Editor(s): Mariabel, PM87
“Did you really promise him?!” Jiang Zijian was thoroughly shocked. “No way! Tianhe!”
“Is there any other option? If he doesn’t invest, Qingsong could possibly block me.” Tianhe was calmly writing code in order to address three problems, while chatting with Jiang Zijian, listening to his lawyer’s advice, and working, all at the same time.
The lawyer had been called to his house and was patiently annotating the contract. Forsaking all technological capabilities, the old lawyer still used the ancient habit of inserting notes on every page of the contract by hand, and reading the careful, neat font thoroughly to evaluate it.
“You need to work at his company and accept Qingsong’s supervision.” The lawyer took off his presbyopic glasses, looked up, and added, “And also abide by their company’s articles of association, which is by far the most stringent clause at present.”
Tianhe, “Not bad… Anyway, I don’t have an office address either. They can vacate a place for me on the general office floor. He won’t be relieved if I don't work under Guan Yue’s nose.”
Jiang Zijian, “Letting a CEO work and clock in at an institutional company. He’s purposely trying to embarrass you!”
The old lawyer made no comment. He had served the Wen family for nearly two decades. Although Tianyue had replaced him with a team of lawyers when he was still in charge of the company, from a lawyer's perspective, he still hoped that the Wen family would have the chance to turn over a new leaf.
“There are a lot of pitfalls in this contract,” The old lawyer said, folding up his glasses. “The other party’s CFO obviously doesn’t trust you.”
“If I had my older brother’s criminal record, I wouldn’t trust myself either,” Tianhe said. “I don’t think I’m fit to read that. I will just get angry, so please.”
The old lawyer added, “However, Qingsong also showed sincerity in some aspects. Did you know that the other party personally stepped forth to stop the auction of your property this morning?”
“What?” Tianhe was utterly surprised as the lawyer forwarded the message to him. It was a notice from a lawyer hired by the creditor. Obviously, the old lawyer was still concerned about Epeus’s movements, even without serving the Wen Family. The bankruptcy auction process was completely suspended in late September, which happened to be the day Tianhe was called in to Qingsong, where he then waited all afternoon.
Aunt Fang brought coffee for the old lawyer. The lawyer nodded gratefully and shook her hand. She said, “Xiao Guan personally called me to tell you about this. You were completely wrapped up in your work everyday. You even stayed in the study for dinner. You always forget about this. I’m to blame, I’m to blame…”
Tianhe waved his hands. After drinking his coffee, the old lawyer left Tianhe an annotated version of the contract, and took a copy with him to take back to the firm. “If you have the opportunity, you’d better communicate with the other party’s CFO the details and strive to reach a consensus between both sides.”
Tianhe knew what the lawyer meant by this. This meant that Qingsong’s legal team was very difficult to work with and he needed to communicate with them in order to facilitate this cooperation smoothly, which apparently was the last thing he wanted to do.
Jiang Zijian said, “You're lying to yourself. Tell me the truth, do you want to get back together with him?”
“Impossible.” Tianhe thoughtlessly said. “If we get together again, we’ll eventually separate.”
Jiang Zijian scratched his head and said, “Tianhe, I’m against this. I don’t want you to get back together with Guan Yue, but I want you to be happy.”
Tianhe, “There are some people, such as you, who are best to have as a friend in this world, but as a lover—”
Jiang Zijian raised his wrist and made a ‘dog’ pose. He stuck out his tongue and said, “How is it? Am I perfect as a lover?”
“It’ll just make people want to blow your fucking head off… Ah! Don’t pull me!”
Jiang Zijian, “Go away! Let’s go out! You promised!”
Tianhe, “Wait! I still have things to arrange.”
During the seven-day holiday for National Day, Tianhe slept at home for thirty-six hours straight, before Jiang Zijian finally dragged him outside to play. Before leaving home, Tianhe received another message from Qingsong’s CFO Mario, informing him to attend a bankers’ club dinner tonight.
