Translator: O(n^n) oh baby
Quality Check: –
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Seventy-Seven: Retribution (I)
Following the exhibition, YL’s reputation rose, but Xiao Yu couldn’t be happy.
At this battle, YL’s lack of strength was completely exposed. Even though the final result was not bad, Xiao Yu couldn’t be impressed by an entire design department relying solely on a single member. He wanted every member to have their own style and specialties that wouldn’t lose to designers from other companies. At large events, he hoped that they would be able to collaborate and contribute equally.
With this mentality, Xiao Yu discussed these issues with Jing Mo and a few others. They decided to open weekend training sessions, starting with a small number of trainees before moving on to larger groups. Jing Mo wanted to charge a small nominal fee, but Xiao Yu felt like he had nothing better to do at home anyways since Yan Jin was gone. Volunteering his time at the company wasn’t a bad way to kill time.
Unfortunately, whether to collect a fee wasn’t important. The program couldn’t get off the ground.
After others heard that Xiao Yu wanted to hold training sessions, not only did all of YL’s designers sign up, there were external designers that were willing to pay loads of money to buy a spot from YL’s designers.
On top of Xiao Yu’s plans for a small lecture being ruined, he even developed a headache from trying to find a conference room large enough to accommodate everyone. In the end, he had no choice except to stop self-registration. He and several other higher-ups in the design department ended up hand-picking six trainees.
How much envy and hate those six lucky designers received was outside of Xiao Yu’s scope.
Because of their chairman’s absence, YL didn’t have much to work on aside from their new summer product line. Around eighty percent of the new summer products were already decided during the exhibition. Thus, most of the designers were rather idle. He Xinjia was the most extreme; she immediately took a long vacation to go travel.
Xiao Yu felt like it wasn’t too appropriate for this situation to continue, so he borrowed SI’s response to uneventful periods. He split the department up into many small groups to compete each week on a given theme. The winning group would be awarded spots in the next training he held. The atmosphere quickly became very nervous and excited. Each day, the work felt happy and worthwhile. Between the competitions and the highly anticipated trainings, Xiao Yu’s status in people’s hearts rose another to a higher level than the mystery designer’s initial appearance. Someone even hung a photograph of Xiao Yu on the design department’s main door so people could pay their respects. It was a pity that on the second day, Xiao Yu took it down, feeling that it was too embarrassing.
Perhaps the heavens couldn’t even stand to see Xiao Yu doing so well, so on a fine sunny morning, a calamity suddenly came Xiao Yu’s way.
Secretary Fang frantically barreled towards the chairman’s office. With her hand on the doorknob, she realized that Yan Jin wasn’t there. For a moment, she felt powerless, and then she turned to run to Shao Yue’s office.
Earlier this morning, she had received a photograph and a threatening note in her email inbox.
From the angle and clarity of the photograph, the picture was definitely taken by some malicious paparazzi. However, after seeing the photograph, no one would care about whether the paparazzi had broken the law to get the picture. They would only care about what the photograph meant.
Actually, Shao Yue didn’t even need Secretary Fang to notify him. He had received his own copy as well.
At the same time, all of YL’s higher-ups also received it.
At 8 AM, five key figures gathered in Shao Yue’s office.
“You’re here.” Shao Yue nodded at Secretary Fang.
Although it was Secretary Fang’s first time in such a situation, she kept her wits about her. Looking at the people present, she could approximately guess who they were.
“Alright, I think everyone’s arrive now.” Shao Yue clapped his hands and calmly got up. “Let’s start then.”
They examined the aesthetically pleasing photograph.
The warm light suffused the two people embracing each other by the window sill. The taller male had a face so handsome it would be hated by man and God alike. His normally ice-cold gaze looked soft and tender. It was as if spring had broken through the lake ice and the refreshing sound of flowing water washed over them. The person being embraced was also a handsome young person, but in comparison with the other, he looked far inferior. His shaggy curls gave people the urge to rub them.
Time appeared to be frozen for them. Nothing could stop them from expressive their love for each other.
This looked like a fairly normal picture of two people kissing each other. The only slightly unusual part was that the two leading roles were both played by men.
In this day and age, Chinese people were already very liberal-thinking. Occasionally, a few people expressed homophobic views, but they would be very quickly condemned by others. Even though same-sex marriage laws hadn’t been passed yet, there were already plenty of people willing to give their blessings to such a community and speak up for them.
Today, such a photograph clearly wouldn’t provoke a large public discussion.
However, this only applied to normal people.
