Surprise Resignation of Female Substitute Secretary

Chapter 19

Su Tao narrowed her eyes, her gaze becoming sharp.

Receiving her unfriendly stare, Xie Jin hooked the corner of his mouth, revealing a smug, wicked smile. Feigning innocence, he said, "What is Manager Su thinking? I just meant that since I'm not too familiar with your two artists yet, but I'm very interested in your proposed conditions, why don't we do a trial recording when filming starts, but I'd only feel assured if Manager Su comes along in person."

Su Tao's brows twitched slightly. She felt Xie Jin was even more shameless than before.

But the condition he proposed was reasonable, so she had no reason to refuse.


Su Tao readily agreed. Xie Jin suppressed the urge to smirk and gave a slight cough to hide his smile. He extended his hand, indicating they had a deal.

Su Tao briefly clasped his fingertips before swiftly withdrawing her hand. Recalling something, she told her two artists to go out first.

Only Su Tao and Xie Jin were left in the office, and the atmosphere turned ambiguous.

Xie Jin looked at her eagerly, just about to say something, but Su Tao preempted him.

Su Tao: "I heard that Mr. Xie plans to acquire our Jing Yang?"

Xie Jin was silent and didn't speak.

Su Tao: "As a small shareholder of Jing Yang, I don't really have the right to ask about Mr. Xie's plans. But I'll convey our stance - we won't agree to an acquisition. Even if you try to force us into a corner with business tactics before launching a counterattack, we'd rather be smashed to pieces than compromised. I hope you'll reconsider before making a move."

The flickering light in Xie Jin's eyes stilled upon hearing this. "You think I'd deal with you like that?"

Su Tao was taken aback for a few seconds. "I hope Mr. Xie won't treat us that way," she said lightly.

"I can leave Jing Yang alone, but you have to answer one question of mine," Xie Jin stared at her unblinkingly and asked, "How did you manage to evade me this past year?"

Su Tao lowered her eyes and straightforwardly gave him the answer: "I used someone else's identity."

Xie Jin understood, yet still asked in puzzlement, "Whose? How?"

"Mr. Xie, that's a second question. I've answered one, please keep your word."

After saying this, Su Tao left the office, taking her two artists away from Tian Jin.

The three of them caught the afternoon flight back to Jiang City. As they neared the company entrance, Su Tao received a message from Zhang Qi Guang.

【Zhang Qi Guang: Peach Su Tao, is it you? Tian Jin retracted the acquisition plan!】

They withdrew it so quickly? Xie Jin is quite honorable.

While Su Tao was looking at her phone, she had already entered the company and was startled by the sudden pop of confetti.

Liang Ke, Sun XiaoJie, and other colleagues were cheering to welcome Su Tao's triumphant return.

Su Tao brushed off the ribbon on her head, looking completely surprised as she asked, "What are you guys doing?"

"Congratulations to our amazing Manager Su for completing such a high-difficulty task, let's applaud."

Applause rang out. Su Tao held her forehead. "Stop, stop. What task completed? They only agreed to a trial recording."

She shouldn't have told Liang Ke about the trial recording in advance.

Liang Ke gave Su Tao a meaningful nudge. "I see~"

Su Tao was speechless. "What do you see? Go clean up the entrance." She pushed past him and entered the company, slamming the office door shut behind her. Muffled laughter could be heard from the workspace.

Liang Ke didn't know when he had appeared behind Liu WanTao. He also contemptuously rolled his eyes at her before knocking on Su Tao's office door.

Liu WanTao's face was flushed red with suppressed anger as she sullenly walked away.


Today, Tian Jin Group headquarters was permeated with a relaxed, joyful atmosphere from top to bottom.

Because the boss was going on a business trip.

For a minimum of one week, the group chat had exploded with delight. They had already made plans to go clubbing tonight.

Tomorrow was the filming date for "Sea Wave 2." The production team and guests had basically all arrived today.

Without Xie Jin's instructions, Jin Chuiwen had gone ahead and inquired about Su Tao's flight, directly booking the same one.

Just because of this one action, Jin Chuiwen received the only praise from the boss he had gotten in years. He was so moved he nearly shed tears.

But man proposes, God disposes. When they reached the waiting hall, Su Tao was nowhere to be seen.

