Chapter 19 - Gathering

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Tang Ning was Su Jin’s direct supervisor. Her nickname made her sound really scary, but she was actually a pleasant looking young lady. She was only around Su Jin’s age, so there was a rumor within the company that her father had connections with the company management, and that’s how she managed to rise to middle management at such a young age.

But Tang Ning’s expectations of her department’s work was very high and that’s why she was nicknamed “Your Worst Nightmare”. But the thing that gave Su Jin a real headache was how she enjoyed planning team meals.

Everyone was expected to pay for their own meals at such gatherings, but unlike most of his colleagues, Su Jin’s salary was split three ways, so paying for these meals was no small amount. That was why Su Jin avoided these gatherings with every excuse he could find, which made Tang Ning fairly unhappy.

“I’m really, really sorry! I really had something very urgent to attend to. And that’s why I’m back ahead of time to apologize and make up for it!” said Su Jin with a big smile on his face. He was good natured and mild mannered, so he was well liked in the office. Tang Ning was only unhappy about how he always found a way out of gatherings, but she did approve of his work standards.

“I’m glad you’ve realized the error of your ways. Come in quickly! Also, remember to amend your leave form when you get back to the office,” said Tang Ning as she glared at Su Jin. The restaurant this time round was a fairly nice place that was both a restaurant and a bar. The food was served in an all-you-can-eat buffet style and there was a bar counter right in the middle that served a wide variety of alcoholic drinks. Unfortunately, the alcoholic drinks weren’t part of the buffet, so if anybody wanted to drink, they had to pay for the drinks separately.

“Brother Li, thanks for helping me to take leave,” said Su Jin to a middle-aged man. “I can only afford water, but here’s a toast to you anyway!” 1

“You don’t have to thank me. You should be thanking your lucky stars that ‘Your Worst Nightmare’ didn’t fly into a rage. But I’m pretty sure your perfect attendance reward money’s gone up in smoke. Why don’t you talk to her about it and see if she could give it to you on compassionate grounds?” Li Zhikai was considered a senior staff in the company, and he knew everyone. He was also an honest and reliable man, plus he was generally nice to the younger staff like Su Jin.

“We’ll talk about that after the gathering!” said Su Jin with a smile.

Actually, Tang Ning enjoyed organizing these gatherings because she meant it as a way of helping everyone get to know each other better. Most of them were youngsters, so giving them the time to chat over food helped to build interpersonal relationships in the department, which in turn helped the team to work together better.

As for Su Jin, all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants were his favorite type of restaurant. He had grown up extremely poor, so he always felt like he never had enough to eat, or perhaps he never dared to eat enough to be full. Of course, that wasn’t really the case, but his family’s financial constraints had made him think this way. All-you-can-eat buffets were the one meal that could get around this issue.

As he strolled through the sea of food around him, he chatted with his colleagues while munching away. But the ones who chatted with him were almost all males and his female colleagues were nowhere to be seen.

He wasn’t really surprised by that. He wasn’t considered handsome and certainly wasn’t rich, so there was nothing about him that could attract women. His female colleagues only approached him and said some nice things when they needed help at work.

But he didn’t really care either. In the past, he accepted the reality that he wasn’t really attractive and making ends meet was more important to him. But now… his life was completely different. Now he was someone who didn’t know if he would even survive to see the next day, so there was no need to even try getting a partner. That would make life more difficult for himself and also bring misfortune upon another person for nothing.

This peaceful and enjoyable time of chatting and laughing with his colleagues seemed a little surreal to him. He suddenly found it hard to imagine that just two nights ago, he was fighting a bunch of monsters and even fought a God. For a moment, he wasn’t really sure which of the two was reality.

While he was still in a daze, there was a commotion coming from the other side of the restaurant. Everyone turned to look and saw that Tang Ning and a few female colleagues seemed to be having a disagreement with some others.

“Look, your friend’s the one who offended Young Master Lin first, so there’s no need for us to be nice to you either.” A few young men surrounded Tang Ning and her other female colleagues with nasty looks on their faces. They had clearly gotten into some conflict with these men.

Tang Ning and the colleagues with her were around the same age, so they were all young women who would normally panic a little in such a situation. But Tang Ning was holding up pretty well. She stood in front of her colleagues to protect them as she spoke to the nasty men in front of her.

“That’s not the point. We’re all just trying to enjoy a good meal with friends. Why make things so ugly? Besides, you guys were the ones who tried to touch my friend, so you guys were clearly at fault first,” said Tang Ning through gritted teeth. She was scared of these men too, but the responsibility she felt as a supervisor to her colleagues made her try to stand up for them.

“Haha! And so what if Young Master Lin was in the wrong? Does that give you the right to splash red wine on him? Who do you even think you are?” sneered one of the men.

“I’ll compensate him for damaging his clothes then,” said one of the ladies hiding behind Tang Ning. She was obviously the one who had splashed red wine on this Young Master Lin.

“Oh, really? Well, lucky you, this jacket only cost $38,000. Are you paying by card or cash?” said another young man as he walked out from behind his friends. He looked around 24 or 25 years old and was wearing a black suit. But the black suit had a large stain on it now. Red wine was very difficult to wash out, so it was impossible for him to wear this jacket again.

Once she heard that the jacket cost $38,000, her face paled. Her salary wasn’t very low, but it would still take her half a year of scrimping and saving to buy an item of this value.

“What’s wrong? You can’t afford it? No problem! You just need to have a nice meal with me today and have a drink with me tonight.” The lecherous smile on Young Master Lin’s face was a clear sign that he wasn’t really interested in just a meal and a drink.

