Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah, PM87
After drinking the porridge, the old man talked to himself as he reminisced about his wife. He was helped into his bed and immediately fell asleep.
The old housekeeper gave orders to prepare the meal, while Guan Yue went back to the hall to see his parents.
A table full of food was set up and his parents were already there, chatting over some tea. Guan Yue only had to say “Dad” and “Mom” and the two stopped talking.
During the meal, the three of them quietly ate until Guan Yue’s mother offered, “You’re too tired from work, try this old ginseng soup.”
Guan Yue drank a mouthful of the soup. His father, Guan Zhenghan, was very similar to him—a man of few words.
“The Wen family’s child is not here,” Mother Guan noted, as Guan Yue finished his soup.
Guan Zhenghan snorted.
“We parted ways,” Guan Yue said.
“Oh?” His parents’ gloomy faces immediately brightened up.
Guan Yue put down his spoon and casually said, “I thought you already knew.”
Guan Zhenghan was a quintessential Chinese parent: I wasn’t there, but my eyes and ears were.
No matter what Guan Yue did, his father always received timely news about his son–from daily international financial news to petty gossip—nothing escaped Guan Zhenghan’s ears. He just didn’t mention it most of the time.
The Guan family’s brothers—Guan Zhenghan and Guan Zhenping—were just like what their names implied. The two brothers had faces that easily flushed. Guan Zhenghan was in his 60s–he had Guan Yue when he was 40. Both father and son spoke and did things with a sense of righteousness.
In contrast, Guan Yue's uncle, Guan Zhengping, was calm and patient. Guan Yue preferred to stay with his uncle. Unfortunately, Guan Zhengping also inherited the Guan family’s “either don't die or die a great death” gene. It was like Guan Yue’s attempt to climb Mount Everest with one hand back then.
In his prime, Guan Zhengping fell in love with a South American man and unexpectedly gave up his career–his future. Along with it, the artificial intelligence he had developed together with Tianhe’s father disappeared completely into thin air. In addition, he also used hacker technology to modify information about his identity. The Guan family used their numerous social connections to search for him, but could not find Guan Zhengping’s whereabouts; eventually, they had to give up.
Guan Zhenghan madly cursed his brother for a period of time. He believed that Guan Yue had become homosexual because of what Guan Zhengping had taught him.
“How did you separate?” Guan Zhenghan demanded. Guan Yue’s reconnaissance ability only showed a little.
At present, his parents only knew that Guan Yue was not living in Wen’s house, nor had he bought any real estate. He only rented a room. They also never saw the two men together anymore.
Mother Guan picked up the napkin, wiped her mouth, and chimed in, “I heard Wen Tianyue went bankrupt and ran away. How did you split up?”
Guan Zhenghan again made a mocking sound. Guan Yue didn’t explain any further this time.
“It’s alright if you've split up,” said Mother Guan. “Wen Tianhe is too young. I also don’t think he loves you.”
“How can men love each other?” Guan Zhenghan finally spoke. “Isn’t it disgusting to talk about love between men? What a joke!”
Guan Yue stared down at the chopsticks as he waited for the hot dishes to be served.
“Then let your father introduce you to someone,” Mother Guan said.
Guan Yue interrupted, “I want to use a sum of money.”
“You still want to save him?!” Guan Zhenghan’s voice suddenly became stern and he exclaimed, “No!”
Mother Guan was horrified. “People regard you as a champion. Guan Yue, what’s the matter with you? Being in love with a man, your father has lost enough face for you. Will you stop mentioning this again?”
Guan Yue was silent as the dishes arrived. Guan Zhenghan originally wanted to heavily criticize Guan Yue with a few more words. However, he was afraid that his son, who had made efforts to come back home, would run away because of being scolded, causing his wife to complain at night. Mother Guan switched topics and said, “Eat. You had a hard time coming here.”
Guan Yue no longer insisted.
After dinner, when Guan Yue took a shower and came out of the bathroom, he saw his mother sitting in the room.
Mother Guan asked directly, “Yue-er, how much do you want?”
Guan Yue, dressed in dark-blue silk pajamas that showed his sexy collarbone, opened the drawer and looked for a razor.
The house was beautifully decorated with antiques, but modern equipment such as a water heater, floor heating, air conditioner, etc. was still being used.
Outside, laughter sounded from a distance. It should be from Guan Yue’s relatives who lived at the other end of the compound.
After shaving, a servant came by to blow dry Guan Yue’s hair. When the sound of the hair dryer stopped, Guan Yue replied, “Forget it.”
