Three days later, Ji Ruzhang and Ji Rugui were successfully bailed out.
Ji Zhinong was the one who bailed them out.
Ji Rugui was well behaved in front of the police officers, but as soon as he got out of the police station, he revealed his true colors.
“Ji Zhinong, stop acting like a nice person…!”
He hadn’t finished cursing at Ji Zhinong when he saw Ji Tianjun, who was waiting outside, and of course, the most intimidating Li Shaoyao.
Ji Rugui’s arrogance was extinguished from just knowing that Li Shaoyao was present. Though he restrained himself in time, Li Shaoyao had already heard what he had said.
He walked forward and pulled Zhinong behind him, keeping Ji Rugui away from Zhinong protectively.
“If you want Zhinong to stop being nice, you can stay in the police station.”
Ji Rugui turned livid from the retort. He didn’t say a word, but there was a clear discontent in his expression.
“Did you come to disgust me by acting like this?” Li Shaoyao pulled up the sleeves of his white shirt and slapped Ji Rugui’s face sideways. The veins on his arms bulged as the sheer force broke his expensive cufflinks.
Everyone was shocked, including Ji Zhinong, who was standing behind him. But Li Shaoyao didn’t intend to stop, slapping Ji Rugui’s left face before he could react. The slapping sound was especially loud in the silence after the rain.
Ji Rugui’s face visibly swelled up.
At first, the slap had stunned him. Later, when he reacted, he wanted to run—not even considering retaliation.
In reality, the only person he had the guts to hit was his younger brother.
He bullied the weak and feared the strong. Ji Zhinong was the only pushover near him, so he stepped all over Ji Zhinong however he wanted. But Li Shaoyao wasn’t someone to mess with. Even if Li Shaoyao put a knife against his neck, his first reaction would still probably be to beg for mercy and not retaliate, because as soon as he did, Li Shaoyao would give him a more miserable death.
He stumbled a few steps back but got held down with his arms pinned behind him. Taking the full brunt of the next slap, Ji Rugui tasted blood in his mouth and coughed up a mouthful of blood with a tooth mixed inside.
Li Shaoyao stopped after seeing the blood. Taking a wipe from Qin Xiaohuo, he wiped his hands clean before he held Zhinong’s hand again.
Ji Zhinong noticed that the veins on Li Shaoyao’s arms were still bulging, but when Li Shaoyao held his hand, he was very gentle.
“Feel better?” Li Shaoyao turned to ask him.
“Huh? Yeah.” Zhinong nodded dazedly. As there was an equal and opposite reaction for every action, Li Shaoyao had taken on the same force that had put Ji Rugui’s face in such a miserable state. Holding his hand, Zhinong showed mercy on Ji Rugui purely out of worry for Li Shaoyao’s hand.
Ji Rugui was in so much pain that he started howling. Ji Tianjun rushed over and pressed his head down. “Feel grateful that three slaps are getting you out of prison for ten years!”
Ji Zhinong smiled as he said, “You’re finally being reasonable for once.”
Ji Tianjun glanced at his youngest son. Feeling embarrassed, he immediately left this troublesome area. When Ji Ruzhang walked past Zhinong, she stopped and apologized to him with her head lowered. Her voice was choked, probably from crying.
Being detained in a place like this was hard for even a man like Wen Che, much less for a girl like her.
But he didn’t comfort her, nor did he clearly express his forgiveness. He simply said, “Visit grandpa at the hospital. He’ll only recover after seeing you.”
Ji Ruzhang didn’t raise her head at all. Repeating “sorry” over and over again, she left in tears.
Before Ji Rugui got in the car, he suddenly remembered Zhang Yunan, wanting to save him too. This time, even Ji Tianjun couldn’t take it anymore: he slapped his fool of a son on his back and scolded, “You’re still thinking about saving that ingrate?! He was planning to pin the crime on you to save his own skin! From now on, the Ji family has severed all ties to that person! That also means you two!”
After saying it, he shut the car door and rushed to the hospital.
After they left, Ji Zhinong asked in worry, “Grandpa won’t get angry again if he sees the wound on Ji Rugui’s face, will he?”
Li Shaoyao’s smile put him at ease. “I reported it to grandpa a while ago.”
“I told him that I had to make Ji Rugui pay for what he did to you. He knows that you feel wronged, so he allowed it.”
“…Does your hand hurt?”
