Chapter 5: Didn’t You Say I Was Pretty ‘Good’ at Graduation?
Because the court where Zhao Yanyan worked was close by, the two met at a ramen restaurant during lunch break.
Qi Xi’s internship was already unfavorable, so she vomited all the bitter water that was spilled on her. It’s a pity that Zhao Yanyan was completely immersed in reading her novels that she chose to recommend a novel at the moment.
“The real word is hard. During lunch break, I usually read novels and watch dramas to divert my attention.”
As Zhao Yanyan spoke this, she couldn’t help but recommend one of the most recent novels she was addicted to, “You really must read this, ‘Fengxian‘ it is Ai Xiang’s famous work! It’s a complete dark horse. Even if the writing style isn’t that good, the plot twists are amazing. The characters are 3D, and the most important thing is that the whole concept is grand and well thought out. I feel like the author should be praised. He wrote a fairy tale which such elegance, and he’s male… the female characters in the entire story are shaped so well. He didn’t put down any of the female characters.”
Zhao Yanyan was obviously a fan of Ai Xiang, “The most important thing is the love between Ai Xiang and his wife! He’s a poor boy with only a high school education, while his wife is a rich beauty from a Kochi family. He fell in love with her at first sight, writing love letters every day, pursuing her for 5 years, and finally seeing the sunlight. He and his wife now have a son and daughter.”
Qi Xi doesn’t care about the entertainment industry much, but even she knows the popularity of Fengxian. It has a ongoing TV series, so the original books is also frequently recommended and usually pops up on the hot search.
Zhao Yanyan’s praises didn’t end, “Ai Xiang’s admirable trait is his persistence. Both for love and career. He has written novels in the past 5-6 years even though he had no money in the earlier stages. Now that Fengxian exploded, his career is booming, and the film and television copyright have sold for astronomical prices. I heard the transaction price is 20 million!”
As she said this, she suddenly felt regretful, “Why didn’t I write novels in college? Maybe if I persisted in writing, I would also be rich and financially independent. There’s no future in studying law anyway…”
Qi Xi wasn’t moved by the words, “Then you have to have a wife like him, from a good family background. You should love and tolerate him. If you’re willing to let your husband write for 5-6 years without any income, or if you choose to write without any income, how do you plan on surviving? Will you eat the Northwest Wind?”
Zhao Yanyan glared at her, “Don’t you have a single romantic cell in your body? Love and marriage is a give and take. Ai Xiang is now finally relying on his own efforts, and his wife is living the life of extreme fortune. Even after so many years, he still insists on chasing his wife and writing love letters to her on Weibo everyday.”
Qi Xi curled her lips, “I only care if he gives the 20 million to his wife. What’s so touching about writing a love letter? If Gu Yan is willing to forgive me, let alone some dumb confession letter, I would give in to him every day. Wait, if he gives me 10 million, I will marry him on spot!”
Qi Xi’s words were hilariously spoke in depression, but she didn’t expect that soon after saying those words, she would hear the sound of someone choking and coughing in the opposite compartment.
The cough was bad enough that even the nearby waiters were alarmed, “Sir, are you alright?”
The man coughed for a while before Qi Xi heard the chilling voice, “I’m fine. Thank you.”
Shit… it turned out to be Gu Yan!!
Zhao Yanyan heard him as well and silently looked at Qi Xi who was gradually losing hope.
At this moment, Qi Xi didn’t believe she was struck with just a simple stroke of bad luck…
Fortunately, Gu Yan didn’t even bother to care for her. He just finished eating the noodles, paid the bill, and left, leaving Qi Xi in a state of despair. She was unable to swallow in her embarrassment, suddenly realizing the importance of being prudent in her words and deeds.
But as long as you have thick skin, life will go on. Especially as long as there is work to fill the time. People won’t have the time to think about such a mess!
After lunch, Qi Xi returned to the office to meet her first client since beginning work.
To be precise, it was Gu Xuehan’s client, but Gu Xuehan called Qi Xi and Gu Yan for the case.
Getting in touch with the clients and cases slowly was a method most senior lawyers used to get interns comfortable. First, they would start auditing, and then they would usually cooperate with recordings and interviews. There was no real pressure; however, as time passed, interns gradually had more presence in the case. This all served to smoothen the transition into when they would be full-fledged lawyers.
This time Gu Xuehan’s client was named Chen Xiang. She was a woman with gentle looks and long hair, appearing to be 27 or 28 years old, and well-dressed. It appeared as though she and Gu Xuehan knew each other for a long time. As soon as they met, she smiled and waved.
