Lu Chong’s business, on the surface, was a large enterprise with numerous subsidiaries, called Lu Group, but there was also a part of it that was not visible on the surface. It meant that Lu Chong was mostly white, and the semi-black part was in the grey area. Then through the white part, he could cover and control the grey part.
From his head office to his subsidiaries, most of the people in important positions were his close subordinates or certain members of the Lu family, and a small number of them also were involved in the grey sector.
This was the case with Ling Su. After finishing interrogating Director Li twice more that day, he was transferred back to his former position in the head office. Ordinary employees only thought that their boss had been transferred to work in a subsidiary for a while, but the insiders knew very well how Ling Su had been removed and how he had come back.
Someone came over to joke, “Ling Su, you’ve had a hard time pleasing that big red guy.”
Now they didn’t dare to call Luo Wencheng “little white boy”, but the title “big red guy” (red meaning popular) didn’t mean much respect either.
Ling Su looked coldly at this man who wasn’t on good terms with him. If any more gossip appeared because of him, he would really have to retire completely. Thinking of what Lu Chong had said to him, Ling Su showed a frivolous smile: “What hard time? You don’t know, I did Mr. Luo a big favour this time and he put in a good word for me with Master despite the past grudges. So Master decided to promote me to vice president.”
He said proudly and with feeling, “After taking a half-year vacation in vain, I’m still being promoted. Mr. Luo is really my lucky star! I had so many prejudices against him before, and I was really guilty.”
The other person’s face turned blue.
Vice president? There were only three vice president positions in the head office. One was the most senior elder under the late old master and the other was an elder of the Lu family with a very high seniority.
The former was actually quite indifferent to Lu Chong, but he was loyal to the old master, rigid and old-fashioned, conscientiously guarding the business left by the old master. He was not often in charge, but he was something like a sacred existence in the head office.
The latter was a mascot that looked good and appeased the hearts of the Lu family, but had little real power.
When Lu Chong left for Haining back then, he didn’t intend to return. He had arranged positions for all the people under him, the head office, the subsidiaries, the overt ones and the covert ones. For the position of the third vice president of the head office, he was going to arrange someone when he retired completely. The three vice presidents would keep each other in check, and as long as no one did anything wrong, the business would be safe for several years.
However, Lu Chong not only did not retire, but also came back, and once he came back, he returned to his position as the head of the company, and turned over the whole company upside down from top to bottom.
Not to mention the remaining vice president vacancy, even the first two vice presidents shrank their necks and reduced their sense of presence. At this time, someone was going to be suddenly promoted to the third vice president?
No one could guess what their boss was thinking, but the only thing that was certain was that the third vice president’s position should not be Ling Su’s in any way.
In terms of age, seniority, contribution and ability, there were plenty of people ahead of him, so why should such a good thing go to Ling Su?
Too many people were dissatisfied, complained and secretly gathered to speculate, but no matter how much they jumped, Ling Su still quickly and formally was promoted to vice president. At the same time, another person attracted everyone’s attention.
That man was Zhou Qian.
Lu Chong promoted him to be his special assistant, bringing him to his side for personal guidance and giving him great authority.
Who was Zhou Qian?
Everyone looked confused. This was simply a name that they have never heard of. Some people asked Zhou Yishan if this was his relative, and Zhou Yishan replied with “hehe”.
Then people found out that Zhou Qian had worked with the “big red guy”.
Everyone was silent.
Ling Su had been promoted to one of the three vice presidents because someone said a few good words for him, and Zhou Qian had soared to the top because he had followed someone.
Their top boss was clearly sending a message – those who are pro-Luo Wencheng would be given opportunities.
People were dissatisfied. They complained to the two vice presidents that Ling Su and Zhou Qian were not qualified enough and it was too unfair. The two vice presidents kept their mouths shut and made it clear that they didn’t care about this matter and that people with a clearer head and clearer vision wouldn’t get involved.
Some fools were bold enough to suggest directly to Lu Chong at the meeting that there should be transparency and fairness and so on. Lu Chong did not often attend such company meetings, and what required his presence was often not the kind of the business on the surface; but as long as he was present, all the heads of the company’s departments, large and small, would be present, so the whole conference room was full of people.
Lu Chong glanced at these faces lightly and said unhurriedly, “This is my company and my property. I promote whoever I like and reappoint whoever I like. You want to talk to me about justice, should we call a board of directors meeting first?”
Everyone froze. They did not expect Lu Chong to say these words.
But when they thought about it, it was true. This was his company, his property.
As for his relatives, Lu Chong did inherit Lu Group from his father; but the current Lu Group was something Lu Chong had fought hard to create on his own, and no one was in a strong enough position to dictate what he should do. The sixty-odd percent of shares Lu Chong personally owned was enough to put him in the position of an absolute leader.
In the past, he was fair, rewarding generously and clear in his punishments, so much so that he made everyone forget that he was the rule-maker and could play the game however he wanted, without needing anyone’s approval at all.
Now he just employed people according to his mood, and if you didn’t agree, you could either hold your tongue or go and please the big red guy too!
