Chapter 7 – Pretend To Be Poor
Wen Ruan fished out a 500-yuan note from the pocket of her windbreaker. When she was about to leave home last night, she had just randomly taken it out of the drawer in case she needed it in an emergency.
In the past, a banknote like this would not hold any significance but at this time, it was shining like a savior in Wen Ruans eyes.
She hurried downstairs to look for a mobile phone shop to repair her phone.
The man who repaired the phone was an old master. Without speaking much, he skilfully and swiftly completed the job with a cigarette hanging from his lips.
When Wen Ruan watched the apples screen lit up once again, it felt like her life which was shrouded in dark clouds illuminated in an instant.
Online payment is the greatest invention of mankind!
Once the phone was turned on, the screen was swarmed with calls and text messages from Qin Sushan.
Without any hesitation, Wen Ruan returned a call straightaway.
The phone rang twice and was connected. On the other side, Qin Sushans hysterical screams rang out and a bunch of words were spat out without even a breather.
“Wen Ruan, after you got off the train there was no more news from you! Your phone was turned off and my text messages were not answered! Do you know that I almost called the police!”
Wen Ruan rubbed her ears that had gotten numb and only explained what happened today after Qin Sushan had calmed down a little.
After a long silence at the other end of the line, Qin Sushan tentatively said.
“So, the moment you got off the train you were almost abducted by human traffickers, and then you fell in love with a heroic handsome prosecutor who saved the damsel in distress. Because you were so obsessed with beauty that you even wormed into someones house as a guest”
Wen Ruan: “Thats right.”
Qin Sushan inhaled deeply and said in a tone full of disbelief.
“Then why didnt you just go straight home to steal your household account book and directly register your marriage with him”
The suggestion actually made Wen Ruan think deeply and as she rubbed her chin, she said very seriously.
“Thats possible too……Ill try my best.”
Qin Sushan was so angered by Wen Ruan that she had to laugh. After a long while, Qin Sushan pinched the space between her brows and said helplessly.
“So does that person know youre the precious daughter of a wealthy family and you ran away from home”
Wen Ruan had bought a cup of milk tea at the beverage shop by the roadside. At this moment, she was trying hard to suck up the pearls* at the bottom of the cup and her words sounded a little vague.
(Pearls are the little sweet glutinous rice balls inside the milk tea. This beverage is called pearl tea and is a popular Taiwanese drink. This tea is now available in many parts of the world.)
“I told him that I am very poor. In case he finds out that Im not short of money, I will surely be driven away.”
Qin Sushan could not equate this word with Wen Ruan.
She could still remember that when they were in elementary school and the teacher gave the class an essay topic ~ My Birthday Gift.
When they read out their compositions, all the children wrote about having cakes, toy cars, Barbie dolls, and the like except for Wen Ruan who was extraordinary…….
At that time Wen Ruan was only seven years old. While holding up the essay book she read out every word clearly and meticulously.
“This year my birthday gift is a private jet given by my father. The interior is decorated with all my favorite cartoon characters. My father said that this plane can take me wherever I want to go and it will take me to see the great rivers and mountains of the motherland……”
Ever since then, the teacher never gave them any more essay topics ongifts.
So when the wordsvery poor slipped out of Wen Ruans mouth, Qin Sushan was stunned for a while. Qin Sushan paused and then asked.
“Didnt you say that your purse and everything were stolen Do you have enough money with you or do you need me to lend…….”
“I just checked. Theres still a small amount of money in my phone.”
After drinking half the cup of tea, Wen Ruan felt a little full and frowned. She put down the cup on the table then stood up and was prepared to go and buy some necessities.
“……It should be enough for half a month. Its okay, anyway I want to save some money now.”
“How much is that small amount of money” Qin Sushan asked casually.
Wen Ruan squinted her eyes and tried to recall.
“It should be around 500,000.”
Qin Sushan: “……”
……Should be enough for half a month
Qin Sushan quickly hung up the call. She was afraid that if she continues to talk with this rich girl on the issue of money and before this rich girl starves to death, she would suffocate and die from cardiac arrest!
After finishing the call with Qin Sushan, Wen Ruan was prepared to go out and buy some clothes and daily necessities in the shopping mall opposite the apartment.
Anyway, she had lost her suitcase and there were a lot of things she needed.
Before entering the mall, she repeatedly reminded herself……..
Remember! Just buy a few replacement clothes and daily necessities and then leave! Practice restraint!
However, the moment a woman enters a shopping mall, the wordrestraint no longer exists.
She wandered around the six-storied shopping mall from inside to the outside and found that all the retail outlets were from famous brands. With just a glance it could be seen that Wen Ruans outfit was from an expensive brand so everyone put on their smiling faces and enthusiastically promoted their latest products.
