I don't own CCS, but I do own the story in this fic and things that are non-CCS related. All the name of places, historical events and other things mentioned, which you don't seem to know IRL, are products of my imagination. Any similarities with the actual thing were purely coincidental.
This chapter was successfully edited (02/26/2006).
From Previous Chapter:
"Have you asked your InterVEST rival about it?" Eriol peered closely with a smile.
Seeing his lawyer's expression makes him smile as well. "I sent my proposal in a private message."
Eriol continues to raise his brow, "...and?"
"And well..." Syaoran looks exasperatedly at him, "...well, I don't know...okay? As you can very well see...she logged out," motioning helplessly at the blinking message on the screen.
Eriol was about to say something when Syaoran's cellphone hummed a tune indicating it, receiving a text message. Syaoran walks towards it and picks it up and reads.
'1 Message Received from Agatha.'
Chapter Two: Damaski-is
Syaoran read the SMS (text message) that he received.
Sorry I left you hanging in the tournament grounds. I just remembered a very urgent appointment. I'll read your private message later and shall crash you to the wall when I get back.'
Syaoran gave a small laugh and smirked. "Crash me to the wall...yeah right." He said sarcastically. Agatha can be very childish sometimes but come to think of it, perhaps she was just being playful since they were, after all, interacting in an online game.
Eriol overheard this. "Both of you know each other's cellphone numbers?" He exclaimed in disbelief as he assumed immediately that his friend had received a message from Agatha. "As in...real life information?" He continued and fully stressed out the word 'real life'.
"Well, yeah..." Syaoran shrugged while he walked back to the balcony and started composing a reply to the message. "You seemed surprised." His hair got blown abruptly by a gush of wind which seemed to be forever lingering in the 40th floor of his company's building.
"I'm surprised, indeed." Eriol faced Syaoran. "This is very unlike you. As far as I can remember, you only give real life information to your clients. Those people you 'business-ly' deal with in InterVEST. But Agatha..." Eriol's voice trailed of; a grin began to form on his face.
"But Agatha, what?" Syaoran remarked without looking at Eriol since he was busy punching the keys in his cellphone.
"She's not your client, Syaoran." Eriol reasoned out. "She is not even your ally in InterVEST. Who was it who kept complaining of her being such a pain in the butt?"
"I believe it was like that at first...and often times still." Syaoran said thoughtfully; preoccupied in the message he was composing.
"...a thorn in the throat?"
"...ah yes...very very much so..." Syaoran nodded absentmindedly.
"...with fang-like motives..." He finally pressed 'send' in the menu just in time to see Eriol's wide grin. "Oh for pete's sake, Eriol. Don't smile at me like that."
Syaoran slid his phone's shutter in one swift movement. He strode back to his huge oak antique desk and sat behind the executive chair. As he leaned back, he turned sideways to face his friend. "It is purely for emergency purposes. We," He made motions with one hand, "sometimes get cut off in the middle of an exchange or trade of gold and it is crucial to know whether you are being scammed or something IRL just happens to occur. It is for security that the other is being honest with the deal. That's all. You know as well as I do, that..." He spread his arms sideways, "...everything you see here is the fruit of my InterVEST dealings. It is just plain common sense that we search for other means of communication."
How long has it been? Syaoran couldn't help but to think. He was barely twenty when he decided to venture life on his own. It was not like they were poor. Yelan, his mother, had been the heir to one of the country's top publishing company. It was the business the Li family had for generations now. Great great great great grandpa Li, being an ordinary person during his time, had a vision; a vision which ignited the rebellion's hope. Those were the dark days of the country. People were harassed, deprived and taken advantage of by a cunning dictator. Grandpa Li started to voice out the side of the people as he printed out two-page newsletters which contained the truth behind the facade the dictator had created for the country, as written by rebellious yet influential people of the society. No sooner than that, the two-page newsletter became a six-page tabloid which circulated secretly in the community. The rebellion was able to recruit members through the inspiring writings in the published media. A couple of months more the rebellion was able to throw off the dictator and a new government had been established. Life after that had been good. Better even. For many generations, the country had flourished and advanced immensely that traces of the scars of the past can no longer be seen. People actually may have forgotten what happened back then, but not in the Li family. History was something they prided. For every Li, there were two things that were very important that changed their lives forever. One was Grandpa Li's role in the rebellion. Second will be how from something small, something big flourished. The shop that published the tabloid became a full-time publication company and had extended its arm, from newspapers, to magazines, to books. The Li Publishers Ltd. became one of the best in the world. This was his family's legacy.
