Editors: Mariabel and fujoshisarah
The date was September 1st and the sun shined brightly. On Wen Tianhe’s first day of being the CEO, the company went bankrupt.
The incident started three and a half hours ago when Tianhe sent off his second brother Wen Tianyue at the airport.
His second brother, with eyes full of tears, sincerely told his brother, “Baby, I’ll be back in a month at most. During this period, the company will be yours to handle.”
Tianhe replied unpleasantly, “Don’t call me whatever pet name you want at the airport! Don’t worry, I can handle it. Take care of yourself in Silicon Valley. Remember to ask for Mark Zuckerberg’s signature. I like him very much.”
“When I get settled, I’ll make an appointment with Xiao Zha and get together in Saisong for a meal. In passing, I’ll ask to see Steve Jobs.”
“Jobs is dead.” Tianhe said blankly.
“I meant Cook, you two must have a lot in common.” Wen Tianyue immediately changed his tune.
“Come on, go quickly,” Tianhe ordered. “And no drinking on the plane.”
When it was announced to board, Tianhe saw his elder brother from across the glass wall stagger onto the business plane with last night’s two bottles of wine. He walked out of the VIP lounge, climbed into the car, and directed the driver. “To the company. And notify the supervisor, the meeting will be held at ten.”
The driver looked at Tianhe from the rearview mirror and played a song. During the middle of the melodious music of the fourth Partita in D major, the car became stuck on an elevated road. Morning rush hour had begun and was creating endless traffic jams.
“Boss, sleep first if you are sleepy.”
Tianhe had a long talk with his elder brother before departure. This morning he was very spirited because it was the big day that he officially took over the company. He plucked his hair in the back mirror and looked at himself.
Wen Tianhe: 23 years old, Leo, 180cm, 18 cm, had a net worth of 1.8 billion, 1,800 square meters of large villas and 18 sets of self-owned houses around the world, and had a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Cambridge. He was the youngest son of the founder of Epeus Information Technology Co. Ltd., a long-legged, handsome man who liked to wear a shirt and didn’t like ties; he was GAY– a zero.
Maybe 18 cm didn’t do much.
Tianhe’s eyebrows and eyes were inherited from his Germanic mother, while his nose and lips were from his father, combining the advantages of his two parents into one. When he was studying in Cambridge, his fair skin and exquisite facial features often caused many unnecessary troubles. Great looking leather bags are still the same, but interesting souls are one in a million. Tianhe was not a vulgar person who only looked at appearances. Many times, he even hoped to look a little more ordinary. This way professors would pay more attention to his code and marvel at his talent rather than always staring at his face.
Liu Chao, the driver, turned his head towards the backseat and said, “Boss, the supervisors are ready.”
“Very well.” Tianhe gracefully lowered his forehead. “Can I change the song now? I need music other than Johann Bach.”
“I heard Bach can calm people down.” Xiao Liu said sincerely.
Tianhe, “Aunt Fang listened to Bach when she was doing housework. Some people say that God is responsible for washing the world and Bach is responsible for washing clothes. This song always reminds me of a drum washing machine.”
Xiao Liu then changed it to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Apparently, there were no traffic jams now, but he still drove slowly. He hoped this Bentley would never reach its destination.
Tianhe said politely, “Is it convenient to drive faster? If you don’t feel well, you can have a rest, and I’ll drive.”
Xiao Liu slightly quickened his speed and looked at Tianhe with pity from the rearview mirror.
Wisteria New District, Hi-Tech Park, General Manager’s Office, Epeus Information Technology Co., Ltd.
“Second boss is now in the garage. Get ready!”
“I’m afraid the second boss will fight with the shareholders,” the Chief Financial Officer said solemnly.
The Deputy General patted the CFO on the shoulder. “You can just tell the truth, you can’t beat around the bush. Let’s just pretend to try to stop the fight and press him to let the shareholders fight a few times. It’s okay, right?”
“How can you do this to the second boss?” The CFO said incredulously.
“Creditors also need to vent their emotions. Besides, today the boss still has two things to say.” The Deputy General replied.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
The CFO thought about it and asked, “Do you want to close the windows? What if the boss jumps off the building?”
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“Here! Into the elevator!” In front of the water dispenser, all the senior executives dispersed and knocked on the door of the conference room. In the large conference room, there was a group of representatives of the banks, the investors, and the heads of the three funds.
“Our second boss will arrive soon.” said the General Assistant. “Five more minutes.”
“Okay, okay.” The bank credit manager who was over fifty years old took out a handkerchief and wiped the sweat from his bald head.
The head of the sub-branch bank, Chao Zongzhu, asked, “The second boss is a real legal entity in your company, right?”
“Last month, the procedure to change was completed. He’s the legal representative, that’s right.”
After the General Assistant left, everyone looked at each other. “Who will begin?” said the bank’s head.
