Chapter 93

Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 93


The two looked at each other as the droplets on Zhao Yao’s face traced down his cheek.

Seeing Zhao Yao’s slightly stunned expression, Pei Mingzhan couldn’t help but laugh. He reached out to help Zhao Yao wipe away the water droplets. “What are you looking at so seriously?”

As Zhao Yao carefully observed Pei Mingzhan. The more he looked, the more unclear he felt about his own feelings.

In the room, only the two people were present. Pei Mingzhan helped him put on his coat to prevent him from catching a cold, while his gaze sneakily swept over the contents of Zhao Yao’s phone screen. “Don’t look at me like that. Do you still want a good night’s sleep tonight?”

The neatly arranged words on the screen carried different meanings, and it felt like the last line of defense in his mind was completely overturned at this moment.

Zhao Yao asked, “Are you going to work overtime later?”

“En, there are a few things left to do. You go ahead and rest.” Pei Mingzhan’s eyes held a subtle depth as he shifted his gaze away from Zhao Yao’s phone. His voice, slightly hoarse, asked, “Still staring at me? Not taking the medicine, yet? It’s getting cold.”

He turned around and walked to the table, casually draping a towel over his damp hair, and opened his office computer.

“Here, take it.” Zhao Yao reached for the medicine on the table. It’s almost almost cooled by now. Then laid back on the bed, watching Pei Mingzhan work. After a while, he felt the room getting a bit warm, so he took off his coat and placed it nearby. He pulled a blanket over his waist and abdomen.

In the quiet room, the only sound was the rhythmic tapping of Pei Mingzhan’s keyboard. Even the once bright overhead light had been replaced by a small lamp. Zhao Yao withdrew his gaze, refocusing on the novel in his phone. But the further he read, the more restless he became. Eventually, he couldn’t resist glancing towards Pei Mingzhan as he reached the latter part.

The intricate scenes seemed to align with a certain plot, the warmth from the room’s air conditioning dispersing, and the faint sound of dripping water lingered in his ears. Zhao Yao sat up, placing his phone aside, and casually called out, “Pei Mingzhan, are you feeling better?”

Pei Mingzhan was in the middle of verifying the final work on the computer while the secretary’s message was still lingering in his mind. His thoughts were in a mess already, unable to figure out how to respond next. Calmly closing his laptop, he hoarsely said, “I’m here.”

Seeing him approach, Zhao Yao began, “I just read a few strategies, and I was thinking…”

Before he could pick up his phone, it was swept to the other side by Pei Mingzhan, landing directly on the blanket on the floor. While Zhao Yao was halfway through his slightly serious words, he heard the gentle voice of Pei Mingzhan interrupting, “Stop looking at those, listen to me.”

Pei Mingzhan didn’t rest until 1 a.m. When he came out from the shower, the once awake Zhao Yao was already fast asleep, wrapped in blankets. Pei Mingzhan covered him properly, smoothing out the creases on his forehead with a gentle touch. His voice, slightly lowered and carrying a hint of tenderness, said, “Good night.”

The next day when Zhao Yao woke up, Pei Mingzhan had already gone to work.

The room was empty, with only one person left. Sitting on the bed, he took a moment to react. He felt refreshed, although a bit lazy and unable to fully concentrate, maybe because of the sleeping aid he took the night before.

He tilted his head slightly and noticed the small note left by Pei Mingzhan still stuck to the bedside table. After sitting up and being awake for a while, he began to read through the messages sent by his subordinates.

As expected, Zhao Zhikai really became crazy searching everywhere for Zhao Qizhen. Several groups of people had been dispatched, even checking the location near his apartment one after another.

Additionally, there’s another matter at hand. With Zhao Changshuo handling their father’s affairs abroad, those family members left in the country have become the targets of suppression by Zhao Zhikai. These consecutive actions indicate that Zhao Zhikai is intent on suppressing dissent within the group before Zhao Changshuo returns. There’s even a possibility that he doesn’t plan to let Zhao Changshuo return safely to the country.

Zhao Yao dialed a number. “What’s the current situation in the group?”

