She laughed. That was all that Lu Tao wanted.
She glanced at Lu Tao’s sparkling eyes and felt her emotions lifting. People in the industry thought that Xia Ling was arrogant and difficult to please. Few understood that she was only picky and arrogant to those that were stupid. To those that truly had a passion for the entertainment business, who were willing to put in the hard work to succeed, she showed respect and admiration for them.
Unfortunately, these types of people were few and far between.
Luckily, this big boy in front of her could count as one of them.
“Xia Ling has an MV called ‘The Deadly Ravine’.” She lifted her head slightly to look at him, exposing her pretty jawline and a few strands of her hair flowing in the light autumn breeze. “The director used a slow-motion take in there, the movements are very clear.”
“Oh, you learned it from Xia Ling’s MV.” Lu Tao remarked in realization. “No wonder! I never watch her MVs. Her dance is too coquettish, I don’t like it… I didn’t know she knew how to do the windmill as well.” Lu Tao scratched his head, turned and ordered the two boys behind him. “Hey, when you go back later, buy me one of Xia Ling’s CDs. I want the one with that song, ‘The Deadly Ravine’.”
The two boys looked like they were about to cry. “Brother Lu, look at this crowd. How are we going to get out of here?”
Looking around, Lu Tao realized that they had somehow been surrounded. Fans to their left and right were all holding white daisies. Looking up ahead, he was unable to see the end of the crowd. Whether it was moving forward or backward, it was going to be a challenge.
“Damn it.” Lu Tao muttered in irritation.
Xia Ling gave a bitter smile. Right, she would not have to worry about making a decision to stay or leave the ceremony now. The crowd around her had already made the decision for her.
The background music faded away and the commemoration ceremony began.
The quality of the Imperial Entertainment events had always been high. It was the same for this commemoration ceremony. The location, setting, music, explanatory remarks, choice of video clips… everything down to the smallest detail was perfect. Even the guests that were invited to attend were specially selected. There were not many of them, but they were all influential people. Other than some big names in the entertainment industry, there were socialites from different businesses and important political figures.
Xia Ling stood amidst the crowd and felt the irony of the situation. Didn’t Pei Ziheng think that she was lowly and not good enough to marry him? Why did he pick such influential people to come to attend her commemoration after her death?
She was aware that these people were all here because of Pei Ziheng. They had no ties or relationship with Xia Ling.
In her past life, she had been too high profile and nasty, insulting all that she had come into contact with. If not for the fact that Pei Ziheng was so powerful, she guessed there wouldn’t be a soul attending this commemoration. It would be even more surprising if they didn’t clap their hands and celebrate.
“Xia Ling had so many friends.” Lu Tao commented ironically at this moment, his face full of envy. “See, there are so many influential people. If there was such a party at my death memorial, I would definitely rest in peace.”
Xia Ling did not know how to respond.
“You don’t want that, boss.” One of Lu Tao’s sidekicks said with a look of disapproval. “Xia Ling died a terrible death, you don’t want that right? I heard that it was horrible, her blood was all over the floor, her brain matter was oozing out…”
“Bleah, stop cursing me.” Lu Tao spluttered out angrily and glared at the boy.
His sidekick smirked and kept quiet.
“That being said, how exactly did Xia Ling die?” Lu Tao lifted his head to look at the live broadcast screen, his hand under his chin, thinking out loud. “Her death was so sudden and mysterious. Even if there was a blackout on stage, logically, with the safety barricade it’s rather unlikely that she would fall over by mistake… Do you guys think she could have been murdered? Someone wanted to kill Xia Ling intentionally?”
Xia Ling nodded in agreement.
Of course, it was murder. That concert was her 10-years debut anniversary concert. When the blackout occurred, she was singing the last encore song alone on stage. However, someone else had suddenly appeared on stage in the darkness, stabbing her in the heart from the back and pushing her offstage. She did not even have time to feel the pain before falling to the ground… dead.
If anyone had looked at her body, they would have discovered the truth.
Weirdly, she had passed away for more than a month now and many fans were requesting Imperial Entertainment to announce the cause of her death. Yet, Imperial Entertainment had only mentioned that it was death by accident, or possibly suicide.
They never mentioned the possibility of murder.
Even the police and media seemed to have lost their voice, ignoring the speculations by fans of the possibility of murder.
From the time she was 12 and was adopted by Pei Ziheng until her death at 28 years of age. A whole 16 years. In these 16 years, she had given him her ungirdled love, trust, and adoration. Yet, at the very end, he still would not seek justice for her.
Xia Ling felt her heart grow cold from anguish. It was easy to guess who the culprit was — even though she had offended many people, but the only family that hated her enough to have the motive to kill her, as well as the power to execute it, was obvious. It was the Wang family, the family of Pei Ziheng’s fiancée.
But he chose to cover it all up.
Why? She could not help but think. Was it because of the Wang family’s respectful status? Unlike hers. Despite being the diva of the entertainment industry, earning the adoration of many, in the eyes of these wealthy families, she was but an actress. A cheap life. Dead and nothing more.
She felt a sharp, unbearable pain in her heart for a split second.
“Ye Xingling, Ye Xingling?” Lu Tao called out to her.
She raised her head weakly and said, “What’s up?”
“I should be the one asking you that question.” Lu Tao snapped back. “I’ve been calling out to you for a while and you just ignored me. You are looking pretty pale, you wouldn’t have fallen ill, would you?” As he spoke, he extended his hand towards her forehead, intending to feel her temperature.
She turned her head slightly, avoiding his hand. “I’m alright.”
“Really?” He took back his hand but looked at her with suspicion. “Do say if you’re feeling unwell. Even if I have to kill everyone in our way I’ll still make sure to get you out of here. If anything were to happen to you, I wouldn’t want to answer for it.”
“I’m really ok.” The sadness in Xia Ling’s dissipated a little with his words. She then asked him again, “What were you calling me for?”
“Ah…” said Lu Tao. “I was asking you to look at Chu Chen. Look, he was Xia Ling’s manager when she was alive. I heard he’s the best manager in the entire industry. What do you think? Does he look super competent? I wonder who he will be in charge of after Xia Ling’s death. Rumors have it that everyone at Imperial Entertainment is fighting to have him to themselves.”
She looked up at the big screen and saw Chu Chen.
Chu Chen was dressed in a completely black suit with a white flower brooch on his chest. With a somber expression on his face, he said, “Xia Ling’s death may have been an accident, or may have been suicide. I am very sad and full of self-reproach. Doctors have told me a long time ago that she had severe depression. I did not take care of her well enough. I thought that since she was under medication nothing bad would happen…”
Xia Ling was stunned as she looked up at the person in the screen, and suddenly wanted to laugh.
Ha, depression. What a joke.
They found such a perfect excuse.
Xia Ling did not believe that Chu Chen was unaware of the real reason for her death. Chu Chen was highly esteemed in Imperial Entertainment. He was Pei Ziheng’s most trusted confidante and had a close relationship with Xia Ling. He had no reason not to know of the knife wound in her body.
But he had chosen to remain silent.
He was a true businessman, ever aware of who the true boss was. Even if he had taken very good care of her before, that was only because she was his real boss’ toy. Only she had naively regarded him as her friend.
Xia Yu was right. Many of those who treated her well were only doing it because of Pei Ziheng.
Then, she saw Xia Yu.