You Have the Right to Keep a Secret Love

Chapters List

Chapter 5: Didn't You Curse Me?

Because Zhao Yiran's workplace was close to the law firm, they decided to meet for lunch at a ramen shop below the firm.

Qi Xi had a rough time during her lunch date with Zhao Yiran. She complained about her troubles, but Zhao Yiran was completely absorbed in a novel she had finished reading a few days ago and couldn't help but recommend it.

"Life as a working adult is already tough enough. During lunch breaks, I prefer to read novels or watch dramas to shift my focus, relax, and unwind. Everything will work out naturally."

Zhao Yiran said while recommending the novel she was immersed in. "You really have to read 'Encountering Immortals.' It's Ai Xiang's masterpiece, no wonder it's a dark horse that exploded in popularity. Although the writing style is a bit lacking, the plot twists are astonishing, and the character development is very three-dimensional. Most importantly, the overall concept is grand and ambitious. The author must have a rich imagination to write such a vast fictional world of immortals. Moreover, despite being a male author, the female characters are well fleshed out without any male gaze stereotypes."

Clearly, Zhao Yiran had become a devoted fan of Ai Xiang. "What's most heartwarming is Ai Xiang's love story with his wife. He was just a poor guy with only a high school education, while his wife is a highly educated beauty from a well-off family. Yet, Ai Xiang fell in love with her at first sight, wrote love letters to her every day, and relentlessly pursued her for five years. Finally, his perseverance paid off, and they now have a son and a daughter together."

Qi Xi wasn't particularly interested in entertainment industry matters, but even she knew how popular "Encountering Immortals" was. The TV drama adaptation was currently airing, so the original novel was also frequently recommended and trending every day.

Zhao Yiran couldn't stop praising Ai Xiang. "What's admirable about Ai Xiang is his perseverance, whether it's in love or his career. He's been writing novels for five or six years now, struggling financially in the early days. But suddenly, 'Encountering Immortals' became a huge hit, and now his career is flourishing. He even sold the film and television rights of his new serialized novel for a high price, reportedly 20 million!"

Regretfully, Zhao Yiran sighed, "Why didn't I write novels in college? If I had persisted for a few years, maybe I could have become wealthy and financially free. Studying law really has no future..."

Qi Xi remained unimpressed. "You'd need a wife like his, with a good family background, who loves and supports him, willing to let her husband write for five or six years without a steady income. Otherwise, writing for a few years, are you planning to live on air?"

Zhao Yiran glared at Qi Xi. "Why do you lack any sense of romance? Love and marriage are about mutual dedication and sacrifice. Ai Xiang is now finally living the life of immortal lovers with his wife. Even after so many years of marriage, he still insists on writing love letters to her every day on Weibo."

Qi Xi shrugged. "I only care about whether he shared that 20 million with his wife. What's so touching about writing love letters? If Gu Yan is willing to forgive me, I'll write him apology letters every day, not just love letters! If he gives me one million, I'll marry him on the spot!"

Her words were merely venting her frustration, but she didn't expect that just as Zhao Yiran was about to mock her, they heard someone coughing heavily from the adjacent booth.

Because of the intense coughing, the nearby waiters were concerned. "Sir, are you okay?"

After coughing for a while, a slightly chilly voice came from the adjacent booth. "I'm fine. Thank you."


Damn it, it turned out to be Gu Yan!

Zhao Yiran also recognized his voice and silently looked at Qi Xi, whose hopes were fading from her face.

At this moment, Qi Xi felt that her life couldn't be described as simply unlucky anymore.

Fortunately, Gu Yan didn't even bother acknowledging her and simply finished his noodles, paid the bill, and left, leaving Qi Xi in a sea of awkwardness and loss of appetite, realizing the importance of choosing her words carefully.

However, as long as one had thick skin, life could still go on, especially if work filled up one's time, leaving no room for random thoughts.

After lunch, Qi Xi returned to her office and finally encountered her first client since starting her job.

More accurately, it was Gu Xuehan's client, but during the meeting, Gu Xuehan invited Qi Xi and Gu Yan to join her.

Gradually getting in touch with clients and cases was a normal practice for a senior lawyer guiding an intern. It started with observing, occasionally assisting with recordings or note-taking, without the pressure of handling cases directly. However, it allowed the intern to gradually get involved in the cases and smoothly transition into the role of a lawyer.

This time, Gu Xuehan's client was named Chen Xiang, a graceful woman with long hair who appeared to be in her late twenties. She was dressed elegantly and seemed familiar with Gu Xuehan as she greeted her with a smile and a wave of her hand upon meeting.

