Chapter 111 – Similarity of Works

Jack liked the photo more and more as he looked at it. Wei Chen had a naturally high appearance, and now his presence was fully displayed. After some post-processing and publishing it in the magazine, it would definitely sell well.

Although they were a commercial magazine, they couldn’t escape the word “commercial.” They had to make business deals, and when the magazine sold well, their boss was always happy.

Jack asked Wei Chen a few more questions and finally shook hands with him, saying, “Director Wei, it’s been a pleasure working with you.”

“Pleasure working with you,” Wei Chen replied. Although he still had a blank expression, his eyebrows and eyes relaxed, making him approachable.

The interview ended, and Jack left Wei Chen’s office with the cameraman. Wei Chen put the interview out of his mind and continued working at his desk. When it was time to leave at the end of the day, he left on time.

Wei Chen was lucky today and managed to avoid the rush hour. He quickly arrived at Q University’s Zhuge Yu’s studio.

Upon entering the studio, Wei Chen felt that something was amiss. Zhuge Yu sat in a chair with a frowning face, full of anger.

Chen Li was reading a book, showing no signs of knowing what happened. Obviously, Zhuge Yu hadn’t told Chen Li anything, and Chen Li had no curiosity.

When Chen Li saw Wei Chen enter, he quickly got up and said, “Xiao Li, I need to talk to Wei Chen about something. You can continue reading.”

Although Chen Li didn’t know what had happened, he obediently nodded and showed no curiosity.

Seeing Zhuge Yu’s appearance, Wei Chen had a premonition that something big had happened. He followed Zhuge Yu outside and found a place to talk. Wei Chen asked, “Professor Zhuge, what happened?”

Zhuge Yu’s expression was solemn as he said, “There is a significant similarity between a work from our district and a work from the animation district. The degree of similarity reaches 80%.”

Combining Zhuge Yu’s expression, Wei Chen immediately guessed that one of the similar works was Chen Li’s.

“Yes, it’s Chen Li’s work that is similar to the others,” Zhuge Yu said with a serious expression. “I have a friend on the Dream Cup inspection team who discovered it during the review of the works.”

The Capital District and the Southeast District were thousands of miles apart, yet two works had a coincidence rate of 80%, both in terms of concept and content. This was definitely not a coincidence; one side had definitely copied the other.

Although the inspection team had already examined both works and could easily distinguish their quality at a glance, the work from the Capital District had a soul, capable of captivating people. On the other hand, the work from the Southeast District was empty and lacked even basic skills. To say that the Southeast District copied the work from the Capital District couldn’t be taken as evidence. Moreover, the most challenging part was that the work from the Southeast District was submitted one day earlier. Therefore, in terms of time, the work from the Southeast District was completed earlier.

Of course, the completion of a painting requires a relatively long period, and the submission time cannot be used to determine the true original creator of the work. However, in the absence of other evidence, the submission time could only be temporarily used as evidence.

After listening to Zhuge Yu’s words, Wei Chen’s gaze became serious. Both he and Zhuge Yu were certain that Chen Li was the original creator of this work. Zhuge Yu had personally witnessed Chen Li’s creation process, which made a deep impression on him.

However, Zhuge Yu couldn’t be a witness, and neither could Wei Chen because they were both too close to Chen Li. And they didn’t have any other evidence to prove that the work belonged to Chen Li. That was the challenge.

“So, Li Li has lost his qualification?” Wei Chen asked, his voice cold.

“Two days left until the exhibition in the district. If we don’t find solid evidence proving that Chen Li is the promoter of this painting, then Chen Li will indeed lose his qualification,” Zhuge Yu answered. These remaining two days were the last chance. Zhuge Yu also had a vague suspicion about the truth.

When Chen Li was painting, there were a few people who could approach his studio. Excluding the impossible, the only possibility left was Lu Xiuran.

However, his studio didn’t have surveillance installed. If he were to confront Lu Xiuran and force a confession, it would tarnish Zhuge Yu’s reputation if it got out.

Zhuge Yu wasn’t afraid of his own reputation being ruined but was afraid of more malicious speculation falling on Chen Li.

Chen Li had committed plagiarism, and as his teacher, Zhuge Yu was both angry and desperate. Under such circumstances, he found an innocent person to take the blame—Zhuge Yu believed that as soon as he confronted Lu Xiuran, this speculation would spread, and the news of Chen Li’s plagiarism would circulate in their circle.

At that time, even if Chen Li had exceptional talent, once he had a history of plagiarism, his future in the industry would be completely ruined.

Lu Xiuran’s move was ruthless.

However, no matter how much Zhuge Yu thought about it, he couldn’t understand why Lu Xiuran would treat Chen Li this way. What benefit did it bring to Lu Xiuran?

What Zhuge Yu could think of, Wei Chen naturally could as well. He had always believed that this industry was an artistic one and would be much cleaner than others. He never expected that even here, such alarming things could happen.

