Full Cup of Water - Chap 13
In the past few days, the reputation of Su Zhong on Financial Street had undergone a strange reversal.
Initially, David’s plan to block went well. However, that day, someone from the headquarters called and reprimanded David, asking him, “Why did you approve Su Zhong’s resignation?”
David was surprised. “What, what do you mean?”
The person from the headquarters spoke, making David break out in cold sweat.
It turned out that Su Zhong published a paper on quantitative models in an authoritative journal in the United States, which attracted the attention of many investment institutions. Su Zhong’s model had high self-learning abilities, stable performance and abstract simulation ability. It had a faster response ability than ordinary models and had promising prospects in the investment field.
David had never cared much about the work patterns of his subordinates, so it was not clear that Su Zhong had been engaged in very in-depth research. Quantitative trading was still in its infancy in China. Moreover, David was a more traditional “old man” and had little concept of quantitative trading. It was just a gimmick. Investment was a human thing. How could machines learn it?
Therefore, he felt that people like Su Zhong who rarely engaged in communication and only concentrated on doing research did not have many prospects.
Who knew that several funds on Wall Street paid particular attention to model research? After Su Zhong’s paper was submitted, even before it was published, several experts specializing in quantification had already offered Su Zhong an olive branch.
David’s company was not so sensitive to this piece. It was not until the paper was published and caused a sensation in the past two days that the company headquarters suddenly discovered that its own fertilizer had been used in the field.
David really did not understand how good quantification could be. After all, domestic institutions generally did not pay much attention to quantification. What he cared about was Su Zhong going directly to M-global’s U.S. headquarters！
M-global was a behemoth at the level of 100 billion!
David’s mind was heavy. “What position does he have after going to M-global?”
The other party laughed grimly. “M-global attaches great importance to his research, so they gave him shares and made him a partner.”
“Partner?” David was stunned. “Could this be a mistake…”
He was just a fund manager. How could he have become a partner directly?
“You didn’t know, did you? M-global attaches great importance to the application of cutting-edge mathematical algorithms such as data mining, machine learning, and neural networks in the financial field. Their quantification is at the forefront of the world, and the management scale of their intelligent investment and advisory platform has reached tens of billions of dollars. However, it had recently been hit hard by the global Black Swan incident.” The person on the other end of the phone patiently explained to David. “But, didn’t you notice that Su Zhong’s fund was not really affected by the Black Swan? That’s because his model is very advanced and responds faster and more nimbly to the market. This deeply attracted M-global. Sigh, you really didn’t even know you were holding onto a goldmine!”
David did not know much about this kind of AI and the like, and he was mystified. But he fully understood one thing. That Su Zhong was going to be a partner of M-global!
Su Zhong was originally just a fund manager under David, and David could decide his fate if unhappy. Now, Su Zhong had become a partner of M-global directly?
Was that not just stepping on David’s head?
Ah, no, it was not stepping on David’s head.
It was stepping on the head of the head of the head of David’s head.
This was tantamount to saying that Su Zhong jumped to a place that David
could not even reach by jumping three feet high.
However, David was a highly experienced old man in the end, and he quickly
adjusted his thoughts. He knew he could not make good regarding Su Zhong,
and his priority now was how to explain it to the headquarters.
The headquarters was asking questions.
David’s skills were not very good, but he was still strong at office politics. He immediately resorted to the “Leader’s Holy Grail – picking a lucky subordinate to take the blame”. He pushed Rui Lei up immediately, saying that Rui Lei stole Su Zhong’s client and created rumours to discredit Su Zhong, which led to Su Zhong’s angry departure.
In this way, Rui Lei was kicked from her hard-earned investment director position before she could warm the spot, and her year-end bonus was gone.
Rui Lei was also shocked to learn she had been used to shoulder the blame. She ran to David’s office but did not dare to ask questions, so she could only express her emotions tactfully.
But David did not care what her emotions were. He only pretended to be kind and said, “You need to see the big picture!”
Rui Lei hated these words to the extreme. She could only say angrily, “David, Su Zhong’s departure really had nothing to do with me. I can explain it to headquarters.”
