Editor(s): Mariabel, PM87
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Pro, “Your contempt and ridicule towards Guan Yue has become his driving force to keep fighting.”
Tianhe, “So apparently I should taunt him more often.”
Pro, “It doesn’t have to be in that way, of course. Guan Yue’s values are sometimes divided. Whilst he hopes to create a better future for you, he also has a lingering fear of being ridiculed by you…… Re-establishing a romantic relationship can obviously give him the motivation to strive; moreover, it must be in a gentler way.”
Tianhe, “So I am both a whip and a carrot.”
Pro, “This analogy is too inappropriate because the professional integrity of a carrot is that it should never let the mule eat, and you aren’t one.”
Qingsong China Fund. HSBC Building. 37th floor. 5:00 P.M.
Tianhe’s stuff had already been sent home. At this moment, he watched Guan Yue pack up, his hands inside the pockets of his black windbreaker. Guan Yue’s personal belongings were quite few: several books, a notebook, and a fountain pen for signing contracts, which Tianhe had previously given to him.
Then, Guan Yue took out a golden rice bowl from the bookshelf.
Guan Yue put the golden rice bowl into the carton. The whole time, Tianhe only looked at it with a shocked expression.
Guan Yue, “Is that look really necessary?”
“How shocking! It’s too venerate!” Tianhe couldn’t help but exclaim. “The moment I saw it, I had the urge to kneel down to it and sing a hymn.”
Guan Yue, “I knew you were going to taunt me with this.”
Guan Yue had already put it away quite a long time ago, but now Tianhe had finally seen it.
Tianhe walked in front of the carton and looked inside. “Pardon me, my investor. I know I shouldn’t dampen your spirit at this time, but this pure golden rice bowl really surprised me. It must be a thousand ounces of solid gold, by weight… Mnnn… It’s definitely not polite to convert it into grams. Uh, about four kilos?”
Guan Yue, “Your expression currently looks like Smaug the dragon. Take it if you want it.”
“No, no,” Tianhe said. “If I may venture to guess, this must have been a present to welcome you to the business.”
Guan Yue, “You’ve guessed right.” He immediately forced the carton closed when Tianhe suddenly reached out, hefted the bowl, and shook his head, knowing that it must have been given by Guan Yue’s family. Guan Zhenghan, “Taiyuan's Lord,” always terrified Tianhe in some bizarre areas.
Guan Yue put the packed cartons on a large wooden box.
“It’s done,” Guan Yue said. “I’m going to borrow a place for these things.”
Tianhe opened the carton again and took away Guan Yue’s fountain pen.
Guan Yue’s face suddenly became unsightly. He had used this pen for five years and it hardly ever left his side.
Tianhe, however, looked at him in protest.
Tianhe, “I gave this to you, and now I want it back. You wouldn’t want to fight over a pen with me, would you?”
“Do you want to take the watch too? Alright, I will also return your car,” Guan Yue said, while fiddling with his watch.
Tianhe, “That’s not necessary.”
Guan Yue angrily turned his face away. It took a long time before he finally calmed down.
Tianhe recalled that the contract for the apartment that Guan Yue lived in was signed in the name of the company. Those buildings were only leased to the executives of multinational corporations, not for personal lease. Guan Yue could live there until April 1st; at the end of the first quarter.
Tianhe took out the keys of the old house and handed them to Guan Yue. Guan Yue was silent for a moment before he finally took them, and Tianhe stuck the printed address sheet on the wooden box.
“Let’s go eat?” Tianhe knew that all the formalities for Guan Yue’s resignation had been completed, but the matter between them was not yet over. Tianhe wanted him to save some money instead of issuing such a high loan to Epeus. He didn’t have to give so much capital injection. He could even consider finding another apportionment. In this way, Guan Yue’s financial pressures could at least be reduced.
Guan Yue, “You decide the place.”
Guan Yue only put on his sunglasses and followed Tianhe out of the office.
At 5:30 p.m., all of Qingsong’s employees were waiting in the corridor, seemingly wanting to shake hands with Guan Yue. However, instead of reaching out, Guan Yue put his hands in his windbreaker pockets and glanced around at his employees, his eyes softening.
In the end, Guan Yue only said, “Have a good time at the team building. I hope to see you all soon.”
“Hey! The man with the surname Ma! Patek Philippe! Won’t you come and say something?” Tianhe suddenly called.
Guan Yue was about to press the elevator button, but stopped. He pulled down his sunglasses slightly and shot a glance.
