Fei Fei's mother Lu Shan arrived during Fei Fei's nap time.
She had been at her hometown close by Rong City, and her face was hurried and haggard.
”Where is Fei Fei? ” she inquired anxiously of the police.
”He was just watching a cartoon.
He's tired now, and he's just fallen asleep. ”
The policeman pushed open a door to show her Fei Fei sleeping soundly, and Lu Shan's anxiety finally eased.
”I'm so sorry for the trouble.
I usually rely on Fei Fei's father for contact.
We don't have much, and Fei Fei is still quite young, so he doesn't have his own phone.
Yao Kang said that he bought a new house and there wasn't a landline there, he's frequently on business trips, and we're divorced, so we don't speak much, maybe once every two weeks or so.
I didn't take him falling out of contact seriously, thinking that he was there for Fei Fei, I didn't expect… ”
Obviously beset with after-fear and worry, Lu Shan got even more angry thinking about what had nearly happened.
”I thought Yao Kang had corrected himself and was on the right path again! I actually considered remarrying him for the sake of our child, and here he goes and disappears into thin air! If you ask me, he's probably out gambling again! Leopards truly don't change their spots! ”
”It's also my fault,
” she got a little weepy,
”I'm also to blame for not living up to expectations.
I'm not competent enough, I don't even have a stable job, and I'm in poor health, so I can only work part time as a house cleaner.
I can't even put food in my son's mouth, or take him with me while I'm working… ”
Lu, I'm afraid that in this case Fei Fei's father wasn't out gambling… ”
The policeman handed Lu Shan a tissue, and when she calmed down, he told her the full story.
”…In summary, that's what happened.
We were afraid that Fei Fei might take it badly, so we haven't broken it to him yet.
You're here now, so calm him down, and break the news to him when you think it's appropriate.
It seems like the boy is quite attached to his father… ”
Lu Shan hated Yao Kang's gambling habit, to the point where she had nearly lost all love for him in the events leading up to their divorce.
But when she heard that he had died in a car accident, she was struck dumb and couldn't completely react.
”What did you say? Yao Kang is dead? But how? He's in good health… ”
Ning Wan and Fu Zheng exchanged glances.
Let alone the child, even his ex-wife couldn't accept the news of Yao Kang's death.
The two comforted Lu Shan for a long time before she finally calmed down, although tears still spilled from her eyes.
”We were once married, I hated his awful habits but for such a thing to happen to him…
for him to be hurriedly cremated without getting to see him for the last time… ” Lu Shan wiped her tears.
”How could his factory do this?! Our son hasn't even gotten to say goodbye to his father.
How dare they handle his funeral without permission? ”
When Fu Zheng heard Lu Shan broach the topic, he seized the opportunity to say something.
Lu, this issue in reality involves both workers compensation and the pension due to Yao Kang.
As his son, Fei Fei has the right to demand compensation from the factory.
If you need someone, I can represent you. ”
This came out of the blue for Lu Shan.
She hadn't yet sorted it all out in her mind yet, and when she heard Fu Zheng recommend himself, she was both hesitant and wary.
”Are you a lawyer? But…
how much will it cost to go to court? I, I don't have that much money… and can I win the lawsuit? Can I actually get any compensation? How much will it cost? How long will it take? ”
”We are both lawyers.
We will defend Fei Fei's rights for you for free, ” Ning Wan added, smiling.
Fu Zheng was currently an intern and couldn't take on cases alone, so she had to participate as well.
”We are actually the lawyers for this community, so we have some fate with Fei Fei.
He has lost his father and he will need you to watch over him in the future.
I believe that your lives will be much more comfortable if you can win reparations from the company for his father's death, and you will be able to switch to a lower-income job that allows you to watch him. ”
”You really don't want any money?
” Lu Shan asked, at first disbelieving.
”For free? But Yao Kang deceived you and falsified a real estate license, causing trouble for the place where you live… ”
”It doesn't matter.
Leave this to us, and we'll leave it to you to break the news to Fei Fei about his father's accident. ”
Although Lu Shan didn't really put much stock in what their were saying, after repeatedly confirming that it would be free she decided to give it a try.
At worst it would just be beating a dead horse.
Fu Zheng told her about what was involved in them being her proxy and collected some information from her before they agreed to wait until Fei Fei knew about the matter before proceeding to the next step.
During this period, Fu Zheng would reach out to the factory in which Yao Kang had worked before his death.
”I will do my best to preferably settle the case through mediation and settle out of court for what you're due.
We don't want to prosecute if we don't have to, it takes too long.
