Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 88
Zhao Qizhen contemplated for a long while before finally deciding to come see Zhao Yao. The period around the Lunar New Year had been nothing but a series of setbacks for him. At first, colleagues within the group began to distance themselves from him. Then, his mother, Bai Chengxue, was taken away for investigation on suspicion of leaking secrets. After learning this news, he went to Zhao Zhikai to ask for help. But instead of helping in resolving the matter, Zhao Zhikai not only refused to help but also sternly demanded that he refrain from meddling into other’s business.
Zhao Qizhen found it ridiculous. After all, that was his mother. How could it be considered meddling?
Seeing no progress with Zhao Zhikai, he turned to several individuals within the group who had good relations with his mother. But each one avoided him like he was a venomous snake. Even Zhao Changshuo maintained an objective stance on the matter, insisting that everything had to abide by legal procedures pending the investigation’s results. This truly threw him into a state of panic.
At first, he still didn’t realize how grave Bai Chengxue’s actions were. What was wrong with her establishing a company? Even Zhao Yao could venture out and develop his own career. Why did his mother, by merely setting up a small company, end up offending people?
After closer investigation, it became apparent that the key issue lay not in the act of establishing a company, but that Bai Chengxue repeatedly leaked confidential information to her external business over the years. She even colluded with individuals within the group, resulting in very bad consequences.
Zhao Qizhen had been knocking on doors and hitting walls, even receiving a verbal warning from Zhao Zhikai a couple of days ago. He wasn’t a fool. Maybe in the past, he hadn’t seen through Zhao Zhikai’s true face, but observing the attitudes of the people within the group now, as well as Zhao Zhikai’s methods, he finally understood that he and his mother had been nothing but pawns in Zhao Zhikai’s game from the very beginning.
After thinking further, this time he used the cover of equity acquisition to provoke the relationship between Zhao Changshuo and Zhao Yao. In the final analysis, it was because of the euphemistic advice of people around Zhao Zhikai. If it were not for Zhao Zhikai, how could his mother be found by Zhao Changshuo because of the use of funds? And how could she end up like this?
As things developed to this extent, Zhao Zhikai still aimed to distance himself from the matter, not for anything but to leverage his position as the heir and confront Zhao Changshuo in a fight to the finish. Now, Zhao Zhikai had completely shed the earlier facade of “I’m doing this for your own good” and laid bare his ambitious and ruthless nature right before Zhao Qizhen.
Zhao Qizhen found himself cornered. He was torn between feeling extremely foolish for believing Zhao Zhikai’s lies and an undeniable sense of resentment at being manipulated from start to finish. But there was no visible way out. With his current situation, he ran into continuous walls within the group and with Zhao Changshuo’s strict business attitude, he absurdly found himself considering Zhao Yao.
He thought that since Zhao Yao was cooperating with Zhao Changshuo, he must possess some bargaining chips to communicate with Zhao Changshuo.
If he withdrew from the competition, would Zhao Changshuo be able to help his mother out?
And so he came.
The location of Zhao Yao’s residence within the Zhao family was no secret. Zhao Qizhen had known about it for several years.
Back then, he was still young. Zhao Yao moved out directly from the old mansion with his personal steward. Because of this incident, his mother was happy for a while, saying she wouldn’t have to take care of that gloomy child. Zhao Qizhen didn’t quite understand, but listening to his mother, she insinuated that Zhao Changshuo and Zhao Yao would eventually compete for the family inheritance. So, Zhao Yao moving out of the old mansion was a good thing. At that time, he even thought Zhao Yao was also stupid, leaving behind the comfortable old mansion to live in a place like this with the steward.
Now, standing in what seemed like an ordinary place, he found it increasingly confusing to understand what Zhao Yao was thinking. He hesitated to call Zhao Yao, thinking how to ring the doorbell, when suddenly, he heard footsteps approaching from behind.
Zhao Qizhen turned around and saw Zhao Yao and another man in a suit standing behind him.
Regarding Zhao Yao, he could say he was familiar with him, but at the first glance of the current Zhao Yao, he inexplicably felt a bit uneasy. This feeling was similar to last year at the Qichen meeting. Zhao Yao always managed to exert an invisible pressure on him. The man around Zhao Yao seemed somewhat unfamiliar, yet also a bit recognizable. He had heard that recently Zhao Yao had been getting close to Pei Mingzhan, the young scion from the Pei family in H City’s entertainment circle. This person should be Pei Mingzhan.