“I haven’t signed the contract yet,” Tianhe said unhappily into the phone. “Even if I were to sign this contract, I would still not be an employee of your company, let alone your Chairman Guan’s personal assistant. Is it your style to ask the CEO of a subsidiary company to carry Chairman Guan’s bag or attend a dinner party with him?”
Mario replied, “Chairman Guan thinks that you’ll agree. The contract can be signed slowly, but the development progress of the product is urgent. You only have three months, so it is better to hurry. Tonight’s party will help you get acquainted with the financial circle and listen to their demands. That is also good, isn’t it?”
Jiang Zijian shouted from the side, “Are you still working overtime right after the holidays? Happy National Day to you!”
Mario: “Thank you. I’m very happy on National Day.”
There was no need to rush Tianhe. He knew that time was tight. The bankruptcy extension guarantee stipulated in the contract would only last until January 1st, plus there was a 10-working-day buffer period during which time Qingsong would continue to pay for the rental of the server unit. Tianhe must complete all core modules of the analysis system and submit them to a third-party for evaluation before January 1st.
In the first quarter of the upcoming year, Qingsong would then decide whether to conduct F round financing for Epeus according to the evaluation results.
Qingsong generously spent a lot of money, not only to repay the bank interest for him but to also increase the product research and development funds, including two years of server rental fees and all the costs of building a new team. The total amount of F round financing was 490 million RMB, more than any round of financing since the founding of Epeus.
But similarly, the gambling conditions Guan Yue also gave were quite strict. The core module must reach the evaluation target. Apart from that, several other funds invested by Qingsong would also try out this analysis system to propose cross-evaluation. If Tianhe failed, all assets would be owned by Qingsong, and a considerable amount of debt would be borne in the next decade.
In other words, bankruptcy did not count. According to this indentured servitude, one would have to pay off debts to Guan Yue for ten years.
“It’s hard to build a company,” Tianhe said sincerely to Zijian. “But, it’s easy to take down a company. Believe me, his provisions are only meant to explain things to the headquarters. The last person who wanted me to sign the contract was him. Guan Yue himself didn’t know whether he could make it in Qingsong for ten years.”
“Alright, that’s it.” Jiang Zijian looked at Tianhe’s outfit and said, “You go in first. Go get your feet massaged at the 16th room, and start immediately once you sit down, then send me a message.”
Tianhe and Zijian stood outside the foot bath center. Tianhe asked, “Are you sure he knows you are coming today?”
Jiang Zijian, “Of course he knows. Look, this is him. Come take a look so you can recognize him.”
Jiang Zijian showed Tianhe a photo of him and Tong Kai in a library.
“Jiang Zijian, I’ll say it again for the last time……” Tianhe sometimes couldn’t understand the way his brain worked.
“I know I’m boring! Come on, just this once!” Jiang Zijian said. “Once!”
Tianhe, “I’ll never play doorman with you next time. Just so you know.”
Jiang Zijian, “Certainly!”
The young assistant girl stood next to the supervisor. Tong Kai changed into the customary robe that was worn by the attendants there. Several buttons of his robe were open at the chest area, showing his beautiful, lean chest muscles. He looked around.
Tong Kai, “Give me the name tag, is this alright?”
“So different.” Everyone unanimously agreed that Tong Kai looked more like a guest who had come for a massage, rather than an attendant.
“Put this on and let’s see?” Another attendant came up with an idea and gave Tong Kai a small round cap. Now he looked a little like a massage attendant.
Tong Kai nervously said, “I’ll wait for him in the lounge, but you mustn’t let the cat out of the bag.”
“You look different!” The supervisor quickly stepped in and said. “Chief Tong! You still look different!”
Tong Kai, “He’s already here?”
The attendants helped Tong Kai arrange his robe and then let him out.
Tianhe impetuously entered “Good Time Foot Bath City.” Looking down at his phone, he saw that Jiang Zijian had sent him an entire set of scripts.
“Who wrote these jokes?” Tianhe said between laughter and tears. “This is too ridiculous…… Hello, 90 minutes, Thai-style foot bath service.”
