The Long Chase for the President’s Spouse – Chapter 72: Notes on the Characters and the Plot
Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 72: Notes on the Characters and the Plot
- Role: Personal assistant to Zhang Heng
- Sex: Male
- Age: 22 and newly graduated from university
- Mostly expressionless, though this changes as Gu Zhun begins to develop feelings for Zhang Heng.
- Abstains from matters of the heart and material luxuries.
- Represses himself when wronged and remains silent even when treated unfairly, though the trembling in his body often gives away his true feelings.
- Relies on his sister without being obsessed about her; seeks her advice on most matters and follows her advice obediently.
- Relationship with Zhang Heng:
- Classmates in junior high. Gu Zhun was an elite student while Zhang Heng was one of the weakest students in school.
- Began working for Zhang Heng as his assistant after graduating from university.
- Personal history:
- After being abandoned by his parents, Gu Zhun grew reliant on his sister while becoming emotionally detached from other people around him. He believes that loving someone deeply would only result in being hurt deeply in return. Since he is afraid of being hurt again, his belief prevents him from taking Zhang Heng seriously and also causes him to retreat into denial when he realizes that he has feelings for Zhang Heng too.
- His relationship with Zhang Heng in junior high is characterized by playful interactions. He is saddened and hurt by Zhang Heng’s sudden disappearance during their last year in junior high.
Role: President to one of the companies belonging to Zhang Corporation
- Sex: Male
- Age: 22
- In junior high, he was a delinquent who liked to be near Gu Zhun all the time and stood up for him in times of need like a loyal, oversized puppy.
- As an adult, he is an overbearing president who is aloof when interacting with others. He is also highly competent, often acting in a decisive and resolute manner when working.
- A faithful and loyal lover who is easily content with whatever little attention Gu Zhun is willing to give him.
- Relationship with Gu Zhun:
- Classmates in junior high
- Even though he realized that he had been in love with Gu Zhun since junior high, he never told Gu Zhun about his feelings. Instead, he spent seven years improving himself while creating the perfect plan to court Gu Zhun. Hiring Gu Zhun was the first step in his meticulous plan.
- Relationship with fiancé Xu YaLe:
- For years, they put up an act together for their families. He finally broke things off for good after she set Gu Zhun up on multiple occasions and unfairly made him the target of rebuke.
- Relationship with family:
- Neglected by his parents, he grew up closely with his grandfather. His grandfather runs the entire corporation by himself and has very high expectations of Zhang Heng. They love each other very much but his grandfather has trouble giving up Xu YaLe and accepting Gu Zhun in her place, creating a rift in their relationship.
Role: Daughter of the president to Xu Corporation; currently a business consultant in Zhang Heng’s company.
- Sex: Female
- A classic case of Princess Syndrome
- Tends to make unreasonable demands of people whom she can easily control, such as her servants and Ma ShangQian. She is especially prone to bossing Ma ShangQian around and makes no effort to disguise her true nature in front of him.
- Plays the role of a damsel in distress in front of Zhang Heng by putting on a false air of innocence and helplessness.
- Domineering and possessive to the point that she would stoop to any means to break up Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun in order to make Zhang Heng fall for her.
- Personal history:
- Her feelings for Zhang Heng are rooted in the idolization she felt for him when she was a child. During a childhood vacation in the countryside, he saved her from a group of children who attacked her with stones because they did not like her.
Relationship with Ma ShangQian:
- At first, she manipulated him for her own use. But over time, she developed feelings for him and began courting him instead.
- Relationship with Zhang Heng:
- One-sided infatuation with unrequited feelings
- Role: An employee in Zhang Heng’s company
- Sex: Male
- Age: 21
- Timid and always afraid of offending others at work, like a high-strung little bunny.
- Cries easily when encountering difficulties
- Somewhat rigid in his thinking and often has trouble wrapping his mind around new ideas. Thus, he does not appear to be very bright.
- Relationship with Xu YaLe:
- At first, he unwittingly helped her in various attempts to break up Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun.
- After that, they bonded over their mutual experience of being disappointed in love.
- Eventually, he became the target of her courtship.
- Relationship with Gu Zhun:
- He began to idolize Gu Zhun after Gu Zhun helped him out at a party by drinking in his place. However, he mistook his feelings for love.
- After finally understanding his own feelings, he saw Gu Zhun as nothing more than a close friend.
- Role: Gu Zhun’s sister
- Wise mentor who plays an instrumental role in the development of Gu Zhun’s relationship with Zhang Heng by offering advice whenever Gu Zhun is troubled by matters of the heart.
- Has a strong sense of justice and does not hesitate to speak up when a wrongful act is committed.
- Tends to be a little mean when interacting with Zhang Heng.
Main plot: The president’s pursuit for his spouse
- After going through various events and difficulties together, Gu Zhun begins to develop feelings for Zhang Heng.
- Gu Zhun eventually acknowledges his love for Zhang Heng and the storyline comes to a happy ending.
Sub-plot: The overbearing princess’ love for a timid bunny
- Although Xu YaLe starts out using Ma ShangQian for her personal agenda, she discovers her true feelings in the process and eventually begins to pursue Ma ShanQian instead.
[Chapters 1 – 11]
- Gu Zhun reunites with Zhang Heng.
- Flashback to their junior high days
- Xu YaLe and Ma ShangQian are introduced, and their relationships to the main characters are established.
[Chapters 12 – 16] (Tensions in the love triangle)
- Xu YaLe sets Gu Zhun up, creating the false impression that Gu Zhun leaked confidential information about the company to a business rival as a result.
Gu Zhun is suspended from work and becomes the subject of malicious gossip.
