The Infatuated Master Gu
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Ever since he came back from where Bai Luo Yin was, Gu Hai had become a downright workaholic.
Besides depleting the employees’ energy, he did not show any mercy for himself either. The moment he opened his eyes each morning, he lunged face first into an earth-shattering number of documents, and only went to sleep after losing consciousness from wearing himself out—leaving himself no room for a breather at all.
“The main content of today’s meeting is to come to an agreement regarding the company’s plan pre-IPO,161 and everyone now present has been chosen to be a member of the LSG.162 In a moment, we have to select the Secretary to the Board of Directors, who will be responsible for executing specific tasks. The meeting will officially begin now. First off, Vice President Tong will deliver a speech…”
Just as the voice of the person speaking faded, thunderous applause rolled in. That was not an exaggeration at all, it was indeed a roaring thunder of applause. Currently, Tong Zhe’s popularity in the company had flourished quite considerably, already rivaling that of Gu Hai’s. Besides Yan Ya Jing, practically all the female employees adored the Vice President—in a less elegant wording, they were all crazy about him.
However, it was truly pitiful for the group of beautiful women. A rare male specimen that they longed for had finally come to their company, but to their disappointment, his demeanor was like that of Gu Hai’s—eternally turning a blind eye toward a beautiful woman. Notwithstanding, they had accepted the situation and moved on. Rather than having either of the two purloined by another woman, it was better to let the two handsome men fall in love with each other. Consequently, they secretly observed Gu Hai and Tong Zhe’s interaction every day, and once a so-called ‘loving and intimate scene’ appeared, a huge ruckus would definitely break out.
When those beautiful women gossiped and fantasized about Gu Hai and Tong Zhe, they would not so indiscreetly implicate Yan Ya Jing and fabricate a series of melodramatic love triangles. That kind of outcome was unavoidable, in light of how Tong Zhe remained beside Gu Hai all day long and was utterly adamant about not letting Yan Ya Jing get close!
Given that Yan Ya Jing spent every day with those beautiful women, it was impossible for her not to hear those slanderous gossips.
At first, she merely treated those gossips as a joking matter. However, the more she mulled over it, the more she felt it was strange, mainly because she had never met Gu Hai’s girlfriend. Not only that, the moment Tong Zhe arrived, Gu Hai had treated him with great importance. That meant their personal interactions were certainly not established in a day or two. Combining that with how Tong Zhe had been targeting her with all sorts of negative expressions, Yan Ya Jing had already started to harbor suspicions.
Despite the aforementioned, it was impossible for her to believe that Gu Hai likes a man.
Nevertheless, she secretly regarded Tong Zhe as a rival who was in an unrequited love since she did not believe that Gu Hai had ever liked him back.
“Alright, next we will elect the temporary Secretary of the Board,” Gu Hai announced.
In just seconds, practically everyone cast their eyes full of anticipation over to Tong Zhe. That was largely because, if Tong Zhe was chosen, then their chances of being in contact with him would increase. That signified that their chances of being in contact with Gu Hai would also increase.
Yan Ya Jing recommended herself. “I believe I am very suitable for this position.”
Tong Zhe calmly shot her a glance and silently pondered to himself, has this woman gone mad? Does she want to take on such a drudgery job? Damn, just for the sake of having a bit of time around Gu Hai, she’s even willing to throw her life away.
Gu Hai’s expression changed as he picked up his head to look at the crowd of beautiful women.
“Does anyone have any objections?”
Xiao Tao was the first to speak, “I think that the position is comparatively better if assumed by a man. Firstly, considering that the duties will be highly onerous, Vice President Yan’s body might not be able to endure it. Secondly, taking into account Vice President Tong’s background of having been an Executive in Hong Kong for many years, he possesses an abundance of experiences in regard to listing a company. That way, we can save the trouble of having to hire a consultant.”
Just as she finished speaking, another person responded.
“I support Xiao Tao’s suggestion. This type of strenuous work should be earmarked for a man to do!”
Hearing that, Yan Ya Jing’s face revealed a displeased look, “Thank you all for your concern, but my health is quite good. When the company had first operated, the tasks were much strenuous than they are now, yet I managed to handle it all—perfectly fine. These trivial matters are nothing in my eyes. According to my knowledge, the Secretary to the Board of Directors needs to coordinate the relationships between enterprises, government divisions, and act as an intermediary mechanism. In that aspect, I am much more skilled. After all, my network is much broader than Vice President Tong’s in this part of the country.”
At those words, many people buried their heads and did not utter another sound.
Gu Hai finally spoke, “Xiao Yan, I believe in your abilities completely.”
