Xu Chuanchuan could hear the anger in Murong Shi's voice even through the door. While holding the handle of the two thermos buckets in one hand and holding Murong Shi's cleaned mug in the other hand, Xu Chuanchuan struggled for some time to open the door. After entering the office, she tentatively set down the items on Murong Shi's desk.
Lowering her head and avoiding eye contact with Murong Shi, Xu Chuanchuan timidly said, "If there's nothing else, I'll be taking my leave now."
"Help me pour a glass of water. I want it at room temperature," Murong Shi said, her emotionless voice causing Xu Chuanchuan to get goosebumps.
Xu Chuanchuan knew that she couldn't afford to provoke Murong Shi in the current circumstances. Otherwise, the consequences would be unimaginable.
Gritting her teeth, Xu Chuanchuan grabbed the mug and turned to leave.
"Where are you going?" Murong Shi called out.
Stunned, Xu Chuanchuan turned around and asked, "Didn't you ask me to get you water?"
Murong Shi leaned back against her chair, her unraveled hair covering most of the red chair. Combined with her fair skin and glossy, red lips, she looked quite enchanting from Xu Chuanchuan's perspective. However, when Xu Chuanchuan recalled the words Murong Shi said to her colleague, she couldn't help but shudder and turn her head away.
Pointing a finger in a particular direction, Murong Shi lazily said, "The water dispenser is over there. Don't you see it?"
The water dispenser in question sat between the aquarium and a potted plant, and it looked quite conspicuous in this room.
Xu Chuanchuan walked over to the water dispenser, patted it, and asked, "Is this new?"
Rubbing her temples, Murong Shi said, "It's always been there."
Has it always been here? Why have I never noticed it?
Okay, maybe it's because I was always terrified whenever I came here before, so I never really got to take a good look at the room.
When handing the mug to Murong Shi, Xu Chuanchuan inadvertently touched the other party's cold fingertips. "Is the air conditioning too cold? Your body seems to be cold all the time."
Murong Shi set the mug aside without taking a single sip. She then raised her head, looked at Xu Chuanchuan, and answered with a question, "Will you be going for your break after this?"
Growing alert, Xu Chuanchuan asked, "Do you have any other orders?"
"Spare me a few minutes. Sit down and have a chat with me."
"What do you want to talk about?" Xu Chuanchuan tensed up. "I think I'll continue standing."
Frowning in annoyance, Murong Shi said, "It's tiresome for me to look up at you."
"..." Xu Chuanchuan pulled up a chair and sat down, her heart beating apprehensively.
"Did you say anything about me just now?"
Sure enough, it's nothing good. Taking a deep breath, Xu Chuanchuan answered slowly and clearly, "I just said that you were a good person."
Narrowing her eyes, Murong Shi asked, "Really?"
Xu Chuanchuan nodded solemnly.
"Don't you hold any grudge against me at all?"
Xu Chuanchuan's right eye twitched slightly. Straightening her back, she firmly answered, "No!"
The corners of Murong Shi's mouth curled up sarcastically. Evidently, she did not believe Xu Chuanchuan's words.
Clenching her fists nervously, Xu Chuanchuan's shoulders slumped down like a deflated balloon as she said, "Alright, I admit that I am a little afraid of you, but I promise that I've never badmouthed you even once after that time."
"Oh? That means you still have some complaints in your heart."
"..." Why is she such a difficult person?
Xu Chuanchuan was capable of writing lengthy novels, but she wasn't good at speaking in real life. This was especially true when Murong Shi was her conversation partner. Xu Chuanchuan hated this situation, and she couldn't help but scratch her head in agony. Just as she was agonizing on what she should say, she heard a soft sigh.
Sitting upright, Murong Shi indifferently said, "That's all from me. You may leave now."
Xu Chuanchuan inwardly celebrated but dared not behave too complacently. She then carefully stood up and pushed her chair back under the desk.
