Yang Chen became silent all of a sudden. His face looked calm, but no one around him dared to breathe out loud.
After pondering for a while, Yang Chen slowly replied, “Okay, when and where?”
“Let’s have lunch around noon. I’ll send you the address. I’ll be waiting for you there at 12pm,” said Ning Guangyao.
Yang Chen agreed and hung up the phone. He then turned to face everyone and said, “I’ve finished all that needs to be said. As for your responsibilities from now on, just act accordingly based on Lin Hui’s schedule for the day.”
The team gave him their words. They all had a clear idea of their responsibilities.
Following which, Yang Chen summoned Zhuang Feng who was still standing outside the conference room. Yang Chen then said, “Deputy Director Zhuang, I’ll make things clear here today. These foreign friends have travelled all the way here to assist our Lin Hui at my request. They’re not employees that I’ve sought to work for the company. Thus, their sole responsibility is to be at Lin Hui’s service. They have the freedom to reject any requests concerning the other artistes and businesses of the company. I don’t want to hear anyone abusing my name to make these people do things that they are unwilling to do.”
Zhuang Feng wiped off the cold sweat on his face and forced a smile while agreeing to Yang Chen’s words. He knew in his heart the only person that these people would willingly take orders from was Yang Chen. He wouldn’t have the guts to order them around anyway. None of these people was the kind you would like to be enemies with.
Meanwhile, Danielle and the rest were staring at Yang Chen gratefully. They were already under the impression that they would be ‘selling themselves out’ to Yu Lei International, yet it turned out that working for a single artiste was all they had to do. In that case, at least their status as globally celebrated celebrities weren’t depreciated. They were merely grooming a rookie. The rookie in question was the younger sister of this noble gentleman. It was an honor to them.
What came next was naturally the matter of dealing with those reporters who had surrounded the entire building. Just as the company’s managerial team were mulling over how to explain the situation, the top artiste manager from Italy, Downey, sprung up from his seat and said, “Leave out the unnecessary explanations. Since we are going to work for Miss Lin Hui from now on, we might as well utilize this opportunity to hold a press conference. All you guys have to do is attend it. Let me handle all the talking.”
A multilingual translator who had come along with the team relayed Downey’s words to everyone.
Zhuang Feng’s eyes lit up immediately. If they did that, it would definitely be the best form of publicity one could get. So many renowned celebrities were now gathered in Beijing, and more than half of them had never been to the country. Yet they had all come specially for Hui Lin! They could definitely expect to see Lin Hui’s reputation soar through the roof once again!
“But, seeing so many highly regarded celebrities coming together so suddenly, the media would probably feel like something is off, right?” One of the staff voiced out her worries.
Downey shook his head, smiling. “Our goal is to make them feel doubtful. We want to make them doubt what other reasons we have came for. If we want to ensure that Miss Lin Hui’s media exposure is always high, we’ll need not only her singing talent, but also news that can constantly increase her hype. We can give them any explanation, but the media will definitely snuffle for more information on their own accord. In the end, fabrications upon fabrications of the news will surface.
“But there is one thing we can be sure of. Given our influence, the media wouldn’t write anything negative. On the contrary, they would only make Miss Lin Hui’s background sound especially mysterious and intriguing.”
Zhuang Feng and the others finally understood. They quickly ordered the company’s events management department to spread news of their press conference. Hui Lin who was sitting by the side was still in a daze. She was trying her best to digest all that she had heard. She grabbed at a corner of Yang Chen’s shirt, asking softly and worriedly, “Brother Yang, will I really make it? Having so many big shots here is putting a lot of pressure on my back.”
“What is there to be afraid of? They are still normal people despite looking different from you. Compared to those people that you’ve met in the past who were always ready to kill, they are much simpler. If you dislike any one of them, just grab a sword and kill them. And don’t forget that there’s still me. Who would dare to look down on you?” Yang Chen raised his eyebrows at her and said smilingly.
“I can’t just go around killing people.” Hui Lin puffed her cheeks. But she realized that Yang Chen was right. She was no ordinary female singer, and she wouldn’t really be bullied by anyone. If something bad were to happen, she might have to rise to the occasion and protect them. Thinking about these, her fears finally dissipated.
Not long afterwards, the press conference took place in the big meeting room downstairs. Camera flashes went off crazily in the room. And they were all focused on the internationally renowned celebrities who now looked just like a tour group that was travelling in the country.
Downey was a top artiste manager that had made many international singers famous. Thus he quickly kept the situation under control and answered the reporters’ questions effortlessly. Apart from emphasizing the team’s high expectations of Lin Hui, he also created a mysterious vibe surrounding her. This successfully shifted the reporters’ preoccupation with these celebrities towards Lin Hui.
At the end of the event, Zhuang Feng shared about Lin Hui’s upcoming album and concert as the deputy director. This was basically a zero-cost publicity for the company.
Yang Chen watched in silence from aside. He just treated himself as one of the background staff. Seeing Hui Lin sit nervously in front of the cameras all by herself reminded him of old memories. Who would have imagined that the silly little nun who came down from the mountain would one day become a star that stood in the center of the media’s attention?
