After returning to the city, Cheng Peng first dropped Ji Ran off. When they passed by the guard house, there was a parcel for him and the security guards said it had been there for two days.
The parcel was about the size of a document. Since Ji Ran hadn’t purchased anything online recently, he couldn’t think of what it could be.
When he reached home, he used a small blade to slice it open and peered in.
It was an invitation to Man Cheng Junior High School’s anniversary.
He took it out and looked it over, making sure that it was indeed his name written on it.
Without hesitation, he tossed it into the garbage.
Qin Man was dragging their luggage in when he saw this scene. He picked it up and asked, “Why’d you throw it away?”
“I’m not going, what’s the point of leaving it around?” Ji Ran sat on the carpet and opened his luggage to pull out his clothes.
This invitation came as a bolt out of the blue. Back when he attended school, both teachers and students alike feared him, especially the former. They only hoped he would keep himself in check and not cause trouble, they dared not ask for more. Apart from scolding him, the teachers did not have any alternative forms of communication, so how did this invitation come about?
Were they inviting him to wreck their school?
“Really not going?” Qin Man crossed his leg and sat beside him. “You don’t want to go back to see the sea behind the school?”
“There’s no need to go to school to see the sea.”
When he was in school, outsiders could only go through the back door to see the sea. After instructions from the higher ups, there was now a road behind the school that people could go through anytime they wanted.
Because they wanted to develop that area into a scenic spot, several toll booths and storefronts were built next to the big tree, which ruined its beauty. As a result, Ji Ran had not been there for a long time.
“Don’t you want to take a look at the school buildings or something?” Qin Man said, “I heard that many flowers, plants and trees have been transplanted from the school’s grove and most of the facilities have been replaced.”
Ji Ran turned his head and looked at him inexplicably. “You want to go back?”
Qin Man did not deny it. But in fact, he didn’t want to go back. However, Man Cheng Middle School had specially made a call to his parents to invite them back as ‘honorary parents’.
Living abroad, they naturally could not return, which was why Mother Qin had called Qin Man to tell him to go back and show his face.
Noticing his silence, Ji Ran remarked, “If you really want to go back, you can apply for leave. It’s not like I won’t permit you to return.”
Ji Ran had already decided not to go. Unexpectedly, Ji Guo Zheng called that very day.
This was his first conversation ever since he refused the project with Wang Xing.
“Wednesday, make a trip back to your school.”
Ji Ran hated this commanding tone the most. Thus, he didn’t even ask and simply refused. “Not going.”
Ji Guo Zheng pretended not to hear his refusal and continued, “You need a student ID for your visa. The principal of Man Cheng Middle School is the cousin of your university’s director. I have already spoken with them. We’ll send over a few sets of computers and they’ll get this done for us.”
Ji Ran held the phone and raised his other hand to change the TV channel.
“You have to go, understand?” Ji Guo Zheng said, “I won’t argue with you about the project. You should take care of your own future, don’t muddle along, how unsightly is that? It’s not that you aren’t allowed to rely on your family, but you need to have something to show for yourself.”
The matter with Xing Wang’s project had already destroyed any hope he had for his son.
Thankfully, he didn’t place much hope on Ji Ran in the first place. That piece of land was simply the best choice but since it couldn’t be obtained, he still had other choices.
Ji Ran let out a cold laugh.
Qin Man looked up from his stack of documents and saw his usual languid appearance. However, his knuckles had turned white from his grip and the remote control in his hand was almost crushed.
Qin Man thought he was about to lose his temper, but in the next second, Ji Ran had thrown the remote control aside.
“Ah yeah, you are the creator of all things, the merciful holy father. Who can possibly live without you, old man?” Ji Ran said coolly, “Isn’t it just a school celebration? Since you have already spoken, I will naturally go.”
Though Ji Guo Zheng didn’t know young people’s slang, he could tell Ji Ran was mocking him.
There was a senior employee standing in front of him and he had thin skin, so he would never allow others to know that his son was going against him. As a result, he didn’t pay attention to Ji Ran’s words and solemnly replied, “Did you receive the invitation letter? Dress decently on that day and greet your teachers and elders. As for your hair… dye it back.”
Ji Ran hung up before he could finish.
He got up with a face of disgust and pulled out the invitation letter from the trash.
Qin Man had only heard a few sentences but he had already pieced most of it together. “It’s just a school celebration. If you don’t want to go, we can just show our faces for a bit before leaving.”
“How can that be?” Ji Ran sneered, “That’s our alma mater, we must definitely take a good look at it.”
Ji Ran did not expect to receive a resignation letter just after arriving at work this week.
It was from Xu Lin.
“Something happened in my family and I can’t run back and forth, so I might have to go home.” Xu Lin said sincerely.
“What about those projects you have?” Ji Ran asked.
“I have already sorted it out. I will hand it over to my colleagues in the next two days. You can rest assured,” Xu Lin said.
“Really resigning?” Ji Ran took the resignation letter and asked again, “You’re not going to think about it further?”
If it were before, Ji Ran would definitely let him go without a word. He previously thought that Xu Lin was sent by Ji Wei to monitor him, but later found out that with those useless projects he could get his hands on, Ji Wei didn’t need anyone to monitor him at all.
