Mr. Melancholy Wants to Live a Peaceful Life - Chap 105
“What does Director Yu already know about you?” Zhen Li asked curiously, simplicity written in his eyes.
Yuan Luori was also interested in getting in on the fun. “What does he know? I’ve been away from the studio for over forty days. What’s new?”
“Bark?” Director Ha also widened its blue eyes and tilted its head.
Huan Zixu uncomfortably turned his face away under the blankly stupid gazes of the two men and the dog. He swallowed down his bitterness and obscurely said, “Nothing, I’m just mad that he didn’t give me any money.”
Yuan Luori knew Yu Hua’s identity. Remembering Huan Zixu’s disdainful attitude towards Yu Hua and the treatment he’d had before, only being able to eat expired instant noodles, he felt that they were wanderers along the same path. While he couldn’t reveal Yu Hua’s identity, he could still comfort someone who, like him before, was unknowing. So he said, “I was just the same before. You’ll be fine as soon as there’s someone new in a lower position than you.”
Then he proudly raised his head, crossing his arms in front of his chest, displaying that his position was higher.
Zhen Li tugged at Yuan Luori’s clothes to tell him not to irritate Huan Zixu again. Yuan Luori’s comfort would bring him more enmity than a direct provocation.
Lian Yufan, reveling in the misfortune of others, said, “But the studio does have someone new coming. Isn’t Feng Kui new? We haven’t informed Yu Hua yet. I’m not going to do it this time. Whoever feels like it, go ahead.”
Each time someone new came to the studio, they got a layer of skin peeled off. Everyone was well aware of this. They all looked sympathetically at Feng Kui.
Feng Kui was entirely unaware. He squeezed Huan Zixu’s shoulder, quietly telling him that it didn’t matter if he had to give up the apartment.
“I’ll introduce Feng Kui,” Huan Zixu said. “Feng Kui’s disposition is simple. He’s kind and easily bullied. I’ll personally attend to the contract. If Yu Hua dares to exploit Feng Kui, I won’t let him join the studio. Anyway, Zhen Li and Yuan Luori are already enough to attract levelers. Why do you have to keep adding new people?”
Lian Yufan looked at Huan Zixu and didn’t answer.
This was something that the Protection Organization had in fact discussed and resolved upon, in view of Zhen Li and Yuan Luori’s changes for the better, their ability to even become true Protectors. The organization believed that placing the Destroyers in surroundings where most people were like them would make them calm. When their feelings settled, they would be able to see Zhen Li and Yuan Luori’s treatment. The disparity in benefits would make the Destroyers inevitably develop in the direction of Zhen Li and Yuan Luori, long to become Protectors, make contributions towards protecting the world.
Without noticing it, the Xuyang District Protection Organization’s treatment of Destroyers had become gentler.
When those captured during this last operation, Destroyer 187 and the “Guan Shaoguang” whose memories had been wiped by the System and who had yet to awaken, had been fully educated, they would probably also join the studio.
Lian Yufan considered this scene and suddenly felt weary. Mainly this was because the studio was too small. It would be crowded enough adding just Feng Kui.
They had already arrived near the studio without noticing it. Everyone got out of the car under a shelter. Feng Kui’s foot tread heavily on the ground. When he got out, the armed car next to him shook.
Lian Yufan: “…”
Wait, wasn’t there something he’d forgotten?
They swiped their works cards and went into the office building. They got on the elevator and heard the overload notifications. That was when Lian Yufan realized what he had forgotten.
With Feng Kui’s weight, could he ride an elevator?
Beep-beep-beep, beep-beep-beep. The elevator screamed sharply. There were office workers from other floors of the building in the elevator. Everyone looked left and right, counting up how many people there. A man in a suit said, “Strange, there aren’t too many people, are there?”
The staff of the Zhen Li Studio didn’t make a sound. They guiltily lowered their heads.
Then Feng Kui scratched his head and said, “It’s me. Too heavy. I’ll take the stairs.”
He had read the sign stuck on the inside of the elevator and knew that his weight was too much, so he awkwardly walked out.
Seeing Feng Kui standing all alone outside the elevator, Huan Zixu said, “I’ll take the stairs with you.”
Watching the two of them, one sturdy and one beautiful, leave the elevator, the other people felt a little awkward. One female office worker said to Zhen Li, “Is that long-haired handsome man with your company? And the tall one, too? I haven’t seen them before.”
