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First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 87: Heart Lock
Xiao Yu was very anxious.
He ran back and forth on the coffee table, hoping to quickly digest the walnuts in his stomach.
He understood very well that his actions were unlikely to deceive Yan Jin.
Even if he was able to digest the walnuts in his stomach, this did not change the fact that he finished a week’s worth of snacks in one day. Yan Jin was not stupid. He would be able to tell from the size of Xiao Yu’s tummy that Xiao Yu had been up to no good.
This logic was very clear, but Xiao Yu was unable to just sit there and do nothing.
Was there really no way to fool Yan Jin?
Xiao Yu continued to be mired in his anxiety.
Xiao Yu really didn’t know how time could pass by so quickly. It felt like only a second ago when he discovered he had brought disaster upon himself. One second later, he could hear the sound of the door lock being disengaged. Then, the door was opened.
The moment Yan Jin entered the doorway, he could hear a hamster’s miserable cry. He quickly put down what he had in his arms and rushed into the living room.
“Fishy? What is it?”
Xiao Yu breathlessly squeaked twice.
“Squeak squeak.” Nothing’s wrong.
Yan Jin observed the healthy Xiao Yu’s averted eyes. Then he asked as he let out a sigh of relief: “What did you do?”
Xiao Yu only managed to retreat a couple steps back before a hand reached out to grab him.
Yan Jin randomly pinched at him twice, and even before Yan Jin could feel that something wasn’t right, Xiao Yu couldn’t resist letting out a burp.
“Oh, did you eat too much again?”
“Squeak.” A little bit.
Yan Jin raised an eyebrow, then walked over to Xiao Yu’s snack bowl.
In the past, all of Xiao Yu’s food and snacks were kept in the food bowl on the second floor of his cage. A few changes were made since Xiao Yu’s identity was revealed. The hamster food still appeared in his cage, but he obtained two new snack bowls with nine partitions. One was on Yan Jin’s desk and the other was on the coffee table in the living room.
Each week, Yan Jin would fill those bowls up once. No matter how Xiao Yu decided to split his portions, that was the amount he had for the week. If he finished them too fast, then he could only be good and eat hamster food for the remaining days…… Perhaps this was Chairman Yan’s plot to get him to act cute in order to earn more snacks.
The conditions might not look too bad, but Xiao Yu, who had once been tricked, knew that it wasn’t that simple.
Since Xiao Yu ate so many snacks in one day, it was only a small consequence to not have any snacks for the remainder of the week. The big problem was that Yan Jin would use this as a reason to force him to run on the exercise wheel for a couple of hours. Saying that it was to help with digestion was a nice way of putting it, but the video recorder that was used to film this whole process completely destroyed the persuasiveness of his righteous statement.
“Squeakk!” Xiao Yu tried to break free from Yan Jin’s grasp. It was a pity that his strength felt more like an ant trying to shake a tree, so it was common sense for him to be unable to break free. The only way he could possible get away would be because Yan Jin couldn’t bear to crush him to death.
In the end, Xiao Yu successfully escaped.
Xiao Yu’s little body, which was no bigger than Yan Jin’s palm, was finally able to crawl out of his hand with much difficulty. His two hind legs wobbled as he stood on the webbing between Yan Jin’s thumb and index finger.
“Okay, stop.” Yan Jin switched to using two hands to hold Xiao Yu: “This time you don’t have to run on the exercise wheel.”
Xiao Yu tilted his head as he studied Yan Jin’s untrustworthy looking face. His gaze was filled with suspicion.
Yan Jin reached out a hand to pet Xiao Yu’s little head and did not expect a paw to suddenly grab his thumb.
Xiao Yu stood on Yan Jin’s left hand, desperately holding onto Yan Jin’s right thumb, then snuggled his little head against it.
“Squeakk.” You need to keep your promise.
Yan Jin couldn’t help but laugh: “You wily thing. What else can you do besides acting cute?”
“Squeak.” I can also give you a muwah.
Xiao Yu was prepared to do as he said and he moved toward Yan Jin’s finger.
Who knew that Yan Jin would suddenly pull his right hand away? Xiao Yu couldn’t brake in time, and his momentum caused his whole hamster body to spring forward. Then, his unique three parted lips, which belonged to the rodent species, crashed into something soft.
This contact could not have lasted for more than one second, but to Xiao Yu, that one second was an eternity.
It lasted long enough for him to clearly see the playfulness in Yan Jin’s eyes as he stared down at Xiao Yu. Yan Jin’s long eyelashes, which casted an indistinct shadow, made his heart beat unsteadily.
The room instantly descended into stillness.
Yan Jin was the first to speak: “Alright, seeing as Fishy is being this forward, I’ll forgive you this time.”
Those words caused Xiao Yu, who was already red from embarrassment, to explode into a hedgehog.
“Squeakkk!” That was a mistake. A mistake!
Yan Jin reached out a finger and gently pressed it against Xiao Yu’s three parted lips, which instantly caused Xiao Yu to shut his mouth.
Xiao Yu could still feel the warmth on his lips. Now that Yan Jin placed his finger there, instead of the warmth fading with time, the temperature actually started to increase.
Dizzy and dazzled by the heat, Xiao Yu only saw Yan Jin’s mouth open and close, as if he was talking. However, Xiao Yu could not hear he said clearly. His eyes were completely captured by those sexy thin lips…… those lips that he just had a close encounter with.