One of his confidants briefly explained Zhao Zhikai’s tactics. “As you expected, he has indeed started suppressing those associated with the eldest young master. He’s already taken action against several ongoing projects.”

Getting Zhao Changshuo to step down is not a straightforward matter. In the group, besides the two opposing factions, there are also some old stubborn figures. These individuals only look at their interests and never easily take sides. In addition, with the explicit statement from his father about the heir inheriting the family business, Zhao Zhikai’s attempt to ascend through conventional means is impossible.

Based on his memories from a past life, Zhao Changshuo’s return from abroad this time is expected to bring back his father’s lawyer, who holds a will. In that will, Zhao Changshuo was originally designated as the heir, but it comes with various restrictions. It was these limitations that allowed him to win against Zhao Changshuo in the previous life, legitimately becoming the successor.

Much like the Qichen project, these restrictions are tied to various projects within the Zhao Group over the past few years, encompassing evaluation criteria that consider multiple factors. Ultimately, it boils down to whether Zhao Changshuo has the capability to take over. If not, then another son would be considered. Back then, Zhao Zhikai intervened in Zhao Changshuo’s project, providing a reason to push him forward.

In this life, thanks to his earlier warning, Zhao Changshuo proactively eliminated the hidden dangers that Zhao Zhikai had planted. Now, Zhao Zhikai can only target the business of the few projects that Zhao Changshuo has yet to firmly establish. A few days ago, he had the team release false information, feigning interest in collaborating on a project with Zhao Changshuo. This setup provides opportunities that Zhao Zhikai, in his eagerness for success, will likely exploit. Whether or not Huang Wenjun believes this information, he will tamper with the project given Zhao Zhikai’s mindset.

As long as he falls into the trap, everything will fall into place.

“Ignore Zhao Changshuo’s side. They have their own set of plans. Let’s proceed according to our plan,” Zhao Yao said, walking over to pull open the curtains. The dazzling sunlight poured in, and he continued, “Wait for another two days. Inform everyone else. Once the news is out, release all the information we have.”

His confidant nodded, “Understood.”

Zhao Yao provided some additional instructions, then after ending the call, he walked to the hotel room’s landline and dialed the front desk. The next moment, he heard the notification sound of a text message on his mobile. Picking up the phone, he saw a message from Zhao Zhikai.

【Don’t you want to know how your mother died? Helping Zhao Changshuo, don’t you find it disgusting?】

“Hello, is there anything I can help you with?” The hotel front desk’s voice echoed from the landline. After a pause, they asked again, “Hello, Mr. Zhao? Mr. Zhao?”

“No problem, I accidentally pressed it.”

Zhao Yao’s gaze darkened slightly as he looked at the text message on his phone. His eyes grew darker and darker. He hung up the front desk’s call and then replied to Zhao Zhikai’s message. Following his response, another message from his subordinate came through — ‘The fish took the bait.’

Even a trapped beast occasionally becomes wise and understands the need for a desperate struggle.

-*

When Pei Mingzhan finished the meeting and came out, he received a call from the Pei family’s hotel regarding a morning call that Zhao Yao had accidentally made. After listening to the details, his expression slightly darkened, and he straightforwardly asked, “Did he have breakfast?”

“No, the front desk thought Mr. Zhao called about breakfast, but later he said it was nothing and hung up.”

Pei Mingzhan’s face immediately changed, “Go to his room now, check if he’s still there.”

Zhao Yao is someone with strict requirements for his health. At least in the time Pei Mingzhan has known him, Zhao Yao’s three meals a day have been very regular. Even if he has a poor appetite, he would eat something, never skipping breakfast like he did now.

The secretary entered the room, “Boss, there’s a meeting in the afternoon…”

His words trailed off as he noticed his boss already dressed in a suit jacket, ready to leave.

Clearly, when the boss came over in the morning, he was in high spirits, appearing to be in a very good mood. How did his mood turn so sour in the time it took for a meeting to start? Could it be that the proposal in the meeting just now didn’t meet the boss’s approval?

“Postpone all afternoon meetings, and address any other issues later,” Pei Mingzhan instructed. “Also, inform Lao Cheng to have a few people ready at the hotel for me.”

