The whole call lasted for about two hours.
When Xu Xinyi finished filming several scenes in the evening and was ready to go back to the hotel after work, she picked up her phone from the pile of sundries on the table. She glanced down and happened to see Yi Yang’s icy face on the screen.
“Ah-” Caught completely off guard and suddenly startled, Xu Xinyi’s voice raised into a scream. Her grip loosened, her cell phone fell to the ground, and her heart almost stopped.
“Sister Xinyi, what’s the matter?”
The staff around looked over at her one after another.
Xu Xinyi was almost scared to death by Yi Yang.
She thought she had seen a ghost when such a big face appeared on her cell phone screen so late.
Who was he scaring in the middle of the night?
“It’s all right. I just saw it wrong.” She really thought she saw a ghost.
The several staff members lost interest and bowed their heads to continue cleaning up.
Jiang Nian also wanted to go over and ask what happened, but the assistant Xiao Yuan grabbed him and told him in a low voice not to poke around Sister Xinyi’s private affairs.
Xu Xinyi took a deep breath, picked up the phone from the ground, and discovered that her video call with Yi Yang had not ended.
She looked over at the small table covered with sundries and saw that before her assistant picked up the sundries, she had leaned her phone upright and the previous viewing angle let the phone camera see the whole set.
Did Yi Yang see everything just now?
Xu Xinyi felt like someone who inexplicably had the guts to steal but was then caught at the scene.
With this feeling in her heart, Xu Xinyi was stupefied.
No, what had she done to be nervous about? It was just a normal film set, so what if it had been seen and filmed? Her conscience was clear! So why would she be nervous?
She looked around and saw that there was no one nearby. She quickly put the headphones on, and whispered like she was very moved, “Husband, were you waiting for me without hanging up all this time?”
Yi Yang looked at her expressionlessly. “Xu Xinyi, your acting is very good.”
Through the screen, Xu Xinyi could feel the stagnant air and heavy pressure being emitted by Yi Yang.
“Thank you for the praise, husband!”
“The cast members all take good care of you.”
Xu Xinyi felt her throat was pinched and said, “Your wife is adorable and well liked by everyone, but husband, you don’t have to worry, the person I love most is still you!”
She was very thick-skinned.
“I think your crew is making good progress. How long will it take to shoot this drama?”
“How long will it take? We have been shooting for less than two months. According to the requirements of Director Xu, it will probably take half a year to produce a good show. This is assuming everything goes smoothly. If the shooting doesn’t go well, it’s possible to shoot for a year! “
Six months to a year?
Yi Yang leaned back and loosened the tie around his neck, and forcibly suppressed the pulsating veins threatening to pop up on his forehead.
“Honey, I also don’t want to shoot for so long. I want to go back and see you sooner, but I can’t help it. This is my job, and I can’t decide. But don’t worry, when I finish filming, I’ll come home and stay with you, okay?”
“Sister Xinyi, it’s all packed.” Jiang Nian said loudly. Xu Xinyi hurriedly turned the screen down, afraid someone might discover Yi Yang.
“Alright, I’ll be right there.” She called back to him, then she lowered her voice and said to Yi Yang, “Yi Yang, I have to go back to the hotel now, so I won’t stay on the line. Don’t worry, our crew is making very fast progress. I can go back and see you in a year at the most. It’s already late so you should go rest. Love you!”
With that, Xu Xinyi ignored Yi Yang’s reaction and immediately hung up the video call, not giving Yi Yang any chance to speak.
What had happened to the dog man’s brain today that he would spend two hours watching her filming?
Was it true that, as Anya guessed, he had begun to be interested in her?
That was not a good sign.
Xu Xinyi told Anya about it just in case.
After careful consideration, Anya came to a conclusion.
“Yi Yang is definitely interested in you, Xinyi, congratulations, after so long in the cloud you’re starting to see the silver lining*, now work harder, and Yi Yang will fall in love with you completely.”
When she saw the conclusion Anya had come to, Xu Xinyi felt bereaved.
She replied with a message: “Really? Do you think Yi Yang is really starting to like me?”
“I was just guessing before, but when I heard what you told me today, I became sure. You have to believe me, I know men all too well. If that man doesn’t like you, I’ll sit on your head as a stool.”
“…” You don’t have to do that.
Anya continued with her reply: “Believe me, a man who is not interested in you will not waste two hours looking at you.”
Xu Xin’s heart was like ashes.
She asked tentatively, “Then why do you think Yi Yang likes me?”
