Chapter 503: Can't be hidden

Chapter 503: Can’t be hidden


Assistant Niu walked over to Xu Tingsheng and said, “Little Lady Boss is here.”

Only now did Xu Tingsheng panic a little, worrying that Xiang Ning’s life and studies would be affected if her identity were to be exposed to the public here.

He immediately turned and glanced at the six cameras erected at various locations around the room.

“There aren’t any reporters here today, right?” Xu Tingsheng asked.

“No. Boss He already instructed this before,” Assistant Niu answered.

“Well, make sure that the images from this time’s annual gathering will only remain within the company itself,” Still not feeling assured, Xu Tingsheng next added, “Also, tell all the reporters not to take photos of Xiang Ning.”

“Alright.”

“Also, don’t make it too conspicuous. You and Boss He’s assistant only have to shield her together as she enters. She’s just here to look around; we’ll find a chance for her to get acquainted with everyone later.”

Assistant Niu nodded and left.

He Yutan and Old Jin exchanged looks, both rendered rather speechless by Xu Tingsheng’s mother hen-esque behaviour. In what way did he resemble the leader of an internet enterprise which was currently soaring frenziedly to prominence, challenging the pre-existing bigwigs?

He was clearly just some young man who was trapped in the clutches of love and overly cautious about everything as a result.

While Old Jin had met Xiang Ning in Yanzhou before, He Yutan had only ever seen her on screen. Right after Assistant Niu left, he stood up and walked towards the entrance as well.

“Where are you going, Bro He?” Xu Tingsheng asked.

“I’ll help shield her in case the two ladies can’t handle it,” He Yutan said as he adjusted his clothing, “You can let Little Lady Boss sit here later. I’ll have to distribute prizes up on stage anyway.”

With that, he left.

Up on stage, Hu Chen was in the midst of announcing Xingchen’s list of outstanding employees for the past year.

As the scale of the event was not that great and it was less official and grand and more about celebrating, Hu Chen announced the names for the third-tier to first-tier prizes in a single go.

There were twelve people in total. As Xingchen had less than two hundred employees, this actually was already a pretty high ratio.

The outstanding employees whose names had been called happily got up and walked towards the stage.

Under these circumstances, that He Yutan was walking out by himself naturally seemed a little strange.

“Where are you going, Boss He?”

The one asking this was a middle-echelon employee who was on pretty good terms with He Yutan and had also seen Xiang Ning in video conferences before. 

He Yutan thought about it and scooted closer, whispering, “Keep it low-key. I’m going to see Little Lady Boss in.”

Virtually all of Xingchen’s employees knew that Little Lady Boss would be here and were also wondering why she had not arrived yet.

“Little Lady Boss has arrived?” This guy asked, sounding a bit excited.

“Shh,” He nodded.

“In that case, can I go too?”

“...Okay, you can help to shield her. Little Lady Boss is still in senior high, so Boss Xu doesn’t want this to be too conspicuous.”

“Got it. I’m big-sized, I’m perfect for the job.”

As he got up, two people nearby raised their hands, “Sorry, Boss He, we...accidentally overheard.”

And then they stood up, “Together, together. She’ll be shielded better that way.”

“...”

And so Old He continued walking, the squad’s numbers swelling the entire way. After just two or three minutes, this strange squad was already starting to attract everyone’s attention.

Some of them did not know what was going on at all and wanted to find out about it, while there were also some who joined in just for the fun of it.

Xu Tingsheng wanted to challenge Old He to a duel. How was this low-key?

The door opened as Xiang Ning entered the venue with Assistant Niu and Hu Chen’s Assistant Liang.

“Hello, Little Lady Boss.”

“Do you remember me, Little Lady Boss? We met in the video before.”

“Little Lady Boss, you’re so much taller than you look on screen…”

They chatted away noisily, drawing over all the gazes in the surroundings, the stage included.

“Oh, hello. Hello, Uncle He. Hello, everybody,” While a bit nervous, Little Xiang Ning was still relatively composed.

“Alright, let’s go in. Boss Xu doesn’t want it to be too conspicuous, so we’ll shield you as you walk,” He Yutan smiled and said.

“Okay.”

They were indeed shielding her well enough as Xu Tingsheng could not spy her through the crowd.

Still, regarding keeping things low-key...the award ceremony up on stage had already halted temporarily as everyone was looking this way. They all rose as the squad passed, peering in frantically as they asked what was going on…

Coupled with the hushed exclamations of ‘Little Lady Boss? Little Lady Boss?’ resounding all the way, it was positively pandemonic.

Those twenty odd invitees were left feeling utterly bemused, having no idea of what was going on at all.

Fortunately, the distance was not that great as Xiang Ning eventually appeared in front of Xu Tingsheng.

Her hair reaching her shoulders, a deep blue silk headband, a thin white windbreaker...her clothes were brand new from head to foot as she had even applied a bit of light makeup.

Fortunately, this getup made her seem a little more mature.

Xu Tingsheng’s mind wavered for a second there as such a Xiang Ning truly seemed not that much different from in his previous life.

Xiang Ning was tall in the first place and might already reach 1.65m by the end of the year. Just two centimetres away from her lifetime peak and dressed like this, if one did not know the actual situation, they might just think that she looked pretty young at most. There was simply no way of deducing her actual age.

Xu Tingsheng basically understood why Xiang Ning had been so late now.

He glanced at that Assistant Liang beside her, thinking: Considerate and clever. She’s a talent.

