Chapter 7: Hello Boss
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
It hadn’t crossed Chen Zheng’s mind that Aida would have the courage to stand out and confront the whole industry until he received a secret report from his spy in the morning.
Gu Yanzhi was experienced and resourceful. But to make a move at the risk of offending the whole industry was not an action that matched his usual sophisticated style.
This decision was made by someone more inexperienced. Chen Zheng suspected that there was someone working behind Gu Yanzhi.
Rumors were going around saying that Aida’s chairman was planning to choose his successor from his two other sons.
Chen Zheng was anxious to find out who his new rival would be. In this scandal crisis, his new rival had already come at him hard. How could he not get revenge and try to knock him or her down as well?
Even the spy didn’t know who the person was.
So he thought of Lin Qian.
Well, she’s a clever girl. And even though she’s new to Aida, she may have noticed something anyways. Also, Aida is on the verge of collapsing, so she might not be so loyal anymore…
Lin Qian said, “It’s you, Mr. Chen. You’ve left me speechless. Oh, they’re calling me for a meeting. Sorry, but I have to go!”
With her finger quickly tapping on the screen, she hung up without further delay.
On the other end of the line, Chen Zheng heard the call end, sneered, and threw his phone onto the desk.
On her end, Lin Qian turned around and became lost in her thoughts for a moment.
She had a strong feeling that a huge fight was going to break out between Aida and SMQ.
But isn’t that normal in the business world?
She looked up thoughtfully.
In the bustling crowd, the first thing she caught sight of was Li Zhicheng again. He stood in the same spot as before with his hands in his pockets, staring in her direction. To be honest, he looks even better in a dressy coat. He’s handsome, put together, and definitely eye-catching. If someone posted his picture on the Internet, he would undoubtedly become famous overnight. He’d be known as the most handsome security guard in the world.
Lin Qian smiled at him and then turned to enter the hall.
The press conference went well.
At 2:00 pm, Gu Yanzhi, dressed in an ironed black suit, sat in the middle of the stage.
By the stage was a crowd of reporters holding up cameras, waiting attentively for him to give his speech. Lin Qian sat down on a staff seat near the back of the hall, feeling a little nervous.
Underneath the spotlight, he looked around with a smile and said, “In regards to the recent public concern, ‘Pollutants Detected in AD509 Ladies Handbags,’ we, Aida Group, make the following public announcements and commitments.
“First, we have tested and found out that the source of contamination was the fabric being supplied by our European agent. We have terminated all business with them and have also filed a lawsuit against them.
“Second, no matter what the results of the lawsuit are, Aida will fully cover any consumer losses from buying Aida products. We’ve decided to have a full recall on this batch of products and will give a full refund to our customers. Aida will bear the loss on our own.”
The first question was raised by a reporter from Lin City Daily. “Hello, Mr. Gu. As far as I know, all of the luxury handbag companies are involved in this pollutant incident. While the whole industry is still keeping silent, why is Aida the first to stand up and speak out?”
Gu Yanzhi spoke with a light smile: “At Aida, what’s most important is not competing with others, but fulfilling our promises to our consumers. We are the first to stand out, but I believe that we won’t be the last.”
Sitting in the back of the hall, Lin Qian was a little surprised.
It turns out that even the reporters have been planning ahead. The questions and answers sound genuine and fair, but they also drag the competitors out into the open at the same time.
Staring at Gu Yanzhi on the stage, she thought, He’s smart!
The second question was, “Aida’s business performance hasn’t been up to expectations over recent years. Will your company suffer greatly from having to bear such a huge loss at this time?”
This time, Gu Yanzhi didn’t give an answer right away, but slightly hesitated.
“It is indeed difficult,” he said with a remorseful look. “But we won’t use this as an excuse to push aside our responsibilities.”
After the press conference, Gu Yanzhi walked backstage. The first thing he did was check with the secretary to see if the red payment envelopes for the reporters had been sent out properly. After getting an affirmative response, he went to an isolated corner in high spirits and called Li Zhicheng.
At the beginning of the conference, he had seen Li Zhicheng standing by the door, but now he was nowhere to be found.
He picked up his call quickly.
Gu Yanzhi said, “Are you happy with how it went, Boss?”
“It was okay,” responded Li in a steady voice.
Gu Yanzhi smiled. “Well, I’ve dropped this huge bomb for you, and I remember you said you’d take things over right after. I’m relieved. Now, I’m going to have dinner with the reporters. What about you?”
“I’ll drive to the Group.”