It would be more in your favour to solve the case quickly, get the money, and get on with your life. ”
Afterward, Fu Zheng and Ning Wan gave her their details and took their leave.
As Fei Fei's legal guardian Lu Shan would need to complete the procedure to entrust them with the case after the news had been broken to Fei Fei.
”Leave this case to me, ” Fu Zheng volunteered on the way back to the community office.
”Will you be alright negotiating with a shady workshop like that? ”
”I'll be fine.
” Fu Zheng cleared his throat.
”I'm quite good at this, and you've been teaching me for a while now.
I should try working by myself.
You can't hold my hand forever. ”
Even though he was a partner, since he had no previous grassroots experience Fu Zheng had been relying on Ning Wan's advice quite often after coming to the community.
But now he had gradually adapted to the rhythm of community cases, and felt like it was high time he re-established his image.
He couldn't let old mother hen Ning Wan take care of him forever like a little chick.
It was past time he let her see his own strength.
Sure enough, Ning Wan looked at him with shining eyes full of admiration.
”Then I'll leave it up to you! ”
Fu Zheng was quite satisfied to be looked at like this.
Though he had just taken a pro bono legal aid case that he would never have done before, he felt unexpected delight in his heart.
But that little delight vanished when he saw the uninvited guest standing at the door of the community office.
What a disgusting and unexpected coincidence.
It was Chen Shuo at the door.
Fu Zheng felt the smile gradually fade from his mouth.
He glanced at Chen Shuo, expression cold.
Why was this person who had bafflingly attacked him over his age here?
When Chen Shuo saw Fu Zheng walking and working with Ning Wan, he too paused coldly.
But though his face was chilly when looking at Fu Zheng, he smiled gently and warmly toward Ning Wan.
”Senior sister Ning Wan!
” he waved at her with a sunny smile.
”I brought you your favorite milk tea. ” Then he handed the cup in his hand to her.
It was an unexpected but pleasant surprise for Ning Wan to bump into schoolmate.
She took the milk tea from Chen Shuo, saying, ”You're too sweet! And it's my favourite flavour too, thank you! ” Laughing, she joked, ”Next time you'll have to bring a cup for Fu Zheng.
He doesn't like milk tea, though, just oolong.
He's going out to handle a case now and he could take it along to drink… ”
Listening to that familiar tone and naturally caring attitude, Chen Shuo felt as though a hundred thousand ants were gnawing at his heart.
Thankfully, Ning Wan quickly changed the subject after a sip of milk tea.
”But why didn't you tell me you were coming over? ”
Smiling again, Chen Shuo answered, ”I'm just passing by after court. ”
Since he hardly came over, Ning Wan was naturally reluctant to see him go.
”Any recent gossip from the firm? Have you seen the new senior partner who's about to join us? Has he started choosing his team yet? ”
”The new partner seems quite mysterious so far.
Everyone's still guessing when he'll start selecting his team.
But there's been a big change recently among the junior partners.
Shen Yuting has left with her entire team after Partner Gao spoke with her.
Actually, what I heard was that the fact that she was poaching clients was discovered, so she was actually fired, but so as to save face for everyone, it was announced as a voluntary resignation.
But everyone is saying that it was because her team wasn't following the rules, that Li Yue and Hu Kang weren't serious about their work and not coming to the community even when they were supposed to… ”
The news stunned Ning Wan.
She hadn't expected that the day would come that Partner Gao would actually investigate such things thoroughly.
”How did Gao Yuan know? ”
”I heard that there was a whistleblower. ”
Ning Wan paused before looking inquiringly at Fu Zheng.
Fu Zheng didn't pretend to be innocent, but tacitly took credit.
Ignorant of the inside story, Chen Shuo was still commending the whistleblower.
”Whoever reported it under their real name was quite courageous.
You shouldn't have been the only one on rotation here in the community, yet Li Yue and Hu Kang never showed up and pushed their workload on you.
It's not bad that this was revealed… ”
” he added with a smile,
”And Partner Gao inadvertently revealed that it was a man who made the report.
That way, no one will think that it was you… ”
Although there was nothing morally wrong with reporting abuse at work, it had always been the unspoken rule of the office to keep a respectful distance from colleagues who make such reports, just like the monitor who told on cheating classmates in primary school.
Though everyone knew that the monitor was doing the right thing, but there was always the assumption that snitches could not be trusted.
At the same time as the group enjoyed the benefits the whistleblower had brought, that same whistleblower would be isolated.
If Gao Yuan had not inadvertently revealed that the informer was a man, there lay no doubt that Ning Wan would have been the prime suspect.
After all, she was the one who lost the most from Li Yue and Hu Kang not coming to the community…
But if it was a man…
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