The door of the ward was pushed open forcefully, interrupting the conversation between Shen Dehan and Shen Ji.
Shen Ji’s expression darkened slightly, and he turned around dissatisfied. He had received a call from Li Mingxuan not long ago and thought that the person coming would be Shen Cheng. But his brow furrowed when he saw the visitor at the door.
At the door of the ward, Chu Qianqian stood panting and holding the door handle, and it was obvious how anxious she was. At this moment her gaze was softly falling on Shen Dehan’s body, her expression full of worry, “Mr. Shen.”
The originally gloomy face of Shen Dehan became lighter and vaguely filled with joy, “Qianqian.”
After Shen Dehan called her “Qianqian”, Chu Qianqian’s eyes turned slightly red and she nodded, holding back her tears. She seemed to want to be by Shen Dehan’s side, but she was afraid of Shen Ji and did not dare to get too close. Shen Dehan’s eyes naturally turned to Shen Ji as he discontentedly patted the hospital bed, straining to speak, “Qianqian, come here, Ah Ji, you go out first.”
A trace of self-deprecation flashed in Shen Ji’s eyes. He said nothing, walking straight towards the door of the ward. Shen Ji’s dryness caused Shen Dehan to stare a little, then he quickly thought of something and added, “Shen Group matter will be done according to what you said, I will inform the directors as soon as possible.”
Shen Ji paused slightly in his steps and nodded faintly.
As the door to the ward slowly closed behind him, a self-deprecating smile overflowed from Shen Ji’s eyes. He turned to walk towards the elevator when out of the corner of his eye he saw Shen Cheng standing against the wall.
Shen Cheng’s expression was very odd, worried, indignant, guilty, mixed with the joy of revenge, all kinds of emotions twisted together. Shen Ji’s heart sank as he recalled the sudden arrival of Chu Qianqian and something vaguely clicked in his mind. His expression turned grim.
“It was you who brought her here?” Suppressing his anger, Shen Ji questioned in a low voice. Both brothers knew who this “her” was referring to.
Shen Cheng, who was originally leaning against the wall, struggled to stand straight at Shen Ji’s questioning, gritted his teeth and nodded.
Shen Ji did not expect Shen Cheng to admit so simply, and sadness welled up in his eyes, “Why?”
Why? Shen Cheng held the answer in his heart. He wanted to say it was because Shen Ji looked down on him, because Shen Ji had claimed to be the best to him, only to turn his back and show disdain for him in front of his father. He was just angry, just wanted to get back at Shen Ji by making him unhappy too, that’s why he had the driver take Chu Qianqian to the hospital on an impulse. But after seeing the emotions in Shen Ji’s eyes, Shen Cheng suddenly could not say these words. Avoiding Shen Ji’s eyes, Shen Cheng acted as if he didn’t care, “I thought that Father should be happier to see Miss Chu in this state, so I brought her here.”
This reason was even more unacceptable to Shen Ji. He would rather Shen Cheng had deliberately let Chu Qianqian come to stimulate him because they had an argument. Shen Ji’s eyes gradually turned cold and he looked at Shen Cheng in silence for a while before turning and leaving in disappointment.
Shen Cheng vaguely felt that he seemed to have made a mistake, but when he looked at Shen Ji’s alienated back, the call for “Big Brother” stuck in his throat, and he could not let it out.
Shen Ji returned to the company quietly. In one morning, Shen Group shares had fallen to 80 yuan per share, and Shen Group market value had evaporated by a full third. Shen Ji thought that things had already gone bad and there couldn’t possibly be any worse news, but unexpectedly he saw his assistant’s anxious look as soon as he returned to the office.
The assistant breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Shen Ji coming back, and said quickly, “Chang Lei just told me that there may be some problems with the company’s accounts.”
“There is a problem with the accounts?” Shen Ji was stunned.
The assistant nodded, “Chang Lei didn’t talk about the specifics, he just said that the finance department was investigating.”
Shen Ji had a bad feeling in his heart, “I know, you go to Chang Lei and tell me immediately if there are any problems.”
Chang Lei was one of Shen Group senior financial managers. Because he had followed Shen Ji all the way from the subsidiary to the head office, the company’s employees privately regarded Chang Lei as Shen Ji’s man. The two had quite a lot of contact on a regular basis, that was why Chang Lei had informed Shen Ji privately.
