Chapter 81: Grand Finale
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
In this world, there have always been winners and losers. One day you are king, the next day you may be an outcast.
Since Lin Qian’s return to Li Zhicheng’s side and Glamorous corporation’s return to the suitcase industry alliance led by Aida, the outcome of the battle between domestic and foreign corporations seemed to be even clearer.
It was Monday morning.
The modern DG China Headquarters which used to be busy, had a depressing atmosphere early that morning.
Charles was the center of all this. The door of his office was shut tight. Occasionally, through the blinds, one could see his gloomy expression.
In recent days, more and more people had resigned from DG China. There was an increasing number of branch offices in different regions which were on the verge of collapse.
A full market collapse was likely coming. Perhaps it was today, perhaps tomorrow, it would come anytime now.
Chen Zheng was living aimlessly, too. He was the type that needed to unleash more when he was more stressed. So after he dealt with the mess of the day, he would indulge himself in debauchery at night.
The more he indulged, the emptier he felt.
He thought of taking revenge on Lin Qian and Li Zhicheng.
After being in business for so many years, he knew people from both the legal professions and the mob. If he found someone to kidnap Lin Qian, he could teach her a lesson or even make her disappear… Li Zhicheng might not be able to catch him.
But after that? After that where would he go?
And Lin Qian…
Chen Zheng was surprised to realize that even though Lin Qian shamed DG China in the presence of the national media, he didn’t hate her. It was an intriguing feeling. Ever since DG China started going downhill, he had been feeling somewhat afloat. It seemed like he was floating beyond all this mess, the pain was still there, but it hadn’t been an excruciating pain.
Anyway, the situation was about to come to an end.
He pushed open Charles’ office door; there was even a smile on his face, “Good morning.”
Charles was definitely not in the mood to smile. The US headquarters had expressed their utter disappointment in him. Right now he was completely lost about his career path. Job-hopping? Moving to another country?
He had a feeling. Since he had taken over DG China, his life seemed to be out of his control. But why it turned out like that, he couldn’t pinpoint an exact reason.
“Ben,” when Charles faced Chen Zheng, he could sympathize with him. He muttered, “Perhaps when this season ends, both of us must take the blame and resign.”
Chen Zheng’s face was wooden. He didn’t say anything.
Right at that moment, a subordinate rushed in with a document in his hand; he was so shocked that he even forgot to knock on the door.
“Charles! Ben! Bad news! We are in big trouble!” Looking dismayed, he passed a legal letter to them.
Charles took it and his face suddenly changed.
It was a legal letter sent by a corporation filing a lawsuit against DG China. The name of the corporation was familiar but Charles could not recall it at the moment.
When he read the contents of the letter, immediately he recalled this corporation.
They were suing DG China for assigning them a batch of low quality leisure bags and its brand. They asked for a large sum in compensation.
“Didn’t you say that they were farmers-turned-entrepreneurs? They didn’t care about the quality!” Charles roared at Chen Zheng, his hands trembling in anger.
A subordinate standing at the side shook his head and said, “No, Charles, even though their lawyer is Chinese, there is an Italian businessman holding shares. This case involves foreign investment. They said they are exporting these goods to Europe, so their company image is deeply affected…”
The lawyer that rushed in said, “No, they can’t win this lawsuit. At that time we had a contract written in black and white…”
Charles suddenly bellowed, “Ah!”. Grabbing his own hair, he turned around and dashed out of the office, leaving Chen Zheng and a few others looking at each other, confused.
Chen Zheng stared at the letter that dropped to the floor, suddenly he smiled.
Slowly, he put on a bitter smile.
It didn’t matter whether they won the lawsuit or not. He and Charles were the ones that signed the contract, he could almost imagine how the news of this lawsuit would spread swiftly across the industry, nationwide.
Finally they had received the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Li Zhicheng had been keeping this in his hand; now he had revealed it mercilessly.
In the past few day, Ning Weikai had everything going his way.
After going through various hardships, New Bori was finally back in his hands. And this time, he was really in control. He thought he might have reached the pinnacle of his life.
