Chapter 83 – The Villain’s Ambition
When the Chairman said this, the people in the conference room looked at each other, seemingly reluctant to be the first to speak up.
Zhou Tongpeng weakly leaned back in his executive chair, indicating that he had no intention of speaking. He had already lost his voice in this matter before. However, Zhou Tongpeng was not the only one representing his faction. Just because he remained silent didn’t mean that no one would speak up for him.
Zhuge Feng also sat quietly, his eyes lowered, appearing as if he were dozing off. It was unexpected, considering that just last month, he had shown interest in the position of deputy general manager, offering a thirty percent growth rate as a condition to secure the position. How come he seemed disinterested now, just a month later?
Zhuge Feng’s behavior was perplexing. The directors aligned with Zhuge Feng also displayed a similar demeanor, seemingly uninterested in the position of deputy general manager.
Zhou Tongpeng squinted his eyes, observing Zhuge Feng’s expression and the expressions of those aligned with him. There was a glimmer of understanding in his eyes, but mostly confusion. This situation was somewhat unexpected to him.
Members of Zhou Tongpeng’s faction started to become restless. After all, the position of deputy general manager was quite important, as it oversaw the marketing department and sales department, which involved many intricate matters that were crucial to them.
These directors glanced at Zhou Tongpeng, who nodded subtly. He didn’t know what tricks Zhuge Feng was up to, but since Zhuge Feng showed no interest in the position, he couldn’t blame Zhou Tongpeng for taking the initiative.
Receiving Zhou Tongpeng’s signal, one of the directors immediately proposed a candidate for general manager, the same assistant who had recently been promoted by Zhou Tongpeng.
Once one person spoke up, naturally more people followed suit. They all echoed the same sentiment, endorsing Zhou Tongpeng’s assistant.
After everyone aligned with Zhou Tongpeng had spoken, a few neutral directors also voiced their proposals, suggesting outstanding individuals from other departments. One or two even mentioned Wei Chen. Although Wei Chen had recently joined the company, his performance in the previous battle was impressive, proving his potential for promotion to deputy general manager.
The Chairman listened attentively throughout the process, and finally asked for Zhuge Feng’s opinion. “General Manager Zhuge, do you have any candidates in mind?”
As the Chairman’s words fell, everyone’s gaze turned towards Zhuge Feng. A significant portion of them knew that Zhuge Feng would recommend Wei Chen, considering that he had personally brought him in and witnessed his impressive performance in the recent battle.
“I don’t have any candidates. Why not ask Vice Chairman Zhou?” unexpectedly replied Zhuge Feng, surprising everyone.
Now everyone was even more uncertain about what Zhuge Feng was up to. Zhou Tongpeng kept staring weakly at Zhuge Feng, as if trying to read his thoughts from his face. At this moment, Zhou Tongpeng wished he could crawl into Zhuge Feng’s mind to see what he was really thinking.
“What about you, Vice Chairman Zhou?” the Chairman directed the question to Zhou Tongpeng.
Zhou Tongpeng sighed and slumped in his executive chair, appearing too weak to speak.
“Do you need me to call an ambulance for you, Vice Chairman Zhou?” Zhuge Feng raised an eyebrow and asked.
Zhou Tongpeng waved his hand and said, “I… I can… hold on.” He looked pale and extremely frail.
In his mind, Zhuge Feng thought, ‘Pretend, just keep pretending!’ But outwardly, he maintained a friendly demeanor and said, “Chairman, considering Vice Chairman Zhou’s physical condition, I’m afraid he won’t be able to handle the matters of the deputy general manager. We should quickly finalize the candidate for the position.”
The Chairman nodded in agreement and said, “Then let’s vote. The candidates you just proposed will be considered based on the voting results.”
Naturally, everyone agreed. After all, this method was commonly used in board meetings and seemed fair, at least on the surface.
The voting process was simple and quick. After a few minutes, the results were announced, and they were somewhat unexpected.
The unexpected part was that one faction aligned with Zhuge Feng actually voted in favor of the candidate proposed by Zhou Tongpeng’s faction. It was known that these two factions were usually at odds during meetings. Had the world turned upside down? Otherwise, how could Zhuge Feng have cast a vote in favor of Zhou Tongpeng?
Regardless of how surprised others were, due to the fact that Zhuge Feng’s faction also voted in favor, Zhou Tongpeng’s assistant overwhelmingly became the deputy general manager and would soon assume the position.
It was the result Zhou Tongpeng desired, but after obtaining it, he couldn’t bring himself to smile. It was because what he wanted came too easily, so much so that it made him feel like Zhuge Feng had some tricks up his sleeve waiting for him!
Zhou Tongpeng’s heart was in suspense, and he instinctively kept glancing at Zhuge Feng. Every time Zhuge Feng opened his mouth, Zhou Tongpeng grew nervous and immediately went on guard.
Unfortunately, as the meeting drew to a close, Zhuge Feng didn’t say much and simply conducted a regular board meeting.
By the end of the meeting, Zhou Tongpeng wore a confused expression. He couldn’t fully comprehend Zhuge Feng’s intentions. Did he really just hand over power so easily?
