Chapter 17: Strawberry
“Chu Qin hasn’t recovered yet, I can’t even bear to let him record regular programs,” Zhong Yibin said coldly. The protectiveness in his tone was unmistakable.
This was the truth. Originally, other than Confusion, Chu Qin also had other programs under him at the station. Zhong Yibin refused to let him go and let others substitute for him instead. These words took on a different meaning after entering the ears of other people, it was clear that the boss was protecting this pillar.
Zhou Zimeng was so taken aback that her eyes widened. Although the Zhong Yibin from the past would not be happy to hear people badmouthing Chu Qin, it was not to the extent that he would directly refute elders. Her impression of Zhong Yibin was that he had always been a gentle, courteous and noble son.
Father Zhou’s original intentions was to find a topic to chat about. He hadn’t expected to provoke Zhong Yibin. Wanting to strike a conversation to end the embarrassing situation, he turned to speak to Zhong Jiabin about the current project, “The demand for funds is too large, we can’t handle it. We’ll still need to rely on Big Fish to fork out most of the capital.”
Zhong Jiabin looked down and swirled the glass of red wine in his hand. Shengshi could also afford the amount of capital needed this time but there was no need to do so. This project would not make profits. What everybody wanted was the benefits attached to the project. The man surnamed Zhou wanted to let Big Fish be someone with more money than sense, meaning he thought that the CEO of Big Fish was young and easy to deceive.
Thinking back to when he just entered Shengshi, all those ‘uncles’ also presented this kindly and amiable image to cheat him of his money. He still had his father at his side to guide him but the CEO of Big Fish was not the same. His father just passed away in an aviation accident and a group of uncles were eyeing the position.
Just as he said this, there was a commotion in the crowd. Zhong Yibin turned his head and saw someone pushing the door open after coming late. A person clothed in a silver-grey suit walked out from the light. A bright yellow dragon ornamental handkerchief was stuffed in his jacket pocket. He had a slender figure and outstanding temperament. He was the new CEO for the Big Fish Group, Yu Tang.
“Xiao Yu is here!”
People rushed up enthusiastically and Zhou Zimeng was also dragged off by her father to greet guests. Zhong Yibin’s surroundings were finally quiet. In a flash, he arrived at the snack table in search of something to eat.
The women at the banquet were all in evening dresses and the men were in smart suits. As a rule, they would not touch the food on the tables in order to maintain their image, only a glass of wine to wet the mouth.
However, Zhong Yibin didn’t care. Regardless of whether he knew them in the past or not, he did not recognize anyone now so there was nothing to be self-conscious of. He picked up a fork and tasted all the foods that looked tasty.
The Zhong family’s big brother had no idea how to handle his brother so he let him be and stood further away from him to interact with others.
Looking at the cake filled from fresh strawberries, Zhong Yibin’s eyes lighted up. In his memories, Chu Qin loved eating anything strawberry flavored. He didn’t know if that guy was obedient and had his meals since he was not home today. As these thoughts ran through his mind, his hand reached out towards the cake and bumped against another extended hand mid-air.
Zhong Yibin turned and saw a guy dressed in a black shirt, black suit and black sunglasses. He was also sporting a bald head. That man looked curiously at him from behind the black lenses, as if he had discovered something novel. After all, it was not common to see bodyguards stealing cake while their employer attended a banquet. It was not easy finding such fellow enthusiasts.
“…” Zhong Yibin was speechless. Which family did this bodyguard belong to, not standing nicely at the corner and even coming over to snatch his cake.
“Yibin!” His brother’s voice could be heard from a corner. Zhong Yibin made a gesture to the waiter at the side, indicating for the other party to wrap a slice of strawberry cake for him to take when he left. Only then did he leave to find his big brother.
That bodyguard dressed in black stared at him and thought that that was a good idea, so he also let the waiter wrap one up for him. The waiter rolled his eyes. Did these people know that this was a high-class business banquet and not a buffet!
Zhong Yibin walked over and saw the young CEO of Big Fish, Yu Tang, standing beside his brother, gracefully clinking their glasses. Other people who had wanted to interact with Zhong Jiabin did not dare to, this man must have thrown off a swarm of people and walked over directly.
“This is the younger brother?” Yu Tang had a heroic appearance and his gaze was very aggressive.
Zhong Yibin looked at him and felt that this person was somewhat familiar, “I seem to have seen Director Yu somewhere…” He paid special attention to all faces that left an impression in his memory.
“The history textbook?” Yu Tang raised an eyebrow.
Zhong Yibin was distracted for a moment. Only then did he remember the documentary he saw in the email two days ago. One of the documentaries on the Sui Dynasty that Shensghi was filming contained a portrait of an emperor that resembled this person in front of him. No wonder he felt that Yu Tang looked familiar. He couldn’t help smiling slightly, anything that felt familiar to him would let him feel a sense of closeness to it, even if it was just an accident, “It’s a documentary, Shengshi TV is preparing to release a documentary on the Sui Dynasty.”
After learning that Zhong Yibin was in charge of managing Shengshi TV and Shengshi Entertainment, Yu Tang expressed his interest and started chatting with Zhong Yibin about the documentary on the Sui Dynasty. Zhong Yibin just started mastering his work the past two days and had paid more attention to this project, so the had a lot to talk about.
“I recently invested in a television series about the Sui Dynasty, do you have any interest in it?” Yu Tang took a sip of his red wine.
The television series was still in its shooting stage hence it was necessary to start discussion about the station that would be broadcasting it. The television series’ main channel of profit was the station’s purchase of the right to broadcast. Zhong Yibin did not reply immediately. After finishing the champagne in his hand, he raised his hand and changed to a glass of red wine, clinking glasses with Yu Tang, “Director Yu’s investment would definitely be a good project. It is just that my brother never gives me money, so I’ll have to look if we can afford it.”
