The other party obviously didn’t expect for the call to come through so quickly, and only picked up 10 seconds later.
“You still dare to look for your daddy?” Ji Ran lit a cigarette and spoke coldly.
“Huh, are you hoping to celebrate Tomb Sweeping Day1?”
Gu Zhe’s chilly voice came from the phone, “Ji Ran, I’d always regarded you as a straight-forward person at the very least, but I didn’t expect you to do something so sinister!”
“What the hell are you spouting?”
“Aren’t you the one who ruined those projects my dad had been after?” Gu Zhe gritted his teeth, “Come at me if you have the guts, don’t resort to such low-life trickery!”
Ji Ran laughed from anger, “You actually know what’s low-life trickery? Gu Zhe, let me tell you.
You’d better be prepared when you provoke me, I won’t go for your father but you.
The next time you appear before me, I’ll cut off the rotten hand of yours that tried to drug me.”
“You can try! Do you think I’ll be afraid? We’ll see who cuts who!” Gu Zhe’s face turned red.
“First, return my dad’s project!”
“Do you understand human language? Laozi didn’t take it.” Ji Ran blew out a smoke ring.
“Don’t blame every misfortune on me.
You’ll have more misfortune coming your way.”
Gu Zhe didn’t believe it had nothing to do with Ji Ran.
Although Ji Ran was a member of the Ji family, he was an illegitimate child; his mother was dead while his father didn’t care about him.
Many people knew that the Ji family didn’t care for him either, so it was logical to think that no one would help him.
But when his father was discussing this project, the other party suddenly withdrew.
After asking, they only said Gu Zhe had offended someone who he couldn’t afford to offend, and thus, they didn’t dare to cooperate with the Gu family any longer.
Gu Zhe had his bones broken recently and only came back outside after a few days.
He hadn’t had time to offend anyone, and coupled with his personality which enabled him to bully the weak while fearing the strong, he only thought of Ji Ran who fit the bill.
“Who else could it be other than you?”
“Why don’t you try to recall who you owe?” Ji Ran put out his cigarette.
“Where are you now?”
“What do you want?”
“To settle our debts.
Do you think I’m coming to have a drink and chat with you?”
Gu Zhe had been filled with rage in the first place.
He had been tortured brutally for the whole night and had called many women over, leaving him completely drained the next morning.
Having spent a few days replenishing his kidneys’ condition in addition to the side effects, he’d been nauseous.
This anger couldn’t be swallowed!
He had even planned to ambush the people around Ji Ran.
But in front of his father’s projects, these weren’t even worth looking at.
Due to this matter, he had been beaten up.
His father was someone prominent in society and thus, didn’t have mercy on him, nearly sending him to the hospital.
“Sure.” Gu Zhe heard what he said and wanted to vent.
“I’ve been locked up at home.
I’ll let you beat me if you can get me out, but do you have the ability?”
Father Gu heard these words once he entered the room.
With a large build, a height of 1.9m, and a body full of muscles, he sent a palm towards Gu Zhe.
“Be more courteous.”
His voice was as deep and resounding as his person.
Ji Ran asked, “Who’s that?”
Gu Zhe quickly put down the phone and greeted, “…Dad.”
“Have you explained it to him?” Father Gu asked.
It hadn’t been long since he left the underworld and began whitewashing himself, but this sort of thing actually happened.
Ji Ran didn’t have any interest in interfering with the affairs of other families.
Just as he was prepared to hang up, another person came to the phone.
“Hello? Ji Ran?” It was Father Gu.
Ji Ran paused.
“What is it?”
He wasn’t used to communicating with an elder, much lest his enemy’s father.
“Gu Zhe was a bastard to you, wasn’t he? Let’s discuss this.
Do you want money or to beat him up? Just tell me.”
Ji Ran: “…”
“No matter what, let’s make things clear.
A beating should just be a beating.” Father Gu’s tone sank.
“No matter what, a person needs his limbs and life.”2
Was there a stranger family than this?
Ji Ran was rendered speechless.
He didn’t know what to say.
