Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 78: Temptation
“Eight-hundred-thousand isn’t that great? I don’t even have a hundred thousand after taxes!” Zhang Siyi complained.
Smiling at Zhang Siyi, He Chengtian gave him a look that one gives to an unknowing child: “I thought someone with such a high IQ would have to be making a lot of money, otherwise Gu Yu’s genius is wasted. But you see now, even Mouse earns more than he does.”
Can people who have just entered the working force really earn a couple million in a year? Shen Hao is still an uneducated person and although he has paid for his lifestyle by himself, Zhang Siyi can’t admit that Shen Hao’s success was entirely due to his own determination and work.
Although Zhang Siyi didn’t believe him, he didn’t let it show on his face: “Where did you get so much money?”
He Chengtian smiled and said: “I mainly handle investments now. To be honest, we caught the trend at a good time. Eight years ago, in Haicheng when the housing market was extraordinarily good, my parents sold a few properties and made a lot of money. The family opened an investment company mainly to invest in banking and the stock market.” He Chengtian put his fingers to his lips mysteriously and confidently said: “I can tell you, my family income is in the range of twenty million a year.”
Zhang Siyi chin hung open. His family assets aren’t any worse than Fu Xinhui’s family. Thus, eight-hundred-thousand really is pennies in a bucket. In Zhang Siyi point of view, since He Chengtian used his family achievements to further himself, he didn’t understand why he could be so arrogant. Being under the influence of Gu Yu for so long, he can understand why He Chengtian wanted to boast now. However, having met someone who doesn’t look favorably at Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi felt a little despondent. He quietly sighed. Zhang Siyi could only comfort himself with his father’s words — money is not a measurement of a persons’ worth.
He Chengtian squinted at Zhang Siyi in thought: “I really didn’t expect your salary to be so low. If you don’t earn a hundred-thousand per-year, how do you survive in Haicheng?”
Hearing He Chengtian ask, Zhang Siyi is reminded of his own financial crisis. It feels as though an arrow has pierced his back, spraying blood!
He Chengtian quickly asked again: ”Do your parents give you any money?”
Zhang Siyi replied seriously: “I don’t spend my family’s money. I rented a house with my classmates. Well, it’s only the first year of working so the money isn’t enough, but I didn’t really expect it to be.”
Face full of sympathy, He Chengtian asks: “With so little salary, why are you still willing to work for Gu Yu?”
In his mind, Zhang Siyi isn’t working for Gu Yu and he wanted to argue with him, but He Chengtian also said: “You graduated University from the UK so your English must be very good. Recently, I lack an assistant who can speak both languages. Maybe you think working for me is no different than working for Gu Yu, but I’ll start you off with a two-hundred-thousand annual salary. Surely, you will be free to live the life you want then.”
Zhang Siyi was shocked by the amount He Chengtian offered: “Two-hundred-thousand? That’s too good!”
He Chengtian chuckled and said: “Yeah, I remember you were smart as a kid. Talkative too and you are also my High School alma mater. You certainly won’t let me down.”
Even though Zhang Siyi got a compliment, he felt skeptical. He couldn’t help thinking about the attitude of Gu Yu on his first day meeting him at the interview a half year ago. Both men were Directors in their respective businesses, but the difference between them was remarkable. In comparison to Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi thought He Chengtian was unsophisticated.
He Chengtian continued: “Also, with your kind face and simple look, it’s very suitable for going out to negotiate with people. After two years of experience working with me and you mature, your salary will increase to be more than two-hundred-thousand a year.”
Although Zhang Siyi is very keen to stick to the rules, he is very stressed about his financial situation that this temptation is just too big! He couldn’t help but feel his heart waver.
Moreover, the olive branch thrown out by He Chengtian is different from the previous proposal of Shen Hao. Since He Chengtian came from a distinguished background, his promise made Zhang Siyi feel like it was sincere. Unlike Shen Hao, who wasn’t serious growing up and whose educational background was less than exemplary, Zhang Siyi doubted his proposition.
However, since they hadn’t seen each other for several years, Zhang Siyi did not understand why did He Chengtian offer such a good job opportunity?
Zhang Siyi questioned: “Can’t you find an assistant in Haicheng? The city shouldn’t lack any talented prospects.”
He Chengtian explained: “For a personal assistant, I need to find someone trustworthy. A suitable person is hard time find. Any talent is also shrewd, and you never know if they will really work in your best interests. The honest ones are all nerds that have no art for diplomacy and lack cultural experience. But you are different. You have both negotiation skills as well as international skills. We grew up together, and have a childhood friendship and as such, will have each other’s backs. Oh and….” He Chengtian suddenly came closer to Zhang Siyi ear and told him quietly: “My sister liked you when she was young, you know? She wrote about her secret love for you in her diary.”
Zhang Siyi: “……” He had no idea!
He Chengtian backed away from him and said with a smile: “She is still single and there’s quite a lot of men lining up to chase her.”
Zhang Siyi thought his sister was quite beautiful. Coupled with her current family background, it would be strange if there weren’t men chasing her.