“Wen Tianhe,” Mario said seriously, as he walked down the corridor, “I’ll see you soon.”
Tianhe smiled and said, “It was nice meeting you.”
Guan Yue originally wanted to beckon to him to let it be, but knowing Tianhe’s temperament, he would certainly think of every possible method to get back to this topic, hence he didn’t oppose him.
“Is there something you would like to say to Chairman Guan?” Tianhe said.
Mario looked at Guan Yue and said, “Boss, forgive me but I won’t send you off. Please have a good trip.”
Guan Yue simply nodded. Mario then faced Tianhe and said, “Wen Tianhe, I actually have a few words I would like to say to you.”
Tianhe raised his brows and motioned that he was all ears.
“Do you know when God created man, the total numerical value was constant. You think you have everything: wealth, talent, intelligence. You think you are God’s favorite, but you don’t know that in other areas, you’ve got more things to lose. Every gift that fate has given to you is marked with an implicit price,” Mario said.
“A wise man is never lucky. A stupid man also has advantages of being stupid. This is called reversal of the wheel of fortune, which is the conservation of all living things. Sooner or later, you’ll think of what I’ve said.”
All the employees looked at Tianhe and at Guan Yue behind him. Guan Yue abruptly responded, “Mario, you’ve misunderstood the meaning of ‘the conservation of all living things.’ This is not the conservation of just one person. It must be that Tianhe is both wise and lucky, whilst you are the complete opposite. Adding up together, the numerical value remains unchanged. This is the exact conservation of all living things.”
All of Qingsong Company’s employees were stupefied, and then all poignantly smiled. Mario’s complexion became extremely unsightly. Guan Yue and Tianhe then entered the elevator. Before it closed, Tianhe waved to Mario and said, “Have fun in North Korea. Help Fatty the Third to look after his vocal chords. Although, I’m not quite sure whether he is still alive. Salute!”
As the elevator closed, Mario swore under his breath.
Guan Yue shook his head and remained silent.
Tianhe looked at Guan Yue smilingly, he also had a smile in his eyes.
“This is quite amazing.” Tianhe was clasping the golden rice bowl, scrutinizing its details. “Is this present from your family?”
After answering a call, Guan Yue went back to the table and unhappily said, “Would there be no end to this?”
Lucy came over and served their apéritif. Tianhe placed the golden rice bowl on the table, looking at it and then at Guan Yue.
“After the Lunar New Year, I will register a new company group,” Guan Yue said in his deep voice. “Tong Kai is currently going through the processes. Next, I will poach some of Qingsong’s employees and reestablish my personal team…... Would you please put the bowl down and listen to me?”
“You talk… I’m listening. I’m trying to find the seal on this heirloom. Can I have this? I’m thinking of changing Xiao Tian’s bowl,” Tianhe said.
“Take it.” Guan Yue was already fed up with Tianhe’s teasing. “You can’t use it for cats. Beware of metal poisoning.”
“I can’t stand you PPE masters students,” Tianhe said. “Gold doesn’t react with the digestive fluids. Otherwise, people who eat gold leaf would have already died.”
“Whatever,” Guan Yue said. “I can find no words to argue with you. I’m very sorry, I was born with a master’s degree in PPE.”
Tianhe seized Guan Yue’s golden rice bowl and said, “Personal team… What then?”
Guan Yue, “Between the new company and Epeus, I propose to work reciprocal equity shares.”
Tianhe thought for a moment and said, “I thought you wanted to say something…”
Guan Yue, “Epeus is expected to successfully be a public limited company in five years’ time. As long as you don’t act recklessly, the cross-shareholdings between the two companies will contribute…...”
Tianhe, “Okay, okay. Whatever you say.”
“This matter is important,” Guan Yue said, displeased.
Tianhe originally thought Guan Yue wanted to talk about something else, such as his feelings about leaving Qingsong or his thoughts for the future, thus he had been prepared to give him some encouragement, to leave a little bit of positive memory on the first night after his official resignation. He didn’t expect the meal to be about shareholders rights.
“Alright,” Tianhe said. “Let’s talk about work. Guan Yue, let me ask you. Where do you think Epeus can go?”
“NASDAQ is a public limited company with a market value of trillions of US dollars,” Guan Yue said.
Guan Yue earnestly said, “Trillions.”
Tianhe, “Do you know what the concept of trillions of US dollars market value is?”
