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Published at 28th of March 2020 06:03:18 PM

Chapter 31

Song Jin had taken an hour's leave from filming and run off to town to find Yang Wei . However, her condition on return was poor, and the number of her NG's had increased significantly .

Zhang Cheng Yi, who played the leading role in the production, was getting a little impatient . "Weren't you claiming to be the 'Showbiz Top Student'? How many times do you have to repeat such a simple line?"

She regarded him silently . "It's on me for getting NGs, but don't put the blame on me for your poor album sales . "

His brow wrinkled up . "What are you're implying? Do you really think that having the title of 'Top Student' makes you a cut above the rest of us? That's just your company's PR packaging . "

Seeing that the male and female protagonists were itching to start a fight, the director hurried up to calm them down . "Little Zhang, remember, you're a male god, so pay attention to your manners . And Little Song, you really aren't in good condition right now . Please adjust yourself as soon as possible . "

Zhang Cheng Yi and Song Jin met each other's eyes, then returned to the rest area . The director heaved a sigh of relief . There were quite a number of students looking on, and he had no wish to wake up tomorrow to see a catfight on the news between his male and female protagonists .

As the sky began to darken, the director called it a wrap for the day and the staff began to tidy up . Song Jin followed her assistant to the nanny car . Just as she placed a foot into the body of the van, someone called out to her from behind .

Song Jin paused, and upon turning around, saw Qi Xiao Yan walking in her direction . The orange sunset stretched his shadow out behind him . "Do you have a minute? I have something to say to you . "

Her lips quirked up a little, and she took off her sunglasses . “I was on my way home . ”

As he was about to reply, from not far away came the whisper of a few girls . “Isn't that Professor Qi? He knows Song Jin?”

Song Jin put her sunglasses back on and climbed quickly back onto her van . “Let's get on . We can speak later . ”

Qi Xiao Yan hesitated, then followed her into the vehicle . Eventually, the nanny van stopped at the apartment building where Song Jin lived . She tapped her fingers lightly on the back of his hand, and turning toward him, asked, “Shall we go up and speak?”

Although she phrased it as a question, she immediately opened the door and got off without waiting for the answer . Her assistant watched curiously in the rearview mirror, and Qi Xiao Yan met her gaze briefly before getting off as well .

Song Jin made a pot of coffee and poured them each a cup . Meanwhile, Qi Xiao Yan sat opposite her, silent, with no intention of drinking . Smiling, she picked up her coffee cup and took a sip . "How serious you look! You always remind me of Professor Joyce . Do you still remember him? He was only here one semester, but I'll never forget it . I still remember how he cursed when . . . "

"I'm not here to reminisce with you . "

Song Jin’s eyes shook . She set her cup down with a clack and no longer said a word . The two sat silent for a while, and Qi Xiao Yan was just about to speak when she interrupted, "Before you say anything, will you first listen to what I have to say?"

He nodded .

Holding her steaming cup of coffee out in front of her, she laughed wryly at herself . "Do you know why I first entered the entertainment circle?"

"I don't . "

Song Jin smiled, her head bowed . "I've been asked this question by plenty of reporters . The answer I give them has always been that I wanted to challenge myself in a different field, to see how far I can go . But in reality, I've always just wanted you to look at me . "

Qi Xiao Yan raised his eyebrows . She said with a smile, "Surprised? Me too . When we were studying, I wanted to catch up to you . I thought back then that if I was good enough, that you would definitely notice me . But once I got into grad school, I felt like I was under more and more pressure . And when I first saw your paper published in a famous Chinese journal, I realized that I might not reach your heights all my life . ”

“You didn't have to do this . "

She met his eyes, a lopsided smile on her lips . "You might not realize, but anytime you look at me your eyes are empty . Although you might be looking at me, there's no difference between you looking at me and looking at anything else . I later discovered that my shadow looked clearer in your eyes only when I put forward a difficult math problem . ”

He said nothing, and she continued, “But I can no longer progress in mathematics . I know what my limits are . When I got out of grad school, I got a few good offers, and at that time, I thought that ah . . . this is as far as I'll get in this life . Not long after, I saw the news for the public recruitment of a heroine for <Painted Soul> . "

Song Jin paused . "Then an idea came to me . If I became a star, wouldn't you see me all the time? Perhaps in the billboard by the side of the road, or on the TV on the subway, maybe the subject of a newspaper in the early morning . . . " With a chuckle, she said, "So I signed up . It was quite by accident . I never imagined that I might actually be quite suited for this line of work . "

This whole time Qi Xiao Yan had never spoken once . Song Jin took a sip from her cup; the coffee was bitter on her tongue . "Sometimes I don't even know why I like you . Was it your focused expression when you explained a problem to me? Your concern when you took me to the school nurse when I was injured? Sometimes I wonder if what I liked was never you at all, but simply your talent . . . " She looked up at him with myriad emotions in her eyes . "Now that I've finished speaking, do you still have anything to say to me?"

