Chapter 37: Battle for President
Suncreek Villa, discussion hall.
When the trio arrived, they noticed that there were no empty seats. This was because the entire senior management of the Suncreek Villa had arrived.
Right in front of them was Zhuang Yi with a beaming smile on his face. Sitting right by his side was a dour-faced old man
“Hmm?” Upon seeing that old man, Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing both let out soft cries of surprise before explaining the situation to the slightly confused Li Luo. “That old man is known as Zheng Ping. He is an elder of the Suncreek Villa’s headquarters. His influence in the organization is huge, and he belongs to the founding generation of the Suncreek Villa. He has been around since it was first established by the House Lords. However, this old man is known to be extremely pedantic and strict, a bag of smelly and stubborn bones. He usually resides in the Xia City headquarters. Now that he has suddenly arrived without giving us any notice, I can only imagine that things have gotten pretty bad.” After the explanation, everyone in the discussion hall stood up and greeted Li Luo respectfully.
Even Elder Zheng Ping from the Suncreek Villa’s headquarters stood up and respectfully uttered, “We greet the Young Lord.”
“Elder Zheng is too courteous.” Li Luo flashed him a smile as the trio got to their seats.
“May I kindly know when Elder Zheng arrived in the City of Southwind?” Yan Lingqing suddenly asked.
Elder Zheng Ping expressionlessly replied, “The Tianshu Province’s Suncreek Villa has been performing poorly this year. Headquarters has thus sent me here to take a look. At the same time, they’ve dispatched me to settle the issue regarding the presidency of this branch.” At the same time, he glared strictly at Yan Lingqing. “Vice President Yan, I’ve already seen the reports. The first-grade refining workshop under you has performed abysmally. As a result, the reputation of the Suncreek Villa in the Tianshu Province has been tarnished. What do you have to say about this?”
Yan Lingqing coldly replied, “If you want to know why, you can ask Vice President Zhuang. I’m sure he can provide a more accurate answer.”
Zhuang Yi immediately retorted, “Vice President Yan is simply incapable. Don’t push the blame onto others.”
“If it was not for you secretly blocking the supply of materials to my first-grade workshop, to a point where I was unable to operate on certain days, would I have had such a terrible result?” Yan Lingqing snorted.
Zhuang Yi immediately protested, “House Luolan’s situation in the Tianshu Province is simply not great. Some of the materials come from the three families as well, and they have always sought to suppress us. What lands in my hands is naturally not much. Furthermore, the third-grade refining workshop in my management is the best performing workshop in the Suncreek Villa! Should I simply give it to you too? To let you reap the benefits of my efforts?”
“You!” Yan Lingqing was so incensed she slammed the table beside her.
“Silence!” Elder Zheng Ping bellowed. He severely glared at both Zhuang Yi and Yan Lingqing. “All of you have your reasons, but this old man does not care. I’m only concerned about the Suncreek Villa’s results. Whoever causes the Suncreek Villa to decline, or tarnishes its reputation, will not be forgiven. The Tianshu Province’s performance has been getting worse, and the key reason is that there is no president. Thus, headquarters has discussed the issue and given the order. The branch in the Tianshu Province will immediately elect a new president!” His proclamation immediately silenced the entire discussion hall. The members of senior management did not make so much as a squeak, as they understood that this would be a battle between Yan Lingqing and Zhuang Yi. The worst part was that they were just the vanguards. There was an entire larger battle raging around their skirmish, thus they would only quietly watch from the sidelines.
A glimmer flickered through Li Luo’s pupils. What Zheng Ping had said was not wrong. The Suncreek Villa in the Tianshu Province had too much internal conflict, and if stability was wanted, a new president would be necessary. Most importantly, just who would the elder choose?
As he pondered over the circumstances, Li Luo smiled and asked directly, “Elder Zheng Ping, who do you feel is most suitable to be president?”
Zheng Ping may have treated Yan Lingqing rudely, but when facing Li Luo, he maintained a sense of decorum. After deep thought, he announced, “If we follow the Suncreek Villa’s eternal rule, it should be the one who is best at managing the refining workshops.”