Shen Ji was troubled by the news of the accounts all afternoon. Until the end of the day the finance department did not find any clues. In anxiety, Shen Ji could only go to the hospital to wait for the news. Because of Chu Qianqian’s presence, he could not intervene in Shen Dehan’s affairs, and Shen Dehan did not want him to be around and sent him home early to rest. That night, the people in the finance department worked overtime to check all the accounts in the last six months, but the final result made everyone speechless.
Standing behind his colleagues, Chang Lei looked at the results and lowered his head as his eyes wandered. He took out his mobile phone hesitantly and laughed bitterly in his heart. There was no turning back now. Finding Shen Ji’s number in his phone book, Chang Lei gently pressed it.
“Ah Cheng? Impossible.”
When Shen Ji, who was asleep, was awakened by the phone call and heard Chang Lei’s tired voice saying that the result of the investigation showed that the most suspicious person was Shen Cheng, he lost all his sleepiness and his whole body was abnormally awake.
Shen Ji once again categorically denied, “There is absolutely no way that Ah Cheng did it.”
Chang Lei did not refute Shen Ji’s words, but only recounted the situation roughly. Although Shen Ji believed that Shen Cheng would never do this, the evidence was in front of him and he hung up the phone with a frown on his face, distraught. Shen Ji, who could no longer fall asleep, glanced at the time, 5am, and thoughtfully pressed Shen Cheng’s number. The phone rang over and over again, but no one answered. Shen Ji patiently redialled again and again; finally the phone was picked up and someone said in a daze, “Hello?”
It was not Shen Cheng’s voice. Shen Ji subconsciously said in a cold voice, “Who is this? Give the phone to Shen Cheng.”
The person who answered the phone replied impatiently, “Cheng Shao has had too much to drink and is sleeping. Talk about it tomorrow.”
The phone was hung up abruptly. Listening to the beeping sound coming from the receiver, Shen Ji clenched the phone in his hand, feeling his breath stuck in his lungs. He dialled again, but this time the other party simply turned off the phone. Shen Ji’s face was dark as he sat alone on the sofa in silence until dawn.
The first thing Shen Ji did when he arrived at the office early this morning was to instruct Lu Gesen to inform him as soon as Shen Cheng came to the office. Lu Gesen already knew about last night’s financial investigation and nodded silently.
After parting with Shen Ji, Lu Gesen immediately called Wang Changlin while there was no one in the office.
“Gesen?” Wang Changlin had already guessed that Lu Gesen was calling about Shen Cheng, “What? Are you worried about Shen Cheng?”
Lu Gesen said, “Shen Cheng doesn’t have the brains to embezzle Shen Group funds, so someone behind the scenes must have set him up to take the blame. I’m worried that if Shen Cheng is implicated, it will ruin our plan.”
Wang Changlin had also been thinking about this after receiving the news last night. He also did not believe that Shen Cheng had the brains to embezzle Shen Group funds, and what was more crucial was that Lu Gesen had been following Shen Cheng’s side all the time and there was no way Shen Cheng could have hidden this matter from him. So these things must have been designed by someone behind the scenes, but what was the use of someone behind the scenes implicating Shen Cheng? Could it be that someone had secretly misappropriated Shen Group funds and used Shen Cheng to take the blame? Wang Changlin didn’t believe it would be that simple, but at the moment he couldn’t see through it, so he had to reassure Lu Gesen, “Whether someone is scheming or not, you just have to cooperate with the company’s investigation. I have a feeling that this matter is not so simple.”
Lu Gesen’s heart stirred, “Foster Father, should this matter be brought to Shen Ji’s attention?”
Lu Gesen’s words made Wang Changlin suddenly think of something. He had always suspected that Chu Qianqian’s appearance was not an accident, and if what Gao Qiulin said was true and there was another person behind him, then all these things could be faintly linked to the accounting issues this time. It seemed that apart from him, there was another person lurking in the shadows, full of malice towards the Shen family. Wang Changlin’s eyes grew brighter and brighter, vaguely tinged with madness. Recalling Gao Qiulin’s praise of Shen Cheng during these days, Wang Changlin suddenly smiled in understanding. If he hadn’t guessed wrongly, the other party’s aim was not Shen Cheng but Shen Ji behind Shen Cheng.
Wang Changlin’s silence made Lu Gesen puzzled, “Foster Father?”
He heard Wang Changlin laugh softly, “Gesen, you don’t need to worry about this matter, just watch.”
Lu Gesen had a guess, “The other side has a hidden agenda?”
Wang Changlin said, “Yes, maybe we can even help each other.”
Hanging up the phone, Wang Changlin thought for a moment and dialled Shen Rong’s number.
