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“Mr. Chang, the matter that you wanted us to investigate, it’s all in here.”
A tightly sealed bag with a portfolio in it was placed in front of Chang Shi Gui. He glanced at its cover and did not move to tear open it, “That year, how many people were involved in this
The private investigator saw that Chang Shi Gui held zero interest in the contents of the bag and did not mind it. From within the bag, he took out a form, “I don’t know if you are referring to the people who took part in it, or those that knew of this matter yet kept quiet about it?”
Silence ensued in the room. Chang Shi Gui drank a sip of bitter tea, “I want to know both.”
“That year, there were a total of 56 students in this class. There were 12 people that are related to this matter and 5 of them were students from the other classes. Altogether, there were more than 20 people who knew……” Having said to up till this point, the private investigator’s voice was much lower.
To be chosen and hired by Chang Shi Gui had already proved that he had enough ability and professional integrity in the circle of private affairs investigations. In the years of his work, he had seen all kinds of dark cases. Though, few were on campus violence. However, campus violence and bullying was a big problem that cannot be ignored in today’s society.
The victim in this case was bullied because of her excellent grades and also due to her oversized appearance. As such, at the same time when students were jealous of her, a distorted sense of discrimination was created. When the news of this girl secretly being in love with the guy that was deemed as many girls’ Prince Charming had gotten out in class, that distorted sense of discrimintation turned into hate. Since then, they started to unscrupulously bully her, isolating her, and even tried to pose as the ones on the side of justice.
Who asked her to be so ugly and yet still dare to harbour love towards the class’s most dashing male student?
Who asked her to be so hateful, holding such good grades and even being liked by the teachers, who always used her as a role model to learn from?
The ignorant jealousy and impulsivity of the youths allowed them to do things that hurt others without a second thought or care. It even evolved to pranks which eventually led to an outcome that no one had expected.
Nevertheless, the most frightening thing was that, at that time when this prank was happening, there were actually so many people who knew of it and yet decided to remain silent about it.
Perhaps, these people were afraid that once they spoke up, they would become the next target of bullying. It could also be that they had an indifferent personality and couldn’t care less about other people’s affairs.
But no matter what, when one carefully thought upon this matter, it would inevitably make one shudder.
Seven years seemed to be able to entirely cover up this incident. However, in actuality, as long as something had happened, there would always remain traces of it left behind.
“Recently, I went to inquire about the opinion of these students. When they mentioned Ning Xi, almost everyone had a good impression of her. Although plump, she was gentle and had good grades,” the private investigator said with a sarcastic smile on his face, “Time is the best beautician, enough to beautify everyone’s memory.”
“Give me the list of names,” Chang Shi Gui’s voice was hoarse as he stretched out his hand to the private investigator.
The private investigator noticed that Chang Shi Gui’s hand was trembling slightly and lifted his head in surprise. He found that the other’s face was full of pain and heartache.
Guessing that Mr. Chang might have harboured different feelings about the victim, he gave him the list, “Mr. Chang, even though I am merely a private investigator, I still have to remind you that, things that violate the laws and regulations can not be done.”
He was afraid that he would be too stimulated after reading all the information and commit to actions that should not be done.
Chang Shi Gui gripped the form so hard that it creased. It took a while before he could stabilize his voice and say, “You’re thinking too much.”
The private investigator couldn’t help but to suddenly break into laughter. That was true. Logically, around the highly impressive and dignified President of Chang’s Corporation, there were so many people that could help him come up with ideas to make someone suffer if he wanted to, why would there be a need to break the law?
Thinking up to this point, he put on his cap and spectacles, “Everything here is all, is there anything else you need from me?”
Chang Shi Gui shook his head and said hoarsely, “No need.”
“Okay,” the investigator nodded. Just as he was about to turn around and leave, he suddenly turned his head, “On the sake of Mr. Chang’s generosity, I would like to kindly remind you that the victim’s purpose of returning to China, may not simply just to be a star.”
Among those that were involved, a few of them had experienced some kind of bad luck. If one was two-timing while dating, he would definitely be found out. If one was working half-heartedly or skiving, the leader would always receive news of it.
The worst was, one was jailed last year after being sued for stealing company secrets.
There were always some people in the world who were unlucky, but these few who took part in this incident seemed to always be particularly unlucky. This point was worth pondering deeply.
“What are you trying to say?” Chang Shi Gui’s expression abruptly became fiercer. He stood up and walked up to the investigator, exuding aggression. “Mr. Investigator, I do not particularly like hearing such baseless matters.”
The investigator felt a chill down his back and unknowingly took a step back. He laughed dryly, “I was overthinking. Since Mr. Chang is busy, I shall not disturb you any longer.”
