Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter Seventy-One: Needless Doubt
Yan Jin got caught up in his thoughts.
Needless to say, this jewelry box design was very, very familiar to him…
After searching for so many years, just as he was about to see the light at the end of the tunnel, Yan Jin suddenly got cold feet.
There was a voice deep in his heart that told him over and over again – Yes, it is. This is the person. This is his Mr. Mystery.
The name Mr. Mystery was a name that Yan Jin had given to Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both.
When they were fighting with SI for that overseas billionaire’s deal, YL won the deal that was worth a thousand bricks of gold and the chance for a priceless collaboration with just one drawing that had no name signed on it.
When Yan Jin stood in front of a group of conniving old foxes in SI corporation’s meeting room, he could not use the hilarious name Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both. Instead, he told the audience that the designer who saved them in this desperate crisis was Mr. Mystery.
The mystery designer, Mr. Mystery.
Because they called him the mystery designer, he should remain anonymous.
The people from SI could tell that Yan Jin was messing with them, but they could not do anything about it.
It was true that he was messing around – Yan Jin had long grown tired of those people who liked to flaunt their seniority, so he made use of that opportunity to mock them to his heart’s content – that was Yan Jin’s original intention.
However, the name Mr. Mystery was not created because he wanted to fool them.
In his life, there was a Mr. Mystery who had appeared before. A person who connected his past and future, yet left no clues behind – it was Mr. Mystery.
After pondering for a long time, Yan Jin finally thought of how he should word his question.
… Have you designed anything other than jewelry?
Yan Jin thought he would be very nervous, but he was not. When he raised that question, his emotions were surprisingly calm.
Before even replying, he already knew the answer.
He once said that so long as this designer appeared before him, he would definitely be able to recognize them.
Yan Jin had never lied before.
He would not overestimate his own abilities, so when he said ‘I can’, it meant that he would definitely be able to do it.
[Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both]: Never ever.
Yan Jin felt helpless.
If someone else was rejected so resolutely, perhaps he would doubt on his own judgement. But Yan Jin would not.
He knew the reason Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both replied that way was because the other party had yet to realize what type of designer he was.
He had once heard from the most respected person in his life that it was very rare for a designer’s style and standards to change because of the client and their requests. But it was not impossible. When there was a designer with such characteristics, more often than not, they would face restrictions from their official career because of their outstanding talent and capability. Their extraordinary talent would be restricted by the supposed ‘company’s philosophy’ as well as the client’s request and end up unable to show off their true capability.
The ingenuity that no mortals could fathom would only be released when they could express themselves freely.
And the person that Yan Jin respected the most was the same type of designer. In all his works, only the jewelry that he designed because of his job was unable to warm people’s hearts.
It was highly possible that Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both was that type of designer as well. In addition, it seemed that he himself had not realized it.
Yan Jin had a way to verify if Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both was really his Mr. Mystery. He had a lot that he wanted to say and much more that he wanted to tell Mr. Mystery.
But now was not the time.
Yan Jin sighed.
The Autumn Release Conference was just before his eyes. It was less than twelve hours before the official opening. If he were to acknowledge Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both right now, YL may have to give up on this year’s Autumn Release Conference.
In that instant, Yan Jin certainly felt that the Autumn Release Conference was really trivial… but thankfully such thoughts quickly disappeared.
Suppressing his urges, Yan Jin confirmed the display method for the exhibition item with Fish and Hamster – You Can’t Have Both. Then, he contacted Secretary Fang and threw the file to his employees to plan and dragged the design director up to amend the color coordination…
Chairman Yan’s energetic drive influenced the entire group of YL employees. They did not dare to slack as they cautiously and conscientiously did whatever task was asked of them – no one even grumbled about staying up through the night.
It was four hours before the Autumn Release Conference would begin. They had finally settled everything.
Yan Jin rubbed his temples as he leaned on the couch with his eyes closed.
Because of the overexcitement last night, the passion that burned in his heart was too strong. It was nice that he had finished his work, but the fatigue after the work was done was also surprisingly strong.
In just a quick moment, Yan Jin accidentally fell asleep.
It was rare for him to dream of something that had happened a very, very long time ago.
He once thought that there would be nothing worth anticipating in his life ever again.
He had come back from overseas and would take everything that belonged to him. He would send those sinners to hell and then, then nothing else.
His life had already come to an end long ago. The person he was right now only continued existing in this world in order to fulfill some regrets that he had.
Yan Jin once thought that he had already planned what he should be doing everyday in his future. Next, all he had to do was to routinely complete those tasks, wait for the results, and then everything would come to an end – even if everything included himself.
Until he took over YL.
Allowing him to take over YL was no doubt a stupid move made by the Yan family. It was so stupid that Yan Jin did not even consider including it into his plans.
However, so what? It just quickened the progress of his victory.
That was what he thought back then. Now, he was extremely grateful to the Yan family for such a stupid move.
He could even say that the reason the Yan family was still struggling on whilst at death’s door right now was undoubtedly because YL had become the beacon of light that brightened Yan Jin’s boring life.
It was not an intense kind of glow, but it certainly made him anticipate the future.
And the source of all that was just one small stupid item.
