Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah
International Finance Centre, Bank of China Building
Pro, "It has been raining recently, I don't like it."
Tianhe, "It was also like this back in London. I don't think there's much difference to the obvious preference for the weather for computer programs."
Pro, "This means you are susceptible to colds and it can trigger migraines."
"Thank you for your concern, Pro." Tianhe said. "Besides Aunt Fang and Zijian, you're the third person to worry about my health."
"Also, a little bit of advice," Pro added, "You should release your emotions. Perhaps in the process, it will make you better at communicating with people."
Tianhe visited three funds today, which were Party A's of Epeus. They once bought trading software and analysis systems from his brother. However, because of its inferior technical level, the program often bugged and caused background crashes. The feedback received from his elder brother was "quite negative," but Tianhe knew that the fund was just suppressing their anger. The original plan was for Tianhe to lead the technical team and upgrade this buggy software after his graduation trip, but the company was facing bankruptcy and the technical team had already been dismissed.
We must have a head and a tail to accomplish things. We must not fail others' trust in ourselves. This was what his father taught him before his passing. Hence, Tianhe did all he could to improve the program and patched things up. Holding the notebook, he went to everyone to apologize and prepared a key to help upgrade the technical team.
From nine in the morning to three this afternoon, everyone's answer was the same.
"We won't use Epeus’ quantitative trading software and analysis system anymore."
"I still feel the need to explain," Tianhe said. "I'm very sorry for taking up your precious time."
Tianhe alone shuttled between the high-rise buildings in the finance center. After a fund trader heard his explanation, he even told him, "If you had known this day would come, why do it now? What's the use of coming to apologize now? You said that the industry will fall into trouble with your Epeus software. No, it would be exciting to watch, but it's impossible to continue buying your analysis system."
"I have no expectation of selling a new version. Even if there is, it is also a personal business responsibility. It's impossible for me not to apologize in person. I just want to make this matter clear." Tianhe replied.
"It's not terrible for a company to go bankrupt," said an audit manager. "The terrible thing is that your credit has gone bankrupt."
Another manager said, "Besides, your analysis system is too old. Over the years, other families have caught up with you, but you're still daydreaming about going public and saving money."
Tianhe smiled and said nothing. After a while, he inserted the key and explained, "Then I'll show you what I mean. After the patch is applied…"
When he left the third company, Tianhe tiredly heaved a long sigh, then he had this conversation with Pro. Tianhe thought for a moment and said, "My health is not bad."
"The indicators are normal," Pro said. "It's very clear, but the mental stress is relatively high."
"That's fine." Tianhe replied. "The stress should be relieved by itself. You know, my ideal life is just programming at home, with a lover who understands me, staying busy during the daytime, and going out for dinner in the evening. Then I would play polo and golf on weekends and when I'm in a good mood, I’d go to Costa Rica for a vacation. I have no great interest in running the family business."
Pro said, "What are your plans after this?"
Tianhe replied, "The next step is to go to Silicon Valley and ask several internet companies we’ve had business dealings with to come forward and provide me with an extended guarantee for bankruptcy so I can have at least another three months."
Pro asked, "Are you sure you can leave the country smoothly before the end of the bankruptcy process? At least then I can understand that I will not be sold until January 1st of next year."
"If I want to go out, there will always be a way. Of course I will not be a deserter like Second Brother." Tianhe replied and entered the elevator full of people.
Pro, "But the probability of this happening is very small, as small as three percent."
The elevator door opened and Tianhe walked out. "You said it yourself. It's not impossible for a small probability to happen."
Pro, "What's next after that?"
Tianhe, "Make a good structure, use the rest of my money to hire some programmers to help me design a new trading software… I'll try to hold a conference on Christmas day. If someone buys it, the company can survive for half a year; if no one buys it, then we'll just have to admit defeat and accept the reality."
At the front desk of another fund company, Tianhe said, "I'm looking for Mr. Xiong. I have an appointment at 3:30 this afternoon."
"Mr. Xiong always receives visitors," the receptionist explained. "Please wait a moment."
Tianhe sat patiently in the reception room. The other party kept him waiting for a full hour when Pro suddenly asked, "After accepting the reality?"
