Chapter 23: A Gift Impossible to Reject
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
“Yes. You never got your dance moves wrong, and you’re able to spur the people around you. That’s what it takes to be a good candidate for a group dance.” Wei Shaoyin told her.
The question was finally answered. Xia Ling now knew why he had specially picked her then. Besides her, all the other trainees have only been dancing for a few shorts years, how could they even come close to her with her 15 years or so of intensive practices in her previous life? Moreover, as a diva, she had encountered all sorts of situations, including tough ones; spurring them on was no big deal to her.
“During the MV itself, I focused on observing you in particular. Although you weren’t especially spectacular, your improvements were impressive — you seemed to learn something new to better yourself each day.” Wei Shaoyin explained. “The others just regard this filming process as a task, but you’re able to pay attention to the learning points and experience gained. You’re an intelligent and diligent dancer.”
“… Thank you.” Xia Ling had no idea how to respond to his praises. She wasn’t even gaining experience, in fact, she was being extremely careful in revealing her actual ability, so as to “improve” to her former standard at a believable rate. Otherwise, it would be too much of a torture for her to pretend to not dance well despite being outstanding.
“But this can’t be all there is to you offering to write my first single for me, right?” she asked. The entertainment industry was full of smart, diligent people willing to strive for their dreams. It was not easy for someone to be able to truly shine and thrive in their career.
“Of course, there’s more.” Wei Shaoyin laughed easily. “What struck me more than anything was when I heard you singing the other day — you were standing on the veranda and singing Xia Ling’s song. Your voice obviously wasn’t suited to sing a song with that melody, yet with the modifications you made, you managed to sing it beautifully. The entertainment industry is indeed full of intelligent people, but few are actually wise and creative. You have a very good understanding of yourself, and you’re motivated and capable enough to work on your shortcomings. If this doesn’t change, you will definitely achieve great things.”
“So,” Wei Shaoyin concluded. “being able to write your first single does not deflate my reputation in any way. On the contrary, being able to have a hand in grooming a rising star makes me more than happy.”
“Many thanks for your favor and looking out for me. In that case, I will do as you wish and help out at the recording studio.” Since all had been laid out, Xia Ling had no good reason to reject him. Truth be told, she was very happy to know that Wei Shaoyin was willing to write her first single for her. At the very least she didn’t have to worry about ending up with a song made by a third-rate producer. After all, nothing annoyed her more than having to work with silly people.
The thick of autumn was approaching.
The trees outside were beginning to fall and flutter to the ground, and Xia Ling’s condition was also taking a turn for the better. It’s time she left.
The butler led her to the back garden to inform Li Lei about her leaving. In that garden, the hibiscuses bloomed splendidly. She was a little surprised to see him trimming a large bush — his skill was professional, his movement leisurely. She thought to herself: this man really is good at everything.
The butler smiled at her. “Miss Ye, the hibiscuses that were sent to your room last time were also personally trimmed by Young Master.”
The house servants were not very friendly towards Xia Ling initially, as in the case of the hibiscuses, nobody told her about this when she received the flowers. But ever since her meal with Li Lei and her being carried home by him, their attitude towards her improved slightly.
Xia Ling was not bothered by such a change. The world is as such, people are as such, there’s nothing much to it.
What bothered her was that Li Lei actually trimmed flowers for her personally. Did he have too much time on hand or was there another motive? Not that she was being narcissistic, but it was beyond odd for someone of his status to be this nice to just another dancer like her.
Li Lei put down the shear in his hand and walked over. His outfit for the day was a grey long-sleeved round collar, loose fitting and casual, bringing about a homely feel. As he moved towards her, the faint outline of his toned muscles beneath the fabric surfaced, diffusing an air of masculinity that was seductive yet threatening.
He stopped in front of Xia Ling and smiled lightly. “Not going to stay a few more days?”
“My health is restored and the schedule at the training camp is very tight. I have to go back to practice.” She explained politely.
Li Lei paid no attention to it, and instead prompted her to take a seat on a deck chair by the side. “You can always choose not to go.”
Her brow twitched ever so slightly as if it was a premonition.
Indeed, what came after was his voice of insolence. “As long as you’re willing, you can continue to stay by my side. I will get somebody to handle it over at the training camp. If you wish to continue practicing, you can go for a class or two when the mood arises, but it’s also alright if you don’t wish to attend at all.”
There are things that need not be said explicitly, but in this case, Xia Ling still did not understand what she was hearing. Oh, how she had lived two lifetimes in vain.
Li Lei meant to provide for her as his own.
This was not something new or uncommon in the entertainment industry, there was nothing to be surprised about. If not for Pei Ziheng’s protection in her previous life, there would have been plenty of people harboring designs on her. In hindsight, wasn’t she his mistress anyway, despite how she naively thought that she and Pei Ziheng were a couple?
That thought stung a little, and Xia Ling turned away to mask her emotions.
Li Lei took his sweet time to sip his tea, patiently waiting for her response. He had an elegance in the way he was in control of the suspense — easy, firm and even charming. She couldn’t help but think. For a man who had wealth, power and status, and not to mention a handsome face, wouldn’t he be able to have any belle and beauty he liked? Why did he only have eyes for somebody just ordinarily pleasant like her?
She really was puzzled.
“Why?” she asked, with the slip of tongue.
Li Lei looked at her, his smile dissipating in his deep jade-green eyes. “As I said before, you’re the type I like. And also, you’re very pure, and you know how to behave in delicate situations.”
Xia Ling’s eyes hardened. Pure — he was already evaluating her body based on terms associated with mistresses. Maybe he had even hired somebody to do a background check on her love life. She felt insulted.
She suddenly stood up. “I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I in no way know how to ‘behave in delicate situations’. Boss, Your Honour, thank you for your hospitality all this time. I’m leaving tomorrow.”
He did not stop her.
In fact, when she set out the next day, he got the butler to see her out.
The butler helped Xia Ling load the luggage, and even handed her a beautifully packaged box. “Miss Ye, Young Master said he’d dirtied your mobile phone the last time, so he’s gifting you this new one. Please keep it well.”
Only now did she remember that her phone was covered in blood last time after she had lent it to him when he was injured. She was already unhappy with it at that time, who knew he had noticed it all along.
The only issue was since he had ulterior motives with regards to her, his gifts must not be accepted.
Xia Ling gently declined the box. “I appreciate your Young Master’s goodwill, but please keep it.”
The butler seemed to have seen it coming as he handed it over once again. “Young Master said if Miss Ye would not accept the gift, then it must mean that he hasn’t been sincere enough. In that case, I would have to bring a group of people along with me to send this gift to the training camp. Miss Ye, please don’t make things difficult for a servant like me.”