[In CaiWei's Office]
"Surname Lan, aren't you being shameless? If it wasn't for giving face to ZhouXiang, there wouldn't be a place for you here." YanMingXiu’s face is unsightly as he glared at LanXiRong.
Not to be outdone, LanXiRong sneered, “I know that your Yan family is powerful and influential but isn't abroad too far for your family to reach? You don’t have to use this to threaten me. I don't depend on you for a living. What do you mean by giving face to Xiang Ge? You're just feeling guilty. If it wasn't for you, Xiang Ge wouldn't have died!”
YanMingXiu shouted angrily, “You fucking talk more shit, I'll tear your mouth! ZhouXiang is not dead. Without seeing his body, he must still be alive! You bastard actually stormed into our home. What shit talk with this thief coming into the condo, that thief is you!”
He got the call from CaiWei in the middle of the night. CaiWei informed him that a thief had gone in and burglarized ZhouXiang's home and that he should come back to deal with it.
After ZhouXiang’s accident, the key to the condo had always been in YanMingXiu's hands. YanMingXiu did not allow anyone to move any of ZhouXiang’s things. It's as if ZhouXiang will come back some day. He’ll go back from time to time. Sometimes he'll stay for a while, sometimes for a few days. Whenever he felt that he could get over it and move on, he would leave.
To him, this is a home that can't be violated in any manner. It is the place that holds all of his and ZhouXiang's memories, belonging only to the two of them. Not to mention a thief, even if CaiWei and LanXiRong were to step into this place, he wanted to kill them.
CaiWei knew that YanMingXiu had possession to all of ZhouXiang's things. When LanXiRong called him to come to the condo, the two discussed for a long time on how to handle this matter. LanXiRong wanted to report it to the police, not wanting to inform YanMingXiu. He never agreed to YanMingXiu having the rights to this condo anyway. However, after repeated considerations, CaiWei first notified YanMingXiu. If they were to inform the police and this matter got out of hand, YanMingXiu would still find out. Not only that, but exposing either one of them would have enough gossip to feed the media for three months. If they really reported to the police, how is this going to end? CaiWei didn't just have to consider the pressure from YanMingXiu but also LanXiRong's image.
In the end, YanMingXiu quickly rushed back to Beijing that night. CaiWei knew that he would rush back. Although he hated YanMingXiu, he didn’t dare to offend him. LanXiRong has a bit of the ignorance of a newborn calf. He was not afraid of tigers. For one, he's young. For two, his career is centralized in Europe and America. It would not be easy for YanMingXiu to mess with him so he's not afraid. In addition, LanXiRong had always blamed YanMingXiu for ZhouXiang's death. It is already good enough that LanXiRong didn't pounce on YanMingXiu upon seeing him, not to mention giving him face.
CaiWei could only be the mediator between the two. He shouted, “This meeting is to exchange information and think of a way to catch the thief so that we could get ZhouXiang’s thi… things back. What the fuck can you guys get out of continuing to argue!?"
After he finished shouting, the two of them calmed down a bit.
YanMingXiu sat back down on the sofa with his head lowered and his shoulders shuddering a bit.
LanXiRong took a few big breaths, “Call the police, we won't reveal ourselves. Wei Ge, you do it. This neighborhood is too old. There is probably no surveillance. But outside the neighborhood is a street, so there must be surveillance at the intersections. Maybe he was captured."
CaiWei looked at YanMingXiu and asked, “Have you checked ZhouXiang’s things? What’s missing?”
“The money in the bedside table and a few of his cards.”
CaiWei furrowed his brows, "Taking the cash is reasonable but why take the cards? It's not like he can withdraw the money.”
LanXiRong responded, "I'm guessing that he wanted to get all the cash from the drawer but panicked when I opened the door so he just quickly grabbed whatever he could. When I got into the room, he was so shocked that he tripped onto something and fell.”
YanMingXiu coldly uttered, “Can't even catch a thief that tripped. Fucking useless.”
Disregarding his image, LanXiRong threw out a curse. He also felt somewhat stupid but still refuse to show his weakness, “Taking Xiang Ge's things and not letting it go, now you can't even prevent a thief, you're the one that's fucking useless."
CaiWei heaved a sigh, "Enough, let’s talk about something serious. This matter has to be handed over to the police but can’t be publicized. President Yan, you can handle this matter. Find someone reliable. You also don't want to be exposed."
