Editor(s): Mariabel, PM87
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Tianhe drove his car to Yintai Building’s underground garage. There were four rows of sports cars parked in the garage today, as if there was an open sports car exhibition.
Tianhe glanced around at the cars, but didn’t see Guan Yue’s. Pro said, “There’s a high probability that Guan Yue will arrive late.”
Tianhe replied, “I’m used to it. In my life, eight out of ten times, I’ve been the one waiting for him anyway.”
He pressed the earphone and was about to go up to the LG floor when the CFO walked past the garage and greeted him. “Chairman Guan is still on the plane, and might be late by about an hour or so.”
Tianhe politely nodded. Mario added, “I know some of my words may seem unpleasant, but, Wen Tianhe, you’d better not drive this car when you come to the company. It’s too luxurious. I suggest you don’t drive a car worth more than two million. If you drive such an expensive car, what should Chairman Guan drive? Right?”
Tianhe thought he possibly might have to walk, but he didn’t tell Mario that. Your Chairman Guan’s car was also a present from me. You can try to give him a better one in the future. Don’t let him drive that old Audi again!
“Don’t contradict him,” Pro said. “He’s now technically your immediate superior.”
“Thank you for reminding me,” Tianhe said politely to Mario.
“Tsk tsk tsk,” Mario said, surveying Tianhe. “You shouldn’t wear this to work.”
“Of course not,” Tianhe replied. “I still have some casual clothes. The housekeeper had more than ten sets made for me.”
Today, Aunt Fang had prepared a dark brown director’s suit for him. While she was at it, she also conscientiously tidied up his hair in a style that suited him well, in accordance with their habits when they were still in London. However, since there were limitations, the style couldn’t be too pompous. He could only oblige to this.
Qingsong Capital invested in Epeus. According to the company’s rules, the CFO’s administrative rank was a half rank higher than that of a subsidiary company’s CEO. Mario was also dressed smartly for this occasion, but compared to Tianhe, he looked more like Tianhe’s assistant.
Mario, “Qingsong isn’t like your technology company, nor is it like London. Wen Tianhe, I don’t think you usually deal with people. Once you start your duties, you had better pay attention to the rules.”
“We come from a technical background, our EQ isn’t high enough.” Tianhe modestly said. “There are many areas where I will need your guidance. What shall I call you when I enter the company?”
Mario, “Just call me Boss.”
Tianhe said, “Okay, Boss.”
Mario smiled enigmatically as he shook his sleeve, and revealed the four-hundred-thousand Patek Philippe on his wrist. He stepped forward and pressed the elevator button; it was a simple spontaneous move. As they stepped inside, Mario held the elevator door open and let Tianhe enter first. After he got in himself, he stood behind Tianhe.
All of a sudden, the two of them became awkward. The “boss” had taught him some “lessons” before he even entered the office. In conclusion, the boss didn’t just help him to press the elevator button, but had also held the door open for him. Mario also didn’t understand why this unexpected development suddenly made him feel like he’d turned into Tianhe’s assistant.
“Boss, when will Guan Yue arrive?” Tianhe inclined his head towards Mario and asked.
Mario maintained his regular composure and replied, “Don’t call the boss. It might still take another hour.”
Tianhe made an “hmm” sound and didn’t ask anything further. As Mario buttoned up his suit, he looked at Tianhe via the elevator mirror, and couldn’t help but ask, “What brand of clothes is this?”
Tianhe smiled. “This brand isn’t sold in the country. If you like, I can order one for you, Boss?”
Mario, “Oh? Forget it, it’s not convenient… No… The style of youths doesn’t suit me.”
“You are young, too,” Tianhe politely complimented.
Mario, “Both my children are in junior high school.”
After the elevator arrived and the reception registered them, Mario took Tianhe and entered the banquet hall. This was the largest out of dozens of local clubs and salons for financial practitioners. Qingsong being the leader in the industry, Guan Yue was naturally frequently invited. However, he usually didn’t like to be overly sociable with some of the organizations’ bosses and their wives. Besides, he didn’t have much to say. Also, he knew that he would be treated as a topic of conversation after he left the banquet.
