The news that Shen Ji had been relieved of his duties as general manager of Shen Group soon spread within the company together with the news that Shen Cheng would take over as general manager.
Although Shen Dehan had already communicated with him privately about this issue and although he knew that this was only a stop-gap measure, Shen Ji looked at the official transfer notice in front of him with an unexplainable feeling in his heart.
For Shen Ji, who had been trained as the heir to the Shen family since he was a child, the belief he had been instilled with was that Shen Group would be his in the future and that he would take over everything in it. In the nearly thirty years of his life, things went according to the plan he had been brought up with. With his father’s help he began to take control of Shen Group, just waiting for Shen Dehan to retire to take his place.
Shen Ji was proud, he was young and promising, and everything seemed to be going smoothly until the Yunrou crisis broke out and the directors suddenly made trouble; until he and his father had a disagreement; until Shen Cheng took the position of general manager. Only then did Shen Ji understand that some things were not going as perfectly as he thought.
Shen Ji suppressed the feeling of loss in his heart and looked up at the man standing in front of him, “How is it going? Are you still adapting by Ah Cheng’s side?”
Lu Gesen’s expression was as serious as ever, “Cheng Shao is very smart.”
Shen Ji smiled, “Ah Cheng has always been very playful. If there is anything you can do, you can give him a little more guidance.”
Lu Gesen nodded, “That’s what I should do.”
Shen Ji stood up with a relaxed expression, “I’ve already packed up, when will Ah Cheng move over?”
A hint of hesitation flashed in Lu Gesen’s eyes, “Cheng Shao said he wouldn’t move here. It’s just a show to the board anyway, and saves us the trouble later.”
Shen Ji froze, and then smiled, “I see. I’ll talk to him about this.”
Lu Gesen nodded and without saying anything else turned and left the room.
Shen Ji thought about it for a while, put his personal belongings together, got up and went to Shen Cheng’s office. Following Shen Ji’s appearance, all the employees of the company had their eyes wandering as they secretly looked at the expression on Shen Ji’s face. The ordinary employees did not know exactly what had happened. They had only heard that Dashao, who had been sitting steadily in the position of general manager, was suddenly kicked out by the chairman of the board, while Ershao, who had always been just hanging around, unexpectedly rose to the top. Although Shen Ji and Shen Cheng had been very close to each other in the past, this sudden scene involuntarily made people think of brothers fighting over the assets, and the situation looked like Shen Ji had been stabbed in the back by his brother he had always taken good care of.
Shen Ji ignored the inquiring eyes of the crowd and went straight to Shen Cheng’s office, reaching out to knock on the door when he suddenly heard Shen Cheng’s voice inside.
“You’re really well-informed, I’ve just become the general manager and you’ve received the news already!”
The other party said something and Shen Cheng laughed, “Don’t worry, I’ll cover up for you if anything happens.”
Inside the room Shen Cheng sounded like a big brother, causing Shen Ji outside the door to laugh uncontrollably. He was about to push the door in but heard Shen Cheng suddenly speak, “No, Big Brother doesn’t like you, he definitely doesn’t agree with you coming to the company, you’d better give up this idea as soon as possible.”
Shen Ji’s hand stopped there as he heard Shen Cheng’s impatient tone, “Didn’t I tell you? I’m just a name, the real person in charge is Big Brother, he doesn’t like you, what can I do?”
Shen Ji had already heard that Shen Cheng was on the phone, and he didn’t need to think about who it was he was talking to. The smile on Shen Ji’s face immediately disappeared; he pushed the door open straight away and walked in.
“Big Brother!” Shen Cheng was startled by the sudden appearance of Shen Ji and hung up the phone hurriedly, looking at Shen Ji’s expression guiltily, not knowing how much Shen Ji had heard.
Shen Ji’s face was cold, “You and Shen Rong have been in contact?”
