On Friday, Ji Anning handed Firewing’s contract to Wen Yu to review. Wen Yu looked at it and praised, “I think this photography studio is good, very formal.”
“I also think their contract is quite good. You can tell from the terms that they are sincere,” Ji Anning agreed. Several clauses in the contract were clearly aimed at protecting the models.
Wen Yu had spent several hours revising the contract clauses to ensure comprehensive protection for Ji Anning.
He smiled and enticed her, “Then let’s go with this one.”
Ji Anning frowned, “The owner of that studio is a bit strange, his smile is scary.”
Wen Yu: “…”
“Here’s the deal,” Wen Yu pinched his brow and suppressed the headache, “Aren’t you still going there on Sunday? I’ll go with you to take a look. I’ll be there to watch over it. If you think it’s alright, then sign it?”
After considering it, Ji Anning agreed.
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Eld Zw pyke bl oswze rknj bla wr qasx vbl vwvsakdt plppksd yv bla ralhkswp nzkldv’p rzynl sd Fwdeyu. Kk Gddkdt pyke, “Zsw esd’v byhl vs nsxl ps lyazu. Eblvbla ol pktd kv sa dsv, kv byp vs oykv wdvkz vbl osaj kp esdl. Kwpv nsxl kd vbl yqvladssd. Qlv psxl tsse pzllr.”
Ebyv’p vbl wpl sq pzllr… Eld Zw vbswtbv sd Fyvwaeyu dktbv vbyv bl nswze ldfsu y tsse pzllr, obkzl Kk Gddkdt oswze cl cwpu qasx lyazu xsadkdt vs zyvl yv dktbv. Fwarakpkdtzu, bl ldele wr byhkdt kdpsxdky.
Zswdt Yypvla Eld lmrlakldnle kdpsxdky qsa vbl qkapv vkxl kd vbl voldvu ulyap sq bkp zkql.
Gp lmrlnvle, sd Fwdeyu, bl nswzed’v tlv swv sq cle yv yzz. Tl nywtbv wr sd pzllr wdvkz dssd yde pvkzz qlzv ekggu. Rdelle, bkp qyvbla’p yehknl vs xykdvykd y altwzya pnblewzl bye kvp xlakv.
Tl nyzzle Kk Gddkdt, obs oyp byhkdt y xlyz, “Mbkdtp yal tskdt pxssvbzu. Ls awpb. Kwpv nsxl kd vbl yqvladssd. Txx, byhkdt y rynjle xlyz dso. Mbl cspp kp alyzzu dknl, rashkele zwdnb qsa wp.”
Eld Zw: “…”
Tso eke pbl pweeldzu vwad kdvs y dykhl tkaz obs nswze cl zwale yoyu okvb y rynjle xlyz?
Gqvla nypwyzzu elyzkdt okvb zwdnb, Eld Zw eashl vs vbl rbsvstayrbu pvweks. Ebld bl yaakhle, Kk Gddkdt oyp pvkzz cwpu.
The boss knew he had come and had a look of excitement, as if he wanted to rush over and acknowledge his benefactor as his father. But Wen Yu stared him down with a look, forcing the boss to pretend not to recognize him.
After they finally finished shooting, Ji Anning came over to introduce them to each other.
The boss’s surname was Ma, and Wen Yu politely said, “Thanks, Brother Ma, for taking care of our Anning.”
Brother Ma: “…” No, I should be thanking you for taking care of me.
With Wen Yu’s encouragement and Brother Ma’s relatively normal behavior today, Ji Anning ended up signing the contract.
Even until they left Firewing and got into Wen Yu’s car, she still had a tense expression.
Wen Yu found it amusing, “Are you really that nervous?”
“It’s not nervousness,” Ji Anning explained.
“It’s like… it feels as if we’ve completed some kind of ritual,” she said, intertwining her index fingers and resting them on her lap, slightly inclining her body, with a hint of devotion.
“I was just thinking, is it possible that my life, this phase of my life,” she looked up at Wen Yu, asking very seriously, “will get better in the future?”
Wen Yu suddenly felt a pang of heartache.
