It didn’t matter why Yi Yang liked her. Xu Xinyi had only one thought in mind.
Yi Yang, the dog man, had finally made a mistake in her hands.
What did he say to her back then?
Did he forget his cold words, when he rolled his eyes and said, ‘I will never like you in my life, please have some self-respect’? But whose face was being slapped by those words now?
“Do I have anything coming up soon?”
Anya looked at the schedule in front of her. “You said you didn’t want to be too busy, so I didn’t arrange too much for you these days. You’re free tomorrow, then there’s an advertisement the day after tomorrow, and there’s a talk show the day after that. Also, you’ll have to show up at an awards ceremony on Thursday. That’s all for this week.”
“An awards ceremony? Am I winning an award?”
“The voting is all internal, so what do you think?”
“Then why am I even going?”
“To show your face.”
Xu Xinyi rolled her eyes and said, “I won’t go.”
Anya didn’t bother to force her. She had already guessed that Xu Xinyi wouldn’t be interested, “That’s fine, but one more thing, free up this day, there are talks about a film script to go to, will you come with me?”
“Alright.” Xu Xinyi suddenly remembered something and asked, “Where was Jiang Nian on his father’s birthday?”
“I gave him the day off that day. He didn’t go to the party?”
“No, I didn’t see him all night. I thought you forced him to practice in the company.”
Anya rolled her eyes, “Am I such a cold-blooded person in your eyes?”
Xu Xinyi muttered, “Then why didn’t he show up for his own father’s birthday party?”
It seemed that Jiang Nian really didn’t have a good relationship with his family.
“By the way, something came up regarding Jiang Nian but you went to that party two days ago and then you had a fever, so I didn’t tell you.”
“What is it?”
“Jiang Nian, that little ancestor, wasn’t he supposed to be on a variety show two days ago? When they were recording the program, I’m not sure what the host said but Jiang Nian just shook his head and left directly. Many viewers watched it and before long it was being circulated online with a lot of commenters saying that he was acting like a diva. The producer of the program called me and said that if Jiang Nian did not come forward and issue an apology they will never cooperate with our studio again.”
Xu Xinyi was surprised, “Which program? Which host? “
“It’s the host from ‘The Extraordinary Challenge’, Zhou Kai.”
“Him?” Xu Xinyi frowned, “Do you know what he said to set him off?”
Anya shook her head. “I don’t know. Jiang Nian didn’t say.”
Xu Xinyi sighed. She could understand, when she was his age she also often had a fiery temper and was willing to fight even if it didn’t make much sense.
“Alright, I guess I won’t know until I talk to him about it. Where is he now?”
“He should be somewhere in the studio. These days he’s been coming into the studio pretty much every day.”
Xu Xinyi frowned. “Why is he spending so much time in the studio?”
“He asked me to hire teachers for him, and when there are no classes, he likes to do extra drills in the practice room.”
“He wanted a physique teacher, a dance teacher, and an acting teacher. Altogether it cost a lot of money,” Anya added, “He paid for all of them himself.”
“…I got it, I’ll talk to him. ” As she said that Xu Xinyi got up and walked toward the dance studio.
The dance studio was where Jiang Nian could be found more often than not these days. Through the glass window in the dance studio’s door Xu Xinyi saw Jiang Nian. He was dancing with his dance teacher. She stood outside silently until the movements of the two people inside stopped and the teacher turned off the music. The teacher left a few words with Jiang Nian then turned and walked towards the door.
The door opened from the inside and the dance teacher saw Xu Xinyi standing there. He said with a smile, “Hello, Miss Xu.”
Xu Xinyi looked inside and asked, “Is today’s class over?”
“Yes, it’s over.”
“Thank you for your hard work.”
“It’s nothing,” the dance teacher spoke with a smile. “Jiang Nian has a lot of talent in dancing. He picks things up very quickly, I hardly have to teach him at all.”
After saying a few more pleasantries, the dance teacher said his goodbyes and left.
Xu Xinyi pushed open the door and walked inside. She stood in the corner and watched Jiang Nian who was in the middle of the dance studio practicing.
The routine Jiang Nian was practicing concluded with a jump and a dramatic landing. After landing he stopped dancing. Xu Xinyi watched him wipe the sweat on his head with a towel and hesitantly approached him step by step.