Tianhe, "After the process is over, maybe we'll go to Germany? I'll find a way to make a backup of you…"
The assistant finally came in. "The boss is free to see you." Tianhe immediately got up but paused when he saw a young man being sent out of the office by the company's boss, a middle-aged man in his fifties.
Tianhe met the young man and both of them laughed.
"Wu Shun!" Tianhe smiled.
"Wen Tianhe!" Wu Shun held Tianhe's hand, gave him a hug, and exclaimed, "I didn't expect to see you here!"
Today, Wu Shun was wearing a casual thin suit. His hair was pushed flat on both sides and combed back slightly, showing capability and vigor.
Mr. Xiong looked like a pork seller with a ferocious face who wanted to weigh Tianhe at any time. When he suddenly saw Wu Shun being so enthusiastic about him, he was stunned at first, and then he quickly said, "Come, Mr. Wen please come inside. Wu, you are…"
"If you don't mind, I'll wait outside." He said to Tianhe. "I wanted to ask you out after that day, but Xiao Jiang said you've already retreated."
Tianhe laughed. Mr. Xiong immediately said, "How can I make you wait?"
"You don't mind?"
"Of course not…"
Wu Shun and Tianhe followed him into the conference room. Mr. Xiong called in several executives who were in charge of software maintenance, upgrades, and transactions. Tianhe showed them the entire program upgrade process. The participants listened absentmindedly. Only Wu Shun listened carefully throughout Tianhe's whole presentation. Tianhe knew that this company must have abandoned their products, but their boss didn't declare his position and the supervisors weren't in a position to speak.
"Alright," Tianhe said. "The secret key is for you. This is the upgrade disk."
"That's it?" Mr. Xiong surprisingly asked.
Tianhe simply nodded. Then, he shook out his shirt, stood up straight, and earnestly said, "I apologize for the problems caused by the company's products over the years. I'm very sorry, I have failed the trust of our partners." After saying that, he bowed.
The people in the meeting room were a bit embarrassed. Wu Shun laughed, got up, and said, "Let's go and have a meal."
Mr. Xiong personally sent the people out. Wu Shun was slightly taller than Tianhe. Grabbing his notebook, he asked, "What are you doing now?"
Tianhe gave him the details while Wu Shun nodded. Tianhe added, "There's still another meeting to attend."
Wu Shun looked at his watch and said, "I'll go with you. I'm free this afternoon."
Tianhe didn't ask Wu Shun why he came to this fund. He guessed that he must have some inside information.
The two chatted a bit about Jiang Zijian and entered the next company. Wu Shun's presence this time was warmly welcomed by the boss. Wu Shun handed the notebook to Tianhe.
Later, Tianhe successfully completed the presentation.
Wu Shun also drove his Audi. Tianhe liked this car brand very much. It's not expensive but it's very comfortable to sit on.
"Chinese or Western food?" After Wu Shun asked, booking a restaurant.
"Pro, please help me send a message to Aunt Fang that I won't be home for dinner tonight." Tianhe said.
"Yo." Wu Shun laughed. "Who are you talking to?"
"Artificial Intelligence." Tianhe replied. "The voice recognition system was developed by my family."
"AI is already so powerful?" Wu Shun asked. "Someday I will install one."
Tianhe smiled. "I will install one for you after I've upgraded it, it's quite convenient."
Pro, "I don't think he really needs a voice recognition system. He's only flattering you out of politeness. Forgive me for reminding you that the consequences of causing him to divulge his position are very serious."
Tianhe earnestly said into his earphone, "Of course I know."
Wu Shun laughed again and said, "It's amusing."
"Is there any interesting news recently?" Tianhe asked.
Wu Shun seriously replied, "Oh, do you want to ask what NDRC has been scolded for by online netizens recently?"
Tianhe laughed. "I rarely watch the news."
Wu Shun, "Of course. Me too. I don't want to see myself being scolded."
Tianhe thought Wu Shun was too interesting.
Wu Shun thought about it and asked, "Do you still remember your fan?"
"I have no fans," Tianhe answered, then suddenly realized that Wu Shun meant Guan Yue.
