Qian Wei was surprised when, as soon as she returned to school, Qian Chuan came to her door.
“Qian Wei, do you know what kind of food Liu Shiyun likes to eat?”
“Huh? Why would you ask about that?”
Qian Chuan coughed awkwardly and replied, “After you and Lu Xun left that day, Liu Shiyun invited me out to have a meal. So I’ve been thinking that I, Lao Qian, can’t just eat someone else’s food for nothing. At the very least I should show some reciprocity, don’t you think so?”
“Then why don’t you just ask her.” Qian Wei was very puzzled. “It’s not like you don’t have her number.”
Qian Chuan scoffed at Qian Wei’s answer: “What kind of EQ do you have? If I just go and ask Liu Shiyun directly, there will be no surprise at all, right?”
“Hm, that’s true.” Qian Wei thought about it. “Well, she likes sweet and spicy food, like Thai food, and Dongyin Gong soup is probably her favorite.”
Qian Chuan got his answer and left with a satisfied expression. It was only when he was long gone that Qian Wei realized something was strange. Why did it need to be a surprise? Wasn’t it just paying her back for a meal? Why couldn’t he just ask Liu Shiyun directly?
However, she didn’t waste anymore time thinking about it, because Qian Wei still had some serious matters to take care of.
Although it had been a lie to keep his mother out of the room that day when Lu Xun had mentioned that there was confidential information in there, it was true that Lu Xun was participating in a case involving a merger. The professors at the A University law school were allowed by the Law Association to continue holding onto their lawyer’s credentials and work part-time as lawyers while they held their teaching positions. Those professors had banded together and set up a law firm off campus that had absorbed many outstanding law students as they graduated over the years. The competition to be admitted into this law firm was, of course, very fierce, and it was actually very rare for students to be asked to participate in the law firm’s cases, so the fact that Lu Xun had been selected for the task really emphasized how excellently he was regarded.
In order to make a profit, the law firm would naturally take on some private cases from time to time, however, thanks to the spirit of ‘teaching’ from the A University professors, it would also regularly take on pro bono cases, with the prerequisite being that there was a large enough surplus of funds that the firm could afford it. Qian Wei was aware that Lu Xun was participating in several of those pro bono cases while also working on the merger case at the same time, and from what she knew he had completed everything very well. She had heard from Liu Shiyun that there was even a group of migrant workers who had successfully sued for their wages with Lu Xun’s help and then especially came together and made a banner to give to him to show their gratitude.
Although Qian Wei hadn’t been selected to assist the professors’ law firm like Lu Xun, she suddenly felt motivated to also do something when she thought of him working so hard. Since Lu Xun was already so excellent, she wanted to be better so that she could stand by his side with her head held high.
Qian Wei opened up her email and began to write down the outline of the plan that was vaguely forming in her mind.
Actually, this matter had been buried in her heart ever since she had attended that activity in the local community with the other law students. Back in that small community Qian Wei had dispensed legal counsel to dozens of people and, although the other students didn’t seem to notice, Qian Wei had keenly felt that the legal issues the people wanted to consult her about were concentrated into a handful of narrow topics. First were questions about the laws surrounding marriage and divorce, second were questions about the laws surrounding private lending, and third were questions about the laws protecting renter’s rights. Although the specific facts of each consultation had been different, the actual solution for their problems had been similar across the board. In the end, she felt that what would be able to best help many of the people who had consulted her would be a template contract of sorts. The people preparing for divorce needed a divorce contract, and specifically a plan for how the marital assets would be divided; the people who had issues with private lending generally required a loan contract that specifically outlined the amount loaned, the time allotted for repayment, the interest rate, and the penalty for defaulting on the loan. While the people who were renting their homes generally needed a fair lease contract, where the rights and obligations of the renter and the landlord were both clear and fair. If she could create a series of corresponding template contracts that covered these problems and a few of their simple variations, Qian Wei felt that she could get twice the result with half the effort when providing legal consultations in the future because she would only need to modify the basic template contract according to the specific situation of the people consulting her.
When she had been working for her law firm in her previous life, because they had provided a one-to-one service, Qian Wei had naturally been able to tailor each contract to each client according to their different needs. However, when it came to pro bono cases and the sorts of on-the-spot consultations like she had done with the rest of her class recently, she was facing ordinary people who couldn’t afford the cost of a lawyer working in a law firm. Furthermore, during her own consultations, Qian Wei had realized that these people, who had numerous complicated real world legal dilemmas, weren’t unaware that they could spend money to find a professional solution, rather, they could only depend on the few affordable legal services available because they couldn’t afford the cost of hiring from a law firm at all.