“San Ge 1.” Zhao Qizhen gazed at Zhao Yao. “What a coincidence, I was just about to ring the doorbell.”
Zhao Yao’s tone was casual. “Do you have time to visit?”
“Just dropped by,” Zhao Qizhen said, looking at the bag Zhao Yao was carrying. Feigning warmth, he added, “No way, San Ge, did you personally go grocery shopping?”
Looking at the situation, his confusion only grew. Zhao Yao had such a close relationship with Pei Mingzhan? Bringing him home? And the items they were holding…? Did they just return from the supermarket?
Zhao Yao glanced briefly at Zhao Qizhen, then stepped forward to open the door ahead. His voice, devoid of any emotion, simply replied, “Yeah.”
Talking to Zhao Yao was like hitting a soft cotton ball with force. Zhao Yao didn’t regard him at all.
He put away his cheeky smile slightly and looked at Zhao Yao with his eyes slightly heavy. Zhao Yao still looked like this. He was like this in the group and even now after he left the group.
Pei Mingzhan saw the fourth young master of the Zhao family, Zhao Qizhen, for the first time. He had heard about the current chaos within the Zhao Group. This Zhao Qizhen seemed to be in the same camp with Zhao Yao’s second uncle, Zhao Zhikai, and had caused trouble for Zhao Yao on several occasions. He paused slightly and did not cast a glance toward the nearby Zhao Qizhen. Instead, he followed Zhao Yao into the house.
Once inside, Zhao Yao handed the items to Uncle Wang and murmured a few instructions in a low tone before walking straight into the inner room.
Zhao Qizhen saw that everyone ignored him, and the feeling of being ignored made him extremely uncomfortable. So did those people in the group. It was as if Zhao Changshuo and Zhao Yao were the only two people in Zhao’s group. He was a fool who could only play. Even though he made some achievements in the project, those people still ignored him.
There was a simmering frustration within him, but he managed to suppress it.
Uncle Wang was a bit surprised to see Zhao Qizhen, but after seeing that his young master didn’t immediately send Zhao Qizhen away, he simply nodded slightly in acknowledgment of the fourth young master before turning and heading to the kitchen.
After arriving home, Zhao Yao washed his hands. Pei Mingzhan showed him his phone, displaying a feed full of recipe-related content on his secondary account. Zhao Yao asked, “The kitchen scale at home hasn’t been used for a while, so I bought a new one last time.”
Because every time he looks at the online recipes, the ingredients are always measured in grams. Both Uncle Wang and Pei Mingzhan were skilled in cooking and could gauge portions just by eye, but Zhao Yao couldn’t do that. So after returning to S City, he purchased some kitchen utensils suitable for novices. He couldn’t rely on Uncle Wang to measure everything every time.
“Really?” Pei Mingzhan skillfully tied on the apron and assigned Zhao Yao a task. “Then, prepare the ingredients listed above, and we can start cooking in a while.”
Uncle Wang was accustomed to Mr. Pei’s and the young master’s way of working together. Seeing that the two had already begun assigning tasks, he quietly proceeded inside to wash the ingredients. The kitchen could be left to these two from here on.
Zhao Qizhen visited Zhao Yao’s home for the first time. From the outside, it appeared rather ordinary, but inside, Zhao Yao’s place was quite nice. It was smaller in size compared to the old mansion, but the arrangement and design gives off a certain ambiance. He took a seat on the sofa, glancing at the items on the table. It was either movie or TV show discs or some rather fancy-looking books.
He refused to believe that Zhao Yao enjoyed these. It was probably the steward who did. After all, Zhao Yao’s relationship with that steward didn’t seem like a typical master-servant one.
The living room was quiet, and an old-fashioned pendulum clock on the wall swayed from side to side.
The absence of the homeowner made the living room suddenly feel empty.
Zhao Qizhen sat on the sofa for quite some time, but there was still no sign of Zhao Yao coming over. He paused slightly, glancing inside with a hint of hesitation, recalling that Zhao Yao and Pei Mingzhan had headed in that direction just a while ago.
He thought Zhao Yao had simply gone to change and would return shortly. But almost ten minutes had gone, and there was still no trace of Zhao Yao. Why hasn’t Zhao Yao come yet?
Would he really leave his guest hanging like this?
After a while, he caught some sounds coming from inside.
Zhao Qizhen felt increasingly restless from sitting for too long, and couldn’t resist standing up. At that moment, he noticed the steward from Zhao Yao’s home, known as “Uncle Wang,” approaching with a cup of tea in hand. He wasn’t particularly interested in these formalities. He came here to find Zhao Yao. Seeing the steward, he asked, “Where’s my San Ge?”