Yan Jin’s deep and magnetic voice wound around his ears and in front of him was the handsome face that looked perfect from every angle. His heart started to beat faster, pounding like it was going to fly out of his chest.
“Fishy, do you agree?” Yan Jin asked.
Xiao Yu, who had not heard a single word, stupidly nodded his head.
Yan Jin hadn’t expected Xiao Yu to agree so smoothly without even bringing up any conditions. He even asked again to make sure: “You really agree to go?”
Ten minutes later. The timing was just right.
Seated in Yan Jin’s car and holding a manuscript in his hand, Xiao Yu silently wondered. What in the world had he just agreed to do?
The release of Heart Lock caused a big sensation.
“The stunning sequel to the Autumn Release Conference”; “A Mysterious Designer original”; “A work from the same series as Moonlit Manacle”. These three points alone were able to attract many people’s attention. Not to mention, Heart Lock really was worth all the praise. While Moonlit Manacles gave people a taboo feeling like the longing felt by separated lovers, Heart lock told the romantic love story of a sweet and wholesome love of a lifetime.
Although both were a pair of couple rings, Heart Lock was more in line with the aesthetics of the masses than Moonlit Manacles.
It was a common heart shaped ring, but under the hands of an elite designer— every line of etching, every bend, and every color selected came together to become a uniquely ingenious creation.
Finally, a thin chain linked the two rings together.
The Heart Lock couple rings could not be pulled apart. Only when the lovers held hands with their ten fingers intertwined could the rings be worn.
The moment this unusual ring was released, it attracted a lot of attention from the younger generation. Even without the effect of the Autumn Release Conference, the conceptual design of Heart Lock could probably attract a huge audience all by itself.
From the perspective of many industry insiders, if they were to say that there were some design elements of Moonlit Manacles that were immature, then Heart Lock was indisputably a masterpiece.
This astonishing release sounded the battle horn for YL’s counterattack.
After the Autumn Release Conference, YL had clearly engaged SI in battle.
In the past, SI and YL both maintained an amiable appearance as they developed their respective enterprises. Only people with sharp eyes could tell that these two giants were enemies that privately fought one another.
However, once the Autumn Release Conference was over, the competition between the two did not require sharp eyes to discern. As long as a person had eyes, they would be able to see how SI and YL fought as if one could not live unless the other died.
In the past, YL had an attitude of avoidance. This time, they unexpectedly came out with an abnormally strong offense. YL faced the opposition without any concessions and fought to the bitter end. But one could not rely solely on an imposing manner to gain victory on the open market, and SI’s response gave YL a hard time— SI continuously released several new items, all of which were of high quality, which immediately pulled many customers back into their stores.
Of course, YL could also copy what SI did and endlessly release new items. The problem was, YL did not have an elite-class designer holding down the fort. If they wanted to complete a large amount of designs in a short period, it would be hard to guarantee the same high product quality as SI. That was why YL had no choice but to retreat from the competition with SI on the quantity of their merchandize.
Currently, the effects of the Autumn Release Conference had almost faded away and everyone could see that YL was slowly losing ground. Just as the people within the industry were wondering what YL’s next move would be, Heart Lock was released.
At first, the label on Heart Lock led many to mistakenly believe that YL was trying to milk the Autumn Release Conference. Like relighting the remnants of charcoal in a fireplace. That was why, in the beginning, the people within the industry looked at Heart Lock with the attitude of a passive audience. None of them thought that this tiny amount of heat could help YL turn the tide in this harsh winter.
Only when Heart Lock was unveiled before their eyes did they realize their mistake.
This was not some so-called leftover charcoal; this was new firewood. It was the fuel that allowed the fire to blaze!
The media, which had originally lost interest, immediately popped their heads out. Topics relating to the mysterious designer and the news of his new design instantly engulfed various internet platforms. Even the newspaper companies had to work overtime to add this story into tomorrow’s paper. Undoubtedly, this mysterious designer, who had never even shown their face, would dominate the headlines during this period.
However, as an interview subject, the mysterious designer gave the reporters a headache. Just how were they supposed to go about looking for someone whose appearance, means of communication, and even gender was unknown? With no other way, they stood outside of YL’s doors for a long time but were unable to catch a glimpse of who they were looking for. Instead, they randomly stopped an YL employee to question, but the employee had an even tougher time.
“In your eyes, how would you describe the mysterious designer as a person?”
“I-I’ve never even seen him before……”
Soon, some of the reporters thought to corner the chairman of YL to ask, but the experienced old-timers told the younger reporters to forget about it.
Yan Jin was S City’s most outstanding young businessman, rich and powerful. With his top notch appearance and his identity as a CEO at the age of twenty eight, he was a hot topic all on his own. Compared to others, he was well versed in how to speak to reporters and was very skilled at avoiding interviews. If it wasn’t Yan Jin himself who wanted a press conference, it would be completely impossible for them to reach him.
In contrast to the jubilant YL, at this time, SI had fallen into the dire straits the media had previously predicted for YL——
It was as if they were in the middle of a severe winter snowstorm. Every step was hard to take and the road ahead was thoroughly obscured.
And adding more snow on top of the frost, their chief designer fell apart.
Heart Lock was clearly his work. How was it possible for YL to release it first?
However, nobody was willing to listen to his excuses. The furious Zhou Jinrong ruthlessly scolded the chief designer at an employee conference and even decreased Xiao Yu’s year-end bonus by a third.