Chapter 158: Zhendong Film Company

After saying all that, Chen Shi took a mouthful of food and poured himself a glass of iced lemonade. The dinner table was quiet.

Old Zhang took the lead in breaking the silence. "Brother Chen’s reasoning... I think it is almost a fact. I can't think of any flaws in his argument."

Chen Shi smiled. "Old Zhang, don’t shorten my blessings. Please call me Little[1] Chen."

Lin Dongxue asked, "Is this related to the murder case?"

"Jia Xingyun's father and son killed him because they didn’t get the money? Old Man Lu killed his son because things went awry? It’s impossible! However, this incident happened almost at the same time as the murder case. Old Man Lu’s concealment would definitely hide some important clues regarding the case, so we will have to go talk to him tomorrow! Ah, yes, I thought of something. The security in the victim’s residential community said that there were hackers that got rid of the surveillance footage. I suspect that Old Man Lu did it. Dongxue, you have to check who he has been in contact with recently. In short, in the face of the murder case, all parties can’t reserve secrets!"

"Brother Chen is right!" Everyone nodded. They seemed to have long forgotten that Chen Shi was just a driver. Now, everyone believed him just like they would trust a senior police detective.

Chen Shi looked at the pot and questioned, "Would you guys like to order more food?"

"No, no thank you. We should go home to sleep and continue to investigate the case tomorrow."

"Thank you for your efforts!"

Tao Yueyue asked, "Are we going to investigate the case again tomorrow?"

Chen Shi responded, "If you don’t want to come with me, you can stay at home and sleep.”

"No, I want to come, but I want to be with Sister Lin."

"Then, go tell her about it yourself!"

Early the next morning, Chen Shi took Tao Yueyue to the city bureau and looked exhausted. Lin Dongxue was still in the same spirit as usual. She smiled and asked, "What happened? Didn't sleep well?"

Chen Shi rubbed his temples. "I’m a freelancer. I really can't adapt to your life of nine to five!"

Tao Yueyue raised her hands and chimed in, "I need to report that Uncle Chen had been drinking last night."

"You are a little traitor!" Chen Shi smiled. "Right, this little devil wants to be with you, can she?"

Lin Dongxue smiled, "Yes, Yueyue, don’t wander too far today.”

"I won’t!" Tao Yueyue made a silly face.

Chen Shi said, "Xu Xiaodong and I will go to the film company to have a look."

Lin Dongxue queried, "Do you suspect that there is a lead there? Or are you worried about Xu Xiaodong?"

"No, the company is a blind spot. The company's people and Lu Zhendong's circle of friends have not overlapped at all. I want to know more about it. It’s better I go and take a look with my own eyes.”

After eating a simple breakfast, Chen Shi and Xu Xiaodong rushed to the Zhendong Film Company. They thought the company would be closed, but they didn’t expect the members to go on working normally. However, it seemed that they didn’t have any motivation to work. They lazily cut and edited the film on the computer, wrote the scripts, and worked on the website. They did whatever they wanted while on work hours. There were even people openly playing World of Warcraft.

"Peace all around!" Chen Shi announced.

A female employee came over and asked, "Who are you looking for?"

"We’re police. We want to see the person in charge."

"I am the person you’re looking for."

"Let’s go aside to talk."

They went to a simple meeting room and Chen Shi asked, "No offense, but does your company not know that their president was killed? Why are you still at work?"

"Shh, this must not be told to them!" The person in charge was nervous.

"You haven't notified them yet?"

"I got a call from the secretary of Boss Lu’s father yesterday. The news was really out of the blue. I have dozens of employees here. If we all suddenly lose our jobs, I don’t know what I would do or say. I couldn’t sleep at all last night…Haiii!”

The three of them turned their heads in unison and looked at the employees who were “working hard” and had mixed feelings.

The person in charge suggested, "You are the police, so why don’t you tell them?"

Chen Shi looked at Xu Xiaodong and Xu Xiaodong laughed like an idiot as he said, "Brother Chen is older and seems more persuasive."

Chen Shi countered, "Young people should experience this as training. You need to face this kind of stuff sooner or later.”

