"This place is quiet," Lily said the moment she sat down on the sleek white couch inside Mr. Rossi's condominium.
"It is. That is the reason why I love the place and immediately rented it," Mr. Rossi smiled at Lily. "I am guessing that you are not here because of business?" he said as he eyed Zhuo Jingren. It was almost nine in the morning and Mr. Rossi was about to go to FC Group when Zhuo Jingren's men asked him to remain in his apartment.
"I want to know everything that you know about my mother," Lily stated bluntly.
"Your bluntness truly reminds me of your grandmother," Mr. Rossi mused. "She always believed that it is better to be direct and spend less time talking and more time earning money. You are just like a younger version of her." When there was no change in Lily's expression, Mr. Rossi laughed softly. "She always knew that this day would come."
"What do you mean? My grandmother knew about this?"
"She did. However, the Facci Group's name was not as prominent in the Far East back then. Going to China to seek revenge would have been useless, it would have been akin to suicide, so… she waited." Mr. Rossi gave Lily a gentle smile. Lily narrowed her eyes at Mr. Rossi. So her grandmother knew what happened back then? This was just unbelievable! What kind of mother would be able to sit back and accept the injustice that her child had suffered?
However, when Lily thought about the thousands of people that worked for her grandmother, she instantly understood her reasoning. A CEO is a person responsible not just for growing the stockholders money, but also for the people working for the company. A CEO should meet the needs of both the shareholders and the employees. Of course, this has been the subject of debate in the business community for many years.
Should a CEO prioritize growing money? Or taking care of their employees?
Female CEOs need to face an additional challenge aside from these two,a —and that is family. Being a woman in the business world is very challenging. Should a woman act like an iron lady and prioritize business above everything else? Be it a man or a woman, prioritizing investors,employees, and family equitably will always be a challenge for anyone. Of course, Lily knew that her grandmother was the type of person who would always think logically. She would not let her emotions hinder her decision making.
Lily knew that her grandmother chose to wait because she wouldn't want to fight a war that she couldn't win. She knew that the responsibility on her shoulders was big and she did not want to risk it.
"When you said you were dropping by and then Zhuo Jingren's men appeared, I suspected you were coming here to discover more information about your mother and it seems that I was right. Your grandmother always told me to wait. Even though George and I wanted to retaliate, Lilian… she always told us that timing is everything. Well… I guess she knew that eventually this day would come."
Once again, Lily had no response. What did she expect from her grandmother? Lilian had always wanted her to grow, not focus on revenge. She had always emphasized the importance of personal growth and learning. She wanted Lily to learn everything, to wrack her brains in trying to understand every miniscule detail of Lilian's schemes and teachings.
All along, she must have known that Lily would one day come back to Hong Kong to try digging into things that happened years ago to find the answers she needed about her past.
"Did my mother contact you on the night of the accident?" Lily asked. In Lily's analysis, there was no way that Bec would have been so certain unless she had spoken to someone who knew her well. If her guess was right, then that person could only be Mr. Rossi as he was known to be Lilian's right hand man. Bec must have been too afraid of the repercussions from contacting Lillian directly, or perhaps she didn't have the means to contact her mother personally, so she chose instead to contact the person whose email was all over the company's website.
"Yes, she did," Mr. Rossi confirmed before lowering his gaze. "I was also the one who told George about it."
"If I was quick enough… I… she would not have encountered the accident back then," he said, his sorrow clearly evident in his voice.
"What did she tell you?" Lily asked calmly, her mind is racing to grasp every little detail that Mr. Rossi might know. She remembered the man breaking down on their first meeting. Lily clearly remembered Mr. Rossi crying as he apologized to her over and over again.
At first she thought it was because he was blaming himself. He had a lover and this was the reason why Bec wouldn't marry him. Bec fought with Lillian over this matter and then subsequently ran away from home, only for everything to end like this. The marriage fiasco was the reason why he felt guilty. Bec really did call him on the night of the accident, but the schemes of others were already in motion and it was all too late.
"She told me the reason she was unable to contact me earlier was because she was being threatened. She said… she said they were going to kill her and that is the reason why they agreed to let her go. She said… they were going to kill you as well." At this point in the story he heaved a huge sigh and collected himself before continuing. "I wanted to ask her the details. After all, she'd disappeared for twenty years. But she refused to talk. She only asked me… to save her son from them."
"Did she tell you who they were? The people who wanted her dead?"
"Qin Family," he answered. "I remember her saying that it was… it was the Qin Family."
"So you were also the one who told my grandmother about it?"
"I was. Lilian knew about it because of me… Of course, she needed to have George investigate first. By the time that we discovered Bec's location, well… she was already dead," Mr. Rossi answered before rising from his seat. "I always knew this day would come. Years ago, after your mother's death, I compiled everything that I have learned about the situation. Of course, everything was reported to your grandmother. She had me keep a file… lots of them, actually." His voice faded as he walked towards his room. After a few minutes, he came back carrying a big black attaché case.
"Take it. She said you will need this once you visit China. She said… well… she knew that you would make them pay. I believe there is also a letter in that case. The only people who knew the code of that lock were Lilian and I. She passed me this case just a few months before she died and told me to add everything that I have gathered over the years." He handed the case to Zhuo Jingren. "The only thing that I want is for you to take care of yourself. No matter what… we are here for you. We might not show it every day, but you should know that we will always be here, ready to fight for you and Bec."
Lily eyed the case before she looked at Mr. Rossi. "Thank you," she said. Her grandmother always emphasized trusting the right people. And Lily knew that Mr. Rossi is one of those right people that Lilian always mentioned.