The van’s door slid open.
Sheng Jiaoyang was wearing a cap and a mask and got in the van in a low profile manner.
"Mr. Shen, you’re not coming with us?" Xu Ping, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, asked when she saw Shen Zhining standing by the door.
Shen Zhining reached out and stroked Sheng Jiaoyang's masked face as he said, "Take a good rest when you’re home. I'm heading to the company to take care of some matters."
Sheng Jiaoyang dispiritedly raised her paw and waved.
Shen Zhining then turned to Xu Ping and instructed, "She isn’t feeling very well. The moment you get home, prepare some brown sugar water for her to drink."
Xu Ping nodded.
When the van set off, Xu Ping turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang, who had taken off her mask. Seeing her pale complexion, she thought it strange and commented, "Your period cramps weren’t this bad before."
Sheng Jiaoyang raised her eyes. She appeared to have recalled something and her expression turned somewhat abashed. She feigned calm as she replied, "Something happened."
Xu Ping wanted to ask Sheng Jiaoyang what exactly happened, but she felt that the latter might not want to say it, so she didn't ask in the end.
"Several things happened in the company in the past few days while you were abroad and they are all related to you. Since you’re not feeling well, I will quickly brief you about it."
Sheng Jiaoyang softly let out an ‘mhmm’ to acknowledge that she was listening.
"The drama ‘Redeeming My IGD Boyfriend’ is very popular at this moment, so the company naturally wanted to take advantage of this favorable situation to produce a sequel. President Li originally wanted you to continue acting as the female lead in order to attain a win-win situation. However, after the scandals came out, President Li couldn’t bear the pressure of everyone's opposition, so he agreed to let another female artist, who is currently being promoted by the company, to take on the female lead role in the sequel."
At this point, Xu Ping suddenly peered at Sheng Jiaoyang. She was relieved to see that there was no change in the latter’s expression.
After pondering about the best way to phrase her words, Xu Ping continued, "President Li felt that he had let you down since he didn’t manage to resist the opposing voices and made such a decision. The company is planning to jointly produce a popular IP ancient costume drama in collaboration with Youzhou Entertainment. Both the male- and female lead are big names. Qu Wen, a senior from Youzhou Entertainment, is cast as the female lead and Gu Zhou from our company as the male lead. President Li’s intention is to let you take on another very important role as the second female lead."
"It’s not that Li Yu feels sorry for me, but he’s afraid of being told off by his boss," Sheng Jiaoyang sneered. Li Yu couldn’t be considered a bad person as people have different perspectives depending on their positions. She was already used to Li Yu's repeated acts of going whichever way the wind blows.
Xu Ping was amused when she recalled Li Yu’s rich expression when he called her to his office. At that time, he used a very friendly and apologetic tone to ask her to convey his regrets to Xu Jiaojiao. Moreover, when she walked out of the office, a dejected sigh was heard behind her.
"When will this brat stop causing trouble? My poor little heart. If things continue like this, I will probably end up retiring early thanks to her."
Despite being someone with authority, President Li was under a lot of pressure whenever it came to Jiaojiao.
In fact, this would be no different if someone else was in President Li’s shoes. Xu Jiaojiao attracted a lot of trouble. Every time she got caught in a scandal, people would think that her acting career was over. But, she would somehow manage to turn things around, and the speed at which she made her comeback always left people tongue-tied.
Li Yu's behavior was actually very understandable. As the company’s president, the company’s interests were naturally his main concern. Only by protecting the interests of the company could he secure his post without any objections. But at the same time, he was also very concerned about the big boss’ thoughts. Currently, Xu Jiaojiao was someone favored by the big boss, so no matter how big of a mess she made, he could only bear with it in silence. However, deep down, he’d long wanted to fire this troublesome brat. Hence, every time something came up, the first thing he thought of wasn’t how to deal with the situation, but how to use the issue as an excuse to get rid of the troublesome Xu Jiaojiao. In that case, even if the big boss investigated the matter, the former wouldn’t be able to blame him as his reason was justifiable.
The troublesome brat manages to stage a comeback every time!
As a result, he could only continue supporting Xu Jiaojiao. But even if she earned more money in the future, the company wouldn’t get anything in return as the terms in the original contract were very lax and the distribution of profits wasn’t in line with the company's policies. Yet, he had no choice but to continue supporting her.
"What do you think, Jiaojiao?" Xu Ping turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang.
"I don't think he’s sincere." Sheng Jiaoyang nonchalantly answered.
"I’ve checked the script. You can take on the role in my opinion. Although it’s only the second female lead, this character is very interesting. It’s a bit different from the typical second female lead stereotype. This role is challenging enough to test an actress’ acting skills." Xu Ping added.
Sheng Jiaoyang's eyebrows moved slightly. Since Xu Ping suggested she take it, this meant that the role was truly interesting. "Show me the script later."
"Mhmm. Also, there's another matter I want to discuss with you. RICHAD’s director sent an assistant over to invite you to become the spokesperson for RICHAD’s luxury line in China."
Sheng Jiaoyang merely responded with a casual ‘oh’ to acknowledge Xu Ping’s words.
