Chapter 246 - Don't Let Your Family Blame Me
Chapter 246: Don’t Let Your Family Blame Me [2 in 1]
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
“Good tools are a prerequisite to the successful execution of a job.”
After Su Zheng started teaching Ye Shuang the skills, she did not explain that much regarding the technique and action. Basically, she only told Ye Shuang to pay attention to a few things and practice often. However, Su Zheng paid a lot more time when it came to the selection and creation of various tools. She used a lot more time and effort to explain this part of the job.
“For example, razors. You know they are used to slice open leather, so the most important thing is sharpness. It won’t work if you use a fruit knife to try to slice open someone’s handbag; it must be something that can create a gash with just a slash.”
As Su Zheng spoke, she picked out a thin razor within her fingers. It was the size of a thumb, and it looked about as thick as a piece of paper. It was extremely fragile yet also extremely thin. “Previously, double-sided razors worked very well for this purpose, but it is easy to injure yourself when you try to use it. You have to be quick when pulling it out and putting it away, and the key to that depends on the skill of operating.”
Other than the razor whose shape was edited, Su Zheng had many other tools on her body like a metal wire, small hooks in various shapes, needles, and magnets. Ye Shuang watched in awe as Doreamon Su picked out these random objects from her body and sighed for the first time about the difficulty being a skilled worker.
Su Zheng, though, was having the time of her life and gave detailed introductions to the many tools on her. It felt like a girl gloating about the branded bags that she had to a friend. No one had approached her to learn about thieving skill before. Even if there was occasionally someone who would show interest, they never lasted that long. They would give up due to the boredom of practice.
Thieving was not something that simple. Nowadays, most burglars on the street, when they were out working, depended on aggression and bravery. It was common for burglar to get close to their target in the crowd and yank their bags before running away. Or on a crowded public transport, the victim would think their bags were jostled around by the rush of human bodies. The bystanders would not have said anything even if they saw the thief in action.
After all, the burglar was not afraid of witnesses as long as the victim did not notice them. Even if the victim noticed it, when the victim showed signs of weakness, the burglar might even turn the aggression onto them.
Su Zheng hated this type of violent character the most. Since they did not have the skill, they had to place their target on normal citizens. The main issue was that they had ruined the image of professional thieves.
Because today’s thief no longer had the desire to practice their thieving skill, those like Su Zheng who were willing to spend time and effort on the dull practice were few and in between.
Even professions had those who specialized in them. Normal people knew about small tips that did not need much technique, or they could prepare some small items to turn the thing around when the time came, but to practice the various thieving skill until they were perfected? That was easier said than done.
Since Ye Shuang had volunteered to let Su Zheng scratch her itch of teaching, Su Zheng had fun. The rare part was Ye Shuang’s understanding and learning ability were far beyond Su Zheng’s imagination. There were any things that she would be able to repeat after an example. Getting such a powerful student, that was the lifelong dream of almost every teacher. The sense of accomplishment could not have been greater!
Therefore, when Luo Mingxin heard that Sister Shuang was still in Shanghai, he took advantage of a day off during his busy working schedule to come visit her. When he arrived, he heard a lecture that he could not understand at all.
“This is not as good as the other one. This type of iron wire is too soft. After it slips into the lock, it won’t be strong enough to pull up the spring. Try again with this one that I have… the locks are normally categorized based on their mechanism. This kind of lock is the most common and the easiest to open. You only need this sort of tension wrench and pick set that can create a support inside the lock. It’s a lot simpler using an electronic lock-breaker gun, but there is nothing skillful about that.”
Su Zheng explained the skill as she poked at the front door’s lock. She mumbled as she taught, “We normally teach the hardest skills before the easy ones. You can always prepare the tools later, but if you can do everything without the tools, then no matter what kind of situation you run into later, your completion rate will be guaranteed.”
Luo Mingxin wondered if he should leave silently like he was not there.