Guan Yue said nothing and started eating his salad, rendering Tianhe speechless.
Guan Yue, “You have to believe in yourself and do the best you can.”
The head waiter then came and served the dishes. Guan Yue took the steak and adroitly began to cut it for Tianhe.
“You haven’t apologized for what happened the other day,” Tianhe said.
Guan Yue, “I thought Aunt Fang told you.”
Guan Yue finally realized and looked up at Tianhe. “She personally came to the company the next day and explained it to me.”
“That was Aunt Fang explaining to you, not you apologizing to me!” Tianhe exclaimed.
Tianhe angrily threw down the napkin, wanting to leave. The head waiter immediately stepped back, when Guan Yue said, “Wait!”
Guan Yue reached out to pull Tianhe, who turned to look at him angrily. Guan Yue said, “I still have something to say. Sit down.”
Tianhe, “I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to have this meal with you. I originally thought we could sit down together and talk about some other topics tonight.”
“I originally thought you wanted someone to listen to your feelings after resigning and talk about the future! As a result, what did I hear? Equity shares? Alright, I don’t understand capital operation. You are my investor, Epeus can be brought back to life depending on you. I’ll certainly listen to you. What else do you want from me? I’ll accept them then, is that OK now? I’m leaving!”
“Not until after the meal!” Guan Yue said. “I admit that I was impulsive that day, but you gave me the wrong message. Tian- Baby! Listen!”
Tianhe struggled to get free, but Guan Yue’s hand was tightly locked. The anger between Tianhe’s eyebrows was clearly visible. “Then promise me one thing first.”
Guan Yue, “Alright! I promise you!”
Tianhe, “Anything is possible?”
Guan Yue, “Yes. Sit down.”
Tianhe immediately sat down. A contract appeared in his hand and he put it down on the table in front of Guan Yue.
“Then it’s settled.”
Guan Yue, “......”
“I am now officially hiring you as the CEO of our company.” Tianhe uncapped Guan Yue’s fountain pen, which was what he had forcibly taken back at the office, handed it to Guan Yue, and earnestly said, “This is the contract that Tong Kai made for me. Lucy, you heard what Guan Yue said thirty seconds ago: anything is possible. Moreover, I will return the fountain pen to you.”
The head waiter only laughed and did not dare to butt in.
Pro, “Tianhe, your trap is simply unimpeachable. Neither he nor Tong Kai were the least bit vigilant.”
Guan Yue, “………………………………”
“Zijian helped me out with an idea,” Tianhe said seriously. “We originally wanted to fold the contract into a very small one, showing only a small bit that’s the signature area, find a passer-by to disguise as your fan, and have them ask you to sign. Once done, they will show you the contract and shout, “Yeah, ‘you’ve been taken into this pit!’’ However, it’s not always good to cheat the CEO.”
Guan Yue didn’t look at the contract but stared at Tianhe.
“If I sign it,” Guan Yue said, “are you willing to sit here and listen to what I have to say?”
Tianhe, “As long as you promise me that you would seriously consider it. My purpose was really to have a simple meal with you. It is you who first forced me to talk about equity shares replacement. Otherwise, who cares about…...”
Guan Yue opened up the contract and just signed without reading it.
“There are non-compete clauses,” Tianhe uneasily said. “You only need to spend some time, make some policy decisions for me, and leave the rest to the administration. You don’t need to do it yourself. I guarantee that it won’t dilly-dally too much of your time. In addition, you’re completely free to open your own investment company. Externally, you have all the strategic decision-making rights; Internally, you have all the administrative decision-making. On the capital and strategic levels, my sole veto power has also been transferred to you. You will exercise almost all the rights on behalf of me.”
Guan Yue handed the contract back to Tianhe. Tianhe was originally just teasing him, but didn’t expect for the former to sign, thus making him feel completely touched in an instant.
“Don’t mention it,” Guan Yue said. “It’s no big deal if my company does not open. I’ll work for the Wens’ all my life.”
“I didn’t mean it that way,” Tianhe helplessly replied. “Here we go again.”
“It’s not an irony,” Guan Yue earnestly said. “I really do have the notion of making Epeus expand. It would be even better if you allow me to take care of the investment company at the same time. Anyway, under the premise of cross-shareholding after the equity shares replacement, it doesn’t make much difference who the two companies belong to.”
He still hadn’t accepted the contract which was handed to him. “These are all for you.”
The more Tianhe saw Guan Yue being so conscientious, the more he felt a twinge of guilt.
