Yang Chen never expected for Catherine and Ron to be so thorough in their preparations. They even went beyond what he had asked of them and arranged her a new nationality. Disregarding the actual difficulty of obtaining the passport, for them to actually do it was truly surprising for Yang Chen. This move not only shielded her from any potential lawsuits, but also paved a path for any future career advancements overseas.
Noticing that the incident was more or less dealt with, Yang Chen held Hui Lin close as they exited the police station hand in hand.
Luo Sheng was expectedly hostile towards the final decision as he grabbed onto his sister’s arm. “What? How can you let them go just like that?”
Luo Cuishan shook him loose. Annoyed, she taunted, “What more do we have to say in this? They’re not going to charge you for anything, pathetic brat.”
Luo Sheng noticed that his sister was obviously furious. He quickly tucked his tail between his legs and scampered off into a corner. No matter how unwilling he was to accept the decision, he was still left unscarred, so he had no choice but bear with her decision.
Luo Cuishan turned around against Yang Chen waning silhouette, and ominously taunted, “Yang Chen, today you might’ve won. But I will not let Guodong’s incident slip by so easily. You best be ready.”
“Anything you want to discuss, talk to the lawyer.” Yang Chen couldn’t care less about what she had to say.
Seeing that Yang Chen was leaving, Laura instantly threw everything into her bag and followed his lead. She was less worried about how the case would progress than to ensure that Yang Chen was satisfied with her performance.
The police station was once again left in pin-drop silence.
Waiting outside of the station was Zhuang Feng and the rest who accompanied him here. He was relieved at the sight of Yang Chen safely escorting Hui Lin out, while concurrently feeling a sense of awe towards Yang Chen’s superior background.
Yang Chen waited for the rest to leave, before he personally turned to Laura for a favor. “It’s late, I’ll be taking Miss Lin Hui back now. Tell the rest of your team that I’ll be meeting them in the morning. There are some things I need to publicly announce. You can go now.”
Laura obediently bowed and bade them farewell.
Hui Lin witnessed as Laura abruptly took her leave. She sighed and said, “Brother Yang, you didn’t give me a chance to properly thank her.”
Yang Chen smiled faintly. “Oh you will get plenty of chances to thank her in the future. Not just her, but the entire team of international elites as well. They’ll make sure that your name will be well-known throughout the world in the shortest time that they can muster. You’ll have an audience with them tomorrow.”
“Well-known huh…” Hui Lin was slightly dazed as she strangely nodded.
Yang Chen let out a short sigh as he emphasized, “Your grandmother called to make sure you were okay. I think it’s best if you stay at home for now, just so she could feel more reassured. Come on, get in my car. I’ll take you home.”
Hui Lin had no opinions on that as she obediently went to the passenger seat. She gave him her address and they were soon on their way.
Amidst the dead of night, traffic on Beijing’s intra-city highway was scarce. Countless streetlights kept the highway well-lit for miles, amassing into a simmering belt.
Meanwhile in the car, it was dead silent. Tens of minutes passed without either party making a sound. Yang Chen was focusing on the road while Hui Lin leaned towards the side window as the scenery flashed by her.
The lights reflected on the windshield on her exquisite features, her long lashes reflecting that of translucent curtains shielding her pupils.
Yang Chen frowned as he eventually broke the silence. “Hey, you alright? With that face of yours, your sister might think that I mistreated you.”
Hui Lin forced a smile as she replied, “I’m fine, Brother Yang. However, there’s something I can’t seem to wrap my head around.”
“Try explaining to me, see if I can help. It’s always better than emotional distress, unless it’s about a woman’s affairs. If that’s the case then nevermind. I’m rather thin-faced. I get embarrassed easily,” Yang Chen spoke his mind.
Hui Lin couldn’t help but burst into laughter at his reply, as she tooted her nostrils, “You surely are straightforward aren’t you? No wonder you always get harped on by Elder Sister.”
Yang Chen chuckled, “Your sister is always pissed. I’m used to it.”
Hui Lin bit her lower lip as her smile faded. She gathered her words and asked, “Brother Yang, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask since we left the police station. Why do you think Miss Liu Zishan lied to my face just to support that Luo Sheng on his claims against me? She was clearly in an unfavorable situation at the time, andI saved her from it. Isn’t she supposed to be on my side?”