The key was to prescribe the right medicine in every case. If she knew what Yi Yang liked about her, she could fix it.
Anya: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Xu Xinyi: “But Yi Yang and I seldom saw each other in the first two years of our marriage.”
Anya: “That’s not the same. You two barely spent time together before. Now, before you went to the set, you and Yi Yang had lived under the same roof for some time. You two already had a basic level of communication.”
Anya: “Maybe in those two months, he developed a different view of you.”
Anya: “A person like Yi Yang, who was always alone, suddenly shared a pillow with a woman for two months. He is probably already used to your existence.”
Anya: “You know what the scariest thing is? Habit. He had become used to your existence but all of a sudden you went to the crew to film. Now he has to sleep every night facing an empty room and he will not be used to it.”
Anya: “He thinks of you every night before he goes to sleep because he has no choice. And maybe it’s just a fleeting thing, just a little thought of you when he sees the empty room, but these thoughts pile up day after day, and that’s the beginning of the emotional connection between the two of you.”
Finally, Anya concluded, “Congratulations, your dream has come true.”
Xu Xinyi wanted to smash her cell phone, so she didn’t reply to Anya.
She leaned against the window and looked out at the night view, full of sorrow.
Her heart was like the scenery she saw outside, desolate.
She really might have cried if someone wasn’t in the car with her.
How on earth was she worthy of Yi Yang’s love?
As long as Yi Yang said what he liked about her, couldn’t she change it?
“Sister Xinyi, what’s the matter with you?”
She sighed faintly. “The sky is falling.”
Jiang Nian looked at Xu Xinyi’s hand that was clenching her phone thoughtfully.
The actress who replaced Li Hanxing joined the group a week after Li Hanxing left.
Because of Li Hanxing’s poor acting skills, the number of NGs had multiplied and dragged down the crew’s progress so much that Director Xu had an incomparable headache. But now Director Xu was extremely grateful for Li Hanxing’s poor acting skills.
It was precisely because she had been a drag on the progress of the crew that Director Xu has been pushing shooting Li Hanxing’s scenes back. Therefore, in these nearly two months, Director Xu had deliberately suppressed the number of scenes Li Hanxing filmed. And since Li Hanxing would constantly NG and also frequently asked for leave, it resulted in not much being filmed of Li Hanxing’s third female lead role.
The new actress who joined the group was fairly new in the entertainment industry and she had auditioned for the crew before. Her name was Li Chengman. Director Xu had thought she was quite good and he originally intended to sign her for the role, but later Li Hanxing was stuffed into the group by an investor.
Director Xu estimated that Li Chengman was a good actress with some skills so she should be able to catch up with the shooting schedule in a week.
Li Hanxing didn’t really cause much trouble when she left the group. She just left quietly.
In fact, Li Hanxing had been very popular in the beginning. She was beautiful and gentle, and there were no rumors following her.
But when people spent time with one another, the longer they were together, the more they couldn’t hide their unlikable qualities.
“Did Li Hanxing come to the set yesterday? I thought I saw her.”
During the break, several young fresh meats with minor roles in the crew gathered together and chatted in low voices.
“Yes, I said hello to her yesterday, but she turned a deaf ear to me.”
“Do you think that Mr. Sun from that day and Li Hanxing…?” Another man spoke significantly.
“Why are you speaking so secretly? God, it was so obvious. Who doesn’t know?”
“I don’t think Li Hanxing is such a person.”
“She’s not such a person? Will you stop joking?”
“Wasn’t she nice to us before?”
“Nice? It was just giving a greeting on the first two days. Did she ever talk to us after that? No, she was always busy trying to show off in front of Teacher Han. And remember that day Mr. Sun came over? She had a scene to shoot but when she heard about Mr. Sun, she immediately left to change into a cheongsam and put on makeup. Why do you think that was?”
“You don’t have to be so sarcastic. Didn’t you think Li Hanxing was very nice before?”
“Why are there so many sly and greedy women in the entertainment industry?”
“I think Sister Xinyi is very nice. Although she is outspoken, she takes good care of the newcomers, not at all like all those rumors on the internet.”
“People will say anything. Some things have to be seen with your own eyes and heard with your own ears before they can be judged.”
“But have you noticed that Jiang Nian who has been hanging around Sister Xinyi? Sister Xinyi said he was her assistant.”
