Chapter 27: Crossing a line
Zhou Zimeng’s eyes widened, “Zhong Yibin, what do you mean by that?”
“Miss Zhou, our Director is currently in the middle of discussing business matters. Please wait outside,” Secretary Jin requested. Deputy Director Li stood at the without speaking.
Zhou Zimeng followed Secretary Jin to the reception room in a huff. She originally intended to leave but after a moment of hesitation, she decided to stay. As she sat on the sofa in the reception room, the young female secretary made a cup of instant coffee for her.
“Is there no freshly-ground coffee?” Zhou Zimeng furrowed her eyebrows after taking a sip.
“Only instant coffee and green tea bags,” The young lady said apologetically. In reality, there was a box of good Biluochun in the Director’s office. However, the Director only allowed Chu Qin to drink it, leaving the tea bags for anyone else.
“Ai, forget it,” Zhou Zimeng actually rarely came over. She would only come over to borrow money from Zhong Yibin during the occasional time she maxed out a credit card while shopping.
Zhong Yibin finished his discussion with Deputy Director Li and carefully looked through another business plan. This plan was mapped out on the basis of having abundant capital, scene layouts, research equipment, a post-production team and so on. It was on a completely different level from the one before. After pondering over it, he gave Chu Qin a call.
“Hello, this is Chu Qin,” A clear and sweet voice echoed from the headphone, instantly invigorating Zhong Yibin.
“It’s me, are you busy?” Zhong Yibin coughed lightly and smiled as he asked.
“Oh, I’m marking the station manual,” Chu Qin held onto an orange pen and annotated the areas he found to be unsuitable. “What happened?”
“Nothing, I just miss you,” Zhong Yibin originally wanted to ask how he should request for money from his brother. But after thinking it through, Chu Qin didn’t seem to be familiar with his brother either.
These straightforward words caused Chu Qin’s face to redden. Yet, a corner of his mouth couldn’t help curling up. This guy’s tendency to stick to people had always been present. Even when he still had his memories, he would constantly call Chu Qin in the middle of the day without having anything to talk about.
“What are you doing?”
“How about eating steak tonight?”
“I’ll fetch you tonight after work.”
These words had little meaning, but Chu Qin had always listened to them with keen interest. This was also the reason why Zhong Yibin could realize that Chu Qin had gone missing at the fastest time. Apparently, Zhong Yibin had failed to get through to Chu Qin while he was at his house gate. He didn’t even enter his house and immediately went to search for Chu Qin. This was a good habit that was worth encouraging.
“Do you have anything you don’t remember at work?” Chu Qin plugged in earphones and continued chatting while working.
“Still alright,” Zhong Yibin glanced at the time. “I won’t be able to fetch you after work today. I have to go out and socialize with my brother.”
“Okay, then I’ll eat dinner with my colleagues,” Chu Qin casually said in response as he winked at Lin Xiaoxiao, who was beside him.
Lin Xiaoxiao was immensely excited and she mouthed ‘crayfish’. Chu Qin’s promise to treat her to mala crayfish in return for guarding him for an entire night when he was hospitalized had yet to be cashed in on.
Zhong Yibin’s lips curled in dissatisfaction after he hung up. He thought that Chu Qin would be disappointed after hearing that Zhong Yibin couldn’t fetch him but in the end, he actually seemed quite happy. Zhong Yibin couldn’t resist calling him again.
“What’s wrong?” Chu Qin’s voice was still as gentle and patient as ever.
“Oh… How should I ask for more funding from my brother for one of my projects?” Zhong Yibin ended up swallowing the petty words that were on the tip of his tongue and changing the question to a serious one. He couldn’t remember how he interacted with his brother in the past but from his observations of him the past few days, his brother’s character didn’t seem too bad?
Chu Qin wasn’t aware of how this pair of brothers got along in the past as well. Zhong Yibin rarely brought up his brother, so Chu Qin could only give a pertinent opinion, “I don’t know how you used to ask him for money either but from my observations, your brother still dotes on you. Maybe something like acting spoiled… will work?”
Before his amnesia, Zhong Yibin would also occasionally act coquettishly to Chu Qin. After his amnesia, he became increasingly unbridled. So from Chu Qin’s perspective, this shouldn’t be some difficult to complete task.
Act spoiled… is it? Zhong Yibin scratched his head.
“Director, Miss Zhou has been waiting for you for a long time,” Secretary Jin had been rushed by Zhou Zimeng quite a few times and was truly unable to block her any longer, hence he went in to remind him.
Zhong Yibin had already forgot about Zhou Zimeng. With his brows creased, he went to the reception room and upon seeing Zhou Zimeng still seated at the same place, he felt some puzzlement, “Why haven’t you left?”
“Should I have left?” Zhou Zimeng was so angry that it pushed her to laughter. She had waited at this place for almost half an hour and yet this person asked her such a thing.
“Wasn’t it to drink tea?” Zhong Yibin glanced at the two empty cups on the desk. His meaning could not be clearer. You still want to continue drinking after consuming two cups of my instant coffee?
Zhou Zimeng stood up and angrily pinned him with her gaze, “I drank two cups of disgustingly bad instant coffee just so I could tell you something yet you treat me like this?”
“What do you want to say?” Zhong Yibin sat down on the sofa opposite her and crossed his legs, his expression apathetic. Till today, the Zhou family’s assets were still managed by Father Zhou and had not been passed down to Zhou Zimeng. Now, she was nothing more than an idle member of the second generation who was not capable of discussing proper business with Zhong Yibin.