“Start with the bank first,” the investor said. “This bank owes the most money.”
“Up to you.” The heart of the sub-branch head couldn’t stand it and suggested, “Or the Panda Fund first?”
“No, no, you should go first.”
“You first, you first…”
The Panda Fund’s head said, “I suggest you all stop having unrealistic dreams. Given the current financial situation of this company, even if Warren Buffett is reincarnated, I don’t think it can be saved.”
“Warren Buffett isn’t dead yet.” said the Conrad Fund’s head. “It’s unlucky to say that our family was just entrusted with more than 7 billion yuan.”
Panda Fund’s head sneered. “Where did you find 7 billion in your family? Why haven’t I heard of it? I think your boss asked Ma Huateng to transfer back more than 7 billion QQ coins?”
The head of Conrad Fund’s voice suddenly raised an octave. “I think everyone is like your family. If Tencent has invested in it, I will brush and read the industrial manuscripts of my family every day!”
“Alright.” The head of the sub-branch said earnestly, “Everyone is here to collect debts, so don’t fight in vain. I remember you almost fought in order to invest in Epeus. If you had known today, why bother?”
Everyone in the room became silent. It was like waiting for Buffett’s funeral.
When Tianhe entered the company, all the employees on the General Manager’s office floor went from bright to dim.
“Second boss, your coffee.”
“Thank you, but I don’t drink Starbucks. And don’t call me second boss anymore.” Tianhe smiled. “Mecy, are the executives in the conference room?” He asked the CFO.
The CFO immediately replied, “A few guests are here today. I want you to see to them first and sit in the large conference room. It’s not convenient for us to change places.”
Tianhe pushed the door to enter the conference room and turned back to say, “Inform the regular supervisor that the meeting will be changed to the afternoon… What are you–?”
In the conference room, a group of shareholders’ representatives seemed to see Buffett uncovering his coffin. They jumped out and shouted, “Surprise!”
“Everyone… Good afternoon. Today is not the quarterly shareholders’ meeting, is it? Why is the bank here?” Tianhe didn’t understand the situation. The CFO and the Deputy General followed him in and closed the door.
Inside, the driver asked the General Assistant, “Did you recheck the windows? The locks in the company, the corridor?”
The General Assistant replied, “Even the men’s toilet has been checked, no problem.”
Outside, all the colleagues looked up one after another at the door of the large conference room.
“What?” Tianhe thought he heard it wrong and repeated, “How is that possible?”
There was dead silence in the room. Everyone looked at the sub-branch head who wiped his sweat again and said, “Your brother didn’t tell you?”
“I just sent him off three and a half hours ago!” Tianhe had gone through numerous storms and waves. But when facing insolvency and restitution, he didn’t return to his mind a little.
“You wait, I’ll call him. No, no…he should be on the plane to San Francisco…”
“You’re the company’s legal entity now, right?” The head of the fund said. “The shareholders have got a preliminary understanding of Epeus’s financial situation. Your director of Meixi Mei’s seen the assets list and has also accepted the first point.”
“Wait.” Tianhe couldn’t grasp the information handed in and said, “Pour me some water.”
“This debt is two years overdue…”
“During your brother’s time as the legal representative and CEO, he successively mortgaged all his real estate and cars to the bank…”
“To ease financial pressure, last June, Wen Tianyue took 60 million company funds out of the country by illegal means and went to Macau. What happened next is obvious…”
“You see, little brother, I’m going to retire next year. For the sake of your company, I can’t count on this old age… What to do next? There must be a saying…”
“It wasn’t like that time when your two brothers raised funds. Not only the company hasn’t stopped gambling, but now it doesn’t return emails, answer the phone, or reply to WeChat curses. One scolding was a minute-long… Did you hear? Does it sound like a scholar’s tone? It’s humiliating!”
“Last year, your company also invested 180 million yuan in a science fiction film. Just to let the little actors bring funds into the group, they promised four billion at the box office. Finally, the director made a web game PPT and was the first to run away. The coal boss didn’t even take you to play like this!”
“What I really don’t understand is why Wen Tianyue wanted to guarantee loans for a company with no prospect of performance?”
“Toronto’s server unit will burn 14 million US dollars in rent a year, which doesn’t even include the electricity bill. Look at what you, yourself, have developed and use powerful servers to build your own personal server! When I first came here, I also saw your company’s employees playing World of Warcraft…”
Tianhe felt dizzy with all the noise. He took the water handed to him by the Deputy General, drank it in one gulp, and put the cup down heavily.
The conference room became quiet once more.
Tianhe stared at the empty cup. Half a minute later, his eyes turned to the representatives of all the shareholders.
“Ah, I see.” Tianhe flushed and said, “You’ve gone to the wrong company!”
Two hours later, the representatives of the shareholders left the room. Tianhe sat at one end of the table as a sculpture.
“Boss?” The CFO inquired tentatively.