YanMingXiu nodded, seemingly agreeing.
“XiRong, you are the only person who has seen this thief. Later, you'll have to give the police information about this person's appearance. You're right. In these times, there are surveillance cameras in most intersections. He must seem particularly conspicuous as he was running away, maybe it was captured."
LanXiRong 'hmm', he tried to recall the back of this person. For a moment, he felt that he has really seen that back from somewhere but he had no clue from where. Or it could be a figment of his own imagination; he was just confused so he didn't say it out.
When ZhouXiang quietly walked closely to the door to CaiWei’s office, it just happened that they were inside discussing about reporting this incident to the police and also mentioned the surveillance cameras at the intersections.
ZhouXiang got so petrified that he started to sweat profusely. He didn't even think about that at all.
However, when he ran out of the neighborhood, he was still wearing his disguise. Adding on, he was wearing clothes that were newly bought so even if he was captured by the surveillance, it's likely that he won't be recognized. He had made preparations prior to going for the reason that he might encounter an unexpected situation. Based on what he learned from police films, he did a little bit of things to misguide the investigator. He believed that finding a person in a haystack is absolutely difficult, so he was not particularly worried about being caught by the police.
What he is more worried about is that he really can’t go back to his home anymore, even if it was just to take a look.
ZhouXiang is afraid that he would be seen leaning on the door trying to hear so after standing for a while, he left and waited in the office area.
After a while, he saw YanMingXiu left in rage. He waited for a long time. Then he also saw LanXiRong leaving gloomily.
ZhouXiang got up and went to find CaiWei.
Once CaiWei saw him, he thought of 'ZhouXiang' again. He shook his head and sighed.
ZhouXiang asked, “Wei Ge, what happened?”
CaiWei blew out a ring of cigarette smoke, “ZhouXiang, I shouldn’t tell you this, but I am so upset. I treat you as my people, so you can’t tell anyone about this.”
ZhouXiang nodded, “Don't worry, Wei Ge, my mouth is sealed.”
“ZhouXiang’s home was burglarized.”
ZhouXiang pretended to be surprised, “What?”
“Since ZhouXiang's accident till now, his body fell somewhere in the deep valleys of XiWan Mountain and couldn't be found. So this could only be handled as a case of disappearance. His condo has been kept. He and YanMingXiu were once a couple so the key to the condo is also in YanMingXiu's hands. But for whatever reasons last night, XiRong drove by ZhouXiang’s neighborhood wanting to go in and take a look. I've told you, before LanXiRong became famous; he and ZhouXiang's relationship were very close. He knew where the spare key was so he used it to open the door to go in. What happened was that he ran directly into the thief rummaging through things. You say… isn't this such a coincidence? On a day when YanMingXiu is in another city and XiRong just happened to passed by, the thief came on this day. How could there be such a coincidence in this world? Maybe God also feels remorseful toward my buddy so wanted to help keep the things that he left behind.”
ZhouXiang also felt that this is too much of a coincidence. He didn’t go the day before or the day after. LanXiRong also didn't go before or after, but both went at a time when they would have a confrontation. Sometimes he felt that something like fate seems to have an invisible hand that is really controlling their lives, making it impossible to resist.
ZhouXiang lowly muttered, “Then what are you guys going to do?”
“Will leave it to YanMingXiu to deal with it. After all, the two were indeed a couple before. Actually, XiRong…” CaiWei could tell that LanXiRong likes ZhouXiang, but he immediately realized that it was inappropriate to tell ZhouXiang this so didn't say it. "Maybe he'll have to get a professional to look into this. This can't be blatantly reported to the police. The things ZhouXiang left behind have been decreasing bit by bit, aiiiigh…..”
Hearing CaiWei say it in such a way, ZhouXiang didn't feel that the police would be able to trace it to him but he still has a trace of tension. After all, he had been a law-abiding citizen for more than 30 years. As things have reached to this stage, going back to his condo to take his things already made him feel guilty.
He could no longer return home. Although he was thorough in his planning, thinking that he might forget as he's leaving in a hurry, he put the spare key back in its original place after opening the door. The police may not be able to know that he opened the door using the key. After all, powerful locksmiths and thieves can now open the door without breaking the lock. But after this time, YanMingXiu will surely change the lock.
CaiWei inhaled a breadth of smoke and snuffed the cigarette butt. “Let's not talk about this, why are you looking for me?”
