ITTMB 96

Acting Prodigy

Bring-your-loved-ones-to-work Day.

 

Ning Yu Ren was a little restless.

“Ning Ning is coming to visit today, right?” Her assistant laughed as they massaged her shoulders. “That’s right, has she recovered from her illness?”

Ning Yu Ren cracked a smile upon hearing the first half of what her assistant said, but after hearing the second half, she sighed deeply.

“Not yet,” she said, “I originally wanted to act with her as a mother-daughter duo. She fell sick at a really bad time. Sigh, initially I only wanted Xiao Yu to substitute her for a few shots, by the looks of it now, she has to permanently substitute her now… Eh? When did you arrive?”

 

A slightly plump woman was standing outside the door, it was Xu Rong.

“I’ve just arrived.” Xu Rong said while grinning, she entered while holding Ning Ning who was sleeping soundly in her arms.

Seeing the state Ning Ning was in, Ning Yu Ren’s heart ached but she had to show some tough love. She got up and poked Ning Ning’s cheek, “Lazy little pig, it’s time to wake up.”

“…Mama.” Ning Ning opened her eyes.

Ning Yu Ren smiled as she brought Ning Ning into her arms. At this moment, Xu Rong rubbed her hands and smiled in embarrassment. “It’s rare for me to come here, I want to take a look at Xiao Yu, I’ve not seen her act before.”

“Sure, go ahead.” Ning Yu Ren smiled blandly.

 

Xu Rong and the assistant went out one after another, leaving Ning Yu Ren and Ning Ning in the rest area.

The moment they left, Ning Ning immediately raised the teddy bear in her arms towards Ning Yu Ren.

“What’s the matter?” Ning Yu Ren smiled as she took it out of her hands. “You don’t like this one? You want to change it to another one?”

Ning Ning shook her head. “Look behind.”

Ning Yu Ren flipped the teddy bear over then was shocked.

 

The zipper on the back was open, revealing the snow-white cotton wool on the inside. Upon closer inspection, there were quite a lot of colourful items hidden within the cotton wool. She took one of them out—it was a pill.

Ning Yu Ren was furious. She grabbed Ning Ning and spanked her. “I was wondering why you were taking so long to recover, you threw away all the medicine!”

Ning Ning held her butt and hid from her. “I’m not sick anymore, why do I have to take medicine?”

Ning Yu Ren chased after Ning Ning for quite a while right up until someone knocked on the door a few times. “Ning Jie1, your scene is coming up.”

“Got it, I’ll be right there.” Ning Yu Ren answered, then turned her head and told Ning Ning, “Come along, look at how the others act.”

 

On the set, a group of children was in the midst of a film shoot.

“That is Xiao Yu, she’s the daughter of your Nanny Xu.” Ning Yu Ren said beside Ning Ning’s ear. “She is about the same age as you, but she can take hardships. She would memorise lines when we told her to, she would act as whatever we told her to, unlike you, who would cry if we didn’t give you sweets, cry after memorising a few lines, cry after standing for too long, cry even when you were sitting down…”

 

That was a little girl sporting a ponytail. She looked slightly older than Ning Ning. Her skin was a little tan and a little yellow, it was not as fair and cute as Ning Ning’s skin, but she was also not as delicate as Ning Ning. She looked a lot more mature than children her age.

She walked past a group of children with her head down. Behind her, that group of children was pointing at and talking about her.

 

“Wa! It’s the jinx!”

“What’s a jinx?”

“My mother said that whoever talks to her will die, she is like a crow that announces someone’s death. How about it? Do you dare to talk to her?”

“I don’t dare to.”

“I do!” A little boy hopped off the fence he was sitting on, his white shirt fluttered in the air like the wings of a bird. After he landed, he caught up to the little girl in front of him within a few steps. He reached out and seized her ponytail, tugging it viciously, forcing her to turn back to look at him.

 

“That is Chen Shuang He, he’s acting as the male lead character in his childhood.” Ning Yu Ren continued to whisper by Ning Ning’s ear, “Look carefully at how he acts, he has been publicly acknowledged by the crew as an acting prodigy.”

Ning Ning looked at Chen Shuang He.

Was he seven or eight years old this year? He was already a beauty in the bud at that age; there were almost no flaws on his skin and his facial features, his eyes had an air of haughtiness—the haughtiness of someone who had never lost before. His haughtiness made him stand out among the children, leaving a deep impression on people.

