Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 78: Temptation
“Eight-hundred-thousand isn’t that great? I don’t even have a hundredthousand after taxes!” Zhang Siyi complained.
Smiling at Zhang Siyi, He Chengtian gave him a look that one gives to anunknowing child: "I thought someone with such a high IQ would have to be makinga lot of money, otherwise Gu Yu's genius is wasted. But you see now, even Mouseearns more than he does."
Can people who have just entered the working force really earn a couplemillion in a year? Shen Hao is still an uneducated person and although he haspaid for his lifestyle by himself, Zhang Siyi can't admit that Shen Hao'ssuccess was entirely due to his own determination and work.
Although Zhang Siyi didn't believe him, he didn't let it show on his face: “Wheredid you get so much money?”
He Chengtian smiled and said: “I mainly handle investments now. To behonest, we caught the trend at a good time. Eight years ago, in Haicheng whenthe housing market was extraordinarily good, my parents sold a few propertiesand made a lot of money. The family opened an investment company mainly toinvest in banking and the stock market." He Chengtian put his fingers to hislips mysteriously and confidently said: "I can tell you, my family income is inthe range of twenty million a year."
Zhang Siyi chin hung open. His family assets aren't any worse than FuXinhui's family. Thus, eight-hundred-thousand really is pennies in a bucket. InZhang Siyi point of view, since He Chengtian used his family achievements tofurther himself, he didn't understand why he could be so arrogant. Being underthe influence of Gu Yu for so long, he can understand why He Chengtian wantedto boast now. However, having met someone who doesn't look favorably at Gu Yu,Zhang Siyi felt a little despondent. He quietly sighed. Zhang Siyi could onlycomfort himself with his father's words — money is not a measurement of a persons'worth.
He Chengtian squinted at Zhang Siyi in thought: “I really didn’texpect your salary to be so low. If you don’t earn a hundred-thousand per-year,how do you survive in Haicheng?”
Hearing He Chengtian ask, Zhang Siyi is reminded of his own financialcrisis. It feels as though an arrow has pierced his back, spraying blood!
He Chengtian quickly asked again: "Do your parents give you any money?"
Zhang Siyi replied seriously: “I don’t spend my family’s money. Irented a house with my classmates. Well, it's only the first year of working sothe money isn't enough, but I didn't really expect it to be."
Face full of sympathy, He Chengtian asks: “With so little salary,why are you still willing to work for Gu Yu?”
In his mind, Zhang Siyi isn't working for Gu Yu and he wanted to argue withhim, but He Chengtian also said: "You graduated University from the UK so yourEnglish must be very good. Recently, I lack an assistant who can speak bothlanguages. Maybe you think working for me is no different than working for GuYu, but I'll start you off with a two-hundred-thousand annual salary. Surely,you will be free to live the life you want then."
Zhang Siyi was shocked by the amount He Chengtian offered:"Two-hundred-thousand? That's too good!"
He Chengtian chuckled and said: “Yeah, Iremember you were smart as a kid. Talkative too and you are also my High Schoolalma mater. You certainly won't let me down."
Even though Zhang Siyi got a compliment, he feltskeptical. He couldn’t help thinking about the attitude of Gu Yu on his firstday meeting him at the interview a half year ago. Both men were Directors in theirrespective businesses, but the difference between them was remarkable. In comparisonto Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi thought He Chengtian was unsophisticated.
He Chengtian continued: “Also, with yourkind face and simple look, it's very suitable for going out to negotiate withpeople. After two years of experience working with me and you mature, yoursalary will increase to be more than two-hundred-thousand a year."
Although Zhang Siyi is very keen to stick to therules, he is very stressed about his financial situation that this temptationis just too big! He couldn't help but feel his heart waver.
Moreover, the olive branch thrown out by HeChengtian is different from the previous proposal of Shen Hao. Since HeChengtian came from a distinguished background, his promise made Zhang Siyifeel like it was sincere. Unlike Shen Hao, who wasn't serious growing up andwhose educational background was less than exemplary, Zhang Siyi doubted hisproposition.
However, since they hadn't seen each other forseveral years, Zhang Siyi did not understand why did He Chengtian offer such agood job opportunity?
Zhang Siyi questioned: “Can’t you find anassistant in Haicheng? The city shouldn't lack any talented prospects."
He Chengtian explained: "For a personalassistant, I need to find someone trustworthy. A suitable person is hard timefind. Any talent is also shrewd, and you never know if they will really work inyour best interests. The honest ones are all nerds that have no art fordiplomacy and lack cultural experience. But you are different. You have bothnegotiation skills as well as international skills. We grew up together, andhave a childhood friendship and as such, will have each other's backs. Ohand…." He Chengtian suddenly came closer to Zhang Siyi ear and told himquietly: "My sister liked you when she was young, you know? She wrote about hersecret love for you in her diary."
Zhang Siyi: "……" He had no idea!
He Chengtian backed away from him and said with asmile: "She is still single and there's quite a lot of men lining up to chaseher."
Zhang Siyi thought his sister was quitebeautiful. Coupled with her current family background, it would be strange if thereweren't men chasing her.
