Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah, PM87
Guan Yue’s nickname, “Golden Finger,” at headquarters—of the previous company where he worked—could be traced back to the morning of the day Britain decided to leave the European Union. Guan Yue walked silently into the company, and in front of everyone, pressed the elevator button with his finger. A decision was made when the light turned to gold, setting a record at headquarters that no one in history has matched since.
“In case of failure,” the CFO said. “Judging from this comprehensive assessment, it is possible. I think you know more about their headquarters than I do.”
Guan Yue looked at the aircraft carrier model, somewhat unable to start. PPE was not a purely liberal arts degree, but neither was he technologically proficient. Guan Yue was also not a fan of the military. Holding a fort in his hand, he studied the assembly instructions over and over. The fort looked similar to what was in the manual, yet it also looked wrong. What should he do?
Tong Kai switched to his role as a legal consultant and seriously asked, “Chairman Guan, may I venture to ask if you have key information we don’t know about on Epeus’s operations?”
“No.” Guan Yue answered Tong Kai seriously, only at such times.
The CFO declared, “Then I oppose this proposal.”
Tong Kai didn’t say a word. He continued to look down at the report in his hand. He was given only three pages-all of which were legal issues-while the risk assessment and detailed procedures were in the hands of the treasurer. However, commercial-level guarantees involved quite complex content. Tong Kai knew he had to give opinions that looked even further at the prospects than these pieces of paper.
The CFO had thought about it. In fact, for nearly a week, he had been seriously considering the proposal every day, ever since Guan Yue gave it to him. For this reason, he even called a meeting with two teams that specialized in technology start-up investments across the department. Both teams had achieved remarkable results. After the final analysis, all of them gave him the advice to “never invest.”
Guan Yue didn’t submit this proposal to any of the project teams, but directly to the CFO; that in itself was a clear sign that he was seriously considering investing. Tong Kai and the CFO both speculated about Guan Yue’s intentions.
“I think those two brothers, Wen Tianyue and Tianhe, had talks during the bankruptcy crisis of Epeus,” the CFO said.
“How can you say that?” Tong Kai looked up from the report and asked.
Guan Yue, with a calm face, decided to start with the fort, without responding much to the CFO's remarks. “Obviously, Wen Tianyue knew he had lost his job. Once his financial crisis was announced, no one would do anything to rescue him. He could only run away and leave the company to his brother, Wen Tianhe. Let Wen Tianhe save the company’s fate through his personal connections.”
“As long as Wen Tianyue is there, no institution would be willing to inject capital into Epeus.” The CFO continued, “Wen Tianyue is the one who is disliked the most by everyone. As for Wen Tianhe, the industry would feel more or less sympathetic towards him, and given the respect and affection their father had generated in industry circles back in those days, they might reach out to give him a hand. Even now, I suspect that Wen Tianyue is remotely controlling Wen Tianhe overseas.”
Tong Kai replied, “Mario, what you are saying today is strange, very different from your usual self. This is financing, not playing monopoly, nor is it returning to life through a long-distance phone call. People who go bankrupt can only beg, but sympathy can't be eaten.” At this point, all became quiet. In the office, a soft sound was heard when Guan Yue cut off the connection point with an art knife.
The two looked at Guan Yue together.
The CFO was a smart guy with a good eye, but he had to say something, even if the situation got worse.
“1.4 billion,” The CFO said to Tong Kai, “is not a joke, Chief Tong.”
This remark was clearly meant for Guan Yue.
Guan Yue finally replied coldly, “I know 1.4 billion has several zeros.”
Tong Kai thought and said, “Not bad. It’s over 200 million US dollars. In the event that the RMB falls below 7, it will only be 200 million.”
If it wasn’t for work, the CFO simply would not want to talk to these rich people.
Guan Yue hummed, very satisfied with Tong Kai’s understanding at this critical moment. “Prepare for TS.”
The CFO took a deep breath and wanted to say something, but he finally just gave up.
Tong Kai, “I went beyond my authority, but your company has long been accustomed to me exceeding my authority anyways.”
Guan Yue looked down and frowned, intently studying the small battery in his hand. It looked a little different from the one in the instruction manual because there was an extra two millimeter bulge. Guan Yue had already planned to stick it on. However, his intuition warned him that if he stuck it on like this, it would be like neglecting a small detail when making a decision, which could destroy the whole aircraft carrier later.
“Do you really think this project can make money?” Tong Kai asked. “Or is this just for fun? This is what I need to figure out, so I know what to do with your intentions and formal contract.”
“I’m confident,” Guan Yue casually replied. At last, he gave up the act of forcibly sticking the battery on, put it down, and replaced it with another one. He then began making a new round of comparisons with the instruction manual.
