With Lu Xun and Qian Wei’s combined efforts her website was slowly taking off, and they had even bought two spots on the hot search using the money invested by alumni which, combined with the grassroots publicity being raised by the law school, caused her web traffic to steadily climb. Qian Wei also gradually took control of the situation, collecting user feedback and adjusting the website as required in a timely manner, simultaneously playing the role of ‘boss’ and lead customer service representative. After users downloaded the template contracts, Qian Wei would then also be responsible for providing suggestions on how to modify the template to fit the customer’s needs and dispense simple legal advice to them. Although it kept her very busy, every time she was able to help another customer who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford legal advice Qian Wei would feel a bit of satisfaction in her heart. She felt that perhaps this was the way the law was meant to be, rather than a system in which only a small number of wealthy people could enjoy their rights, it was something meant to establish equality between people. Something meant to establish the rights of the poor as well as the wealthy, and that included their right to be protected by the law.
“Qian Wei, let’s go, let’s go! The casting for the drama club’s play is happening today!” As Liu Shiyun spoke, she walked over and grabbed Qian Wei’s hand. “If we don’t leave now, we’ll be late!”
Today Lu Xun, Qian Chuan, Qian Wei, Liu Shiyun and Li Linlin all gathered together under the girls’ dormitory together before heading over to the room that the drama club had borrowed from the university for their casting event.
Qian Wei was surprised when she arrived and saw how many people seemed to want to join the drama club. However, it seemed that most of the people with this sort of literary and artistic interest were girls, and there were only a few boys. So when Lu Xun and Qian Chuan showed up, it created quite an effect, and they really stood out from the crowd.
Once all the people were assembled, the president of the drama club stood up and talked about some of the club’s regulations and the points that members needed to pay attention to, before diving straight into the main topic: “The plays performed by our club are all adaptations of novels suggested by the members of our literature club. Today we are casting for ‘She’s in Your Dreams’. First, we will give everyone a document that includes an outline of the story, some simple introductions of the main characters, and some lines from each character. Everyone will have 15 minutes to prepare and, when the time is up, we will conduct the auditions according to the order that the characters appear in the story. All of you need to choose which character you want to audition for and perform a line on the spot. “
Qian Wei took a look at the story outline. It was a love story that involved a many-sided love triangle, where there was a simple heroine who had a childhood love for the second male lead where they vowed to be together. However, their relationship was destroyed halfway by the vicious second female lead, who framed the heroine and sent her to prison while at the same time blinding the second male lead and somehow successfully getting engaged to him. After that, the heroine got out of prison but had unexpectedly blackened while inside, so she began to retaliate one step at a time while hugging the golden thigh of the real male lead. As soon as the heroine began to retaliate, her golden finger became all powerful and the vicious second female lead slowly lost everything, and eventually even the second male lead who was tricked by the second female lead and abandoned the heroine was woken up from his spell. In the end, the second male lead was so full of self-remorse and regret over his mistake that he could never forget the heroine, and he could never love again. Meanwhile, the heroine and the male lead finally joined hands and walked together to become winners in life.
Lu Xun glanced at the outline of the story and said succinctly: “I will audition for the second male lead, and you audition for the second female lead.”
“Huh?” Qian Wei was surprised, “Those two supporting roles don’t seem to have a very good image…”
Lu Xun spoke convincingly: “We came here mostly to accompany Li Linlin, so trying to audition for the lead roles would be a bit much, don’t you think? Also, we’re in the midst of starting a business, so we can’t spend too much time rehearsing.”
“Then aren’t there other supporting characters who are more compatible with that goal. Why not play one of those smaller roles? There are a lot of characters that are basically just passers-by, ah, so the rehearsals wouldn’t be much at all…”
“Those roles won’t show our acting skills.”
In the end, Lu Xun and Qian Wei auditioned for the roles of the second male and second female leads. And, although Li Linlin auditioned for the role of the heroine, she was rejected because of her image.
Naturally, Li Linlin was frustrated: “I told you I wouldn’t be able to get any role because I’m so fat.”
However, Lu Xun wasn’t worried at all. He just glanced over at the president of the drama club, pointed to Li Linlin, and said: “We all came to attend for the sake of our friend. If she can’t perform, none of us will perform either.”
The president of the drama club was actually fairly ambitious. He wanted to make the production a good one by getting good actors to properly rehearse the play so they could all attend the school’s New Year’s Party at the end of the year with their heads held high. And since such a good group of actors like Lu Xun and his good-looking friends had come to audition, he really didn’t want to let them slip through his fingers, especially this Lu Xun, who could be considered an idol on campus. The president of the drama club knew just having him in the play would be tantamount to saving their production money on publicity.
So he gritted his teeth and said, “Alright!”
