Chapter 94: Covenantor (XVII)
Shang Ke used his personal savings in addition to his dividends from the Yue Family’s profits, and with the help of Lu Xiufan, he officially established a new covenantor distribution center in two months. At the same time, he created a website that published a series of supervision systems.
Supervision was conducted by covenantors; every two months these covenantors would conduct investigations by shadowing other covenantors sent to work away from home. If they discover any abusive behavior by the employer, they will immediately report it to the relevant authorities.
Every year in the empire there were thousands of covenantors created, the disease generally appeared when a person was between 14 and 25 years old. If the disease appears in people over 35 years old, they typically had a survival rate of 1%, meaning that the majority of covenantors were very young. In order to attract more covenantors, Shang Ke specially provisioned the distribution center to pay for half of the cost of the mental virus removal surgery. The other 50% could be paid in installments after the covenantor started working.
The majority of the community inflected with the mental virus were civilians, so the cost of surgery for them was a significant burden. Shang Ke’s provision undoubtedly helped them resolve a huge concern. Because of Shang Ke’s provision, the distribution center successfully received numerous covenantors.
Shang Ke split the managerial tasks into detailed components, assigning them one by one to more than 10 covenantors, giving them full authority to manage the distribution center. He was then only responsible for supervising and regulating.
Following the increase in covenantors, Lu Xiufan had many informal positions, all of which were filled with covenantors, including guards, drivers, assistants, and so on. When integrated with ordinary people, they gave people a sense of urgency, and greatly increased efficiency.
Everything was going smoothly until two incidences of abuse occurred.
After a watchdog investigation, it was discovered that two covenantors employed by aristocrats had been subjected to varying degrees of abuse over two months.
“Don’t worry, let me handle it.” Lu Xiufan said reassuringly to Shang Ke after seeing the details within the report regarding the abuse of the covenantors.
Shang Ke calmly looked at the report, slowly responding, “I’m the founder of the distribution center, I am the one responsible for keeping them safe.”
While saying this, Shang Ke showed no wavering within his eyes. They seemed to flash with confined ripples, as luminous as a lake and instantly moving.
Lu Xiufan didn’t say anything else, accepting Shang Ke’s decision.
At this point, Shang Ke didn’t just intend to personally handle the issue, he intended to publicize it. He first familiarized himself with the situation, collected information; and then dispersed the evidence to the relevant departments. However, the response was like throwing a rock into the ocean, sinking without a trace.
Shang Ke had long expected this and wasn’t discouraged. Instead, he proceeded to the next step of his plan, which was to publish the investigations’ findings and all the evidence online. He would publicize the identities of the two aristocrats, but hide the identities of the covenantors.
As expected, once this information was published, it immediately attracted the attention of many people. Although most people do not value the rights of the covenantor, every person has some compassion in their hearts. Seeing photos of the shocking scars, no one could remain indifferent. The populace is always partial to the weak, and there were growing calls for fair punishment in situations where there was ample evidence of wrongdoing.
Taking advantage of this rising wind, Shang Ke once again submitted his evidence to the relevant departments, requesting that they give a just verdict.
If Shang Ke was just an ordinary covenantor, this matter could be expected to quickly be suppressed. However, Shang Ke was backed by Lu Xiufan and even if the two people he was accusing were aristocrats, the officials could not simply pretend to be ignorant and befuddled.
Finally, under pressure from public opinion and under Lu Xiufan’s eye, the two aristocratic defendants suspected of abuse were taken to court for a public hearing. Shang Ke, attending as the head of the distribution center and representative of the prosecution party, stated the case to the court in a clear and organized manner with all the evidence. When faced with the cross-examination of the defense lawyers, he maintained his calm composure and answered quickly and fluently.
Additionally, several covenantors involved in the investigation were also asked to testify in court.
This public trial finally ended with the defeat of the aristocrats. They not only had to compensate the victims a sum of 250,000 yuan but were also detained for half a month in detention.
Although the sentence was light, this was the first major victory in defending the rights and interests of the covenantors.
The defeat of the two aristocrats added some color to this public trial. No one expected the covenantors to go so far as to sue the aristocrats, much less also unexpectedly win! And Shang Ke relied on the performance of a couple of covenantors, allowing the outside world to see their exceptional points.
Neither servile nor overbearing, adhering to principles, and not afraid of the powerful. From such an absolutely weak position, they were still able to win the final victory.
This time, it could be said Shang Ke walked ahead into the limelight and became almost like a representative for the covenantors.
The background of his life was also dug out. Yue Ze was the head of Yue Family’s son, the future family heir with outstanding abilities and overall excellent performance. At the age of 18, he was misdiagnosed as a person infected with the mental virus and was forced to undergo surgical treatment and turned into a covenantor. He was then sent to the distribution center by his stepmother and finally hired by Lu Xiufan.
The public was in an uproar at this revelation. The heir of Yue Family, incredibly misdiagnosed with the mental virus? Originally the child of a prominent family with boundless prospects, was thus turned into an emotionless covenantor with a shortened lifespan? What kind of cruel tragedy was this? The public couldn’t imagine how much despair he would feel if he still had emotions. He was clearly a normal person, but because of some laughable mistake, he fell into such an abyss and even afterward was sent to the distribution center by his ill-intentioned stepmother. With his appearance, if he had been captured by some shameless person, everyone knew what the outcome would have been.