Guan Yue said nothing and finished cutting the steak, as if his task today was just that.
The head waiter took it over and placed it in front of Tianhe.
Pro, “This is a bit awkward…”
Tianhe, “I said……”
Guan Yue, “How’s the recruitment going?”
Tianhe took a deep breath. “I don’t need a huge loan. For the meantime, there is only a funding gap of approximately 200 million yuan. If you are willing to be the CEO, I can ask Zijian to register a company and then invest in Epeus again to complete the F round of financing. This way, you only need to put forth 100 million……”
Guan Yue, “You don’t have to worry about the money. You’re the CTO. The capital structure has nothing to do with you. I asked, how’s the recruitment going?”
Tianhe suddenly felt that it wasn’t a good idea to invite Guan Yue to be Epeus’ Chairman. He would also surely manage it so justifiably and aboveboard.
“I still haven’t recruited one,” Tianhe said. “Nowadays, we are running short of product managers, leaders for the R&D group I and group II, as well as a General Manager in charge of commercial affairs and public relations. I’d like to settle on the R&D personnel first and divide them into two groups. We’ve really run short of people, so I’ll look after one group first. In the other group, the person in charge is either one or the other, both of which are very difficult to recruit. However, as long as the other party is willing to come, the team members can let him decide for himself.”
“I’ll accompany you the day after tomorrow,” Guan Yue said. “At ten o’clock in the morning, I will make an appointment. Give me their names.”
Tianhe, “No, I want to sleep! I’ve finally managed to get out of Qingsong and don’t have to clock in anymore, and now you want me to get up so early?!”
Guan Yue, “I’ll go by myself. Just tell me their names.”
“No, no……” Tianhe said. “Don’t act indiscreetly, Boss. You have to recruit quants incrementally… To win them over, I’ll try to reach them through a game of cards.”
Guan Yue, “Don’t prattle about ideals. To speak about money and the company’s future prospects, you have to have an inherent dominance to lead your team members to success. In addition to this, you should also handle enough money and allocate the projects shares in place……”
Tianhe said, “A lot of programmers actually don’t need money. What they want is……”
Guan Yue, “Everybody has a family to support. Prove your confidence to the technology and products by raising their salaries and keeping down overtime hours. Other than that, don’t talk superfluous words.”
Tianhe felt that they had already quarreled enough just to rebuild the company, and had to say, “Alright. Let’s not talk about work. How about some port wine? Lucy, please open a bottle of wine.”
Tianhe had some of the steak. Fortuitously, Fink tasted quite good today. The quality of taste varied from high to low, sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad.
“Aunt Fang came to the company that night and told me a lot of things,” Guan Yue said, as he drank some of the wine. “She specially mentioned that when you were four years old, you once took a bath and felt that the water was too cold……”
“Let’s just talk about work,” Tianhe said cordially, “I was wrong. How do we allocate the options better?”
Guan Yue thought about it and said, “Options are merely trivial. Epeus is planning to go public with an IPO in five years. Do you think it is feasible? I won’t consider reverse takeover. Do you prefer to be listed in the US or A-Shares? Perhaps H-Shares?”
“What else did Aunt Fang say?” Tianhe changed the subject again.
Guan Yue, “What do you really want to talk about?”
Tianhe, “Can’t we talk about something light and not embarrassing?”
Guan Yue, “Alright. You start.”
Tianhe, “Where do you plan to reside in your new home? Do you need some helpers?”
Guan Yue, “I thought I was given the keys to your house as your company’s CEO, which includes food and lodging.”
Tianhe, “That belongs to my eldest brother. You can stay there as long as you want. If you don’t mind, you can also……”
Tianhe wanted Guan Yue to come and live in his own home, but he had already said this for the third time. Guan Yue would naturally come if he wanted to. It would seem so shameless if he were to keep repeating it, thus he changed the subject once more and said, “Then Xiao Yi will be placed in my care for the time being? When shall I bring it to you?”
Guan Yue made a “hmn” sound and said, “Let it stay there. I’ll go and see it another day.”
Tianhe, “It likes to take things everywhere. I always think there’s a soul of a dog living in its body.”
Guan Yue absentmindedly shot a glance toward the ground floor, where the musician was playing the accordion table by table downstairs.
Guan Yue, “The first thing a tortoise does when it comes to an unfamiliar environment is to build a new nest for itself. Animals require a mate, their natural instincts make it so.”
