The voice on the other end of the phone paused for a moment, then called out to him somewhat hesitantly, “Tang Yi?”
Tang Yi’s earlier sentence cost him almost all his strength. He let go of the phone, allowing it to slide out of his palm.
When Zhou Hao received the call, he had already arrived in T City and was having dinner with people from the T City Bureau. He shouted Tang Yi’s name a few times and there was no sound on the other side. He returned to the table and couldn’t help worrying, so he finally found an excuse to leave first.
There was no one in Tang Yi’s apartment. Zhou Hao knocked a few times only to hear the woofing of the puppy. He drove to the office again and finally found Tang Yi in the darkened general manager’s office.
Tang Yi was wearing a dark shirt and suit, sitting motionless in his wide boss chair. If it wasn’t for the buzzing mobile phone on the floor that was lit up, Zhou Hao might have passed by without noticing him. He turned on the light, and the moment the light was on, Tang Yi frowned and closed his eyes, but then maintained his previous posture, only staring at the desk in front of him solemnly.
After half an hour of silent confrontation between the two, Tang Yi followed him downstairs. Zhou Hao insisted on taking him home, and Tang Yi was silent for a moment before finally complying.
The car drove very slowly, the neon lights and street lights on both sides unhurriedly receding, a clear visual indication that they were on their way home.
Zhou Hao finally spoke first. He looked at Tang Yi in the rearview mirror and said in a low voice, “I’m sorry.”
Tang Yi seemed to have returned to his senses at this moment, and surprisingly smiled lightly, “It’s okay.”
The two of them had nothing to say for a while. Then Tang Yi pointed to a bar not far from his apartment and said, “Just stop there, thank you.”
The bar was quiet. Tang Yi casually found a seat and raised his hand to beckon the waiter. Zhou Hao followed, worried, and noticed that Tang Yi ordered a beer and a soft drink.
The drink was given to Zhou Hao, and Tang Yi pulled open the beer can with a sullen face. Only after taking two sips in a row did he let out a deep sigh and said, “There are some things I shouldn’t have said too early. Mr. Zhou, we are not suitable. We are not suitable to be lovers, and we are not suitable to be friends.”
Zhou Hao was silent for a moment and asked him, “Why do you say that?” He thought of Tang Yi’s phone call and hesitated, “Is it because of the company’s matter?”
Tang Yi’s pupils shrank slightly and he didn’t answer.
“The matter of the company was my father’s plan. Of course, I don’t mean to excuse myself. I also approved the acquisition of this subsidiary.” Zhou Hao looked at him and tapped his fingers lightly on the table, “Tang Yi, running a company is not running a husband-and-wife shop. Feelings are not a criterion to consider when you do something. If you like managing things, there are many suitable positions under me. Your future income and status will not be lower than now, not to mention your level.”
He paused for a moment, then said, “After we confirm our relationship, you will also have a certain amount of my property at your disposal.”
Tang Yi froze for a moment, and when Zhou Hao finished speaking, he suddenly wanted to laugh a little. He didn’t even know where to start for a moment. After a while he shook his head speechlessly and sneered, “So I have to thank you, don’t I? If Mr. Zhou wants to buy the company, he can come over and negotiate with all parties. Whether the negotiation is successful or not depends on the sincerity. What, you want to come back to me after you’ve played a dirty trick behind my back?”
After he finished speaking, he felt tired again, and suddenly asked after a while, “Shen Fan’s funds are tight. It’s also Mr. Zhou’s handwriting, right?”
“Maybe it is… I didn’t participate in this matter, but I know the general situation. ”
“So you’ve been keeping it from me?” Tang Yi faintly smiled, leaned back on the backrest behind him and nodded, “These two years you treated me well, and I really considered you a friend. The company’s planning and vision were revealed to you in every detail. I didn’t think to hide anything, nor did I ever set up a defence against you. Don’t say that you didn’t pass this content to anyone. I won’t believe it if you say you didn’t.”
