Translator: O(n^n) oh baby
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-Eight: The Person In Control II
“That’s all from my side. I’ll be heading out first then. Last question: how goes your internship?” Xiao Yu asked.
“Pretty well,” Nan Wei replied.
Nan Wei saw Xiao Yu off. When he turned, he was met with a crowd of burning stares.
He gave a knowing smile and returned back to the sofa carrying his cup of red tea without so much as a sound.
The past month had been pretty rough for Nan Wei. No one ever invited him for a quick lunch or dinner after work. The other interns had already marked him for failure in terms of converting to full-time after he had been late on his first day. More importantly, he came from a nontraditional academic background.
Nan Wei normally could get along with strangers quite well. This was his first time feeling so helpless in this regard.
Friendships were built on equal relationships. His minor difference in background caused him to be left out from the group of all the other interns.
All of the other interns had come from traditional education tracks in design. Some even had overseas experience. To them, Nan Wei was at least a class lower, if not more.
From this, the other interns had reached an absurd conclusion:
He didn’t come from a traditional background in design. He was also young and didn’t have much experience. He hadn’t completed any other internships either. Therefore, Nan Wei must have gotten this internship at YL through connections.
Some had already suspected this when he was late on the first day. To them, their conclusive proof of this came when they discovered that he didn’t have a standard education in design.
Nan Wei had finally experienced how hard it was in the industry for someone without a traditional design background.
For the past month, Nan Wei had been thinking how much more miserable it must have been for Master Xiao Yu in his days at SI.
With this in mind, Nan Wei directly dropped any notions of trying to get along with the others.
Nan Wei’s talkative personality always ingratiated him very quickly with others. But when he became cold, even Yan Jin could not compete with him.
As a result, Nan Wei essentially became a ghost in the midst of all the other interns. Naturally, it was quite painful, but Nan Wei never regretted it.
If he had really only relied on his relationships with Yan Jin and Xiao Yu, he might have felt that he was in the wrong. However, it wasn’t like that.
Because of YL’s customs, Yan Jin had initially only asked him to simply participate in the initial interview. However, Xiao Yu had opposed Yan Jin’s intention of only putting on an act and had added him to the entire interview process.
Xiao Yu had made up his mind, so what could Yan Jin say? Therefore, Nan Wei hadn’t received any preferential treatment in successfully earning his internship spot.
Over a thousand resumes had been submitted by graduates of famous schools with traditional design backgrounds.
Actually, even Nan Wei hadn’t expected to be able to pass the interview process, but Xiao Yu had had a tremendous amount of faith.
Although Xiao Yu himself wasn’t the interviewer, he was extremely confident that Nan Wei would pass regardless of who the interviewer was.
If it wasn’t because of Nan Wei’s connections, his diploma, or his resume, where did Xiao Yu’s confidence stem from?
It stemmed from the hundreds of designs in Nan Wei’s resume supplement.
It stemmed from Nan Wei’s abilities that had been personally honed by one of the top designers.
Just like how Yan Yixuan hadn’t provided Xiao Yu with any written recommendation before peacefully passing away, Xiao Yu wasn’t worried at all even without Xiao Yu’s own direct participation in the interview process.
Recommendation letters could be forged. Mentor/student relationships could be established through monetary means. Only skill couldn’t be faked.
Around thirty candidates had come for interviews. When it was Nan Wei’s turn, the interviewer had been shocked at how thick Nan Wei’s file was. He had casually flipped through a few pages and had jumped out of his seat in astonishment.
There had been ten questions prepared. The interviewer only asked one, and it wasn’t even one of the prepared ones:
“Were these designs done by you?”
Nan Wei had passed the interview with just a single word.
After the other interns had concluded that Nan Wei was only here because of his connections, they wondered if he would only be cruising through an internship or whether his connections could directly allow him to convert to full-time. Either way, their attitude towards Nan Wei couldn’t possibly be good.
While they were still brainstorming their design drafts that were due in under a week, Nan Wei was relaxing next to the window reading a magazine because he’d already finished. The other interns had independently decided that if Nan Wei converted to full-time, they would expose all of this in online forums.
Indeed, because of Nan Wei’s nontraditional design background, not a single person considered Nan Wei’s skill could be far above theirs.
That’s why when Xiao Yu came down today to pass a message to Nan Wei, the rest of them were stunned.
If it were another of YL’s designers, they really might not have recognized the person. But Xiao Yu was SI’s previous chief designer, the mystery designer, and YL’s current designer. Xiao Yu had these three titles and was considered one of the industry’s legends. If they didn’t recognize him, their internship didn’t really have much meaning.
“That… that guy is Mr. Mystery?”
“He looks like the person from the online pictures.”