David smiled. “Su Zhong’s departure was none of your business? Then whose business was it? Was it my business? What do you want to say to headquarters?” Although David said it with a smile, there was a hidden knife in his smile.
Regarding Su Zhong’s departure, someone had to bear responsibility, either David or Rui Lei.
David was the boss, so how could it be logical for him to block the knife? Only subordinates help the leader to block the knife.
Rui Lei took a deep breath. In fact, she knew in her heart that she had to help David take the blame. She did not know the point of her resistance, but she could not just lie down and accept her fate.
David said indifferently, “By the way, headquarters doesn’t have a very good impression of you. I don’t think you’re suitable for appearing on financial programs to endorse our company. How about this? After the new year, I’ll let a newcomer replace you on the show. In fact, this is also good. It wouldn’t be so hard on you. It’s tiring to visit the TV station every few days, right? It’s also good to leave more time for other things.”
Rui Lei’s face paled, but she couldn’t say a word. She could only bite her lower lip and nodded, leaving the office in a daze.
Rui Lei could now be regarded as having tasted what Su Zhong once tasted. The promised promotion and salary increase were all retracted by David in one sentence. At the same time, David slandered her as a villain who framed her colleague. However, she was very different from Su Zhong. Su Zhong held a highly valuable achievement and received an enviable offer. But what about Rui Lei? Rui Lei had nothing.
She stood in place, unsure where the road lay.
To be honest, she began to be jealous of Su Zhong. But she was more annoyed with David for backpedalling and casually shifting the blame.
However, she did not have the ability to soar like Su Zhong, and she could only swallow her anger.
While Rui Lei was at a loss, Su Zhong had already flown to the United States and started his new job.
In addition to Rui Lei, who stayed in place and could not do anything, there was Xin Qianyu.
Xin Qianyu lived a fixed nine-to-five daily life. Every day, he lived like an ordinary bachelor. If it were not for Su Zhong’s things still in the house, Xin Qianyu might be more lonely.
Su Zhong’s tableware sat in the cabinet, and Su Zhong’s clothes were in the wardrobe. Su Zhong did not take anything when he went to the United States except for a few sets of clothes and a laptop. He did not even bring their couple mug with him.
Su Zhong had been using that brown mug for several years. It was Xin Qianyu’s first gift to Su Zhong.
The mug was made by Xin Qianyu during a DIY workshop. The shape was not perfect and it looked quite rough. When he was about to give it to Su Zhong, he was afraid it might not be presentable. Unexpectedly, Su Zhong gladly accepted this gift and used it for many years.
Xin Qianyu just did not expect that Su Zhong would not bring it with him.
Su Xin did not bring him, nor did he bring it.
He and the mug were left alone in this way.
Because of the distance across the ocean, the time difference had also become a problem. If Xin Qianyu wanted to call or video chat with Su Zhong, he had to accommodate Su Zhong’s working hours. One problem was that Su Zhong had just joined a new company and did not have much free time. When he was free, it was probably when Xin Qianyu was sleeping.
Moreover, Su Zhong was not a person who was keen to chat. It was rare to have time to make a phone call. Additionally, Su Zhong did not have much to say, so Xin Qianyu had to rack his brains to create a topic, and then Su Zhong would kill the topic within three sentences.
“How is it on your side? Is your work going well?” When Xin Qianyu asked, he did not notice that his tone had also become formal, as if he was chatting with someone she did not know well.
“Everything is fine,” Su Zhong replied. “Is your work going well?”
“Well, it’s pretty good,” Xin Qianyu said. “It’s the end of the year, so there is nothing much to do…”
“I see,” Su Zhong replied.
Silently, their steady breathing was faithfully recorded on the phone.
Xin Qianyu’s gaze again drifted to the lonely, ugly mug on the cabinet. He said, “You left that pottery mug at home.”
“Yes, I didn’t bring it.” Su Zhong replied calmly.
Xin Qianyu grasped the meaning at once. Su Zhong did not leave the ugly mug at home, instead did not bring it. In other words, Su Zhong deliberately did not bring it.
“Why didn’t you bring it?” Xin Qianyu said. Afraid that his tone would be a bit aggressive, he softened his tone and added as if explaining, “I thought you were used to this.”
