Zhu Moli’s statement was undeniably a flash of lightning that struck the investigators into shock. Originally, it was a simple case of a celebrity possessing drugs, which would probably have implicated the seller, or other celebrities who might have been taking drugs. Unexpectedly, even the rich were implicated.
The Jiang family had declined considerably in recent years, but in the eyes of the common folk, it was still a prestigious and noble family. Who would have thought that they were hiding so many dirty deeds? However, the police didn’t believe Zhu Moli’s claims without any evidence. After reporting this to their superiors, the case was handed over to the task force.
The investigations continued quietly. The media and the public had already lost interest in Zhu Moli. No one cared about what happened to her after her arrest. That was because everyone’s attention was already on the Jiang family’s divorce case.
The beginning of many marriages in the upper class was not love; it was profit. Hence, even if they were married in name, many of them continued to lead their own lives, and few would divorce. Now, this sudden scandal attracted the interest of the media and the common folk.
A divorce would definitely involve the division of assets. The legal teams of Jiang Yuanpeng and Tao Minya had, in order to gain more benefits for their clients, each came up with all sorts of tricks, putting up a great show for the public following the case.
In the eyes of the common folk, Tao Minya was a pitiful woman who finally couldn’t stand her husband’s infidelities and filed for divorce, hence they were all secretly biased towards Tao Minya.
In the eyes of the upper class, Jiang Yuanpeng had lost the divorce case even before the legal proceedings began. Tao Minya had the support of the Tao and Chang families, while the Jiang family was alone. Furthermore, the Jiang family had to deal with the Qu family, who targeted them all the time, hence Jiang Yuanpeng was doomed to suffer a major setback this time.
At this time, any talk about love or relations were useless and empty words. The only thing that was real was the division of assets.
The chaos at the Jiang family was intense, but Tao Shenyan and the others were in a good mood. A few of these noble young masters and mistresses drove their own luxurious cars and arrived at the resort that they’d long booked. Perhaps it was a way to express their attitude towards the Jiang family - Tao Shenyan specially brought Qu Yuanbo along, but Jiang Cheng wasn’t present.
“Brother Chang and Sister Ning haven’t arrived?” Zhao Meng walked towards the pavilion and sat down, then swept his gaze across the crowd. His gaze fell on Qu Yuanbo, and he chuckled, “Young Master Qu actually came too. There’s so many people today, we’ll definitely have a lot of fun hanging out.”
There were a couple of them who brought their female companions along. Zhao Meng saw that the two women were in thick makeup, their chins sharp enough to stab someone, and he immediately frowned. The few who got along better had agreed to come and relax together, but these two really couldn’t do without women.
The two “business models”  also knew that this group of noblemen despised them, hence they quietly shrank into a corner instead of foolishly trying to attract attention.
“Do you think that Brother Chang and Sister Ning are as free as us?” Tao Shenyan threw a bottle of water over to him, “We’ll start first, Brother Chang will come later on.”
The others didn’t object, and they cheerily gathered together and started having fun.
By the time Ning Xi and Chang Shi Gui arrived, the group was already exhausted, and all of them lay on the lounge beds, unwilling to move.
“What happened to all of you?” Ning Xi removed her sunglasses, laughing as she looked at the few young masters, all of whom looked as though they had been tortured.
“Sister Ning, you’re finally here.” Zhao Meng looked at Ning Xi bitterly, “Just now, we played tennis for a while, and Shenyan thrashed all of us. We’re waiting for Brother Chang to come and take revenge for us.”
Ning Xi sat down on an empty seat by the side. The resort’s staff brought her some sports drinks and dried fruits. Ning Xi turned her head to look at Chang Shi Gui, she didn’t expect that Chang Shi Gui was good at tennis!
Noticing her curious gaze, Chang Shi Gui took out his suit jacket and placed it into her arms, then took the tennis racket from the staff, smiled at Ning Xi, then walked to the court.
“Brother Chang, thrash the kid Shenyan, teach him a lesson!”
Ning Xi observed the agitated looks on the young masters’ face, and the corners of her lips twitched.
Bai Lu, who was sitting beside Zhao Meng, pulled him up and pushed him to another seat. “Don’t just sit there or cause trouble. I want to speak to Xixi.”
Zhao Meng snorted, “You women, how could you ignore us men?”
Bai Lu cast a disdainful look at him, unwilling to bother about him. She then turned and smiled at Ning Xi, “I watched your drama on TV last night. It was very good, and you acted really well.”
Bai Lu seldom watched drama because in her opinion, not only were many dramas illogical, they still carried some remnants of feudalistic patriarchal ideology. For a young mistress like her who had anything she wanted, how could she tolerate such scenes?
Last night, when she turned on the TV, she happened to see Ning Xi onscreen, so she continued watching casually. Unexpectedly, she started getting immersed into the show. The female lead that was portrayed by Ning Xi was nationalistic, valiant, intelligent and highly skilled. There were no greasy and incessant scenes of melodramatic love; there were only scenes of the female lead aggressively taking in subordinates, then leading these subordinates to fight against foreign enemies. When she saw how the brash male characters were directly defeated by the female lead, she felt that this drama was really special. It wasn’t superficial, unlike those nonsensical “thunder dramas” .
“Tell me, what’s the ending of the story?” Bai Lu couldn’t resist and wanted spoilers from Ning Xi.
