Chapter 443: Eradicate the ground beneath
“What do you know about everyone in the industry? Are you even in the industry?” Tang Yufei had immediately poured cold water on her younger sister.
“If you’ll help me, won’t I be able to enter it then…” Her sister was not discouraged in the least as she asked, “Sis, are you really willing to watch me have my dreams shattered, only able to play mob characters my whole life? I played a maid last time. I didn’t even have a single line throughout, and I had to suffer a slap. That was a real, forceful slap! My face got all swollen. And the one who slapped me...was even my classmate too.”
Tang Yumeng’s acting skills were indeed not all that great. Such a tragic plotline, and not even a single tear.
Yet, her parents’ hearts still ached at this.
“Look, Yufei, your younger sister can’t be persuaded to stop anyway. You might as well help her out,” Mr Tang said.
“Right! You’re that Boss Xu’s assistant. Just a minor role-that shouldn’t be a problem, right?” Mrs Tang asked.
At her own parents’ request, Tang Yufei had had no choice but to promise to try to help. Embarrassed to look for Xu Tingsheng directly, she had tried looking into this through Lu Zhixin. Sadly, though, Lu Zhixin had replied in the negative.
“...Yes, what is it?”
“What is it? You seem kind of in a daze. Sis, have you helped me to ask yet?”
“I’ll do it tomorrow. It’s already so late today.”
“Yep! Best if I’m the female lead. The second female lead’s fine too. Alright, since it’s my first movie, three four five six seven, anything will do. Just get him to sign me...sigh, if only he were my brother-in-law. A diamond bachelor! You’re his assistant and see him everyday, but you don’t put in the effort…”
“...Any more of that and I won’t help you ask.”
“I’ll stop, I’ll stop. Good night, sis. Remember to help me ask tomorrow!”
Despite having promised to cease and desist, Tang Yufei soon found her younger sister entering her room and jumping onto her bed right after she came back from taking a bath.
“What’re you doing?”
“Let’s sleep together!”
“Go back to your room.”
“Sis~but I wanna chat.”
“What’s there to chat about? Don’t tell me it’s about that ‘everyone in the industry’ of yours again…”
“Not that, not that. Kay, let’s chat about Xu Tingsheng.”
“According to the internet, he’s very handsome. Is he really so handsome in real life?”
“...His looks are pretty okay.”
“Is he fierce then?”
“I’ve never seen him being fierce before.”
“Wow! Perfect! Is he perverted then?”
“Sis, has he ever ‘unspoken law’ you before? Tyrannical CEO and sexy female secretary...in the office...wow…” Her sister deliberately spoke very softly yet very exaggeratedly, probably having heard quite a few stories about this from ‘everyone in the industry’ before.
Tang Yufei grabbed her by the collar, dragged her off the bed and unceremoniously shoved her out of the door, locking and latching it for good measure...
Xu Tingsheng received a call from Tang Yufei before lunch. However much he had slacked off, he had necessarily interacted quite a bit with this assistant of his when at Hucheng previously.
Tang Yufei ventured, “Boss Xu…”
Xu Tingsheng asked, “Don’t you always just call me Xu Tingsheng?”
Tang Yufei smiled awkwardly. The distance between she and Xu Tingsheng had grown too. It had actually already been quite a long time since they had last met.
“Hey, are you free? I’d like to invite you to lunch.”
“Is something the matter?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“...Yeah,” Tang Yufei hesitated for a bit and said.
Xu Tingsheng thought about it before replying, “Well, I have to cook lunch at home. How about after lunch, during afternoon nap time? We can find a spot and have some tea, and you can tell me about it then.”
“Alright. So, I’ll text you after I find a good location.”
“Nah, I”ll do it. I’ll find someplace close to my house. I’ll call you in a while.”
Half an hour after lunch, Xiang Ning was curled up on the sofa, seemingly asleep.
Xu Tingsheng accounted for everything and then went out.
He found a teahouse in the very close vicinity and sat down before calling Tang Yufei. Less than ten minutes later, Tang Yufei’s car pulled up outside the building.
As the two saw each other, Xu Tingsheng commented, “That was fast.”
“I heard that your new house is around the area, so I came over earlier to wait,” Having studied the art of the tea ceremony before, Tang Yufei was more competent than the waiter as she got to work right after sitting down, pouring tea for both herself and Xu Tingsheng.
Glancing at Xu Tingsheng and seeing him still the same harmless, innocuous guy, Tang Yufei visibly relaxed somewhat as she said while sipping on some tea, “Right, you’re such a family person...I even heard that there’s a young lady.”
