During the company ball, Xu Jian did bring his female partner along. Perhaps he had been influenced by some people to do big things, but this did not mean that Xu Jian himself was that powerful or that able.
Anthony grabbed ten juicy chickens and managed to hype up the news of An Zixuan's homosexuality on the company forum again. This time, the news not only brought up An Zixuan but also implied that An Zixuan actually had a mystery boyfriend at the company.
The public's intelligence was bottomless. Furthermore, the gossip was just happening beside them. The interest of the group of white collars who were bored by work was lit up instantly. They started to discuss among themselves the identity of An Zixuan's mystery boyfriend. They listed the names of male employees who had frequent interactions with An Zixuan, and Xu Jian's name was brought up many times; there was evidence and witnesses. Xu Jian's name exploded in the company in the capacity of him having the highest possibility of being An Zixuan's boyfriend.
Ye Shuang berated Anthony for going so low as to ruin the client's name for the purpose of achieving their goal before joining the fun and releasing an anonymous statement online.
"We should see whether he brings a male or female partner to the ball. LOL"
Just like that, Anthony did not even need to use any more bait, and Xu Jian invited his partner to attend the ball with him. The people at the company were watching, and Ye Shuang had already said no. Xu Jian had no other option; he had to bring a female guest to clear company rumors, but he did not want other female employees to question him on the reason, so after some contemplation, his partner was the only choice.
The partner could not wait to attend the ball with Xu Jian. However, when she heard people complimenting what a good couple they were, before she could even be happy about that, she heard the rumors of Xu Jian pursuing two relationships at the same time. If the rumor was with An Zixuan, the female partner would not have thought so much about it, but if the main character of the rumor was a 'beauty with a graceful presence', then she would have to be cautious about it.
"And then what happened? Xu Jian really admitted everything to his partner?" Ye Shuang waited to hear the ending with interest.
Anthony held the utensils, enjoying a plate of steak with Ye Shuang at a restaurant that served western cuisine. He had already found a lawyer to hand over the promised 1% share to Ye Shuang. "He did admit it. When the lady found him to ask for clarification… just like you said, our main character didn't seem to know his cute partner had a crush on him."
"First she was complimented by others, and then she heard from the crush himself that he actually likes someone else. The pressure must be so high. After all, the bigger the hope, the harder the fall; the girl must be crying her heart out now," Ye Shuang speculated. "Then, do you plan to fake some documents next? The plan can be set up easily when their minds are both into it. Without the woman watching over him, Xu Jian will slip and fall."
Anthony thought about it and picked up a piece of steak. "Alexander and that lady are just two pawns; this An Corp is also most likely not the only company with a corporate spy. Are you interested to joining me to lure out the real culprit?"
"Nothing in it for me, so no." Ye Shuang readily admitted her lack of interest. She did love a good challenge, but before that, she needed to fill her stomach. Playing once in a while was no problem, but if she was dragged into some big trouble, she might get caught in too deep.
"It's fine if you want to play, but don't forget your actual job. After dealing with Xu Jian, remember to fix up all the issues in An Corps; don't ruin my and Han Chu's reputation."
Of course, the key point was having a powerful An Corps would benefit her bonus.
Anthony pouted and chewed on the piece of steak. Then he sighed weakly as he poked at the meat on his plate listlessly. "But for me, this is the part time job, and new challenges are my real job."
"How about this? If you dare ruin my reputation, I'll smash all of your equipment."
Anthony instantly perked up and promised, "Believe me, I definitely will not disappoint you!"
After dinner, Ye Shuang received an email from Director Zhou. It was a group message saying that the premier would be next Wednesday. Those who received the message needed to arrange their schedule. Whether the message's recipients could attend or not, they needed to reply promptly so that the crew could set up the attendance list and book the plane tickets.
Ye Shuang calculated the time. The following Wednesday should be when she was in her male form, so she decided to attend the premier. The premier would only have reporters, but the party after the premier might have potential clients.
Ye Shuang went to take a bath and sleep after answering the message. She appeared in her male form the next day. Ye Shuang decided to take the plane to the nearby city state to rent a villa and relax. She might only have 1% share in An Corps, but the An family practically had a monopoly of the entire electronics business in San Lin City. Even with just 1%, after taking away the part that would be reinvested, Ye Shuang would still be left with plenty of bonus, several hundred thousand annually was pretty much guaranteed. Therefore, she did not need to worry about money now. Of course, she was still a distance away from being one of those truly rich.