“I know that this Jiang Nian was also in the industry in the past. A group called big_five, made an announcement some time ago that he had quit the group for personal reasons, and the date of his return was uncertain. I heard that Tianyu wanted him to accompany some investors but Jiang Nian didn’t agree, so that’s why he ended up like this.”
“What does it mean that Sister Xinyi asked Jiang Nian to be her assistant?”
“Oh, Chen Shu, you and Sister Xinyi are closer. Have you heard her say anything about it?”
Chen Shu frowned and looked at the busy Jiang Nian from afar. “Sister Xinyi opened her own studio. It should be that she took a fancy to Jiang Nian and wants to sign him on.”
“Sign him? If Tianyu wants to bury him can Sister Xinyi interfere?”
“Haven’t you heard? Sister Xinyi has a big backing behind her.”
“A big backing?”
“I’ve heard a little, Sister Xinyi’s family used to be very powerful but later her relatives died one after another and left her in a bad way. But the relationships created by her family are still there. She knows a lot of rich and powerful people, so no one dares to ban Sister Xinyi no matter how bad her reputation has gotten over the years.”
“In the past, all the stars who tried to terminate their contracts with Tianyu were involved in lawsuits, but surprisingly Sister Xinyi broke the contract right away without any muddling.”
“She’s so awesome?”
“However, these are all rumors. Not sure how reliable they are.”
The gathered people all had a vague understanding dawn on them.
Meanwhile, the protagonist of their conversation, Xu Xinyi, was sitting in the corner of the set and quietly looking at her mobile phone.
Jiang Nian came up to Xu Xinyi and passed on a message from Director Xu to her. “Sister Xinyi, are you reading the script? Director Xu said he won’t shoot your scene tonight, so you can go back and have a rest early.”
Xu Xinyi put down her phone. “Really? Well then, I’ll go back to the hotel first.”
Jiang Nian was sharp-eyed and could see what was on Xu Xinyi’s phone screen. It was a web novel.
On the left was the cover and on the right was the title of the novel.
“The Self-Cultivation of the Vicious Woman”.
Jiang Nian: “???”
Xu Xinyi studied very hard during filming. She read 30% of the book “The Self-Cultivation of the Vicious Woman” on her phone and the plot was brilliant. The female lead portrayed the image of a vicious woman incisively and vividly, and Xu Xinyi was fascinated by her. She simply had to admit she was outdone.
Although it was a novel, there were so many things worth learning.
She had to study hard and learn the essence of a vicious woman, then she could show the skills she learns in front of Yi Yang in the future.
When she got back to the hotel and was 47% done, Anya suddenly called three times in a row.
“What’s the matter?”
Anya’s tone was unusually calm.
From Xu Xinyi’s experience, the more stable Anya’s tone was, the bigger the situation was.
“Someone is smearing you on the Internet. Open Weibo.”
Xu Xinyi raised an eyebrow, then opened Weibo and spent 20 minutes reading through the whole thing clearly.
She had guessed before that Li Hanxing would definitely play some tricks after she left the crew and that she would do it right away. Turned out, she was right.
Following a link Anya sent her, she saw a video from the crew of “The Way of the Phoenix” had appeared on the hot search. The hot search was a short video released by a marketing account with eight million fans.
In the video, it was the first day of filming. It was when Li Hanxing wanted to give Xu Xinyi a slap, but instead, she was slapped.
Of course, the video was edited and the content released was only the parts where Xu Xinyi was swaggering around.
As a vicious woman, Xu Xinyi was a professional, she spoke with just the right tone and made the perfect gestures to make people’s teeth itch with anger.
The video went viral immediately.
Xu Xinyi could guess what the content of the comment area was without even having to click on it.
What else could it be?
“Oh, my God, is Xu Xinyi so arrogant in the crew? I felt the pain in my face when she slapped Li Hanxing.”
“How could there be no one to stop her when so many people were looking? No wonder Li Hanxing dropped out of the show halfway. It’s so pathetic!”
“Is this your first day knowing about Xu Xinyi? Hasn’t she always been such a vicious woman? What is a little slap in the face? In her last movie, she almost pushed another actress from the same crew down some stairs.”
“Xu Xinyi is disgusting! If Xu Xinyi is in this drama, I will never watch it! “
The whole internet was condemning Xu Xinyi more and more, directly pushing her to up the hot search.
Gradually, for some reason, they shifted from denouncing Xu Xinyi to denouncing the whole crew of “The Way to the Phoenix”.