Like that, in the end, everyone came to a compromise. Qian Chuan and Liu Shiyun ended up playing the leading roles, while Lu Xun and Qian Wei were set to play the secondary leads, and Li Linlin got a supporting role playing the heroine’s best friend. This best friend character was full of complex feelings for the heroine, at once her good friend but also full of envy and jealousy. In the story, when the evil second female lead framed the heroine, the best friend clearly noticed what was happening but didn’t warn the heroine to stop it. However, she was also the only one of the heroine’s friends who would visit the heroine when she ended up in prison. All in all, she was a three-dimensional and complex character with plenty of room for the actress playing her to show off their talent, and Li Linlin was eager to take a try at it.
After the roles were determined, the president of the drama club handed out the partial scripts to everyone according to their roles and said: “You should all go back and study your scripts first. This room will always be open for rehearsals in addition to the regular meeting days.”
Qian Chuan was very proud when he got his script: “Hahaha, I’m this play’s leading character!” He stared at Lu Xun and his eyebrows wiggled arrogantly. “Brother Xun, it seems that you will be coming to my door to beg me for help later on according to this script. Haha, I’m a little embarrassed about this plot. Haha, considering Brother Xun’s personality, it’s hard to imagine you ever coming to beg someone. Actually, I almost can’t bear to act out this kind of scene with you because, according to the script, I will have to heap all sorts of ridicule on your head. When we’re acting in the play, don’t blame me, okay? I’m just the type to always get immersed in my roles, so if the script says I have to scold someone, I can only scold them seriously because I’m the type who would give my life for the sake of art. But in fact, I’m really unwilling to treat you like that in my heart!”
However, even as he said he was ‘unwilling to scold Lu Xun’, Qian Chuan’s tone of voice and expression completely exposed his real feelings of joy and elation. Probably because he had been eating nothing but losses ever since he met Lu Xun and resigned himself to the fact that he could never beat the other man in reality, getting this role in the play caused the small villain in Qian Chuan’s heart to caper with joy.
Meanwhile, Liu Shiyun was flipping through the script, and her face showed a rare look of embarrassment: “This… why is there a kiss between the male and female leads? Also, why are so many of these scenes and lines so… flirtatious?” Her brows furrowed and she asked, “Can’t you change it?”
The president of the drama club shook his head and said: “No. The scenes where the male and female leads express their hearts to each other are important, and the kiss to show that their relationship has progressed to the next level is even more important, none of it can be deleted.” He looked back and forth between Qian Chuan and Liu Shiyun a few times before continuing, “Besides, aren’t you two a couple? Haven’t you been flirting around in front of me all this time? Why would you be shy about doing one kiss in front of everyone?”
Liu Shiyun retorted immediately: “Don’t talk nonsense. When did you see me flirt with him? People have to be responsible for the words they say nowadays, don’t you know?!”
She was a bit menacing, but the president of the drama club seemed to be the type with a straightforward personality because, upon encountering this ‘strong enemy’ not only did he not show weakness, he even continued on fearlessly: “I never talk nonsense. Actually, just during the few minutes while I’ve been talking to you I noticed that he secretly glanced at you several times. Also, at first, he completely refused to play the male lead but, after I persuaded you to play the heroine, he suddenly agreed without any resistance. You tell me what that means?! Do you think everyone else in the world is blind?! Aren’t I right?!”
Qian Wei and Lu Xun, two members of ‘everyone else in the world’ who were suddenly called out, could only cast a pair of long and meaningful looks at Liu Shiyun and Qian Chuan.
Liu Shiyun blushed a little, but she quickly tried to change the subject: “Why are we even talking about me? At worst I’ll just fake it for the kissing scene. But what about Qian Wei and Lu Xun? Your scenes even have a marriage proposal in them! That’s way worse!”
“Huh?” Qian Wei had only glanced through the script casually and hadn’t read it very carefully, but when Liu Shiyun said that, she went back and read the script more seriously and found that there really was a marriage proposal scene. After the second male lead abandoned the heroine, he fell for the vicious second female lead and even proposed to her affectionately. In fact, the proposal was actually a grand event, seemingly to highlight the contrast between the happy evil woman and the miserable heroine who was in prison.
Qian Wei carefully read through the scene’s lines and then looked up at Lu Xun with an embarrassed expression: “Just now I didn’t read the script very carefully, but these lines for the proposal scene… they’re a little sensational, ah. If you don’t want that kind of role, we can still change…”
Lu Xun seemed to ponder for a moment before replying, “No, it’s fine. After all, we’re here to accompany Li Linlin in the first place, so it’s only right to make some sacrifices for her sake if necessary.” When he finished speaking, his face was still indifferent as usual, but there was somehow an aura about him as if he were truly making a great sacrifice for the sake of the overall situation.
