want to get Lacey her house and car on my own because I want her to remember me."
"Leave the money behind and bring the car away."
Evan nodded. "Erm… Okay."
He opened the trunk of the car after he finished his sentence.
A whole bunch of cash could be found in the trunk of the car.
Evan said, "I will get my men to send a briefcase over to put the money in. Please wait a moment, Mr. Williams."
Zeke threw the sack to Evan. "Forget it. Just put it in the sack. I’m in a hurry to meet someone."
Evan smiled and began to do as instructed silently.
I think Mr. Williams is the only person who would use a sack to keep his money.
Evan then left after all the money had been put into the sack.
Zeke tied the sack closed and threw it over his shoulder
However, the sack on his back accidentally brushed against a girl who was passing by.
"Hey, you clumsy oaf, watch it!" the girl cried out in a reproachful tone, "You’ve dirtied my clothes."
Zeke turned around and glanced at her.
She was very young, and had a pair of lustrous eyes. She looked like a university student.
The pair of tight-fitting jeans and leather jacket she wore made her slim figure stand out.
She was slightly less good-looking than Lacey was, but would still stand out among the crowd nonetheless.
Zeke ignored her and walked away carrying the sack.
The girl got even more irritated. "You’re such a rude man. Can’t you just say sorry? Hmph, it serves people like you right to be a trashman all your life. Just spend the rest of your life with your sack of trash."
After scolding him, she asked someone for directions and drove off in her Lavida.
Zeke, who was carrying a sack of ‘cash’, searched around on the side of the road, but couldn’t find the Lavida Lacey had told him about.
He was about to give up when a Lavida suddenly brushed past him from behind.
Its car plate number ended with 528, which was the same number that Lacey had mentioned.
Zeke frowned, thinking, What a poor driving skill Lacey’s best friend has. She almost hit me while driving on such a broad road.
He hurriedly waved at the driver, but the driver didn’t mean to stop.
In the car, the young girl, who had just gotten into an altercation with Zeke, looked behind at the angry face of Zeke and smiled triumphantly.
"Hmph, stupid trashman. This is a lesson for being rude to me!"
She drove the car straight into the steel mill.
She was Lacey’s best friend, Dawn Castaneda.
Dawn got out of the car and smiled wickedly upon seeing Lacey, who was wrapped up in her work.
She tiptoed over and smacked Lacey on the bottom.
"Lacey, it’s only been a while since we last met, and yet your butt has grown a lot bigger."
Lacey jumped up, startled.
After realizing it was Dawn, Lacey got angry and squeezed her friend’s face hard.
"Dawnie is perversion all you’ve learned in university?"
Dawn grimaced with pain. "Lacey, it hurts, it hurts, let go…"
Only then did Lacey let go of her. "Why did you come here alone? Didn’t you meet the person I asked you to pick up?"
Dawn shook her head. "No, I came here alone. However, I did meet a trashman just now. He was so f**king rude; it drove me mad. I swear I will f**king kill that trashman if I ever see him again."
Lacey was amused. "Get lost. How can a nice girl like you keep saying ‘f*ck’? Aren’t you worried you’ll never be able to get a husband with a mouth like yours?"
Dawn smirked. "If I can’t get a husband, I will marry you. Haha."
Meanwhile, the door was pushed open.
Zeke walked in and put the sack on the ground. "I’m back, honey."
Dawn was stunned for a moment. This voice sounds kind of familiar.
She turned around cautiously and met his eyes.
The two of them exclaimed at the same time.
Lacey was stunned. "What’s the matter? You two know each other?"
Dawn replied, "He’s the f**king trashman I’ve just told you about."
Lacey smirked. "Dawn, didn’t someone say she’ll kill that trashman if she ever sees him again?"
Dawn instantly blushed. "Shut up! I didn’t say that!"
Then, she looked Zeke up and down. "If you have time, Lacey, you should go to the hospital for a health screening."
Lacey asked, "Why? I’m not sick."
"To get your eyes and brain checked properly," Dawn replied. "Why would you get a trashman as your husband if there’s nothing wrong with your eyes and brain?"
Lacey laughed and said, "You mean girl, you haven’t changed a bit, have you?"
"Zeke, don’t take it to heart. This girl has always been crazy."
Zeke simply nodded his head.
He wouldn’t bother to argue with this little girl.
Dawn looked at Zeke petulantly. "Well, you, a trashman, are not worthy of Lacey at all."
"I’m f**king warning you, you’d better get a decent job and work hard to make money. If you can’t pay a decent dowry, I will never f**king let Lacey marry you."
Zeke was speechless.
What’s wrong with this woman? Why does she keep cursing?
Not to be outdone, he retorted, "Lacey, why have you never mentioned that you had a younger brother before?"
Lacey burst out laughing.
Dawn shook her fists in anger. "Asshole, who are you calling a man?"
"Why do you keep cursing if you’re not a man?" Zeke struck back. "By the way, you must be a fitness coach, right? You have well-defined pecs."
Dawn was mad. "Argh, I’m gonna kill you."
Lacey clutched her stomach as she laughed.
I only knew Dawn took pleasure in making caustic remarks, but I didn’t expect Zeke to be so good at it as well!
It’s so funny when these two are going at each other. I’m looking forward to more sideshows from them.
Seeing Dawn about to cry, Lacey changed the subject. "Dawnie, I heard you’ve found a job. How about you treat me to a meal?"
Dawn nodded her head. "No problem. Let’s have some steak. I heard that steaks are on sale today." She added, "Hey, trashman, I will take you with us. Don’t forget to bring your money."
Dawn and Lacey got into the Lavida, whereas Zeke followed suit carrying the sack.
Dawn shrieked, "Hey, hey, why are you bringing a sack?"
"Didn’t you ask me to bring my money?" Zeke replied.
Dawn was taken aback for a moment before she burst into laughter. "Don’t tell me this sack is filled with money. Then, she continued, "Damn, with that kind of bluff, you could’ve become the king of poker."
Lacey was a little angry with Zeke.
Although she was very close to Dawn, who would not laugh at her, she still hoped that her husband could appear more charismatic in front of others.
Zeke’s shabbiness made her feel a little embarrassed.
Before long, the three arrived at a western restaurant
After looking at the menu, Lacey ordered three sets of regular steak that cost 58 each.
Dawn had just started working and did not have much money, so she could only afford this level of consumption.
This was the first time Dawn had ever treated Lacey to a meal. Hence, Lacey didn’t offer to pay for the bill to maintain Dawn’s dignity.
While waiting for the steak, Lacey’s phone rang suddenly.
It was a call from the steel mill worker, saying that the machinery had broken down and that the production was halted.
Lacey became frantic.
The steel mill was currently racing against time to produce the order for the Schneider family, and any sort of delay could not be allowed.
Feeling helpless, she had no choice but to say, "I have to go back to the factory first. You two eat first."
Dawn did not want to be left alone with Zeke, as she was worried he would embarrass her, so she hurriedly replied, "Lacey, I will go with you."
Lacey said, "We have already ordered the steaks. If you don’t eat it, it will be wasted. You should stay here."
Dawn had no choice but to stay.
Before long, the steak was ready and served to the table.
Dawn said in a sulky manner, "Let’s dig in."
Picking up the knife and fork, she began to eat slowly.
Meanwhile, Zeke was in quite a dilemma.
Although he had tasted the best food in the world, he disliked Western food. Hence, he had not eaten much Western food and did not know how to eat with the assortment of knives and forks.
Therefore, he could only imitate Dawn and used the knife and fork in a rusty manner.
Dawn felt more contempt for him, as he was clearly a country bumpkin who had never eaten Western food.
She just wanted to finish eating as soon as possible and leave, as there were several tables of guests around them who were giving them strange looks.
While the two were eating, four people suddenly walked into the restaurant and stood beside Dawn.
"Oh, hey, Dawn, you’re eating here too. What a coincidence."
Dawn looked up.
After seeing the group of people, her face instantly flushed with embarrassment.
These four people were all her colleagues.
Leading the group, the man with slicked-back hair was her superior, Dane Edward. He was a team leader at the company.
It was extremely embarrassing to be seen eating with a country bumpkin by her colleagues.
She stammered, "Mr. Edward, w-w-what a coincidence."
Dane nodded his head and looked at Dawn with a lewd expression. "Yeah, it’s a small world. By the way, I’m treating fellow colleagues to a meal, why don’t you join us?"
Dawn glanced at Zeke, looking stumped.
She felt bad to leave Zeke behind and eat with Dane.
At last, she shook her head. "Sorry, Mr. Edward, I’m eating with my friend now."
A trace of displeasure flashed across Dane’s eyes. How dare this girl reject me in front of the other colleagues.
It made him lose face.
He glanced at Zeke with contempt. "I didn’t expect you to actually have a friend who works as a peasant worker, Dawn. By the way, our company is going to be refurbished. Can you ask your friend if he’s interested?"
The other three female colleagues couldn’t help but laugh.
Dawn’s face turned even redder. "Umm, Mr. Edward, he isn’t a peasant worker."
Dane cried out in amazement, "Oh, really? Judging from his outfit, he must be a trashman then."
"How can this western restaurant let a trashman come in and let him eat in the same space with us? It will drag down our status!"
Dawn grew angry.
Although she despised Zeke, he was, after all, the husband of her best friend.
No one but I can insult him!
She said coldly, "One’s status is not determined by appearance, but by manners. Mr. Edward, I hope you can pay attention to your demeanour and show respect for others. Thank you."
Dane snorted coldly. "Oh, are you saying that I have no manners? Let me show you what a person with no manners is truly like then. I’d like to solemnly inform you that you have been fired from the company. You won’t be unless you come and drink with me."
Dawn was anguished.
God knows what I have done to get this job. Yet now, I’ve been fired just like this.
Therefore, she was in distress.
But after glancing at Zeke, she became resolute again. "Fine, I quit."
Zeke was surprised.
Unexpectedly, she is quite a principled woman.
She had bet on the right horse this time.
Zeke decided to step in.
Dane gritted his teeth. "Fine, you’ve got some nerve, Dawn. Just eat your 58-buck trashy steak with this trashman, while we go and have Kobe beef."
"Hold it right there!" Zeke suddenly spoke.
"What now? You’re not happy?" Dane Edward asked indifferently.
Zeke put the knife and fork down and took the napkin to wipe his palms before he gently put on his white gloves.
Wearing white gloves was his usual practice before he struck.
"She is my sister-in-law, so no one but I can bully her! Tell your boss to get his ass here in ten minutes and kneel to apologize to Dawn. Otherwise, the execution of every member of your families await."
Dane and the others laughed their heads off.
"Well, I’m afraid this guy is a fool. Execution? Seriously? How can he have the audacity to say such a thing? Are all the trashmen so arrogant now? He’s something," Dane said with a sneer. "Let’s go and eat first. However, here’s how it works. Come and drink with me in ten minutes. Otherwise, I’ll make sure that both of you wouldn’t survive in Oakheart City."
Dane left with his group.
Dawn stepped on Zeke’s foot angrily. "W-What are you doing? Why did you deliberately make a fool of yourself? Do you think you can brag everywhere you go? How embarrassing."
Zeke smiled faintly. "I’ll forgive you for stepping on my foot as you’ve defended me earlier."
"Hah," Dawn replied, "So what if you don’t forgive me? Let’s go now. This is so embarrassing."
Looking at his watch, Zeke shook his head. "Give me ten minutes. They will get down on their knees and apologize."
Dawn was perturbed. "I really don’t understand how Lacey fell in love with you. There must be something wrong with her brain."
Meanwhile, Dane sat down inside a private room.
He first ordered four sets of steak, and then asked the waitress, "What is the most expensive wine you have here?"
The waitress respectfully replied, "It’s the Merlot imported from Chile, which costs 50,000 per bottle."
Dane said, "Well, the guests at table number three wanted a bottle of this wine. You can send it to them. Also, send us a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon."
The cost of a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon was 5,000.
The unsuspecting waitress nodded her head.
After the waitress left, the three subordinates of Dane gave him thumbs up.
"You’re awesome, Dane."
"Seeing that they only ate steak costing 58, they definitely can’t pay 50,000 for the red wine."
"Then, we shall wait for her to beg us for help. Haha!"
Dane had a smug look on his face. "Well, this is the consequence of going against me. Let’s dig in first. I swear they’ll come and beg us within ten minutes."
Dawn frowned when she saw the waitress bring wine over.
"We didn’t order wine."
Glancing at the wine meaningfully, Zeke said thoughtfully, "Since it’s been sent here, let’s drink it."
It was because, of course, he had seen through Dane’s tricks!
"Okay." The waitress gently put down the wine and turned to leave.
Dawn was a little embarrassed.
I’m guessing this bottle of wine will probably cost at least one thousand.
After the meal, she would definitely need to get by the second half of this month with little money.
This damn dense man is so unabashed. He’s killing me.
Forget it. Since it’s already on the table, it wouldn’t be nice of me to return it.
I’ll just pay one thousand. Worse comes to worst, I’ll just live frugally in the second half of the month.
She poured herself a glass of wine and sipped it slowly.
The guests at the nearby tables all looked at them with amused expressions.
They recognized the Merlot that cost 50,000 a bottle.
Can they afford a bottle of wine that costs 50,000 while they’re only eating steak that costs 58?
Everyone was waiting to see them make a fool of themselves.
Soon, ten minutes had passed.
Zeke beckoned to the waitress. "Bill, please."
The waitress hurried over. "Hi, sir and madam, the total is 50,203 dollars."
"What!" Dawn spewed the wine out of her mouth in surprise.
"Are you serious? How is this possible?"
The waitress said sheepishly, "Yes. This bottle of red wine you ordered costs 50,000 dollars."
Upon hearing this, Dawn couldn’t help but shudder.
This bottle of red wine costs 50,000, which means one sip is equivalent to 1,000 dollars!
She was already mourning for her wallet.
All the money she could lay her hands on was not even more than five thousand dollars.
The most valuable thing she had was the car, but it was not hers either, as it belonged to her father.
She rolled her eyes at Zeke.
It’s all his fault. Why did he insist on having the bottle of red wine?
The guests at the nearby tables looked at them with a half-smile.
As expected, they can’t pay for it.
Feeling many eyes watching her, Dawn lowered her head in embarrassment.
"Um… We’ll pay the bill later. I need to make a call now."
However, the waitress did not leave their table.
She could also see that the two of them didn’t have the money to pay. She was worried they would leave without paying if she left their table.
At this time, Dane walked up to them with his subordinates.
"What happened, Dawn?"
His voice was loud, drawing more attention to them.
Dawn rolled her eyes at Dane and ignored him.
Dane grew even smugger. "Oh, a Merlot that costs more than 50,000 dollars per bottle. You really know how to enjoy it. I can’t even afford to drink this kind of wine."
Suddenly realizing something, Dawn shot him a fierce look. "Asshole, did you set this up?"
"Does it matter?" Dane replied, "You’re the ones who drank it anyway, so you have to pay for it."
Dawn felt angry yet helpless.
In the end, she gritted her teeth and said to the waitress, "Can I give you my car first, and go back to find a way to raise money?"
The waitress shook her head. "Sorry, we don’t have such a policy here."
Dane laughed in an even more arrogant manner. "This is an upscale restaurant, and yet you actually wanted to use a car to pay for the meal. I can’t believe you could think of this. How about you have a drink with me and I pay for you, eh?"
Dawn gritted her teeth. "Dream on."