“Building a nest won’t attract a mate.” Tianhe thought, Indeed, the house pets, Jin-Tian-Yi—this Detective Club ought to have mates at home. Otherwise, they would always feel lonely.
Tianhe originally wanted to talk about buying a mate for the snapping tortoise, when Guan Yue heedlessly spoke, “It does not understand, but has always been looking forward to, hence ignorance also has the joy of ignorance. Be sure not to reveal that to Xiao Yi, or else it will be very sad to know the truth.”
Tianhe, “I’m really fed up with your metaphors.”
Guan Yue, “I didn’t speak any metaphors, you’re overthinking. How can I compare myself to a tortoise?”
“Lucy, serve the dessert. I want to go home.”
“Right. Even in a quarrel, dessert must be eaten.”
Tianhe sternly said, “Since you’ve already signed the contract, I’ll consequently fulfill my promise and finish this dinner. BECAUSE I’M A MAN WHO RESPECTS MY PROMISES AND IS PUNCTUAL. This shows the esteem we hold towards each other.”
Guan Yue, “Well said, only I didn’t comprehend the esteem of that man. For instance, how many hours did that man wait in the museum that day?”
Tianhe, “I know you didn’t mean it. I can totally understand your difficulties. You were carrying a heavy burden of 3.3 billion pounds. You had to strenuously crawl from Wall Street to the museum. You were looking all around: always on guard against being stepped on, and waiting for green lights before crossing the road. Well, it took seven hours. That was quite normal.”
Guan Yue, “......”
Lucy served two ice creams, topped with Belgian chocolate and sprinkled with beautiful heart-shaped gold foil. The musician then came and began to play Bach’s Variations on the Canon.
Tianhe picked the scoop up and said, “Let’s change it to Beethoven’s Ode To Joy to celebrate this unforgettable night.”
The musician then changed to Ode To Joy.
Guan Yue, “Bach, we must follow according to Boss’s aesthetic taste.”
The musician then played Variations on the Canon once again.
Tianhe, “Beethoven, Chairman Guan is the boss.”
The music stopped. The violinist looked at the two of them, who were also looking at each other. All of a sudden, the music started again, turning into “Canon in D meets Ode To Joy.”
It was a mistake for Tianhe to think that these two songs could also be used seamlessly this way. He angrily ate a bite of ice cream.
Guan Yue, from across the table, watched him amidst the sound of “Canon in D meets Ode To Joy.”
“Lucy, could you please help me bring up the dripping Guanyin?” Guan Yue said.
Lucy was dying with laughter on the side, taking the phone.
Tianhe suddenly spat out a gold ring onto his spoon; it was exactly the one that Guan Yue took back when he was playing tricks on Guan Yue and the Ukrainian supermodel. Guan Yue had obviously already delivered it to the jewelry store for cleaning, thus the luster of glistening gold.
Tianhe was silent.
Guan Yue took a sip of coffee and then said in a deep low voice, “The best place to put the ring is in the dessert, so that if the other party isn't willing, they can just pay the bill and leave to lower the impact. Otherwise, it would be awkward, since we still have to have a meal together.”
Tianhe, not wishing to speak at this moment, gently placed the scoop on the table, letting the ring fall onto the small plate before picking it up.
Guan Yue’s index finger was slightly trembling as he held the cup of coffee.
Finally, Tianhe put the ring in his palm and looked up at Guan Yue — this countenance of him was so familiar to Tianhe, just like the countless moments that they had looked at each other before.
“I’ll think it over,” Tianhe said softly. “I will answer you in due course. I’ll see you soon.”
Guan Yue motioned to sign the bill and said, “Alright, I’ll wait for your response at any time.” Then, he picked up Tianhe’s windbreaker and escorted the latter out of Fink. He led Tianhe towards the car whilst the chauffeur was waiting on the side.
Tianhe was already in a confused state of mind. After getting in the car, he didn’t look back at Guan Yue again as he subconsciously looked down at the ring in his hand. The car window rolled up, obstructing his side profile. As the car left Guan Yue, Tianhe then looked back—feeling at a complete loss—and caught a glimpse of his solitary figure standing on the roadside.
Tianhe, like a child, wiped his tears using the back of his hand.
Guan Yue whistled softly at the disappearing Bentley before turning to walk back into Fink. As he held his credit card between his fingers, he briskly tapped the checkout counter to signal Lucy.
“Everything in the restaurant today is on me.”
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Joyce.