Inside a single-bed intensive care unit in Zhongyun City People’s Hospital…
“Hello, Manager Liu, any news at your end?” A fair-skinned, plump middle-aged man was standing by the window with a phone in his hand and sounded anxious. “Why isn’t there any news yet? Send someone to inform those fishermen immediately. As long as it’s within this week, I, Ma Rongtao will pay 2 million RMB to the second person who manages to get a giant squid’s beak.”
“I know it’s not easy to get that thing! You guys worked hard this week to settle this. Do more visits to the fishermen’s homes and see if there’s anyone who collects that stuff.”
“Hubby, forget it, if it really can’t be found, I’ll just have this arm amputated at most. Anyway, our daughter is all grown-up now, and you’re already so successful, what else do I have to complain about?” After the man hung up the phone, a weak female voice came from the intensive care bed.
“Don’t worry, the giant squid isn’t something that’s extremely rare. I’ve already contacted my overseas clients to see if they’re able to get it.” The plump middle-aged man slowly sat in front of the hospital bed and looked at his haggard wife as he gently touched her nose with his index finger.” Although money is not everything these days, it can fulfill many wishes. If there’s still no news tomorrow, I’ll increase the price to 5 million RMB! If that doesn’t work, I’ll increase it to 10 million!”
“It’s been so many years and you still believe in ’money makes the world go round’!” The woman on the bed gently shook her head and said, “Your business is more important. Don’t worry too much about this. Just leave it to Manager Liu!”
“There aren’t many things to see to these few days. I’ll just get my subordinates to bring the documents that need to be signed here. Oh, I’ll go outside to make a call first and I’ll be right back.” The man patted his wife’s thigh as he got up and headed outside the room.
“Mm, go ahead, work is more important!”
When the middle-aged man reached the corridor, he took out his mobile phone and dialed a foreign number. “Hello, Manager Zhang, have you contacted that Laurel Batten from Tanzania?”
“I’ve already contacted him, Boss, but he’s asking for two million USD for him to send someone to rob his country’s marine museum.”
“Two million, so be it. Send 200,000 USD over first as a deposit. If we still don’t have any news after two days, tell him to take action and send someone to bring it over on an international flight immediately after getting it.”
“Yes boss, I’ll wait for your call 24/7!”
“Giant squid, giant squid, damn you, why must you live in the deep seas?” After hanging up, the man mumbled in a helpless tone.
Wang Bing looked at the ’conch’ in Chen Fan’s hand and said, “Boss, are you really sure this is a giant squid’s beak and not some random conch?” as they went on their way to the Star Shipping Group.
Chen Fan raised the ’conch’ and said, “Forget it, if you don’t believe me. I searched the internet last night and it is indeed the beak of a giant squid.”
Wang Bing exclaimed, “You’re simply insulting my intelligence!”
“Alright, I admit that this was sent over by my southeast Asian partner last night. He discovered a giant squid’s body at the beach three years ago, and he cut off the giant squid’s beak to keep as a souvenir.” Chen Fan said casually, “I called him last night and asked about it. He said he still had it, so I got him to send it over this morning!”
“You…you…” Wang Bing scoffed as he pointed at Chen Fan. “No matter what you say, it won’t change my opinion that it is a ’conch’!”
“Your opinion is not important. It’s the opinions of Ma Rongtao and that elderly doctor that are important. If they think that this is a giant squid’s beak, it’ll be worth two million RMB even if it’s whale feces!”
“Madness, you must be mad! I’m gonna see how you’re gonna sell this ’conch’ for two million RMB.” Wang Bing looked like he was going crazy. “Let me say this first. I’m not gonna help if you’re gonna get all bashed up!”
“Okay, then be prepared to be fired and pay a large sum of liquidated damages!”
Wang Bing was puzzled upon hearing this from Chen Fan. “Why? Why should I pay you money after you fire me?”
“You forgot? We stated clearly in the contract that if you’re around when I’m being attacked and you do not fulfill your duties as a bodyguard, that will a breach of contract and I’ll have the right to fire you and ask for liquidated damages according to the degree of damage.”
“Is there really this clause?” Wang Bing was deflated.
When the two reached the office building of Star Shipping Group, Wang Bing was a little hesitant as he stood in front of the magnificent silver gray building. “Boss, we better not go in. I admit I’m good at fighting, but that doesn’t mean that I wanna experience being bashed up by a hundred people at once!”
“Be a man and show me your courage! Stop being a sissy!” Chen Fan adjusted his shirt before walking toward the stairs of the office building.
Wang Bing heaved a sigh and said, “Hope the company has mostly female employees!” and then followed closely behind.
Ma Rongtao was really rich. There was an archway right at the entrance which could be seen from its reflection on the shiny marble floor without having to raise one’s head. Hanging from the gorgeous ceiling was a huge Baroque style crystal chandelier.
“Is your manager around?” Chen Fan asked the female receptionist at the lobby reception area.
The receptionist was very pretty and had a sweet voice. “Do you have an appointment? Which manager are you looking for?”
“The highest ranking one!” Wang Bing snapped as he walked forward.
“I’m sorry, I’m not able to help you if you do not have an appointment.” The receptionist was still smiling. It was obvious that not everyone could meet a manager of the Star Shipping Group, especially in the case of Chen Fan and Wang Bing who looked like ordinary people. Although Chen Fan was holding a giant squid beak that was worth two million RMB, the clothes he had on were very ordinary.
“I hate to say this, but if you don’t inform your manager immediately, I can guarantee that you’ll be fired straight away.” Chen Fan knocked on the black marble table-top.
“Why?” The receptionist frowned and asked doubtfully.
“Because his wife ran away with another man this morning!” Wang Bing squeezed forward, looking very annoyed.
“Huh? How is this possible? Our general manager is a female!”