After Tao Yuan left, the guests, who had listened to his guqin, closed their eyes and sat for a long time before they felt that the sound of the guqin had finally dissipated from their ears. When they opened their eyes, they immediately grabbed the staff next to them and asked whether they could still hear the musician play the guqin at that time period tomorrow and whether it was possible to reserve a seat right then. 

Someone asked how much his private room hour would cost. “Can I order it now?” The staff members were also smart. After a brief moment of confusion, they quickly responded, saying that the work schedule of the guqin player had not been released yet. “If you want to make a reservation for a private performance, you can come tomorrow to inquire.” 

President Chen thought about it for a moment then stood up and went outside. Menager Wu heard what guests were asking and wanted to go to Tao Yuan to talk about it immediately, but he could not ignore Mr. Chen. He beckoned a worker and asked him to tell Tao Yuan that he wished for him to stay for a while and to not leave quickly. He had something to say to him.

After that explanation, Menager Wu immediately followed after Mr. Chen and his entourage and helped them make their arrangements, then he immediately went to talk to Tao Yuan.

When he left the private room, Mr. Chen suddenly stopped him and said to his hosts, “Go first. I have a few words to say to Manager Wu. I’ll be right back.”

The other distinguished guests entered the private room first while Manager Wu took Mr. Chen into another lounge.

“Mr. Chen? What can I do for you?” Manager Wu before a table and asked. 

“That young man who just now played the guqin well and looked very good . . .” Mr. Chen paused then went straight to the main point, “I was talking with Chairman Wei of Yinghui Group about cooperation these days, but Wei Shicheng seems to be in a bad mood recently, and we were unable to talk about it. Wei Shicheng is also a guqin lover, but the ones who can satisfy him are old guqin masters who are a lot older. It’s rare for such a beautiful young guqin musician to play so well. If you can persuade him to make Wei Shicheng happy, you can ask me for that, and I will consider you helping you with it.”

Manager Wu originally wanted to say that the child had a bad temper, so it could be difficult for him to please Wei Shicheng. But President Chen said that he could help him solve the problems that had been bothering him recently. He immediately swallowed back what he wanted to say and changed his words instantly. “The child’s parents are dead. He has a sick little brother, and he has no way to pay tuition fees recently. He is a student in the Department of Traditional Chinese Studies in Dongjing University, where the tuition fees are notoriously expensive. He is short on money recently, and there is a good chance of persuading him. It’s just that the child used to have a good family background, so he has a little temper . . .  But don’t worry, I’ll try to convince him.”

“There’s one thing you must remember.” President Chen tapped on the table with his finger and said, “You can’t force or threaten him, but you have to ask him to do it voluntarily. As you just said, he has a young master’s temper, and if he can’t control his temper, we certainly can’t send him to Wei Shicheng. Otherwise, I may not only displease Wei Shicheng, I might offend him. It will be hard for you and me. It will be hard to say if could stay as manager.”

“You can rest assured I’m aware of the importance of these strong relations. You don’t need to mention carrying favor with Wei Shicheng or of pleasing other people. I don’t dare to force him. If he offends anyone, I would suffer with him.” Manager Wu didn’t dare to say that the original owner had just offended someone. He was worried that Mr. Chen would retreat from this proposition immediately. He felt that the possibility of convincing Tao Yuan was still good.

After Tao Yuan finished playing the guqin, he was planning on leaving immediately. Today, he showed his guqin skills a little in order to let Manager Wu take the initiative to keep him. When he gets back, it’s still possible for others to find him. Even if Manager Wu did not keep him, he would still be able to find a job in other teahouses.

Before he had time to change his clothes, a staff member came to him and said that Manager Wu had asked him to stay. Tao Yuan wanted to go back and wait for manager Wu to find him, but since he’s going to talk to him now, he’ll stay for a while.

Tao Yuan was drinking tea in the manager’s office. It took about half an hour for Manager Wu to arrive.

“Manager Wu.” Tao Yuan stood up.

“Sit down.” Manager Wu waved to Tao Yuan. He sat down in his office chair and looked at Tao Yuan and said, “Tell me the truth. Did you hide your real strength before?”  

Tao Yuan said hesitantly, “Manager, you know, I’m not like other young musicians with backgrounds. I have to hide my strength, or I cannot avoid being taken advantage of, so I did not dare to show my real ability.”

“So today you—”

“I have to leave here because I offended a guest. If I didn’t show my strength today, I’m afraid it would be very difficult for me to find a job in other teahouses. I deliberately concealed my ability working here, and if I go to other teahouses and show my strength, I’m afraid that Manager Wu will not think well about me in his heart.”

