78: The Classic Religious Deity To Business Tycoon Transition
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A dim room. Although only filled with a few vanities stripped clean of their mirrors and lights sitting around, the room was immaculate. The floors were spotless and the lights, warm, yet not overpowering. Along one wall, was a gargantuan window, floor to ceiling, wall to wall. Through the window were towering skyscrapers, flying vehicles, and the dozens of small dots of light that peeked through window after window. 

Standing around in a loose circle were four figures, sipping champagne, each of the figures had an imposing majesty to them, an air that filled the room with their presence. 

“How many years has it been since we last gathered?” 

“Two maybe?” 

“Two years, seventy-eight days.” 

“Twenty-five years and you being a nerd still hasn’t changed...” 

The figures, shrouded under the dim light, were four of the most powerful figures in the world. 

The White Tiger of the West. The Black Tortoise of the North. The Vermillion Bird of the South. The Azure Dragon of the East.

Having been around since... forever. Even before the concept of a city, these four were at the peak of the world. They had transitioned from pure spiritual beasts, to figures worshiped in religion, to their current status, ultra-powerful business tycoons. 

Each of them, having made an agreement many thousands of years past, decided to each go into a different area of business. The Black Tortoise had gone into agriculture and material extraction, the White Tiger into manufacturing, construction, and processing, the Vermillion Bird into entertainment, retailers, banking, and the Azure Dragon into research, education, and consulting. 

Overall, they covered the four broader sectors of the economies, each becoming the Deity that sat above the rest. 

As of now though, the four of them were waiting, they had all decided to come back together and hold a press conference, addressing the catastrophe that had gone down just outside of Westriver and how they were going to address it. 

Black Tortoise, dressed in a clean jet-black suit as his long black hair ran down his back, leaned against an empty makeup desk with his hands in his pockets. “White, you’re still wearing that flamboyant fur coat?” 

Sitting in a chair with his arms spread over the adjacent armrests, White Tiger craned his head back with a lopsided grin. “Of course! I’ve worn this snow-white fur coat for the past century, and don’t you think it goes so well with my gold-lined white suit? I’ve dressed almost as formal as you! If you’re going to criticize anyone, criticize Vermillion!” 

“I’ve given up on her.” Black surmised, turning away and staring back off into the distance. 

Pouring herself another glass of champagne, Vermillion Bird shook her head with a small smile. Having chosen to wear a red dress with matching heels, accented by a pair of silver earrings, necklace, and anklet, she didn’t care. She had already dressed up as much as she could! She had spent so long, too, finding this dress that matched her hair perfectly!

Haters gonna hate. 

Staying silent through the little exchange between White Tiger and Black Tortoise, Azure Dragon swirled the champagne in her glass with a pensive stare, checking her watch every few moments. She didn’t enjoy dressing formally, well, none of them did, but because of the circumstances, she had chosen to wear a flowing blue dress paired with some golden jewelry. 

“Thirty seconds.” Azure announced, the second hand on her watch ticking away as the world seemed to grind by in an excruciating drag. 

“Why do we even do press conferences?” White pushed himself off from his chair, pulling out a hand mirror and comb from the inside of his coat pocket, fixing up some hair as Vermillion got up beside him, fixing her hair as well. 

“Because they want to hear from us.” Black mused, fixing his sleeves before walking over to the door, pulling it open and leading the way. “Time to just amaze them then.” 

Their footsteps echoing down the dim hall, the four of them steeled their postures as the hallway became brighter and brighter the further they made their way down. 

Walking through the door carved from exquisite darkwood at the end of the hallway, Black waved his hand and took a seat as camera flashes began to fill all four of their visions. 

With a thoughtful smile on his face that conveyed the stability he represented, Black sipped some of the champagne that had been provided at the press conference table as the others settled into their seats. 

The Tortoise, the Tiger, the Bird, and the Dragon, in that order. 

A hushed silence falling onto the crowd of reporters, time seemed to freeze for a second before White Tiger broke the silence with a lackadaisical laugh. “Why so serious? C’mon, let’s just get the questions started, you already know we’re all amping up our operations in Westriver along with whatever else we’ve all been up to recently.” 

With a standing microphone near the reporters, a queue formed with the first reporter gathering herself before asking, “S-So... Ahem, so, this is the first public appearance you all have had together in the past decade, how does it feel being back again together?” 

“Kinda shit.” “Amazing!” “Fine enough.” “It’s chill, it’s chill.” 

As the reporter froze after getting four distinct answers, she cleared her throat, deciding to just ask a single person at a time. “So how do you feel, Azure Dragon of the East?” 

Clearing her throat and taking a sip of champagne while gathering her thoughts, Azure swirled the champagne a bit before leaning forward into the microphone. “It’s fine enough. I don’t really have any thoughts, ten years isn’t a lot of time anyway. We’ve also met a few times on our own outside of the public eye so... who cares.” 

Going down the line, the reporter got similar answers from each of the other three. There wasn’t much to say, the four of them really just... didn’t care. To them, ten years was more or less just a drop in the bucket.

“As the key supplier of raw goods,” Black began, his rich baritone voice ringing out as he answered the next question about what his specific plans were. “I’ll be partnering with the buffo... I mean White Tiger over here as he specializes in manufacturing. We’ll be working together to maintain a smooth inflow and stock of goods for the citizens of Westriver now that the outside-of-the-city portion of the economy has to be shut down for a while.” 

Following the wave signaling that he could pick up the conversation, White continued with a grin that was somehow both mischievous and reassuring. “Yeah, yeah, we’ll be partnering together to really help out. We’ll also be rolling out some additional initiatives- experimenting you could say. Some innovative strategies we want to try out and see if they can be applied on a larger scale. Fancy stuff really, look forward to it.” 

And with that, the interview continued going into detail about all their business plans before reporters started asking more about their personal lives, all questions expertly dodged by the four celebrities. 

I'm backkkkk hehehe

Thanks for readingggg

i'm gonna be slowing down to a chapter every other day tho because... school...
T~T sorry...

also... the day this comes out... it's my birthdayyyy hehehehe
sorry i had to...
yeah...
T~T idk... i'm emotionalll i'm turning 17...
life moves too fast...

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