Quality Check: Tezuka
Time passed by very quickly.
After hitting off the plan to collude together like villains, Yan Jin spent most of his days urging Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both to quickly submit his final drawing. Xiao Yu was anxious as well, but it wasn’t up to him to decide. So, he turned to urge Nannan. Nannan was also getting fidgety over the constant rushing, so he went to harass his childhood sweetheart who had not made an appearance in this story.
A certain childhood sweetheart: God dammit.
Very quickly, it was the day of the showdown.
Yan Jin woke up early in the morning. Xiao Yu, who heard the commotion, leaped off his cooling bed and ran out of the cage as he watched Yan Jin suit up formally before leaving the bedroom.
Xiao Yu: “Squeakk.”
After he was assured that Yan Jin had left, Xiao Yu immediately went for his iPad. It was frustrating for Xiao Yu to be unable to be at the venue itself. Thankfully, that foreign wealthy millionaire did not mind setting up a channel to broadcast the presentation, which was why Xiao Yu was able to see it live. That made up for some of the regrets he had.
It was still early, so Xiao Yu logged in to the games that he had not played for quite some time. Although he did not need to edit the drawing himself, his anxiety level was not too far off from those who were involved. Because of this deal, he had not been in the mood to play games for a long while.
The moment he logged in, his followers started wailing.
“Goddess! Don’t tell me you’re giving up on the game?”
“Oh Goddess, you’re my motivation to stay alive!”
“Why haven’t you logged in for so long, Goddess? Don’t tell me you have a boyfriend already?”
“Goddess nooo +10086.”
Xiao Yu speechlessly exited the game.
Before he could admit that he was one hundred percent male in front of those idiots, Xiao Yu decided not to go online anymore. He should let those people calm down for a while in the meantime. Maybe he should gnaw on his melon seeds and watch some dramas instead.
Although Xiao Yu already knew the outcome, that anxiousness before the truth was revealed did not lessen. If he could, he really wished he could witness that competition live with his own eyes.
YL and SI, him and Lin Zhou.
YL Corporation – Chairman’s Office
“Chairman, it’s about time.” Secretary Fang knocked the door with a stack of files in her other arm.
Secretary Fang followed closely behind Yan Jin in her high heels. The sharp heels landed on the surface, making a rhythmic tapping sound. Every step was like her hastening heartbeat; even her breath began to quicken.
Tension had engulfed the entire YL Corporation. Before the results were revealed, no one in the organization would feel relaxed. That deal not only represented their year-end bonus, it also reimbursed them for all the overtime they did.
Secretary Fang had not been with YL for that long; this was the first time she ever experienced such a fierce competition. She looked at Yan Jin enviously as he walked with a calm expression. That person was just like the rumors had said – sturdy and unmoving like the boulders, as if nothing would affect him. It was as if they were not going to meet some important client, but rather just going for a tea break at the cafeteria.
That person was their chairperson, YL’s chairman.
When Yan Jin pushed open the meeting room doors, most of the people were surprised. A few of SI’s younger designers awkwardly made their greetings, but they did not continue any further. For most of them, this was their first time meeting Yan Jin in person. In fact, not only was SI’s team puzzled, even YL’s designers reacted the same way.
YL’s Yan Jin was known to dislike making any sort of appearance. He did not even appear at the previous Spring Release Conference and left everything in the hands of his vice-chairman and secretary. Although this order was considered an important deal, it was not at the level that required their chairperson to be present. From SI’s side, other than their design team, they only sent their design director and sales manager for this meeting. The two groups of people exchanged gazes with one another in dismay.
Only one person walked out of his seat and shook hands with Yan Jin.
“It’s great to see you here, Chairman Yan. It’s such an honor.” Lin Zhou smiled appropriately, “I’m sure it’s a big boost to YL design team’s morale.”
“Same goes to your team.”
Yan Jin did not comment much.
SI’s design director nodded a look of approval towards Lin Zhou, which prompted the latter to smile bashfully.
The meeting room could not be filled with too many people. Yan Jin’s unexpected appearance meant that there would be one less seat for their designers. Yet everyone was surprised to find that the seats for YL did not decrease. Instead, they had a few extras.
The employees of SI stared at the scene in front of them as they started to panic mentally.
As it turned out, YL’s representatives included Yan Jin, Secretary Fang, YL’s designing director, and three other designers. The ten allocated seats for YL were now left with four unoccupied seats. Compared to SI, who had eight designers attending the meeting, YL’s line-up was lacking.
But that did not change the fact that YL’s line-up had Yan Jin!
Just by simply sitting there, Yan Jin made everyone feel chills down their spines even though it was a midsummer day. While they started to request an adjustment for the room temperature, the ladies in the room started to peek at Yan Jin in silent consensus. Although that young and powerful chairman had a strong and cold-hearted mask on, his good looks and aura, actually increased his charisma, and even added a sense of mystery.
Even the gentlemen in the room were not spared. Of course, it was not like they were charmed by Yan Jin’s charisma, but they all felt threatened by this man who exuded an air of perfection from his entire body.
When the doors of the meeting room swung open once again, Yan Jin instantly got up on his feet.