ZhouXiang immediately responded, “It's nothing major. I just wanted to let you know that I've received the money for the last advertisement. That was very fast.”
"Yeah, the company is operating well, no reason to drag it. Oh right, the ad that you did with YanMingXiu. The funds are in and will be transferred to you within these two days."
ZhouXiang smiled, “That's great.”
CaiWei glanced at him oddly, “YanMingXiu really didn't talk to you that day or interact with you?”
“Almost none. There were more than a dozen people filming this ad together. The entire time I was practicing with the other supporting roles.”
CaiWei pondered over it, "Could it be that he really called you over because you were just suitable for the ad?" Then how to explain the fact that he called directly to President Wang's home? Such a small supporting role, not even revealing the face, who can't do it? Why bother in having to owe President Wang a favor by insisting on ZhouXiang for this ad? Is it merely because they have the same name?
ZhouXiang smiled inadvertently, “Wei Ge, you're definitely thinking too much. After I got there that day, I realized that that those people's figure is similar to mine. Since they will be shooting the ad the day after tomorrow, they're definitely in a rush to find someone with similar figure, pursing perfection. Otherwise, why would someone like YanMingXiu pay special attention to me? "
CaiWei nodded, reluctantly accepting this explanation. What is YanMingXiu really thinking? His head could explode from thinking and he still won’t be able to guess correctly, so he might as well not even try to guess.
ZhouXiang rubbed his hands “Wei Ge, is there any other work for me?”
CaiWei smiled, “You really can't stand to be idle. Don't just risk your life to work so hard for money. Did you even rest last week? You've only been out of the hospital for a few months, keeping yourself healthy is earning money. Don't ruin your health just for money."
“Don’t worry, Wei Ge, I have been lying in bed for two years. My entire body feels alright. I just want to work right now.”
CaiWei voiced, "How much do you still owe?”
“It’s still that amount. I just paid back a few thousands in the past few days. I want to save some money and rent a different apartment. The current environment is very bad.”
CaiWei responded, “Take it slowly. You're still young. As long as you are here and healthy, there is nothing that is too big of a problem.”
He ate lunch at the company and then went with Ah Liu to bring a bunch of rental crops to the studio. While sitting in the car, ZhouXiang was very sleepy. Suddenly, he awakened from the sound of his phone.
He took it out and looked. It was a text message from a strange number.
The text message was, "Are you done considering it? Time waits for no one."
ZhouXiang pondered for a long time and was a bit worried as he looked at this strange number. Searching through his phone log, he found that this number had called him last month. ZhouXiang carefully recalled that day. Then it dawned on him that it was from Zhang Jie who had wanted to recruit him to be WangYuDong's stuntman.
ZhouXiang didn’t even think and immediately deleted the text. For him to be WangYuDong's stuntman again, this is even more upsetting than getting slapped. If he got this new life only to continue to be WangYuDong's stuntman, it would have been better for him to be completely dead.
After taking the props to the studio, ZhouXiang rounded up a bunch of people to start the installation. They worked frantically the entire time in the blazing hot sunlight.
At three o’clock in the afternoon, ZhouXiang suddenly got a call from his mom. He wiped his sweat and hid in the shade to answer the call, “Hello, Mom.”
The voice that came through from the other line was not his mom's voice but an unfamiliar man, “Hi, are you ZhouXiang?”
“I am. You are?”
“I am the manager of Daxie Home Economics Service Company. Is ChenYing your mother?”
ZhouXiang's heart suddenly jumped. "Yes, what's wrong with my mom?"
“ChenYing suddenly fainted during the training. She's resting here right now. Come over and take her home.”
ZhouXiang’s heart sank. After he hung up the phone, he immediately went tell Ah Liu the situation. Ah Liu had a good relationship with him. He immediately tells him, “I'll lend you my car. Hurry and go.”
ZhouXiang quickly responded, “Thank you buddy but I don’t have a driver’s license. You helping me finish up here is already the greatest help for me. Sorry for this unexpected situation. If there's time, I'll definitely be back."
Ah Liu patted him. “Hurry up and go, don't have to come back.”
After ZhouXiang ran out of the studio, he remembered that this is the suburbs and there are very few cars passing by. He anxiously ran along the street for a long time before finding an unofficial taxi. At this time, he didn't bother to ask the driver what the cost would be as he jumped in and headed to the city.
End of the chapter