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First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-Seven: The Great Teacher and the Brilliant Student
“So that’s why,” Yan Jin mumbled.
“Hey, what are you saying?”
Xiao Yu was very displeased that Yan Jin was acting like he had been enlightened with some great wisdom. The chairman looked as if he finally understood a lot of things, unlike Xiao Yu, who was still surrounded by fog, making him very curious.
Yan Jin snapped out of his deep thoughts and rubbed Xiao Yu’s curious head as he explained patiently, “If I have it correctly, your teacher was in fact my father’s elder brother, Yan Yixuan. As for the surname Zuo, that’s his maternal side’s surname. He may have changed his name to avoid detection. When he abandoned our household back then, it was quite an uproar.”
“Ohmygod, abandoned the household?”
Xiao Yu could not imagine that his cold and self-disciplined teacher would do such a childish thing. For a moment, he was too shocked for words.
However, Xiao Yu immediately realized that the person sitting beside him with his head hanging off his shoulder and nibbling his ears, was also a cold and self-disciplined person in the public eye.
Could this be a Yan family trait passed on from their ancestors?
Xiao Yu thought it through, nodded his head, and pushed away Yan Jin’s puppy head that was taking advantage of the situation. He tugged on his hair as he threatened, “Continue talking. Tell me everything you know or I’ll pluck off all your hair.”
Yan Jin laughed softly as he took Xiao Yu’s restless claw into his own hands and leaned forward to kiss it.
“You!” Xiao Yu felt like the back of his hand was burning as the warm sensation made him unable to sit still.
Yan Jin held his lover down, keeping him from jumping away in embarrassment and continued on about his uncle. “There is only one successor in every generation of the Yan family. The others would usually end up getting a portion of the assets and find their own path in life. Back then, when uncle gave up the position of the Yan family’s successor, he joined SI to become a junior designer.”
“Hold on, didn’t YL just rise in recent years? Wasn’t SI better than YL back then?”
“…… I don’t know if I got this correctly, but…” Yan Jin looked at him with a complicated gaze, “did you think that YL is all that the Yan family has?”
“Not to that extent.” Xiao Yu pondered and replied conservatively, “I remembered how the Yan family has also ventured into other industries within these two years. I know about the collaboration with NN and another with a perfume brand. There should be others?”
“…… Is that any different from thinking that YL represents the Yan family?”
“Do you have to speak in such a peculiar way? Just spill it.” Xiao Yu was embarrassed by the comment. He knew very little about all these matters. While he could talk some nonsense in front of others, his ignorance would be obvious when it comes to professionals like Yan Jin.
He instantly puffed his cheeks angrily.
“I’m sorry, I apologize.”
Yan Jin apologized quickly, completely disregarding his reputation as a chairman.
“So what relationship does the Yan family have with YL?” Xiao Yu mumbled his question.
“Hmm, basically YL is the biggest portion of the Yan family’s overall assets. The ‘remaining part’ of it which is mostly overseas can’t even be compared to YL.”
In order not to hurt his little lover’s pride, Yan Jin lied without a care, completely erasing the assets that generations of the Yan family had earned throughout all those years. He even discounted his own net worth by more than a hundred percent. If people like Chu Ge were to hear that, they would probably joke about it for a year.
“Then what’s the difference from what I have just said?! Isn’t that the same thing!”
Indeed, Xiao Yu who took the bait, immediately revived with vigor became more confident in his words.
“Hm, I was just testing you. My Fishy is indeed the pro.” Yan Jin took the opportunity to butter up his lover.
That nickname made Xiao Yu’s legs go weak. If he wasn’t already sitting on the couch, he might not have been able to stand.
If he was in his hamster form, he would not have felt uncomfortable. But when he was in his human form, the intimate nickname was like an invisible hand teasing him. Moreover, Xiao Yu did not have many friends. Aside from his father who had passed away long ago, no one had called him by that nickname for a long time. That made him even more sensitive towards that nickname.
Now that Yan Jin had called him that, Xiao Yu felt like he was going to faint from the embarrassment.
He secretly pinched his own thigh to calm himself down and replied normally, “Of course. Okay, stop diverting the topic. Tell me more about my teacher, quick.”
“There’s nothing special really.” Yan Jin’s gaze looked gentler as he recalled those memories, “Uncle was a very capable person. He was good at everything and could excel in everything. He gave up his identity as an entrepreneur to become a designer. It even only took him a few years to turn SI, who had experienced several financial setbacks, into a first-class jewelry group.”
“I think I heard that before. It was to thank teacher that after he had left SI, they did not find a new chief designer to use.” Speaking of that, Xiao Yu could not help but to be immeasurably self-satisfied, “If it wasn’t for my teacher’s recommendation letter, SI would probably not have allowed me to become their new chief designer.”
As to that conclusion, Yan Jin did not express his stance.
The way he saw it, the reason why SI would make so many illogical decisions was most probably so they could use Xiao Yu to create Yan Yixuan’s posthumous works. Even though Yan Yixuan had been missing for so many years and his presence was not as impactful as before, with how the design industry had grown over the past few years, renown designer’s works were just as hard to get as any renown artist’s pieces. With Yan Yixuan’s name on any work, they would not need to worry about buyers.