Of course, he would go higher. In the end, how many freakish geniuses like Li Zhicheng could there be? Since the two of them had turned from enemies to friends, based on each other’s temperament, each would surely be going their own way from now on.
What else would he need to be afraid of on the road ahead?
New Bori was indeed quite severely damaged now, but… people naturally were inclined to favor their former leader. He was not at all concerned by the low point that they were in now. Instead he remained poised and handsome as usual, calling all his trusted subordinates over one by one to motivate them. His attitude influenced many people, He influenced the whole corporation. Furthermore, the failure of DG Group in China made almost everyone feel that New Bori was slowly taking steps to go back to their glory days.
But Ning Weikai was not totally free from worries.
For example early that morning, he received a call from the secretary of Zhu’s chairman.
“The chairman would like to see you,” the person said politely.
The chairman that the secretary was referring to was no doubt Elder Zhu, the most powerful person of Zhu’s Consortium and his father-in-law.
Ning Weikai didn’t decline the invitation. He answered with a smile and went straight to the Zhu’s family house.
It was already spring. Elder Zhu, who had semi-retired, was sitting on the white chair in the luscious green field as usual, nodding and smiling at this son-in-law.
The Zhu brothers, who were eyesores to Ning Weikai, didn’t appear.
Ning Weikai had never considered himself as generous. Their absence made him feel much more refreshed. He poured tea for Elder Zhu and the two chatted.
They chatted about the latest situation in the suitcase industry and the revival of New Bori, as well. Both of them looked natural as though they were still a pair of congenial father and son-in-law from a year ago.
In the end, Elder Zhu changed the topic, staring at him with his limpid eyes, “Weikai, after the situation at New Bori has stabilized, you should join the board of trustees. Hanyu knows nothing, so your presence in the Board could make sure everything goes well for her.”
Ning Weikai was stupefied for a moment.
The Board of Trustees that he was referring to now was of course the board of the whole of Zhu’s Consortium. “Making sure everything goes well for her” would mean that he was asking Ning Weikai to share and enjoy the power and benefits that came with her portion of shares.
Ning Weikai used to dream of this opportunity.
Their eyes met for a moment. Suddenly Ning Weikai felt like laughing.
Was the intention of his father-in-law to tie him down with Zhu Hanyu, or to tie him down with Zhu’s Corporation? He used the shares of Zhu’s Consortium as bait. What man could reject that?
Seemingly reading his mind, Elder Zhu admitted frankly. He said lightly, “Hanyu is my favourite daughter. I hope she will be happy forever.”
Ning Weikai was silent for a long while; Elder Zhu waited for him patiently and confidently.
Then he raised his head, looking equally gentle at the old man.
“Thanks dad. But I think I will focus on managing New Bori for now.”
After he left Zhu’s family house, Ning Weikai was whistling the whole way, seemingly in a great mood. Jun Yuan, who was driving, asked him with a grin, “Mr. Ning, did something good happen?”
Ning Weikai smiled and didn’t reply.
He had rejected shares worth a few hundred million. Did that count as a good thing?
Thinking about Zhu’s shares, he thought of Zhu Hanyu who was at home. Ning Weikai’s gaze dimmed, saying, “Let’s go to the fruit market. I want to buy some mangosteens.”
“Okay,” Jun Yuan responded briskly; he couldn’t help but smile again.
How should one put it, this feeling was like they had returned to the past.
Mangosteen was Zhu Hanyu’s favorite food. In the past, even though Ning Weikai was a CEO, he would go to the fruit market himself every time and pick out the fruit for her one by one.
If one were to measure the pampering a man gave to a woman, in the past Ning Weikai had spoiled Zhu Hanyu too much.
Now, had they finally reconciled?
But speak of the devil and he shall appear, right at that moment, Ning Weikai’s phone rang. The phone was ringing urgently. The ringtone was very distinctive; Lydia changed it herself. A ringtone exclusive for her.
Through the rearview mirror, Jun Yuan peeked at his boss that looked as still as water, pretending that he didn’t notice anything at all.