The faint smile that appeared at the corners of Yan Ya Jing’s eyes was perfectly captured by Tong Zhe.
“How about this? Let’s have Tong Zhe assume the duty of Secretary to the Board of Directors while you take charge of all the external affairs. What do you think?” Gu Hai continued.
Yan Ya Jing’s complexion turned purple from anger. She had never anticipated that Gu Hai would put forth such a ruthless action.
The reason why she wanted to undertake that position was because she fancied the internal decision-making and implementation process that it involved. Meanwhile, the external affairs part was only dragged in as a mean to persuade everyone. In truth, she was extremely reluctant to deal with those external affairs even though she had a good handle on them. But now, not only was the chance to be a part of the decision-making process handed over to another person, she had roped in an arduous position instead. Yan Ya Jing actually wanted to die.
“There shouldn’t be any problems, right?” Gu Hai asked.
Tong Zhe tossed a scrutinizing gaze toward Yan Ya Jing that seemed to say, little girl, you’re still trying to fight with me? Your ‘fiancé’ has been in my grasp for a long time now. It’ll be better for you to just go take a shower and sleep!
After the meeting came to an end, Yan Ya Jing walked behind a few beautiful women.
“Hey, during the meeting just now, guess what I saw when my pen fell to the floor and I had to stoop down to get it?”
“Our Gu Zong was actually brushing his foot against Vice President Tong’s legs!”
“Aaahhh!! That can’t be? Did you really see that?”
“Yes!” That was an indubitable reply. “When I got up, Vice President Tong was glancing at Gu Zong. That gaze couldn’t be any more ambiguous!163 Even I felt shy at having caught sight of it!”
“Wow! Isn’t that too intimate?”
Yan Ya Jing really wished she could stab her own ears until she was deaf as to avoid having to listen to those disgusting people’s discussion.
After closing the door and putting on that rather expressive demeanor earlier, Gu Hai’s mien became cold and indifferent once again.
Tong Zhe dragged on a stick of cigarette as he relished on the aftertaste of seeing Yan Ya Jing’s murderous eyes when Gu Hai announced his decision.
“Judging by her appearance and temperament, I thought that that woman had an exceptionally magnanimous attitude. But how come when she stands in front of you, her value immediately drops?” Tong Zhe casually said.
Gu Hai had never thought of that. Just as he opened his daily planner with the intention of seeing what the schedule for tomorrow was like, he ended up involuntarily calculating how long it had been since Bai Luo Yin’s departure. He felt as though he was going insane. Even after he had removed everything around him that reminded him of Bai Luo Yin, just so he could be wholeheartedly engrossed in work, his train of thoughts still strayed from time to time.
“Hey, I heard that your cooking is exceptionally tasty.” Tong Zhe fiddled with the lighter in his hand. “When you’re free, let me bum a meal at your place.”
Gu Hai’s demonic gaze flew toward Tong Zhe, “You still have the fucking nerve to bum a meal at my place? The trouble you caused nearly fucking killed me! You – almost – fucking – killed – me!”
Tong Zhe had lost count of the number of times he had heard that sentence. No matter how intelligent he was, he couldn’t make sense of how he had actually ‘caused trouble’ for Gu Hai.
“There is no time like the present. Let’s just do it today!” Tong Zhe was still referring to the meal.
Glaring at him, Gu Hai’s icy voice sounded. “When Yan Ya Jing is not around here, you better disappear from my sight as well.”
Tong Zhe stood up and walked toward Gu Hai. As each step was executed with a cool demeanor, his handsome face slowly approached Gu Hai before eventually stopping only a centimeter away. That enchanting gaze perforated straight into the deepest recesses of Gu Hai’s eyes.
“You haven’t eaten a decent meal in twelve days. You should be kind to yourself.”
Once they arrived at Gu Hai’s house, Tong Zhe was about to change out of his shoes into a pair of slippers when Gu Hai suddenly stopped him.
“Don’t wear this pair. I’ll go find a new pair for you.”
Then he took the pair of slippers beneath Tong Zhe’s feet and placed them back in the bedroom as if they were treasures.
After Tong Zhe entered the room, he discovered that everything came in pairs aside from the bed and the bathtub. If Gu Hai was supposedly fond of using everything interchangeably, then how can the sight of two different sizes of underwear hanging on the balcony be explained?
“Are you living with another person?” Tong Zhe asked, quite taken aback.
Gu Hai narrowed his eyes and glanced at Tong Zhe before the knife in his hand suddenly landed perfectly on the cutting board at a 45 degrees angle.
It was only then that Tong Zhe finally understood why Gu Hai emphasized repeatedly that he had ‘caused trouble’ for him. After making such a commotion, it turns out that the person this master loves wholeheartedly is also a man. Who is that man? Tong Zhe searched his memories for a moment before quickly locking on the right candidate.