The usher brought Tianhe inside, selected the service he requested, and asked, “Do you have an appointment with a masseur?”
“Number 16th,” Tianhe replied. “I heard that the 16th has pretty good services.”
The usher took the intercom and said, “Let's go to the 16th.”
Tianhe went further inside and removed his coat. He scratched himself a few times, as he was so itchy all over, and sat down on the massage chair. The young assistant girl came in and immediately brightened up. She draped a towel on him and Tianhe gave her an awkward but polite smile.
“How is it?”
“Really handsome ah! Are you of mixed race? You have smiling eyes, too!”
Tong Kai entered the room with a smile. He was about to open his mouth when his smile gradually disappeared. Tianhe was looking down at his phone, then he raised his head and glanced at Tong Kai.
Tong Kai, “......”
Tianhe looked down at his phone again. According to the script sent by Jiang Zijian, he wanted him to play an arrogant and haughty rich second generation. Later, he would create opportunities to let Jiang Zijian become a “hero saving the beauty.”
According to Jiang Zijian’s words, Tianhe would really be “performing his true nature.”
Tong Kai hadn’t expected that someone else would come here on the 16th.
“Massage.” Tianhe coldly said. “What are you still doing?”
Tong Kai and Tianhe looked at each other for a moment before Tong Kai slowly sat down.
“At least he’s handsome.” Fortunately, Tong Kai responded quickly. But he was still confused for a short while. This unforeseen event had come too suddenly... What about Jiang Zijian?
Tianhe took a photo of Tong Kai from his phone and sent it to Jiang Zijian. 【He looks so young.】
【He’s younger than you.】Jiang Zijian replied. 【He’s too cute. I like him so much!】
“Hi.” Jiang Zijian entered the lounge, took off his sunglasses, and said with a smile, “I’m looking for the 16th.”
How come there’s another one?
Jiang Zijian said, “What, are you guys busy? That’s alright… Then... Are you? Where’s the 16th? Is there another room? I can talk to him later.”
Everyone looked at each other in dismay. The young assistant girl realized this and asked, “Should we move them to another room?”
“No need to move!” Jiang Zijian followed after her inside.
Among the four chairs in the massage room, there was only one guest—Tianhe. Tong Kai had thought of saying that he had something to do and would need to go out for a few minutes. However, just as he was about to take the chance to escape, Jiang Zijian came in and simply sat in a chair on one side of the room, and smiled at Tong Kai. The young assistant girl came over and covered his knees with a bath towel; she looked a little bewildered as she peered at Tong Kai.
Tianhe pretended to be puzzled, glancing at Jiang Zijian and at the two foot bathers.
Tong Kai took a deep breath and forced himself to sit back down. If it weren’t for Tianhe being so good-looking, he wouldn’t serve him in any way. What a joke!
Jiang Zijian took out his phone, glanced at his foot bather, and texted Tianhe.
Jiang Zijian,【Let’s start now.】
Jiang Zijian, “Ouch!”
Zijian was pressed too hard by the foot bather and started to shout.
Tong Kai gave Tianhe a light press. He looked towards Jiang Zijian’s direction and thought; Does he feel pain?
Tianhe looked puzzled.
“Easy, easy,” Jiang Zijian pleaded with the foot bather.
Tong Kai couldn’t help smiling.
“Is the intensity appropriate?” Tong Kai asked Tianhe.
“Not bad,” Tianhe replied coldly.
Suddenly, the massage room door opened as two people came in. Two attendants disguised themselves as ‘guests’ and two others began to massage their colleagues, ready to take care of Tong Kai’s needs. Tong Kai thought to himself: Just press a few times, get up, and leave! This seems too fake!
Jiang Zijian sent Tianhe a message. Tianhe also looked at his phone.
