Although the establishment of the studio was a tedious process, Xu Xinyi had some experience so she wasn’t rushing around without knowing where to start. Except for a little trouble in terms of manpower everything was going well.
She didn’t expect it but it turned out that Anya was a gleeful thief and she poached several employees from Tianyu on her way out. She even told her triumphantly, “Xinyi, don’t worry, these people all have skills and aren’t the type to eat soft rice. Recently Tianyu’s senior management have been changing constantly and causing a mess in the company. These people were all affected and have been thinking about job-hopping for a long time. I only had to give a shout and they all appeared.”
Xu Xinyi knew very little about the employees from Tianyu, but she trusted Anya and felt that people picked by Anya will not be too bad.
“Who are they?”
“Do you know Chen Mo? Do you remember before there was a star in the company who had worse criticisms than you, people were saying that because of her poor character she deserved to be blacklisted by the whole network. But in just a year, with Chen Mo’s planning, she was washed clean in all aspects in the eyes of the public. There is also a publicity group, a resource group, and some people from the public relations department. Several core and capable people all came to us after I offered them double salary. I’m telling you, you can just watch and not do anything, and before long, Tianyu will have destroyed themselves.”
Xu Xinyi nodded thoughtfully.
“By the way,” Anya seemed to remember something, “Didn’t you ask me to look at some locations for the studio for you? I’ve picked one out, you’ll definitely like it. “
While dealing with various formalities and certificates that had to be completed when starting a business, Xu Xinyi had looked at several studio locations but was never satisfied, so she entrusted Anya with the matter.
It had only been a few days, Anya moved so quickly?
“Binhai building, Changning road.” Anya said meaningfully, “It’s very close to Lanting, and directly opposite is Yi Yang’s company. How do you like it? Isn’t it a nice place? I chose it especially for you. “
…thank you so very much.
Xu Xinyi knew that Anya was well-intentioned and had no other meaning but finding out the company address was opposite to Yi Yang’s company gave her a feeling like she was choking down bitter herbs. She had an indescribable feeling of suffering.
“…is there any other place besides the Binhai building?”
“What’s the matter? Is there some problem?”
Xu Xinyi was about to speak but stopped abruptly.
Fine, the location could be close to the dog man. She wouldn’t have to go to the studio often anyway.
“It’s alright. We can set up in the Binhai building. It’s fine.” After thinking a little more, Xu Xinyi said, “Anyway, we’ve almost finished everything these two days. Tomorrow night, if I have time, I’ll invite you to a meal.”
“Then I’ll be looking forward to a big meal from the prospective boss.”
“Don’t worry, there won’t be any meal without you there.”
As the prospective boss, Xu Xinyi spent a lot of money to invite all the core staff who would be working together in the future to the Yonghe Club for dinner.
Yonghe Club was located in the center of a city and the structure was a European-style building that was built at the beginning of the last century. After changing hands several times, it landed in the hands of the current boss who had rented it for ten years and built it into a private club.
Because it was a top private club, if you wanted to eat at Yonghe Club, you had to be a member.
Becoming a member was fairly simple, you only needed an entry fee of 100,000 yuan and an introduction from a current member.
After being brought to a box by the waiter, the employees all seemed surprised as they sat down. One even said, “Honey, I never thought I could come to Yonghe Club for dinner one day. I’ll have to make a video and post it on my Moments.”
“Oh my God, I heard that they use chopsticks made of gold. Is it true?”
“I feel like I’m dreaming. I heard that here, a simple plate of shredded potatoes costs three digits.”
“Don’t act like such a bumpkin. This is the Yonghe club. Would they even have shredded potatoes for you to eat?”
Anya and Xu Xinyi walked in from behind and laughed at their remarks, “From today on, everyone here will work together. You are welcome to order whatever you want. Today our future boss will pay for it.”
With that, Anya patted Boss Xu on the shoulder.
Xu Xinyi also said with a smile, “Yes, we will work together in the future and we will all be a family. So order whatever you want. I will cover all the expenses today.”
The waiter handed over the menu.
“Really? Then we won’t be polite.”
“Who told you to be polite? Eat up.” Anya got up with a smile and then introduced someone to Xu Xinyi: “Xinyi, let me introduce you. This is Chen Mo, who I mentioned to you earlier.”
Xu Xinyi spoke with realization, “Hello, Chen Mo. It’s really fate. We used to be colleagues before and now it seems we’ll still be colleagues in the future.”
Chen Mu was in his early thirties, and lacked some of the youthful vigor of a young man. The words: mature and poised, were very suitable for him.