And like Grandpa Li, Syaoran wanted to start something. He was no hero nor had does society been plague with a dictator leader. All he wanted was to begin life once again equipped with nothing but himself. Something he could say 'his very own'. It was this reason why Yelan fainted the day he told her that he wanted 'out' of the inheritance. He told her that the family had been good to him, but as a man with his principles he would like to have something that was not simply just passed down to him. He would forever more support his family's legacy but he would like to try the outside world first. He has many sisters, after all. Many to tend to the business.
His trail of thoughts was interrupted by Eriol. "Ah...plain common sense...okay..." He sat on the chair in front of Syaoran's massive desk. "So..." He continued to say, still studying Syaoran closely. "How was her voice?"
"Excuse me?" Syaoran thought he didn't hear that right.
"Her voice? Is she young?" Eriol repeated.
"Her voice?" Syaoran looked at Eriol confused.
"Her voice. You know...the one you hear when you talk to a person. Considering that it is also plain common sense that a phone is something that you use to talk to someone by speaking in one end...and hearing it in another..." Eriol seemed to be seriously going to continue his avid description of a phone if Syaoran did not cut him off.
"I know what a phone is, Eriol." He said getting irritated with his smart aleck friend.
Eriol laughed and looked at Syaoran questioningly again resulting for the man behind the desk to raise both hands in defeat.
"I get your point. And the answer is I don't know." Syaoran answered.
"You don't know?" It was Eriol's turn to get confused.
"As you can see, my dear friend, that a cellphone is also capable of other features such as SMS or short messaging system. Agatha and I communicate using only this superb feature." He finished talking as if he was a salesman in a home TV shopping network.
Comprehension dawned in Eriol's eyes. "I see." He smiled. "Now isn't that convenient."
"Don't you dare use psychology on me, Eriol."
"What? What did I do?" Eriol asked innocently.
"You know what I mean. Use it in court, but don't use it in my office." Syaoran countered; a finger pointed down on his desk indicating his argument.
Eriol laughed once more. "Okay...okay. You're the boss." Eriol shifted on his seat to give him a better view of his friend. "So...did you tell her about your proposal?" He motioned to the message that Syaoran had just sent in his cellphone.
Syaoran looked at the device and said, "Nah. Not there. I want her to meet me in a private channel in InterVEST. It is better to chat live than leave messages. My plan is too important to be discussed in that manner. Although, I did give a hint, in the private message she hasn't read yet, about my intentions."
"Your intentions...uuuuuu.." Eriol teased."...Are they noble?"
"Okay. Okay." He said while he tried desperately to hide his laughter, then he finally cleared his throat and asked Syaoran more seriously. "What do you mean by 'too important to be discussed in that manner'? Aren't you just after a massive asset she has in InterVEST? You want to buy it from her, as I can recall. It is not like you are dealing with real money. As to my knowledge, you interact with Agatha as how someone would play online, with game gold and character."
"I changed my mind." Syaoran said quietly.
Eriol thought he heard wrong. "You changed your mind?"
"Do you remember about that ultimate patch InterVEST game developers want to install?"
"Yes." His eyes narrowed.
"It's up." Syaoran said as he leaned back once more onto his seat.
"No way! Really?"
"Believe it. It's not that known yet because an official announcement hasn't been made. But since yours truly is a game god, I've gotten early information from my 'sources' about its contents." Syaoran confirmed; pleased with himself for getting first hand information.
"I see. How truly reliable you are, dear Li Syaoran." Eriol smirked. "I heard that the ultimate patch is something near to the unthinkable; that, it was just a dream. But now, you tell me, that's it's already been installed?"
"So what are the contents of the patch? What mind blowing feature did they make this time?"