After the private investigator left, Chang Shi Gui returned home with the portfolio in his hands.
He sat in his study for a whole half an hour, the portfolio within his reach. Yet, Chang Shi Gui did not dare to open it.
If only he cared more about her that year and had not simply just checked on her through the teachers, perhaps Ning Xi would not have been bullied by those people.
If only he had not busied himself with everything and had appeared much earlier, Ning Xi wouldn’t have had to face her painful past alone, suffering through so much hardship in order to live.
Flipping open the portfolio, the first thing he saw was a photo of Ning Xi during her highschool days. Her round, apple-like face held a brilliant smile like the sun.
However, as he continued flipping, Chang Shi Gui’s hands started to tremble more and more.
On the second last page was a copy of Ning Xi’s mother’s death certificate. On it wrote the remarks of the private investigator.
“One month after Mother Ning’s death, Qin Yi committed suicide by jumping off a building.”
Just a few short words to make one’s heart chill.
Placed at the bottom was a photo and in it, Ning Xi had slimmed down quite a fair bit. She was bending over, trying to shift something that seems extremely heavy. From her actions, one could see that that object was far beyond her physical strength.
In a chaotic environment, surrounded by indifferent passers-by, this was a picture taken abroad.
A sparkling drop of liquid splashed onto Ning Xi’s stiff face.
“Ning Xi,” Zhang Qingyun handed Ning Xi a set of materials, “Once the afternoon shoot has ended, I’ll send you to the TV Station to take part in a program.”
Ning Xi took over and had a look through the materials. It was a talk show that aims to promote noble values. As such, compared to the other variety shows, the number of views could only amount to a small fraction of the popular ones.
With Ning Xi’s understanding of Zhang Qingyun, he would not easily arrange for her to be on a television program. For him to push her into taking part in such a low rating and audience attendance program, there must be a reason.
She flipped open the script and understood immediately. This season’s program was on the topic of school violence.
Ning Xi looked at Zhang Qingyun, nothing was said.
“Don’t underestimate public opinion,” Zhang Qingyun didn’t notice the expression in Ning Xi’s eyes, “Once you’ve become an advocate of public opinion, their power is tremendous.”
“Thank you, Brother Zhang.” Ning Xi directed a thankful smile towards Zhang Qingyun.
Zhang Qingyun was paving a path for her. If any major incidents arose in the future, everything that she said and had taken part in, would become her greatest weapon in seizing the public opinion.
“What’s there to thank me for, I am also only doing this for the society,” Zhang Qingyun rubbed his nose, embarrassed, and stood up, “Well then, I will be fetching you in the afternoon.”
Ning Xi nodded and smiled at him.
During the lunch break, she forwarded a Weibo post from the official account of ‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’. The drama had already started to air and the ratings had continuously been on the rise, becoming the winner of TV series. However, her character Princess Dangli could only appear after the 20th episode. Hence, aside from showing her face in the opening title of every episode, she basically did not have any chance to appear.
‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ edited out a promotional trailer. In it, there happened to include Ning Xi’s scenes so the official ‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ specifically tagged her.
Princess Dangli, Emperor Hanwu’s most beloved daughter. He even assigned her a feudal land, promoting her to First Princess. Honored as the ‘First Princess of Han Dynasty’ in almost all unofficial history, there would be records related to how she became beautiful.
‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ was a serious drama. Everyone who loved it more or less had some sort of understanding towards the history of the Han Dynasty. When they saw Ning Xi’s appearance and acting in the trailer, they were utterly stunned.
The gorgeous clothes and the exquisite hair ornaments all displayed her dignified and favored status.
In the drama, when Ning Xi acted as Princess Dangli, she still held an unmarried status. Because of the plot, her teenage scenes were not numerous. But it was precisely the instance where she tilted her head to the side and tenderly smiled at Emperor Hanwu as she leaned against the window that instantly killed all of the ‘face’ fans.
Netizen A: Mother, your daughter has already fallen in love with a woman, please forgive me.
Netizen B: I finally understood why Emperor Hanwu promoted Princess Dangli. If I had such a beautiful daughter, I would not be able to stop myself from giving her everything. All men are a father’s enemy ah!
Netizen C: This smile of my family’s goddess is too beautiful, too beautiful and pure. The playful innocent in her smile… What is this – just one smile from her could overturn a city, and another might even overturn the country? That’s right! I can kneel before you, isn’t it just a knee? Take it all, I’m willing to give it to you. I give you my all.
Netizen D: I do not want to say anything. My screen is a little dirty, let me lick it clean first.