Zhang Heng reveals his protectiveness over Gu Zhun while working hard to prove Gu Zhun’s innocence.
- Zhang Heng does not tell Gu Zhun about how he helped to clear Gu Zhun’s name, but Gu Zhun finds out from the president of the rival company and his impression of Zhang Heng improves.
[Chapters 19 – 38] (Big sister helps the relationship along)
- Brief description of Gu Li’s year-long relationship with her superior at work
- Gu Li discovers signs that her superior may have been corrupt at work, but he convinces her otherwise.
- Gu Li discovers that her superior has been cheating on her with a business rival’s daughter, who has ties to the mafia.
- After confirming that her superior is both unfaithful and corrupt, Gu Li reports him to the company; she is fired along with him, as the senior management believes that she is complicit in his wrongdoings.
- Gu Li holes herself up at home. Gu Zhun meets up with her ex-superior and demands an apology to his sister. The other man refuses to apologise. When Gu Zhun is about to hit him, Zhang Heng appears suddenly to beat the man up instead.
- The man’s lover utilises her connections to the mafia to call for helpers. Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun flee from the attackers. (Action-filled scene)
- Gu Zhun asks Zhang Heng why he is willing to go so far for him when he is no more than an insignificant employee. Zhang Heng recounts how Gu Li looked out for him back in junior high.
- Zhang Heng fights back against the couple and they eventually apologise to Gu Li. With Zhang Heng’s help the matter is finally resolved.
- Focus on the Gu siblings’ feelings (their impression of Zhang Heng improves further)
- Gu Zhun agrees to repay Zhang Heng, and Zhang Heng asks him to join him on a business trip.
- Description of the trip can span over 3 chapters, and should include some fluff
- Location: Japan
- Visit tourist attractions, buy local specialties, hands-on experiences
- Potential venues in consideration: host club, Kabukicho, Akihabara, etc.
[Chapter 40] (Sub-plot involving Xu YaLe and Ma ShangQian)
- After Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun return from the business trip, their relationship is noticeably improved. Xu YaLe is infuriated while Ma ShangQian is disappointed.
- Xu YaLe confronts Zhang Heng in his office and makes a scene.
- She recounts their childhood memories, thus explaining how she fell for him.
- Zhang Heng tells her that she is mistaken about her own feelings, and she stomps out in a fury.
- Xu YaLe drowns her sorrow in alcohol. She is sexually harassed in her drunken state.
- Despite his usual timidity, Ma ShangQian gathers all of his courage and saves Xu YaLe. They run for their lives after he pulls her away.
- Xu YaLe breaks down as she confides in Ma ShangQian. Apart from rambling about her past with Zhang Heng and her feelings for him, she also admits to manipulating Ma ShangQian for her personal agenda.
- When she asks him why he is willing to help her when she has been using him all along, Ma ShangQian comforts her and assures her that he understands how she felt. They pass the night in each other’s company by the side of the street.
[Chapter 44 – 49]
Xu YaLe’s impression of Ma ShangQian improves as he reveals his thoughtful, caring side:
- When she is having her period, he prepares brown sugar water for her
- Holds an umbrella for her in the rain
- Helps her out of awkward situations when she visits a supermarket for ‘commoners’
- Looks after her when she falls sick
- Wen YiHong and Zhang Heng talk about the past and catch up with each other at a bar.
- Ye RuiXi, president of Wen Corporation, is introduced and starts a brief fight with Zhang Heng over some disagreements.
- Focus on detailed descriptions of Ye RuiXi’s appearance and personality
- From this point onwards, a second same-sex pairing is introduced into the story. Gu Zhun’s childhood trauma will also be woven into the storyline.
[Chapters 53 – 54]
Description of Zhang Heng’s university days and relationship with Wen YiHong and Ye RuiXi
- Wen YiHong: a bespectacled elite who is mild-mannered
- Ye RuiXi: a prideful character who has trouble admitting his true feelings
- They met in university. Zhang Heng and Wen YiHong were roommates and had a close relationship. Ye RuiXi fell for Wen YiHong at first sight.
- Thinking that Wen YiHong admired Zhang Heng for his talents, he began challenging Zhang Heng to all kinds of contests, which often ended in a draw or losses for Ye RuiXi.
- Wen YiHong mistook these frequent contests as a sign that they were attracted to each other, and often tried to help their ‘romance’ along. His efforts mistakenly convinced Ye RuiXi that Wen YiHong had absolutely no interest in him.
- Although Wen Yihong was oblivious to Ye RuiXi’s feelings, Zhang Heng knew that Ye RuiXi was in love with Wen YiHong.
- Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun attend a business event together, where they meet Ye RuiXi and Wen YiHong.
- Ye RuiXi feels that Gu Zhun is a hindrance to Zhang Heng, making him less of a challenge than he used to be.
- Ye RuiXi believes that Wen YiHong will not accept him if he fails to prove that he is truly better than Zhang Heng
- He is convinced that he will win the right to stay at Wen YiHong’s side if he defeats the most outstanding individual in Wen YiHong’s opinion.
- Ye RuiXi issues two challenges at the event:
- Dance-off (after their initial female dance partners are worn out, Gu Zhun and Wen YiHong take over as their dance partners)
- After the four of them finally leave the dancefloor, Ye RuiXi confronts Gu Zhun in the toilet. He tells Gu Zhun not to be a hindrance to Zhang Heng.
- Ye RuiXi expresses his feelings. The ambiguities in their conversation with Gu Zhun result in Gu Zhun’s misunderstanding that Ye RuiXi is in love with Zhang Heng.