Translator: iamfeiii

Editor: Rei

Quality Check: Tezuka

First Published on Chaleuria

Chapter Sixty-Nine: Winner III

After the banquet, the guests gradually returned to the main hall.

“We have come to an end for the evaluation segment. We would like to invite everyone to take a look at the final scores on the main screen.” The emcee on the stage quickly rushed out his speech as he hesitantly announced the final results.

The crowd look at the main screen.

Compared to their own company’s ranking, the majority of the crowd was more interested in Mr. Mystery’s final ranking.

However –

“Eh? Was there any change?”

“The ranking has not changed. Am I blind?”

“The scores were not amended? Mr. Mystery is still ranked number one.”

“Didn’t they call for an internal discussion on that? And this is the outcome of the discussion? I think they might as well call this conference a failure.”

On the main screen, Mr. Mystery’s work was still plastered at the top of the ranking list as the crowd went wild again.

Even Yan Jin was puzzled with this result. He turned to look at Secretary Fang who was beside him and asked: “There really were no amendments made?”

It was not that he could not completely accept this result, but it just seemed too illogical.

Yan Jin even included the possibility that Nan Chan would stir up trouble again, which was why he was surprised by this result.

Secretary Fang quickly shook her head: “It’s not that, the ranking did not change but…”

Then, the voice of the emcee once again echoed through the entire hall, covering Secretary Fang’s incomplete words.

“After internal discussion, we took into consideration that the original jewelry competition preceded the Autumn Release Conference. To allow future competitions to be held smoothly during the conference, we have added a new rule that for all non-physical works submitted to us, the rank of their exhibition booth will be demoted by two places. To compensate the demotion, the organizers will then provide alternatives for them.”

That ruling was purely pinpointed at the individual works category, as all corporate works submitted had physical samples. And most of the individual design competitors were in no condition to materialize their design.

The moment the host’s words ended, the image on the main screen had several changes.

Creating an uproar once again was naturally Mr. Mystery’s ranking that dropped from first place to the third. Second place rose to first, and third rose to second.

“What a way to counter it.”

“They can even do it that way by changing the rules so last minute.”

“It’s quite a feat to be able to come up with such a solution. The organizers didn’t have it easy.”

Almost everyone was staring at the change among the top three places, which was why very few people noticed that at the same moment, the individual work that was originally in the seventeenth place had been demoted to nineteenth place.

Yan Jin did not miss that dramatic moment.

The individual work that was in the seventeenth place was the same work that Zhou Jinrong had used to show off to him earlier. And now, because of the demotion for the individual works, its rank had dropped from seventeenth place to nineteenth. Also, YL, who was ranked nineteenth originally, now raised its rank to eighteenth – naturally standing above SI’s designer.

The edge of Yan Jin’s lips curled slightly.

Secretary Fang did not know what had happened while she went to coordinate with the organizers earlier. But that did not stop her from noticing that Yan Jin mood had turned pleasant.

To avoid the gathering crowd, Yan Jin specifically chose to sit in the last two rows. The position was not considered a good spot, but he was still able to watch his surroundings. The moment that the amendment was made, Yan Jin looked down with a teasing gaze and happened to align his gaze with Zhou Jinrong, who was looking upwards.

It was as if the atmosphere was filled with the smell of smoke.

Yan Jin was calm and collected while Zhou Jinrong was angry beyond words.

Their gazes connected for a second before Yan Jin looked away first, as if the gaze was just a coincidence.

However, it was not a coincidence. That gaze was provocative; it was an arrogant win and a well-paced counterattack.

Zhou Jinrong scoffed.

So, this person isn’t as unambitious as he looks on the surface. It turns out that he also had the desire to win.

But, how was that a win? SI’s rank was still above YL, was that not the reality? Even if they had fallen below the top ten, there was still a difference between rank eleven and rank eighteen¹. That was the real victory, wasn’t it?

… Wasn’t it?

Everything had already been decided – was that really the case?

Very quickly, Zhou Jinrong had his answers.