"Hah." Dane said, "You’re really as stubborn as a mule. You’re going to jail if you’re trying to eat for free."
Zeke, who had been silent all the while, suddenly said, "Dawn, give me the car key."
Dawn shot him an annoyed look.
She thought Zeke was going to use the car to pay for the meal.
"Didn’t you hear her just now? We aren’t allowed to use a car to pay for a meal here."
"Just give it to me," Zeke said.
"Fine." Annoyed, Dawn threw the car key to him.
Zeke casually threw the car key to the waitress. "Go and bring me the sack from our car."
Everyone present was puzzled.
What is he going to do with a sack at this time?
Does he want to take away the leftover? But a sack is too big, isn’t it?
Dawn jerked her head up, her eyes blazing.
Earlier, Zeke said that the sack was filled with money.
Could it be…
How is this possible? I have never seen anyone using sacks to hold their money.
Besides, it’s impossible he will have so much money in there.
Also, if it really is a sack of money, it would weigh at least a few hundred pounds.
But Zeke picked up the sack with one hand earlier. Is he that strong?
Not long after, the waitress called two security guards over, and the three carried the sack in.
Can a sack be so heavy?
Dane started laughing when he saw the tattered and dirty sack.
"Clearly, this sack is used to collect trash. You are really a trashman, aren’t you? What now? Are you going to use your trash to pay the bill?"
The crowd burst into laughter.
Zeke glanced at the waitress. "Open the sack."
The waitress was put in a difficult position.
If this is really a sack of trash, the trash will be all over the restaurant. Then, the restaurant won’t be able to operate as it will stink all the customers out.
Seeing that the waitress did nothing, Zeke had no choice but to pick up the knife himself and cut the sack open.
A large amount of money spilt out of the sack, covering six square meters of ground.
Everyone gaped at the money. The atmosphere became tense.
A sack of money!
There must be well over 10 million dollars there!
Damn, this duo is f**king cool.
They actually take ten million dollars with them while they’re out, and even used a sack to put the money!
It seems that they were just pretending and acting low-key earlier.
Unintentional ostentation was the deadliest.
They began to see Zeke and Dawn in a new light.
Zeke glanced at the waitress. "Collect the total amount of our bill yourself."
"Uh, okay, okay." Swallowing hard, the waitress picked up the money with trembling hands.
Dawn’s heart was racing; she found it hard to breathe.
Damn, Zeke is so awesome.
He has actually regained the face I had lost!
What a pretentious man. Staying so low-key even though he’s so rich.
She puffed out her chest and said smugly, "Fatty Dane, what are you doing here instead of paying the bill after your meal? Can’t afford to pay? Come f**king drink with me and I’ll f**king pay the bill for you."
Everyone was stupefied.
How can such a beautiful girl talk so rudely?
Only then did Dane and his subordinates recover from the shock.
They realized that they had encountered a tough nut this time.
It was impossible that he was some common man, as no common man would walk around with ten million dollars.
But then again, isn’t Dawn just an ordinary employee of the company? Where did she get so much money?
After taking a deep breath to calm himself down, Dane wanted to flee the scene after paying his bill.
Zeke called out to him indifferently, "Hold it right there. Did I say you could leave?"
Dane glared at Zeke. "What now? Do you really think you can do anything you want just because you’re rich? Can you stop me if I insist on leaving?"
Zeke replied, "I won’t stop you from leaving myself. You don’t deserve that."
"What do you mean?" Dane asked.
As soon as he finished asking, his phone suddenly rang.
It was a call from Dane’s boss.
He answered the call immediately. "Hello, sir."
"What? The company has been seized? How is this possible?"
"I-I didn’t offend anyone."
"Okay. I’m at Rive Gauche Restaurant. I’ll be waiting here."
Then, he hung up, while everyone at the scene could no longer keep their cool.
Dane’s company has just been seized!
They thought of what Zeke said earlier. If Dane’s boss did not kneel and apologize in ten minutes, he would make their company go bankrupt.
Was this really done by Zeke?
Making a company go bankrupt in ten minutes was not something one could simply do with money alone, as it required having a strong position as well.
Zeke had once again made them see things in a different light.
They felt a little ashamed and frightened upon thinking about how they had mocked Zeke earlier.
If he held them accountable, they would be unable to handle the consequences.
Therefore, many people sneaked out and found a hidden corner to observe the situation.
Ashen-faced, Dane broke out in a cold sweat.
His voice trembled fiercely as he asked, "D-Did you do this? Who are you?"
Zeke said, "You don’t get to stand and talk to me. Kneel!"
Dane gritted his teeth. "Well, I’ll admit that you’re not a simple person. But you’re still too young to make me kneel. I don’t mind losing this job if the company goes bankrupt."
"What a strong character you have. I hope it remains with you to the end," Zeke said.
Dawn looked at Zeke with a dreamy expression.
This man seems better the more I look at him.
After a while, a potbellied man staggered in.
As soon as he came in, he shouted angrily, "Dane, come bloody over here, you moron."
Upon seeing the man, the crowd gasped.
This potbellied man was famous in Oakheart City. A brand, The Polk, he created had a market value of tens of billions, and was listed in the United States. He was ranked among the top ten richest people in Rivermouth District.
They previously thought Dane’s boss would be an ordinary entrepreneur, but to their surprise, he was a big shot.
The fact that a large, listed company was made bankrupt in ten minutes showed them Zeke’s power was way beyond their imagination.
Dane walked up to the potbellied man. "Sir, 1 —"
The potbellied man gave Dane a slap in the face. "You son of a b**ch, look at what you’ve done. Tell me, which big shot have you offended?"
Dane glared fiercely at Zeke. "Him."
The potbellied man sized Zeke up, looking surprised.
Initially, he thought it would be some wealthy man’s son, who would be very arrogant, domineering, and barbaric. Much to his surprise, the person turned out to be low-key and unassuming with his modest attire.
Being an experienced businessman, the potbellied man knew for a fact that a truly powerful person was always very low-key.
He immediately fell to his knees.
"Sir, I’m so sorry my subordinate has offended you. It’s my fault. I assure you that I will give you a satisfactory explanation today."
Zeke looked at the potbellied man, amused. "Your subordinate has quite a strong character."
Taking the hint, the potbellied man scolded Dane angrily, "Dane, get down on your knees now and apologize to this gentleman."
Dane gritted his teeth, his veins bulging from his face. "On my knees? Hah, do I really need to kneel and apologize because of a sorry job? I’m not that spineless."
He didn’t own the company, so its bankruptcy didn’t concern him. He would merely lose a job, but at least he still had his dignity.
The potbellied man scolded, "Screw you! Do you think you’ve simply lost your job? Let me warn you, someone has filed charges against you for bribery as well as tax evasion with conclusive evidence. You should get ready to rot in prison."
Dane felt a chill creeping down his spine.
He knew perfectly well what nasty thing he had done.
If he were to be punished by law, he would have to stay behind the bars for at least ten years!
It would mean that his life was ruined.
F**k. Who is the man Dawn is with? How powerful must he be for him to actually find evidence of my crimes?
He collapsed and went weak at the knees as he immediately knelt on the ground.
"I was wrong. Dawn, I shouldn’t have offended you just now. Please forgive me this once. I can’t go to jail because I still have a family to feed."
Zeke looked at Dawn with a faint smile. "Dawn, he asked you to drink with him just now, why don’t you go and drink with him?"
Then, he handed the bottle of wine to Dawn.
Dawn took the bottle with a sly smile. "Thank you, Zeke."
She walked up to Dane and poured the whole bottle of wine on his head. "You wanna drink together, right? Drink more, you big fat pig. You actually have the audacity to say that you have a family. Aren’t you sorry for them after you’ve f**king ruined so many girls? Zeke will not spare you if you dare harass them again."
"Let’s go, Zeke."
She was no longer angry as her vanity was greatly satisfied.
Zeke said, "I’m still mad."
He took the wine bottle and smashed it on Dane’s head.
The bottle shattered and blood spattered around them.
Holding his head, Dane fell to the ground and curled up into a ball with a shriek of anguish.
Zeke then took off his white gloves and threw them on the ground. "You can’t live after having messed with me."
He then left with Dawn.
Dawn suddenly stopped at the door. "Oh ya, money, Zeke, our money."
Then, she was about to go back in to pick up the money when Zeke stopped her.
"Ask the restaurant owner to send it back to us." Zeke said, "By the way, the steak here is so bad. Let’s not come here again."
Dawn winked playfully at him. "Alrighty, Zeke."
Dane got up with difficulty after the two left.
"Damn, Dawn. I will be back for you!"
He stumbled his way toward the door.
However, before he walked out, four military trucks suddenly stopped outside the door.
Heavily-armed soldiers dressed in camouflage jumped out of the trucks and surrounded the restaurant in a well-trained manner.
Lone Wolf led a team into the western restaurant.
"Freeze. On the ground. Hands behind your head."
The crowd was scared out of their wits.
Damn, why was the army alerted?
The power of that young man had actually reached the military.
Although they knew Zeke was very powerful, they had still underestimated his power.
Everyone hurriedly got down on the ground with their hands behind their heads.
There were even a few timid onlookers who peed their pants on the spot out of fear.
Lone Wolf asked indifferently, "Which one of you is Dane Edward?"
Trying to redeem himself, the potbellied man pointed at Dane. "It’s him."
Lone Wolf aimed his gun at Dane’s thigh and fired a shot without hesitation.
"We suspect you to be a U.S. spy, so please come with us."
The gunshot, accompanied by Dane’s screams, echoed in everyone’s mind for a long time.
A U.S. spy.
Dane passed out in fright.
Before passing out, the words Zeke said before he left echoed in his mind.
‘You can’t live after having messed with me’.
Lone Wolf left as quickly as he came.
Five minutes after they left, there was still a pindrop silence in the western restaurant.
It was not until the potbellied man scrambled out of the restaurant that the customers came back to their senses and scurried out the restaurant.
The three female colleagues Dane brought had also parted ways and went back to their hometowns to lie low for the night.
No one dared to take the ten million dollars on the ground.
This was because this money was more terrifying than ghost money, and whoever took it would die.
When all the customers were gone, the owner of the western restaurant walked out from the corner, drenched in a cold sweat.
With trembling legs, he walked slowly to where the money was and sorted out the banknotes carefully.
The waiters and security guards immediately stepped forward to help him.
A waiter asked in a low voice, "Sir, s-should we still open for business today?"
"F**k it," The boss cursed. "Didn’t you hear him say our steak is bad? Our restaurant will be closed down starting today. Also, waive his bill. We can’t touch this ten million."
"Yes, sir," the waiter hurriedly answered.
After Lacey was done with her work at the steel mill, she was ready to return to the western restaurant.
However, Dawn had called her and said that they had finished their meal and were about to go home.
Hence, Lacey headed home.
Daniel and his wife were watching TV at home.
Noticing that Lacey had come back alone, Hannah asked immediately, "Where’s Zeke, Lacey? Why didn’t he come back with you?"
Lacey immediately became sulky. "Mom, I just got off work after a busy day, and yet you ask about Zeke first without bothering whether I’ve already eaten. I’m your biological child, not him."
So, Hannah asked, "Have you eaten yet?"
"Yes," Lacey replied.
"What about Zeke?"
Lacey was rendered speechless.
My parents are completely hopeless.
She changed into her slippers and said, "Dawnie is back, and Zeke went to eat Western food with her."
Daniel breathed a sigh of relief. "What a relief. I thought you two had a quarrel."
Hannah asked, "Why’s Dawnie back? Is she on holiday?"
"Mom, she has long graduated with a PhD. Anyway, she will be here soon. You should clean up the place."
"Okay." Li Yuhuan agreed and hurriedly tidied up the house.
Lacey and Dawn had grown up together, so they were very close. Hannah had even become Dawn’s godmother.
So Hannah had always treated Dawn as her daughter.
As she cleaned up the house, she asked, "Lacey, do Dawnie and Zeke get along well? That girl likes to mock others. I hope she doesn’t make Zeke angry."
Lacey smiled slyly. "Haha, mom, let me tell you, Dawnie is getting better at mocking others. It’s impossible for them to get along well. She even called Zeke a trashman today. Hahaha! Isn’t your son-in-law very awesome? He didn’t even dare make a sound in front of Dawnie."
She was very proud, as she was happy Dawnie was on her team.
She couldn’t stand Zeke competing for her parents’ attention with her.
Li Yuhuan was a little worried. "That’s no good. I have to talk to Dawnie when she gets back. After all, Zeke is her brother-in-law, how can she mock him like this?"
Before long, Zeke and Dawn arrived back.
With a lot of stuff in her hands, Dawn yelled as soon as she came in, "Dad, Mom, your mischievous and pretty daughter has now come to see you."
Daniel smiled, delighted. "Yes, Dawnie, you’ve grown taller, haven’t you?"
Hannah hurriedly went up to her and took the gifts. "Hey girl, how many times have I told you not to buy things for us? Look at you, you’re so skinny. You should use the money to buy food for yourself."
Dawn replied, "What is money compared to the happiness of both of you?"
Lacey scolded Zeke, "Why are you so inattentive? How could you let Dawnie carry so many things alone?"
Zeke was aggrieved. "I wanted to help her, but she wouldn’t let me."
"Yeah, right. Tsk," Lacey replied.
Dawn dislikes you, and will even be glad to take it out of you. It’s impossible that she wouldn’t let you carry things!
After handing the gifts to Hannah, Dawn collapsed on the sofa. "I’m exhausted."
As soon as she sat down, she suddenly remembered something, as she hurriedly stood up, and pulled Zeke to the sofa. "Zeke, have a seat and rest. You must be tired."
The Hintons gaped.
What’s wrong with this girl? Since when has she become so polite?
Lacey placed her hand over Dawnie’s forehead. "No fever."
Smiling faintly, Zeke sat down on the sofa.
Dawn then hurriedly poured Zeke a cup of tea. "Have some, Zeke."
Zeke took it and slowly sipped on the tea.
Lacey rubbed her eyes repeatedly, thinking she was seeing things.
Daniel and his wife finally felt relieved when they saw that the two were getting along well.
Hannah even rolled her eyes angrily at Lacey.
The latter had previously said that the relationship between the two was very bad and that Dawn had called Zeke ‘trashman’. This was inconsistent with reality
Lacey must be fooling me.
Lacey felt sad.
The two of them had clearly been going at each other and had despised each other an hour ago.
Yet now, Dawn had become the servant girl of Zeke.
Lacey asked, "Dawnie, what’s going on?"
"What do you mean?" Dawn didn’t understand.
Lacey said, "Your attitude towards Zeke wasn’t like this earlier. Tell me, did he do something to you? Or, does he have some dirt on you?"
"No. What dirt could I have?" Dawn added, "On the contrary, Lacey, it’s not cool of you to not tell me earlier that Zeke is so capable."
Lacey was puzzled. "What’s he capable of?"
"Well, apart from anything else, I’ll talk about the sack." Dawn pointed out, "The content of the sack wasn’t trash, but ten million dollars."
Ten million! In a sack!
The Hintons choked on their breath.
Lacey hurriedly asked, "Zeke, what’s going on?"
"Oh, you should have heard about it. The Schneider family launched a ten-billion project, Love in a Fallen City." Zeke explained, "The site of the project happened to be on the plot of tenhectare land in the eastern area. So they purchased it with ten million."
The Hintons were dumbfounded. But they soon became excited.
