Chapter 118 – Two Souls
Sylvester knew Zhuge Yu’s personality. When he went crazy, he acted like a child. He used to be cautious around Zhuge Yu, but this time he was really curious and eager to see Chen Li’s entry in the competition, so he let his guard down. And now, he was being played by Zhuge Yu.
“Zhuge!” Sylvester said, drooping his eyelids as he looked at Zhuge Yu. He wasn’t angry, just feeling a bit annoyed.
Zhuge Yu put his arm around Sylvester’s shoulder and laughed, saying, “You should just wait until the final exhibition day to see it. The shock should be saved for the end.” He sounded relaxed and not worried at all whether it would disappoint people after Chen Li’s artwork was displayed on the last day.
Sylvester stopped agonizing over it. Since he couldn’t see it anyway, he decided to wait and see it together on that day.
“I envy you, Zhuge,” Sylvester said. “If I had known that Chen Li had such talent in painting, I would have tried to recruit him under my name when I had the chance.”
Zhuge Yu looked at Sylvester and smiled, his eyes and eyebrows raised, appearing very smug and deserving of a beating.
Of course, Zhuge Yu wouldn’t mention how much time and effort he had spent when he took Chen Li as his student. Just as Liu Bei made three visits to Zhuge Liang’s thatched cottage, Zhuge Yu accompanied Chen Li in painting.
Nevertheless, looking back now, Zhuge Yu didn’t think that period of time was a big deal. In fact, he felt fortunate, both for his patience and for Wei Chen and Chen Li being moved by his sincerity.
Without Chen Li, it would be a great loss for the international art world.
“I feel like hitting you,” Sylvester said, seeing Zhuge Yu’s smile, gritting his teeth.
“Haha, even if you hit me, Chen Li won’t be your student,” Zhuge Yu replied, raising his hand to glance at the watch on his wrist. It was almost time, Wei Chen would be arriving in a few minutes.
Indeed, after a few minutes, Wei Chen’s figure appeared at the door of the studio.
Sylvester could clearly feel that as soon as this expressionless man appeared, Chen Li, who had been tense since seeing him, immediately relaxed.
Silvester thought to himself that this man must be a very important person to Chen Li.
“Let me introduce you,” Zhuge Yu said as he stood up and introduced Wei Chen and Silvester to each other.
“This is Wei Chen, Chen Li’s partner,” Zhuge Yu pointed to Wei Chen and said to Sylvester, and then he pointed to Sylvester and said to Wei Chen, “This is Sylvester, my old friend.”
Zhuge Yu didn’t go into detail about Sylvester’s identity, but he believed Wei Chen would know.
In fact, Wei Chen did know about Sylvester. Since Chen Li entered this field, Wei Chen helped him learn about it. Sylvester was an important figure in the current art world, and Wei Chen had naturally heard about his achievements.
But Wei Chen never expected that one day he would personally meet this legendary figure in the international art world.
“Hello, Mr. Sylvester,” Wei Chen spoke in fluent English. He maintained the perfect attitude towards Sylvester, not showing any flattery or accommodation just because Sylvester was a legendary figure in the art world.
“Hello, Mr. Wei,” Sylvester responded. His first impression of Wei Chen was very good, and because of Chen Li, Sylvester felt a bit of affection towards him.
After a brief introduction with Sylvester, Wei Chen went to find Chen Li. The first thing they did when they met was to hold hands and whisper something to each other, making Chen Li’s eyes instantly lit up.
‘They must be very affectionate,’ Sylvester looked at the scene of them being together and thought to himself.
“Do you know when I saw Chen Li painting for the first time?” Zhuge Yu’s gaze also fell on Chen Li and Wei Chen, but his memory went back to that summer, on a sunny morning.
That day was the first time he saw Chen Li painting. Under Chen Li’s brush, the whole world was dark, and humans were like ferocious monsters, with their mouths wide open, waiting to tear him apart and devour him. Chen Li had a deep sense of insecurity about this world, and he shrank into his own world, afraid to interact with the outside world.
But now, Chen Li’s state of mind had the most direct experience in his paintings. Although he hadn’t completely emerged from the dark world, a glimmer of light had slowly seeped into the darkness. Zhuge Yu believed that with time, the darkness in Chen Li’s world would be expelled, and he would strive for a better life.
Lost in his thoughts, Zhuge Yu snapped back to reality when Sylvester called his name for the third time.
“What are you thinking, Zhuge?” Sylvester asked. “And you haven’t told me about the scene of your first meeting.”
Zhuge Yu shook his head, still focused on Chen Li and Wei Chen, and said earnestly, “If Chen Li’s previous works had a soul, that soul was numb and hollow, filled with darkness. It was because of Wei Chen that Chen Li gradually changed. The soul of his works slowly gained colors and was no longer desperate.”
And in a way, this was also true for Chen Li himself. It was because Chen Li was changing that his artworks changed along with him.
