Chapter 153 – The Sheng Family’s Representatives
The new student seemed to remember Wei Chen. He nodded at him before turning to speak with Wu Zhang.
“What’s the connection here? Do you know him?” The other person who came along with the young man noticed his gesture and asked.
“He’s an upperclassman from school,” the young man replied. In fact, he was quite impressed by Wei Chen. The memory of that class had left a lasting impression.
“Really?” The young man stared at Wei Chen for a while, feeling that he looked familiar. Soon, he recalled where he had seen him before. “Wasn’t he on the cover of last month’s business magazine? Ambitious and talented. He seems to work under my uncle and my uncle speaks highly of him.”
In fact, he had seen him at Sheng Ji Silver Pavillion. At that time, the young man, who had appeared on the cover of the business magazine, needed a pair of wedding rings designed. Both rings were for men, and he stepped in to assist. The order was taken up by the skilled craftsmen of the store, with the help of his uncle’s connections.
Wu Zhang had never imagined that members of the Sheng family would show up at his birthday celebration. His joyous expression was still evident, brimming with surprise.
Even though the main guest hadn’t entered, the fact that he stopped by at the entrance was a tremendous show of support. This would undoubtedly boost his work in Shanghai.
Moreover, the Sheng family sent two people this time. These individuals were not insignificant figures. One was Sheng Tianqi, the senior grandson of the Sheng family. Though not involved in politics, he managed Sheng Ji Silver Pavillion. Everything from diplomatic gifts to women’s jewelry and ornaments for high-ranking officials originated from their jewelry store. As the store’s manager, Sheng Tianqi’s connections were not to be underestimated.
The other person was Jiang Ye, the junior grandson of the Sheng family. He was the apple of Sheng Tianqi’s eye. Though currently a university student, his dignified demeanor indicated a promising future.
The presence of these two individuals at his birthday celebration was a significant honor from the Sheng family. Wu Zhang was naturally elated.
Sheng Tianqi and Jiang Ye brought gifts with them, a wrapped painting whose content was hidden beneath the canvas. No one knew what the painting depicted, but knowing it came from the Sheng family, it was undoubtedly of exceptional quality.
Wu Zailin was currently busy attending to Sheng Tianqi and Jiang Ye, so he briefly apologized to Wei Chen and Wei Yan before tending to his guests.
Wei Chen and Wei Yan understood this situation. While they didn’t know the identities of these two individuals, it was clear that they had some connection to the Sheng family.
Shortly after, more guests arrived. This time, it was the Chen family. The patriarch of the Chen family came along with his grandson to personally offer their congratulations. They also brought a painting, concealed under a cloth, just like the one from the Sheng family.
“Secretary Wu, may you have fortunes as boundless as the Eastern Sea and longevity like the Nanshan Mountain,” Chen Shihuai said to Wu Zhang with a smile. Chen Qing followed, his attitude respectful, as he slightly bowed his waist.
“Mr. Chen, it’s quite a bother for you to come personally. I feel uneasy about it,” Wu Zhang’s smile quickly faded. Upon seeing Chen Shihuai, his demeanor turned serious, and he had no inclination for superficial pleasantries.
Chen Shihuai didn’t seem to mind. He quickly recognized the two individuals standing beside Wu Zhang. Narrowing his eyes, it was unclear what he was thinking. Then, he smiled and greeted them, “Mr. Sheng, Mr. Jiang, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Sheng Tianqi and Jiang Ye nodded in response but didn’t say more.
With most of the guests having arrived and the banquet nearing its scheduled time, Wu Zhang had decided to keep everything simple. Not only was the venue modest, but the banquet dishes were also plain.
With the guests and the members of the Wu family combined, there were only five tables set up. The dishes were plain, similar to what an ordinary person might serve at a banquet.
Even when Sheng Tianqi and Jiang Ye arrived, Wu Zhang didn’t go out of his way to add extravagant dishes. What he had planned before was kept as it was.
The banquet proceeded harmoniously, and after about an hour, it concluded. Wu Zhang left Wu Zailin in charge of entertaining the guests while he led Sheng Tianqi and Jiang Ye to his study.
The study temporarily held the congratulatory gifts brought by the guests. Sheng Tianqi immediately recognized that the jade figurine of the Longevity Star, gifted by Wei Chen, came from their jewelry store. He was well aware of the rarity and value of this piece of jade, understanding that Wei Chen had put genuine thought into his gift.
Jiang Ye and Sheng Tianqi had come down this time to discuss the A Zone project with Wu Zhang. Jiang Ye was quite interested in this project, despite being just a freshman in college. He had already invested in numerous projects and had earned substantial profits.
Wu Zhang was surprised after hearing Jiang Ye’s intentions. The A Zone project was currently being monitored by various forces in Shanghai. Wu Zhang was evaluating the best candidate for the job. However, if Jiang Ye personally requested it, he would consider assigning the project to him. Jiang Ye’s association with the Sheng family made it likely that the project would be in its best possible state under his management.
“Uncle Wu, you’ve misunderstood me. I don’t want to manage this project; I want to invest in it,” Jiang Ye clarified.
Now Wu Zhang was in a dilemma. “But I haven’t chosen anyone for this project yet. Young Master Jiang, you’re about to start your school year soon. Can you allocate time for it?”
