“Ah!” The Rookie almost had to crawl out of the set, his face was as pale as a salted fish. “It feels as if…as if my soul has left my body…”
“Quick…quickly give me a sip, I can’t take it anymore…” The Female Lead who had also turned into a salted fish crawled out of the set, her assistant frantically brought a bottle of red bull to her mouth. She put the straw in her mouth and took a huge swig.
The Director roared from within the set, “Next scene! Where did everyone go?”
“Coming!” The two o them ran back in with tears in their eyes, they had the same thoughts in their mind.
I’m not doing this again.
I’m not doing this even if I get paid.
I will never work with this director and those two ever again.
Only the two of them were getting NGs, the other two never had a single one. The only times when the other two were given NG was when the Director was looking for a better angle for the shot.
“She could have just relied on her looks, why is she trying so hard to act?” The Female Lead bit down on the straw, gnashing her teeth in anger at Ning Ning who was not far from her, it was as if she had forgotten that she had once mocked Ning Ning for being a vase.
“It’s just a web drama, we’re not aiming for the Oscars, why are you trying so hard? You even dragged everyone else down with you.” The Rookie looked at Chen Shuang He tearfully, he bumped the shoulders of the female lead. “Let me have a sip of that red bull.”
Although it seemed like three years had passed to most of the crew.
In reality, it had only been three months…
If one would describe the performance of Chen Shuang He as meeting expectations, then Ning Ning’s performance was absolutely blowing everyone’s expectations out of the water. The increased difficulty of the script did not faze her at all. The overbearing Chen Shuang He did not make life difficult for her. As the others turned into salted fish one by one, she was still swimming with ease.
It was Ning Ning’s last scene for the day.
It was also a scene involving both her and Chen Shuang He.
It was about—the final night!
The Little Emperor could not control this large empire, thus his beautiful aunt put her charm to good use, seizing the support of an unparalleled valiant general and a civil official with unrivalled resourceness.
She named them the “Twin Walls of the Empire”. She had originally hoped that they would work together to help her and the Little Emperor, she did not expect one of them to betray her.
General Ju Que, he actually intended to control the country using the Emperor…
Princess Qing Luan had to choose between him and the Empire, between him and the Little Emperor who had started to act on his own initiatives!
A red candle was burning bright, illuminating the canopy within the princess’ chamber.
A person slowly sat up under the canopy, Ning Ning who was only wearing underwear looked coldly at the man who was lying on the bed.
She retrieved the dagger she had prepared beforehand from underneath the bed, silently pulling the dagger out of its sheath.
There were no lines, she could only act with her eyes.
If it were the version with the difficulty lowered, she would only have had to shed a tear uncontrollably, waking Chen Shuang He up in the process. But now, she had to use her eyes to transform Princess Qing Luan into another person—a female statesperson who once made up her mind to kill a person, who could not let herself show any weakness.
She raised her dagger, then plunged it at his neck.
—But he stopped her by grabbing her wrist.
Chen Shuang He suddenly opened his eyes. His eyes were as bright as snow, turned out he was not sleeping at all. He flashed a cold smile. “You decided to lay your hands on me in the end.”
He spoke with such affirmation, it was as if he had seen through her, as if he had never believed her in the first place.
He turned his body over and was on top of her, holding the dagger to her neck with one hand, caressing her cheek with the other. “A day as husband and wife means an endless devotion for the rest of your life, yet this is how you treat me?”
His face turned ferocious. “Is power that important to you? You want to kill me to acquire power as well?”
Ning Ning laid on the bed, the dangling ornament in her hair clinked crisply on the jade pillow, traces of his love bites were still visible on her snow-white clavicle. She suddenly started to giggle, then said to him, “I should be asking you that instead.”
She looked at him blandly, “Do you want me? Or do you want the position?”
Chen Shuang He was slightly startled.
“I can marry you, I can accompany you.” She gazed at him, her voice was calm even with the ice-cold dagger at her neck. “I will accompany you in whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go. No matter if you want to walk through the misty rain in the south or trek the plateaus in the north.”
She smiled gently, as if it was their first time meeting, so hard to grasp, so mesmerising. She asked gently, “Wouldn’t you like to?”
Chen Shuang He stared at her without moving.
There were no lines, he was only acting with his eyes.
“…What if both of us want it?” In the end, he asked in a low voice, “What if both of us want the throne?”
He tossed the dagger in his hand aside after finishing what he had to say. He ferociously and recklessly kissed her with a trace of annoyance and helplessness. The canopy started to shake as his movements were too violent. Someone shouted as the bed shook, Ning Ning was tossed off the bed and she rolled on the floor until she hit the leg of a table.
Chen Shuang He pulled the curtains back and stepped down from the bed. He held his neck with his left hand, blood trickling down from the gap between his fingers.
Ning Ning slowly sat up on the floor, holding the gold hair ornament in her right hand, the sharp end was stained with fresh blood.
Chen Shuang He lowered his left hand and looked at the blood on it, he slowly turned his head and looked at her with a complicated expression. “This is how you treat me even though I like you so much?”
Ning Ning was unfazed, she even elegantly fixed her hair.
