SWFM 237

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Chapter 237: It’s definitely some fat, bald old man

 

If not for that fear of hers, Apple knew that she would definitely choose to sign this contract right away. She believed that Xu Tingsheng would also definitely like the her who was this way.

Yet, the brighter and more dazzling the path ahead, the greater the fear she felt.

Apple still remained in that hesitant, indecisive state.

Those crowding around Apple thought that this might be an extremely demanding contract which maybe even contained some additional, unspeakable clauses. There were quite a few who were trying to sneak a peek at it, wanting to see exactly what kind of a contract it was.

Li Juan, Apple’s former assistant at Tianle who was six years older than her and she called Sis.

“Apple, is it very hard for you? How about Sis helps you to take a look?”

Due to being worried about Apple, Li Juan who was just an assistant had been adamant on coming to the party. Still, because she had been continually ordered around previously and also did not want to bring Apple trouble, the two of them had not conversed at all earlier that night.

Now, however, she knew that Apple might be faced with a great opportunity, yet was feeling incomparably conflicted.

Therefore, she stepped forward.

While she was merely an assistant, Li Juan had actually been one for quite some time, having seen and experienced many things. Naturally, she had some discernment in such issues. Here, she felt that she could be of help to Apple, even if it was just giving her an opinion as reference.

Turning and seeing that it was Li Juan, Apple nodded happily. Then she felt almost like crying as she was suddenly overcome by an urge to grab her hand.

Apple had been alone that entire night, without anyone she could trust or talk with. Yet, in front of her was currently an incomparably important choice as well as a complex situation that she felt fearful about.

A hand reached out, forcefully pulling Li Juan away.

“What’s this got to do with you? Do you think that you’re still her assistant?” One of Tianle’s new artistes, the one Li Juan was currently serving as assistant, pointed at her face and scolded her.

“I just want to help Apple to take a look,” Li Juan explained in a small voice.

“You lowlife! Who do you think you are? If you still want to continue following her, you can resign! What do you mean, doing this in front of me? You looking down on me? I’ll ask the company for a replacement as soon as I get back…” Tianle’s new artiste derided endlessly.

Apple and Li Juan stood together, quietly holding hands.

“Can you not say things like this?” Apple asked.

The new artiste glanced at Apple, “How is this your business? I’m teaching my assistant here.”

She actually had considerations of her own in saying this. While she was aware that doing so might offend Apple who grasped a Tianyi contract, she would be able to get in the good books of someone else this way, their company’s number one male artiste Zhou Yonghen…therefore, she felt that it was worth it.

Zhou Yonghen felt Li Juan to be an eyesore due to certain previous matters, thus persistently targeting her at every turn. This was something that was known by virtually all Tianle’s artistes. The reason that he had not chased Li Juan out of the company was such that he could casually scold her whenever he felt like it.

With the company’s number one male artiste acting this way, everyone else naturally followed his example.

Therefore, Li Juan had actually had it pretty bad recently.

Li Juan grit her teeth, “I’ll resign when I get back then.”

Hearing Li Juan say this, Apple’s heart abruptly clenched. She was aware that the reason Li Juan had always persisted in this agency was that she actually aspired to be an agent. This being her interest and dream, she had never given up despite all her years as an assistant.

“Now, Sis has to give up because of me?” Apple felt very guilty as she still dared not even sign the contract now, much less be confident of helping Li Juan out.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Shao Jun stood up, walking over to Li Juan, “Hello, Miss Li Juan. I understand that you are Miss Apple’s former assistant? I heard that you’ve been of great help to her before.”

“It wasn’t anything special; I just did what was expected of me,” Li Juan answered rather nervously.

“Then, are you interested in coming to Tianyi to work?” Shao Jun smiled, “I just heard that you are going to resign? It just happens that we’re short-handed here at Tianyi. If you’re interested in coming over, you can first continue being an artiste’s assistant. Then, should you be interested, we can also give you some training to be an agent.”.

As an artiste’s assistant, this being a comparatively minor position, Li Juan did not have much restrictions in her contract with Tianle. That was to say that if she wanted to leave for another company, she could do so at any time.

Tianle’s new artiste had originally been about to continue speaking. Still, seeing Shao Jun’s gaze suddenly turn towards her, she smiled flatteringly and retreated. Now, she discovered that she actually wasn’t even able to provoke her ex-assistant.

After her initial joy, Li Juan directed her gaze at Apple as she began to hesitate. She did not want Apple to be pressured because of her, did not want to be used by someone to exert pressure on Apple. The other side’s invitation was obviously related to Apple.

“Sorry, Boss Shao,” Li Juan said to Shao Jun, “I may not be able to…”

“Boss Shao, please, may I know who the person helping me is?” Apple interrupted Li Juan’s words and mustered up her courage to ask.

Only now did Shao Jun realise what kind of a troubling matter it was that he had been tasked with. If he were to say now that it was purely because Tianyi admired Apple’s capabilities, there was probably no one at all who would believe it.

A troubled Shao Jun forced a smile after a while, “It’s a friend of our Boss Shi’s, and my friend as well.”

“I’m very sorry then, Boss Shao. I do indeed like and want to sign this contract a lot. Still, if I don’t know who the other party is and why he is helping me, I will definitely not sign it. I can even give up on the termination contract. My boyfriend has methods of his own; there is no need for others to worry.”

