Chapter 43: With a Friend Like This, What More Do You Need
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
A long silence.
Wei Shaoyin’s face remained cold as he slowly sipped the Madheling coffee in his hand. When he had slammed his hand on the table in anger earlier, half the cup of coffee had splattered out onto the plate and table, yet he did not realize this even though he would usually obsess over it.
Xia Ling did not speak as well, her heart sinking slowly.
Tan Ying’s words, though cruel, were all in the interests of the company and she had no way of refuting them. Wei Shaoyin was also in the top management of the company and was a diligent employee. She did not think that their relationship was close to the point that he would be willing to damage the company’s interest to help her. What’s more, Tan Ying had said that Wei Shaoyin did not have authority over matters in the training camp.
As all these thoughts ran through her mind, she heard Wei Shaoyin speak.
“Xiao Ling,” He looked at her. “are you unwilling to go to Imperial Entertainment because Pei Ziheng wants you for himself?”
She affirmed dejectedly.
“How determined are you?”
“Even if I were to die, I will not become his plaything.” She lowered her eyes, staring into the criss-crossed pattern on the table top.
Wei Shaoyin fell silent again, drinking his coffee one mouthful after another.
Xia Ling took a deep breath and said, “Mr. Wei, my apologies for putting you in a difficult position. With regards to this situation…”
“How much do you still owe the company?” Wei Shaoyin interrupted.
She gave a start.
“Also, take a closer look at your trainee contract and tell me what it would cost you to breach it.” Wei Shaoyin set down the cup of coffee as he made the decision. “Give me the total amount. I’ll pay it for you.”
Xia Ling looked at him in disbelief. Was Wei Shaoyin offering to help her be free of Skyart Entertainment?
She felt tears start to well. A breach of contract for a trainee would usually come with an immense fee. Even if Wei Shaoyin was rich, he was not a big boss like Pei Ziheng or Li Lei. Yet, he was willing to make that expense on her behalf. She was extremely touched.
“Why would you help me?” She asked softly.
“In this world, there aren’t many that I respect. You happen to be one of them.” Wei Shaoyin said. His usual arrogant expression was replaced by a slightly apologetic one as he continued, “But Tan Ying is right, I need to consider Skyart Entertainment’s interest. It isn’t worth it to offend Imperial Entertainment over something like this. As such, I can only help you leave Skyart Entertainment in my personal means.”
“But you have to think through this thoroughly, Xiao Ling. Once you go through with this, your path in the entertainment circle will be extremely difficult. You will have breached a contract and be marked by Imperial Entertainment. No company will be willing to take you in. It is very likely that you will have to leave the entertainment circle altogether.”
“Ah Wei, I don’t care about that.” She looked at him and replied in all seriousness.
She was finally willing to call him “Ah Wei.” In this life, Xia Ling had said that she did not need any friends. However, his help in this time of need made her let down her guard.
She lifted her head to meet his gaze. “Ah Wei, I don’t care about whether I can stay in the entertainment circle. However, I don’t want to rely on your finances and run away. Even if I were to leave, I will leave in an honorable manner and not like this.”
Wei Shaoyin studied her closely and laughed. “This arrogance of yours will kill you one day.”
“It’s already killed me once.” She responded lightly.
He took it as a joke and started to drum his long, thin fingers on the table top. This was a habit he had when thinking. After a long while, he said, “Xiao Ling, I’ve thought it through. This really seems like the only way to go. If you want to be rid of Pei Ziheng, this is the only way, and you will risk having to leave the entertainment circle entirely.”
She remained silent.
Actually, she had thought of another idea, but she did not know if it would be too shocking.
At this moment, however, she did not have time to think too much into it.
“Tan Ying decided to send me away mainly because I don’t bring enough value to the company and am not worth the risk to keep.” Xia Ling deliberated out loud and said to Wei Shaoyin, “What if I have greater value than that? Value that exceeds the two trainees from Imperial Entertainment combined?”
“If that were the case, Skyart Entertainment would choose to keep you.” Wei Shaoyin responded without hesitating. However, he frowned at her and continued. “Those two trainees already have the potential to be A-listers. If you want to have greater value than them put together, you have to be…”
“I will prove to the company that I have the potential to be a diva.”
At some high-class archery range.
Li Lei pulled open a stiff, wooden bow, then loaded it and released it, the shot flying straight to the center of the target. Several good-looking men and women cheered around him, saying, “Young Master Li is indeed Young Master Li. It’s amazing how you can always hit the mark.”
Li Lei gave a laugh and accepted the towel that one of the ladies passed to him. He heard his phone ring and walked a few steps to pick it up.
“Hello, Tan Ying?” His voice was deep and pleasant. “What? You said that Ye Xingling wants to prove to the company that she has the potential to become a diva?”
On the other end of the line, Tan Ying was apologizing to Li Lei. “Sorry Boss, I had wanted to push her to the edge so that she would turn to you for help. I didn’t think she would throw a spanner into the mix like that…” Since the day that Tan Ying was asked to fetch Ye Xingling from Li Lei’s apartment, Li Lei had told him to report to him every news about her.
When Chu Chen came with the offer to buy Ye Xingling, Tan Ying had reported it to Li Lei immediately. Li Lei was the one who had asked him to deal with it according to the company policies to scare Ye Xingling so that she would reach a point of helplessness and turn to Li Lei for help…
Yet, Tan Ying did not know that things would not pan out as they had expected.
“What should I do, Boss?” Tan Ying asked nervously. “Should I just say that she’s mediocre and kicking up a fuss out of nothing? It is extremely difficult for her to prove that she has the potential of a diva. If I simply reject her request, she will still have to go to you for help…”
Li Lei gave a light laugh and said, “You’re right, it is extremely difficult for her to prove that she has the potential of a diva.” He tilted his head slightly as he continued speaking to the phone. The bright winter afternoon sunlight made his deep-set eyes sparkle even more. He said, “I am very much curious about where she is getting this confidence from, to dare to even suggest that she is going to prove to us that she has such a potential?… Tan Ying, just follow the protocol, don’t rock the boat. I’m really interested to see what she is going to do…”
In the Skyart Entertainment office.
Tan Ying hung up the phone and thought for a moment. He pressed the intercom on his table and said to his secretary, “Prepare the venue and organize an open judgment day.”
The judgment day would be conducted in three days time in the small auditorium at the training camp. Tan Ying declared that if Xia Ling were able to win over the judges with her singing, then she would be allowed to stay at Skyart Entertainment. If she failed, she would have to go to Imperial Entertainment.
The training camp was bustling with excitement and anticipation as the news spread.
Wei Shaoyin was very worried and scolded Xia Ling, saying she was mad. How often would a diva be discovered, where did she get her confidence?
Xia Ling knew that he was worried for her. She simply smiled and told him to watch. For others, this was a difficult task. But for her, it was simple — she had once reached the diva status and stood at the pinnacle of the entertainment circle, proving that she had what it took and knew what she needed to do to get there. Today, all she needed to do was to walk that same path again.
Wei Shaoyin still felt it was incredulous.
“But,” he said arrogantly. “you were the one who made this claim. If you fail, the embarrassment is yours alone.” Yet, even after saying this, he still helped to point out the areas in her voice that she needed to watch out for.
Xia Ling was very touched. With a friend like this, what more did she need?