After returning from Hong Kong, Tang Wanjun became more active. She no longer watched the sand sculpture variety every day and resumed her voice practice. She also started paying attention to the latest pop songs. When she followed Shen Huai to the company, she went to the recording studio and the dance room for a stroll.

She stayed there so long, that before Shen Huai left the company recently, he had to go to the recording studio and the dance room to bring her back.

Then a rumor spread within Morningstar Company that Shen Huai was going to sign a new singer, and he was currently investigating. So the next time Shen Huai went there, he found that the newly signed artists were working much harder and everyone looked at him with ‘twinkling’ in their eyes.

Shen Huai: “…”

Tang Wanjun, the only one who knew the truth, slapped her thighs with laughter. Shen Huai was helpless, but he also knew that even if this rumor was cleared up, it would be useless. In addition, he was busy checking Huayue recently, so he simply ignored it.

Shen Huai had learned some information about the new singers who had been suppressed by Huayue before. Some of them were discouraged and completely withdrew from the circle, while others signed contracts with other music companies and were no longer willing to offend Huayue.

But this time, there were some new clues.

Three years ago, a girl who was singing under an overpass was filmed. Because she only sang her own original songs, she didn’t care about the songs ordered by the audience, and even angrily argued back. This hot temper and beautiful appearance made her instantly popular all over the network.

Her name was Xia Shiyu. It was said that after graduating from high school, she came to Zhongjing to make a living and was determined to be an original singer.

After she became popular, many companies wanted to sign her, including Huayue, but Huayue asked her for the copyright of all her songs, so they were rejected by Xia Shiyu. At last, she signed with a well-known record company in the industry.

She was really talented. Coupled with her previous popularity, her road to debut was extremely smooth, and she was considered to be the most promising new star.

Among the newcomers of that year, her brilliance completely surpassed the other newcomers. Because Shen Huai had just signed Bai Jiajia that year, he paid special attention to the newcomers from that period of time, and he was quite impressed with Xia Shiyu.

However, even after Xia Shiyu entered the entertainment industry, her hot temper did not change. She directly accused Zhuo Feiyang of plagiarizing her new song on Weibo. At that time, Zhuo Feiyang was at the peak of his popularity, and this stone aroused thousands of waves, shaking the whole entertainment circle.

Zhuo Feiyang had a lot of fans at that time, and he attacked directly. He scolded Xia Shiyu directly on Weibo for making that accusation. Xia Shiyu was not afraid and directly scolded him back.

Huayue had also found many music industry seniors to speak up, implying that Xia Shiyu deliberately made that accusation, and even found the company Xia Shiyu had signed with. However, Xia Shiyu absolutely refused to give in. Even when some extreme fans found the place where she lived and sent her dead mice and photos, she never flinched.

Later, the swearing war attracted more and more people. Gradually, some people even implied that the music styles of the two songs were very similar, but they were directly suppressed by Huayue. Nevertheless, those voices gradually increased.

But who would have thought that at this time, the gossip media revealed that Xia Shiyu had been drinking in a bar in her early years and was supported by several people after her debut, with a few ambiguous blurred photos attached.

After that, many self-proclaimed former classmates and teachers said that she didn’t study hard when she was at school. She fooled around with some bad people in society and even beat some girls from the same class on campus.

All kinds of dirty water was splashed on Xia Shiyu.

The wind of public opinion suddenly changed.

People convicted her on the basis of a few photos, and they didn’t believe anything people with “questionable” personalities said.

No matter how Xia Shiyu explained that she just sang in the bar and had nothing to do with these men and that there had been no campus violence, no one believed her. At that time, criticizing her seemed to be politically correct.

At first, she also scolded netizens for cyber violence on the internet, but later she gradually lost her voice. After a while, it was reported that she had terminated her contract with the new company and then disappeared.

She was gradually forgotten by netizens, like a small stone in a lake. Although it set off waves for a moment, it soon sank to the bottom of the lake, and no one cared.

 

 

After learning of Xia Shiyu’s experience, Shen Huai decided to see her in person. According to the address, he went to a small city in the south.

At the end of September, there were autumn tigers, and the weather was unbearably hot. Just after Shen Huai got off the plane, he felt the oncoming heatwave. He went directly to the place where Xia Shiyu lived according to the address he got.

To his surprise, this place was very dirty and shabby, located in a narrow alley, with potholed floors and piles of rubbish on both sides. Flies and rats infested it, making it smelly.

The residents on both sides looked at him curiously and talked about him in a dialect.

Shen Huai frowned slightly. His clean suit and this environment were simply incompatible.

On the contrary, Tang Wanjun looked nostalgic. “I lived in this kind of place when I was a child. This kind of place is a mixture of fish and dragons. It’s hidden in the deepest part of the city and it’s hard to find for ordinary people. This girl must have suffered a lot when she was a child…”

Shen Huai answered in a low voice, then quickened his pace. Then he finally arrived at the destination of his trip, a very shabby apartment building.

