In the recent days, Xia Ling had been “improving” quietly, and her dancing had improved really fast.
Luo Luo was no longer worried that she would be in the last place, and instead was feeling ambitious. She hoped with all her heart that Xia Ling would be chosen.
However, Xia Ling had no interest at all. She had no good feelings for Shen Manyao. Even if she was arrogant in her past life, how could it justify having a second-rate star like Shen Manyao criticizing her? If word of that were to ever get out, just a spit from each of Xia Ling’s fans would be sufficient to drown Shen Manyao. What was wrong with Shen Manyao to think that criticizing her was a good idea? A bimbo like Shen Manyao, what kind of MV would she be able to produce? No matter how desolate Xia Ling was, she would never film a lousy production.
The trainees in the large hall gathered in small groups, excitedly discussing the selections.
Xia Ling found a corner where she stood alone, feeling slightly irritated. Suddenly, she heard a jubilant voice calling from a distance and coming nearer. “Xingling, Xingling! You’re here, I was looking all over for you~”
A shadow in light pink darted toward her and enveloped her in a hug.
The familiar fragrance of Calendula soap wafted into her nose, and without looking, Xia Ling knew it was Luo Luo. “Luo Luo.” She sighed, extracting herself from Luo Luo’s octopus-like grip. “Why are you looking for me?”
Luo Luo waved the sealed paper slip that she was holding. “The coaches were calling out for us to draw lots at the front. I collected it for you already.”
As she spoke, she stuffed a paper slip into Xia Ling’s hands.
Xia Ling opened the sealed end of the paper slip and saw that there was a single number printed within: 68.
“Oh, you’re number 68! What a pity, we’re not in the same group,” said Luo Luo with disappointment. Seeing the look of confusion on Xia Ling’s face, Luo Luo explained. “The coaches announced earlier that there will be randomized groupings for this examination. The 72 trainees will draw lots in turn with six forming a group. Number 1-6 will be the first group, 7-12 the second group, and so on and so forth.”
Her face dropped as she continued, “I’m number 57, so I’m definitely not together with you. You’re in the last group. I’m not sure if Shen Manyao will be feeling tired out by then and whether she will be watching your examination properly.”
Xia Ling breathed a sigh of relief. She would thank the heavens if Shen Manyao did not watch her examination properly. What’s more, she would not have to bear with the noise from this child during the examination. That would be… wonderful.
She could not help but pity those in the same group as Luo Luo.
With a smile, Xia Ling patted Luo Luo on the top of her head and said, “It’s okay. Break a leg.”
Looking up like a little bunny, Luo Luo nodded resolutely. “I will!” She gave two hops on the same spot and added, “Xingling, you do well too! You have to be picked by Shen Manyao!”
Xia Ling’s face darkened.
After much hullaballoo, Shen Manyao finally arrived. The examination commenced.
One at a time, each team of trainees walked into the examination room nervously, coming out nervously as well and carefully trying to tease out how their fellow trainees did. Every time someone asked them how they did, they would intentionally reply with something along the lines of “I did not do well, I probably will not get chosen…”. Yet, the anticipation in their voices was apparent.
Luo Luo started to get affected by the atmosphere. She was so nervous that her hand holding Xia Ling’s was shaking.
Even though she had said she had little experience and a weak foundation, as well as lacked the courage to dream of being picked by Shen Manyao, which trainee in the training camp did not want to be part of the MV filming this time?
Oh, except for Xia Ling.
Xia Ling did not want to bother about her initially, but Luo Luo, even while looking like a cute little girl, had quite a strong grip and was gripping Xia Ling till her wrist was hurting. Xia Ling eventually gave in and said, “Relax, let me teach you some breathing techniques.”
Being active in the entertainment industry, you would definitely have instances where your emotions were unstable. In these instances, every artiste would have their own way of alleviating their emotions. In her past life, Xia Ling discovered several effective and efficient ways. The most simple and widely applicable was through breathing techniques.
