It was easy to voice opinions about an issue, but difficult to take any action on it.
It was known that Ning Xi had frequently encouraged the masses to pay attention to school violence. However, few knew about what she did for the victims. Ning Xi had also participated in a few programmes about the matter, but not once did she mention the good things that she had done.
If it wasn’t for the victim’s parents standing up for Ning Xi after seeing the malicious comments, no one would ever know how much she did behind the scenes.
Even the people who disliked Ning Xi to the core were left speechless by the evidence provided by these parents. This was because they still knew the difference between right and wrong.
Passerby anti: After seeing all these, I only want to apologise to Ning Xi. You have done what many couldn’t. As someone who only relied on the Internet to be righteous, I am ashamed of myself.
Many people who had previously slandered Ning Xi started stepping out to apologise to her. There were some who deleted their posts, and others who pinned their apologies at the top of their Weibo pages. There were even some who went to Ning Xi’s Weibo to post their apologies there.
Naturally, there were some who suspected that Ning Xi might have arranged for the apologies to happen. In their view, everything that Ning Xi did was wrong. Even if she did something right, it was probably for show.
Sun Xiumei had only found out about the discussions online a day later. If she wasn’t scrolling through her friends’ posts out of boredom, she wouldn’t have known that someone had actually posted Ning Xi’s photo online, and even slandered her.
She was still feeling guilty over what had happened that year, and kept out of touch with her high school classmates for many years. However, when she saw the screenshots of the posts about Ning Xi, she couldn’t tolerate it further, and exited her high school online group. She was even sleepless that night thinking about the incident.
It was just past 6 AM the next morning, and the sun had just started to rise. Sun Xiumei walked over to the desk and turned on her computer.
That year, she was worried about being ostracized by her classmates, so the timid her kept quiet, and the guilt weighed heavily on her over the past eight years. This time, she was not going to continue to be the weakling.
She opened a new file, and poured out the words that she had hidden in her heart over the last eight years.
It was close to eight in the morning. It was peak hour for people travelling to school and to work. Many were rushing for public transport and could only heave a sigh of relief when they arrived on time. In the absence of teachers or superiors, some would sneak in checks on Weibo or forums, so that they could find new gossip fodder to read.
Hence, when they discovered a long post by a Weibo user “Beautiful Little House”, they were shocked beyond belief.
“Beautiful Little House”’s prose was fluid and immersive, but that wasn’t the reason why others were drawn to the post. It was because she was Ning Xi’s high school classmate, and told a very different version of the story.
In her post, Ning Xi was an accomplished student who was helpful to her classmates. The user was one of the beneficiaries of her aid. In their first year, the classmates shared a relatively good relationship with Ning Xi. However, in their second year, a new student transferred in. This female student was pretty, came from a prestigious family, and hence many of the male students started to have crushes on her.
This transfer student liked the school idol, but since the school prohibited relationships, hence they had an ambiguous relationship, and did not get attached officially. It was during this time that Ning Xi and the school idol participated in a biology competition organised by the city. Ning Xi won the competition, but the male student didn’t even get into the top ten. Soon after, negative rumours about Ning Xi started spreading, and there were even rumours that Ning Xi had a crush on the school idol.
The girls in the class who were jealous of Ning Xi started to mock her, as if ridiculing her would make them feel superior. Finally, on a particular day, one of the prettier students and her friends locked Ning Xi in a storage room, and even hid her bag and her phone.
Beautiful Little House: I was a weak observer. As the saying goes, if you notice that others are doing bad things but you don't stop them, or even pretend not to see them, then you are an accomplice. This continued until Ning Xi withdrew from school. I found out what happened to her after this, so I have been living in guilt all these years.
Do you know how Ning Xi’s parents died? Ning Xi had been locked in the storage room, so her family didn’t see her return home. Her dad went out to look for her, and got into a car accident. I heard that after her father was sent to the hospital, he refused to take his last breath, and tried his best to hold on so that he could see Ning Xi one last time. However … she never made it in time. Soon after, Ning Xi’s mother committed suicide. It was said that she couldn’t accept her husband’s sudden death, so she became severely depressed.
This is an apology that came too late, but to Ning Xi, I’m sorry. If I had been braver and stood up for you, these might not have happened. I’m truly sorry.
Also, this is to those ex-classmates who are still trying to sully Ning Xi’s name. We are only humans because we have our baselines when doing things. If you don’t even have a baseline, how different are you from an animal?
The post from “Beautiful Little House” shocked the Internet world. Even the cyber troopers who were paid to demean Ning Xi also stopped their online maneuvers. After all, this was no longer an issue of morals, but lives were at stake.
Within the span of hours, the post from "Beautiful Little House" was reposted more than hundreds of thousands of times. There were many furious people who declared that they wanted to beat up the high school students who had harmed others but remained unrepentant.