“It’s just a deferred guarantee of bankruptcy.” The CFO remained adamant. “I don’t think it’s nothing. The interest and the cost are trivial, but it’s a different story when it comes to guaranteeing the bankruptcy itself.”
“The boss’s golden finger is invincible. However, when it comes to the contract stage, the evaluation process must go on. All meetings must not be simplified. As Mario said, there’s no problem with the extension. When it comes to guaranteeing bankruptcy, it is still subject to performance evaluation and voting.” Tong Kai replied.
Guan Yue acquiesced.
“Crazy,” Tong Kai thought for a moment and finally gave the most appropriate evaluation. “But I like it.”
“I like it, too.” Guan Yue said those four words without looking up, staring at the model intently.
Tianhe finally finished his PPT and put a row of dolls on the sofa to demonstrate.
“If you don’t mind, I can record your voice and automatically play it in public. All you would have to do is lip-sync,” Pro suggested.
Tianhe, “It’s too crazy to lip-sync a five-minute speech.”
Pro, “I’m just worried you’ll be too committed and run out of time.”
Tianhe, “Then let them listen. No one would dare to force me off the stage beyond the time limit… Okay, let’s go out first… Aunt Fang, I won’t be home for dinner tonight.”
Aunt Fang came out of the room and asked, “Where to?”
Tianhe said, “Guan Yue’s company. His assistant called me earlier and asked me to come over. I don’t know why, I guess it’s to compensate me for my model plane.”
Aunt Fang came over with two sets of good suits. “Take these to him.”
Aunt Fang, “The clothes were made in Germany with his measurements. When I washed clothes for Guan Yue that day, I specially measured the clothes. There was not much of a difference, but his chest became two inches wider after continuous work out.”
“Aunt Fang,” Tianhe helplessly begged, “can you send it to him instead? I don’t want to carry clothes to his company.”
Aunt Fang, “Your maternal grandfather specially asked people to send them here by plane. How can we just mail the suits? They will become all wrinkled by the time he gets them.”
Tianhe had no choice but to carry the clothes with him and throw them onto the car’s co-pilot seat. He couldn’t help but unzip the garment bag and saw that the suit was quite well made. The tailors in Munich knew that Tianhe didn’t like the old-fashioned style. Their selection of materials and design were faithfully combined with this year’s popular styles.
Tianhe’s maternal family business started in clothing design and had a rich history spanning more than 200 years. Royal families of various countries regularly ordered clothes from them. Usually, one had to wait for six months to order a suit, but one’s nephew need not wait. When Aunt Fang sent a notice over, requesting they send a tailor home, all 36 masters stopped their work and made the suit together. In less than a week, six suits were hastily finished. The errand runner himself carried them personally onto the plane, and didn't put the clothes down even when the ride was bumpy. When he vomited, the assistant used the vomit bag that was available on the plane. After he arrived, he delivered the suits dutifully, even while swaying left and right.
There were two sets for Tianhe and two sets for Jiang Zijian, but why did Guan Yue also get two sets?!
“Instead of going to New York, you might as well go to Munich,” Pro added. “The chances of getting financing are even greater.”
“Did you know Grandpa and Uncle wanted to put my dad into a meat grinder?” Tianhe responded. “Do you think they will have enough to support and start a overseas financing case to guarantee Epeus?”
Tianhe’s maternal family didn’t like modern information technology nor Wen Yuankai. Handicraft was the world’s treasure, the noble character given by God! The so-called artificial intelligence that was usurping the creator’s authority will throw the world into chaos! It will be damned by the gods and struck by lightning!
When Tianhe told them of his major, his maternal family called Wen Tianyue and exhorted him, saying that Tianhe must study drama or literature, or learn music and painting. The baroque style had no successor, the Victorian era was dead. He didn’t want to inherit great art and devoutly worship, Muse, the only true god of mankind. How could he learn any computer science that way?!
A skill? Please let gods be gods and the middle class be the middle class. No one wants to put a handmade clothing brand that has been passed down for two hundred years on the assembly line. To do so, one must first step over the corpse of his grandfather.
In the end, Wen Tianyue came forward and apologized for his younger brother. But, his grandfather viciously cursed: Your company will surely go bankrupt. At that time, don’t expect a single penny from me!
Tianhe believed that the German side had already received news of Epeus’s bankruptcy and was probably praying to god that the head of the family would not suddenly emerge from the grave like Christ. That way, his grandfather would finally be free from the fear of being dominated by the workshop modernization.