"Mmn . "

Song Jin lowered her eyes and laughed, low . "Well then, I'm all ears . "

Qi Xiao Yan leaned forward, his tone as cool and cold as it had always been . "I hope that you will not harass Yang Wei again . "

Stunned, Song Jin paused, then hissed, "Harassment? Is that what she said?"

He kept his gaze on her, his expression unchanged . "I don't know what you said to her, but it is a fact that you made her very unhappy . "

"I made her unhappy?" What a joke, Song Jin felt . "You should know better than anyone else how eloquent she is . Do you think she makes me happy?"

There was no answer . Song Jin stewed a moment in silence, then burst out agitatedly, “Since you like her so much, why did you even divorce her? If you hadn't divorced each other, I would never have had any illusions at all!”

Indignance and blame were heavy in her voice . Qi Xiao Yan waited for her to calm down before asking, "Have you ever seen any of Yang Wei's works? Her graduation project was a painting called <Rainforest Girls> . "

As if reliving the memory, he sketched it out in words . "The blue sky, the flowers, the densely packed plants, and the white dresses of the girls’ blowing in the wind . . . The painting was full of shades, like colourful dandelions . "

"Oh, is that so? You divorced her because this painting was too bright?"

"When you see her art, you understand that her heart is full of sweet romance and beautiful colour . My own is exactly the opposite . I agreed to the divorce because I knew that there were problems between us . Had they been allowed to grow and develop, they would have eventually become irreversible rifts . This was the last thing I wanted . "

Song Jin considered him for a moment . "You sound like a tolerant husband talking about his wife, who yearns to see the flowery outside world . You believe that after she has experienced a few things, she will return to your side . "

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"Honestly, we both needed some space to grow up . Both Yang Wei and I had never been in love before getting married . I did not court her, and did not even propose . This is her great regret, and I am willing to fill in this blank for her . "

"Have you ever thought about the possibility that she might be chased by another?"

He was silent . Then he replied, "I will not let this happen . Even if she has another in her eyes, I will one day let her see only me . "

Song Jin bit her lip . Qi Xiao Yan rose from his chair to look at her . "I think I've made myself very clear . I hope that you will not disturb her again . "

He opened the door and walked out without a single trace of regret or nostalgia .


Over the next few days, Qi Xiao Yan made a number of phone calls to Yang Wei . Seeing the words "Curly-bae" on the screen, she never answered . She had been desperately painting that whole week and had handed in her draft on Friday . The publisher had been greatly satisfied and had handed over her money with alacrity .

Yang Wei's heart blossomed upon receiving cash, and she sent a message to Sheng Lei and Jian Shuang, inviting them out to eat that night . Jian Shuang declined, saying that she couldn't get out of class, but Sheng Lei readily accepted the offer .

After work, they went to see a movie together, then found a barbecue shop they often patronized to order a few bottles of beer and a large pile of meat .

Sheng Lei watched her intently as she ate and drank . "You're looking a little off recently . Bad mood?"

Yang Wei was quick to deny . "Who told you that? I submitted my draft today and got my money . I'm happy!"

Biting off a chunk of spare rib, Sheng Lei squinted at her . "Are you drinking now that you're no longer under Professor Qi's control? Is that what they call liberation?"1

Yang Wei lifted her chin with a haughty snort . "Should I stop drinking if he tells me not to? Who does he think he is?"

Her friend nodded, then leaned over to ask, "Is this related to him?"

"Ugh, don't mention him to me . If you do, you can pay your own bill later . "

Thus threatened, Sheng Lei began to pour alcohol . She knew best how shallow Yang Wei's liquor tolerance was, and merely a few drinks later everything had been spilled out before her .

"Song Jin . . . you know her?" Yang Wei patted Sheng Lei on the shoulder . A red flush was already flying high on her cheeks .

Sheng Lei nodded .

Yang Wei said abruptly, "She's Qi Xiao Yan's first love!"

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"I knew that already . It was obviously him in that magazine article . Give me the real goods . "

Yang Wei cocked her head and said in a mysterious tone, "The night I was robbed, he was at her place! Ha, then I called him away, then she was so angry she turned green and ran off to confront me at the school gate!"

