Chapter 28 – Astray Youth (End)

Zhou Kaiji returned to the villa.

The car drove into the courtyard, and as it came to a stop, the back door opened, letting the noisy sound of rain pour directly into his ears. The whole world seemed to be enveloped.

Before the butler came with an umbrella, the person who got out of the car had already stepped into the rain curtain, with rainwater sliding down his hair, splashing and falling.

Like a lone dog, stubbornly searching for the last trace of scent.

He walked quickly, and the driver and butler exchanged a glance, quickly jogging to catch up.

From the courtyard to the main door, a short distance, the person in front was almost completely wet. He lowered his head, his eyes already showing obvious redness, but he still remembered to change into slippers, putting on the unchanged yellow chicken slippers.

The butler momentarily didn’t know whether to first fetch a towel or to advise him, or perhaps to let him change out of his wet clothes first. His mind was in chaos, and he could only call out, “Young Master…”

Zhou Kaiji asked, “Has Brother Chen returned?”

The butler wiped his face and said that Secretary Chen had already left.

As if not hearing his words, Zhou Kaiji directly walked away, heading straight for the room behind the corner corridor.

The room’s door was tightly closed but unlocked, ready to be opened.

The lights were bright, and the room looked no different from usual, with a tidy bed, all the books neatly arranged on the shelves, and a stack of papers in the corner mixed with test papers he had written during his high school days.

The room was empty and quiet, with only the continuous sound of rain coming from outside the window.

Previously, whether it was raining or snowing, the room had always been warm and dry, but today it was unusually cold.

There was no response to messages, the phone number was no longer in service, and there was no one in the room. He turned to look at the butler standing quietly behind him and asked, “When will Brother Chen come back?”

“Secretary Chen,” the butler said, “probably won’t be coming back.”

“Where did he go?”

The butler replied, “I don’t know.”

The heavy rain lasted all night.

The next day, as the rain subsided and a car drove into the courtyard, Lawyer Ye arrived at the villa.

The first person he saw upon arrival was the butler. Taking the umbrella from his hand, the butler said, “The young master is waiting for you.”

Heavy, that was Lawyer Ye’s first impression upon entering the living room.

The person sitting in the living room turned his head silently to look at him.

He was the one who knew best and understood most about Secretary Chen’s resignation, and it was clear that the person in the living room was also aware.

Zhou Kaiji received several documents from the lawyer. The documents spanned several years, with the earliest being an agreement signed by Secretary Chen and the former chairman, concerning inheritance and management of assets.

The agreement was thick, but in summary, if they couldn’t find him, all of the former chairman’s assets would go to Secretary Chen.

That’s why everyone else was so shocked and incredulous when they learned that Secretary Chen had brought him back.

This person had given away almost acquired wealth and status.

At the same time, the former chairman had another agreement with the other party. If he found him and he expressed interest in inheritance, Secretary Chen would leave the company within the agreed period. As compensation, he would receive a substantial severance package upon leaving.

December 21st, starting from the day he joined, was the last day of the deadline.

The room fell into complete silence.


Initially, rumors spread that Secretary Chen of Guangsheng was interviewing candidates to take over his role, but few believed this rumor.

Later on, the news of his resignation was officially announced through the company’s website, and everyone realized that the previous rumors were true.

Many speculated about his next move after leaving Guangsheng, which company he would join, and what he planned to do. However, as time passed day by day, they never received any news from him.

It was as if he had vanished from the face of the earth.

No one knew his whereabouts, no one could contact him, and no one had seen him again.

With no guiding needle, speculation arose again about Guangsheng’s potential instability. However, just as Secretary Chen had stabilized the situation when the former chairman passed away, this time the heir of the former chairman stepped forward.

The heir was young but capable, willing to make tough decisions, and backed by the still influential but rarely seen Old Master Yuan.

Guangsheng not only stabilized but also thrived.

His position was high, he was bold, had a wide network, and was also single. The heir suddenly became a sought-after figure, but he himself never showed any interest in such matters. He worked every day, went home at night, without any extraordinary actions.

Those who didn’t know couldn’t understand, while those who knew could only sigh.

They also sighed for the Yuan family’s son. Previously, the other party had gained fame for his lavish spending and pursuing Secretary Chen with great enthusiasm, but after chasing for several years, it ended up in this situation where it was neither better nor worse.

It had been so long since these events occurred. Some people occasionally saw him, noticing that there was a gift bag on his desk and he was holding a small clip, quietly and earnestly working.

Both of these individuals were stuck on one person, unable to easily break free or give up.

Time kept moving forward, the company kept growing, and people kept changing.