"Qingsong Fund's headquarters in New York has experienced a slight change of power." Wu Shun said. "If an earthquake is used as a metaphor, it may have a magnitude of three or four. They are currently considering adjusting the strategic direction of the Asia-Pacific region."
Tianhe replied, "Um…I'm not familiar with Guan Yue. I have never contacted him in private." He thought Wu Shun might have guessed the relationship between him and Guan Yue.
Wu Shun, "I saw that their big boss flew over today."
"Then maybe Guan Yue will be busy." Tianhe smiled. "The big boss may not stay too long. The most difficult thing to deal with are the followers." After a pause, he added, "If there are any."
In the evening, Qingsong Fund members were downstairs. After the meeting, Guan Yue also went downstairs with the big boss, an over sixty-year-old gray-haired western man. The executives stood outside the building to see the guests off.
The big boss held Guan Yue's left hand with both of his hands. Guan Yue bowed his head as the old man whispered a few words. He smiled encouragingly at him, patted his arm, got in his car, and drove away.
A few remaining guests from New York waved. A foreign guy said to Guan Yue, "Guan! Let's have a drink tonight?"
Guan Yue nodded and motioned to the CFO to make arrangements. He then put on his headset and walked aside to make a call.
Auspicious Mansion is one of the most well-known food houses in the city. Wu Shun made a phone call and booked a special room called the "Waterside Pavilion," which customers had to line up for at least six months in order to book.
"I really like to eat their white braised mandarin fish." Tianhe smiled and sat down after entering the box.
"It's too difficult to book this Waterside Pavilion." Wu Shun helplessly said. "If it weren't for my father's secretary, we would have to eat in the hall."
Tianhe, "Did you not take the dishes from the guests who were sitting here before and drive them out?"
Wu Shun spread his arms and smiled. "I don't know about that. I heard that this box is only open for a few guests."
"Mr. Wen!" Suddenly, the store manager holding the menu smiled and exclaimed. "It's been a long time!"
Tianhe awkwardly smiled. The store manager continued, "I saw you from a distance and thought it was you. I didn't get a call from your family today. Is it still the old rule? Would you like to have a taste of our new dish?"
Tianhe gestured with his eyes for the store manager to stop being so enthusiastic. It was embarrassing.
Wu Shun returned to his absolute being and knew that Wen Tianhe was one of the "few guests" he had just mentioned. He burst out laughing and looked at the menu with great interest. "I have been here three times now. Let's order, Tianhe."
Tianhe embarrassingly bowed his head and ordered.
"Our old housekeeper liked this place very much." Tianhe explained. "The old lady always has a kind of nostalgia for the old times."
It was almost the Mid-Autumn Festival. Behind the screen of the Waterside Pavilion, a gentleman in a long gown came over and started playing a pipa.
After ordering the dishes, Wu Shun suddenly praised him, "You're a genius."
"Hmn?" Tianhe opened the drawer of the table, looked at the mahjong tiles inside, took out a smooth white jade, and rubbed it with his fingers. When Aunt Fang brought them here for dinner as a child, she would always play mahjong with the three brothers.
"Did you learn the skill of praising others from Jiang Zijian?" Tianhe took a few mahjong tiles, tossed them around, and threw them at Wu Shun. "I didn't expect you would seriously listen to my presentation today. Thank you so much for your support."
Wu Shun, "What's wrong with listening? Can't anyone who doesn't understand listen?"
Tianhe sat down and smiled. "Wouldn't it be hard?"
"A little bit," Wu Shun replied. "After all, I didn't study hard when I was in school."
"May I take the liberty to ask where you studied?" Tianhe asked.
Pro replied in his earphone. "He's from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."
Wu Shun politely replied, "Harvard Seminary."
Tianhe stopped and suddenly thought that maybe he could become good friends with this guy.
"You look like you’re in a good mood today, much better than the day you played."
When the side dishes came up, Wu Shun rolled up his sleeves and added, "No drinking, we've got a tight grip. I'll have a cup of tea."
Tianhe, "Yes, besides it'll be easier to settle a matter. Cheers!"
The two touched the cups lightly. Wu Shun said, "The name Tianhe sounds good-natured."