Hannah even shed tears. "Ten million… ten million. We wouldn’t be able to save so much money even if we worked forever, and spent nothing on food and water. Zeke, you’ve earned another ten million for our family. You’re so capable."
Daniel was also having mixed feelings. "When Zeke said that that piece of land could appreciate a hundredfold, we didn’t believe him. Now it seems that we were the fools. Zeke, we will listen to you in regards to future business-related matters."
Unconvinced, Lacey said, "Mom, Dad, we got this ten million from our land sale. It has nothing to do with him."
Hannah said, "Lacey, don’t forget that you didn’t want the ten hectares of land today. If it weren’t for Zeke, this ten million would’ve been taken by your grandpa, and not us. Hah, your grandpa and uncle even thought they’ve gained a lot by getting one million for the ten-hectare plot of land. It’s so liberating to think of them crying in a corner now."
Dawn finally understood. "It turns out that you got this ten million from your land sale. Oh ya, by the way, do you know The Polk? Zeke shut down that company with just a word."
Lacey gasped. "The Polk? It’s a large, listed company. Zeke, did you really shut it down with just a word? Are you really that capable?"
But soon, she suddenly slapped her own head when she finally figured it out. "I get it now. Zeke, you must have looked for the director of the Industrial and Commercial Bureau."
Zeke didn’t say a word, looking like he had acquiesced in her words.
The director of the Industrial and Commercial Bureau did play a role in today’s incident.
But, it was just a supporting role.
Lacey said reproachfully, "It’s better not to trouble him so much, Zeke. He only owes us so much favour. If you keep making him repay you, what if he refuses to help us when we really need his help in the future? What would we do then?"
Dawn was shocked. "Wow, Zeke, you even know the director of the Industrial and Commercial Bureau."
Lacey replied, "Hey, it was just a coincidence. The director of the Industrial and Commercial Bureau had a kidney stone previously, and Zeke cured him by chance. So that’s why he has always been grateful to Zeke."
Dawn nodded her head, feeling a little disappointed.
Zeke’s money actually belongs to Lacey and her family, whereas his power was borrowed by chance. So he isn’t as awesome as I thought… He’s only slightly more powerful than ordinary people due to Lacey’s family.
It was getting late, so Daniel and his wife went to bed after chatting with Dawn for a while.
Meanwhile, Lacey led Dawn to her room to sleep.
Dawn whispered, "Perhaps I should sleep on the sofa."
"You’re my guest. How can I let you sleep on the sofa?" Lacey refused. "Let Zeke sleep on the sofa tonight. Loggerhead, you need to think about what you’ve done today."
Zeke put on an innocent face. "What did I do? What’s there to think about?"
Lacey glanced at her parents’ bedroom. "They’re my parents, not yours, okay?"
It dawned on Zeke that Lacey was blaming him for competing for her parents’ attention, and was feeling jealous.
But I can’t help it if they insist on being so good to me.
Dawn left early the next morning.
Since The Polk, where she used to work, had been shut down, she had to find another job.
Although Lacey proposed for Dawn to work at her steel mill, the latter had declined.
She was a PhD graduate after all. She planned to work for two years to gain some experience before she set up a technology company.
Otherwise, it would be a waste of her academic qualifications.
Lacey and her family were having breakfast when a commotion outside their house caught their attention.
Hannah looked out the window and saw a group of neighbours huddled in a circle, discussing something. She wondered what they were doing.
After eating a few more mouthfuls, she put down the cutlery and said, "I’ll go downstairs to find out what’s going on."
Then, she went downstairs, with Daniel following suit.
Lacey was amused. "I think they’ll never change their love for going along for the ride."
Zeke smiled. "This is life. They’re just enjoying it."
Feigning anger, Lacey said, "Let’s put that aside. Did you reflect on your actions last night?"
Zeke was emotionally drained. "From now on, my wife is the most important. I’m all yours."
Lacey smiled triumphantly. "That’s more like it. Hurry up and eat. We have to go to work after this"
Hannah, who went downstairs to watch the commotion, quickly figured out what had happened.
It turned out that the son of their neighbour, Madison Burke, had bought a new BMW that cost more than five hundred thousand.
The neighbours were buttering Madison up.
"Madison, this BMW is so luxurious. It must be very comfortable to sit inside. You can enjoy your life from now on."
"Being the most expensive car in our neighbourhood now, it has brought the level of our neighbourhood up a notch."
"Mark is so rich at a young age. I’m sure his bright future awaits."
"Does Mark have a girlfriend? It just so happens that my niece is still single…"
Madison enjoyed being showered in flattery; her face swelled full of pride.
Meanwhile, Mark was setting firecrackers off nearby to celebrate his purchase of a new car.
Simply put, it was to remind the neighbours that he had bought a new car.
Pouting, Hannah murmured, "What’s so great about buying a new car?"
Speaking of which, Hannah and the Hales used to have conflicts over the parking space, and to this day, they still didn’t speak to each other even when they met on the street.
Therefore, Hannah couldn’t bear to see her enemies showing off their wealth.
Unexpectedly, her whisper was heard by Madison, who then asked in a cynical tone, "What did you say, Hannah?"
"Nothing," Hannah replied casually.
"What do you think about our new car?" Madison asked.
Hannah gave a half-hearted reply, "It’s not bad."
"This is a new car, so of course it’s good." Madison showed off. "By the way, Hannah, you’ve been driving the same car for almost ten years, and it has long been eliminated from the market. It’s time for you to get a new car."
Hannah answered sulkily, "You don’t have to worry about that."
Madison’s son, Mark, mocked, "Daniel, you should move your car. I need this parking space."
"Why should I move my car?" Daniel asked indifferently.
Mark replied, "My new car is worth more than five hundred thousand. I don’t want it getting scratched. It doesn’t matter if your car gets scratched as it’s already old. You can just park it anywhere. Besides, this is a public area, so you have no right to have it for yourself."
At this, Daniel simmered with rage. "With its mileage under 100,000 kilometres, my car is still new. It’s still a car even though it’s not as new as yours. No one wants their car to get scratched."
At this moment, Zeke was suddenly heard saying, "Dad, what they said is true. Our car is indeed very old."
Everyone tried to stifle their laugh at this.
Something must be wrong with the head of Daniel’s son-in-law.
He actually takes an outsider’s side instead of Daniel’s.
Haha. What a weirdo.
Daniel and Hannah were very embarrassed.
Lacey secretly pinched Zeke in anger. "What are you doing?"
"I’m just telling the truth." Zeke added, "Dad, I will send someone to take this car to the landfill for disposal later. You don’t need to worry about it."
The crowd couldn’t hold back anymore and laughed out loud.
How could this man even think of taking this car to the landfill?
Hannah was pissed yet embarrassed, not knowing what to say.
Daniel wanted to bury his head in the sand to hide his shame.
What the hell is Zeke doing?
At this moment, a man with slicked-back hair made his way through the crowd.
He came with two men, each of them carrying a briefcase.
"I’ve finally found you, Mr. Williams." The man walked up to Zeke, panting.
The man was none other than the owner of the western restaurant.
He came to return Zeke the ten million he left at the restaurant
Zeke nodded his head indifferently in acknowledgement.
Feeling curious, Lacey asked, "Who are they, Zeke?"
The man hurriedly answered in a respectful manner, "Oh, let me introduce myself. I am the owner of Rive Gauche Restaurant, going by the last name, Wallace. Mr. Williams had a meal at my restaurant yesterday and left the money there. I’ve come to return him the money."
Lacey said apologetically, "Sorry for the trouble, Mr. Wallace. You could’ve just made a call, and we could’ve picked it up by ourselves."
The man thought to himself, Forget it. My restaurant went belly-up after he went once. Can we even survive if he goes again?
Despite thinking so, he dared not show it.
He said with great trepidation, "It’s nothing. It’s our duty to send it over."
He then put the three briefcases on the front of the BMW and opened them one by one.
"Mr. Williams, you have left a total of ten million dollars at my restaurant. They’re all in these briefcases. Please check. I will go back and look for the remaining money if the amount in here is wrong!"
Everyone gaped at the money in shock. The atmosphere instantly became tense.
Zeke glanced at the briefcases and said, "Mom, Dad, you can take this money to buy a new car later. Just throw the old car to the landfill." He added, "By the way, you must spend all these ten million dollars, as there is no place to store them at home. Dad, Mom, what’s wrong with you?"
Hannah only came back to her senses after Zeke called them several times.
Running up quickly, she snapped the briefcases closed, and shouted at Daniel, "Daniel, what are you doing standing there in a daze? Hurry up and open the car door."
Daniel hurriedly took out the car key and opened the door.
Hannah then put all the money inside the car and locked the car. Only then did she finally feel relieved.
After that, she said in a seemingly reproachful tone, "Zeke, you should stop being so forgetful. How could you so heedless and lose such a big amount of money?"
"I’ll be careful next time, Mom." Zeke smiled.
Meanwhile, all the neighbours were stupefied.
Ten million was a great fortune. Their life savings could never even reach one-tenth of it.
But Zeke had ‘accidentally’ left the money in the restaurant.
They were even going to buy a car with the ten million.
The unintentional display of ‘wealth’ blew their mind.
The Hales’ newly bought 500,000 BMW was now comparatively shabby.
Madison and Mark were so embarrassed; they wished to become invisible.
Before the crowd came back to their senses, a potbellied man elbowed his way through the crowd to go up to Zeke. "So you live here, Mr. Williams."
This potbellied man was the owner of The Polk.
He couldn’t accept that Zeke had made his company go bankrupt with just a word. Hence, he came to give Zeke some money, in hopes that the latter would spare his company.
Zeke glanced at the potbellied man. "What’s the matter?"
The potbellied man explained his intention with a flattering smile, "Mr. Williams, you’ve accidentally left 10 million in my company yesterday. I’m here to return it to you."
The crowd was rendered speechless.
Another ten million?
Damn, comparison is a killjoy.
Instead of a son-in-law, the Hintons seem to have gotten themselves a walking ATM.
Hannah ordered, "Daniel, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and open the car door."
With trembling hands, Daniel did as he was told.
Hannah continued to give orders to him. "No more room in the car. Open the trunk."
This ostentation is simply too much.
Daniel proceeded to open the trunk tremblingly.
He thought to himself with a bitter smile inwardly,Can you tell me in advance the next time you want to do something like this, you silly Zeke? You know I have a heart condition.
The Hales’ newly bought BMW started up with a roar and sped away.
They couldn’t stay here any longer and even thought about moving.
After dealing with the affairs in the neighbourhood, Zeke and Lacey took a taxi to the steel mill as the old car had been fully loaded with money with no room for the two of them.
While in the taxi, Lacey suddenly said, "Zeke, call my parents. Tell them to deposit the 20 million in the bank, and use about 500,000 to 600,000 to buy a Mercedes-Benz."
"Why don’t you call them yourself?" Zeke was puzzled.
Lacey replied, "Do you think my parents will listen to me?"
"That’s true." Zeke pondered for a while. "However, I suggest we buy a Rolls-Royce Phantom for 10 million. The quality of a Mercedes-Benz isn’t so good. I read the news some time ago about oil leaks in their new cars."
Lacey insisted. "That kind of luxury car is not something we can afford. Get a Mercedes this time."
Zeke had no choice but to cave in. "Okay, whatever you say."
At this time, a tender advertisement for the Schneiders’ huge ten-billion project was playing on the radio in the taxi.
Zeke asked, "Lacey, are you interested in bidding for this big project of the Schneider family?"
Lacey let out a sigh. "Will the Schneider family work with a small steel mill like ours for a project this big?"
Zeke encouraged her, "Just try it. You won’t know if you don’t try."
Lacey said thoughtfully, "I have time on my hands during this period of time anyway. I’ll just work on the bid proposal. Who knows? There might be a miracle!"
The taxi driver couldn’t help but chuckle.
This pair is so boastful!
Hamilton Construction in Oakheart City.
Jackson came to the company uncharacteristically early.
He was also eyeing the Love in a Fallen City project launched by the Schneider family, so he wanted to supervise and urge his employees to complete the bid proposal for the project as soon as possible.
If they won the tender, the Hamilton family would be able to make further progress and continue to go further.
His secretary went up to him to give him a cup of coffee, and whispered, "Mr. Hamilton, I have found out what you asked me to. Lacey is indeed interested in bidding for the Love in a Fallen City project and is currently working on the bid proposal."
Of course, he didn’t want Lacey to participate in the tender.
If Lacey’s factory expanded, he would not be able to force Lacey to marry him.
In theory, Lacey’s small steel mill was not qualified to join the bidding.
But after Zeke had brought in an order of 100 Million from the Schneider family last time, Jackson suspected that Zeke had some kind of special connections.
Hence, he had to take this matter seriously.
"I have to think of a way to stop Lacey from joining the tender."
Frowning, he began to think hard to come up with a plan.
Soon, his eyes lit up as a feasible idea popped into his head.
He hurriedly said to his secretary, "Go and invite Adam and Jeremy over. Tell them it’s about something important."
The secretary immediately nodded her head and went to do her job as told.
Before long, Adam and Jeremy were invited to the Hamiltons’.
Adam was worried. "Jeremy, why do you think Jackson asked us to come over?"
Jeremy heaved a sigh. "Alas, it must be because of Lacey again. When Zeke faked his death last time, Jackson also went to his funeral. He had clearly said on the spot that he wanted us to send Lacey to him within ten days, or else he will find a way to deal with our family. It’s the ninth day today."
Adam was at his wit’s end. "Geez, this girl is so exasperating. That loser she got is not even worthy of bootlicking Jackson. Why is she so stubborn? I won’t ever let her off if our family is implicated because of her!"
Jeremy said, "It’s actually not that difficult to make Lacey marry Jackson."
Adam asked with great interest, "What do you mean? Do you have a way to convince Lacey?"
Jeremy suggested in a lecherous manner, "When push comes to shove, we can drug Lacey and make her sleep with Jackson,"
Adam gave Jeremy the stink eye. "Get lost." He added, "Lacey is your niece, how can you even think of doing such a despicable thing to her?"
Feeling guilty, Jeremy hurriedly said, "Dad, I’m just saying. I’m not really going to do it."
At this moment, Jackson came in.
The atmosphere in the room suddenly became tense.
Adam rose to his feet and greeted respectfully, "Mr. Hamilton, you’re here. Please, have a seat."
Jackson took a seat and offered the two of them cigarettes. "Mr. Hinton, I’ve invited you over to discuss matters pertaining to the wedding. How is the preparation coming on Lacey’s side? I’m ready to marry Lacey at any moment."
Adam had a ghastly expression on his face. "Um, Mr. Hamilton, don’t worry. I will definitely persuade Lacey when I go back. She’s just too confused how."
Jackson sighed in disappointment. "This is not the first time you have told me this. Do you think I will still believe it?"
"Um…" Adam was embarrassed.
"How about I point you in the right direction?"
Adam’s eyes instantly lit up. "Mr. Hamilton, do you have a way to convince Lacey?"
Jackson said, "I heard Lacey is going to join the tender for the Love in a Fallen City project. I want you to steal her bid proposal and substitute it with something else. I’ll then take it from there."
Adam was confused. "Mr. Hamilton, what is the purpose of doing such a thing? To be honest, judging from the scale of Lacey’s steel mill, they’re not a threat to you in the tender. Besides, would she change her mind even if her bid proposal was swapped out?"
