Chapter 61 – First time confronting Elder Jiang

As they ate and chatted absentmindedly, Bai Yan suddenly said, “The auction that only happens once every five years is coming up in two months. It’s going to be held in City A this time. I plan to go and see. Do you want to come with me?”

In fact, Bai Yan was being forced to go. His father’s task for him was to buy something of inestimable value at this year’s auction, but he was only given five million for it.

You should know that even a low-grade piece of jade starts at a hundred thousand at a national auction like this, with the better ones going for millions and the best ones reaching the billion mark. And at auctions, it’s the highest bidder who wins.

Five million…

Bai Yan was at a loss. He had already hired several antique appraisal experts from abroad, hoping they would be of some use.

The Bai family had resources and power in various fields such as food, business, and government, but they couldn’t break into the antique market. This was because everyone in the Bai family was prone to losing at gambling, even Si Hua. As the older generation would say, “No one in this family has the luck for gambling.”

But the profits in this industry were unmatched by any other.

He Ju suddenly remembered the antique market he had stumbled into a few years ago and couldn’t help but smile. “Go ahead. It’s a good opportunity for you to gain some experience as you’re just starting out in society.”

Bai Yan nodded happily. He didn’t have high hopes for He Ju, but since He Ju was going to be his brother-in-law in the future, there was no harm in him getting some early exposure to this.

No one besides He Ju himself knew that he was good at gambling stones.

After Bai Yan left, He Ju’s life became busy again. He was constantly thinking of ways to make money, but this time, it was for himself, so that he would no longer be subject to the judgment of others.

All his pride and self-proclaimed dignity meant nothing in the face of money.

In the past, he had refused to exchange his design drafts for money because Su Ran didn’t like gambling, and he didn’t want anything to do with it either.

Even though he had an extraordinary talent in both areas that most people didn’t possess.

A person can only have a chance at success if they understand their position clearly.

The day He Ju was supposed to meet Elder Jiang came around quickly.

He Ju was invited to a studio in the city center. As soon as he got upstairs and onto the rooftop, he saw a familiar face.

It was Elder Jiang. When it came to top designers at home and abroad, Elder Jiang was one of the top ten in the country. He had countless apprentices, most of whom were able to showcase their designs on the international stage and display their work to the world, all thanks to their talent and professional training.

He Ju, on the other hand, was just an amateur. He had no teacher to guide him and no professional to point him in the right direction. All his drawings were based solely on his wild imagination.

And yet, he had caught Elder Jiang’s eye.

Elder Jiang stood up as soon as he saw He Ju and walked over with his cane, his face beaming with joy. “He Ju, my little friend, it’s been a long time, a very long time!”

He Ju shook hands with Elder Jiang. “Elder Jiang, it’s been a long time.”

Elder Jiang smiled kindly and quickly pulled He Ju to sit at the dining table, then instructed the bodyguard behind him, “You can serve the food now.”

After the bodyguard left, Elder Jiang spoke with a contented expression, “He Ju, I’ve been waiting for your call for over three years. Let’s be frank, are you here today to agree to what I proposed three years ago?”

Three years ago, Elder Jiang had clearly expressed his intention to recruit He Ju and even suggested that He Ju become his apprentice, promising to help him showcase his work on the world stage.

At that moment, the waiter brought all the dishes to the table.

He Ju said, “How about we eat first?”

Elder Jiang burst into laughter. “Of course, of course. Let’s eat first, and then we can talk.”

So, the first meal in three years between the two of them was quite enjoyable.

After the meal, He Ju got down to business.

“Elder Jiang, we hit it off when we first met, so I won’t beat around the bush. I value my freedom and don’t like being tied down, so I’m afraid I can’t be your apprentice.”

Elder Jiang seemed to have expected this and just laughed heartily a couple of times. He didn’t dwell on the matter and instead proposed another plan. “Since you’ve come to see me, it means you’ve made up your mind. I’m a businessman, and I don’t make losing deals. You have a great talent for design, but you lack guidance, so hardly any of your drafts are completed successfully. I didn’t come alone this time. I’ve brought the two best teachers from abroad. If you’re willing, they will give it their all to help you.”

He Ju smiled. “So, Elder Jiang, why don’t you just tell me your conditions and requirements?”

Elder Jiang squinted his eyes and smiled. “For three years, the copyright of all your works will belong to our company, and we will be responsible for selling, promoting, and auctioning them. You won’t need to pay anything, and we’ll take a 70% cut of all the royalties your work earns, while you’ll get 30%. How about it?”

He really was a cunning old fox.Elder Jiang didn’t mention a word about the authorship issue.

He Ju could guess the wordplay in the follow-up contract after monopolizing all his works for three years.

He Ju just smiled lightly, without a hint of fear in his eyes: “I can only accept a one-year term. In that year, I can guarantee a submission every two months. The organizing unit can be you, but the authorship must be mine, and the manuscript fee is to be split fifty-fifty.”

Elder Jiang was immediately surprised; he thought He Ju came to him because he had come around, but now it seemed… he really had.

But the man was shrewd.

Elder Jiang’s face lost its smile: “He Ju, little friend, isn’t this a bit unfair?”

He Ju remained calm and spoke slowly: “Elder Jiang, if I had no value, you wouldn’t have hurried back to China the day after I called, would you?”

Elder Jiang stared at He Ju for a long time, not seeing a trace of cowardice on his face or in his eyes.

Just like when He Ju first entered the antique market and casually pointed out which piece of rough stone contained a treasure.

He Ju was smart and courageous.

Elder Jiang believed that if they couldn’t come to an agreement today, it would be even harder to do so in the future. Although He Ju was young, he was not at all foolish.

And that design draft, he had waited three years for it! A full three years, an agonizingly long time!

He Ju’s works, once perfected, could be immediately showcased at a fashion show, and he felt the response would definitely be good.

It’s just that this fifty-fifty split really pained him.

Elder Jiang gritted his teeth; he couldn’t just make a wasted trip, especially considering the person He Ju was…

He was never wrong about people.

Elder Jiang, with a pained expression, said: “Two years? A sixty-forty split!”

He Ju smiled subtly: “Deal.”

That easy?

For a moment, Elder Jiang felt he had been tricked.

He Ju struck while the iron was hot: “So, those two masters you mentioned, they’re offering free guidance, right?”

Elder Jiang fell silent: “…” You really don’t let any advantage slip by, do you!

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