“…Without my protection, the people on the royal court would have devoured you long ago!” Chen Shuang He’s eyes turned slightly red. “The Prime Minister offered both his daughters to me just to draw me to his side, all I had to do was to agree to make one of them the Empress! But I refused to agree, because there is only one Empress in my heart. Only you!”
“I am a bonafide princess, which kingdom would not make me empress if I marry into them?” Ning Ning looked at him incredulously instead, the corners of her mouth curled up as she mocked him, “Not to mention that you’ve been colluding with the people of the royal court. You have the cheek to say that you have been protecting me? How shameless.”
She was unwilling to lose her composure even in the face of her archenemy, even her mocking smile was charming. Chen Shuang He’s chest puffed twice in quick succession. He looked at her with eyes filled with love, yet there was hatred in them as well. He wanted to pull out his sword and kill her three times over, yet he also wanted to put his sword down.
“…I want both you and the throne.” In the end, he said viciously, “But I will not make you empress anymore. You will be a concubine, a maidservant by my side! That will be your punishment!”
“Oh.” Ning Ning said blandly. She looked down, thinking.
Chen Shuang He looked out for any changes in her expression nervously, he feigned calmness and said, “…I might change my mind if you beg me.”
“…How do you want me to beg?” Ning Ning looked up at him with a smile. She slowly came up in front of him, reached out and grabbed his hand, then placed a dagger in his hand and guided his hand to stab herself in the abdomen.
Everything happened too quickly, or maybe their acting was too immersive.
The Rookie got too engrossed while watching it. He only came back to his senses when someone gave him a pat on his shoulder, it was his cue.
The door opened with a loud crash, the Rookie rushed in while leading a group of guards. He called out, “Princess!”
He rushed up and carried Princess Qing Luan off the floor.
The Rookie opened his mouth, but his mind was blank. It’s over. He forgot his lines.
The Director furrowed his brows upon seeing this. Just as he was about to shout ‘cut’ he suddenly heard a soft voice, “Why are you only here now?”
The one who spoke was not the Rookie, it was Ning Ning.
She laid in the embrace of the Rookie. Looking up at him weakly, the tears in her eyes started to roll down her cheek. She asked him grudgingly, “Why did you let him hurt me?”
“…Why am I only here now?” He looked at those pairs of eyes, the words were uncontrollably spilling out of his mouth which had originally forgotten his lines. He felt difficulties in breathing, causing him to speak with great difficulty, “How could I let him hurt you?”
Ning Ning abruptly smiled at him.
The smile looked like the one she had when they first met. What she was smiling about on that day, whom she was smiling at, there had been no answer. No matter if it was Chen Shuang He or the Rookie, those who stubbornly believed she was smiling at them had been asking her for the answer, but she would never say.
It was only now that he knew the answer.
“Good thing you’re here…” That was all she could say to him before she slowly closed her eyes.
All the Rookie could feel was an emptiness, tears were frantically rolling down his face.
This take had passed, everyone but one person breathed a sigh of relief.
The Rookie, “Boohoo….”
Ning Ning who was getting drenched in his tears, “…”
Director, what do I do, he is really crying!
Such incidents happen in the crew from time to time. An actor would get especially invested in the scene, causing them to have difficulties getting out of character. Good thing the Rookie’s situation wasn’t too serious, he recovered after everyone consoled him, just so happened that it was time for lunch.
“I think she had really fallen in love with me, I know it by looking into her eyes…” The Rookie said in a serious manner. He saw Chen Shuang He revealed a demonic expression when he turned his head…
He was not seeing things! This person had problems!
“What’s that nonsense?” Chen Shuang He didn’t bother to put on a facade this time, he smiled coldly. “She doesn’t like you, it was just acting.”
True, it was just acting.
So far in the process of filming of <<The Great Empire>>, he had not been able to break her in three minutes, but that didn’t mean he did not gain anything.
He discovered a secret—
There was no natural progression in Ning Ning’s acting skills!
No matter who it was, even if the person was a genius, their improvement would happen in a step-by-step manner, unlike Ning Ning. She didn’t even go through a rebirth phase, she immediately changed into another person!
Indeed…she simply became another person.
The Ning Ning on the audition for <<Ugly Girl>>, the Ning Ning on the re-audition for <<Phantom of the Theater>>, and the Ning Ning filming <<The Great Empire>> with him were three seperate people. The first one acted relying on emotions, the second one had already developed her acting skills, the third one…could actually spur on other actors, but that didn’t require talent, it required experience.
How many days had passed? Where did she get her experience from?
Chen Shuang He pulled his assistant back as the latter walked past him, he asked, “Where’s Ning Ning?”
“She left.” His assistant answered, “She had finished her scenes. She said her goodbye to the Director and left on a plane today.”
Chen Shuang Her was taken aback. “She left that hurriedly, did she say why?”
His assistant shook his head, “No.”
Chen Shuang He furrowed his brows after letting his assistant go. He thought while looking at the darkening skies outside, “Ning Ning, what kind of secrets are you hiding?”
On a plane in the sky.
“Lady, please switch off your phone.” An air stewardess walked past.
“Alright.” Ning Ning looked at the screen on her phone for the last time before she switched it off.
It was a message Wen Yu sent her on Wechat.
[I have discovered something]
A photo was attached to it.
In the photo was a ticket to Life Theater.