Ye Shuang leaned to the side, hugging her arms, listening closely. Out of the corner of her eyes, she noticed Luo Mingxin, so she stood upright and greeted him with a smile. “What wind blows Celebrity Luo to come see me today?”
Luo Mingxin’s lips twitched. He saw Su Zheng, who quickly stood upright beside the door, pretending like there was nothing out of the ordinary. She picked on the tool bag in her hands and tried her best to appear collected and calm.
“I heard you’re still in Shanghai. I have to attend a function tomorrow, so the director gave me a day-off for the day. I came to see how you’re doing.”
“It was Boss Mo who told you that I’ve moved to this place?” Ye Shuang replied with a smile. “Oh, right, let me make the introductions… This is my friend, Su Zheng. Xiao Su, I don’t think you need me to introduce this man before us, right? Luo Mingxin, we got to know each other through a case before this.”
“I know! Of course I know! I’m Celebrity Luo’s loyal fan!” Su Zheng’s eyes instantly lit up with stars. “Celebrity Luo, can you give me your signature? It’s a shame that our boss was not willing to take your case. Two years ago, wasn’t there a princess from a small country who planned to hire a mercenary group to kidnap you to become her husband? That case should have been ours, but it was rejected. Thankfully, another team accepted it, and your reputation and honor were thus preserved…”
Sweat appeared on Luo Mingxin’s brow. [I really should have left earlier!!
Ye Shuang also could not help but be shocked. To have run into a fan that would not hesitate to expose his privacy like that, just what kind of karma must Luo Mingxin have collected in his previous life?
“There was an incident like that?” Ye Shuang looked at Luo Mingxin with a joking look in her eyes. Luo Mingxin finally lost his patience and glared at the two girls. He said through gritted teeth, “The influence of the incident was rather negative, and it was taken care of before it had the chance to explode. Both Boss Mo and the official party did not want to make a big deal out of it, so they suppressed the news.”
After he was done, he glanced at Su Zheng. “Is this also an agent?”
“She’s a team member from another agent’s team.” Ye Shuang took out the key with a smile. She invited Luo Mingxin into the room and ordered Su Zheng to serve three glasses of water. After the three took their seat at the sofa, Ye Shuang continued. “I hear that Brother Luo is only here in Shanghai because of work, right? Because I just got promoted to a mid-tier agent and my team is still lacking, I have to find help from other places… Looks like Brother Luo is really close to us. I didn’t know you were already our client way before we met.”
“I didn’t know it myself.” Luo Mingxin sighed. A false step could cause a lifelong regret. At the time, his popularity had been fading, but it was not yet until at the stage several years later where he did not have any representative movies on the market at all. Therefore, when the princess surfaced as his loyal fan, Boss Mo gave it extreme attention and focus.
In the end, it was the company who resolved the issue, but in that period of time, Luo Mingxin had spent his life with the bodyguards hired by Boss Mo. Other than the few attempts at kidnapping, he heard that there was a professional that was hired to negotiate with other party to resolve the issue. After the storm receded, and the bodyguards slowly disappeared without a trace, Luo Mingxin had been too tired to find out what had really happened. In fact, he did not even know how the thing got resolved. He did hear rumors that the princess, who was supposed to be the third in line to the throne, got kicked out of the royal family and had her royal title removed for some reason…
Su Zheng practically almost materialized a tail from behind her. She found a pen and paired it with the picture that she had prepared beforehand to present them to Luo Mingxin. “Brother Luo, do you mind signing this?”
Luo Mingxin raised his brow to look at her. He did not say anything as he reached out to grab the pen and finished the signature. Ye Shuang had to do a second take when she saw the picture. It was a picture of Luo Mingxin and Su Zheng. It was probably Ol’ K who photoshopped this for her. One wondered how many of such pictures Su Zheng carried on her.
