Chapter 26: The Middleman
“Welcome, you must be Mr . Jiang . My friend from the mysterious East . ”
After Jiang Chen had entered the room, he saw a white male with blond curly hair approach him
with an amiable smile . He used a hand gesture that he learned from one of the kungfu movies
and greeted Jiang Chen .
Although he was white, Mr . Robert’s face was nowhere close to white . His skin looked as coarse
as sandpaper . However, his composure and clean appearance made Jiang Chen sense his
“Nice to meet you, you must be Mr . Robert . Mr . Bruce introduced you to me . ” Jiang Chen felt a
little weird but returned the same hand gesture .
To be honest, it was awkward using the foreigner's way to greet others . The idea was simply a
bit confusing, but that was what happened .
“Bruce is a nice guy . He took a bullet for me in the Middle East . It was a pleasure to meet him
again, and as the famous Chinese proverb goes, a friend’s friend is my friend . Am I right?” Mr .
Robert extended his hand .
“Of course . Your Chinese is remarkable . ” Jiang Chen held onto Mr . Robert’s hand and firmly
shook it as he expressed his shock .
Although, Jiang Chen didn’t know if what Mr . Robert said was truly a proverb .
“Haha, of course . I always had a keen interest in this mysterious eastern kingdom . There are
opportunities everywhere . ” Mr . Robert’s eyes rested on Jiang Chen, and then he gestured
gracefully . “Please come in, my friend . I have a Lafitte from 1982 . I wanted to try it for a long a
time . ”
“I can’t say no to this invite . ”
The wine tasted different than the wine provided by the hotel . The bloody red liquid expelled an
exquisite fragrance of time . Even for someone like Jiang Chen, who had no experience in wine
tasting, he still tasted the difference .
The man who stood by Mr . Robert’s side was as silent as a rock . However, Jiang Chen sensed the
monstrous nature from his stature . He had a pair of shades on, but his protruding nose bone
indicated that he was a Slav . His bear like vibe perhaps indicated that he came from a Soviet
“My bodyguard, Nick Belarusian . We met in Ukraine . He’s also a good guy and responsible for
my safety . ” Mr . Robert noticed Jiang Chen staring . “Bruce is a good guy, but Black Water
“Is your business dangerous?” Jiang Chen sat on the chair and casually changed the topic . “I
heard from Bruce that you are a renowned middleman in the US . Crude oil and gold?”
“Absolutely . Apart from the relatively safe crude oil and gold, I have to sometimes obtain
firearms for my employer . If I get my hands on those, there will always be someone after my
life . ”
Mr . Robert lit up a cigar . He offered Jiang Chen one as well . “Your country has strict gun control,
which makes it feel like heaven to me . However, good times are always short lasting . I have a
flight to South Africa at 3 o’clock . ”
“You sure you have enough time?” Jiang Chen glanced at the clock, it was 11 already .
“Don’t worry,” Mr . Robert waved his hand and smiled . He then sat straight up . “I am very
interested in Mr . Jiang’s business . Is there anything I can do to help you?”
Jiang Chen paused for a brief moment . He dusted the cigar and sat up as well .
“I hope there is no confusion here, my friend . I accidently overheard your conversation with
Bruce last night . It was an accident, but business always sprouts from occasions . I have been
looking for opportunities here in the Far East, and I am still exploring . My instinct tells me that
we can be great partners . ”
“Hmm?” Jiang Chen didn’t make a fuzz about eavesdropping . With a slight interest, he
continued the conversation, “For example?”
“Mr . Jiang, businesses are paid in gold right? However, to my knowledge, your country's law
prohibits the large sell-off of gold because it would attract the government's attention .
Especially, gold without the proof of ownership . ”
“Looks like Mr . Robert is extremely knowledgeable about our country’s laws . However, is there
no issues with selling gold in the US?” Jiang Chen nodded without disagreeing with his
“Of course there are problems . Though in the US, we speak with the law and with evidence, not
with politics . I have a professional team to deal those kinds of issues . Even if I have a little
problem with the FBI right now, I am still here chatting with you, right?” With a mysterious
smile, he continued, “How I do this? Let me give you an example . I incorporated a shell
company in Saudi . I received a batch of crude oil from Iran . According to the sanction, my
Jiang Chen considered it .
9% was not a lot to begin with . All of his gold had no costs associated with it . It would be okay to
sell a small amount to the gold shop but if he did offer ten tons of gold, not a lot of gold shops
would dare to accept it . Even if he sold it in smaller batches, there was a high chance he would
be suspected . The Liu Anshan guy also gave him a weary feeling . He probably wasn't that clean
It’s always better to be careful . Although selling gold to foreigners is considered smuggling, Mr .
Robert probably has it figured out .
Mr . Robert saw that Jiang Chen was silent . He wasn’t sure either if the 9% is too high . However,
this business was not risk-free . The capital to purchase the gold would be a problematic
amount . If the amount was over 20 million USD, then he must take a private loan to fund the
deal . The interest would not be a small number .
However, if Jiang Chen possessed a large amount of gold, he could lower the fee by a
Just as Mr . Robert was about to lower the price, Jiang Chen suddenly opened his mouth .
“No problem, but I have a condition . ”
Jiang Chen words surprised Mr . Robert at first, but a joyful smile ensued .
“I can guarantee the quality of the gold . It’s the 24K gold you guys commonly refer to . I believe
you have the expertise to determine that as well . ” Of course, the gold in the bank would be
authentic . “However, you have to be responsible for the transportation . I will only transport the
gold to a location within the country . Also, you must pay in USD, on the spot . I will take no
Easiest money of his life .
A few tons of gold?! He would have done it with 7% . How wealthy was Jiang Chen to not even
negotiate . It also strengthened Mr . Robert’s assumption that the gold was definitely from
illegal sources .
[What kind of business is he doing? Did he rob the central bank?]
“Oh God . ” It took Mr . Robert a while to recollect his thoughts . Then he gasped, “Oh my, I am
going to be rich . ”
He only made half a million selling 10,000 barrels of crude oil with the risk that the US military
may detain the shipment . However, Jiang Chen decided the fate of a billion dollar deal in a few
“Nick, do you think our friend from the Far East is reliable?” Mr . Robert murmured as if he was
still dreaming . He knew Nick has no understanding of business, but he needed someone to tell
him that this was not a dream .
“Sorry boss, I don’t know a whole lot . ” Bruce expected Nick’s response . He was silent, before he
continued, “However, I know this man is dangerous . ”
Even if he saw diamonds in a refugee camp in Africa in the hand of a starving kid, he would only
exchange it with candy, not bullets . After all, a bullet is much more expensive than candy .
Mr . Robert never doubted Jiang Chen’s ability to provide the few ton of gold, nor did he have the
ability to investigate his background on this mysterious piece of land . What is business without
the proper risk?
Mr . Robert was willing to make a bet . Jiang Chen’s decisive attitude was definitely backed by
tons of gold .
Plus, there was nothing to gain for him in the end if it was a lie .