“I urgently need to listen to Bach,” Tianhe answered
“Not good! The director is about to jump off the building! The windows of the women’s toilet aren’t locked yet. Come on male colleagues hold him—”
Deputy General, “···”
Another hour later, Tianhe waved his hand wearily at the bento on the table. “No, thank you.”
“I always want to eat rice.” The Deputy General opened Yoshinoya’s lunch box and was already starving. He said, “Director Wen, don’t tax your body.”
The CFO looked at the packed lunch on the table anxiously. He still paid for lunch, but now that he was broke, he didn’t know if he could even reimburse it. He owed three months’ salary and also didn’t know when it would be paid. Wen Tianyue vowed that his brother had a solution. Now it seems it was all a hoax.
“You always knew?” Tianhe muttered.
“Mr. Wen said that after you take over as owner, the money will be paid soon.” The Deputy General said. “Would you like to convene the small shareholders of the company to hold a meeting?”
Tianhe calmly replied. “No, I don’t think the E-round financing has been completed. Isn’t it supposed to be listed next year…?”
“There are 60 million E-rounds financing in total, all located in Macau.”
“You are the Chief Financial Officer,” Tianhe said incredulously. “How could you let him gamble 60 million in Macau?! This is a dereliction of duty!”
“What can I do?” The CFO cried out. “It’s always been Mr. Wen who makes the final decision, and it’s only been a day or two since he embezzles the company’s funds. I didn’t know he used the money to play slot machines!”
“What slot machine can play 60 million?” Tianhe asked despairingly.
Deputy General, “The VIP room is full of 100,000 matches, showing 10. He thought it was 10 to 100, so he pressed a pile of zeros. As soon as it started shaking, a big ball fell out. The casino was full of cheering; thus, he thought he was gonna…”
“All right, stop it.” The CFO interrupted.
“Oh, right! I also brought a lot of almond cakes.” The Deputy General remembered. “They’re all in the company’s refrigerator, would you like some? It’s already been three months, but they haven’t expired yet. The performance bonus was issued last month, but it hasn’t been fully paid yet.”
Tianhe, “What now?”
The CFO asked, “Can we get new financing?”
Tianhe looked at the CFO blankly. The Deputy General beside him offered a plan. “Do you still have a big brother?”
“My eldest brother is studying at the space shuttle,” Tianhe replied. “We haven’t been in contact for 15 years.”
The CFO thought for a moment. “Then what about your mother’s side…?”
“Impossible.” Tianhe retorted. “My maternal uncle will not give me a cent, and she has remarried.”
The Deputy General also thought and said, “Your father’s reputation is still well known. You can either ask an old friend for help and have another F-round financing. First, you pay off some debts and then apply for a debt-to-equity swap for the rest.”
The CFO said, “I’ll be honest. Now that the wind is changing outside it won’t be easy to fool buyers.”
The Deputy General responded. “Then, we can only find a way to go public and hope for investors…”
CFO, “With the current accounts, the audit won’t allow us to go public and the security firms will not approve it. After the implementation of the IQ access system by the CSRC, management is much stricter than before.”
The CFO blinked his eyes at the Deputy General who just couldn’t see it. Neither of them was willing to say those two words.
“How much in all?” Tianhe was a little distracted and asked. “I didn’t hear you clearly just now.”
“1.4 billion.” The Deputy General replied. “From June to today, the company hasn’t been paid.”
The CFO watched the Deputy General finish two large servings of plum meat, then got up and said, “Why don’t I send the debt details to your home first? You have to look at it these days before consulting your private financial advisor.”
“So, you want to file for bankruptcy, right?” Tianhe asked heavily.
The two men looked at each other without speaking.
The General Assistant knocked on the door and came in, “Mr. Wen’s phone has been shut off.”
“He’s still on the plane,” Tianhe said. “This time, maybe it’s to talk about new investments. Let’s all wait and see. There’s still hope.”
“Yes, yes.” Both responded simultaneously.
“If we can find a way to get the wages worked out first, the employees will not have many opinions,” the Deputy General said. “It’s most important to stabilize people’s hearts. Everyone has feelings for Epeus. You mustn’t forget it, huh?”
Tianhe met the Deputy General’s worried eyes and replied, “The wages will definitely be paid…but now I think… I have to go back and rest first.”
Tianhe felt dizzy when he stood up. The Deputy General opened the door and sent him out. A group of reporters, who appeared out of nowhere, immediately surrounded him and flashed wildly.
“Director Wen! How are you feeling now? Is it convenient for an interview?”
“Will Epeus file for bankruptcy?”
“Do you have any hope of introducing the landmark artificial intelligence that’ll be released in the fourth quarter?”
“Director Wen, are you all right?”
“Don’t do this! We’re always decent towards people, don’t go too far!” The General Assistant pushed away from the reporter. The driver loyally protected Tianhe, entered the elevator, and ran off.