Smiling indifferently, Jackson leaned into Adam’s ear and muttered a few words.
Adam’s face went pale upon hearing his words. "Mr. Hamilton, isn’t it too risky to do this? My whole family might be implicated if things go south."
Jackson assured him, "Don’t worry, I will bear alli the risks."
Adam pondered for a moment. Finally, he gritted his teeth and said, "Okay, I will do as you say this time, Mr. Hamilton."
After leaving the Hamiltons’, Jeremy immediately called his daughter, Lily.
"Lily, I have a task for you. Go work at Lacey’s factory."
Lacey was working overtime to complete her bid proposal, whereas Zeke, after being a ‘salesperson’, was assigned another role by Lacey, which was a quality inspector.
At this moment, Zeke was wandering around the workshop, supervising the workers.
Just when Lacey had her hands full, Lily walked into her office. "Lacey, you busy?"
Upon seeing Lily, Lacey felt that something bad was going to happen.
Nothing good ever came from Lily every time she came. So, there should be no exception as well this time.
She was a little wary. "Well, I’m kinda busy. Why did you suddenly come, Lily?"
Lily smiled pretentiously. "As a cousin, shouldn’t II come to visit you?"
Lily then put the two boxes of ‘Six Walnut’ she had brought on the table. "Lacey, you should drink more of this. It’s good for the brain."
Lacey put down her work and said, "Thanks. Seriously, Lily, why exactly are you here?"
Lily sighed. "Lacey, I can’t find a job now, so I want to work in your steel mill."
Huh? Lacey knitted her brows.
Lily wants to work at my steel mill?
With Lily’s high standards, it was impossible for her to be interested in working such a small steel mill.
Hence, Lacey’s first reaction was that there must be something fishy going on.
However, she couldn’t figure out what motive Lily could possibly have.
Lily continued to plead with her. "Please help me, Lacey. I can’t find a job and have been doing nothing at home recently. Every day, my dad urges me to go on blind dates, which is super annoying. I admit that I used to be quite mean to you, and I’m sorry about that."
Lacey went soft.
After all, they were family; she couldn’t turn her down.
Besides, now that the steel mill had scaled up, she was really in need of talents.
At last, she nodded her head. "Um, well, you can start as a clerk, and your standard monthly salary will be 4,000 dollars. Go and collate last month’s production report, and submit it to me."
Lily nodded her head excitedly. "No problem."
After giving her the instruction, Lacey Hinton got back to work on the bid proposal.
It wasn’t until eight o’clock in the evening that she finally completed the bid proposal.
After giving her body a stretch, Lacey prepared to send the bid proposal to the Schneider family.
However, Lily suddenly came up to her, asking, "Where are you going, Lacey?".
Lacey replied candidly, "I’m heading out to send the bid proposal to the Schneider family."
Lily said eagerly, "Lacey, let me send it to them. I’ll happen to pass by the Schneiders’ when I go home."
This bid proposal was very important and confidential, so she was really worried about giving it to Lily.
"Lacey, do you not trust me?" questioned Lily. "We’re family, and I benefit too if you make money. Do you think I would make any blunder in this matter?"
Lacey Hinton thought about it for a while before finally handing Lily the bid proposal. "Well then, thank you."
Lily happily took it and left.
Zeke walked out from the corner. "Lacey, do you really trust her with the bid proposal?"
"She’s my cousin after all, so I think she won’t mess things up," said Lacey.
Zeke smirked. "Okay."
This girl is good at everything, but she’s simply too kind and credulous.
Zeke decided to let Lacey learn some lessons about the human heart to prevent her from suffering a bigger loss in the future.
Meanwhile, after Lily had gone far from the steel mill, she took out a lighter and burned the bid proposal.
She then took out another bid proposal, which Jackson had given.
She wanted to deliver this bid proposal to the Schneider family as Lacey’s.
As far as she knew, the content inside this bid proposal was all insults to the Schneider family.
If the Schneider family read this bid proposal, they would definitely be furious and come after Lacey.
"Hmph! Lacey, the Schneider family will definitely give you a hard time even though I can’t do so. You’re doomed this time."
The official public tender for the Love in a Fallen City project was held at the Schneider Tower as scheduled the next day.
The entrance of the building was jam-packed with luxury cars early in the morning.
Prominent tycoons from all over Rivermouth gathered for the occasion.
Everyone looked forward to finding out whose bid proposal could win the heart of the Schneider family.
Meanwhile, Lacey came with Zeke.
Lacey was rather low-key compared to the other bidders who were busy engaging in conversations.
She sat in the corner without saying anything as if she didn’t exist.
Zeke asked, "Are you nervous, Lacey?"
Nodding her head, Lacey replied, "Yeah. Everyone here prevails over us in terms of capability and financial resources. We’re no match for them at all."
Zeke smiled faintly. "Don’t worry, Lacey, I think your bid proposal is very good, so you will definitely be able to win the tender."
Lacey gave him a bitter smile. "A good bid proposal isn’t enough. After all, the Schneider family will not only determine based on the bid proposal but also the overall strength of a company."
"You’re here early, Lacey," Lily greeted them with a smile after she came from nowhere.
Seeing Lily, Lacey was surprised. "Lily, how could you get in without me bringing you in?"
The Schneider family had stipulated that each company could only send two representatives.
Yet now, Lacey’s steel mill had three representatives here including Lily.
Lily sneered, "You think too highly of yourself, Lacey. Who said you’re the only one who can bring me in?"
At this time, Jackson approached them. "Actually, I brought Lily in."
Lacey asked with a look of surprise, "You brought her in? Why?"
Lily is my employee, so why would Jackson bring in someone other than his employee?
"Duh." Jackson stated matter-of-factly, "Lily is an employee of my company, so of course, I have the right to bring her in."
Lacey was taken aback. "Your employee? How can it be possible? Lily, didn’t you come to work with me yesterday?"
Lily said proudly, "Work with you? Can a clerical job with 4,000 pay a month make me stay? You’re delusional. I’m now an employee of the Hamilton family, and the remuneration they’ve offered me is so much higher than yours."
With a wry smile, Lacey shook her head. "Forget it. Do whatever you want. From now on, you’re not allowed to set foot in my steel mill."
"I’m afraid you will lose your steel mill soon," Lily stated.
Lacey asked, "What do you mean?"
Jackson chimed in, "Let me warn you, Lacey. If the Schneider family is taking action against you later, just beg me, and maybe I can help you. Otherwise, destruction awaits."
Lacey frowned. "Why would the Schneider family take action against me?"
She suddenly thought of something as her face went pale.
"Damn it. Lily, did you do something to my bid proposal?"
Lily played innocent. "What bid proposal? I didn’t see it."
Lacey instantly exploded with rage.
Damn it. She really denies it.
She must have done something to it.
She said through gritted teeth, "Lily, y-you’re worse than an animal. What would you gain by making me bankrupt?"
"What are you talking about? I don’t understand you at all," Lily sneered. "Jackson, let’s go back to our seats. They will surely come to beg us later."
Jackson said indifferently, "I’ll tell you one thing, Lacey. As I said last time, I will make you engaged to me in ten days. It’s the tenth day today. You’d better think properly whether you want to be killed by the Schneider family or to marry me."
Zeke, who had been silent all this while, suddenly said, "T’ll tell you one thing too. If the Schneider family takes action against you later, you can come and beg us. Of course, I would lose if I help you, though."
Jackson chuckled. "Beg you? Beg you and make a fool of yourselves? Haha! What a joke. Let’s go, Lily."
Jackson then left with Lily.
Lacey turned red with anger. "Damn, Lily is so cruel. To think that I trusted her so much."
Zeke patted her on the shoulder. "Now that you’ve seen her true colours, I hope you learn from it and not be soft-hearted next time."
Lacey sighed. "Let’s go, Zeke. There’s no more hope for us in this tender. We may even anger the Schneider family as well."
"A piece of advice, don’t ever give up hope until the very last moment. Who knows? There might be a miracle!"
Lacey was speechless.
He thinks a miracle is something that we can come across everywhere, doesn’t he?
Lacey repeatedly told him she wanted to leave, but Zeke insisted on staying and waiting for the miracle to happen.
So Lacey had no choice but to stay.
She was now almost dying of anxiety, as she didn’t know what kind of bid proposal Lily had submitted on her behalf.
Would the Schneider family deem the messy bid proposal they received as a sign of disrespect and get mad?
Hopefully, Lily didn’t go too far.
However, the truth was that Lily was cruel. She replaced the content of her bid proposal with insults to the Schneider family.
Soon, the master of ceremonies took the stage.
After a brief opening line, he got down to business.
"Next, let us welcome Mr. Evan Schneider from the Schneider family in Oakheart City."
The initially boisterous hall immediately fell silent.
Everyone looked at the stage expectantly.
A middle-aged man in a suit stepped up to the rostrum with great panache.
Evan Schneider was the richest man in Oakheart City, and the delegate to the People’s Congress in Rivermouth.
He had started from scratch and built a business empire in just a few years.
To date, his success story was still being recorded in textbooks, while many businessmen regarded him as their life goal and a business legend.
A big round of thunderous applause was given to this god-like man.
Zeke suddenly smiled.
A pawn I’ve arbitrarily placed has now grown to such a towering height. I’m amazed.
Evan’s eyes swept across the audience with an air of authority.
Finally, his gaze fell upon Zeke. He wore a respectful look on his face.
Zeke nodded his head slightly.
Only then did Evan clear his throat and say, "Love in a Fallen City is the most important project of my family, and it has been listed as a key project supported by the municipal government. So, to participate in this project, you must have a certain level of capability. I’ve gone through all the bid proposals you submitted, and I roughly know your capabilities. I’m now going to read out a list of companies that were not qualified to participate in this project due to their current financial capabilities. For those that are mentioned, please leave the venue."
After that, Evan took out a list and read it aloud.
There were a total of twenty bidders, and twelve were disqualified in an instant.
Those who left were despondent, while those who stayed rejoiced inwardly as this meant that they were qualified to collaborate with the Schneider family.
It was perplexing that Lacey was not on the list.
How could a small steel mill be qualified to collaborate with the Schneider family?
Perhaps there’s a situation.
Jackson sneered, knowing very well why Lacey hadn’t been made to leave. The Schneider family must be trying to deal with Lacey in front of everyone to set an example.
Evan continued to say, "Except for one, the eight remaining companies are all qualified to collaborate with my family."
Lacey trembled with fear.
That exception must be me.
The Schneider family is really going to take action against me now.
She looked up and found Jackson looking at her with a chilling smile. It made her feel even more horrified.
Evan went on to say, "I have rated your bid proposals, and I will assign the proportions of the project according to the scores. I will now announce the scores. The eighth-place holder is the Chambers family of Oakheart City, with a score of 68. The seventh is the Hunt family of Odonvale City, with a score of 72…"
Soon, Evan had finished announcing the scores for the second to eighth place, with the highest mark at 89 and lowest at 68.
Now, only the first place had yet to be announced, while there were only two people left whose names were not mentioned, which were Jackson and Lacey.
Everyone believed Jackson would be the welldeserved number one, while Lacey would be dropped from the project.
Everyone looked at Jackson with admiration.
Jackson was overjoyed. He never expected he would actually win first place!
The Hamilton family was about to flourish.
Meanwhile, Lacey bowed her head in silence, and clenched her fists, her palms wet with sweat.
Zeke suddenly grabbed Lacey’s fist.
"Trust me, there will be a miracle."
Lacey looked at him with a complicated expression.
"The first place goes to…" Evan was heard announcing, as everyone held their breath. "Lacey Hinton from Oakheart City! With a score of 100!"
Lacey Hinton with a perfect score!
Everyone was shocked!
The winner was Lacey, whereas Jackson wasn’t even on the list!
This result stunned and shocked everyone to the core.
Jackson froze on the spot.
How can it be? How is this possible?
How could Lacey beat me?
Meanwhile, Lacey was staring ahead with her eyes wide open and tears in her eyes.
I actually got a perfect score and the well-deserved first place!
I’m 11 points ahead of the second place holder!
Is this really happening or is it an illusion?
All the previous efforts and sacrifices were not in vain.
Evan continued, "In addition, there’s still a bid proposal that was not selected."
"This bid proposal is interesting. It’s nothing but insults to the Schneider family."
"This bidder is quite arrogant. I would like to meet up with this cocky brat if I have a chance."
At that, he glared at Jackson and walked away.
Jackson froze in terror instantly.
Why did Evan Schneider stare at me?
F***! Does he actually think I’m the bidder?
He shuddered at that thought.
After Evan left, everyone began to surround Lacey and cotton up to her.
After all, Lacey had aced the bid proposal, so she had the upper hand in this project.
In other words, Lacey would be their leader in future.
Of course, they needed to cotton up to her.
Lacey used to look up to these bosses, but now seeing all the bosses changed their stance and cotton up to her, she was truly flattered.
Unable to hide her excitement, she burst into tears of joy. She could finally be treated equally, and in fact, might be superior to the rest of them.
Zeke held Lacey’s hand and walked her away from the crowd. He then led her to Jackson and Lily.
Zeke smiled, "Lily, thank you so much for your help."
"Don’t forget to claim your reward after you’re back."
After that, Zeke and Lacey turned around and left.
Lily was confused, "Reward? What does he mean?"
Smack! Jackson gave Lily a slap out of nowhere.
Lily Hinton covered her face in pain and asked, "Jackson, why did you slap me?"
"Screw you! You traitor!" Jackson yelled angrily.
"What the f**k are you talking about? You’re the trajtor, not me!"
Jackson shot her a terrifying hideous smile and said, "How dare you f*****g talk back to me!"
"I bet you have mistaken your bid proposal as the one from the Hamilton family. Not only that, you even submitted it to the Schneider family."
"Now the Hamilton family is in deep trouble, all because of you."
"Just wait and see, I will do whatever it takes to bring the Hinton family down, even if it means we will dine in hell together."
Lily Hinton finally got her head around at what Zeke had said to her before he left.
That jerk has clearly sabotaged me!
I remember clearly that I had explicitly mentioned Lacey Hinton’s name when I submitted the bid proposal. How could the Schneider family mess it up?
Jackson must have misunderstood her.
If he takes revenge against me…
"Sh*t! My grandpa and my dad are in danger!" Her face turned as pale as a sheet.
After Jackson left the Schneider tower, he took out his phone to make a phone call.
"Go and get Adam Hinton and Jeremy Hinton for me now."
"F*****g bitch! How dare she mess with me? I won’t let her off easy!"
Meanwhile, at the Hinton’s residence, Adam and Jeremy showed up unexpectedly.
Daniel and Hannah sat on the sofa, looking uneasy at their arrival.
They had been told that Lacey had offended the Schneider family.
Jackson was the only one who could save her now.
In a threatening manner, Adam asked Lacey to register the marriage with Jackson by today. He also said that everyone in the Hinton family would be doomed if she failed to do so.
However, it was a tough call for Daniel and Hannah. Lacey and Zeke were such a great couple; how could they ask the two lovebirds to break up?
They were put in a tight spot.
Adam got impatient and hit the floor with his walking stick, "Stop dilly dallying. Make up your mind now before the Schneider family targets you two instead."
"Come on, bring out the household register so that Lacey can register the marriage with Jackson."
Jeremy joined in the conversation as well, "Jackson promised that as long as Lacey marries him, he will let the Hinton family become part of the Hamilton family."
