The First Day of the Contract

After leaving the blind date, Zhou Sujin went straight back to the office.

He instructed Uncle Yan, “Let her use the car tonight. You drive.”

Back in his office, he had just sat down and hadn’t even opened his laptop when he received a call from his aunt questioning him.

Ning Rujiang had just returned from playing cards, and among the people she played with was the mother of Zhou Sujin’s blind date. It turned out her nephew had rejected the girl after eating hotpot with her.

The rejection was thorough, leaving no room for any delusions.

Ning Rujiang couldn’t understand and was so angry that she mocked her nephew, “Did you realize her choice of broth and dipping sauce didn’t match yours, so you decided your values didn’t align?”

Zhou Sujin didn’t argue back, allowing his aunt to vent fully.

Zhou Sujin: “I simply followed your instructions to show the other party the utmost respect.”

Ning Rujiang was almost unable to retort. She couldn’t understand; the girl was so outstanding and pretty! If her nephew didn’t fancy someone like her, what kind of girl was he looking for?

Zhou Sujin: “I’ll bring her over for you to see if there’s a chance.”

Ning Rujiang caught on and asked three consecutive questions, “What do you mean? Do you have a girlfriend? Since when?”

Zhou Sujin carefully considered how to respond so as not to arouse doubts from his aunt.

Ning Rujiang quickly calmed down, squashing her nephew’s little schemes in advance. “If you found a girlfriend just to deal with blind dates, don’t bring her over.”

Zhou Sujin didn’t say much more; some things were better left unsaid.

Ning Rujiang had to admit that her nephew’s few words had successfully piqued her curiosity.

Since her nephew wasn’t willing to divulge voluntarily, she had to press him a little.

Zhou Sujin wasn’t making excuses to hang up. He had missed several hours of work due to the blind date, so there was still some work unfinished.

Working overtime until 9:10 p.m., he asked Uncle Yan, “When will she be done?”

Uncle Yan: “Just dropped Miss Wei off at the restaurant. The regional manager she was meeting with had a last-minute meeting tonight. The meeting just ended 10 min ago, and he just came out of HQ.”

Zhou Sujin pondered for a moment. “Come pick me up first.”

Uncle Yan arrived in less than 20 minutes, and Zhou Sujin left the office.

Once in the car, he didn’t specify where to go. Uncle Yan wasn’t sure and didn’t dare to presume, so he asked for instructions, “President Zhou, are we going to pick up Miss Wei?”

Zhou Sujin responded with a simple “En.”

Uncle Yan drove to the restaurant where Wei Lai was meeting someone. The parking spot he had parked before was now taken by someone else. He informed Wei Lai, “Miss Wei, the car is parked in the spot diagonally across from the restaurant. Walk about 50 meters north from the restaurant, and you’ll see it.”

He didn’t inform Wei Lai that Zhou Sujin was also in the car.

Wei Lai had just met with Qi Linsheng, and they still hadn’t gotten into the main topic of discussing their partnership yet.

Qi Linsheng’s phone kept ringing tonight one after another, all from the general distributors of Happy Lemon. Unable to ignore the calls, her conversation with Qi Linsheng was constantly interrupted.

Qi Linsheng said into his phone, “Let’s discuss this in detail tomorrow morning. I’m meeting with someone right now.”

It was unclear what the other party said, and he hung up the phone.

Wei Lai learned tonight that all the regional managers held a third-quarter meeting at HQ with adjustments to market policies, which prompted various general distributors from different areas to call in to inquire about the specific details.

Afraid their conversation would be interrupted again, Wei Lai directly handed Qi Linsheng a sales report she had rushed to prepare overnight, along with relevant image explanations.

“Mr. Qi.”

Qi Linsheng, puzzled, glanced at Wei Lai before setting his phone aside to take the report.

The report detailed the expected purchase volume of each snack for the upcoming year for Wei Lai Supermarket. However, that wasn’t the main focus. It was the last column indicating the promotion fees that could be allocated to Happy Lemon based on the actual sales of each snack.

Their supermarket would earn slightly less, sacrificing a portion of their profits for promotional activities. The promotional plans were also attached at the end, providing a comprehensive and clear overview.

Apart from the promotional sales, each supermarket store would display Happy Lemon products in prime spots for free, and two prominent window advertising spaces would also be allocated for Happy Lemon at no charge.

The report consisted of two pages. He flipped to the second page, quickly scanning it from top to bottom.

Per usual practice, promotional sales and advertising fees were covered by Happy Lemon. The supermarkets were not expected to bear these costs.

This was Wei Lai’s gesture of sincerity for a partnership.

Qi Linsheng flipped back to the first page, looking at Wei Lai again. Originally, he hadn’t intended to meet with her.

The first time Qi Linsheng spoke with this woman in front of him, he couldn’t imagine what she looked like, nor did he care about her appearance. He only felt that she was confident, tactful, articulate, and pleasant to talk to, which prompted him to agree to meet her.

Seeing her in person tonight, her appearance was remarkably striking with an innate temperament that overshadowed her capabilities.

He folded the report and set it aside. “Forgive my curiosity, but what did you do before?”

Wei Lai: “Venture capital.”

Qi Linsheng: “No wonder.”

