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December 3rd, Friday…
Tengda Network Technology Co., Ltd… Tang Yishu cleared Glabella’s poop and filled up its food as usual. Then, she walked past Bao Xu and returned to her own desk.
Bao Xu’s monitor was displaying Zhongdian Chinese Network’s website.
He looked like he was so engrossed in an exciting online novel that he could not be bothered about anything that was happening around him.
However, the moment Tang Yishu passed him, he scanned his surroundings with the corners of his eyes to make sure that he was not within anyone’s line of sight. Then, he switched to the gaming program at once.
He scanned the edited document, saved it, and then sent it to Li Yada using the chat software.
Once he was done with everything, Bao Xu heaved a sigh of relief and continued pretending to read.
Switching back and forth between games and the program was slower and less convenient. It also placed Bao Xu at a higher risk of being exposed. Switching from an online novel website was far quicker.
Although research and development of GOG was ramping up, there was still a lot of designing work to do.
That was because games of this genre often produced many bugs.
The unique mechanisms of each hero; the prioritization of their skills; whether the actions, special effects, and stats of their skills made sense or not; whether other details needed to be perfected…
All of these were design problems that they needed to continuously work on.
The sum of all of these would be beyond Li Yada and her design team’s capabilities. Of course, Bao Xu had to step in to help.
However, the threat of another paid holiday made Bao Xu feel a little weak.
He did not dare to edit the document in the open. Thus, he had no choice but to secretly send it to Li Yada after making edits. She would then be the one to upload the document.
That way, Bao Xu could avoid being named the most outstanding employee once again.
A few minutes later, Li Yada replied to him.
“Should I apply for you to work overtime this weekend? Or are you going to come to the office secretly again?
“I don’t think you should do that anymore. More people mean more chances to be seen. You might easily get into trouble.”
Bao Xu replied, “I haven’t thought about it yet. Let me consider it more.
“For some reason, I feel like the atmosphere has been quite tense recently. I wonder if I’m just overthinking…”
Ever since Bao Xu bumped into Tang Yishu last weekend, he had been having an ominous feeling. He had been prepared to be exposed at any moment.
However, Boss Pei never came looking for him.
Li Yada and Little Zhou had been called into Boss Pei’s office. That meant that Boss Pei had already noticed that people had worked in the office over the weekend.
Bao Xu had been lucky this time; Li Yada and Little Zhou had covered up for him. In addition, the new, young girl—Tang Yishu, had been quite loyal. She had not ratted on him to Boss Pei. Thus, Bao Xu was certain that he was still safe for now.
However, the entire situation had made Bao Xu all the more cautious.
Boss Pei had allowed some people to work overtime this weekend.
The design team had been given a certain quota. Although the number of people who could work overtime and the duration for which they could work were severely limited, it was still good news. Team members no longer needed to work from home in secret like they used to. They could come to the office openly, make themselves a cup of coffee, have some snacks, and discuss the design direction face-to-face.
Still, Bao Xu had no plans to apply for permission.
How would Boss Pei see him if he applied to work overtime over the weekend? How would his colleagues look at him?
Wouldn’t all his hard work be wasted?!
He was only two or three months from the next selection of the most outstanding employee. Bao Xu did not want to let all his efforts go down the drain.
Thus, there were only three options for Bao Xu: he could apply for permission to work overtime and come to the office openly, work from home, or secretly come to the office without applying for permission.
Bao Xu began to feel conflicted. However, his instincts told him that there was no rush to decide. He could observe the situation for a bit longer before making up his mind.
Saturday night, at Fish-Catching Internet Cafe’s Handong University branch…
Pei Qian and Li Shi were sipping their cocktails while remaining silent.
Pei Qian looked distracted. He had a faraway look, and he seemed to be in low spirits. On the other hand, Li Shi sipped his drink and observed Boss Pei’s expression. It was almost as if he was trying to guess what was on the latter’s mind.
Pei Qian felt like everything had been going wrong recently. Thus, he decided to drop all work in the evening and have a drink or two.
He did not expect to bump into Li Shi.
Pei Qian did not think too much into it. After all, Li Shi was considered a regular of Fish-Catching Internet Cafe. He thought that it was just a coincidence-nothing out of the ordinary.
Yet, this was not the way Li Shi saw the situation. He had come to the Handong University branch on purpose, hoping to see Pei Qian.
As for why…
It was a long story.
When Ming Yun Private Kitchen became famous, Li Shi’s Fu Hui Investments earned a huge profit. As a result, Li Shi became more interested in Pei Qian’s every move.
He had suddenly realized that investing had become much easier!
He had thought that all he would have to do was invest in any area where Boss Pei opened a Fish-Catching Internet Cafe or a restaurant. That would guarantee profits!
However, Pei Qian had seemed to lose interest in the physical industry.
He had opened Fish-Catching Internet Cafe 2.0 in several shopping malls at the most. Li Shi had heard nothing more after that.
Li Shi had wanted to follow in Pei Qian’s footsteps and freeload off the latter’s wisdom. Yet, he had been failing to do so.
This confused Li Shi a lot.
Fish-Catching Internet Cafe had already become popular. More and more people were playing games there, and its reputation was improving. Wasn’t this the best time to expand outwards and open more branches around the country?!
Even if Pei Qian wanted stability, shouldn’t he have at least planned to expand towards the other cities in Handong Province like Luzhou City or Lincheng City?
Li Shi had been waiting for Boss Pei to open new Fish-Catching Internet Cafe branches in these cities, so that he could invest in the surrounding area and earn a profit.
However, even after so long, Boss Pei did not show any signs of doing so.