“You . . .” Manager Wu said, shaking his head helplessly. “If you had let me know earlier that you have such high guqin skills, I would have arranged for you to play the guqin at Fu Feng courtyard where the wages and tips are higher and the guests are generous. Don’t you also want to earn more money?”

“I was pushed to a certain point, and I really have to think of a way to make more money,” Tao Yuan sighed and said.

“I have a good opportunity for you to earn money, so you will able to earn all your tuition fees at once. Would you like to listen to it?”

Tao Yuan was stunned for a moment and said, “If you want to say that someone wants to take care of me, then forget it. No matter how short I am of money, I can’t accept it.”

“Don’t rush to refuse it. Don’t worry. I won’t force you. This person’s identity is a little special, and if you offend him, it won’t be easy for me. So you have to be willing to do it yourself,” Manager Wu said. “I’ll just say it, and after listening you still don’t want to do it, we will pretend that I never said anything about it.”

Tao Yuan stayed silent, not signaling whether he wanted to listen or not. Because he knows that, as long as he would not say that he didn’t want to hear it, Manager Wu would definitely continue to talk about it.

“You are studying traditional Chinese painting, and you probably know a lot about the academic world, but you may not know much about the business world.” Manager Wu said, “But you must have heard of Yinghui Group. After all, they are involved in many industries, such as supermarkets, hospitals, hotels, and so on. Yinghui ranks first in all the industries that ordinary people can gain access to.”

Tao Yuan was moved when he heard the name Yinghui. He was already familiar with that name but not familiar in the way Manager Wu thought. 

“Chairman Wei of Yinghui is very fond of listening to the guqin. It’s rare to have good guqin skill and be young and beautiful. If you can enter the eyes of Chairman Wei, you certainly won’t have to worry about money anymore, and you will gain a big backer. As long as he is willing to protect you, who would dare to bully you in the future?” Manager Wu looked at Tao Yuan and said, “Do you understand what I mean?”

“Is the chairman you mentioned Wei Shicheng, the chairman of the board of directors?” Tao Yuan needed clear confirmation from Manager Wu, so he will not make a mistake and get the wrong person.

“Yes.” Manager Wu nodded. “That’s him.”

“I only need to play the guqin for him? Or I should please him in other ways too?” Tao Yuan asked, lowering his eyes.

“If you only want to play the guqin for him, you don’t need to. A lot of senior musicians are waiting in line for him to choose. The main reason why you have this chance is because you look prettier than most guqin musicians and that plays better than if you weren’t as pretty as you are. Do you understand?”

Tao Yuan kept silent and showed his inner hesitation. He intended to refuse the offer at first, but since it concerned his purpose in this world, he had to agree to this.

After seeing him hesitate, Manager Wu continued to persuade him, “In fact, I can understand why you refused those people who wanted to support you before. So after I mentioned it to you and you refused, I didn’t say anything, didn’t I? But this time, I really think that this is a great opportunity for you, so I hope you will consider it well.”

“You should have seen the appearance of Wei Shicheng in news reports. He is the object of affection for many young ladies and gentlemen who cried and shouted that they wanted to marry him. You can’t marry him, but think of it as having a love relationship with him. Don’t think of it as something terrible. You always have to fall in love a few times when you are young. Being the object of Wei Shicheng’s love affection, many people can only dream about it. You can make a lot of money by falling in love with him. This is a big profit.”

“I don’t want to make such a deal . . .” Tao Yuan hoped he looked quite torn at the idea. “But I really lack money. I have to pay tuition fees for the next quarter and buy medicine for Du Yi . . .”

Manager Wu turned his eyes and said, “In fact, I just told you these words first, but whether Wei Shicheng will like you or not is not certain. After all, so many young and beautiful people want to climb in his . . . Very good looking people, Wei Shicheng must be used to see, perhaps even tired of the many types of beauty. Even if you want to, you may not be able to rouse Wei Shicheng’s interest, and you still have a little young master’s temper. I am really worried that you will provoke him.” 

Tao Yuen was deliberately stunned for a moment then made an eager gesture and said, “Let me try. I’ll try my best to please him.” 

“To tell you the truth, I’m really worried about your temper. If you offend Wei Shicheng, I will follow in your footsteps.” As Manager Wu had said, he was really worried.

“Don’t worry, Manager Wu. I splashed Boss Zhang with water because he was so disgusting that I couldn’t resist it. But if it’s Wei Shicheng, I certainly don’t have that kind of courage. I’ve seen Wei Shicheng’s interview on the news, and just across the screen, I can still feel his impressive aura.”

Manager Wu couldn’t help laughing. “So you’re also a face-chaser. Okay. Let’s give it a try. But first of all, whether Wei Shicheng likes you or not or whatever it is he wants you to do, you can’t offend him, okay?”