"I think this..." Syaoran pulled a folder full of print-outs from the stack of files he had on top of his desk. "...will explain things accurately."
Eriol reached out to receive the folder. He opened it and read through the papers. When he finished reading, he looked back at Syaoran. "Unbelievable." was the only word he was able to say.
Syaoran decided to remain silent. Eriol was not kidding when he termed it 'near the unthinkable'. The newly installed InterVEST game patch was truly ambitious. A year after he dropped the bomb in the Li family house about him venturing out on his own, the InterVEST game was launched. Just in time for a young person like him to get involved with something new. InterVEST was not like any other online games he had played before. It was a cross among MMO-strategy to role-playing to capitalism to investments that can be connected to real life business. There was no rule that real money can not be involved. That was why the game had earned its popularity not only to teenagers but to established businessmen. There was even an option on whether or not you use your real name. Even your exclusive bank account from InterVEST was masterfully protected that the clever would really see the opportunity this game provided. It was likeness to how things were done in real life which added to it growing reputation. The support the government gave to it, even made it more of the 'trend of future business' therefore living up to its original name, 'Internet Investments'. The very large sum of tax it pays monthly was the one which earned the government's side. But considering the volume of players it has, that sum will be nothing more than spare change.
For all this time, Syaoran had used this game's virtual world to gain clients, contacts and to comb throughout the investment world. He had learned to deal with stocks, how to run a company and even save one from bankruptcy. He also had gotten too much involved with the technology that six months after joining InterVEST, he had setup his very own computer company. He had started with the gambles he made inside InterVEST and now, his company was one of the strongest (and still growing) IT Company. But one way or another, he was not contented. Like any human being...he wanted more. There was still this empty space inside that he cannot explain. It felt like there was something he needed to do still.
It is not enough…The things I have now. I want society-wide control. Syaoran thought to himself. This new feature of InterVEST is the key to have it all.
"And what is Agatha's role in this whole thing?" Eriol finally said. "Pray it is not what I am thinking."
Syaoran smiled mysteriously and this time, opened his desk drawer. He fished out soft-bounded documents and a CD labeled with the word 'SkyLark' on the cover. "Here." And gave it to Eriol.
Eriol bent over and read the new documents. His eyes burrowed into a frown as he got farther. Time seemed to pass as he read word per word and made sure that he was not missing anything.
"Great..." Eriol said unenthusiastically as he closed the soft-bounded papers. "It is what I am thinking...and more." He took off his glasses and began to wipe it with a piece of cloth.
"You don't look happy."
"Actually Syaoran, I am just a little bit worried about it." Eriol continued to wipe his glasses without looking at the other man.
"I can tell. You are doing that habit of yours of cleaning your glasses out of no where, whenever you are worried, tense or excited." Syaoran said with a twinkle in his eyes.
"This is no time for jokes, Li Syaoran." Eriol looked up to him with serious eyes.
"Ah. Look who's talking now." Syaoran couldn't help but to remind his friend of how he acted a while ago.
Eriol gave out a sigh. "Okay. But are you sure? Do you want to do this? Your proposal is very complex."
"I am sure." For a moment Syaoran looked out in open space.
"I see." Eriol said as he looked at his friend intently. "Very well then. As long as you know what you are doing. I shall support you. Both me as your friend and as your lawyer."
Syaoran gazed back at Eriol. His eyes were unreadable. "If Agatha accepts..."
Eriol glanced at him inquiringly.
"...Eriol...do what you do best." Syaoran continued.
"And that is?"
"Make it legal."
And with that Eriol placed his glasses back on his eyes and stood up. "My pleasure." A mysterious smile crept on his face before he finally left.
I was reading back in the previous chapters when I realized how many times I misspelled Syaoran's name. There were many cases
wherein I keep using 'Syoaran'. Gah. My apologies. How long should a chapter be, anyway? I'm not so sure.
:whee: I got my very first review. Thank you very much icicle7. It was nice of you to spend some time to read it. As for the questions...
(for the old man in the previous chapter) My only answer is that everything written and introduced are not there for nothing at all. They all have their own purpose. smiles I like George, too. heart
Reviews encourages me to write instead of killing myself with loads of work. So tell me what you think. lolz