The meeting ended in a weird atmosphere, and then that afternoon, Luo Wencheng found out about Lu Chong’s feat. It was Lu Chong himself who told him about it smugly, waiting for praise.
Luo Wencheng, who was pruning the branches in the courtyard, was speechless: “Aren’t you afraid of ruining your company by doing that?”
“If it’s ruined, it’s ruined. As long as I’m still here, it won’t get too messy.” Lu Chong squeezed Luo Wencheng’s hand and said carelessly.
As for what would happen in the future when he was no longer there… he wouldn’t have children anyway, so what did it matter to him what happened in the future?
“Don’t those people dislike you because I’m nice to you? I just want them to know that you are my most important person and that they all bundled together aren’t worth as much as one finger of yours.” Lu Chong said very rudely, “Now those people should be racking their brains thinking how to please you. If you are happy, play with them. If you are unhappy, treat them as if they don’t exist. I have cleaned the house inside and outside and rearranged it. Even if one uses a special force team, it’s not possible to get in.”
Luo Wencheng looked at Lu Chong for a while. Lu Chong’s eyes were shining, almost as if “Am I a good boy?” was written on his face.
Luo Wencheng put down the big scissors in his hand, cupped the man’s face with both hands and pulled it closer: “Are you really Lu Chong? You’re not possessed by some love brain, are you?”
“Don’t you like it?” The tall, big man said inarticulately, aggrieved.
Luo Wencheng rolled his eyes, “You should really take a good look in the mirror. You look like a dim-witted ruler, the kind who abandoned a bunch of veteran heroes and meritorious officials for a favoured concubine.”
“You are not a favoured concubine, you are My Majesty the King. Everything I have is yours, including my life.” Lu Chong took Luo Wencheng’s hand and kissed it reverently.
“You… where did you learn all this? Corny to death.” Luo Wencheng couldn’t stand it and withdrew his hand, but the faint smile at the corners of his eyes revealed his pleasure at the moment.
Seeing that he was teased, Lu Chong breathed a sigh of relief.
When Luo Wencheng first came back, he had to put on a show for the professor, and even though there were some strange things, Lu Chong only thought that Luo Wencheng was pretending. Afterwards, when the crisis of being watched passed and the two of them talked about what had happened more than ten years ago, he was in a state of great joyful excitement for days.
It was only gradually afterwards that he realised that something was wrong with Luo Wencheng.
Mostly his face was expressionless and his eyes were more cold than calm, no matter what he did or looked at. Sometimes he looked happy one moment, then inexplicably irritable the next moment. At times he seemed well adjusted to the life he was living, but more often he seemed to be struggling to remain patient, unable to suppress the gloom that filled his eyes. Even when he looked at Lu Chong, there was little warmth in his gaze.
Joy and anger were indeterminate, he didn’t care about anything and seemed to lack interest in everything. He was obviously right in front of Lu Chong, but Lu Chong had a sense of fear and panic as if he couldn’t touch, couldn’t grasp no matter what.
Lu Chong didn’t know what made Luo Wencheng what he was now. Every time he saw his negative emotions disguised as if nothing had happened, he felt distressed. He would try his best to change him back, and if he couldn’t, he would do everything he could to make Luo Wencheng happy every day.
Luo Wencheng was indeed amused by him, and while he continued to cut off the too dense branches, he asked, “Any news from that professor?”
When it came to business, Lu Chong’s face became serious.
Several days passed since Director Li was tortured, and according to Director Li’s revelations, Professor Delang had been invited to Haining as a Doctor of Medicine, but of course not under the name of Professor Delang. With this clue, Professor Delang’s identity was completely figured out, and surprisingly, he was really an old professor with considerable virtue and prestige.
Lu Chong asked someone to invite Professor Delang to China again in the name of an official exchange.
“He has already agreed and will arrive in two days.”
Luo Wencheng was surprised: “He just took the bait?”
“That depends on what the bait is.”
Luo Wencheng waited, but didn’t wait for the continuation, “Don’t just say half of it.”
“You’d better not listen, I’m afraid it’ll spoil your appetite and we’re going to eat later.” Lu Chong didn’t want to say it, because it was really too disgusting.
“Am I that fragile? How disgusting a few words can be? Speak up.”
Lu Chong had no choice but to say, “What this Professor Delang did was simply heinous. When he came to Haining, what he was working on was not actually this project of yours, but a parasitic worm. According to the information obtained, this parasite initially only infests the human immune system, reproducing at a low rate but gradually destroying the normal immune cells little by little. It is able to remain unnoticed during immune tests and resist most anthelmintic drugs. And when the person’s immune system is completely ruined, the parasites will crawl out and multiply all over the body, gnawing…”
The more Luo Wencheng listened, the more his body stiffened. He suddenly thought of the image of himself rotting away at the end of his previous life, maggots all over his body. He had always thought it was the drugs that had done that, that he was half dead from general exhaustion and his whole body was failing. Could it be that it was actually…
His stomach surged fiercely, and he bent over and vomited.