As the president of the studio as well as its makeup expert, wardrobe angel, and friend to women, Zhen Li got along well with the workers on the floors above and below the studio. He answered naturally, “Yes, Feng Kui is our company’s new security director.”
“Oh, he really does give you a sense of security,” the female office worker said. “With his height and those sturdy muscles, he must weigh between two hundred and two hundred fifty pounds at least, right?”
With the proportions of Feng Kui’s height and muscles, reckoning by the standard of an average person, he ought to have been about 230 pounds. The skeleton makes up about one fifth of a person’s weight, but Feng Kui’s skeleton was five times denser than an ordinary person’s. With that conversion, Feng Kui’s weight was between six and seven hundred pounds. After silent calculating this, Zhen Li hung his head guiltily. He was now a little worried about whether the stairs would be able to bear Feng Kui’s weight.
The female office worker stealthily looked at Zhen Li, Yuan Luori, and Lian Yufan. She quietly said, “Your studio’s faces really are property that needs to be strictly protected. Director Yu alone wouldn’t be able to protect all of you.”
Lian Yufan didn’t like hearing this. He asked, “Why would it be Yu Hua protecting us? He’s not any taller than we are, is he?”
“No, he seems comparatively fierce and unapproachable,” the office girl said. “Anyway, when he’s standing at the door, none of us dares to go ask you for autographs.”
Lian Yufan: “???”
While he puzzled over this, all the young females in the elevator took out pen and paper and brought them up to Yuan Luori. “Could you give me an autograph? I watched the preview for ‘Idol’s Light’ last night. I really like you and Director Ha!”
Yuan Luori hadn’t expected that he would have his own fans. He dizzily gave a few autographs. Director Ha even had its paw shaken. In the commotion, someone even kissed Director Ha’s furry face, leaving behind a lipstick mark.
“Awooo?” The smell of unfamiliar perfume made Director Ha uncomfortable. It wildly scrubbed at its face with its paws.
In the past, it had taken only half a minute to get to the 21st floor, but today, someone had pressed the buttons for all the floors below twenty-one. It took them all more than ten minutes to get to the studio. Director Ha ran out of the elevator first of all and swore that afterwards it would take the stairs. It definitely wouldn’t ride the elevator again!
The others tumbled awkwardly out of the elevator. Someone wanted to follow them but saw Yu Hua standing at the elevator door with his arms crossed. He coldly said to the employees, “Collectively running late?”
The girl who had set one foot outside the elevator instantly drew it back. The elevator doors closed, and it continued to go up.
Lian Yufan, head dripping with sweat, said, “Director Yu, before, we only livestreamed and promoted products, going the way of personal appeal. But yesterday, the preview for ‘Idol’s Light’ aired, and I feel that it’s not such a good thing! The show will formally air next week. Shouldn’t we reinforce our security?”
At this point, just at the right moment, Feng Kui arrived on the 21st floor, carrying Huan Zixu on his back. When Huan Zixu heard what Lian Yufan was saying, he instantly noticed that this was a good opportunity. He resourcefully added, “I predicted this in advance, so I assigned a headhunting company to find an expert director of security. I deliberately had him carry me up the stairs. You can see he didn’t sweat at all.”
Lian Yufan truly did somewhat admire Huan Zixu’s capacity for adapting to the circumstances. He had changed the awkwardness of the fact that, having lost his special ability, he couldn’t get up to the 21st floor, into a test of strength. He had introduced Feng Kui and fabricated a headhunting company. Wait, didn’t headhunting companies take an intermediary’s fee? About 20-30% of the annual salary?
In spite of himself, Lian Yufan inwardly gave Huan Zixu a thumbs up. This person was truly adaptable to any circumstances, and his survival instinct was extremely powerful. He could use any opportunity to find benefits for himself. It amounted to being admirably tenacious.
“First let’s go to the office. We still have to go through an interview process.” Yu Hua gave everyone a cold look. “Today, the group was ten minutes late. Your salaries will be deducted.”
While waiting for everyone to come to work, Yu Hua had received You Zhengping’s message. When he had learned that his husband had three months of extended paid leave starting today, he had instantly decided to rest today. No, he would rest for the next three months. He had closed the studio’s door and was about to go home when he had met these people at the elevator door. This meant Yu Hua couldn’t leave the office.
Displeased, Yu Hua returned to the studio and sat at his desk, ready to interview Feng Kui. Everyone came in one after another. Yuan Luori had an irascible nature. He charged into the studio first of all to look at his instant noodles and folding bed. After all, he had been gone for over a month.