“Nan Wei and him…”
They felt puzzled.
Nan Wei and Xiao Yu had been talking at the door earlier in very low voices. Even the interns sitting towards the very front were unable to hear what they had been discussing. They had only seen Xiao Yu pass over a pile of papers, and then he had left.
One of the full-time designers under Jing Mo, designer Zhang, was in charge of the interns. He was the designer who they had seen the most. YL was also extremely imposing with their finances being in really good shape, so even the interns were given their own personal offices. As a result, despite having worked for a month already, the interns hadn’t seen too many of the full-time designers.
This was their first time actually seeing Xiao Yu. Many of them were diehard fans of Xiao Yu. When they unexpectedly saw their idol, their brains and bodies froze. They hadn’t even gotten the opportunity to take a picture with him or get an autograph before Xiao Yu had left.
What was even more surprising was that this godlike legend had actually come looking for Nan Wei!
Judging from how they had interacted, it seemed like they were old friends too!
Without a care for all of the doubtful, confused, and curious stares directed at him, Nan Wei lowered the curtains and returned back to the sofa.
The whispering of the confused interns slowly grew to the level of a normal discussion.
Clearly, the person who could answer their questions was right in front of them, but nobody dared to start the conversation.
In this one month, their relationship with Nan Wei had been really too poor. It really didn’t feel good biting the bullet.
Just when they were planning on selecting a representative to ask Nan Wei, someone appeared next to Nan Wei.
This person hadn’t walked over from where they were, but rather had entered in through the door.
He sat down next to Nan Wei and passed a magazine over.
Nan Wei took the magazine and casually thanked him.
“Speaking of which, I might be mistaken but I think I saw Mr. Mystery pass by the door earlier.” The person laughed awkwardly while scratching the back of his head.
Nan Wei gave him a side-glance.
The person’s name was Zhou Mang. At first glance, he seemed more like a construction worker rather than a designer.
His height of one hundred and ninety centimeters was comparable to that of Jing Mo’s burly boyfriend. His enormous stature seemed somewhat at odds with his intellect.
In the past month, out of the other eleven interns, only Zhou Mang had paid any attention to him. Not only that, he had helped run many errands for Nan Wei of his own volition.
During their first meeting, Zhou Mang had indicated his goodwill. If Nan Wei hadn’t questioned him about the reason behind this, Nan Wei would have thought that this person was Yan Jin’s spy.
The reason wasn’t anything special. Two months ago, Zhou Mang’s little brother had passed away from AIDS. Because Nan Wei looked very similar to Zhou Mang’s younger brother, Zhou Mang filled the bro-con void in his heart with Nan Wei instead.
Nan Wei… was rather indifferent about it.
He already had a brother, and although Chu Ge didn’t show it, Chu Ge was actually a bro-con as well. Thus, Nan Wei felt like he could understand this.
It was worth pointing out that although Zhou Mang looked quite rough, his designs were anything but. They were actually extremely detailed. His fundamentals were extremely strong. From his initial impression of Zhou Mang, Nan Wei couldn’t believe that Zhou Mang was a top art graduate of S City’s University X. Furthermore, Zhou Mang was the recipient of a national-level scholarship.
So went the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Nan Wei sighed.
“What? Am I mistaken?” Zhou Mang was confused.
“No, you’re right.” Nan Wei glanced out of the corner of his eyes at all the people listening in on their conversation from behind their desks. He deliberately raised his voice. “That was my mentor. He was the one who referred me to YL. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have made it in with my skill.”
Listening to the collective gasp behind them, Nan Wei felt for the first time that self-deprecation could actually be quite amusing.
“How can that be? Your work is very high quality. It’s pretty much already at a professional level.”
Zhou Mang didn’t feel all the scorching gazes behind them. He patted Nan Wei’s shoulder, and with the tone of an older brother to his younger brother, he said, “Have some confidence in yourself! I think you’re great!”
Nan Wei: “……”
At the same time, Xiao Yu had arrived back at the thirtieth floor. He never could have expected that his own casual behavior could have made such large waves among the interns.
Xiao Yu was completely in the dark about the other interns shunning Nan Wei for the past month. He hadn’t wanted to interfere with Nan Wei’s internship experience, so he had consciously avoided directly meeting with him.
Originally, Xiao Yu hadn’t even planned on communicating directly with Nan Wei online, but the looming exhibition needed a new line of summer products. This was extremely important to Xiao Yu because it was another chance to lure out Lin Zhou. Now that Nan Wei had already joined YL, Xiao Yu wasn’t too interested in what the interns were doing. Resources unused were resources wasted, so Xiao Yu had assigned Nan Wei some additional tasks on top of his internship work.