Chapter 11 — Celebration
The fight between the fans of the three actors continued for a few days and finally died down. The crew of ‘My Heart Longs for You‘ held a celebration party. It was a good thing that there was no more trouble among the three actors.
Although Ning Xi’s part was not much in the movie, the response she received was good. So the investors and the cast asked her to join them to celebrate.
In this circle, participating in such dinners was common. Ning Xi knew that the cast of ‘My Heart Longs for You‘ wanted to give her more exposure, so she didn’t refuse. That night, she went to the party along with Zhang Qingyun.
When she arrived at the hotel, she found that not everyone was there yet. She glanced around in the private hall that the crew had booked. There were several people she couldn’t recognise; they were probably the investors.
“Ning Xi, you have come?” The director spotted her and came forward to hug her with a smile, “Come inside!”
Ning Xi hurriedly greeted the director. The director saw Zhang Qingyun behind her and nodded at him. He took Ning Xi to introduce her to the many investors in the hall.
Greeting all the Mr Wang, Mr Liu and Mr Li around there, Ning Xi didn’t intend to flutter around them. After saying hello, she sat in a corner quietly.
Not everyone could sit on the seats around the investors and the director. Seeing that she had brought her agent with her, the director understood her attitude so didn’t let her interact more with the investors.
Ceng Xue, who had been chatting happily with the investors, saw Ning Xi arrive. She was nervous for some time but seeing that she sat in a corner, she was relieved.
“That Miss Ning Xi is really beautiful,” Mr Wang said, smiling at Ceng Xue. “I don’t know whether this great beauty has a boyfriend…?”
Ceng Xue poured a cup of tea for Mr Wang and gently handed it to him, “She is a newcomer signed by Jiuji Entertainment. I heard Jiuji was planning to invest heavily in her.”
Hearing her words, Mr Wang smiled dimmed. He shook his head, “Such a pity.”
At this, Ceng Xue didn’t say anything more and laughed as if she didn’t understand.
The director sitting nearby frowned. At that time, the door opened and the second male lead and Chu Heng entered. As soon as the actors appeared, the atmosphere instantly became lively. Everyone said hello to each other and the celebratory mood really crept in.
Not long after, Liang Qianya, the female lead, also arrived. She seemed to be very familiar with the investors, she managed to coax them into laughing with just a few words. Ceng Xue, who was sitting next to her, couldn’t get a word in edgewise.
Looking at this scene, Ning Xi felt embarrassed for Ceng Xue. But it was clear that Ceng Xue had not given up on flattering and currying favour with the bigwigs and still took the initiative to converse and make the best of this opportunity.
Who didn’t know what kind of things happened in this circle? Who wouldn’t be able to see what she was thinking? Unfortunately, she wasn’t good at this as Liang Qianya was. In every way and every turn, her momentum was much less than female lead’s.
Three drinks later, Ning Xi saw that not many people were paying attention to her. With the excuse that she had to go to the restroom, she took her bag and went out, finally able to breathe.
She left the hall smelling of tobacco and alcohol and sighed with relief as she reached the terrace — a well-ventilated space. Although Zhang Qingyun was with her to take drinks on her behalf, she nevertheless had to drink a couple of glasses.
From a corner, she heard the sound of vomiting. A second later, she saw Liang Qianya slowly stagger out and lean against the wall.
Liang Qianya saw her and their eyes meet. Ning Xi smiled at her and looked away to be polite. In the movie, she had acted only with Chu Heng, so she wasn’t familiar with Liang Qianya.
“Chi!” Liang Qianya sneered at Ning Xi who was hiding in the corner from the party. She turned around and staggered away in the direction of the private hall.
Ning Xi sighed exasperatedly. She knew it wasn’t good to hide anymore like this, so she had to go back to the hall.
“Miss Ning Xi, what a coincidence,” Mr Wang came out of the restroom and met Ning Xi in the corridor. He caught up to her and smiled, “At such a young age Miss Ning Xi has such good acting. I really admire you.”
“Mr Wang praises me unduly. My acting is not yet that good, not like Sister Liang and Sister Ceng.” There was a mild smile on her face. She very naturally distanced herself from him.
“If you’re not yet skilled, there is still room to practice,” Mr Wang laughed, taking the tone of a gentle elder. “Recently, I have been preparing to invest in a movie. If Miss Ning is interested, we can pick a time and place to talk, and you can pick a character that suits you. What do you think?”
Ning Xi was just about to refuse when the door opened from a room and a young man walked out. Mr Wang seemed to know this man and suddenly smiled warmly. “Mr Jiang, I didn’t expect to meet you here.”
“Mr Wang?” Looking at him hesitantly for a second, Jiang Cheng recognised the middle-aged man in front of him. His eyes swept over the pair standing in front, “It seems my timing was not appropriate.”
“No, no, it was quite appropriate,” Mr Wang smiled hurriedly. “It was my good luck to have met Mr Jiang.”
“Cheng zi1, why are you standing at the door?”
Someone saw that Jiang Cheng simply stood at the door and wasn’t moving. He laughed and asked, “Is there a tiger or something outside?”