But what left a deeper impression was his acting skills.

 

Xiao Yu smiled at him the moment she turned around.

Chen Shuang He was shocked, then quickly let go of her ponytail like he was repulsively throwing something dirty away. “Why would you smile, how disgusting!”

Xiao Yu was still smiling, walking towards him as she smiled.

“Stop smiling!” Cheng Shuang He pushed her to the ground.

Xiao Yu fell on the ground. She continued to smile at him as she looked up at him.

 

The situation in front of him was too weird—no, it was the girl in front of him that was too weird. Chen Shuang He could not help but take a step back, but behind him were his playmates. He was a little scared, but he was even more afraid of getting looked down upon by his friends, thus he shot a foot up and gave the schoolbag beside Xiao Yu a swift kick, then turned around and ran away.

“I dreamt of you yesterday.” Behind him, Xiao Yu shouted at him, “You said you like me.”

Ptooey!” Chen Shuang He turned his head and spat.

“It’s true,” Xiao Yu said, “that’s what the future you told me.”

 

“Cut!”

After the director shouted, everyone looked at him.

“That’s still not good.” He touched his chin. “Again.”

Chen Shuang He had a look of indifference, but the other children were reaching their limits. The youngest one of them pouted and started crying out loud all of a sudden. The moment he started crying, the others started crying as well, the set was a huge mess. The parents and the staff members around tried to coax them frantically with whatever means necessary, there were also people who told the director in a straightforward manner, “They are but kids, the standards you require of them are too high, it’s alright as long as it’s passable.”

“The others can be just passable, but she cannot.” The director pointed at Xiao Yu and said, “You do it again.”

 

Xiao Yu was taken aback, she then walked in front of him and obediently started to act her part repeatedly.

“That will not do.”

“That’s wrong! I’ve told you, the reasons for your three smiles are all different, so you cannot smile the same way each time. How would you do it specifically? Here, show me…”

“Redo!”

“Redo…”

“Go cry at the side, come back and retry after you are done.”

 

The director did not even go easy on the child of an established actress like Ning Ning, naturally he would not go easy on someone like Xiao Yu. Xu Rong brought her daughter away with heartache. She wiped her tears for her then said a few words into her ears before pulling her in front of Ning Ning and asked humbly, “Ning Ning, can you teach Big Sister Xiao Yu how to act?”

Ning Ning looked up at Ning Yu Ren.

“She acts a lot better than Ning Ning, why are you asking Ning Ning to teach her?” Ning Yu Ren smiled.

“Ning Ning has acted in a lot of movies, she is a lot more experienced.” Xu Rong said with a smile, “She’s also under your influence, she must have learned a lot from you. My Xiao Yu does not have the same kind of good fortune. Right, Xiao Yu?”

 

Xiao Yu looked at Ning Yu Ren, her gaze showed that she held Ning Yu Ren in great esteem.

She was not here to get help from Ning Ning, she was here to get help from Ning Yu Ren.

Ning Yu Ren seemed to be moved by her expression. She once ran around a few crews, she had also once desired to be able to watch other people perform, she used to look at great actresses with such yearning; Xiao Yu reminded her of herself. Just as she was about to give some pointers, a little boy’s voice suddenly rang out.

 

“Just teach her why don’t you.”

After he finished speaking, Chen Shuang He was already right in front of Ning Ning. He grabbed her hand and pulled her as he ran to the set, ignoring her wishes. When they passed by the group of crying children, he looked at them and blew a whistle. “All of you get up, it’s time to play a game.”

Those crying children were like puppies that saw a ball, they all got off the floor and chased after Chen Shuang He.

“Let me introduce myself, I am Chen Shuang He.” Chen Shuang He smiled at Ning Ning. “You don’t have to introduce yourself, I know you, Ning Ning.”

He gritted his teeth as he said the last two words.

 

He let her hand go and left her at her original spot, returning to the side of the group of children, Without anyone’s help, he hopped up onto the fence. The children below surrounded him, looking at Ning Ning maliciously.

If their maliciousness from before were exaggerated, their maliciousness now were…real, the maliciousness of children when they intend to prank someone.

 

“Wa! It’s the jinx!”

“What’s a jinx?”

“My mother said that whoever talks to her will die, she is like a crow that announces someone’s death. How about it? Do you dare to talk to her?”

“I don’t dare to.”