While she was cleaning up the conference hall with her coworkers, Lin Qian found some time to check the updated industry reports on her cell phone.
The responses to the press conference were even better than she’d expected.
Before the conference, the top three industry news headlines had been “Carcinogen Scandal,””Ning Weikai, the CEO of New Bori, Cover of Fortune Weekly,” and “A Fight Between New Bori and SMQ for Orders from Ming Sheng Group.”
But now, “Aida Press Conference” was ranked in the third place, and the popularity of this article was still on the rise.
Everyone was feeling excited and so was Lin Qian.
There was a bunch of things left in the conference hall. Lin Qian, along with some younger workers, stayed behind to move the stuff to the parking lot.
After walking back and forth several times, she saw Li Zhicheng walk out of the elevator and into the parking lot while she was still out there.
It had been the first close encounter between them since he had stared at her the other night.
Their eyes met. It was obvious that he saw her, but he walked around her coldly.
Lin Qian, who was still working, suddenly got an idea and immediately stopped him. “Hey, wait a second.”
He stopped walking.
Lin Qian asked him for help in a friendly way. “Li Zhicheng—Mr. Li—there’s still a lot of stuff upstairs. Could you please send some of your men to help?”
Li Zhicheng stared back at her with his dark eyes.
Lin Qian put her palms together and said, “Thanks so much!”
When Lin Qian was in the elevator, Li Zhicheng entered the parking lot and got in a Hummer SUV.
As he started the car, he took out his cell phone and called Gu Yanzhi.
Gu Yanzhi was at dinner, having a good time with the leaders of a few media organizations. He was surprised to receive a call from Li.
“What’s the matter?”
“Send a few people to help the task force.”
Lin Qian hadn’t expected what happened that night.
A bus took the task force team back to Aida. When they arrived at Aida’s gate, it was already dark. It was a cold and quiet winter night with only a few people walking down the streets. The team members got off the bus, all carrying something in their hands.
Being in charge of inventory, Lin Qian was the last one to get off the bus. The other people had already walked far ahead, leaving her behind. She had barely walked a few steps when she had the feeling that something was wrong.
Suddenly, she heard a loud bang.
Startled, a few more bangs immediately followed, and she was so frightened that she quickly dropped everything in her hands and squatted down with her head in her arms. She looked up and saw stones flying out of the darkness and hitting the side of the bus next to her and the iron gate of the building.
Lin Qian was about to hide when she heard another bang and felt a sharp, painful blow hit her ankle. For just a moment, her ankle went numb.
Immediately afterwards the sharp pain returned.
Everything happened so quickly that at first the two security guards at the gate were too shocked to react. Coming back to their senses, they dashed forward.
Their heavy engine sounds starting up, a few large motorcycles drove out of the trees’ shadows and hurried away. It was impossible for the security guards to catch up with them.
“Aida harmed their consumers!”
“Their fake apologies will never be accepted!”
In the distance, many people were shouting, and she heard another round of crashes.
Lin Qian was terrified and her right ankle was in tremendous pain. She looked at her ankle and found it bruised and bleeding.
A security guard helped Lin Qian to her feet and said, “Are you ok? Damn, where are these troublemakers from?”
Another guard said angrily, “What’s the matter with these guys? The company has already apologized and promised to take on the loss. Why are they still making it a huge deal?”
Still suffering from the pain, Lin Qian said, “They’re not ordinary people.”
A few days ago, right after the scandal had broken out, some consumers had also caused trouble around the company and the company’s stores. She had a feeling that things were different today.
A security guard said, “I’m going to call the police right away!”
Lin Qian immediately stopped him. “Don’t call them yet! I’ll ask CEO Gu for instructions.”
Once the story spread, another headline would be added to the news reports the next day: “Refusing to Accept Apologies from Aida, Consumers Clashed with Their Staff”.
The positive responses to the conference might get lost between the clashing headlines, and the incident that had just happened could even turn into a scandal.
Five minutes later, being helped by a guard, Lin Qian walked slowly to Aida’s clinic.
She’d just made a call to Gu Yanzhi. As expected, Gu Yanzhi hesitated for a moment after learning that there was no other personal or property damage and said, “Don’t report anything to the police for now. Let’s handle it with a low profile.” He also gave her some words of encouragement.
Moving a few steps forward, Lin Qian saw a Hummer SUV driving by. She didn’t pay attention to it until it pulled over and a man got out.
She saw a black coat, leather shoes, and familiar long legs.
Li Zhicheng turned around and saw her.
Lin Qian looked right back at him.
He’s driving a Hummer!
