Chapter 156 - Strange Hobby for Ancient Books

If a person had an interest in a particular item or matter, it would be considered their hobby. Hobbies could also develop in a bad way, like an addiction to drugs or tobacco. Thus, it would also get out of their control and tilt towards a craving that would someday repeat itself.

Bai Fan had investigated Lou Zi'an, and this was a person with a strange hobby. Some would be addicted to gambling, indulge in lust, and some of them would even accumulate wealth as a hobby. Lou Zi'an had an extremely unusual interest; he liked to collect ancient books. Not just any ancient books, but books like different ancient editions of Golden Lotus and the Sex & Zen. He's even willing to spend a great fortune just to buy them.

Bai Fan took out a tattered book with yellow oxidized pages and placed it beside Lou Zi'an. The latter slightly smiled before he wiped his lips with his finger on the cover page and smiled. "One doesn't get a reward if it's not deserved. Speak, what do you want, or I will not dare to accept it!"

Bai Fan faintly smiled before he leaned back against the chair. "This matter is a little complicated, and I need Boss Lou to listen to my explanation."

After tapping his finger on the ancient book a few times, Lou Zi'an finally couldn't hold the urge to flip through it. The content of this book was marvellous. This Golden Lotus was an exquisite product from the previous dynasty. Not only was the book descriptive with writings, it even had pictures that made Lou Zi'an's blood start boiling instantly.

Putting on his presbyopia-prescription glasses, he licked his finger, flipped through the book and smiled. "There's nothing much at noon for me to do anyway, and I was just thinking of having a chat with you. You're a member of TCM, and communicating with you is beneficial for me to analyse your situation."

Bai Fan ridiculed in his heart that Lou Zi'an was putting on airs a little too much. But he had a favor to ask of the latter, so he didn't mind to patiently explain, "My Medicine King Valley has formed a cosmetic company with TCM herbs as our main element. But there is also other cosmetics company waving the banner of TCM out there, so I need your help to help us stand out from the other competitors."

"Oh?" Lou Zi'an's eyes lit up, since he understood Bai Fan's intention. The latter wanted him to use his resources to help the latter's company increase their reputation.

This was undoubtedly a smart move, since there were many cosmetic products out there riding on the name of TCM, claiming that their secret recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation. Actually, they just had a vast amount out there to make up for the numbers. It just so happened that his company was one of the organizations with influence in China's TCM community that the government has approved of. All he had to do was determine their structure before giving them the approval to increase the product's influence.

Lou Zi'an closed the book and gently pushed it towards Bai Fan with a complicated expression on his face. "Bai Fan, it's not that I don't want to help you. This company is special, so I can't decide for myself. Otherwise, people will start denouncing me for using my position to gain personal benefits."

Bai Fan swiftly waved his hand and smiled. "President Lou, don't be so rigid. This company of yours has been established for decades. The higher-ups also have thoughts of promoting TCM, but have things gone your ways? It's mainly because there isn't a good interaction with the company and the business world. Frankly speaking, you will need to join the market if you want to develop your company better."

Knitting his brows, Lou Zi'an asked with interest, "Oh? What do you suggest, then?"

Wearing a faint smile on his face, Bai Fan replied, "If you can confer a plaque for my company to boost our reputation, I'm willing to pay ¥100,000 as the manufacturing cost."

Lou Zi'an held onto his chin and briefly pondered before saying, "Then wouldn't others think that my company's approval can be bought with money? Making the benefits too obvious?"

Bai Fan sighed, "The economy structure determines the superstructure, and if you merely rely on service fees and do not want to expand the benefits range, you won't be able to make any developments."

Lou Zi'an knew that Bai Fan was persuading him to make use of his company's resources and reputation to forge a new market. Bestowing honor onto some company, like a plaque with the approval from XX company. This was still the first time that he had heard of such a fresh idea, and it did seem workable. However, he was hesitating, since there weren't that many people he could use right now for these matters, so even if he wanted to establish that, he didn't have the power to accomplish it.

His gaze was fixated on the book before he let out a long sigh, "My company is a non-government organization, not a commercial organization. Although many trades are undergoing reforms right now, there's nothing we can do to develop. It's mainly because of our attribute as an organization, so it is practically determined that we're not powerful enough to implement it. Simply speaking, this company is filled with a bunch of old, weak, and disabled. It's impossible for us to forge a market, and I'm not getting any younger either. I've also earned enough, and this company is meant for my retirement plan. I'm retiring in just a few more years, and truthfully speaking, I don't have that much energy anymore. I just want to retire steadily."