Yang Chen was left frustrated. He was amazed that she was still distressed by that incident. What Abbess Yun Miao said was right. There were some unspoken rules in the entertainment industry. The innocent and naive Hui Lin was not privy to them prior to her debut.
“I might not be someone from the entertainment industry, but I’m pretty sure I understood the situation. You’re right about Liu Zishan’s case. Maybe she really didn’t want to make out with the director. But that’s her struggle of survival in the industry. A young model trying to breakout into the scene would do anything it takes to succeed. This includes but is not limited to, ‘improving’ ties to Luo Sheng. The entertainment industry is a ruthless place. If you don’t push to maximise your success when you’re still young and pretty, there’s no telling when your last day as a model is.
“She’s not like you, you know. She doesn’t have a godly voice to mesmerise her audience. She’s just a model. Everyone with a pretty face can be a model. If she told the truth and offended Luo Sheng in the process, her entire career would be tainted with messy scandals that she might never break loose from, possibly ending her career. Her position as a model is rocky at best. She would do anything to get an inch closer to fame and success,” Yang Chen explained.
Hui Lin frowned as she went into deep thought. She ultimately shook her head in confusion. “But… does she not care about her innocence? Does fame and fortune really mean everything to her? So much so that she was willing to sell herself like a product? She’s a pretty girl, even if she leaves the entertainment industry I bet she’ll do well in many other fields.
“I used to always think that working in the entertainment industry was exciting. Singing and dancing for the people’s entertainment. But now that I know the evil truth behind it, it just irks me. I hate it so much. I—I don’t think I can do it anymore.”
Yang Chen took a deep breath. With one quick move, he steered to a quick turn and went downhill off the path of the highway.
Hui Lin was dumbfounded by his sudden change in route. “Brother Yang, this isn’t the right way.”
“I know, I’m taking you somewhere else,” Yang Chen coolly replied.
Hui Lin was suspicious as she glanced around. After they left the highway they entered a housing area. Since it was past midnight, there was hardly anyone left on the street.
Before she managed to ask about their whereabouts, Yang Chen made a gradual stop next to a streetlight.
“Where is this place?” Hui Lin scanned her current surroundings, but all she saw were a few unamusing shophouses and some dull shoplots.
Yang Chen lowered the window on his side of the car and pointed at a petite grocery stand on the opposite side of the road. It was still open for business despite being quite late into the night.
“You see that little stall over there?” Yang Chen casually mentioned.
Hui Lin, with her decent cultivation level, had no problems picking out to the petite stall from a distance.The sign was old and rusty, and behind it was only one slightly obese middle-aged woman crossing her arms as she presumably hoped for a few more customers before she closed for the night.
“Brother Yang… are you getting cigarettes? I can get one for you.” Hui Lin knew Yang Chen was an avid smoker. She loosened her safety belt and prepared to make her way down the vehicle.
Yang Chen gave a bitter smile in response. “Where do you plan to go? I’m just trying to tell you about the store owner of the stand over there.”
“Huh?” Hui Lin paused on her intention as she curiously stared at Yang Chen.
Yang Chen solemnly replied, “That woman at the stand, she had sinus cancer just last year and even after a successful operation the doctor advised her to take three years off to recuperate. Not to mention the fact that she has to go for regular check ups.
“And as a result of that, her family, whose only income was this very stand, were burdened with massive amounts of medical fees. Even her usual medicine consumption had to be phased out.
“Her husband was originally a retired worker. But because of her condition he had to pick up his construction job again to share the burden. Unfortunately for them however, just 2 months after his return, his legs were severely damaged by a construction fender, causing him to undergo an urgent operation. Any delays in the procedure would result in amputation.
“It was adding salt to the already-open wound, which is why this woman had to stay up this late.”
At this point of his narration, Hui Lin was left teary eyed as she mumbled, “That’s so sad… Do they have children?”
Yang Chen nodded and sighed. “They do have a daughter—a really beautiful one. Not too long ago, their daughter won the grand prize in a model competition, which boosted her advances into the entertainment industry.
“Obviously as a newcomer, her daughter couldn’t procure the huge sums of money they had required and her father, was almost due for his operation. She had to make sure that the money arrived by hook or by crook. Nonetheless, she went to the bank for a loan, only to realise it wasn’t enough. She was left with no choice but sell her body off, in exchange for a better life for her parents.”