Gu Xuehan was efficient and didn't waste time on pleasantries. "What's the matter, Sister Xiang? Is it a contract dispute?"

"It's a contract dispute involving my husband's film and television rights," Chen Xiang said, taking out photocopies of the contract from her bag. She thoughtfully prepared multiple copies, giving one to each of them present. "This is the contract for the film and television adaptation of his new serialized novel."

A film and television adaptation contract dispute?

That sounded interesting.

But when Qi Xi glanced at the contract, she found it even more intriguing.

It turned out to be Ai Xiang's film and television rights contract!

So... this elegant and graceful Chen Xiang was the wife of the famous author Ai Xiang?

Chen Xiang smiled. "My husband signed this contract right at the beginning of the serialization of his new book. At that time, 'Encountering Immortals' had not been aired yet, so the contract amount for this new book was relatively modest. But now, with 'Encountering Immortals' becoming a huge hit, many companies have inquired about the film and television rights for this new book, and the amount offered is several times higher than the previous deal. So, we want to claim that this old contract is invalid."

But didn't they say that the serialization of the new book was sold for 20 million? How can it be considered modest?

However, when Qi Xi flipped to the section in the contract that stated the deal amount, she was shocked.

"5 million? Didn't the news say it was sold for 20 million?"

Facing Qi Xi's astonishment, Gu Xuehan explained, "The price of film and television rights is considered a trade secret, and sometimes there's some ambiguity. Some authors like to publicly announce a higher price to increase their value and the market demand. And some production companies, in order to make the project look more appealing for investors or to raise the production fees, may inflate the purchasing costs. So, the publicly announced price may sometimes have some discrepancies."

Chen Xiang nodded. "Exactly. However, for my husband's new book, there are indeed companies that have offered 20 million now."

Gu Xuehan raised an eyebrow. "So, you want to terminate the contract? Do you feel that selling at 5 million earlier was a loss? Did the other party breach the contract?"

At this point, Chen Xiang looked a bit troubled. "No, they haven't breached the contract. But we calculated the costs. If we breach the contract, according to the agreement, besides returning the full copyright fee, we would also have to pay a 20% film and television fee as a penalty. We can afford all that, but the other party claims they are in the development stage and doesn't want to terminate the contract..."

So it was Chen Xiang's husband who wanted to unilaterally breach the contract.

After all, if they terminated the contract and refunded the 5 million, plus paid a 20% penalty fee, the total penalty would only be one million. Then, signing a new contract for 20 million would not only mean they didn't lose money but also earned a net profit of 14 million.

Gu Xuehan nodded. "I understand. I will communicate with the other party on your behalf. Don't worry, I'll make sure to resolve the termination matter for you with the best solution. But since the film and television rights holder is your husband, he will need to sign a power of attorney agreement*."

*A power of attorney agreement is a legal document that grants an individual (known as the "principal") the authority to appoint someone else (known as the "attorney-in-fact" or "agent") to act on their behalf. This legal arrangement allows the agent to make important decisions and carry out specific tasks on behalf of the principal.

Chen Xiang seemed relieved. "That's good. My husband is out of town this week. Once you have the contract prepared as an electronic file, I'll have him print and sign it before sending it back. The other party is... difficult to communicate with, so I think it's better to have professionals like you handle this."

After Chen Xiang left, Gu Xuehan assigned the communication work with the film and television company for terminating the contract to Qi Xi and Gu Yan. "This case is straightforward. You can handle it. Arrange a time to meet with them at the law firm, and I'll come to discuss it."

As Gu Xuehan left, Qi Xi looked at Gu Yan. "So, are you going, or should I go?"

"You go," Gu Yan replied tersely, not wanting to pay any more attention to Qi Xi's appearance. "I have other cases to handle."

"But..." Qi Xi felt anxious. "This is completely a breach of contract on Chen Xiang's part. They don't abide by the already effective contract just to make more money. How can I open my mouth and do such a thing? I'm sure I'll be criticized. I'm afraid I'll get scolded during the phone call later..."

"That's your problem."

With that said, Gu Yan sat back at his desk, showing no intention of talking further.

Qi Xi had no choice but to muster up the courage and call the film and television company.

Sure enough, as soon as she mentioned terminating the contract, the other party exploded with insults, and Qi Xi finally understood why Chen Xiang was willing to pay the legal fees to have someone else deal with them. The company was vulgar and crude.

"You damn idiots begged me to sign the contract back then, saying you urgently needed the money to make a down payment on a house. You hadn't even submitted the manuscript, so technically, you haven't fulfilled your contractual obligations. But I still gave you 5 million first to help you buy the house. Now that the property prices have gone up, and your novel 'Encountering Immortals' has been luckily well-received, you want to raise the price and terminate the contract to sell to someone else?"

