Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah, PM87
On September 29th, in the Main Hall of Changzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center, 3:28 in the afternoon.
Under the giant display screen, Tianhe’s figure appeared very tiny.
“What capital expects from us can make a man but can also easily destroy a man.”
At the High-Tech Summit, Wen Tianhe stood in the center of the stage and opened his speech with such a sentence.
“I don’t want to explain too much about the recent rumors about Epeus.” Tianhe raised his wrist to look at his watch and said, “There are still two minutes before the opening of the Financial Times Index. Let me give you a demonstration using our newest functions that we’ve developed to predict the opening trend of the UK stock market today.”
The venue was silent.
As he spoke, Tianhe lifted his hand and snapped his fingers. Reams of information began to scroll on the big screen. In his earphone, Pro’s voice said, “This must be quite thrilling and exciting, with a huge cost and little results. Tianhe, you still have time to change things.”
Tianhe didn’t answer nor did he release a signal of reneging. The week before the summit, he spent six full days improving the module, rewriting certain sections, and adding new analysis algorithms. After that, its accuracy rate fluctuated around 40% and occasionally increased up to 50%.
“Choose the Financial Times over NASDAQ,” said Tianhe, to thousands of people who were gathered in the hall. “This way, you don’t have to wait until nine o’clock in the evening and will save you time. If my prediction is wrong. I think I’ll get trampled to death here.”
There was a burst of benevolence and restrained laughter in the hall. In fact, after Tianhe took the stage, he neither reintroduced his company nor did he talk about the future effects of computer technology. He directly opened the analysis system in front of everyone. All the attendees’ faces were full of doubt. It was a long time before they realized that he actually wanted to give a roadshow at the summit!
Near the end of the data analysis, the scrolling screen suddenly stopped.
Pro, “I must faithfully remind you that this is your last chance, Tianhe.”
“Ah,” Tianhe said. “It always gets stuck a bit. This software is actually too old. Some parts were still developed by my father. In all these years, my brother and I haven’t treated it well and only knew how to eat its assets.”
Most of the audience immediately burst into laughter, only the first three rows of participants stared at the big screen with serious expressions.
Tianhe said, “It’s a pity I can’t hit it a few times like an old-fashioned TV set.”
The data analysis continued to roll. Tianhe’s heartbeat accelerated with irrepressible anxiety that a layman might not understand his work. There were hundreds of institutional investors in the summit, and nearly 90 percent of the investors from technology companies in the city were present. The tech industry may not understand what this data represented, but investors with plenty of financial experience definitely would.
Many people looked skeptical because Wen Tianhe’s operation seemed likely to only convince laymen. Even if this prediction accuracy were to reach the so-called “amazing” 100 percent, it still couldn’t prove anything.
The analysis system Tianhe devised focused on probability—using computer technology to extract historical data and information, and employ every means to formulate strategies based on the high probability events that could lead to excess returns. Computer analysis could reduce the conclusions of investors affected by expectations and mood fluctuations and avoid making irrational decisions in the face of market zealotry or pessimism.
In other words, if Tianhe could use his card machine software to accurately predict a hundred times in a row, the first three rows of guests in the venue would certainly get down on their knees and shout for his father, begging to buy the software. Even if today turned out well, it would only be this once.
However, the prediction itself was less important. The signal conveyed by Tianhe’s demonstration software here was what mattered the most—it would show that he was confident enough in the odds to present it in front of the media and the government.
At three twenty-nine, the result was presented on the big screen.
“The opening price is 7663.6,” Tianhe said. “The error is three points above and below.”
On and off the stage, multiple parties mocked each other in their hearts. Tianhe just stood quietly, not preparing any superfluous words to break the silence. His eyes turned to the exit doors of the venue.
Guan Yue was not in his seat. Just three minutes before Tianhe came onstage, he was sitting on the first row, but then a phone call came in and he left to take it. He had still not returned.
Earlier today, before entering the venue, Tianhe and Wu Shun had been taking photos of each other outside. At the time, Tianhe hadn’t expected that Guan Yue would attend. It was not strange to invite the CEO of Qingsong Capital, but Guan Yue rarely attended events like this. What was strange was that not only had Qingsong decided to attend, but Guan Yue had also agreed to be interviewed at the venue. The interview had been scheduled for 4 o’clock.
