Back then, Pei Ziheng doted on her excessively.
Sometimes, Xia Ling would wilfully lose her temper and argue with him.
That day, after a heated argument with Pei Ziheng, she threw a tantrum in her makeup room, causing a delay. Resultantly, the recording had already started for some time by the time she strutted into the studio, with several staff members holding up the train of her exquisite, delicate gown, after the makeup artiste managed to complete her job. As she walked in, she saw her seat taken by another lady with thick makeup on, chatting happily along with the host and two guests. Her nameplate was carelessly thrown to one side.
She immediately felt angry.
The director fearfully laughed as he apologized. “Miss Xia Ling, I thought you weren’t coming for the shooting anymore. It wouldn’t look nice for the best spot to be left empty, so…”
Xia Ling ignored the director, beelined towards the lady in her seat and said, “Get out.”
That lady was wearing a sexy red mesh top and remained seated in a seductive manner. She played with her fingernails and looked up at Xia Ling from the corner of her dramatically painted eyes. “Oh! It’s a famous star, Xia Ling! Tsk tsk, everyone thought you weren’t gonna come today. Let me give you a piece of advice, this isn’t how you play the big shot. Everyone skipped out on their meals only to wait for you. Don’t you have any shame? Luckily I was here to help out, otherwise, the show would be in trouble…”
Shen Manyao openly mocked Xia Ling, giving no regard to the sideways glances and warning signals that the director and hosts were giving her.
The Xia Ling then was at the pinnacle of her career – when was she disregarded like this before? All she felt was that her lungs were on the verge of explosion. She raised her voice. “Who are you to talk to me like that? Get out of my way!”
Shen Manyao jumped up like a frazzled cat. “You dare scold me?” Her blood-red nails almost scratched Xia Ling’s face. “Who are you to scold me? You’re just a toy to warm up Pei Ziheng’s bed! Don’t think you’re someone with him backing your career! You just sang a few lousy songs and…”
She continued her rampage of ridicule, but Xia Ling could not remember the rest of it clearly.
In any case, those words were not pleasing to the ears.
That day, it was Xia Ling’s manager, Chu Chen, who sent a bodyguard to half-pull, half-drag Shen Manyao out of the studio. Chu Chen also pulled measures that Xia Ling could not fathom, such that Shen Manyao appeared on Xia Ling’s doorstep a few days later, pleading for her forgiveness.
Thinking back, her fame had got into her head back then. She was pampered by Pei Ziheng to the extent that she became overbearing and unreasonable.
It was only later that she had a falling out with Pei Ziheng. As a result, she was blacklisted and put under house arrest in that huge bungalow.
Xia Yu once came for a visit and sneered. “Sis, did you think that you were really something? Did you really think people in the industry respected you? Did you know that they all hated you for a long time, but who would hit the dog of a powerful owner? Without Ziheng you’re nothing. Nothing at all!”
Xia Yu had brought her various recordings of artistes, directors, producers, and reporters who discussed her during several parties that they attended. All of them, including some with whom Xia Ling thought she had a good relationship with, gloated over her misfortune, saying that Xia Ling finally got her retribution, and it was such a huge relief that she was blacklisted—even better if she had no chance of coming back at all.
At that moment, she finally realized how much of a failure she was.
Xia Ling slowly returned to her senses as Luo Luo continued with her enigmatic, incessant chatter. She noticed that the short-haired Luo Luo was unusually excited, and to calm her down, she said, “Ok, Luo Luo, even if Shen Manyao is picking people for her MV, she wouldn’t necessarily pick us. You needn’t be too excited, just act normally and do what you have to do.”
Luo Luo gave a start, shocked that Xia Ling was completely uninterested. She agitatedly reiterated to Xia Ling, gesturing with her arms. “There are 12 spots up for grabs this time! The number of trainees in this camp is less than 100. The probability of being selected is so high! Aren’t you interested at all, Xingling? I am hyped to death!”
Xia Ling shook her head. What was there to be hyped about? She wasn’t even as fazed when receiving global awards in the past.
Luo Luo started to get a little irritated. “I know, I know, my basic foundation might be a little weak. Even if the coaches say that I have potential, but I’ve only been here for three months; I haven’t even mastered many of the basic skills. There’s no way I can compete with the seniors…”
She paused before continuing, “But Xingling, you’ve been training for more than a year already! Even if before you were… Erm…” She scratched her head, thinking of a more tactful way to put it. “… Even if your condition was a little off, but your improvements of late have been really tremendous, right? Even the coaches praised you for your slick moves!”
Her eyes sparkled as she said, “So if you don’t try how would you know? If you pick a dance style that Shen Manyao likes during the examination, you might get lucky and be chosen!”
Xia Ling had to control herself from throwing Luo Luo out of the room. What a joke, since when did she depend on luck to get chosen for a position? Oh right, in her past life she had big boss Pei Ziheng supporting her, but even then she still had to have talent, so that she could be put on a pedestal. She did not want to brag, but when she was at Imperial Entertainment, whether it was diligence, talent, or skills, if she were to claim to be second, nobody would dare claim the top spot.
“Luo Luo, don’t ever think about depending solely on luck.” She could not help but reply sternly.
“Why are you being so serious?” Luo Luo pouted, feeling a little wronged.
Xia Ling sighed, looking into Luo Luo’s innocent face, and said in a kinder voice, “Luck can only help you for a little while, it will not help you for life. If you look at the entertainment circle, people come and go. Didn’t you realize that all those who remain popular for a long time all have one or two key talents? None of them rely on pure luck. Luo Luo, the competition in this circle is intense, there are new idols appearing in the scene every day. Older idols lose relevance and look at how many there are that are simply one-time wonders. I don’t want you to be the same.”
Luo Luo was slightly taken aback. She corrected her nonchalant attitude and lowered her head as she pondered.
Xia Ling glanced at her. Yes, she seems teachable.
Since the reincarnation, Xia Ling did not want to be involved with too many people. However, Luo Luo’s kindness and care in this period gave her the feeling that she was indebted to her. Perhaps if she were to give Luo Luo some pointers, that could be a form of repayment. Of course, this repayment would need Luo Luo to be receptive as well. Xia Ling was not Mother Theresa, she did not have the habit of worrying for others. She would not repeat the same words twice.
After a while, Luo Luo seemed to have understood. She nodded determinedly, raised her head, and gave Xia Ling a smile that was brighter than before. “Xingling, I understand. Don’t worry, I will make sure to practice hard and not cut corners.” As she spoke, Luo Luo ran over and gave Xingling a hug. “You still treat me the best! No one else would bother to say so much to me~”
Xia Ling looked on, confounded.
As she surveyed the sight of Luo Luo hanging over her body, she reflected.Should I be colder towards Luo Luo?
Days passed quickly in the usual hustle and bustle. Finally, it was the day of the end-of-month examinations.