Luo Luo learned very quickly. Without Xia Ling having to repeat herself, Luo Luo had already learned the breathing technique.
After trying for a little while, Luo Luo indeed started to feel less nervous. She raised her head and smiled, saying, “Xingling, you are so great.”
Xia Ling did not know what to say as she extracted her smarting wrist from Luo Luo’s hand.
Group after group of trainees entered the room, and soon it was Luo Luo’s turn.
Luo Luo diligently remembered the breathing technique that Xia Ling had just taught her, looking relaxed as she stood in line with the rest of her group in front of the examination room. The rest of the trainees were so nervous that they did not know where to put their hands and feet, making Luo Luo look composed in comparison.
Indeed a child with huge potential.
Xia Ling watched as she entered the room before resting her head on the corner of the wall and closed her eyes for a little rest. After some time, she felt a weight on her body. An unknown object had pounced on her again. Opening her eyes, she discovered that it was none other than Luo Luo.
“You’re done with the examination?” asked Xia Ling.
“Yes!” Luo Luo was full of gusto. “Xingling, I think I did really well this time. All credit to the breathing technique you taught me
I have to tell you, you didn’t see how stiff some of the others were. They completely forgot how to dance after seeing Shen Manyao, let alone perform to their usual standards I would have been the same if not for you, Xingling!”
As she spoke, she rubbed the top of her head affectionately against the nape of Xia Ling’s neck.
Xia Ling felt a headache coming on. This child… was she born in the year of the dog?
She was saved by the voice of the coach calling out. “Number 67, Zhou Yu; Number 68, Ye Xingling…”
“I should go in now.” She hurriedly pulled Luo Luo off herself and then ran toward the examination room as if she were escaping.
“Xingling, I’ll wait for you
” Luo Luo happily waved to her. “You have to do well”
She tried her best to ignore Luo Luo’s voice, standing in line with the other five in her group in front of the examination room. Everyone in this team had great body proportions and were visually appealing, but some were clearly trying to hide their nervousness. Everyone was sizing each other up as if they were trying to evaluate each other’s competitiveness and threat.
As they saw Xia Ling coming over, several of them gave looks of disdain. Who did not recognize her? “Ye Xingling” had been in the training camp for more than a year and many people had heard of what a failure she was. So what if she had improved? The fact that they thought she was “no match at all” was apparent in their eyes.
If it were Xia Ling in her past life, she would have made them pay for this insult. However, now she neither had interest in being selected for Shen Manyao’s MV nor did she want to kick up a fuss. As such, she did not lose her temper at their underestimation of her, and just treated them as if they were transparent.
They sized her up for a while, lost interest, and then shifted their gazes elsewhere.
As the doors of the examination room opened slowly, Xia Ling followed the rest of the group into the room.
It was a wide and brightly-lit room with a long, thick wooden table at one end.
Xia Ling recognized Shen Manyao immediately. That woman was in thick makeup as usual, dressed in a red low-cut top with her cleavage in clear sight. Shen Manyao was unabashedly leaning toward the guy sitting to her side, but seemed to be somewhat conscious and did not dare to be too excessive.
Shen Manyao did not seem to want to spare even a sideward glance to the group of trainees that just entered the room.
Xia Ling was slightly surprised after noticing that Shen Manyao was not seated at the main seat in the center of the long table. Instead, the main seat was occupied by a man that Xia Ling had never seen before. Dressed in a simple white shirt and wearing platinum-rimmed glasses, he had not a single extra accessory in his entire outfit except for a watch on his wrist — a rare Patek Philippe collector version.
It suited him. He had a clean-cut, strong charisma.
Xia Ling looked him up and down briefly before turning away. Shen Manyao was unabashedly trying to charm him. “Do you have time later at night to have dinner together? I know a pretty good French restaurant…..”
That man slightly turned his head to look at the man on his other side, ignoring Shen Manyao completely. Xia Ling recognized the other man – the general manager of the training camp, Tan Ying.
Who was this big shot that could make Tan Ying play second fiddle?