Feng Kui had a gentle nature. He walked at the back. When he walked through the door, he took care to lower his head and not bump the doorframe. But as soon as he set foot on the floor, the studio’s weak floorboard let out a crack and broke into three pieces.
Huan Zixu nervously looked at Yu Hua’s expression. Showing resourcefulness in an emergency, he had thought of the excuse of the headhunting company, hoping that Yu Hua could employ Feng Kui for a high salary. That way, he could take a substantial intermediary’s fee and at least first pay off his credit card. He would keep thinking about what to do for the rest of the money. If he really couldn’t think of anything, he would discuss an installment plan with the building’s sales team.
The cracked floorboard provoked bitter memories for Lian Yufan. He instantly said to Yu Hua, “I told not to buy such cheap materials. Now we’re getting the worst of it, aren’t we?”
Huan Zixu’s heart left his throat. With Lian Yufan saying this, they could succeed in shifting the blame onto Yu Hua for buying cheap materials in the first place.
“My fault. Too heavy. Wasn’t being careful.” But Feng Kui voluntarily accepted the blame himself, smiling at Yu Hua apologetically.
He carefully controlled his internal magnetic suspension installation to keep the soles of his feet a distance of 1-3mm from the floor. Without touching the floorboards, he could still appear to be walking. It took a great deal of effort.
“Sit.” Yu Hua tersely pointed at the plastic stool across the desk from him.
Feng Kui had heard from Huan Zixu that Yu Hua was a first-rate unscrupulous businessman who was very hard to deal with. He knew he was stupid and didn’t want to make trouble for Huan Zixu, so he was careful about everything. He sat across from Yu Hua as gently as possible.
Pop-crack! Though Feng Kui had been as careful as it was possible to be, the plastic chair still broke.
Helplessness appeared on his pure and simple face, and his head drooped dispiritedly. “I’m sorry.”
Lian Yufan actually saw a sign of delicate charm in this taciturn giant. He sighed and brandished a broom, sweeping up the fragments of the stool. At the same time, he bitterly attacked Yu Hua: “What a great office. We sit on five yuan red plastic stools bought from the wholesale market. It’s completely normal for them to break. It’s not your fault.”
Lian Yufan also glared at Yu Hua, risking his life to resist his miserliness.
Zhen Li and Yuan Luori didn’t dare to say a word. Yuan Luori broke apart a package of instant noodles and passed it to Zhen Li. The two of them sat in a corner on the floor, chewing instant noodles while watching the drama. Occasionally they exchanged a look that only they understood.
Director Ha silently chewed on a chew toy and lay by Zhen Li’s feet, acting like a calm and elegant husky.
Huan Zixu couldn’t stand for Feng Kui to be taken advantage of. He stepped up to take Feng Kui’s hand and said, “You didn’t damage property deliberately. The stool is too fragile. It’s like an insurance scam. There’s no need for you to apologize.”
“Have I said anything since walking through the door?” Yu Hua said slowly. “Have I opposed hiring a security director? Have I criticized him for breaking the floorboard or the stool?”
At this, Lian Yufan and Huan Zixu exchanged helpless looks. They didn’t understand why Yu Hua seemed somewhat gentle today.
Yu Hua sighed faintly. “I think that from the standpoint of both figure and ability, Feng Kui is very suitable for the position of security director. Even if you hadn’t recommended him, if I had met such a person in the street, I would still have wanted to invite him to work at our company.
“The destruction of the floorboard and the stool further demonstrates Feng Kui’s personal strength—especially since, with such strength, he can still be so modest and unassuming, such an ideal employee. It would be our loss if we passed him up.”
Lian Yufan relaxed inwardly. Thinking back over Yu Hua’s conduct, while it was rather severe, his conduct had always been very fastidious, orderly, and regular. He did everything from the standpoint of reasoning. Thinking it over carefully from the company’s point of view, it was hard to find anything wrong.
But Huan Zixu, observing from a different angle, felt alarmed. If things didn’t go as expected, something had to be wrong. If Yu Hua was saying this, it meant he had planted a trap somewhere. So he got in first and said, “Feng Kui is a security director. You can’t package him up for internet celebrity. His contract can’t be like ours. He needs to have a normal annual salary and commission, as well as the safeguards of the five insurances and one fund. Also, given his strength and talents, his salary has to match the industry standard, or else you’ll be doing him an injustice. A security director like him can hardly be found for any amount of money!”
He had already crossed swords several times with Yu Hua. He knew that you couldn’t let yourself be led around by the nose in everything by Yu Hua. You had to strive to seize the initiative, defeat him with irrefutable reason.