“Mugs are all the same. There’s no difference whether you’re used to it or not.” Su Zhong replied.
Xin Qianyu felt like a piece of his heart had been dug out. Mugs were all the same? Was there no difference?
“Oh,” Xin Qianyu responded in a low voice. “Did you buy a new one?”
“I didn’t. The company has a new mug with a logo for clients. Lilith gave me one.” Su Zhong replied.
“Lilith?” Xin Qianyu caught the name sensitively. In their limited dialogue, this was the third time Su Zhong had mentioned this person. This was not a very usual event. After all, Su Zhong had only been to the United States for a week, and this Lilith already had a lot of presence in Su Zhong’s life. Xin Qianyu picked up the phone and clicked on Su Zhong’s circle of friends. Su Zhong rarely updated his posts. The most recent update was a group photo with his colleagues he posted during his first day at M-global.
“Is it the girl standing next to you in the group photo?” Xin Qianyu asked.
Su Zhong’s answer was in the affirmative.
Xin Qianyu felt even more uncomfortable. When he saw the group photo for the first time, he noticed the little beauty standing next to Su Zhong. It was not that this girl was so pretty. After all, Rui Lei was much more beautiful than Lilith, and it did not make Xin Qianyu feel any sense of crisis. It was just this Lilith standing next to Su Zhong. The posture seemed to be very intimate, and their faces were almost touching each other. But if the picture was zoomed in carefully, it would be discovered that this was just a visual illusion. Lilith was leaning towards Su Zhong in vain, and there was actually air separating them. Xin Qianyu could not tell whether the photography angle happened to be like this, or if Lilith deliberately did it, so Xin Qianyu did not say anything at the time.
Now Xin Qianyu had a sense of crisis, so he asked, “Did Lilith ask you to post this photo?”
Su Zhong recalled the situation and said, “Yes.”
On the first day, when Su Zhong arrived at the company, Lilith proposed to post a group photo. Lilith had also selected the photograph. Lilith asked everyone in the group photo to post this photo at that time, with the caption that she was very happy to meet her new colleague. Although Su Zhong had a cold personality, he was not entirely unsociable, so he did it.
The more Xin Qianyu thought about it, the more he felt that there was a problem with Lilith. He said, “Is Lilith an analyst?”
Su Zhong said, “No, she is HR.”
Xin Qianyu frowned and asked for details about Su Zhong and Lilith’s relationship.
The more he listened, the weirder he felt. Lilith was different from An Su. She was not the kind of fool who stalked until she had to be reported for sexual harassment to the police. Lilith had a sense of propriety. Take, for example, that group photo. It was vexing to look at, but in fact, she did not do anything. Su Zhong did not have a mug, so Lilith gave him a new mug with the company’s logo. Su Zhong just arrived in the United States. As the HR, Lilith personally took Su Zhong to the apartment allocated by the company and helped Su Zhong purchase daily necessities. Now many daily necessities in Su Zhong’s apartment were bought by Lilith. This made Xin Qianyu want to get angry, but he could not get it out.
The fire lingered in his chest for a while. Xin Qianyu did not dare to release it, so he had to say stuffily, “Oh, does she know you’re gay?”
Su Zhong said, “I’m not sure. Maybe not.”
Xin Qianyu said, “Then you have to tell her.”
Su Zhong was puzzled. “Why?”
Xin Qianyu did not know what to say. He was silent for a while, then said, “Can’t you just tell her?”
This was a bit arrogant. Xin Qianyu still rarely spoke to Su Zhong in such a tone. After saying this, Xin Qianyu regretted it a little, as he was afraid that Su Zhong would say “no” directly.
Unexpectedly, Su Zhong said, “Okay.”
Su Zhong told the company that he would only come to the United States for one year, so the company rented a place at a high-end apartment block for him to stay.
Lilith also lived in this apartment block and would meet Su Zhong every day.
Early this morning, Su Zhong came downstairs and met Lilith. Lilith looked at Su Zhong with a smile, leaned against the door and said, “Good morning, Su Zhong.”
Su Zhong said, “Good morning, I’m gay.”