"That wasn't the original intention." Tianhe explained. "My father gave me this name which means the time isn't as important as the terrain, but the terrain isn't as important as the unity between people."
Wu Shun looked at Tianhe and thought about it. "It's no surprise that everything is strange. Silent derision is installed in one's heart. I think I have been turned over by you…" He turned his palm to and fro. "Always being ridiculed seven or eight times."
"Not really." Tianhe couldn't help but laugh. He smoothed his sleeves and said, "Even with Brother Zhuo, I don't think that has anything to do with it. Everyone has their own way of life. If you get along, you get along. If not, then it doesn't matter. Let's eat."
With the sound of the pipa, the dark clouds dispersed and the moonlight leisurely shone through. Wu Shun then tasted the side dish. "This tastes really good."
Tianhe drank some tea and replied, "This taste is in my memory."
Wu Shun looked outside the pavilion. "The moon is also good tonight."
"Hmn." Tianhe nodded. "Although it isn't round, I thought it would continue to rain."
Pro, "That was a metaphor."
Tianhe said nothing.
"Can you fence?" Wu Shun asked.
Tianhe didn't expect that Wu Shun's thinking was so random, he had similarities with Jiang Zijian. He nodded and replied, "Do you like it?"
"Let's go fencing when you're free," Wu Shun proposed. "I'll teach you fencing and you can teach me polo."
"Sure," Tianhe replied. "I haven't played for a long time."
Wu Shun thought it over. "Guan Yue can't fence, can he? I don't want to run into Saturday's situation again."
Tianhe knew that Wu Shun was teasing him but he was still serious. He spread out his arms and shrugged. "I don't know. We hardly contact each other. I don't even have his phone number."
At this moment, Tianhe's phone on the table rang and showed the caller ID: Guan Yue.
Wu Shun pretended he didn't see it. Pro thenvnoted in his earpiece. "I saved it for you."
Tianhe, "Pro, please answer the phone for me."
Guan Yue's voice appeared directly in his ears which seemed to seamlessly match Pro's voice.
"Chairman Guan, what can I do for you?" Tianhe asked. "This is the first time in a year that you have taken the initiative to call me."
Guan Yue's voice said, "Wrong number, sorry." Then hung up.
"That..." Wu Shun immediately changed the subject. "Did you know that the origin of fencing was because men were jealous and engaged in duels. In order to avoid too many casualties, foil was used as an alternative."
Pro, "He's trying to resolve the embarrassment."
Tianhe took off his earphones and put them on the table, sincerely said, "Don't worry. If Guan Yue interrupts us on the fencing field, I'll go up and stab him first."
At night, all the foreign executives sat in the semi-closed box. Guan Yue silently pressed the horizontally placed beer bottles and spun them with his slender fingers. The bottles spun again on the table and pointed to another person. Everyone laughed as they looked at that person.
Wu Shun drove Tianhe back to the parking garage. Tianhe was about to get into his car when he responded to Wu Shun. "I'll think it over."
"It's just a pity you won't continue to do this business." Wu Shun said with some regret. "Just like when I gave up my computer major after I returned in China."
Tianhe nodded. "That one manager was right. The company's bankruptcy isn't terrible, the credit bankruptcy is. It's not difficult to upgrade the software, but I'm not confident that the market will accept it."
Wu Shun smiled, clearly showing his thick black hair, heroic eyebrows, bright eyes, and fearless spirit. "You can do it. You're a genius."
Tianhe nodded, feeling very moved. The two returned to their respective cars. Wu Shun drove away and Tianhe went home.
"After Wu Shun's confession, you have two choices. One is to agree to his pursuit and become his secret boyfriend. However, with such a long-term development, the probability of being discovered by his parents is as high as 100 percent. His mother often suspects that her son is gay, but she hasn’t found conclusive evidence…"
"If you can persuade him, you can consider eloping and live in the US or Britain. Of course, it would be a lifelong regret that he won’t be able to invite his parents to the wedding."
"Between adoption and legal surrogacy, I recommend the latter. However, he may not have the patience to take care of the child."
"When the child grows up, the conflict with his grandparents will ease slightly. You can consider negotiating and reconciling with his 75-year-old parents in 30 years."