While Huan Zixu was scheming how he should haggle with Yu Hua, he saw Yu Hua’s fingers fly over his computer’s keyboard. Soon he had produced an employment contract. Huan Zixu took it and read it. He was dazzled by the sight of the remuneration written down on it.
Feng Kui’s salary evidently met the standard—a base annual salary of 500,000, with overtime pay and a bonus after all business activities; counting it all up and excluding the money for the five insurances and one fund, he would likely get about 800,000 per year. Seeing this number, Huan Zixu got dizzy and toppled backwards and only managed to remain standing with Feng Kui holding him up.
Lian Yufan also read the contract. These wages were higher than his total income as a Protector, and the contract also promised that the salary would increase 5%-10% per year according to rising prices, inflation, and so on.
Lian Yufan, lacking Feng Kui’s support, held himself up staunchly against the wall and managed not to collapse from envy.
“I’m going to read this contract thoroughly, wait a moment!” Then Huan Zixu dragged Lian Yufan and Feng Kui into the relatively soundproofed bathroom and studied the contract by the dim lighting.
Outside the door, Zhen Li, Yuan Luori, and the husky, all looking like they had been through this before, held hands and paws. The bathroom really was the place where their company’s new employees were received. Huan Zixu acting like this showed that he had fully integrated into the studio and become a qualified social animal!
At that moment, inside the bathroom, Huan Zixu and Lian Yufan carefully read the contract word by word and line by line, going through it over and over with scrutiny. They actually couldn’t find any verbal traps. Huan Zixu whispered, “Did I guess right? Is it the law of power convergence?”
“What do you mean? What does Yu Hua producing a good contract have to do with the law of power convergence?” Lian Yufan asked quietly.
Feng Kui examined the bathroom and made a gesture towards the two of them indicating that it was safe and there were no monitoring devices. Then he pointed to the wall of the bathroom and reinforced its sound insulation to make certain that their voices wouldn’t leak out.
“Because this studio is full of special ability users, Yu Hua was also slowly becoming a special ability user. But a person like him can’t have something like that just fall into his lap. So during yesterday’s operation, he was possessed by a Destroyer!” Huan Zixu said, narrowing his eyes.
Lian Yufan said, “I see.”
Huan Zixu didn’t notice Lian Yufan’s nervous expression suddenly calming. He continued his analysis: “Thinking carefully, even though the black-cloaked man stepped in yesterday, don’t you think matters were resolved too smoothly? The System went to so much trouble, but in the end It came up with nothing. That’s evidently impossible. I think It must have had a backup plan.”
“I see,” was the dull and insipid answer he received.
“My guess is that Yu Hua is that backup plan. While things were going on yesterday, he was at the studio, and the studio is very close to the estate where ‘Guan Shaoguang’ appeared. I think it’s very likely that he encountered ‘Guan Shaoguang’ and had a confrontation with him. After ‘Guan Shaoguang’ killed him, his body was taken over by a Destroyer we’ve never seen.”
“I see.” Lian Yufan yawned.
“The new Destroyer must know me and Feng Kui. Issuing such benefits, he must be displaying goodwill. Perhaps he’ll even attempt to question us in secret. You’d better hurry and contact the organization and have this ‘Yu Hua’ properly investigated!” Huan Zixu analyzed reasonably.
Looking at Huan Zixu, Lian Yufan seemed to be seeing his past self. He sorrowfully patted Huan Zixu on the shoulder, shook his head, and walked out of the bathroom. He returned the contract to Yu Hua. He felt that he had wasted ten minutes of his life.
Yu Hua, meanwhile, had quietly waited for the three of them to come out. He also amiably asked Feng Kui, “Are you satisfied with your new work environment and remuneration? If you have any objections, we can discuss it.”
“I have an objection,” Huan Zixu said. “Where is the company going to get the money to pay Feng Kui’s salary? Are you going to get behind on payment?”
“The salary account indeed doesn’t have that much money, but you’ve seen our cashflow for this month. The studio has gone through the stage of early investment and marketing and is getting its initial returns. When ‘Idol’s Light’ airs, Yuan Luori’s status will only increase. Are you telling me I don’t have the authority to issue such high wages?” Yu Hua asked in his turn.
Hearing that he was so well aware of the studio’s plans, not at all as though he had been possessed by a Destroyer, Huan Zixu, full of suspicion, said, “You can be this kind?”
