Chapter 40 – Scene of the retrenchment
There was a strange silence around. Even Tu Jinglan, who was about to go help Lin Xia remove the cream on her face, paused. After a long while she opened her mouth.
“Lin-jie, is today your birthday?”
Lin Xia was even more upset now. However, she recognised Su Yi’s voice and daren’t flare up and utter something she’ll regret later…
“Hurry up and help me get rid of this!”
“It isn’t?” Su Yi blinked, looking innocent. “Did I remember incorrectly? It can’t be.”
“… you did remember incorrectly.” Lin Xia smiled unsmilingly. “Today is not my birthday.”
“Aiyah*, then I really did remember incorrectly.”
[*a sound one makes when realising a mistake]
Su Yi retrieved her hand, taking a tissue to help her wipe her face a few times, successfully catching a clump of fake eyelashes. Swallowing down her laughter she continued.
“I’m sorry about this, my sister and I wanted to give you a surprise.”
Lin Xia had finally wiped all the cream off her face, smudging her makeup in the process.By this point, she was a hideous sight. She was completely unaware though, asking confusedly, “Your sister? Since when did you have a sister?”
Su Yi had used a slice of cake cut and set aside by someone else, but Chu Xi hadn’t – she had grabbed straight from the cake itself to wipe onto Lin Xia’s face, making a mess.
Su Yi smiled but didn’t reply, instead changed the topic.
“She destroyed a lot of the cake… How about this, I’ll get someone to send another here, I heard that there’s a cake shop nearby that sells pretty good cakes.”
Wu Xue hurriedly turned around to give the cake shop a call, dragging Chu Xi with her as she left.
Every artist in a crew has a different schedule, and finishes on different dates and time.. The main characters are usually done on the last day, and side characters with as much to do as Su Yi’s role would have to film until almost the end. But, Tu Jinglan was different. The actors whose roles where one only had to show one’s face and be physically present could leave once one was done. So, she was done with the filming even if they’re only halfway through filming the actual show.
Su Yi was more curious about why Lin Xia was here. Since if it was just a minor side character being done with her role, Lin Xia wouldn’t be bothered to come all the way – she had quite a few other celebrities to manage too, and a few of them were quite popular. Usually, Lin Xia would be going around with them. When she was still with Lin Xia, the other contacted her about once a month. And most of the time, it was to tell her to go drink with someone.
Recalling those not-so-good memories deepened her hatred for Lin Xia. Thus, she turned on her heels and walked away to sit beside the camera and talk to Li Min about the show.
“Why do you need me to talk about the show with you?” Li Min said. “Until now, in the entire crew you’re the one who’s the deepest into your role.”
Su Yi clearly wouldn’t dare say that she went overboard last night, and couldn’t get into the right frame of mind after waking up today. “An An is still changing anyways, please just talk to me about it.”
Elsewhere, Lin Xia looked in the mirror and almost screeched out loud.
This panda-eyed person in the mirror was her?!
“Why didn’t you say something just now, why did you let me stay like this for so long?!” Lin Xia was so angry she was panting. “Hurry up and pass me your make-up!”
She fussed about for a long while, scattering Tu Jinglan’s make-up kit all over the table and spent over thirty minutes to finish patching up.
“Are you silly or what, yesterday when Su Yi was live streaming, why didn’t you take the chance to go show your face there?”
Lin Xia knew that Su Yi was live streaming, but she never took it to heart. For a permanent second female lead who wasn’t some currently trending celebrity, a few thousand or so audience would be a good turn-up.
How could she have expected the other to have more than a million or so audience, and that even Director Chu would show up!
Didn’t that equate to taking out everything both in the industry and outside? With that director around, Su Yi could manage to have the good resources she could ever want and then some.
Tu Jinglan had clearly thought about this too, but she wasn’t able to lose her face and go knock on Su Yi’s door. She grit her teeth and said, “I don’t want to be riding on her coattails.”
“Why are you trying to be all high and mighty at such a critical time?” Lin Xia said, as if hating how she didn’t know better and wouldn’t learn. “What a good opportunity that you wasted, just like that.”
Tu Jinglan hurriedly said, “It’s okay, Lin-jie, she’s so famous now, how about you prepare some scandals and other dirt on her to send out? There’d be a lot of attention.”
“You think you need to teach me to do things?” Lin Xia gave her a disgusted look. “Qi Lian has been chased out by the Chu Corporations, it’d be hard to enter the Chu Corporation headed projects in the future. You’ve been around for so long in the crew, did you form good relationships with the others?”
Tu Jinglan hurriedly nodded. “Other than Su Yi, the others are okay, but now that Qi Lian is gone, can’t we find others?”
Lin Xia frowned, saying, “We’ll talk about that later.”
The show was filmed, the cake had arrived, one time bigger than the one Lin Xia brought over.
Su Yi bid Tu Jinglan a ‘happy last day (of filming), Tu Jinglan unwillingly said thank you, and it was over.
When she returned to the cake, Chu Xi was still propping her chin on her hand, smiling.
“Is that witch still outside?” Seeing that she entered, Chu Xi sat up straight. “Is the cake that you ordered arriving, can I smash her face in once more?”
Su Yi said, “No, sit down.”
Chu Xi was so curious she could die while in the make-up room. She leapt at the chance. “I heard you say just now, she was your previous agent? Why didn’t you tell me!”
“I worked with her for less than half a year, what is there to say?”
