Chapter 127: Dinner At The Chens
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
Even as the young cousin was going to reveal the location, the adults filed down the stairs. The banquet was about to start.
Second Uncle had booked a VIP section in the best restaurant in the Jin City; however, the old man said he didn’t want to go out of his house, so the Second Uncle had to cancel the reservation in the end.
The banquet would be hosted in the great hall of Chen’s residence. They had hired a team of cooks from a five-star hotel.
The first course was a series of cold dishes: caviar salad, calamari, and scrambled eggs, rice cake and vegetables, cold rice noodles, steamed tofu with gravy sauce. Although these dishes were commonly found in most restaurants, the chef’s fantastic skill had turned these ordinary dishes to the next level by giving them a fresh look and a better taste.
The next was western appetizers: Iberian cured beef, cheese plate, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon, and the airdropped caviar from Russia. Everything was so fresh and delicious that they further increased everyone’s appetite.
After appetizers came the main courses. The culinary culture of Jin City was close to the Jinsu Style. Therefore, most of the local dishes would be too sweet for the northern Chinese people’s pallet. However, the cooks were able to skillfully tune down the sweetness but retained the dishes’ original flavor.
After everyone had finished their food, the old man put down his chopsticks first. The room became quiet; everyone knew that the old man had something to say.
“The reason for this small gathering before we return to our family village was to reflect on what we have achieved this year and what we could do better next year.” Chen Huaian said somberly.
Everyone’s face became serious. Some of those who didn’t do well this year started to feel uneasy.
The Chen Family was a large family clan, and Chen Huaian represented just one branch on the enormous family tree. The old man’s brothers and cousins spread throughout the Jin City and even cities in Dong Hu province. Many of them were doing very well in their own right. One of Chen Fan’s great grand uncles still lived in the Chens Village.
Every year during the spring festival, the Chens would gather at the family residence. They exchanged information they gathered during business endeavors and to laud their own achievement in front of the entire family clan. Although the Chen family hadn’t produced any prominent tycoons of late, the family as a whole had been moving forward steadfastly and was becoming stronger each year. By then, it was already one of the most influential family clans in the Jin City.
“Let’s start with your oldest brother.” The old man said slowly. “I have heard many good things about him this year. His superiors even praised you in front of me and said after a few more years of practice; he would be promoted to a higher rank.”
Chen Fan’s Great Uncle was called Chen Zhenxin. Having helped the family clan gain at least half of its current influence, he was considered the backbone of the family.
Hearing his father’s praise, Chen Zhenxin remained stoic; however, a large smile had surfaced on his wife’s face.
Everyone looked toward Chen Zhenxin’s family with eyes filled with jealousy. He had gotten his boss, Qin Hua’s approval, that meant that he would increase in rank soon.
“Big brother is well known for his steadfastness and carefulness. He had been working diligently and quietly for so long; it’s about time to be promoted.” Chen Fan’s Second Uncle praised his brother.
“Yea, if Big Brother keeps at it, there might be a big wig in our Chen Family in the future.” One of Chen Fan’s uncles siad enviously.
“Once Big brother got promoted, he would push our reputation to a new height. I can’t wait to see the faces of other family branches. I dare them to question my husband’s position in the company again.” Second Uncle’s wife said bitterly.
The Chens Group was owned collectively by everyone in the Chen Family Clan, although Chen Huaian’s branch owned the majority of the shares. The leaders of other branches had complained about Chen Qianxin’s mismanagement. On more than one occasion, Chen Huaian had to step in and help his son out.
However, Chen Zhenxin’s promotion could dial down the complaints about his younger brother’s incompetence.
“We can’t blame anyone for my second son’s mistakes. He needs to improve.” Chen Huaian castigated coldly.”You manage over a few hundred million assets, yet where is the growth and profit? The other companies that opened up around the same time as the Chens Group had either become public or established HQ in the big cities. Only The Chens Group still remained in Jin City. If I were them, I would be pissed as well.
“You can’t even compare with Xiaoyun. Wang Xiaoyun had gone to Zhong Hai all by herself and started the Jin Xiu Group without any help. Look at the size of her business now; it’s nearly at the same level as The Chens Group. If you keep on letting me down, I will swap you with Xiaoyun. She would be a much better manager than you!”
Sweat ran down from Chen Qianxin’s bald head. He was an obese man and had oily skin. Having been drenched in sweat, he looked as if he had just gone to a sauna.