According to Anya’s analysis, it was because of Han Xiao’s super fans, they were saying that having Xu Xinyi playing a supporting role for Han Xiao was just delaying Han Xiao and Han Xiao’s grade was lowered just by her being on the set with him.
At the same time, there was also a video of Han Xiao and Xu Xinyi filming a kissing scene.
It was just a kiss scene but two stand-ins were used.
Han Xiao was famous for his dedication to work. So, of course, the fans knew it was impossible for him to use a stand-in normally. It could only be because of Xu Xinyi.
Under the leadership of some marketing accounts, the call for the crew to change the heroine was getting louder and louder, and there was even a trending topic #Boycotting The Way of the Phoenix.
“If the crew can change Li Hanxing, why can’t they change Xu Xinyi?”
“Since Xu Xinyi is in this drama, even if it has Han Xiao, I won’t go to see it!”
“How big is Xu Xinyi backing? Does the director like her so much? Aren’t you afraid of what she will do to the ratings?”
There was also a rumor that Xu Xinyi had a male backer. According to the rumor of the Lord, a revelation appeared on the internet, that the crew had an investor visit not long ago, and that the investor and Xu Xinyi were old acquaintances.
In order to make the revelations more real, two blurred photos were released.
The photo was taken secretly. Xu Xinyi seemed to be drunk and knocked on the door of a room in the hotel, which, according to the whistleblower, was lived in by the investor.
There was also a picture of a man in a suit coming out of the room. But there were no pictures of the man’s face, only a blurred figure.
“No wonder Xu Xinyi is so bold. There is someone behind her.”
“So evil! Li Hanxing lost because she had no backer, so she was bullied by Xu Xinyi. I think Li Hanxing is much prettier than Xu Xinyi. Why is God so blind?”
“Did you just find out about this? Xu Xinyi’s private life was always very messy. I have inside information. She is having affairs with many actors in the entertainment industry.”
Xu Xinyi was now in trouble and being besieged from all sides.
Some people seemed to think that there was not enough black material on her, and whenever there was a lull, they would release a few more photos.
One was Jiang Nian entering Xu Xinyi’s room in the evening.
The picture was crisp and clear.
“As a woman, I admire her.”
“This fresh meat is handsome. Also, he looks a little familiar.”
“Isn’t that Jiang Nian of big_five? He had quit the group recently. How did he end up in Xu Xinyi’s room?”
“Xu Xinyi really deserves the title of King of Shanghai**, being able to hook up with so many men! I’m convinced.”
“If you ask me, Xu Xinyi is very capable. Getting involved with so many young male stars. Bengong is still willing to praise her.”
“To a certain Gold Master. Did you see it? Xu Xinyi has planted a large green prairie on your head!”
After reading a few of the popular Weibo posts, Xu Xinyi calmly put down her phone.
On WeChat Anya was trying to appease her. She told her not to be angry, not to give up, she had a team behind her, and the team would solve this for her.
Xu Xinyi didn’t take any of it to heart. It wasn’t like she hadn’t experienced this kind of black material before.
She just sighed, happy that she had regained her face.
Finally, she was on the hot search again.
The heat was much higher now than when she had appeared in those unknown gossip magazines before.
This plethora of black material being release had obviously been prepared in advance, probably by Li Hanxing.
She wondered if Yi Yang had seen it?
Would this be enough to get rid of his love for her?
Li Hanxing, keep fighting!
At the same time, Han Xiao, who was also involved in this matter, heard the story from his agent.
“Judging by my experience, someone must be deliberately smearing Xu Xinyi. Seeing that all this black material is from the crew, I guess it was Li Hanxing who did it.”
Han Xiao’s expression was very unhappy.
Luo Jie knew that Han Xiao didn’t like to get mixed up in these kinds of scandals, so he immediately said, “Don’t worry, I’ll contact the company later and have them clarify. You don’t have to worry about it.”
Han Xiao did not speak for a moment, instead he got up and went to the window to smoke a cigarette.
“Why are you smoking again? Didn’t you quit?”
He was silent for a long time and did not speak.
After a while, he turned around and asked Luo Jie, “Has it always been like this?”
“The gossip about Xu Xinyi.”
Luo Jie shrugged, “In the entertainment circle, it’s always like this. People step on each other and as long as your background is strong enough, black can be directly made into white.”
“What about Xu Xinyi? How will she deal with it?”
“I heard that she was usually pretty hands-off with incidents like this before. She just allows herself to be scolded by the fans on the internet for a while and, as time passes, eventually no one will pay attention to her matters anymore.”