Wei Lai stroked while the iron was hot. “I was involved in several projects of Happy Lemon in the new development zone of Jiang City.”

The day Zhang Yanxin and Mu Di got engaged, the bonus that the finance department deposited to her account was from one of Happy Lemon’s projects.

Qi Linsheng drank a few sips of warm water. She wouldn’t mention Happy Lemon’s projects without reason, and he had a rough idea of what she was getting at.

Wei Lai continued, “I heard that the new factory that Happy Lemon built in Jiang City’s Industrial Park two years ago has entered the trial production stage?”

Qin Linsheng nodded. “En, the new products will be launched by the end of the year.”

Wei Lai: “The pre-launch campaign for these new products has been exceptionally successful. It’s gone viral before even launching, with one snack in particular being eagerly awaited by everyone online. All our supermarket stores have already cleared out a row of shelves specifically for these new products.”

Her flattery came effortlessly to her.

She raised her wine glass in a toast to him. “Mr. Qi, don’t forget to prioritize our supermarket for orders when the time comes. Let’s all make money together.”

Qi Linsheng smiled but said nothing, drinking the toast she offered.

The atmosphere finally lightened somewhat.

Even when dinner was over, Wei Lai didn’t ask him whether he could provide inventory to their supermarket.

As they walked toward the elevator lobby after leaving the restaurant, she chatted casually, “Mr. Qi, when will you be visiting Jiang City? When you come, you should visit our supermarket to inspect the market. We expect all of our stores to finish renovating by the end of next year.”

This time, Qi Linsheng’s response wasn’t so ambiguous. “I look forward to visiting the supermarket.”

As they bid farewell to each other downstairs, Qi Linsheng’s colleague arrived to pick him up. Their destination was out of the way from where she was staying, so she politely declined the offer of a ride.

“Miss Wei.” Uncle Yan wasn’t in the car; he had been waiting outside the restaurant the whole time. He extinguished his half-smoked cigarette. “I sent you a message, but you didn’t see it.”

Wei Lai apologized, “I had my phone on Do Not Disturb while discussing some matters just now. I’m sorry for making you wait so long.”

“No worries.”

Uncle Yan gestured to the north. “The car is over there.”

Uncle Yan took a few steps and then turned back. “President Zhou is also here.”

It was strange, Wei Lai felt apologetic when Uncle Yan waited for her, but she didn’t have the same reaction to Zhou Sujin waiting for her. In fact, upon hearing him in the car, she couldn’t help but quicken her pace.

Opening the car door, she was greeted by a familiar tall figure.

He didn’t turn around at the sound, still focused on his laptop screen.

Wei Lai got into the car. “Thank you for coming to pick me up so late.”

Zhou Sujin: “It’s nothing; just fulfilling my duty as host. And also to discuss some matters with you.”

He saved the file. “Is the partnership settled?” He glanced at her from the corner of his eye.

Wei Lai: “It should be, not a big problem.”

Uncle Yan started the car, heading to drop Wei Lai off at her hotel first.

Wei Lai waited for him to discuss the contract, but he just continued working. Perhaps it was because Uncle Yan was at the front, making it inconvenient to chat.

Zhou Sujin glanced at her. “If you have nothing else to do, rest for a while. Don’t feel embarrassed.”

Although Wei Lai had caught up on sleep during the day, her sleep hadn’t been very deep, in a half-dream state. In the past, she would have felt awkward sleeping in someone else’s car, but now that their relationship had changed, she needed to gradually adapt.

Without further hesitation, she leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes.

Uncle Yan parked the car in front of the hotel entrance, and Wei Lai was sound asleep.

Zhou Sujin called out, “Wei Lai.”

His voice wasn’t particularly loud, and Wei Lai didn’t respond.

He called out again, gently shaking her shoulder.

Wei Lai hovered between waking and sleeping. Feeling a hand on her shoulder, that meant someone was beside her, and reflexively, she leaned toward Zhou Sujin.

Soon after came the fragrance from her hair, a refreshing scent.

In her subconsciousness, Wei Lai grabbed onto the clothes of the person beside her, seeking something to hold on to for security. Her hand fumbled around his waist.

It was only at this moment that Zhou Sujin remembered the pros of captain’s chairs.

Zhou Sujin’s voice was cold and stern, “Wei Lai!”

A chilly tone sounded from above, startling Wei Lai, who was just about to wake up. With a start, she realized what she had done and quickly jerked back.

She quickly glanced at the driver’s seat in panic. Fortunately, Uncle Yan wasn’t in the car; it was unclear when he had gotten out.

“I’m sorry, President Zhou.”

Zhou Sujin wasn’t bothered and changed the subject. “Two years from today, our relationship will automatically end.”

Wei Lai nodded. On the first day of the contract, she had already caused trouble. She was now completely awake, devoid of drowsiness.

Zhou Sujin: “There’s no need for regular contact. If you need anything, just call me. When you come to Beijing on business, you can come find me.”

Wei Lai voiced her concerns which she had previously overlooked. She couldn’t leave Jiang City to develop her career in Beijing. “Being long-distance and unfamiliar with each other, my pretense of being your girlfriend might easily be seen through by your family.”

Zhou Sujin: “That won’t happen. From now on, I’ll come to Jiang City to see you every one or two months.”

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