“The most important thing our studio has is talent. To keep talent, I’ll issue any benefits necessary,” Yu Hua said with a faint smile.
That did make sense.
Huan Zixu deliberated for ages, then finally let Feng Kui sign the contract. No matter what, the salary really was good.
When the contract was signed, Yu Hua said, “Give me the contact information for the headhunting company. I’ll settle their intermediary’s fee.”
“There’s no need. It’s my personal connection, and I don’t especially want to give it to you. You can just give me an intermediary’s fee of 25% of the 500,000 annual salary.” Huan Zixu had already thought of an excuse to pocket the intermediary’s fee.
Yu Hua glanced at him and actually didn’t probe further. He told Huan Zixu that he would pay the intermediary’s fee tomorrow. Then, taking Feng Kui’s contract and personal materials he left the studio, supposedly to go enroll him in social insurance.
After he left, everyone in the studio let out a long breath. Never mind Huan Zixu, Zhen Li and Yuan Luori both felt that Yu Hua was being especially gentle today.
“Has something good happened recently?” Lian Yufan remembered You Zhengping’s vacation and dimly thought that that was one factor.
While everyone was full of doubts, Feng Kui had found materials left over from putting in the floorboards in the storeroom. He personally repaired the floorboard he had broken.
Yu Hua had meant to go home, but what had happened in the studio today had given him some new ideas. So he drove to the sales office of Huan Zixu’s new estate.
When Yu Hua had heard about the headhunting company, he had guessed what Huan Zixu was attempting. He had developed a new level of respect for Huan Zixu.
In Huan Zixu, Yu Hua had seen the staunch and unyielding qualities of human nature. He was a little moved by this spirit, which wouldn’t let go no matter what. He had decided to help Huan Zixu buy his apartment.
He made inquiries about the development range of the new estate. He found that the office building across the street from theirs was also owned by this developer, as well as some commercial apartment buildings in the area.
Yu Hua contacted the head of the sales office directly and spent a large sum to buy two floors of the office building across the street and a few commercial apartments.
The money he used was naturally the hundred million he had wanted to launder into his household account but had never had the opportunity to do.
He had originally meant to merge this money into his household account to increase his household’s risk-resistance. But yesterday Xiao You had come clean about his private savings and had said he wanted to support him. Yu Hua thought that he didn’t need to work so hard to earn (launder) money anymore. It would be better to change it into fixed assets and exchange those fixed assets for company stock so he could continue to oppress his employees.
Yu Hua bought two floors of the office building that had their own elevator, free and clear. The total area was over two thousand square meters, and the floors were finely decorated. They could pack up and move right away.
The commercial apartments were also decorated. They couldn’t be more suited to being employee dormitories.
He signed a confidentiality agreement with the sales office, requesting that they announce publicly that he had made the purchase with credit, not that he had paid the full price.
After spending so much money, Yu Hua became the sales office’s honored customer. He produced Huan Zixu’s employment contract and indicated that he wished to buy Huan Zixu’s new apartment in the company’s name and was turned down by the sales office on the grounds that they couldn’t take under the table reservations for buildings under construction.
Yu Hua proposed a different condition. If Huan Zixu asked to pay by installments, he asked the sales office to be sure not to agree, and be sure to sell the apartment to him, and furthermore be sure not to return Huan Zixu’s hundred thousand yuan advance payment. He wanted to give his employee a nice surprise.
Because it was an “advance” and not a “down payment,” the sales office had the power not to return it.
After all, this was a major client who had spent nearly ninety million in ready money in one fell swoop. He was extravagant. The sales office naturally agreed and promised Yu Hua that if there was any change concerning Huan Zixu’s apartment, they wouldn’t immediately notify Yu Hua.
The sales office’s saleswoman watched this “generous,” “broad-minded,” “considerate of his employees” Director Yu leave in big strides and was filled with envy and some jealousy towards this Huan Zixu. Why didn’t they have such a good director?!
Yu Hua, having been awarded the title of “kindest manager in history,” drove home. He bought fresh ingredients in his estate’s convenience store. Humming a tune, he happily returned home to cook for You Zhengping.
After all, he really didn’t have any money left now. He was a kept man who had to rely on Xiao You’s support. If he didn’t cook and do the chores, how could he be worthy of Xiao You, who worked so hard?
Interviewer: Why aren’t there any female employees in your studio?
Zhen Li: Probably because they aren’t suited to our environment for welcoming new employees. Our Director Yu is very gentle.
Huan Zixu: For some reason I’m feeling a chill. It feels like there’s a plot coming my way!