Since the two of them had separated last time, Tang Yi had not contacted Zhou Hao again. Now he was a little uncomfortable talking about business matters on the phone, so he smiled and said, “I don’t intend to get involved in anything. I’m not very ambitious. I just want to do well enough with this one company to feed and clothe myself. I don’t want to get involved in the fight between your two companies.”
Zhou Hao gave an “en” and asked him a moment later, “Do you still blame me now?”
“No,” Tang Yi paused for a moment and explained in a low voice, “You and I have different positions. I can understand, but I can’t agree.” He smiled and said, “You’re fine.”
“……” Zhou Hao was silent for a moment, and after a long while could only say, “You are too.”
The differences between the two of them couldn’t be remedied simply by either side showing weakness or compromising. Both sides’ perceptions were the result of twenty years of experience, and Tang Yi’s childhood experiences were more like a short story starting with the word “tragic” to Zhou Hao. He could understand what Tang Yi was saying, but he could never understand what he was feeling. However, Tang Yi could also only watch what Zhou Hao was feeling from afar, as if watching a fire, even though he was trying his best to understand the environment and atmosphere Zhou Hao was living in.
After two years of being side by side, Tang Yi found that his feelings towards Zhou Hao were far calmer than when he broke up with Gu Yanting, and he was even able to give the other party a genuine “good guy” card, thinking from the bottom of his heart that Zhou Hao was a good person.
In the second half of the conversation, Zhou Hao gradually regained his calm and gentle tone. After chatting a little about other topics, he suddenly said, “Weiwei says he misses you. Do you want to talk to him?”
Tang Yi paused and said, “…no.”
Zhou Hao chuckled in a low voice and finally sighed, “Actually, I’m really a bit reluctant to part.”
“But I know you’re serious, and continuing to insist at this point will only add to your troubles,” Zhou Hao said, “You can call me at this number anytime, and hopefully we can still be friends.”
“En,” Tang Yi also smiled, “thank you for this time anyway.”
Things had started in such a raging manner that for a while he thought he wouldn’t be able to get through, but now that the dust had settled, he realised that these things were no more than transitory. It was as if his whole world had been washed away by the rain. The eerie terror of the downpour vanished the moment it stopped, replaced by the fresh air he could breathe in, and a new, clearer and brighter world.
What Tang Yi didn’t expect was that the word “war”, which he had found slightly exaggerated when he heard Zhou Hao talk about it, wasn’t too much. It was just that the battlefield had finally shifted from his side, and Huayuan Group and the Zhou family faction had ripped off the last fig leaf of civility and ruthlessly fought each other in the capital market.
For the moment, Zhou Dongchuan, who made Tang Yi’s teeth itch with anger, didn’t have an advantage, but neither did Huayuan Group have an absolute advantage. The situation between the two sides was temporarily stagnant, and Gu Yanting’s application for a transfer was therefore suppressed.
Tang Yi had never asked Gu Yanting what exactly he had been doing for the past two years. Now that he relaxed and asked, he found that Gu Yanting was doing almost the same thing as Shen Fan and Zhou Hao. It was just that Shen Fan told Tang Yi that capital operations were completely different from selling software, and Zhou Hao rarely mentioned anything about it, but Gu Yanting, halfway out of the company, rambled on and on about what was going on.
These talks went into detail about the origins of ER being trapped.
Zhou Dongchuan had quite a few companies under him, involving dozens of completely different industries such as real estate and securities, and over the years he had seemingly retired to C City, but in reality he had merely moved to operate behind the scenes. There was no shortage of listed companies today with hidden flows of equity. At least four or five of them were subdivided to include the shadow of Zhou Dongchuan. There was even one company where the actual controlling shareholder was Zhou Dongchuan himself.
The industries of the Zhou family that Tang Yi originally learned about were only a very small part of Zhou Dongchuan’s business domain. If it wasn’t for the fact that this man was cold and unforgiving, a small company like the one under Tang Yi’s command would really not be noticed by someone in his position.
Tang Yi didn’t understand these things at all, and Gu Yanting didn’t elaborate. However, the general idea was that Huayuan Group and Zhou Dongchuan had repeatedly confronted each other in the past two years. Huayuan Group had deep roots in D City, and Zhou Dongchuan couldn’t take advantage of it. Recently, the two faced each other in an acquisition battle of a technology company. Zhou Dongchuan retreated but began a detour and colluded with people inside Huayuan to provoke Tang Yi. Huayuan’s contract trap was obvious, but the procedures were normal and the process was legal. If no one exposed it to the top bosses, this matter would not make a splash before it became a big deal.
But Tang Yi didn’t know any of this. His idea was to find a good way out first and then to fight back to death, not to let Huayuan have an easy time even if both the net was broken and the fish died. Before Gu Yanting appeared, he had already made all the preparations, and if it wasn’t for Yan Ke’s abnormality, he might have already started to retaliate.
The whereabouts of both engineers were related to Huayuan.
Conclusive evidence of commercial bribery was found on Yan Ke’s side.
The meeting between Mr. Chen and Yan Ke also happened to be caught by surveillance.
Everything was going too well. As long as Yan Ke was confirmed to have accepted the bribe, he would definitely be sent to justice, and whether Huayuan’s contract would then need to be fulfilled would be another matter. At that time, Tang Yi had a hunch that something wasn’t right and suppressed the process for the time being. Now it seemed that Zhou Dongchuan must have arranged for someone to force them until they were at the end of the rope, so that they would be furious and ruin Huayuan’s reputation for bribing ER employees to trap their partner company, or even sue them in court.