“…can we talk about this in a public and private context?” Zhou Hao frowned, “Tang Yi, don’t drive yourself into the corner, your current vision is very limited, it’s much better to solve the problem by jumping out of this loop.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.” Tang Yi finished his beer in one gulp and with a fierce movement of his hand instantly crushed the can, “I can probably understand your thoughts, public is public, private is private. But Zhou Hao, have you ever thought about what you agree with in terms of the public? You know better than anyone the development prospects of this subsidiary, and the reason you have never thought of negotiating head-on is because you know I won’t sell!”
Tang Yi exhaled deeply and slapped the crushed can onto the table, “So you chose to just dig a trap and take it by force, taking advantage of the fire to loot. You’ve fucking played well and made a lot of fucking money, but what about me? All my heart and soul is on it! You stole my treasure and you want me to talk to you about love “in private”? Talk about your ass!”
Tang Yi exploded with curses, his voice causing the entire bar to go silent for a few seconds as the waiter took two steps his way. Tang Yi rubbed his brow, took out two banknotes from his wallet and threw them on the table, then walked out.
The cold wind outside poured into his belly and he had already walked out some distance when Zhou Hao caught up with him.
“Tang Yi, you are not without defences.” Zhou Hao didn’t continue, his expression still sober and solemn as he said that behind Tang Yi, “I’d rather you be on the defensive about me in business matters than keep your mouth shut about your personal matters.”
“Is that so?” Tang Yi laughed coldly and turned to look at him, “That’s great. Mr. Zhou, even our three views are different(1).”
Tang Yi walked to the downstairs of the apartment building in one breath before suddenly standing still and leaning back to let out a burp. After the initial shock and anger had passed, he was now in a strangely calm mood.
To be completely honest, it wasn’t true that he wasn’t guarding from Zhou Hao at all. When the first accident just happened, Ning Zeyu suggested that he should see what Shen Fan and Zhou Hao thought about how this matter should be handled. At that time, Tang Yi didn’t know about Huayuan yet, and he subconsciously excluded Zhou Hao and instead just called Shen Fan.
Shen Fan said it was okay, which Tang Yi didn’t understand but remembered. It wasn’t until the matter of Huayuan came out and the three of them deduced the truth that he understood that Shen Fan’s “it’s okay” meant to give up. He was afraid that Shen Fan had noticed it earlier than he did, but he was wary of his relationship with Zhou Hao, so he couldn’t say it out loud.
Tang Yi himself could hardly say whether his actions would have changed if he had known earlier that it was the Zhou family that ultimately controlled everything. But even if Zhou Hao had confessed to him long ago, his anger probably would not have diminished one bit.
He was to blame for his own incompetence in the business world, and could not blame anyone else. Moreover, if the trap was transformed, it could become a good opportunity. In fact, what Tang Yi cared about in his heart was being deceived and betrayed. The moment he found out that Yan Ke had changed the contract, Tang Yi felt that the world became silent, and he could only hear the sound of his jaws creaking.
However, he could only endure at that moment. If he alerted the snake, it would further complicate the situation.
And fortunately, he endured it. The people who manipulated the situation had shown their fangs. Tonight, after thinking long and hard, he realised that he and Zhou Hao were not the same kind of people.
From the perspective of a businessman, in fact, Zhou Hao’s behaviour was rational. Feelings cannot be used as a reference standard in the market. The first line of difference between friends and enemies is interest. Although Zhou Hao held shares in ER, Shen Fan had diluted his shares more than once in the past two years. And most of the shares of this subsidiary were in his own hands. If Zhou Hao bought it normally, it would not only meet a lot of resistance, but also be quite costly.
What’s more, as Tang Yi said, he would not sell the company even if the Zhou family brought more chips to the table. The negotiations he hoped for were meaningless to the other side. It was just that if he were in a different position, Tang Yi wouldn’t be able to do the things that Zhou Dongchuan did.