After inquiring around, Jin Chuiwen learned that Su Tao had changed flights at the last minute, leaving an hour earlier.

He shivered as he looked at the boss's gloomy expression. Voice trembling, he said, "Just four hours until you see each other."

Xie Jin's fury spread like wildfire. "Have them work overtime on weekends."

Jin Chuiwen: "..."

Colleagues who were reveling just seconds ago received overtime notices the next second.

They deeply experienced the saying, don't crow till you are out of the woods.

Murphy's Law: Speak of good things and they won't happen.

Sometimes things in the world are just so mystifying. Jin Chuiwen used this to constantly warn himself - don't get overexcited, stay sober.

And to sympathize with his colleagues for three seconds.

After a four hour flight and nearly an hour's drive, they finally arrived at the filming location.

Sea Wave 2's investor, Rui Qi, was quite wealthy and powerful. He had reserved the best stretch of coastline in Nancheng as the filming location.

The beach had fine, golden sand. Facing the sea breeze, beautiful scenery accompanied by music, cocktails on the beach, just standing under the palm trees made one feel carefree.

All the crew members who had arrived early wore smiles, feeling it would be enjoyable to work here.

Only Xie Jin, with a dark expression, stood not far away, resentfully watching the busy Su Tao.

Was she deliberately avoiding him?

Standing next to him, Jin Chuiwen felt like he was beside an air conditioner. He didn't feel the hot weather at all.

In order to perform better, Tong Mingxuan and Xiao Shan had taken the initiative to help walk through the process when the crew needed to check the angles and footage.

Besides feeling gratified at the two's thoughtfulness, Su Tao noticed the other guest artists didn't do anything. Some people served them water, cold drinks, and snacks.

Yet her two artists were forbidden from even taking a sip of water or resting for a bit. People were yelling and screaming at them to not move around and delay the crew's work time.

"How can this be? We're proactively helping out. This is supposed to be our job, right? We've been under the hot sun shooting for an hour. Is it too much to want a drink?"

"What's their attitude? Bullying people without status like this?"

"And look at the rooms they assigned us. Theirs are seaside suites at a five-star hotel, while we got a standard room at a small hotel a hundred miles away."

"Fine, forget the hotel. I took a peek at the meal standards - there's discriminatory treatment there too! We can't even eat together?"

The two artists' executive agent and assistant all complained to Su Tao.

Su Tao endured it at first, but after Tong Mingxuan got washed into the sea by a big wave, stumbled and struggled to get up, even swallowing some seawater, she could endure no longer.

"Go get towels and help them back," Su Tao instructed the two assistants, then went to find the on-site director with a murderous look.

Rui Qi had his own production team. Sea Wave 2 was originally Sea Wave: Promise Season 2. Last year's Season 1 was very successful, elevating several regular guests to fame. The executive producer Zhou Si's reputation and net worth had skyrocketed.

Zhou Si had originally planned to arrive later, but when he heard Wu Xie Yu would be coming in person, he hurriedly changed flights and rushed over in a fluster.

Arriving to find the shoot had stopped, and since his late arrival had already delayed filming time today, anxiousness showed on Zhou Si's black face as he hurried over to ask what was going on.

As he walked over, he heard a young lady flatly calling the on-site director out. "There are so many artists relaxing over there. Can't you make someone else do the shoot for a bit?"

"What's going on? Who's delaying filming?" Zhou Si, nearly 180 pounds with a thick neck, roared loudly, almost knocking the director sitting on a high chair off of it.

The on-site director stood up. Seeing Zhou Si, he conveniently tattled, "It's her, feeling bad for her artists and not letting us shoot anymore."

"Which artists of yours?" Zhou Si asked aggressively, his stout, brawny body looking very intimidating.

"Those two standing by the beach."

Zhou Si looked over. They were two unknown little artists, and anger flared up instantly. "The two who snuck in to do a trial recording? If you won't shoot, then don't! Trying to act like big shots without any fame!"

Su Tao closed her eyes and worked hard to calm herself down, to not let her emotions interfere with reason.

When she spoke again, her voice was already calm and composed. She took out her business card from her bag and handed it over. "Hello, I'm Su Tao from Jing Yang Entertainment. Here is my business card."

