Chapter 242

Chapter 242:

Team [2 in 1]

Translator: Lonelytree  Editor: Millman97

In the email, Han Chu mentioned that Ye Shuang could meet up with the other agent when she was ‘convenient’. Ye Shuang believed Han Chu was hinting at the swapping of her gender. So far, Han Chu had not fully discovered the rules to Ye Shuang’s gender swapping. If Ye Shuang did not say anything, he would keep his thoughts to himself, as if the accidental discovery that he stumbled across earlier did not even happen. If not for the fact that Ye Shuang would return to her own bedroom to change her clothes whenever she discussed official business with the man until midnight, perhaps Han Chu could really have convinced himself it never happened.

However, whether she was in her male form or female form, when she met someone for the first time, she had to reserve a few days to continue the interaction. In other words, Ye Shuang could not meet someone for the first time with Sister Shuang’s identity one day and then change into Brother Shuang the next day to get to know the person again. Therefore, considering the amount of time that she had left until the transformation, Ye Shuang decided to wait one more day before she went to contact the other agent.

The night passed by without anything interesting happening. The following morning, Ye Shuang used her magnetic male voice to call the agent and told him that she needed to attend to some things, so she would meet him the afternoon of the following day.

The agent on the phone sounded very relaxed; it was a kind of relaxation that came from years of experience. Ye Shuang speculated the man’s age was around forty. When he spoke, he was slow and casual, but the brain moved very fast. He was able to latch onto the main point instantly, and despite his way of speech, the agent was not one to give others face and cut right into the point.

“I will only be staying for a week in Shanghai. I don’t mind how you arrange the time, but in seven days, my daughter will need to return to school. As long as you have confidence that you can resolve the issue within this period of time, I don’t mind whether we meet earlier or later,” the agent said lazily, and laughter could be heard in the background—it sounded like he was at some kind of theme park. “Similarly, if the issue is not resolved within these seven days, no matter what the problem is, I will have to leave. After all, we’re all here to find a way to feed ourselves. Even for the sake of the peace of the universe, we cannot let our normal work be affected. Little Brother Ye, what do you think?”

Ye Shuang chuckled. “These things cannot be solved in two or three days. I feel like Brother Han’s intention is for us to meet first to share some support and information. Therefore, this small thing shouldn’t take up too much time. I’m sorry, but how should I refer to you? What I mean is that, it won’t affect your normal schedule.”

“My surname is Zhang; you can call me Brother Zhang.” The middle-aged man did not seem like he was willing to reveal his full name. “Currently, we won’t be interacting too much, so there is no need for us to get to know each other so well. Mr. Han’s meaning is that currently you have the ability to approach the job scope of a mid-tier agent. Because of that, he wants to make some introductions and explain some things to you… Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow at around noon then. Tomorrow, my family plans to go for local cuisine. Do you want to come along, Xiao Ye?”

Ye Shuang understood the implication. “I also have some friends in Shanghai. Since Brother Zhang and Sister Zhang are interested, then let me book the restaurant for you.”

Did Agent Zhang not know people in Shanghai? Of course, that was impossible! As an agent who had entered the business earlier than Ye Shuang, even though he might not have the natural advantages that Ye Shuang did, he did have the experience and connections that he had collected over the years.

The man had probably come to Shanghai to expand his business several times already—after all, the economy here was vibrant, and there were many opportunities. It was the easiest place to find the talent to fit the client’s requirement, but since the man had already placed Ye Shuang in the capacity of a junior and stated clearly that Han Chu had told him to lead Ye Shuang into the world of a mid-tier agent, then as a person who was going to be taught a lesson, there was no way that she would let this ‘leader’ pay for the meal on their first meeting.

The first conversation on the phone ended quite happily. Both parties had rather neutral impressions of each other; they needed to observe more before they could come to a conclusion. However, Ye Shuang did acquire some additional information. She suddenly realized that the agents under Han Chu did not seem to share the same status. At least before this, she had not heard that there was a separation of agents into high, middle, and low tiers.

After finishing the call with the agent, Ye Shuang used Brother Shuang’s voice to call Boss Mo. She asked politely for some recommendations of good local restaurants and made her request of getting Boss Mo to make a booking for her. Boss Mo was willing to help her, and she was dragged to have a little chat on the phone with the man. They communicated about the issue regarding the cameo, and that officially ended what Ye Shuang had to do for the day.

The day after, Brother Shuang appeared. She changed and left the hotel in the morning. She soon arrived at the restaurant that Boss Mo had told her about through a text message. She entered the private room before calling Agent Zhang.

The agent arrived one hour later with his wife and daughter. As Ye Shuang expected, the man looked to be in his forties. His physique was not bad considering his age. Even though there was no muscle, at least there was not a beer belly either.