The style of this building was very old, the walls were falling off, revealing the red bricks and moss inside. When he entered the building, it immediately felt dark. The walls were black and covered with all kinds of small advertisements.

Shen Huai went upstairs and came to Xia Shiyu’s door. He knocked on the door, but there was no response from inside.

Tang Wanjun wondered, “Didn’t she hear that? Or is she asleep?”

Shen Huai felt it was a bit strange too, but he had already come here, so he knocked again in no hurry.

However, Xia Shiyu didn’t open the door, but the door on the opposite side opened and a man with messy hair reeking of alcohol poked his head out and asked, “Who are you looking for?”

Shen Huai asked, “Excuse me, does Xia Shiyu live here?”

The man looked Shen Huai up and down, narrowed his eyes, and made a gesture of asking for money with one hand.

Shen Huai took some money from his wallet and handed it to him, but he didn’t let it go and said lightly, “Tell me what you know first.”

The man smoked for a while and found that he couldn’t move. Curling his lips, he said, “You don’t have to knock. She hasn’t been out of the house for three days!”

“Three days?”

The man said angrily, “That’s right. I was just about to go out three days ago when I ran into her. When I met her, she ignored me and directly went back to her room. I haven’t seen her go out since I came back. Look, the electricity bill is still posted on her door!”

It was only then that Shen Huai noticed that there was still an electricity bill on Xia Shiyu’s door. He reached for the doorknob, but felt a layer of dust which proved that the man was not lying.

He let the money go.

The man glanced at the banknote with satisfaction and suddenly asked curiously, “Hey, I heard that this girl used to be a star? Is this true?”

Shen Huai didn’t answer,  but directly took out another banknote and asked, “Where is your neighborhood police station?”

 

 

Shen Huai spent some money to find out the address of the police station from that man and rushed downstairs. Seeing his solemn face, Tang Wanjun asked, “Are you worried that something happened to her?”

Shen Huai whispered, “I don’t know, but I have a bad feeling.”

When they arrived at the police station and explained their intention, the community policeman there was very enthusiastic and promised to come and have a look with him.

However, when they got there, no matter how they knocked on the door, there was no response from inside. This time, even the policeman got a little worried. He called several people over and they directly broke in.

However, when they opened the door, everyone was shocked to see that the small room was full of garbage, a take out lunch box was left on the ground, and they even faintly saw that it was moldy. Flies were flying everywhere and the room was filled with an unpleasant smell.

Several police officers covered their mouths and noses as they walked in the room. A policewoman opened the curtain and let out a small scream.

A pale and slender woman was lying on the bed with pills and bottles scattered on the floor.

The policewoman hurriedly walked over. “It’s sleeping pills. Call for an ambulance. I’ll go check if she’s still breathing.”

Shen Huai stood motionless at the door all this time. He knew better than anyone that the girl lying inside was already dead.

Because as soon as they opened the door, Tang Wanjun disappeared as if she had been absorbed by something.

The sound of the ambulance and the police cars soon resounded throughout the alley. The doctors quickly carried Xia Shiyu to the ambulance and several police officers came over to ask the several community policemen about the situation.

After registering the situation, the policeman looked at Shen Huai, who was standing by. “Sir, please go back to the police station with us to make a statement.”

Shen Huai nodded and took another look at the broken guitar in the corner before leaving with the policeman.

Because the traces at the scene were very clear and Xia Shiyu didn’t show any signs of being forced, and the police also found a diagnosis of depression on her desk and drugs to treat depression, they could basically confirm that she had committed suicide.

Shen Huai came out as soon as he was done with his statement. Standing in the sun, he was at a loss for a moment. He had seen many deaths, from seeing his parents’ bodies after the plane crash to this time with Xia Shiyu who was reduced to bones. However, he hadn’t got used to it. Instead, every time he saw it, he felt even worse.

He suddenly felt dizzy, and quickly leaned on a tree trunk to the side to stabilize his body.

The vortex in his brain seemed to make Shen Huai hallucinate. He seemed to see black shadows one by one. These black shadows were not clear, but they seemed to want to get close to him, but were blocked by something. The black shadows made a low howl, which made Shen Huai feel sharp pain in his brain.

But when he opened his eyes, he found nothing in front of him.

Seeing this, the community policeman who came out from behind hurriedly stepped forward and asked, “Are you alright, sir?”

Shen Huai slowly regained his mind and waved to him.

The policeman said, “Your face is very pale, you might as well go to the hospital for an examination.”

Shen Huai shook his head and said, “I’m fine.”

But the policeman was particularly enthusiastic. “Go ahead, I just heard the hospital call, saying that the girl has been rescued, and was about to go over to have a look. Didn’t you come to see her? You should also care about her. Let’s just go there together.”

Shen Huai knew that the person who had woken up was no longer the same Xia Shiyu. He sighed softly and followed the policeman.


Edited by : LuLu

Proofreader: Taalia

Support translation:

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