Zhuang Yi, who was at the side, let out a sneaky smile. He personally managed the third-grade workshop, which also surpassed the other two in absolute sales. Hence, this rule was most beneficial to him.
At this point, Elder Zheng Ping continued, “This is, of course, according to the rules. If the Young Lord has any suggestions, please let them be known. This old man can relay your suggestion to headquarters as well. However, we will still have to decide who will be the president now; otherwise, this old man will be stuck here until that has been done. I hope the Young Lord will not fault me for this, as I only have the Suncreek Villa’s and House Luolan’s interests at heart.”
Although Zhuang Yi’s expression remained unchanged, his heart was in turmoil! Why did that damn old man have to speak so much??
Li Luo gave the elder an eye and had an idea. It seemed as though Elder Zheng Ping’s appearance was not as Yan Lingqing had suspected, that someone else had dispatched him to cause trouble for their faction. At the very least, he was not on Pei Hao’s side.
The biggest fear for them was if the individual suddenly appointed by headquarters to visit the Tianshu Province was involved in the proxy war between Jiang Qing’e and Pei Hao. Luckily, Elder Zheng Ping was a neutral party and was known to be a stickler for rules. It seemed as though this was the result of the battle fought in the shadows.
From a certain point of view, this was not bad news.
The only issue was that if traditional rules were utilized to judge the most suitable candidate for president, then Yan Lingqing would be at too much of a disadvantage. Furthermore, the third-grade refining workshop that Zhuang Yi controlled was the Suncreek Villa’s most profitable one as well. What it raked in was significantly greater than both the first and second-grade refining workshops combined.
Yan Lingqing also understood this point, and her pretty face turned frigid. Her pretty eyes were also laced with fury, almost as if she was about to erupt.
Li Luo, sensing the anger, immediately grabbed the back of her hand before looking at Elder Zheng Ping with conviction. “So whoever’s refining workshop does the best will then become the president?”
“Yes.” Elder Zheng Ping nodded.
Li Luo sighed deeply before continuing, “This idea isn’t bad. Let’s go ahead with this.”
His words were immediately met with hushed discussion.
Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing were astonished by this. They were unable to understand his intentions. This seemed to mean that he was giving up the fight for president.
Zhuang Yi was also shocked at this development for a moment before quickly recovering. “The Young Lord truly is broad-minded! Isn’t it right that we just want the Suncreek Villa to be the best that it can be? Ultimately, doesn’t the Suncreek Villa exist to enrich the Young Lord?” he said with a huge smile. Elder Zheng Ping was a little surprised as well. “Young Lord, do you truly wish to do this?”
Li Luo nodded and did not say anything else. He immediately got Cai Wei and Yan Lingqing to follow him out of the discussion hall.
Once out, Li Luo separated himself from the two. At this point, Yan Lingqing immediately berated him. “Li Luo, just what are you trying to do? This rule does not favor me, so why did you agree? If you don’t want me to be here, just say the word! I will immediately head back to Xia City!”
Cai Wei was also staring at Li Luo intensely. From what she knew of him, he was not an impulsive individual, but his actions today seemed to show otherwise.
Yan Lingqing had come to the Tianshu Province’s Suncreek Villa to provide help and reinforcements. Only with her here were they able to prevent their current state of affairs from getting worse. However, everything seemed to have been thrown into disarray with that one line.
Li Luo smiled in response. “My two dear elder sisters, I am definitely not a fool. Can’t you see that I’m worthy of your trust?”
Cai Wei shot him an unconvinced look before the two of them turned around and left in a huff, not interested in entertaining him any longer.
“Although the rules don’t benefit Elder Sister Lingqing, don’t you think that this is the best sort of situation, one where she can legitimately compete for the role of president? At the same time, we have an opportunity to get rid of this cancer known as Zhuang Yi.” Li Luo smiled.
The two paused in their tracks and turned back to look at Li Luo. This was a good opportunity… However, Zhuang Yi clearly was in a position of strength! If they were to play with fire, they might very well get burnt.
At this point, a glint flickered through Cai Wei’s eyes as she stared at Li Luo in shock.
“Could it be… that you have a way to turn the tables?”