The smoke rose slowly between his fingers, and Han Xiao looked out of the window in silence.
If he hadn’t been working on this show these days, he wouldn’t have known what kind of person Xu Xinyi was.
He took out his mobile phone, opened Weibo, searched for and then followed Xu Xinyi’s Weibo, and liked her latest Weibo message.
Han Xiao: The use of stand-ins for the kissing scene was my fault. I’m sorry. Xu Xinyi is one of the most talented actresses I have ever seen. I enjoy working with her. I hope these things made out of nothing on the internet will not affect her performance in the crew. I ask my fans to please treat this matter rationally.
Han Xiao sent the Weibo and it showed up on Luo Jie’s phone immediately.
“Han Xiao, are you crazy? Why are you involving yourself?”
Han Xiao turned off his cell phone and then, as if nothing had happened, he put out his cigarette in the ashtray. “I’m not crazy. I’m very clear about what I’m doing.”
In the hotel lobby, Jiang Nian had hurriedly came back from the set. As soon as he went upstairs, he met Xiao Yuan, Xu Xinyi’s assistant, in the corridor.
“Xiao Yuan, is Sister Xinyi all right?”
Xiao Yuan had been around Xu Xinyi for many years, and she had seen this kind of thing a lot.
But how could Jiang Nian believe that?
With so much black material, even he felt angry when he saw it. Xu Xinyi was a woman, how could she be all right?
“Xiao Yuan, lend me your cell phone.”
“My cell phone? Don’t you have your own?”
Jiang Nian thought of the phone he had thrown in the trash can and felt anxious. “No, please lend me yours. I want to use it.”
“Alright.” Xiao Yuan handed him her cell phone.
Jiang Nian skillfully opened Weibo, logged into his Weibo account, which he had not used in what felt like 800 years, and forwarded Xu Xinyi’s latest Weibo.
big_five Jiang Nian: Sister Xinyi has always been my idol. It was my honor to meet Sister Xinyi in the Film City. I have learned a lot from Sister Xinyi during this time and I am very grateful for Sister Xin Yi’s help. I hope people will not maliciously slander us. Enough is enough!
He clicked send.
It was sent successfully.
Only then did Jiang Nian feel a little at ease.
Meanwhile, at the Yi Group headquarters.
Zhao Bin sent the information collected today to Yi Yang’s desk.
“Boss Yi, do you need me to handle this?”
Yi Yang looked at the black material that was everywhere on the internet about Xu Xinyi, and his eyebrows furrowed, “What’s going on?”
“I checked. It was released by a marketing company that received money to release it.”
“Now that they’ve received the money, you should know what to do, right? Do you still need to ask me for such a little thing? “
Zhao Bin naturally understood what his boss meant, “Then I’ll do it now.”
“Wait a minute-” Yi Yang glanced at Han Xiao and Jiang Nian who had both released clarifying Weibo posts, and slammed the tablet on the table with a disgruntled snort.
Zhao Bin didn’t understand, he asked, “Boss Yi, what’s wrong?”
Han Xiao and Jiang Nian were very quick to clarify for someone else’s wife.
“Tell me about such things as soon as possible in the future.”
“…alright, I understand. Is there anything else I can do for you? “
Yi Yang looked at Xu Xinyi’s Weibo and said, “This Weibo…”
Zhao Bin understood, “Do you want to open a Weibo account?”
Yi Yang lifted his gaze slowly and glanced at Zhao Bin. “I have neither the interest nor the time to play with this kind of social software.”
Zhao Bin repeatedly said yes and immediately withdrew from the office.
The office door was closed.
Yi Yang opened the Weibo interface, slid his fingertips hesitantly across the interface, and finally froze his eyes on the words “Register Now”.
Sap one’s spirit by seeking pleasures!***
With so much work to deal with, how could he find the time to look at a mess online?
Yi Yang closed the Weibo page.
Ten minutes later, Yi Yang was browsing Xu Xinyi’s Weibo with a deep frown on his face.
Why were the photos taken by this woman’s magazine so explicit?
Yi Yang’s face looked disgusted, but he paid even closer attention.
*there is a Chinese idiom here ‘守得云开见月明’ and most the dictionaries I check online all just directly translate it to ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, so that’s why I translated the line like you see
**I think this is a reference to the 2016 movie of the same name? Maybe?
***‘玩物丧志’ I feel like this idiom is pretty self-explanatory? It’s like ‘pleasures’ can distract you from doing more important things