Having dealt this ultimatum, Apple seemed to have returned to her former mischievous, fearless self where she was used to having a hold over the entire situation. It was just like when she had ‘bullied’ and ‘teased’ Xu Tingsheng in the past.

A helpless Shao Jun could only take out his handphone and dial Xu Tingsheng’s number, telling him frankly, “It seems like you’ve got to show your face.”

“So, he’s in that room?” Apple cared about civility no longer as she pointed at the room upstairs.

Shao Jun nodded, asking, “How about you go up and look for him?”

“Ask him to come out! I won’t be going up. I’m afraid my boyfriend would be unhappy.”

Apple was truly bewildered by the other party’s secretiveness. Also, as she saw it, it was likely that they had some untoward intention in mind. Therefore, she was definitely not going to care about being polite or whatnot now.

Everyone automatically disregarded Apple’s mention of her boyfriend. If he was really as able as she claimed, would she still have been suppressed to this extent? Would she still have had to come here alone like this? Everyone felt that Apple was merely being stubborn in her words.

Everyone’s gazes fell on that private room as their curiosity was hooked.

Someone who was able to sit in such a well-placed private room on such an occasion, who was able to be addressed by Shao Jun as Shi Zhongjun’s friend and his friend as well…everyone present began maliciously speculating that this should be a tycoon, one who was likely to be getting on with his years and had a high probability of being some fat, bald old man.

Meanwhile, his motive in helping Apple could not be any more obvious.

Therefore, would Apple really continue adamantly refusing? Would she be able to resist the pressure mounting on her and stand firm in the face of that fat, bald old man?

Like that could happen.

Everyone was half feeling curious and half waiting to see Apple make a joke out of herself.

The door of the private room opened.

But where was the old man?

Everyone saw a handsome, well-dressed twenty-year-old youth who was so outstanding in both his appearance and manner walk slowly out of the room with a glass of red wine in his hand. He was smiling. There was some awkwardness and shyness in his smile at first. Then, it soon grew increasingly brighter…

He was smiling at Apple.

The subtlety of this smile resembled a boyfriend having caught his young girlfriend who had clearly said that she was going to slim down secretly eating chocolates. There was triumph, there was slyness, there was doting affection, and there was just that hint of blame as well.

For those who had been mocking Apple all this while, if it had indeed been some fat, bald old man who exited the room now, even if Apple did gain a powerful backer as a result, they would actually have gained some form of consolation. Even as they envied her, they would have been able to openly ‘despise’ her, to throw in some disparaging remarks about her from time to time…

Now, however…

Could things not be this perfect? Damn it!

“Didn’t you say that you were chatting with friends in a bar? Look, haven’t you been caught by me now!” Xu Tingsheng smiled as he leaned against the banister.

Apple too was smiling radiantly. She saw that it was him. So it was actually still him, still him at the end of the day. It could only be him, her Superman.

No longer feeling pressured, fearful and conflicted, Apple flung all her reservations aside, raising her head and freely rebutting, “Huh, isn’t it the same for you as well? Weren’t you at a business discussion? Why are you here?”

Everyone immediately understood this to be the flirting between a couple.

“So, Apple intentionally came here to show off her boyfriend? But from the way she looked just now, it also seems like she really wasn’t aware of this beforehand…”

“How despicable, a loving couple like this.”

Xu Tingsheng really wasn’t used to having so many gazes on him. He had only left his private room despite his awkwardness just so that he could take revenge for the bullied Apple, giving those who had been constantly mocking her as they waited to see her look like a joke a good slap on the face…

Now that this had been achieved, Xu Tingsheng decided to put an end to this conversation as soon as he could.

Therefore, he got straight to the point, “We can talk about that later. Let’s get to the main topic. Do you like that contract? Do you still want to sing? Don’t mind me; just ask yourself what it is that you really feel deep inside.”

“I like it,” Apple nodded forcefully, replying.

That feeling earlier had been a very distinct and definite one. After having discarded all anxiety of the unknown, she was even more certain on the choice she wanted to make. The oppressive atmosphere and mood from earlier had instead helped her to understand what she truly desired.

“Hurry up and sign then. Come up after you’re done, and see how I’ll take care of you,” Xu Tingsheng smiled before directly re-entering his private room.

Apple stuck out her tongue and bared her teeth in a smile before signing the termination agreement and her contract with Tianle, which she promptly handed respectfully to Shao Jun.

She smiled sweetly, “Thank you, Boss Shao.”

Then, she waved excitedly, ignoring everything else as she pulled Li Juan along in swiftly dashing upstairs. Jeans, sports shoes, T-shirt…these could not have looked more appropriate.

Shao Jun shook his head, smiling wryly, “Youngsters, really…”

“Boss Shao, this young man would be?” A higher echelon employee of another company asked.

“Our Tianyi’s new shareholder. He’s a member of Rebirth as well as Miss Apple’s former classmate. It also seems like he should be her boyfriend,” Shao Jun smiled as he replied.

It was the feeling of being blown into smithereens and scattered like ashes into the eternal wind.

All the Tianle artistes who had been constantly mocking Apple ever since that afternoon were stunned by his words. Then, they felt stifled to the point of panic, terrified to the point of panic…

How had it turned out like this? They had so clearly been able to finally stomp on her, raising their heads arrogantly as they gloated mercilessly in triumph…wasn’t that so?


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