Following Zhuge Yu’s gaze, Sylvester looked at Wei Chen and Chen Li standing together, forming a warm world. It seemed that no one else could join in. He thought he could understand Zhuge Yu’s words. A despairing soul became vibrant with the addition of another soul.
The winter night arrived unusually early. When Zhuge Yu and the other three left Q University, nightfall had already descended. The lights on both sides of the road had turned on, and the dim yellow light intertwined with the last remnants of daylight, reluctant to part.
Lu Xiuran went back to the school to fetch something and spotted the group of four from a distance. He saw Zhuge Yu and Sylvester chatting and laughing, while Chen Li and Wei Chen walked alongside them. Occasionally, Sylvester would turn around to look at Chen Li and then lean towards Zhuge Yu to ask something.
Although Lu Xiuran couldn’t hear what they were saying, he found the scene glaringly bright.
He had wanted to earn Sylvester’s recognition, but Sylvester hadn’t even spared him a glance. And now, Sylvester was walking with Chen Li, and from afar, it was evident that Sylvester appreciated Chen Li.
Why did it turn out this way?
Lu Xiuran stood there straight, his gaze dark and piercing as he stared ahead. His hands clenched into fists, filled with frustration.
In the distance, Wei Chen felt the malevolent gaze and glanced at Lu Xiuran when he turned the corner. Then he casually looked away as if nothing had happened.
Not attracting hatred means mediocrity, which also proved that his family’s Li Li was excellent enough. Of course, whether others hated or not was their own business, but if someone wanted to harm Chen Li because of that hatred, Wei Chen wouldn’t just stand by as a decoration.
The next day, Wei Chen accompanied Chen Li to Q University. Waiting in the studio were not only Zhuge Yu but also Sylvester.
Yesterday, Wei Chen had already known about Zhuge Yu’s request for Sylvester to teach Chen Li, so he felt grateful to Zhuge Yu.
Wei Chen knew what Zhuge Yu had done for Chen Li and Zhuge Yu’s feelings towards Chen Li.
He was grateful that Chen Li had met an elder who cared about his future.
Wei Chen wasn’t talkative, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t express himself well. He expressed his gratitude clearly and sincerely to Zhuge Yu and Sylvester. After that, he bid Chen Li farewell and left Q University, driving to the company.
More than ten minutes later, Wei Chen arrived at Changfeng Group. As soon as he stepped into the lobby, everyone’s gaze was fixed on him—admiration, astonishment, envy, and various other emotions flooded the room.
Wei Chen had already become immune to these gazes. Since he could remember, for various reasons, he had often felt these stares. At first, he might have felt proud, but now, he remained calm and unaffected by them.
When Wei Chen reached the Marketing Department, his colleagues also looked at him, but there was a slight difference compared to the people in the lobby. The difference was that the colleagues in the Marketing Department genuinely appeared proud, and genuinely happy for Wei Chen.
“Congratulations, Director,” one person spoke up as Wei Chen passed by.
Others joined in agreement.
“Congratulations, Director! Congratulations!”
“Director, you look stunning in that photo. You’ve captivated us all.”
The crowd spoke one after another, truly delighted for Wei Chen.
In fact, when Wei Chen first became the Marketing Department Director, they didn’t dare to be so presumptuous. After all, Wei Chen rarely smiled and exuded a strong presence. They were afraid that they would receive a harsh scolding as soon as they opened their mouths.
But after spending so much time together, they had come to know that Wei Chen was a boss who was easy to get along with. Although he didn’t smile often, he didn’t lose his temper without reason. As long as they did their work well, fulfilled their duties during work hours, they could act however they wanted in front of Wei Chen during off-duty hours.
So when they made a fuss now, Wei Chen wasn’t angry. He nodded at them in acknowledgement and went straight to his office.
The colleagues in the Marketing Department had grown accustomed to Wei Chen’s indifferent responses. This time was no exception. After Wei Chen entered his office, they returned to their positions and focused on their work.
But why did this situation occur today? It all started when one of the colleagues from the Marketing Department passed by a newsstand in the morning and saw a magazine.
This magazine was a well-known business magazine and held a prominent position among many business publications. However, among the mix of magazines at the newsstand, it appeared slightly better.
This colleague was a loyal reader of business magazines and always timed her purchases to get the latest issue.
Today was the publication date of the latest issue, so she promptly bought a copy. However, as soon as she received the magazine, she was stunned by the handsome man on the cover. His arrogant and domineering presence was simply stunning!
After a while, the colleague remembered that the handsome man on the magazine cover was their own director, Wei Chen.
This revelation shocked the colleague!
She knew the nature of business magazines and their status in China. However, she never expected that their director would quietly appear on the cover of a business magazine!
Holding the magazine, the colleague rushed to the company and shared the news with her coworkers, leading to the scene that unfolded when Wei Chen arrived at the office.
When Wei Chen entered his office and saw the business magazine on his desk, he suddenly remembered that it was the publication date of the magazine’s latest issue. He finally understood why everyone had congratulated him earlier.