They couldn’t imagine how Ning Xi, who was still in her teens, had survived those hard times alone. Due to a prank by the students, her father lost his life in a car accident and her mother committed suicide from depression. After so many years, she had finally walked out of the trauma, but these classmates still intentionally posted her high school photos in order to defame her.
Is there still a shred of humanity in these people?
The atmosphere on the set of Rolling Good Fortunes was slightly different. Even the bad-tempered Director Lin was especially gentle with Ning Xi today. Not only did he slow down the tempo of production, he even occasionally asked Ning Xi whether she needed a break, acting like a changed man.
If it were in the past, others would find his behaviour weird. However, no one felt today that Director Lin was biased towards Ning Xi. This is because apart from Director Lin, all of them also wanted to treat Ning Xi better.
Having spent some time together on set, many of the crew had a good impression of Ning Xi. Therefore, when they came to know about Ning Xi’s past, their hearts went out to her.
They all knew that Ning Xi was a victim of school violence, but they weren’t aware that she had quietly performed so many good deeds for other victims. They knew that her parents passed away earlier, but they didn’t know that her parents’ death was caused by her classmates’ prank.
Some of the soft-hearted crew members teared up when they heard the truth. Ning Xi’s high school classmates were truly incorrigible.
“Ning Xi, would you like some water?” The male lead Gao Li brought a bottle of water over. Ning Xi noticed that this was her regular drink, so she took the drink and thanked him.
“You’re welcome.” Gao Li observed that Ning Xi was calm, as if she didn’t know about the shocking revelation this morning. He let out a sigh involuntarily. Perhaps it was good that she didn’t know about it. After all, it was painful to return to those dark memories.
“Is there anything else, Brother Gao?” Ning Xi took a sip of the water, but when she saw that Gao Li was standing beside her, she looked at him in confusion.
“It’s nothing.” Gao Li lowered his head unnaturally. “I can’t seem to pinpoint the emotions for the next scene, so I wanted to rehearse the lines with you.”
“Sure.” Ning Xi agreed with a smile. Just as she put down the bottle of water, she saw the site manager rushing towards Lin Shujie.
“Director, there are many reporters outside!”
Ning Xi frowned, but remained silent.
From a distance, Lin Shujie spoke to the site manager. Shortly after, he walked over to Ning Xi and said to her, “Ning Xi, we’ll stop for today. You can go back and rest now.”
“What happened?” Ning Xi turned her head towards Xiao Yang.
Xiao Yang clutched her phone and lowered her head. She did not dare to look at Ning Xi in the eye, and appeared pitiful and somewhat guilty.
Ning Xi was sure something had happened, so she reached her hand out and said, “Give me the phone.”
Xiao Yang hesitated for a moment as she looked at the phone in her hands, then slowly handed it over to Ning Xi.
The moment Ning Xi unlocked her phone, a hand reached out from behind her and held onto her right hand.
“Shi Gui?” Ning Xi was surprised by his appearance. He was still supposed to be overseas for a work trip, so how did he appear in front of her now?
Chang Shi Gui looked exhausted, and there was even a faint trace of dark eye rings on his face. Ning Xi even noticed wrinkles on his shirt collar, which was unprecedented.
“There’s too many people here. I’ll bring you back first, and we’ll talk along the way, alright?” His voice was hoarse, as if he had stayed up all night without rest.
“Alright.” Ning Xi put down the phone, then asked Xiao Yang to bring her bag over. She didn’t even change out of her costume, and Chang Shi Gui immediately led her out of the set.
When Zhang Qingyun and two assistants rushed to the set, Ning Xi had already left for close to half an hour. After apologising to the director, he then went to look for the couple.
After they got into the car, Chang Shi Gui handed a phone over to Ning Xi. On the screen was the Weibo post by “Beautiful Little House”.
Ning Xi could guess who the originator was after reading the post. She put down her phone, but there was no trace of unhappiness or anger that Chang Shi Gui imagined. Instead, all he saw was a sense of tranquility on her face, which perplexed him. “I didn’t think that she would stand out now.”
She knew that Sun Xiumei currently had a good job and a loving boyfriend. They were going to get married, so it wasn’t beneficial for her to be dragged into this saga.
“There were a few others who also stepped out and admitted to their faults that year.” Chang Shi Gui rubbed his temples. “Your neighbourhood is swamped with reporters, you might have to move somewhere else for the time being.”
Ning Xi nodded. What she didn’t tell Chang Shi Gui was that among these people, two had been forced to step out. They weren’t truly remorseful, but she had forced their hands instead.
“And …” Chang Shi Gui looked at her, “I won’t have any trauma, neither will I look down on you.”
Ning Xi couldn’t help but laugh at his serious expression.
“I really want to tell them that I don’t care about how you look in the past, so they don’t have to make use of my mental health.”
Silence ensued for a moment.