Ning Weikai stared at the name blinking on the screen; after being silent for a moment, he picked up the call, “Hello.”
He could the noises on the other end of the call.
Lydia’s voice was hoarse, with not a hint of jolliness as before. But she was laughing, pretending to be laughing lightheartedly.
“Ning Weikai, are you seriously not coming to send me off?”
Ning Weikai was silent.
He averted the topic, “If anything happens in Europe, you can contact my friend. He stays near your school. He is quite reliable.”
Lydia kept silent for a while, then she laughed, “Are you happy that I chose to study overseas?”
Ning Weikai’s reply was calm, “Lydia, that’s your choice. I have no right to interfere.”
Lydia’s voice was tearing up, “… Older brother, actually I was never in your heart, is that right? You were just too lonely, so you were fooling around with me. I am so pathetic.”
Ning Weikai remained silent.
“That’s why you never touched me,” she said with a bitter smile, “I should have understood earlier. What else could it mean for a man to not touch a woman? Am I not worthy… for even a kiss?”
Ning Weikai continued to remain silent.
“I have never seen someone as ruthless as you.” Lydia hung up abruptly.
Ning Weikai put down his phone.
After a while, he deleted all their phone logs, messages and her phone number.
When he reached home, the sky was completely dark.
Ning Weikai pushed the door open to enter, then he saw a familiar, slender figure standing on the balcony watering the flowers. Her fair and graceful neck was tilted down like a lonely swan.
Ning Weikai put down the mangosteen, approached her slowly, then he hugged her from behind, “What’s wrong?”
Zhu Hanyu had been in a daze for too long; she was taken aback.
“Ah… nothing…” she averted her gaze.
But this didn’t stop Ning Weikai from noticing the tear stains in the corner of her eyes, and her flustered gaze tainted with a hint of desperation and agony. She was so frail and helpless.
This was an expression that Ning Weikai was familiar with.
Every time she encountered something that she couldn’t solve, she would be frightful and lost like this. Similar to his feeling during this period, Ning Weikai felt a deep sense of powerlessness again. But beyond that sense of powerlessness, something was about to break through.
He wanted to change.
That was something that he used to treasure, perhaps it had been sailing on a distorted pathway, and both of them chose to ignore it. But now after experiencing highs and lows, he understood. He was wrong; she was wrong too. Both of them were wrong.
As for today, he could sympathize with why she would feel flustered and pained.
He rejected his father-in-law’s suggestion to join the shareholders; he rejected sharing and enjoying benefits with her; he rejected being more tightly tied down with her.
He did it when their marriage seemed to be failing, when he had seized total control of New Bori and he could spread his wings and fly away.
She was afraid, afraid of losing him.
She was not stupid, attempting to secure their marriage with interests that were most irresistible to him.
He took a deep breath, reaching out and hugging her tighter in his embrace; he lowered his head to kiss the quavering tears on her face.
“Sweetheart, we don’t have to be like that. I don’t want you to be like that.”
Only after so many years did I finally see my own heart clearly.
Could you let go of everything and truly walk into my heart?
Half a year later.
The sunlight of midsummer was bright and dazzling; it passed through the grape trellis, casting dappled shades.
Above everyone’s heads were trellises full of grapes with every bunch looking ripe and juicy, making their mouths water.
Since she had woken up early that morning, Lin Qian had been feeling sick. Even when she looked at the lively and joyous scene, she felt out of sorts.
Gao Lang and his newly acquainted girlfriend were sitting opposite her, adding chicken wings onto the BBQ pit. There were a few other retired soldiers, former colleagues of Li Zhicheng, other Captains, Lieutenant Colonels, and Majors… gathering from all parts of Lin City, feasting on the BBQ. Once in a while they would smile at Lin Qian.
“Sister, do you want some?”
“Sister, why don’t you eat?”
Lin Qian just laughed and waved her hand, serving drinks and beer to the guests Then she sat at one side, placed her hands under her chin and smiled.
Naturally she had been quite close with Gao Lang and the other security guards. Looking at these men in military uniforms sitting beside her, she couldn’t help but think about Li Zhicheng.