He Chengtian snorted and said: "The problem is thebackground of the guys chasing her are unreliable. Its hard to find people youcan trust, but you Sisi, we have known each other's roots since childhood. Althoughyou haven't seen my sister for several years, I think its fate that brought ustogether. I'll let you come work with me, not just to higher you, but to alsoconsider the possibility of being with my sister; to train you as a futureBrother-in-law.
“Brother Tian …” Zhang Siyi said feelingawkward and looking down. Why is he feeling shy at the prospect of a blind date?
Although he hasn't thought at all about, HeXueying, He Chengtian attitude greatly satisfied Zhang Siyi vanity. He comparedthe two again and wondered why Gu Yu attitude about his younger sister was sodifferent? One was being supportive and the other rebuffed; 'you are still faraway.' Even so, he can't stop himself from thinking about Gu Yu.
He Chengtian patted his shoulder and said: “Thinkabout my offer."
Shen Hao finished his rounds among the crowdpassing out business cards. When he saw Zhang Siyi with, He Chengtian, heapproached with exorbitant amount of enthusiasm: "Brother!" Since Their tablesweren't originally together, He Chengtian asked to switch with someone so hecould sit with them during the wedding
Shen Hao and He Chengtian talked business for a while.They discussed their different connections and resources in the industry suchas building materials merchants, acquaintances who are in the field and also toask about investments to make money.
Knowing each other since childhood, He Chengtian cantalk freely and promised to help Shen Hao. It seems to Zhang Siyi that Shen Haoisn't here for the wedding, but to establish connections. Like Fu Xinhui saidpreviously, now in society people need to expand their networks for new opportunitiesto make money. Hearing his two old friends, Zhang Siyi realized how importantestablishing a connection really is.
After the wedding began, the newlywed couple enteredthe venue to start the celebration. Shen Hao wasn't idle. He had two mobilephone and answered them every few minutes. Zhang Siyi only heard parts of theconversations Shen Hao had: "By tonight? I'll come over later", "Do not fillthe mud!", "It's still not enough paint? But you told me you had enough!" …….
Even at a wedding, Shen Hao has many businessmatters to think about. Watching him manage multiple conversations pertainingto different projects at the same time makes Zhang Siyi think Shen Hao doesn'thave it easy. He used to think Shen Hao was too arrogant and lazy. Comparedwith the former Shen Hao who was not serious and had no love to learn, thecurrent Shen Hao has really changed a lot. He is mature, steady and bold. The impressionShen Hao left on Zhang Siyi previously made it seem like the millions he madecame easy, but it is not the case. At least at the moment, Zhang Siyi saw howmuch effort and determination he had for his work.
He Chengtian turned to address Zhang Siyi: “Althoughyou are in different sectors, you are both part of the construction industry. Sisi,you see Mouse has done very well so why not work on a project together?" HeChengtian glanced at Shen Hao and said: "Mouse, did you forget about yourBrother even though you are in the same industry? You are here with silver and gold,but Zhang Siyi has nothing to eat in Haicheng"
Zhang Siyi: “……” What the hell! Is heso miserable?
Feeling accused Shen Hao defensively said: "Did Iforget him? I asked him when he returned to Ningcheng. He grew up learning andthinking better then me. I have long thought of us working together, but he saidhe wants to be in Haicheng. I don't think he heard me at all!"
Shen Hao also complained about him……
Zhang Siyi retorted: "How have I not heard? Thespecialty that I am in isn't really the same as yours. Even if I followed you,I would have to start from scratch."
He Chengtian drank a mouthful of wine andsincerely advised: “Your salary is too low. I sincerely advise you not tocontinue in that field. You are smart. Since you haven't been working for along time in your career, it won't be a problem for you to change. Some peoplework a thousand years and still can't get ahead in life. Most people beg tohave the opportunity you have. The most precious time for your career is inyour youth, so you don't have time to waste."
Zhang Siyi struggled for a moment and said:“But I still like to do architectural design.”
"Like?" He Chengtian thought little of Zhang Siyicomment and sneered: "I like to eat. What is the cost of living in Haicheng? Areyou going to rent an apartment for the rest of your life? Or are you going backto your parent's house in two years?"
Speechless, Zhang Siyi was at a loss. There was acertain logic to He Chengtian thoughts and his heart wavered, he suddenlyremembered what Gu Yu's Father told him - your value does not depend on howmuch money others give you today. Thinking thus, Zhang Siyi calmed down a lot.Indeed, the low income is still a big problem and the conditions set by HeChengtian make Zhang Siyi feel excited. But Zhang Siyi must ask himself; is itjust money that he wants to pursue?
Even his friend, Fu Xinhui, asked him the sametype of question; if one day you have endless money, what would you do?
After the hardships of his studies at universityand experiencing the stress of finding a job, more than once, Zhang Siyi has doubtedhis career choice. However, under the guidance of Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi enthusiasmfor architecture has slowing been recovering. Recently, his love forarchitecture has been rekindled. Especially by the strong pivotal words of GuYu's father.
What he wants is a sense of accomplishment thatrises from deep within his core after drawing.
What he wants is a sense of camaraderie by workinghard with like-minded people.
What he wants is a sense of joy that comes fromthe acceptance of a design into practice.
He still wants to get stronger.
He wants to work together, stand side by side with Gu Yu.