Chapter 2 — Dazzling Goddess
Ning Xi took a taxi to the company. Before she took a few steps, she saw Zhang Qingyun waiting downstairs for her. Zhang Qingyun was slightly over thirty but he gave a solid and reliable feeling to others.
When she saw him, he also spotted her. He stubbed out the cigarette his hand and threw it in the bin next to him. He walked towards Ning Xi, “You are ten minutes earlier than expected.”
“Not making people wait for long is one of my strengths.” Ning Xi smiled, looking at the magnificent building before her.
Noticing her gaze, Zhang Qingyun said, “From the thirteenth to the fifteenth floor is the office of our company. The boss called me this morning. He wants to see you.”
Ning Xi nodded and followed him into the elevator. Seeing him press the button for the fifteenth floor, she brushed the bangs away from her forehead. “Are we going to see Mr Li directly?”
“Yes,” Zhang Qingyun nodded, “Liu Kun has more artists on his hands to manage, so I will be responsible for planning and managing your career.”
The person who signed Ning Xi into the company was actually Liu Kun, but Zhang Qingyun had more experience with female artists so it was more appropriate for him to be responsible for Ning Xi.
“Then I will have to trouble Brother Zhang from now on.” Ning Xi smiled. Seeing this smile, Zhang Qingyun nodded inwardly. If not anything else, Ning Xi’s beauty and temperament were very satisfactory.
After a few seconds, the elevator reached the fifteenth floor and the doors opened with a pinging sound. In front of Ning Xi, there was a corridor which was brightly lit; it was a gateway to a bustling entrance.
She stepped on the floor with her left foot. The high heels she wore made a clicking noise. Looking down, she smiled. She looked up and walked steadily behind Zhang Qingyun step by step till the end of the corridor.
As Jiuji Entertainment’s Boss, Li Jianhui had seen all kinds of photos, resumes and portfolios. He had to admit, Zhang Qingyun and Liu Kun, as the company’s veteran agents, had very good vision. This new actress was very attractive; especially those pair of eyes – they were particularly soul-catching.
However, the moment he saw Ning Xi in front of him, Li Jianhui realised that the beauty in the photo paled in front of the actual person. Those two had picked up a treasure this time; as long as she was a little clever and acted better than a prop, they had a way to make her wildly popular.
Li Jianhui’s attitude was very warm. He spoke about how much he looked forward to their brilliant future with Ning Xi and told her about the various favourable terms with Jiuji Entertainment Company. He finally shook hands with her and said, “You will never regret joining this company.” He assured her.
Regret was also quite useless at this point, the contract had already been signed.
Seeing the boss’ behaviour, Zhang Qingyun was relieved. He understood that the boss was very satisfied with the artist. There was an actress’ scandal in the company recently. Not only her reputation but also the company’s was swept across the floor. Now, if a new artist was introduced and pushed to the front, the company’s face could also be regained.
“You have experience with filming, unlike the new artists who don’t understand,” Li Jianhui thought for a moment, then asked Zhang Qingyun, “In the movie the company has recently invested in, has the female lead’s role been set?”
Zhang Qingyun immediately understood what the boss was implying. Regardless of whether the role was set or not, he had to prepare this role for Ning Xi. He was now Ning Xi’s agent. Since the boss gave his artist more benefits, he said, “The female lead has been chosen, they are considering some candidates for the second and third female leads, but no contract has been drawn up yet.”
Since their company didn’t have female artists before, they could only work with actresses from other companies. But now that they had their own female artist, they would sign their own people for the movie happily.
“Since we have not reached an agreement, let’s not discuss it. You see which of the two roles can be arranged for Ning Xi.” Li Jianhui turned to look at Ning Xi. “I read your resume. You have studied abroad as an elite student. Won’t your parents object to you entering the entertainment industry?”
Ning Xi held the cup of tea and laughed lightly. “My parents passed away a long time ago, so no one will object to this.”
“I’m so sorry,” Li Jianhui’s hand gripped the desk. Ning Xi was only 23 years old this year. He didn’t expect that her parents were no longer in this world.
Ning Xi just smiled. It didn’t seem like she minded. Li Jianhui was asking about a very old matter.
Once they stepped out of the chief’s office, Zhang Qingyun handed two scripts to Ning Xi. “These are for the roles of the second and third female lead. You choose whichever you want.”
To be able to pick her own role just after entering the company, Ning Xi felt very lucky, especially as a newcomer.
There was a character introduction at the beginning of both scripts. The second female lead was the young lady of a wealthy family in ancient China, while the third female lead was an ordinary farmer. Ning Xi did not hesitate before picking the second female lead.
“Why did you choose this one?” Seeing her pick one so soon, Zhang Qingyun was slightly taken aback. The second and third female leads were similar roles. In a way, the third female lead had a better story with a more bitter love story.