He paused slightly and then walked towards her.
Lin Qian wasn’t surprised at his sudden reappearance. Wasn’t he the security manager? The guards had probably reported the incident to him.
She didn’t know it was Gu Yanzhi who had reported the incident to him.
When he was in front of her, Lin Qian said, “I’m okay. I’m afraid that you’ll have to raise the security levels around here tonight.”
Li Zhicheng’s clean-cut face looked chiseled under the night sky. He glanced at her and looked down at her ankle.
He squatted down next to her.
Lin Qian felt something brush her ankle and then saw that it was in his hand. Looking down from her position, she watched him examine the injury quietly and attentively. She could feel the warmth and force of his fingers on her skin.
Knowing that he liked to hide his kindness with cold looks, Lin Qian was touched. She was, of course, also a little embarrassed as he examined her ankle so closely. She turned to the guard next to her and said, “You go in first. Thank you! I’ll be okay staying with your manager.”
The guard looked a little surprised but he needed to keep watch at the gate, so he just nodded and went away in a hurry.
Thinking that he probably was experienced with injuries as a veteran, Lin Qian let him keep examining her ankle. After a while, he stood up and said calmly, “It didn’t damage your bone.”
Relieved, Lin Qian gave him a smile and was about to say thanks when he turned around and strode away.
Lin Qian was shocked. “Wait! How could you just leave me here? Take me to the clinic! Come back!”
The night was quiet and cold. Their long shadows were visible under the streetlights.
With one hand on Li Zhicheng’s arm, Lin Qian walked carefully to the building where the clinic was located.
They didn’t talk.
After a while, Lin Qian couldn’t help but say, “Don’t give me such a long face. I got hurt while working. You’re in charge of the Group’s security. It’s part of your responsibilities.”
Li Zhicheng turned to look at her with his dark eyes and said nothing in response. Lin Qian realized that at a closer distance, while his eyes and eyebrows were beautiful, his highly-arched eyebrows gave him a stern look. As he was staring at her, she had no idea what he was feeling or thinking.
“Lin Qian,” he suddenly spoke. “When did I say that I was the security manager?”
Lin Qian was surprised.
He said nothing else and continued to help her walk ahead.
Lin Qian stole a glance at him.
Of course, she knew he was close to Gu Yanzhi. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had access to Gu Yanzhi’s office and wouldn’t have been sent to fetch confidential documents for him. If he isn’t the security manager, then… She thought about it and came to a conclusion.
He’s either Gu Yanzhi’s assistant, or was assigned by Gu Yanzhi to some other department. But it seems like he’s been lounging around recently, doing nothing important.
“Oh, I see. Then what’s your position?” Lin Qian asked.
He stopped all of a sudden and looked at the ground.
Following his gaze, Lin Qian saw a large puddle of melted snow. There was no way for her to step around it.
“What should I do?” she asked, putting her question about his position to the side.
Li Zhicheng bent down with his back facing her and said, “Get on my back.”
Lin Qian was surprised by his invitation. After all, a favor like this was kind of intimate. But on second thought, she came to another explanation. As a veteran, he must have rescued dozens of flood-stricken people by carrying them on his back, so it must be natural for him to carry me like this.
She couldn’t help but think again that, A military man, no matter the circumstances, is really practical and useful to have around.
Not acting shy at all, she quickly hopped onto his back. As soon as she was holding onto his shoulders, he quickly got to his feet and crossed over the puddle in one long stride. Startled by his sudden movement, Lin Qian nearly yelled out. Then she laughed.
“That was so scary!” Lin Qian patted his shoulder. “That’s your way of taking care of the injured?”
“You can get off if you’re not satisfied.”
Lin Qian shut herself up because there were more puddles ahead.
After a few more steps, Lin Qian’s cell phone rang. It was Lin Mochen.
Lin Mochen’s voice, coming from across the ocean, was deep and powerful. “I saw the news.”
Lin Qian smiled at once. “Not bad, huh?”
Lin Mochen smiled lightly and said, “I’ve already found out all the information.”
Lin Qian felt her heartbeat quicken. She took a discrete look at Li Zhicheng underneath her and found him still walking steadily ahead with his head bent low, seemingly unable to hear the voice coming from her cell phone.
“Go ahead.” She grew serious too.
Lin Mochen said, “Your new boss, the second son of Aida’s Chairman, is special. He’s a veteran. His name is Li Zhicheng.”
Lin Qian gripped her cell phone and remained silent. She looked at the man who was walking steadily with her on his back, and suddenly felt her forehead twitch with nerves.