“Don’t push it! I’ll compensate you with the money,” said Tang Ning to Young Master Lin immediately.

Young Master Lin glared at her and sneered, “Who do you think you are? You’re going to help her pay? Well, you could spend a night with me if you’re willing to. Are you not willing to do that? Then get lost!”

“You… you’re a douchebag!” Tang Ning was clearly no match for Young Master Lin. Her best defense was to call him a douchebag, but that only made Young Master Lin’s men laugh at her.

Young Master Lin was clearly from a wealthy and powerful background, since few would dare to make trouble in a proper establishment like this. So even though Tang Ning’s male colleagues were outraged by Young Master Lin’s behavior, nobody dared to stand up for the ladies.

All the female employees started to despise them immediately. These male colleagues of theirs often tried to impress them with their chivalry, as if they were very willing and able to protect them. But when trouble really came their way, all of them just watched on and did nothing.

“Look, one of you has to spend the night with me tonight, or else… nobody’s leaving this place!” Young Master Lin and his men continued to threaten Tang Ning and the rest with their words, which made the girl who offended him in the first place even more panicky. She didn’t know what to do.

Li Zhikai was like an older brother to everyone here, so he decided to try standing up for the girls. He put on an ingratiating smile and said to Young Master Lin, “Hello, Mr. Lin! We’re all just here for a good meal, so why make yourselves so unhappy? We’ll definitely compensate you for the damage to your clothes, so I hope you can be magnanimous towards us and let this matter go!”

“Magnanimous towards you? Sure, I’ll give you a generous slap on the cheek!” Young Master Lin could tell from Li Zhikai’s expression and clothing that he was just another ordinary man on the street, so he raised his hand and brought it down hard towards Li Zhikai.

Pak! A crisp sound filled the air and Li Zhikai instinctively turned to one side, only to realize that Young Master Lin’s palm hadn’t landed on his cheek. Li Zhikai looked up to see that Su Jin was holding a half-peeled prawn in one hand while his other hand had grabbed hold of Young Master Lin’s downward palm.

“What the hell?! Why are there so many troublemakers here today?! Are you tired of living?!!” Young Master Lin was stunned at first because Su Jin seemed to have appeared from absolutely nowhere. But once he realized that Su Jin was gripping onto his hand, he raised his foot to kick Su Jin below the belt.

This kick could turn out really nasty, since kicking Su Jin there would definitely hurt. But Su Jin wasn’t bothered by that kick at all. To him, Young Master Lin’s kick was slow and weak, so it didn’t pose a threat to him at all.

Thud! Su Jin’s hand suddenly let go of Young Master Lin’s wrist, then he slammed it down hard on Young Master Lin’s oncoming foot. After his hand hit the top of Young Master Lin’s foot, it bounced back up to grab hold of Young Master Lin’s wrist again before Young Master Lin even had the time to put his arm down.

“OWW!” Young Master Lin yelped in pain. Su Jin’s had brought his fist down so quickly and so hard that Young Master Lin’s foot now hurt terribly. He tried to move away from Su Jin but Su Jin was still holding onto his wrist, so the only thing he could do was to gasp in pain on the spot.

“Why are all of you still standing there?! Thrash him!” Everything had happened too quickly, so his friends were still too stunned to move. But once Young Master Lin screamed at them, they pounced towards Su Jin.

Su Jin still had one arm around Young Master Lin’s wrist and for some strange reason, everyone’s movements seemed to have become much slower than before.

Actually, this was a benefit of the Low-Level Body Strengthening Elixir. After Su Jin had consumed it, his body had become stronger overall. His eyesight had become sharper, his reflexes and his reaction time were much quicker than an average person now. It wasn’t that his opponents had become slower. He was now faster, so they seemed slower in comparison.

Su Jin continued to hold onto Young Master Lin’s wrist as he coordinated his other hand and his legs to send Young Master Lin’s three men sprawling to the floor. The entire process took no more than 15 seconds.

Everyone in the restaurant had eyes as wide as saucers. Those who were on close terms with Su Jin were the most surprised. All of them knew how Su Jin was always such a mild mannered and amiable person. Nobody expected him to be such a good fighter. He had been attacked by three men at the same time, but he had dispatched them so quickly.

But at the same time, the three men had lost to Su Jin mainly because they had no experience in fighting. They had no technique and no strategy or teamwork, so they even got into each other’s way at times. Su Jin didn’t have any experience in fighting either, but he reacted quickly, and his attacks were both powerful and fast.

As the saying goes, one expert can fight ten beginners single handedly. The three of them weren’t even as good as beginners. They were no match for Su Jin at all.

“How dare you!! How dare you do this to my men?! I’ll make sure your dead body lies abandoned in the streets tonight!” Even though Young Master Lin’s wrist was still in Su Jin’s hand, he remained as arrogant as ever and he tried to threaten Su Jin.

Su Jin laughed and gripped Young Master Lin’s wrist more tightly, which caused Young Master Lin to pale instantly and scream in agony as large beads of sweat started pouring down his face.

“Didn’t you want one of us to accompany you for the night? They don’t have time for you, so why don’t I keep you company tonight?” asked Su Jin with a cheeky grin.

“Let go of my hand! Let go! You’re going to break it!” screamed Young Master Lin desperately. The three men had gotten to their feet, but none of them dared to fight Su Jin anymore.

“Let go of him! Do you know whose son Young Master Lin is?!” shouted one of the men at Su Jin.

  1. Why’s this guy being stingy with his money again ↩️

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