Perhaps he guessed the reason why Xu Xinyi came because Jiang Nian lowered his head and muttered, “What can I do for you?”
“It’s nothing much. I just wanted to see what you’ve been up to.”
“Sister Anya said she wanted to prepare an album for me. So I’ve been working hard to practice dancing for the album these days.”
Xu Xinyi nodded. “Well done.”
Jiang Nien seemed slightly shocked. “Don’t you have anything you want to ask me?”
“That was it.”
“Did you hear that I offended the host of ‘The Extraordinary Challenge’?”
Xu Xinyi nodded, “I heard.”
“He’s just a host, at most you won’t be on his show.”
Jiang Nian stared at her in silence.
“Anya has already told me about this matter. You can forget it this time. Just pay more attention in the future. But I am a bit curious, what did the host say that made you so angry that you left on the spot?”
Jiang Nian hesitated for a moment before he said, “He wanted to poach me to his company.”
“You said no?”
“I said no.”
Xu Xinyi really thought that his single-mindedness was cute. “Why would you be so angry about such a thing?”
Jiang Nian did not respond.
“Jiang Nian, you child, you know you are an adult now. I have to say a few words for your own sake, in the future while you work in the entertainment industry, you can’t always be so arrogant, you know? In the future, what kind of trash won’t you hear? Do you plan to fly into a rage every time?”
Jiang Nian agreed out loud. But privately he thought to himself that Xu Xinyi telling what the host really said was the right call. He didn’t want to dirty her ears.
“En, I’ll remember.”
“OK, just remember it and don’t be so reckless next time. You keep practicing for now, I’ll leave first.”
“Wait a minute -” Jiang Nian stopped her. He looked as if he had something he had wanted to say for a long time and now he was seriously weighing whether he should say it or not.
“What is it?”
“You… you really don’t remember me? “
Jiang Nian said tersely, “Two years ago. Under the Jinshan Bridge.”
Xu Xinyi frowned slightly. She looked carefully at Jiang Nian’s face.
Two years ago?
Under the Jinshan Bridge?
She spent a few seconds searching through her memories from two years ago, then she suddenly realized something, “It’s you…”
When Xu Xinyi first came to this world two years ago it was right after she had married Yi Yang. One day Yi Yang, who was often abroad in the United States, returned to China and took her back to the Yi Estate with him to put Old Master Yi’s mind at ease. But then, on the way back, something came up at work and Yi Yang couldn’t go back to Lanting with her. He dumped her out of the car halfway and told her to take a taxi home.
In those days, she was very unhappy with Yi Yang and would never do something just because he told her to do it. So instead of calling a taxi she took a walk along the river after Yi Yang left, where she happened to run into a boy – Jiang Nian. After that, she discovered she had made a stupid mistake because she didn’t have any cash and her cell phone had run out of battery. That being the case, she had no way to get a ride home, so she was forced to spend two hours walking home in her high heels, passionately insulting Yi Yang the whole time.
“I remember you!”
“You didn’t remember me at all.” Jiang Nian indifferently exposed her.
“…I didn’t recognize you at first sight because back then you were much thinner and dressed differently. It was very different from how you look now, “Xu Xinyi wondered aloud. “But why were you there back then?”
Jiang Nian hung his head and said, “It doesn’t matter.”
He knew that Xu Xinyi did not remember him at all. After all, he had been wandering around in front of her for such a long time but she never mentioned anything to him.
“I will take care of this matter with Zhou Kai myself. I’ll issue an apology.”
“You don’t have to be so stubborn,” Xu Xinyi patted him on the shoulder. “This was not your fault so I’ll deal with it. You don’t have to worry about it. But next time you encounter something like this, try not to be so impulsive, alright?”
After saying that she left with a smile.
Regarding Zhou Kai’s matter, Xu Xinyi still hadn’t decided whether to give up on him completely or to do something to try to ease the relationship.
Although it was true he was only a host, he did have many good friends in the entertainment circle. So if the offended him, any of those people could cause their company to stumble in the future. Nowadays, many people had broad networks and offending one of them was akin to offending all of them. Even Xu Xinyi was sometimes careful not to offend those with potential or those with strong backgrounds.