Ning Xi was confused because she didn’t know which drama Bai Lu was referring to. It was only after Bai Lu explained that she knew Bai Lu was talking about “Three Lives of Rouge”. For this drama, Ning Xi had suffered badly. In order to better portray the determination of the female lead, she studied the stories of legendary people and martyrs, tried to understand their greatness, their sacrifice, and the strength in their characters.
The legends were from both genders, their names were different, and their family backgrounds were also different. The only similarity among them was their love for the world and their love for the people. Hence, when Ning Xi filmed this show, she threw aside gender boundaries; the woman she portrayed was a hero who fought for the country to her last breath.
A hero was simply a hero; why should there be an intentional differentiation between a male or female hero?
The ending for the first female in “Three Lives of Rouge” was both tragic and valiant; in the final scene, the enemies’ invasion was successful. She died in the battle at the city gates, and she remained fighting till she died.
Shortly after her death, someone surrendered to the enemy troops. The troops entered the city, and eventually, there was a change in dynasty. History continued, and in the historical texts, she only took up a few words that concluded her entire life.
The ending was simply too brutal, hence Ning Xi didn’t tell Bai Lu about it, and simply told her that it would be more exciting later on.
“Really?” Bai Lu eyed Ning Xi with suspicion, sensing that she wasn’t letting much on.
Chang Shi Gui jumped, then returned Tao Shenyan’s difficult serve. Tao Shenyan didn’t manage to catch the serve; he placed his hands on his waist and panted, “Brother Chang, is there anything that you’re not good at?”
Chang Shi Gui folded his sleeves and replied calmly, “Giving birth.”
Tao Shenyan was speechless.
“I’m not playing anymore.” Tao Shenyan waved his hand repeatedly, then wiped the perspiration off his face. “Sister Ning and Sister Lu haven’t played yet. Let the two ladies play too.” If he continued, he would surely be thrashed badly by Brother Chang.
Bai Lu looked at Ning Xi, “Xixi, shall we have a match?”
“Sure.” Ning Xi stood up and placed Chang Shi Gui’s blazer on the chair, then smiled as she took Chang Shi Gui’s racket from him. The moment the racket was in her hands, she knew that this was a very expensive racket; it might even be as expensive as her pay for an episode of her drama.
After the game started, everyone realised that Ning Xi was a relatively good player; she was on par with Bai Lu, surprising the audience.
“Sister Ning plays quite well.” Tao Shenyan drank his water and stood beside Chang Shi Gui as they watched the two ladies play. The more he watched, the more he felt that Brother Chang and Ning Xi were really exceptionally blessed winners in life; it was as though nothing was too difficult for them.
Bai Lu and Ning Xi didn’t play for too long. After Bai Lu handed the racket to the next person, she walked side by side with Ning Xi.
“You play really well,” Bai Lu was slightly panting, “It feels so good to play with you.”
Ning Xi smiled, “When I was a freshman, I worked at a tennis court before. It was mostly cleaning the place and wiping the balls, but later on, I heard that if one could play well and play with customers, then an hour’s pay would be equivalent to a day of work.” Hearing this, she smiled sheepishly, “Eventually, I became the person that every colleague disliked.”
“Why?” Bai Lu felt somewhat uncomfortable hearing this. To her, tennis was a fun sport for relaxation; she didn’t expect that people would learn to play tennis just for money.
“Because I played too well. If customers needed training partners, they liked to look for me.” Ning Xi put on a proud smile, as though she was an arrogant cat. However, her arrogant look didn’t repulse others; instead, she looked increasingly cuter.
Bai Lu looked at her smile and her heart trembled. If she was a man and saw this side of Ning Xi, she probably couldn’t help but fall in love with her.
“Xixi,” Chang Shi Gui brought a cup of juice to Ning Xi, “Have a sip.”
Ning Xi had just finished the game and didn’t have time to wash her hands. Thus, as Chang Shi Gui still held onto the cup, she lowered her head and bit the straw and started drinking. When the others saw this, all sorts of strange expressions appeared on their faces. Even Bai Lu felt that Chang Shi Gui was finally wrapped around the fingers of a woman.
“Cough.” Ning Xi was tickled by Zhao Meng’s strange expression that she choked on the juice and coughed uncontrollably. Chang Shi Gui hastily shoved the juice into someone else’s hands, then lightly patted Ning Xi’s back.
Bai Lu, who was tossed the cup of juice, “.....”
Ever since Chang Shi Gui got attached, both Bai Lu and himself had automatically kept a polite distance. This was the first time that he actually shoved something to her, but ….
He was really a henpecked man!
Bai Lu placed the cup on the table, but as she saw Ning Xi coughing so hard that she was tearing, she felt bad for her and wanted to pass a piece of tissue paper to Ning Xi for her to wipe her face. Unexpectedly, Chang Shi Gui turned and pulled Ning Xi into her embrace and continued to pat Ning Xi’s back lightly, as though intentionally putting a distance between Ning Xi and herself.
Bai Lu was dumbstruck.
What was that look that Chang Shi Gui gave her just then?!
 外围女 - “Business models”, An Internet terminology to describe escorts under the guise of being models.
 雷剧 - Literally translated as “Thunder dramas”, an Internet terminology for dramas that have high ratings but have negative reviews.