Yuan Yan had completely taken over the reins of power, whether it was at Guangsheng or the Yuan Group.

The focus of the Yuan Group’s business shifted, with the overseas market expanding continuously. For several years, Yuan Yan stayed abroad until later when Old Master Yuan’s mobility became more limited, prompting him to return to the country.

The heir of Guangsheng went from being Little Brother Chen to being Mr. Zhou, but compared to “Mr. Zhou,” others felt that he might be more like the former Secretary Chen.

He wore a smile on his face, never yielding, and beneath his seemingly gentle exterior was a tough and determined core. Rather than saying he was like him, it was more accurate to say he was learning from him.

At first, his learning was clumsy, but as time passed, he became more and more similar, as if he truly had the same indifferent attitude and indomitable spirit.

But he was not the same person in the end.

Zhou Kaiji went from being a protected individual to being relied upon by others.

The company’s people hoped that he could lead the company further, partners hoped he could bring them more benefits, and society hoped he could lead the company in doing more beneficial social work.

Others hoped he could become an outstanding leader, a reliable partner, and a responsible contributor to society.

He was entrusted with too many responsibilities and burdened with too many expectations.

Secretary Chen never returned, nor was there any news. In this world, there was no longer anyone telling him they simply hoped he would be a good person.

He still occasionally had nightmares and still habitually went downstairs.

But in that room, there was no longer anyone to comfort him, no one he could embrace. The sound of rain he heard in high school, the rustling of papers, the sound of a pen sliding across paper, the warm yellow light, the warm-smelling pillows and blankets—all remained in his memory, not fading but becoming clearer.

He could now understand the books on the shelf by himself, no longer needing someone to sit beside him and explain each page slowly.

From now on, every page of a book, every step of the way, he had to read and walk on his own.

When he picked up a book from the shelf, he found a silver tie clip wedged between the pages discussing the economy of the Zhou Dynasty.

In high school, he had always looked forward to growing up, constantly growing, constantly envisioning the future.

And then he arrived in a world without Secretary Chen.


As the deadline of the agreement approached and the task was completed, Chen Luosong left.

Taskers couldn’t take anything out of the task world, so he left everything behind, including clothes, books, and the tie clip. He came empty-handed, and he left empty-handed. Though the day he left was gloomy, the morning weather was decent, so he chose to leave in the morning.

It’s easier to leave without giving a reason than to think of a reasonable excuse in advance, so he chose not to inform and left directly when the time came.

When he left, it was overcast, and when he opened his eyes again, everything was bright.

The room had a good view, with a clear blue sky and fluffy clouds visible when he looked up, but he only glanced at it before averting his gaze.

As usual, he wrote the task report, organized the materials, and then summarized them.

While he was summarizing, there was a knock on the office door. He turned slightly and said, “Come in.”

A tall, slender man entered, first congratulating him on completing the task perfectly once again, and then saying, “Someone from the central bureau is here, they want to meet Mr. Chen.”

He thought for a moment and then said, “I heard it’s someone important.”

Chen Luosong responded with a nod.

He shut down the computer and went to meet the person from the central bureau.

The meeting took place in a spare lounge, a place where nobody usually went, so it was quiet.

A man was already sitting inside, dressed in a black suit and wearing gold-rimmed glasses. He stood up upon seeing Chen Luosong enter, his gaze shifting towards him as he said, “Long time no see.”

Chen Luosong sat down and replied with a smile, “Indeed, long time no see.”

There were already two water glasses on the table, not filled with coffee or any other beverage, but with the warm water he was accustomed to drinking.

Picking up one of the glasses, he asked, “Is there something you came for?”

The man said, “Just dropping by, coincidentally catching you at the end of your work.”

After he finished speaking, he glanced at the figures passing by in the opposite lounge corridor and asked, “Are you still used to being here?”

“It’s okay,” Chen Luosong replied after taking a sip of water, then asked, “Any news from the hospital?”

The man shook his head.

Without changing his expression, Chen Luosong continued drinking his water. “I figured as much,” he said.

After finishing his drink and setting down the glass, he said, “If there’s nothing else, I’ll be heading out.”

The man asked where he was going. Chen Luosong replied, “To work.”

He was someone of action, always practicing what he preached. After speaking, he stood up, opened the lounge door without hesitation, and walked out.

“A wedding ring.”

Just before stepping out of the lounge, he heard the voice from behind and turned his head. The man who had been sitting was now standing, his dark pupils looking at him through the lenses as he said solemnly, “I’m still keeping the wedding ring.”

Pausing briefly to listen to what the man had to say, Chen Luosong continued to push open the lounge door, smiling as he said, “Is that so.”


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