“Earlier backstage, we received several contracts for transfer of exhibition booth rights from the individual works. We will now be announcing the exhibition booth placing that was arranged accordingly.”

Due to the change in the conference venue, the alignment of the various segments, and the improvement of the setups etc., there would always be changes to the specific positions and setups for the Autumn Release Conference each year. The organizers had informed guests of the specific arrangements, so that was a very normal thing to hear.

However, what caught the attention of the crowd was obviously the first half of that sentence.

Received several contracts for transfer of exhibition booth rights from the individual works? That seemed logical; the exhibition booth itself did not have much value to those individual work designers. They might as well make a deal with the companies. The Autumn Release Conference would be starting tomorrow, so the companies with lower rankings had quickly struck their deals with the designers.

But, there was a critical question – among those several contracts for transfer of exhibition booth, did it include that Mr. Mystery?

The guests looked at the main screen with anticipation as they waited for the answer to be revealed.

The images changed once again as the original scores and works disappeared completely. The final presentation slide only had two columns – the ranks and the name of the corporation or designer.

The crowd quickly looked at the third row.

Mr. Mystery… was gone!

The crowd gasped in astonishment.

The organizers even purposely pulled a prank and temporarily blanked out the names of every designer that had transferred their exhibition booth. And that included the designer who was in third place. They would only reveal the corporation’s name when the emcee announced it.

“The first exhibition place is located at…”

The uproar off stage had begun once again. The crowd was impatient to know the results. They could not wait for the emcee to immediately announce the top two winners. The first and second winners who should have received more attention were instead being neglected. And that was because people were obviously more interested in which company had taken down this Mr. Mystery.

Especially when many of these people were ordered by their leaders to search for that mystery designer and had not even gotten a chance to attend the banquet on top of failing to find him. They waited for the results as their stomachs rumbled.

They gritted their teeth in displeasure as they stared at that blank column right beside third place, waiting for the name of the company to appear.

“The third exhibition booth has already been confirmed to be transferred. It now belongs to City S’s famous jewelry corporation – “

YL!

The moment the emcee finished speaking, his voice echoed within the venue.

At that moment, almost ninety percent of the people inside the venue turned to look at Yan Jin.

Among those people, half of them were genuinely interested in getting to know Yan Jin, the other half was just joining in the bandwagon.

The scale of this year’s Autumn Release Conference was grander than ever before. And that was why several guests weren’t really from City S. While it was true that Yan Jin was quite a famous character in City S, because of the fact that he rarely made an appearance in public events, his name was not well-known.

The blabbering conversations erupted instantly. However, the main person of the topic, Yan Jin, was not pleased at all.

He even found an inconspicuous spot to sit in. There weren’t even many people around him. Yet it had become a bad choice as that made it easier for the crowd to watch him.

“YL refers to that company in City S, right?”

“They were ranked nineteenth at first. After the demotion, they rose to the eighteenth and now they suddenly leapt to third place. What kind of luck is that?”

“YL has made a big turnaround this time.”

“To be able to take down the exhibition spot is also a kind of ability. Stop saying things out of envy.”

“Goddammit. That Mr. Mystery’s phone didn’t go through, we can’t add him through QQ, and there was no reply to the email. To be able to contact such a person… Impressive.”

The emcee on the stage began to inform every company about their allocated venues and methods of promotion, but very few were listening. After all, even if they did not listen, they would also receive a copy of the information after the announcement ended. How could it be more interesting than finding out more gossip?

Especially to the majority of the female audience in the venue; Yan Jin’s appearance was an event that made them feel overjoyed.

“Ohmygod. It’s Yan Jin, that Yan Jin!”

“Is that the person who never attends public gatherings and parties?”

“The Yan family even has business in the jewelry industry? I haven’t heard of that. And why City S?”

Soon, even people from other cities joined in on the discussion.

“Wow, YL’s chairman is so handsome, I thought it would be some old uncle.”

“Such a good man is actually single? It’s way too illogical. If their company is still hiring, I’ll resign.”