If you think about it, the encounters in life were wonderful.
For them to be able to meet, was it really predestined?
If the Aida Group had not encountered a crisis, he would not have returned from the unit he had been with for so many years.
Then they would not have known each other. In Lin Qian’s life there would have never been a man like Li Zhicheng.
The possibility, just thinking about it made her shudder.
Since I have met you, my special one, I can no longer accept the possibility of not having you in my life.
Thinking about this, Lin Qian couldn’t help but turn around and look at the two men in the side hall.
Lin Mochen and Li Zhicheng.
The two were discussing something again. Her brother was sitting in front of the computer desk, Li Zhicheng was half leaning against the tableside while the spoke. They were of the “same species”; their expressions were distant. Across the glass door, Lin Qian couldn’t tell what they were discussing from afar.
Lin Qian pouted, then she turned around to continue mingling with the group where commoners like her gathered.
Meanwhile, Gao Lang passed her a skewer of roasted mutton, “Sister! Eat it while it’s hot!”
Lin Qian lost her appetite instantaneously.
A deep feeling of illness washed over her again. She smiled, waving, “I’m full already. Help yourselves. I’m going in for a while.”
Upon saying that she stood up and walked inside; when she passed by the big tray of mouth-watering grapes, she couldn’t resist and took another bunch.
Hmm… the grapes grown by her were indeed unrefined and extremely sour.
It was appetizing.
When she passed by the side hall, probably noticing her absent-mindedness, she saw Li Zhicheng suddenly raise his dark and piercing gaze to stare at her from afar. His hands were still in his pants’ pockets; his newly cut hair was short and black, looking refreshing.
Lin Qian flushed instantly upon his stare. She hastened and went upstairs.
On the other side, Li Zhicheng told Lin Mochen, “Please excuse me.” Then he left the side hall, following after her.
Lin Mochen stared at this pair of young lovebirds openly showing their affection for each other in his presence; he remained expressionless.
His sister was almost going to be married, the wedding was next week. But when she was facing her man, she was still so bashful, so reticent yet her face was like an open book.
Li Zhicheng obviously fell for it…
Wait a second, what was he worrying about?
Lin Mochen fell silent for a moment, then he laughed at himself.
He laughed at this remaining tinge of gentleness and protectiveness in him.
He put the laptop on his lap and continued browsing through the news.
As for those simple-minded soldiers who kept inviting him across the glass door to eat those unhealthy food… of course he disdained joining them. After declining their offer politely the first time, he then put on his headphones, pretending he didn’t hear them.
In comparison to the liveliness downstairs, it was quiet, nice and cool upstairs. The warm-colored drape was opened; the breeze gushed in from the window, freshening their minds and hearts.
Lin Qian was leaning against the windowsill, her chin resting on both her hands, looking on to the limpid lake water. The sunlight hit the water surface, interspersing and forming flakes of gold that were dazzling.
Sigh. But she felt so sad.
An enigmatic sadness washed over her.
Suddenly she felt a pair of powerful hands on her waist; his warm embrace encircled her from behind.
Lin Qian was taken aback, “Jeez!” This man from special forces still walked without making a sound. Didn’t he know how to fix it?!
Li Zhicheng lowered his head to kiss her slightly sweaty, delicate neck; his warm breath blew onto her skin. He didn’t say a word, because he knew she would surely not be able to hold it in and would tell him what was on her mind.
Indeed, after spooning silently for a while, Lin Qian turned around and faced him. She put her arms around his neck. Their eyes met; his eyes were like a borderless ocean, easily drowning her in them.
Lin Qian suddenly burst into smiles.
He saw her smile silently and it left him hanging. Li Zhicheng remained silent too, moving only his hands. His forceful hand started caressing her ample breast, skillfully.
He knew for a fact that Lin Qian would fall for this. Indeed, it only took a moment before she gave up, pressing herself against his chest, protesting, “How can you do that! Stop touching!”
Even though she said that, when the affection heightened, touch like this made both of them restless and aroused.