The hall was filled with fresh flowers from Europe. The waiters came and went as they supported trays with champagne glasses on their arms. In the center of the ring-shaped area of the banquet hall, a well-known band was singing blues under the statue of Goddess Waukeen. There was only one pillar supporting the ceiling on the top floor of Yintai Building. The floor was surrounded by circular floor-to-ceiling glass windows and four huge terraces that faced the thriving city, which were bathed in the radiance of the setting sun.
Tianhe always found this kind of imitation of the so-called British party very embarrassing; it was neither Chinese nor foreign at all. The bankers were neither chit-chatting like London’s artsy banquets, nor setting up fully for communication and news transmission purposes like Manhattan’s gatherings. Instead, the bankers forcibly merged together industry gatherings and luxurious salons. Dinner was held from 4 PM to 8 PM, and nothing was right. The style seemed to be serious and formal, but at the banquet, not only did they discuss politics, they also gossiped and invited singers to sing… How chaotic, it was like entering an annual meeting of a group of real estate sales managers.
Moreover, under the domestic system, the majority of the economic trends, including the rise and fall in prices of land and exchange rates, weren’t for the capitalists to speak out about. Thus, this group of proud, privileged children first discussed how to cut leeks at the party. Then, they would return to their homes, waiting for the central bank to cut leeks, which was especially comical.
Mario followed behind Tianhe and said in a low voice, “Chairman Guan’s original intention is to let you show off yourself today. After all, more than half of the next product development team, targeted user groups, and people who make the decisions are members of the club.”
“Yo!” A foreigner laughed and exclaimed, “Hermes! I know you!”
Tianhe took a glass of champagne, raised the glass to him, and smiled.
Mario, “That’s Jonny, the Vice President of Crowe Fund. Are you Hermès?”
Tianhe, “Of course not. This is the worst time for me to hide it.”
Mario doubted. “Why did he call you Hermès?”
Tianhe, “He calls me Hermes, which means I am a prophet. Not the one who makes handbags...” Then, he walked towards the foreigner and smiled. “Good thing he didn’t call me Nostradamus.”
The foreigner, who was in his fifties and sported a beer belly, was chatting with two beautiful girls. Hearing Tianhe’s words, he burst out laughing and asked with interest, “What’s the opening price of NASDAQ tonight?”
Pro, “Crowe has a high probability of leading the market.”
Tianhe smiled as he looked at the foreigner and said, “I think today’s trend shouldn’t be bad.”
A few more people came over with wine glasses in their hands and chatted with Tianhe while exchanging pleasantries. Mario said, “Epeus has already accepted Qingsong’s financing.”
“Then, I guess the next thing we’ll hear is that the entire stock market is in Guan Yue’s favor,” said another middle-aged man wryly.
Tianhe smiled and said, “Definitely not. I’ll try my best to cultivate his sense of ownership for the country.”
The crowd burst out laughing again. After chatting for a while, the band changed their song. Tianhe attracted everyone’s attention and responded with a smile in his eyes. The foreigner handed Tianhe a business card and the latter also accepted it. He thought that these customs were really tiresome. Even though he could totally exchange business cards at such a banquet, he also had to follow the local customs. “I have to wait until I’ve discussed my position with Chairman Guan first, I will certainly make sure to send my business card to your home afterwards.”
“Then I think you must be his treasure,” someone said again.
Amidst the laughter, the group of people separated provisionally. Mario once again informed Tianhe, “That’s Lorman’s young master over there. His family once invested in Epeus, but not much. I don’t know if you remember...”
“Of course.” Tianhe inclined his head on the side and said, “I’ll go and apologize for my brother’s impertinence.”
As Tianhe and Mario waited patiently next to the group of people conversing, one of the young men chatted about the recent tech industry summit. Tianhe listened in with a glass of champagne in his hand and a smile on his face, and waited for an opportunity to join their conversation. Pro said, “Guan Yue should have arrived in the city by now. Also, he’s paying attention to you, and the rest of them are watching you.”
“...To be fair, I’d hate to see it,” the other party said. “Otherwise, the analysts will lose their jobs.”
Several people listened to the young man’s talk as they looked at Tianhe with a smile from time to time. Tianhe also smiled until the young man turned to him.
“Ah, prophet!” The young man smiled.