Hui Lin caught the point of his speech as she carefully phrased her words before she doubtfully asked, “Could it be that… Brother Yang, are you saying they’re Miss Liu Zishan’s parents?”
Yang Chen smilingly nodded. “Liu Zishan was just hoping for her parents to return to full health, which is why she had to make out with Luo Sheng. So what do you think, is her innocence more important, or her parents’ health?”
Hui Lin’s expression turned rather sour before she mumbled, “If that’s the case… I think she’s a good person. I falsely accused her of her actions.”
About this time however, from a nearby alley came a sturdy middle-aged man, yelling at the woman by the tiny stand. “Wife, why are you still at the stall? We don’t need this little money, do we?!”
That woman replied in an equally loud pitch, “Yes. I’m packing up!”
Hui Lin with her impressive listening ability naturally overheard the conversation without hassle. That subsequently led her to confusedly shift over to Yang Chen. “Brother Yang, that’s the woman’s husband right? He doesn’t seem to be in the conditions you described him in.”
Yang Chen shrugged as he giggled. “Of course silly. I was bluffing. It’s my first time meeting Liu Zishan, so how would I know anything about her family?”
“What! How could you do that?” The fair-tempered Hui Lin reactively pouted from dissatisfaction, after all she even teared for the cause.
Yang Chen swiped his finger past her pink little lips as he continued with a serious tone, “Hui Lin, even if I made up the story, my point still stands. Nobody knows how Liu Zishan’s family condition is.
“Even if we leave her out of the picture, what about the staff working tirelessly for her? What about their families?
“All in all, everyone is this world is interconnected. Let’s assume she genuinely had a staff under her that desperately needed the money. Does she deserve a pardon for her cause now?”
“Bu—but that was fake,” Hui Lin replied.
“The story I made up was definitely fake. But can you tell me that among the thousands of families around us, none of them has experienced a financial tragedy like the one I described?If Liu Zishan actually had a similar situation and you actually made sure her innocence was kept, but in return she would go home empty-handed, do you then think what you did was the right choice?
“Otherwise, what if as a result of that, she was barred from entering the entertainment industry. This would cause her makeup artist along with her manager to lose their jobs. Wouldn’t they be the ones in financial mishaps then?”
Yang Chen noticed that she kept her silence as he continued, “We brush our shoulders with situations like this every single day, and when we make decisions, we obviously think of others too.
“Maybe some decisions made by others might seem wrong or indecent, but we don’t know what they had in mind when they did them, do we?
“There’s no right or wrong in many cases. There’s always a reason why things are the way they are.
“If we make our every decision based on whether it’s right or wrong, we would stress ourselves out before we can even make a rounded decision. Maybe in your eyes you did help someone out. But you might’ve hurt them in ways that you don’t know of.”
Hui Lin maintained her silence for a long while, before she earnestly inquired, “Then… what should I do?”
“Follow your heart. Just like how you kicked Luo Sheng from Liu Zishan. Regardless of what you do, there are always consequences that follow. So no matter what you decide to do, as long as your thoughts are sincere that is all you need. You can’t control how other people think, but you can certainly control your own. There are many cases from the entertainment industry which will displease you. But as long as you stick to being yourself, what do others have to do with you?”
Hui Lin was left in daze as she mumbled to herself, and ultimately let out a grin.
“I understand now, Brother Yang. I will put my all into my music. I love my job and that’s all that matters,” Hui Lin spoke as she was beaming with confidence.
Yang Chen gave a sigh of relief. “Good thing I talked you out of this, or else the millions that your sister has invested on you would go to waste.”
Hui Lin appreciatively stared at Yang Chen and shyly said, “Thank you, Brother Yang. Sorry for the hassle.”
“Well it’s not a hassle. I’m just a little worried that this melodious voice of yours would not be heard of again.” Yang Chen winked.
Hui Lin was visibly jolly about his compliment as she hurled herself to hug his shoulder, only to realize that her actions were a little overbearing. She pulled away as soon as she hugged him.
Yang Chen meanwhile went a little stiff, when an attractive fragrant vaguely hovered around him, before abruptly vanishing.
“Alright, now that you thought it through, we should really get home now, or else your grandmother is going to accuse me of trafficking you again.”
This time, Hui Lin kept her head low as she mumbled in acknowledgement.