“Xiao Ye?” After the middle-aged man entered the room, he greeted Ye Shuang first. Then he stopped to take a good look of Brother Shuang’s face. He smiled and nodded before sitting down leisurely. He then took care of his wife and daughter as they also took their seats. Finally, he opened his mouth to say, “I only heard from Mr. Han that your surname is Ye. I’m surprised that you would end up being a movie actor.”

“It’s just a cameo role.” Ye Shuang sighed. “I’ve realized that all the new contacts that I’ve met recently tell me that.”

It was just a cameo character, but Ye Shuang did not expect the aftereffect would be so powerful and lasting. Of course, it was already better compared to when the movie was at the height of its popularity. At least now, Brother Shuang did not need to wrap himself up like a mummy when he left his room.

“The truly talented are often the famous ones as well.” The middle-aged man nodded and turned sideways to introduce his family. “This is my wife and my daughter.”

And… that was it.

The man’s wife looked very virtuous. After she entered the room, she did not appear particularly friendly, but she did smile at Ye Shuang. The man’s daughter was at a high school age, and she wore a simple jeans and sweater. After she entered the room, she removed the sweater. She did not wear any extra accessories. There was only a simple protective seal that was tied around her neck using a red string. When she noticed Brother Shuang was looking at them, the wife acted normally, but the young girl had a blush rising to her cheeks. Her eyes darted away shyly like she was embarrassed being stared at by a handsome guy.

Ye Shuang looked at the middle-aged man, who was pouring the tea for himself and did not continue his introduction. The latter smiled and added, “This is the first point that I want to say—there are three of us agents. Adding you, that will be four. There is no need for us to get to know each other as long as we have each other’s contact information.”

There was no need to share names, career information, and background. The interaction was like online friends—they knew each other, but there was no need to get to know each other. Ye Shuang thought about it and asked, “Is this to avoid possible implications? But what if the relationship does get closer?”

“Then so be it.” The middle-aged man moved slowly. “There is not a ban in place. If both parties have a good impression of each other and decide it is not bad to be friends, then go ahead. There isn’t a rule set in place to prevent that.”

He might have said so, but the middle-aged man did not add anything after that. Ye Shuang looked at the fact that he did not even introduce his wife and daughter’s names, and she understood immediately—the man was not there to be friends with him. Then again, that was no surprise. After all, this was their first meeting. They moved onto the menu. Shanghai cuisine was famous for being oily and heavy on the taste. The man looked through the menu and ordered a few dishes that he liked before turning to ask for his wife and daughter’s opinion and finally handing the menu back to Ye Shuang.

Ye Shuang looked at it. Even though the man did not step on eggshells around her, he was not there to take advantage of her either. The price and amount of the item that he ordered was enough for four people. Therefore, she smiled and ordered a few more dishes, ignoring the surprised look from the middle-aged man that felt like he was looking at a rich man.

They did not talk about business while dining. The middle-aged man asked for a bottle of wine to share with Ye Shuang. Occasionally, he would stop to grab some food for his wife and daughter, just like a normal family man. The main conservation at the table was between the middle-aged man and his wife. Rarely did Ye Shuang join the conversation. In any case, the conversation covered many areas but not personal information. If the atmosphere around the table was how the family had dinner at home, then it was clear that even the man’s family was cautious with their personal information and was used to circling the conversation away from these topics.

After the lunch was over, the wife thanked Ye Shuang politely before asking the daughter to join her on a walk. They left the room. The middle-aged man wiped his lips and poured the rest of the wine into two glasses. He pushed one to Ye Shuang. Finally, he got to the main point. “Tell me, what kind of cases have you done in your life as an agent?”

Wait, shouldn’t we be discussing about the organization? Ye Shuang looked at the man in confusion. After a moment’s silence, she introduced the companies and talent that she had handled before. She did not bring up the extra-marital affairs that she had cracked.

The middle-aged man nodded casually. He did not pay much attention. “When you copied Mr. Han’s data, you should have noticed that the data in his computer is restricted by permission tiers. Based on our current delineation, the content of your cases should all belong under official cases.”

“Then what about unofficial cases?” Ye Shuang was rather intrigued.

“There are two types of unofficial cases. One, you temporarily don’t have the permission to know and access, and the other one will be the fringe cases that you’ll approach when you’re a mid-tier agent.”

The middle-aged man picked up the chopsticks and started to draw on the table. He drew three circles; the circles were of different sizes, and the bigger ones were enveloping the smaller ones. “The core or the high-end ban zone is currently beyond your need to understand, and the one at the most outside is the most common legal cases and the official cases that I’ve mentioned. The middle circle, the one between the ban zone and the official cases, consists of the fringe cases. These cases are between legal and illegal. If you’re not careful, you might trigger the nerve of sensitive groups and might even be persecuted by law.

