Reborn into a Hamster for 233 Days
Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter Forty-Four: Incapable Ruler
Xiao Yu was not very interested in Yan Jin’s dull and tedious paperwork, but he had a lot of interest in the Autumn Release Conference. Even if he wasn’t willing to, Xiao Yu still forced himself to search for any related content from those densely packed paragraphs.
As if Yan Jin had seen through Xiao Yu’s torturous expression, he lifted his hand, took away the lengthy documents, and swapped it with another pile of documents that were covered with pictures.
“These should be more interesting. Play with these.” Yan Jin kind-heartedly explained to his hamster.
“Squeakkk!” It’s not time to play! Am I a hamster with no resolve?! I just want to see any news related to the Autumn Release Conference, okay?!
Xiao Yu turned to look at those colorful pictures in disapproval and stomped on them scornfully.
The moment he raised his foot, Xiao Yu realized that something wasn’t right.
Why were these documents so fancy? What were these? Why do these kinds of documents exist?
At a closer look, Xiao Yu was overjoyed. Those weren’t really documents – the thick pile of papers were actually a pile of design drafts.
Design drafts? Design drafts of what?
That question sounded a bit foolish. To have the chance to be placed on Yan Jin’s work desk at such a critical period, what else could those design drafts be? Obviously, they were the design drafts for the Autumn Release Conference!
Xiao Yu had already begun calculating the time. Today was Friday, September 12th. By the time Yan Jin brought these documents home, finished them off over the weekend, and brought them back to his company, they would be exactly two months away from the conference. Setting aside time for factory production and accounting for miscellaneous details, everything would take about half a month. That would mean that they had a month and a half left. There was sufficient time, so these drawings couldn’t be the latest ones.
For the upcoming Autumn Release Conference, aside from the exhibition for the new product releases, most companies would allocate some space for existing products that were already on the market. No companies would be an exception to this practice. Each company would use the exhibition as a chance to promote their best-selling products from the previous year. YL was one such case, except that the judgement of ‘best-sellers’ laid in Yan Jin’s hands.
This was where YL was different from SI. SI would base their decisions on the market sales data, making the need to go through their chairperson redundant.
Xiao Yu would not make any judgement on the merits and drawbacks for such arrangements. Any matters related to the company’s operational matters of philosophy had nothing to do with him, nor would he understand them. What he knew was whether a drawing was good or bad – That was his job scope.
It was just like a mathematics question that needed to be solved.
This pile of drawings had a total of thirty pieces, and every piece was the masterpiece of the world’s greatest designers. The sales volume and marketing related data were all stated in the side columns of the drawing – there was no need for Xiao Yu to analyze the data. He only needed to roughly understand the meaning behind those numbers and the additional requirements of having a unique platform such as the Autumn Release Conference. All the prerequisites were mentioned above, and they would select the five most suitable drawings to be displayed at the exhibition from there.
Five was a general numerical amount that Xiao Yu could understand. Even if YL was determined to be unconventional, they would not stray too far from that figure.
Yet Yan Jin passed those drawings to Xiao Yu as a plaything. Not that the chairperson would be worried that Xiao Yu would accidentally chew on it. After all, those were just photocopies – he could have as many as he wished; there was no need to worry about the cost of paper.
Under Yan Jin’s unrestrained actions, a mysterious scene unfolded.
Xiao Yu put down the drawing that were in his paw, wobbled his way over to Yan Jin’s hand and dipped his little paw into the ink bottle beside the fountain pen!
Yan Jin couldn’t stop his hamster in time. He looked on helplessly as that white little paw was stained black.
Yan Jin had made a mistake. He had chosen to close the ink bottle first before reaching out to grab Xiao Yu. That move made him miss the opportunity to capture his hamster as Xiao Yu nimbly rolled over and successfully escaped his hands.
Xiao Yu, who had successfully made an escape, quickly ran onto the drawing, settled his butt on it, and stretched out his paw –
The black little paw was pressed onto the drawing.
Although Yan Jin was mentally prepared to be tormented by Xiao Yu, when the chairman witnessed Xiao Yu’s method of torment, he couldn’t help but to be deeply shaken by it.
This is one hell of a mysterious hamster. Yan Jin could not refrain from ridiculing.
Yan Jin, whose attention was successfully diverted, put aside the work in his hand and devoted himself to watch as Xiao Yu fooled around.
Xiao Yu had wrecked one of the drawings, but did not touch the second one. He lowered himself to bite on that drawing, threw it aside, and revealed the next drawing.
Sshh. Thrown away.
The black-colored paw stopped on the top corner of the drawing as Xiao Yu lowered his head, throwing that drawing aside.
No sealing; he did not put a seal on that drawing.
Sshh. Thrown away.
This drawing had no seal either.
Initially, Yan Jin was only quietly watching his pet play around. Moments later, he couldn’t help but realize something.
Could he be selecting the drawings?
After watching for a few more seconds, Yan Jin felt that the possibilities were getting higher.
Chairman Yan picked up the few drawings that Xiao Yu had thrown aside. As expected, he arranged them neatly, flipped through them, and found that not all drawings had paw prints – only two drawings among those ten pieces had paw prints.
A coincidence? Yan Jin looked at Xiao Yu in bewilderment.
The expensive ink was splattered everywhere, yet Yan Jin did not seem to mind at all.
Very quickly, all thirty drawings were completely ‘evaluated’.
The ink on Xiao Yu’s paw was unclear by the fourth drawing. The hardworking Xiao Yu squeaked at Yan Jin, and the latter expressed his understanding as he opened up the ink bottle.
Xiao Yu unreservedly stuck his short little paw into the ink bottle and stirred in it.
All thirty drawings were now in Yan Jin’s hand. Chairman Yan frowned as he looked through them once again.