“Miss Xu, could I talk to you…”
Xu Xinyi interrupted him, “Since we’ll be working together in the future, you should just call me Xinyi, or ‘boss’ maybe.”
Chen Mo was slightly stunned at Xu Xinyi, who spoke so bluntly, but he recovered quickly and said with a smile: “Boss, take good care of me in the future.”
“Of course. I’ll be counting on you in the future.”
When Xu Xinyi said this, the whole audience chuckled.
They were all people in the entertainment industry so they had seen Xu Xinyi’s typical arrogant and domineering style that was rare in people from the entertainment industry.
The fans thought her temper was a black spot on her, but in the eyes of insiders, this kind of ‘black spot’ wasn’t bad at all.
Anya continued to introduce the other employees and Xu Xinyi silently memorized their names and faces. From now on these people would be the backbone of her company. What stage the studio would reach in the future would rely on them.
“You guys keep eating. I’m going to the bathroom.”
Xinyi left the table and headed to the bathroom to touch up her makeup. But as she arrived at the bathroom door, a tall teen suddenly rushed towards her. His face was twisted in panic but it couldn’t hide his exquisite facial features.
One was running too fast, the other couldn’t move out of the way in time, the result was that the two bumped into each other.
Xu Xinyi was hit on the shoulder and staggered back a few steps. She almost fell to the floor but the skinny boy reacted quickly and grabbed Xu Xinyi’s arm. He stabilized her while maintaining a proper distance.
“Excuse me, I…” The teenager panted. He looked up and saw Xu Xinyi and became stupefied, “Xu …Xu Xinyi? Sister Xinyi, is that you? “
Xu Xinyi rubbed her sore shoulder. She had a little impression of the teenager who obviously recognized her that was in front of her. He looked familiar, but she couldn’t recall from where.
“Who are you?”
The teenager said excitedly, “I am Jiang Nian from the big_five group under Tianyu.”
Xu Xinyi suddenly remembered.
No wonder he looked so familiar. She had seen him a few times on posters before, but she hadn’t looked into it too much, so she didn’t know him very well.
At first glance, he looked much better in person than on the poster.
He had sword-like eyebrows, exquisite facial features, skin that was like a shelled egg, and a gaze that gave people a very comfortable feeling. He was lean but not thin and weak. And he carried a unique sense of youth and vitality. A perfect specimen that represented the current aesthetic of young people.
Xu Xinyi had thought it was strange before that a boy who was so handsome, sunny, and delicately beautiful wasn’t very popular.
Now, meeting him in person, she thought it was even weirder.
“So it’s you.” After appreciating his beauty for a moment, Xu Xinyi noticed his anxious expression and said, “I’m in no rush. If you have something urgent, don’t mind me and go ahead.”
Jiang Nian’s eyes were anxious and he kept glancing behind him. His Adam’s apple twitched nervously up and down and he looked as if he had encountered something urgent.
He looked restless and seemed desperate. After a moment he mustered up some courage and said to Xu Xinyi, “Sister Xinyi, can you… Can you help me?”
“Help?” Xu Xinyi frowned slightly.
Arguably, when Jiang Nian, this handsome sunshine boy, came and asked her for help she, as a lover of beauty, was duty-bound to help him. But her reason reminded her that the people who could dare to cause trouble in the Yonghe club were generally not easy to handle.
Although she was usually arrogant and domineering in the entertainment industry she was aware of her limits. A person who could stir up trouble in Yonghe would probably not be the kind of person she could handle. If she offended some bigshot here she was afraid she would have to ask Yi Yang, that dog man, for help.
“The company asked me to accompany a guest, they told me that he thought highly of me and that he was willing to give me a role in a TV series. But as soon as I got here they tried to put their hands on me and didn’t want to let go. I barely got out. So I…” Speaking to this point, Jiang Nian suddenly shut up and seemed to remember that he and Xu Xinyi had only just met for the first time just now. “Sorry, Sister Xinyi, I… don’t bother about me. I’ll leave first. “
With that said, without waiting for Xu Xinyi to speak, Jiang Nian did not hesitate and walked off in the direction of the exit.
The corridor fell silent. It seemed the encounter just now was really just an accident.
Xu Xinyi returned to her room but the incident lingered in her thoughts. Anya saw she had something on her mind, she smiled and asked, “Why did you take so long to come back? What’s going on? “
“Do you know the idol group big_five?”
