The Ji Corporation was founded as a company that did traditional retail. In the beginning, it could only make some small profits at most. Around 2005, 64 year old Ji Qingshan switched from traditional retail to e-commerce, creating the current billion value family.
Ji Qingshan grew old and slowly receded from the frontline, passing Ji Corporation over to his son Ji Tianjun. Ji Tianjun had three children. The eldest daughter Ji Ruzhang was wise and intelligent, but it was a pity she was a girl. Although she was pampered, they’d never considered passing the family business down to her.
The third son Ji Yunan didn’t have a single shred of talent for business and didn’t seem like a biological child. They’d never thought they really had brought home another person’s son. Their biological son Ji Zhinong, whose twenty years had been wasted, had clearly been crippled by the upbringing of the Zhang family. A high school dropout didn’t have the slightest possibility of inheriting the family business, so the right to inheritance of Ji Corporation easily fell into Ji Rugui’s hands in this manner.
The manufacturing plants and logistics chain of the Ji Corporation were all under Ji Rugui’s control.
All the plant managers held this real prince in the palms of their hands. Ji Rugui liked to go observe the main factory on the outskirts whenever he was free, enjoying being flattered by that group of old guys who were older than him by twenty or thirty years. Every time, there naturally had to be a lot of media and news coverage to counter the comments from outsiders about him living off his parents.
Today was no exception.
He gave a few commands for appearance’s sake with the presence of a leader who’d done this same thing a countless number of times. Upon confirming that the reporters had finished taking photos, he turned gorgeously, preparing to go get his car.
He had to cross a 10-meter long road in this process.
“This second young master really is high-spirited!” The 30 year old, bald vice plant manager looked at the other’s dense hair and said in envy.
The plant manager: “Of course the only successor of Ji Corporation would be high spirited. Currying favor with him is more useful than currying favor with the CEO. He looks like a person, but in reality, he’s a pile of money.”
Under the admiring gazes of the crowd, a black race car without a license plate whistled past. When the dust from the car settled, the high-spirited prince had already collapsed in the center of the road, unmoving.
“This morning, there was a car accident on the outskirts of the city. The perpetrator escaped the scene, and the victim was hospitalized. After emergency treatment, the victim’s life is not in danger. The police state that the possibility of the perpetrator intentionally hurting the victim still exists…”
Ji Zhinong heard this news in Li Shaoyao’s office. Very quickly he got a call from Ji Ruzhang.
“Your second brother suffered bone fractures on both arms. Can you come to the hospital today to see him?”
Ji Zhinong unconsciously looked across at Li Shaoyao, who was currently dealing with work. For some reason, he immediately guessed who the “perpetrator” was.
“I’ll go a bit later. I’m busy right now.”
Ji Ruzhang didn’t force him, only telling him to be sensible and show some care on the surface no matter what to avoid becoming a matter for gossip.
After ending the call, Zhinong walked to the desk, asking probingly, “You sent someone to run him over?”
Li Shaoyao stared at the computer screen and didn’t deny it. He appeared to be agreeing silently.
“You?” Ji Zhinong was in disbelief. “When did you learn to hire a murderer?”
“You used the wrong phrase.” Li Shaoyao corrected him. “Not a murderer, an injurer.”
“Is there a difference? What if someone died from getting run over by the car?”
“I only paid him for two arms.” Li Shaoyao raised his eyes and met Zhinong’s gaze. “Taking his life is another price.”
The original owner of the body was naive and sweet, but Wen Che wasn’t. He clearly knew that the Li family had some background in the underworld. What was surprising was that Li Shaoyao, this brat, actually thought about murder, otherwise, how could he know that the prices for two arms and a life were different. He’d probably considered seriously if Ji Rugui was worth him spending a few extra hundred thousand.
“What are you doing crippling his arms for no reason?”
“Comminuted1shattered fracture of both arms.” Li Shaoyao leaned back in his chair. “Within half a year, he won’t be able to hit you.”
“…You injured him to protect me?”
“You can see it that way,” Li Shaoyao said leisurely. “Since you don’t want to leave the Ji household any time soon, I can only use this type of method to guarantee your safety.” Living in the Ji household was like living under another roof for the body’s original owner. Suffering from a sudden heart attack during the wedding was more or less the result of the overaccumulation of too many grievances.
Wen Che didn’t have any expectations of familial affection from the Ji family members, so at most he just felt annoyed when they came picking a fight.
He insisted on staying at the Ji household for just two reasons.
First, Zhang Yunan, that fake, was still shamelessly staying in the house and not leaving, so why did he, the real young master, have to scram voluntarily? Wasn’t that satisfying Zhang Yunan’s wish?
Second, he didn’t have the money to move out and live by himself. And the meaning behind Li Shaoyao’s words was actually inviting him to live together——living together with him? Just thinking about it made his waist hurt!
Li Shaoyao did things too quickly and mercilessly. Only half an hour had passed between Zhinong telling him about getting hit yesterday night and Ji Rugui getting run over and having his two arms fractured.
“Ji Rugui handles his affairs too ostentatiously and has many enemies outside. They’ll only think that this incident was the doing of those opposing families on the market. You won’t be suspected because of this.” Li Shaoyao walked to Ji Zhinong, his hand gently caressing the new gauze on his neck. “I’ll take Ji Rugui’s life only if this wound is on your face.”
“Because if my face is cut, I won’t be like your beloved?” Ji Zhinong joked about himself.
Li Shaoyao didn’t comment. He touched Zhinong’s tear mole, saying, “Aside from here, you can’t have any blemishes. You’re only qualified to be his shadow if you stay pure.”
