Feng Qi’s actions thoroughly and completely stupefied Zhao Qiang. Holding the envelope in his hand, he left with a puzzled face, deciding to ask his junior sister what was going on.
After listening to Zhao Qiang’s story, Jiang Li asked, “What’s in the envelope? Have you checked it?”
“I forgot to look at it just now.” Zhao Qiang shook his head. He was so busy being frightened by Professor Feng’s unusual behavior that it hadn’t occurred to him to check.
“Then you should take a look,” Jiang Li urged.
Zhao Qiang nodded and opened the envelope, only to get even more baffled seeing a thick stack of cash inside. Holding the envelope, his hands trembled, “Junior Sister, do you think Professor Feng is so angry that he wants to fire me, so he’s giving me severance pay?”
“…” Jiang Li was speechless. At this moment, she almost admired Zhao Qiang’s imagination.
“Don’t worry. My uncle isn’t that indirect in his words. And he really isn’t angry; I’m pretty sure about that,” Jiang Li reassured him.
Zhao Qiang was half-convinced, “Then what’s with this money?”
“It’s a reward for you. Just take it. Uncle must be thanking you for teaching me how to dislocate joints,” Jiang Li said confidently.
Seeing Zhao Qiang about to ask more, Jiang Li quickly changed the subject, “By the way, Senior Brother, I have been looking at the document you sent me recently, and there are several points I don’t quite understand. Can you explain them to me?”
Zhao Qiang immediately nodded, “Of course. While I’m not busy yet, you should ask your questions.”
Jiang Li took out a notebook from her bag, “I’ve noted them down here. Just explain them to me in order, please.”
Soon, Jiang Li felt that her senior brother finally seemed normal again. Sure enough; as long as the conversation turned to academic matters, his demeanor would transform in an instant.
After tutoring Jiang Li, Zhao Qiang went back to his work. At lunchtime, as usual, he went to find Jiang Li, only to discover that Fang Tong had taken her out.
A fellow intern spoke up, “Little Junior Sister went out to eat with Fang Tong. Fang Tong received some prize money and said she wanted to treat her to celebrate.”
Zhao Qiang paused for a moment, then remembered he had also won scholarship money. Although he didn’t think there was much to celebrate, he thought he should, too, since Fang Tong had celebrated.
So, Zhao Qiang quickly finished his lunch and then headed to a bookstore close to the research institute, ready to pick out reference books for his dear junior sister.
Meanwhile, Jiang Li and Fang Tong went to a nearby hotpot restaurant and enjoyed a hearty meal for lunch. On their way back, they took a slow stroll and ran into Zhao Qiang as soon as he returned.
Zhao Qiang stopped Jiang Li and handed her a canvas bag, “Junior sister, a gift for you.”
“For me? A gift?” Jiang Li pointed to herself with confusion. It wasn’t her birthday or any special occasion, so why would she be getting a gift?
Zhao Qiang nodded affirmatively, “Yeah, I just heard that Fang Tong took you out to celebrate, so I prepared a gift for you too. It’s a celebration from me!”
Jiang Li took the canvas bag with suspicion and found it filled with reference books upon opening it.
Zhao Qiang explained, “You mentioned last summer that you wanted to take part in competitions after starting high school, so I bought these references for you. I hope they are useful.”
Unable to hold it, Fang Tong burst into laughter. She looked at Zhao Qiang in disbelief, “You call these books a gift?”
Zhao Qiang nodded, “Yes, I spent quite some time picking them out. These should be suitable for Junior Sister.”
“…” Exasperated, Fang Tong couldn’t even continue laughing. She always knew Zhao Qiang was a stereotypical straightforward man to the bone, but she hadn’t expected him to be this clueless. He was constantly refreshing her understanding of him!
Zhao Qiang ignored Fang Tong, who appeared like she had sustained internal injuries, and looked at Jiang Li with anticipation, seeking praise.
Jiang Li pulled out one book and flipped through a few pages before looking up at Zhao Qiang, “Thank you for the gift, Senior Brother. I really like it.”
Hearing her say this, Zhao Qiang became somewhat embarrassed. He said awkwardly, “I’m glad you like it. I was worried you wouldn’t.”
Unable to endure their conversation any longer, Fang Tong chose to discreetly leave. Unlike them, the gods of prodigy, she was only a mortal. All she could do was look up at them from a respectful distance, and it was not suitable for her to intervene!
Jiang Huai had been going through a particularly tough time lately. Due to the Feng family’s intervention, his businesses had been affected to varying degrees. While dealing with the mess, he tried to console himself, thinking that he was still much better off than many — at least, he was not in danger of ruin and bankruptcy. However, he hadn’t expected Bai Qiming, his assistant of nearly twenty years, to suddenly resign, even providing a handwritten resignation letter and handing it personally.
Seeing the resignation letter, Jiang Huai assumed Bai Qiming had found a better opportunity and asked coldly, “Who poached you? Tell me.”
Being Jiang Huai’s assistant for many years, Bai Qiming was naturally excellent in his work and was known in the industry. There was nothing strange for him to receive a head-hunting offer.
But Bai Qiming shook his head, “No one poached me. I just feel old and want to rest back in my hometown. I hope you will allow this, sir.”
Jiang Huai sneered, “I understand you want to find another way out now that my business is struggling, but you’re not being honest with me. Do you think I will keep you here against your will?”
Bai Qiming calmly replied, “My apologies sir, but my resignation is truly from my desire to return to my hometown. If you don’t agree, I’m willing to forgo my last month’s salary.”
Angered, Jiang Huai swept documents off his desk and accused Bai Qiming of not being truthful. Bai Qiming remained silent throughout the tirade. In the end, Jiang Huai signed the resignation letter, “Rest assured, I will pay you every penny you’re owed, so you can’t say that I, Jiang Huai, have mistreated you. I want to see what you can achieve after leaving my company.”
Bai Qiming stayed silent, took the signed document, and promptly visited the HR department to go through the standard resignation procedures. His provocation of Jiang Huai was deliberate, aimed at securing his final month’s salary. Though not a large sum, it would be more difficult to earn as much back in the county town. Still, while the wage he could earn would not be high, the local cost of living was equally low, so he and his family had to adjust to a new lifestyle from now on.
After Bai Qiming left, Jiang Huai was so furious he destroyed several items in his office.
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