Chen Xiang had obviously tried to communicate with the other party before, so when Qi Xi mentioned that she was Ai Xiang's lawyer, the head of the film and television company exploded, venting all his anger on Qi Xi. "I've tried to reason with you, but you're just skin-deep and think that you can get rid of me by refunding 5 million and paying one million in penalties? Have you treated me like a monkey for the past six months? Letting you take advantage of everything? I won't agree to terminate the contract! You stupid b**ch of a lawyer!"


At first, Qi Xi tried to endure the other party's yelling, but when the barrage of profanity and insults came, she couldn't hold on any longer.

As a newcomer fresh from the ivory tower, she grew up in an environment of order and decorum. She had always believed that being a lawyer was a respectable job, and this kind of humiliation was something she had never anticipated.

She tried to hold back the tears, but a sour feeling welled up from her nose and quickly filled her eyes. The sourness gathered into tears in her eyes, and she couldn't help but shed them.

The other party's yelling and cursing were loud, and probably everyone in the nearby office area heard it. However, everyone seemed used to it, busy with their own tasks.

On the other end of the phone, the other party was still raging. Just when Qi Xi didn't know what to do, Gu Yan, who had been ignoring her all this time, reached out his hand to her.

With a slight frown, he succinctly said, "Give it here."

Seeing Qi Xi standing still and not reacting, Gu Yan glared at her and took the phone receiver from her hand.

"In a business deal, since the contract specifies the penalty for breach, our client is willing to bear this responsibility as per the contract. Legally, it means both parties are cleared of obligations. Do you think one million is too little for a breach fee? That's your problem. Your previous lawyer was inadequate, and that's why the breach penalty was set at only 20%. There's no provision that if this 20% penalty isn't enough to cover all economic losses, our client should also be responsible for direct and indirect damages. So, according to the contract, once we breach, we only need to pay a 20% penalty."

Gu Yan's demeanor was cold and composed. "All contracts carry legal risks if they're not handled professionally. You hired an unprofessional lawyer and signed a contract with risks, so you should bear the corresponding consequences. As for you saying that the project has already incurred costs, it's something you need to prove with evidence. Arguing with lawyers here won't change anything."

"Lastly, please be more careful with your language. If you verbally abuse or attack my colleagues during further communication, I will record it and use it to defend my colleagues' legal rights."

Gu Yan finished and added, "Tomorrow at 10:30 in the morning, at Jinghe Law Firm, you're requested to be there on time, and we'll negotiate the compensation amount amicably."

He delivered these words fluently and without waiting for the other party to reply, he hung up the phone. This whole sequence of actions left Qi Xi completely stunned.

"That's it?"

Gu Yan looked at her with a serious expression. "What else?"

"But what if we anger them, and they refuse to come tomorrow?"

"They'll come," Gu Yan pursed his lips. "If they don't cooperate with the termination procedures, I can almost guarantee that they'll face legal troubles in developing this project. After all, Ai Xiang has many fans, and they're quite formidable. The company acquired the IP with the expectation to capitalize on the fans' enthusiasm and popularity. Now, they not only won't receive fan support, but they'll also be subjected to ridicule from Ai Xiang's large fanbase. In the end, they might even need to go through the lengthy court process to recover the 6 million. Unsatisfied as they may be, they understand the stakes and have no choice but to come."

Qi Xi felt a mix of confusion and complexity. She felt uneasy and said, "Uh... I didn't expect lawyers to be cursed like this..."

"Customers don't want to face negotiation, so they hand it over to lawyers as intermediaries to handle. Being cursed by the other party is also part of a lawyer's life; otherwise, how would you earn your fees?"

Gu Yan glanced at her and said, "Besides, didn't you curse me pretty well at the graduation ceremony? How come when he cursed you, you didn't say anything?"


Embarrassed by Gu Yan's words, Qi Xi couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. She stammered, "That time was an accident, it was an accident. I'm sorry, Gu Yan, I'm really sorry... Thanks for your help this time, you're a good person, standing up for me."

However, as soon as she finished speaking, Gu Yan looked displeased. He seemed unhappy and said, "Who's standing up for you? It's just that he was too loud when he cursed you, and it disrupted my reading of the case file. Don't overthink it."

With that said, Gu Yan looked at Qi Xi's arm and added, "You're getting too close, stay away from me."

"Alright, alright, got it."

Qi Xi quickly understood the situation and immediately complied, moving her chair away from Gu Yan as far as possible.

She swore never to invade Gu Yan's "airspace" on his desk again!


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