Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Today was a relaxing weekend. Gu Zhun and his sister Gu Li finally had the rare chance to rest at home together.
“Brother, do you have anywhere you would like to go?”
“Sister, I am no longer a kid. Staying home and watching television is good enough.”
Ever since their parents divorced, Gu Li filled the role of Gu Zhun’s father and mother. Every weekend, Gu Zhun would return home from school. Sometimes, when Gu Li had the rare chance to rest on a weekend, she would ask him, “Do you have anywhere you would like to go?”
Kids would always want to travel with their families, but Gu Zhun understood his sister’s difficulties and the family’s tight economic constraints. He would use excuses like “I have a lot of homework that needs to be done”, “I need to revise for a test next week”, or “I want to watch cartoons” to drop it.
Although Gu Li knew of her brother’s thoughtfulness, she would still ask whenever she had an offday. What if her brother wanted to go somewhere one day?
The Korean drama,《My Love from the Star》was being played on television. It was the love story between a famous celebrity, Cheon Song-yi and an alien, Do Min-joon. Somehow, when she watched this romance drama, Gu Li was unable to refrain herself and asked Gu Zhun: “Which step have you progressed to with Zhang Heng?”
Gu Zhun: “…” Which step? What step was referring to which step?
Gu Li saw her brother remain silent for a long time and roughly guessed that he did not know how to talk about it. As such, she came up with a multiple choice question, just like before, and gave it to Gu Zhun: “A. Hold hands, B. Kiss, C. Sex”
Straightforward ABC’s… Gu Zhun received ten thousand points of critical damage.
“…” Gu Zhun did not hide anything from his sister. When he was in high school, he received a love letter by accident from his female classmate (although it was placed in Gu Zhun’s locker by mistake). He thought for three days and was unable to find a suitable reply. He would even take out such an embarrassing puppy love letter obediently and consult his sister’s opinion.
“Progress is a little slow…” Gu Li took out a magazine and opened it to a dazzling white leg wearing only beach shorts. Her eyes stared at the magazine, but her mind wasn’t focused on it. She was thinking of how to hasten their relationship. After all, ever since her brother attended junior high, she knew that someone liked him. Furthermore, he liked him seriously. In the end, because of that…
Gu Zhun did not hear that sentence because Gu Li’s voice was soft. All he heard was a sigh from Gu Li.
It was already noon. Sitting at the dining table and gnawing on chicken wings, the brother and sister continued to chat idly.
“Sister, how’s your boyfriend? Any plans to get married?”
“Silly brother… Why are you such a busybody like Aunt Seven? Don’t worry, your sister isn’t against marriage. She will try to promote herself out there, so don’t worry.” On the surface, she criticized her brother for meddling in her affairs, but in her heart, she was happy that her brother wished for her happiness.
Gu Li was now working in a finance company. Usually, she was in charge of a variety of expense account bills. Her boyfriend was her section head. He was thirty years old, a year older than Gu Li. Looks wise, he wasn’t very handsome, but in a crowd of strangers, his looks were considered better than average.
His name was “Lin Feng”. He was from a middle class family that was moderately well-off. His family had a house and a car. His parents had stable jobs and a retirement pension. He himself was a graduate from a key university with a prospective salary. In terms of financial factors, if Gu Li married into Lin Feng’s family, it could be counted as climbing up the social ladder.
As for whether her boyfriend possessed the qualities to be a husband, he was acceptable. Usually, Lin Feng treated people modestly. He wouldn’t constantly flatter his superiors, but he would gain their praise from achievements at work. Usually when they worked overtime, he would generously buy coffee and take out. Due to this, he was well liked by the staff.
Gu Li and Lin Feng had been with each other for two years.There weren’t any earth shattering events when they fell in love; it was simple and ordinary. When Gu Li came to this company, Lin Feng was already the head of the department. He was attentive and took good care of Gu Li when she was newcomer. Not only did he teach her how to use the financial calculator, he also often brought her to various dinner banquets to gain experience. It was thanks to Lin Feng’s training that Gu Li, who wasn’t well educated, was able to rapidly stand on par with university undergraduates. In fact, she surpassed some university students.
Gu Li and Lin Feng cemented their relationship when their feelings for one another grew after spending a long time together. In these past two years, their relationship was steadily developing. Although Lin Feng did not recently ask Gu Li out for dinner and such, Gu Li did not blame him. She knew that recently, the company was hard pressed for money. As the head of the financial department, there were many things for Lin Feng to deal with.
In this recent month, there was a finance company that wanted to collaborate with Gu Li’s company on a financial real estate investment project. All the departments urgently needed to gather funds to start the collaborative project. As such, every department’s staff issued a ton of bills to the finance department.
The finance department staffs arranged these bills. They handed over any bills with a large sum of money to Gu Li, then did a final check on the project fundings, such as where it stemmed from and what it is going into. Finally, it would be submitted to Lin Feng, who would give an account to the higher ups to allocate the funds down.