As soon as Zhou Tongpeng left the meeting room, his assistant approached him with an eager look. Before Zhou Tongpeng could respond, Zhuge Feng came forward and addressed the assistant, saying, “Congratulations, Assistant Lin, no, now we should call you Deputy General Manager Lin.”
Lin Xin’s eyes slightly narrowed in disbelief as he looked at Zhou Tongpeng. Zhou Tongpeng nodded, confirming the accuracy of the news.
In that moment of confirmation, Lin Xin straightened his posture, the obsequiousness in his eyes instantly vanished. He grabbed Zhuge Feng’s extended hand, cleared his throat, and said, “General Manager Zhuge, please take care of me in the future.”
Zhuge Feng smiled naturally, excused himself, citing some urgent matters, and left.
Following Zhuge Feng, others approached Lin Xin to congratulate him. Lin Xin smiled throughout the meeting, unable to hide his sense of satisfaction in his expression.
After all the people had left, a smile uncontrollably curled up at the corners of Lin Xin’s mouth. However, when his gaze fell on Zhou Tongpeng, he restrained himself because he still knew that Zhou Tongpeng had the power to promote him to this position and also to pull him down from it.
“Vice Chairman Zhou, thank you for promoting me,” Lin Xin nodded and bowed to Zhou Tongpeng, managing to force a humble expression.
“Hmm,” Zhou Tongpeng nodded and advised, “Now that you have taken this position, do your job well and don’t give anyone a handle to make it difficult for me.”
“I understand,” Lin Xin replied, but he couldn’t help feeling somewhat dissatisfied in his heart.
Lin Xin did a good job of concealing his dissatisfaction and pride. Also, Zhou Tongpeng’s attention was not on Lin Xin at the moment, so he didn’t notice Lin Xin’s thoughts. He simply waved his hand, asking him to go back and organize some documents, as the transfer order would probably come out tomorrow.
After Lin Xin responded with a “Got it,” he turned around and left with light and brisk steps, almost flying.
As Zhou Tongpeng had said, the transfer order for Lin Xin’s promotion to Deputy General Manager came out the next morning. It was also announced on the company’s intranet, so now everyone in the company knew that the former director of the marketing department had indeed been promoted and became the Deputy General Manager.
When He Keqiang heard this news, he burst into laughter in his office. He had originally thought that Wei Chen would become the Deputy General Manager, but what happened? Wei Chen didn’t get promoted?
He really wanted to see Wei Chen’s expression now. Was it a look of grievance? Resentment? Anger?
But why did he find these expressions appearing on Wei Chen’s face so funny? Just the thought of it was enough to make him burst into laughter. If he really saw it with his own eyes, He Keqiang believed he would laugh for the whole day.
It was exhilarating, truly exhilarating!
Lin Xin as Deputy General Manager meant that the marketing and sales departments were under his jurisdiction. Wei Chen was being suppressed by Lin Xin. Whatever Lin Xin said, Wei Chen had to do. In the end, the marketing department was still controlled by He Keqiang alone. What was Wei Chen?
Thinking like this, how could He Keqiang sit still in his office? He wanted to go out and see the expressions on other people’s faces after they found out that Lin Xin had become the Deputy General Manager. It was bound to be exciting!
The office door opened, and He Keqiang walked out with an air of arrogance.
Assistant Manager Lu Wei had just finished reporting from Wei Chen’s office when he bumped into He Keqiang. He Keqiang, with a sinister smile, asked, “Assistant Manager Lu, have you been busy lately?”
Lu Wei didn’t know what He Keqiang was thinking, so he retorted, “Yes, I’ve been busy, so busy that I don’t even have time to touch the ground. Unlike Manager He, who seems so idle.”
He Keqiang didn’t mind Lu Wei’s insinuation about being sidelined. Instead, he sighed heavily and said, “Ah, good times must come to an end. I guess I’ll be busy from now on.” The sense of satisfaction between his eyebrows and eyes hadn’t diminished much, even with this sigh.
Lu Wei couldn’t stand He Keqiang’s triumphant demeanor. He exchanged a few words with He Keqiang and then left with the documents. In his heart, there was not a trace of envy or jealousy but rather full disdain.
Lu Wei was not the only one with such thoughts. Many employees in the marketing department also looked down on He Keqiang. They had even prepared themselves to collectively resist if Lin Xin wanted to suppress Wei Chen.
As soon as He Keqiang entered Wei Chen’s office and closed the door, the employees who had been diligently working stopped and began discussing strategies in low voices.
They listed various ways to counter Wei Chen’s suppression and proposed corresponding solutions. In any case, they didn’t want to see Wei Chen being mistreated.
They didn’t want to give up on a capable director like him.
Lu Wei happened to pass by and overheard their discussion. The anger that had been stirred up by He Keqiang’s earlier behavior subsided a bit. He walked up to the employees, pressed his hand down to gather their attention, and said, “Director Wei said that no matter what happens in the future, we should pretend not to know and stay put.”