Jiang Zijian,【It’s time to start.】
Tianhe,【Can you change this line? It’s really too shameful to say!】
Jiang Zijian, 【I found a concierge that helped me with the script. Don’t mess with it, just follow the script.】
Tianhe,【It’s too fake. He will find out!】
Jiang Zijian,【He’s not as smart as you think! Don’t worry!】
Tianhe grasped his phone and coldly glanced at Tong Kai. “Be careful, my foot has just been applied with Florihana Limited Edition Rose Essential Oil.”
Tong Kai, “......”
Tong Kai subconsciously looked at Jiang Zijian. The latter turned his head and looked at Tianhe contemptuously.
Tianhe almost laughed. He exited out of his phone’s chat feature, while suppressing his laughter, and coldly read the script, “Haven’t you eaten? Why are you pressing so lightly?”
Tong Kai cordially replied, “I’m afraid the pressure will be too much for you to bear.”
“Press now!” Tianhe frowned.
Tong Kai lowered his head and continued to massage.
Jiang Zijian,【Next sentence.】
Tianhe, “Make sure the body lotion doesn’t touch my pants, this is from...Cesare’s.”
Jiang Zijian,【He doesn’t understand that. You have to say Versace!】
Tianhe pressed his chest and politely added, “One of Versace’s high-end brands cost 30,000. Do you understand?”
Tong Kai, “O-o-okay…...”
Jiang Zijian, “Ouch! Be gentle!”
Jiang Zijian leaned back on the chair and twitched as tears almost came out from his eyes. Tong Kai hurriedly said to his ‘colleague,’ “Easy, easy.”
Tong Kai added some oil. Tianhe once again said, “In addition, I just had Jurlique’s Raspberry Essential Oil applied to my foot before I came out, so be careful.”
Tianhe suppressed his laughter. Tong Kai also tried to put on a pitiful expression, then nodded.
Tianhe,【He tickles me! Foot bath massage doesn’t even hurt. Why did you shout so loud?】
Jiang Zijian’s feet were being kneaded frantically. He wanted to laugh but was also afraid of pain as he reclined in the chair. Tianhe sent another message. 【End this now! I don’t want to play anymore!】
Tianhe disliked being touched by strangers. Apart from his brother, he only accepted Guan Yue and Jiang Zijian touching him. However, considering Tong Kai did look very handsome, he just reluctantly accepted it.
Jiang Zijian, 【One more sentence and I’ll take over it.】
Tianhe glanced at Tong Kai and said, “Little Brother, what time will you get off work? Let’s have a meal together? Have you been to Fink? They earn more than you make here.”
Tong Kai, “......”
“You’re sick!” Jiang Zijian finally flared up.
Tianhe looked at Jiang Zijian as if he didn’t know him. The laughter in his heart was about to explode. By this time, Tianhe had exhausted all his life’s self-control to prevent himself from laughing. He angrily exclaimed, “What’s it to you?”
Jiang Zijian, “How wonderful it is to be rich!”
The other two foot bathers disguised as guests also became angry and shouted, “How wonderful it is to be rich!”
Jiang Zijian added, “I’ll take care of your bill here today. Take your Versace and your rose essential oil and get the hell out of here!”
Tianhe finally found the opportunity to withdraw his foot from Tong Kai’s hand and angrily said to Jiang Zijian, “You’re courting death! Do you know who I am?”
Jiang Zijian, “I don’t care who you are!”
Tianhe wanted to improvise at the scene. He wanted to shout that Qingsong had just invested in their company, yet if he said this, he would barely be able to hold himself back from laughter. He tried to hold back and furiously said, “Alright! Just you wait!”
Jiang Zijian was quite into the play. He looked at Tianhe and said, “Come on! Call your people! I will wait here. Let’s see you die.”
Tianhe unhappily got up. The “guests” in the massage room said altogether, “Yeah! Let’s see you die!”
Tong Kai sat stupefied, his hands slick with lotion. Jiang Zijian said to the foot bathers, “Tell your manager this, I’ll reserve this place today. Don’t let anyone else in again.”
The foot bathers got up and left.