There was so much information packed into this one paragraph that Sheng Lei had to stop and digest it for a while . "When were you robbed?! Didn't you say that your stuff was stolen?"

An expression of indifference was plastered over Yang Wei's face . "That was a lie, a lie . . . hic . Oh my God you have no idea, I was scared to death, he was holding a knife and it was thiiiis . . . long . " She held out her hands to show .

Sheng Lei’s ire rose and she slammed her hand down on the table . . “You were robbed while he was at another woman’s house, and she had the nerve to show up at your school and accuse you? Is there not a single mature adult in her family? Bullying is the worst!"

Yang Wei nodded empathetically . "And she said that someone like me was not worthy of Qi Xiao Yan . "

"Who's worthy if you aren't? Her?" Sheng Lei grabbed Yang Wei by the shoulder . "Then what? Did you just let her go like that?"

"No, I bit her back!"

Her friend's mouth twitched . "And what about Qi Xiao Yan? Did you mock him harshly?"

Yang Wei let out another burp . "I don't want to care about him . He called me and I hung up . "

"Well then that's my job! I'll yell at him for you!" Sheng Lei yanked out Yang Wei's phone and made a phone call to Qi Xiao Yan .

He had just emerged from the bathroom after showering . When he saw 'Darling' lit up on the screen, he hastily picked up the call . "Darling?"

"Who the hell's your darling?!" Sheng Lei castigated him into the microphone, "Aren't you pretty great, Qi Xiao Yan, hooking up with a movie star right after your divorce! Are you rubbing it in for Yang Wei? Do you even have any face?"

Qi Xiao Yan was dumbfounded . "Is this Sheng Lei? Is Yang Wei there? I want to talk to her . "

"She has nothing to say to you . "

Yang Wei took a bite of a kebab and leaned over . "Are you talking to Qi Xiao Yan? Let me!" She grabbed the phone from Sheng Lei's hand and mimicking her tone, said, "Qi Xiao Yan, you are not a person! You are an egg! A bastard egg! A stupid egg! A hairy chicken egg!2"

Sheng Lei: " . . . "

Truly, Yang Wei was an art student to the core . Even her swearing was artistic .

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On the other end of the line, Qi Xiao Yan was frowning . "Have you been drinking? You shouldn't be drinking in public . "

"You can't tell me what to do . I'll drink if I want . Piss off!"

His eyes slightly sunken, he inquired, "Where are you now?"

"I won't tell you!"

Qi Xiao Yan looked up at the ceiling and exhaled . "Yang Wei, tell me where you are right now . "

Yang Wei dropped the phone . She took Sheng Lei's arm and raised the glass on the table . "Come on, let's drink some more . "

Sheng Lei was somewhat regretting having poured her so much wine . She took the glass away and put it aside . "It's getting late, let's go back . "

"Nooo, I wanna keep drinking!"

Feeling a headache coming on, Sheng Lei suggested, "What about we go home to drink?"

"No, let's drink here!"

Yang Wei went for the glass once more, when the phone on the table suddenly rang . Seeing 'Curly-bae' on the screen, Yang Wei dismissed the call in disgust . Sheng Lei saw it too, and neither of them answered . Once the phone hung up automatically, it quickly rang again . The caller was still 'Curly-bae' .

After the third time, Sheng Lei picked up . "What the hell are you doing?"

"Where are you now?"

Qi Xiao Yan's cold voice seemed even chillier at night . Sheng Lei considered awhile before telling him the address .

The call was hung up almost instantaneously . Sheng Lei dropped the phone back into Yang Wei’s bag and snatched the glass from her hand . “What are you doing drinking again? Eat more meat . ”

Yang Wei seemed to feel like this was a reasonable suggestion and picked up a piece of mutton to gnaw on .

Not too long afterward, Sheng Lei had the privilege of seeing first-hand a D-class racing technique, as an Audi screeched to a stop on the other side of the road with the harsh squealing of brakes .

Upon seeing Yang Wei comatose on the table, Qi Xiao Yan asked with a frown, "How much wine did you give her?"

"You say that like I'm plotting against her . Ah, but then again, sir, who are you to be so concerned?”

Qi Xiao Yan ignored her ridicule . He bent down and picked up Yang Wei's limp form . “I'll send her home . ” He walked across the road to the black Audi . Only when it had carried them both far away did Sheng Lei remember with a start that the fucker hadn't paid .

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