Su Zheng put the picture in her collection happily. Before sliding the picture inside her notebook, she took out her phone to snap a picture of it. Then she uploaded it on Weibo to gloat to her friends. After Su Zheng bounced away to the bedroom to put away the notebook, Ye Shuang turned around to ask with a smile, “Celebrity Luo, is there nothing else? Su Zheng is from the same background as I am. If you have something to say, you can say it before her; there’s no need to be cautious of her presence.”
“I really have no idea how you manage to find so many weird people to surround you.” Luo Mingxin sighed before gracefully crossing his long legs. His arms fell casually on the armrest. “I really did come over to visit a friend, but I do have something I want to ask. The answer is not that important, but mainly, it might lead to a lot more complicated problems, so I wish to know whether you have heard anything about it.”
Ye Shuang raised her brows, signaling for the man to continue. Luo Mingxin did not hesitate anymore and asked the question directly. “I heard from a friend that you have been playing mahjong with Sister Yu, is that true?”
“It’s part of my work, there’s a small issue that I need her help with,” Ye Shuang admitted openly even though it was not really a secret. Probably because Ye Shuang admitted it too freely, Luo Mingxin was stunned.
By then, Su Zheng just so happened to come out from her bedroom. When she heard this, she could not resist sharing the news with Luo Mingxin. “Celebrity Luo, are you also interested in Sister Yu? That woman is so impressive. Sister Shuang and I have been to her place before, and according to Sister Shuang’s analysis…”
Ye Shuang picked up her water slowly and raised it to her lips while Luo Mingxin was subconsciously attracted to the hot gossip. It was fine when they first got to know each other, but after spending some time with Su Zheng, Ye Shuang realized that the girl was quite the chatterbox.
Before this, Su Zheng’s team had consisted only of men, and most of them did not have the same interest as she did. The cases that her team came across had information and targets that could not be leaked to the public. Su Zheng could not have shared that information with her family and friends. Therefore, after so long, the result was that Su Zheng almost died from the information that was clogged up in her heart.
What was so exciting about the topics that she shared with her girlfriends?
Branded good? She came across so many agents in her work, and she already knew the stuff for what they were. They were just normal items with prices hiked on the back of their name. News and politics? Su Zheng had eaten dinner with several majors before. Even though she attended them with the agent, the private information that she had heard during these meetings was far more explosive than the top ten news on the internet. Crime? She had caught so many criminals already. Racing? F1, DTM… you name it, and she could be able to list off all the topics from the beginning of time to the end of the world.
Even though Luo Mingxin was not part of their team or a colleague, there was no need to hide secrets within the entertainment circle from the man. As long as Su Zheng did not expose too much information, the inside secret of a certain level could be shared and enjoyed together.
Therefore, Luo Mingxin heard a series of explosive gossips.
Which director had a personal secret contract with which actor, which experienced actress was coming for which new actress, which singer stole the song-writing rights and got famous, which sponsor was going to pull from which movie…
When he heard all that news, he was shocked. Even though news travelled fast in the entertainment business, this was the first time Luo Mingxin experienced such a rush of knowing something ahead of others.
“I didn’t know this before, so you mid-tier agents have people that are… so all-knowing‽” Luo Mingxin gasped in shock and lamentation. After giving it some thought, he finally settled upon a description that he felt was appropriate. When Su Zheng stopped to take a sip of the water and rest, Luo Mingxin turned to Ye Shuang and grumbled, “Before this, I don’t recall hearing you share so many things with me. And I thought we’re good friends.”
“Xiao Su’s news came from Ol’ K. She likes this kind of entertainment gossip.” Ye Shuang rolled her eyes. “My hacker is focused on high-confidential secrets. If you’re interested in NASA or the pentagon’s secrets, I will share them with you next time.”
“He he, Celebrity Luo is such a good friend with Sister Shuang. I’m sure you won’t tell these things to another person, right?” Su Zheng asked with a giggle.
