Chapter 34 Contract-based Employee (Part 1)


“Contract-based employment is no joke, ahem, ahem,” Lin Wanrong realized his slip of the tongue and hastily feigned a cough to cover it up.
“As the name suggests, contract-based employment means that I sign an employment contract with the Xiao family for a term of one year.
During this time, I serve the Xiao family, working eight hours a day, or four shichen.
I am still a free individual, not belonging to the Xiao family.
Of course, I am still a servant of the Xiao family, and my labor belongs to them.
The advantage of this arrangement is that if the Xiao family is dissatisfied with me, they can dismiss me at any time.”


“Oh, oh,” Lin Wanrong noticed the three old men staring intently at him, implying that even if he signed a lifelong indenture contract, as long as the Xiao family was dissatisfied with him, they could make him leave at any time.
He quickly added, “Under such pressure, I will be more ambitious, striving harder, contributing to the development of the Xiao family and making a modest contribution to the establishment of a more powerful Great Hua dynasty.
After a year, if both parties are satisfied, we can renew the contract and have friendly negotiations regarding salary.”


The old men found these later remarks quite interesting.
Lin Wanrong's willingness to push himself to improve and his courage to explore and forge ahead were commendable.
Such young people were rare nowadays.
The three old men praised him.


Fubo spoke up, “Lin San, it's not that we don't agree with you.
In fact, your proposal is quite constructive.
We've been studying the topic of abolishing lifelong tenure for leaders, and with you taking the lead, we will bring up this issue for discussion at the next servants' conference.
Once approved, we'll inform the young ladies and officially implement it.
However, you know that such reform will encounter great resistance, and we can only proceed gradually.
This time, we can only report your proposal to the young ladies, and whether it will be successful or not is uncertain.
But think carefully; if it is not accepted, you may be eliminated.
Are you prepared?”


Fubo's words were full of bureaucratic language, such as abolishing lifelong tenure for leaders, servants' conference, and the resistance to reform.
Lin Wanrong felt dizzy but hastily nodded when he heard the last sentence, “Of course I have thought it through, Fubo.
Please report it to the higher-ups quickly.”


Lin Wanrong was willing to repay Old Man Wei's kindness, but he would never tolerate changing his name and living in disgrace.
If it came to that, he would rather give his life back to Old Man Wei.


The three old men discussed for a while, and then entrusted Fubo to report the proposal to the higher-ups.


As Fubo stepped outside, he saw a young woman standing by the door, covering her mouth and giggling.


The woman was not old, but her beauty was striking.
In time, she would certainly become a great beauty.


“Young Lady Xiao, so you're here,” Fubo happily rushed over.
Seeing her laughing, he couldn't help but chuckle as well, “Did you also hear this young man's crazy idea just now?”


Xiao Family's second young lady snorted, “It's quite outrageous.
I knew from the start that this boy wasn't a good one.”


Fubo noticed a piece of paper in her hand, with a few characters written crookedly, yet somehow exuding a rebellious charm.
He curiously asked, “Young Lady Xiao, what is this that you're holding?”


Xiao Family's second young lady pursed her lips, her shoulders trembling slightly, and eventually couldn't help but burst into laughter.
“Uncle Fubo, take a look.
This is the Three Character Classic that Lin San wrote from memory.


It turned out that she was holding Lin Wanrong's answer sheet from the first challenge.
Fubo couldn't help but laugh and cry at the sight of the characters.


Judging by his contract-based employment proposal, Lin San didn't seem like an illiterate person.
How could his handwriting be so terrible?



Xiao Family's second young lady took a small booklet from her bosom and pointed to the woman in the painting.
“Uncle Fubo, look.”


Fubo's eyes lit up as he looked at the painting.
“This is Elder Young Lady Xiao! Whose work is this?”


She shook her head, “I don't know who painted it.
I bought it from Lin San, and many people have bought this booklet from him.
Hmph, that boy is actually making money off my sister's portrait.
He's really incorrigible.”


Fubo had no doubt that Lin Wanrong could do business.
With his thick skin, it would be a shame not to.


Fubo asked, “Did you ever ask him who painted it? I may not know much about art, but this painting is very different from the ones we've seen before.
It's simple yet extraordinary, with a fluid and concise style, and vivid expressions.
I wonder who this master artist is.”


Xiao Family's second young lady replied, “I did ask him, but he refused to tell me.
Hmph, he can't even write a few characters correctly, so it definitely isn't that scoundrel.
Moreover, my sister seldom shows her face, so hardly anyone knows what she looks like.
Yet this master artist managed to capture her likeness so accurately.
This person must be exceptionally talented.”


Fubo nodded, “So, what should we do with this Lin San?”


From the second young lady's tone, it seemed she harbored quite a bit of resentment towards Lin San.
It appeared that he had no destiny with the Xiao family.


Xiao Family's second young lady bit her lip, a hint of a smile on her face.
“This fellow has quite a few tricks up his sleeve, and he's done so many bad things.
Hmph, how could I let him off easily?”

Fubo didn't understand her meaning.
“So, young lady, should we sign Lin San or not?”

She smiled and said, “Sign, of course.
Fubo, you should follow his suggestion and draft a contract for him as a contract-based employee.
Hmph, once he enters the doors of the Xiao family, I will—”

A devilish grin spread across her face: “—Close the doors—Release the dogs—”

Fubo ran off like the wind, sweat dripping from his body.
He knew all too well the power behind the second young lady's words, “—Close the doors—Release the dogs—”

At this moment, the “master” mentioned by the second young lady was engaged in a lively conversation with the two remaining old men in the room.
They were all experts in their fields, so their boasting filled the air, with saliva nearly flooding the room.

From the two old men, Lin Wanrong learned about the Xiao family's situation.

The Xiao family's old master, the father-in-law of Lady Xiao, had held a high position in the imperial court and was once the Minister of Rites.
After retiring, he returned to Jinling City to live out his days.
Upon his death, the current emperor personally wrote a mourning couplet and granted him the honorable title of “Benevolent and Virtuous Scholar.”

However, after the old master's passing, the young master of the Xiao family fell ill and died within two years.
The Xiao family lost their support and their fortunes declined.
Fortunately, the old master's many students provided assistance, and with Lady Xiao's hard work, as well as the second young lady's talent and intelligence, the mother and daughter managed to maintain the vast family business.

But as the years passed and the old master's influence waned, competition increased, and the Xiao family's business became more difficult.
To maintain the family business, the young lady traveled extensively throughout the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui and rarely stayed at home, so few people in Jinling City had seen her.

Lin Wanrong also learned an important piece of information from the two old men: this year's recruitment of household servants.
Although it appeared to be large in scale, with a similar number of applicants as in previous years, the Xiao family kept the number of new servants they hired extremely limited and confidential.

Lin Wanrong could understand this; when he conducted business, he always liked to inflate the company's turnover, while only a few people knew the actual details.


“What about these scholars? What's their story?” Lin Wanrong asked the two old men directly, recalling a question that had been on his mind for some time.

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