Remonin rarely rang him up. However, the last two times he called, he talked about how
he had made use of the cash Li Du gave him in trying to get himself to a higher position
When he called previously, he had used his satellite phone. This time, he dialed using a
legal international IDD and he sounded ecstatic. Hence, Li Du guessed that he must
have achieved some sort of new position.
It was simple logic. Remonin must have been successful in rising from a tribal chief to
an official of Mozambique. That was the only thing that could explain why he used a
new number and sounded so happy.
Indeed, Li Du returned the call and Remonin said, "You're supernatural. I cannot help
but suspect that you have a pair of eyes by my side."
Li Du smiled. "Those were just logic-based guesses. I surmise I have guessed
Remonin's spirits rose again and he said excitedly, "You were right. I have joined the
national military. Our government has just established a southwest military region, and I
am its commander."
Li Du was stunned. He sat straighter in his car seat and exclaimed, "Commander of the
southwest military region? God, you have really caught a big fish!"
Remonin cleared his throat and said with affected modesty, "This is not fishing, Mr. Li! I
am contributing to my country!"
Li Du said, "Congratulations. It sounds like the beginning of good days for you and your
Remonin, however, sounded dispirited as he said, "No, it's not that simple. In fact, these
days are not easy at all."
"Why would that be?" Li Du could not understand. "You are now the leader of a military
region. You have many soldiers, more advanced weapons, a higher rank. Besides, your
diamond mine can now become a legal asset."
Remonin said, "No, no, no. Although you are a smart man, you don't understand the
situation in my country."
"First, I don't have more soldiers. Of course, if I have enough money, I can recruit more
"Second, this southwest military region is only nominal. I am a commander in name
alone. The area had been drawn but did not receive any resources from the
government. Fortunately, they did send a few people here to help."
"Also, if my diamond mine is discovered, the government will confiscate it and declare it
national property. I have to keep it hidden."
Remonin started to complain. It turned out that the Mozambique government was very
smart. Although he had spent money to bribe officials in the central government and the
parliament, these people only gave him minimal assistance.
They assigned Remonin official status, drew a circle on a map around the territory of his
tribe and told him that this was now his military region. He could build a military camp,
buy horses and recruit soldiers to defend the border area against South Africa and
However, the government did not have the money to provide him with soldiers or
weapons. Remonin had to build everything from scratch by himself.
They only sponsored a couple of military officers to help Remonin build the camp and
manage the region.
Li Du frowned and said, "Be careful, General, your government has gone too far. They
might have ill intentions towards you. The officers they sent might have other things in
mind but helping you."
Remonin sighed. "That's right, I know that. I gave those guys high positions, but those
are all office roles. They can forget about interacting with my army directly."
Li Du could tell that Remonin was low-spirited and tried to encourage him. "Don't
despair, General, at least you have a good start. You are now truly a leader in your
country's military. You are a legal high official. With money, you can develop very
"Where's the money?" Remonin asked.
Li Du had a swift revelation. That was the reason for his phone call!
He had underestimated Remonin's strategy. He had not just called to boast of his new
position after all.
Li Du asked, "Have you got diamonds? General, if you can produce diamonds, you will
Remonin said, "My people have been doing their best to search for diamonds. However,
as you know, the production is low. I still have to guard my mine against those people
the government sent here. So there has not been much yield lately."
"But, Li, my diamonds are all meant for you. Even if I become the national military
commander or the president, my diamonds are all yours. I gave you my word, and our
friendship has survived it all."
Li Du said, "Thanks for the trust, General. Our friendship has indeed been tested by war
He started to beat around the bush with Remonin. He would not be the one to broach
the subject of money.
Finally, Remonin could take it no more and said, "Li, I need cash for the army now. Can
you lend me some? Consider it as a loan. I will pay you back with diamonds in the
Li Du hesitated and said slowly, "I do not have much cash on hand right now. That's
because I have not sold off all the diamonds. However, you can tell me what you need,
and I will see if I can help you out. How much do you need?"
"Five hundred million US dollars!"
Li Du was stunned. "Sh*t, how much?!"*
Remonin quickly amended, "With hundred million dollars, my military region would be
complete. But for now, um, five million to ten million will do."
Li Du rolled his eyes and said, "I will check my bank account. Then I will give you an
After he hung up, Hans looked at him. "Did you say General?"
Li Du told him the main points of the conversation and Hans looked impressed. He said,
"So now you have connections with a military region commander? This is unbelievable."
"This commander has put me in a difficult situation," Li Du said. "I would rather not have
The sum that Remonin asked for was not very large. However, he knew that it was just
the beginning. Once he lent Remonin the money, he would not stop borrowing from him.
Li Du was troubled. Brother Wolf said, "Boss, can I give my opinion on this?"
"Of course you can."
"Some of the government and warlords in the smaller African countries relied on
overseas financial help to grow. Their funds all depended on such sources."
"You are now faced with a choice. If you have sufficient funds, you can assist
Remonin's developments. He needs someone to support him and is trying to find a
"If you cannot afford that, cut it off immediately, stop keeping in touch with him.
Otherwise, when he's done leeching away all your funds and needs new sponsors, he
will eventually throw you and then you will have greater losses."