The crowd was startled by Yan Jin as they quickly followed his actions and turned their gaze from the man to the doors.
The new arrival was a middle-aged man in his forties, who was also the client behind this deal: Mr. Ji.
Mr. Ji was an amiable person who always had a smile on his face without any air of arrogance. Thus he was the type of person who was regarded as a popular client.
The crowd turned their attention to Yan Jin once again, as if puzzled by his sudden seriousness.
However, Mr. Ji only came to open the doors. The man walked out again and pushed a wheelchair into the meeting room.
Sitting on the wheelchair was an elderly man with white hair, who had his hands wrapped around his wooden crutch. His grey pupils scanned the surrounding and finally stopped on Yan Jin –
Compared to the SI employees who were caught off guard, Yan Jin was the only one who gave a deep bow.
YL’s attendees followed the example set by their chairperson as they promptly lowered their heads.
The elderly man gestured his hand at them.
Mr. Ji remained silent as he pushed the elderly man to the center seat of the meeting room and stood beside him.
The crowd was still puzzled by the scene unfolding before them as they began to take their seats.
Mr. Ji started the conversation by revealing the elderly man’s identity: “This man is my father.”
Mr. Ji was the person they had been in contact with throughout this entire deal, which surprised everyone at the revelation. Mr. Ji had once mentioned that he was acting on the behalf of his father who had mobility issues. That would mean that this elderly man was indeed the real owner of this deal.
SI’s designers turned their doubtful gazes towards Lin Zhou, as if asking why this elderly man had decided to make an appearance.
Lin Zhou felt puzzled too; right up until yesterday afternoon, Mr. Ji said that his father was not in good health and would hence be unable to attend the meeting. So, why did he suddenly change his mind?
The design directors and sales manager shot glances at one another.
Although they had great confidence in sealing the deal this time, despite it being a fair competition between both corporations, it was not the first time that SI had collaborated with Mr. Ji. With their previous acquaintance, Mr. Ji had revealed to SI two days ago that his father was more satisfied with SI’s design. That was why their confidence was actually due to the joy of an early victory.
But with the current situation, they all felt something was amiss.
Even Lin Zhou was frowning.
SI’s chief designer, Xiao Yu, was tied down with the Autumn Season Release. Hence, Lin Zhou was the replacement representative. At this moment, Lin Zhou was the core of every SI designer. He had not felt so depended on for such a long time. It was a chance that he painstakingly received. The thought that he could bring the glory back and flaunt it in front of Xiao Yu made Lin Zhou unusually excited.
No, there won’t be any problems. He will be victorious.
Lin Zhou comforted himself.
The sales manager’s gaze was coincidentally in line with Mr. Ji’s. Mr. Ji quickly turned his gaze away, and that made the sales manager’s heart instantly sink to the bottom.
Something was amiss, something is definitely going to happen.
But why? Wasn’t, wasn’t it all going smoothly up till yesterday? One day, no, just one afternoon, what exactly happened?
That question could only be answered by three people in the room: the elderly man, Mr. Ji and… Yan Jin.
Just yesterday afternoon, Yan Jin had personally submitted the final drawing to the elderly man.
Amidst the surprise and anxious gazes, the elderly men spoke:
“I’m here to meet that designer.”
Which one? The victorious one, of course!
In that instant, every single designer sat upright in their seats as they waited for the verdict.
However, the elderly man did not continue that conversation. Instead, he started another topic: “Once, I had a lover…”
This was not a tear-jerking romance story; it was just a story full of regrets.
Bright skies, blue sea. The snow-white clouds contrasted the sea waves. The sunlight sprinkled down like golden powder onto the young lady’s long maroon hair. Not too far away, the young man quietly stared at the young lady and smiled from the bottom of his heart.
It did not matter that they were separating ways. So long as the young lady was still in sight, the young man couldn’t help but feel blissful. This was just a temporary farewell, and when the young lady came back from the sea, they would never be separated again.
The ferry boat gradually left the shore. The young lady waved her hands as the proposal ring on her finger sparkled brightly under the sunlight. The young man had given it to her; it was a promise of a lifetime.
That night, the storm raged through the sea.
In that violent storm, the ferry boat disappeared from the horizon.
The young lady never came back.
The young man left the country that broke his heart and headed towards the young lady’s hometown to make a living. Thirty years later, he became a millionaire whose name had spread far and wide.
But now, this elderly man who was in his seventies was plagued with sickness, and he wanted to see the ring that he had given to the young lady back then. His memories and thoughts had already begun to deteriorate – sometimes, he couldn’t even remember things that had just happened. He knew that his time was limited; this was his last wish in life.
Xiao Yu sat in front of the iPad and watched the situation in the meeting room through the screen. This was the first time he had seen the elderly man, which really interested him. He also recognized every person on SI’s representative team. The human Xiao Yu was not there. He couldn’t remember what had stopped him from attending – who knows, it might have been due to Lin Zhou’s interference after all.
But he was thankful that the human Xiao Yu had not attended; otherwise, if he were to see ‘Xiao Yu’ through the screen, it would be probably be very awkward.