The breeze blew gently that summer afternoon. The two of them spooned for a while more; Lin Qian surrendered herself fully in his arms. Li Zhicheng locked the door, pulled a chair to sit by the windowsill, and made Lin Qian straddle him. Then only he asked while slowly fondling her waist, “What happened?”
Lin Qian enjoyed sitting on him a lot. It was a wonderful feeling, as though she owned all of him completely, like she was his master.
She blinked, lowered herself and kissed his thin lips. When their breathing was entangled, she finally murmured the thoughts that she had been considering for the past few nights,
“Zhicheng, become the controlling shareholder in my corporation.” Her voice was soft and tender. It sounded like she was seducing and placating him.
Li Zhicheng was startled; his gaze which was right in front of hers turned inscrutable.
Her suggestion was outside Li Zhicheng’s expectations.
One had to understand that since “Glamorous” was still in its infancy, she had been wary of him like he was a scourge, forbidding him from taking a controlling share.
Glamorous was her precious treasure. The amount of effort she spent on Glamorous was more than that on him.
Now she had proactively invited him to become the controlling shareholder?
“Why?” he asked under his breath.
Lin Qian twitched in his embrace, raised her eyes, which were watery from all his kisses, and looked at him, “I have been thinking about this for a while. The first thing is that I realized I still prefer working in advertising. It is so tiring to manage the whole enterprise. When the company grows bigger, I don’t find it fun anymore. The second thing is…” she leaned in to let their noses touch tips, “I want to have more time with you. In the future, I also need to take care of our family, right…”
Li Zhicheng kept staring at her; he didn’t say anything.
Lin Qian added on, “On top of that, thinking about it I realized I actually love the time where I worked under your command the most…” Even before she finished her sentence, Li Zhicheng had covered her lips with a kiss; his kiss was getting deeper and more voracious. Lin Qian subconsciously tilted back, but since her whole body was on him and there was nothing behind her, only his hand blocked her retreat. For every inch she tilted back he pressed forward another three inches, binding them closer.
“Okay, I will take the controlling shares,” he nibbled on her ear, whispering, “After this you can no longer change your mind.”
“Why would I change my mind?” Lin Qian blinked, “This is… a dowry.”
Li Zhicheng’s heart did a flip.
This woman in front of him was satisfying all his desires.
She was his; her corporation was going to be merged into his business empire as well. Everything belonging to them were inseparable. She satisfied all his possessive instincts towards her, willingly staying close in his embrace.
“Give it to me,” he whispered.
His hand reached out to take off her clothes.
Lin Qian’s face reddened all in a sudden, “My brother and the rest are still downstairs! I don’t want to!”
Li Zhicheng only used one hand to tie her hands behind her back, “Don’t worry, they won’t come up.”
His actions were swift. While he was talking he had unbuttoned her blouse and buried his head in her chest. His hand was searching under her skirt as well. He was about seize the territory soon. Lin Qian panicked and tried to push him away, “No, you can’t!”
Then her hand reached out to protect her belly.
Li Zhicheng paused for a moment.
A person with keen senses could quickly capture any hint of abnormal symptoms, then deduce the most accurate inference.
His gaze paused for while on her as usual flat belly, then he raised his gaze to look at her.
His gaze had changed.
It had changed to fervent, surged with emotions, with traces of surprise gushing forth.
Lin Qian looked at their messy clothes, then looked at the puzzlement in his eyes. Her cheeks flushed, but her smile was sweet.
“So yesterday, I went to the hospital. That…” Lin Qian also didn’t know how to express this reality. So she ended up pulling his hand and placing it on her belly, “there should be a little Li Zhicheng.”
Li Zhicheng had lived for almost thirty years, but he had never thought that at this moment, hearing the words “little Li Zhicheng”, his heart would melt.
Although his heart softened, his expression remained calm and composed. His thumb caressed her waistline and he dryly said, “Well done.”
Lin Qian giggled, “Thanks.”
“I am referring to myself.”
“… D*mn you!”