There were a total of seven drawings that Xiao Yu had sealed his paw print on. Six of those happened to be the choices that Yan Jin had in mind.
Hm, it must be coincidence.
Fishy had proven himself to be the hamster that he kept – he knew Yan Jin’s thoughts too well.
Yan Jin, who was deceiving himself, scooped Xiao Yu into his hand and tenderly stroked that little paw whose fur had been rubbed off.
“Very good, we’ll settle on these few pieces.” Yan Jin supportively set aside those drawings that Xiao Yu had picked out and put away the ones that were not.
“We’ll throw these seven pieces to the design department and let them choose five, okay?”
“Squeak.” Of course.
At this moment, Yan Jin was like the last king of Western Zhou, who had fooled the nobles of the various vassal states of Zhou¹, showing off the traits of an incapable ruler.
It did not matter if King Zhou You was an incapable ruler. In fact, he did that because he was obsessed with making his beauty smile. He was not the only example of a ruler who loved his beauties more than his country – In addition, the concubine Baosi appreciated what her ruler did for her. In Yan Jin’s case, it was more interesting than that – to be obsessed with making his hamster smile? What kind of setup was that?
You would never have guessed, but there was such a setup.
Xiao Yu nodded his head reservedly as if saying ‘this young man is promising’, clearly unaware that he was a hamster-fatale².
Yan Jin watched how cocky Xiao Yu was and couldn’t help but want to tease his hamster.
Thus, Yan Jin picked up one of the drawings from the seven pieces and swayed it in front of Xiao Yu.
“I don’t have high hopes on this drawing though…”
Xiao Yu took a closer look and got angry.
The sales volume for that necklace wasn’t that high, but it had brought a spike in sales figures after it was put on display during his previous life’s Autumn Release Conference – Yan Jin, you illiterate!
So, Xiao Yu forcefully sealed his paw onto that drawing and pressed really hard on the paper.
“Squeakk!!” Must be included!
On Monday, YL’s Chairman Yan took a rare leave of absence. The entire company was brimming with vitality as if it was spring.
Without their Chairman, there would be no sudden inspections, no morning nor evening meetings, and no danger of turbulent winds preceding the mountain storm.
It was time to relax themselves. Some of the employees were even planning to go for a drink after work.
The relaxation that was hard to come by before the Autumn Release Conference was also one of Yan Jin’s plans.
It was just that, there was one thing that was promptly arranged even without Yan Jin’s presence.
Secretary Fan handed over the pile of drawings to the design director and asked them to choose five drawings for the Autumn Release Conference.
It goes without saying that this should not be a problem at all. They were all aware that Chairman Yan had collected the drawings last Friday. Now that seven drawings were chosen, and they had to decide which five to choose – it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Except that the other twenty-three pieces were also returned with the seven chosen drawings.
Problems came with having things to compare.
Those drawings had some strange little black dots… What were those?
They all had thought that maybe the dots were ink stains that were left behind when the documents got splattered by accident. Yet all seven drawings had those stains, and that was weird. Upon a closer inspection, those little black dots actually looked quite exquisite.
It was about one-fourth the size of a one-dollar coin. If you took a closer look, those little black dots had four forks sticking out, evenly spread out, with deep and shallow parts – very exquisite indeed.
No matter how they looked at it, it was impossible that those were accidental stains, nor were it drawn by a fountain pen.
The design director studied the black dots, but came to no conclusion. So he got the others from the design department to look at them together.
It was supposed to be a joke, but in the end, a few people in the group who loved to fool around, brought out a magnifying glass and crowded around to study it.
With the help of the magnifying glass, the entire black dot was revealed very clearly.
There were two parts – four oval-shaped little dots on the top and a pea-shaped bottom with the sunken parts slightly shallower.
“Are these… footprints?” someone said unsurely.
“I think so.”
“It must be a footprint, no doubt.”
The design director was still puzzled: “What kind of footprint is this? How could it be so small?”
“It shouldn’t be a cat – their paws don’t look like that.”
“Obviously. Where on earth can you find such a small cat?”
“Only the drawings that Chairman Yan picked out had those markings. It must be a seal.”
“What kind of seal?”
“You know, like when you’re in kindergarten, the teachers would give children who performed well a small red stamp.”
The group of people look at each other in dismay.
That explanation actually sounded logical, but wasn’t that… too childish?
Was Chairman Yan this kind of chairperson?
The design director turned to look at the designer who came up with the little red seal logic and sincerely suggested: “Why don’t you ask him?”
“Wow, boss, don’t get me in trouble. No way I’m asking.”
The crowd fooled around again before they finally dispersed themselves.
Eventually, the design director selected four drawings after he evaluated the sales figures. The remaining three weren’t too different from each other, but the factor that led him to come up with a decision from among those three was a small, little finding –
The one drawing that he had the least hopes for had two little black dots on it!
Since then, somehow or another, Yan Jin’s exclusive paw print seal suddenly spread throughout YL. YL’s designers took it as a supreme honor if their drawings could receive such a paw print, especially after the Autumn Release Conference.
 烽火戏诸侯的周幽王 – the last king of the Western Zhou (795-771 BC) was infamous for being an incapable ruler. He lit up the beacon tower for the sake of entertaining his concubine. When his vassals saw that the beacon tower was light up, they thought that the country was under attack. But when they rushed to save their king, it turned out that it was just a joke by the king. It then happened a few more times. Later, when the real attack eventually came, nobody came to rescue their king. (Basically, an older, Chinese version of the boy who cried wolf. xD)
 鼠颜祸水 (hamster-fatale) – a term that would only be used when your hamster is seductive enough to lure men into dangerous or compromising situations. (The original English term was of course, Femme Fatale.)