“I do!” Chen Shuang He let out a laugh as he hopped off the fence. He was like an eagle that had locked on to its prey, spreading its wings out to swoop in on it. He caught up Ning Ning within a few steps and reached a hand out towards her.

 

Ning Ning had worn pigtails today. He grabbed one of them with so much force that it immediately came loose.

That was so painful! Ning Ning glared at this bear of a child with rage. Was he like this since he was a child?

Chen Shuang He looked at her with glee. The other children had also crowded around them thinking it was funny; waiting for her to cry, to give up. Ning Ning had to put up with such looks for half her life, she was already numb towards it, but she could not help but freeze when she saw Ning Yu Ren in the corner of her eyes.

Ning Yu Ren looked at her with a look of expectation and nervousness, it was a look Ning Ning missed.

 

“Mama…” Ning Ning muttered.

How long have you left me? When you were still around, have I ever made you proud? Was I a disgrace to you?

I would always fail, always give up, always cry, I would even vent at you hysterically. Now I’ve finally succeeded. <> was met with great response. I want to show you all the reviews and news that were praising me, so that you would not be nervous or disappointed at me anymore. I want you to smile with relief.

But I could only print them and read them out loud in front of your grave.

 

“Hey, little brat who could only cry and ask for your mommy.” Chen Shuang He loosened his grip.

One of the pigtails was undone, only one was still intact. Ning Ning slowly turned around and looked at him, the rage on her face disappeared the moment she saw who he was. She suddenly smiled like she was greeted with a pleasant surprise, like a child opening a present and seeing something they wanted the most.

Chen Shuang He was shocked. He reached out and shoved her, “Why would you smile, how disgusting!”

He had used too much force. Ning Ning tumbled on the ground before she got up and gave him a hug.

Facing the little girl who was running towards him, Chen Shuang He shoved her again without an expression on his face.

 

Ning Ning fell to the ground again, but she quickly got up and ran towards him again.

In the midst of the heckling of the other children, Chen Shuang He shoved her once again.

However, she was like a roly-poly. She would get up every time she fell down, then rush towards Chen Shuang He tenaciously. Her smile was so funny, so pure; she looked like a monkey trying to scoop the moon out of the water, a child trying to grab Santa’s bag, no matter what she had to hug him.

“Stop smiling!” Cheng Shuang He was a little annoyed.

“Ahhhh!!” Ning Ning was also a little annoyed. This time, she was not going to hug him. She ran at him fast and furiously instead, headbutting Chen Shuang He’s stomach like a calf.

The two children immediately fell into a heap.

 

“I dreamt of you yesterday.” Ning Ning said as she pulled his hair. “You said you like me.”

Ptooey!” Chen Shuang He spat as he pinched her face.

“It’s true.” Ning Ning said as she was pulled away by a staff member. “That’s what the future you told me.”

“Not unless the future me is blind!!” Chen Shuang He shouted as he was pulled away by a staff member.

 

“Cut!”

The crowd looked at the director in shock.

The director clapped softly, then turned his head to look at Ning Yu Ren. He said half-jokingly, “I still like this brat more, how about we get her back for this role?”

Xu Rong and Ning Yu Ren trembled at the same time.

“…I’ll ask her first.” Ning Yu Ren brought a dishevelled Ning Ning to the resting area in her arms. Ning Ning seriously thought that Ning Yu Ren was going to ask her to, but in the end, at the moment the door was closed, Ning Yu Ren took a deep breath, then, “…Hahahahahahaha!!!”

Ning Ning, “…”

 

Quickly check if the door and windows were locked. A movie empress like her laughing without a care for her image would leave a bad reputation on her for life if she were seen.

Ning Ning originally wanted to check the doors and windows, but Ning Yu Ren pulled her back, raised her in the air and spun her around.

“…Are you that happy?” Ning Ning could not help but ask.

“But of course!” Ning Yu Ren brought her into her arms. She placed her forehead on Ning Ning’s with tears in the corners of her eyes. “My daughter is a genius, of course I’m happy!”

“I’m not a genius.” Ning Ning paused, then swallowed the words that followed.

Even if it was just once, she wanted to be the pride of Mama while she was alive.

 

“…If only you had acted in this scene earlier.” Ning Yu Ren sighed. “Then even if we had to wipe your snot every minute, the director would have insisted on using you.”

“It won’t work now?” Ning Ning asked.