Tang Yi had no way of guessing what would happen afterwards, but when he looked back and thought about it again, he realised that he was forced to step on the tip of the knife every step of the way, and he was almost used by others until there were no bones left.
In fact, there was no need to wait until ER was completely unsustainable; as long as Tang Yi’s side and Huayuan confronted each other, someone would naturally contribute to the later events and let the situation develop in an uncontrollable direction.
Now luckily he and Ning Zeyu had found a way out, and that moment of hesitation had saved Tang Yi from the fate of being a pawn.
Gu Yanting’s voice was a little tired but obviously it was too early for him to relax. Tang Yi told him about his phone call to Zhou Hao, and Gu Yanting was uncomfortable as soon as he heard Zhou Hao’s name. After Tang Yi finished speaking, he was silent for a long time and couldn’t help but whisper an instruction, “Don’t meet with Zhou Whatever in the next few days! Don’t listen to anything he says.”
Tang Yi was dumbfounded and laughed, and after a pause said in a serious manner, “The crisis on my side is over, I just called to thank him. But if he comes over to invite me for dinner on the weekend, I really can’t refuse.”
Gu Yanting immediately became a little anxious, “What dinner! Why do you still have to eat with him after you have broken up! How can this be?!”
Tang Yi laughed. Gu Yanting said two sentences and began to get really uneasy, repeatedly asking, “When I go back I will treat you to dinner, okay? We don’t lack those couple of yuan!”
“Depends on the mood,” Tang Yi smiled, “anyway, you won’t know if I’ll go for dinner or not.”
Gu Yanting: “……” He also knew that Tang Yi was joking, and after a moment of depression, he suddenly remembered the main thing and instructed, “Even though it’s over, you should still be careful.”
Tang Yi didn’t expect him to switch channels so quickly and become serious all of a sudden, so he couldn’t help but ask, “Be careful of what?”
“Be careful of the people around you!” Gu Yanting tsked and said rather seriously, “There are not many people who can understand you so thoroughly. Zhou Dongchuan must have been very sure if he dared to do this. You have to beware of the one who sold you, otherwise this is a time bomb, ah!”
“……” Tang Yi also thought of this aspect and the smile on his face slowly faded.
Gu Yanting sensed something was wrong and called out to him, “Hey, you wouldn’t know who it was, would you?”
“…I don’t know,” Tang Yi paused, “but I have a hunch that someone is suspicious.”
Gu Yanting froze for a moment, his voice rising up a point, “Who is it?”
It was Lin Rui.
Tang Yi’s lips moved and he sighed for a long time, still not saying anything.
Shen Fan managed to defend Lin Rui more than once, and Tang Yi was almost wondering if it was his own problem. After all, he himself had a problem with Lin Rui, and his speculation now was entirely a gut feeling, without any evidence.
Tang Yi finally sighed somewhat helplessly, and his voice dropped, “Let’s not mention this, I have no proof.”
“It’s okay,” Gu Yanting said, “I believe you.”
“Forget it, let’s talk about it later. I’ll go back first,” Tang Yi hooked the corners of his lips, “Tomorrow’s weekend, I’d better think of somewhere to go out to eat. I’ve been suffering for a month, and now that it’s kind of over my appetite is waking up all of a sudden.”
“What do you plan to eat?” Gu Yanting wrinkled his nose, “Tell me.”
“Spicy chicken, hot and sour shredded potatoes, vinegar cabbage…” Tang Yi casually reported the names of a few dishes. After finishing, he couldn’t help but laugh, “It’s always something hot and sour.”
“Okay, sour and spicy girl!” Gu Yanting was taken aback and suddenly said idiotically, “The little lord hasn’t sown his seeds yet, why are you in a hurry?”
“…… ” Tang Yi was silent for a while, then suddenly asked faintly, “Gu Yanting, are you thinking about it, hmm?” His voice was very nice, the end note deliberately hooked upwards. Gu Yanting’s ears felt itchy and tingling, and he gave an “en” without thinking.
“Oh,” Tang Yi smiled and threw him one word, “Endure.”
“It’s almost suffocating,” Gu Yanting muttered in a low voice. Seeing Tang Yi about to hang up, he hurriedly asked, “You’re not going to the office tomorrow, are you? I’ll call you in the evening.”
The two of them had been so busy this week that they hadn’t had a good chat. Tang Yi agreed after a pause. Who knew that after he got home and just finished eating, he received a message that wasn’t good.
Lin Rui was going back to T City.
And Shen Fan was coming back with him.
The only ER company in T City was the one under Tang Yi, and now that the power was in Tang Yi’s hands, Shen Fan couldn’t just stick Lin Rui in. So after making sure Tang Yi was done eating, Shen Fan took a moment to have a private talk with him.
Tang Yi was silent this time. In public the parent company still had a certain share in his company, even if he was the person in control. Besides, there had been times when he accepted Shen Fan’s favours. Now Shen Fan wanted to make arrangements for someone; Tang Yi could give him a position at will and the salary was on the headquarters, so he really had no reason to refuse. In private, Lin Rui was indeed kicked to the headquarters by Zhou Hao because of his resentment. Lin Rui’s parents, relatives and friends were in T City; it was reasonable for him to want to come back.
Shen Fan gave Tang Yi enough leeway in his words, repeatedly stating that he could think of another way if Tang Yi didn’t want to. But at this point in the conversation, it was difficult for Tang Yi to say no. The downside of mixing emotions and work was obvious – there was no standard scale to follow and everything had to be figured out on the spot.
Tang Yi finally replied, “I’ll think about it”, but in his heart he knew he could only compromise.
If he comes back, then he comes back, it was all Tang Yi could think; it was only a matter of time anyway.