Mother Guan sat down beside her son and earnestly said, “The state has issued a new policy that the cost of paper-mill cannot be reduced. Your father is worried about this. Because of the project we did with the government last year and the delayed payments, the turnover is tight. If you really need money, Mom will think of a way for you.”
“No need,” Guan Yue refused. “There’s no use in selling your private planes.”
Mother Guan said, “It’s not that bad. If you keep the planes, you’ll have to sell them at a discount. You should just worry about your own issues, don’t concern yourself with our household matters here.”
Guan Yue calmly said, “hmm.”
Mother Guan added, “Let’s forget about the past. Fate has not arrived yet, don’t be too stubborn.”
Guan Yue shook his head but said nothing. Mother Guan prepended, “It’s time to start a family now that you’re 28-years-old. You guys who work in finance usually get married late. Mom will not say anything. I only wish you’d take some refreshments and think it over.”
“Got it,” Guan Yue replied.
Guan Yue had spent more time with his grandparents since he was a child. Children who are brought up by old people always learn some stubbornness. The so-called at ‘follow one’s heart without breaking the rules’ meant no one in the world would have time to trouble the elderly, especially the rich elderly. Guan Yue also developed this stubborn temper. Mother Guan knew that her son was always a soft eater.”
“Go to sleep,” Mother Guan said. “Call in the tailor tomorrow to measure and make a few suits for you, then have them sent here the next day. It’s autumn now.”
Guan Yue made a “hmm” sound. Mother Guan was about to leave when she thought for a moment and said, “In the past, the Wen Family did help us. Your father was just confused today. He’s currently in the room thinking about it carefully. After all, we can’t be ungrateful. He wants you to settle down so that we can have grandchildren. So give the Wens some money to help their family. He is willing to pay for it.”
Guan Yue thought for a long time and replied, “Not bad.”
Mother Guan said, “Really? Looking for mutual affection is also the right thing to do. Money is external. Your father was afraid that if he paid for it, it would cause you to go on like this forever. There would be no end to it.”
Guan Yue looked up at his mother. Mother Guan saw from her son’s eyes that there was a small chance that the money could make Guan Yue “ordinary.” Hence, she slowed down and said, “I’ll try to persuade him again. Don’t worry too much.”
It was raining continuously. When the tailor came over to make clothes for Tianhe, Jiang Zijian arrived to mingle with the family. Tianhe originally planned to save some money and forget about getting new suits, but under Aunt Fang’s insistence that he should wear autumn clothes, he smoothed his disorderly hair and obediently obeyed.
Jiang Zijian was also measured under Aunt Fang’s instructions. The tailor had a hard time coming all the way from Germany, and Aunt Fang couldn’t wait to make a whole year’s worth of clothes.
When it was Tianhe’s turn, he shivered uncontrollably as he stood and listened to Jiang Zijian gossip about his dating life.
“Are you mad?” Jiang Zijian exclaimed.
“Hahahaha–” Tianhe collapsed onto the sofa laughing. “You… What major did you just say you were taking?”
Jiang Zijian seriously replied, “Farming! Crayfish Farming!”
“Where did you get this major?” Tianhe laughed so hard. After the tailor said his goodbyes, Aunt Fang took out a list and gave it to him before he was sent away.
Tianhe, “Are you really planning on taking the exam?”
Jiang Zijian, “What if I am?”
Tianhe quickly waved his hand and said, “I’d like to meet this Xiao Kai guy. Can you introduce him to me?”
Jiang Zijian replied, “That’s why I came here, to discuss this matter with you. I have a little romantic plan. Why don’t we go to the foot bath center where he works? But we would have to split up and pretend like we don’t know each other. However, your acting skills are really bad…”
Tianhe looked at him strangely as he listened to Jiang Zijian’s “romantic plan” and said, “No, which novel did you learn this from?”
Jiang Zijian replied, “It’s from “Don Quixote,” a classic drama. Have you forgotten? We had planned to watch that drama.”
“Okay, how about just once?” Jiang Zijian approached and draped his arm around Tianhe’s neck. “I promise, just once. Once! Okay, good! Tianhe, I know you will do anything for me!”
Tianhe could only say, “All right, but wait until after my retreat. The most important task now is to modify the core module of the analysis system, but I only have one request. You must inform him in advance that you will visit him and not make any surprise attacks.”
Jiang Zijian puzzledly asked, “Why?”
Tianhe explained, “What if he happens to be away? I won’t go with you a second time.”
Jiang Zijian could only reply, “Okay. I’ll help you fix the PPT text as repayment.”
