The story of an agent and an artist in a chaotic time. No matter how much they want to distrust each other, circumstances force them to cooperate. No matter how much they want to trust each other, circumstances force them apart. It all really comes down to being able to see through the deception these two men fill their entire lives with.
Lin Nansheng dislikes and distrusts Yang Xiuxian from their very first meeting, only very shortly after Chen Moqun brings him to Shanghai. Chen Moqun describes him as the most talented forger in this entire city, a note of pride in an otherwise matter-of-fact tone.
“I’m an artist, Lao-Chen,” Yang Xiuxian complains. “That sort of thing is far behind me.”
Yang Xiuxian’s greatest charm, in Lin Nansheng’s eyes, had been those brief moments where he didn’t seem like he wanted anything. A brief moment of clumsiness and joy which had seemed momentarily endearing. Of course, that feeling had dissipated once the sleaziness had reappeared.
That is what "Xu Liwen" must be, Lin Nansheng decides. That clumsiness, that joy, that excitement to show something of oneself to another person… That is the most seemingly truthful. And because it is truthful, it will be charming.