Chapter 79: The Ling and Yi Families, A Crazy Battle of Donations
Ling Qingzhou sat down on the sofa, his long legs crossed, a hint of annoyance evident on his brow.
Clearly, the person on the other end of the line had upset him.
“Don’t talk to me about who came first. Initially, it was us who contacted the school to discuss building the ‘Mingyue Building’ at Linbei No. 7 High School. But what happened? Yi Hansheng played dirty behind our backs and managed to erect the ‘Yueming Building.’ This time, no matter what, we must secure No. 1 High School. If you can’t achieve that, then you can pack your bags and get lost—”
The head of the foundation was close to tears.
Over the years, he had never quite understood why a straightforward act of charity had turned into a business battle between the Ling and Yi families.
Donating a building to a high school was a tremendous act of benevolence. However, somehow, both the Ling and Yi families had gotten involved, and that couldn’t be untangled.
You establish a charitable foundation, which isn’t an easy task at all. Countless human and financial resources are invested in the process. Besides donating school buildings, there are many other good projects to work on! But for some reason, both families got fixated on this.
Today, the Lings built a science building at Linan No. 3 High School, and tomorrow, the Yis would donate a laboratory building at Linbei No. 7 High School.
Even the names were almost identical. The Ling family’s building was called “Mingyue Building,” while the Yi family’s was called “Yueming Building.”
And both buildings rivaled each other. A school with the “Mingyue Building” couldn’t have the “Yueming Building,” and a school with the “Yueming Building” wouldn’t have the “Mingyue Building.”
Not to mention that even the major high schools in Linhuai were baffled by this.
Over the years, the two families had managed to create conflicts and escalating frictions by competing over the donations for schools.
Currently, the dispute was over the “building rights” for Minnan No. 1 High School, and it had reached a fever pitch.
Initially, the Yis had contacted the school first and had nearly finalized the deal. However, the formal paperwork was pending, so the matter hadn’t been publicly announced yet.
But Ling Qingzhou still got wind of it. He used his connections to slow down the paperwork process, then sent his assistant to negotiate with the school. His intention was to edge out the Yis, and he was even willing to double the budget as a negotiating chip.
As expected, the school was enticed.
The contract hadn’t been signed yet, and now they had a better option. Why wouldn’t they accept it?
Moreover, Ling Qingzhou promised to build an additional cafeteria, citing the reason that his son was also studying there, and he wanted him to have better meals.
Of course, Yi Hansheng wasn’t one to be messed with either. Ling Qingzhou’s actions were akin to snatching food from a tiger’s mouth. Whether for the sake of substance or face, he couldn’t just stand down.
Thus, a tug-of-war ensued.
As the saying goes, when giants clash, the little guys suffer.
Both big bosses naturally didn’t need to intervene personally, but it was a tough time for their underlings.
Considering this, the head of the foundation had aged significantly, even though he dared not show a hint of impatience. He had to firmly assure, “Rest assured! I will definitely handle it.”
After ending the call, he let out a long sigh, his legs going weak as he slumped into his chair, wiping off the sweat with a trembling hand.
“Manager Cai, the documents you requested.”
The secretary placed the documents on the table and left the room.
Sitting up straight, the man flipped open the first page. The contact information for the newly appointed head of the Yi family’s foundation was prominently displayed.
He picked up his phone and dialed the number…
After a brief chat, he realized that they were schoolmates. This unexpectedly brought them closer, but the invisible tension remained.
Manager Cai: “Senior, President Ling has put forward very generous terms, indicating his firm intention to secure Linnan No. 1 High School. Why must you be so insistent? As the saying goes, sometimes it’s better to step back and broaden your horizons. If you lose Linnan No. 1 High School, there’s still No. 2 and No. 3, right?”
“That’s interesting, President Yi has a similar view. After all, the letter of intent is in our hands. Although the formalities aren’t complete yet, it’s only a matter of time. We can afford to wait.”
Manager Cai’s voice turned colder. “Isn’t there any room for negotiation?”
On the other end, a sigh. “Since you called me ‘senior,’ let me be frank with you. It’s impossible to concede, not because I want to target anyone, but President Yi’s attitude is clear. I can’t oppose him.”
“Junior brother, despite us holding a fund worth hundreds of millions in liquid assets, dressing smartly, and being addressed as ‘manager’ or ‘director’ by everyone, in reality, we’re just highly paid laborers. Whatever the boss says, we do. We have no decision-making power in important matters. So, please don’t make things difficult for me…”
Those words suddenly brought bitter memories to both of them.
Manager Cai gritted his teeth, suppressing years of frustration as he erupted, “I just don’t understand. Are these two families so bored that they’re acting like lunatics, donating school buildings as if they have nothing else to do? Not only are they not making any money, they’re even losing money. Are these wealthy folks crazy? What are they after?”
Isn’t money tempting? Isn’t buying cars and houses enjoyable?
“Perhaps the meaning of charity lies in this?”
Manager Cai fell silent for a moment, then asked, “Do you think these two families are really engaging in charity?”
The other end remained silent.
After a while, “…Is it possible to cooperate?”
Manager Cai chuckled. If it were the previous head of the foundation, he wouldn’t have asked such a foolish question.
“Only if red rain falls from the sky.”
“But if we don’t try, how would we know? No. 1 High School wouldn’t mind having more buildings. As long as both Ling and Yi agree…”
“The problem is these two big shots can’t stand each other. They’d rather strangle each other at the sight of one another. How can they agree?”
Senior brother was surprised. “Why?!”
In the business world, there are no eternal enemies, only perpetual interests. Even a child knows this, and it’s impossible that figures of Ling Qingzhou’s and Yi Hansheng’s caliber are unaware of it.
Manager Cai shrugged. “I heard there’s a longstanding grudge, an enmity that was formed over twenty years ago.”
How deep must that hatred be to persist to this day?
The other end fell into thought for a moment before suddenly speaking up, “Have you noticed a very strange phenomenon?”
Manager Cai: “What?”
“Well, after I took over the foundation, I reviewed the project records of the past ten years and studied the implementation decisions of the Ling family. I found that in the matter of donating buildings, the competition rate between the two families is a full one hundred percent!”
In other words, whatever the Ling family targets, the Yi family tries to grab; whatever the Yi family is interested in, the Ling family attempts to seize.
On the whole, it’s a draw.
“But that’s not the strangest part. The strangest part is how both families name the buildings. ‘Mingyue Building’ and ‘Yueming Building’, they only switch the order of the characters ‘Ming’ and ‘Yue.’ Could there be some inherent connection between them?”
If the two families truly had some deep-seated grudge, they would undoubtedly go to great lengths to distance themselves from each other, especially in naming such significant structures.
There was once a small-scale survey conducted, and ninety-five percent of the surveyed students couldn’t distinguish between “Mingyue Building” and “Yueming Building.”
They were more accustomed to differentiating them by function. The former is mainly for technology exhibitions with a grand architectural style, often referred to as the “Science and Technology Building.” The latter houses various subject-specific laboratories and provides all sorts of experimental equipment, hence being called the “Experiment Building.”
“Do you find it odd that such names seem to be commemorating something?”
Ling Qingzhou and Yi Hansheng are the two “big shots 1 to n” mentioned in the introduction.
Hmm, just like that!