Upon seeing the caller display, Chen Shuang He thought: Oh no.
The ringing of the phone had exposed his position, a knife silently stabbed in his direction.
Amidst his cry, the lights were switched on.
“Are you alright?!” Ning Ning asked as she held onto Chen Shuang He’s arm.
“I’m fine.” Chen Shuang He’s face turned pale, he looked across the room. “The one who isn’t is him…”
Ning Ning looked in the direction he was looking at and saw a teenager covering his face. In an instant, blood flowed out the gaps of his fingers.
The teenager looked at the bloodstained blade of the knife on the floor, then slowly looked up at Chen Shuang He who was standing behind the knife. With surprise and anger, he said with hatred, “It was you?”
“It wasn’t me…” Before Chen Shuang He could finish speaking, the other party rushed over with a yell—he looked like he wanted to bring Chen Shuang He down with him. Some of the people around them screamed while the others held them apart. Amidst the chaos, no one was paying attention to the knife on the floor, when they looked back at it, it was actually gone.
“He must have hidden it!” A few days later, the teenager appeared on television. His face was wrapped in bandages, he was surrounded by microphones as he said with righteous indignation, “Chen Shuang He is the cancer of show business! From the start, he snatched the role of the male lead using his connection, then seeing that I was acting better than him, he grew jealous and slashed my face with a knife! As for the weapon that wasn’t found…heh heh, looked through his living quarters, it must be hidden there!”
Ning Ning raised the remote control and pressed it to switch the television off. She turned back and looked at Chen Shuang He. “Don’t listen to his nonsense!”
Chen Shuang He sat on the sofa and acknowledged it with a terrible look on his face.
“…Let me talk to Director Chen for you.” Ning Ning sighed. “Deleting all his scenes that had yet to be filmed just because the other party’s face had a minor injury, how he dealth with this was definitely a little ruthless, no wonder the other had such a big reaction.”
“It’s no use.” Chen Shuang He let out a forced laughter. “Don’t you know what kind of person my father is?”
What kind of person was Director Chen? Ning Ning went out and walked a loop around the place before she finally found him at the reception area of the hotel. Director Chen was suited up and brimming with energy, behind him was an entire law firm that was overflowing with murderous intent that passersby would only dare to glance at them from the side.
“Director Chen, where are you going?” Ning Ning stopped him.
“I’m going to call a press conference.” Director Chen let out a cold laughter. “I want to throw a lawyer’s letter at that son of a bitch’s face! No one attacks my movie! No one! Heh heh, I know who is the instigator behind him, they want to use this boy to launch a smear campaign against the male lead of my movie, then incite the audience to boycott my movie. Not a chance!”
Director Chen pushed Ning Ning away and led the group of lawyers as they left—he was not going into battle for his son, it was for his movie that was still in the works instead.
“I would always be envious of Chen Shuang He’s talent in the past. The person who would get cramps from accepting awards, I wished I could exchange lives with him.” Ning Ning looked at Director Chen as he left, she muttered, “There’s nothing to exchange, I have Mama.”
Although Ning Ning had never received an award for acting, she had also never been overlooked by her mother. Every time she returned from filming, there would be a handmade cake from Ning Yu Ren waiting for her. It was only days like these that the two of them who lived on chicken breasts could let go of their inhibitions and indulge themselves. Ning Ning suddenly wanted to ask the kitchen, if there was cake in the hotel. If there was, she wanted to bring a slice to Chen Shuang He.
Although she was not his mother, Ning Ning wanted to console him.
…After all, at this moment, no one else beside her would console him, trust him.
“Hello, is anyone around?” Ning Ning walked into the entrance of the restaurant. This was a star rated hotel that had a Chinese and Western restaurant, but they didn’t seem to operate twenty-four hours. Although the door was opened, the lights inside were all switched off. It might be that the business was not doing well and they were on power saving mode? Just as Ning Ning was making blind conjectures, a man wearing a chef’s uniform walked out of the kitchen, asking with a smile, “You’re from the crew of <<Juliet>>?”
Ning Ning was surprised before she nodded her head.
“You came at the right time.” The chef returned into the kitchen then came out holding a box of cake that was tied with a ribbon. “I have just finished baking it, do you want to send it yourself or do you want me to send it for you?”
There was a note stuck on the box, the cake was actually for Chen Shuang He. Ning Ning was a little curious. Beside her, was there another person who wanted to console him? Thus she asked the chef, “I’ll do it. Right, who ordered the cake?”
“Someone from your crew came over and ordered it.” The chef said, “Her surname is Liu, I addressed her as Miss Liu, I have her contact number here.”
Little Liu was a staff member of the crew, Ning Ning knew who she was as well, thus she did not think too much about it. Chen Shuang He was still a handsome man anyhow, it was to be expected that there would be girls going after him. Ning Ning brought the cake back to Chen Shuang He’s room. “Dun dun dun, look what I brought you?”
“I don’t like cake.” Chen Shuang He sat on the sofa while hugging his knees. He looked up at her and hesitated for a moment before he said, “But since you’ve already brought it here, I will have a slice.”