“The most important thing is,” Tianhe unbuckled his seat belt, picked up the suit, and said, “Grandpa’s family doesn’t have that much money. It was not easy for the old man. Let him enjoy his old age.”
The workshop-style company that made ready-to-wear clothes was known for being rich and famous, but in reality, their profits were not that high due to their limited production scale. Like everyone who was part of an influential family, all sorts of ostentation and expenses occupied most of Tianhe’s maternal family, so lending Tianhe 1.4 billion would be too painful for them. Grandpa’s wealth was mainly reflected in a large number of gold products, antiques, and works of art. These things that he loved all his life, which Tianhe took to auction, really made him feel sorry.
“Human emotions are so complicated,” Pro said.
“That’s why I always remember not to take my feelings too seriously.” Tianhe alighted from the car, grabbed the suits, walked into Guan Yue’s company, and replied, “Bankruptcy is an enormous thing for me. However, on the other side of the ocean, in a place called Munich, it was merely news of an elopement at his son-in-law’s home. I heard that Grandpa specially held a grand party to celebrate Epeus’ bankruptcy and invited many local celebrities to attend… Hello, I’d like to speak with Mr. Guan. I have an appointment.”
The receptionist saw Tianhe once again and looked curiously at the garment bags in his hand.
Tianhe said, “I also brought him clothes.”
The receptionist asked Tianhe to wait for a moment and informed the administrator. The administrator hurriedly shared the news with her husband, who was an investment manager.
At the same time, Guan Yue was building the model aircraft while holding a video conference with India. The CFO sat by and took notes for Guan Yue.
“Someone sent clothes for Chairman Guan.”
The manager bowed and handed Guan Yue a memo. Someone brought clothes and is waiting in the reception room.
Guan Yue, “.........”
When Guan Yue returned home, his mother made several sets of clothes for him. Guan Yue wasn’t really fond of the esthetics at home, he always felt they were too old-fashioned. After getting measured for the clothes, Guan Yue casually found an excuse to leave in advance. He did not expect them to be so persistent; they even sent the clothes to the company. He crumpled the note and threw it into the trash can.
“Wait.” Guan Yue halted.
Tianhe waited idly in the reception room, leafing through several financial magazines from the lower shelf.
This year’s April issue featured Guan Yue on the cover: Qingsong Capital’s Global Executive Partner and CEO of the Mainland China Branch
Guan Yue wore the watch given to him by Tianhe, and was sitting on a high chair in a leisure suit, showing his usual enigmatic expression as he looked at the camera lens. He wore a custom-made springtime H-hunts|man pure wool worsted leisure suit and Berluti Oxford shoes that paired well with his knife-like eyebrows and piercing eyes. He stood with one foot on the ground and the other foot on the chair’s leg rail, his wrist slightly tilted to reveal the “Knights Roundtable” wrist-watch.
“Hahahaha! Pro! Look what I found.” Tianhe laughed until he was almost out of breath. He opened the magazine, which contained a large portrait of Guan Yue. Tianhe read, "“Silence is Golden,” the Capital’s trendsetter, a star partner, a direct successor of a huge tycoon family, Chairman of Qingsong Capital China, an exclusive interview with Guan Yue. Hahahahaha…”
As Tianhe read Guan Yue’s interview, he laughed so much that his stomach hurt. It took awhile for him to calm down and continue reading the magazine. “...We finally invited Chairman Guan to do this interview…”
Pro, “This magazine is relatively high-end. Tianyue has also been on the cover.”
Tianhe was full of interest. “The reporter asked, ‘The industry said that you finished high school at the age of 16, graduated from Eton Elite School ahead of time, entered the University of Oxford to study as a top PPE academic discipline, successfully obtained a master’s degree, went to a top investment bank on Wall Street for an internship, and finally chose to return to your motherland. What’s the difference between a domestic and foreign capital environment for you? Can you briefly tell us? — Guan Yue, “no.’”
“Hahahahahaha!” Tianhe laughed and leaned on the sofa, holding the magazine as he continued to read, “...The reporter asked, ‘It has been said that you came into contact with finance and commerce since you were young. Your family also runs the largest paper-making corporation in Shanxi. The ‘Shanxi Merchants’ industry also has a long history. During your growth process, did this strong cultural ambience have an impact on your entry into the financial field after your master’s degree? — Guan Yue, “Yes.’”
“I think this reporter is shady!”
Tianhe flipped through the magazine’s five-page interview full of the reporter’s long introduction to Guan Yue. When asked, Guan Yue’s answer was almost invariably “yes” or “no,” as if this was just a comic crosstalk. Even with this year’s stock market and financial market analysis, Guan Yue only said two words 一“not optimistic.”