Zhinong: “Do you have mysophobia2obsession with cleanliness?”
“Your first love aside, boss, how is the matter with my contract going?” Zhinong sat back on the sofa, increasing his distance from Li Shaoyao with a professional bargaining attitude. “I’ve seen the contract before. De Yu took 80 percent of all my income from my acting contracts for the past two years, and my manager even took a lot of the 20 percent. There wasn’t more than a few ten thousand remaining when it got to me. They’re exploiting me.”
“The lawyers will deal with these problems for you. If you feel the other party’s contract breaks labor laws, you can request compensation. But based on your income for the past two years, you’ll probably only be able to get back around a hundred thousand in the end.”
“..Are you mocking me as a flop?”
Probably thinking the word “flop” was interesting, Li Shaoyao smiled and asked in reply, “Are you not a flop?”
It was as if Wen Che suffered great humiliation. Helpless that the original owner of the body was indeed not successful and didn’t have any good showing, what he said in rebuttal was actually “A-at the very least I’m someone with a fan club!”
“Paid supporters make up 95 percent of your fan club account.”
“De Yu didn’t continue paying those paid supporters recently, so the fan club dropped by forty to fifty thousand fans. Did you not notice?”
“The drama you were filming was taken down because the plot was too shocking. Filming the movie left the production side so in debt that they’re penniless. Oh, the electric car brand you were an ambassador for already went bankrupt half a year ago. The boss even came to De Yu looking for compensation, saying that as soon as they used the posters of you, not only did sales not increase, but it also scared away all the original customers…Speaking of, how come you became an ambassador for electric cars?”
Li Shaoyao saw his ears flush from the questions and couldn’t resist pulling his earlobes, changing the subject. “But there was indeed someone behind it.”
“You debuted at 18. Even though you signed with a small company and acted only in supporting roles, you were liked by the audience. In reality, if you continued on that path back then steadily, you could have become famous overnight with your works after practicing a few more years.”
“But this was all destroyed after you returned to the Ji family. After you signed with De Yu, this big company, all the directors who were willing to take you under their wing and wait for your growth were rejected at the doorstep by De Yu. The ones that replaced them were those worthless but impressive looking so-called ‘famous directors’. They supported you as the main lead with poor quality scripts and casts. As each bad movie was filmed, they drove away the fans and audiences with expectations for you, completely destroying your reputation and your career, making you the good-for-nothing in the eyes of all.”
“That exposé material was also purposefully spread. Destroying your reputation made the Ji family feel that recognizing you as a descendant would be bringing shame to the family. And who would be the one to benefit from the Ji family not recognizing you?”
With just a few words, all of the questions in Wen Che’s mind were clearly answered.
Aside from Zhang Yunan, who else would benefit the most from the original owner not being recognized by the Ji family?
No wonder. Wen Che himself felt that Ji Zhinong’s appearance was a gift from the heavens. Although his debut works were inexperienced, he had a rare presence. Just as Li Shaoyao said, if the original owner of the body had steadily followed those teachers willing to teach him through trial and error and made a decent amount of accumulation, he wouldn’t have had to worry about getting an award.
But this wasn’t completely the 20 year old Ji Zhinong’s fault. A small actor without background or education who was treated harshly by his parents from childhood was suddenly related to the Ji Corporation. The matter of a peasant becoming a phoenix attracted quite the following and attention. A lot of “fake talent scouts” with impure intentions attempted to get benefits from him and thus threw all sorts of major works at him. Even smart people might not be able to withstand these sugar-coated attacks, not to mention the inexperienced Ji Zhinong.
He just walked into the trap Zhang Yunan designed through Qin Kaiyu step by step this way, unconsciously and slowly losing his most unique advantage, becoming a mass-produced tool of the market and the uncultivable sapling in the eyes of the Ji parents.
Aside from Wen Che and Li Shaoyao, perhaps no one would ever remember that the current Ji Zhinong, disdained by tens of thousands, was once a shining pearl as well.
It was just that before he had the chance to shine, he fell prey to the schemes of others, buried into the dirt and becoming a low-quality “rock” in the eyes of others. And Zhang Yunan, the fake pearl, shined brightly due to this, stealing all that should have belonged to Ji Zhinong guiltlessly.
The unluckiest moment in Wen Che’s life was his parents passing away in a car accident when he was seven, only leaving behind a considerable fortune. He was raised by his paternal aunt and uncle but had never experienced any mistreatment. His aunt and uncle had also never made him feel like he was living under another’s roof but really raised him as a biological son.
After he was 18 years old and became an adult, the fortune left by his parents returned to him unchanged, to be used freely as he saw fit. It was because of this that he had the capital to chase his dreams, go to the best drama academy, and receive the guidance and advice of many masters due to his talent.
He was different from Ji Zhinong. All the people who appeared in his life were all guiding him onto the correct path.
If one were to say Wen Che was raised into the clouds, then Ji Zhinong was stomped into the dirt.
The two encounters happened to the “same person” dramatically, the memories of the original owner of the body combining with his own, leaving him breathless.
His sense of empathy had always been strong. Before he realized it, several teardrops had already fallen.
Li Shaoyao noticed he was crying and thought he was too harsh with his words. He kissed the tear mole at the corner of the little substitute’s eye a bit helplessly. “Zhinong, I didn’t have any intentions of mocking you saying this. I just wanted you to know that I’ll help you take back everything that belongs to you.”
“Don’t be sad anymore, okay?”
- 2obsession with cleanliness