The secretary quickly responded, “Yes.”

Taking a more cautious approach, he turned and headed towards the secretary’s office to make arrangements.

After the department heads finished the meeting, and were about to handle their respective tasks. But when the documents were being prepared to be sent to Mr. Pei’s office, they witnessed Pei Mingzhan walking out of his office with a bad expression. The leading manager quickly stopped his steps and quickly greeted him. Pei Mingzhan only passed by without greeting him.

“No way? Mr. Pei seems really upset…”

“I’ve never seen him like this after a meeting. What happened just now? Was he dissatisfied with the proposal?”

“No… Mr. Pei seems to be in a good mood during the meeting.”

The manager and his colleague exchanged glances. They decided to hold off on delivering the documents to the office and hurried back to check if there were any other issues.

After reaching the parking lot, Pei Mingzhan received a reply from his subordinate and paused slightly. “He’s not in the room. Did he take anything with him?”

The subordinate responded, “No, all of Mr. Zhao’s luggage is still in the room. It seems like he just left for a moment after changing clothes.”

Leaving abruptly, what could be the reason for Zhao Yao to leave at this time?

Pei Mingzhan entered into his car and then instructed, “Check Zhao Yao’s bodyguards around the hotel vicinity.”

The subordinate added, “We’ve checked on this. When Mr. Zhao left, it seems he also took the bodyguards with him. When reviewing the lobby footage, the front desk noticed Mr. Zhao’s driver came by. Mr. Zhao left around 9:30 in the morning.”

Because the boss instructed them not to get too close to Mr. Zhao, they hadn’t paid much attention to Mr. Zhao’s movements unless it was for daily security reasons. They stayed discreetly stationed near the stairwell and didn’t draw much attention. This time, Mr. Zhao’s departure didn’t alert anyone else, suggesting he didn’t want their boss to find out.

-*

In the dimly lit corridor, Zhao Changshuo received the items handed to him by his father’s secretary and asked, “Did he mention anything else besides these?”

The secretary lowered his head slightly, “The chairman passed away suddenly, and these are all he left behind.”

Zhao Changshuo looked towards the distant ward. Not long ago, his father was lying there in good health, but now he has passed away. Among all the children, only he had come. Honestly, he didn’t have much emotion. Although he was called his father, in the context of the Zhao family, it was mostly a layer of closer business-related ties.

Like other prestigious families, the Zhao family observes each holiday in a methodical manner. However, every holiday carries a dull atmosphere, more oppressive than festive. It often transforms into a stage for the Zhao family to interact with other wealthy families, ultimately used as a strategic avenue.

From a young age, he was blessed with the glory of becoming the heir. His father would take him to various meetings, and his younger siblings would envy him. But only he knew that this upbringing was with commercial interests. His father just wanted a trustworthy heir.

If he’s mediocre, there would be others waiting in the wings to take his place.

Zhao Changshuo himself experienced fear. When his mother passed away and his father brought Zhao Yao’s mother into the family, the fear of being abandoned intensified. It also instilled a sense of dread in him when it came to cultivating emotions with his new stepmother.

To counter this fear, he learned to be excellent. This way, he could command his father’s central attention, reducing the likelihood of being easily discarded. He remained indifferent to the familial bonds close at hand. It was Zhao Yao’s mother who later reminded him, suggesting that he didn’t need to exhaust himself, nor did he have to be so strong to bear everything.

At first, he didn’t understand the purpose behind these words. But as he grew older, he gradually realized that such attention was actually a burden. A burden named paternal expectations that imprisoned his entire being within the cage of the Zhao Group.

By the time he understood everything, the Zhao family had already undergone a transformation. His sister decisively went abroad, his brother harbored resentment towards him, his new stepmother passed away, and the Zhao family welcomed another new mistress.

“Young Master,” the secretary reminded.

Zhao Changshuo snapped back to reality, looking towards the distant ward and musing, “I wonder if he lived his entire life indulging in self-love and selfishness, even choosing such a place for himself in the end. Without children by his side, I wonder if he truly found joy.”

Having said that, he left without looking back.