“Because the young lady of the Fu family’s costume looks better than the peasant woman’s.” Ning Xi took the second female lead’s script and laughed. “Most viewers like to watch the show for the visuals and faces. Beautiful costumes add to the beauty while poor costumes only make us look worse.”
People had a tendency to be more inclined towards rich and beautiful women than the poor farmer’s girl.
“What you said… seems quite reasonable.”Zhang Qingyun was speechless but didn’t oppose Ning Xi’s choice. He picked up his phone to call the film crew.
Once the call ended, he said, “After you return, read the script well. I will take you to the crew two days later. The company will arrange an assistant for you. She will take care of you during this time.”
Ning Xi nodded and stood up from the sofa. “Then I’ll go back to study the script now.”
“Wait a minute,” Zhang Qingyun took out his car keys, “I’ll send you back.”
When she returned home, the international courier she had sent from abroad a few days ago had arrived. Zhang Qingyun acted as a coolie to help her move her things into the apartment.
“I have troubled Brother Zhang,” Ning Xi smiled, opening the refrigerator, “Do you want coffee or a drink?”
“Just water is fine.” Zhang Qingyun sat on the sofa. Looking at the plate of fresh fruit on the coffee table, he asked, “Have you adjusted to this place yet?”
“Yes, pretty well.” Ning Xi appeared from the kitchen holding a glass of plain water.
“When I signed you into the company, I really didn’t think you would turn out to be a graduate of a world-famous university.” Zhang Qingyun looked at the pretty woman standing before him. “Didn’t you ever think of staying abroad?”
“It’s the same anywhere,” Ning Xi put down the glass in front of him, smiling insipidly, “I want to thank you and Brother Liu. If not for the two of you, I wouldn’t have received such good treatment in the company.”
Zhang Qingyun lifted the glass. The temperature of the water was just right to drink. He couldn’t help but think that she was a very smart woman.
“Wishing us a very happy cooperation.” He lifted the glass towards Ning Xi, making a toast.
“To a happy cooperation.” Ning Xi raised her glass of orange juice in return.
‘Beautiful Red Clouds’ was a TV drama being filmed by Jiuji Entertainment. From the director to the writer, everyone was a famous character in the entertainment circle. The male lead was the recently crowned movie emperor Zhou Zhengchuan and the female lead was the recently popular Zhu Jiafei. The industry was very optimistic about the ratings of this drama.
A little while after the show started, the crew heard that the second female lead was going to join them immediately. Everyone was very curious to know who the artist was.
The second female lead in the script was a beautiful and wealthy young lady who liked the male lead, while this man liked the female lead who was like clear spring.
The dramas these days had a common story of love. You love him, he loves another, but she loves another male lead. Adding some enemies and hatred between countries along with some handsome and beautiful artists, it would ultimately become a sentimental TV drama.
If a show had to become hugely successful and popular, having high ratings and good reviews, it was necessary to take painstaking effort in writing the script, props, costumes, choosing actors, publicity and many other aspects of filming. In the past several films that Jiuji Entertainment had invested in, the ratings were quite good with a relatively good reputation. That’s why the industry was very optimistic about the movie, and there were a lot of actors who wanted to be a part of it.
At seven in the morning, it was not yet very hot and was the right time for the crew to set up their filming equipment and begin shooting. When it began to get hotter, everyone took a break.
At that time, a black car stopped outside where the crew was present. Everyone realised that the second female lead had arrived.
The door of the car opened and a woman with dark hair and sunglasses got off. Although they couldn’t see how she looked, they could clearly see that she was slim with very fair skin, wearing a dress, and an excellent temperament. It was expected that she was a great beauty.
When the assistant director brought her into the dressing room, someone whispered, “The second female lead who just came in seems to be a newcomer.”
The props manager covered her mouth and said in a low voice, “Yesterday, I heard from the director that she was Jiuji Entertainment’s new female artist.”
“How many new actresses have they signed…” The friend was about to say something, but seeing someone coming, she smiled and stopped talking.
That Jiuji Entertainment could not hold and raise an actress, they entire circle knew. But such words could not be said out loud, it wouldn’t look or sound good.
An hour later, the director clapped his hands and said to Zhou Zhengchuan, “Zhengchuan, the next scene will be with you and the second female lead. There are many things that newcomers won’t understand, you have to take the lead.”
Zhou Zhengchuan smiled and nodded, agreeing. His agent had called him early in the morning and said that the company had signed a new junior sister and told him to take care of her.
A female artist in the company had no conflict of interest with him, so it didn’t matter. So Zhou Zhengchuan refreshingly said yes and wasn’t irritated.
Seconds later, he heard footsteps coming from behind him. He heard the assistant director talking to someone and assumed that this junior sister had arrived.
He looked back. With that one glance, he was astonished.