"In other words, the Hinton family can take this opportunity to become a second-rate family in Oakheart City."
"Look at Zeke Williams; he’s just someone who lives off a woman. What else is he capable of doing?"
Finally, Daniel couldn’t take it anymore. He spoke through clenched teeth, "Enough of you two! Lacey has a say in this matter, not you two. Worst comes to worst, we will leave Oakheart City for good."
Jeremy snorted, "The Schneider family is everywhere in Eurasia. Where do you think you run to?"
Adam grew impatient, "Jeremy, don’t waste your breath talking to them. I’m the father, and I have a say in this matter too. Go and look for the household registry, and pass it to Jackson so that he can proceed with the registration."
Jeremy nodded in agreement and went looking for the household register.
Hannah was overwhelmed by anxiety, and she stepped forward to stop them.
Jeremy pushed her away, "Get out of my sight!"
Jeremy pushed her so hard that she fell on the floor and couldn’t get up.
Hannah shrieked, "Daniel, what are you waiting for? Stop him right there."
Daniel stepped forward to stop them as well.
However, Jeremy began to use force against them.
Adam was so pissed that he kept hitting Daniel with his walking stick.
The living room went into an uproar.
At that moment, there was a knock on the door.
A gruff voice was heard from the other side of the door, "Open the f*****g door now."
Hearing the voice, Daniel and Hannah were stunned.
Shit, the Schneider family has found us!
Adam cursed in a low voice, "Jeremy, call Jackson right away, ask him to…"
Bang! Before he could finish his sentence, the room’s door was kicked open as two burly men came in.
Jeremy quickly dissociated himself from Daniel and Hannah, "I have nothing to do with this. They’re Lacey Hinton’s parents, not us."
"Get them if you want."
One of the burly men was stunned, "Lacey Hinton? Who is she?"
Suddenly, Jeremy’s phone rang.
It was a call from Lily Hinton.
Jeremy picked up the phone promptly, "Lily, quick, get Jackson for me. We’re innocent…"
Lily shouted with all her might on the other side of the phone, "Dad, run! Jackson wants to get you two."
Adam and Jeremy were shocked.
The other burly man looked at Jeremy coldly and asked, "So you two are Adam Hinton and Jeremy Hinton, aren’t you?"
"You two really are gutsy. How dare you two play a trick on Mr. Hamilton. I’m afraid that you two have to leave with me now."
Jeremy was confused, "There must be some misunderstanding. Mr. Hamilton is actually my son-in-law…"
Bam! Before he could finish his sentences, the burly men knocked them unconscious with one punch. Then, Adam and Jeremy were carried away.
Daniel and Hannah stood still right where they were and looked at each other in shock.
What the hell is going on?
After a while, Zeke and Lacey Hinton returned home.
Daniel walked up to them in a panic, "Zeke, something’s wrong. Jackson took grandpa and Uncle Jeremy away. Please…please save them."
Zeke had imperceptibly become the backbone of the family. Whenever Daniel and Hannah faced any problems, they would look to him for his help.
Zeke and Lacey pondered for a moment and had a rough idea about the situation.
Zeke asked, "Mom, Dad, are you sure you want to save grandpa and Uncle Jeremy after what they’ve done to you?"
Daniel sighed, "What else can I do? They are my father and brother after all."
"We cannot be as cold blooded as the two of them. What do you think, Zeke?"
Zeke looked at Hannah for her opinion, "Mum, what do you think?"
Hannah replied, "Zeke, why don’t you tell us what actually happened?"
"Daniel and Jeremy told us you and Lacey have offended the Hamilton family. They wanted to take revenge against you two. But why did Jackson take them away instead?"
Zeke sat down before he explained to them, "It was all part of their conspiracy for Lily to join the steel mill. It was a trap set up by grandpa and Uncle Jeremy."
"Lily was the one who switched out Lacey’s bid proposal. She submitted the insulting bid proposal to the Schneider family and pretended it was from Lacey."
"No wonder the Schneider family was so mad at it."
"They didn’t know that I was prepared for all these things to happen."
"I secretly took a video of Lily switching the bid proposal and sent it to the Schneider family."
"The Schneider family honours faith and loyalty. If they knew that the Hamilton family was taking a short cut, the Schneider family would never want to have any business deals with them anymore."
"Too bad Jackson didn’t know that I was the one who reported to the Schneider family and exposed him. He thinks grandpa and Uncle Jeremy are the ones who betrayed him, and therefore he’s taking out his anger on them."
The Hinton family was fuming after hearing the story.
"That’s too much! I never thought they would be so cruel."
"Sigh, why did he do that to his own granddaughter? What on earth is he thinking?"
Zeke asked, "So what do you think? Do you still want me to save them?"
Daniel looked troubled and remained silent.
Hannah took a deep breath and said, "I think we should save them as they are still Daniel’s father and brother. If not, someone will talk behind our back."
"But we are not going to save them now. We can do it tonight or tomorrow."
"They’re so mean to us, and we should pay them back in their own coins."
"What do you think, Daniel?"
Daniel nodded blankly. "Yeah, what you said makes sense."
Lacey looked at Zeke gratefully and said, "Zeke, thank you for everything."
"If the Schneider family really thought I was the one who submitted an insulting bid proposal, our family would be doomed."
Zeke replied, "I’m just doing my part as a husband. You don’t need to thank me."
Lacey blinked her sparkly eyes innocently and asked, "Is it really as simple as you say?"
"If so, why would I get a perfect score for my bid proposal?"
Zeke replied, "Don’t forget that we’re a team. I do have the responsibility and obligation to help you amend the bid proposal."
"We did put in a lot of effort on that bid proposal, so I wasn’t surprised that we got a perfect score."
Lacey was in doubt, "Really? So you do know how to write a bid proposal? Then why don’t you write one for me now?"
Zeke was embarrassed.
He didn’t know how to write one, that’s for sure.
Feeling the awkwardness between the two of them, Hannah broke the silence. "Zeke, you saved our lives. To show our appreciation, I’ll cook some delicious dishes for you."
"Thank you, Mom."
Hannah smiled, "Don’t mention it. We’re family, after all."
She then beckoned Daniel to walk into the kitchen with her.
Daniel muttered under his breath, "I don’t think it’s that simple, what do you think?"
Hannah nodded, "Of course it isn’t. Even if Zeke exposed to the Schneider family that the Hamilton family was the one who switched the bid proposal, Lacey would have never gotten a perfect score on it."
"After all, her steel mill is just a small scale factory. It makes no sense for her to get a perfect score."
Daniel was lost in his thoughts and asked, "Do you think Zeke knows someone from the Schneider family?"
Hannah replied, "Yeah, it seems that’s the case."
"How about you try to see if you can get some information from him?"
Daniel looked troubled, "How am I supposed to do that if he refuses to cooperate?"
"How about you? Maybe you can sound him out?"
Hannah said, "Nah, it will be much easier if you have a man-to-man talk with him. How about you get him drunk later?"
Daniel agreed, "That’s a good idea. After all, we have a bottle of Maotai sitting in our house. We can bring it out and serve it to him."
Soon, the sumptuous meal was served.
Daniel took out a cherished bottle of Maotai and said, "Zeke, let’s have a drink."
Lacey wasn’t very pleased. "Dad, don’t let Zeke drink too much."
"The Schneider family might ask Zeke and me to meet them up later for contractual discussions, and it won’t be nice for them to see him drunk.
Daniel assured Lacey, "Don’t worry, I won’t let him drink too much."
Lacey told Zeke, "Zeke, my dad is a good drinker.
He has a high alcohol tolerance and rarely gets drunk."
"Please don’t challenge him on his alcohol tolerance, alright?"
"Don’t worry. I know I’m not as good of a drinker as your dad. I know what to do."
Soon, they clinked their glasses and drank happily.
After half an hour, Daniel was as drunk as a skunk. He couldn’t even stand properly.
"Zeke, I was known as a loyal, brave and resourceful person when I was young. I even had seven or eight men at my disposal during my glory days."
"Too bad mundane life has taken a toll on me. Your mother-in-law has always been nagging at how useless I am now. But deep down in my heart, I know I’m swallowing my pride and simply waiting for an opportunity to shine."
"Now that you’re here, I feel young again."
Zeke didn’t even look as if he had been drinking and said calmly, "Dad, you’re not that old yet. I believe you will achieve great things in life."
"I never thought of achieving something great, but I would like to set up my own clinic."
"That wouldn’t be a problem. Lacey and I can give you some advice; we can make it work."
Hannah didn’t know whether to cry or laugh.
What a dummy. I’m asking you to pry information out of Zeke, but you’re pouring your heart out to him. Well, now what? You’re as drunk as a skunk while Zeke is as sober as a judge.
As for Lacey, a mood of melancholy descended on her.
For years, Dad has been living in obscurity and silence. He never confided in anyone.
But today he pours his heart out to Zeke about how he has really felt for all these years.
Seems like Zeke does have some talent.
Hannah started to get annoyed with Daniel’s nagging, and she said, "Daniel, I think you’ve drunk too much. Let’s head back to the room and have a rest."
Zeke stopped Hannah, "It’s okay, Mom."
"It isn’t easy for dad to support the family. He’s under tremendous stress, and will feel better if he gets it off his chest."
Daniel was moved to tears. "You and I really click. I know I can always count on you."
After a while, the Schneider family called Lacey. They invited her over to the Schneider residence for the contractual discussion.
Lacey told Zeke that it was time to leave.
Daniel enjoyed his chit chat with Zeke but didn’t want to take up their time either. "Zeke, don’t worry about it. Just go ahead. We can continue drinking once you’re done."
Zeke replied, "Sure, Dad. I will see you soon. Then we can drink to our hearts’ content!"
As soon as Zeke left the house, Daniel slumped into the sofa and started his drunk talk, "This kid, he really can drink."
"If only I was younger…"
Hannah put a blanket on Daniel while she secretly wiped her tears away.
"Why didn’t you tell me you’re under so much stress?"
"Sigh, it’s my bad. I was too harsh on you all the while."
"Well, look at the bright side. I’m so glad we can depend on Zeke now. You don’t have to work so hard anymore."
Inside the basement of the Hamilton Construction, Adam and Jeremy were bound to the chairs with wound and bruises all over their bodies.
Jackson sat opposite them wearing a maniac smile. He was holding a bloodstained whip in his hand.
Smack! He lashed Jeremy mercilessly with his long whip and cursed him at the same time.
"Bastard! How dare you two play a trick on me. I won’t let you two off easy!"
Despair and remorse washed over Adam and Jeremy.
They never thought Jackson whom they trusted the most, would treat them so merciless and cruel.
Adam opened his mouth weakly and said, "Mr. Hamilton, there must be a misunderstanding."
"We didn’t trick you, Zeke did."
"Enough, do you think I will believe what you just said?"
There was concrete evidence showing that Adam and Jeremy were the ones who conspired with Zeke against him. Even the Schneider family had misunderstood the Hamilton family. He would never believe in Adam and Jeremy Hinton anymore.
Seeing Jackson was about to lash the whip at him again, he shouted in panic, "Stop it!"
"Mr. Hamilton, I’ll fix it for you."
"You can use us as a bargaining chip and threaten Lacey. In that way, she will admit that the insulting bid proposal is from her."
Jackson sneered, "Don’t flatter yourself. Do you really think it could work? Have you forgotten how you two treated Lacey in the past?".
"She probably hopes you die now. What makes you think she will help you?"
"Furthermore, I haven’t heard anything from them yet. I bet they have given up on you."
Adam spoke through clenched teeth, "Bastard, I’m her grandpa. How can she do that to us?"
"If that’s the case, I won’t go easy on her."
"Mr. Hamilton, I know who can help us."
"Lacey has a god sister named Dawn Castaneda. Although they’re not related by blood, they’re like real sisters," Adam suggested.
"You can use Dawn as a bargaining chip to threaten Lacey."
Jackson was stunned for a moment, "Dawn Castaneda? The name sounds familiar to me."
"Oh yeah, a new salesperson reported for work a few days ago. Her name is Dawn Castaneda."
He took out his phone hastily and showed the photo of Dawn to them, "Is this her?"
Adam was surprised, "Yup, that’s her. Why do you have her photo?"
"Of course I have it, she’s my newly hired employee," Jackson said.
Dawn was a true beauty. Jackson had had improper thoughts towards her the moment he laid his eyes on her.
Finally, his opportunity had come…
A fire of desire flared up in his abdomen.
He threw away his whip and walked out of the basement. At the same time, he took out his phone and called his secretary, "Bring Dawn Castaneda to my office."
After a while, Dawn came to see him in the basement.
She was confused about why her boss would want to meet her; she was just a new recruit.
Jackson locked the door from the inside and looked at her with a lewd expression, "Do you know Lacey?"
Dawn replied, "Yeah, I know her."
Jackson’s smile was even more hideous, "That’s great."
"If I cannot get my hands on Lacey, you will be a perfect choice too."
Hearing what Jackson had said, she tensed up. "Mr. Hamilton, what do you mean by that?"
Jackson smiled wickedly, "Take off your clothes and go down on me."
Dawn’s face turned pale instantly, "Get lost, you pervert."
After soon as she finished the sentence, she turned, wanting to leave the place.
But Jackson wouldn’t let her go. He quickly pounced on her…
Dawn shrieked in terror. She quickly grabbed the fruit knife on the table and pressed it against her neck.
"Please don’t come near me, I will kill myself if you do."
Then, she cut her neck slightly with the knife as a warning.
Upon seeing that, Jackson stopped in his tracks.
He wasn’t ready to see anyone die in front of him.
He clenched his teeth, "Take it easy."
He took out his phone and dialled Lacey’s number.
Meanwhile, Lacey and Zeke were waiting in the Schneider family’s conference room for Evan Schneider’s arrival.
Lacey felt strange to see Jackson calling her. Nonetheless, she picked up the call.
"Where are you right now?" Jackson asked.
"In the conference room of the Schneider family," Lacey replied.
"Great. You have two choices now. Number one, sign the contract with the Schneider family, and Dawn Castaneda will be dead. Number two, admit that the insulting bid proposal was from you, and I will let Dawn Castaneda go."
Lacey jumped in terror. "Dawn… What did you do to her?"
Jackson replied, "Don’t worry, she’s still alive."
"But I cannot guarantee if she will still be alive tomorrow."
Then, he hung up the phone abruptly.
Lacey was shell-shocked and fell on the floor.
Zeke was shocked as well. He held Lacey hurriedly and asked, "What happened, Lacey?"
Lacey started stammering, "Quick… Quick… go to the Hamilton family and save Dawnie…"
"Jackson has Dawnie."
A gleam of murderous intent flashed in Zeke’s eyes.
Is Jackson asking for death?
He consoled Lacey and said, "Don’t worry, I will get Dawnie out."
"I promise you she will be alright."
Lacey took a deep breath as she said, "I will go with you."
Zeke replied, "No, you just wait here."
"Isn’t Jackson trying to force you to admit that the insulting bid proposal is from you, is it? If so, you can try to buy time by pretending to agree to his terms."
"Give me half an hour. I promise I will bring Dawnie back to you safely."
Lacey took a deep breath and tried to calm herself – down.
It seemed like the best solution for now.
She nodded, "Zeke, please get her back safely."
Zeke nodded and left the Schneider family’s house.
After he got into the car, he made a phone call to Lone Wolf.
"Lone Wolf, bring the armed forces in. We’re going to the Hamilton family’s house in Oakheart City."