He had always been someone with a tough heart, whether due to nature or the environment shaping him over time. But at this moment, he looked at Ji Anning, the bright light outside the car brushing against the edge of her cheeks, and he could see the faint, soft, colorless fuzz on her skin. It gave him the illusion that she was still like a baby.
Soft, pure, in need of protection.
Wen Yu’s heart was exceptionally tender at this moment.
He reached out and rubbed her head, smiling, “Of course!”
“Didn’t I tell you? I can bring you good luck. If you stick with me, you’ll definitely get luckier and luckier.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what’s even better. We should have a deep exchange, where I’ll pass on some extremely strong and fervent yang energy to you. You’ll definitely become luckier!”
“Hey hey! Don’t hit me, I’m driving!”
In a moment of concern, Wen Yu asked, “How about finding some time to visit a temple? You know, for good luck.”
Ji Anning asked, “Visit what?”
“God or Buddha, your choice,” Wen Yu said.
Ji Anning was speechless, “Can you really just choose like that? Is being insincere effective?”
“It works,” Wen Yu said with a mischievous smile. “In reality, most people are like me—non-believers who still show respect. They enter churches and temples just in case. Deities and Buddhas thrive on the devotion of the ‘majority.’ If they don’t pay attention to us, the majority, their devotion will dwindle, and they’ll go hungry. So, instead of monopolizing anything, we just seek a casual blessing, holding our noses if needed.”
It’s a twisted logic delivered in such a convincing way that it almost seems reasonable, and that’s Wen Yu’s style.
He continued, “Do you know Nan Zhao Temple? It’s known for its powerful blessings. Whenever you’re free, let’s go there together to pay our respects.”
However, Ji Anning wasn’t keen on going.
In her view, when a regular person dies, that’s the end. How could there be a chance to restart a second life? She felt like she might be a small bug in the reincarnation program. What if she goes to a temple and Buddha discovers her? Wouldn’t that be walking into a trap?
She’d rather keep a low profile and live on.
“On a serious note,” Wen Yu said, “Can you quit your job at Shu Chen’s place?”
“I can,” Ji Anning nodded, but added, “Let’s finish today’s shift. I can’t just leave without notice. I’ll talk to Shu Chen today.”
Wen Yu knew Ji Anning was that kind of serious person and simply said, “OK.”
If she were to really quit this job, Ji Anning felt a pang of reluctance.
In her previous life, she lived a difficult life filled with shadows and very little warmth. In this shop brimming with elements of the anime world, Shu Chen brought her a lot of warmth, care, concern, and solace.
This even included his subtle affection for her, which in Ji Anning’s memory was like a pearl shimmering beautifully on a desolate desert.
So, as the end of the workday approached and she stood in front of Shu Chen, Ji Anning found herself at a loss for words on how to express her intention to resign.
Instead, Shu Chen smiled knowingly and said, “Thinking of quitting, aren’t you?”
“Huh?” Caught off guard, Ji Anning felt a bit flustered.
“Wen Yu already talked to me about it,” Shu Chen said with a smile.
Ji Anning said, “I’m sorry.”
“Come on, what’s there to apologize for?” Shu Chen scratched his head. “After all, you became a model based on my suggestion.”
He said, “Wen Yu talked to me about your situation, and he makes sense. You should really focus more on your studies. Being a model is like a temporary gig, maybe you can do it for a few years, but it won’t last. For now, just deal with the next few years of your life. If someone truly wants to change their life, they have to study hard.”
Shu Chen’s perspective echoed Wen Yu’s, and it represents the mainstream, conventional life philosophy and values.
If Ji Anning had parents by her side, or if her grandmother hadn’t suffered from dementia, they would probably educate her in a similar way.
Ji Anning changed her clothes and came out. Wen Yu had already come to pick her up and was chatting with Shu Chen at the bar. They seemed to be getting along well.
Ji Anning hesitated for a moment and then walked over, saying, “Let’s go.”
Wen Yu said, “Sure.”
Ji Anning turned towards Shu Chen, extending her hand slightly, “Well, I’m… leaving.”
“Keep up the good work,” Shu Chen said.
Wen Yu reached his hand toward the bar counter, and Shu Chen shook his hand.
Wen Yu said, “Thanks.”
Shu Chen replied, “You’re welcome.”
