Chapter 483: Lend you a fierce tiger
Having originally been going to accompany his parents for a couple more days, Xu Tingsheng eventually had no choice but to set off back for Yanzhou on the tenth day of the new lunar year.
This was not because Xiang Ning was pressuring him regarding the matter of her cousin buying a flat. Instead, it was a combination of two other factors.
Firstly, Xu Tingsheng had only casually mentioned it before, but Mr and Mrs Xiang had actually really contacted an old chef in Jinan who was willing to teach them how to make braised chicken rice. Making use of the new year holidays, they intended to quickly go there to learn it.
Mrs Xiang had personally given Xu Tingsheng a call as it was already all so natural now. With her parents going on a business trip, Xiang Ning was virtually left in Xu Tingsheng's hands without an afterthought.
This could be primarily attributed to Xu Tingsheng having done Xiang Ning no wrong whatsoever over the past year. Mr and Mrs Xiang already trusted him completely, having lost all their apprehensions.
Secondly, the gutter oil affair had finally entered the public eye in its full, horrifying scale at the start of the year 2006, encompassing thirty-two cities of the nine provinces.
Hucheng had notified the police beforehand. When the news had still yet to be broadcast and when the materials were most abundant and sellable following the Spring Festival, with the factories working overtime to produce the stuff, a joint operation had been launched. At least fifty factories and lesser operation points had been destroyed, with more than 300 people arrested all around the country.
One of the biggest 'gutter oil criminal networks' was connected to a certain officially listed oil company in a certain province. Its influence spanned six whole provinces as its annual profits amounted to over a whopping 50 million yuan.
Hucheng had virtually provided the tipoffs for all the operation points, factories and platforms.
Lu Zhixin had actually had two options here.
First, stay hidden behind the scenes. The police were already handling the matter, anyway, which would remain at a standstill for the time being.
Second, come out and face the public and media, admitting the role the company had played in the matter and how important a role it had been at that.
The benefit of the second option was that it would almost definitely win Hucheng widespread recognition from the public, boosting its reputation. This could prove to be especially significant in the takeaway market where they were represented by 'Are You Hungry'. Having proven themselves with their actions, they might become the only choice the public felt safe with, thereby securing eternal hegemony with their conscience and brand.
The detriment was that Hucheng, Lu Zhixin herself especially, was very likely to suffer retaliation by those who were out for revenge.
Because of Xu Tingsheng, the gutter oil affair had been exposed several years earlier than in his previous life. It was on a much greater scale too. Still, there was one thing that was very bad about this period, which was that the operational costs for crime with regard to gutter oil and its relevant industries were extremely low.
As the country did not have any specific laws that governed this, they could only rely on some more relevant ones. Even then, some parts were totally untouched upon.
This was equivalent to many loopholes existing in the system.
After the joint operations that had looked mighty and imposing, the enterprises and individuals involved would generally not be punished too severely. Those who had not been too deeply involved or possessed a sufficiently powerful background or connections were mostly able to go home after a bit of detention, some fines and the like.
Amongst the remainder, punishments like higher fines, short-term jail sentences and suspended licenses could already be considered as being on the severe side.
There were even some provinces and local public security organisations that declined to broadcast the names of those individuals and enterprises involved in the matter.
The vengeful mindset of these people was not to be underestimated.
Still, without informing Xu Tingsheng beforehand, Lu Zhixin nonetheless stepped forward without any hesitation whatsoever in following her intuition and business sense. She held a press conference and, in her own capacity, publicised a list of individuals and enterprises involved in the affair, explaining the hard work and sacrifice Hucheng had put into this. The vast amount of manpower and funding for the investigation amounted to nearly ten million in total.
Acclaim for Hucheng was indeed attained in the span of a single night, its momentum second to none. Hucheng's valuation hence rose to a new peak. Civic duty aside, Hucheng's sacrifice and effort and Lu Zhixin's hard work had not gone to waste.
Even so, that very night, vengeful proclamations and even death threats started to appear on Lu Zhixin's Weibo's page.
Xu Tingsheng took the initiative to call Lu Zhixin for the first time since leaving Hucheng, reminding her to take note of her safety. While Lu Zhixin said that she would, Xu Tingsheng could deduce from their conversation that she was not all that concerned about it, in truth.
Even as she was a corporate genius, she was but a 22-year-old girl at the end of the day.
In contrast, Xu Tingsheng had witnessed the news on the death of the reporter who had exposed the gutter oil affair in his previous life, though the authorities had admittedly not found any clues linking these two things together. According to them, at least.
That had ultimately been classified as an isolated incident.
The scale of this time's affair and those individuals involved were so much greater than in his previous life that Xu Tingsheng could not help but worry about this kind of 'isolated incident' occurring again.
Therefore, he had brought someone with him in coming to Yanzhou this time. Upon reaching Yanzhou, he headed straight to Hucheng's headquarters without even a detour home. After that, he brought Du Jiang, with just a black luggage bag in tow, to Lu Zhixin's office.
Xu Tingsheng had borrowed one of Mr Xu's three 'fierce tigers', Du Jiang who was proficient in Thai boxing.
It was not himself but Lu Zhixin whom this tiger was for.
"This is Bro Du, one of my Dad's men," Xu Tingsheng cut to the chase, "From now onwards, for half a year to a year, Bro Du will be your driver. He will send you to and from work, as well as other places."
"This...hey, are you giving me a bodyguard?" Lu Zhixin was unable to immediately come to terms with how Xu Tingsheng was taking this so seriously.
"No need for this or that. It's decided," Xu Tingsheng said firmly, not allowing for any disagreement, "Right, Bro Du's salary is very high, as is his bonus. My Dad will never fail to give him what he’s owed. Still, you should also give him some as you deem fit, depending on how things go here."
Xu Tingsheng smiled. Lu Zhixin looked at him rather exasperatedly.
Whatever the case, though, this stemmed from Xu Tingsheng's concern for her, which was virtually a luxury for the current her. Also, the fact that Du Jiang was Mr Xu's employee entailed a deeper level of meaning.
Therefore, Lu Zhixin did not refuse him. She walked over from behind her desk and then personally poured a glass of water.
"Do sit, Bro Du, and have some water," Lu Zhixin smiled, "It looks like I'll really be troubling Bro Du for a period of time. My thanks in advance."
Bro Du received the glass with both hands and spoke for the first time since entering the office, "Thank you, Boss Lu. Actually, Boss Lu doesn't have to be too polite with me. That would instead pose a problem afterwards. Just treat me as one of your employees. In fact, for the next half year, I will be exactly that-one of your employees."Previous Chapter Next Chapter