“This is the first time I’m seeing someone be so brazen when he’s plagiarised someone else.”
“I can’t take it anymore. This ‘Ink-dyeing Handicrafts Shop Owner’ is not right in the head!”
“Don’t start scolding him yet. He said he’s going to clarify things, right? We have to wait and see first.”
The forums were in an uproar and quite a few were slinging insults around, but there were also a few reasonable posters once in a while too. No matter what their attitude though, a consensus had been reached.
They were going to watch the livestream and see just what this ‘Ink-dyeing Handicrafts Shop Owner’ had to say.
8pm, on the livestream platform for ‘Ink-dyeing Handicrafts’.
Quite a few people were already there, waiting to see how this shop owner was going to explain himself. The accusation of plagiarism was as good as truth in the eyes of 70% of the people. There must be solid proof too, or how else would his online shop have been closed overnight? The platform operators were not fools — there must be something fishy about the shop owner.
But, a lot of people were stunned when the ‘Ink-dyeing Handicrafts Shop Owner’ went live.
The face that appeared on their screens was just so familiar… It was Song Yucheng from the recently-ended programme, “Swapping Lives”!
“Songsong? What’s going on there? He knows the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts?” a fan of Song Yucheng could not help but ask.
The netizens who wanted to watch the plagiarism explanation kicked up a fuss next. “What is this? The shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts is the one who copied others, so what is a reality show guy doing here?”
“Yeah! He’s not part of our circles, is he? He must be high. I felt uncomfortable when I watched him make traditional clothing on the programme. This is culture, and something we believe in. It’s now all turned into some goods bearing a vague resemblance to the real thing. Trash!”
Negative talk like this was all silenced when Song Yucheng opened his mouth to speak.
Song Yucheng adjusted the camera angle and said his first words on the livestream. “Hello everyone. I am the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts, Song Yucheng.”
“Holy crap! Who did he say he is?”
“He’s the shop owner? WHAT?!”
“Didn’t the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts start accepting orders five years ago? Song Yucheng only just turned 18!”
And in the face of all this doubt, Song Yucheng chose to let the evidence speak for him.
He took out the permit for operating an online shop, real-name verification of the payment platform, the purchase orders he had received, as well as the designs he had drawn over the last five years. He put every item in front of his audience, hiding nothing from sight.
He had written his source of inspiration, the craftwork required and the target audience on every page of his design drawings. The topmost drawing was of the indigo-dyed traditional clothing design which the scummy Song family members had accused him of plagiarising.
Song Yucheng showed this design to his audience and said slowly, “We are all crafting people here. The original drawing makes it clear whether it was plagiarism or not. Now, let me answer the question — Why are my techniques in indigo-dyeing so similar to Chen Yin’s? It is not because I deliberately copied her, but because Chen Yin is my mother.”
Song Yucheng took out a household register booklet, with just him registered. On that lonely page, clearly written in the column for ‘Mother’ was…
Name: Chen Yin
It was chaos in the livestream channel.
First, the fact that Song Yucheng was the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts was already quite shocking.
People in the crafting circles had ridiculed “Swapping Lives” and called it ‘all just a show’, because it was impossible for Song Yucheng to have made so many exquisite pieces of craftwork in such a short amount of time, all by himself, especially when the design process had to be included as well. Only a very low-key skilled craftsman in their crafting circles could do it, and that was the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts.
At that time though, several people were speculating that the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts was a designer, and definitely not a young man of eighteen like Song Yucheng.
All these people, however, were slapped in the face with the truth. The shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts was Song Yucheng.
The online posts accusing him of plagiarism was a huge joke now. Song Yucheng was Chen Yin’s son, and mother and son would have techniques learnt from the same branch so it was absolutely normal for there to be similarities in style. Song Hui wanted to sue Song Yucheng? This was a joke.
“Woaaaaah! This is a huge reversal! Somebody hit me, please. I think I’m hallucinating!”
“O.M.G. People were guessing that the shop owner of Ink-dyeing Handicrafts was an adult in his thirties but it turned out that it’s Songsong’s sockpuppet.”
“Even so, why did Song Hui sue him for plagiarism? He got his skills from his mother. Song Yucheng is Chen Yin’s own son!”
“Another thing’s weird too. Song Crafts’s legal representative is Song Hui. Doesn’t this company belong to Chen Yin and Song Qingzhi? Song Yucheng is 18 now, but there doesn’t seem to be any intent to change the legal representative to him. Song Hui is also using the Song Crafts name to destroy the online shop of Song Crafts’ true owner under the charge of plagiarism. What a dirty, underhanded move!”
Line after line of doubt appeared on the chat screen, and Song Yucheng was not going to hide anything.
“It’s quite normal for the legal representative to be changed, because Song Hui seized the inheritance my parents left for me. I won’t go into details here today, however. Additionally, I have hired lawyers to look into the relevant cases of the forced closure of my online shop and the malicious attempt of Song Hui’s framing me for plagiarism. Since he wants to go at it the legal way with me, I will respond in kind.”
Song Yucheng posted a Weibo link and displayed a statement of charges.
Defendant: Song Hui.
His charge was a vague one which sent thoughts wondering.
Violation of assets.
This was a case which involved criminal activity, and also related to a civil dispute. If convicted, Song Hui would have to go to prison. The notice of a filed case on the Weibo page of the relevant district courts also meant that Song Yucheng had real, solid evidence in his hands!