"The game is on."
Lone Wolf replied, "Roger that!"
Zeke left with his car and soon arrived at Hamilton Construction.
Two security guards stopped him at the entrance, "Back off, no outsiders allowed."
Zeke punched them in their faces.
The security guards were caught off guard by his quick punches. They fell onto the ground while blood spluttered out of their mouths.
"Nobody can stop me!"
Zeke walked in the building.
Despite the pain, the security guards took out their walkie-talkies. "Mr. Hamilton, Zeke is here."
"Did he bring anyone with him?" Jackson asked.
The security guard replied, "No, he came here alone."
Jackson sneered, "Very good, let him in."
"It’s time to settle some old scores."
"All of the security guards are to gather in my office immediately."
Zeke soon arrived on the tenth floor of the building without any obstacles.
Zeke knew it was Jackson’s trick.
However, Zeke was a military veteran. He wouldn’t care less about the trick Jackson had pulled.
Bang! He kicked open the office’s door and walked in straight
He was stunned at the sight he saw before him.
Dawn held onto a fruit knife and pressed it against her neck. Her shirt collar was soaked in blood from her neck.
She looked pale as if she would pass out anytime.
Jackson and his men stood beside her, glaring at Zeke like ravening tigers.
Dawn fell into despair when she saw Zeke coming into the room alone.
How can he beat Jackson’s men all by himself?
"Brother-in-law, get out of here." Dawn welled up with tears as she said it.
Zeke didn’t heed the warning and walked straight up to Dawn.
"Don’t worry, Dawnie. Your blood will not be shed in vain."
Dawn cried out, "Get out of here. You can never defeat them."
"Leave me alone. I don’t want you to get into trouble." Dawn sobbed.
Jackson had a wicked smile on his face as he beckoned his men to block the door.
"You think you can leave this building unscathed? Your only option is to jump out of the window."
Zeke ignored Jackson and took the knife away from Dawn. He then put the silver needles on her neck to stop the bleeding.
Next, he moved a stool and let Dawn sit on it.
"Dawn, sit back and enjoy the show."
"Someday the dragon will rise, and the river will flow backwards. Someday the tiger will return to the mountain, and half of the sky will be stained with blood!"
"I will beat their asses and show them how winning is done. I’m your brother-in-law, that means something."
Dawn raised up her head in surprise.
Is this mysterious man going to show his true colours today?
What is this man capable of?
Is he able to beat off all of them?
Jackson sneered, "What a f*****g ostentatious man!
"Boys, go get him now!"
"Let’s beat his ass, and let him watch how I sleep with his wife and his sister-in-law!"
The muscular men all charged at Zeke.
Zeke held the knife tight and turned around slowly, looking extremely calm.
"It’s just… I felt pity for this imported wool carpet."
Looking confused, everyone wondered what this had to do with the carpet.
Dawn stared at his back in a daze.
His figure looked rather familiar to her as if she had seen it somewhere else.
Zeke finally moved his body when the men came near him.
He swung his knife at them with effortless grace.
After exactly five seconds, Zeke put the knife away. He had ended the commotion and remained still.
As for these muscular men, they stood still as if they had been petrified and turned into a status. Then they looked at their arms dumbfoundedly while their arms fell off onto the floor.
Blood instantly poured out from their arms and stained the wool carpet. What a waste of a wool carpet.
The muscular men finally came back to their senses and collapsed onto the floor. They clutched their broken arms and screamed in pain.
Did we just meet a demon?
In just five seconds, he has cut off all of our arms.
He’s definitely a demon. How can a mortal possess such power?
Jackson peed on the spot out of terror.
His mind went blank and he felt out of breath as the smell of blood lingered in the room.
He realized he had gotten himself into deep trouble.
He leaned his back on the wall and moved towards the door slowly.
"Demon… A demon…"
Before he could reach for the door, he heard a piercing sound.
A bullet broke through the window and lodged itself in his thigh.
His legs turned into a mass of bleeding flesh.
Where did the bullet come from?
His fear numbed his pain for a moment.
He looked out the window in terror.
There were four military helicopters lingering outside the window.
As the rope ladder descended, dozens of soldiers with loaded guns broke in through the windows.
"Freeze! Get on your knees and put your hands above your heads!"
Before everyone came back to their senses as the office’s door was kicked open suddenly.
Men with camouflage uniforms poured in, filling the office.
"Freeze! Don’t move. Otherwise, all of you will be executed!"
The army is here!
What? Why’s the army alerted?
Everyone was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. They laid low on the floor and didn’t dare to move.
Jackson cried uncontrollably, "Zeke, I’m so sorry, I will kowtow to you…"
"Please spare my life… Please…"
"Spare your life?"
Zeke sat down and cleaned the wound on Dawn’s neck. "You’ve been sentenced to the death penalty the moment you laid your hands on my family member."
Lone Wolf walked up to Zeke and saluted to him, "I’m sorry, Great Marshal. I’m late."
Everyone was stunned when they heard Lone Wolf calling Zeke ‘Great Marshal’.
The man before us is Great Marshal, the undefeated God of War.
He’s a legend.
We actually had the audacity to offend him?
We’re in deep shit!
Dawn’s jaw dropped in surprise.
The trashman is actually Great Marshal. This is so freaking cool!
"Great Marshal, the whole building is under our control. Please let us know what to do next." Lone Wolf reported.
Zeke grabbed Lone Wolf’s gun and threw it into the drawer of the office desk.
"Jackson Hamilton is suspected of stealing weapons and shall be sent to a military court."
Stealing weapons? Military court? That’s way worse than the death penalty!
After all, for the death penalty, the jury can only bring a charge against an individual. Meanwhile, for the court case handled in the military court, the Verdict would involve the entire family!
Jackson cried out and passed out in fright.
"Roger that." Lone Wolf said.
After receiving the order, the armed soldiers were busy arresting the criminals and photographing the evidence.
Zeke helped Dawn to bandage her wound and asked, "Can you walk by yourself?"
Dawn said, "Huh? I… I’m so dizzy. I can’t walk properly."
"Brother-in-law, can you hug me?"
Dawn wrapped her arms around Zeke’s neck as she spoke.
Zeke had no choice but to carry her.
She’s very light.
Dawn leaned against Zeke with her tear-streaked face.
What does it feel like to be close to your idol?
She felt as if her heart was about to jump out of her chest from beating too hard.
I can die without regrets now!
The whole building was full of soldiers.
As Zeke passed by, each and every one of the soldiers saluted him, "Great Marshal."
It was the highest honour.
As he descended to the first floor, he heard athud sound from the basement.
Only then did he remember that Adam and Jeremy were still inside the basement.
He walked to the basement and kicked open the door.
Adam and Jeremy quickly rushed out from the basement
Adam’s temper sparked when he saw Zeke, "You trash! What took you so long?"
Jeremy scolded him too, "Hmph! What did you do to make Jackson misunderstood us?"
Zeke glanced at them with disdain, "Don’t you dare mess with my family members ever again."
"Otherwise, you two will end up like Jackson."
Adam’s neck turned red from the anger that had surged through him, "How dare you! How can you talk to an elderly like this? Who do you think you are? What a barbaric human!"
"I have no idea why Lacey would fall in love with you."
Dawn sighed, "You’re the one who’s barbaric."
"Is that how you treat your life saviour?"
"It’s really sad that Lacey was born into your family."
Dawn’s words only made Adam angrier. "Shut your mouth, you little rascal. I don’t need you to teach me what to do."
"Let’s go. Don’t waste your breath on them," Zeke said to Dawn.
Dawn nodded and followed Zeke obediently.
Adam and Jeremy walked out of the basement while cursing at their misfortune.
When they ascended to the first floor, they were stunned.
The soldiers with loaded guns have taken over the whole building!
What just happened?
Meanwhile, someone walked down the stairs.
Adam and Jeremy were shocked to death upon seeing the way Jackson was being carried away by the soldiers. Nobody knew if he had fainted or was dead. His blood dripped along the way.
Who on earth injured Jackson so badly?
Adam and Jeremy were speechless.
After Zeke left the Hamilton Construction, he made a phone call to Lacey to update her on the status
Lacey finally let out a relieved sigh after knowing that Dawn was safe and sound.
"Dawnie, you must come straight home. Don’t loiter. I’m afraid Jackson will give you trouble again."
"Don’t worry about it, you won’t be able to see Jackson for a while," Dawn replied.
Lacey insisted, "It’s better to be safe than sorry."
Lacey didn’t know Jackson had been eliminated.
"Ok, I will." Dawn gave a half-hearted reply and hung up the phone.
Then, she looked at Zeke curiously.
Zeke felt uncomfortable from the stares and asked, "What are you looking at?"
Dawn then replied, "Zeke, I never thought you would be the legendary Great Marshal."
"In fact, you’re my idol." It was like a dream to be able to get so close to her idol.
Zeke shrugged. "It isn’t a big deal."
Dawn continued, "Zeke, since you are such a big shot, why don’t you let Lacey know your identity?"
Zeke felt headache when it comes to this topic, "Well, your sister doesn’t really like the Great Marshal."
"Why?" Dawn asked.
"She thinks the Great Marshal and her are diametrically opposed," Zeke replied.
"Oh." Dawn nodded.
Zeke continued, "Oh yeah, please don’t tell your sister about my real identity. Otherwise, she will surely break up with me."
"I’m still figuring out a way to let her know the truth. Well, when the time is right, I’ll let her know my real identity."
Dawn replied absentmindedly, "Oh."
She lowered her head and stayed silent. She looked as if she was in deep thought.
Now that Dawn was safe and sound, Lacey proceeded to sign the contract with the Schneider family.
After signing the contract, she rushed home to check on Dawn.
When she got home, everyone was watching TV.
Lacey was eager to know what happened. "Dawnie, how did you escape from the Hamilton family?"
Dawn pointed at the television and replied, "Watch the news on TV."
"The news?" Lacey looked at the television doubtfully.
Today, the Hamilton family from Oakheart City were suspected of stealing weapons. Their property has been confiscated, and any involved parties will be sent to a military court and shall be punished according to law. Colonel Lone Wolf personally led the team. The criminals will be brought to justice…
Lacey covered her mouth in astonishment, "Are you saying that the entire Hamilton family has been eliminated?"
After a while, she finally regained her composure.
She then realised that the whole thing wasn’t adding up.
She said in a curious tone, "That’s odd. The Hamilton family is in the real estate business. They have nothing to do with weapons, let alone stealing them. Unless they weren’t right in their heads."
"Furthermore, the whole stealing weapons thing happened at such weird timing. I’m afraid there’s something more to this than meets the eye."
Daniel expressed his opinion, "I personally think that the Schneider family is taking revenge against the Hamilton family."
Lacey frowned, "A revenge plan by the Schneider family? I don’t think so. It was just an insulting bid proposal. Why would the Schneider family blow things out of proportion?"
"Besides, is the Schneider family that powerful to get Colonel Lone Wolf involved in this matter?"
Daniel said, "Rumour has it, the Schneider family from Oakheart City was just a puppet of Great Marshal."
"By humiliating the Schneider family, Jackson is humiliating the Great Marshal as well."
"It is a well-known fact that the Great Marshal will not be humiliated."
"Also, Lone Wolf is the subordinate of Great Marshal. It’s highly possible that Lone Wolf was sent by him."
Lacey was deep in thought as she made a summary. "Well, I guess the Great Marshal is being really petty then."
Zeke and Dawn coughed at the same time.
Lacey looked at both of them curiously, "What happened to you two?"
They quickly shook their heads, "No… Nothing."
Dawn gave Zeke a silly smile as she felt a sense of superiority upon knowing something the others didn’t.
Suddenly, Zeke’s phone rang.
He glanced at the phone number, looking serious.
The phone call was from the colonel.
He told everyone he needed to pick up a call and went downstairs.
When he got to the car, he answered the phone and greeted, "Hello, Colonel."
Zeke had equal status with the Colonel, so he didn’t have to talk to him formally.
A firm voice came from the other side of the phone, "Zeke, what you’ve done in the Oakheart City is quite high profile, don’t you think so?"
Zeke replied, "I don’t think I’m being high profile, especially since they’re just a second-rate family."
The colonel said, "That isn’t what I meant."
"What I meant is after that incident, all our enemies now know that you’re now in Oakheart City."
"Besides, the previous ceremony was also held in Oakheart City. Our enemies would have guessed that you’re residing in Oakheart City and that you won’t be returning to the border anytime soon."
"Our enemies are eyeing on us, and may invade our border anytime…"
"It is best if you could return to the border before it is too late."
Zeke looked troubled as he spoke. "I’m sorry, Colonel. I’m in the middle of something back in the Oakheart City."
The colonel laughed, "I heard about it, and I knew you wouldn’t want to come back."
"How about this? You can join the upcoming TCM Association Forum."
"Then I will leak out the news to let everyone knows that you’re actually attending the forum in Oakheart City, instead of residing there. Eventually, you will return to the border once the forum is finished, and our enemies won’t dare invade our border any longer."
Zeke thought about it before he nodded, "Alright then."
The colonel continued, "Since you’re okay with the idea, then I will proceed."
The next day, a piece of unexpected news was making headlines in Oakheart city.
Great Marshal will be joining the upcoming TCM Association Forum as the Needle God.
In other words, Great Marshal would come to Oakheart City, and everyone could have a chance to meet up with him.
Everyone was excited about the news, especially the TCM Practitioners.
Not only were they able to join the TCM Association Forum, but they also had a chance to get close to the Great Marshal, the Needle God.
All of the sudden, the ticket price of the TCM. Association Forum had skyrocketed. The price made it nearly impossible to get.
Daniel was a senior TCM Practitioner, and he knew the news first-hand.
He had mixed feelings about the news.
He was excited that the Great Marshal would be able to join the TCM Association Forum, as this was a great opportunity to raise awareness for Chinese Medicine as well.
However, he wasn’t qualified to join the TCM forum. Therefore he couldn’t be there to witness the Needle God’s amazing medical skills.
He looked gloomy while he was having his breakfast.
Zeke asked curiously, "Dad, what happened? You look unhappy."
Daniel replied, "Sigh, It’s not a big deal. I just feel sad because I can’t join the TCM Association Forum."
Zeke took out the two invitation cards and passed it to Daniel. "Dad, I have two invitation cards here, you can have it."
Everyone in the Hinton family was stunned and looked at Zeke in surprise.
Everyone knew how hard it was to get the invitation card.
Where did Zeke get it from?
Furthermore, he had taken those two invitation cards as if he were taking two dollars out of his pocket casually
Daniel received the invitation cards with his trembling hands and took a closer look.
A moment later, his face flushed with excitement, "It’s real…I can’t believe it’s real!"
"Zeke, where did you get the invitation cards from?"
"Oh, do you all still remember Susan Raynor? She’s the daughter of the boss of the Grand Millennium Hotel."
"Last time, we cured her dad’s cerebral infraction. Therefore, she gave me two invitation cards as a gift."
"Oh, I see." Daniel looked like he was at a sudden realization.
"Even though we have the tickets, I’m afraid I still can’t go."
"Why is that so?" Zeke asked.
Daniel replied, "The TCM Association Forum stipulated that each organization can only send two representatives."
"There are no seats left for the Heartland Hospital."
"Unless I quit my job at the Heartland Hospital, and set up my own clinic. Only then will I be able to join the forum as an individual."