“You don’t know?” Someone at the dinner table said, “That group was pushed by our team at the beginning. There were several good people in the group but they didn’t manage to catch fire. According to the analysis of the marketing department, there were just too many similar male idol groups and the market was saturated. When I left, I seemed to hear inside news that the company was going to give up on the group and just choose one or two good ones to push on a TV series separately to see if they could generate some buzz.”
“Do you know Jiang Nian?”
“I know him. He has a good foundation and is very strong in all aspects of modeling. He’s also young. The company should be planning to push him into film and television. I heard that he has a good character and is very obedient. He was the most serious and diligent back when he was under my team.”
Xu Xinyi listened thoughtfully.
“Sister Xinyi, what’s the matter?”
“It’s nothing,” Xu Xinyi said with a smile, “Just asking.”
After finishing their meal the several employees said goodbye to Xu Xinyi.
Xu Xinyi’s car was parked in the parking lot in front of the Yonghe club. She was holding her key to open the door when she heard a rustling sound from the trunk. Suddenly a figure stood up from behind her car.
Xu Xinyi and Anya were stunned and Anya quickly turned on the flashlight on her phone and pointed it at the person who had appeared.
The light shone on the man and he reflexively raised his hand over his face to block the glare.
“Jiang Nian?” Xu Xinyi looked at him hesitantly.
Hearing Xu Xinyi’s voice, Jiang Nian slowly put his hand down and the cell phone flashlight shone directly to reveal his face.
It was definitely Jiang Nian but unlike the Jiang Nian she had seen an hour or so ago, his originally white face was now marred by several bruises around his eyebrows and cheekbones. The corners of his mouth were split and there were traces of dried blood. The man looked very distressed. His coat was gone and he was only wearing a thin white shirt that was covered with traces of dirt and mud. There were also a few dirty footprints staining the shirt.
“What happened to you?”
Jiang Nian kept his head hung low and seemed like he didn’t dare meet Xu Xinyi’s eyes. He said, “I’m alright. I was just afraid of being photographed so I haven’t left yet. Since I knew your license plate number I waited here. Sister Xinyi, can you give me a ride?”
He looked very different now, with his head hung low and his thin body shivering in the early winter wind, with bruised cheeks and messy hair, in the dim light of the streetlamps, he seemed like a helpless beauty that had been bullied. It really stirred a person’s desire to protect.
Not even talking about Xu Xinyi, even Anya, who had spent many years dallying about and experiencing both vertical and horizontal love, who had walked indifferently along a path lined with thousands of flowers, even that Anya, was not able to bear it.
“Of course! Hurry, get in the car and don’t get photographed!”
Xu Xinyi hadn’t said anything but Anya had already pulled open the car door and let Jiang Nian get in the car.
But Jiang Nian stood there motionless, just looking at them, his clear and bright eyes were full of apprehension. His gaze was on Xu Xinyi and seemed to be asking her what she thought, he looked like if she said no, he really wouldn’t board the car.
…who the hell could say no to that?
“Get in the car. I’ll send you back.”
Jiang Nian smiled brightly and said, “Thank you, Sister Xinyi!”
The few people got into the car and left.
“What’s the matter? What happened to you?” Anya had always been a compassionate person, so seeing such a handsome young fresh meat who had been bullied in front of her, it made her heart scratch and itch with a vague pain.
Jiang Nian grinned and replied. “The company asked me to accompany a client but I didn’t agree, and so…”
“The guest did this?”
Jiang Nian silently acquiesced.
“Damn. What a garbage company!” Anya scolded angrily: “If they never take care of their staff, they will go bankrupt sooner or later!”
Xu Xinyi glanced into the rearview mirror. “Where do you live?”
“I live in Huaming Court*. If it’s too inconvenient for Sister Xinyi, I can take a taxi back once we get to a place where there are fewer people.”
“Huaming Court? It’s alright, it’s on the way. I’ll take you back. “
The teenager’s face bloomed with a shy smile, “Sorry for troubling you, Sister Xinyi.”
“It’s okay, it’s no trouble.”
“Anyway, how is your group doing now?”
“Not so good,” Jiang Nian said. “We haven’t had any gigs for a long time.”
Anya sighed, “You are so good. You shouldn’t be delayed by that garbage company. Have you ever thought of terminating your contract with the company?”
“Breaking the contract? I never considered it, “Jiang Nian shook his head. His voice had a clean and pure feeling. When he spoke there was no trace of complaint. “I can’t afford to pay the compensation.”
“So that’s how it is.”
That was the end of the conversation.
Half an hour later, the car pulled up to the gate of Huaming Court.