“Hahaha…” Yu Tang laughed. He glanced at the namecard Zhong Yibin passed to him and placed it in his jacket pocket without bringing the topic up again.
One must be careful not to overdo it when talking about business and a road back should always be left for each other.
“Xiao Tang, why did you leave so suddenly?” Father Zhou’s voice could be heard behind them. The three of them turned around to see Father Zhou leading Zhou Zimeng back.
Yu Tang clinked glasses with Father Zhou and continued to chat with Zhong Jiabin, “I also have a younger brother, just that he is still young.”
“Childhood is precious, you should treasure it,” Zhong Jiabin glanced at his younger brother who was becoming more and more carefree from the corner of his eye. His words carried an inscrutable wisp of envy.
The corner of Zhong Yibin’s mouth curled. Seeing that the waiter had finished packing his cake, he wanted to leave.
“Yes, it is most fun when children are young. Meng Meng was especially cute when she only reached my knees. As long as she opened her eyes wide and said, “Father I want this,” I would be willing to get it for her even if it is the moon in the sky,” Uncle Zhou forcefully interrupted, managing to smoothly make a connection.
“Er Bing!” Wu Wan rushed out from who knows where, grabbing onto Zhong Yibin. “I’ve been searching for you for half a day!”
Zhong Yibin had heard this voice from the phone before and knew he was Wu Wan. This person was particularly noisy so Zhong Yibin dragged him to a corner to avoid disrupting his big brother and the others from talking about business, “what are you finding me for?”
“We haven’t met for two weeks already. Ai, let’s go to Huange this Friday, you treat,” Wu Wan decided directly.
Huange was Shengshi’s Huange Entertainment Club, it was also under Shengshi but was not managed by Zhong Yibin. Zhong Yibin also wanted to learn more about his past connections early on, but he still paused for a moment, “Let’s wait and see, see if Chu Qin is free.” Only if Chu Qin goes can he recognize anyone.
Wu Wan listened to these words and his mouth fell open in surprise, as if he was a ghost, “Zhong Erbing, you can’t mean that! Seeing Chu Qin’s expression every time you come out to play, how have you fallen to this level?”
Zhong Yibin frowned slightly. Did the past him not give Chu Qin an explanation when he went out? He didn’t feel that there was anything shameful about doing so. Thinking of Chu Qin who was still lying down at home, he couldn’t linger any longer and waved off Wu Wan to return to his brother’s side.
“Chu Qin is alone at home, I don’t feel at ease,” Zhong Yibin spoke softly. He picked up the cake and prepared to leave.
The Zhong family’s big brother who happened to be drinking wine, suddenly choked on the red wine and turned his head to eye his younger brother.
Yu Tang, who was irritated by the Zhou Family’s father and daughter, saw that Zhong Jiabin wasn’t speaking and placed his wine glass down to say, “It’s not early anymore, there are people waiting for me at home.” Saying this, he didn’t look at Father Zhou’s surprised face and turned around to leave.
The bodyguard dressed in black who was eating cake instantly came over and followed behind Yu Tang. They left that confidently, leaving behind an uncle who was unsuccessful in swindling money and Zhong Yibin, who was elated that he could finally return home.
Back home, as expected, Chu Qin had not eaten and was lying on the bed playing with his phone.
This weekend, Confusion broadcasted what he had filmed previously, so there were no problems. It was another program who changed people because there broadcasting live. Shengshi’s renumeration to their hosts was calculated on a regular basis. Except for their fixed annual salary of 360 000 yuan, Chu Qin would be given 15 000 yuan for every week he recorded, which would be settled at the end of the month. Opening the calculator on his phone and calculating the past two weeks of missed programs, the one week of Confusion, the substitutes for two cycles, one dinner event…. So much money….
Thinking about it made his flesh ache. Last time, he opened a restaurant with his friends and invested a lot of money. Now that it was still in the start-up stage, money was used up as quickly as running water. Chu Qin sighed in bed. He should buy insurance for himself so that he would not lose money even if he were involved in accidents like this.
Suddenly, he thought of something. Shengshi seemed to have bought commercial insurance for its employees. His sort of accident involving intentional harm should also be compensated. The excited Chu Qin sat up and prepared to give the human resource department a call. Looking up, he saw that Zhong Yibin had returned.
“Have you eaten? I brought a cake back for you,” Zhong Yibin turned on the light in the bedroom, sat against the bedhead and touched Chu Qin’s face. There was no sweat and it seemed like his bones were no longer hurting. Chu Qin clutched his phone, having already called Wang-jie from the human resource department. While it was still ringing, he casually asked, “What flavor?”
Zhong Yibin opened the bag and said seriously, “Strawberry flavored, I remember that you like strawberry flavor.”
The magnetic and pleasing male voice unreservedly entered Chu Qin’s ears. Chu Qin was in a daze for a while, a red flush slowly spreading from his ears to his neck.
Wang-jie, who had just picked up the call, “…”
The author has something to say:
Small theater: <River God likes honest children>
Boss of River God pharmacy: Did you lose this gold or silver condom
Er Bing: I lost a strawberry flavored condom
Boss of River God pharmacy: Really an honest child
Er Bing: My wife only likes strawberry flavor （⊙v⊙）
Chu Qin: ＿（：з」∠*）＿
 河神: A character from a Chinese show called Ten-Thousand Cold Jokes (十万个冷笑话)
 This line is mimicking what River God says in the show. A long time ago, when a poor but hardworking woodcutter dropped his ax into the river by mistake while passing by, River God asked, “Young woodcutter, did you drop this gold ax or silver ax?”
Translator’s corner: The bodyguard misunderstanding is hilarious 😀