Chapter 152: Inspection
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
The Mid-Autumn Festival was a time to reunite with family, and both Xiao Luo and Zhang Dashan called their parents back home. They asked if they had received the mooncakes they’d sent and chatted a little about everyday life. Still, like every other phone call home before, the conversation ended when the boys were asked whether they had romantic partners.
Luo’s Workshop didn’t get the day off, and most stores were still open because many people came to buy mooncakes and other pastries on the day of the festival.
Xiao Luo had nothing to do, so he went over to check on the stores with Li Zimeng.
Most retail employees didn’t recognize Xiao Luo but knew Li Zimeng from the marketing department because she was the boss of all the individual store owners. When they learned that Xiao Luo was the owner of the company, many employees were shocked to find out their big boss was this young, stereotypically powerful CEO.
“Luo Workshop’s sales have returned to normal, and the quantity of individual transactions has increased more than two times beyond the peak of our sales in the past!”
Li Zimeng reported the sales figures to Xiao Luo in the car with a smile on her face. It could certainly be said that Luo’s Workshop was back on its feet. Within two days, it had become one of the top suppliers for bread and pastries in Jiangcheng. Their catering orders had been increasing alongside their bakery sales. Growing at this rapid speed, they were almost unstoppable.
After finishing her report, Li Zimeng carefully studied Xiao Luo in the front seat mirror to see his reaction only to find that Xiao Luo didn’t have any trace of surprise visible on his face. He sat quietly in the back seat with his cheek resting on his right fist, looking lazy and apathetically beyond the window where the crowd of pedestrians and traffic flowed by.
Li Zimeng pressed her lips together in slight disappointment. She thought that Xiao Luo would be happy about the news and at least reward her with a genuine smile.
It was silent inside the car for a while until she hesitantly asked, “President Xiao, I have a question. But I’m not sure whether it’s appropriate to ask right now.
“What is it?” Xiao Luo responded.
Li Zimeng questioned timidly, “Where did you go during the day of the court hearing?”
Xiao Luo thought about it for a moment and answered, “I had to take care of some business.” Then he asked, “What of it?”
Li Zimeng shook her head and said, “Nothing. I just thought that the way Vice President Zhang spoke that day was very similar to your style of speaking.”
Xiao Luo frowned and stared at her in shock. Women sure had sharp instincts! She’d even managed to catch onto this!
Li Zimeng felt a bit uneasy from his staring and chuckled awkwardly. “It’s not that similar. I think I was just oversensitive…”
“You’re right. You’re oversensitive,” Xiao Luo said sternly.
Li Zimeng saw Xiao Luo laugh in the mirror. Yet, something about his smile was unnatural. Perhaps this was simply awkwardness. Then, she thought: Why did I have to start up such an annoying conversation? Vice President Zhang is Vice President Zhang, and President Xiao is President Xiao, so how could I possibly have mixed them up?”
Not too long after, they arrived at another store.
This location was perfect, surrounded by small residential areas in all directions with a steady flow of customers.
“This was the store where the old man died from a sudden heart attack. The owner’s name is Sun Jian’an. He’s an honest, hardworking man who treats his job very professionally. Look, President Xiao, when his employees are all tied up, he even comes out personally to greet customers,” Li Zimeng said.
Xiao Luo followed her gaze and saw Sun Jian’an greeting customers in his store.
“Should we go in and take a look?” Li Zimeng asked.
“We probably should.”
Xiao Luo took in a deep breath before exhaling, opening the door, and stepping out of the car.
Li Zimeng quickly followed him. Her height was already close to 5’6, and her tall figure looked even taller when she was wearing heels. Her hair was tied up neatly in a ponytail behind her head. The skin of her delicate face was egg-white and smooth.
She wore a white sweater with a fashionable long plush jacket complete with black stockings. With her legs exposed, she exuded a sense of temptation that earned her a few looks from men as soon as she walked by.
In contrast to her, Xiao Luo’s outfit was much more straightforward. He wore a black sweater with casual black pants. His sleeves were rolled up, exposing his arms. His informal style created a unique sense of aloofness; he was cleanly handsome but cold.
Usually, anyone who stood beside Li Zimeng would be intimidated by her overwhelming presence, but that was not the case for Xiao Luo. His natural confidence allowed him to retain an aura of authority and a powerful ego. He was like a king standing above everyone else, and Li Zimeng was the loyal retainer who stood beside him.
The store was busy with customers, so Xiao Luo purposely didn’t bother the busy Sun Jian’an.
Sun Jian’an’s face was plastered with a smile. The store’s business had improved, and the traces of exhaustion and helplessness Xiao Luo had noticed about him the first time they met had utterly disappeared.
Sun Jian’an’s voice trembled in excitement when he finally noticed Xiao Luo standing right in front of him.
Xiao Luo smiled and asked, “Mister Sun, how’s business now?”
“Good, very good! Ever since that court case was settled, business here has exploded. I haven’t seen so many customers come into our store in such a long time.”
Sun Jian’an was very sentimental and thankful. He hadn’t thought that Xiao Luo could take the Luo Workshop to the next level. Now, he was filled with the desire to tell his niece, Sun Yu, about Xiao Luo’s identity so that she could hold onto this perfect man.
Xiao Luo nodded and remarked, “That’s good!”
“Owner, do you have bread that’s good for the elderly to eat? I need something soft. We old folk don’t have many teeth left and can’t chew hard things,” an older woman walked over and asked Sun Jian’an.
“Of course, we do. It’s right over there. I’ll show you,” Sun Jian’an answered the customer’s question enthusiastically. He remembered that Xiao Luo was here just as he was about to walk away. He turned and gave his boss a problematic smile, saying, “President Xiao, I…”
Xiao Luo waved him off. “Don’t worry about me. Just go and do your job.”
“Okay,” Sun Jian’an answered and went over to help the woman.
Xiao Luo walked around aimlessly. For a pastry shop and bakery, the environment was the most crucial aspect. A clean, organized store was essential for increasing customer confidence. If the shop were dirty and unorganized, then customers, naturally, would suspect that their products were also unsanitary.
Even though he hadn’t exposed his identity, many young part-time employees had guessed who he was. Since Li Zimeng was also following behind this man as timidly as a tail, who else could it be other than the new big boss? Of course, this theory was also confirmed by one of Sun Jian’an’s young female workers.
“Wow, so he’s our big boss? So handsome!” The awe-struck girl shot a loving glance at Xiao Luo, adding, “So those TV dramas aren’t all fake. There are really rich and powerful CEO types in this world.”
“Hurry up and get a photo. This shop will go down if you miss your chance.”
“I feel like the boss and Department Head Li would make a good couple. A fine man and beauty, we don’t possibly stand a chance here.”
“Such a handsome and successful boss—I wouldn’t mind being their little third wheel.”
The employees quietly chatted among themselves and attempted to steal a few photos of Xiao Luo while they greeted their customers.