“That’s enough. Qianxin had no choice. It’s not an easy job to make all of your unruly family leaders listen to his opinion. His job is not easy.” Chen Fan’s grandmother stood up to save her beloved little boy’s face.
So saying, she gave Wang Xiaoyun a stone cold look.
Grandma had silver hair and looked kind and warmhearted. However, Chen Fan was never fond of her, and the feeling was quite mutual.
He recalled that during every Spring Festival, grandma would give each and every kid in the family a treat. She always gave the best treats to the children of his Great and Second Uncle, but never to him.
Grandma had always disliked Chen Fan’s mother. In her mind, Wang Xiaoyun was the reason that her son had to move to the countryside.
“Whatever… You better be careful.” Chen Huaian waved a hand helplessly.
His wife had spoiled her second son; otherwise, the position of CEO at The Chens Group would never fall into Chen Qianxin’s lap.
“Gexin, how’s your work lately?” The old man’s face softened significantly when he spoke to Chen Gexin, his third son.
“I was in charge of the construction of the new Agriculture Industry Zone in our county. It was part of the nation’s five-year plan for… ” Chen Gexin explained his job to his father in great detailed while the latter listened attentively, nodding in approval from time to time.
After Chen Gexin finished his report, the old man praised him for his dedication and encouraged him to work harder in the year to come.
The old man’s approval didn’t sit well with the other families. Wife of the Second Uncle murmured: “That’s not fair. The old man never praises his other two sons.”
Despite her effort to speak under her breath, most people around her had heard her words.
Chen Fan and An Ya sat right beside the woman. An Ya furrowed her brows while Chen Fan’s face remained placid.
“If I were you, I would just join everyone at Jin City. Si Shui County is such a backwater countryside, what is so good about that place? Come join your Second Big Brother and me. You will make a fortune here, I promise!” Chen Qianxin said.
“My dad is right, Third Uncle. You have worked for two decades, but you are still at the bottom. Uncle Gexin had been working for only ten years, and his position is much higher than you already.” Chen Xu put in.
Chen Gexin sat still; however, he could not hide the embarrassment on his face.
The old man also stopped talking.
Despite his earlier praise of Chen Gexin’s work in the county, he hoped that his third son would one day return to his side.
Displeasure flickered in Wang Xiaoyun’s eyes. She couldn’t stand other people diss her husband. When she was about to protest, she heard a voice.
“Although my dad’s position is insignificant right now, he is accumulating a lot of valuable experiences. In a few years, he would be assigned to manage a much larger project in big cities.”
Chen Fan’s words had shocked everyone.
“What are you talking about? No one can earn a ticket out of the small town so easily, not even the richest man and woman in the county.” Second Uncle said with a smirk.
“Yes, you are still very young, Xiao Fan. You don’t understand how difficult it is to make a living in the real world.”
“Don’t interrupt the grown-up’s conversation!” Chen Fan’s great uncle refuted hotly.
Great Uncle was a cautious and slow-paced man, just like his old man. Therefore, he hated empty talk and cheap promises more than anyone in the room.
The other family members also shook their heads. Chen Fan’s grandmother even sneered at Chen Fan.
Chen Gexin and Wang Xiaoyun felt they were sitting on pits of fire. Their face blushed as they were embarrassed by their son’s ridiculous remark.
“Dad, haven’t you heard? Xiao Fan said he is vying for the Jin City University. Well, I say Third Uncle has a better chance of getting a promotion than Xiao Fan achieving his goal.”
“Jin City University?”
Many adults in the room were taken by surprise.
It was the best university in the Hu Dong Province, and everyone knew that with Chen Fan’s grades, his odds of getting into that university was a long shot.
“Brother, I think you need to pay more attention to educating your son. He is going to make a laughing stock out of us if he doesn’t learn to keep his mouth shut during the family meeting.” Chen Fan’s grandmother said displeasedly.
“Yes, mother.” Chen Gexin said as he squeezed a smile out of his overwrought face.
Hearing people talking down on his son in front of his family was more embarrassing to Chen Gexin than people talking down on him since he believed that his own actions were justified. However, he was not so sure that his son was as right as he thought he was.
Seeing Chen Fan was embattled by his families’ doubts, Chen Ning smiled in her mind.
“Little prick! Now you finally learn to keep your arrogant mouth shut.”