ABBR - Chapter 6

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Murong Shi found the medicinal smell unbearable, but she didn't have Xu Chuanchuan change her clothes. Looking at the item in Xu Chuanchuan's hands, Murong Shi asked, "What did you bring a camera for?"

"Aren't we supposed to take pictures?"

"It's just a few photos. No need to bring such specialized equipment."

Xu Chuanchuan shifted her gaze between Murong Shi and the camera she held for a moment. She then asked hesitantly, "Can you wait here for a moment? This camera is quite heavy, so I wish to put it back first."

Although it was rude for a measly department assistant to make such a request to the company's leader, Murong Shi wasn't an unreasonable person. Nodding, she said, "Go ahead."

Xu Chuanchuan fled the scene immediately.

With her greatest speed, she dashed back to her office and rummaged through her shoulder bag. After digging through it for some time and tossing the box of medicinal patches to a side, she pulled out a small bottle of perfume.

This perfume was a sample gift she received when she bought some skincare products online. Twisting the cap open, Xu Chuanchuan dabbed some of the liquid inside with her finger and rubbed it on her wrists. As an added measure, she also patted the excess liquid onto other parts of her body.

Not daring to waste any more time, Xu Chuanchuan grabbed her phone and a notebook before dashing back to Murong Shi. While panting from exhaustion, she said, "Sorry for the long wait."

When Xu Chuanchuan got closer to her, Murong Shi immediately picked up the smell of perfume with her sensitive nose. The perfume's scent was quite thick, and the medicinal smell from before had also disappeared, so Murong Shi could discern Xu Chuanchuan's thoughtful gesture right away. However, she didn't express much of an opinion on this matter.

"Let's go."

"Where do you wish to start from?"

In a casual tone, Murong Shi said, "We'll start from whichever location is the dirtiest and messiest."

"..." Xu Chuanchuan didn't know how she should follow up with this line.

Seeing Xu Chuanchuan's lack of response, Murong Shi raised an eyebrow and asked, "What's the matter?"

"Nothing…" Xu Chuanchuan deemed that the company's washrooms were the dirtiest locations. Still, she couldn't possibly bring Murong Shi to the washrooms, right? Blinking her eyes, she suggested, "How about the warehouse?"

Murong Shi did not respond verbally. Instead, she raised her chin slightly, hinting at Xu Chuanchuan to lead the way.

Xu Chuanchuan walked in front of Murong Shi in confusion. She couldn't figure out what Murong Shi was trying to do. Was she looking to tour the company building? Or was she deliberately looking for trouble? In addition, Xu Chuanchuan couldn't understand why Murong Shi would choose to take over this company of all places.

The company Xu Chuanchuan worked at was involved in manufacturing luggage products. The company was small, and business had been sluggish for the past year. As far as she knew, the owner and his wife had founded this company when they were young. Afterward, for some reason, the owner and his other business partners switched to real-estate investment and left this luggage company idle after making a fortune. The proprietress was even more exotic. After pushing the company's management to her younger brother, she stopped caring about it altogether. After years of neglect, the company was nothing more than an empty shell now.

The total number of employees here was less than 50. No matter how Xu Chuanchuan wracked her mind, she couldn't understand why the owner's daughter would choose to manage this place instead of one of the owner's many other more successful businesses.

Linda was absent from work, and the engineering department's assistant got arranged to her side for some inexplicable reason, so Murong Shi couldn't help but take a few more looks at Xu Chuanchuan. For some reason, when Murong Shi recalled the situation that took place in the KFC that day, where Xu Chuanchuan had aggrievedly complained to her about how she had mistakenly poured her Coke, she couldn't help but let out a stifled laugh.

Although Murong Shi's laughter was soft, Xu Chuanchuan, who had her nerves tensed, heard it. However, when she turned around, what entered her eyes was Murong Shi's expressionless face... For a moment, Xu Chuanchuan suspected that there was a problem with her ears.

When Murong Shi's eyes swept toward her indifferently, Xu Chuanchuan immediately felt a strong pressure descending on her, and she quickly turned away.

The next second, Murong Shi asked, "How long have you been working here?"

Xu Chuanchuan felt flattered that the company's new leader had taken the initiative to strike up a conversation with her. Doing her best to not make herself look overly humble or overbearing, she answered, "Three years."

Switching to another question, Murong Shi asked, "What are your plans for the future?"

Unsure what Murong Shi was getting at, Xu Chuanchuan pondered for a moment before answering, "I think our company is quite good. I wish to continue working here."

Although Xu Chuanchuan's answer sounded like flattery, this was indeed her true thoughts. There was less work in a small company, so she wouldn't have to work overtime every day. This was a workstyle perfect for her. If she were to switch to a new environment, she couldn't guarantee that she would have the energy to write novels after getting off work like she was doing now.

Failing to get a glimpse at Xu Chuanchuan's inner thoughts, Murong Shi stopped probing after asking two questions, reverting to her cold behavior.

The warehouse was located at the first floor's innermost location. The warehouse's back door happened to be open at this time. When Xu Chuanchuan and Murong Shi arrived at the back door, they happened to come across a warehouse staff carrying a pile of discarded plastic packaging out of the warehouse. The warehouse staff did not recognize Murong Shi. After rudely letting go of the items in his arms, he promptly turned around and left.

When the plastic packaging fell, they scattered to the ground, and some of them landed on Murong Shi's high-heeled shoes that were worth tens of thousands of yuan. Seeing this, Murong Shi frowned unhappily.

Noticing Murong Shi's foul mood, Xu Chuanchuan thought to crouch down and push aside the rubbish on Murong Shi's feet. However, someone grabbed her arm before she could do so.

