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The Hidden Billionaire

The Hidden Billionaire

Damon Bishop

Last update: 2024-01-25

Chapter 1 Rags to Riches Overnight

  • My name is Zhang Chao. I am 23 years old this year, working at an advertisement firm.
  • I have never received a university education. I enlisted in the army straight after graduating from high school due to my poor family conditions.
  • When I was seven years old, my father committed drank and drove. He was someone who never touched alcohol, but he did on that day and was drunk with my uncle. While they were driving on the way back, they met a large cargo truck running a Red Lantern. The driver tried to dodge and veered the steering wheel. The cargo truck swerved, flipping sideways which caused the steel materials weighing several dozen tonnes to fall. The impact crushed the Volkswagen sedan, levelling it to the ground. My mother, father and uncle, all three of them...
  • From that day onwards, my aunt became my guardian.
  • I had never worn a new piece of clothing since then. All I wore were my younger cousin’s hand-me-downs. I was taller than him, so his clothes looked shrunken on my body. No matter the seasons, my ankles were always exposed to the wind. And during winter, my knees were covered with chilblains.
  • My parents were businessmen and left me with a hefty amount of inheritance. However, I was too young at that time and did not know any better. Majority of the assets under my name were transferred gradually to my aunt except for a villa which could not be sold, so she moved the family there.
  • My aunt resented me deeply and frequently abused me physically. On my 10th birthday, she grabbed me and pressed my head into the toilet bowl in a drunken stupor. I almost drowned. That feeling of fear after having come so close to death remains deeply rooted in my mind till this day.
  • Afterwards, her son, who was my younger cousin spun lies about this incident. He spread fabricated stories about how I had mental problems and drank water from the toilet bowl throughout the school until all were aware. Everyone in school talked behind my back about how I was a nutcase and a retard. No one was willing to speak to me, and I did not have any friends until I graduated from high school.
  • In high school, there was a girl in my class named Lin Fang, who was very pretty. She had a pair of moist, bright eyes and a slender waist.
  • I often stole glances at her during class. I would think of her while daydreaming and, she would even appear in my dreams at night.
  • I only dared to have a crush on her secretly. At that time, I was quite innocent and did not harbour any indecent emotions towards her. She was like a goddess in my heart. It was preposterous to have other thoughts about her.
  • One night, Lin Fang and I happened to board the same public bus at a time when not many people were around. Two hooligans from the technical school were harassing her.
  • At that time, I was also scared. I did not know where my courage had come from, but I rushed forward and pushed the two hooligans away. The bus had arrived at the stop at that moment, so I took Lin Fang’s hands and ran away quickly.
  • I did not know far we ran, but I only stopped when I was out of breath. I turned behind to look at Lin Fang, who had glared at me with a flushed face.
  • She twisted my hands away in a hurry and said, "Let go of me."
  • I immediately let go of her wrist. Lin Fang rubbed her wrist and backed away from me.
  • "It's so late now. Let me walk you home."
  • "No need for that, I will go home by myself. Y-you... don't follow me... and do not speak about what happened today to others.”
  • She finished her piece and immediately turned around and ran away as if I was a more terrible existence than the two hooligans. She did not even say thank you. It was as though speaking to me was more humiliating than being bullied by the two hooligans.
  • A few days later, when I went to the toilet during class break, I was surrounded by a group of boys who started beating me up without saying a word.
  • At that time, I was both thin and short. I was simpyly no match for those people. I could only resort to protecting my head from the storm of fists raining on me.
  • It went on for a while before they grabbed my hair to drag me up. I was in a state of confusion before I heard someone say, "I heard you like to drink urine. I will let you drink to your fill today." Right after that, they pressed my head into the urinal.
  • I was scared out of my wits. If I was forced into the urinal to drink urine in front of so many people, I would not be able to live with it. I would be turned into a laughing-stock everywhere I go in the future, and I would never be able to lift my head for the rest of my life.
  • "Liu Hu, I-I have never offended you before. We are classmates. Why are you hitting me?" I pleaded with the person who grabbed my hair.
  • "Indeed, you didn't offend me because the one you fucking offended is my older brother. Don't you know who is interested in Lin Fang? How dare you harass her? Didn’t you insist on sending her home at night?! Don't try to deny. Some people have seen what happened!"
  • "No, she was being harassed by ruffians. I was only trying to save her. Go ahead and ask her if you don’t believe me."
  • ”Haha, I have already asked her. Lin Fang is so kind. She was afraid that you would get beaten up, so she said she never saw you at all. Not only are you thick-skinned, but you are also really shameless! How dare you lie! Now, drink the urine!"
  • ”I-I did not!"
  • I resisted with all of my might. I could not win, but when people are at the brinks of desperation, the strength they summon often exceeded imaginations. The five men could not hold me down, so they resorted to beating me up again.
  • I was rescued by the people from the Political Education Office afterwards. Two of my ribs fractured and I had a high fever for three days. My aunt had refused to pay the medical fees and abandoned me in the hospital to my own devices. Luckily, a kind doctor could not bear to see my sufferings. She chased after my aunt until her home and lectured her for several days before my aunt finally agreed to give me money for medical bills.
  • Rather than the physical pain, I felt as though my heart was being stabbed through by a knife, assaulted with waves of dull aches. I had especially wanted to question Lin Fang about her actions. I had saved her, but this was the treatment I had gotten in return.
  • I did not go back to school even after my injuries had healed.
  • My teacher came to persuade me several times to return to continue my studies as it was a pity for a student who ranked within the Top Ten to drop out of school. And that I would not have good career prospects if I did so. However, I really did not want to go back to that place. I had no idea what was in store for me if I returned. During that period, I often went on for days without speaking, and everything felt bleak to me. After I thought back about it, the emotions I had experienced at that time were akin to hell.
  • Coincidentally, I turned 18 years old when my injuries had recovered. My aunt declared that she no longer had any responsibility as my guardian and threw me out of the house. But that villa belonged to me, so the one who should leave was her. However, I alone had no chance of winning against her.
  • It happened that the military was recruiting, so I decided to join the army. My thoughts behind becoming a soldier were very simple. The first was to build up my body so that no one would be able to bully me in the future. The second was to be able to have meals to eat, a bed to sleep and to be far away from my aunt.
  • Life in the military was quite simple and organized, even the company leaders and comrades were nice. Slowly, I began to let go of my past. My personality became more cheerful and less boring, unlike before.
  • In my second year of serving as a soldier, the company commander suddenly came to look for me and said that someone wanted to meet me. That person was my parents' lawyer and also their most trusted friend, Han Kun.
  • Han Kun informed me that my father was the President of the Tong City Chamber of Commerce when he was alive. He had eight companies and twelve nightclubs, as well as real estates of various sizes and bond funds under his name. After his death, his assets were taken care of by the Property Management Committee. And according to his will, I was to inherit everything when I had turned 18 years old. Han Kun was supposed to come to me last year, but he had encountered some difficulties which caused the delay. His purpose here today was for me to inherit the legacy.
  • ”Young man, sign the documents. I have delayed you in becoming the richest man in Tong City for a year. Please do forgive me."