Zhou Si glanced at her. Seeing that she was rather good-looking, he casually took the business card and arrogantly waved his meaty arms, speaking condescendingly from on high: "How are you going to make up for the filming your artists delayed?"

Make up for it? How?

Su Tao patiently explained, "My artists were proactively helping out. It wasn't originally their job, and they had already been shooting continuously for an hour and fell into the sea just now before taking a break..."

"I don't want to hear so many excuses. I'm just asking how you'll make up for delaying filming? Our boss is arriving any minute. Are you trying to pull the wool over my eyes?" Zhou Si rudely interrupted her.

Su Tao saw clearly that he was obviously trying to make her take the fall.

"Then we'll wait for your boss to arrive. I'll speak with him directly." Seeing through his intentions, Su Tao knew there was no point in continuing the conversation.

Propping up and suppressing newcomers was very common in the industry. Though they should keep their heads down when they have no fame, enduring a bit of loss, she couldn't put up with such bullying. Sometimes enduring temporarily didn't lead to smooth sailing, but encouraged them to take a mile when given an inch.

When they occupied the moral high ground, she had to make them understand that even newcomers couldn't be freely manipulated. Only then could her two artists receive less mistreatment during future shoots.

She didn't expect this little girl to be so tough. But Zhou Si was set on making them take the fall, so he stubbornly followed through.

"Fine, then let's stop everything. No one shoots. We'll tally up the losses and wait for compensation." Zhou Si left them with those harsh words and arrogantly put on sunglasses.

"Why did you stop? Did you see the boss?" The sudden questioning frightened Zhou Si into immediately taking off the sunglasses as his big, fat face smiled like Garfield.

"Boss Wu! Look at you, running around on location in this heat. Quick, get a chair for Boss Wu!" Zhou Si fawned to the point where he seemed ready to turn into a chair for Wu Xie Yu to sit on.

Wu Xie Yu looked around but didn't see the boss. His gaze fell upon Su Tao instead, staring fixedly at her for a few seconds, uncertain. He looked at her again.

"Boss Wu, it's because of her. Her two new artists can't handle hardship and wanted to stop after going through the process a bit, delaying filming. I'm afraid we won't finish before dark today."

Seeing Wu Xie Yu looking at Su Tao, Zhou Si was afraid they might start talking, so he tattled first.

"Su Tao?" Wu Xie Yu finally confirmed it. It really was Su Tao!

Zhou Si: "..."

From how Wu Xie Yu was looking at Su Tao, Zhou Si suddenly had a bad premonition and felt he was going to crash and burn.

"Boss Wu, long time no see."

Su Tao extended her hand to shake Wu Xie Yu's. Before making contact, her small, fair hand was suddenly seized in a warm, large hand.

Before anyone could react, Su Tao was forcefully pulled back several steps by Xie Jin, distancing her from the men surrounding her.

Looking up to meet a pair of dark, gloomy eyes, the surprise flashing through Su Tao's eyes was fleeting. She wondered where Xie Jin had popped out from.

"Boss Xie, I thought you weren't here yet." Wu Xie Yu tactfully didn't step forward, stopping where he stood to greet him.

"What just happened?" Xie Jin asked Su Tao unhappily as he glanced at Zhou Ci, who was negotiating with these people. He had walked over quickly from afar, thinking to himself that this filming crew was made up entirely of men.

At that moment, Zhou Ci's mind was buzzing. If he hadn't misheard, the "President Xie" that General Manager Wu had mentioned was probably the big boss, Xie Jin.

That devilishly terrifying man was holding the hand of that girl, clearly implying an intimate relationship.

And that girl had just been tricked by him.

This was perfect. Zhou Ci, you're going to die a perfect death.

As an excellent producer, Zhou Ci certainly had many flaws in his personality. But he also had outstanding strengths, otherwise he wouldn't have stood at Rui Qi for so many years.

Among his many outstanding strengths, quick reflexes and knowing when to back down were fundamental to his survival.

In the field of admitting defeat, no one could match him - he had reached the realm of seeking defeat alone.

He immediately took two steps back and bowed deeply with his huge body, nearly bumping into Wu Xie Yu.

"General Manager Wu, President Xie, and Teacher Su, first of all I need to self-reflect. Earlier I made arbitrary judgements without understanding the full story, I was truly foolish. To make up for my mistakes, Teacher Su can make any demands she wants."

