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Having asked a few passers-by in Yuping District, Yang Chen drove to the entrance of Yuping Hotel.
It was supposed to be a huge hotel, but it was merely a three-storey restaurant located at the corner of a street. Two huge lanterns were hung in front of the door, while the scarlet carpet was full of stains. Since it was located right opposite an agricultural market, the air was also filled with the smell of raw fish.
Lin Ruoxi felt disgusted upon stepping out of the car. Although she frowned, she didn’t say anything. Together with Yang Chen, she walked into the hotel.
Dressed in a grey suit, Wu Liangzhu had been waiting by the staircase by the living hall. Upon seeing Lin Ruoxi, similar to most people, his gaze stunned for a while, before he finally revealed a friendly smile.
“Welcome here, Boss Lin. It’s unfortunate that there’s not a single presentable restaurant in a small district like this. I’m left with no choice but to treat Boss Lin to meal at this small shop. Boss Lin, let’s go in.”
Wu Liangzhu noticed Yang Chen who was following behind Lin Ruoxi, but didn’t pay much attention to him as he mistook Yang Chen as Lin Ruoxi’s assistant. He let out a friendly smile and nodded at Yang Chen.
Lin Ruoxi’s mind was occupied with the scene she witnessed earlier at the factory. She didn’t find Wu Liangzhu pleasant so to speak, so her mouth stayed shut the entire time. Coming to the biggest room on the second floor, there were four men seated inside who were dressed formally.
Wu Liangzhu introduced them to Lin Ruoxi one-by-one. They were the deputy director Qian Hao, the union president Wang Ze, the accountant Meng Fan and Wu Liangzhu’s assistant, a young man called Little Liu.
These people looked rough, but Lin Ruoxi wasn’t too surprised as they probably grew up locally. She greeted them in a simple manner, and introduced Yang Chen as her driver and personal assistant.
The huge table was more than enough to accomodate the six people. Lin Ruoxi sat at the main seat, while Yang Chen and Wu Liangzhu sat beside her.
“Mr Meng, are the accounts I asked for ready?” Lin Ruoxi asked Meng Hao upon sitting down.
Meng Hao stunned, as if he didn’t know what was going on.
“The accounts for this year’s operation at the factory. Didn’t I call you earlier? Have you possibly forgotten about it?” Wu Liangzhu stared at Meng Hao in dissatisfaction.
Meng Hao slapped his head. Embarrassed, he said, “I’m sorry, Boss Lin. I… I got too excited and immediately rushed over when I was notified of your arrival to a small place like ours for inspection. Rest assured, I’ll immediately send them to you after the meal!”
Lin Ruoxi frowned, but didn’t press on.
“Boss Lin, although work is important, we still have to finish this meal.” Wu Liangzhu took two bottles of brand-new Chinese liquor of the brand Maotai. It was highly likely that he brought them over himself, it was impossible that a place like this hotel sold alcohol of that quality.
Although Lin Ruoxi didn’t like alcohol, and hated strong liquor even more, she’d still drink a little. It’d be too cruel if she didn’t grant face during her first time meeting these managers of the low-level factory. As a result, Lin Ruoxi didn’t stop him from pouring the liquor into the two glasses.
[TL note: Read this if you’re not familiar with Chinese ‘face’ concept.]
Smiling, Wu Liangzhu asked Yang Chen, “Assistant Yang, would you like a glass as well?”
Yang Chen waved his hand with a smile. He reached out to Lin Ruoxi’s glass and took it over. He said, “I’ll drink Boss Lin’s for her. She has to look through the accounts tonight and think of solutions to solve the issues surrounding the factory. Also, our Boss Lin doesn’t like to drink, am I right?”
Lin Ruoxi didn’t except Yang Chen to be so caring to drink on her behalf. She certainly had lots to deal with at night. Thus, she nodded and said, “It wouldn’t be too late to drink after dealing with the problems. I’ll just take a few simple bites while you guys brief me through the situation of the factory.”
Wu Liangzhu smiled awkwardly. “Alright, we’ll drink later then.”
After the others filled their glasses with the liquor, the six of them started eating.