They shook hands. This time, Wen Yu didn’t play any tricks. They shook each other’s hands firmly, then released.
As Wen Yu led Ji Anning to leave, Shu Chen suddenly called out, “Anning!”
Ji Anning turned back.
Shu Chen reached into the bar counter and took out something, extending it to her, “Here, keep this as a memento!”
He was smiling as he said it.
It was a pair of cat ears, brand new.
Ji Anning took it, holding it in her hand.
The connections between people are often shallow. Throughout one’s life, they’ll encounter many people, walk a segment of the path together, and then part ways, disappearing from each other’s lives forever.
Relationships as simple as Ji Anning’s and Shu Chen’s, even if they are physically close, without a shared circle of friends, tend to naturally fade away after work relationships end. Slowly, their paths will become two parallel lines in the course of life.
Wen Yu and Ji Anning got into the car. As they lowered their heads to fasten their seat belts, Ji Anning’s sudden reaction surprised him. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Ji Anning turned her face away.
“Why are you crying?” Wen Yu was puzzled.
Ji Anning sniffed and said, “I’m happy.”
Wen Yu extended his arm to pull her into an embrace, “You like Shu Chen so much?”
“No,” Ji Anning rested her forehead on his shoulder, her voice heavy with emotion. “I’m just happy. You made me happy for a while.”
Wen Yu found it amusing, “Alright, alright.”
Ji Anning stayed on his shoulder for a moment and murmured, “He’s a really nice person…”
“I know, I know,” Wen Yu comforted her by patting her back.
Shu Chen had a gentle personality, immersed in the world of anime and gaming. Being around him was probably relaxing, which made Wen Yu, inexplicably, quite fond of him as well.
But even though they could talk openly about everything, Shu Chen was just a shop manager at a place where Ji Anning had worked for only two months. That Ji Anning would shed tears over resigning from there left Wen Yu both amused and surprised.
He never thought Ji Anning had such a sentimental side.
She often appeared calm and reserved, as if she had weathered the storms of life and remained unfazed. This made her stand out in a crowd.
Now, seeing her suddenly exhibit this illogical burst of emotions like a young girl, it caught him off guard but also intrigued him.
It was as if something about her had changed, as if she was finally displaying the typical behavior of a girl her age.
Ji Anning’s decision to quit the coffee shop was truly a relief for Wen Yu.
But this was just the first step he had taken.
Wen Yu had already formulated a plan and was proceeding step by step to change Ji Anning’s current situation.
Following Wen Yu’s instructions, the Firewing Photography Studio cautiously allocated resources to Ji Anning. For two consecutive weeks, she was scheduled to work on Thursday afternoons and evenings, as well as during the daytime on weekends.
Earning money was something that made Ji Anning incredibly happy.
On the second Sunday at noon, when Wen Yu called her to ask when she would finish work so he could come pick her up, Ji Anning excitedly said over the phone, “You don’t need to pick me up. I’m going to do some shopping later!”
“Huh?” Wen Yu was surprised. “Going shopping?”
“Yeah, yeah!” Ji Anning’s excitement was transmitted through the phone.
Wen Yu couldn’t help but laugh and said, “If you’re going shopping, I’ll accompany you. I can also help you carry things.”
After a moment of thought, Ji Anning gladly agreed, “True, you should come.”
After hanging up the phone, Wen Yu couldn’t resist patting his wallet. The black Centurion card in his wallet hadn’t shown its face in front of Ji Anning much since he had met her.
What a pity.
Sansukini: I have a feeling that his wallet would still be miserable. 😂😂😂
I like this quiet support. It makes somebody feel happy without feeling that they are indebted to a person, because that doesn’t feel good. You feel like you might be taking advantage of someone or that you have to pay them back later. By supporting her like giving her a chance to work in a safe environment, he’s giving her the pride and joy of earning her own money with her own hardwork.
Do you see Wen Yu’s big change? He understands her more and, what he’s doing could potentially backfire if Anning was the old Anning, but she has changed too and became more open-minded.
Thanks for visiting. If you like this story, then I’m shamelessly asking you to visit NovelUpdates and give a 5⭐ review. (人❛ᴗ❛)♪тнайк чоц♪(❛ᴗ❛*人)