“Go away!2” Jiang Cheng turned back to his friends in the room. “There is no tiger, but there’s a beauty.”
“What kind of beauty can make our Young Master Jiang stop and stare?” His friends leaned forward to take a look. They stared for a long time before sitting back and coming back to reality. “She’s really beautiful! She seemed to have acted as a minor role in a movie recently. Some time back, a friend told me that she reminded him of his first love. What was her name again?”
“I know who you’re talking about, isn’t it Ning Xi?”
A man sitting in the corner silently for a long time heard this and stood up to walk outside. The people at the table were confused by his movements. They looked at each other and realised that it was best not to ask.
Ning Xi was roughly able to hear the conversation in the room and coughed lightly to cover the embarrassment in her heart. She found it hard to have a favourable impression of this Mr Jiang.
These people continued to talk about her unscrupulously. She could conclude that these people not only looked down her, they also didn’t give her even two cents of respect.
“Mr Chang!” Ning Xi suddenly heard Mr Wang exclaim with excitement and awe. His voice was even trembling.
Ning Xi looked that side to see a familiar figure.
“Miss Ning,” Chang Shi Gui’s eyes fell on Ning Xi. His tone was neither mild nor pinched, “Hello.”
“Hello, Mr Chang,” Ning smiled politely. No wonder the people in the room didn’t put her, this little actor, in their eyes. It turned out that the party was held in honour of such big characters.
Mr Wang continued to smile, standing to the side, but inside his heart was a raging stormy sea. What was this Ning Xi’s identity that even such big shots knew her?
Jiang Cheng raised a brow, leaning against the doorframe and didn’t speak as he looked at Wang and Ning Xi. Chang Shi Gui walked towards her and glanced at the bustling room in which the crew of ‘My Heart Longs for You‘ was celebrating. The entire situation there was terrible – there was alcohol flowing everywhere, people were retching in the corner.
Mr Wang smiled in embarrassment. He moved towards Chang Shi Gui’s line of sight, hoping to cover the noisy room behind him. Noticing his move, Jiang Cheng chuckled. He wanted to say something, but looking at Chang Shi Gui, he swallowed his contemptuous words.
“Mr Wang, if you don’t mind, come in and have a drink with us.” Chang Shi Gui nodded slightly at Mr Wang and then looked at Ning Xi. “Miss Ning should also give us face.”
Mr Wang immediately agreed, unable to conceal the delight on his face.
Ning Xi glanced at Jiang Cheng who was lazily leaning against the doorframe. She smiled and took a step back, “Thank you for inviting me, Mr Chang, but it is late. I should return. In the future, if there’s an opportunity, we can have a meal together.”
Saying so, she apologised to him and turned around to return to the room. Because the dinner had come to an end, she greeted everyone once more and called Zhang Qingyun out. When she went out, Chang Shi Gui was still standing in the corridor, unmoving. His tall figure was like a statue.
When he heard her footsteps, he looked at her, his eyes placid and calm like an ancient well. Ning Xi could not make out his emotions.
“Take a walk with me.” He said.
Ning Xi smiled her entire face brightening. “Have a good time,” She said, waving her hand slightly. and left without looking back.
After they could no longer see Ning Xi and Zhang Qingyun’s figures, Jiang Cheng laughed. “The method of playing hard to get has been practised to perfection.”
Chang Shi Gui turned to look at Jiang Cheng, who suddenly felt a little guilty.
“You people continue, I’ll be back.” Chang Shi Gui pulled up his necktie and walked away.
“Brother Chang…” Jiang Cheng wanted to stop him, but he didn’t dare to reach out and pull him back, so he had to watch as he walked away.
Mr Wang looked back and saw that Jiang Cheng’s expression wasn’t good. He shrank back and slunk back to the room.
Even though he wanted to please these people, he had to look at the right opportunity.
“Cheng zi, where is Brother Chang?” The people in the room saw only Jiang Cheng come back, so they asked with some suspicion.
“We finally managed to get him to come, how could you let him go?”
Jiang Cheng took off his jacket and threw it on a chair. He rolled up his sleeves and grabbed the food, snapping, “If that big boss wants to go, who dares to stop him?”
When the people heard this, they fell silent. After some time, someone whispered, “I recently heard from Bai Lu that she was coming back.”
The people at the table fell silent again.
Getting out of the hotel, the cold wind could freeze a person. Ning Xi took the shawl Zhang Qingyun handed her and wrapped it around her. Then, a red car sped like a car from behind her, her skirt fluttering in the air.
“That car is so beautiful!” She looked at the red sports car, her eyes shining with appreciation.
The car stopped at a distance and a beauty got out of it. Ning Xi lamented, “The beauty in the car is even more beautiful. This is really like the car matching the woman.”
(1) Zi – It means something like ‘respected young master’ or just ‘son of an influential family’. I thought putting ‘young master’ would make the others’ status awkward, so I retained the word.
(2) ‘Go away’ is the polite form. He basically means ‘screw you’ or ‘fu** off’.