Uncle Wang placed the teacup down. “The young master is occupied at the moment. Fourth Young Master, please wait for a while.”
Zhao Qizhen was rather impatient, but he understood the necessity of displaying a certain attitude when seeking someone’s help. So, he sat on the sofa for another twenty minutes, but there was still no sign of Zhao Yao coming out. Instead, the activity inside seemed to be getting louder.
Is Zhao Yao deliberately leaving him waiting? Nearly half an hour had passed. What kind of business could keep him occupied for so long?
And there’s also Pei Mingzhan. Where is he? Why does Pei Mingzhan get to go somewhere, while he’s left waiting outside?
Not finding Uncle Wang around, Zhao Qizhen couldn’t sit still any longer. He started walking, following the direction of the sounds.
As he walked further, the noise increased, and he realized that it seemed to be coming from Zhao Yao’s kitchen. The next moment, at a turn in the corridor, he spotted Uncle Wang standing just outside the door.
As Zhao Qizhen approached, just passing Uncle Wang’s position, he caught sight of Pei Mingzhan in the kitchen, skillfully slicing ingredients on the long counter table. And Zhao Yao, who he was looking for, was standing not far from Pei Mingzhan, solemnly looking at the digital scale in front of him, adjusting measurements with a small spoon in hand.
Pei Mingzhan finished cutting and asked, “Are you done over there?”
Zhao Yao checked the recipe on the tablet placed on the counter table again, confirming its accuracy before responding, “This quantity should be correct.”
Pei Mingzhan smiled at him, “Well, close enough usually fine. A difference of a point or two isn’t a big issue.”
Zhao Yao didn’t reply. Instead, he handed things over after preparing them, saying, “I’ll grab something from the fridge. Uncle Wang just bought a pork leg bone yesterday.”
Most of the other ingredients were ready. That Cantonese dish they discussed seemed a bit complicated, and there was one more side dish left to prepare.
Glancing over, Zhao Yao noticed that the soup on the other side seemed almost ready, so he walked over to check on it.
The two worked in tacit understanding to prepare dinner. When Pei Mingzhan was in charge of the cooking, Zhao Yao would set aside his tasks and walk over to observe. Pei Mingzhan would patiently explain matters of heat and even allow Zhao Yao to take over, guiding him from the sidelines.
Such situations were common in Zhao Yao’s apartment, but it was slightly alarming to Zhao Qizhen. He asked Uncle Wang with a hint of surprise, “Has he been playing with these things recently?”
“What’s the issue?” Uncle Wang was accustomed to these matters. What could have been a half-hour dinner, under Mr. Pei’s guidance was now delayed by at least an hour.
Cooking meals was usually manageable, but recently, these two didn’t go out much on weekends. Instead, they focused on exploring dessert-making at home, which inevitably prolonged the cooking time.
This was a big issue. Zhao Qizhen couldn’t quite understand if Zhao Yao had truly lost his mind in a car accident, spending time here cooking, while there were piles of documents waiting for attention at the company. It wasn’t about doubting Zhao Yao’s capabilities. It was just after observing this situation, he couldn’t help but wonder if this person had truly changed.
He spoke up, “San Ge, your interests are quite broad, huh…?”
The two people inside ignored him. Zhao Qizhen felt he was being dismissed again, and noticed Zhao Yao talking with Pei Mingzhan in a manner completely different from the way he was being treated.
Seeing such contrast, Zhao Qizhen entered the kitchen, abandoning his pretense. “San Ge, I need to discuss something with you. Can we go outside?”
Zhao Yao was unfazed by the words and continued following Pei Mingzhan’s instructions, stirring a few more times before lowering the heat on the pot. “I don’t recall inviting you to stay, did I? Uninvited intrusion, that’s one. interrupting my work, that’s two. Seems like you haven’t learned much in the company lately, but you’ve picked up a lot of rudeness.”
Zhao Qizhen’s expression shifted slightly. “I’m not here to talk about manners, I…”
“Can you go outside?” Zhao Yao glanced at him, his gaze indifferent. “If you want to discuss something with me, you should wait for me in the living room now.”
The news of Zhao Zong joining Weibo spread through the Zhao fan community within a few short hours. Many netizens, just logging in after work, were suddenly stunned by this earth-shattering news. What? Zhao Zong on Weibo? Didn’t they say that Zhao Zong wouldn’t join Weibo?