Surreptitiously raising her head, Xu Chuanchuan found that Murong Shi had her eyes drooped and looked to be in deep thought. Now that Murong Shi's long and dense eyelashes had hidden the emotions in her eyes, her whole person looked much gentler in Xu Chuanchuan's opinion.
Speaking of which, Murong Shi was only one year older than Xu Chuanchuan. Setting aside their personal grudges, Xu Chuanchuan felt that Murong Shi was a relatively good leader.
Murong Mingkun was a technical person, and the thing he liked doing the most was entering his workshop and conducting research on machines. He wasn't a person to put on airs, so he could get along with everyone in the company. Unfortunately, he was a failure when it came to being a leader. Because of long years of neglect to the company's management, the company's staff had grown lazy and lacked enthusiasm. As a result, the company's work efficiency stagnated and declined over the years.
Murong Shi, on the other hand, was much more suited to being a leader. However, she wasn't without flaws. The main problem with Murong Shi was that she was a little too overbearing. Once she decided to make certain changes, she would act on her decisions swiftly and ruthlessly. She never gave anyone a buffer period to adapt to these changes. Hence, how could the company employees, who had long since gotten used to their lazy lifestyle under Murong Mingkun's management, not resent her?
A thought coming to her mind, Xu Chuanchuan said, "I wasn't lying before. I really think you've done quite well in the company."
Upon hearing these words, Murong Shi looked at Xu Chuanchuan skeptically.
"...Although you are sometimes intimidating, that's a type of authority. If you don't have authority, how will you manage your underlings?" Licking her lips, Xu Chuanchuan said, "Previously, you even came to work despite having a fever. I really admire you for that."
Murong Shi did not speak.
"Have a good rest. I'll take my leave now."
The rest of Xu Chuanchuan's day went by like a dream.
When Xu Chuanchaun got off work and returned home, she turned on her computer out of habit and logged into her QQ messenger. Upon logging in, she noticed the avatar at the lower right corner was flashing. She then moved her cursor over and clicked it.
Ange: "Someone called you out on the forums. [Link]"
The message was sent three hours ago. Xu Chuanchuan was still at work at the time, so she didn't have the time to look at her phone.
Someone called me out?
Xu Chuanchuan was startled. Hurriedly, she clicked the link, and a pink webpage appeared on her screen. However, apart from the words "This page doesn't exist," nothing else was on the screen.
Xu Chuanchuan: "I can't open it. What is it?"
Ange: "It's fine now. The admin deleted the post."
Xu Chuanchuan: "What exactly happened?"
Ange: "Someone called you out on the forums just now, saying that you opened a sub-account to donate Deep-waters to yourself to raise your new book's ranking."
Xu Chuanchuan: "What sub-account? How can I possibly send Deep-waters to myself? I'm not an idiot."
Ange: "Calm down, calm down. That person called you out without evidence, and everyone is speaking up for you. The post is deleted now, and the owner of the post also got banned."
Xu Chuanchuan: "Who's the one who called me out?"
Ange: "Although I don't have any evidence, I think that it's Fragrant Citrus."
Xu Chuanchuan: "Why is it her?"
Ange: "Because your book is above hers right now. [Image]"
The image Ange shared was a screenshot of jjwxc's donation ranking list, and Xu Chuanchuan's new book just so happened to be one rank higher than Fragrant Citrus's cultivation novel.
Xu Chuanchuan was momentarily rendered speechless.
Ange: "But we don't have any evidence, so there's nothing we can do about it. Anyway, don't pay it any mind. Just focus on your writing and nothing else."
Xu Chuanchuan was still puzzled by the situation. Opening her reader group, she found that everyone in the group was talking about this topic right now.
—Does that bastard have nothing better to do? Why would they call someone out for no reason?
—Hugs, Lord. We'll support you forever. @I Love Malatang.
—Lord should still be at work.
—jjwxc takes half from all donations. Who would be so foolish as to donate to themselves? Also, Lord doesn't need such underhanded methods to get exposure.