It was almost as if he was abandoning Fish-Catching Internet Cafe and cutting all ties with the business even though it had finally turned its losses to profits.
It was so strange!
Thus, Li Shi could finally hold it in no longer today. He wanted to find out Boss Pei’s explanation.
“Boss Pei, it seems like you’ve been very busy. I haven’t seen you drinking at Fish-Catching Internet Cafe in a while. Your businesses are now doing very well. It’s a good problem.” Li Shi started off by bootlicking Pei Qian. However, Pei Qian did not seem moved by his efforts. His businesses were doing very well. However, there was nothing good about this problem.
Pei Qian sipped his cocktail, still looking depressed. “Boss Li, I’m very confused now.” Boss Li paused and then smiled. “Boss Pei, what’s there to be confused about? Are you confused because you’ve achieved success in every area you’ve ventured into so far? Do you feel like life is no longer challenging enough?”
Once again, Pei Qian was at a loss for words.
Boss Li’s first two sentences were right, but the last sentence was not.
More accurately put, Pei Qian felt like life was extremely challenging because he had achieved success in every area he had ventured into so far. He had been defeated so much that he was losing his fighting spirit.
Unfortunately, he could not share these problems with anyone.
Pei Qian looked at Li Shi and said earnestly, “Boss Li, you’re very experienced in making investments. You know Jingzhou City’s businesses like the back of your hand. Can you offer some guidance to the confused me?”
Li Shi paused and then grinned. “Boss Pei, you must be teasing me. I’m nothing compared to you in terms of making investments. I might know slightly more than you about Jingzhou’s businesses, but you definitely know much more than me about the way Jingzhou’s businesses would develop in the future.”
Once again, Pei Qian was at a loss for words.
I’m genuinely asking you for help; I’m not trying to bootlick you! Ai, it’s so tiring talking to successful men!
Pei Qian decided to stop beating around the bush and cut right to the chase. “Boss Li, I’m going to be very direct.
“Can you tell me the projects in Jingzhou City which investors refuse to touch? I want to invest five to ten million yuan in such projects. That would be my minor contribution to developing Jingzhou City’s economy.”
Li Shi was at a loss for words.
Boss Pei lived up to his name; even his questions were different from most other people’s!
Others would only ask about projects that had the most potential or offered the most returns. Yet, Boss Pei was only asking about projects that investors refused to touch.
Indeed, he had the mind of a genius. He was so different from everyone else.
“I understand now, Boss Pei. Do you find traditional investment projects too simple? They can’t satisfy you. Is that why you’re looking to have fun with more difficult projects? Are you trying to challenge yourself?”
Li Shi’s eyes were filled with respect and admiration. Pei Qian, “… More or less.” Li Shi stuck up his thumb and shouted, “I respect that! “If you’re talking about the projects in Jingzhou City which investors refuse to touch…
“I can only think about the old industrial zones. Now, the entire country is moving towards upgrading businesses, eliminating outdated methods of manufacturing, and developing the service industry and innovative businesses.
“Many factories have already moved out of the old industrial zones. All that remained are worn-out factory buildings. Since such zones are located in the deserted outskirts, they have been shelved.
“Some have suggested learning from Beijing’s recent experiences and turning the place into a cultural industrial park.
“In fact, many people have made similar suggestions. However, none of them have stepped up to invest money.
“That’s because the entire country faces the same, difficult problem. Many cities have thought about following in Beijing’s footsteps and turning their old industrial zones into cultural industrial parks, but most of them have failed.
“Thus, although there are green lights all the way for such plans, no one has dared to touch the old industrial zones. The most that investors did was to symbolically rent one or two factories or warehouses and open cafes or art museums. Those investors ended up incurring losses for years.
“How’s that, Boss Pei? Does that sound challenging enough?”
Once Li Shi finished speaking, he smiled and waited to see Pei Qian’s reaction.
Initially, he had thought that Pei Qian was just trying to show off. He expected the latter to change his mind once he heard about such a difficult project.
What he did not expect was for Boss Pei’s eyes to light up at once!
“Very good! Thank you, Boss Li! That’s exactly the answer I was looking for!” Pei Qian was delighted with his unexpected good fortune.
Li Shi was right. This was a terrible mess.
Factories like that were all located in the deserted outskirts. There were no facilities around them, and few people even passed by the area. If the factories had been located in the city center, the factories would have been turned into art museums or unique tourist spots. Perhaps they could have been resurrected from the dead.
If the factories had been located downtown, they would just have to be put to a different use. Countless people would fight for them in a heartbeat.
However, nobody was interested precisely because these factories were located in the outskirts. In fact, nobody even bothered to tear them down because nobody could bear to part with the money.
Yet, that was precisely what Pei Qian was looking for!
Pei Qian downed his cocktail and stood up, preparing to leave. Li Shi quickly said, “Boss Pei, hold on! Are you really going to invest in that place?” Pei Qian nodded. “Of course!”
Li Shi was reluctant to believe him at first, but he had to admit that Boss Pei had never lied to him. Everything that Boss Pei had done in the past had seemed unreliable. Yet, Boss Pei had honored his word every time, without turning back.
What’s more, he had succeeded.
Li Shi stood up as well. “Boss Pei, can you tell me what you’re going to use the factory for?”
Pei Qian remained silent for a moment and then said, “Boss Li, I can tell you on one condition.
“Once the place opens for business, you have to be the first customer and experience everything inside at least once.”
Li Shi could not help but grin. “What kind of condition is that? No problem! Even if Boss Pei didn’t lay down this condition, I would have gone to experience it and learn.”
Pei Qian nodded. “Alright, I’ll tell you the truth, then. I’m intending to create a large haunted house.”
Li Shi, “…”
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