“I understand.” Tao Yuan deliberately answered in a whisper. 

Manager Wu got the desired reply from Tao Yuan. So as soon as Tao Yuan left, he rushed to inform President Chen and let him find time to bring Wei Shicheng over.

When Tao Yuan returned home, he thought that it was an unexpected surprise. He didn’t expect that he would have such a chance to meet his main target in this world so soon. He originally thought that a person of Wei Shicheng’s status needed him to have some fame before he would have the chance to meet him.

But this is also good. First seduce him then cultivate his feelings. In short, I must first determine what kind of personality he has in order to attack him as soon as possible. 

A few days later, Mr. Chen finally invited Wei Shicheng and brought him to the teahouse for tea. These days, in order to prepare for the arrival of Wei Shicheng, Tao Yuan did not need to go to the teahouse to play the guqin. But Manager Wu still calculated his salary for those days.

Manager Wu’s idea was that even if Tao Yuan did not succeed in winning the favor of Wei Shicheng, he must keep him and not let him go to another teahouse to play the guqin. Otherwise, their competitors would have a strong helper in this business competition. 

Wei Shicheng knew that Mr. Chen always wanted to cooperate with him, but he was really not interested in Mr. Chen’s joint project. In addition, he had to deal with a lot of troubles during that period of time, so he had refused Mr. Chen’s invitation several times. But as they were all in the same work circle, you look up, and they would see you. President Chen’s power is not small either. He couldn’t always keep refusing him and let him lose face completely. When there are other opportunities for cooperation in the future, it would be difficult to talk about it.

“How long has it been since President Wei came out to drink tea and listen to the guqin?” Chen always asked with a smile.

“There have been many things to do lately, and for some time, I haven’t been able to quietly enjoy tea and listen to the guqin,” Wei Shicheng put down his teacup and said.

“I’m older than you, President Wei, so I’ll talk to you about my experience. Sometimes, when people are relaxed, it is easier to solve the problem at hand. Today, we will just drink tea and listen to the guqin. We don’t need to talk about work. We both will just relax.”

Wei Shicheng smiled and said, “What Mr. Chen said is very reasonable.”

The side door to the private room opened. Wei Shicheng saw a figure appear behind the screen. After a while, a melodious soft sound could be heard.

When a musician plays in a private room, he usually didn’t show himself and stay behind the screen because all the musicians who can play in private rooms were older. So they use the screen to hide the musician, and the audience would only concentrate on listening to the guqin.

Mr. Chen really did not say a word and just drank tea and listened to the guqin. It was rare to hear such an elegant sound. He was really relaxed and enjoying it.

Wei Shicheng, while experiencing the artistic impression from the guqin’s sound, looked at the shadow behind the screen. After a moment of observation, he had determined that behind the screen was a very young musician.

Wei Shicheng glanced at Mr. Chen, who listened to the guqin carefully. He never really believed that Mr. Chen invited him several times in order to let him relax. Since we aren’t talking about cooperation, there must be another purpose. 

At the end of the song, Mr. Chen could not help clapping his hands and exclaiming in admiration then turned his head and asked, “What does President Wei Shicheng think?”

“Since the death of Master Liu Huo, I haven’t heard such music in a long time.” Wei Shicheng praised from his heart. He would not praise people in general, but the music he heard this time was worthy of praise.

“Yes!” President Chen sighed. “The last time I heard him play the guqin, I felt that with the guqin music he plays, there is a similarity in style to Master Liu Huo’s. I thought that since Mr. Wei and I both like the style of Master Liu Huo’s guqin music, I should specially invite Mr. Wei to listen to the guqin together.”

“Musician at the back, come here for a minute,” Mr. Chen said.

Tao Yuan had listened to them behind the screen. When he heard Mr. Chen call him over, he got up and bypassed the screen and walked before them. 

Wei Shicheng was surprised to see that the man who came out was so young. He saw that it was a young man playing the guqin, but he didn’t expect him to be so young and so beautiful. The musician had a pink peach blossom face that made people feel he was very beautiful, but his temperament was a little cold. It can be observed that he was a solitary and proud person.

“You played very well. Here’s your tip. Play another song for us.”  President Chen took out a gold card from his wallet and handed it to Tao Yuan.

Tao Yuan took the thank-you gift and was ready to return behind the screen to play the guqin but was stopped after hearing Mr. Chen said, “Let your manager come over to remove the screen. You are not an old man unaccustomed to people. We don’t need to have you covered up.”

When the staff outside heard this, they immediately notified the manager, who was watching downstairs.

The manager immediately brought someone up to remove the screen. After everyone else had withdrawn, Tao Yuan started playing the guqin again.


Edited by : Faro

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