At that moment, Tong Kai’s heart was truly touched. Jiang Zijian seemed to be really angry. He came to sit by the edge of the chair and looked at Tong Kai desolately.
The two “guests” in the room also left. The young assistant girl came over anxiously and asked, “Are you alright? Chi…… Xiao Tong?”
Tong Kai immediately signaled that it was nothing, then the young assistant girl retreated.
“You don’t have to do this again.” Jiang Zijian seriously said. “I’ll support you from now on. Resign from here and come with me.”
Tong Kai never thought that things would go in this direction. As he was about to say something, Jiang Zijian took his hand that was covered with lotion—wet and slippery—dragged him, and hurried out.
Tong Kai was simply moved beyond measure.
“I’m serious.” Jiang Zijian said, as he pulled Tong Kai’s hand and exited out of the foot bath city.
Tianhe changed his clothes, grateful that it was finally over. He was just about to drive away when he saw Jiang Zijian and Tong Kai running out to the park located behind the foot bath city. He was suddenly curious and quietly went over to listen to what they’re saying.
Pro, “Be careful of being found out.”
In the autumn wind, Tong Kai suddenly smiled and said, “Stop that now, Xiao Jiang.”
Jiang Zijian stared at Tong Kai and said nothing.
Tong Kai added, “But I was really touched. Ever since I was a child, you were the only one who said you would support me. I never even heard my parents say that.”
Jiang Zijian, “Come with me and I’ll get you a job. I didn’t get to tell you about my promotion.”
According to Jiang Zijian’s plan, in another month, he would arrange a position for Tong Kai in his own hotel, while he himself would change his role and act as a lobby manager.
Hearing this, Tianhe suddenly recalled what Guan Yue had said and remained silent at the corner.
Pro, “What do you think they look like?”
“They resemble two mental patients who have just escaped from the mental asylum,” Tianhe said.
Jiang Zijian and Tong Kai, one dressed in a guest’s navy blue robe and the other dressed in a dark yellow attendant’s robe, stood in the park like two insane men from the asylum institution, while they frolicked together hand-in-hand.
“Congratulations!” Tong Kai said. “But I still have to go back to work.”
Tong Kai walked through the park and sat on the bench alongside Jiang Zijian. Looking at the elderly people who were practicing Tai Chi, Tong Kai thought for a moment and said, “This job can be really tiring at times. There are many things to say that aren’t really true to your heart, but I always want to do something instead of relying on my family.”
Jiang Zijian was suddenly stopped short by this sentence. Tong Kai once again added, “Just like you, who is self-reliant through your own efforts.”
Jiang Zijian suddenly blushed with shame. Among this city’s rich second generation NEET group’s seeded players, Jiang Zijian was recognized as the second, while no one could recognize the first.
Tianhe solemnly said, “Pro, Zijian still has some real skills. I am moved by these two, who came out to breathe fresh air and bask in the sun.”
Pro, “Under this botched performance, there is a sincere heart.”
Tianhe took a deep breath and Pro added, “I must remind you that you have to go home and change. You will accompany Guan Yue to the financiers’ club dinner tonight.”
Tianhe turned around and left, leaving behind Jiang Zijian who was wearing a robe in the autumn wind and sitting in the park, sunbathing with his little boyfriend.
Jiang Zijian was silent for a moment, then said, “You’re right. You can’t always rely on your family.”
Tong Kai smiled. “Why do you think that?”
Jiang Zijian: “I don’t think I can make progress either.”
Tong Kai, “Besides, I’m a top. How can I let you support me? But, I do plan to change my job.”
Jiang Zijian, “......”
Tong Kai looked at Jiang Zijian sideways, the latter’s expression became very strange.
Jiang Zijian, “Hold on, what did you say just now?”
Tong Kai, “Oh, I do plan to change my job.”
Jiang Zijian, “No, the one before that.”
Tong Kai, “I am, anyhow, a… top.”
Jiang Zijian, “I...am too.”
The two stared at each other blankly yet despairingly. A gust of autumn wind blew past them, rolling up fallen leaves.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.