“I’m just a God’s wand.” Tianhe smiled. He raised his glass to the other party and drank some wine in between laughter. Everyone turned the conversation around and started chatting about the recent auction.
Mario had to admit that Tianhe was very suitable for this occasion, almost impeccable from etiquette to speech. From the outset, Mario followed Tianhe and made a few remarks from time to time, yet Tianhe was better than he had anticipated. Mario then began to ignore him. He took a piece of chocolate from the attendant’s tray and went aside to call Guan Yue.
Of course, in some cases, Tianhe didn’t spare the guests a hint of sarcasm. The bosses believed that the analysis system could change the industrial structure and complete a new round of financial upgrading, but analysts believed that computers could never be superior to human intelligence.
“So the New Finance Analyst List is going to be full of program names in the future.” Someone began to taunt Tianhe. “Then, we can cultivate our home software and let it learn to read magazines.”
Pro reminded. “New Finance is a local magazine that produces an annual ranking of analysts once a year based on votes.”
Tianhe calmly said, “The program has no face and can’t pull votes. It’s probably impossible for me to be on the list.”
This sentence brought a burst of laughter. He helplessly added, “To be honest, every time I vote for an analyst, I always feel like I’m blindly looking at their photo. It’s very similar to the voting style at a beauty pageant.”
Everyone exaggeratedly laughed. Pro began to introduce this New Finance magazine’s campaign system. There was a saying in the industry, “Annual New Finance, Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.” Every time the magazine published a roll-call of successful candidates, the busiest thing for analysts was to look for people and ask for support everywhere.
“Chairman Guan is still on his way. He wants you to meet the senior consultant of our company, who is also Chairman Guan’s private lawyer and the chief legal adviser of Nuolin Law Firm.” Mario led Tianhe through the banquet hall and continued, “He is a dairy tycoon VIP in the Netherlands, who owns a stake in Unilever Group, Nestlé, and so on. He has a Harvard doctorate. His family is related to the Dutch royal family. He has a very close personal relationship with Chairman Guan, and is also our most reliable, cooperative partner. He is the only one in the whole company who’s entitled to enter and leave Chairman Guan’s office at his own liberty. Just call him Chief Tong. You have many opportunities to deal with…”
Pro, “Guan Yue’s confidant.”
“Chief Tong! This is Wen Tianhe.” Mario smiled at Tong Kai, who was chatting with several investors with his back facing them.
Tong Kai, “Hey!”
Tong Kai took a champagne glass from a passing waiter as he turned around and sauvely faced Tianhe.
“Wen Tianhe? I’ve long looked forward to meeting you!” Tong Kai said with a smile.
“What a coincidence! I’ve also……” Tianhe’s voice cut off as he was blinded.
Tong Kai, “......”
The two froze at the same time, their hands holding on to their champagne glasses.
Mario, “Tianhe is the program head of Epeus… Chief Tong?”
Tong Kai, “......”
Tong Kai, “......”
For the first time in his life, Tianhe was so confused and helpless. He raised his hand slightly, pointed at Tong Kai, and turned to look at Mario. He was completely blinded. “He…… you……”
Tong Kai finally recovered his senses, showing a graceful and handsome smile, and said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you for the first time. I’ve heard a lot about you. I’ll give you a present for a winning litigation.”
Tianhe hadn’t yet responded. Tong Kai took a deep breath, clenched his teeth, and tried to signal Tianhe with his brows and eyes; Don’t be too surprised… Please be calm.
“That…… Chief Tong?” Mario asked. “What did you just say?”
Both of them didn’t speak, looking petrified at each other. Tianhe slowly nodded while still looking suspiciously at Tong Kai.
At first, Tianhe had just thought they looked alike. However, Tong Kai couldn’t keep his mouth shut. As soon as he spoke, his voice couldn’t be concealed. Tianhe immediately read the forwarded message and slowly said, “Hmm…… It’s not bad to win a lawsuit, but this one… seems a little inadequate.”
Tong Kai draped himself over Tianhe’s shoulders and said, “Dear, may I have a word?”
Tong Kai took Tianhe’s hand, pulled him, pushed open the glass door, and walked to the terrace.