Lastly, the reporter asked, “What urged you to change your job from Constance to Qingsong Capital, give up your British citizenship, return to your motherland, made you want to passed against the public to reorganize Qingsong China, and establish your current team today?”
Guan Yue, “I’m Chinese.”
Reporter, “So, is the next plan to join a political party?”
Tianhe, “Hahahahaha! Hahaha!”
“'Silence is Golden' the title was too meaningful.” Tianhe speculated that Guan Yue had offended the reporter during this interview, the manuscript was sticking unmoving to the original.
Pro, “He wasn’t much of a talker since he was young. He only spoke freely with you.”
“I used to love that about him. However, every time I tried to communicate with this guy during a quarrel, I couldn’t even get a few responses. It was irritating.” Tianhe responded.
When they were still together, Tianhe couldn’t help but tease Guan Yue. He wanted him to say a few more words, but Guan Yue only faced him seriously. Later, Tianhe couldn’t help but accuse him during an argument. Why are there always so few words? Can’t you just open your mouth and talk to me?
Guan Yue’s answer to this had been: “People always talk to themselves and are indifferent to the voice of others. When one can only hear one’s own echo, one will gradually speak less.”
Tianhe had breathed a sigh of relief when he heard this answer. Ineffable feelings welling up in his heart. On the contrary, he had loved him all the more for it.
Tianhe decided to buy an issue of this magazine. It was truly too funny. After reading the whole magazine, he glanced at his wristwatch. Guan Yue kept him waiting for an hour and a half. What the hell is this guy up to? Tianhe sat impatiently and waited for another ten minutes to five o’clock before leaving.
“He’s out,” Pro warned.
Tianhe looked across the reception room towards the large conference room and saw several people coming out, Guan Yue being the tallest one. Tianhe was about to get up when the administrator said, “Chairman Guan still has something else to do. Please wait for a moment. He’ll be ready soon.”
Tianhe had no choice but to sit down again and wait for another hour and a half.
Tianhe couldn’t help saying, “This guy has always been like this. I thought that after the breakup I wouldn’t have to endure endless waiting, but I unexpectedly jumped into this pit again.”
Pro, “Maybe I should call him for you.”
“No, I’ll wait here and see when he’ll see me.” Tianhe said coldly.
Pro, “You seem very dissatisfied with waiting.”
Tianhe stiffly said, “Right, this was also the main reason for our breakup. He also kept me waiting for a long time that day…”
That night, Guan Yue had been equally silent. It was already 2 o’clock in the morning in London, while the glitzy nightlife in New York had just begun. Guan Yue was attending a party with a bustling night scene in the background. On the rooftop of the bankers’ club, respectable investors chatted and laughed, while singers sang soft songs. Holding his phone in his hand, Guan Yue stood in front of the railing wearing headphones while video calling Tianhe.
That night, Tianhe said a lot. After listening to Tianhe’s lengthy speech, a girl standing behind Guan Yue enthusiastically shouted, “Hey, Guan!”
“Where is our lead hero?” Someone laughed exuberantly and said in English, “Ah, there he is.”
Guan Yue then turned the video off with a simple nod to Tianhe.
“I did my best,” Tianhe wearily said to the darkened screen.
The video was turned off but the audio was not. Guan Yue’s voice came through, “I tried my best, too.”
Tianhe shut off the audio, cutting off Guan Yue’s voice, so that he would never have to hear him again, and played Pac-Man all night.
During these three years, Guan Yue’s every agreement had not been fulfilled. Tianhe once thought that they had already passed the period full of quarreling and manic adjustment, and had become accustomed to each other’s temperament. But, he was still defeated by Guan Yue’s stubborn temper.
A month after the video call, Tianhe flew to New York to visit him. Before leaving the airport, he bought a bunch of flowers and brought a cake that he made himself to the headquarters of the Constance Fund in Manhattan. He put the flowers on the front desk, smiled brightly, and chatted with Secretary Dong who was a girl. She knew Guan Yue had a lover who was studying in England. The two chatted speculatively and laughed from time to time.
Tianhe kept an eye on the conference room out of the corner of his eye. The boss, investors, and senior executives came out first, then, lastly, Guan Yue followed closely behind them. Tianhe blew a loud whistle at Guan Yue, and Guan Yue’s eyes suddenly lit up.
When the Boss learned that Tianhe was looking for Guan Yue, he also whistled at him and shouted exaggeratedly, “Ro-man-tic!”
A few colleagues in the office followed and laughed, but Guan Yue didn’t speak. Tianhe said, “You even forgot my birthday.”
“I haven’t forgotten,” Guan Yue whispered. “The Green Heron Restaurant has already been booked.”