“Fine, I’m not going to argue with you…” Luo Mingxin sighed. “Weren’t we talking about Sister Yu? The circle is only so big, and Sister Yu knows so many people. Everyone knows she is the mistress of Xiang Jiang’s boss. If you’re seen together with her, people are going to talk. Because you’re not from this circle, the news has not spread far yet. However, if this reaches the ears of someone you know, like Boss Mo, I’m afraid Boss Mo will have something to say about it.”
“You mean Boss Mo might suspect I’m working with Miao Yi?” Ye Shuang asked. Luo Mingxin nodded; that was what he meant.
“This business of ours is open to everyone. You can’t possibly expect me to stay away from all the people that you don’t like simply because we’ve worked in the past before, right?” Ye Shuang argued firmly.
Luo Mingxin almost choked, and his expression turned severe. “You really plan to work together with Miao Yi? You know about the conflict between Tian Mo and Miao Yi, right? Even if there is a need to work together, shouldn’t you at least wait until your work with Tian Mo is over?”
Initially, he had thought that there was some kind of misunderstanding and came over to remind the girl to be careful, but as it turned out, this was not a kind of misunderstanding. If Ye Shuang insisted on playing with fire, then Luo Mingxin also did not know what to say to convince her otherwise.
Ye Shuang shook her hand and pulled out her fingers to count. “First, my cooperation with Tian Mo actually ended a long time ago; I was just there to help introduce the scriptwriters. I did not sell myself to become an official worker for Tian Mo Media.
“Second, it’s the same thing I said earlier. The personal problem between Client A and Client B has nothing to do with me. For example, if you come to me to buy a cleaver to go for a fight with someone else, and then your enemy comes to buy knives from me, you can’t expect me to not take him on as a customer simply because you were once my customer.
“Third, instead of saying I’m cooperating with Miao Yi, I’m actually finding someone to introduce me to the boss at Xiang Jiang. The transaction that will happen has nothing to do with Tian Mo, so I don’t think there’s anything that I need to be careful of.”
“Boss Mo might not think that way.” Luo Mingxin looked at Ye Shuang seriously for half a minute before continuing. “Certain things might sound clear cut on the surface, but there are rules inside everyone’s heart. Just from a selfish perspective, you have to at least consider if you’ll offend Tian Mo from this collaboration.”
Especially since Brother Shuang had just gotten an extra part at the movie and then right after that, Sister Shuang went ahead to make friends with Tian Mo’s mortal enemy. It just did not look right, and no one could guarantee that Ye Shuang would come out looking innocent. This could indeed be a problem.
Su Zheng looked left and right. Luo Mingxin looked stern, and Ye Shuang lowered her eyes in thought. Su Zheng thought about it herself, and she raised her hand with a question. “Couldn’t we just explain this in person to Tian Mo’s boss?”
If only it was that simple. Ye Shuang looked at Su Zheng helplessly before turning to look at Luo Mingxin. “I think it’ll be best if we have Brother Han come and help settle this.”
Since Boss Mo already knew Han Chu due to the incident with Luo Mingxin, it would be best if Han Chu was able to come and explain this thing clearly and in detail. Then again, even without that history, just from personal ability alone, Ye Shuang had complete faith that Han Chu’s high IQ would be able to handle this small problem easily.
After they discussed the news that Luo Mingxin had brought with him, they chatted for a little while longer. Since Luo Mingxin had a function to attend the next day, he could not stay for too long. He had to rush to the stylist for a fitting and to prepare a schedule for tomorrow.
Ye Shuang continued to learn lockpicking and other skills from Su Zheng. That night, after she went back to her own room, she called Han Chu. She told him everything and would wait for the man to find a time to fly to Shanghai. During this time, the relationship between Ye Shuang and Su Zheng continued to grow. Other than phone numbers, they even exchanged Weibo and home addresses. Su Zheng almost became a part time member of Ye Shuang’s team. Before Han Chu arrived in Shanghai, Ye Shuang found ways to extend her current gender state and met for a few more times with Sister Yu. She tried to lead the conversation during all these meeting and finally managed to get the woman to talk about the boss from Xiang Jiang.
