Chapter 54: Routine
It was fine if he was a hypocrite. There was nothing to be done even if he really did have a nasty character. Chu Qin was the victim and to the public, he had always had a good reputation. Nobody would say he was bad when comparing him to the criminal Luo Yuan.
Thus, public opinion swayed towards Chu Qin and Zhou Zimeng was painted as a crazy fangirl who failed to obtain the object of her affection. Zhou Zimeng grew furious after hearing this piece of news, “I’m infatuated with Chu Qin? He’s really thick-skinned!”
“You shut up,” Father Zhou berated her. Now that public opinion was as such, not only could he not make things clear, he even needed to help Chu Qin by saying the same. After all, love turning to hate seemed like something a clueless young girl would do. Publicizing the truth would merely let the impression the masses and judge had of Zhou Zimeng worsen. After all, it couldn’t be more embarrassing that the target was actually Chu Qin’s boyfriend when one had manipulated their admirer into harming Chu Qin.
“Given the current situation, Miss Zhou must declare that she had no knowledge of how Luo Yuan was going to handle Chu Qin,” The lawyer father Zhou had invited explained calmly, “Because of that message sent out by Madam Zhong, she will definitely point to Miss Zhou as the mastermind. Therefore, we can’t get rid of the blame too cleanly.”
Luo Yuan was not particularly smart, but he could still be considered as somewhat cunning. At the time he decided to kidnap Chu Qin, he had already thought of dragging Mother Zhong in. When things went wrong, Chu Qin would not be willing to disclose the matter on account of his boyfriend’s face.
Their original plan was to let Zhou Zimeng instigate Mother Zhong and provoke her anger, so that she would take action herself to discipline Chu Qin. At that time, they had a finger in every pie and had bribed the few people under Mother Zhong to harm Chu Qin. However, although Mother Zhong disliked Chu Qin, she had no intention of taking action against him. Hence, they could only settle for the next best course of action and take action themselves, cheating Mother Zhong into joining them.
After hearing of Zhou Zimeng’s plan, the lawyer sighed. If they had not added on this unnecessary move, it was completely possible to extract Zhou Zimeng by saying that she had not been clear on the situation.
For the sake of her son, Hua Jiayue had been running around everywhere and had naturally sought our Father Zhou for a discussion. Father Zhou pretended to act as a fellow sufferer who empathized with her and had a good discussion with Hua Jiayue.
“Your child is young and didn’t know better, the child should at least be given a chance,” Father Zhou said sympathetically.
Hua Jiayue was on the brink of hating Zhou Zimeng to death, but her own son was the one who had committed the act and she needed to rely on Zhou Zimeng to speak on her son’s behalf. Hence, she could only suppress the raging fires in her heart and converse with Father Zhou in a warm and low voice.
The preliminary plan as a result of the discussion was to push all the blame to the three kidnappers by saying that the two children had only instructed them to beat Chu Qin and had not expected them to kidnap him with the intention of going onto the errant path.
“Our Luo Yuan doesn’t know Chu Qin at all. If not for Meng Meng, how is it possible that he would have done this sort of absurd thing. In the end, the main responsibility still lies with your family,” Hua Jiayue rambled on and could not resist complaining a few sentences. Seeing that Father Zhou’s complexion was poor, she corrected herself, “But the matter has already leaked out, so speaking about this would not be of any use. The most important thing to do is salvage the children.”
Father Zhou made a sound of assent and didn’t say anything more. After Hua Jiayue left, he sneered. Her own son had no brains, who was she blaming.
On the day of the court session, Mother Zhong had to appear in court as she was a witness. Therefore, the entire Zhong family accompanied her to the venue. Seeing the Zhong family, father Zhou felt somewhat embarrassed and didn’t dare to meet their gaze.
Originally, he had even been living the beautiful dream of having his daughter marry into the Zhong family but now his hopes were thoroughly dashed. It wasn’t just the Zhong family. If the outcome of the lawsuit today was bad and she was sent to jail for two years, none of the prominent families in the capital would want his daughter.
As the victim, it was a necessity for Chu Qin to appear at court. Zhong Yibin sat beside him and held onto his icy hand, “After today, they’ll be sent to jail. Don’t be scared.”
“I’m not scared,” Chu Qin turned around and stared at him, yet he didn’t pull his hand back. In reality, he was still a little afraid. The psychological shadow left by the kidnappers was hard to overcome in a short time. The good thing was that Zhong Yibin had always been beside him. If Zhong Yibin failed to remember him after losing his memories, he would probably have gone insane by now.
