“Zhu Moli, you have a visitor!”
When Zhu Moli, who was sewing clothes with the sewing machine, heard this, she was caught in a daze for a few seconds. She then turned off the sewing machine and bowed numbly to the warden, then followed the warden out.
She’d spent a few months in prison. She was without her skincare products, professional make-up team and stylists, hence she was like an old pearl covered in dust, no longer in her former glory.
She walked to the meeting room and looked at her haggard-looking parents who were on the other side of the glass window. She sat down on the chair, then took up the phone on the side of the wall.
The voice that travelled through the headset was distorted. She looked silently at her mother, who was already weeping before she spoke.
“Moli, bear with it a little more. You’ll be out in half a year’s time.” Perhaps she was afraid that her daughter might feel upset if she saw her like that, hence Mother Zhu wiped her tears and asked, “Is the blanket that I sent you last month alright?”
Zhu Moli nodded, “Mom, don’t worry about me. I’m fine.”
She wasn’t charged for a serious offence, and her behaviour was good, hence she was only sentenced to two years of re-education through labour. She would normally do some handicrafts, and during the weekends, she still had time to rest. Even though the food wasn’t too good, at least she could fill her stomach. Now that things had developed to this extent, she didn’t think about anything else except to change her identity and live well after she was released.
“Moli, Mom wants to tell you, that bastard who harmed you was executed by firing squad last month.” Hatred flashed on Mother Zhu’s face, “That bastard did so much damage, he deserved to die ten times over.”
Zhu Moli wasn’t interested in hearing her mother’s angry remarks anymore, because every time she came, she would scold the Jiang brothers. Zhu Moli was already immune to it.
A year ago, she was still a popular actress in the entertainment industry, but now, she was a prisoner. At the beginning, she hated Ning Xi, and after that, she hated Jiang Hongkai, but now, she only hated herself. She was so bedazzled by the entertainment industry that she almost forgot who she really was.
If she had just devoted herself to acting, would she have fallen to this state?
She could blame heaven and earth and others, but in the end, she only had herself to blame.
“The two Jiang brothers are really trash. I heard that last month, the Jiang family had already filed for bankruptcy.” Mother Zhu continued to ramble about the misfortunes that befell the Jiang family, as though this would reduce some of her hatred. “There are also rumours that Jiang Yuanpeng had an affair with his sister-in-law, forcing her to take her own life. Who knows if that’s true. However, his wife had divorced him, and his son doesn’t care about him. This shows that he’s not anything good!”
“What did you say?” Zhu Moli’s expression was one of shock. “Who did you say Jiang Yuanpeng was with?”
“That actress that people used to say you resembled when you were young. Something Zhenzhen. Rumours are rife that Chen Zhenzhen was forced to death by Jiang Yuanpeng, otherwise she wouldn’t have committed suicide.” Mother Zhu observed her daughter’s face, but all she could see was fatigue and wanness. Her heart was in pain as she said, “If you didn’t look like her…”
Perhaps that bastard Jiang Hongkai wouldn’t have taken a liking to her daughter, and these events wouldn’t have happened.
Mother Zhu continued to nag for a while, and soon enough, the visitation time ended. Zhu Moli hung up the phone and returned to her workstation, as the contents of what she heard continued to resonate in her mind.
The Jiang family was bankrupt, and Jiang Hongkai was dead. It also turned out that Jiang Yuanpeng had other intentions towards Chen Zhenzhen. Back then, in order to reduce her sentence, she had said all sorts of things, but she had never expected that the things that she had made up were actually true.
She had been made use of by Jiang Yuanpeng, resulting in her arrest. She hated Jiang Yuanpeng to the core, hence she wanted to lead the police into thinking that there was something strange in Chen Zhenzhen’s death, and she was even linked to Jiang Yuanpeng. After all, dead people can’t speak, and on certain matters, even the living couldn’t articulate clearly.
Thinking of this, Zhu Moli couldn’t help but laugh. What noble family, what brotherly relationship? The men were thieves, the women were sluts, and they were as dirty as beasts inside. Zhu Moli herself wasn’t a good person, but neither were the Jiang brothers.
“Zhu Moli, why are you laughing? Hurry up so that you complete your work for today.” The warden walked over and saw her laughing to herself and reminded her.
It was rare to see someone laughing so happily and contentedly.
“The sun is blazing hot today.” Ning Xi leaned onto the car window and looked out. She appeared tired. She turned and looked at Chang Shi Gui, who was beside her. He was wearing a white shirt, appearing clean and refreshed, and looked nothing like someone in summer weather.
“Shall we go back then?” Chang Shi Gui couldn’t resist chuckling when he saw Ning Xi like this.
“I still have to attend the film festival tomorrow night. If I don’t try on the custom-made outfit, how will I know if it fits?” Ning Xi retracted her gaze, “But that’s why I hate summer the most.”
“A Father’s Selfless Love” was nominated for quite a number of awards at the Wanhua Awards. Ning Xi was also nominated for the Best Actress award. With her current standing, it wasn’t important whether she won. The nomination alone was already a very good outcome.
