Chapter 76: First, Go to the Audition
Xia Ling was slightly taken aback from his unexpected question. “I’ll have to take a look at the perfume and get to know more about its style and the ideology behind it,” she replied. This was a habit from her previous life, she would not simply agree to endorsements unless the product truly matched her style.
She cherished her reputation and wanted to take responsibility for the products.
Old Master nodded his head silently. This perfume invention was of utmost importance. The Gu Family had invested countless money and manpower to create it, and it could greatly impact the structure of the Perfume market in future. Now, everything had been arranged, except a suitable spokesperson. No matter who got the job, she would shoot to fame. He had seen a huge number of models and celebrities jump at the chance, resorting to all kinds of means for the job, leaving no stones unturned. Surprisingly, the young lady in front of him remained hesitant even after being recommended for the job.
Either she was really scheming or really cautious.
Old Master Gu sized the young lady up closely, seeing that she had bright eyes and was free of impurities. This was a pure soul. As he stared for a longer time, he felt as though she had a mysterious splendor and a certain kind of attractiveness, making others become intoxicated unknowingly, unable to take their eyes off her. Unlike other artistes who were impulsive and eager for quick success, she was neither supercilious nor obsequious. She was definitely worthy of Li Lei. Old Master Gu eventually felt that the young lady might really be suitable for the endorsement of Meteor Wings.
“First, go to the audition.” Old Master Gu decided.
On the surface, it was an audition, but it was already halfway cut and dried. Many people had begged Old Master Gu for this job, but Xia Ling was the first to make him recommend her for an audition.
As long as she was not too lousy, who would dare to raise objections against someone who Old Master Gu recommended?
Then again, how could it be possible that Old Master Gu would recommend someone mediocre? Who would dare to say otherwise? Wouldn’t that be implying that he had bad taste?
Li Lei understood the hidden meaning immediately. He smiled widely and thanked him profusely.
“Cunning little fellow, you obviously know that your Uncle Gu is in charge of this, yet you came to me instead of him. Did you think I wouldn’t see through you?” Old Master Gu complained jokingly.
“Hurhur, I knew I couldn’t hide anything from you, Grandfather Gu. You’re the smartest!” He grinned happily.
“That’s enough, get out of here.” Old Master Gu was getting on in years and was supposed to be enjoying his time with his family. However, his own children and grandchildren were afraid to even make a sound at the sight of him. Grandfather Gu favored Li Lei for that exact reason, only Li Lei dared to act like a child and joke around with him. “Your Uncle Gu just brought over some Longjing tea leaves, get Uncle Zhou to pack some for you. Try to make do with them.”
“I won’t need to make do with them, Uncle Gu is a master in tea-tasting, the tea must be high-grade for him to bring it to you,” he said cheerily. He did not forget to praise both father and son before accepting the tea leaves. He then left contently with Xia Ling.
When they were no longer near, Uncle Zhou informed Old Master Gu of the trouble Xia Ling was in without missing anything out. “Old master, I have investigated thoroughly. Miss Ye is a new artiste from Skyart Entertainment and is in a difficult situation.”
Old Master Gu slowly placed the Chinese chess piece that he was twisting about on his fingers down on the chess board. “Noted.”
“Old Master? Is it suitable to let Miss Ye endorse Meteor Wings? She is currently the target of public criticism and has already been terminated by many companies. She’s one step away from losing her footing in the entertainment industry.”
“I absolutely trust the young lad’s taste. He cares so deeply for her, he wouldn’t let her be pulled down by this matter. It is our family that will benefit from this instead,” Old Master Gu calmly replied.
“We will benefit?” Uncle Zhou was even more baffled.
“All companies have rejected that young lady due to the on-going rumors, but only we believed in her and were willing to give her a chance, offering her timely help. What do you think the world will think of us after she regains her reputation?”
Enlightened, he answered, “We will be highly praised, of course. It will be more effective than normal publicity.”
“Li Lei was sure that I would not reject him even if I was clear about what happened recently. It’s a win-win situation. This shows how smart he is,” said Old Master Gu, his voice filled with admiration.
Uncle Zhou nodded in agreement. The reason for Old Master Gu’s favoritism for Second Young Master Li was now clear to him.
“If my good-for-nothing grandson was half as capable as Li Lei I wouldn’t be so worried. I wonder what’s going to happen to the Gu Family at the hands of the third generation…” Old Master Gu suddenly sighed.
A Chinese chess piece fell slowly to the chess board, unveiling his loneliness.
Uncle Zhou sighed as well. Each family had its own problems.
The moon was obscured.
Xia Ling followed Li Lei out of the Gu Garden and slid into the backseat.
Surprisingly, Li Lei did not take the wheel and followed her into the backseat.
“Here, a present for you.” He casually held out the tea he had received from Old Master Gu to Xia Ling.
“It was gifted to you.” Xia Ling refused to accept it. She was clear that he begged others to help her and was already feeling guilty. Why would she have the nerve to accept his present?
“Take it,” he said insistently.
“I can’t tell the good from the bad. Why let it go to waste by giving it to me?” This was the truth. Even though she learned some high-class etiquette when she worked with Pei Ziheng, he never did pressure her into learning the things she disliked or was impatient with. As luck would have it, tea-tasting was one of them.
She attempted to stuff the packet of expensive tea leaves back into his lap. “Take it…”
She suddenly stopped before she could finish.
The dim moonlight had penetrated the windshield and fell between Li Lei’s perfect and peaceful brows, giving him a silver glow. He had somehow fallen asleep. His eyes were gently closed and his breathing was slow and steady.
Xia Ling pulled back her arm as thoughts started to whirl in her head. Did he not take the wheel today due to being heavily exhausted? After much scrutiny, she spotted his slightly visible eye-bags. He appeared to be worn out due to insufficient rest. She was speechless. What had he been doing recently?
She suddenly realized that they were worlds apart and that she did not understand him very well.
They arrived at the condominium.
The chauffeur courteously opened the door for her and proceeded to open the door for Li Lei on the other side. He was slightly stunned when he noticed that he was asleep. “Miss Ye, I’ll help Young Master up, you can go upstairs first,” he said.
“Has he been sleeping well these days?” She questioned her.
The chauffeur had been Li Lei’s subordinate for years and knew him well. “Previously, there was an emergency in Manhattan, yet he specially cut the trip short to rush to Italy and returned earlier than planned. He has day and night reversed and passed out a few times from jet lag. He hasn’t been eating well, not to mention sleeping well.”
Xia Ling could not believe her ears. Did he overexert himself just to rush back and help her? She felt a lump in her throat. She was touched his gesture, but she was rather confused and at a loss.
The chauffeur had already helped Li Lei up, but as he took a step, Li Lei woke up.
“Are we home?” asked Li Lei blurringly. He had yet to fully come round.
“We’re downstairs, Young Master,” the chauffeur replied.
Li Lei mumbled an “okay” and proceeded to stare at Xia Ling, revealing an innocent and beautiful smile. “We’re home, Xiao Ling,” he muttered softly.
She did not seem to notice how he managed to take a petty advantage of her with his choice of words. All she felt was a pang of guilt. “I’m sorry to have caused you so much trouble. I was too impulsive to have hit Xia Yu this time.”
“She deserved it. This will serve as a warning to others,” he said as he continued to smile dazedly.
It was basic instinct to protect her as she meant the world to him.