Su Tao had seen people admit defeat before, but never someone who admitted defeat so quickly and abjectly.

Before she could even begin her attack, the other side had already apologized.

Wu Xie Yu listened in confusion, Xie Jin only had eyes for Su Tao, and didn't care at all about any "truth." But he instinctively felt that little Taotao must have been wronged.

Xie Jin narrowed his eyes, just about to lose his temper, but the soft little hand still tightly gripped in his palm squeezed his hand. His heart instantly fluttered, and his anger was completely extinguished.

Su Tao's tranquil face took on a sensible, well-behaved air. "No, it was our artists who were impolite and caused trouble for Director Zhou and Old Zhou."

Both Zhou Ci and the on-site director were shocked, staring at the amiable Su Tao. They couldn't figure out if she was being sarcastic or not.

Su Tao said, "My artists attach great importance to this trial recording. I hope that during the official filming tomorrow, the director and cameramen can give them more opportunities."

Zhou Ci and the director suddenly understood. She was saying that she wouldn't hold the previous incident against them, but wanted equal exchange - more camera shots during filming.

Even though she had restored justice for this incident because the two bosses had reprimanded them, the production team wasn't so easily replaced. Rather than momentary verbal victory in a dispute, it would be better to take this chance to ask for more resources that benefitted the artists.

For instance, it was better to curry favor with the current officials than expect interference from higher leaders. But the director and Zhou Ci could interfere!

Exposure was most important for new artists. Su Tao's thinking was quite shrewd.

Wu Xie Yu also understood her meaning, and couldn't help looking at Su Tao with new admiration.

Su Tao went on, "Old Zhou, if it's convenient, could you give our kids a few voiceovers and record a commercial or something?"

She had even reached out to commercial opportunities. Was she thinking of taking advantage of the situation to get an endorsement deal or something?

That was going too far. Did her two little artists have the qualifications to record commercials?

Zhou Ci cursed internally but maintained a smiling face externally. Since he was in the wrong first, even inconvenient things would be made convenient. "For Teacher Su, even inconvenient things will be made convenient!"

This could be considered reaching an understanding. Not only would filming tomorrow not receive any special treatment, but there would be many benefits.

Finally, Su Tao smiled satisfactorily.

Facing the sunshine and breeze, Su Tao's smile shone dazzlingly, piercing Xie Jin's heart and dispelling the gloom he had accumulated over the past year.

He had to admit that such a mature and wise Su Tao exuded charm all over.

She was no longer the captive canary he could shut away.

She had long since become an eagle with gorgeous feathers, soaring in the skies.

But as she let go of his hand, the heart that had just been filled with sunshine turned back into a sewer, his whole face radiating unhappiness.


The filming crew hurried to carry out the remaining procedures and rehearsals, but didn't dare use Su Tao's artists again.

Instead, the two artists who had rested went on stage on their own initiative when needed, and the overall cooperation went relatively harmoniously and happily.

"Boss Tao, they took the initiative to change our room to the same ocean view room as the others, and the meals are the same now too. They even gave an extra shopping card for the duty free store here, I heard it's from the brand sponsor."

"Wow, the treatment improved so much, Taotao you're too amazing!"

"Taotao, Taotao, Fatty Zhou is even going to let us record commercials! How did you make that happen?"

Everyone gathered around Su Tao chattering excitedly, the earlier gloom completely dispersed as they smiled from ear to ear.

Su Tao held a finger to her lips. "Shh, low-key."

In stark contrast to Su Tao's side, Zhou Ci's side was shrouded in the shadow of frustration.

They didn't understand why the general manager and big boss had come.

Even for a highly valued project, it made sense for the general manager to come, but why did the big boss come too?

They trod carefully, afraid of making any missteps. Yet they didn't expect that with increased attention, efficiency would also increase - they actually finished the rehearsal before sunset, in line with the original plan.

Fortunately everything was completed satisfactorily according to plan, and Zhou Ci and the on-site director silently high-fived, secretly celebrating the earlier crisis avoided.

Just when they had relaxed, they were notified of an end-of-work dinner, hosted by the big boss.

Everyone's expressions froze, their faces forced into smiles.

They had finally gotten off work, who wanted to have dinner with the boss!