“Miao Yi actually is a branch in Shanghai. After all, the water in Beijing is too deep, and it’s easier for someone from Xiang Jiang to find a footing here compared to there.”
Sister Yu touched the mahjong tile and said absent-mindedly, “Therefore, when the people from Xiang Jiang company came, they decided to start their business here. Well, this is the entertainment business. After the movies are shot, the influence will not be limited to a particular city or state, so it doesn’t really matter where the company is based.”
The two joked and talked on the mahjong table. Ye Shuang added to the small talk and said in a casual tone, “I hear the boss from Xiang Jiang doesn’t come here often.”
“Once every two or three months. He’ll stay for ten days to half a month each time.” Sister Yu raised her eyes, and her seductiveness radiated. There was an easy sexiness about her movement. “Xiao Ye, are you interested in the world at Xiang Jiang?”
“Yes, I am a little bit interested.” There was no need to hide that, so Ye Shuang admitted it easily. “Most of my contacts are from the mainland, and I don’t have many connections with people from Xiang Jiang. Furthermore, your world has deep ties with the business world, so naturally, I am a little bit curious.”
“Finding one’s way in the entertainment world is no easier than in the business world. The resources provided by each company are limited—promotions, TV appearances, contracts, concerts, fan meetings, castings, and so on. Once you snap up an opportunity, it means that the opportunity is lost for others, so the competition is very strong.”
Sister Yu chuckled, and her eyes scanned the other players at the table. She did not go about this the roundabout way and said directly, “I’ll be frank, if you don’t have any background or thoughts, no matter how talented or how impressive you are, you’re never going to be popular. It’s the same for those so-called goddesses and girls next door.”
The entertainment business was just another working field. Having ability was not enough—you had to know how to socialize and how to lead. For example, as much as Luo Mingxin’s acting was approved, he was not irreplaceable. Several thousand movies were shot every year, but the ones that had enough budget were only a third. The rest or indie flicks had no opportunity to go mainstream, and most of them would not even leave a stain on the market. To make matters worse, the movies that got on the silver screen would only be one tenth of the third.
Most actors were fighting for the characters within these few films. For example, those with acting skill and fame could go up to one thousand, but the film only needed one hundred cast, so that was competition. Someone of Luo Mingxin’s status could be the main male character, but with his fame and acting skill, he had other choices. Other people wanted the characters that he wanted as well—that was competition.
If Luo Mingxin did not have other talents or chips, how was he supposed to stand out from the others?
When the acting skill and fame were almost the same, to find more opportunities for himself, he needed to rely on his background and connections. Unique and irreplaceable? That was a rumor for the outsiders.
You said you are pure and innocent and would not do anything dirty? If you are really unwilling to bend over to do some favors and kiss some ass, where are you going to get the connections? Do you really think that the entire world is there to mother you, that everyone is going to appreciate people with good morals?
Sister Yu pushed out a tile and said with a laugh, “In any case, I’ve seen through it. Such is the life of the entertainment business. Those in the business might not even enjoy life as much as me, since I’ve left the business… Xiao Yu, you don’t need to show that much interest. With your identity, even if you want the hottest celebrity to drink with you, it’s entirely possible.”
What identity? The identity that she had been using to lie and cheat‽
Ye Shuang smiled and did not answer. Sister Yu thought about it and added, “But if you’re really interested. Next Monday, one of the bosses’ daughters is having a birthday party. I’ll see if I can get a few celebrities from Xiang Jiang to show up. But I have to tell you first, if your family comes over to blame me for teaching you bad things, I’m going to push it back on you”
Sister Yu really did believe that Ye Shuang was an unknown rich socialite. Could any normal person get on Zuo Yuanhang’s cruise party‽
Then again, from a different perspective, the current Ye Shuang was truly not a normal person.