If not for An Zixuan, Mr. Fang would not have taken out 2% of the family shares to hire Anthony, the expert. They were afraid that the culprit behind Xu Jian would continue to suck out the resources from the company. Even though this was not enough to shake the An family's majority share, allowing this parasite to stay in the shareholders' committee was going to be a problem in the future.
After her three-day holiday, Ye Shuang returned to San Lin City and continued to ask Xu Jian out for meals. After the ball, Xu Jian's female partner had been paying close attention to the man's personal schedule, and she finally saw the two on a date with her own eyes.
Since Xu Jian thought everything was going well, he did not realize that his partner was becoming absent-minded. Finally, Anthony caught the opening he wanted, and once the opening had been made, the continuous attacks that had been planned were activated.
Facing the furious attack, the female partner, who was in such a state, could not do anything against it. Even the culprit did not think that An Corps would launch such a drastic counter-attack. The culprit wanted to fight back, but they were no match for Anthony, who once turned Walls Street upside down. In less than a week, the internal structure of An Corps experienced a huge change, and Xu Jian was swept out of the company without even being given a say.
This was what they called the changing of Feng Shui. The deeper the water, the stronger the current. One could be winning one moment but facing bankruptcy the next; nothing was certain in the world of business. It was naïve to think that one would remain on top forever.
When Ye Shuang got the call from Xu Jian, she just finished getting the latest update from Anthony. She was surprised that the first person Xu Jian thought about after his life crumbled was herself.
But then, what was the point‽ It was impossible for him to know she had a hand in planning his downfall, so what was the purpose of this call? To ask her to keep him as a trophy husband‽
In any case, since they were old friends, Ye Shuang changed her clothes and accepted the invitation to have this last dinner with Xu Jian. Based on the current situation, it was impossible for Xu Jian to survive in San Lin City. However, no matter the ending, she had to follow this mission until the curtain fell.
When she arrived at the location, Ye Shuang could not help but sigh. Before this, when Xu Jian asked her out, they would dine at upscale restaurant, enjoying the best steak, caviar, and wine, but now he invited her to a roadside stall. Before the stall was a rectangular pot that was separated into many holes. It was a steamboat where you could choose your own ingredients.
When Xu Jian saw Ye Shuang, he was embarrassed, but Ye Shuang took her seat naturally. She was as calm as when she arrived at those upscale restaurants.
"I remember this place has been opened for many years already, right?" Ye Shuang opened the disposable chopsticks expertly and smile. "There was a stall that sold bean curd down the street. I wonder if it's still there. I've eaten many bean curds since then, but his is still the best."
Perhaps since Ye Shuang did not ask and naturally went into conversation about their university memory, Xu Jian, who was initially embarrassed, also turned quiet. He closed his eyes and flashed a sincere smile. "Everything tasted good when we were in university because we didn't have much then."
"Indeed, we didn't have much money at the time." Ye Shuang also smiled. "I remember I only had a small allowance. After deducting the money for everyday expenses, I only had enough left to buy snacks, so every bite tasted like heaven."
As she talked about the past, Ye Shuang helped Xu Jian cook some sausages before adding, "After we started working and saw many things, we became picky. The things that we want slowly grew, and the things that we can get increased as well. Once the appetite grows big, it's hard to get that satisfaction again. With greed, you'll only feel nothing is ever enough."
Xu Jian was about to raise his chopsticks when he heard Ye Shuang say that. He looked up at Ye Shuang, but she was not looking at him. She was asking the stall owner for some beers.
Perhaps I was overthinking it…
Feeling awkward, Xu Jian lowered his head and continued shoving food into his mouth like he was trying to hide something. Suddenly, an opened beer bottle was placed beside his hand while the stall owner was stumped, looking at the bottle opener that he just found.
"Since we're old friends and you've treated me to so many meals already, this one is on me!" Ye Shuang smiled when Xu Jian raised his head to look at her. Then she sighed. "But to be honest, sometimes it's best to not see old friends because you realize they have turned for the worse. Xu Jian, when I said you've changed a lot on the highway, I wasn't just saying that out of politeness."
Xu Jian accepted the bottle silently and took a huge swig. He took the gold-rimmed glasses off his face and slammed them on the floor like he was venting his emotions. He then ruffled his hair and smiled. "Yes, the change is so big that I barely recognize myself anymore."
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