Some netizens were still dwelling on the previous news of Zhao Zong not joining Weibo, to the extent that they hadn’t even processed this new information when they encountered it.
More Zhao fans were asking, “Is there any concrete evidence on this Weibo? Speculation can’t be regarded as proof, and this account could easily belong to another Huihua staff member…” As soon as the topic of evidence arose, a fan who had visited Zhao Zong’s Weibo in advance posted a lengthy image featuring a combination of reasoning and evidence.
The real confirmation that this Weibo account belonged to Zhao Zong came from an internal image of a scene from the set of the drama “Mi Ying,” shared last year, not from Zhao Zong’s original Weibo post but from a forwarded post.
There wasn’t much content, just a netizen raising an eyebrow at Zhao Zong’s commentary on a particular emotional post, questioning the source of the strange theory. They doubted which published book this theory originated from, so Zhao Zong recommended a book to them. Given the numerous books with similar titles on the market, Zhao Zong took a picture of himself holding the book for the netizen. The photo not only captured Zhao Zong with the book but also featured the logo of the “Mi Ying” script in the background, as well as his wristwatch. This was the evidence that finally convinced the netizen.
At last, the Zhao fans responded. When some of the slower netizens navigated to Zhao Yao’s Weibo, they found the comments section already flooded and occupied by the enthusiastic Zhao fans.
Each of Zhao Yao’s previous Weibo posts was revealed one by one, and the Zhao fans seemed to be sightseeing, meticulously examining each and every post.
Even some of the emotional microbloggers Zhao Yao followed turned back to their own profiles and re-shared the Weibo posts that Zhao Yao had reposted.
@Coffee Tree Hole: Okay, thank you for Mr. Zhao’s guidance. //@AlternateAccount: Holding hands is essential. //@Coffee Tree Hole: Hole submissions 【What to do when the boyfriend is too innocent? I’ve been with him for three months, but all we’ve done is hold hands…】
@Recommendation of Romantic Spots from Various Places: Action speaks louder than words, Mr. Zhao personally experienced it, it’s fun. //@AlternateAccount: The aquarium is nice. //@Recommendation of Romantic Spots from Various Places: 【Submission】 Any recommendations for dating spots in City S?
【I’m laughing so hard. Why is this Weibo post teaching Mr. Zhao how to make cakes? 】
【Then you haven’t seen the previous few posts, the fans have already devised a hundred and eight ways to use a haunted house.】
【Hahahaha, even that emotional blogger Mr. Zhao follows also retweeted it to gain popularity.】
【Today, I’m also thanking Film Emperor Pei for giving me a new encounter with “AlternateAccount”.】
【233333 I feel like Film Emperor Pei is panicking right now. Maybe Zhao zong has already called to question him.】
【Zhao: I don’t use Weibo.】
【Zhao: I have an AlternateAccount.】
The Zhao fans were immersed in the joy of Zhao finally having a Weibo account. Sadly, there were few candid moments on Zhao Yao’s trumpet. Most were forwarding posts, with very few original posts. Meanwhile, the Pei fans, who were the first to discover Zhao Yao’s Weibo, found themselves in another dilemma. Does Pei Mingzhan have a trumpet?
The Pei fans saw how Pei Mingzhan skillfully forwarded and commented, couldn’t help but assume he must have a trumpet. How else could he be so skilled in managing Weibo, given his infrequent activity? Accidentally exposing Zhao Yao’s operation seemed a bit nonsensical. And Pei Mingzhan’s main account wasn’t following the “AlternateAccount.” So, how did he mistakenly switch to that account to forward the post?
This matter requires a comprehensive logical analysis. From the traces on “AlternateAccount,” It’s evident this person is Mr. Zhao. Some Zhao fans have even found solid evidence of Zhao Yao’s original Weibo posts. But how did Pei Mingzhan trigger these follow-up actions?
From Zhao Yao’s perspective, It’s evident that he doesn’t want to expose his alternate account. So, the most likely cause of this event is Pei Mingzhan’s accidental operation.
As a result, Pei fans tried different deductions based on Zhao Yao’s Weibo content. They felt that this post should be recommended by Zhao Zong to Fiml Emperor Pei. Although it doesn’t explain the need for reposting with accompanying comments and likes, different signs suggest that Pei Mingzhan does have a trumpet.