Tianhe took a deep breath. He was shocked beyond measure. On the surface, he tried to act unperturbed and raised his eyebrows in anticipation of Tong Kai’s explanation.
“Help me keep it a secret,” Tong Kai said.
Pro, “He’s the one who made the contract with more pitfalls than the main text. He precisely did that.”
“Oh……” Tianhe looked at Tong Kai carefully. When he massaged his foot this afternoon, he always felt that there was something wrong with this man. Now, he finally understood why, hence he replied cordially, “This won’t do.”
Tong Kai, “......”
Tianhe: “I can’t be bought off with a winning litigation. I also doubt if you can really win a lawsuit according to your…… expertise level.”
Tong Kai supported his hand on his forehead and inclined his head, his face twitching. Tianhe looked frightened as he glanced at Tong Kai’s hand that had touched his foot. Tong Kai immediately put down his hand and took a deep breath.
“Let’s make a deal,” Tong Kai said. “I’m not afraid of you, Wen Tianhe. If you go out and openly talk about what happened at the foot bath center, I can sue you for damaging my reputation. You have no evidence.”
Tianhe sincerely said, “Of course, I will not go out and ‘proclaim openly,’ I will only secretly babble in private.”
Tong Kai, “......”
Tianhe’s curiosity completely overwhelmed Tong Kai’s threats and promises at the moment, but things had become so bizarre that he had no time to think about Tong Kai and Jiang Zijian’s affairs, and how that was related to Tong Kai’s appearance in the Foot Bath City.
Tong Kai, “What do you want from me to stop you from driveling?”
Tianhe, “Tell me the truth, otherwise I’ll certainly drivel.”
Tong Kai’s brain was in an overloaded state since Tianhe’s emergence. All his life, he had never been like this; using so much brain power and considering twenty different solutions at the same time. He just wanted to find a convincing reason to shut Tianhe’s mouth and, by all means, have him not publicize this and... talk drivel.
“I……” Tong Kai calmed down and said, “Alright, I’ll tell you, but you… You know, otherwise I’ll be... completely ruined.”
From his rich experience of perusing people, Tong Kai accurately grasped the point that touched Tianhe.
Tianhe, “I’ll have to think about that, too, depending on your honesty and decision.”
Tong Kai frantically exclaimed, “That’s not fair!”
Tianhe, “The choice is yours.”
Tong Kai thought to himself; What do you want me to explain? If I say I pretended to be a poor man to go on a blind date, would you believe me? Thus, he summoned up his courage and said, “Here’s the thing... I... I have an... unmentionable... love, hobby.”
“Oh.” Tianhe roughly understood.
Tong Kai wiped his face again. His expression switched from stressed to solemn and earnest. Facing Tianhe, he sincerely said, “Because of this problem… unmentionable... love... hobby, I am Nuolin’s chief legal affair during the day, and at night I then… change and stealthily look for… Foot Bath City to be an attendant…”
Tianhe, “So, you particularly pick out young and handsome boys… to do it?”
Tong Kai, “Yes…… Yes, I can’t help it. If I don’t massage… press that… massage the foot every day, at night... I can’t sleep at night.”
Tianhe observed Tong Kai’s expression and nodded.
Tong Kai tried hard to wipe his face and earnestly said, “Please don’t say anything.”
“I see.” Tianhe held the champagne. Mouth twitching, he said, “The one who quarreled with me today……”
Tong Kai immediately interrupted, “Please don’t, don’t bother him!”
Tong Kai, “That man... almost became my boyfriend, but there’s still some feelings between us, though not... not that deep.”
Tong Kai nodded and said, “He’s a guest I met unintentionally. You probably know my sexual orientation?”
“I don’t know,” Tianhe doubtfully replied.
Tong Kai, “Guan Yue didn’t tell you?”
Tianhe: “Do you think it’s possible? Wait, how did you know that Guan Yue and I…”
Tong Kai hurriedly said, “I don’t know. I just guessed. I thought you and that guy must have... had been quite close… But it doesn’t matter. After all, we'll be on our own anyway. I’ll get to the point, I met that little brother by accident, he’s very kind to me. Please don’t make trouble for him.”
Tianhe continued to probe and asked, “What happened to you guys afterwards?”