Shen Cheng nodded sheepishly and defended himself, “Big Brother, I just took him to play…”
Shen Cheng’s defence was gradually silenced under Shen Ji’s icy stare. Shen Cheng hung his head and stood obediently in front of Shen Ji.
“How many times have I said that Shen Rong is too calculating? Stay away from him, can’t you remember?” Shen Ji said in annoyance.
Shen Cheng instinctively nodded. He knew that his elder brother was very disgusted with Shen Rong, and along with that, he was also determined not to allow him to have any dealings with Shen Rong. He was not unaware of the knot in his elder brother’s heart. Wasn’t it because Zhou Mingmei looked like his mother that his elder brother felt his mother had been desecrated? However, Shen Cheng sometimes secretly thought that it was also his father’s fault and that Shen Rong was actually innocent, but he did not dare to say these things to his elder brother and could only listen to his elder brother’s admonitions as usual.
Shen Ji’s voice was soon interrupted by a knock on the door, “Excuse me, there is a document that needs to be read by Cheng Shao.” Lu Gesen’s clear, cold voice rang out at the door.
Shen Ji turned his head and realised that he had just forgotten to close the door, and the scene of him reprimanding Shen Cheng was witnessed by the countless inquisitive eyes outside the office. Lu Gesen had obviously come to remind them about it on purpose.
Shen Ji nodded to Lu Gesen and turned to Shen Cheng with a cold face, “Never contact Shen Rong again, and pack up your things and move to the general manager’s office as soon as possible.”
After Shen Ji finished speaking, he ignored the various gazes outside and walked out. Lu Gesen secretly wrote down Shen Rong’s name, gently closed the office door and handed the document in his hand to Shen Cheng.
Shen Cheng let out a huge sigh of relief, “Didn’t you say that Big Brother is still in charge?”
Lu Gesen looked serious, “What the chairman ordered was to let Shen Dashao take care of the big things and leave the small things to you, Cheng Shao.”
Shen Cheng said, “Oh oh”, impatiently grabbed the documents and scanned them, “The expense applications for each department?”
Lu Gesen explained, “These have all been reviewed, all Cheng Shao needs to do is to sign.”
Shen Cheng nodded, picked up the pen and suddenly asked, “What if I refuse to sign?”
Lu Gesen pulled the corners of his mouth in a smile, “If Cheng Shao refuses to sign, then it means that you don’t feel satisfied with these expenses, and they will naturally be sent back for re-review.”
Shen Cheng had only been in Shen Group for two years since he graduated, and has been hanging around in an idle position. Shen Group was just one more place for him to hang out. At this time, under Lu Gesen’s serious eyes, Shen Cheng picked up the pen and signed his name in the general manager’s signature column with a sudden and indescribable feeling in his heart.
Lu Gesen took the signed document from Shen Cheng, turned around and was about to leave when he suddenly thought of something and looked at Shen Cheng with a serious expression, “Cheng Shao, no matter what the chairman said to you in private, but now you are already the general manager of Shen Group. Whether outside or inside the company you represent the image of the company, please bear this in mind.”
Lu Gesen’s expression was so serious that Shen Cheng could not help but straighten his body, “I understand.”
A hint of satisfaction flashed in Lu Gesen’s eyes as he gestured to the documents in Shen Cheng’s hand, “These are some of the company’s recent important documents. You can get acquainted with them first. In case a director asks you about something, you won’t be unclear about it. If there is anything you don’t understand, you can always find me.”
Lu Gesen turned around and walked out of the room after he finished speaking. After he left, Shen Cheng hesitantly looked at the documents in his hand. He was originally just a name, he himself hadn’t even thought about doing anything. But Lu Gesen was right, he was at least representing Shen Group now, so if a director asked him about anything, it would be too bad if he knew nothing. Fine, he was just going to look at the documents, just to pass the time.
With this thought, Shen Cheng read the documents and even asked Lu Gesen a few questions in the process. Lu Gesen explained everything to Shen Cheng in a serious manner, and Shen Cheng’s attitude slowly became serious as well.