Not to mention, Xu Lin’s skills were indeed outstanding. All projects in his hands were carried out in an orderly manner and there had never been any major problems.
There was no point in forcing him to stay. Ji Ran was about to tell him to head over to the Human Resource department when Qin Man appeared.
“It’s better to consider it again. Take three days to calm down, if you still want to quit then, you can hand in your resignation letter.”
Xu Lin hesitated before finally nodding and retrieving his resignation letter.
After he left, Ji Ran recovered. “Are you his boss or am I? Others are applying to resign, what are you interfering for?”
Qin Man replied, “I’m doing it out of consideration for you.”
“Tell me, what’s there to consider?”
Qin Man walked over to the window and opened the curtains, pointing out.
When the people outside heard the noise, they all turned to look inside. Since the windows were transparent, Ji Ran immediately met many gazes.
“Excluding you and me, there are only five people in total in the department.” Qin Man pointed to the far right, “Qu Ran is fine. Although her work efficiency is not high, she is diligent.”
He turned to point them out one by one. “This person’s skills are weak and he is lazy. Even his weekly report is the last to be submitted and it’s full of rubbish while his progress on projects is almost zero. In short, he’s useless.”
“This person is a veteran, but his ability is not outstanding. In his previous department, he often used underhanded means to snatch his colleagues’ projects and verbally harassed female colleagues, but not to the extent of being reported so he was kicked to our department . Once his contract is up, we can find an excuse to fire him.”
“And this person is completely new, everything needs to be taught. Is it their job to help with photocopying…or making coffee?”
The faces of the people who were pointed out were all blank and some of them even smiled at Qin Man in ignorance.
Ji Ran: “…”
“So you can’t let Xu Lin go, unless you want to work overtime every day.” Qin Man nodded to the people outside and then closed the shutters as if he hadn’t just spoken ill of his colleagues in front of their boss.
“You said so much, why don’t you analyse yourself?” Ji Ran lifted his chin and sneered.
“I started interning at the age of 18 and I have handled dozens of projects so far, with a profit in the tens of digits. I have rich experience in the industry.”
Ji Ran: ?
“After I joined the company, I took over two closing projects. The last one was signed last week, and we discussed two more segments. Although it is not a lot, a little is still more than nothing. If it weren’t because of some matters I have to deal with, I could have completed all the projects.” Qin Man sat on the chair in front of him and asked, “Is there anything else I need to report on?”
Ji Ran asked, “You have something to deal with? What else do you have to do?”
Qin Man raised his eyebrows and smiled, “Chasing my boss.”
Ji Ran was caught off guard. He cursed, “…Get out.”
After driving him away, Ji Ran was startled to find that his ears were burning badly. He picked up the can of Coke on the table and took a sip, narrowing his eyes in irritation.
He opened the webpage and logged in to the employee ID of the previous logistics staff, only to find that the account had been caught and cancelled by the Internal Data Department.
He clicked his tongue, picked up his phone and was about to send a message to Cheng Peng when the other person sent a message first.
[Cheng Peng: The bill has been sent, you can take a look. If possible, I will clear it this week.]
On the day of the school celebration, the school gate was wide open with a joyous atmosphere, as if it were Chinese New Year.
It was not a weekend but for the school celebration, the school had a day off. However, many students still choose to stay at the school, and wherever they went, there were many students in school uniforms.
Several men in suits and leather shoes stood around the gate of the school. It was Ji Wei and his high school classmates; They were graceful in manner and handsome in appearance, so many people could not help but glance at them when they passed by.
The men greeted each other politely.
“I haven’t seen you for a long time since our last gathering.”
“Ah, I had a flight to catch last time so I couldn’t make it, it was truly a pity… after today’s celebration, let’s grab a drink.”
“Oh, right. That person… Did he come? I heard he’s giving a speech.”
“Who knows? Such a huge thing happened to his family, perhaps he isn’t in the mood to join such trivial activities.”
Ji Wei listened inattentively without speaking until someone touched his shoulders.
“Eh, isn’t that Ji Ran? Why is he here?”
Ji Wei followed his gaze and looked over to see a silvery-white sports car parked by the roadside. The surface of the car reflected the glaring sunlight, appearing both cool and arrogant.
Ji Ran was standing beside the car in a white t-shirt, extremely casual. When compared to the occasionally passing student, he appeared similar in age.
Ji Wei retracted his gaze. “He probably got an invite too.”
That person sneered. “Impossible. How could the school invite him? Did they invite him as an example of what a role model is not?”
Ji Wei did not deny it. “It’s almost time. Let’s go in?”
That person wanted to say something else when the passenger side’s door opened.
“Eh— Wait.” After seeing who it was, he froze. “Isn’t that Qin Man?”
The man got out, wearing a white sweater, not any more formal than what Ji Ran was wearing.
But with such a simple outfit, these two attracted everyone’s attention.
“It’s really him… What is he wearing?” His companion was stunned. “Isn’t he going to give a speech today? He came wearing a mass-produced shirt? And… Why did he come with Ji Ran?”
“You probably don’t know but we bumped into him at the gathering. He was also with Ji Ran at the time.” The bald man next to him recalled and sneered, “Birds of the same feather flock together, just like how people of the same calibre will gather together.”