Murong Shi's long fingers clasped Xu Chuanchuan's arm and pulled it back. Murong Shi then took a step back and said, "Don't worry about it. Photograph it first."

Xu Chuanchuan felt as if someone had wrapped ice around her arm when Murong Shi grabbed her, and she wondered if this was because the air conditioning in the general manager's office had been set too cold. Fortunately, the discomfort quickly disappeared as Murong Shi released her.

Straightening her posture, Xu Chuanchuan raised her phone and snapped a few pictures of the garbage pile.

After waiting for Xu Chuanchuan to finish, Murong Shi said, "Go in and take a look."

Xu Chuanchuan glanced inside the warehouse, a distressed expression appearing on her face as she said, "I can't..."

Why couldn't she enter? Because it was far too messy inside, and packaging boxes and white foam were blocking the entrance. There were also people yelling and shouting inside the warehouse, making it seem like a marketplace.

Noticing the obstacles as well, Murong Shi said with a darkened expression, "Nevermind."

After avoiding the garbage in front of her, Murong Shi noticed a concrete staircase and said, "We'll head up and take a look."

Walking up the stairs was a strenuous activity, and Xu Chuanchuan couldn't help but have some doubts as she stared at Murong Shi's heels.

However, Murong Shi approached the stairs without hesitation, so Xu Chuanchuan followed in a hurry.

Murong Shi appeared relaxed as she ascended the stairs. She even moved faster than Xu Chuanchuan because of her long limbs. When she reached the landing and was about to make a turn, she stopped suddenly, her beautiful eyes drawn toward a certain place downstairs.

Following Murong Shi's gaze, Xu Chuanchuan found cigarette butts piled up in a corner and was rendered speechless. This time, she quickly raised her phone to take a photo without Murong Shi's command.

"There are some here as well," Murong Shi said as she pointed at a small gap between the transparent glass and concrete landing. The hole was stuffed with cigarette butts.

These locations were relatively inconspicuous, and Xu Chuanchuan couldn't help but wonder how Murong Shi had managed to notice them. The gap Murong Shi just pointed out was so narrow and hidden that even after Xu Chuanchuan had crouched down and approached it, she still failed to get a full picture of it.

As there was no air conditioning in the stairwell, Xu Chuanchuan began perspiring out of anxiety. Noticing her distress, Murong Shi said, "It doesn't matter even if you can't get everything."

Xu Chuanchuan sighed in relief at Murong Shi's words. Storing her phone away, she tried to make conversation by saying, "Who would be so unethical as to—hiss!"

As Xu Chuanchuan had stood up too abruptly, she accidentally sprained her back, the acute pain causing her to grit her teeth. While maintaining a half-squatting posture, she reached for something to hold onto in a panic—and ended up grabbing one of Murong Shi's chilly arms.

Although Xu Chuanchuan maintained her balance, a face had suddenly appeared in front of her.

Bending over, Murong Shi looked at Xu Chuanchuan oddly and asked, "What's wrong?"

Only now did Xu Chuanchuan realize what she had just done. Although she tried to let go in a panic, she was surprised to find that Murong Shi had grabbed her hand instead. "Low blood sugar?"

Xu Chuanchuan didn't need to look at a mirror to see the expression of agony she was currently making. She also didn't care about being reserved at this moment. After standing up straight with Murong Shi's support, Xu Chuanchuan laughed awkwardly and said, "It's nothing. I just sprained my waist."

"Do you need me to help you down?"

"No, no. No need for that." Frightened by Murong Shi's offer, Xu Chuanchuan gritted her teeth and said, "It's not serious; I can handle it..."

Not having any doubts, Murong Shi released Xu Chuanchuan's arm and said, "Let's continue, then."

Xu Chuanchuan responded "yes" repeatedly. After watching Murong Shi continue up the staircase, she steadied her breathing and supported her back while following Murong Shi.

There was an iron door separating the stairwell from the second floor. The closer they got to the door, the more pungent the smell of tobacco. Xu Chuanchuan explained, "That's a smoking room."

Murong Shi's complexion turned uglier when she heard Xu Chuanchuan's words. Despite the smoking room being practically at arm's reach, people were still throwing their cigarette butts in the stairwell. 

Xu Chuanchuan was truly afraid that Murong Shi would lose her mind now.

At this time, a cheerful ringtone appeared. Sending Xu Chuanchuan a glance, Murong Shi said, "Let me take this call."

Taking the hint, Xu Chuanchuan pushed open the iron door and entered the smoking room first.

Probably because it was working hours now, nobody was occupying the smoking room. As soon as Xu Chuanchuan entered the room, the unpleasant smell of tobacco assaulted her nose.

Doesn't seem like there's anything to photograph here.

After circling the room once, Xu Chuanchuan caught sight of a flat and square object in a corner of the room. Crouching down slowly, she picked up the object and found that it was actually an unused condom...

Why is something like this here?

As luck would have it, Murong Shi just so happened to have finished the call and entered the room at this time. Looking at Xu Chuanchuan's stunned appearance, Murong Shi asked, "What are you looking at?"

In reality, though, even without Xu Chuanchuan telling her, Murong Shi had already seen through the identity of the object in Xu Chuanchuan's hand.

Looking up, Xu Chuanchuan met with Murong Shi's cold and indifferent eyes.

Unsure if she was overthinking things, but Xu Chuanchuan thought there was a look of intrigue in those beautiful eyes. Growing flustered, Xu Chuanchuan blurted out, "This isn't mine!"

Hearing this, Murong Shi chuckled and asked, "What are you panicking for?"

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Translated by Hellscythe. Edited by Grammarly.