For a moment, Shang Ke won the sympathy and pity of countless people with the tragic color of his situation. Now, with the identity of a covenantor, he was fighting for the rights and interests of other covenantors. Although everyone knew that he had no feelings, his actions were imbued with a kind of courage and strength.
As attention continued to increase, this matter quickly began to make headlines. Immediately afterward, the previously hidden details of the abuse that many covenantors were victims of were revealed one after another, the effect quickly swelled and created an incessant outcry. Lu Xiufan secretly drove the reveals. Roughly counting the number of covenantors that had died of abuse over the years, he estimated that at least 80% of the covenantors had not been treated as they should have after being hired.
For the first time, the outside world firmly faced the covenantors’ situation.
The situation gradually progressed in the direction Shang Ke hoped it would. His distribution center also gained the support of many of the covenantors’ families. From these families, he selected several volunteers as members of the oversight team, working with other covenantor inspectors to safeguard the rights and interests of the covenantor.
The system continued to improve, and gradually gained the recognition of the outside world. The public demanded that other covenantor distribution centers also carry out employer inspections according to this model.
While Shang Ke was flushed with success, what he didn’t know was that the two charged aristocrats were refining ways to deal with him; it was only because of Lu Xiufan that they were slow to tackle the task.
After half a year, Lu Xiufan received a secret report in the middle of the night and hurridly left the mansion. This time, there wasn’t even a phone call for several days.
Shang Ke couldn’t easily contact him, and could only gather information from other channels.
His departure stirred the thoughts of the two aristocrats. They first used the influence they had in hand to suppress Yue Family’s industry. Then they sent several professionals to try kidnapping Shang Ke. However, they were helpless, the safeguards Lu Xiufan had set up for him was too tight, it was simply impossible. With no other alternative, they could only retreat and choose an easier target such as the 10 or so covenantor watchdogs at the distribution center.
Shang Ke didn’t notice any anomalies, because the kidnapped covenanters were quickly returned. Shang Ke didn’t ask, and they, of course, didn’t take the initiative to report anything unrelated to their work.
After a few days, Lu Xiufan safely returned, Shang Ke could finally stop worrying. Just as he was planning to rest, he heard a voice outside the door alert him, “Sir, Jill has come to pay a visit, should we let him in?”
Jill is one of the covenantors that was on the out-of-control hovercar with Shang Ke. He now holds a position at the distribution center and is responsible for the maintenance of the website and technical support.
“Well, let him in then.” Lu Xiufan had embraced Shang Ke by the waist and was just about to walk into the mansion when he suddenly heard a sudden “beep beep beep” alarm sound behind him.
Lu Xiufan jerked towards the sound, only to see an imperial bodyguard pull out a siren from his belt with an alarmed expression, shouting, “Sir, this person is carrying explosives on his person, please leave…”
His voice had barely faded when a rattle sounded as a huge pounding wave of blood and flesh exploded everywhere.
Without any hesitation, Shang Ke immediately grabbed Lu Xiufan, using his own body to block the impact of the explosion.
A hot wave of heat rushed at them, gravel flew, countless pieces landing on Shang Ke’s back.
He and Lu Xiufan were both sent flying by the resulting earthquake, falling miserably to the ground.
Their ears rang nonstop from the surrounding noises that seemed to fall from the sky, causing their mind to go blank.
“… Ze, Little Ze!” The anxious cry faintly registered in Shang Ke’s ear; wanting to respond, he instead spat out a large mouthful of blood.
“Quickly call the doctor!” Lu Xiufan hugged the heavily injured Shang Ke, the expression on his face terrible. Shang Ke’s eyes and ears were full of blood, his back was even more mangled and mutilated.
Over by the source of the explosion a couple of meters away, there was now only a pool of bloody flesh and a few pieces of rags left. Jill, the covenantor carrying the bomb, had clearly been blown to pieces.
In Lu Xiufan’s reddened eyes flared two flaming balls of murderous rage.
5 to 6 minutes later, several doctors rushed over and immediately began administering first aid to the injured on the scene. Among them, Shang Ke’s injuries were the worst, a couple of flying gravel had deeply pierced his back, almost puncturing his internal organs.
In order to ward Lu Xiufan from most of the damage, Shang Ke’s whole body fell into an almost comatose state.
On the way to the hospital, Lu Xiufan simultaneously had the doctor treat Shang Ke’s wounds and contacted his own private guards to quickly launch an investigation.
After the call, Lu Xiufan sat on his chair, his eyes slowly precipitating a thick layer of frost.
Shang Ke was quickly sent to the ER while Lu Xiufan kept guard outside the door. Despite having some wounds that haven’t been attended to he wouldn’t let anyone come near him because he couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t lose control and kill them with his bare hands.
The scene before the explosion kept repeating in his mind. Thinking of Shang Ke’s scar-riddled appearance, Lu Xiufan felt that his heart was about to split open.
“Dammit!” In his contract, there was no stipulation that he had to protect his employer with his own life, so why would he still do such an idiotic thing?
【Promise me, Little Ze, if I’m ever in danger again the future, you have to first think of your own safety】
【Sir, your life is more important than anything else.】
Lu Xiufan’s line of sight gradually blurred…