Guan Yue wore a leisure thin sweater today, with the shirt collar turned out, and his hair cut short. When he appeared quietly, Tianhe almost hadn’t recognized him.
“Stay and wait for me after,” Guan Yue had said to Tianhe, ignoring Wu Shun.
Tianhe had long been used to such special flash effects every time Guan Yue came out. A senior executive of Qingsong stood in front of him, and a group of reporters were chasing after him. Guan Yue was more wordless than usual today, so when Tianhe arrived behind him alone, he’d been surprised by his coldness.
When Wu Shun saw Guan Yue, he had discreetly stepped aside.
Tianhe, “I still have some work to do. Next time.”
Pro had chimed in. “Tianhe, if you succeed today, it still won’t be easy to leave; but if you fail, there should also be nothing else.”
Guan Yue, “It’s important.”
Guan Yue’s expression had been mild, and his body smelled of Bleu. That was Tianhe’s favorite and most familiar scent. He had to admit that Guan Yue’s move brought back a little of the negative impression he had after their last conversation.
“Let’s talk next time,” Tianhe had said. “All I want to do now is go back and take a shower, eat a big meal, and get some good sleep.”
Guan Yue, “How much did you pay for today?”
Tianhe had replied, “Do you expect me to say that I regret refusing you? So I can only lie at home and wait to burn through the money you sent me instead of coming to this summit today?”
Guan Yue had looked back at Wu Shun, who was facing away from them and standing under the floor-to-ceiling glass window. His brow had lifted slightly as if he was thinking. Finally, he said nothing and walked away.
“Let’s go in.” Wu Shun had returned and said cordially, “It will start soon. Do your best!”
Tianhe had been arranged to sit on the edge of the second row. Not far away, Guan Yue had been seated beside the organizer and several officials. He was politely and quietly listening to both parties while maintaining his consistent style of only listening and rarely speaking.
Guan Yue’s government relations were good, partly because of his family and partly because of the attitude implied behind his “I’m Chinese” remark. Although he had little chance to deal with the government and didn’t speak much in person, everyone described him as a “steady and decent young man.”
Of course, you win some, you lose some. The government liked him, but Qingsong’s headquarters didn’t like him that much.
Once Tianhe arrived at the scene and had finished settling in, he saw from the background screen onstage that the host had begun to introduce the nearly two decades pioneering history of Epeus. The background screen was playing PPT. At this time, Tianhe saw that Guan Yue had received a phone call, at which point he put on a Bluetooth headset, got up, and left the venue.
Even after Tianhe had come onstage, Guan Yue’s seat was still empty. The CFO named Mario had been watching anxiously from the back for his return. He casually glanced in his direction and then had begun his presentation.
On the big screen, the minute hand ticked into place and pointed at 3:30 PM.
The screen flipped to show today’s London stock market, with the previous prediction results on the left and the opening numbers of the financial times index on the right—there was a noticeable commotion among the audience.
The multitude of voices suddenly dragged Tianhe back to reality. Looking at the screen, Tianhe’s heartbeat instantly stopped.
Pro, “This is really the blessing of the goddess of luck.”
Opening of the Financial Times: 7663.62
Tianhe himself was a little dizzy. They had run predictions for ten days in a row. This was the most accurate one for both individual stocks and the market.
There was a round of applause from the audience. Regardless of what the probability was, such a prediction result was quite rare. Wu Shun couldn’t help but smile and whistled toward the stage.
“Tianhe, hurry up and speak,” said Pro. “Otherwise they will see through your expression.”
Tianhe calmed down and said, “Well, to this, there’s only one thing I have to say.”
“This is Epeus. This is us. We hope to have more opportunities to change the world in the future.”
Pro, “Furthermore… Tianhe, you forgot! Furthermore!”
Tianhe nodded politely and turned to step off the stage. The applause was even more enthusiastic. The host had just stepped onto the stage when Tianhe recalled something and quickly came back.
“My head was muddled with joy,” Tianhe chuckled. “Please look at the NASDAQ Index tonight.”
The screen showed China time and the NASDAQ Index forecast for tonight. The audience stopped applauding as they took out their mobile phones to take pictures. Although Tianhe was happy about today’s results, he also felt slight regret, this kind of luck was unlikely to happen a second time.