“This is a matter between me and Gu Zhe, I will settle it with him.
There’s no need to go through you.” A moment later, Ji Ran cleared his throat.
“I’m not the one behind your family’s matter.
Don’t pin it on me.”
Having spoken his mind, he hung up and shoved his phone back into his pocket.
On the other side, Gu Zhe simply wanted to die.
His father had an extremely bad temper.
Now that a junior had spoken so disrespectfully to him over the phone…would he take his anger out on him?
“Dad, I-I-I’m not familiar with Ji Ran.
We even fought…”
Father Gu slapped him harshly until his ears rang.
“How many times have I told you? If you want to deal with a person, you need to do it cleanly.
Last time, you had your legs broken, and this time, my business is gone.
How useless are you?!” Father Gu’s expression was dark.
“…Sorry.” Gu Zhe mumbled.
“You don’t have to bother with this anymore.” Father Gu threw his phone onto the ground.
Gu Zhe hurriedly asked, “Dad, what are you going to do? Can you still get that project back?”
“Forget about the project.” Running a business was too difficult.
Why not go back to his old ways?
Recalling Ji Ran’s attitude, Father Gu walked out with a dark face.
He said coldly, “No matter how trash you are, you are still my son.
How could you embarrass me by being bullied by a bastard like that?”
“Just wait here.
I’ll show you how to properly deal with such things.”
Ji Ran just sat down when Qin Man put down the file in his hand.
“Are you done reading?” Xu Lin asked.
“Looking at your arrangement, I’m guessing you were the one dealing with Ji Wei’s projects previously?”
Xu Lin coughed lightly, “That’s what I’m supposed to do.”
“As far as I know, Ji Wei has never treated you badly in the company.
Although your salary is only a few thousand yuan, you weren’t shortchanged in other areas such as vehicles and housing.” Qin Man suddenly looked up and asked with a smile, “What kind of hurtful things has he done to force you to switch over to another team? I’d thought he had been busy with his wedding recently and wouldn’t have had much time to manage the company.”
Xu Lin closed the file.
“It seems that Mr.
Qin has investigated me in detail.”
“We’re the same.” Qin Man replied meaningfully.
“Mr Ji has indeed given me a car and house, but the car is a year-end bonus which the whole company knows about.
I have returned the house to Mr.
Ji, so we have no other relationship apart from work.
As for my transfer, it’s simply because I wanted to change to a new environment, and at the same time, set a new goal for myself.” Xu Lin said, “What about Mr.
Qin? You shouldn’t lack this little bit of salary from Yong Shi?”
“Who asked me and Ji Ran to be good friends?”
Xu Lin replied, “You two seem closer than your relationship with Ji Wei.”
Qin Man leaned back.
“You’re a smart person, so I won’t beat around the bush.
If you’re here on Ji Wei’s orders, I advise you to return.
Otherwise, if something were to happen, Ji Wei might not even be able to save himself…let alone you.
You should be clear about this.”
“Don’t worry.” Xu Lin narrowed his eyes.
“I know my limits.”
“Are you two done?” Ji Ran returned from the washroom, smelling like smoke.
Xu Lin replied, “This restaurant serves lunch.”
“Who wants to eat the $10 set meals from here?” Ji Ran picked up his cap and put it on before saying, “If you’re done discussing everything, is there still anything left to do next week?”
Xu Lin thought about it and agreed.
“Alright, let’s meet again next Wednesday.
Work starts at 8.”
Qin Man stood up and nodded.
They got into the car when Ji Ran suddenly asked him, “Did Gu Zhe look for you recently?”
Why?” Qin Man turned around.
That fool just called me, saying his father’s project had been stolen and accused me of doing it.
Why would I be bored enough to go after his father?”
Qin Man was silent for a few seconds before he asked, “What else?”
Afterwards, his father came.”
Ji Ran paused for a moment and continued, “His father is a ruthless person.
I could even hear the slaps through the phone.”
Qin Man had seen him before at a certain dinner.
The suit he wore was simply unable to hide his bulging muscular build.