A trace of surprise flashed across Xu Ping's eyes when she saw Sheng Jiaoyang’s calm reaction. "You’ve already spoken to RICHAD’s director about this?"
"Before yes, but not anymore."
"What do you mean?" Xu Ping was puzzled.
"Miller did invite me to be a spokesman for RICHAD in China and I agreed back then, but he happened to see my scandals and said that he couldn't let someone with so much negative exposure be their brand’s spokesman, so the collaboration didn’t go through in the end." Sheng Jiaoyang touched on the matter lightly and explained.
"He must have seen that your popularity is booming, so he came to invite you again," Xu Ping knowingly stated.
A sneer was tugged at Sheng Jiaoyang’s lips, "It’s understandable, but I'm quite upset about this."
Director Miller hadn’t rejected her in person. At the time, he just called her and when she wanted to explain the situation, he used the excuse of needing to take care of something else and hung up on her.
Then, the designer called her and told her that she would no longer be part of the list of models for the next Spring/Summer Fashion Week.
Walking the runway was not a big deal to her. In any case, she would gladly enjoy the extra free time if she didn’t have to partake in the fashion show. However, choosing not to walk the runway on her own was entirely different from being rejected.
She was very upset about this! This was precisely why she told Shen Zhining that she wanted to create her own brand and endorse her own brand.
"President Li initially wanted to accept the proposal on your behalf, but I told him that we should respect your decision. So, this matter has been postponed to one more day. But we can't keep the other party waiting for too long. What are your thoughts, Jiaojiao? Do you want to accept it?"
"No, I won’t." Sheng Jiaoyang merely uttered three words.
Xu Ping already reckoned that Jiaojiao might reject the offer as the latter had previously mentioned that she was upset about this, but to her surprise, Jiaojiao had rejected without even the slightest hesitation. "Please consider it twice. A RICHAD endorsement is very hard to come by. Besides, you don’t have any endorsement now, so a lot of fans are questioning whether you have good resources."
"If I want to be a spokesperson, there are a lot of brands to choose from, but I don't want to go around doing commercial performances for these so-called endorsement fees. I don't want to waste my time on these things."
Xu Ping smiled bitterly. Her artist was indeed very different from other artists. But, managing Jiaojiao was very relaxing for her. The only thing she had to do was to refuse all kinds of invitations.
"Just go ahead and reject the offer for me. Don't let anything disturb me these next two days. I just want to have a good rest."
"Alright." Xu Ping could already imagine President Li’s explosive reaction.
"What’s that brat thinking?! She doesn’t want such a good endorsement? Doesn’t she know what this endorsement signifies?" Sure enough, Li Yu was enraged when he heard Xu Ping's report.
Xu Ping stood at the office desk, silently staring at Li Yu, who slapped the handrail in rage. However, she was quite calm and murmured in her heart: As expected, President Li exploded.
"She has no idea! Taking this endorsement means that she will officially raise her status to another level and the road ahead of her will be much broader. She has no idea how many people rack their brains and would even willingly lower their endorsement fees just to get this kind of endorsement!" There was only one thought in Li Yu's heart. Has Boss lost his mind? How could he possibly take a fancy to such a wayward and hapless child?
"If Jiaojiao doesn’t want to accept the offer, we can't force it." Xu Ping could only put it this way.
Li Yu ground his teeth. "Tell her to come over and I'll talk to her myself!"
"Jiaojiao hasn't been feeling well these past two days, so she doesn’t want to see anyone," Xu Ping stated.
Li Yu narrowed his eyes. He was upset but helpless at the same time and simply waved to dismiss her.
When the office quieted down, Li Yu pondered about it alone, and the more he thought about it, the worse he felt. Xu Jiaojiao doesn't value what she has and unexpectedly let such a good opportunity slip by. He initially didn't want to bother with her anymore, but he also wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to push out another A-list actress for the company.
No, he can't just let this offer go like this.
He picked up his cell phone and personally called Sheng Jiaoyang.
After ringing a few times, the phone was finally answered.
"What's up?" Li Yu really wanted to hit someone right then and there when he heard the lethargic voice on the other end.
"I heard that you want to turn down RICHAD's invitation?"
"Yes," Sheng Jiaoyang calmly answered.
"Do you have any idea what a good opportunity you’re losing out on by refusing this invitation? Xu Jiaojiao, I know you are together with the Big Boss, so you have nothing to fear, but have you ever thought about the future? What if you break up with him one day? When that happens, what are you going to do then? Don't you want to take advantage of this opportunity to make more money?"
"…" Li Yu took a deep breath and kept reminding himself to stay calm and to not argue with this brat.
"So you don’t see any future between your boss and I? Should I pass on your words to him?"
"…Thank you, but there’s no need. I don't want to make you go through all that trouble." Li Yu squeezed out between gritted teeth.
"It’s not troublesome at all, he's right next to me."
He was done for!
"Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider it? I checked all the terms and conditions and there are no issues. The endorsement fee is also over 10 million dollars. Are you sure you want to let go of such a gold mine?" Since the big boss was on the other side, Li Yu paid more attention to his wording.
However, Sheng Jiaoyang remained stubborn.
"Say no more, I’ve already decided. If you have nothing else to discuss, I’m hanging up."
Afterwards…the call was cut off.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace