Chapter 295 - Leverage [2 in 1]
Chapter 295: Leverage [2 in 1]
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
The first half of the conversation between the two actually had little to no value. Basically, after concluding everything, it was Xia Cheng who requested that Karen help him create more chances for him to interact with Rong Su. He did not think that seducing the girl was still possible, but at least their relationship had to be close enough to be friends before they returned to China.
The situation now was unbearable. Even though they were living under the same roof, Ye Shuang was everywhere. When she left the house, she needed Ye Shuang—the man knew how to translate—and during normal entertainment, there was also Ye Shuang—the man was good at every kind of sport and entertainment. Even when they were just watching a movie, the man could fill up the conversation with various data and knowledge about movie making.
Even during dinner, Ye Shuang’s presence was fully felt. Brother Shuang’s cooking skill was even better than the experienced home-maker, Karen. Work was the worst—how he had operated that day was a sign of things to come.
Xia Cheng’s existence was completely eclipses. In Rong Su’s heart, the man was labelled as nothing more than ‘Karen’s friend’. When they ran into each other, they would nod and greet each other, but there was no further interaction beyond that.
Xia Cheng even stayed to make the conclusion. Throughout the day, the sentence that Rong Su said the most was “Brother Ye, what should we do about this?” Following that logic, the second most sentence that she said was “Brother Ye, we’re going to XXX. Do you want to come along?”
He could not have been more saddened!
After hearing Xia Cheng’s complaint, Karen gave it a serious thought, and she gave an objective and not that happy observation. Not only Rong Su, even she found it difficult to ignore someone as brilliant as Ye Shuang.
It was mainly because this man was able to lend a hand with anything. Furthermore, he was so handsome that it was really hard to ignore him. Whenever something happened, without even stopping to think about it, the subconscious would make one turn toward this man instantly.
Want to find more chances to improve the relationship with the girl? He he, this kind of commercial would not have asked for an isolated shooting, and now that Ye Shuang had aroused the interest of the director, the request to send Ye Shuang away became even more impossible.
But if Ye Shuang was not eliminated from the scene, as long as that he was there, who would pay attention to a ‘less than stellar’ Xia Cheng
So far, these were the parts that Ye Shuang thought were quite boring. The thing that really caught Ye Shuang’s attention was Xia Cheng’s angered reaction after Karen admitted that she was unable to help him quarantine Ye Shuang away from Rong Su. The man issued a threat.
“Karen, don’t forget about your son’s drug records.”
Don’t forget about your son’s drug records. What does that mean?
On the surface, the threat was quite easy to understand, but once he gave it more thought, Ye Shuang thought that things might not be that simple. How should she put this? Actually, the rate of French youths being involved in drugs was among the highest among all the European countries, so this was really not that surprising.
Some did it to follow the trend; others thought it was fashionable. Some used it to stem the nervousness of exams, and the drug could help them relax while they were studying. In any case, regardless of the reason, the result was, among French youths, taking drugs had become something very common and nothing to be shocked or ashamed about.
Of course, if they did not turn this into an addiction. Normally, these youths would slowly exit from the ranks of drug users once they turned into adults. Therefore, it might sound a bit appropriate to use this to describe Ye Shuang’s feeling, but she thought Karen really did not need to have such a big reaction over something so small. Or at least, Ye Shuang thought that something like this should not be serious enough to threaten someone over. After all, Karen and her son were not technically public figures.
“Unless there are some other events attached to this. Something more incriminating,” Ye Shuang suddenly grumbled to herself.
Vincent did not know Chinese, so he turned his head over to ask in a nasally voice, “What did you just say, Ye?”
“It’s nothing.” The conversation on the second floor had already ended. Karen walked out from Xia Cheng’s room, and she was descending the stairs. So, Ye Shuang pulled her attention back onto the television. She acted casually and dropped an observation for the first ten minutes that she had watched of the movie. “I think this man by the name of Edward is quite a maniac.”
Vincent’s eyes widened involuntarily like he was surprised by this less than friendly comment.
Karen happened to walk into the living room then, and this meant that she heard that comment as well. She quickly adjusted her depressed expression and covered it up with a mature and familiar smile. She sat down next to the two of them and offered her reply. “That review sure is interesting. I’ve heard others praise Edward as a genius, an artist, an imaginative thinker… but I’ve never heard someone call him a maniac before. Actually, there is very little news about Edward. He is someone who likes to keep a low profile. Other than when he was required to do some promotion for the movie, he would not accept interviews.”
“Have you heard of something called psychopath test?” Ye Shuang took a sip of the brandy. She placed the glass on the coffee table and continued with a smile. “Of course, I know those in the indie films like to focus on some non-mainstream topics. Therefore, I expected the movie to be about art, to be a criticism of society, to be dark or depressing… but after I started watching the movie, I was surprised by the pathological main character.”
To be precise, James’ representative work could be categorized as a thriller, detective film. But as the plot progressed and the investigation became clearer, it also brought out many deeper questions. A topic with content was something worth ruminating over—those that appealed to the general audience and would not leave any impact on them were mostly commercial films.
The reflection on human nature aside, Ye Shuang paid more attention on the crimes that the main character had committed in the movie.
“I’ll put it like this, due to limitation in terms of knowledge, most scriptwriters when they write about detective dramas have to depend on writing skill to fill up the plot. Part of the reason is because they cannot put themselves in the shoes of a real criminal. The other reason is due to the influence of media… Therefore, the writers normally create a mystery and then slowly release the hints, and finally, there is a great expose,” Ye Shuang explained. “This is the normal model for a detective film or novel.”
“How is that related to your comment on Edward?” Vincent still did not quite get it.
“I’m sorry, perhaps I have overestimated your intelligence.” Ye Shuang complained about them in Chinese. She thought about it and then used another way to explain it. “It’s like this, you will feel excited and nervous when watching a normal detective film even though the logic of the crime in the movie is not really that complete and perfect.
“In other words, even for a real detective, the crime that was in the movie would be very difficult to solve before the ending revealed the answer… This is because the clues to solving the puzzle were due to the ‘incredibly clear observations’ that the main character made in the movie. For example, a suspect that someone normal would not have focused on, or something small that would normally escape a detective’s eyes. Before you saw these things, naturally, you would not have found the truth from the existing clues.
“However, Edward’s movie is different. His script is a real crime, a complete crime that can be perfectly replicated in real life… For example, even though we have only seen a quarter of the movie, I can already predict that the culprit is Sam.”
“That’s impossible!” Vincent’s eyes widened in shock while he exclaimed, “You must have seen this movie before! No wait, you went online earlier to look at its reviews.”
Ye Shuang silently rolled her eyes at the man. “Of course, just having a prediction is pointless. If this happens in reality, I need to find the evidence to prove my prediction, only then will we be able to capture the criminal and have him arrested. However, just from the logical standpoint, there is no need to watch this movie anymore… Just like the pathological test that I said earlier, there are only two kinds of people who will be able to write such realistic crime stories—one is the someone who solved the crime, and the other is the criminal who did the crime. If we combine that with the comment James had toward Edward… He he.”
Ye Shuang felt a bit parched in her throat, so she took another sip of the alcohol and felt no need to continue her explanation.
James’ comment was none other than “The man is very good at handling and organizing the big picture.” If this was another theme, it would have been better, but it was a crime story… Such a criminal genius who was good at organizing the big picture, was it possible for someone like that to have a peaceful relationship with society?
Karen was completely confused by what Ye Shuang said. As a sentimental designer, she was really not that interested in such topic. “Alright, it does sound like Edward is a genius.”
This was because she completely did not grasp the main point of Ye Shuang’s words. “He manages to make a professional criminal story design look so realistic… Hmm, that is what you’re trying to say, right?”
Similarly, Vincent also did not grasp the main point. He was silent for half a minute before patting Ye Shuang’s shoulder seriously. “In any case, do you let James find out about your review today… By the way, other than the maniac comment, the remaining part of your review is not bad. James will be glad to have your professional approval.”
“He he…” Ye Shuang chuckled joylessly once again. These people did not realize the severity of the situation at all!
Over the next few days, Xia Cheng did not insist on following Rong Su to the studio daily to brush up on his presence. After all, he had just shown how pointless he was—mainly in comparison to Brother Shuang’s superhuman presence. After that, as someone who had no contribution at the scene and was only there due to his friendship the chief designer, how could he have face to show up day after day?
Even Karen herself had something else to do—she could not have followed up on the commercial every day, much less Xia Cheng ,who was only there due to her name. Because of that, after the first two days where Ye Shuang tagged along, she did not need to stay beside Rong Su’s side to guard her anymore. So, she had the time and energy to focus on other things.
Since Xia Cheng had revealed something new regarding his relationship with Karen, Ye Shuang spent the rest of her energy on the evidence that he had over Karen and her son.
“I hear Karen’s son is currently in the middle of applying for a masters’ degree. A famous professor is interested in him, but that professor is famous for being strict with his supervisees.” Su Zheng licked the lollipop as she offered up the gossip. “I hear the professor is a bit of an old English gentleman. He is very particular about his students’ personality and their family background… For example, he would not accept students whose parents have criminal records, their personal records are not clear, they like to skip classes, or so on… Other professors are choosing students, but this man feels like he is choosing a son or daughter in law.”
“A strict demand?” Ye Shuang thought about it. “In that case, this is understandable. The professor probably does have a good name, so everyone wants to be his student.”
If that was true, then it was reasonable for Karen to want to keep her son’s drug record hidden. Other people might forgive that impetuousness of youth and would still accept him for his talent, but if they were targeting the professor that had strict demands on his students, then the records would have to be hushed. The professor might even reject one for having the habit of taking sleeping pills because it was a sign of one’s lack of mental strength, much less drugs.
“Of course, this is just a small problem. It is just one small evidence, not a fatal mistake.” Su Zheng nodded. She pulled out another lollipop from her pocket and continued with a smile. “The main issue is still Karen’s plagiarism and her stealing other people’s ideas.”
Ye Shuang thought about it and agreed with Su Zheng, “Then we should just ignore the child’s problem. There really isn’t much for us to investigate regarding a youth’s issue.”
“Ol’ K said that the number of people who’ve contacted Xia Cheng recently has drastically dropped. Perhaps the organization has stopped valuing him already.” Su Zheng giggled as she built her happiness on the man’s misery. “His main target should be Tian Wang Media, but he probably did not expect the career that he had built up successfully over the years would suddenly turn and topple over. All the effort that he put in has gone with the wind, and even the money that he had invested cannot be claimed back anymore… If I had such a worrisome underling, it would already be very kind on my part to let him rot on his own.”
“With the connection to Tian Wang Media lost and the connection to Rong Su unable to start, this means that Xia Cheng’s only hope is holding on to Karen.” Ye Shuang thought about it and sighed. “Xia Cheng sure is unlucky. Even though Karen has her status and influence, at the end of the day, she does not have shares at LPA. No matter how much Xia Cheng presses Karen, she could not have allowed him to join the company, much less own it.”
“Well, she is his life-saving straw. He has to hang onto her for now—what happens later can still be planned.” The two were having a good time chatting at the living room. Karen rushed in from the front door. When she saw Ye Shuang and Su Zheng in the living room, she was baffled and then smiled. “Didn’t you two go out today? I think today’s weather is really not that bad—it is perfect for a walk around town.”
This was obviously just small talk. Karen did not stay in the living room for long. She quickly rushed upstairs. It looked like she was in a hurry to get something, so that was why she suddenly came back. Ye Shuang looked at the shadow that disappeared on the second floor. “What do you think about exposing the whole mess with Karen?”
“Then, it would really be over for Xia Cheng—if he does not have any other trump card.” Su Zheng raised her lollipop in a show of mourning. “I shall light a candle for the man.”
“…Stop kidding.” Ye Shuang was speechless. This girl had probably lost her mind after being on such a long holiday. Recently, it felt like her moral limit had dropped lower and lower. What was up with that? Could it really be because there was too little for her to do in her team and the idle mind is the devil’s playground?
After sighing silently, Ye Shuang opened her lips with patience. “If Xia Cheng really has no other trump card and has been abandoned by the organization, then there is no really for us to follow up on him anymore. We should just end him as soon as possible… After all, I have another lead to focus on. There is no need for us to spend all of our energy here to focus on this man.”
“I’m your assistant, so I will follow your orders.” Su Zheng pushed the lollipop into her mouth happily. She held up her cheeks and giggled. “Brother Shuang, how do you plan to end him?”
“Oh, by the way, I won’t be coming back for lunch this afternoon. Do you have any plan for yourselves?” Karen, who had probably found the thing that she was looking for, rushed back down the stairs. There was an extra document that she was holding in her hands. “After you leave this residential area, there is a pizzeria on the opposite street that is not bad. Of course, if you want to make your own lunch, that is fine as well. I have left the car key on the shoe rack, so you can drive to the supermarket yourself.”
“Karen, it’s okay. We will be able to survive on our own—there’s no need to worry about us.” Ye Shuang smiled gently and consoled the woman who was swamped by work. “We will look after ourselves… Other than that, I wish you all the best at your work. To help you, I will cook dinner for us tonight.”
“Ye, you are too kind!” Karen was so touched that she came over to give Ye Shuang a hug. Then she left a kiss on Ye Shuang’s left and right cheeks. She sighed. “If I was thirty years younger… no, another twenty years, then I would definitely be your greatest admirer.”
“That’s such a waste because I have missed out on a beauty like Karen.” After staying for a few days in France, Ye Shuang’s teasing ability had improved plenty. After all, it was no different from a joke, and saying it would be no skin off her back. Karen came back in a hurry and left in a hurry.
After she disappeared out the door, Su Zheng turned to look at Ye Shuang with a curious gaze.
“Is there a problem?” Ye Shuang turned back to ask with a raised brow.
Su Zheng shook her head. She thought about it and then could not help herself from giving some advice. “Brother Shuang… I can understand the culture here, but you’d better not bring that habit back to China.”