“I wanted to gift you a tie I just bought,” Whenever her temper flared up in the past, those boys would try to placate her but today, Zhong Yibin didn’t seem to have the intention of coaxing her. Zhou Zimeng suppressed the flame of anger within her and sat back down on the sofa, taking out a beautifully packaged tie from her bag.
Zhong Yibin didn’t even spare a glance for that tie, much less have the intention of receiving it, “Was it you who called the paparazzi that night?”
“You… What are you saying…” A frantic expression appeared on Zhou Zimeng’s face for an instant before she quickly calmed down and directed a look of being wronged at him, “I have to go to a blind date tonight, can you accompany me and pretend to be my boyfriend?”
Zhong Yibin got up and looked down at her. In an instant, the surrounding air seemed to solidify. The silence was terrifying. The frigid, low voice was thick with warning, “Zhou Zimeng, you have crossed a line.”
Her gift and unreasonable demand had crossed the line between friends of the opposite sex; Her unscrupulous means that endangered Chu Qin exceeded the minimum that Zhong Yibin was willing to tolerate for a friend.
Zhou Zimeng’s limbs felt chilled and her eyes brimmed with tears. She gritted her teeth and raised her head to look at him in the eye, “Miser, if you’re not willing then forget it.” After that, she lowered her head, picked up her bag and ran off.
At night, Zhong Yibin punctually drove to Shengshi Group to wait for his brother at the ground floor. Zhong Jiabin walked out and glanced at his showy sports car, gesturing for Zhong Yibin to pass the keys to the valet.
The driver drove over a low-key yet gorgeous Bentley. Zhong Yibin touched his nose and entered his brother’s car.
The office building of Old Waves was located in the Four Ring High-Tech Industrial Park. The distance from the second ring to the fourth ring was considerable so the two brothers looked at each other in puzzlement.
“The person I’m bringing you to see tonight is called Zhuo Yuan. He was my classmate in America and is currently the operations director of Old Waves. His scope of authority is alright,” Zhong Jiabin glanced at the itinerary on his phone. “Come to the Group tomorrow afternoon. There will be a meeting at ten o’clock in the morning which we can attend together. I’ll introduce you to Uncle Ning after that.”
The person termed Uncle Ning by the Zhong family’s big brother was called Ning Ze. He was one of Shengshi’s shareholders and held 2% of the shares. Concurrently, he was also one of Old Waves’ shareholders and held on to 4% of the shares. He was an important figure in Old Waves. It could be said that he was the greatest link between Shengshi and Old Waves.
Zhong Yibin listened seriously to his brother’s words and nodded slightly, “There shouldn’t be a need to trouble Uncle Ning over such a minor issue right?”
“Preparedness averts peril,” Zhong Jiabin glanced at his obedient brother and couldn’t help adding on, “In order to ensure that everything goes smoothly, you must make sure that there are at least two people working on this matter. If necessary, they can even mutually restrain each other.”
This statement contained big brother’s experiences during the years he underwent ups and downs in the city. Zhong Yibin felt that it was very logical, “I’ll remember it.”
Zhong Jiabin had not seen such a well-behaved brother for many years and found it hard to adapt to it for a while. However, the joy in his heart was very real. The coldly stiff contours of the corner of his mouth inadvertently bent to form a barely noticeable curve.
The place they were to meet Zhuo Yuan at was the Imperial Hotel, which wasn’t too far from Old Waves. This hotel was extremely stylish. Its exterior resembled that of a European castle, with white marble walls, multi-colored glass windows and a red door made from heavy wood that was five meters tall. It was both vintage and beautiful.
In the splendid lobby, a waiter dressed in medieval attire greeted them courteously and brought them to the booked room.
As Zhong Yibin followed behind his brother, he felt that the back that had just flashed by was familiar and turned to look up at the stairs. The wide staircase was covered with a red carpet and someone dressed in a black suit was heading up at a leisurely pace. The pace at which he walked at was particularly unusual – one step at a time, as if he was an emperor ascending the steps to the throne.
After a slight pause at the corner, Zhong Yibin glimpsed that person’s face. It happened to be the Director of Big Fish Group whom he met at the night banquet previously – Yu Tang.
“You’ve all arrived already!” Zhuo Yuan rushed over immediately after work and coincidently bumped into them in the hall. Seeing that Zhong Yibin was gazing upwards, he also turned to look, “Huh? Huang Dong?”
A middle-aged man was accompanying Yu Tang. The manner in which Yu Tang carried himself was too imposing, causing Zhong Yibin to overlook him for a moment.
“One of your company’s board members?” Zhong Jiabin casually asked and gestured for Zhuo Yuan to enter first.
“En, he’s a big shareholder,” Zhuo Yuan’s looks embodied vitality. His eyes shone with light and he was always smiling. He had the temperament of one who worked in business and sales.
There wasn’t any particularly outstanding entertainment company under Big Fish, only Dainichi Media, who was not known. The other industries Big Fish worked in did not require Old Waves’ publicity. A big shareholder of Old Waves eating with the director of the Big Fish Group was an unusual occurrence. Zhong Jiabin frowned in silence for a while before raising his hand. His assistant at the side immediately came over with a bowed head. After Zhong Jiabin spoke a few words to him, his assistant turned and went out.
Translator’s corner: Extra chapter to make up for last week 🙂 It feels so empty without author’s note and footnotes…