“Let’s have a drink!”
Then, as if he was conjuring a trick, Tong Zhe fished out a bottle of drink with a high alcoholic content from his briefcase.
Alcohol——the timing couldn’t be more suitable for Gu Hai right at that moment.
Once alcohol enters a man’s system, any topic can be openly talked about.
“I could have never imagined that you and your brother actually have the same kind of urges.”164 Tong Zhe couldn’t help but sigh heavily, “But he is very charming indeed. Even a person like myself, who is not attracted to men, feels a strong interest in him. He is the type of person that makes you can’t help but to want to approach and get to know him once you lay your eyes on him.”
“That is exactly why I feel troubled.” Gu Hai drank until the expression in his eyes became somewhat obscure. “Right now, I really wish that he was the kind of person who was ugly, made others want to vomit as soon as they see him, didn’t have any special bullshit skills, was insatiable and lazy, and… wasn’t so lovable as to attract everyone indiscriminately. Tell me, if he was really like that… wouldn’t he cling to me all day long and feel afraid that I would dump him?”
Tong Zhe snorted coldly, “Don’t mention ugly, even with that gorgeous Yan Ya Jing clinging to you all day long, did you fall in love with her?”165
“That’s also true.” Gu Hai heaved a sigh.
With evil intentions, Tong Zhe quickly snapped a picture of Gu Hai’s melancholic expression.
161 Pre-IPO: placement occurs when a portion of an initial public offering (IPO) is placed with private investors right before the IPO is scheduled to hit the market. Typically, private investors in a pre-IPO placement are large private equity or hedge funds that are willing to buy a large stake in the company. The size of the investment means the price paid for shares in a pre-IPO placement is usually less than the prospective IPO price.
Initial public offering: when a private company or corporation raises investment capital by offering its stock to the public for the first time. Growing companies seeking capital to expand are those that generally use initial public offerings, but large, privately owned companies or corporations looking to become publicly traded can also do them. In an initial public offering, the issuer, or company raising capital, brings in an underwriting firm or investment bank, to help determine the best type of security to issue, offering price, amount of shares and timeframe for the market offering.
162 LSG (领导小组 leading small group) – a CPC (Communist Party of China) body that exercises general oversight on matters relating to a specific area (LSG for foreign affairs). LSGs are coordinating bodies that address important policy areas that involve several different (and occasionally competing) parts of the bureaucracy. Their history can be traced back to the revolutionary period, and the process was continued and broadened in the early years of the People’s Republic as the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) transitioned from rebels to the stewards of a new nation. With the onset of reform in the 1980s, many of the original LSGs were disbanded or reorganized, but the Party continued to rely on these institutions as a key coordinator of policy.
Per Wiki: A Central Leading Group, also translated as a “Leading Small Group”, (领导小组; lǐngdǎo xiǎozǔ) is an ad hoc supra-ministerial coordinating and consulting body formed to build consensus on issues that cut across the government, party, and military systems when the existing bureaucratic structure is unable to do so. The authorization for the formation of leading groups comes from Chapter IX of the Constitution of the Communist Party of China.
There are two types of LSGs. Party leading small groups manage policy for the Politburo and Secretariat, and State Council leading small groups coordinate policy implementation for the government. These groups provide a mechanism for top decision-makers to exchange views – both formally and informally – and to develop recommendations for the Politburo and the State Council.
LSGs do not formulate concrete policies (政策; zhengce), but rather issue guiding principles about the general direction in which bureaucratic activity should move (方针; fangzhen). A fangzhenprovides the framework for the development of zhengce. The recommendations of leading groups are likely to have considerable influence on the policymaking process because they represent the consensus of the leading members of the relevant government, party, and military agencies. In some cases, the Chinese leadership will adopt an LSG’s recommendation with little or no modification. LSGs, which have no permanent staff, rely on their General Offices (办公室; bangongshi) to manage daily operations and for research and policy recommendations. Consequently, the effectiveness of an LSG often depends on the effectiveness of its General Office.
163 暧昧 – technically means something is ambiguous, unclear. But in this context, it is implying the relationship between the two (GH/TZ) was unclear, that they had a relationship that was more than friends but less than partners.
164 癖好 – an urge/ a craving / an addiction / fondness
“…the same kind of urges.” He’s saying GH and GY are fond of the same thing, that is perhaps, liking a ‘guy’ not necessarily the same guy, but we know better.
165 “Don’t mention ugly, even with that gorgeous Yan Ya Jing clinging to you all day long, did you fall in love with her?” – This is saying, it’s not about if the person was ugly or not.