Zeke said casually, "Then you should quit your job and set up your own clinic…"
Daniel looked at Hannah cautiously, "What do you think, Hannah?"
Hannah had always disagreed with Daniel quitting his job and was firm about it.
Daniel didn’t hold out much hope for this.
Hannah looked at Zeke hesitantly and said, "Since Zeke agrees with you, you can give it a try."
Daniel turned eager and excited. "Great, I can finally go all out and achieve my lifelong dream."
"Zeke, you really are my lucky star. Come on, eat up."
Daniel’s appetite was good; he ate more than usual.
Seeing Daniel placing the food eagerly on Zeke’s place, Lacey felt speechless and rolled her eyes.
"Not again. How dare he compete for my parent’s attention again."
Nonetheless, she was grateful to him for what he had done.
After all, he made her father’s dream come true.
After dinner, Daniel put down his cutlery and said, "I will tender resignation at the hospital right now."
"Zeke, why don’t you wait for me at home. When I get home, we can go and have a look at the perfect location for the new clinic, and also find out what else should we do."
Zeke gladly agreed, "Sure, no problem."
Daniel then left light-heartedly.
After Lacey was done with her dinner, she dabbed her mouth with a napkin and got ready for work.
Lacey assumedly would get quite busy after she got the Love in a Fallen City’s project.
Suddenly, Dawn called out to her, "Lacey, please get a job for me in your company. Please take me under your wing."
Lacey was surprised, "Dawnie, you’re a PhD graduate. Why would you be interested in my tiny factory?"
Dawn flattered her and said, "Although your factory is small now, I have faith in you. I believe you will become a leader in the industry in no time."
Are you kidding me? With the Great Marshal’s help, how can her business not prosper?
Lacey said, "Wow, I’m truly flattered."
"Okay then, I’ll hire you as my secretary. Salary and benefits will be paid according to the highest standards."
"Thank you, Lacey."
Zeke and Hannah were soon the only ones who remained at the dining table.
Hannah cleared the table as she said, "Zeke, Lacey’s twentieth birthday is coming up in a few days."
"According to the custom of the Hinton family, twenty years old will be one’s coming of age. It’s a momentous occasion worthy of a grand ceremony."
Zeke said, "I see. We shall celebrate it grandly then."
Hannah replied, "Great, I will inform all the relatives from our hometown."
Zeke was shocked. He had never thought that Lacey was only twenty years old. She was ten years younger than him.
He was a lucky man.
What should I give her on her twentieth birthday?
Hmm… giving her the Hamilton Construction as a gift will be a great idea.
Before long, Daniel tendered his resignation letter and returned home.
Then, Zeke left with Daniel to look for a suitable location for the new clinic.
However, with Daniel being a doctor for all his life, and Zeke being a soldier for half of his life, they were both laymen in doing business.
After looking at all the ‘Unit For Sale/ Rent’ advertisement on the streets, they were confused.
It left Zeke no choice but to call Evan Schneider for his advice.
Evan Schneider was a mover and shaker in the industry. Rumour had it that Evan was charging his clients tens of millions to give out his business advice.
Furthermore, some clients couldn’t even meet him face to face despite the fact that they had paid for the counselling session upfront.
Evan picked up the phone in a dignified tone. "Mr. Williams, what brings you to me today?"
Zeke spoke, "Evan, my dad would like to start up a cardiology clinic. What location do you think to be the most suitable?"
Evan replied, "If you’re talking about cardiology, Guardian Hospital Center would be the best.
However, that property belongs to the government, and it will be a bit tough to acquire it."
"I personally recommend United Hospital Center. That’s a private enterprise, and it will be easier to acquire…"
Zeke stopped him halfway, "Hold on, I’m not asking for your opinion to acquire a hospital. I just want to open a clinic, that’s all."
Evan felt sorry for him.
What a waste it is for the Needle God to work in a small clinic.
"In that case, I would suggest Merwin District," Evan suggested.
"There are farmers working in the vegetable greenhouse in the vicinity of Merwin District. Unfortunately, due to their working environment, they’re prone to heart diseases."
"Besides, there are no hospitals in that area. Therefore, farmers have to travel far away just to visit the doctor. Furthermore, the consultation fee in the hospital is expensive, so they often refuse to get it treated in a hospital."
"If you’re planning to open a small clinic in that area, I’m sure your business will be good."
Zeke nodded, "Hmm… then I will head over there for an inspection."
"Sure, Mr. Williams. I will acquire Merwin District immediately," Evan said.
Zeke’s head started aching. "Please do not meddle in my affairs."
Left with no choice, Evan replied, "Erm… Okay."
After he hung up the phone, Zeke told Daniel the advantages of opening a clinic in Merwin District.
Daniel’s eyes lit up. "Hmm… Merwin District does sound like a great location."
"However, it’s a little bit further from our house. Anyway, I don’t think it’s a big deal."
Zeke replied, "Yeah, I don’t think it’s a big deal either. We can buy a villa nearby. Our current house is a little bit too small for us."
Daniel was speechless.
It will take me years of hard work to get enough money just to buy a villa.
At the same time, Emily and Madeleine drove towards the direction of Merwin District.
Madeleine asked worriedly, "Emily, are you sure opening a clinic in Merwin District would be good for the business?"
Emily replied, "Mum, don’t worry about it. I’ve done market research. Everything is going to be alright."
"I’ve also sought advice from the professionals. They all unanimously agreed that Merwin District will be the best place for our clinic."
Madeleine was relieved. "Alright then."
Emily continued, "Oh yeah, mum. Have you heard that the Great Marshal will be joining the TCM Association Forum?"
"If we could leave a good impression on the Great Marshal, that would be great for us."
Madeleine laughed, "The Great Marshal is so superior. He’s totally out of our league. Don’t even think about it."
"The most important thing right now is to be acquainted with the miracle doctor introduced by Susan. Your dad’s life depends on that miracle doctor."
Emily nodded, "Sure, I know what to do."
A dead silence followed.
Although Merwin District was a remote area, there were a lot of units for sale or rent.
Soon, Zeke and Daniel had their eyes on a particular unit.
They paid one year’s rental upfront, and Daniel officially became the tenant of the clinic.
After they solved their biggest concern, next would be going through the paperwork and contact the medical suppliers.
To set up the clinic as soon as possible, they decided to share the workload. Zeke would be in charge of the paperwork, while Daniel would contact the renovation team and the medical suppliers.
Coincidentally, Madeleine and Emily arrived at the destination after they left.
Emily had recognized Zeke at first sight with her keen eyes.
She furrowed her brows, "What’s he doing here?"
After inquiring with some locals, she found out that Zeke and Daniel were planning to set up their clinic on the street as well, just diagonally across the location they had chosen.
Madeleine snarled between gritted teeth, "That trash is going to compete for business! What a jerk!"
Emily sneered, "He’s still wet behind the ears to be considered a match."
"Mom, don’t worry. I won’t let them open their clinic, at least not at this place."
Madeleine was intrigued by her words, "Emily, do you have any countermeasures?"
Emily replied, "Mom, chill. We’ll let them open up. I’m just going to make them close it down during their grand opening. This way, not only will their clinic shut down, but they’ll take a financial beating as well."
Madeleine nodded, "Mm, let’s do it. We should have taught Zeke Williams and the Hinton family a lesson. I’m vexed whenever I recall how he dumped you on your big day and married that brazen little hussy!"
With one phone call to Evan, Zeke had the shop registration certificate, business license, fire safety certificate, health and safety permit, along with everything else he needed at his fingertips.
Daniel knew the ropes in dealing with pharmaceutical suppliers as he had been working as a TCM Practitioners his entire life. He managed to clinch supply contracts and set up the supply chain for various drugs.
On the other hand, Dawn was responsible for the renovation.
Being a graduate with a PhD degree, she could put forward a decent design plan without a hitch.
Lacey contacted the construction team as soon as the blueprint was finalized.
The preparation work for the grand opening of the clinic was in full swing.
Within three days, they managed to build their Chinese traditional medicine clinic – Rejuvenation Clinic from scratch.
Daniel was stirred as he stood in front of the clinic.
It had always been his dream to own his own clinic.
Today, my dream comes true.
Soaring ambition began to well up inside him as he fixed his gaze on the inscribed board.
Today was the opening day. Hannah and Dawn had both come for the opening ceremony.
Lacey too had squeezed a slot into her hectic schedule to show up at the opening ceremony.
Daniel asked, "Lacey, have you informed all your business partners?"
Lacey nodded, "Dad, put your mind at ease. They will show up."
Daniel then turned to Hannah. "Have you notified dad and brother?"
"This is the third time you’re asking the same question. Ugh, you’re so annoying," Hannah answered with a sense of impatience, "They’ve promised to come."
"Ok… Ok… That’s great." Daniel heaved a sigh of relief, "I’ve invited a few colleagues as well. Hopefully, they won’t blow me off."
Daniel was a bundle of nerves.
He wished to have a grand and pompous opening ceremony.
Hence, he needed to make sure that that everything runs smoothly.
Zeke said with a reassuring smile, "Dad, relax. I’ve also invited some friends to come and show their support."
Daniel nodded, "Thank you, Zeke."
Lacey was curious, "Zeke, I didn’t know you had friends in Oakheart City. Who are they?"
Lacey’s curiosity was not uncalled for as Zeke had little to no contact with his family and friends. He had been following Emily around like a puppy dog for the past five years.
Zeke flashed a mysterious smile. "You’ll find out when they arrive."
My friends’ identity will definitely blow you away.
Meanwhile, a clinic across the street was opening for business.
Madeleine and Emily strutted out of the clinic.
All members of the Hinton family slightly frowned as soon as they saw the two women. They had a bad feeling about them.
The Clemons family had directed their hostility towards the Hinton family ever since the groom left Emily for Lacey.
These two gatecrashers must be up to no good.
Just as expected, a van pulled up in front of their clinic where they turned up.
Under Emily’s instructions, two workers carried an inscribed board out of the van and affixed it somewhere above their clinic’s front door. Others unloaded party poppers and firecrackers.
The inscription – ‘Savior Clinic’ was eye-catching.
The Hinton family furrowed their brows.
Not only did the Clemons family set up their clinic here, but they were going to have their grand opening today.
Their intention was plain as day – to steal the Hinton family’s thunder.
Daniel lost his cool, "Madeleine, are you setting up your clinic here as well?".
Madeleine snickered, "Do you own this place? Are we not allowed to open our clinic here?"
"By the way, we have had our business license registered way earlier than you."
Daniel countered, "Why didn’t you tell me earlier? If Thad known, I wouldn’t have set up my clinic here."
Madeleine mocked, "I wouldn’t have this opportunity to humiliate you if I had told you earlier."
Daniel asked, "What do you mean?"
Emily chipped in, "You’ll find out soon."
With bravado, she ended her words with a throat-slitting gesture.
Daniel grew agitated. "Oh no! It seems they are scheming against us. They’re determined to ruin our grand opening."
Zeke comforted him, "Dad, don’t worry. I’ve invited a big cheese today; no one can put the Hinton family in the shade."
Daniel couldn’t cast his worries away, "Madeleine Clemons has connections with some officials. I’m afraid your friends from the business industry will be of little help."
Zeke remained silent with a confident smile plastered on his face.
The officialdom? That’s my territory!
Adam Hinton and Jeremy Hinton arrived soon after.
Daniel rushed to their side and welcomed their arrival. "Dad, brother, you’re here! Please come in."
Adam Hinton asked coldly, "How much are you going to pay us for being a member of the claque?"
Daniel was slightly bewildered. "You’re asking me for money?"
Aren’t you the one who’s supposed to give me money as a sign of support?
But you’re asking me for money?
Adam Hinton reprimanded, "Hmph! How dare you set up your own clinic? You’re biting off more than you can chew!"
His words left Daniel red-faced.
He didn’t care if someone pulled him down, but he would not let anyone cast aspersions on his professionalism as a doctor.
He rebutted, "Dad, what’s wrong with my medical skills? Have you forgotten that I’m the assistant director of the hospital?"
Adam Hinton sneered, "You became the assistant director through a back door method. It’s nothing to be proud of."
Daniel was at a loss; he had indeed become the assistant director with the help of Zeke.
However, the hospital authority wouldn’t have let him hold the position as the assistant director if he didn’t know his stuff.
Jeremy Hinton grew impatient. "Dad, it isn’t worth our while to keep harping with Daniel. Let’s go support the Clemons family; they’ll pay us a thousand bucks for that."
"I bet it’s a hundred to one that Daniel will be able to open his clinic today."
Daniel pumped his brother, "Jeremy, what do you mean by that?"
Jeremy gave a hint, "You have trodden on someone’s toes, someone you shouldn’t mess with. That girl is a true badass, you know."
Adam Hinton and the others made their way toward the Clemons’ clinic.
Emily welcomed him in high spirits, "Sir, you’re shrewd enough to learn that their true motive of opening the clinic is to gain profit. You’re sensible and decisive to cut ties with them in the cause of justice. I have high regards for you."
Adam Hinton gave her a slight nod before he entered the clinic.
Emily gloated, "Daniel, even your close ones have no confidence in your medical skills. Yet you’re brazen enough to persist in opening your clinic?"
Lacey and her family turned red in embarrassment by Emily’s sick burns.
They were no less than a stab in the heart.
They couldn’t believe that their granddad and Uncle Jeremy would turn against them.
Are they really my family? Bet my enemy would treat me with more mercy than this so-called family.
It will be fatal to his reputation, as a doctor, if rumours that his close ones had no confidence in his medical skills spread in the city.
How can I still open my clinic with a bad repute?
Dawn, though being an outsider, couldn’t help but take up the cudgel. "Lacey, your granddad and your uncle have gone too far. They’re still treating your family like dirt after all these years."
"If I were you, I would definitely cut ties with them."
Lacey heaved a sigh of frustration, "It’s complicated…"
Zeke patted Lacey consolingly on the shoulder, "Don’t worry, Lacey. They will eventually turn to us when they realize they’ve shot themselves in the foot."
In the meantime, Daniel’s colleagues from the hospital had arrived.
Daniel greeted them with a broad smile, "Zayne, Louis, you guys have arrived ahead of time! Thanks for coming!"
His colleagues gushed with fabricated smiles, "Daniel, congrats! You’re becoming a big shot in the healthcare business now."
"It’s no different from any other job. We’re all just working for a living. Please, come in," Daniel said humbly.
However, his colleagues seemed stumped by his hospitality, "Sorry, Daniel. We still have plans later so we can’t stay here."
Daniel was disappointed, "Oh… It’s okay…"
Before he even realized it, his colleagues had made their way towards the Clemons family.
"Mrs. Clemons, congratulations!"
"Wow! Mrs. Clemons, your clinic is larger in scale than I thought."
"With Madeleine’s top-notch medical skills, I believe it’s just a matter of time for you to expand your clinic and knock spots off Heartland Hospital."
Madeleine’s smile grew wider, "Haha, you guys are flattering me. But making a profit isn’t my intention with the clinic, I’m just fulfilling my duty as a Doctor to save lives."
The colleagues were impressed, "You’re an exemplar of the healthcare industry."
Madeleine invited the group of people into the clinic and flashed Daniel a snotty smile.
Daniel stood stock-still in embarrassment.
Madeleine was ruthless in poaching his guests before his very eyes!
Hannah was disgruntled by Daniel’s wimpiness. "These are your so-called buddies? They’ve just slapped you in the face. No wonder people look down on you."