Anya looked at the shabby old neighborhood inside. “This is where you live?”
Jiang Nian smiled and was not embarrassed at all about living here. “I don’t have any money for the time being, so I live here for now. Sister Anya, Sister Xinyi, thank you very much for today. Can I add your WeChat? That way I can repay you when there is an opportunity.”
“It’s no trouble, it was just a matter of lifting a hand.”
Anya took out her cell phone and added Jiang Nian on Wechat.
That done, Jiang Nian looked over at Xu Xinyi.
“…alright, add mine too.” Xu Xinyi and Jiang Nian quickly added each other’s WeChat.
After getting out of the car Jiang Nian watched as the car pulled away. He used his thumb and roughly wiped away the trace of blood at the corner of his mouth. His whole appearance seemed to change and the pitiful weeping beauty disappeared. He stood silently in place, looking down at Xu Xinyi’s WeChat profile picture on his mobile phone.
The glimmer of the phone’s screen lit up half of his face and made the bruising at the corners of his eyes particularly obvious, the blood and bruises added a hint of tension to his face and his gaze was deep.
On the way back, Xu Xinyi felt more and more that something was wrong. She was thinking over the whole series of encounters with Jiang Nian just now.
“Anya, do you have a sense that we just saw the plot of an overbearing president and his bullied wife?”
“…what overbearing president and his bulled wife? “
“Do you think what happened today was a bit too dramatic? The hero saves the beauty. What a coincidence.”
“Dramatic? You mean Jiang Nian did it on purpose?”
“I don’t know. Looking at it, I can’t see anything wrong but I feel like something’s wrong.” But after thinking about it, she really couldn’t figure out what felt wrong.
In the novel, Jiang Nian was just an insignificant cannon fodder. She didn’t think he had so many scenes?
There is a knife above the character for lust**, so she could not let herself be carried away by his beauty. Better to keep rational.
Three days later, Xu Xinyi’s studio was officially established. There was a total of 15 employees, including Xu Xinyi, and they began work.
As soon as she got to work, she met the first big issue.
“What’s the matter?” As soon as she arrived at the company, Xu Xinyi found that the atmosphere was very serious as if something was wrong.
“Xinyi, it’s like this, a photo was taken by a reporter while we were having dinner at the Yonghe Club.” Anya handed a magazine to Xu Xinyi.
Xu Xinyi took it and saw there were several bold words on the cover of the magazine: A famous actor and idol appeared together at Yonghe club in the middle of the night. With their dishevelled clothes it is suspected there was a ‘private meeting’ between them.
Then there were photos of Xu Xinyi and Jiang Nian covered by mosaics.
But even a blind man could tell that the woman in the picture was Xu Xinyi.
Xu Xinyi slowly stroked the cover of the magazine and said nothing for a while.
If she hadn’t been in public she might have burst into tears of happiness after seeing the magazine in her hands.
God only knew how excited she was. Even her hands holding the magazine trembled slightly.
How long? How long had it been?
Three months of silence, three whole months! Her name had finally appeared in an entertainment magazine!
She almost thought that she was old news now and did not deserve to appear in these gossip magazines anymore. But unexpectedly, after some twists and turns, it seemed that the people did not forget her! The people were still thinking about her!
Seeing that Xu Xinyi’s face was heavy, Anya thought she was worried about the scandal. That was because, although Xinyi had always appeared in all kinds of gossip news in the past, she had never had a scandal with a man even after so many years.
She knew that Xu Xinyi liked Yi Yang, so she did not allow scandals to appear in various tabloids that could make Yi Yang misunderstand.
“Xinyi, this gossip magazine is just reporting blindly, but don’t worry, with us here we will not allow this to continue to spread.”
Chen Mo said, “Anya is right, boss, you can rest assured that we have experience handling these matters. We can deal with it properly without leaving a trace.”
Xu Xinyi’s face became more and more serious. “I know about this but don’t bother about it. It’s just a little gossip in an entertainment magazine. It won’t matter. What’s important right now is that I’ll be joining the crew next week. By then there will be people smearing me on the internet. You all should be prepared.”
After a pause, she said, “I’ll take this magazine. I have something to do back home. You all carry on.”
With that, she couldn’t wait to go home with the magazine.
Ah~, recently she hadn’t stirred anything up, people who didn’t know better would think she was in love with that dog man Yi Yang.
After returning to the Yi estate, Xu Xinyi spent the whole afternoon thinking about where to put the magazine, so that as soon as Yi Yang came back he would be able to see her affair.