Some fans aren’t always astute, but when it comes to Pei Mingzhan, they seem to awaken like they’ve been injected with chicken blood. Zhao Yao’s Weibo has thousands of active fans. Typically, under the reposted Weibo, there might be a dozen or so netizens discussing. But with some higher-discussed posts, there could be hundreds of replies.
After careful screening, they finally found a Weibo user who was suspected to be Pei Mingzhan’s trumpet account. This was just because the operation of this trumpet account was so obvious. He was featured in many of Mr. Zhao’s Weibo accounts, and he was always forwarding comments with one click. The similarity is so obvious.
Who would have thought that as Pei Mingzhan’s manager, it was the first time he found out that his artist had an alternate account active on Weibo. And this alternate account had reposted a large number of Zhao’ Zongs Weibo posts. If one were to claim that the two had no relationship, the netizens would hardly believe it.
After finishing the call with Pei Mingzhan, the studio made extensive preparations to prevent any speculative discussions among the fans. They even deleted several posts from Pei Mingzhan’s trumpet in advance. When Brother Lao asked Pei Mingzhan for the password of the alternate account, a certain artist seemed reluctant. Eventually, only after saying a few words in front of Zhao Zong did this person hand over the alternate account.
The studio acted swiftly, deleting most of the posts from Pei Mingzhan’s alternate account. They aimed to distance this account from Zhao Yao, considering it had previously shared almost all of Zhao Yao’s posts. If this was discovered, it would be hard to explain away.
“This should be fine now, keep some food and finance-related posts.” Lele was also startled, after finishing the operation. He’d been tangled up about Brother Pei’s and Zhao Zong’s relationship for a while. Seeing this situation now, it seemed like Brother Pei took the initiative. Liking every kind of Weibo post, just how much he liked Zhao Zong? “We deleted so many posts. So it should be alright, yeah?”
“Actually, some were set to “only me can see,” but considering the fans’ detective skills, deleting was the safer option.”
Brother Lao replied, “No problem, not deleting could have led to trouble. If Pei Mingzhan had been considerate of these posts earlier, he should have reported to me in advance that he had this small account to follow Zhao Zong.”
“And these two are quite the players! Zhao Zong reposts from Pei Mingzhan’s main account, while Pei Mingzhan creates a trumpet to repost Zhao Yao’s post. Is this how celebrities handle relationships now? Whoever eats this wave of dog food will support it.”
“Have you contacted Pei Mingzhan? Tell him to stay off Weibo for a while these days. Zhao Zong too. Ask Pei Mingzhan to lay low with Zhao Zong for a few days.” Brother Lao felt exhausted. In all his years as a manager, this was the first time he felt this worn out. He used to say handling Pei Mingzhan was a walk in the park, only to realize it was more like handling an ancestor. Looking at the current situation, he was grateful Pei Mingzhan used to be lenient in the past.
“I just called Pei ge. He seems to be at the supermarket with Zhao Zong and heading to Zhao Zong’s place for the night.” Lele started daydreaming, a bit slow to process everything after the chain of events.
After hearing this, Brother Lao suddenly felt that, compared to what Pei Mingzhan had stirred online, going to the supermarket or staying at Zhao Yao’s place seemed like trivial matters. With a bit of vicissitudes, he said, “Is that so? Well, make sure they’re careful these days. Let them avoid the paparazzi.”
Lele nodded, then noticed Brother Lao browsing through something on an e-commerce platform. “Lao ge, are you shopping online?” he asked.
Seeing Brother Lao scrolling through shampoos, the images looked somewhat familiar, resembling the anti-hair loss shampoo his father was currently using.
“Yup, we’re running low on shampoo at home,” Brother Lao paused and then turned to Lele. “Lele, I have something to ask you.”
Lele responded, “Huh?”
Brother Lao rubbed his hair and asked with a hint of hesitation, “Is my hair okay?”
Lele nodded, “It’s alright.”
That reassured Brother Lao. Last weekend at a reunion with his old classmates, they asked if he was entering a midlife crisis earlier.
It seems the old classmates might have hit a nerve there.
The author has something to say: Not-so-responsible Small Theater:
Later, in an interview on Weibo, an influential annual blogger stepped forward to answer some questions.
Host: What do you consider the biggest gain in these recent years?
A Certain Emotional blogger: The time when the CEO of Huihua, Mr. Zhao, graced my work with his guidance…
Panda: Hello everyone! It’s been so long. Sorry for the long wait (っ- ‸ – ς) I’ll be releasing the missed chapters for the next couple of days. Happy reading ~~
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- 三哥 Sān gē: Third Elder brother