The secretary lowered his head slightly, listening to the footsteps growing fainter in the corridor. He understood that a storm was brewing within the Zhao family.

-*

The meeting place chosen was a certain cafe. A decision made by Zhao Yao. Zhao Zhikai personally arrived for the appointment.

Zhao Zhikai walked into the cafe, glancing at the table with the steaming cup of cheap coffee, his face carrying a hint of mockery. “I don’t know what you’re thinking. You have a huge family legacy, but you chose to start from scratch, using your mother’s assets to invest in that tiny entertainment industry. What can you achieve?”

It can be said that he practically watched Zhao Yao grow up. Among this generation of the Zhao family, the first person to catch his eye was this child. Just like when he was a child, a cute little kid in exquisite clothes came bouncing towards him, calling him ‘Second Uncle’ in a tender voice.

At that time, his elder brother had just noticed his actions and sternly warned him for a while. When he came out of the study, he saw his sister-in-law playing with little Zhao Yao in the garden. That child was unlike the dull and uninteresting Zhao Changshuo. Like a little angel, he was lively and playful and was well taken care of by his mother.

During that period, he would occasionally bring little toys for Zhao Yao. And slowly his relationship with the child improved. A child’s thoughts are easy to guess and even easier to please. A few play sessions with a few toys were enough to make him happy. This child was also very clever, learned quickly, and had a strong comprehension ability.

At first, he didn’t take advantage of Zhao Yao’s ideas. But after observing Zhao Yao’s mother’s firm and commanding presence within the group and noticing Zhao Yao gradually resembling him, he began to consider using Zhao Yao. During that time, because of the warnings, he was practically stripped of most of his actual power, aware of his elder brother’s vigilance against him. Later, he thought of Zhao Yao. The child’s trust was truly straightforward, coupled with a mother who always considered him in every aspect…

It was not impossible.

The unexpected death of Zhao Yao’s mother posed no significant problem to him. Instead, it made it easier for the child to fully trust him. In addition, with the assets left behind by Zhao Yao’s mother at his disposal, as long as the Zheng family didn’t come causing trouble, the child would still be within his control.

Later, he watched as the child grew bit by bit, successfully becoming estranged from Zhao Changshuo, just as he desired, and entered the group. His outstanding abilities and methods quickly made him popular in the group. As he approached his goal, suddenly, at this critical moment, he decided to withdraw from the competition and give up benefits that were within his reach.

 Now, sitting across from Zhao Yao, he looked at this somewhat unfamiliar junior and said in a cold tone, “If your mother knew how you are now, I wonder if she would be mad.”

“No need to worry about that. What I do doesn’t require your evaluation,” Zhao Yao replied, lifting his gaze slightly to meet Zhao Zhikai’s eyes. This was the first time they were having a conversation peacefully since the last time they broke up on bad terms.

When he received the message from Zhao Zhikai, he wasn’t surprised. In fact, he knew that such a day would come sooner or later. Zhao Zhikai was well aware of his weakness at this stage of his life. It could be said that during the time he had followed Zhao Zhikai, whenever he felt a hint of retreat, Zhao Zhikai always found a reason to provoke his inner anger.

Once, he was a man weighed down by chains, and Zhao Zhikai held the keys to those chains. Using his concealed anger, Zhao Zhikai step by step incited him to seize power, causing him to turn against Zhao Changshuo.

This used to be his bold determination to overcome obstacles, and later, it became the cold blade Zhao Zhikai used to deal with him.

His mother died from illness on a stormy day, with the sky shrouded in darkness.

Looking back, he still remembered his mother waking up from late-night coughing fits and the blurred face of his mother under the dim light as he slept in her room. There were signs early on, but as a child, he believed that medicine could cure any illness, and his mother neglected to take proper care of her health. Finally, one day, that thread snapped, and the two worlds of life and death were separated.

Why isn’t Dad coming back to see Mom?

Your brother has some business out of town, and your dad is with him.

In the end, it’s all because of your brother. If it weren’t for the issues with the project your eldest brother is working on, your mother wouldn’t have had to work overtime for weeks to clean up his mess. Your father wouldn’t have had to go out of town to supervise, and things wouldn’t have ended up like this.