—That's right, that's right! Darling Shi gives off an incredibly dominant aura, while Lord gives off the feeling of a bottom. How can they be the same person? I would rather believe that they're a couple!
—Darling Shi, don't cry. I'll give you hugs~ Muah~ @Passerby Shi
Xu Chuanchuan was even more confused after reading up to this point.
Xu Chuanchuan: "Did the person who called me out think that Passerby Shi is my sub-account?"
Ange: "That's right. That person even shared screenshots of Passerby Shi's reader profile and donation history. However, there still isn't enough evidence."
Xu Chuanchuan grew speechless once more.
Although every author was a meister at creating multiple personalities, no matter how adept Xu Chuanchuan was at it, there was no way she could create a personality as twisted as Passerby Shi's!
Speak of the devil, a certain someone had finally grown annoyed at being tagged by the readers in the group and sought out Xu Chuanchuan through a private chat.
Passerby Shi: "What are they talking about? I don't understand a thing they're saying."
Truth be told, even Xu Chuanchuan didn't quite understand the situation…
I Love Malatang: "Basically, someone called me out on the platform's forum. After seeing you giving me so many Deep-waters, they think that you are my sub-account. But everything's fine now. The person who called me out couldn't provide sufficient evidence. Maybe they did it because they found me to be an eyesore. Sorry for involving you in this mess."
Passerby Shi: "Oh. Does this mean I shouldn't give you donations in the future?"
I Love Malatang: "This… It's up to you… If you want to donate, then sure. If not, quietly reading my books is also a form of support to me. [Heart]"
Passerby Shi: "Got it."
One minute later.
The reader group exploded with activity once more.
—Ahhh!!! Eight Deep-waters!!! All hail Darling Shi!!!
—Heavens. Is Tycoon Shi angry? There, there, don't be mad. I'll give you headpats~
—Lord, look quickly! Your name and Darling Shi's have fully taken over the front page's banner! What a lovely sight! [Image][Image][Image]
Xu Chuanchuan had already seen the banner herself.
Initially, Xu Chuanchuan thought that the system had choked. When she refreshed the donation log and saw Passerby Shi giving her eight Deep-water Torpedoes in a row, she couldn't help but start questioning life.
I Love Malatang: "D-D-Did y-y-your finger slip again? Why did you send so many Deep-waters?!"
Passerby Shi: "I'm clearing my account."
I Love Malatang: "Clearing your account? What do you mean?"
Passerby Shi: "This account is unlucky. I either get cursed at or called out. I plan to start a new account."
I Love Malatang: "Wouldn't it be troublesome to start a new account?"
Xu Chuanchuan inwardly exclaimed that tycoons really were capricious. Not only did Passerby Shi not hesitate in throwing away so much money, but her reason for doing so was also…
Xu Chuanchuan felt that this incident was partly her fault. Hence, she hurriedly typed away at her keyboard in an attempt to appease this capricious tycoon's mood.
However, before Xu Chuanchuan could send her message—
Passerby Shi: "It's troublesome, so I plan to delete the app."
I Love Malatang: "How will you read if you delete the app? The web version's reading experience is terrible."
Passerby Shi: "I'll stop reading, then. How annoying."
Xu Chuanchuan: "..."
I'm joking. I'm serious.
Anyways, we've hit our second donation goal, so ABBR is now going to have 9 releases/week:
Monday ~ Friday - 1 release/day
Saturday & Sunday - 2 releases/day
This change will take effect immediately, so expect to see double releases on Saturday as well!
To further incentivize you all to fund my gacha addiction, I have created two more goals:
Tier 3 - 500$ - +1 release per week (10 releases per week)
Tier 4 - 700$ - +1 release per week (11 releases per week)
If you would like to support the novel, read ahead (up to 20 releases), and support my goal of getting Keqing to max constellations, please visit my patreon and give me your money!
Patreon Link: https://www.patreon.com/hellscythe
Also, if I hadn't said it before, I'll say it now. Thank you. Thank you very much for supporting ABBR. :)
-Hellscythe, 10th June 2021