“If you trust me, Uncle Wu, let me find someone to take over the project. After all, I’m more experienced in this field than you are,” Jiang Ye said with a smile, his dimples showing. His confident demeanor was quite convincing.
Wu Zhang didn’t immediately respond, taking a moment to ponder before saying, “Alright, I naturally trust you, Young Master Jiang.”
And so, while others were unaware, the decision-making power for the A Zone project, seemingly in Wu Zhang’s hands, had shifted to Jiang Ye, who came from the capital.
Meanwhile, downstairs in the living room, Chen Qing, under Chen Shihuai’s instruction, had already approached where Wei Chen and Wei Yan stood. They had noticed the two brothers from the Wei family when they entered. At that time, they were surprised, wondering how the Wei family managed to get an invitation to Wu Zhang’s birthday celebration.
Now, Chen Qing had reached Wei Chen’s side and said, “I never expected to see you here.” His words carried a deeper implication, questioning how Wei Chen obtained the invitation.
This question was significant not only for Chen Qing but also for Chen Shihuai.
If Wei Chen’s invitation had been personally extended by the Wu family, did that mean Wu Zhang was favoring the Wei family for the A Zone project? Why else would they send an invitation to someone like Wei Chen, who had no apparent connection to the Wu family?
For Chen Shihuai, the answer would reveal Wu Zhang’s stance regarding who he intended to entrust with the project. It was quite important.
Wei Chen replied nonchalantly, “I didn’t expect it either.”
What didn’t he expect? That he would receive an invitation to Wu Zhang’s birthday celebration? Or that he would meet himself here?
Chen Qing was tempted to voice his question, but the words died on his lips. He knew he wouldn’t get an answer.
“Why didn’t Chen Li come with you?” Chen Qing changed the subject, considering that since Wei Chen and Chen Li got married, they seemed inseparable. How could Wei Chen possibly leave Chen Li behind this time?
“He didn’t come,” Wei Chen said. Discussing further with Chen Qing wasn’t appealing to him. The reason he didn’t bring Chen Li with him to Shanghai this time was because he didn’t want to make Chen Li travel back and forth, and more importantly, if Chen Li attended the birthday celebration, he would inevitably cross paths with members of the Chen family.
Wei Chen would never expose Chen Li to any potential stress.
At that moment, Wei Chen’s phone rang. Chen Qing noticed that Wei Chen’s expression softened when he answered the call, knowing exactly who was on the other end of the line.
It was a call from Chen Li. Wei Chen hadn’t heard Chen Li’s voice for a whole day. Now, receiving his call, he walked to the door and found a quiet corner.
“Li Li,” Wei Chen called out his name, his voice low but filled with tenderness. Chen Li’s voice came through on the other end, soft and without the hoarseness it had when he first started speaking. “Achen, I miss you.”
Chen Li was always so straightforward in expressing his emotions, saying what was on his mind without beating around the bush.
“I miss you too. I’ll be heading back soon,” Wei Chen replied, glancing at the sky. It was getting late.
“Okay, I’ll be waiting for you,” Chen Li obediently replied. Hearing Wei Chen’s voice calmed his restless heart.
Neither of them wanted to hang up first. Listening to each other’s breath was satisfying enough.
It was only when Wei Yan called Wei Chen’s name and Wei Chen said, “I’ll be back as soon as I can,” that the call finally ended.
By this point, the birthday celebration was winding down. The guests who had come to participate were leaving one after another. Wei Yan and Wei Chen were also preparing to depart.
After ending the call with Chen Li, Wei Chen returned to the main hall of the Wu residence. Wu Zailin was currently seeing off guests. Upon hearing that Wei Chen was leaving, he personally escorted Wei Chen and Wei Yan outside.
Coincidentally or not, the Chen family’s grandfather and grandson were also bidding their farewells at that moment. Wu Zailin escorted them as well.
Wu Zailin had initially intended to have a conversation with Wei Chen, but the presence of the Chen family members disrupted his plans. Therefore, he wasn’t able to speak to Wei Chen.
Just as Wu Zailin had seen off the guests at the entrance, Sheng Tianqi and Jiang Ye emerged from the house. Wu Zhang intended to have his driver take the two of them to their current hotel.
However, Jiang Ye declined. He walked directly to Wei Chen and said, “Mr. Wei, we’re going in the same direction. Would you mind if I tag along?”
“Of course not,” Wei Chen agreed without hesitation, though he didn’t quite understand Jiang Ye’s intentions.
Wu Zhang looked at Jiang Ye, and Jiang Ye nodded in his direction. The implication was clear: Jiang Ye was interested in Wei Chen and intended to cooperate with him on the A Zone project.
While Wu Zhang had a favorable impression of Wei Chen, he felt that Jiang Ye’s choice was somewhat impulsive. Nevertheless, he had agreed to Jiang Ye’s proposal. At this point, he would let Jiang Ye take the lead. After all, Jiang Ye had the backing of the Sheng family, which should be able to handle any potential difficulties.
Years later, when looking back on this decision, Wu Zhang would feel a deep sense of satisfaction and pride. This project, which left a lasting impact, was one he had completed during his tenure, and it was a decision he had made with certainty!