However, even if she wasn’t going to get an award, she still couldn’t be sloppy about the gown she was going to wear for the red carpet. Ning Xi’s gown this time was specially designed for her by the top designer in one of the fashion brands under Chang Enterprises. In order to express her respect for the designer, Ning Xi chose to personally make a trip down to try the outfit, rather than to get the designer to deliver it to her.
When she reached the designer’s studio, Ning Xi and Chang Shi Gui received a warm welcome. When the bearded designer saw Ning Xi, his eyes lit up. He then got his assistant to bring out the outfit that he meticulously designed, and got Ning Xi to try it on with high expectations.
True enough, Ning Xi suited this gown very well. Even the usually calm Chang Shi Gui couldn’t help but reveal an awestruck expression.
As for accessories, after the couple got married, Ning Xi had so many of them that she couldn’t finish wearing them. There were some bored netizens who would regularly zoom in on Ning Xi’s pictures on the streets, then list the prices of her clothes and accessories, such as her handbags.
The most awkward incident took place two months back. She was invited by a certain television station to attend a charity gala. Unexpectedly, her outfit clashed with another female celebrity. The sharp-eyed netizens noticed that the female celebrity was wearing an imitation item, causing her to be mocked online.
From then on, if she was attending any events, she would contact the female celebrities whom she was on good terms with in advance, so that they wouldn’t face a similar situation.
Once they left the studio, Ning Xi put on a pair of sunglasses with giant frames. She really didn’t want the sun to shine on any part of her body.
Bang! A woman in uniform knocked into her. Chang Shi Gui reacted swiftly, and he quickly protected her in his arms. However, the girl who knocked into her wasn’t so lucky. She fell heavily on the ground.
“Are you alright?” Ning Xi kneeled down to look at the girl lying on the floor. However, when the other party raised her head, both of them were stunned.
After a short moment of silence, the other party stood up. Ning Xi took a step back, remaining quiet.
After an awkward period of silence, Ning Xi finally spoke out. “You… Are you hurt?”
Jiang Yun looked at Chang Shi Gui, who was standing behind Ning Xi. His gaze had never left his wife. She shook her head, “I’m fine.”
There was really nothing to say between Ning Xi and herself. In the past, she was the young mistress of the Jiang family, while the other was a small-time actress. Now, the other person was Mrs. Chang, an A-list celebrity at the peak of her popularity, while she became the daughter of a murderer, and her family’s business had also gone bankrupt. From a high and mighty young mistress of a rich family, she had turned into a regular officer worker. It was such a drastic change in her identity.
In the past, she would love to see Chang Shi Gui everyday, but right now, she simply hoped that he didn’t see her.
“It’s good that you’re fine.” Ning Xi nodded to Jiang Yun, then stepped aside and continued walking.
“Ning Xi,” Jiang Yun suddenly called out. Even she didn’t know why she had to stop this woman, who could be said to be her enemy.
Ning Xi turned back to face Jiang Yun, “Is there anything else?”
Jiang Yun stared at her for a while, then finally, she shook her head silently.
There were some words that she didn’t ask before, but right now, there was no need to ask anymore.
She knew that she should hate Ning Xi, or even resent her. But when her father died, her uncle disappeared after announcing the family’s bankruptcy, and she was all alone, living a difficult life, what supported her to continue, unexpectedly, were all the inspiring stories about Ning Xi’s past, as well as her show, “Three Lives of Rouge.”
Thus, till now, she didn’t know if she hated Ning Xi more, or if she felt something other than hate.
She shook her head, then turned and continued to walk back. The assets of the Jiang family, after bankruptcy, were confiscated by the bank. The house that she was living in currently was a tiny apartment that her cousin Jiang Cheng had given her.
Her relationship with Jiang Cheng had always been tumultuous. However, when she was at her wits’ end, the only person who was willing to help her, was actually him.
Her cousin was living a much better life than she was. Even though the Tao and Jiang families weren’t on good terms, he still had his eldest aunt. Hence, not only would the Tao family not target him, they would even groom him.
Actually, this was a good thing. At least, he didn’t have to suffer like her eldest uncle did. The cause of the bad blood between her cousin and her was because back then, she had personally witnessed her eldest uncle and Chen Zhenzhen acting inappropriately, so she started hating everyone in her eldest uncle’s family.
As to why her cousin didn’t like her, it was probably for the same reason too.
Perhaps it wasn’t only her who knew her eldest uncle’s actions back then; his own son, her cousin, probably knew about it too. That would explain why her cousin despised female celebrities all these years, to the point that he wouldn’t take them seriously.
If it weren’t for the previous generation’s wrongdoings, would the Jiang family have ended up in this state?
After working the entire night shift, Jiang Yun returned home and showered. Then, she turned on her computer. It was playing “Three Lives of Rouge.” She watched it, and slowly drifted off to sleep.
In her dreams, she was still that proud young mistress from the past, clad in glamorous outfits and eating exquisite dishes.