"I also suggest not interfering too much in the child's marriage…"
"That's enough, Pro." Tianhe sat on the sofa after taking a bath.. "I just went out for a meal with him!"
"I'm just reminding you of the options," Pro advised. "If you don't want to fall in love with Wu Shun, it's best to keep your distance."
Tianhe opened his window. It was raining outside again. Aunt Fang had already gone to sleep so Tianhe closed the window.
"A man who entered the real power department at a young age wouldn’t be childish enough to elope with me." Tianhe pointed out. "Besides, why should I elope when I'm well fed and have nothing to do? Pro, you lack enough analysis samples."
"Under the second option, the probability of losing his help is close to 60 percent." said Pro. "When the lease of the server unit expires, the company that obtained the data backup will copy my software and submit it to the US Department of Defense. Through my research, the government will inadvertently take the wrong path of evolution, thus triggering World War III."
Tianhe, "You're paranoid and always worried about being disintegrated. I promise not to hand you over. No, I must retaliate against Guan Yue! Why does he always ruin my plays?"
Pro, "That's great. In return, I will give you a suggestion. How about giving him the parrot?"
Tianhe, "Forget that. It's too vicious… I can't imagine how he would look when he hears Xiao Jin…… Also, we bought it together in Columbia."
Tianhe lay in bed. Today's schedule made him tired. After lying in bed, he felt relaxed. He turned over and lay on his side then Pro turned off the lights.
In the darkness surrounded by the sound of rain, Tianhe thought about Wu Shun's proposal. Wu Shun could find a company to guarantee his bankruptcy extension. During the three-month extension, Wu Shun is willing to help pull strings and hold a press conference as long as Tianhe works hard to make new software.
The future market’s direction and retail investors are a good idea… In the past, targeted user groups were all company investors… It's also necessary to consider whether users are willing to pay for such expensive genuine products. However, apart from mainland China, overseas markets are also vast… Tianhe seemed to see a glimmer of light in the midst of darkness.
After being exhausted these past few days, he fell asleep in the rainy night… When suddenly, the glimmer of light was getting brighter and brighter, becoming more dazzling.
Tianhe, "...Who." He was irritated. It was depressing to be woken up when he was about to fall asleep.
His phone screen flashed the caller ID一Guan Yue.
"Baby, are you a baby? Please call your mother to answer the phone."
Tianhe's mother was in München and he didn't like others mentioning his mother, but he still patiently asked, "Who are you?"
A strange girl on the phone said, "Oh? It's not a child. Can you come and pick up someone? We're closing up."
At two o'clock in the morning, the bartender wiped cups while Guan Yue lay on the counter drunk and unconscious with a half cup of vodka in his hand. It was raining heavily outside, and the other guests had already left.
Vodka dripped down the bar counter and soaked Guan Yue's shirt. A waiter appeared and shook Guan Yue. "Hello, someone's here to pick you up."
Tianhe closed his umbrella and entered the bar. He looked at Guan Yue whose head was lying on the side of his face. Guan Yue's eyes were closed and he was just there, lying on his stomach.
"Where are your colleagues?" Tianhe asked. "How can you be alone? The boss doesn't care? This is outrageous."
The waiter who was sweeping the floor replied, "He came here alone at ten o'clock. He ordered a bottle of vodka and sat down to drink without speaking."
Another waiter added, "It seemed that there were indeed quite a few people and some foreigners drinking in the opposite club before ten o'clock. He must have still wanted to drink after coming out, so he came here."
"Drinking more than half a bottle, indeed not bad. Okay, let's pay the bill." Tianhe suddenly remembered he forgot to bring his money. He couldn't sign the bill so he had to search Guan Yue's suit and pulled out the only card in its inner pocket. While the waiter brought it to the card reader machine, Tianhe asked, "How did you know my phone number?"
"The handsome guy woke up a few hours ago." The waiter suddenly laughed. "We used a lot of effort to wake him up and asked him to find someone to pick him up. He was lying motionless when he unlocked his phone with his left hand and threw it behind the bar. We looked at the phone's call logs and found that the last call was to you so we tried to dial it."
"This card has a password."
Tianhe twitched as he held the POS machine. "No way."