Ji Zhinong spread Li Shaoyao’s hands open, noticing that his palms were still red.
Li Shaoyao didn’t think much of it. “It’ll be fine in a bit. It would’ve felt better if you slapped him yourself, but I didn’t want your hands to hurt.”
“…” Wen Che didn’t think that he would be that thoughtful, and for a moment, he didn’t know how to thank him.
Seeing Li Shaoyao’s empty sleeve, his gaze swept across the floor, spotting a blue jeweled cufflink in the nearby puddle. He picked it up and wiped it with a towel but still thought it wasn’t clean enough.
“Fortunately it didn’t break. You can still use it after washing it,” he said seriously. “This is worth more than Ji Rugui’s tooth.”
Li Shaoyao didn’t really care for material things. Rubbing the back of Zhinong’s head, he told him, “Grandpa only said that he was going to protect his biological grandchildren. He didn’t ask about Zhang Yunan. If we dig deep into what happened two years ago, your sister and second brother definitely would be held responsible. But now that we have to show mercy on them, Zhang Yunan probably won’t be convicted. Though he doesn’t have bail, he’ll be released without charges very soon.”
“But I promise that his life will be more miserable than it feels being imprisoned. Not to mention that he’ll be facing contract violation fees and blacklisting within the industry. His crime of slandering you maliciously half a year ago is definite this time around, and as far as I know, Qin Kaiyu plans on suing him for marriage fraud. The lawsuits and compensation will be enough to ruin his future ”
People getting what they deserved was, of course, satisfying to everyone. Wen Che even felt at ease. “Zhang Yunan deserves it. No one will pity him.”
Half a month later, Zhang Yunan was released because of insufficient evidence. He quickly realized that being detained was more comfortable than living in the outside world.
The reporters that crowded around him everyday were itching to eat him alive; De Yu Ent. gave up on him and even sued him, asking for high compensation for contract violations. In the end, Qin Kaiyu who had somewhat sincerely cared about him ended their relationship ironically with a marriage fraud lawsuit.
His fans also abandoned him, his social media account drowned in curses and attacks. In a few days, he was officially blacklisted by the industry; he was rejected even from the role of an extra that made less than fifty dollars a day.
When he returned to the Ji family house, he noticed that his luggage had been left at the gates. They had even raised a watchdog that barked like crazy as soon as it saw him to keep him from entering the house, seeming like it was going to bite him.
He had no way out, but he deluded himself into believing that he could reverse his fortunes through the movie Treading on a Courtyard of Orchids.
After all, the incident had occurred less than ten days before the movie premiere; the production crew didn’t have enough time to change the contents of the movie. As the premiere date of this sequel film was meant to match that of the original film that Wen Che had acted in, it was very unlikely that they would delay the premiere because of him.
It was decided that the premiere would be on June 16th from six years ago when the project was established. No matter what happened in between, this date never changed from start to end. It was as if the investor had some obsession with it, as if it was some worthwhile anniversary.
Zhang Yunan was so sure of it that he believed the movie premiere would probably just be delayed until June 16th of next year if it wasn’t released on that date this year.
After all, the movie had always been in pursuit of abnormal perfection.
He was certain that even if Li Shaoyao didn’t like him, Li Shaoyao would tolerate his acting in the movie for its completeness.
As long as he appeared in the film, he wouldn’t have to worry about a hopeless future.
But on the actual premiere date, there wasn’t a trace of Zhang Yunan anywhere in the trailers or on the posters, not a single mention of him.
In the trailer, the third male lead, which was an outstanding role despite its few scenes, had been completely replaced.
That person was delicate looking and extremely familiar: it was the newbie that he was curious about during the banquet, Lin Qing.
Lin Qing, who had a similar body shape to Zhang Yunan, secretly entered the filming crew in the later stages and acted out all of the important scenes in which the third male lead showed his face.
Everyone who knew about it was a trusted confidant of the director, so the secret was kept perfectly.
Zhang Yunan endured the humiliation of being a supporting role to Ji Zhinong’s main role, hoping in delusion to win an award for his supporting role. It was a pity that only a few of his back views appeared in the actual movie.
Li Shaoyao planted Lin Qing early on, half a year ago.
No one could stop Treading on a Courtyard of Orchids from premiering as planned, nor could anyone tarnish Wen Che’s past works.
If there was even a single bad apple, he would eliminate it as soon as possible.