Tianhe wondered how he would feel if Guan Yue saw him massaging feet at the foot bath center, but after thinking about it, he decided that his self-esteem may not be able to bear it. However, Tianhe knew that Zijian would not listen even if he said so. So he decided to leave a way out for Tong Kai. This way, if he didn’t want to see Jiang Zijian at work, he could at least find an excuse to avoid him in advance.
However, Jiang Zijian had his own explanation, and his logic was quite reasonable.
“He likes his major quite a lot,” Jiang Zijian said. “Just like how you like programming or writing programs in front of your friends. Is there any problem?”
So it seems… Tianhe had been entangled in Jiang Zijian’s story, but they should not mention this matter again. He had been busy for a week preparing his speech for the tech summit. He had to compress his speech into five minutes while saying all the right things. He would draw the industry’s attention away from Epeus’s bankruptcy to his developed fifth-generation software, and make it noticeable before they released it next year. In this way, he may find institutions to guarantee the company’s bankruptcy.
After all, government endorsement conditions are non-universal.
The speech would not be a problem. It was how to throw out enough convincing information within the allotted time limit that worried him. Tianhe really had no idea. Moreover, he was not like Wen Tianyue who bragged in meetings. Otherwise, when the time came, they won’t get anything out of it. That would be the end.
“Wu Shun has found three houses for you,” Jiang Zijian said. “I think it’s really not possible. I’ll ask my father to vouch for you.”
“No,” Tianhe immediately refused. “No. Zijian, we’re friends. I’m afraid the bank will not accept it.”
In this regard, Tianhe insisted because; first, the Jiang Family’s company was registered in the Cayman Islands; second, it is a cross-industry business; third, if Jiang Chaosheng came forward, Tianhe would fail. In the end, it would be the Jiang family who had to pay for him. If that happened, he would never be able to face Jiang Zijian again.
“I’m just saying.” Jiang Zijian thought for a while before he said, “The companies that Wu Shun visited have all used their positions to see the information you release in advance at the summit. If the problem is not serious, you can be guaranteed. Just play your usual game. Don’t be so stressed.”
Tianhe was indeed under a lot of pressure. At present, he only had one software iteration direction and its outline. He still didn’t know whether he could work it out smoothly. It was like walking on a tightrope, where the slightest mistake would shatter you. But at least for this summit, he had come up with a new idea that might surprise everyone.
“Wu Shun originally wanted to help you negotiate with a family in advance,” Jiang Zijian said. “If you sign a TS, you’ll have less pressure.”
“No,” Tianhe insisted. “I can no longer rely on Wu Shun.”
“I think so too,” Pro chimed in his earphone.
Jiang Zijian looked at Tianhe and smiled. “Are you afraid you'll end up having sex with him as payback from owing too much?”
Tianhe was still looking at the computer to pull the pictures together, while Pro automatically typeset them for him.
“Yes,” Tianhe whispered. “I can’t repay him.”
Jiang Zijian leaned on the sofa and said lazily, “He doesn’t need you to return the favor. That’s just the way he is. He’s willing to help whomever he likes. I bet if you repay him, he will not like it.”
After a long silence, Jiang Zijian called out, “Tianhe?”
Tianhe looked up from the computer screen and glanced at Jiang Zijian.
Jiang Zijian reached out and touched him. “That night, you and Guan Yue…”
“Of course not.” Tianhe was in a rather complicated mood; first he was crying and then he was laughing. “I’m not so desperate.”
“I can understand that there’s no future with Wu Shun,” Jiang Zijian said.
Tianhe replied, “It’s not a question of having a future. I hope that all feelings, be it friendship or love, are pure.”
Jiang Zijian thought about it and agreed with Tianhe. Isn’t this what Jiang Zijian himself had been looking for recently?
“Be a Don Quixote.” Jiang Zijian said.
“Yes.” Tianhe laughed, his eyebrows rose and his eyes brightened. “Be proud despite being defeated.”
Tianhe raised his hand and gave Jiang Zijian a high five.
The phone vibrated and then the screen suddenly went dark.
Tianhe, “Pro, did you just take the liberty to hang up my phone?”
Pro, “You were busy high-fiving your friend.”
Jiang Zijian interrupted, “Your AI seems interesting. Please install one for me.”
“Prometheus is delirious,” Tianhe said. “It’s still being debugged. I was just about to delete him.”
Pro, “I’m in the right frame of mind.”
Jiang Zijian picked up the phone to see that the incoming call was from Wu Shun. He looked at Tianhe for a few seconds, pressed the hands-free button, and smiled enthusiastically. “Hi! Ah Shun! I am Yi Hui!”