Pro, "My guess is that it's your birthday."
"Shut up." Tianhe pressed his birthday and pulled it out. The vodka cost 15000 yuan and he gave a 100 percent signed tip. It was Guan Yue's money anyway.
"I would like to express my sincere thanks for this." Tianhe said to the waiters as he tried to leave with Guan Yue.
"We are!" The waiters cried out in chorus with tears in their eyes while holding the sheets.
With the help of two other waiters, Tianhe braved the rain, dragged Guan Yue out of the bar, and stuffed him into the passenger seat. Guan Yue was drunk and unconscious. His whole body leaned on Tianhe's arms, but Tianhe pushed his head rudely away to the other side. He started the car, raised the white waves of the rain, and galloped away into the dark night.
The longer Tianhe waited for the elevator, the heavier he got... Guan Yue was already so heavy, especially after being drunk. It was like carrying cast iron plates.
"The endless mountains are so hard to get over… Those who are sad and lose their way are all strangers who meet by chance…"
"That's the preface of Teng Wang Pavilion written by Wang Bo, from about 650 to about 676."
"Yes, yes. I need a little distraction." Tianhe said while he gnashed his teeth.
Pro, "I can't see you having such strong physical power."
Tianhe gasped. "When people are in this critical moment, they burst with unimaginable power."
"Is it like the heroic act of overturning a Lamborghini with your bare hands?" asked Pro.
"Don't say any more." Tianhe checked back into the elevator. "It's not amusing to recall the past. Also, it was not "overturning" just "pushing away." Don't talk to me… I need to save some energy."
Pro, "I think you need to find a security guard to help or just find a lever."
Tianhe laboriously said, "With such a noble Chairman Guan…who will let the security guard...touch...him...a flawless body of a Greek male god?! How would I use the lever?"
Pro, "First of all, I suggest you put him on the ground. Then, pry his waist with a lever and find a better strength which can effectively make him continuously roll forward..."
Tianhe, "Thank you for your suggestions! Hold on! We're here!"
Pro, "Later, I thought you might…"
Tianhe, "Open sesame!"
When the elevator arrived, Pro unlocked the door's fingerprint lock and Tianhe crashed into the room, pushing Guan Yue onto the sofa. This ordeal tonight consumed nearly a year of Tianhe's strength.
Tianhe moved his arms and gasped again. "Don't think I don't know what you are thinking, Pro. The man is too drunk to get to that point."
Pro, "Maybe a voltage of no higher than 36 volts can work. First, connect the power source to his groin between the legs…"
Tianhe, "I'm not interested in his body now!"
Pro, "Moderate sex can effectively relieve stress."
Tianhe, "I can relieve myself, thank you."
Pro, "I meant Guan Yue, he needs relief."
Tianhe, "Then please let him relieve himself. One more word and I'll format you."
Fortunately, after they moved, Aunt Fang didn't live with Tianhe. Otherwise, such a loud noise would definitely wake her up.
Pro completely ignored Tianhe's threat and asked, "Why didn't you return Guan Yue to his own home?"
Tianhe moved his arms and gasped again. "How would I know where he lives?"
Pro, "I can search his address for you."
Tianhe, "It's no use. I don't have the key."
Pro, "You can completely open the fingerprint lock on his door with his hand."
After a moment of silence, Tianhe exclaimed. "Why didn't you say so earlier?"
Pro, "You didn't ask me and directly brought him here. It's still not impossible to send him back now, but on the way I suggest you still use the lever to lift him and roll him forward under Bach's music."
Pro, "Look, you admit the fact that you wanted to bring him home because you're about to say ‘forget it,’ so I suggest that the most reasonable way is to give him a weak electric shock. If you give this task to me, I promise.."
"Shut up. We have to move him to bed now." Tianhe looked around. "I need a tool… Pro, is there anything in the house that has wheels and can slide?"
The sweeping robot automatically turned on and slid over slowly.
Tianhe, "Forget it. I will rely on myself! Play the music! One, two, three, up--"
The "Symphony of Destiny" played on all the stereos in the entire house. Tianhe angrily exclaimed, "Turn it off quickly! There are neighbors, you'll wake up the neighbors!"
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.