Qian Wei was surprised to find that, unexpectedly, Lu Xun had a side that cared so much for his fellow classmates… how impressive!
The venue the drama club was using was very noisy so, after Qian Wei’s group had all received their roles, they decided to go back and read their scripts first, later, once that was done, they could come back and rehearse. And in their group, no one was happier than Li Linlin, whose whole face was flushed with joy as she clutched her script like it was a check for a million dollars, it was easy to see that even apart from her personality disorder she had a strong interest in acting in her heart. Also, in the past, she had always been more or less isolated because she was overweight and always acted strangely, so this was the first time she had ever been integrated into a group of friends like this. Although no one paid too much attention to her, they also didn’t go out of their way to ignore her so, for the first time, she was able to experience this kind of ordinary happiness and she felt that her days were filled with joy.
Meanwhile, much to Qian Wei’s surprise, her online legal consultation platform was developing much faster than she had anticipated. In just a few days, with the help of Lu Xun’s multi-pronged publicity approach, the number of registered customers of the platform had skyrocketed and it kept increasing every day. On top of that, because Qian Wei’s follow-up service was always very professional and enthusiastic, the first batch of visitors quickly transitioned from their initial ‘wait-and-see’ attitude to ‘Anyway it’s free, so why not just try it?’ and, in the end, they were happy to discover that they could successfully obtain low-cost legal advisory services that could solve their practical problems. With that, the people who had benefited from the website naturally went on to inform their relatives and friends about the platform, and this first batch of customers all became living advertisements for Qian Wei’s website. Those people, coupled with the grassroots publicity coming from the law school and the law students, caused more and more people to be willing to try out this new online legal platform.
In fact, the business was accelerating way beyond Qian Wei’s wildest dreams and, even before she and Lu Xun had started researching law firms that might want to cooperate with them, an established law firm had already contacted them and extended an olive branch for cooperation.
When that happened, Lu Xun quickly set up an appointment with one of the firm’s partners and went to meet him with Qian Wei.
Of course, because they were meeting with the goal of establishing a strategic cooperation between the two parties, Qian Wei and Lu Xun both wore formal clothes. As they approached the law firm, Qian Wei nervously walked next to Lu Xun and she couldn’t help but subconsciously take a few extra glances over at him. Of course, she had seen the cold and professional-looking 28-year-old Lu Xun in his formal clothes before, but this was the first time she had seen the 19-year-old Lu Xun in these kinds of clothes. He was a long-legged, tall, and handsome young man, and his formal clothes blunted some of that youthful image and made him seem more mature. However, he still seemed to radiate a kind of powerful youthful energy despite his stuffy professional attire.
All in all, he was really handsome.
“Are you ready?”
Before he pushed the door into the law firm open, Lu Xun squeezed Qian Wei’s hand. Although he seemed to be trying to encourage her, Qian Wei could tell that Lu Xun himself was a little nervous at the moment. However, he had always been someone who had firm control over his emotions and that nervousness seemed to disappear as soon as she noticed it. Anyway, Lu Xun had always had this kind of vibrant and confident energy, mixed with a sense of stability that a person couldn’t help but trust.
The law firm the two of them were visiting was a smaller firm that mainly took on cases that revolved around litigation, and the partner who came to receive the two of them was very young himself.
“My surname is Cheng. You two can call me Lawyer Cheng.” He introduced himself briefly.
Lawyers were people who liked to save time and didn’t generally beat around the bush, so Lawyer Cheng soon got to the point. He was very interested in establishing strategic cooperation with their online legal consultation platform and, after listening to Qian Wei and Lu Xun’s overview of the current operating conditions of the platform and their plans for the future, he directly began to talk about the details of their cooperation with Lu Xun.
They were all busy people who were interested in getting things done, so Lu Xun had a very productive conversation with Lawyer Cheng. After a bit of back and forth, the two parties had hammered out a preliminary plan for their cooperation.
When that was done, Lawyer Cheng seemed a bit surprised to learn that Qian Wei and Lu Xun were still only second years at the A University Law School: “I knew you two were young, but I didn’t expect that you were still students.”
Seeing the opportunity, Qian Wei also asked a question that had been making her doubtful: “Although our website currently has good momentum for a platform that just started-up, it still hasn’t reached the level of having a large user base or wide coverage, so I’m curious as to how you discovered us Lawyer Cheng?”
“Well, in fact, I didn’t find your platform myself. Rather, another law firm downstairs were the ones to find your website.”
“Huh?” Qian Wei thought about it and eventually vaguely recalled, “I seem to remember that just now in the hall under your offices I did see that there was another law firm downstairs. What was it called, ‘Rui Yi Law Firm’?”