“Tell me the truth, do you two have bad blood?” Chu Xi asked, holding her head. “No no no, that’s rubbish, otherwise you wouldn’t have joined in. What did she do to you, take away your resources? Not let you film? Or, force you to sign an unreasonable contract?”
Su Yi looked at her, amused. “You know quite a lot.”
“I guessed it right?”
Su Yi picked up the brow pencil brush and brushed the edge of her brows a few times, saying insincerely, “About there.”
Wu Xue came in with a cup of honey water, placed it in front of Su Yi and, seeing that everyone was present, started scolding them one by one.
“Chu Xi, how old are you now? You’re not a primary school kid, don’t do such childish things to people you hate! And you, she’s young and doesn’t know better, you – have you deaged too? Slapping the cake onto her face in front of so many people, who knows if someone took a photo of that. If the media were to just caption and post it, you’d be ‘kicked out of the entertainment industry’ again. The problem here is that you really meant it, you can’t even try to deny that!”
“See,” Su Yi leant back in her chair and said, “This is the result of the mess you made.”
Chu Xi shrugged and obediently shrunk back to continue playing games on her phone.
After a long, long while, Wu Xue was finally done lecturing. She tsked.
“After filming for so long, Lin Xia finally came around once. I almost believed that Tu Jinglan was just abandoned to range by herself.”
“Who knows…” Su Yi yawned. “Tu Jinglan isn’t that bad, actually, she just went down the wrong path.”
“Who cares,” Wu Xue said, “Why are you always yawning today?”
At once, Su Yi remembered why. She closed her eyes and laid down, unable to help the smile.
An Xuan only returned in the afternoon.
When she came in, Su Yi was resting with her eyes closed. Upon hearing the sounds, she opened her eyes a little, and closed them after seeing who it was.
“I’m sorry, Yi-jie.” Her voice was soft and sticky. “I had something going on and didn’t check my phone, and when I called Xue-jie later no one picked up.”
“You’re blaming me?” Wu Xue just happened to return from outside and, passing by her, said so in a dry tone.
An Xuan hurriedly shook her head. “I didn’t mean that.”
Su Yi sat up straight, took a sip of honeyed water and said, “Come in first.”
An Xuan hurriedly closed the door and came in.
“Actually, when Wu Xue was picking an assistant for me, you weren’t our first choice. But she saw that you were a young lady during the interview, with a soft voice and personality, and made an exception.”
At the side, Wu Xue said with surprise, “How did you know that?”
An Xue nodded hesitantly. “Thank you Wu-jie.”
“But An Xuan, I hired a personal assistant, not a sister to take care of.” Su Yi was used to being the bad guy, and thus didn’t beat around the bush. “I’ve never had a high tolerance for many things, so tell me, why do you keep disappearing?”
An Xuan didn’t expect her to suddenly bring the conversation in this direction. Her eyes reddened slightly. “I, I…”
In the make-up room a ringtone chimed suddenly. Su Yi looked at the contact details and raised a hand, signalling for a pause.
In a few scant seconds, she had switched out her cold expression. As she picked up, the corners of her lips curved, and even the tone of her voice sweetened.
“Yeah,” Chu Ying said, getting into the car. “Don’t eat the crew bento in the afternoon, I’ve already arranged for someone to send you something else.”
Su Yi propped her hand under her chin. “All right, next week I’ll fly over to find you during my off day.”
Beside her, Wu Xue said dryly, “You have only one rest day.”
Su Yi hurriedly raised her hand, making a silencing motion.
Chu Ying said, “There’s no need, I’m busy next week.”
Su Yi unconsciously frowned. “All right, then I’ll go back the week following next.”
The two chatted for a while. After hanging up, she instantaneously changed back to the way she was before.
“Share.” She put down her phone, ready for An Xuan to explain. “Is it a relationship or, something else?”
An Xuan’s face reddened at once and she confessed. “Yeah… but I cannot share the identity of…”
“I don’t want to know either.” Su Yi interrupted. “After this month you can leave.”
An Xuan didn’t expect her to be so abrupt about this. She helplessly widened her eyes, saying, “Yi-jie, before… we never said that it’s not allowed to date while working.”
“I didn’t say this, it’s true, but you’ve skipped for no reason for more than three times.”
Not talking about anything else, just the salary here was really high. The two main bosses were female, too, and were easy to talk to. There weren’t any other troubles, either. This job was definitely the top of top choices for graduates.
An Xuan clearly wasn’t willing to part with this prized job. Her eyes reddened, tears streamed out. “I’m sorry, I’ll be careful next time.”
“Stop crying.” Su Yi’s expression remained unchanged as she passed a tissue to her. “I’ll give you another month’s pay, look for a new job next month, I’ve no place for you here.”
An Xuan was about to say something when the make-up room’s door was suddenly opened.
It was a staff, followed by a make-up artist. “Yi-jie, Ke-ge is here, Director Li says that filming starts in ten minutes.”
Su Yi got up and sat in front of the mirror. “All right, I’ll be over after some touch-ups.”
After the other was done passing on the message, they were prepared to close the door and leave when they were suddenly called out by a passing person.
The person was Lin Xia. “What is it, Little Yi is about to start filming?”
Lin Xia nodded minutely, glancing inside while making sure to appear as if she was not too bothered before smiling at the staff and turning, leaving slowly.
this chapter was edited by larkspur!!!