While Shen Cheng was asking Lu Gesen for advice, a rumour was circulating wildly throughout Shen Group that Shen Ji had reprimanded Shen Cheng because he was unhappy Shen Cheng took away his position of general manager and that the two had almost come to blows. In just an hour almost everyone knew about the rumour. Shen Ji, who was idle because he had not yet been assigned a new position, turned completely ugly after hearing the rumour being discussed behind his back for the third time.
Shen Ji called Li Mingxuan, “Come out for a drink now?”
Li Mingxuan glanced at the time, “At noon?”
Shen Ji said “En”. Li Mingxuan thought that he wanted to find a chance to tell Shen Ji that he and Shen Xi were together, so he agreed to go.
They arranged to meet in Shutu. When Li Mingxuan arrived, Shen Ji had already been waiting alone in the private room for a long time.
It had been more than half a month since the two had met. Li Mingxuan had been on a business trip before, and his mind was on Shen Xi after he returned from the trip, so this was the first time the two had met since the Yunrou storm had passed.
“Have you been here for a long time?” Li Mingxuan asked casually.
Shen Ji nodded and Li Mingxuan gave him a surprised look, “Why are you so free?”
Shen Ji curved the corner of his mouth, “I’ve been transferred out of the general manager position, the new position hasn’t been decided yet. Now there is nothing to do.”
Although he knew that something must have happened when Shen Ji asked him to have a drink at noon, Li Mingxuan did not expect to hear such shocking news.
“What’s going on?”
Shen Ji told the story of the board of directors’ sudden outburst and some of Shen Group’s recent turmoil.
“So Uncle compromised with the board of directors and let Ah Cheng take over the position of general manager for the time being?”
Shen Ji nodded, and Li Mingxuan couldn’t help but advise, “With the board of directors being aggressive, this is one of the best solutions. With Ah Cheng sitting in that position, you don’t have to worry about the rest of the board making some moves.”
Shen Ji smiled self-deprecatingly, “I’m not worried about anything, I just feel that everything is not as I thought it should be and I’m a bit lost in my heart. Since I was young, both my grandfather and my father have told me time and again that Shen Group in the future will be mine and that I should work hard, and I have always regarded Shen Group as my goal. But suddenly one day I find out that other people can replace me. So it is inevitable that I will be a bit uncomfortable.”
Shen Ji’s upbringing was not normal in Li Mingxuan’s eyes. He was the first child of the Shen family and had been incomparably doted on by Grandpa Shen and Shen Dehan since he was a child. Shen Dehan had even stated several times that everything in the Shen family would be his in the future. If Fang Yun hadn’t died, everything would have gone in a happy way, but as soon as Shen Ji became sensible, Fang Yun died, Shen Dehan married Han Rou for some unknown reason, and then Shen Xi was born.
Shen Ji’s mother, Fang Yun, was just a woman with no background, while behind Han Ruo stood the Han family. Under normal circumstances, one would have thought that Shen Dehan would give up on Shen Ji and pay attention to Shen Xi instead. However, he did not like Shen Xi at all, and the heir he wanted was still Shen Ji. With the birth of Shen Xi, Shen Dehan became even more partial to Shen Ji, fearing that he would be wronged in any way, and instilled in him from a young age that Shen Group would definitely be his in the future and that he did not have to worry that Shen Xi would take it away. With Shen Dehan repeating it over and over again, Shen Ji took it for granted that Shen Group would be his, never thinking it would one day be inherited by someone else.
Li Mingxuan fell silent, and at this moment he thought of Shen Xi again.
Contrary to Shen Ji’s upbringing, Shen Xi was disliked by his father since birth, and in Shen Dehan’s mind, there was never any thought of leaving Shen Group in Shen Xi’s hands. If Shen Ji felt that he deserved to inherit everything in the Shen family, then in the eyes of the people Shen Xi deserved to be abandoned.