“For example, take the organization that you and Mr. Han are currently investigating.” The middle-aged man finally reached the real reason Ye Shuang was there that day. “If a normal, law-abiding citizen found something that violated the law and the societal rules, they would choose to call the police. However, those not so law-abiding citizens would take matters into their own hands. Normal people rarely approach these dangerous areas—only those with special occupations and special permission would. We do not have the occupational permission, but at the same time, we will be forced to have interactions with them, so this is why it’s called a fringe case.”

Ye Shuang steepled her fingers and placed her hands on the table. Her interest was increasingly piqued. “Please continue.”

This was the first time that the middle-aged man had run into someone who was so relaxed when they heard about such dangerous things. Not only that, Ye Shuang had even managed to maintain his interest. Because of that, he could not resist glancing at Ye Shuang. After some thought, the middle-aged man continued. “Beginner agents will only be responsible for official cases, and when Mr. Han thinks you’re good enough, becoming a mid-tier agent will open up a new section of the database, and then you’ll realize that the talent at your fingertips will become more complicated. Underground boxers, mercenaries, retired snipers, reformed prisoners, and even certain second-generation young masters…

“The cases you might come across will be more complicated. Perhaps, you might be tasked with investigating certain illegal information or work together with the police to set up a trap or an event. Theoretically speaking, for example, this money-laundering organization should be taken care of by a mid-tier agent. The police do not have criminal evidence, so they cannot build a case against them. However, no case means no budget. Without budget, all the resources used in the investigation process including the boxed meals and the petrol money cannot be claimed. With the pittance that our law enforcement earns, who do you think that they will be responsible to cough up these expenses?”

Other than the issue of budget, the officers could not use all the methods available to conduct the investigation, or else it could be viewed as police brutality or infringement of public safety. Therefore, most of the time, this type of issue could only be handled by citizen organization. And the budget would be taken up by the victim like An Corps or the Si Hai Organization. They would hire suitable talent from Han Chu to do things that were not so open to the public.

Since this type of case had a wide range of jobs and would require someone with powerful connections and ability, normally, it would be handled by mid-tier agent. However, the surprise was, since An Corp came directly to Ye Shuang for the case without going through Han Chu, Han Chu did not have time to decide the difficulty of the case beforehand. Furthermore, the influence of the money-laundering organization had not been exposed yet, so even after he knew that Ye Shuang had accepted the case, he did not stop her.

When Anthony and others got closer to the organization and everyone knew what was happening, and when Han Chu wanted to tell Ye Shuang to retreat, Ye Shuang had already gotten herself too involved into the situation. It was impossible to yank her out directly. Han Chu had observed for a while and realized that the girl seemed to have the ability to handle this, so he started to consider opening the permission for a mid-tier agent to her. Ye Shuang finally understood what he was saying. “So, what Brother Zhang means is that I’ve been promoted?”

“I’ve said so much and you only got that?” the middle-aged man could not help but tut.

“It actually doesn’t matter that much to me.” Ye Shuang smiled. “Even though I’ve heard some interesting new things, whether you open the permission or not, it doesn’t change much for me. The plan to evict the money-laundering organization will still be continued, and the plan that I’ve made hasn’t been affected. The main difference is whether the commission rate for mid-tier agent and beginner agent will change or not.”

The middle-aged man looked at Ye Shuang with interest, and he felt like he was unable to follow the thinking of the young man. “The commission rate doesn’t change.”

Then, he saw the disappointment that was apparent on Ye Shuang’s face. He told himself to be patient and added, “But mid-tier agents will get more channels to gain income.”

“Please do explain!” Ye Shuang’s eyes lit up, and she straightened her back. The smile on his face was so handsome that it could take a person’s breath away. The middle-aged man chuckled.

“The mid-tier agent can ask the client directly for a budget because the case handled by a mid-tier agent is not normally a simple problem, so the content might not be the usual singular talent scouting but a group scouting. To put it simply, to complete the case, the number of talents that you might need will probably exceed one.” The middle-aged did not want to look at Ye Shuang anymore.

“When calculating the difficulty of the problem and when you’re drafting the plan to deal with the problem, the agent can discuss the budget and the fee with the client based on the difficulty of the case. For example, if the client’s budget is ten million and the request is to remove the organization’s influence from Shanghai. In this period of time, the things that you need to make, the goal that you need to achieve, and most importantly, the special talent that you might need to hire and the individual salaries of these talents… you need to expend the ten million on these issues. The commission rate will be the same as before, but after you complete the job, the remainder of the fund will be yours. It’ll be your pure profit.”