The moment the trailer of ‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ was released, immediately, there were a large number of forwards. All the comments were filled with wailing and licking of screens.
Upon seeing such reaction, the official account once again released another three moving images of Ning Xi in the film. The first was the classic leaning against the window smile which had already appeared in the trailer. The second was her saluting to Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty with elegance and grace. The third one was a moving image of her walking in front and suddenly glancing back.
The netizens were able to see through the vicious intentions of the official account. However, they could not resist such temptation. So they ended up licking the screen while silently contributing to the views of ‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ or the click-through rate of the online broadcast.
With just one clip, one would be drawn in by the plot and exquisite performances of the actors into the grasp of addiction to the series.
Before the hype died down, Liu Zhendong, who acted as Emperor Wudi, also joined the excitement. He posted a picture of the palace in his Weibo and added a caption.
Liu Zhendong [V]: Maiden, look out of the window. This is the land that I  conquered for you ah.【Image】Ning Xi [V]
Zhou Hai Li [V]: Your Majesty, what about me? //Liu Zhendong [V]
The netizens knew that Zhou Hai Li acted as the Empress, Wei Zi Fu, and immediately burst into laughter. The people who played as the ministers and favorite concubines also came out to join in the fun. All of them forwarded Liu Zhendong’s Weibo post and asked, “What about me?”
The majority of the actors and actresses in ‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ had significant ability. In the netizen’s impressions, all these people tend to be more aloof. Today, when the netizens saw that these capable and aloof stars were so interactive, they were overjoyed. Many people expressed, I did not expect all of you to be this kind of actor.
Of course, the most vicious was still Ning Xi’s reply.
Ning Xi [V]: Oh【cold expression】//Liu Zhendong [V]
Surrounding Netizen: Hahaha. Every minute, my mind is imagining the daily life of a father with daughter-complex and his aloof daughter. Your Majesty, your family’s daughter does not wish to acknowledge you and thus, throws a cold expression at you.
Very quickly, ‘Yunyue of Han Dynasty’ became Weibo’s trending topic. Many of Ning Xi’s fans were especially happy because there were many big shots who took the initiative to work with her. This proved that their relationship should be quite good.
Artistes with capabilities like Liu Zhendong and Zhou Hai Li, were already legends of the entertainment circle. They mostly did not participate in any variety shows and did not act to simply speak on behalf of someone. Not even to mention joining in on the hype. However, with their strong capabilities and positions, all of the audience remained their invisible fans. No matter how popular a newcomer was, in front of them, they can only obediently address them as seniors.
To be praised by such artists, it was the indefinite acknowledgement of a newcomer. For example, Liu Zhendong’s Weibo did not even have one update in half a year, and yet he suddenly posted such a humorous Weibo, even specially highlighting Ning Xi. One look and anyone could tell that he had a good impression of Ning Xi.
There was still Film Queen Zhou Hai Li. She had already followed Ning Xi’s Weibo in the early stages. Even though Film Queen did not post much on her Weibo, among her sparse posts, half of them were related to Ning Xi. It was evident that the two were friends since a long time ago.
What did this show?
It showed that their family’s Xixi was well-liked by people ah! If not, how could she be friends with so many big shots? This was something that ordinary newcomers wouldn’t even dare to think about and yet, their family’s Xixi did it!
The majority of fans were of such a group, they would be proud of their artiste over such a small little achievement. They would feel deeply honoured just because others praised their family’s artiste.
Many of the actors in ‘Three Lives of Rogue’ had Weibo accounts. So when they saw interactions between Ning Xi and the big shots on Weibo, they admired and respected Ning Xi.
In this circle, not just anyone could hold a conversation with these VIPs. Comparing the distance between them and Ning Xi, it should be eighteen blocks away.
People would be jealous of those that are close to them in ability but would respect those who are much higher than them. To them, Ning Xi belonged to the latter.
“Sister Xixi, there was a call for you just now.” Seeing that Ning Xi had ended her shoot, Xiao Yang immediately passed the phone to her.
Ning Xi looked at the name of the caller. It was Chang Shi Gui.
She sat on the chair in the makeup room and gave the makeup artist who was helping her remove her makeup a perfectory smile before dialling Chang Shi Gui’s number.
“Who came up with this plan?!” Chang Shi Gui threw the file aside with a solemn face, “Rewrite it!”
Of the people surrounding him, a few shrunk their necks. The boss’s mood today seemed to be especially bad, it had been awhile since he last flared up so openly.
Ding ding ding.
Who, who was it that let their phone ring at this time? Did they think that the boss isn’t angry enough? – The ‘I’ used here is one used by Emperors – 朕(zhen)