Gu Xuehan, as a capable lawyer, quickly started business, “What’s wrong, sister Xiang? What can we help with?”
“It’s my husband’s film and television contract dispute,” Chen Xiang took out a copy of the contract from her bad. She prepared several copies and handed one to each person present in the room, “This is the film and television copyright authorization for his new series.”
Film and television copyright licensing issues? It sounds interesting…
As soon as Qi Xi picked up the contract, her interest deepened.
This is the same film and television copyright contract that Zhao Yanyan was speaking about.
So… the gentle and elegant Chen Xiang in front of me is the wife of Ai Xiang?
Chen Xiang smile, “My husband signed this contract when this novel first was serialized. At the time, ‘Fengxian‘ had not yet aired, so the price for the exclusive rights was low. But now that Fengxian is aired, there was been a huge increase in the quotation price. We wanted to know if the old contract could be invalidated.”
Didn’t the serialized novel sell for 20 million? Is that a normal amount?
It was only after Qi Xi turned the contract did she find out the true price, “5 million? Wasn’t it publicized that the rights were sold for 20 million?”
Seeing Qi Xi’s surprise, Gu Xuehan calmly explained, “The copyright price for television and film contracts is usually a trade secret. Sometimes they hype the actual price. Writers are willing to publicize higher prices to improve their market worth. Some film companies even falsify purchase prices to be able to resell the project at a higher price or to increase production costs. So, there is usually some buffer with the reported price and the actual price.”
Chen Xiang nodded, “Yes, but some companies have already bid 20 million for my husband’s new book.”
Gu Xuehan raised her brow, “So you want to terminate your contract? Do you think the previous sale of 5 million was sold at a loss? Did the other party breach the contract?”
Chen Xiang had some embarrassment, “There is no breach of contract. But we have calculated the losses. If we breach the contract, according to the contract, in addition to returning the copyright fee, we would also have to pay 20% of the film and television contract as liquidated damages. We can afford it, but the film and television company is unwilling to terminate the contract.”
So it the Chen Xiang and her husband who wanted to breach the contact.
After the termination, they would have to return 5 million, and 20% of liquidated damages means they would have to cover another 1 million. After signing a new contract worth 20 million, they would have made a net profit of 14 million.
Gu Xuehan nodded, “I understand. I will speak to the company on your behalf. You can rest assured. We will help you solve the termination under the best circumstances. Because the film and television copyrights are under your husband’s name, we will need to get his signature since this will be a case between the company and him.”
Chen Xiang looked relieved, “That’s good. My husband is on a business trip this week, so you should prepare an electronic contract in the meanwhile. I will print it out, have it signed, and sent back to you… In terms of the company… let’s say they are difficult to communicate with. So, I think it’s better you have professionals deal with this.”
She appeared apologetic, “I’m sorry. I have to pick up my children. Please feel free to contact me in the future for anything.”
As soon as Chen Xiang left, Gu Xuehan handed over the communication duties to Qi Xi and Gu Yan, “This case is very simple. You two can intervene, and then we will talk.”
As soon as Gu Xuehan left, Qi Xi looked at Gu Yan, “So are you going to do it, or me?”
“You do it,” Gu Yan said concisely, unwilling to give her any further attention, “I have other cases on hand.”
“But…” Qi Xi was a little nervous. “T-this is entirely because Chen Xiang mentioned the company wasn’t too good to talk to, that they won’t abide by the contract to make more money. H-how can I start the conversation. If I do this, I’ll be in for a scolding, and I’m afraid that my phone will be spammed in the future…”
“That’s your business.”
Gu Yan dropped these words and went back to sit in his seat as if he didn’t want to talk to her anymore.
Qi Xi had no choice but to bite the bullet and call.
Sure enough, as soon as she mentioned ‘termination’ the other party began scolding her, and Qi Xi finally understood why Chen Xiang was willing to pay a lawyer’s fee for something as simple as a contract termination. It’s because the other party was rude…
“Didn’t you beg in the beginning? You said you were in a hurry to get the money to make a down payment for your house. You still haven’t handed in your draft, so it stands to reason that you haven’t fulfilled your contractual obligations, so I should’ve contacted you first. Five million, you bought your house. Now home prices have risen, and you just became lucky with the broadcast of Fengxian. So you complain and want to sell the contract to someone else.”
Chen Xiang obviously tried to communicate with the company before, but as soon as Qi Xi mentioned she was Ai Xiang’s lawyer, the person in charge of the company exploded and lashed out all his anger onto Qi Xi, “While talking to you, I found the most advanced team in the industry to take over this project. Ai Xiang’s name exploded because of us. But, your vision is still shallow that you want to terminate your contract with us. Are you thinking of refunding the 5 million to make millions more? Do you think you can send me away? For the past 6 months you’ve been playing us like a monkey. You think now everything will be all good for you? We don’t agree to terminate the contract, you fucking stupid female lawyer!”