He also had a thick beard and a sinister-looking gaze.
At that time, he had come over to speak to Father Qin, but Qin Man was a step ahead and called his father away.
Although Gu Zhe’s father was someone from the underworld who recently turned to the righteous path, his colours hadn’t changed.
Rumours had it that he liked to bully smaller businesses, and they couldn’t even air their grievances for fear of being trashed.
Qin Man skipped over his question and asked, “Where are we going now?”
He was too tired and his fever hasn’t subsided.
His temperature stayed at around 38.5 degrees celsius, so he desperately needed to catch some rest.
Ji Ran stayed at home for four full days before his fever broke.
During this time, Yue Wen Wen and Cheng Peng came over once, but Yue Wen Wen and Cheng Peng’s lover became infected as a result; they both fell sick after returning.
Yue Wen Wen was furious and changed his contact name to ‘virus transmitter’.
Then, he took a screenshot and sent it to Ji Ran.
Daddy Ji: Change it back now.
Those who don’t know may think I’ve gotten AIDS.
Yue Wen Wen: Hahaha, I refuse! Luckily, Man Man is there, or I’d have to be the one to send you to the hospital.
Then, we’d have to face each other while on an IV drip.
Yue Wen Wen: Man Man is still the best.
He hasn’t gotten infected by you despite staying by your side for so many days.
Ji Ran glanced at the person sitting leisurely beside him and silently thought it was a pity.
Suddenly, the doorbell rang.
Ji Ran stood up and went to look through the peephole.
What he saw made him tremble.
Detecting his stillness, Qin Man looked up and asked, “What is it? Who’s there?”
“Fuck…” Ji Ran came to his senses and ran back in while pushing Qin Man to stand up.
“Hurry up! You need to leave!”
“Who is it?” Qin Man frowned, his thoughts whirring.
“Someone I can’t see? Your boyfriend?”
Ji Ran couldn’t be bothered to bicker with him.
“Oh.” Qin Man smiled, “It’s fine.
I do know her, it’ll be good to greet her.”
“Greet my ass!” Ji Ran was anxious.
He had some understanding of his grandmother.
Even among the older generation, she was a prominent figure; a strong and independent woman with keen eyes.
He reckoned that she would be able to figure out their relationship at a glance.
“My grandmother will discover us! You need to leave!”
“So what if she discovers? I’m fine with it.” Qin Man mused.
“I’m not!” Ji Ran threw the jacket on the sofa at him.
“Leave through the garage, hurry!”
Qin Man had just taken two steps before he was dragged back.
“No way, the chauffeur will be there.
You’ll definitely run into him.”
Qin Man looked at him exasperatedly.
“Then, what do you want me to do?”
“Hide…Hide in the guest room!” The doorbell rang again, causing Ji Ran to panic.
Qin Man was shoved into the guestroom.
Just before the door locked, Ji Ran thought about it and was still uneasy.
“Why don’t you hide in the closet?”
Qin Man: ?
“…The closet is very big.
Since it’s empty, you’ll be able to fit in it.” Ji Ran actually opened the closet and gauged its height.
“Just that…you’d have to sit down.”
Qin Man laughed angrily.
“Are we having an affair?”
“No.” Ji Ran said expressionlessly and answered bluntly, “I was unlucky.
I just wanted to find a prostitute but was caught in a police inspection.”
T/n: regarding Gu Zhe’s name, not sure if it was intentional on the author’s part or not, but I just discovered it’s a pun.
Gu Zhe is homophonic to ‘bone breaking’ in Chinese which refers to how his bones were broken after he offended someone.
Also, Ji Ran’s words really have no sugar-coating on them.
Poor Qin Man.
1 AKA the Qingming Festival is when Chinese people traditionally visit ancestral tombs to sweep them.2 The implication here is that Father Gu is okay with Ji Ran getting revenge on Gu Zhe.
But he is also asking Ji Ran to not go to the point of murdering him, to keep Gu Zhe’s “limbs and life”.
Ji Ran’s next lines show his shock at this weird family being okay with violence.
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