How solid? This was how solid it was — the words of the case in black and white was the proof. Song Hui and Xu Muzhi, however, had faked it and got some experts to start rumours about Song Yucheng plagiarising. They had made use of their power to shut his online shop down and also led the charge in throwing dirt on Song Yucheng’s name to drive him out of the crafting circles. These actions of theirs were no different from that of contemptible scoundrels.
“No wonder the works of Song Crafts were so ugly for the past five years. They stole someone else’s company. Of course they won’t know how to run it.”
“See, I said it was weird. Something did happen to Chen Yin, but that wouldn’t result in a huge drop in quality of all of the designers of Song Crafts. What rubbish is this now, dammit! They would have been finished long ago if it weren’t for those popular models designed by Chen Yin while she was still alive.”
“Song Yucheng is the real tragic one here! The change in legal representative was announced via press conference back then. I remember it clearly. Some people in the circles back then were also saying that Song Hui and Song Qingzhu didn’t look like brothers, right?”
“Right, right! I remember too. Song Hui also said that Song Crafts was founded by the Song family, so the rights to the company were handed to him after Song Qingzhi’s passing.”
“Scaaaary. His own brother’s body had yet to chill before he went and seized his assets. He even bullied his son too.”
The truth, sealed away for years, was finally all revealed. Song Hui and the others had wanted to drive Song Yucheng out of the crafting circles, but this dirt they had tried to throw on him had been flung back at all of them, and with greater force too.
And at the same time, the despicable things they had done over the years were all brought out into the light by so-called insiders.
The Song family had lived in the suburbs of Beijing, and were normal working-class, profiteering people. They had then changed the way they lived by hanging onto the coattails of Song Yucheng’s parents. Once something had happened to his parents, however, they were indifferent and started to bully Song Yucheng. The Song Crafts they possessed now, in particular, had been anonymously reported, saying that the change in legal representation had been forcefully done back then by bribing a lawyer to have the will forged.
“Song Qingzhi and Chen Yin would never leave the company to his elder brother. Plus, Chen Yin had said long ago that she wanted Song Yucheng to inherit it in the future, and that’s why she taught him all of her skills. Also, Song Crafts has never been a family business — Song Qingzhi and Chen Yin built it up from scratch all by themselves!” The anonymous “informant” also released a chat log to prove that what he’d said was true.
It was a chat record of a QQ Messenger group chat from six years ago. In the group chat, Chen Yin had showed the others in the chat the cloth Song Yucheng had dyed, and had said proudly to them that Song Yucheng would definitely be able to take Song Crafts to the next level in the future.
There was no way that Song Hui and his gang were going to be able to lessen the amount of scorn heaped on them when that was revealed. The chat log of a QQ Messenger group chat could not be used as damning evidence in a court of law, but it was highly effective as a piece of supportive evidence.
After Song Hui had seized control of Song Yucheng’s inheritance, he and his family had embezzled and misappropriated funds. What they’d done, and the details of what his son and daughter had spent excessively on, all became supporting evidence. In contrast, while Song Hui’s family had been enjoying their ill-gotten wealth, the true heir, Song Yucheng, had been struggling to survive.
Song Yucheng had been just thirteen when his inheritance was taken from him.
There were terrible relatives, but terrible relatives like Song Hui were a really rare breed of vileness. One of the people suddenly recalled that on the last episode of “Swapping Lives”, Li Zhao had said that Song Yucheng had come on the programme because of money. He had also said that Song Yucheng had no one but himself.
It now looked like it wasn’t the case. He was not alone — he had a gang of cruel and unscrupulous bastards at his back.
A matter which had started from the crafting circles soon became a very public topic because of Song Yucheng’s livestream. The paid posters who had been trying to mold public opinion in the beginning were of no use now.
There was nothing to be done. Song Hui and his family were just too bastardly. Song Yucheng had hit them so hard that there was no way for them to turn things around.
In Xu Muzhi’s office, Xu Muzhi looked at how the tides had changed instantly, and was choked with anger. He received a call following that — the police was requesting assistance in the investigation. Xu Muzhi was beside himself with rage.
“Tell me what the f*ck is going on here! Song Yucheng may have backing but it is only Chu Rong standing behind him. How can he be so untouchable? I told you to contact Song Hui, and now the police have sniffed me out even before arresting Song Hui. What are you doing, you useless pieces of sh*t!”
Xu Muzhi violently swept everything on his desk to the floor; he could not control his violent mood. Everything was going wrong.
All these recent things related to Song Yucheng had ended with him getting his face slapped. What made Xu Muzhi most speechless was that he could not figure out just where things had gone wrong for him.
He was supposed to have been the one in control but Song Yucheng had emerged victorious every time. Did the bastard Song Yucheng plant a spy next to him? How else could he have been so well-prepared with a counterattack to whatever he had done? What made him despair the most was not just Song Yucheng’s counterattack — his own backyard was on fire.
He had not expected that the justice warriors of the internet condemning Song Hui now, to turn out to be the people he had initially contacted to blacken Song Yucheng’s name. In the short span of an evening, these people had changed their tune and were now pushing all of the blame on him. Some had even made police reports, claiming that he had threatened them and asked them to provide false testimony to slander Song Yucheng.
Slander. Ha! He was just looking to get those neighbours to say that Song Yucheng and Song Hui’s family did not have a good relationship, that Song Yucheng had left Song Hui’s home on his own, and that he had not returned to Song Hui’s home since.
Now, this had become “false testimony”. Hadn’t Song Yucheng done all those things himself? What was most hilarious was that the police had actually dared to come asking him questions. Who the f*ck gave them the guts to do that!