Wu Liangzhu noticed that Lin Ruoxi had been staring at him without eating much. Similarly, he put down his chopsticks and said, “Boss Lin, the blame cannot be put on us for this. You too know that the fashion industry hasn’t been performing well lately, especially clothing factories like ours. Although we frequent have orders, many customers wouldn’t settle their credit payment even until the end of the year. Furthermore, you’ve been aggressively expanding our workspace and added over hundreds of jobs. Once we get more employees, building an accommodation and a canteen in addition to buying various insurance all amount to a huge sum.
“Yu Lei is a legitimate business. We can’t just refuse to sign employment contracts with the others, right? Once the contract is signed, a lot of money has to be paid. In our factory, most employees are women. These foreign women don’t really practise contraceptive measures. Basically a few women would get on maternity leave every month in the factory. At this place, we don’t dare to impose overly strict management, in fear of enraging the citizens. If we were exposed online, the government image would be affected as well.
“In addition to all this, we had invested in feeding a huge number of people. However, these people don’t produce the desired results. More than half of our credits offered aren’t repaid yet. We managed to pay half of their yearly wages this year, but we can’t cope with the other half, not to mention we’re still in debt from the bank. How can we fork out tens of millions just because we want to? Originally, I wanted to tell the employees that we’d slowly repay them when we get back on track next year. However, they refused to go home without the money no matter what, and formed a rebellion. They even smashed my car. We’re actually more innocent than anyone else…”
As Wu Liangzhu complained, Yang Chen raised his glass in a toast to Little Liu, the assistant of Wu Liangzhu.
“It sure seems like your factory’s director hasn’t been having a good time.” Yang Chen pouted. Upon returning to the country, Yang Chen hadn’t had many opportunities to try Maotai liquor. The taste was indeed great.
Little Liu had a rather dark skin, while his accent was from the north. “Yeah, these people are indeed douchebags. Didn’t we just owe them 20 thousand bucks? They want to celebrate Chinese New Year, but we want to do it as well, am I right?”
Yang Chen held back his laugh. Nodding, he said, “What you said makes sense.”
Little Liu chuckled as he seemed to have thought of something. He asked, “Assistant Yang, how are you feeling now?”
“What do you mean how?” Yang Chen asked with a smile.
“Are you feeling unwell?” Little Liu asked happily.
Yang Chen rubbed his temple. “I feel like the alcohol content of this liquor is a bit high. Why do I feel like sleeping now…”
“Aye, Assistant Yang, just get a rest if you’re feeling dizzy. All will be fine,” Little Liu sneered, elated.
After listening to Wu Liangzhu’s grievance, Lin Ruoxi looked incredibly cold. Her gaze could totally freeze his body into ice.
“Wu Liangzhu, it seems like I don’t even have to look at the accounts now. Do you think I’m a fool, or do you feel that you’re really smart? All of the things you mentioned are regular expenditures of the factory’s operation. You said the credit payments weren’t retrievable. Do you think they aren’t afraid of getting sued if they refuse to pay? The development of this factory was planned by me in the beginning of this year, and our budget is very much overestimated, but you still managed to go in debt. Are you going to tell me you used all the money I gave you to buy milk powder for the pregnant employees?” Lin Ruoxi asked coldly.
Wu Liangzhu’s face stiffened. He appeared helpless under Lin Ruoxi’s mocking look.
At this moment, Wu Liangzhu looked delighted. Pointing at Yang Chen who was beside Lin Ruoxi, he said, “Boss Lin, look. Assistant Yang looks unwell.”
Lin Ruoxi stunned before turning her head to have a look, only to find Yang Chen silently lying on the table asleep!
“Yang Chen, what’s wrong with you?” Lin Ruoxi pushed Yang Chen’s arm, but he didn’t respond in any way. He looked like he wasn’t sleeping, but was unconscious instead.
Instinctively, Lin Ruoxi felt that something wasn’t right!
She turned her head back to look at Wu Liangzhu again. He put on a malicious look. Just like admiring a rare treasure, he gazed upon Lin Ruoxi from head to toe in a shameless manner.
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