Li Mingxuan’s heart ached. He used to be a bastard who thought so too.
Shen Ji continued to smile bitterly. “Actually, come to think of it, Ah Cheng is my brother. If he likes it, it’s not impossible for Shen Group to be handed over to him.”
Li Mingxuan didn’t know what he was thinking at this moment, he just said naturally, “What about Shen Xi?”
Shen Ji turned his head in surprise, “What does it have to do with Shen Xi?”
Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Ji quietly, “Xiao Xi and I are together.”
Shen Ji’s expression froze, his eyes full of shock, “Xiao Xi is Shen Xi? What does being together mean?”
Li Mingxuan said frankly, “It means what you think it means.”
Shen Ji stood up abruptly, looked at Li Mingxuan deeply, and suddenly sneered, “Did your sentence just now mean you’re holding a grievance for Shen Xi? Did you forget that you reminded me before to pay attention to Shen Xi?”
Li Mingxuan slowly leaned back on the sofa without looking at Shen Ji, “I know.”
Shen Ji said angrily, “What do you mean you know?”
Li Mingxuan smiled bitterly and covered his eyes, “Ah Ji, I love Xiao Xi and I want to take care of him. No matter what asshole things I’ve said or done in the past, I only feel heartbroken when I think about it now, you know?”
Shen Ji kicked the coffee table in front of him fiercely, “You’re heartbroken for him? So you’re going to support him in fighting for the inheritance rights of the Shen family?”
Li Mingxuan shook his head, “I asked Xiao Xi, and Xiao Xi said he has no interest in Shen Group.”
Shen Ji snorted, “What if one day he suddenly has an interest? Who are you going to help?”
Li Mingxuan was silent for a moment, “I don’t know.”
Shen Ji looked at Li Mingxuan and suddenly lunged forward, punching him hard in the face, “You don’t know? We’ve been brothers for so many years and I still can’t compare in your heart with Shen Xi whom you have known for a few months!”
Li Mingxuan did not dodge and took a hard punch from Shen Ji, who said angrily, “Why don’t you fight back?”
Li Mingxuan endured the pain, “Ah Ji, I want to be with Xiao Xi.”
Shen Ji gave Li Mingxuan another fierce punch, “What does it have to do with me if you want to be with him?”
Li Mingxuan smiled bitterly, “Because I’m too greedy. Xiao Xi and you, my brother, I don’t want to lose either of you.”
Shen Ji slammed his fist into the side of Li Mingxuan’s face, “Fight back.”
A smile appeared at the corner of Li Mingxuan’s mouth, “If I fight back, will you accept that I am with Xiao Xi?”
Shen Ji sneered and threw another punch; this one, however, was blocked by Li Mingxuan, “Don’t hit my face, I have to go back to see Xiao Xi at night.”
Shen Ji was simply furious with Li Mingxuan and immediately wanted nothing else but to punch him in the face.
The two of them fought back and forth in the spacious private room, and in the end no one had an advantage. Although Shen Ji punched Li Mingxuan a few more times at the beginning, Li Mingxuan didn’t hit him less after he started to fight back. Both of them looked bruised and swollen, and equally wretched.
They did not stop until both of them had no more strength left. Shen Ji held onto the wall and looked at Li Mingxuan coldly, “I still say that, as long as Shen Xi doesn’t have his heart set on Shen Group, I won’t take any of what’s due to him.”
Li Mingxuan did not say anything, but only gave a faint “en”.
Shen Ji glared at Li Mingxuan fiercely, turned and left. Li Mingxuan did not go back to the office and sat alone in the wrecked room in silence all afternoon.
It seemed that Shen Ji had accepted that he was with Shen Xi, but Li Mingxuan knew that there was already a rift between them and that things could never go back to the past.
From the moment he rushed back from Haicheng overnight, he knew what he would face and what he would lose.
Li Mingxuan sighed and gently repeated the name “Shen Xi”.