No, it would be too conspicuous on the sofa. It would seem a bit deliberate.
The bedside table was no good either. It would be like hanging a sign that said ‘there are no 300 silvers here’.***
Looking around the room, Xu Xinyi thought about it and finally locked her eyes on the trash can.
That was perfect.
Then there was a sound of footsteps from outside the door. Xu Xinyi hurriedly threw the magazine into the trash and slipped under the quilt before Yi Yang entered the room.
Yi Yang entered the room and looked at Xu Xinyi, who was laying on the bed and covered up to her chin by the quilt.
She was so quiet?
“Husband, are you home?”
Yi Yang put down his briefcase and headed into the closet to change into his more comfortable home clothes. Then he sat on the sofa and began to look through the documents he had brought back.
–“Now how do I get his attention?”
Yi Yang eyebrows raised slightly. He knew something was wrong. After being quiet for so many days it seemed she finally couldn’t hold it in anymore.
“Husband, are you tired today? Maybe you should go to bed early?”
“It’s okay, I’m not tired.”
–“What can I say to get him to look in the trash can?”
The trash can?
Yi Yang glanced casually down at the trash can at his feet and saw a magazine inside.
Looking intently, he could read the huge words scrawled across the cover: A famous actor and idol appeared together at Yonghe club in the middle of the night. With their dishevelled clothes it is suspected there was a ‘private meeting’ between them.
After that there were several poor quality photos obscured by mosaics. They were pictures of Xu Xinyi behaving intimately with a man.
Yi Yang raised eyebrows, so this was it.
But he did not speak, instead he just continued to look through the documents expressionlessly.
“Husband, I’m a little hungry. Could you bring me one of the biscuits in front of the sofa?”
Yi Yang threw the bag of biscuits over to Xu Xinyi.
Xu Xinyi quickly tore it apart.
She knew she could get fat eating before bed like this but she didn’t care too much right now.
After deliberately chewing and eating slowly, Xu Xinyi climbed to the edge of the bed and tossed the bag at the trash can at Yi Yang’s feet. And, as planned, the bag fell out of the trash can immediately.
Yi Yang subconsciously glanced down and then bent down to pick up the bag and threw it into the trash can.
“Hm, this trash can…”
–“Come on! Now discover the gossip in that magazine!”
–Then, throw the magazine at me, point at me and say, ‘How dare you fool around with a wild man behind my back! Who is this man in the magazine? I won’t sleep until you make things clear tonight!’ “
— “This son of a bitch will hate me so much that he might even want to divorce me! Even if we can’t get a divorce, we have to at least have a cold war for a few days. That way I can have a few more days of peace and quiet. “
Yi Yang sneered. Then he went over to the Yi estate internal phone line, picked up the receiver under Xu Xinyi’s confused eyes, and said, “Mrs. Zhou, the trash can in the room is full, please come up and clean it up.”
Xu Xinyi: “?”
She gripped the quilt like it was a hated enemy and gnashed her teeth.
–“Can’t you see such a big magazine? Can’t you see those huge words on the cover? Son of a bitch, are you blind?! If you aren’t using them you might as well donate those eyes to people in need.”
–“I’m so young but I unluckily married a blind man!”
Yi Yang’s expression froze and he seemed to find something. Then, under Xu Xinyi’s expectant gaze, he bent down again to pick up the magazine from the trash can and glanced at it randomly.
“Xu Xinyi, how dare you fool around with a wild man behind my back! Who is this man in the magazine? I won’t sleep until you make things clear tonight!”
Xu Xinyi, who had long prepared her miserable and pitiful woman act, suddenly paused and was hesitant to speak.
“…” Why did this line sound so familiar?
*I don’t like how that looks so unwieldy in English. In Chinese it’s only 3 characters (华名苑) so it’s much less of an eyeful. But I think I’ll just leave it like that and continue with my policy of not touching proper nouns. Since the literal translation (from just mashing the English words that correspond to those 3 characters together) would be something like “Beautiful famous park” which sounds even more ridiculous
**idiom meaning ‘lascivious activities can lead to bitter consequences’ (i.e. don’t fall for the beauty trap!)
***the ‘no 300 silver here’ idiom is tied to a funny story. Tl;dr in bold below. Basically, the story goes that a poor man stumbles across 300 silvers. Knowing that his neighbors would steal it if they knew he had the silver he goes to bury it. But then, afraid it wasn’t hidden enough, he hangs a sign over the spot that says ‘there are no 300 silvers here’. Then it gets stolen and the moral of the story is to not deliberately reveal what you’re trying to hide