Zhao Yao believed all sorts of embellished words for many years. If it weren’t for the falling out with Zhao Zhikai later on, he would have been kept in the dark about some truths from beginning to end. Back in the day, a project did run into issues, but it wasn’t his big brother’s fault. It was all because of the mistakes of the project manager at that time, causing a chain reaction. Zhao Changshuo just happened to be gaining experience in that project.

But Zhao Zhikai clung to this point. It could be said that he portrayed Zhao Changshuo as deliberately causing trouble, or he could argue that his father showed favoritism… It was not until later that he turned against Zhao Changshuo that Zhao Zhikai used him as a sharp weapon to seize power.

“You’re ridiculous. If it hadn’t been for Zhao Changshuo, your mother wouldn’t have died.” Zhao Zhikai looked at Zhao Yao, “And now, not only you’re helping Zhao Changshuo, but you’re also helping him target me in every matter. I wanted to support you, but you wasted this golden opportunity.”

“Some things don’t need to be repeated, do they?” Zhao Yao looked at him calmly. “If you’re referring to something like that, I really have no patience for you.”

Zhao Zikai stared at him.

Zhao Yao continued, “When I was a child, I might have been deceived by your sweet talk, but people aren’t fools. I won’t fall for the same trick twice.”

“Zhao Yao, do you really intend to stand on Zhao Changluo’s side?” Zhao Zhikai asked.

Zhao Yao’s expression remained unchanged. “I never said I stand on his side, and likewise, I won’t stand on your side. If you don’t disturb my life, I might not have bothered with all these matters from start to finish. Second Uncle, you’re a businessman. Can’t you see the situation clearly when it’s laid out in front of you?”

“If that’s the case, why did you come out after receiving the text?” Zhao Zhikai sneered. “You’ve been avoiding me these days. Being so clever, didn’t you consider that I might take action against you when you came out?”

“Because you’re too annoying.” Facing Zhao Zhikai’s approach, Zhao Yao placed a document on the table. “There are things I won’t completely destroy, but you repeatedly bring up my mother. My patience has limits. Congratulations, this matter has come to an end.”

Zhao Zhikai took the document and flipped through it with an unpleasant expression. His face suddenly changed. “Where did you find these documents? I clearly ordered them to be destroyed…”

Before coming out, Zhao Yao replied, “I gave these documents to my people before coming here. As long as I don’t return within the specified time, this file will quickly be sent to various media outlets in the country. Zhao Zhikai, you’ve tried every trick in the book, but did you calculate which step you went wrong?”

“Zhao Yao, what do you mean?” Zhao Zhikai tightly held the document, gritting his teeth. “Do you think I’ll believe it? This document from start to finish doesn’t mention any evidence…”

Zhao Yao motioned for the waiter to bring the bill, only looking at Zhao Zhikai after settling the payment. “Whether you believe it or not is up to you. Everything is laid out in front of you. You can guess whether I have evidence or not.”

“And one more thing, avoiding your people is not out of fear, but because I find your constant interference in my life annoying. This will end very soon.” Zhao Yao stood up, looking at Zhao Zhikai with a face turned pale, and said briefly, “Good afternoon. We won’t have the chance to meet again.”

Droplets of rain started to fall, and the cafe’s bell disappeared behind. Not far away, a driver hurriedly approached, holding an umbrella over Zhao Yao’s head. “Mr. Zhao, where to next?”

Zhao Yao lifted his head slightly, looking at the fine rain falling all around. In the distant building, Pei Mingzhan might be busy with the meeting.

The chilly wind brushed against his face. Zhao Yao withdrew his gaze and noticed a call from Pei Mingzhan on his phone. He said, “I’m almost at your company. The rain is quite heavy. Do you want to come pick me up?”

Perfect, he still had time to have lunch with his boyfriend.


Chapter summary:
PMZ: *mini heart attack because ZY is not in the hotel room
ZY: Everything’s done. Me and my bf should have a good lunch (⸝⸝ᵕᴗᵕ⸝⸝)

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