“What if the budget is not enough?” Ye Shuang asked about the other possibility.

“There are also two possibilities if the budget is not enough.” The agent sighed. “In the contract between you and the client will be various clauses that must be completed and anticipatory goals. To remove the organization’s influence… for example, if we are able to complete evict the Xi Hwa Organization’s branch from Shanghai, that will be counted as completing the anticipatory goal. But if that is not doable, you have to at least be able to fulfill the other clauses, like making the Xi Hwa Organization suffer a certain percentage of losses, drop how many percent of stocks, or other related judging standards.

“If you complete the final and anticipatory goal, the client is required to give you another twenty percent of bonus. If you have exhausted the budget from completing the necessary goals, then you can ask the client for their opinion to see whether they are willing to add more money to complete the rest of the mission or not. However, if you are unable to fulfill the necessary goals and have already exhausted the budget, then you’ll need to take out your own money to complete it.” The middle-aged man looked at Ye Shuang and smiled. “There are no transactions in this world that are one hundred percent beneficial. You cannot expect other people to pay for you every time.”

Ye Shuang lowered her head to fire off a message to Han Chu to confirm that he was indeed willing to promote her to become a mid-tier agent. Then she thought about it and asked the final question. “One last question, who shall I get the budget from for this case?”

She and the Si Hai Organization were just a part time collaboration—it was mainly to secure the trader’s working environment. Her actions in San Lin City had been because of An Corps and because Yao Zhixing had been attacked, so she did those things for a friend. However, if she was expected to continue, she would need to handle the problems that arose herself. For example, Ye Shuang had already planned to get closer to the man by infiltrating the film crew. If there was budget for her to hire people to help her, her life would be so much easier, and she would be able to earn some money—that was the best result.

“Of course, you’ll need to look for the client yourself.” The middle-aged man finished the cup of wine. “For example, how far do you plan to go after the money-laundering organization? Who might have the same desire as yourself? Who would benefit the most from you completing the mission? In other words, change these things into the needs of a client and the people that I’ve mentioned earlier could all be your potential clients. You need to go persuade them yourself and then only start working after you have the budget in your hands.”

Ye Shuang thought about it. People with the same desire… Currently, she only knew that Han Chu had the same mission as her. The people that stood to benefit the most if the mission was completed… that would be the government, right‽

Ye Shuang wiped the sweat. “Then I need to think about it further.”

F*ck, it sounds like I cannot touch Xia Cheng so soon. If I just kill this person now, I might not even get any money from it.

“Have fun then.” The middle-aged man nodded and moved the empty bottle aside. He cleared a space on the table and took out his laptop from his bag. He searched for the database. “Did you bring your laptop? I’ll share the database with you first.”

After the transfer, Ye Shuang looked at the database , which had gotten bigger by twenty percent, and she sighed. However, that was not when the issue was over. The middle-aged man left the room to ask for the Wi-Fi password. Finally, he closed his laptop. “Mr. Han’s meaning is for me to lead you for this first fringe case. In two days, I will send you a list of potential clients. You should try to make contact with them. How big their budget is and how many talents you should employ, that is your decision. Other than that, you should try to familiarize yourself with the new talents. That Anthony counts as your private team, so his information doesn’t need to be transferred to the file.”

Private team… Ye Shuang felt so dumb that day.

The middle-aged man chuckled and pointed out the meaning with the grand aura of a senior. “It’s a talent who has a special talent but will not receive cases from other agents. Perhaps you have a deal with them, or they might be your long-term partners. Every agent will have their team. Other than fringe cases, we also need to deal with official cases. Don’t you think you need a team to handle all these cases?”

Ye Shuang looked at the man and answered seriously. “Most of the time, I really can handle them alone.”

“…” the middle-aged man.

He looked at Ye Shuang like he was looking at a youth that did not look his limit. However, the man was still patient. “Normally, if you want to start a team, I suggest you find an accountant first. They will be able to help up calculate the various budgets that are involved in your cases. Other than that, you need a legal expert to deal with the various problems that might arise during your mission. These two are normal talents that you need. The rest depends on the definition of your team and your personal preference. For example, do you plan to focus more on fringe cases or official cases, or when you have more official cases, do you plan to have someone liaise them for you or not?”

Accountant… She could find Father Ye to ask for some professional textbooks. Law was easy. Internet and book stores, she could memorize all that.

Other than Anthony accidentally joining the team, Ye Shuang really did not see a reason to find other team members. Oh, wait, she could use an assistant. If the person was really free, they could help her clean up her apartment at San Lin City.