Out of the two people in the photograph, one was the high-profile twenty-six-year-old design genius Mr. Mystery, who had repeatedly shocked the community in the past year. The other was YL’s current chairman, who frequently ranked among the top in the richest, most powerful young entrepreneurs. He was S City’s number one most eligible bachelor, Yan Jin.
One was still climbing the ranks in the industry. The other had already reached the summit but was reportedly engaged with the Nan Family’s daughter not too long ago.
In such a situation, this little photograph could cost both people and YL an unimaginable amount.
Perhaps homosexuality couldn’t provoke such a large public discussion, but what if cheating was also involved?
The letter that Secretary Fang received read, “Unless you pay thirty-five percent of YL’s stock, this photograph will definitely be released to the media.” However, this condition could never be fulfilled. It would be like submissively giving up YL and allowing them to do whatever they wanted with YL. The blackmailers definitely knew that this condition was impossible to fulfill. The threat was only a formality; publicizing the photograph was already a foregone conclusion.
Shao Yue and company’s job now was to do damage control.
In response to unexpected occurrences, would YL really be completely unprepared?
Of course not.
This could already be seen from the five people gathered together.
Aside from Shao Yue and Secretary Fang, the other people present were: Jing Mo from the design department, Qin Xi from the human resources department, and the person who had just started yesterday —
“Let me introduce the outside helper Yan Jin has arranged for us: Mr. Chu,” Shao Yue said.
Qin Xi’s eyebrows shot up. “His surname is Chu?”
“It’s really not convincing at all. Nan Wei currently works in our department. I see him every day,” Jing Mo added.
“That’s not important. My current family name is Chu.” Chu Ge played down his identity and changed topics. “What’s important is…”
He flipped his notebook tablet over. On the screen was the photograph they had all received.
Nobody spoke for a while.
“I’ve only been here for a day, so I’m not too clear on YL’s specific situation. But, just from this photograph, nobody should doubt that there’s a spy in YL, right?”
The picture was taken from Yan Jin’s chairman office. Nobody aside from employees had access to it.
“So the important question is: who is the traitor? Does anyone have any leads?” Chu Ge asked.
“Mhmm. It’s probably the assistant director of the human resources department. Exactly a week ago, she left on a long vacation. She still hasn’t come back yet.” Qin Xi’s tone wasn’t unsure at all. It sounded more like her conclusion.
No one raised any questions either. It was as if her words were accepted as truth.
On the side, Secretary Fang began to mutter to herself.
Her voice started so softly that only she could hear it, but as she began to recall the more important points, her volume increased.
“… Three years ago, her daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. With her current pay, if her daughter is still alive, she should be running out of options about now.”
“Has this been verified?” Chu Ge asked.
“Yes.” The secretary nodded confidently. “I saw her daughter’s diagnosis results, and I don’t recall her ever taking bereavement leave. Her daughter is definitely still alive, and the chance that she’s been cured is very low.”
Chu Ge muttered, “Leukemia, huh…”
“*Sigh*, you all are too amazing. I’m not even needed,” Shao Yue grumbled in mock dissatisfaction. He asked indifferently, “Do we need to release a crisis statement for PR?”
“Of course we need to,” Jing Mo said. “But, can we stop the photograph from being released?”
“Probably not. The enemy clearly doesn’t intend to negotiate with us. I don’t mean the assistant director,” Chu Ge said.
“Then, releasing a statement isn’t going to be too useful. Plus, Yan Jin is coming back soon…” Shao Yue fantasized. Suddenly, he thought of something that made his entire body tremble. “It can’t be that the moment I clean up this situation, Yan Jin returns and publicly comes out of the closet, right?”
“It’s very likely.” Qin Xi was the first to reply.
“T-That’s not necessarily the case, right? Not when it involves the company too…” Secretary Fang said doubtfully.
“Forget it. He’s already given all his stocks to his little lover just in case such a scenario happened,” Chu Ge said.
Qin Xi smiled without saying anything.
“There’s no other choice then. We’ll have to make do with what we have.” Despite those words, Jing Mo’s tone completely didn’t sound like someone with “no other choice”.
“It won’t be for too long. It’ll only be until Yan Jin returns.” Shao Yue was in a very cheerful mood. “The kind of person the chairman is doesn’t affect a company too greatly. Look at Zhou Jinrong. He’s dated so many superstars and nothing ever happens to him. Compared to someone like that, Yan Jin hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“That’s right. YL is already very stable currently. A minor issue like this won’t damage our foundations,” Secretary Fang concluded.