Lin Qian got up and jumped off his lap, at the same time saying, “So, you cannot touch me for the next few months…” She had barely moved, when he hooked her back, embracing her strongly. In his low, husky voice he said in her face, “I won’t touch you.”
His hands and tongue calmed down. He merely hugged her.
This was a peaceful and gentle kiss. His hands embraced her. He didn’t say a word, just buried his head in her shoulder. Lin Qian listened to his strong heartbeat in his chest, and her heart and mind melted.
After a while, she spoke.
“Hey, why do you like this position? Me sitting on you?”
Li Zhicheng didn’t answer.
After a while, he dryly said, “I love many positions.”
Lin Qian laughed again. Yes, it was true, he definitely loved many… he he…
But this sitting position was still his preference. Lin Qian’s brain couldn’t help but begin to fantasize and fill in the gaps with the past experiences they had. In her opinion, dominant and exacting men like him, at any moment would love to subjugate the woman just like they did in novels.
Only afterward did she realise that Li Zhicheng really loved it when she sat on him. Did that mean that, even dominant men actually secretly desired to be dominated by women like her? Hahaha.
She was so delighted thinking about it, that she couldn’t help but share it out loud.
“Hey, you actually desire being dominated by me, right? That’s why you love this position.” Guy below…girl on top…
D*mn, stepped on the tiger’s tail again.
Li Zhicheng gave her a blank look, his tone calm but pressuring.
“You can try and see.”
Lin Qian, “…”
Threatened by him again!
She begrudgingly bent over to bite his lip. Who knew that he would react faster, picking her up and placing her on the bed, mounting himself on top.
“Hey hey! Didn’t I say you couldn’t touch me?” Lin Qian protested. If not, how would she have dared to provoke him so haughtily! So fearless was she!
Li Zhicheng simply answered, “I know my limits.”
A few minutes later.
“Your…your limits are too extreme…”
A summer afternoon in a peaceful room. The quiet lovers exchange was the sweetest thing in the world. Life was still long, their love was still young. Even if we can’t go back, I would be content.
The master and mistress had invited a whole house of guests, but halfway through, they themselves had disappeared for a while. In this situation, only a simpleton like Gao Lang would ask his girlfriend, “Boss and sister still haven’t come down, should I go call them?” His girlfriend stuffed a chicken wing into his mouth, shutting him up.
The summer day was wonderful. Everyone was enjoying themselves, sitting under the grapevines, looking into the distance, discussing the present, and all was peaceful and soothing.
Meanwhile, on the other side of a glass door, Lin Mochen was still seated in his earlier spot. After reading the news, he began to look at the American stock market and debt market conditions.
About Li Zhicheng and Lin Qian suddenly disappearing? He was used to it.
After browsing for a while, a notification suddenly popped out on the webpage.
He subscribed to quite a few economy and business newsletters. If he encountered predetermined keywords, a notification would automatically pop up.
It was like this every day for so many years. What popped up where three pieces of news.
Lin Mochen quickly glanced through the news. They were all about China’s central bank tightening the monetary policy, Australia’s metal shares collapsing drastically recently, XX Corporation’s new Marketing Department Manager Ms. Mu Hanxia accepting the interview from Beijing Evening News…
Lin Mochen’s hands on the keyboard suddenly stopped.
The brats outside were still making a racket, the sun shone in through the glass door, blindingly bright. Lin Mochen was wearing an indoor sweater and some long pants. Anyone seeing this would feel it was an elegant and graceful appearance.
However, at this moment, he saw a name on the screen, a name that he had not seen in while.
Mu Hanxia, such a unique name, a name that stuck with you. Who could forget it after hearing it?
His heart was suddenly in a daze. The feeling was like a wind blowing on the surface of a once peaceful lake. Finally it slowly died down, drowned in an all consuming cesspool of darkness.
He remained silent while he finished reading the piece of news. Then he closed his notebook as he raised his hand, and with a cold look, got up and walked out.
Gao Lang and the rest were staring at Li Zhicheng’s brother-in-law. They were quite shocked and wanted to ask him about it, but they were frightened by his ice cold expression. Lin Mochen had both his hands in his pants’ pockets, walking out aimlessly. It wasn’t until he had reached the busy street that he suddenly came back to his senses and looked around. His heart had already calmed down.