“…There are still a lot of other opportunities for you, but Xiao Yu only has this one opportunity.“ Ning Yu Ren touched Ning Ning’s head as she laughed gently. “Nanny Xu has lived with us for so long. Even if she is not part of our family, she could be considered half a family member. Ning Ning, let’s give this opportunity to your Big Sister Xiao Yu, alright?”

“Okay.” Ning Ning nodded.

Even if Ning Yu Ren did not suggest it, Ning Ning would have rejected the chance to act in this movie. Because, the reason for her being here was not to turn herself into a child star, it was for her to make up for the mistake she made in the previous movie—she wanted to make it up to Mu Gua.

 

“Good girl.” Ning Yu Ren kissed her again. “Alright, Mama should go back to work. I will tell the director about you. Do you want to stay and watch Mama or go home?”

“I will go home,” Ning Ning said, “I want to watch cartoons.”

She actually wanted to take a look at Mu Gua and Mu Er’s house.

“Deal.” Ning Yu Ren said, “I’ll get Nanny Xu to send you home.”

 

Xu Rong was waiting outside the door. She looked to be preoccupied and somewhat unhinged, like a family member waiting outside an emergency room, waiting for the announcement from the doctor.

Ning Ning called out to her a few times before she came back to her senses. She seemed to have fully revived after she got a hold of what Ning Yu Ren was saying. Afraid that Ning Yu Ren would change her mind, Xu Rong hastily said, “Yes, yes, yes, I will bring her home right away.”

Watching Xu Rong frantically leave with Ning Ning in her arms, Ning Yu Ren could not help but shake her head. She turned around and immersed herself into work again.

 

She was very professional, she would forget herself once she immersed herself into work. She would not take breaks, she would only lie down on the sofa in the resting area deep into night and tell her assistant, “I’ll sleep for ten minutes, wake me up later.”

She was exhausted, it almost seemed like she fell asleep instantly.

Her assistant pulled a blanket over her out of care. However, before the blanket could be pulled up to her chest, Ning Yu Ren suddenly opened her eyes and sat up on the sofa.

 

“What’s wrong?” Her assistant asked.

Ning Yu Ren slowly turned her head around and used a very weird expression to look at her assistant. She asked, “What date is it today?”

“Third of September.” Her assistant answered.

“Where is this?” Ning Yu Ren continued to question.

“It’s the set.” Her assistant said.

“Set? What set?” Ning Yu Ren pursued the matter further.

Her assistant was simply dumbfounded by her questions. “The set for <<Dreams of the Future>>. Ning Jie, what’s the matter with you? Have you not fully woken up?”

Ning Yu Ren ignored her, all she did was to mutter, “<<Dreams of the Future>>…”

 

Her eyes brightened, she pulled the blanket off her and hopped off the sofa, then ran to the dresser and picked up the teddy bear that was placed there.

She flipped the teddy bear over and pulled the zipper down to reveal the pills hidden inside.

Even though she had just seen them a few hours ago, Ning Yu Ren’s expression while looking at them now was no longer expressionless, it was filled with a bone-piercing chill.

“…Where is Xu Rong?” She slowly turned back and looked at her assistant. “My daughter…where is Ning Ning?”

The assistant felt chills running down her spine when she saw the look on Ning Yu Ren’s face, she answered very carefully, “Didn’t they go home? You were the one who told them to go home.”

“Me?” Ning Yu Ren was stunned, she muttered, “That’s right, it was me who told Xu Rong to bring her home…”

 

Remorse, rage, pain, despair; boundless emotions swept Ning Yu Ren up like a whirlpool. She suddenly grabbed the telephone on the table and dialed a number.

The phone call connected after it rang for quite a while, a man’s voice rang out from the other side of the call.

“My daughter is in trouble.” Ning Yu Ren said coldly, “You have to help me…because she is also your daughter.”


1Jie is a translation for the word elder/big sister, it’s commonly used as a suffix for a girl or woman that is slightly older than you or is your senior at your workplace or school.


E/N: S H O C K E D! Anyway, join discord if you guys want to get release notif from it c:

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8 thoughts on “ITTMB 96”

  1. wait wait wait who is Ning Ning’s dad????????? I swear to god, why does the name Pei Xuan keep popping up in my mind? Maybe it’s because he’s one of the only important recurring male characters…

  2. I hope it’s not Pei Xuan. Was Ning Yu Ren transmigrated just now? What will happen to….. what had happened to little Ning Ning? Is this an important part of the plot?

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