What made it more obvious was how after Zhou Jinrong had taken over SI, he was anxious to create his own mark to differentiate between the two eras. That was why he did not know that Xiao Yu was not his father’s trusted aide, and hence thought that he would be displeasing his father, making use of the designer with ulterior motives . It was easy to imagine how he had deliberately made things difficult for Xiao Yu.
Xiao Yu was probably the only person who would work for them for five whole years like a fool. If it was someone else, they would most probably have left long ago.
If that was the case, that annual salary that had shocked Yan Jin could be explained. In fact, even designers of lower position than Xiao Yu could even earn more than him. According to Yan Jin’s understanding, even the person whom Lin Zhou had replaced and who later joined YL, it was said that his annual salary at SI was around three million.
But all those were just assumptions. Yan Jin would never reveal them to Xiao Yu and add on to his worries.
Be it real or not, in the times to come, these matters would no longer trouble his Fishy.
The edge of Yan Jin lips curled with a tinge of cruelty.
Xiao Yu pushed Yan Jin and said, “What are you thinking of that makes you smile so terrifyingly?”
“Nothing.” Yan Jin’s expression changed immediately as he smiled giddily at Xiao Yu and said words that were not pleasing, “Where is uncle buried? I have always been wanted to visit him.”
“How did you know that teacher’s already…”
Yan Jin spoke calmly without any sadness. “I already guessed that when I received the negotiation document about his asset allocation.”
Even after five years had passed, Xiao Yu was still unable to suppress the grief from aching in his heart. With every word he said, more tears started to form, “When we were living overseas together, the hotels we stayed at and the food they served were always fantastic. We went all over the country to collect materials and meet new friends. Our teacher was a pretentious man who only went out when it was sunny outside. If it was raining, no matter how urgent the matter was, he would never step outside.”
Yan Jin did not interrupt as he listened quietly to Xiao Yu reminiscing about his precious memories. All he could do was to wipe away his tears and give him a warm embrace.
“…… When he was leaving, he refused to have any funerals held, saying that he wanted to leave this world alone and peacefully. He did not want anybody to disturb him and did not allow me to visit his grave. His grave was all prearranged nicely at a small hilltop in a village Country M. I haven’t gone back to see teacher for five years.”
“He was that kind of person.” Yan Jin caressed Xiao Yu’s hair gently and spoke softly, “Stubborn, free, and at ease, he was always standing out from the masses.”
“I’m sorry.” Xiao Yu buried his head into Yan Jin’s embrace, shoulders heaving as he sobbed.
“It’s not your fault.” Yan Jin knew why Xiao Yu was apologizing. He patted his back to comfort him.
Yan Jin waited until Xiao Yu’s emotions were stable before he turned to a lighthearted topic. “Uncle would probably be happy if he were to find out that his nephew had wooed his favorite pupil.”
“Hn,” Xiao Yu snorted with a nasal sound. “What a great deal you got.”
Yan Jin flicked his lover’s forehead and laughed when he saw that his face was red from crying.
After a good laugh, right before Xiao Yu was about to flare up again, Yan Jin fawned again. “No wonder your designs were so attractive. It turns out that they came from a fine student who had learned from a famous teacher.”
“Of course!” Xiao Yu sniffled and said proudly, “I am the student that my teacher is most proud of. He said before that he had never taught any students more outstanding than me in his entire life.”
“Have you met his other students?”
Xiao Yu was stuck at the question. After a solid one minute of thinking, he said in an unsure tone, “I think, no?”
Yan Jin laughed without saying anything, the silence hanging in the air.
“Aahhhh! What do you mean!!?”
Xiao Yu refused to acknowledge the truth as he scowled miserably, “I don’t care. I’m his most outstanding student. I’m the best!”
“Alright, alright. Of course you’re the best.” Yan Jin played along as he coaxed, “The books uncle published and the talks he held were too many to count. Anyone who listened to his talks should be considered his student.”
“Yes, that’s right, that’s how it is!”
After trying his very best to persuade and finally coax his lover, Yan Jin used the excuse that he needed to deal with his work for a moment and went into his room to make a call.
The reception on the other end of the call was extremely bad and caused Yan Jin to hear various noises from his mobile.
“If you have anything, spill it quick. I’m busy negotiating with the Nan family.”
“It’s about Yan Yixuan.”
After Yan Jin had finished his sentence, the other end went dead silent. When the other end spoke again, the background noises were gone. It was obvious that the other caller had moved to a normal environment.
“Say it.” Liu Ye paused for a moment and asked, “Or should we meet?”
“I just got ahold of my wife. I don’t have time to meet you.”
“…… Spill it now.”
“When Yan Yixuan left the country back then, he brought along another person. That person later became SI’s chief designer.”
Yan Jin could hear the other person drawing in his breath.
“No wonder.” Liu Ye’s tone was sorrowful as he continued, “No wonder I could not find out where your little pet went from nineteen to twenty-one years old no matter how much I tried to investigate. I even thought it had something to do with his body as a hamster.”
“What are your thoughts?”
“To find out more of course.” Liu Ye let out a long sigh, “This was probably teacher’s last lesson for us.”
“Go for it.”
After the phone call, Yan Jin’s emotions were wavering.
It was too embarrassing. Despite all of them being his students in the past, none of them had lived like their teacher had taught them to.