Daniel was provoked. "Shut up! At worst, I’ll just close down the clinic. It’s no big deal."
Hannah snapped, "All you do is to take it out on your family whenever you get offended by other people. You’re such a wimp."
Zeke placated them to prevent them from having a row, "Dad, mom, calm down. They will kick themselves for what they’ve done."
The Hinton family heaved a sigh of despondency.
Will they really come back? It seems more likely that we will be the ones to beg them to set foot in our clinic.
In the meantime…
A flashy black Audi pulled up in front of the clinic and a man dressed in his suit got off the car.
Daniel brightened up as soon as he saw the man, "Is that Wilber Watchinski? The section chief from the Drug Administration? Why is he here…"
Daniel greeted him with respect, "Section chief Wilber, your presence brings light to my humble clinic." He unconsciously assumed that Wilber had come to support him.
Wilber nodded distantly, "I was just passing by here so I decided to drop by."
"Section chief, please come in. Lacey, bring the section chief some tea," Daniel said.
"Alright! Section chief, do come in for some tea." Lacey complied and led Wilber into the clinic.
Daniel whispered at Zeke, "So he’s the big cheese you invited. I didn’t know you had connections in the healthcare industry."
Zeke shook his head, "No, I didn’t invite him."
He’s not worth for me to invite personally.
Daniel mumbled to himself, "That’s strange… I don’t have a close relationship with him either. I wonder why he would come and support me."
"Daniel Hinton! Get in here!" Suddenly, Wilber yelled from inside the clinic; the fury in his voice was obvious.
Daniel’s heart dropped at once and he rushed into the clinic. "Section chief, what’s wrong?"
Wilber was pointing at the heaps of traditional medicine as he reprimanded, "These are controlled-drugs for specific purposes which ought to be registered at the Drug Administration."
"It is against the law to sell or administer these drugs before registering at the FDA."
"According to the regulations, we will have to shut down your clinic."
Daniel’s blood ran cold as he processed Wilber’s words.
His career in the healthcare industry will be doomed if they shut his clinic down on the first day of its opening; his livelihood would be destroyed.
Daniel immediately explained, "Section chief, I have registered these medicines. You’re the one who helped me with the registration, don’t you remember?"
Wilber curled his lips into a cold smile. "Did I? I don’t recall doing it at all. You must have remembered it wrongly."
Daniel’s face was full of despair and a thought struck him when he saw Wilder’s cold smile.
Damn it! Madeleine must have colluded with Wilber to tamper with the controlled drugs’ registration procedures.
It assured him that his suspicion was correct when he recalled Madeleine mentioning just now about his clinic closing down.
Hannah hit the panic button when she offered Wilber a stack of money under the table, "Section chief, it’s all Daniel’s fault. Please forgive him. We will complete the registration; would you please kindly make an exception for us?"
Wilber glanced at the stack of cash and poured scorn on Hannah, "Hmph! Do you think I’m a beggar who you can get rid of me with this petty sum of cash?"
Then, he added, "Ten thousand, and I’ll turn a blind – eye this time."
Hannah fell into silence because she grudged every hard-earned penny to be spent on Wilber. Daniel would need to work day and night in his clinic to earn ten thousand.
Wilber took the silence as a ‘no’ to his offer so he gave them an ultimatum, "Shut down your clinic immediately, or you’ll find yourself in court and ultimately in prison."
Daniel was fretted by Wilber’s warning, "I will shut it down… I will shut it down right now."
He would rather have the clinic shut down than go to prison.
Wilber sneered and was about to head toward the Clemons’ clinic when Zeke suddenly let out a chortle, "Section chief Wilber, I see that you’re adamant with your swagger. However, you’re simply digging a hole for yourself. I’ll give you a chance to apologize now and I’ll forgive you for your rudeness."
Wilber was puzzled. "Who are you?"
Zeke replied, "I’m Lacey’s husband."
Wilber jeered at him, "Oh… I see… you’re Daniel’s son-in-law, the offender under probation reform. How dare you be so disrespectful to an official? You better behave yourself, or else I can send you back to prison."
"Great, you asked for it!" Zeke feigned a smile and said, "Well, looks like the Drug Administration is corrupted that it renders a petty section chief like you to act with such a swagger."
Lacey rushed to his side and held Zeke back with a slight tug on his shirt. "Zeke, don’t."
Wilber will definitely take legal action against them if Zeke continues to provoke him.
Madeleine greeted Wilber who was strutting toward her, "Section chief, it’s an honour to have you here. Please come in!"
Wilber nodded, "Madeleine, you have my full support. I have high hopes for you and your clinic compared to those who go out of their depth trying to compete with you."
"I’m glad to have your words. Section chief, come on in." Madeleine led Wilber into her clinic.
Emily mocked, " Daniel, your clinic is going to be shut down on the first day of its opening. It must be the most short-lived clinic in the world. Haha… I’m going to die laughing… Hahaha!"
Daniel gritted his teeth, "Emily Clemons, so this a conspiracy of your family? You guys are ruthless…"
Emily snapped, "You’re nothing but a two-faced hypocrite. Wasn’t your daughter ruthless towards me when she took my ex-fiancé away from me? But I need to thank her anyway for recycling my cast-offs, or else my mom would still be a galley slave of the hospital."
Emily sashayed her way back to the Clemons’ clinic to entertain her guests.
"You… You…" Daniel stuttered. He was foaming at the mouth.
The Clemons’ clinic was bustling with noise and excitement. The workers hired by the Clemons were lighting firecrackers and the commotion of their grand opening drew the townspeople to their clinic.
In comparison, the Hinton’s clinic was deserted; they had already put up the shutters.
The townspeople rubbernecking on the street were intrigued by the stark contrast between the two clinics.
Daniel was so embarrassed; he wished he could dig a hole and hide.
"Let’s get out of here!" Daniel said with a lump in his throat.
Lacey comforted him, "Dad, it’s no big deal to shut down the clinic. You don’t need to worry about livelihood costs. I’ll take care of you."
"You’re such a good daughter." Daniel forced a smile.
Actually, he didn’t open the clinic for profit but to fulfil his dream – a dream he had been pursuing his entire life.
Today, his dream was shattered into pieces.
Suddenly, he heard Zeke’s voice, "Dad, our guests have not arrived yet. It’s not yet time to leave."
Daniel spoke in low spirits, "We have shut down the clinic, it will change nothing even if your guests arrive. You should inform your friends that they need not come."
Zeke shook his head and said, "It’s too late, they’ve arrived."
They have arrived? Where are they?
The Hinton family was clueless.
At that moment, a procession of flashy black cars stopped in front of their clinic.
It was a motorcade comprised of luxurious cars in which the ‘cheesiest’ among them was a Mercedes-Benz S-class that cost more than a million.
A group of men in suits got off the car with Evan Schneider taking the lead.
Behind him were the Schneider family’s business partners – they were all big wheels in the business world.
"Is Mr. Schneider here for a site investigation for one of his projects?" Daniel muttered as it was unthinkable that they’re here to support him.
Evan Schneider cast a glance at his surroundings before he made his way towards Daniel and clasped Daniel’s hands with zest.
"Mr. Hinton, my apologies for arriving late. I hope you didn’t hold up the opening ceremony because of me."
"Huh?" Daniel was stunned, "Mr. Schneider…you are here to support me?"
Evan nodded, "Yes."
With a sweep of his arm, his subordinates walked toward them while holding a towering stack of gifts in his arm.
"A monetary gift of ten million, a grand flower stand and a gift basket from Evan Schneider of the Oakheart City."
"A monetary gift of eight million, a flower bouquet and a gift basket from Tim Walker from the Oakheart City."
"A monetary gift of six million, a flower bouquet and a gift basket from Lambert Johnson from Risco City."
"A flower bouquet and…"
The jaws of the crowd dropped.
It was a huge honour to have the richest man in Oakheart City show support at the opening ceremony of a small clinic.
On top of that, they had brought millions worth of monetary gifts. The earnings from running a clinic were nothing compared to the monetary gifts received during its opening ceremony.
In addition, the opportunity of receiving a flower stand from the richest man in Oakheart City was priceless.
Finally, Lacey managed to pull herself together, "Dad, why don’t we invite Mr. Schneider inside for some tea."
Daniel returned to his senses and started stammering, "Mr. Schneider… please… please come in."
Zeke was so kind to remind him, "Dad, I’m afraid we can’t enter. Our clinic has been shut down; don’t you remember?"
Evan Schneider’s heart skipped a beat when he saw the latched roller shutters.
Damn it! Who’s the moron who dares shut down Mr. Williams’ clinic? He’s digging his own grave!
Daniel was at a loss when a few cars stopped nearby.
There was nothing special with the cars, but the car plate numbers were tell-tale of the high social status of the passengers on board.
Those were official state vehicles.
Daniel was stirred up when he saw Liam George, the director of Industrial and Commercial Bureau, get out of the car, accompanied by other officials.
Daniel was about to greet Liam George when he remembered he still needed to keep Evan company. He was stumped.
Evan seemed to have noticed Daniel’s worries so he said, "Mr. Hinton, feel free to go greet them. I can manage myself."
Daniel nodded and then trotted towards Liam George, "Oh… Mr. George, welcome! What brings you here?"
Liam was modest in demeanor as he shook hands with Daniel, "Mr. Hinton, I hope you won’t mind me showing up uninvited."
Daniel quickly responded, "Of course not! Mr. George, it’s an honour to have you here. Please, do come in."
Liam smiled faintly, "No hurry. Lewis, fetch me the gift."
His secretary brought over an inscribed board. "Mr. Hinton, here is a gift for your grand opening."
The words ‘Humanity Clinic’ were engraved on the board with "Industrial and Commercial Bureau" clearly carved at the bottom.
It was an authorized recognition by the state government that could build his reputation.
Daniel was thrilled. He could hardly contain himself because he knew clearly that a good reputation was of the utmost importance to a clinic.
Liam George handed Daniel a pennant as a sign of honour. "Mr. Hinton, this is a little gift from me."
Daniel accepted it with his trembling hands, "Mr. George, I… I… Ermm… please come in."
Daniel was at a loss of words when he received the inscribed board and the pennant.
Zeke reminded him, "Dad, you forgot our clinic has been shut down."
What? How dare someone shut down the clinic of the Great Marshal!
Liam George’s face turned pale as he glanced at the entrance of the clinic.
Then, he asked, "Mr. Hinton, who shut your clinic down?"
Daniel replied, "Section chief Wilber from the Drug Administration. He said that our controlled-drugs were not registered, but I’m sure I did complete the registration procedures."
"Wilber? I have no memory of this person, but Leo Kingston, the director of the Drug Administration will be arriving soon." Liam assured him, "Don’t worry, I’ll ask him to check on his subordinate officers. He should have kept an eye on the integrity of his subordinates."
Soon, another two groups of people arrived. Among them was Dylan Dickson, the head of the Merwin District Police Station.
Daniel would fret if he met Dylan Dickson on any other days, but not today.
He managed to grip his composure when he saw Dylan Dickson after meeting big shots like Liam George and Evan Schneider.
Dylan was astute enough to walk behind them as one of their entourage after he greeted Daniel.
The other group of people was led by Leo Kingston, the director of the Drug Administration.
Daniel swallowed his greetings when Evan suddenly reproached Leo. "Leo, how dare you show up."
Liam too bombarded him, "Look at what you’ve done today! You’re so disappointing."
Leo was bewildered. "Erm… Are you guys not satisfied with the opening gift I’ve brought? Actually, I’ve prepared another…"
Liam interrupted him, "It’s nothing to do with your opening gift. It’s your subordinate officer, Wilber! He has shut Mr. Hinton’s clinic down."
Leo was infuriated, "Wilber! He’s such an idiot! II have confirmed that there’s no issue with Mr. Hinton’s registration before I came. How dare he shut down Mr. Hinton’s clinic!"
"Mr. Hinton, I’m so sorry. My ignorant subordinate officer has caused you a lot of trouble. I will hold Wilber accountable for his mistake. No one can stop you from opening your clinic. You have my words!"
Daniel was incredibly grateful. "Thank you, Mr. Kingston. I appreciate your understanding."
Then, he unlatched the roller shutter and led his guests into the clinic.
Lacey halted Zeke who was about to enter and said, "Our guests are all big shots. Aren’t you going to explain to me why they are all here?"
Zeke replied with an innocent face, "They’re just here to support dad."
"Of course I know they’re here to support dad." Lacey prodded him for an answer, "I mean, why were they willing to come and support him?"
Dawn approached the duo and said, "Lacey, come on, the guests are waiting. You guys can talk later."
Lacey nodded. "Mm, I’ll help to receive the guests."
Dawn turned to her back and winked at Zeke as she rushed Lacey into the clinic.
Brother-in-law, I just got you out of big trouble. You owe me one.
The Great Marshal owes me a favour! I can brag about this for my whole life!
Inside the Clemons’ clinic.
Emily had seated her guests before walking out of the clinic. She needed to give an order to the restaurant to serve the dishes.
That was when she noticed that the Hinton’s clinic remained open.
She flashed a devious smile, "Hmph! You guys asked for it! Don’t blame me afterwards for being ruthless."
She retraced her steps back into her clinic and found Wilber, "Mr. Wilber, it seems like people don’t take your words seriously."
Wilber was clueless, "Emily, what are you talking about?"
Emily replied, "The Hinton family has opened their clinic again despite your warning. I think they’re challenging your authority."
Wilber slammed his fist down on the table, "Those f**kers… I’ll teach them a lesson!"
Wilber then marched toward the Hinton’s clinic, his eyes glinted with hostility.
The remaining guests had lost interest in their tea.
They swarmed out of the clinic and were prepared to have a good laugh at the Hinton family – the laughing stock of the day.
Wilber approached the Hintons’ clinic and yelled, "Daniel Hinton! Come out this instant!"
He heard footfalls and the next moment a group of people showed up. They were all dressed in suits and posed an intimidating aura.
The Clemons’ guests gazed in awe as they put their fingers on their identity.
Evan Schneider – the richest man in Oakheart City!
Liam George — the director of the Industry and Commerce Bureau!
Leo Kingston – the director of the Drug Administration!
Dylan Dickson – the head of the Merwin District Police Station!
Good lord, all these big shots have traversed around the city to converge in the Hinton’s clinic.
Each and every one of them was big fish in their own realm. They were no doubt the most prominent and influential people in Oakheart City.
The Clemons’ guests were shabby when compared to these people.
To them, Daniel was just an ordinary doctor. It struck them like a bolt out of the blue that Daniel was so skilled at networking.
They all wished they could travel back in time to stop themselves from supporting the Clemons.
Daniel was poised as he confronted Wilber. "Section chief Wilber, what’s the matter?"
Wilber was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Leo Kingston, his superior, was powerful enough to crush him like an ant, not to mention the other influential present.
"Daniel… I mean… Mr. Hinton, congrats on your opening," Wilber said, his voice trembling.
He fished out a stack of cash from his pocket and shoved it towards Daniel. "This is my small gift, please accept it."
However, Daniel turned it down, "Section chief Wilber, I remember you being the one who closed down my clinic just now. Why are you suddenly giving me an opening gift?"
Wilber was soaked with sweat. "That was a joke. …I was just kidding around."
Leo Kingston scolded him harshly, "You idiot! How could you be so irresponsible!"
"Wilber, you will be charged for abuse of authority and negligence in your duty. You’ll be put under investigation. Now, get lost!"