She felt that although she wanted to save money, she could not give up on certain things. For example, Givenchy Champs and Lambskin are inexpensive and look good. Every color is genuine and the products are excellent like Allin.
There is also Mandalas latest spring collection of womens clothing. This years designs are better than the previous years and they happen to have her size as well, so she must get them.
Finally, while shopping in a general store, she found a pet shop that specialized in cat food.
If one wants to tackle a man, one must first tackle his cat and the best weapon to use is cat food!
By the time Wen Ruan noticed something was wrong, the starting figure of 5 in her phones balance had dropped to figure 4 and was dropping alarmingly to 3.
She quickly calmed down and left the dangerous place hastily while carrying several big and small bags.
A shopping mall is indeed a place that gobbles up people!
When she returned to the apartment, Fu Zhihuan was not back yet.
She breathed a sigh of relief and then quickly rushed back to her bedroom. She removed the packaging of the clothes and cosmetics and then cut off the brand name and price tags. After crushing the packaging into balls, she stuffed them into a trash bag and secretly hid the bag in the cabinet under the desk.
Fu Zhihuan must not discover this!
Earl stood at the door and poked in its head curiously. When it saw Wen Ruan taking out the freeze-dried cat food from the bag, it suddenly responded by moving over to her side and acting like a spoiled brat.
“You can have the freeze-dried snack.”
Wen Ruan negotiated with Earl in seriousness.
“But you must make your master let me stay a few more days.”
Earl stared at the package of cat food with its round eyes and then let out a crispmeow.
“If your master drives me away, you have to show youre very reluctant, or else you wont have extra food.”
Feeling satisfied, she took out a small portion of the cat snack and placed it in front of Earl. Then she sealed the bag and kept it away inside the cabinet.
By now, the sky had turned completely dark. After being busy for the whole day and in addition, the temperature in Jiang City today had been significantly higher than before, so a thin layer of sweat had appeared on her body.
She stretched her body and got ready to take a bath.
How is the hot water turned on in Fu Zhihuans house
Wearing a shower cap, she stood in the bathroom thinking for a long time. Then suddenly she remembered the phone number that Fu Zhihuan left her before he went out.
After the sudden rise in temperature in the afternoon, the temperature still did not drop until the evening.
Spring was ending and summer was approaching and the mosquitoes could not be restrained. As He Ziqin stood in front of the hotel with the wind blowing, her heart was burning like it was on fire and churning with anxiety and impatience.
Originally, she had decided not to attend tonights gathering.
To be honest, He Ziqin had been a top student since elementary school and in addition, she is from a family of scholars. Her family spoils her, so she has an innate arrogance in her.
It was rare for He Ziqin to show any interest in this kind of gathering where a group of people who are not familiar with each other gathered together while pretending to be enthusiastic about developing network connections.
However, it was heard that Fu Zhihuan was one of the attendees.
She and Fu Zhihuan had attended the same university and were in the same class too.
When she first entered military training, Fu Zhihuans military company was next to hers. At that time, almost all the girls would secretly peek at him when they had to look right while doing their drills.
The freshly enrolled students wore military uniforms and had tanned skin. When they stood together as a group, it was a bunch of green and everyone was unrecognizable.
However, Fu Zhihuan was the only person who was eye-catching.
From He Ziqins angle, she could see his angular jaw very clearly.
But he never met her eyes even once.
In fact, He Ziqin specifically waited for him at the hotels door today. She had originally planned to take the opportunity to pretend to have coincidentally met him then greet him and talk about their former times. It would have left a deeper impression than talking at the dinner table.
But it turned out that Fu Zhihuan did not remember her at all.
Perhaps it was because of embarrassment, she did not quickly rush upstairs but stayed downstairs for a while and pretended to be waiting for someone else.
It was only a few minutes later that He Ziqin turned around and went upstairs.
The layout of the hotel was elegant and screens were used as partitions. A copper stove was placed at the corner of the table and a few wisps of white smoke drifted out which set the mood.
As she approached the room, she could hear noisy fragmented voices.
She tilted her head slightly and could vaguely see the back view of a man.
The figure with a straight back clad in a tight-fitting black shirt was standing casually and the view of his back made people unable to look away.
He Ziqin took a deep breath then smiled and walked in.
When Fu Zhihuan heard a voice, he turned his head around slightly and his gaze paused briefly on her face. Then he shifted his eyes away.
Her heart sank instantly.
Immediately someone smiled and invited her in.
“Let me do the introduction. She is He Ziqin and she is our industrys most outstanding lawyer. After so many years, she is the most talented lawyer Ive seen. Over the years she had fought countless lawsuits and had never lost except for two cases.”
She laughed. “Losing two cases is still losing and I should strive for improvement.”
As soon as she said the words, someone clapped and praised her for her humility.