After bringing Xiang Ning to Shenghai, not having received any instructions whatsoever, she had still known to do all this. Especially noteworthy was how she had thought of how to most effectively conceal Xiang Ning’s age...the intelligence and thoughtfulness herein were indeed befitting of the assistant Hu Chen had expressly requested to bring over with him from Xueyou.

He gazed at that smiling girl in front of him, thinking: How wonderful it would have been if I could have granted you such glory in my previous life.

Feeling a bit bashful from how he was looking at her, Xiang Ning asked softly, “Do I look nice, Xu Tingsheng? Sis Liang brought me to buy these clothes and helped me to apply some makeup. Well, it’s the first time I’m all dressed up like this, I don’t know...praise me.”

“You look great. Invincible-level great. Come on, sit down,” Xu Tingsheng smiled and said.

Then, he turned to Assistant Liang and said, “Well done. Find a place to sit down and rest. I owe you a glass of wine for later.”

“Thank you, Boss Xu.”

Xiang Ning greeted ‘Uncle Jin!’ and sat down in between him and Xu Tingsheng. 

The ‘escort crew’ respectively called out in greeting and scattered.

Seeing many others who had sadly failed to be part of this raring to come over to say hi, Xu Tingsheng hurriedly signalled to Hu Chen up on stage.

Hu Chen understood his meaning as he quickly waved to Xiang Ning before requesting for everyone to be silent as he continued giving out the prizes.

The two female employees who were distributing the number plates seemed to have been deliberately delaying earlier as they nicely happened to reach this first row now, where the higher-ups of the company were. They capitalised on this and greeted the Little Lady Boss.

Everyone took a number plate, Xu Tingsheng and Old Jin included. Xiang Ning got one too.

“What was the performance earlier? Was it nice? I heard music outside, but I couldn’t see it. What a pity,” Xiang Ning leaned closer to Xu Tingsheng as she finally got a chance to speak with him alone.

Xu Tingsheng thought: How lucky that the catwalk is over! Could I really tell you that I just saw one procession of long legs and was oh so excited? And the way they were dressed…”

Now, before he could answer, Hu Chen said, “Next, a round of applause for Boss He, who will be presenting the outstanding employee award up on stage…”

Then He Yutan reappeared, his arm raised high as he walked over from backstage. Applause resounded as everyone finally returned their attention to the stage.

Next, swoosh.

Behind He Yutan, ten models entered in a fan-shaped formation. They were dressed similarly with shiny silver coats on the outside that reached down to their thighs and indisputable bikinis inside...the coats weren’t buttoned, of course.

Yells resounded.

“Was this what you just watched earlier?” Xiang Ning feigned an aggrieved look as she stared at Xu Tingsheng, “Was it nice?”

“Uh, so-so.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“...”

Fortunately, everyone’s attention was soon drawn away by the things the models were holding. Twelve models, each holding a silver briefcase, with the cases placed before their legs in quite prominent positions.

“What’s inside? The prizes?”

Xingchen’s employees had heard that outstanding employees might be rewarded with shares. Still, they were unclear on the specifics. The invitees were even more uncertain. With the impression Old Jin had given them today, they guessed that they might be full of cash.

He Yutan raised his hand as the models then simultaneously opened their cases.

Each case contained sheets of paper. Some already understood. Others were still feeling curious…

“Shares,” He Yutan cut to the chase.

“Woah…”

While they had heard this could be the case, many people let out startled exclamations on confirming its veracity now. Those receiving the prizes on stage were excited; the audience members who were not receiving the prizes were excited too but somewhat regretful as well…

As members of Xingchen, they were clearer on what getting their hands on Xingchen’s shares entailed...their company’s prospects and potential were such that numerous millionaires would surely be born the day it got listed.

Thirty thousand shares, fifty thousand shares, eighty thousand shares…

As they received the shares, those on stage were so stirred up they could cry while those off it were so sad they really could cry.

There was nothing better than this which could incentivise and spur people on.

He Yutan elaborated at the opportune moment.

“Those who felt sad and regretful, continue working hard and there will always be a chance. We can only guarantee you fairness. What remains will have to depend on you yourselves.”

That was the first line. Some in the audience silently clenched their fists to motivate themselves.

Then came the second line, “Actually, every single one of you can get shares.”

“What?”

“There are two conditions. You must pass the criteria in the tests and reach a designated time. So long as you achieve both of these, a year later, every single one of you here can get shares,” He Yutan calmly produced an authorisation photocopy and declared, “There are a million shares here. One year later, you can split them.”

The happiness of a few turned into the celebration and cheers of all. From employees to ‘owners’-henceforth, even as Xingchen was Xu Tingsheng’s, it was also all of theirs.

“Long live Boss Xu!”

“Long live Xingchen!”

“Little Lady Boss…”

Amidst the cheers, Xu Tingsheng pondered silently before he nodded to himself.

He had originally intended for the one million shares to be distributed during this annual gathering lest the employees who had not been evaluated as outstanding feel disillusioned as it would also boost Xingchen’s unity.

Still, Hu Chen and He Yutan had modified this to a year later and added two conditions, thereby changing ‘readily attainable’ to diligence, steadfastness and anticipation.

‘Anticipation’ was always the greatest motivating force.

Comparing the two methods, the latter would unquestionably be countless times more effective.

Such was the difference between Xu Tingsheng and true management elites like Hu Chen and He Yutan.

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