It was almost time to meet Ning Guangyao. Yang Chen sent a text message informing Hui Lin that he was leaving.
The address that Ning Guangyao had sent was a quiet summer resort in the mountains to the east of Beijing. Stores with farmers selling vegetables dotted the outer area of the resort. There were very few people who resided in these parts of Beijing.
Yang Chen was surprised that Ning Guangyao chose such a place, but it wasn’t without its merits. The environment was tranquil and traffic was scarce. It was a temporary retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.
Pulling his vehicle into a farmer’s restaurant that Ning Guangyao had specified, Yang Chen spotted a sign that hung outside the restaurant which read ‘Temporarily Closed’.
Only two cars were parked outside the restaurant, an Audi A8 and a Passat. Ning Guangyao has booked the entire restaurant, Yang Chen figured.
Yang Chen walked into the restaurant and was immediately recognized by a bodyguard dressed in black. He signaled politely for Yang Chen to proceed to the open-air dining area behind the restaurant.
Surprisingly, there was a man-made lake behind the restaurant. The restaurant had actually been built by the side of the lake.
Amidst the tables, only one was currently occupied. Two figures were sitting at the table whereas their bodyguards were standing at least ten meters away from them.
One of the two middle-aged men was dressed in a suit and necktie. He looked like he had just come from an official meeting. Naturally, this was Ning Guangyao. Yang Chen managed to recognize him despite the few encounters he had with him.
As for the other young man who wore a light blue shirt, it was Ning Guodong. The man that Yang Chen had met at the club just the day before. The two were in constant disagreement! Yang Chen and Ning Guodong spotted each other at the same time. Yang Chen behaved as usual, whereas Ning Guodong’s eyes flared up as though they were on fire!
“Dad, the mysterious guest that you wanted me to meet today is him?!” Ning Guodong instantly swung his head around agitatedly to face his father.
He was initially very excited before this. Ever since the incident over Lin Ruoxi and him being reprimanded by Ning Guangyao, Ning Guodong and his father had rarely crossed paths. He had even moved out of the house.
However, today was different. It was the first time that his father broke the ice between them and asked him out for lunch at this farmer’s restaurant. This was one of his father’s favorite restaurants. On top of that, his father wanted to introduce him to a mysterious guest.
Ning Guodong thought that Ning Guangyao wanted to have a proper meeting with one of Ning Guodong’s superiors to give him a push up the career ladder. After all, if that was the case, it meant that Ning Guangyao had not given up on him yet, and that Ning Guangyao still intended to groom him as his successor. Little did he know that the mysterious guest was actually Yang Chen!
Ning Guangyao darted a glare at his son. He then stood up and smiled warmly at Yang Chen. “Yang Chen, hurry over and take a seat. It’s been a long time since we last met.”
Yang Chen took a quick glimpse at Ning Guodong and treated him as though he was invisible. He smiled and said, “I believe we were never really that close. No need to talk to me with the formalities that you use to deal with officials.” He leisurely took the seat across from Ning Guangyao.
“Hmph! Not cherishing the respect that is being given to you,” Ning Guodong commented sarcastically. Yang Chen didn’t even turn to look at him. He just replied slowly, “Even without that respect, someone still had to kneel down before me.”
“What did you say?!” Ning Guodong was struck in his pain point and he yelled out in defense.
“Guodong! Sit down!!!” Ning Guangyao reproached, livid with rage.
“Dad! He scolded me! Don’t you know what he did to your son?!” Ning Guodong yelled aloud, patting on his chest.
Ning Guangyao’s face darkened and he said, “Shut up. It’s better to make one less enemy than to make one more. The reason I have gathered the both of you here is to settle the ongoing feud that you have. Haven’t you lost enough of your face yet?! Sit down!”
“How can something like that be settled so easily?!” Ning Guodong was panting for breath. He shook his head and forced a painful smile as he said, “Did you ask me out today to let me embarrass myself again?! How could you side with an outsider to scold your own son. You are indeed my good father.”
“Make it clear what intentions you two have for each other. You’re both intelligent adults. As a man, what do you think you’re doing ridiculing each other the moment you meet?!” Ning Guangyao said solemnly. “If you want to recover your lost face, don’t be so quick to embarrass yourself now! Sit down!”
“You call me an embarrassment?” Ning Guodong’s face turned pale white. He clenched his fist and said, “Alright, Since you think of me as an embarrassment, I’ll leave. You can enjoy your meal with him and take your time talking to each other!”
Ning Guodong grabbed his jacket and walked out in a fit, not even turning to look back.
Ning Guangyao yelled for him twice but it was useless. He sunk into his chair disappointedly, his face bursting in fits of blue and white. He was obviously boiling mad.
Yang Chen just lifted the teapot leisurely and poured himself a cup of green tea. Taking a sip, he smiled softly and said, “I had originally thought that a terrible man like myself is deserving of the mess I brought upon myself and my family. But Premier Ning, I never knew that for someone who doesn’t mess around, your family is in a greater mess than mine. Tsk tsk…”