Wang Changlin’s tone was very kind, “Ah Rong, Shen Cheng hasn’t been coming to the office, is he with you?”
“Second Brother had too much to drink last night, what happened?”
Satisfaction flashed in Wang Changlin’s eyes, “There was a little accident at the company, find a way to delay him.”
“I see.” Shen Rong agreed obediently.
Wang Changlin’s expression twisted as he chuckled.
Shen Cheng did not appear at the company for the entire day. Rumours about Shen Cheng privately embezzling Shen Group funds had spread throughout the company. Although Shen Ji had sternly banned the spread of the rumours, it did not help at all.
Several of the company’s directors called, demanding that Shen Ji give them an explanation. Whether or not Shen Cheng was guilty, it was certain that something was wrong with the accounts, and they needed the company to investigate it to the end. There was no need for them to say that to Shen Ji. He was definitely going to investigate to the end. He simply did not believe that Shen Cheng would do such a thing, but the most crucial issue now was to find Shen Cheng.
After contacting all the people that Shen Cheng might be hanging around with, Shen Ji was able to find out where Shen Cheng was. Not caring about the company’s affairs, Shen Ji drove straight to the club where Shen Cheng might be.
Inside a huge, dimly lit private room, a dozen men and women were gathered together, some yelling over the deafening sound of the stereo, some laughing, some simply hugging each other.
Shen Cheng leaned back drunkenly on the sofa as a pretty young man snuggled into his arms, talking coquettishly. Someone next to them was heckling, and Shen Cheng laughed, reaching out to grope inside of the young man’s collar.
“Bang! ”With a loud noise, the door of the private room was slammed open from the outside, and Shen Ji stood at the door with a frosty face.
Everyone in the private room froze in their tracks, some of them recognising Shen Ji and exchanging a look. Trying not to be nosy, they quietly exited the room. Shen Rong lowered his head and slipped out of the room while Shen Ji’s attention was drawn to Shen Cheng; he dared not let Shen Ji see that he was here, too.
In a moment, only Shen Ji and Shen Cheng were left in the room. Shen Cheng seemed to have not reacted yet while Shen Ji coldly walked up to him, picked up a bottle of freshly opened wine and poured it directly on his head.
Shen Cheng jerked, “Big Brother?”
Shen Ji’s face was grim, “Why don’t you go to the company?”
Shen Cheng, perhaps emboldened by the wine, laughed mockingly, “What’s the point of going to the company? Didn’t you already tell Father that you want to be the general manager? Am I not consciously making room for you?”
The anger in Shen Ji’s heart was ignited by Shen Cheng’s words, and he immediately sneered, “Do you feel resentful and dissatisfied? Come and fight with me, what are you doing cowering here drunk?”
“Fight?” Shen Cheng said vaguely, “Father is looking out for you, Aunt is looking out for you, everyone is looking out for you, what can I do to compete with you?”
Shen Ji was cold, “So you’re privately embezzling the company’s funds? What are you going to do? Start a new business on your own?”
Shen Cheng hadn’t been completely drunk all this time, but was just arguing with Shen Ji through his drunkenness, and Shen Ji’s words made him come to his senses completely.
“Big Brother, what did you say?”
Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng’s expression and said word for word, “You dare to say that you didn’t privately embezzle the company’s money?”
Shen Cheng instantly jumped up, “Why would I embezzle the company’s money? Isn’t Shen Group owned by the Shen family? Why would I embezzle my own family’s money?”
Shen Cheng’s expression did not look like he was lying, and Shen Ji’s heart settled down. Although he was sure that Shen Cheng would not do such a thing, he was also worried that Shen Cheng might have been instigated by others. Now that he heard Shen Cheng deny it, Shen Ji coldly snorted, pulled Shen Cheng and kicked open the bathroom door. For some reason, each private room in this club had a bathroom, only the size was different.
The bathroom in the private room where Shen Cheng was sitting was not small, and Shen Ji did not hesitate to push Shen Cheng under the shower, turning on the cold water fiercely.
“Big Brother, what are you doing?” Shen Cheng shivered from the cold.
Shen Ji gave him a disgusted look, “Wash up and come back to the hospital with me.”
When Shen Ji found Shen Cheng, Shen Xi had just finished reading Lao K’s text message and planned to delete it. Chang Lei had successfully caused the problem of Shen Group accounts. Shen Cheng was only the first step, and soon it would be Shen Ji’s turn. Shen Xi smiled coldly. Next he wanted to see how his father would choose between Shen Ji and Shen Cheng.
