Chapter 26: The Musical Extravaganza
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
It was only then that Xia Ling had realized that the sister she had loved with all her heart hated her so much that she wanted her dead.
Xia Yu had used all the methods she could think of to insult and agitate Xia Ling, hoping all the time that Xia Ling would be pushed over the wall and commit suicide. Xia Ling thought to herself that perhaps if the incident at the concert never happened, maybe she would have been killed at the hands of her very own sister.
There was no way to know if the murder at the concert was the doing of her sister or of the Wang family.
She dared not think too deeply into the matter, willing with all her heart that the culprit was the Wang family.
The sound of the click of a camera rang out.
Startled, Xia Ling came back to her senses. Turning, she saw Wei Shaoyin pointing a camera at her, clicking the shutter twice in quick succession.
She raised her eyebrows, looking at him questioningly.
“You are very calm in front of the camera, not like a trainee at all,” said Wei Shaoyin, and then commandeered, “Turn your body a little more, towards your 9 o’clock direction… Tilt your head to the left a little, 30 degrees… yes, very good.”
He clicked the shutter twice again.
“I charge expensive fees for my pictures,” said Xia Ling said as she obediently struck several poses.
“I told you trainees must do many things for the company free-of-charge.” Wei Shaoyin responded instantly, his hands not intending to stop.
“What do you want these photos for?” she asked with curiosity.
“To sell when you get famous.” He laughed such that his eyes formed a line. With that, he stopped and kept the camera.
Xia Ling sat back down on the wide and spacious sofa that was made of genuine leather. She turned to look at him and asked, “Are you so confident that I will become famous?”
“Any trainee that I, Wei Shaoyin, have chosen to nurture have all made it big.” He sat down on the other end of the sofa, his long index finger drumming on the glass top of the coffee table. “What were you thinking about just now? Your expression was…”
He did not reply but threw the camera to her.
Xia Ling turned it on and scrolled to the image that he had taken. The first was a half body profile shot. She was wearing a loosely-fitted, pale-colored cardigan, with one hand touching the glass window of the full-length window, rays of the setting sun on her face. The expression on her face in the camera was exceedingly gentle but sad, weakness showing from the depths of her eyes as she stood to stare out of the mirror blankly, the evening sun giving her a soft glow.
Undoubtedly, Wei Shaoyin’s photography skills were stellar.
Xia Ling switched the camera off and returned it to him, not saying a word.
Wei Shaoyin did not press her with questions, but simply refilled her cup with warm water. The warmth traveled up from the tips of her fingers, making her feel alive. Being alive… was just this simple, to be able to feel a bit of warmth.
Several days later, the end-of-year music extravaganza kicked off as scheduled.
It was a live broadcast. A long security barricade was erected surrounding the square outside the broadcast station under the starry night sky, a bright red carpet stretching from the grand entrance to the carved stone steps.
Xia Ling attended the ceremony alongside Wei Shaoyin as his assistant.
He arrived in a Ferrari worth tens of millions, wearing a wine-red silk shirt with a silver grey tuxedo and the same Patek Philippe on his left wrist. The moment he stepped out of the car, there was a sea of screams from fans looking on. His popularity even overshadowed some of the actual artistes.
He walked confidently on the red carpet, while Xia Ling followed along outside the security barricade.
She heard someone asking, “Who is that hunk?”
Her companion replied, “Don’t you know him? Wei Shaoyin from Skyart Entertainment, the one that is considered Feng Kun’s rival.”
A new round of cheers and screaming rang out. Mixed in were sentences like: “Wei Shaoyin, I love you”, “Your song ‘I’ll Sing Another Song for You’ was so touching I cried”, “The MV for ‘Snow in the Barren Land’ was really cool”, “Produce a song for my love Ning Chen”…
The shouts came in all ways and types.
The most out of the world comments was when someone shouted really loudly. “Date Feng Kun! Date Feng Kun!”
She even managed to get responses of approval from many in the crowd.
Xia Ling wanted to facepalm. These crazy fangirls had amazing imaginations. As the saying goes: “Two kings in the same line of business are enemies, they will not see eye to eye”. For the many years that both Feng Kun and Wei Shaoyin were in the industry, the number of times that they bumped into each other was few and far between.
She turned her head to look at Wei Shaoyin. She thought that since he had been in the limelight for some time, he should be used to this crazy situation and the incredulous rumors of the entertainment circle, but underneath the calm demeanor he displayed on the red carpet, she could see iciness and anger at the depths of his eyes. Clearly, he did not enjoy this red carpet experience and was on the verge of losing his temper.
She sighed. Being a Virgo, he was a perfectionist and hypochondriac in both the material and mental realm. He could be really picky.
She picked up the pace to catch up with him and walked towards the large hall in the broadcast station. In the large hall, they were shielded from all the crazy fans. A staff member guided them to the lift lobby to head upstairs, where they were greeted with many waiting rooms and dressing rooms of differing sizes on both sides of the corridor. Wei Shaoyin was a well-known figure and had high status in the industry, hence, the broadcast station had reserved a waiting room further inside to give him more privacy.
As they were being guided to the waiting room, they passed a makeup room along the way. They could hear a loud commotion coming from within and before they could react, a large group of bodyguards had pushed a lady out of the room. The lady was wearing a red evening gown and her long hair was in a mess as she fell to the floor after being shoved out of the room. Her handbag flew out of her hands and her makeup foundation spilt open, staining the foot of Wei Shaoyin’s trousers.
Wei Shaoyin came to a stop, his face three degrees colder than before.
Xia Ling recognized the lady as a singer that was popular in the past, whose name was Hua Xue. Although she was past her time, she had no choice but to continue on in the entertainment circle to pay off the debts that her husband had racked up from horse gambling.
Hua Xue stared up at the group that had pushed her out, her heavy makeup unable to completely mask her aged face. Holding back her tears, she chokingly said, “Xia Yu still has a lot of time before having to go on stage. I am the opening act, you can’t just cut my line. The makeup artist needs to finish my makeup, there isn’t enough time…”
This is her makeup room?
She is here too?
Xia Ling lifted her head abruptly but was only able to see a wall of bodyguards in front of the door, all tall and muscular, completely blocking her view of the inside of the room. She only recognized the man standing in front of all the bodyguards in a sleek suit. A man that she had not seen in a long time — Chu Chen.
The man she had once considered as a trustworthy, good friend.
When she was imprisoned in Pei Ziheng’s bungalow, she had given her all to escape to the door, only to bump into Chu Chen slowly striding in. She had been happy to see him and called out to him for help. However, all he did was to glance down fleetingly at her barely usable clothes and the gold chain on her ankle that she had snapped with difficulty, take off his jacket and drape it across her body. He then reached out and helped her up, his hands only touching the jacket around her, and called out from above her head. “Boss.”
She realized then that something was off and wanted to push him away.
But his arms were solid as steel, and he held her in a strong grip, such that no matter how hard she tried, she was unable to struggle free.
He handed her back into Pei Ziheng’s hands.
That day, she finally believed that sentence that Xia Yu had told her — Sis, did you really think everyone was so nice to you? Before you hit a pet you need to see who their owner is!
Her past memories floated up in her mind, and Xia Ling had to reach out for the corridor wall for support. She silently took a few deep breaths.
She heard Chu Chen’s voice say, “Hua Xue, just give up. Ken approached us himself to offer his makeup services and we’ve already given him the assignment. He doesn’t have the time to do your makeup anymore, go look for another makeup artiste.”
Through the cracks of the human wall erected by the bodyguards, Xia Ling could make out many makeup artists surrounding one person, busily going about their work to make her look stunning.