Chapter 24: Obsessively Clean Virgo Boy
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
It was a very tactful statement, but the threat that was packed into it was no less felt.
Lead a group of people to the training camp? God, how big a hullabaloo that would be. Xia Ling chewed on it — Li Lei must have known that she wouldn’t want to blow things up, such that he could be so sure of his ways.
She swallowed her annoyance and received the box. “Extend my thanks to your Young Master.”
The butler remained warm and respectful. “Young Master also said that you can give him a call anytime you feel that you’ve changed your mind. There is a speed dial button on the side of the phone, which would be his number.”
“Thank you, but I will never use it.” Xia Ling resisted the strong urge to hurl the phone to the ground. She finished her sentence with teeth clenched and got into the car.
When she returned to the training camp, she realized that a lot had changed in the time she wasn’t around.
For one, Lu Tao had found a street dance buddy, a teenager called Leng Hui. With dark hair, delicate eyes, and an ever expressionless face, he was the cool guy type that swooned all the girls.
He transferred over from Imperial Entertainment, and at the same time, Luo Luo had chosen to go over to Imperial.
Xia Ling had her concerns for that adorable girl. Imperial Entertainment’s training was the best and also the harshest in the industry — competition was extremely intense, the elimination rate was incredibly high, and every year there would be news and rumors that someone had committed suicide due to the immense pressure. She wondered if Luo Luo could persevere.
Tan Ying called Xia Ling into the office and handed something to her. “Luo Luo told me to pass this on to you. She said that it must’ve been because you were in a bad mood from being taken advantage of last time that you didn’t regard her as a friend. And that she would always see you as a friend and support you no matter where she goes. She hopes that both of you would make it big soon.”
Xia Ling looked down at the four-leaf clover pendant that was lying still in her palm, her heart aching a little. Luo Luo was such a pure and simple child, she could still show unbounded life and magnanimity even after such a rejection.
She said, “Please let Luo Luo know to take good care of herself.” However, after a pause, she changed her mind. “Forget it.”
Tan Ying poked fun at her. “How cruel. You very well know that she admires you a lot, how could you bear to treat her like that?”
“What do you expect me to do then? Cry and sob and tell her I’m wrong and let’s reconcile?” Xia Ling couldn’t contain her irritability, and her tone was curt. “Chairman Tan, this is my personal matter, thus I won’t bother you with it.”
Who doesn’t want a friend? Who doesn’t want another person to look out for them?
But she could not — never.
From then on, she just wanted to walk her journey alone. With no worries and cares, there would be no betrayal.
The days went by like water flowing out a stream.
Xia Ling went about her days in solitude — in practice, having meals, brushing up for bed. Apart from that, she occasionally went to Wei Shaoyin’s recording studio to help him out with the miscellaneous work, organizing the scores and assisting in the recording. She also followed him around sometimes and heard him discuss his plans and proposals with people from all walks of life. They were usually beautiful and elegant works, vastly different from her gorgeous, demonic works.
After increased exposure with such a style, she had learned a fair bit about this once foreign genre.
Incorporated into her voice, it slowly evolved to become her very own aria style. In Wei Shaoyin’s words, her voice was sounding cleaner and more distant, like watching a world on a rainy day through crystal clear glass panes; simple yet beautiful.
“Coupling that with your face, it’s a pretty good match.” Wei Shaoyin concluded.
He handed Xia Ling an invitation card. “Attend it with me when the time comes.”
Xia Ling studied the invitation. It looked familiar with its golden rim on a dark red velvet card. It was the annual ceremony hosted by the nation’s largest, most popular music and television station. Every year they would invite the big shots in the industry, including singers, producers, and songwriters. It was a splendid event, a truly honorable get-together.
She used to be invited every year, but she never once saw Wei Shaoyin there.
“You don’t seem to be very interested in such events. Why this time then?” she asked.
“Events like this are a hassle.” Wei Shaoyin frowned and sipped his coffee, the rich aroma of his quality Mandheling brew dissipating around him. “It’s crowded, noisy, and extremely dirty.” He paused for a while and repeated. “Extremely dirty.”
Xia Ling laughed a little.
Wei Shaoyin’s mild obsession with cleanliness, she only found that out after getting along with him for a while. He disinfected his office every day, brought his own utensils and tumbler around, and never used tissue paper, only his handkerchief that he carried everywhere he went… she heard he was a Virgo.
He side-eyed her unhappily. “You think I’m in for this? Feng Kun rejected their invitation first, and Chen Yu, Mu Rongshao and a few others are either hospitalized or on their honeymoon. The only person left in the production team is me. The station came personally a few times and even made a call to the boss. They promised a year of golden opportunities next year, thus I have no choice but to make a trip down.”
“Feng Kun rejected it?” This was surprising to Xia Ling. He used to attend it every year, what happened this year?
Wei Shaoyin dully said, “He said he’s been too busy and drained recently, and wants to recuperate overseas for a while to get back in shape. Everyone knows that it’s been an eventful few months — Xia Ling has left, Xia Yu is releasing her debut — there’s been too much on his hands.”
Right, Xia Yu’s debut.
Xia Ling did not just find out about it. In fact, posters and publicity materials were spread soon after she had returned to the training camp. News about Xia Yu was everywhere, she was famous even before she had released her first song.
Wei Shaoyin rose from the wide leather couch and accompanied Xia Ling as they looked out the full-length window.
Outside, the streets were bustling, and the enormous LED screen featured Xia Yu’s delicate features. In terms of her appearance, she shared some similarities with the previous Xia Ling, but she was nowhere as stunning as her. On the other hand, what she had was a look that moved many, one that had the ability to sway people into adoring her —
“It’s very suitable for her current status.” Wei Shaoyin commented, after having a taste of his coffee.
“What?” Xia Ling was baffled.
“Xia Ling’s helpless and lonely sister, people feel for her.” He sneered discreetly.
Xia Ling was having mixed feelings. “You don’t seem to like Xia Yu that much.”
Wei Shaoyin did not deny. “Xia Ling might have been hot-tempered, but she never portrayed her weak side. All of her successes were achieved with her actual strength and substance. Xia Yu is different, she’s simply taking the shortcut with her sister’s reputation.”
Xia Ling stayed silent. Wei Shaoyin had no idea how much thought and effort Xia Yu had put in for this day. She might be riding on her sister’s fame, but this “shortcut” was painstakingly built by Xia Yu and it was in no way easy on her, nor did it have any bit of luck at play.
Now that she thought about it, maybe Xia Yu had started planning from a long time back.
The year that they were taken in by Pei Ziheng, Xia Yu was only nine and very sickly. She was sent overseas for the best possible treatment, but congenital heart disease was in itself extremely difficult to treat completely, and it was even more so that she had delayed it for so long.
In that period of time, Xia Yu went through unthinkable and unbearable pain by all the surgeries and medication she had been put through.
Pei Ziheng rarely let Xia Ling visit her, as he did not want her to delay her practices nor secretly shed tears in a corner every time she saw her. So he went on her behalf and provided for what she needed, even telling her bedtime stories and gifting her little trinkets once in a while.
She did not know when it was that Xia Yu fell for him.