The dinner was to be held at the hotel restaurant where they were staying.

The rooftop restaurant of the hotel had a great environment, with hanging yellow fairy lights that echoed with the endless starry sky. One could even faintly hear the sound of waves.

The crew nearly filled two tables, and the artists and their agents and assistants also took two tables.

Xie Jin's arrival made everyone's eyes light up. With a mix of deference towards the big boss and appreciation of his looks, their expressions were complex, wanting to look but not daring to.

Strangely, both artist tables had left one spot open. Wu Xie Yu looked around and chose to sit at the table without Su Tao.

Sun XiaoJie sat to the left of Su Tao. Suddenly she realized Xie Jin had strode over in two long steps and was now beside her, his eyes lowered as if waiting for something.

Sun XiaoJie's heart thumped rapidly, her mind blank, completely failing to react to why he had headed towards her and was gazing at her for so long.

Su Tao directly stood up and calmly said, "President Xie please sit here."

She walked around him and sat in the seat across from him. Her tranquil expression concealed impatience. To others, it looked like she was very tactfully currying favor with Boss Xie.

Xie Jin's burning gaze lingered on her for quite a while. Under her distant glance, he restrained his temper and sat in her original seat.

After sitting down he still couldn't calm his anger, and he subtly glared at Sun XiaoJie - sharp as a knife.

Only then did Sun XiaoJie recall the office gossip about Xie Jin and Su Tao's affair. She sprang up like a spring, wanting to switch seats with Su Tao.

Finally under Su Tao's meaningful glance she nervously sat back down.

Once Xie Jin sat down, the atmosphere seemed even more oppressive. No one dared speak freely, and it was so solemn that some wanted to leave the table.

The dishes had all been served, yet no one picked up their chopsticks. Wu Xie Yu hesitated, wondering if he should say something to start eating.

But seeing the boss's gloomy expression, he didn't dare open his mouth for the moment.

Su Tao hadn't eaten anything since lunch. By now, she was ravenously hungry.

She looked over the dishes - as expected of seaside, there was a lot of seafood, but luckily there were some non-seafood dishes too. Su Tao picked up her chopsticks to grab some food, when her shoulder was suddenly bumped.

It was one of the artists' assistants sitting beside her, kindly reminding her with his eyes to put her chopsticks down since no one else had started eating yet.

Su Tao looked up at everyone's tense posture, then at Xie Jin whose gaze was fiery as if she was his enemy. She lightly sighed, and put on her professional smile.

"President Xie, can we start eating? Everyone's hungry."

Seeing Su Tao's smile, although it didn't reach her eyes, Xie Jin's taut expression instantly collapsed. He cleared his throat and said, "Go ahead, I invited everyone to eat."

Su Tao dropped her smile and focused wholeheartedly on eating.

The atmosphere at the table gradually became more lively as wine cups were passed around. Zhou Ci wanted to toast several times but was interrupted by Xie Jin suddenly speaking up.

"Isn't Teacher Su a major shareholder of your company? Shouldn't she be taking care of things personally? Your company's division of labor doesn't seem very clear."

When Xie Jin spoke, no one else dared chat idly, silently eating their food for fear of delaying the boss's conversation.

Su Tao swallowed a bite of food without even glancing at him, and directly answered, "Of course our small company can't compare to President Xie's large company."

Xie Jin said, "So does Teacher Su prefer working at a large company or a small company?" Xie Jin probed with implication.

Su Tao: "One that suits me."

Xie Jin: "I remember Teacher Su once had the chance to become an entertainment company's boss, but you gave it up. Why was that?"

Su Tao's expression froze as the distant memory was brought up again. She recalled that he had mentioned helping her set up "Sheng Yuan Entertainment" before.

It was when she saw that photo.

Everyone silently listened to the verbal sparring between the two, sensing the raging undercurrents and sparks flying, guessing at their relationship.

Su Tao's face darkened. She heavily put down her chopsticks with a crisp clink.

Seeing Su Tao's obvious impatience, faintly showing anger, Xie Jin's eyelashes lightly fluttered and his pupils contracted slightly.

He immediately picked up the chopsticks that had remained sealed, restraining all probing. With lowered brows and eyes, he lightly coughed and said, "Let's eat."