“Go away,” Wu Shun said, his voice was laced with a smile. “Let Tianhe answer the phone.”
“I’m here,” Tianhe answered.
Wu Shun, “I have good news for you.”
Tianhe suddenly had a sense of foreboding.
The following afternoon in Qingsong Capital at the General Manager’s Office
Tong Kai asked, “Guan Yue, can you give me some advice?”
Guan Yue was reading the third-quarter financial report of a certain company he had invested in and his eyes showed an imperceptible murderous look.
Tong Kai exclaimed, “He’s coming to the foot bath center! Oh my god! Should I lay out my cards or should I practice massaging feet now?”
Without looking up, Guan Yue opened the drawer and pulled out another document report. He tossed it towards Tong Kai.
Tong Kai, “What’s this? The footbath center is run by a sister in our company… She said she could act with me, but what if he comes to see me every now and then?”
Guan Yue looked rather busy and anxious today. He tore up a note and looked at his watch impatiently; he seemed to be waiting for something.
Tong Kai set the document aside. “Who are you waiting for?”
Guan Yue glanced up at Tong Kai and said, “When an actor is dedicated, he hasn’t reached the time for the curtain call yet.”
Tong Kai laid one hand on his forehead. Guan Yue thought for a moment and frowned as he put his hands on the desk. Tong Kai observed Guan Yue and asked, “Has it crashed again?”
Guan Yue, “???”
Just then, there was a rapid knocking from outside the door. The assistant shouted, “Boss! Your order has arrived!”
Guan Yue immediately pressed the remote control key. The office door opened and two assistants dragged in a huge wooden box.
Tong Kai, “......”
The moment Guan Yue saw the wooden box, his anxiety levels fell. Relieved, he rose from his desk. He pointed at the box, the assistants immediately understood what he meant, and used a hammer to lift the lid that was padded with layers of foam. Tong Kai’s mouth twitched as he leaned forward to take a look. The CFO himself came over and took out a cardboard box that was nearly a meter and a half long, wrapped with bubble bags.
“The Royal Ark.” Tong Kai looked at the cardboard box and said, “A British aircraft carrier. Guan Yue, what are you going to do with that?”
An hour later, a four-by-two meter conference table was added to Guan Yue’s office. Tong Kai sat by while a group of managers from outside came in, each with a diagram schematic comparing the marked parts.
Tong Kai, “...”
“This is the last one we were able to find in all of Ireland,” The CFO said to Tong Kai.
Tong Kai replied, “No, I mean, what is the meaning of all this? I know that some bosses are superstitious enough to serve Lord Guan in the office… An aircraft carrier is quite reasonable to give to Lord Guan, but what does this signify? Is this to bless the ship from sinking?”
Guan Yue took off his suit, rolled up his sleeves, and sat down at his desk. He flexed his fingers as he waited patiently for his subordinates to sort out this incomparably complicated aircraft carrier model.
“E7.” The managers finally got the chance to enter the boss’s office. so they all wanted to perform well in front of Guan Yue. However, many of the aircraft’s parts were completely transparent. With thousands of plexiglass widgets spread out in a dazzling array, who knows how well it will turn out.
The CFO looked down at the information in his hand. Tong Kai hadn’t responded yet. Guan Yue waited for twenty minutes and impatiently looked at his watch from time to time. The CFO suggested that everyone speed up, causing two managers to almost quarrel on the spot.
Guan Yue raised his hand and rang the bell. With a “ding” sound, the door opened and the subordinates filed out again. The CFO, Tong Kai and Guan Yue were the only ones left in the office.
Guan Yue rubbed his hands and twisted his fingers slightly. He took the deck, cut it from the plexiglass plate at the joint, and began to assemble it himself.
Tong Kai, “Let me help you…”
Tong Kai was about to take the glue when Guan Yue raised his hand to stop him. “Speak.”
Tong Kai withdrew his hand. The CFO turned over the document in his hand and began to report.
“Chairman Guan, I really don’t recommend that you do this,” the CFO said.
Tong Kai was Guan Yue’s private lawyer and also Qingsong’s senior legal consultant. Guan Yue let him stay in the office and acquiesced the whole project. Tong Kai knew that what was being discussed now had something to do with himself. When he remembered that Guan Yue threw him the information, he immediately took them. He frowned as he began to read the first words.
“To come forward and vouch for Epeus would produce a lot of opinions from headquarters once they know what’s going on,” The CFO said. “Although we don’t care much about that, the so-called golden finger’s decision has always been successful every time. But this time… Chairman Guan, in the current situation, it is advisable to be cautious.”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.