He Chengtian snorted and said: “The problem is the background of the guys chasing her are unreliable. Its hard to find people you can trust, but you Sisi, we have known each other’s roots since childhood. Although you haven’t seen my sister for several years, I think its fate that brought us together. I’ll let you come work with me, not just to higher you, but to also consider the possibility of being with my sister; to train you as a future Brother-in-law.
“Brother Tian …” Zhang Siyi said feeling awkward and looking down. Why is he feeling shy at the prospect of a blind date?
Although he hasn’t thought at all about, He Xueying, He Chengtian attitude greatly satisfied Zhang Siyi vanity. He compared the two again and wondered why Gu Yu attitude about his younger sister was so different? One was being supportive and the other rebuffed; ‘you are still far away.’ Even so, he can’t stop himself from thinking about Gu Yu.
He Chengtian patted his shoulder and said: “Think about my offer.”
Shen Hao finished his rounds among the crowd passing out business cards. When he saw Zhang Siyi with, He Chengtian, he approached with exorbitant amount of enthusiasm: “Brother!” Since Their tables weren’t originally together, He Chengtian asked to switch with someone so he could sit with them during the wedding
Shen Hao and He Chengtian talked business for a while. They discussed their different connections and resources in the industry such as building materials merchants, acquaintances who are in the field and also to ask about investments to make money.
Knowing each other since childhood, He Chengtian can talk freely and promised to help Shen Hao. It seems to Zhang Siyi that Shen Hao isn’t here for the wedding, but to establish connections. Like Fu Xinhui said previously, now in society people need to expand their networks for new opportunities to make money. Hearing his two old friends, Zhang Siyi realized how important establishing a connection really is.
After the wedding began, the newlywed couple entered the venue to start the celebration. Shen Hao wasn’t idle. He had two mobile phone and answered them every few minutes. Zhang Siyi only heard parts of the conversations Shen Hao had: “By tonight? I’ll come over later”, “Do not fill the mud!”, “It’s still not enough paint? But you told me you had enough!” …….
Even at a wedding, Shen Hao has many business matters to think about. Watching him manage multiple conversations pertaining to different projects at the same time makes Zhang Siyi think Shen Hao doesn’t have it easy. He used to think Shen Hao was too arrogant and lazy. Compared with the former Shen Hao who was not serious and had no love to learn, the current Shen Hao has really changed a lot. He is mature, steady and bold. The impression Shen Hao left on Zhang Siyi previously made it seem like the millions he made came easy, but it is not the case. At least at the moment, Zhang Siyi saw how much effort and determination he had for his work.
He Chengtian turned to address Zhang Siyi: “Although you are in different sectors, you are both part of the construction industry. Sisi, you see Mouse has done very well so why not work on a project together?” He Chengtian glanced at Shen Hao and said: “Mouse, did you forget about your Brother even though you are in the same industry? You are here with silver and gold, but Zhang Siyi has nothing to eat in Haicheng”
Zhang Siyi: “……” What the hell! Is he so miserable?
Feeling accused Shen Hao defensively said: “Did I forget him? I asked him when he returned to Ningcheng. He grew up learning and thinking better then me. I have long thought of us working together, but he said he wants to be in Haicheng. I don’t think he heard me at all!”
Shen Hao also complained about him……
Zhang Siyi retorted: “How have I not heard? The specialty that I am in isn’t really the same as yours. Even if I followed you, I would have to start from scratch.”
He Chengtian drank a mouthful of wine and sincerely advised: “Your salary is too low. I sincerely advise you not to continue in that field. You are smart. Since you haven’t been working for a long time in your career, it won’t be a problem for you to change. Some people work a thousand years and still can’t get ahead in life. Most people beg to have the opportunity you have. The most precious time for your career is in your youth, so you don’t have time to waste.”
Zhang Siyi struggled for a moment and said: “But I still like to do architectural design.”
“Like?” He Chengtian thought little of Zhang Siyi comment and sneered: “I like to eat. What is the cost of living in Haicheng? Are you going to rent an apartment for the rest of your life? Or are you going back to your parent’s house in two years?”
Speechless, Zhang Siyi was at a loss. There was a certain logic to He Chengtian thoughts and his heart wavered, he suddenly remembered what Gu Yu’s Father told him – your value does not depend on how much money others give you today. Thinking thus, Zhang Siyi calmed down a lot. Indeed, the low income is still a big problem and the conditions set by He Chengtian make Zhang Siyi feel excited. But Zhang Siyi must ask himself; is it just money that he wants to pursue?
Even his friend, Fu Xinhui, asked him the same type of question; if one day you have endless money, what would you do?
After the hardships of his studies at university and experiencing the stress of finding a job, more than once, Zhang Siyi has doubted his career choice. However, under the guidance of Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi enthusiasm for architecture has slowing been recovering. Recently, his love for architecture has been rekindled. Especially by the strong pivotal words of Gu Yu’s father.
What he wants is a sense of accomplishment that rises from deep within his core after drawing.
What he wants is a sense of camaraderie by working hard with like-minded people.
What he wants is a sense of joy that comes from the acceptance of a design into practice.
He still wants to get stronger.
He wants to work together, stand side by side with Gu Yu.