Mother Zhong noticed the two people two rows away from her and grew irate. Holding hands in a public place with so many people, they truly didn’t know shame. What would they do if they were seen by reporters?
“There are no reporters today,” The Zhong’s family’s big brother knew what his mother was worried about and reminded her with good intentions.
“They shouldn’t be doing that even if there aren’t any reporters. Two men tugging at each other…” Mother Zhong was still in state of chaos.
“Alright, stop arguing,” Father Zhong stopped Mother Zhong’s clamor. The staff members had already arrived, and the hearing was about to commence; they had to maintain silence.
Both Luo Yuan and Zhou Zimeng had on handcuffs and were led by the bailiff to their designated seats encased with iron railings. The three kidnappers were also brought to the venue. Since they had committed a crime that was violent in nature and which would render a heavy sentence, their hands and feet were all shackled by heavy cuffs.
Bald Head glanced at Luo Yuan and Zhou Zimeng, who were at the defendants’ position, and glared ruthlessly at them with bitter resentment. These two behind-the-scene masterminds said that they would pay half the agreed amount before paying the other half after the deed was done. In the end, they were caught and till now had yet to receive the other half of the money. They would be in prison for the next few decades and the young and old in their families still needed to eat. Just relying on that half of the total amount was definitely insufficient.
Hua Jiayue looked on and worried helplessly as she held onto a handkerchief, continuously dabbing at the tears in her eyes. Previously, she had attempted to bribe those three criminals and let them shoulder the blame. However, no matter how much she tried, she could never meet them. Even their relatives were not allowed to enter to speak to them. In her heart, she knew that someone had intervened and deliberately guarded against it, but she had no other options.
The hearing commenced. The prosecutor first declared the few people’ guilt before describing in detail the entire process of the kidnapping.
Luo Yuan didn’t want to admit his guilt. During the describing process, he stated that he had only hired the three people to teach Chu Qin a lesson and had no knowledge of how they were going to do so.
The prosecutor was angered by his drooping eyes and appearance of lying. Upon request, the court displayed several articles of evidence – lubricant, condoms. These were all the tools that the kidnappers had prepared to handle Chu Qin. If there had not been a clear direction, how would the three kidnappers have thought of such a specific method of ‘teaching’.
The lawyer invited by Hua Jiayue for her son stepped up to defend him, “According to the prosecutor, my client arranged for the kidnappers to assault the victim. We disagree…” The lawyer persisted in arguing that the evidence was insufficient in determining that it was Luo Yuan who had instructed them, and that it was certainly the kidnappers who had come up with the idea themselves.
Mother Zhong listened with fear and trepidation. During the past few days, she had frequently been summoned to the police station, so she was very clear about the details of the case. But she only knew that Luo Yuan and Zhou Zimeng had cooked up the plot to abduct Chu Qin and teach him a lesson, harming Zhong Yibin as well. She had never heard of them wanting to mistreat or rape Chu Qin.
When Bald Head and the others heard that Luo Yuan’s lawyer was pushing the blame to them, they were very dissatisfied and refuted it, “This was all instructed to us by them. They said that if we recorded a video, the reward would be doubled, but up till now we only have half the down payment.”
In order to fight for leniency, the three kidnappers explained how Luo Yuan directed them and sent them the money clearly.
When it reached Zhou Zimeng’s turn for questioning, she avoided Luo Yuan’s hope-filled eyes and remained silent for a while before saying, “At that time, I only complained a little to Luo Yuan and he already said that he would teach Chu Qin a lesson. He asked me to inform him of a time when Zhong Yibin wasn’t around. I’m also not constantly aware of Zhong Yibin’s whereabouts so I asked Zhong Yibin’s mother. Luo Yuan told me that if we let Auntie send the news to the handphone of the person he found, even if things go wrong, things will not be pursued any further because Zhong Yibin’s mother was involved.”
Within a few words, she cleared herself of all responsibility. The Zhou family’s lawyer also promptly stepped up and emphasized that Zhou Zimeng had no knowledge at all of the situation and had only offered an avenue of convenience. Thus, there was absolutely no precedence for her to be considered a criminal and she should be a witness who was familiar with the situation like Mother Zhong.
Luo Yuan looked towards Zhou Zimeng incredulously. Hua Jiayue couldn’t stop herself from shrieking, “Zhou Zimeng, don’t go against your conscience, what did you tell me two days ago!”
Chu Qin looked at them arguing among each other and felt that it was completely ridiculous.