“This is what we call the final big winner!”

……

Several companies from City S went to gather around Yan Jin to congratulate him, as well as those from the other cities. The people gradually fished out their name cards to show their intentions to get to know this young chairperson.

Of course, what they wanted to know more about, was in fact that Mr. Mystery who was still uncontactable to this point.

Yan Jin had no choice but to get up and handle them. Luckily, he had already guessed that things might turn out this way and had already prepared a reply.

“As one of the companies that represented City S to participate in this Autumn Release Conference, we…”

Very obviously, it was a polite formal speech. There was no hint of revealing anything related to Mr. Mystery. While the crowd was displeased, there was nothing they could do about it, because Yan Jin’s speech was too perfect and appropriate.

Many of the people from the other cities did not know that because Yan Jin was such an attention-gathering person, YL’s public relations crisis department was the best in their field.

Similarly, while Yan Jin was receiving the attention, Zhou Jinrong also attracted quite a few gazes as a representative of City S’s corporations.

Although most of those gazes were full of mockery.

This was a big reversal that no one in the venue had expected. It was a known fact that City S’s YL and SI were both considered the number one jewelry corporations. However, YL’s milestone was way shorter than SI’s. To most people from the other cities, when someone mentioned City S’s jewelry corporation, they would still remember SI as their first option. This was the first time that SI had been overtaken by another corporation in the Autumn Release Conference. At the same time, it was also the first time that SI had been kicked out of the top ten rankings.

There would always be meddlesome people around. They gathered around and started to gesticulate about Zhou Jinrong. Whispering about how a new generation would excel the previous, and how some older brand corporation was just strong in appearance but weak in reality.

Among them included several corporations that had rather good relationship with SI. However, the industry had no lack of people who were opportunists.

Zhou Jinrong was very used to the feeling of being surrounded by everyone’s gaze. For at least ten years, he had been exposing himself under bright spotlights and had no qualms over showing off his own dazzling feathers.

This was the first time in his life that he felt that the gaze on his body was that disgusting and hateful.

The discussion around him sounded like poisonous bees buzzing, noisy, but at the same time, made his body feel cold all over.

Zhou Jinrong was very used to the feeling of being surrounded by everyone’s gaze. For at least ten years, he had been exposing himself under bright spotlights and had no qualms over showing off his own dazzling feathers.

This was the first time in his life that he felt that the gazes on his body were so disgusting and hateful.

The discussion around him sounded like the buzzing of poisonous bees: noisy, but at the same time, they made his body feel cold all over.

Zhou Jinrong was in a trance. It was as if the previous second, he saw how SI had perfectly won over YL as it ranked tenth. However, in the next second, everything had changed.

YL snatched the third-place exhibition booth. As for SI, SI was ranked… eleventh.

He did not even turn around to look at Yan Jin.

At this point, he finally understood that the reason Yan Jin did not react to his provocation was because he had sat on the throne a long time ago.

Who was the winner?

Yan Jin did not need to answer his question.

The one who panicked was him. The one who felt as if he was sitting on pins and needles was him. Right from the start, the person who was worried that he would lose, was him.

The winner was absolutely quiet, only failures would act aggressive.

Zhou Jinrong suddenly stood up from his seat and took a step forward as he stumbled.

“Chairman Zhou, are you alright?” The staff member beside Zhou Jinrong quickly got up as he attempted to hold the ashen man. Never did he expect that the moment his hand touched Zhou Jinrong’s suit, it would be shaken off harshly.

The staff member balanced himself in the frantic situation and when he turned around again, he saw Zhou Jinrong sway twice like a drunkard and directly fall onto the seats in front of him.

“Chairman Zhou, Chairman Zhou!”

“Ambulance! Call the ambulance quickly! Someone just fainted!”


Translator’s Note:

[1] … there was still a difference between rank eleven and rank eighteen: In the actual raw, it says ‘rank eleven and seventeen’ instead. We think that it’s a typo or a mistake, but just in case we interpreted it wrong, we pointed it out. 😉


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