I stared at the mountain of contract and property certificates that filled the entire suitcase. It dawned on me that compared to these assets that my parents had left for me, those that my aunt took away were actually utterly worthless.
I had served as a soldier for five years and promoted to a non-commissioned officer after completing mandatory service. When I retired from the military, I took a look at myself in the mirror. It was hard for me to believe how much I have changed.
I did not return to the villa where my aunt lived. Instead, I rented an apartment outside. I did not want my aunt to know that I was back. It would be for the best if we never crossed paths again in this lifetime.
Han Kun wanted me to work at my family’s company, but I rejected his offer.
I would surely be the CEO if I worked at my family’s company. But to put it plainly, I have been in the military for so many years. How would I know how to run a company?
I found a job at a small-scale advertising firm that was hiring security guards. Companies like this had a fairly simple structure which would allow me to learn about a company's operations.
“You young fellow sure have your own ideas. That’s fine. Junran Group is also looking to expand into the advertising business and will be buying out a group of small-scale advertising companies soon. You can go and familiarize yourself with the business first.”
My father’s name was Zhang Jun, and my mother’s name was Ji Yanran. The name, Junran Group was derived from a combination of my parents’ names. Throughout the years, It had developed into Tong City’s largest business corporation. Thanks to that, I somehow became Tong City’s richest man.
However, outsiders were not aware of my relationship with the company. Even my aunt was unaware, much less the advertising firm that I had applied for.
The advertising firm saw that I had experience in the military and immediately hired me, so I rented a small apartment in a middle-class residential area near the company.
Little did I know that I would meet Lin Fang the next day after moving in.
I happened to arrive home when I saw the female neighbor standing at the corridor pick up a call.
“Hello, are you Manager Qu from Junran Group? We have spoken regarding that advertisement earlier.... Y-You are not interested anymore? Why? Can you please reconsider? We have still other plans available too. We can still make changes, hello? Hello?”
Initially, I only turned around after hearing the mention of Junran Group. But I saw that ever-familiar face- big, emotive eyes, and skin as pale as snow. She looked exactly the same as five years ago, except there was an air of maturity now. That person could only be Lin Fang.
I was in a turmoil of emotions and left speechless. After all, it was thanks to her that I ended up like this today. She had already entered her house when I regained my composure.
At night, I gave a call to Junran Group’s Manager Qu to inquire about the matter. Manager Qu was known for his bad temperament, so when he heard me asking about Lin Fang, he clicked his tongue, “That tiny advertisement firm’s proposal was utter garbage. That designer named Lin Fang graduated from a design faculty of some rubbish local university, and that trash design she came up with was just a joke. The color combination and design was like the countryside village’s platform stage. It can be summarized in one word, outdated. Two words, super outdated. Only that face of hers is passable. she is not much between the ears....”
I laughed while hanging up the phone. My feelings of fondness and hatred towards Lin Fang had long faded after so many years.
When I arrived at work on the second day, I immediately saw Lin Fang being called into the office by the fuming boss. Out of curiosity, I deliberately stood outside the door to listen in.
“Are you kidding me?! You lost Junran, our biggest client?! Fucking hell, aren’t you a good-for-nothing! That’s a two million deal! Get out right now! Scram!”
No wonder the boss was so angry. Two million was equivalent to a year worth of business expenses for this small advertisement firm.
“Mr. Lu, please don’t fire me. My younger brother injured someone and is waiting for me to pay the compensation. I really need this job,” Lin Fang sounded like she was on the verge of tears.
“Enough, enough. You are so annoying, always pulling this trick. This is the last chance I am giving you. I will invite Mr. Chen over for dinner tonight, and you will tag along with me. Be smarter at the table. Wear something sexier. We must clinch this deal with Mr. Chen at all costs!”
“But Mr. Lu, I am not in a relationship with Chen Yuzhou.”
“So what? I don’t care. What I want are business, deals, and cash! Let me make it clear to you. I will give you a 50,000 bonus if we close this deal. If not, don’t bother showing up for work tomorrow!”
I was about to leave after hearing the silence. But I was one step too late as I bumped into Lin Fang who walked out of the doors.
I tensed and waited for Lin Fang to recognize me nervously. I was not sure if she would apologize for what had happened during high school.
Contrary to expectations, Lin Fang simply sized me up and said, “Are you new here? Don’t eavesdrop next time. If Mr. Lu catches you, he will fire you.”
Little did I know that she did not even remember me. It was laughable that I actually thought she would apologize to me.
I nodded before turning around and walking away. I almost heard Lin Fang muttering to herself from behind: “This person looks so familiar. Did I meet him somewhere before? Why didn’t he thank me?”
Wow, I actually owe her a word of thanks now? What a joke.
During the afternoon, all I needed to do was to sit beside the company’s reception desk and prevent unauthorized outsiders from entering the premises. Although work was very easy, I was disappointed by the fact that this position had nothing to do with management. If I knew earlier, I would have applied as a chauffeur instead.
When it was almost time to knock off work, Mr. Lu asked me to stay behind.
“Zhang, do you know how to drive?”
“Yes, Mr. Lu. I got my driving license in the military.”
While I was speaking, I saw Ling Fang walking out of the office. She had changed into a yellow low-cut tulle dress. Her chest was so pale that it reflected light. She had light make-up on, and she had let down her hair. After hearing our conversation, she lifted her head and glanced at me. My heart skipped a beat at that moment. She was still as beautiful as when she was in high school.
“That’s great. Accompany us to a dinner meeting tonight. I need to drink so you will drive for me.”
My attention was all focused on Lin Fang. Mr. Lu waved his hands back and forth in front of my eyes before I snapped out of my trance. It was obvious that both of them had noticed my loss of composure. Lin Fang blushed and shielded her chest. Mr. Lu sneered and said in a low voice, “Stop looking. Young lad, you will never have such good luck with women in this lifetime. How are your driving skills? Don’t wreck my newly-bought Land Rover.”
His statement was indeed true. Other women would be fine but I definitely cannot handle Lin Fang. I shook my head hard to discard those little thoughts I had about Lin Fang from my mind.
The place was Tong City’s renowned hotel with a long history, Spring Garden . When my mother was still around, she loved their bean curd with crab roe. It almost closed down due to poor management a few years ago, so I bought the business under my name. Han Kun recommended a hotel manager to help with the operations. It has become the most popular hotel in Tong City after a makeover.
Supposedly, Mr. Lu was the one treating Chen Yuzhou to dinner, but no matter how I looked at it, it seemed like Chen Yuzhou was treating Lin Fang to dinner instead. According to Mr. Lu, Chen Yuzhou had been wooing Lin Fang and almost succeeding in his pursuit.