When he had just taken over YL, Yan Jin was not even clear about the difference between jewelry design and clothing design. And yet, there were many things waiting to be done in YL that left Yan Jin with no time to adjust himself slowly. Helpless, Yan Jin got his assistant to search for capable talents all over the world and ask around about the industry’s news. He did not idle either as he tried all sorts of ways to infiltrate the leading corporation at that time, SI, which was a mighty figure that no-one dared to approach.
That was the point where Yan Jin had met Lin Zhou.
From the words of that junior designer, Yan Jin received a lot of information that he needed. He also found out about some… surprising matters.
The ex-chief designer was a gifted talent that appeared once in a century. He suddenly appeared fifteen years ago. Using his extraordinary talent and insight, he saved SI, which was being targeted by several big corporations at the time. It could be said that he was the pioneer of SI’s flourishing dynasty.
However, that outstanding designer suddenly vanished into thin air five years ago. Since then, no one had ever heard of him.
Yan Jin heard from Lin Zhou about that gifted talent’s name, then went into a trance.
No matter how many years had passed, he would never forget that name.
That name was the only warmth that he knew in this icy cold world.
That was the person that he had utmost respect for, even now. It was a pity that he did not have the chance to preserve any of his work.
Those precious treasures that brought warmth to his life were all confined in the flames of that large fire.
One year later, YL had gradually gotten back onto the right track and was almost able to stubbornly compete against those established brands.
Yan Jin could not put into words himself why he continued to manage this corporation, whose survival had no relation to his future plans.
This was the second time that he derailed from the life he had planned for himself.
The first was without a doubt the day that he took over YL.
It was enough that he did that twice – he could tolerate the little joke that fate had played on him, but he would not indulge in it any further.
The end was already within reach.
After YL had entered the eyes of the public, the people that Yan Jin had to entertain increased. Regardless of whether he was willing or not, he had to participate in some of the events held within the industry.
The Lin Zhou that he had met a year ago, was no longer a junior designer. He had stabilized his position in SI. Then, even after knowing his identity, they still kept in touch as normal friends.
Once, Lin Zhou suddenly mentioned that he was preparing a design event for his alma mater. He asked if Yan Jin could provide some sponsorship.
Yan Jin gladly agreed.
Registration for this event was done online. All participants could seal the things that they wanted with their receiving address into a small bottle. This was also controlled by the internet. It was like a mini game of message in the bottle. The number of designers were limited, so whoever’s bottle the designer received was based on their luck. The designer would draw a design, and then they could either hand make the item or process it in a factory. The final product would then be delivered to the owner of the bottle by the event’s association for free.
Although it was an event with a new idea, the business attribute was not strong enough, yet the effort put in was huge. This was why Lin Zhou could not get any sponsorship for such a long time. The reason Yan Jin had agreed was simply to pay back the help that Lin Zhou had given him back then.
Plus, he may not have the chance to do such a thing anymore.
As a sponsor, Yan Jin had also participated in the event under Lin Zhou’s hearty invitation.
Yan Jin pondered for very long as he stared at that empty page. He could not come up with anything that he wanted.
There was nothing to be done. He was indeed such a boring person.
He did not have things that he anticipated, nor did he have a future that he wished for.
Death was an ending that he had been waiting for.
It was just that, it felt like a pity…
If it was not for that big fire, perhaps he could still preserve some of those things.
The things that would accompany him into the grave.
As the boss behind the scenes, Yan Jin’s bottle would obviously not be picked based on luck. Every designer that participated in that event had made a free design for Yan Jin. The designers naturally knew who Yan Jin was and almost all the designs were made to fit his identity.
One month later, Yan Jin received a bunch of watches, cufflinks and ties. It was then that he recalled the existence of that event.
Right until the end, he did not write any words. Instead, on that blank piece of paper –
Yan Jin drew a question mark.
He did not understand the meaning of that question mark himself. Obviously, those greenhorn youngsters who were not even considered to be designers would not understand either. They had all created something according to their ideas – putting elements of question marks onto every corner of those watches, cufflinks and ties.
Yan Jin looked at those weird looking designs, which were both funny and extremely embarrassing. He was slightly disappointed.
In the end, he picked up a silver colored little bell.
It lacked any decorative design, any elements of question marks, and was nothing special in particular. It was one of those stupid little bells that anyone could buy for ten dollars a box at the market.
Yan Jin harbored eerie emotions as he called Lin Zhou.
“Oh, that bell. It’s even handmade. The designer was anonymous, but he left some words, which were ‘use the magnifying glass…’”
Yan Jin did find a magnifying glass as he examined the stupid little bell thoroughly, feeling like he had been played. He did not find anything outstanding.
In the end, for some unknown reasons, Yan Jin held the bell up, shined light from the bottom, and used the magnifying glass to look.
After spending almost three hours, Yan Jin finally saw the only secret that the bell had.
Without a doubt, that was a cheapskate bell that anyone could buy for ten dollars off a street stall.
The only difference were the three letters lightly carved on the interior.
The three letters that Yan Jin had spent three hours to find.
It was worth it, because he had been looking for this answer for fifteen years.