Tong Kai hesitantly answered, “After you left, I... went home from work and he also left.”
Tianhe said with a wooden expression, “Chief Tong, my father once said: The better-looking the lawyer, the more likely he is to cheat. Do you want to lose your reputation? You don’t want to? Tell me the truth if you don’t want to.”
Tong Kai, “......”
Tianhe, “I was so angry with him for defying me. If you lie about it again, I’ll remove one of his legs.”
Pro answered in his earpiece, “There’s no need to actually remove one of his legs. I suggest you discuss this with Jiang Zijian and let him do it by pretending to be disabled.”
Tong Kai, “Remove ah. You will definitely regret this. I will stand up for him and sue you.”
Tianhe, “Guan Yue will also stand up for me. I think he won’t let you do so, Qingsong has just invested in Epeus. If I am to be imprisoned, his investment will certainly be wasted.” As he said this, he was suddenly struck with a thought. “Or perhaps I should send the removed leg to your house? Wouldn’t it be convenient if you didn’t have to sneak out every night?”
Tong Kai, “......”
Tianhe studied Tong Kai. Tong Kai had no choice but to spread out his hands in a placating gesture, and said, “We split up for no other reason. My type was wrong. I don’t like... his type.”
“Really?” Tianhe’s heart was full of doubts.
Tong Kai, “Right after you left Foot Bath City in a rage, I found out that we are both tops, so... ai! But it’s not important anymore. I’m telling you the truth now. Don’t push me anymore, or else I’ll really jump off this terrace.”
Tianhe, “That man is really not your boyfriend?”
Tong Kai, “He’s a hotel doorman, how could that be? He’s been chasing after me. Once I’m with him, how can I keep things a secret? The fact that I’m a... a... have long... there... unmentionable… hobby would be revealed.”
“That’s indeed unspeakable,” Tianhe replied. “However, you can actually... find a few young male models and spend money by massaging them. I don’t think you’re gonna refuse, are you?”
Tong Kai rightfully said, “The world doesn’t have impermeable walls. They will go out and talk drivel. I will still lose my reputation. Going to Foot Bath City to work is the best... the best way, right?”
“Hmn.” Tianhe thought that this logic was simply unassailable.
Tong Kai said, “I believe you’ll keep it a secret for me, won’t you?”
Tianhe, “You made Epeus’ contract yourself, am I right?”
Guan Yue didn’t let anyone in Qingsong handle the contract, but instead assigned Tong Kai to draft it. Even the CFO could only follow the pertinent progress without seeing the concrete contract. Tong Kai had to bite the bullet, and answered, “Yes, that’s right.”
“I thought perhaps we could talk about it a little bit,” Tianhe said.
Tong Kai, “It’s about my professional ethics. Wen Tianhe, I, I, er... I can’t give you a... lenient treatment. I have to stand by Guan Yue. He’s my employer……”
This time, Tong Kai’s confidence was slightly insufficient. In the end, he altered his previous words and said, “But, I can do what I can, umm... give him a suggestion. As long as he nods, I don’t have to get stuck with you. Moreover, some of the clauses... were really not necessary to be so harsh.”
Tianhe said with ease, “Then we can pleasantly resolve this.”
Tong Kai extended his hand while Tianhe stared at it. They looked at each other before shaking hands reluctantly.
“What about the winning litigation’s present?” Tianhe asked.
“I’ll have it delivered to your place some other day,” Tong Kai replied.
“Very well.” Tianhe nodded, smiled, and clinked his cup against Tong Kai’s.
An hour after the banquet began, Guan Yue finally arrived. With obvious exhaustion, he slightly adjusted his shirt cuffs in front of the mirror in the elevator. Today, he was dressed almost exactly like Tianhe. The navy-blue director’s suit was one of the suits sent by Aunt Fang urgently from Germany, after some popular style adjustments to the Victorian tailoring method.
The CFO waited in front of the elevator’s entrance. Seeing Guan Yue come out, he made a path for him. “Wen Tianhe first went to exchange conventional pleasantries in the circle. He has already chatted with Chief Tong.”
Guan Yue simply nodded. He raised his hand to the nearest guest and said hello. The first thing he did after he arrived was look for Tianhe’s whereabouts.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.