Finding it awkward, Xu Tingsheng said nothing.
Finding that Xu Tingsheng was still that same old Xu Tingsheng whom she could tease, Tang Yufei was emboldened as she asked, “So you like young ones, huh?”
Xu Tingsheng exclaimed vexedly, “I’ve never even touched her! I mean...”
“It must be quite excruciating for you then?”
“...So, as I understand it, you came looking for me to ask about my sex life?”
“Oh, I was just asking out of concern. I’d also be happy to help,” Tang Yufei laughed, “Actually, there’s something I’d like your help with. I find it kind of awkward, asking for a favour out of the blue. So, if you want to invoke some unspoken rule, I can…”
“Any more of that and I won’t be able to stand up. Please, just get to it already.”
“It’s actually about my little sister. She’s studying drama…”
Tang Yufei narrated her sister’s predicament and request before saying frankly as she looked at Xu Tingsheng, “Actually, I personally feel that her acting skills aren’t all that great…”
“Actually, most young actresses also aren’t that good,” Xu Tingsheng considered it, next replying, “Well, I’ll get Huang Yaming to contact you. I’ll give him your handphone number. I can’t promise you anything, much less give her some major role right from the get-go. Still, if it’s a minor part, I believe there shouldn’t be a problem...by the way, you wouldn’t have any more relatives who want to become artistes, right?”
Tang Yufei shook her head and asked, “So, it’s settled then? As easily as that?”
“Yeah,” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
“And I still hesitated for so long, afraid that I’d put you in a spot,” Tang Yufei put on a pitiful expression.
“Well, take it that I’m in a slight spot then. After all, it’s no good to set such precedents. I’ve reminded Huang Yaming about that too,” Xu Tingsheng laughed, “Still, we are friends. This is the first time you’re asking me for help, and it’s about your own sister too. I should naturally help as best I can.”
Tang Yufei had actually never thought that Xu Tingsheng might think of her as a friend.
The two sat there for a while longer, with Tang Yufei uncharacteristically silent.
Finally, Xu Tingsheng got up, “So, it’s all good? I’ll take my leave first.”
“Oh, you’re in such a hurry?” Only now did Tang Yufei snap out of her reverie.
“Some stuff over with my company in Shenghai. Let’s chat again next time.”
Xu Tingsheng footed the bill and left.
Looking at his departing figure, Tang Yufei hesitated...it was a very long time before she got up and left for home.
When she got home and recounted Xu Tingsheng’s words, her sister jumped for joy in the living room for a bit before finally patting her chest and saying, “Oh, what a relief! Oh, phew. I was still thinking that you’d receive a scolding instead.”
“Receive a scolding? Why’s that?” Tang Yufei was rather taken aback.
“Don’t you know? He’s been in a very bad predicament lately,” Tang Yumeng evaded the gazes of her parents as she whispered into her elder sister’s ear, “So, it looks like the two of you really have quite the special relationship. Even in such a state, he can still pay attention to your affairs. How did it go? Come on, tell me!”
Tang Yufei ignored her younger sister as she returned to her room and turned on her computer. She had always lived a healthy lifestyle. Since her work involved a lot of computer stuff, it was very seldom that she would use the computer during the weekends.
Without requiring much investigation at all, she learnt of Xu Tingsheng’s current predicament.
“That means that even under such circumstances, he still...he, truly thinks of me as a friend?”
No hesitation was present whatsoever as Tang Yufei immediately gave Xu Tingsheng another call.
There was a piece of A4-sized paper on Lu Zhixin’s table which she had requisitioned from the photocopying machine. She liked using A4-sized paper as draft paper when she was earnestly contemplating matters as it felt more formal that way.
Right now, there were four short phrases on the piece of A4-sized paper in front of her:
Gutter oil; 50 million; box office; Xingchen’s crisis.
After gazing at them for a while, Lu Zhixin picked up a pen.
She drew a dash beside ‘gutter oil’ and wrote: Resign to bear the blame.
Below ‘50 million’, she drew a vertical stroke and wrote: The sufferings of prison, betrayed by all and separated from kin.
After a moment’s thought, she drew an ‘X’ over it and wrote: Tianyi forces abdication.
Beside ‘box office’, she drew a vertical stroke and wrote: Breathing space existent-no room allowed for any further delay.
Beside ‘Xingchen’s crisis’, Lu Zhixin hesitated for a while before ultimately drawing a big circle that enveloped the contents of the entire piece of paper, finally drawing an arrow: Eradicate the ground beneath.
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