Regardless of whether the words were sincere or not, everyone present is an elite in the various industries and is capable of speaking nice words upfront.
When He Ziqin entered, she took note of everything and after silently moving around in a circle, she chose the seat next to Fu Zhihuan and sat down.
Most of the people present were talking and did not notice her movements at all.
When Fu Zhihuan felt someone had sat down next to him, he turned his eyes slightly and his gaze rested on her face lightly before moving away again.
He was playing with a little copper cup in his hand as if he was admiring the designs on it and did not seem to be particularly interested in other peoples discussions.
However, whenever someone talks to him, he would reply politely.
Fu very interested in this kind of ware” After enduring for a while, He Ziqin finally decided to ask.
He glanced at her and responded lightly.
She immediately carried on with the conversation.
“I also like to collect some porcelain cups and the like. If Mr.
Fu is interested, we can share our experience.”
The expression on Fu Zhihuans face did not change much and he just calmly lifted his hand to turn the cup over.
“Sorry, Im suddenly no longer interested.”
His tone that contained a slight indifference almost made He Ziqin unable to hold her expression.
In fact, the moment he entered the room just now, many people wanted to talk to him. It was because ever since he took office, this young prosecutor has been repeatedly praised for acting and dealing with matters decisively and resolutely, hitting the nail on the head.
Besides, there are rumors that his family background is solid and powerful. Although they have never heard him mention his family all these years, it seems his family has been in the business arena for many generations and just a casual stomp of their feet would create waves of storms in the business world.
Although all these rumors cannot be confirmed, however, they are not baseless.
Although many people have the intention to seek connections with him, Fu Zhihuan is also famous for his practice of separating his private and public affairs with clear distinction.
With this kind of character, everyone had to surmise and was fearful of saying something wrong in front of him.
The topic was discussed for a while and then it came back to He Ziqin.
Moreover, she had just returned to the country and had gained a reputation after spending so many years abroad. Therefore it was only natural for many people to be curious about her.
“I heard that Miss He went to study abroad due to a lost lawsuit, is that true”
She laughed and then said. “My skills are not as good as others, so I must learn more.”
Suddenly someone interrupted and rubbed his chin as he recalled.
“Ive heard about that lawsuit. In fact, Miss He was not responsible for it. Moreover, at that time Miss He had defended the victim without asking for fees.”
The people around became curious and the man started to explain.
Three years ago.
A 14-year-old girl who was studying in junior high school fell into the water and drowned. After the victims parents carried out an investigation, it was discovered that their daughter had been bullied by her classmates for several years.
On the day of the accident, due to a misstep, she accidentally fell into the river while arguing with a male classmate who had often bullied her.
In fury, the victims parents sued the male classmate and the lawyer they hired was He Ziqin.
However, the court considered the fact that the male classmate had just turned 14 and his mental state was unstable. At the same time, his family was in financial difficulties and was unable to hire a lawyer, so in accordance with the law, it was mandatory to request the Legal Aid Office appoint a lawyer to defend him.
He Ziqin lost that case.
In the end, the male student was convicted of manslaughter but because he was under the age of 16, he was released after receiving the punishment of criticism and education.
In fact, the outcome of this case was beyond doubt.
Because there was not enough evidence to prove that the male student had the intention to kill, therefore, no matter how clever the lawyer is, it would still be useless.
When He Ziqin listened to the people mention the past, she only showed a slight smile and said.
“As a lawyer, I just wanted to protect the rights and interests of the victim but I didnt expect……”
When she said up to here, she purposely paused as if she wanted to stress a point.
“But the thoughts and minds of people differ. In my life, Ill never be able to understand the kind of lawyer who speaks up on behalf of criminals.”
“Is Miss He talking about the lawyer who defended the male student”
Immediately, someone responded and frowned as if trying to recall.
“I know a little about this and heard that lawyer is a young girl as well. The name is………”
“Wen Ruan.” He Ziqin smiled and added.
Fu Zhihuans hand that was playing with the napkin paused and his eyes froze for a moment before he calmed down very quickly.
“Right, right, thats the name. I remember back then that this young girl was very famous and it seemed she had never lost a case. But it seems not everyone is like Miss He who follows the rules set in her heart.
The crisp sound of a cup knocking against a plate was heard.
He Ziqin was startled and turned her head to look in the direction of the sound.
Fu Zhihuan lowered his eyes and the emotions in his pitch-black eyes were concealed. He leaned against the back of the chair and his fingertips were tapping rhythmically on the tabletop.
Although he did not say a word, everyone present suddenly became quiet.
Zhao Zichen was also startled. He and Fu Zhihuan had been friends for many years, so when he saw his friends posture, he knew that Fu Zhihuan was most likely feeling very angry.
The surroundings were surprisingly quiet but after a long period of silence, Fu Zhihuan let out a soft laugh.