"I’m afraid they won’t believe me if I were the one to tell them.”

"What do you mean they won’t believe you? You have a police badge!"

The two were both unwilling to be the bad guy. The person in charge sighed. “I guess I’ll be the one to tell them, but can the two of you stand beside me?”

Chen Shi nodded. "Can this month’s pay be covered?"

"Lu has working capital here. It was originally intended to be a new film’s operating cost. I want to pay for their salaries using this, but this is public money. I called Boss Lu’s father’s company, but they ignored me. There’s nothing I can do right now.”

Perhaps in the eyes of Lu Qixing, this film company was not a serious company at all.

Chen Shi said, "I am the leader of this task force. I will note down the sum of the salaries here later. You can then pay them their salaries and severance payment. I will let Boss Lu’s father know.”

"Thank you so much." The responsible person wiped her tears away.

"So touched you’re crying?"

"No, I was so sad when I thought about the company closing down... I know that this company doesn't make money, but everyone gets along very well together."

"There is no never-ending feast."

"I understand, but it’s still sad.”

The two accompanied the person in charge to announce the big news. The company members immediately erupted in chaos. People discussed the matter on hand. Some female employees shed tears due to this. It seemed that Lu Zhendong in their minds had a good reputation.

Chen Shi said to Xu Xiaodong, "At the end of the Qing Dynasty, a warship crossed the Pacific Ocean to perform its mission. When it came back, they discovered that the land had already become the Republic of China. The mood of the people on board that ship is probably the same as this situation here!"

When the crowd became a bit quieter, the person in charge said, "I will let the accountant issue the severance payment later. Now the two police officers here would like to ask you all a few questions. I hope everyone will cooperate with the investigation."

Chen Shi nodded his thanks and asked for a staff list to understand the situation better.

Although the company was like a small sparrow, but the organs were all there[2] and all the necessary departments were there. Xu Xiaodong whispered, "Most of the employees here have acted in the bad films shot by Lu Zhendong. Seeing them in real life, I’m a little excited!”

"You can ask for autographs," Chen Shi teased.

Chen Shi first called on a human resources supervisor and asked, "I looked at the staff list. There are planners, scriptwriters, editors, but why are there no actors? We have seen your company's work and there are at least four or five main actors in each film."

The human resources director said, "The actors are not counted as members of the company. Every time we film, they are found temporarily. After the filming, they will leave."

"Where do you find them?"

"Acting school!"

Chen Shi was surprised and asked, "Acting is like that?"

"No, they are all selected by the film and television school. Every year, Boss Lu would always take us to the door and wait for those little girls who came out looking depressed after their exams. These girls were all pretty young and had that celebrity dream. Seeing that Boss Lu was very eloquent and from a legal and honest film company, they would get fooled… No, I mean, they would sign the contract.”

Chen Shi laughed. "Did you leak something just then? If you don’t just shoot these online films, isn’t there an ulterior motive?”

“Hey... Boss Lu always said at the company’s annual meeting that our company is not going to make works that satisfy the audience, but to make works that satisfy him. I know that you think those are bad films, but as an old staff member, if I were to speak honestly, Boss Lu sincerely tried to pursue art… Maybe he just didn’t have art cells[3] in his body. Are you suspecting that he is proposing unspoken rules[4] behind each film? I can guarantee that although Boss Lu changes his girlfriend every three months, he is still a very honest and decent person. He wouldn’t force a relationship unless it was confirmed to be consensual.”

Xu Xiaodong said, "The heroines in the film were all his previous girlfriends though, right?”

The human resources supervisor agreed. "All of them!"

1. Old man Zhang calling him “Brother Chen” is giving Chen Shi face, however, an old person doing that was too much respect for Chen Shi to accept, so he asked to be called “Xiao Chen” (Little Chen). He doesn’t mean he’ll actually have his blessings shortened and it wasn’t meant to be interpreted in a negative manner. 

2. Although the company was small, everything was run very well. 

3. The artistic talent or creativity. 

4. Additional requirements where actresses need to sleep with the director to get the role. 

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