However, the second prediction was the most important. He prayed to God to give him another favor. If the first time was merely a performance, the real outcome would be revealed during the second prediction, which would take place tonight after the summit.
After stepping down, Tianhe returned to his seat and sat down. Wu Shun patted him on the shoulder. Tianhe smiled at him and whispered, “I haven’t handed in the papers yet. I have to wait for the opening of the US market tonight.”
“What just happened a moment ago was already enough to be recorded in history.” Wu Shun whispered.
Tianhe laughed and said, “I feel like I’ve won the lottery.”
Wu Shun smiled and said nothing. Pro said, “It’s more likely than buying a double-colored ball. If you make a wild guess, so long as it’s accurate within two numbers, the probability is…”
Tianhe took off his earphone, not wanting to waste any more time debating with Pro.
The next company to take the stage was Ronghui Venture Capital, whose theme was to promote science and technology and focus on the future. After Ronghui finished, it was time for a tea break. The time slot that Wang Su had arranged for Tianhe was indeed quite precious. He had moved Ronghui to the last time slot, and especially let Tianhe finish the ceremony. Tianhe wanted to express his gratitude, but Wang Su had already left after he stepped down.
“Let’s have afternoon tea?” Wu Shun proposed, then he recalled and said, “You have to wait for Chairman Guan, I remember.”
Tianhe had promised to have afternoon tea with Wu Shun to thank him, but Wu Shun was very empathetic and said, “Then, I’ll go back to work first and make an appointment for another day?”
“I’ll visit to thank you some other day,” Tianhe said.
Wu Shun replied, “Why are you so polite? Let’s invite Zijian to get together again. I’ll go now.”
As soon as Wu Shun left, someone came to look for Tianhe and handed him a business card. Tianhe smiled and softly said a few words. He found that there were still several people waiting to talk to him.
“Call me when you’re free.”
“Wen Tianhe, do you have time to talk after the meeting?”
Tianhe received several business cards, all of which were from VC and various funds. Presumably, many of them wanted to know the effect of his software iteration, or perhaps some people wanted to vote for Epeus, or possibly both. As long as there were real materials, financial backers would usually be willing to throw money. Not only could they control the technological achievements in hand or eliminate competitors, but they could also make money. When the topic changed to Wen Tianyue, most of them just laughed, crossed their legs, and let the investors stand and chat freely—without thinking the matter through.
Tianhe got up, politely received all business cards, and said, “The new software is still in the research and development stage. We won’t know the results until tonight. I will definitely come to visit you after the holidays.”
Investors didn’t pay much attention to attitudes. As long as you could make money, they would be willing to eat shit to make you happy; if you couldn’t make money, it would be of no use voting and eating shit. However, everyone still liked people who had good manners. They all nodded to him. After a short tea break, they exchanged a few casual words and returned to their respective seats. Wu Shun’s seat was empty. Many people were afraid that he would suddenly come back, so no one dared to sit in his spot to talk with Tianhe. So, relying on Wu Shun’s power, he also didn’t move from his seat.
The tech summit forum began in the second half. The theme of the first session was focused on investment by technology companies.
Five single sofas were placed on the stage, and the CEOs of the four funds took their seats respectively. Applause broke out off the stage. Tianhe had seen these people before. Among them were the bosses of the two funds who had come to Epeus to collect debts. Today was indeed a great event in the industry.
“What are you thinking about?” Pro asked.
Tianhe, “I’m thinking that if this time, a grenade was fired at the stage, A Shares would unalterably crash tomorrow.”
Pro, “I thought you were thinking of when Guan Yue would return.”
The small sofa in the middle of the stage was still empty. Tianhe gloated, “Do you think he would dare to let the entire audience wait seven hours for him?”
Tianhe knew that everyone in the room was most likely having the same thoughts as him. Everyone was waiting to hear Guan Yue, whose motto had always been “Silence is Golden,” finally say a few words today.
“It’s really interesting,” someone whispered from behind. “This is the first time Guan Yue is participating in the forum.”
Another sneered, “Shall we invite him to give us a tongue twister on the spot later?”
“Chairman Guan has been impeded with something.” One of the oldest fund bosses said calmly, “We won’t wait for him. Let’s start.”