As for this Zhou Kai…
Xu Xinyi looked over the information about Zhou Kai that Anya had gathered. Although Zhou Kai was only a small host without much popularity, his uncle was a director from Taiwan and he could be called quite powerful in the industry. If she soured their relationship with Zhou Kai, there may be some troubles in the future.
After carefully thinking it through, Xu Xinyi decided to meet with Zhou Kai and clearly discuss the matter.
Xu Xinyi asked Anya to set up a meeting with Zhou Kai. But he seemed to deliberately want to make things difficult, first, he said he wanted to meet tomorrow but then he changed his mind and said he had no time tomorrow. Finally, after changing his mind three times, he agreed to schedule the meeting at the Yonghe Club three days later.
Zhou Kai was a man who had relied on his uncle’s background to enter the TV station and become a host. He was never shy when he was fond of a man or woman in his station and no one knew how many young graduates from Taiwan were harmed by him over the years. Because of his backing, no one dared to provoke him and he only became more and more daring. When Jiang Nian came on his program Zhou Kai was immediately attracted to him and said a few words. But out of his expectations, Jiang Nian did not give him any face and stormed off the set. How could he just take that lying down?
So when Xu Xinyi asked to meet he assumed it was regarding the matter with Jiang Nian. He purposely changed the time again and again in order to annoy her and vent some of his anger. At first he was determined not to cooperate with Xu Xinyi’s studio again at all, but then he received a message from Jiang Nian asking to meet, so he decided to give Xu Xinyi a chance and set up a meeting at the Yonghe Club three days later. He scheduled the meeting with Xu Xinyi for the day after his meeting with Jiang Nian.
The meeting with Jiang Nian was still at the Yonghe Club and that night he sat in the middle of his private room and just waited for Jiang Nian to deliver himself to his door.
And at eight o’clock, Jiang Nian finally arrived.
Zhou Kai sat on the sofa and looked up at him with a greasy smile. “Come in, I wonder why you wanted to meet with me? What can I do for you tonight?”
The room was dimly lit and the atmosphere was ambiguous. Jiang Nian was hanging his head, so Zhou Kai couldn’t see the other man’s face clearly.
“I came to apologize for what happened on the show the other day.”
Zhou Kai smiled. “Jiang Nian, you haven’t been in the entertainment industry for very long, have you? It was going to be a good show but you just walked out, really not giving us any face. With that sort of attitude, how could we continue to cooperate in the future?”
“I was impulsive. I’m sorry.” There was an unclear undercurrent in Jiang Nian’s voice when he spoke.
“Are you done with your apology already?” Zhou Kai looked at him lecherously. “I’ll give you one last chance. Think carefully about what I said on the set before, and I can pretend this never happened, okay?”
Seeing that Jiang Nian didn’t respond, Zhou Kai continued, “It doesn’t matter even if you don’t agree. I’ll meet your boss Xu Xinyi tomorrow. If you don’t agree, I’ll ask her…”
Before Zhou Kai even finished his words, there was a crisp cracking sound, and then he felt warm liquid flowing down his head. He screamed and felt a sharp pain explode on his forehead.
He clutched his forehead with his hand and looked at Jiang Nian, who had just hit him with an empty wine bottle. “You… how dare you hit me!”
Zhou Kai was instantly full of rage but when he looked into Jiang Nian’s gloomy eyes he felt something tremble at the bottom of his heart.
Jiang Nian walked over to him with an expressionless face and then pushed him to the ground, and kicked him a few times. Zhou Kai was pushed down and then kicked until he rolled into a corner. He lay down on his back, his abdomen was burning, and every breath he took was painful.
“How dare you hit me!” Zhou Kai gasped for a long time before he managed to stagger to his feet and look at Jiang Nian. “Good,.. Very good. You just wait, I’m telling you now, no artist from your studio will ever appear on any of our programs again, including you! If any of you ever get in, I’ll write my name backward!”
Jiang Nian squatted down in front of him. He grabbed him by the throat and punched him until his nose was spewing blood.
“If you have a problem with me, take it up with me. Don’t involve my boss.”