Qi Xi couldn’t endure the other party’s roar in the beginning, but when he started badmouthing and swearing at her, she couldn’t hold it anymore.
As a newcomer, she had always grown up in a well-ordered environment filled with etiquette. She always believed being a lawyer was a decent job. Such humiliation was something she was unused to.
She wanted to hold back, but the sourness spread across her body, and her eyes began to gloss over with tears.
Perhaps the mans roars and insults were loud, probably everyone in Qi Xi’s vicinity heard his words. Yet, they all were probably used to it as they were busy with their own business.
On the other end of the phone, the other party was still furious. Just when Qi Xi was lost on what she wanted to do, Gu Yan who had previously ignored her, stretched out his hand towards her. His handsome brows were slightly wrinkled as he succinctly said, “Bring it here.”
Seeing that she was stunned and didn’t respond, Gu Yan glared at her and took the landline away from her.
“Since the contract stipulates the liability for the breach of contract and our client is willing to assume responsibility, legally speaking, it is clear. Do you think your 1 million in liquidated damages is a small number? When the lawyer you hired signed the contract, you were only able to write down 20%, but now you’re saying that 1 million is not enough. Our client still needs to bear the liability for direct and indirect losses. According to the contract, we only need to pay 20%.”
Gu Yan’s appearance was cool and collected, “You should know to keep professional contracts, otherwise there would be legal risks. You should bear the consequences for hiring a lawyer who is not professional enough to allow you to sign such a risky contract. As for the project, you said you already started the production. That is something you should speak to the client with. It is pointless to entangle the lawyers in this issue.
“Finally, it’s best to keep your mouth clean in the future. If you abuse and personally attack my colleague in the future, I will record it and defend my colleague’s rights.”
After Gu Yan finished speaking, he bit out one last sentence, “Tomorrow, 10:30 in the morning. Jinghe Law Firm. Please attend on time, and everyone will negotiate the compensation amicably.”
He finished saying those words in a single swoop before hanging the phone without waiting for the other party’s response.
Qi Xi was stunned, “This is it?”
Gu Yan looked at her with a stern face, “Otherwise?”
“What if you’ve angered the other party and they don’t come tomorrow?”
“He will come,” Gu Yan pursed his lips. “If he is unwilling to cooperate with cancellation procedures, the project would become riddled with lawsuits. It wouldn’t develop smoothly anymore. After all, Ai Xiang has a lot of fans, and their impact is also quite strong. Surprisingly, he has a good media company, and this has helped his media presence. Now, not only will the company face the fans’ ire, but they will also not get the fans’ help. In the end, even if the company loses 6 million now, it would take a few years to get back the losses in reputation since they will be going through the long court process. No matter how unwilling, he will understand the benefit to come.”
Qi Xi’s heart was filled with a little confusion, with some discomfort, she said, “Well… I just didn’t expect that lawyers would be scolded like this…”
“It is precisely because the client is unwilling to face and negotiate this that we have to serve as the intermediaries. Being scolded by the opposition is a part of the day to day duties. Otherwise, why else would we be earning a lawyer’s fee?”
After Gu Yan finished, he glanced at Qi Xi, “And aren’t you good at scolding? You did a good job at the graduation ceremony. Why didn’t you say a word when he was scolding you?”
After Gu Yan said this, Qi Xi’s embarrassment came back, but she didn’t want to care about her grievances at the moment, “It was an accident. It was an accident! I’m sorry, Gu Yan. I’m sorry. Thank you this time. You are a good person for standing up to me.”
As soon as the words fell, Gu Yan did not seem too happy, “Who was standing up for you? He scolded you so loudly that I couldn’t pay attention to this case file. Don’t be so thankful.”
After he finished, he glanced at Qi Xi’s arm, “You crossed the line. Stay away from me.”
Okay, got it.
Qi Xi immediately followed suit and moved her chair to the side, as far from Gu Yan as she could.
She swore to never violate Gu Yan’s “air space” again.
Author’s Note: Gu Yan is really gentle. I promise. Don’t get too angry yet.
Translator’s Note: Currently have read up to Chapter 38, and I agree with the author. Gu Yan is the typical black belly ML, and when you see how he “courts” Qi Xi, you can’t help but laugh at his misfortune. Qi Xi is probably the most dense female protagonist there is, quite funny!