After spending years working as a lawyer, although Qian Wei never really had the opportunity to get close to any individual clients because her major was more focused toward commercial law and had thus she had ended up cooperating with various corporate clients instead. However, she had also been aware that the fees set by Lu Xun had always been in the higher range among lawyers, and because of that Qian Wei had plenty of experience politely rejecting various small businesses that couldn’t afford her high legal fees. However, amidst those conversations, Qian Wei had noticed that, in fact, these small start-up businesses were the ones in most desperate need of professional legal services and advice. If they were able to secure professional legal guidance during the start-up stage they would be able to avoid many future legal risks and then they would have a higher probability of being able to grow into medium-sized enterprises within a few years. However, unfortunately, these sorts of small start-ups were perpetually facing shortages in funds and would much rather spend their limited budgets on production or research and development, so it was very rare for them to be willing to spend a lot of money on an ‘unnecessary expense’ like high-quality legal services. And, of course, high-quality law firms were not willing to reduce their fees in order to take on these kinds of small businesses thus, in the end, these small businesses just wouldn’t work with the high-quality law firms. Instead, they would go out and find some second rate law firm with fees that were more within their budget for their legal needs and, unfortunately, those kinds of second rate law firms with lower fees often had a correspondingly lower quality which meant that they weren’t able to meet the needs to the small business and, ultimately, although the small business spent hard-earned money on hiring these second-rate professionals, they would still end up not avoiding avoidable legal risks and landmines would be quietly buried on the road of their future development.
In the past, Qian Wei had always been busy with her own work and had never thought about these things seriously. However, she had been reborn now, and when she saw Lu Xun was working so hard she felt unconsciously motivated in a way she never had been before.
This was a feeling that Qian Wei had never really had in the past when she studied law. Back then, she had only regarded it as learning a skill to make a living in the future, and then she went on to just experience the small joys of helping clients solve their problems during her work with the law firm. However, in this life, she had come into contact with people who needed professional legal advice the most but who were also the most lacking, and she had experienced the feelings of injustice that had come when she was framed for stealing that necklace. With those experiences, Qian Wei had realized that in their society many people respected the law and the abstract concept of procedural justice but, many of those same people, even the otherwise decent members of the school staff, didn’t really understand concepts like suspicion vs. conviction, and so on.
‘Every one of us law students should have independent and sound thinking, and we should have rational and clear minds. That is because the students of our law school will be the ones to bear the heavy burden that is the future progress of our legal system. We should be fair, compassionate, insightful, and reasonable. And, most importantly, we should learn and revere the law.’
To this day Qian Wei clearly remembered all the words of the speech Lu Xun had made during the school celebration that day. She had always really admired Lu Xun’s amazingly handsome face and his awesome professional ability, but now she also felt deeply moved by his enthusiasm and passion for the law. This was the first time Qian Wei had ever admired another person so thoroughly in all aspects, and sometimes she couldn’t help but reflect how amazing it was that, though this person used to be her boss, now he was her man.
She felt that maybe all these things she had experienced hadn’t happened for no reason, maybe fate was trying to show Qian Wei something, maybe it wanted her to become aware of the problems that she had ignored in the past, and to experience the love that she had never experienced, and to really understand what it meant to learn and practice law.
So this time, Qian Wei decided to do something.
She checked her bank balance and, because she had been planning to buy a house as soon as possible in her quest to stride to the peak of life after graduation, she had spent all of her time recently working and saving money so now, although it was still a small amount compared to Lu Xun’s part-time income, she had a considerable amount of money saved.
She suddenly felt that she wanted to do something with this money, and seeing it caused her originally vague and murky idea to crystallize and take shape in her mind.
She wanted to help people, specifically, she wanted to help people who needed legal services and advice but who didn’t have enough money to afford it.
With that in mind, Qian Wei decided she wanted to set up an online legal consultation platform and write out some commonly needed template contracts. Over time, she could upload template contracts that would cover most of the problems ordinary people often encountered in their daily life and also the contracts that small start-ups needed most frequently. Her plan was to have her users register as members and pay a very limited membership fee, after which they would have access to all the template contracts on her platform indefinitely. She also wanted to have another portion that was open to receiving consultations from the users so she could regularly analyze and solve the legal cases that they were most concerned about. Qian Wei knew her idea would require a huge amount of work, and that she would need to pay someone to handle the IT side of things and, all in all, it would take a lot of hard work and money to realize her plan no matter how she sliced it. But, in the end, Qian Wei still wanted to try and see if she could succeed.
Lu Xun was always working so hard, so how could she allow herself to be mediocre and achieve nothing?
Once she declared she would do something, Qian Wei would do it. She spent the rest of the day feverishly sitting in front of her computer and collecting all kinds of data and doing initial research. Even when Liu Shiyun finally came back, she was still glued to her desk and concentrating on the computer.
“Qian Wei? Where did you go last night?” Liu Shiyun casually tapped Qian Wei on the shoulder. “Why didn’t you come back to school?”
Qian Wei said calmly, “That heavy rain came too suddenly and I didn’t have time to come back, so I stayed out for one night.”