The two men’s faces were only inches apart and, perhaps because there was something cloudy and frightening in Jiang Nian’s eyes, Zhou Kai held his breath and didn’t dare provoke him any further.
Jiang Nian’s eyes were deep and filled with a kind of cruelty and violence that Zhou Kai had never seen before.
After staring the other man down for a while, Jiang Nian released him and walked slowly out of the room.
Outside, Jiang Nian leaned against the doorframe in a daze.
He had come to apologize but things had turned out like this.
He took out his cell phone and scrolled through his contact list. His thumb trembled and hesitated but finally, he did not make the call. He turned off the phone and walked away silently.
Five minutes later, a staff member from the Yonghe Club walked in and saw the mess in the private room and the blood on Zhou Kai’s face, and hurriedly called the police.
“Call the police! Call the police now! Where is Jiang Nian? Are all the people in your club dead? You need to stop him. Stop him now! I’m telling you, he beat me bloody at your Yonghe Club, so your club has to give me an account!”
Some passers-by slowed their feet outside the door, distracted by what they heard inside.
The staffer from the club explained: “Mr. Zhou I’m very sorry. We have already called the police but the Jiang Nian that you mentioned has already left our club, so…”
Zhou Kai shouted, “I don’t care! Where’s your security guards? Bring Jiang Nian to me now! He dared to hit me! See if I don’t fix him today!”
Standing outside the door, a silent Jiang Huai listened to Zhou Kai’s loud and scolding voice, he smiled at Yi Yang who was next to him and said, “Does Mr. Yi mind if I take a moment to deal with a private matter?”
Today, Jiang Huai and Yi Yang had come to the Yonghe Club to discuss cooperation. The Jiang and Yi families had not cooperated for many years so this discussion was of vital importance to him.
Yi Yang looked at him coldly. “If Mr. Jiang wants to deal with his private affairs, we will have to talk about business another day.”
Suddenly another angry roar came from inside the room. “Jiang Nian, that son of a bitch, he dared to hit me! If I don’t send him up the river for eight or ten years my name isn’t Zhou Kai! And that Xu Xinyi! Tomorrow I’d like to see how she explains this to me! If the artists in her studio can’t play by the rules, it shouldn’t be open in the first place!”
Jiang Huai raised an eyebrow and looked at Yi Yang. “Mr. Yi, I think these private affairs involve both of us now.”
The two men pushed the door open and walked inside with straight faces.
The staff members from the club were busy taking care of the wound on Zhou Kai’s forehead when the two men walked in.
As soon as Zhou Kai saw two men followed by several men in dark suits enter the room, he stood up and said, “Who are you?”
Jiang Huai stepped forward and kicked him back down on the sofa. Then he gave the staffers a cold look that clearly said ‘get out of here’.
The club staff members hurried out after they saw the warning in their supervisor’s eyes from the door.
Zhou Kai, who had been kicked in the abdomen several times in succession, had a thick layer of sweat on his head and collapsed onto the sofa. He squinted and pointed at Jiang Huai, “You kicked me! Do you know who I am?”
“Do you know who I am?”
It was only when he got close enough that Zhou Kai could make out Jiang Huai’s figure through the haze of pain and his panic was quickly reduced by half. “Mr. Jiang?”
“Rather than that*, I’m Jiang Nian’s brother. Did I just hear you say that you want to send Jiang Nian to prison for eight or ten years?”
Zhou Kai looked up and saw the same gloomy eyes that Jiang Nian had and immediately began to stutter, “Jiang…? Sir… I just… Let me explain!”
In great pain, he stood up and wanted to explain things to Jiang Huai.
“Did I just hear you say that Xu Xinyi’s studio should not be open?” Yi Yang suddenly cut in calmly.
Zhou Kai’s voice trembled, “Yi… Mr. Yi?”
“Rather than that, I’m Xu Xinyi’s husband.”
*in the raw he actually just says ‘不’ which the MTL just translates to ‘no’. But the line is clearly him refuting Zhou Kai’s address for him – i.e. he’s not ‘mr. jiang’ he’s ‘jiang nian’s brother’ – and then Yi Yang has a line with the exact same sentence structure after that (which is clearly the joke) which is why I sort of reworked their lines the way I did. I think it’s more in line with the author’s intent this way.