Chapter 429: The Best Makeup Artist
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Tears welled up in her eyes, ready to roll down her cheeks.
Li Lei took a few steps forward and held her in his arms for a long while.
“I’ve missed you.” He said.
Only then did she snap back to reality and push him away gently. “I… I’m already Pei Ziheng’s woman.”
His expression darkened a little, but he managed to force a smile. “So what? When you were in trouble, he was nowhere near as quick as me in saving you.” He turned one round on the spot. “Xiao Ling, my disguise is great, isn’t it? We’re here to get you out.”
He appeared alright when he said that, as if all the conflicts that had taken place recently never happened. He did not even ask her why she chose to check into a hotel all of a sudden, and neither did he ask about how the child came about.
His mannerism and attitude towards her allowed her to feel at ease around him.
Li Lei explained the plan to her: she was to disguise as a cleaning attendant as well and escape among them. Xia Ling was stunned for a while. Having been in the entertainment industry for so many years, she had applied all sorts of makeup for on-screen effects, but using it for practical purposes was a first.
Seeing that she had not moved, Li Lei hurried her for a bit and turned to the other person. “Ji Yun, we’re depending on you.”
So, the other person who came along was Ji Yun.
Xia Ling knew who he was — the best makeup artist in Skyart. He had received countless awards, and it was said that his schedule had been arranged a whole year in advance due to popular demand. He was in a cleaning attendant outfit as well, and as he reached for the cleaning cart they wheeled in, she realized it was the makeup material they needed — wigs, hair gel, brushes, palettes… it filled the better half of the room.
She courteously greeted him. “Hello, Brother Yun.”
She had always respected those who were truly talented.
Ji Yun was so busy meddling with all the makeup that he barely looked up. “Wash your arms, legs, and face and then sit in front of that mirror. You have a small body frame, so it isn’t difficult to give you the guise of an old woman. But to act like an old woman convincingly is another matter altogether; you have to make sure that your mannerism, tone, and behavior is appropriate. If you’ve never acted the role of an old woman before, you’d better try it out now. We’ll be in trouble if you give yourself away later on.”
Xia Ling was shocked by his string of words. It took her a while to process it before she responded. “Alright.”
Meanwhile, Li Lei was offering words of comfort. “Relax, Xiao Ling. We’ll leave here together, it’ll be fine.”
Ji Yun looked at him for a while but did not add on. He simply focused on doing her makeover.
The person in the mirror looked more and more foreign to her. By the time the makeup was completed, she looked just like an actual old person. Xia Ling was surprised by Ji Yun’s skills; there was no way anyone would suspect this was her.
Li Lei sized her up and smiled. “You look good even when you’re old.”
Ji Yun packed the materials back into the cart while saying, “To ensure that even the sharpest reporters won’t recognize her, I made some special changes to her facial features. This isn’t how she’ll look like when she’s old.”
Li Lei rubbed his nose awkwardly.
Xia Ling laughed. It had been a while since she could feel so at ease. Li Lei probably doesn’t have it easy as a Boss. Just how many of his colleagues and subordinates have actually put him down this way? She thought as she paused for a while and had another thought. But, is anyone taking him seriously? Or does he feel lonely?
Li Lei did not know what was going through her mind. Just seeing her smile was a gift to him. “Are you ready? We’ll leave now. And don’t be afraid, I’ll be with you the whole time.”
Xia Ling nodded and took a deep breath.
Xia Ling had avoided cameras and reporters far too many times over the years, but this was the first time she ever walked out so openly in a guise. She was a little jittery at first, but seeing how calm and composed Li Lei was in his cleaning attendant uniform, she eased into it as well.
Ji Yun remained in the room while Xia Ling and Li Lei walked out pushing the cart.
When they walked out of the back door, they realized just how many people there were outside — reporters, fans, all the people who were interested in sensational news and gossips. Everyone was interested to know whether she had really cheated on Pei Ziheng with another man.
Li Lei’s look darkened.
Xia Ling felt uneasy and was about to say something when he said, “Heads down.”
Xia Ling obeyed his instructions and lowered her head as they pushed the cleaning cart around the crowd and found their way out. It was way easier than she had expected.
As he led her along the alleyways, they arrived at a parked van five minutes later. The chauffeur who alighted from it was Old Mister Chen from Skyart, someone she was very familiar with. He and Li Lei loaded the cleaning cart into the van before getting on.
The car doors were shut.
Only now did Li Lei managed to take a good look at her. “Xiao Ling, you’ve lost weight.”
So had he.
Xia Ling’s nose scrunched up a little as she heard his words of concern, but she forced herself to turn away. “Thank you for coming to save me,” she said. “But Pei Ziheng has also arranged for someone to come for me.”
“I want to see you, even if it’s just for a short while.” Li Lei said quietly.
Of course, he knew that Pei Ziheng had made arrangements as well. In fact, he even knew that Pei Ziheng’s plan was practically the same as theirs — to disguise her and then take her out of the building. Both parties had bumped into each other on the narrow corridors of the hotel, and Li Lei’s men had knocked Pei Ziheng’s men out, entering Xia Ling’s room first.
But she did not need to know about these.
Xia Ling said, “Li Lei, you know it’s impossible between us.”
“Why, because of the child?” This was a dreadful topic to discuss. “You want to have this child? Even if you might not love him?”
She lowered her head. “I want to have this child.” Not for Pei Ziheng, but simply because… that’s our child, Li Lei.
She rested her hand on her stomach naturally, and a wave of tenderness washed over her.
As the streetlights fell on the side of her face, revealing her easy and peaceful demeanor, Li Lei realized that talking about the child actually made her happy. She might not love Pei Ziheng, but she truly loved the child she was expecting.
“Is he more important than me?” Li Lei asked sadly.
“It’s not the same,” Xia Ling said quietly. “Without me, your life can still go on as per normal, Li Lei. But if I leave the child, he will…” She could not go on.
Li Lei felt his heart shatter.
“Moreover,” Xia Ling braced herself to say this. “I like Pei Ziheng more than you think.”
He felt as if his whole world had crumbled before him.
“Come back to me, Xiao Ling.” His voice was hoarse as he heard himself begging her. “I can take care of you, ensure you have the baby safely. You don’t love Pei Ziheng, don’t lie to me. You don’t love him at all…”