“Anyways, he always listens more than he speaks,” The boss of the Conrad Fund said with a smile.
The audience laughed. Just before the session started, Guan Yue strode towards the stage and applause immediately sounded. Guan Yue took the mic and nodded to apologize.
The host then asked him to sit on the small sofa in the middle.
“Position C.” Tianhe chuckled.
“It’s reasonable since Qingsong is the biggest financial backer of many technology companies,” Pro said.
Tianhe, “Where did you learn these words? Pro, why do you often come up with some puzzling words?”
“I’m studying nonstop every day on Sina Weibo,” Pro replied.
“Today, we’re going to start by talking about financial support and prospect analysis for technology companies over the next three years…….”
Tianhe scrutinized Guan Yue. Guan Yue hadn’t put on any makeup, but simply trimmed his hair and eyebrows. After sitting down, he slightly adjusted his posture and then became motionless. His focus turned inward, as if he was thinking. He didn’t notice Tianhe in the second row of the audience.
Under the spotlight, Guan Yue who wasn’t wearing any makeup was still astonishingly handsome. As the camera rolled over, the cameraman rushed closer and couldn’t help saying, “Give him more shots.”
Tianhe whispered, “The host asked him to sit in position C. They must have thought that this can improve the ratings.”
Pro, “You’re jealous of him. Tianhe, this summit isn’t being broadcast live.”
“Don’t start rumors. Why am I jealous of him?” Tianhe exclaimed, full of jealousy.
Guan Yue was truly handsome. His aura was like that of the blade of a knife that could make a clean cut whenever he met an opponent. Among the five star investors, he was the youngest and yet earned the most money. The money he earned alone was equivalent to the combined earnings of the four companies around him.
Pro, “I finally searched for the magazine’s evaluation. They thought that these four investors, like money printing machines, were incessantly printing out money. As for Guan Yue… All he had to do was take out a sheet of white paper and write an amount and that paper will directly turn into an equivalent amount of paper money.”
Tianhe: “The kind of paper money used for burning?”
“What about Chairman Guan, who is known for "turning stone into gold"?” The host laughed. “What do you think?”
Guan Yue was going to talk! Everyone momentarily held their breaths and waited.
“Not optimistic,” Tianhe said in a low voice.
“Not optimistic,” Guan Yue said simply.
Indeed as expected, it was exactly the same answer as what everybody had imagined. Everyone guffawed. Tianhe lowered his head and burst into laughter.
Tianhe laughed and answered intermittently, “Obvious…… Obviously!”
Guan Yue coldly said, “Obviously.”
Although the words were brief and concise with just three words alone, it was informative enough to berate a large number of technology companies in the room. While many tech firms had been unable to bet against each other for years, institutions were constantly exerting pressure, and bosses were under pressure of either fooling or rolling.
There was another round of laughter off the stage. Tianhe couldn’t laugh anymore and said, “Pro, can you tell me exactly what he’s here for?”
“I remember Qingsong revealed that they wouldn’t invest in tech startup companies this year.” The founder of another fund rescued the host.
Guan Yue pondered.
The laughter grew louder and louder as if what was said on stage was no longer important. Guan Yue’s answer far exceeded the information technology content of this group of money-printing machines.
Host, “Nevertheless, everybody present must remain confident.”
“Not exactly. We’ve just invested for one this year,” Guan Yue finally replied. “The only one.”
The audience’s laughter gradually stopped. For a short while, Guan Yue pricked their curiosity, and then he said, “Epeus.”
A small cry of surprise rang out in the room. Tianhe immediately realized that things were not good, but Guan Yue’s sharp eyes glanced directly at him. Tianhe took a deep breath and frowned.
Pro, “Calm down.”
Tianhe, “What do you mean?”
Pro, “You can’t stand up at this time and shout angrily “Liar! He’s a liar!” That would be too embarrassing.”
“We believe that after seven years of precipitation, Epeus can deliver a brilliant transcript for us,” Guan Yue said.
The audience was quiet. Another fund founder laughed and said, “I say, is today a small advance notice from Qingsong?”
“What notice?” Guan Yue pressed his hands together, puzzled.
Host, “During the first half, Epeus accurately predicted the opening of today’s Financial Times Index to the nearest one decimal place.”