“Hold on, I’ll cut the best slice for you.” Ning Ning smiled as she opened the box, then she was shocked.
A cake was in the box, there were no strawberries nor any other fruits on the cake, there was a bloody shirt on it instead. The shirt was a little familiar, they had definitely seen someone wear it—in fact, it was just recently.
“Oh no!!” Footsteps rang out outside, followed by the sound of someone knocking on the door. Little Liu seemed to have brought a crowd to Chen Shuang He’s door. She shouted anxiously, “Wang Xing was also slashed across the face, are you guys alright? Quickly open the door!”
Ning Ning and Chen Shuang He exchanged looks, they saw a trace of panic in each other’s eyes.
“Give it to me.” Shi Zhong Tang. who was originally reading a comic book on the bed. got up all of a sudden. He walked to the table and tsk-ed twice with disgust, then quickly folded the bloodied shirt up and hid it. Luckily, it was summer, clothes were generally thin. He had just hidden the clothes in his arms when the door was opened, Little Liu brought a group of people and rushed in together. They went around the room before finally returning to the cake. They stared at the cake for a long while before someone suddenly pointed on the red-coloured blot on top of it and said, “Oh my, is that blood?”
“It’s strawberry jam.” Ning Ning cut out that side of the cake and pushed it up to her mouth. “You can taste it if you don’t believe me.”
Little Liu’s expression turned ugly, how would she dare to try it? She switched the topic. “It’s good that you two are fine. Poor Wang Xing, his face was slashed, moreover…”
Either by design or by accident, Little Liu glanced at Chen Shuang He who was behind Ning Ning and said, “The weapon disappeared again.”
What do you mean again?
Her words signified something. Another person in the crew was hurt again, the place they got hurt was—again—the face, the weapon was a knife again, the knife went missing again, every lead finally pointed to one person—
“It could not be more obvious that someone is trying to implicate him by planting evidence.” Within the room, Shi Zhong Tang laughed as he told Ning Ning, “That Miss Liu might not necessarily like Little Boy Chen. Maybe, she likes Qu Yan. She might have been dispatched by Qu Yan for this incident, otherwise, it would be impossible for her to rush in to look for evidence the moment you brought the cake in.”
“I’m sorry.” Ning Ning told Chen Shuang He as her face turned red.
“It’s fine. Since they want to sabotage me on purpose, even if you did not bring it here, someone else would.” On the contrary, Chen Shuang He did not blame her at all, he even consoled her.
But just as his voice faded out, they heard Shi Zhong Tang laugh. “That might not be true.”
Both of them looked towards his direction. The cake on the table had yet to be taken away, it was still stained with blood, no one had dared to eat it either. Shi Zhong Tang dabbed his finger on the red liquid. He brought the liquid—one unknown to be either strawberry jam or blood—to his nose to take a whiff, then the corners of his mouth curled up, as if he had smelled a conspiracy.
“My guess is that no matter if the crew ordered a cake or fried rice, you would have been the one who sent it to Little Boy Chen in the end.” Shi Zhong Tang smiled as he told Ning Ning, “As to why it has to be you…maybe Boss Qu wished to send Little Boy Chen to hell with your help.”
Ning Ning had a grim expression, “I don’t want to do something like that.”
“Then you have to be more vigilant in the future.” Shi Zhong Tang said, “The cake you helped bring here, anything you have said or anything you have done without you noticing—they can be used by someone else, used against Little Boy Chen…have a bite, it’s strawberry jam.”
As he was speaking, he reached out his finger with the red liquid to Chen Shuang He’s mouth. Chen Shuang He pushed it away with a look of disgust, he frowned and said, “The person Boss Qu wants to kill is me, right? Why must he make things so troublesome?”
That day within the set when electricity went out, the lit up phone pointed out his position, he clearly only needed one stab to kill him, why did he have to make things so complicated?
“Although I want to say that this is because he is obeying the rules—strictly following the ‘no killing the person who snuck in‘ rule set by the theater…” Shi Zhong Tang shook his head, “but this sounds too unbelievable, I don’t even believe it when I said it out loud like that.”
After a brief pause, he said, “Social erasure.”
Everyone there was an adult, although Shi Zhong Tang had only said two words, both Ning Ning and Chen Shuang He understood what the words meant.
“The quickest would be tonight, the latest would be in three days, a rumour like this will surface in the crew—the weapon could not be found, because the weapon is still in the hands of the criminal.” Shi Zhong Tang said, “Afterwards, one after another, there would be victims appearing repeatedly. Every one of them would get slashed in the face, every one of them would speak ill of Little Boy Chen, then have a grudge with him.”
“Nonsense.” Chen Shuang He’s face turned green. “Who would believe such an amusing rumour?”
“The more amusing a rumour is, the more people will believe it.” Shi Zhong Tang let out a bland laugh. “No one cares what kind of person you are, they will describe you as whatever they want you to be.”
At night, a rumour surfaced in the crew—the weapon could not be found, because the weapon was still in the hands of the criminal. The name of the criminal was Chen Shuang He, those that had offended him would not be let off.