When Shen Fan talked to him about Zhou Dongchuan’s experience, he was quite disdainful of the investment company the man had set up. Their investment team often advised companies to invest in flashy projects for the sake of high commissions, and in the end, when they saw that the company could not sustain itself, they would just pack up and leave, exchanging one spot for another. At the time he heard it, Tang Yi thought they were unethical and only when he was up against it now did it occur to him that heartless would be more appropriate.
Tang Yi breathed the cold air downstairs of his apartment for a while, unable to say whether he was in a good or bad mood. It was easier now that he knew who his opponent was than the anxiety he had felt earlier. However, when it came to Zhou Hao, this relief again became almost non-existent.
Upstairs, Tang Yi thought of Ning Zeyu’s arrangements, sighed and called him. Ning Zeyu’s voice was quite energetic, and when he saw that it was Tang Yi calling, he hurriedly said, “Lao Tang, there’s really a way to do this!”
He talked about his progress today and finally let out a long sigh, “You’ll have to treat me to a lamb soup after this busy period, hey, I’m craving it.”
“Good,” Tang Yi smiled, “I’m not going to the office tomorrow, you come to my place and bring the information.”
“Okay.” Ning Zeyu agreed happily.
Tang Yi had just hung up the phone when the elevator stopped. As soon as the door opened, he froze.
Gu Yanting, wearing a thin shirt under a black trench coat, was leaning against the wall opposite the elevator.
Both of them were a little dazed when their eyes met, and half a second later Gu Yanting smiled and pointed to Tang Yi’s door, “The little guy has been whining for a long time.”
Tang Yi was taken aback for a moment before he remembered that he was back too late today. He couldn’t be bothered to ask Gu Yanting anything, so he took out the key and opened the door.
When the door opened, Fanfan jumped up happily, a little too violently, and landed onto Gu Yanting’s lap. Usually Xiao Yang came over to feed Fanfan, and every time he said that the puppy eyed him like a thief. Tang Yi watched but now there was nothing like that. When the little guy saw that it was Gu Yanting, Fanfan’s eyes lit up as if he had seen his own father.
Gu Yanting picked up the little guy with one hand and consciously took off his coat and hung it on the hanger at the entrance. The last time they met, Tang Yi had punched him, and it was a bit embarrassing to be in the same room now. It was just that Tang Yi didn’t want to talk after the emotional ups and downs tonight.
Tang Yi stood in silence at the entrance for a while, and finally took his clothes and went into the bathroom. When he came out after washing slowly for half an hour, the main lights in the living room had already been turned off, leaving only a few wall lights. The living room was tidied up, and Gu Yanting was sitting on the sofa, leaning forward, his hands clasped, waiting for him.
His hair was somehow messed up and he was probably freezing a bit, rubbing his nose several times in the meantime. His cheeks were also flushed red, and the soft light from the wall lamps added a little more gentleness to his handsomeness.
Tang Yi glanced at him and was caught by the wrist as he walked past him to the bedroom. He struggled and didn’t break free, finally warning in a low voice, “I’m very annoyed.”
“I know,” Gu Yanting’s hand was dry and warm, making the spot where his palm touched feel a little hot. His voice was low and slow, but his tone was just as gentle as last night, “I was scared enough when I got your call last night, so I came here today without waiting for the formalities to be completed. It’s okay for you to be upset, but bad things always pass. Don’t get too stressed.”
Only then did Tang Yi remember the unhung phone call from this morning. He had left in a hurry and didn’t care what was going on. Only when he heard Gu Yanting say it did he remember.
Gu Yanting saw him being silent, and asked tentatively after a while, “Did you, and your man… well, quarrelled?”
Tang Yi glanced back at him. Gu Yanting was taken aback for a moment, subconsciously pressed down the corner of his mouth and hurriedly straightened his posture to show his attitude, “It’s okay, it’s healthier to quarrel. Pots and pans can be thrown, you communicate well, don’t worry…”
Tang Yi couldn’t stand it and went to the bedroom, slamming the door shut with a bang.
Gu Yanting followed and bumped his nose, and after wandering around the living room, he returned to the bedroom door and whispered, “I seem to be a little happy.”
- Three views – view of the world, view of the values, view of life