“Am I being scolded?” Tianhe observed Guan Yue’s expression, and then looked at the big boss of Constanley not far away. The boss seemed to have something to say to Guan Yue, so Guan Yue let Tianhe wait in the office while he exchanged a few words with the boss. After that, Guan Yue opened the closet, took out a suit jacket, switched the time on his watch, and said, “Let’s eat out.”
Tianhe, “I don’t remember you saying you were coming to London.”
Guan Yue, “I wanted to surprise you at three o’clock in the afternoon.”
Tianhe, “Oh? What time do you think it is now?”
Tianhe raised his hand as he motioned for Guan Yue to look at his watch. It was already five o’clock in New York, and the time difference was five hours. It was ten o’clock in the evening in London now. Even if Guan Yue took off immediately after the meeting, he would still only arrive in London the next day.
“Your private plane must have superluminal engines,” Tianhe said, laughing. “Otherwise, how else would you travel through time?”
Guan Yue, “Don’t be funny. Don’t talk sarcastically with me.”
Tianhe was sitting in Guan Yue’s seat in the office while Guan Yue stood and remained silent for a short time. He took a deep breath, perked up, and said, “Let’s go have dinner.”
Tianhe said, “Forget it. I’ll go back.”
Guan Yue knew Tianhe was angry. After leaving the company, Tianhe walked ahead, his pace slow. Guan Yue lagged behind and put on headphones to make a call. Tianhe finally turned around, frowned, and snapped. “Do you still have to deal with your official duties now?”
“I’m booking a reservation!” Guan Yue angrily exclaimed.
Both of them were spitting anger, Tianhe had to drop the subject. It was too late to make reservations now. The restaurant was already packed. Although Guan Yue’s family was very wealthy in China, that was of no use here in Manhattan’s elite circles. Even though the Shanxi Paper Industry had a powerful reputation, the nouveau riche aristocratic family’s RMB was of no use. The two of them went from one restaurant to another, but none of the restaurants were even slightly upscale.
Tianhe walked all the way from Wall Street to Central Park. Hungry and tired, he decided to fill his stomach. He bought two hot dogs and two cans of cola from a stall in Central Park. Guan Yue sat on a bench with Tianhe, holding the paper bag with the hotdogs, and quietly watched the squirrels jumping over the trees.
“Baby,” Guan Yue said, “they are prejudiced against Chinese people. I have to work harder than white people to…”
Tianhe just casually continued eating his hotdogs until his mouth was full. He looked at the squirrels in the trees and muttered, “You don’t understand.”
Guan Yue frowned.
Tianhe swallowed the hotdog, drank some cola, and said, “Do you think they’re just biased against Chinese? No, they’re biased against you.”
Guan Yue was silent.
After drinking his coke, he also took care of his meal. “If employees are so busy that they forget their lovers’ birthdays or wedding anniversaries, the South Korean boss would surely be so moved that he would hold a meeting to celebrate. But for Americans… they would only think you’re stupid, right?”
“I haven’t forgotten!” Guan Yue was really angry. He turned on his phone and showed Tianhe the private plane his family’s assistant had booked for him. “The car was waiting downstairs. The driver even bowed to you when you came below the building. I couldn’t leave! Everyone was contradicting me! Everyone in the conference room!”
Guan Yue’s earnest expression suddenly made Tianhe feel a bit distressed.
“Forget it.” Tianhe wanted to say that he should just ask for leave so he would not suffer, but in the end, he dismissed the idea and said, “Let’s stop discussing work and talk about something else.”
Guan Yue looked away and opened the hotdog bag.
“Any news from London?” Guan Yue asked.
“Still voting,” Tianhe replied. “The results will be released at noon tomorrow, but I’m not an Englishman. I don’t care about that.”
Guan Yue, “I need more auxiliary data.”
“Why don’t you believe in yourself now that you have thought it over?” Tianhe said. “Trust your judgement. Though it may be absurd, the truth is always in the hands of a few people, isn’t it?”
Guan Yue, “This is the biggest sum of money I have made since I made the decision.”
Tianhe said, “It’s too fantastic to hear that from you in this lifetime.”
Guan Yue, “This is a high gamble.”
Tianhe, “This isn’t a high gamble. The result isn’t random, it’s just that you don’t trust your own judgment. History has proved countless times that economic laws never care whether you ‘think’ it is reasonable or not, the general trend is unstoppable.”
Guan Yue, “The only reference history can offer us is that there are no references to find. I have worked 27 consecutive hours for 3.3 billion pounds.”
Tianhe finally had to surrender. “I’ll ask for you.”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.