Guan Yue nodded, his fingers slightly parted, and replied, “I didn’t see it. I was occupied at that time. Anyway, Qingsong submitted the proposal a month ago.”
Everyone was bewildered. Guan Yue added, “Accurate prediction? Try your luck.”
The audience guffawed once again. Tianhe wanted to go on stage at this very moment to punch Guan Yue and beat him up right there on the spot.
Guan Yue motioned for everyone to continue. The host changed subjects. When others were speaking, Guan Yue waved towards the host. The host went over to him and bowed. Guan Yue whispered a few words in her ear, and the host nodded. For the remainder of the forum, the host showed a strong level of professionalism. No matter what topic was thrown at Guan Yue, the host would pick it up beautifully. Guan Yue either nodded or seemed to ponder the question, but he never said a word again. However, at the end, it still seemed like Guan Yue had participated in the entire forum.
When the summit was over, Tianhe walked out of the venue. It was the end of September, and the autumn wind bleakly swept through the air. He walked quickly into the parking lot and saw Guan Yue.
Tianhe ignored him as he entered his own sports car and drove away.
Guan Yue’s car followed behind Tianhe as he drove away. When he saw that Guan Yue was calling him, he hung up.
Guan Yue patiently followed, driving along after Tianhe. Tianhe drove to the countryside park beltway outside the venue and stepped on the accelerator.
The sports car produced a ‘purring’ sound. Full of anger, it thundered away.
The Audi R8 also let out a ‘purring’ sound. Full of horsepower, it followed behind.
Tianhe could get rid of him at any time as long as he sped up, but he wouldn’t race. Once the car starts to speed up, the violations would be small, but the mistakes would be serious. At the red light, the sports car stopped. When the light turned green, the sports car turned right. It didn’t exceed the speed limit all along.
Thus, the people in the park watched as a Lamborghini was driving feebly while purring and roaring, followed by an Audi R8, circling around the road outside the park.
When the Lamborghini ‘roared’ once, the Audi R8 also ‘roared’ once. If the Lamborghini’s ‘roar’ sounded twice, then the Audi R8’s ‘roar’ also sounded twice, just like two dogs barking at each other from a distance.
“Die rich men!” Someone shouted on the road. “You’re sick!”
Pro, “You’ve already taken him forty-five times around. Wouldn’t you like to hear what he has to say?”
Tianhe, “I want to see how long he will follow, and if he has the ability to follow along until tomorrow morning.”
Pro, “If that’s the case, your car will run out of gas first.”
At the end of the fifty-first lap, Tianhe finally turned around and went up the elevated road with the R8 still following behind. At six o’clock in the evening, the whole city was stuck in traffic, Tianhe had already lost his temper. Wherever he went, Guan Yue followed him like a haunting spirit.
“Time to refuel,” Pro kindly reminded him. “There’s a surveillance camera fifty meters ahead. Turn right, go straight for one kilometer, and there will be a gas station.”
Tianhe had no choice and drove to the gas station, the R8 still following behind him. When both cars were filled with gas, it would be more impossible for Tianhe to run away from Guan Yue.
Tianhe kicked the car door with one foot and went to refuel. The R8 stopped at the refueling station on the other side. Guan Yue got out of his car and took out his card to pay for two.
Tianhe thought of going home to finally have dinner because he was already so hungry, when Guan Yue said, “I have something to say.”
Tianhe stared at Guan Yue and took a deep breath.
Guan Yue, “Do you want us to quarrel at the gas station? We’ve already exceeded our quota for today.”
But the next moment, Tianhe made no sound. He took a step to the left and slowly lowered his head.
Guan Yue, “!!!”
Tianhe raised his hand and motioned for him to step aside. He continuously worked too long and ate too little which had made him dizzy.
“It’s nothing, I’m just hungry.”
Putting one hand under Tianhe’s arm, Guan Yue opened the car door, grabbed his waist, and placed him into the car. Tianhe stumbled and sat in the passenger seat, while Guan Yue fastened his seat belt.
Pro, “Your blood sugar level is a little low.”
Tianhe only had a cup of coffee before going out, but as soon as he sat down, he felt much better. Through the window, he saw Guan Yue enter his car, drive it to the parking lot, and return with a bottle of cola for him.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.