There was a bill that hoped to apply for one hundred thousand dollars of funds. After Lin Feng took it, it was entered into the fund allocation process. In the end, this bill was only allocated eighty thousand dollars of funds. It was cut down with the excuse of “Risk is too big, so funds are reduced”.
Gu Li gave the cheque, the receipt, and the relevant attachments to the lady from the department that requested one hundred thousand, saying: “The risk is too big, so funds were reduced. There are only eighty thousand dollars, sorry.”
“…How could it be… the other time, we applied for two hundred thousand. It was also denied for this reason. We specially looked for the department head to discuss it. It was not easy to compromise to this low amount of funding. In spite of everything, it was still a big risk?”
Although she was inwardly dissatisfied because they were unable to get the money and her superior would scold her again for not knowing how to deal with the crafty finance department, the lady from the department still walked away listlessly.
Gu Li felt that it was a little strange when she looked at the disheartened lady from the department. These past few days, a few office lady came over to apply for fund allocation. Every time the allocated funds would be less than the initial sum reported. It was not short by a lot, however it was always short by that small margin of around twenty to thirty thousand.
Based on Gu Li’s past experiences, one hundred thousand was not a big sum for her company. Instead, it was a base sum for her company to make money with money. Allocating one hundred thousand was a common sum. However, even the stable amount of a hundred thousand had been lessened, could it be that the company had cash flow problems?
She dialed a coworker whom she was close with from the finance department and invited her out for lunch.
When they were having lunch, she asked how the company’s recent capital income was. That colleague sucked on the tapioca pearls at the bottom of the bubble tea milk tea: “Oh! If you didn’t ask, I would have forgotten to tell you about it! You didn’t know! The previous day, the head of the finance department easily earned ten million during the stocks opening price! Today he resold the junk bonds and high yield bonds for a high profit, earning another five million!”
When her colleague was speaking, there were stars in her eyes, and she laughed titteringly. Anyone who saw it would be able to tell that she was infatuated with her own head of department. Gu Li ignored her coworker being man crazy. She continued to eat quietly.
This was weird…clearly cash flow wasn’t tight, and instead there was an income of fifteen million… By reason, they should be able to turnover a mere one hundred thousand.
—Maybe there was someone behind it?
However, Lin Feng was the last person in charge of handling those bills. As the company’s section head, he wouldn’t pilfer the money, right…? Furthermore, she trusted Lin Feng’s character. He wouldn’t do such wicked things. There would be nothing for him to gain if the company became bankrupt…
But, what if?
As a comrade of justice, Gu Li would not allow the company to irrationally close because of a traitor. She decided to clearly ask Lin Feng. If it wasn’t him, then she would be relieved. Maybe it really was the higher ups decision. If it wasn’t…
It was time to clock off in the late afternoon. Most people had left the office. Gu Li knocked on Lin Feng’s office door.
“Gu Li, what’s the matter?” Lin Feng looked up from a pile of documents. He still had that warm boy next door smile.
“Why were only eighty thousand of the hundred thousand allocated down today?”
Lin Feng tidied up the messy documents on the table and said: “Why? Did the staff from the other department make it hard for you because they did not get the allocated funds that they wanted? When you meet such a situation, you should…”
“The company’s cash flow isn’t tight. Why did the higher ups not allocate a hundred thousand? Or is it…?” Gu Li interrupted Lin Feng’s speech.
Lin Feng inserted his hand into his pocket and stood up. The expression on his face seemed as though it was saying “You’re still too inexperienced”: “Other than the collaboration with that finance company, the company still plans to extend a loan to the education field. That’s why cash flow is slightly tight…”
“…” Gu Li thought about it. Indeed, she had previously heard those female assistants higher up discussing the company’s decision to extend a loan to the education sector. She just didn’t think that they would start on this project so quickly. Originally, it should have started after they were done with this collaboration project.
Gu Li smiled in relief. She shook her head and said: “I doubted you. I’m really sorry, Lin Feng. Are you getting off work now? Let’s go out for dinner and catch a movie?”
It had been a long time since they went on a date… Gu Li anticipated that Lin Feng would reply “Alright.”
“No, I still have something on.”
“Well, alright then.” Gu Li closed the door on her way out, packed her things, and left the company.
Standing in the office and looking out the French window at Gu Li leaving the office building, Lin Feng revealed a sly look, different from the usual boy next door image.
“Didn’t I teach you that the most taboo thing in the workplace is to be a busybody? Gu Li…” The hand holding the French window increased in strength, and the veins on his wrist popped out.
Suddenly, the sound of a ringing phone resounded in the office, Lin Feng unlocked his phone and picked up the call: “Hello?…Yes, alright, I know…I look forward to asking your father for some pointers regarding business matters… You ask if I’m coming home tonight… What should I do? …Can you take me home for the night?… Dear…”
Gu Li never knew that a pretty lady with an hourglass figure was on the other end of the phone. She took the public transportation and was on her way home. Gu Zhun was also at home with dinner prepared, waiting for his sister to arrive home.