It was the same summer, but for Chen Zheng it was too hot. There was a trace of agitation in the heat.
It was almost noon; his car left the company. In the morning he had a chat with a few presidents from real estate development corporations. They had a good discussion; he was eager to try it out too.
He drove around on the road aimlessly. He wanted to find a place for lunch, but there were people and traffic jams everywhere.
Chen Zheng lowered the sun visor, wearing sunglasses. When a sexy lady with long legs passed by in front of the car, he casually whistled. The lady turned around, seeing that it was an expensive car with a handsome man sitting in the driver seat, she didn’t get angry. She glanced at him then walked away.
Chen Zheng pulled a smile, stopped at the intersection and continued to wait patiently for the traffic light to turn green.
Actually his days weren’t any different from before.
The business of DG China had hit rock bottom, unable to recover, and he had left DG too. But as compared to Charles taking the blame and resigning, leaving China dejected, he was actually still okay.
Selling SMQ’s shares during the earlier stage had brought him an enormous fortune. Everyone knew that the suitcase industry was too traditional and yielded only slim profits; he could invest put money in real estate, investments… which industry could he not make a profit?
His new company was soon to open.
New career, new life.
The traffic light had finally turned green; he was driving slowly.
Unwittingly, or perhaps out of habit, he drove to the most prosperous business district in the center of the city.
This was also where the flagship stores of many renowned brands in suitcase industry gathered. In the past Chen Zheng would come here at least once a week; throughout the years, he had lost count of how many times he had been there.
He parked his car at the curb, and upon raising his head, he could see DG’s flagship store. But the DG now looked bleak. Visitors were few, and far between. Looking at its pathetic state, he reckoned that it wouldn’t be long before it closed down too, just like other shops.
He sneered; it wasn’t clear whom was he sneering at. Looking further, the most striking and lively shops were undoubtedly Aida, Sha Ying, Glamorous, etc… shops of the whole series of national brands. It was summertime, so every brand had just released new products, obviously attracting the arrival of many consumers.
Chen Zheng sat at the spot and stared for a while, then he turned around and left.
Driving along the business district, he could see the flagship store of a renowned fashion brand on his right hand side. The store was two-stories high, with a gigantic advertising banner hanging from it; the lights were bright, the music was rock’n’roll. The vibe of the shop was cool. It seemed like it was well managed.
Chen Zheng’s gaze calmly slipped past the shop, finally he turned around and drove the car into the crowded traffic.
As he was driving, suddenly he felt his nose getting slightly stuffed.
That space used to be SMQ’s best-selling shop in town. He had not the slightest idea when did the ownership of the building was transferred and SMQ withdrew.
His SMQ, the SMQ which his father had spent his whole life and effort establishing, had almost vanished from the market. Since the beginning, DG was only planning to leverage the brand name of SMQ, now that they were facing operating difficulties, the first brand to be cut off and forsaken was SMQ.
Chen Zheng drove for a while more, finally he stopped the car at the roadside. Lowering his head, he covered his face with his hands and tears rolled down from his cheeks.
All of us once had the most beautiful time; all of us once had the best season. And when I was in those seasons, I might have been innocent and ignorant, I might have been walking and tumbling on the road of life. But when the time had finally passed and when my hair turned grey, when I looked around, I realize that in the end what I anticipated the most in life, was to not disappoint.
I didn’t want to disappoint that young and wild time; I didn’t want to let others’ expectations and gentleness go to waste.
My heart, my young and ignorant heart which was neither strong nor sober enough. There were so many temptations coming my way, there were so many crossroads where I needed to decide on which path to take, how could I continue without wandering astray?
That was our glamorous time. It was rough and full of uncertainties, but because I was fortunate enough to meet you, the special one, we could brace through hand in hand, and everything was not the same.
It had nothing to do with wealth, status, fame, or power. Even if I were to lose the world, even if I were to lose my mind.