Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter Sixty-Six: The Chaotic Opening Ceremony
When Yan Jin saw Nan Chan’s name on the list of invited guests, he knew that things were going to get messy.
The organizing committee behind the Autumn Release Conference had always been the same few organizations and corporations, with absolutely no change for several years. Moreover, it was publicly known that the Nan family rarely got themselves involved with jewelry events. This sudden change had simply caught them off guard.
Yan Jin, who had reached the venue early, settled himself in the audience area. In less than ten minutes, his mobile started vibrating.
Secretary Fang, who was sitting beside him, heard his phone going off. She reminded softly: “Chairman Yan, your mobile is ringing.”
Yan Jin glanced at the caller ID and hung up without any hesitation.
Shortly after, his mobile started vibrating again.
This time, Yan Jin switched his mobile to do-not-disturb mode right away.
When the opening ceremony had officially started, Yan Jin noticed that Secretary Fang was using her mobile with her head down. He asked: “Is the award list out?”
Secretary Fang did not have a pleasant look on her face: “It’s out, but…”
“Let me take a look.”
“I’ve sent it to you.”
Yan Jin glanced through the two award-lists and remained silent.
Compared to any other previous year, this year’s Autumn Release Conference was the largest in scale. With the amount of companies participating, the competition also became fiercer than before. The majority of the corporate awards were monopolized by City H and City F’s biggest companies. Hardly any of the companies who were from City S made it onto the list. YL only managed to win third place for the most stylish award. Yet even so, it was not considered an outstanding win.
What made it even more terrifying was that SI won second place for the best design. That made YL’s situation even more vulnerable.
When Secretary Fang saw the award list, she had already begun to feel uneasy. The conference was simply too important for YL, which did not have a stable base in the market. SI had been treating YL as an eyesore ever since last year. If SI suppressed them in this event, they would have a tough journey down the road in the following year.
She wanted to convince herself not to have negative thoughts, but she could not shake the ominous feeling in her heart.
After helplessly floundering for a while, Secretary Fang stole a glance at Yan Jin. That man’s stoic profile made her heart skip a beat.
An unknown confidence suddenly emerged from her restless inner self. She felt that YL could not lose. Even if they lost this Autumn Release Conference, they would still gain the next and the subsequent Autumn.
Yan Jin was like the pillar of YL. As long as he was still there, YL would remain standing forever.
Secretary Fang stood up suddenly.
“It’s about to start, where are you going?”
“I’ll make some arrangement with old Wang.”
Before Yan Jin could ask ‘What’s the point of doing that at this critical juncture?’, Secretary Fang had already run away.
In her seven-inch heels too.
Chairman Yan quietly withdrew his hand and opened his mobile to deliver the good news to Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both.
[Grey-white SS]: Well, prepared to raise your price?
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Hn, I’m a man of honor. Money is nothing.
Xiao Yu, who had Yan Jin’s secondary credit card had great confidence as he typed that out.
Yan Jin lowered his phone. He became even more interested in Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both’s true identity.
Even at this moment, Yan Jin did not believe a single word of the story where that person had run away from home to pursue his dreams.
Strength was everything. Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both’s design style was experienced and mature. He seemed to be well-versed on such large-scaled competitions. It was obvious that he had been through a systematic learning process and was molded by it. It was impossible that he would be an underage person who had run away from home.
Humble and patient, not demanding and not striving for more. Even money and status could not deter his thoughts. He was mysterious and hard to grasp. Could it be that he was a pro who hid himself from the public?
But from the way he spoke and his attitude, he did not seem like a senior that was older.
Could it be, he was a little demon who lived thousands of years just like Fishy?
Yan Jin was shocked by his own guess. He quickly shook away that eerie possibility. Just then, the organizer was about to start talking and it grasped Yan Jin’s attention.
At the opening ceremony, the organizer’s speech took up half an hour before it moved onto the grading segment of the Ragnarok competition. Every piece of work would be shown for a minute and a half for evaluation. Along with the interim break time, everything would end in two and a half hours. It would then be time for the banquet and the results would be announced after dinner.
This was the first day of the Autumn Release Conference. They would be very busy once the banquet starts, lasting until late at night.
Yan Jin was just thinking about whether he should quickly send a message to his hamster when a familiar voice was heard: “If it isn’t Chairman Yan. Nice to see you.”
“Chairman Zhou, nice to see you too.” Yan Jin got up and shook hands with that person.
SI’s leader, Zhou Jinrong. At only thirty-three years old, he was the other super-rich bachelor that was on par with Yan Jin in City S. However, compared to Yan Jin, who avoided immorality, Chairman Zhou was incomparable with his various scandals with actresses.
“It seems that City S’s situation doesn’t look too good for this conference. I’m worried about SI, but seeing how calm and collected Chairman Yan is, YL must have something up their sleeve.”
Yan Jin returned a smile. The results were already released – SI was ahead of YL. What Chairman Zhou meant was as clear as the sky.
Zhou Jinrong was simply trying to pour salt on the wound, which was why he never would have expected that Yan Jin would reply:
Naturally? What did he mean by naturally?
Unconcerned with Zhou Jinrong’s suspicion, Yan Jin quickly added: “We probably can’t amaze the world with a single brilliant feat, but we will try to be deserving of our efforts.”
Zhou Jinrong swallowed the vulgarity that was on the tip of his tongue. He took a deep breath and let out a weird laugh: “We shall wait and see.”
Yan Jin did not reply, causing Zhou Jinrong to become even more convinced that Yan Jin was just putting up a front.