Bai Fan nodded her head and had guessed Lou Zi'an's thoughts. "President Lou, the reformation isn't to remove the rotten flesh, and your current company is good enough. Establishing itself as a third-party service will bring life to the current TCM Association's market. Actually, a company like yours is needed in the industry to determine the market's standards."

Many associations nowadays have several sets of operations. Aside from reforming the management department, there's also a department specialised for enterprises with members to operate the marketing section. The association didn't manage any of those things, but third-party companies to use the status of the association in the industry. On the other hand, the association would just hold conferences and discussions to strive for benefits. This was also the purpose of Lou Zi'an's company, to handle those odd jobs to earn some profits.

Lou Zi'an instantly understood, so his eyes lit up with a smile. "Perhaps you're interested?"

Bai Fan admitted with a smile, "There’s such a big piece of meat lying here, it'd be a waste if we don't make full use of it."

After a brief hesitation, Lou Zi'an gently patted the desk, "How about this, write a proposal for me, and I'll consider it."

Bai Fan knew how to deal with someone like Lou Zi'an. It's impossible to make such a person waver if you don't provide sufficient benefits, and today was only his attempt to probe the latter's intentions. Bai Fan smiled. "Then, about my plaque…?"

Waving his hand, Lou Zi'an straightforwardly smiled. "Is that still considered a matter? Rest assured, your Medicine King Valley is an old brand in the industry, and it's reasonable for us to do something for you guys. I'll get someone to handle it in a while."

A smile swiftly appeared on Bai Fan's face and he replied, "Actually, there's no need for you to get someone to do it. I'll get someone to do it, instead. I have also prepared the documents beforehand, which you can take a look at. If it's fine, then you can just get someone to put it on your company's website as a medal awarded to our products."

Lou Zi'an was also a person who's afraid of trouble, so he roughly swept a glance at the document and nodded his head. "I've taken a look at the content of it, and there's no issue with it. I'll get someone to put it up later."

Bai Fan immediately thanked, "Thank you, President Lou. Once this matter is done, I will surely thank you heavily!"

Lou Zi'an shook his head and smiled. "You're too polite. Oh right, I've still yet to thank you for finding such a great book for me. I wonder how much it costs? I'll definitely pay you for it, or I wouldn't dare to accept it!"

Bai Fan smiled. "This is something that I've chanced upon from an old physician. I used a few prescriptions to charge for it, so I didn't spend too much. If President Lou insists on giving, then ¥34 will do."

Lou Zi'an knew that Bai Fan was giving a stage for him to go down, so he took out a ¥50 bill from his wallet with his eyes narrowed from his smile. "I'll give you ¥50 then, don't bother giving me the change."

Seeing how real Lou Zi'an acted, Bai Fan found it hilarious and could only take the ¥50 before he said, "President Lou, you're too courteous."

Since his matter was resolved now, Bai Fan no longer continued to stay and bade his farewells, which Lou Zi'an swiftly sent Bai Fan to the door. Seeing Bai Fan going down the building, Lou Zi'an turned around and impatiently entered his office before he started flipping through the ancient book. After a brief moment, he couldn't help praising, "What an excellent work!"

Reading a few pages of the book, Lou Zi'an felt his body heating up, so he dialed a number with a low chuckle, "Are you free later?"

"Later? What naughty idea do you have in mind again?" A woman's pampered laughter resounded from the other side.

"Yeah, I found a good book and the pictures are excellent. Why don't we give it a try?" Lou Zi'an asked with a smile.

"Sigh, you old geezer. I have many things going on later, so I only have an hour to play around with you." The woman answered straightforwardly.

"Then we'll meet at the same place and study this exotic book together. See you there!" Lou Zi'an smiled.

When Bai Fan entered the vehicle, Ole Seventh asked with a crooked smile, "Is Lou Zi'an especially excited?"

Bai Fan shook his head and replied with a faint smile, "Lou Zi'an is naturally someone with rigorous schemes and a deep foresight. How can I guess his thoughts so easily?"

Ole Seventh gently snorted, "I've found out that Lou Zi'an has a weird fetish for collecting ancient porn books. Not only that, but he also likes to go into the posture as drawn in the books to experience it for himself."

Bai Fan's eyes coldly flashed before he said in a soft voice, "As long as one has a weak spot, then there's surely a method to control him with that. In the end, Lou Zi'an is just a puppet we control."

Old Seventh was convinced as he replied, "Senior Brother, you're making me feel more deep and unfathomable."

Ole Seventh was the younger cousin of Bai Fan, and also someone that the latter trusted. With a faint smile, Bai Fan replied, "Stop flattering me and concentrate on driving!"

When the vehicle drove out of the TCM Association's courtyard, Bai Fan called Wang Guofeng's phone.

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