“Wei Chen, don’t worry. I have already contacted the contestant from the Southeast District. I hope to break through from him and find evidence,” Zhuge Yu said. “If there’s no other way, we can even check the drying time of the paint on both paintings and use it as evidence. However, doing so would inevitably damage Chen Li’s painting. I won’t choose this method unless absolutely necessary.”

“I understand,” Wei Chen replied.

So much effort and emotion were poured into a painting. Wei Chen had witnessed Chen Li completing this painting with his own eyes. The emotions contained in this painting were meticulously unearthed by Chen Li from his heart. Unless absolutely necessary, Wei Chen wouldn’t allow even the slightest harm to come to this painting!

“Give me the contact information of the contestant from the Southeast District,” Wei Chen said. He would personally handle this matter.

Although there were still various dark aspects in the world, Wei Chen would shield them from Chen Li’s sight.

“Alright.” Zhuge Yu immediately called his friend at the organizing committee of the Southeast District and asked them to provide Wei Chen with the contact information of the contestant from that district.

Having Wei Chen take care of this matter was indeed better than him handling it personally.

By the time Wei Chen and Zhuge Yu finished their conversation and returned to the studio, Chen Li had just finished reading a book. At this moment, both of them had lost the seriousness on their faces, hiding this matter well from Chen Li, not wanting him to worry at all.

“Li Li, we’re going home,” Wei Chen walked up to Chen Li and gently ruffled his hair, speaking softly.

Chen Li nodded, although he had already sensed something was amiss, he chose not to ask because Wei Chen chose to keep it from him. He believed that Wei Chen would handle it.

After bidding farewell to Zhuge Yu, the two of them intertwined their fingers and left. Zhuge Yu could still hear their voices.

Wei Chen: “Li Li, I’m going on a business trip to the Southeast tomorrow. I’ll be back soon. Can you stay with Professor Zhuge tomorrow?”

Chen Li: “How long will you be gone?”

Zhuge Yu could vaguely hear the reluctance in Chen Li’s voice.

Wei Chen: “Just one or two days. I’ll be back in one or two days.”

Chen Li: “Okay, I’ll wait for you.”

After that, Zhuge Yu couldn’t hear what they were saying anymore. He closed his eyes and couldn’t help but make a phone call to Lu Xiuran.

At this moment, Lu Xiuran, as a volunteer for the Dream Cup in the Capital District, was helping with the setup for the exhibition two days later. When he heard his phone ringing, he paused his actions, took out his phone, and saw that it was Zhuge Yu calling. Although he hesitated, he still answered.

“Professor Zhuge, is there something?” Lu Xiuran tried to make his voice sound as usual, without any fluctuations.

There was a long silence on the other end of the phone before Zhuge Yu’s voice sounded, “Lu Xiuran, one wrong step leads to another. I hope you can reconsider.”

“Professor Zhuge, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Lu Xiuran had already vaguely guessed in his heart, but his words sounded innocent.

Zhuge Yu didn’t clarify and just said coldly, “You know in your heart what I mean. You are still young, with infinite possibilities in the future. One wrong thought can sometimes lead to consequences you may not be able to bear.”

“Professor Zhuge, are you threatening me?” Lu Xiuran held the phone and spoke with a somewhat low voice.

Zhuge Yu sneered, “This isn’t a threat. It’s just advice from someone with more experience.”

Lu Xiuran’s gaze turned cold, but there was a bright smile on his lips. “I appreciate Professor Zhuge’s goodwill. However, there are some things I won’t know if I don’t try, right? Besides, I’m still young, aren’t I?”

Zhuge Yu anticipated this response from Lu Xiuran. If it were that easy to persuade him, Lu Xiuran wouldn’t have had the courage to do such a thing.

Zhuge Yu hung up the phone, feeling angry inside.

Why were there fewer and fewer young artists these days? It was because these young people were becoming more restless, more daring!

The reason why he valued Chen Li was not only because of Chen Li’s talent in painting but also because of Chen Li’s calmness and focus. These were exactly what the young people lacked. After ending the call with Lu Xiuran, Zhuge Yu swiped through his contact list, found a number from a province in the Southeast, and dialed it. It didn’t take long for the call to be answered.

“The plan is proceeding as planned. If someone comes to find you tomorrow, record your conversation with them. Afterward, edit it yourself, leaving some ambiguous words. When the situation erupts, post it online.”

“Of course, after it’s done, I won’t miss what I promised you. Just go ahead and do it.”

“Remember to do it cleanly. I don’t want to clean up after you when everything breaks loose.”

Lu Xiuran hung up the phone, his gaze filled with intense malice that couldn’t be dispelled.

<< >>

Related Posts

2 thoughts on “The Sweetest Marriage Ch.111

Leave a Reply