Being close to others in European countries would not have caused any problems, but if he replicated the same attitude back in China, then perhaps it would lead to many female-related problems, especially for Ye Shuang, who had a face that would make people want to do crazy things. Su Zheng was deeply worried about her ability to protect her big brother’s ‘purity’.
Ye Shuang could not hold it in. She curled her finger back and then tapped at Su Zheng’s forehead. “What are you thinking about‽”
Su Zheng groaned in pain. She held her forehead and lifted her head with tears in her eyes. “And don’t touch other girls’ heads so casually. People might think you’re interested in her because this is something that is common between couples…”
“…” Ye Shuang.
For the rest of the day, Ye Shuang and Su Zheng chatted as they went for a stroll down the street. Even though they did chat about work, generally speaking, it was quite a leisurely day.
Conversely, other people were very busy. Karen’s husband had a concert to play at, so a few days ago, he had left with the choir for their shows. Karen’s son had his own activities—it was either class or club activities. The young man’s days were very fulfilled.
Xia Cheng was trying to strengthen his position in Karen’s home. He could not go to LPA in the capacity of Karen’s guest, so he turned to focus on the son instead. Since he was free, he took on another persona and went to spend time with the son. Karen was the busiest. The new spokesperson commercial was going to be released soon, so of course, she needed to prepare for the new product release. While Rong Su…
“Quick, get me a glass of water…” After dragging her tired body back to the villa, Rong Su looked so devastated, like a flower that had been stepped on.
“Xiao Su, what is wrong with you?” Ye Shuang poured a glass of water and gave it to Rong Su, who had collapsed on the sofa. She took the seat on the opposite sofa and turned to ask Qiu Yu out of curiosity.
Qiu Yu smiled reservedly. She raised her hand to organize her hair. “Director James is not in a good mood, so Miss Rong’s work recently has not been easy.”
Ye Shuang frowned. “But hasn’t Xiao Su gotten the knack already? She shouldn’t have been scolded to kind of state.”
Even though, initially, there had been a cheat in the form of Ye Shuang, it did not mean that Rong Su was an idiot who did not know how to absorb the lessons. For the first few times, it was understandable, but from then on, when she came into similar problems, she did not need Ye Shuang there to feed her lesson anymore. After a few adjustments, she would be able to give the director what he wanted.
“Of course, it is not the issue with the shooting. If anything, I think it is the issue with the heart.” Qiu Yu smiled helplessly. “Brother Ye, you have not given your answer to James, right? After that, you stopped coming to the studio, so the director is probably feeling mad because of that.”
To put it frankly, this was the director channeling his anger on Rong Su.
After finishing the glass of water, Rong Su felt like she had been given a new lease on life. She pulled herself up with difficulty on the sofa to look at Ye Shuang, “Brother Ye, I feel so bad for myself. The goatee uncle is obviously taking his anger out on me. Especially today, looking at him, you would have thought that I’d stolen his boyfriend from him.”
“…Stop talking nonsense!” Ye Shuang really did not know what kind of expression she should show.
Qiu Yu thought about it and said, “Brother Ye, how about you come with us to the studio tomorrow? There is no need for you to stay for long. As long as you are there long enough for the director to see you… or can you come to fetch us when we get off from work?”
Ye Shuang looked at Qiu Yu sadly. “It’s Xiao Su who has the spokesperson contract, not me. Do you really think it is appropriate for me to show up at the studio so often?”
Furthermore, this was not something that could be settled easily. The director was not going to calm down simply because Ye Shuang showed up once or twice. Ye Shuang would have to give him a satisfactory answer.
How about she going to give the man a satisfactory answer? It would be like agreeing to the man’s offer. Thinking about that, Ye Shuang started to feel regret for being so conspicuous on her first day at the studio. “After all, there are only a few days left. Xiao Su, be a good girl and just be patient a little longer. It will be over soon.”
“The problem is that I don’t think I can be patient any longer!” Rong Su gritted her teeth as she was reminded of something. It felt like she had already cultivated a deep resentment for James.
“Brother Ye, you do not need to go every day.” Qiu Yu continued to persuade Ye Shuang in her gentle voice. It seemed like she had also been dragged into the mess. If the director wanted to scold people, the people that he scolded had to understand it, right?
Therefore, as the translator, Qiu Yu had basically been scolded alongside Rong Su. “Tomorrow, Director James’ old friend is going to come. I hear it is that Edward that we were discussing last time.”
Under pressure herself, Qiu Yu tossed out some bait. “Brother Ye, just come with us tomorrow. The three of you can chat together. As long as the director is happy, the rest of the problem can be discussed and negotiated.”
“Edward?” Ye Shuang was surprised. She suddenly lifted her head. “You mean the scriptwriter friend that James cooperated with?”