Liu Shiyun’s eyes lit up and she said, “Did you stay in my family’s hotel? Did you use the VVIP card I gave you?”
“No… The rain was too heavy and I couldn’t find one of your hotels nearby, so I just randomly found a place to stay…”
Liu Shiyun seemed frustrated by her answer: “Too bad, I wanted to ask you about how the experience at one of my hotels was.” Then, she narrowed her eyes that were looking at Qian Wei and suddenly pointed suspiciously at a spot on her neck. “Look at how terrible the hotel where you stayed was, the sheets probably weren’t clean. See the back of your neck now? There are some red marks there, it looks like allergies or something, doesn’t it itch?”
Qian Wei’s face flushed and she reached up to awkwardly adjust her collar: “A bit, maybe…”
Liu Shiyun didn’t seem to have any doubts despite Qian Wei’s stiff response, and she just advised earnestly: “Don’t stay in that kind of small and shabby hotel next time, ah. In places like that they often don’t properly change their towels and sheets. Just think about it, who knows who the last tenant of that room was, maybe he had warts or something, ah. If you catch that disease you’ll grow something strange and it will be too late to regret…”
After chattering randomly for a while, Liu Shiyun finally seemed to remember her reason for coming over and she asked: “By the way, you like eating meat, right? For instance, that northwestern food, Korean food, and so on?”
Qian Wei was a bit surprised by the sudden change in topic, but she subconsciously nodded: “I do, why?”
Liu Shiyun averted her eyes and said in a fake-casual tone, “Well, they say that twins will generally like the same sorts of things. Is that true? Does Qian Chuan also like to eat meat?” She unnaturally twirled her fingers in her hair, “Recently I read a book that said that twins tend to share hobbies and tastes so I was a little curious.”
“Oh, I see. Yeah, Qian Chuan likes meat too.”
“I know that you like being in a quieter environment, is Qian Chuan the same?”
“No, that’s not right.” Qian Wei pondered for a moment before continuing, “Twins don’t necessarily like all the same things. For example, I don’t like sports at all. Or how I usually watch idol dramas while Qian Chuan only wants to watch sports. Or how I like listening to light pop music, while Qian Chuan likes listening to rock’n ‘roll…”
“What’s his favorite rock band?”
“The Rolling Stones.” Qian Wei answered, somewhat baffled, “Why are you suddenly asking so many questions about Qian Chuan?”
“Am I?” Liu Shiyun coughed. “I was just asking casually.” She looked at her watch. “Oh, there’s something going on now with the student union. I’ll leave first.”
Qian Wei didn’t mind her roommate’s sudden appearance and subsequent disappearance. She was so focused on her work that before she realized it four hours had passed and a call from Lu Xun came.
“Qian Wei.” Although Lu Xun’s voice through the phone was a bit faint, Qian Wei somehow felt that there was a hint of accusation in his tone. “It’s been four hours and 13 minutes since we separated and you haven’t contacted me at all.”
Qian Wei instantly retorted: “You didn’t contact me either!” She counter-attacked, “Why didn’t you take the initiative to contact me, why should I be the one to contact you?!”
Lu Xun paused. When he resumed speaking his tone was a little unnatural: “I purposefully didn’t contact you to give you some space.”
Lu Xun’s tone turned a bit shy: “I was afraid that maybe I hurt you and that was why you didn’t want to contact me, so I was trying to give you some time and space. They say that girls are more sensitive after their first…”
Qian Wei listened dazedly before finally figuring out what he was talking about. Her face turned so red it looked like it was going to explode and she cut in: “Don’t say it.”
“I don’t know how you feel about it, but I only seem to find myself liking you more and more. I feel more and more like I can’t live without you, and I always just want to see your face even when I’m not doing anything. Now I only feel at ease when you are by my side. You know, I used to be a person with strong self-control, and I’ve always been able to settle down and do the things I need to do, but today I just couldn’t. I opened a book but couldn’t read, I turned on the computer but couldn’t even see the screen, the whole time it was as if you were the only thing on my mind. I used to be able to hold back for a whole night without contacting you, but now it seems that I can’t. Four hours seems to be my limit. ” Lu Xun’s voice was a little hoarse. “I’m downstairs now.”
Clearly the two of them had already agreed not to see each other again tonight when they had parted, but it seemed that Lu Xun was ignoring their agreement.
Lu Xun seemed to know that Qian Wei was thinking, and before she could say anything he said, “I know we agreed not to meet again tonight when we parted today, so you don’t have to come down and see me.”
“Then what are you doing downstairs?”
“I just wanted to be a little closer to you.” Lu Xun’s voice was low.
Qian Wei knew clearly that this was all just Lu Xun’s plot, but she still couldn’t resist him at all. After all, he was a man who always planned everything and clearly understood the hearts of the people around him, and he was blessed with a face that made it that when he spoke in this in a somewhat aggrieved and frustrated tone, no woman could refuse him.