“That’s right, they’re called Rui Yi Law Firm.”
“Since they were able to find out about us, perhaps we should visit them as well on our way out and take the initiative to recommend our platform for cooperation.”
Lawyer Cheng shook his head: “Their company will not cooperate with you, rather, not only is it impossible for them to cooperate but they can probably be considered your competitors.”
Lu Xun asked with a surprised tone: “Why do you say that?”
“It may not be obvious to you two since you aren’t in the working world yet, but some law firms, especially small law firms like ours and theirs, aren’t really committed to providing the highest quality legal service to their clients. Some small law firms are just set up for the sake of dragging out litigation, and their lawyers intentionally don’t provide very good legal service. Rather, they’re more like opportunists and, especially in cases that involve litigation, their only goal is to consume resources regardless of whether they are representing the plaintiff or the defendant. They aren’t trying to solve their clients’ problems at all, instead they just try to take advantage of their clients’ ignorance of the law to trick them into spending money on legal services that they don’t even need.” Lawyer Cheng took a sip of his tea. “To give you an example, Rui Yi recently took a case that involved a loan dispute. The lender had lent 100,000 yuan to the borrower at the beginning of the year but, because he directly gave the other party cash, there was no record of the transaction and, because of their ‘good relationship’, they never signed any paperwork or created any sort of oral evidence like a voice recording. Time passed, and now the lender wanted to get his money back from the borrower, so he found Rui Yi, can you guess what legal advice Rui Yi gave him?”
Qian Wei thought for a moment: “Hmm, if there is no evidence to prove the existence of a loan then the plaintiff in this kind of case has no choice to bear the adverse consequences for that lack of proof. That is to say, if the plaintiff tried to sue, their claim that the other party needs to repay the money would probably not be supported by the courts. Probably the best way would be for the plaintiff to privately negotiate with the defendant first without alarming them and try to get them to sign some sort of written loan agreement, that way they would be better positioned to sue in the future if things came to that.”
To Qian Wei’s answer, Lawyer Cheng nodded approvingly: “Right, that would be the solution that any law student should be able to suggest, but Rui Yi instead told the lender that he should directly hire Rui Yi’s lawyer to sue and recover the money for him.”
Lu Xun immediately interjected: “But Rui Yi’s lawyer must have known that there was no meaning in trying to persecute this kind of case. That is to say, the firm probably only encouraged the lender to sue in order to earn the legal fees from litigating the case? After all, once they decide to sue, the firm would be able to charge the lender according to the disputed amount of 100,000, which is much more money than they would get from simply dispensing legal advice. “
“Right, that’s the reason.” Lawyer Cheng nodded. “Of course, after the lender sued, the verdict really didn’t go in his favor, and it was only later that he was introduced to my firm through a friend. However, this kind of thing isn’t an isolated incident, that’s just how Rui Yi operates. They don’t care about the interests of their clients because they just want to earn as much as possible via legal fees. Instead of lawyers, they seem more like businessmen who are eager for quick success and quick profits.” By this point, Lawyer Cheng’s tone of voice was a bit indignant. “Many people in our society these days don’t have a very good impression of lawyers because of firms like Rui Yi that are tarnishing the image of the whole profession.”
“Law firms like theirs don’t spend any time or money trying to improve their ability in business or law, but instead they just devote all their energy to taking advantage of the weaknesses of the low-end customers who have no understanding of law to scam their money. However, the platform you’ve created actually allows many of their target customers to receive free or low-fee professional advice directly from the platform itself. For instance, if the lender in the case I mentioned just now had access to your platform and had inquired there about how to deal with his situation, he would never have been tricked into pursuing unnecessary litigation in the first place.”
Lu Xun quickly understood what Lawyer Cheng was trying to say: “Therefore, the existence of our platform makes it more difficult for them to continue providing their usual deceptive legal services. Furthermore, the greater the influence of our platform, the more users it has, the less room there is for them to run their black-hearted business. With that being the reason, not only is it impossible for them to become our partners, they will undoubtedly come to regard us as a thorn in their side?”
“Young people nowadays are quick on the uptake.” Lawyer Cheng was obviously very pleased with Lu Xun’s wits. “And that’s actually how I found out about your platform. The other day I ended up riding the elevator with a few of those terrible lawyers from Rui Yi, and they were all grinding their teeth and scolding your website angrily, saying that they had lost a lot of cases recently because of your platform.”
After that, the three of them continued to chat for a while until Lawyer Cheng looked at his watch and said: “Anyway, I have an appointment with another client half an hour from now. You two have my business card, so if you have any questions about our cooperation feel free to contact me. It seems that the youth these days are really heroes ah. However, it’s unfortunate that my firm is still small, otherwise I would really want to bring you two on board.”