Satisfied, Shen Xi emptied his phone and looked at Fang Luowei who was accompanying him, “Bored? Why don’t you go find Chen Zhiwei and ask him to introduce you to some people?”
Tonight was the premiere of “Troubled Times”, and although Shen Xi was impatient, he had to come and show up. There was still some time before the start of the movie and he was too lazy to go outside, so Fang Luowei took the initiative to stay in the lounge with him.
Since the drugging incident last time, although Fang Luowei could not avoid the ripples in his heart when he saw Shen Xi, he knew that it was a fact that Shen Xi and Li Mingxuan were together. He consciously kept a distance from Shen Xi so as not to be too intimate, so that Li Mingxuan would not misunderstand. Shen Xi never thought that Fang Luowei would have any thoughts about him and he had no idea that Fang Luowei was worried about Li Mingxuan’s misunderstanding. However, for the sake of Fang Luowei’s reputation, he intentionally or unintentionally distanced himself from Fang Luowei in order to avoid reporters to say that Fang Luowei had risen to the top relying on the unspoken rules.
This was one of the few times they had been alone together recently.
Fang Luowei shook his head at Shen Xi’s words, “It’s good here.”
Looking at Shen Xi’s unchanged expression, Fang Luowei felt that his heart slowly relaxed. Although he did not know much about the stock market, the news of Shen Group share price plummeting was all over the internet. In the eyes of the public, everything Shen Xi had depended on the Shen family, and once the family collapsed, Shen Xi would have nothing. Although Fang Luowei knew that Shen Xi’s relationship with the Shen family was not good, he could not help but worry that Shen Xi would suffer because of the Shen family.
Fang Luowei’s concern was seen by Shen Xi, who immediately reacted, “Luowei is worried about me?”
Fang Luowei nodded frankly, “I saw some news on the internet.”
“About Shen Group?”
Fang Luowei nodded and deliberated, “I don’t know much about this, is Shen Group in some kind of trouble?”
Shen Xi nodded indifferently, “It seems like that, I haven’t paid much attention to it.”
Fang Luowei glanced at Shen Xi, obviously eager to say something.
Shen Xi chuckled, “Don’t worry, Shen Group is Shen Group, I am me, it doesn’t matter.”
Fang Luowei intuitively felt that Shen Xi meant something by this statement and was about to speak up when Chen Zhiwei’s purposely amplified laughter suddenly came from the entrance of the lounge.
“Haha, I am truly honoured by the personal presence of Boss Lin.”
Lin Yao looked at Chen Zhiwei suspiciously; he felt that it was a bit odd for him to suddenly yell so loudly.
Li Mingxuan looked at Chen Zhiwei with a smirk, then stepped forward and pushed the door open.
Chen Zhiwei acted as if nothing had happened, but in his heart he was muttering: Fang Luowei just kicked Zhao Wenping out, saying that he wanted to spend some time alone with Shen Xi; who knows what he wanted to do. He shouldn’t be caught by the rightful master by coincidence; Chen Zhiwei could be considered to have warned him in advance.
As the door to the lounge was pushed open, Lin Yao saw the two people inside and suddenly smiled meaningfully.
Inside the lounge, Fang Luowei and Shen Xi were sitting together, looking very close. As Lin Yao thought of the previous rumours, he felt more and more that the closeness between Fang Luowei and Shen Xi was very unnatural, as if they were hiding something.
As Lin Yao thought about it, he saw Li Mingxuan walk up and intimately reach out to pull Shen Xi to his feet, saying warmly, “Have you eaten tonight?”
Shen Xi nodded and gestured to Fang Luowei, “I ate with Luowei.”
Li Mingxuan smiled and nodded at Fang Luowei in greeting, and smoothly wrapped his arms around Shen Xi.
Li Mingxuan’s action caused Lin Yao’s expression to turn weird. Li Mingxuan and Shen Xi? No wonder Li Mingxuan was so concerned about Shen Xi’s affairs. But what was the matter with Fang Luowei? Lin Yao had a rare moment of curiosity. Looking at Fang Luowei’s expression, he seemed very calm and showed no signs of guilt.
Chen Zhiwei felt bitterly that he seemed to be unnecessary.
When the premiere began, Shen Xi simply showed his face before pulling Li Mingxuan to sit in one of the most isolated corners in the back row.
As the lights dimmed, Li Mingxuan stretched out his hand to hold Shen Xi, who unconsciously showed a smile in his eyes and squeezed his hand vigorously.