Hah, continue pretending then. A few hours later, it will be time for you to beg me.
When the speech ended, the guests on the stage took their seats. Nan Chan was the last person. Two of her phone calls were rejected and even blocked in the end. She did not seem very happy.
The final evaluation was a points-accumulation system. It consisted of fifty corporate works and twenty individual works among the qualifiers. There were ten guests and every one of them would present a final score. Lastly, the ranking would be decided based on the final points accumulated.
The qualifying round began very quickly, instantly increasing the tension in the atmosphere. The total score was a point deduction process starting from a hundred points, with the corporate works starting first. Most of the designs’ evaluation were revealed very quickly. The scores were announced live and the first half of the ranking became very apparent.
Yan Jin sighed.
It was depressing knowing that after working their best for two whole months, they did not earn any good results.
What made Yan Jin more frustrated was that the majority of the failure was because of himself.
The Nan family had even used such a treacherous method, almost forcing him to choose between fighting against the Nan family or marrying Nan Chan.
Among the dark audience seats, nobody saw Yan Jin’s dangerous smile.
He had never feared threats, much less a challenge.
Moreover, he was far from getting forced to that state yet. He wondered if the Nan family would still have the guts to challenge him after tonight.
“Chairman Yan…” Secretary Fang complexion was pale as she spoke with a slightly trembling voice: “We’re in tenth place now. But there’s still City H’s two biggest companies in the second half round, and SI has yet to appear.”
Yan Jin asked: “What do you think about the individual work?”
It was obvious that Secretary Fang had not thought that Yan Jin would ask that question. When she caught on to the question, she replied: “Are you referring to buying the exhibition booth rights for the individual work? It would be a little difficult. I just heard that several companies with abundant financial resources were all aiming for that Best Design award and the Most Creative award.”
“Oh, the Best Design award.” Yan Jin nodded his head: “Good choice.”
Secretary Fang did not get it.
“Do you think it can get into the top five?”
“Well…” Although she did not get what Yan Jin was trying to say, she began to follow his train of thought: “I don’t think it’s possible. Mainly because of the evaluation team and the opponents from the corporate works. The individual works have a lower chance of getting a high placing, much less getting into the top ten.”
Along with that, Secretary Fang added: “I did not pay attention to the individual work segment, but… this is a competition based on original designs after all. Its principle was to be fair to everyone. If the work does have high standards, then it would be worth giving it a good placing.”
It’s just that the word ‘fair’ was probably the hardest thing to do and the most difficult thing to promise under the influence of the bad elements of a business-associated conference.
The second half of the evaluation promptly began. Very quickly, all of the corporate works had gotten their placing. YL’s final placing was fifteenth place. SI had better luck and was placed tenth.
Zhou Jinrong was instantly surrounded by several entrepreneurs who act pragmatically. In comparison, Yan Jin’s surroundings were visibly quieter.
“Chairman Zhou’s company is simply too outstanding.”
“Such fierce competition and yet you still have not fallen behind. You fully deserve City S’s number one title.”
“Oh, come on, you’re too flattering. Chairman Zhu’s placing is pretty good too.”
Zhou Jinrong, who was surrounded like a revered leader casually turned to look at Yan Jin. The provocation in his gaze almost bled out.
Yan Jin avoided Zhou Jinrong’s gaze and nodded. That reaction made Chairman Zhou even more proud of himself.
There was a small break before the individual work evaluation started. As the youngest female among the invited guests, Nan Chan could not avoid having people strike up conversations with her.
“To have Miss Nan gracing our audience today, it makes us old men feel inferior.”
“Don’t mention it, Chairman Chen.” Nan Chan smoothly deflected.
“This must be the first time for Miss Nan to attend such an evaluation segment. Has Miss Nan taken a fancy to any of the works in the individual segment?”
“Oh, individual work. I don’t really fancy them…” Nan Chan paused for a moment, looked up and took a glance at the audience: “But there is something I found quite interesting.”
Upon hearing Nan Chan’s words, the surrounding guests became interested in the topic.
“And which work was it?”
“That’s the one, the Best Design award. I think… many ladies like myself would like that work.”
Nan Chan’s sentence had three pauses. The guests who had listened well would have understood the message.
The guests’ conversation on the stage was broadcasted publicly.
When Yan Jin heard Nan Chan’s words, he suddenly had a bad feeling.
The scores for the individual works were generally lower than the corporate works. Even if the scores were slightly higher, it would not affect those corporate works’ placing.
The majority of the guests had received benefits from one or multiple companies. They would carefully evaluate all of the corporate works that were qualified. However, there was less consideration when it came to evaluating individual works.
Several guests that were planning to curry favor with the Nan family started to get restless.
Even if they did not succeed in currying the Nan family, with a big beauty like Nan Chan sitting there, even if it was just giving face to her, there would not be any problem.
That thought was not an issue.
The issue was eight of the invited guests all had such thoughts.
Ten invited guests, eight of them – not even including Nan Chan herself.
The last invited guest was quite interesting. He was a man with upright morals and plainspoken. He did not even bother about what others were thinking. He was a well-known design master who had solid capabilities and talent in the design circle. This design master did not care whether it was corporate or individual work and had given his evaluation based on his own set of standards.
Then, the accident happened.
The evaluation scores were announced live. At the moment, the highest score for the corporate work was 88.3, placed number one at the big billboard.
And the work placed third from backwards, the work that had won the Best Design award, without anyone paying attention –
The scores announced was 88.9!
The audience immediately went wild.