At first, Yang Chen assumed Lin Ruoxi had her presents tucked away in her red Bentley. However, upon seeing the vehicle, he realized that that was not the case.
A white Ford F350 pickup truck was parked in a corner. It was an intimidating vehicle, to say the least.
Ford’s F-series pickups were American icons representing the hardy American spirit. It had ample horsepower and was designed with hard gold and aluminum platings.
They were very common in America as many farmers used them for work. Since the turnover rate was low, and it could only be imported, even the cheapest models cost at least a million yuan.
There were about ten huge boxes sitting at the back of the truck.
Is she really going to give these kids a whole pickup truck full of gifts?! thought Yang Chen.
Lin Ruoxi bit her lip, embarrassed at his expressions. She said gently, “When I used to go alone in the past, it had always been a difficult process. However, with you here, I can finally use the pickup. I’ve had security get this car from my garage and I’ve bought the gifts. All we need to do is deliver the goods. I’m not good at driving huge cars, so I need you to be my driver.
“No problem.” Yang Chen sighed. “I used to drive cars like this often, but this would be my first time driving one in a city.”
Lin Ruoxi quickly added, “If you like it, I have a Dodge RAM and Nissan Titan in my garage. They’re all the latest pickup models, I’ll give them to you. You’ve been driving that BMW for a year anyway.”
“Why would I drive a pickup to work?” Yang Chen rolled his eyes, taking the car keys from Lin Ruoxi.
Lin Ruoxi mumbled under breath after he’d turned away. She was about to give him a car! Did that really warrant an eye roll?
The engine roared to life. Both of them soon left the parking lot. According to Lin Ruoxi’s plan, they were supposed to have lunch before heading to the orphanage.
“What do you want to eat?” asked Yang Chen.
Lin Ruoxi stroked her chin, thinking. “Let’s go for something simple. I don’t want to wait too long.”
“Then let’s go for a small restaurant?”
She frowned. “Can we eat somewhere cleaner?” At the mention of small restaurants, she recalled the last time she had lobsters with Yang Chen at one. The greasy, dirty experience made her very uncomfortable.
He shrugged. “Then you suggest a place. I’m all yours today.”
“I don’t care.” Lin Ruoxi huffed, then started thinking. When she suddenly thought of a place, she asked softly, “What about… Let’s go to my new rice ball franchise, I haven’t eaten there before…”
Lin Ruoxi’s face reddened. She’d been craving for them for a while now, but she didn’t have the guts to eat there alone. She was their boss, after all. How weird would it be to eat there alone.
Now that she had company, she didn’t care if it was lunchtime. She just wanted to chew some glutinous rice balls.
Yang Chen seemed to understand. He nodded, smiling, then said, “That’s alright. I’m curious to try your franchise rice balls too.”
When she heard him agree, Lin Ruoxi’s smile bloomed like a flower as she nodded vigorously.
Yang Chen marveled at how easy it was to satisfy this woman.
At the same time, Yang Chen thought it was time to visit Aunt Xiang’s Sichuan restaurant to meet Ma Guifang. Dragging out the issue with Mo Qianni would only make it worse for both parties.
Naturally, he couldn’t bring this up to Lin Ruoxi.
Lin Ruoxi had invested in a total of three franchises, all called ‘Zhao’s Glutinous Rice Balls’. This shop was quite well-known in the Zhonghai area, but Lin Ruoxi still hired a designer to design a logo for the brand. It was a fat, pink pig. An adorable mascot was the key to a female customer’s heart!
All three shops were situated in malls owned by Lin Ruoxi. Within Zhonghai itself, Lin Ruoxi owned at least ten malls. She’d always been a low-key person, so she never micromanaged these malls. Needless to say, not many people knew of her controlling interests in these businesses!
After driving for half an hour, they arrived at the Zhonghai Trade Tower. This building had ten underground floors of shops, restaurants, etc. while all the floors above ground were reserved for offices.
When they entered the building, Yang Chen asked curiously, “Ruoxi, do Yu Lei’s assets include these malls?”
“Of course not,” said Lin Ruoxi plainly. “These are all results of my investment in shares. I bought them all from their original owners myself, there’s no need to force it into the company’s assets.”
Yang Chen’s jaw dropped. Smiling, he said, “That would mean, even if Yu Lei ever filed for bankruptcy, you’d still be a rich little lady.”
Lin Ruoxi gave him the side eye. “It’s not your first day with me. You think I wouldn’t have a safety blanket for myself?”
Yang Chen nodded solemnly. Lin Ruoxi would never put all her eggs in one basket.
“When my grandmother handed Yu Lei to me, these malls weren’t mine. However, I have been buying a lot of shares these few years, sometimes to the detriment of their management. I still hold controlling interest though, so nobody can do much about it.”
So this is why she always maintains her own company shares at around ninety percent. “Then why did you buy so much property? You like playing the role of a landlord?”
Lin Ruoxi looked pleased with herself. “No, it’s far from that! My goal is to buy out the entirety of Zhonghai’s busiest street! Every building I walk past would be mine! I’m working towards this goal right now!”
Yang Chen’s face froze, then he smiled timidly, “That wouldn’t happen to be your dream, would it?”
“It has always been,” said Lin Ruoxi, forgetting herself, “To me, being a real estate mogul in a big city is an awesome thing. Think about it. When the entire street belongs to me, I can decide which brands get to be there, and I can bring all my favorite brands in, and kick the brands I dislike out. I can take whatever I want from any shop, then make subtractions off their rent. The entire street would be my playground!”
He touched his face, muttering, “Your dream really isn’t cute at all.”
Soon, they arrived at Zhao’s Glutinous Rice Balls.
Yang Chen was shocked to see a very long queue in front of the shop. It was impressively popular.
A few staff were busy collecting payments and packing food, while another few were making fresh glutinous rice balls inside. Although they weren’t as sophisticated as what Mr Zhao once made, with the creativity of the young staff, they sold a huge variety of rice balls that attracted the girls and children.
Yang Chen didn’t know to laugh or cry when he saw a hello kitty print on the rice ball packaging. It was the exact theme and color of Lin Ruoxi’s room!
There were two huge TV screens hanging in the shop that were playing two very popular Korean dramas. Although they were muted, it still attracted many customers.
Yang Chen slapped his head. Didn’t Ruoxi once mention doing something like this in passing? You mean to say she actually did it?!
Next to him was Lin Ruoxi, who’d completely forgotten why she was there as she watched the very shop she’d planned in action. Her eyes were shining, glued to the drama playing on the television!
Yang Chen coughed a few times, waking Lin Ruoxi from her daze. “I’ll buy some for you, which flavors do you want?”
Lin Ruoxi noticed she was embarrassing herself, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away from the screen. She said softly, “All of them.”
“Huh?” Yang Chen stopped for a second. There were twenty to thirty different flavors in the shop, and every riceball was as big as a tennis ball. He frowned. “That’s too many. Are you sure you can finish everything?”
Lin Ruoxi’s head hung so low her chin touched her chest, she muttered, “I—I want to bring some home. Yo—you can buy some for yourself and we’re not sharing!”