The more Mother Zhong listened, the more creased her brows became. When it was time for her to testify, she couldn’t help glancing deeply at Zhou Zimeng, “Zhou Zimeng told me that she and a few other friends would go chat with Chu Qin. She wanted me to send a message when Yibin reached home to her family’s bodyguard, to that 182 number.”
With Mother Zhong’s testimony, Zhou Zimeng’s ‘innocent’ image simultaneously crumbled. No matter how ignorant this twenty-plus old adult was, she was still aware that Luo Yuan intended to harm Chu Qin. She would never be able to escape from the guilt of aiding a criminal, no amount of explanation would be of use.
In the end, the three criminals were sentenced to twenty years because of the kidnapping charge. As the main mastermind, Luo Yuan also required a heavy sentence but after taking into consideration that he had not participated in the violent activity directly and his willingness to admit his errors, he was sentenced to eight years. On the other hand, as the accomplice, Zhou Zimeng’s situation was comparatively less serious and she was sentenced to three years.
At first, Hua Jiayue assumed that her son was considered to have committed the crime of hiring violent kidnappers. Eventually, the lawyer told her that if it were not for the charge of ‘hiring’, the crime Luo Yuan committed would be kidnapping. Moreover, he was sentenced to eight years at one go because Zhou Zimeng pushed all the blame to him. Hua Jiayue fainted at the venue itself and after taking a slow breath, she crazily lunged towards father Zhou and viciously smashed her handphone towards his head.
Ever since then, the enmity between the Zhou and Hua families was set in stone.
The case concluded and it was only after quite a few days did Mother Zhong then slowly regain her energy. After finally realizing that she had committed a huge wrong, she felt like she had let down Zhong Yibin. She thought it over before inviting Chu Qin out to meet.
Chu Qin was stunned upon receiving Mother Zhong’s call, he didn’t know how this senior figure had thought up the idea of meeting him. It was just at the teahouse near the television station and he wasn’t in a good position to turn her down so he could only hurriedly change his clothes, turning towards the mirror to meticulously look himself up and down. Only after he found nothing inappropriate did he then head to the teahouse in big strides.
Mother Zhong was seated, gracefully sipping tea. Seeing that Chu Qin had arrived, she raised her chin to indicate for him to sit down.
“I heard that Dave has already found a way to let Yibin recover his memories, how is the progress?” Mother Zhong was somewhat uncomfortable bringing this up. It was said that the person Zhong Yibin most trusted needed to guide him; the person this thoughtless youngster trusted the most wasn’t his mother but this male vixen, really annoying!
“At the moment, we haven’t seen any effects yet. I intend to bring him to look around the places we dated at in the past tonight,” Chu Qin smiled. His voice was gentle and polite, no one would be able to pick out a single fault.
Hearing the word ‘dated’, Mother Zhong wrinkled her brows and placed down her teacup, “Are you protesting?”
Chu Qin froze for a moment, “Why would you think that?”
“Heng!” Mother Zhong made a cold sound. She took out a pile of blank checks, signed a check for a million and tore it out to give to Chu Qin, “I’ll give this money to you. After Yibin regains his memories, leave him.”
Chu Qin looked at the check thrown in front of him and couldn’t cry nor laugh, “Auntie, I can earn this million in a month.” Not only did he have his salary, he also had revenue from program subsidies, business performances and advertising. During the past two years, he had already spent nearly ten million on Zhong Yibin.
“You’re raising the price?” Mother Zhong frowned. Shouldn’t his reaction at this point be crying while saying the classic line ‘money can’t buy love’? This youngster, he wasn’t playing his cards according to the routine!
The author has something to say:
Small theater: <There is a routine for everything>
Mother Zhong: I’ll give you a million, leave my son
Qin Qin: A million cannot buy my love
Mother Zhong: What do you want
Qin Qin: Return me the ten million I spent on him, as well as the fees for all these years of food, drink and □□
Mother Zhong: ……
Mother Zhong: If you don’t leave him, I’ll cut off your allowance
Er Bing: Ah, who cares
Mother Zhong: Alright then, I’ll like to see how you live after leaving the family
Er Bing: I still have 300 million shares at Yu Tang’s, and another twenty million in my secret stash
Mother Zhong: ……
 高级身影一期: This was also included in the list of evidence. A rough translation would be ‘high-grade silhouette’ which… makes no sense in this context. I had no idea how to slot this in, so I left it out for the moment. If you’re aware of the proper translation then do comment!
 This was in the raws. I’ll recommend using your imagination here, because it can be very funny depending on what you slot in (hint: there’s probably a reason why it was censored) (*ゝω・)ﾉ