However, his laugh did not contain any mirth. He lifted his eyes and said in a light tone.
“According to the law, when minors are unable to hire a lawyer, it is mandatory for the Legal Aid Office to send a lawyer to assist them. Outsiders may not know about this but is it possible that Miss He doesnt know about this too”
He Ziqin was slightly stunned.
Although Fu Zhihuan was not looking at her, she could still feel her back turn numb.
In fact, it was due to another reason that she could still remember the name Wen Ruan.
It was the first lawsuit that He Ziqin lost and Wen Ruan was the defense lawyer for the other party. During that time, there was a furious debate going on about which of the two young ladies would be the most outstanding and be the rising star in the industry.
He Ziqin had always been arrogant and that loss shattered her self-esteem.
When she heard that Wen Ruan was assigned to represent the defendant, she immediately contacted the victims family and offered them legal aid.
Although she was defeated in this lawsuit, it was still worthy because it won her a lot of accolades.
The case aroused intense discussions during that time.
After the issue of school violence was discussed over and over again, it made headlines on Weibo. More and more people called for stern actions to deal with the serious phenomenon of school violence.
Although He Ziqin lost the case, she gained fame and fortune.
And then Wen Ruan disappeared without a trace after the lawsuit.
And now for He Ziqin to bring this up, it was nothing more than trying to increase her prestige. Anyway, no one had mentioned her name for the last three years.
Unexpectedly, Fu Zhihuan refuted her.
The smile on He Ziqins face stiffened and even her voice trembled.
Fu is right.”
Fu Zhihuan did not bother with her and just stood up calmly. He nodded to everyone present and said. “Excuse me for a while.”
It was rare for Fu Minghen to receive a call from his brother but the contents were related to Wen Ruan which was a name that the Second Young Master, Fu Zhihuan, was never concerned about.
“Three years ago Of course, I know…….Wen Ruan was indeed a lawyer then.”
Fu Mingheng looked for a quiet place and frowned as he tried to recall.
“That time she was quite famous but because of that case three years ago, she suddenly quit her job and returned to the Wen Family.”
“I heard about that case. When the Legal Aid Office handled the case, everyone knew that the result would be a verdict of manslaughter but no one wanted to bear the responsibility. So it was handed over to Wen Ruan who was still a rookie. However, after the courts sentence, the victims mother committed suicide by jumping off the building because she couldnt bear the grief of her daughters death.”
Because the victims mother committed suicide, the case was pushed to the peak of discussion that year.
As the defendants lawyer, Wen Ruan became the target of many peoples attacks…….
~ Nowadays, a lot of lawyers are taking up some popular cases for the sake of fame. Perhaps this lawyer did it to seek fame too.
~ Throwing away ones principles for the sake of money
~ Taking money to speak up for a murderer…….this truly broadens my horizon!
All these remarks and the mental pressure after hearing the news of the suicide of the victims mother could have been the reasons for Wen Ruans resignation.
Fu Mingheng was a little suspicious.
“Why are you suddenly asking about this”
Fu Zhihuan turned around and looked out of the window with his dark eyes.
“Its nothing. I suddenly heard someone mention this and I was a little curious.”
“Ai, I almost thought you had a change of mind.”
Fu Mingheng let out a laugh and joked around for a bit then he seemed to suddenly remember something.
“Oh yes, Wen Fengchen is coming to visit us and it seems he has the intention to dissolve the marriage contract. I guess he is worried about his precious daughter. Congratulations, youll be a free man soon.”
After Fu Mingheng said those words, he did not hear the reply as was expected from Fu Zhihuan.
It was only after three seconds of silence later that he heard Fu Zhihuans slightly abrupt laughter from the other side and his tone sounded normal.
“Yes, thats good.”
After a few more simple exchanges of pleasantries, Fu Zhihuan hung up the call.
But not long after the call ended, his phone started to vibrate……..
The caller ID was a string of numbers without a name.
Fu Zhihuan frowned and connected the call.
“Who is this”
“Its me! Its me! Its me!”
On the other side of the phone, Wen Ruans voice sounded.
“How do you turn on the hot water in your bathroom”
It so happened that He Ziqin had slipped out of the private room. She bit her lower lip and tentatively said. “I want to explain…….”
Perhaps it was because He Ziqin was also talking at the same time, Fu Zhihuan could not quite hear Wen Ruans words. So he frowned, raised his hand to signal for silence from the person beside him, and then lowered his voice to ask.
“What is it”
Wen Ruan took a deep breath and then shouted word by word.
“How – do – you – turn – on – the – hot – water – in – your – bathroom ! ! “
The voice was clear and strong……the tone was loud and powerful…….
…….So powerful that it passed through the phones microphone and reverberated in the corridor……..