Chapter 25: How Do You Plan To Force Me?
Xi Mo obviously dislikes this kind of poultry, not to mention that it’s a dead one which looked so strange. Probably because she was afraid that this chicken’s appalling death would be seen by Ruan Yesheng again, she frowned and further closed up the canopy of the folding umbrella, covering that thing completely within the umbrella.
Ruan Yesheng’s mood finally eased after seeing this tiny action of Xi Mo. She paused for a moment and said softly, “I’m not scared.”
Xi Mo looked around. Fortunately, everyone was gathered on the other side for the start-up ceremony. This place was further away and no one has noticed what happened yet. However, it won’t be good to delay any longer. People in the media industry are all very sharp, even the slightest disturbance can attract them over.
“Let’s move further away.” Xi Mo turned around and walked under the eaves of the corridor.
Ruan Yesheng nodded her head and followed behind her looking very obedient. Xi Mo carried the chicken and looked back at her coolly. She felt that Ruan Yesheng was usually charming like a fox, but she looked as obedient as a rabbit now, seeming like she also got a split personality.
Xi Mo knew to add the word ‘also’, for she is self-aware of her own split personality moments.
There were many corridors in the Deng’s mansion garden. The two of them walked to the side of a large vermilion pillar to rest. Xi Mo immediately threw the folding umbrella holding the chicken to one side with a displeased look.
She then looked down and studied her costume. Fortunately, it wasn’t stained with blood, or it would have been troublesome when they started filming in the afternoon.
Ruan Yesheng had been silent throughout and looking deep in thought. The incident just now seemed to have impacted her rather greatly.
Xi Mo thought hard about what to say and finally managed to find a tiny bit of way from her ability to comfort others which never existed in her life before. She said monotonously, “This is just a prank. You should have eaten chicken before even if you haven’t seen a dead chicken.”
Only then did Ruan Yesheng react, “You really don’t know how to comfort someone.”
Xi Mo sneered, “Then what do I have to do for it to be considered comforting? Hug you?”
Ruan Yesheng stared at her intently.
Xi Mo instantly got goosebump from being stared at by her. That little look from her almost made Xi Mo think that Ruan Yesheng really wanted her to hug her. Xi Mo hurriedly tiptoed two steps away.
“Did you sprain your ankle?” Ruan Yesheng asked with a tilted head.
Ruan Yesheng was still staring at Xi Mo’s leg. Seeing that there wasn’t much reaction from Xi Mo, she finally looked back towards the direction of the wall previously. Her eyes were a little empty as she said, “No one would make such a prank at such a time and place.”
Xi Mo didn’t answer immediately.
Actually, she also knew in her heart that this was not an ordinary prank. The people now are not so stupid. In any case, this place was holding the crew start-up ceremony. Those who attended were all well-known and famous people in the society. There are also security personnel and the media around. No one would be silly enough to play a prank at such an important juncture, unless they are deliberately trying to attract attention. But if someone really wanted to attract attention, they wouldn’t have the need to secretly pick a remote place to act. The person hid behind the wall and their face couldn’t be seen. After throwing the dead chicken, the person immediately disappeared. This contradicts the purpose of attracting attention.
From beginning to end, there was such an inexplicable weirdness to the incident. She was only trying to comfort Ruan Yesheng when she said that it was just a prank. She wanted Ruan Yesheng to think that this was just a small issue and to not mind it that much. But judging by Ruan Yesheng’s reaction, she seemed to be very sensitive to this issue. Since Ruan Yesheng herself decided to talk about it, Xi Mo no longer has any issue talking about it. After thinking about what happened earlier, she said, “Previously, you asked me if I have seen anything weird, so you must have seen it yourself? What have you seen?”
Ruan Yesheng was silent for a moment before she told Xi Mo about the black shadow she had seen under the tree last night.
After listening, Xi Mo frowned and fell deep in thoughts for a moment before saying, “After all, you didn’t see it clearly. It was just a ball of black, so we can’t be sure for the time being.”
“I believe in my feelings, I feel that there is something wrong with that shadow.” Ruan Yesheng looked into Xi Mo’s eyes and asked, “Would you believe me?”
Her eyes were like whirlpools.
Xi Mo’s lips moved slightly, “I believe in facts and logical speculations.”
Ruan Yesheng laughed. She wasn’t surprised that she didn’t get the answer she wanted to hear. When suppressed for too long, some extravagant hope would gradually protect itself and return back to its budding state, with a layer of soil on top to hide it. She has this idea, but if she can’t get it, she wouldn’t feel much about it either. She will shrink her hope spontaneously so that she wouldn’t be too overly disappointed.
She said, “This does seem like the way you would answer.”
Xi Mo has always been a well organized person. She continued, “Even though we can’t be certain since you didn’t get to see it clearly, it should be our main subject of attention. Since you think that there is a problem with that shadow, we can make an assumption that someone is following you to monitor. The incident that happened just now might have been done by the same person. When he threw the chicken over earlier, the aiming was very accurate. That person has obviously made enough preparation. If that’s the case, the objective of that person may be to intimidate. However, we were standing together just now. It’s not easy to judge who the target is. Then, just who was he trying to intimidate?”
Her words suddenly changed and she glanced at Ruan Yesheng. “I simply hate this behavior, but I am not scared of it.”
Ruan Yesheng just kept smiling and let Xi Mo continue her analysis.
“You were feeling scared just now. Do you feel that the one he is targeting is you?” Xi Mo lowered her voice and said, “Based on your personality, the sudden appearance of a dead chicken is not enough to scare you to such extent. You’re not that weak, so something similar has happened before? Or did you offend someone?”
Xi Mo seems to have a certain degree of understanding now, the kind of concern Ruan Yesheng previously had on various details and her sensitivity that is faintly discernible.
Ruan Yesheng touched her mouth and said with a smile, “You know my personality? Turns out you care about me so much.”
Xi Mo had an indifferent look.
Following that, she seemed to have come to a realisation about something more important and suddenly felt startled.
“Yes.” Based on Xi Mo’s serious and clear logical way of thinking and the current situation, Ruan Yesheng knew that once Xi Mo noticed, some things can no longer be hidden. It’s better to admit it properly, so she said openly, “There used to be some trouble, then it was calm for a long time afterwards. Something like that suddenly happened just now and I thought that trouble had come looking for me again.”
Xi Mo was still immersed in that thought and didn’t come back to her senses.
Currently, their bodies have been exchanged and she became Ruan Yesheng. This secret is only known between the two of them and no one else knows. If it’s really like what Ruan Yesheng said, that she is worried that the trouble from before came looking for her again, then the target of the person who threw the dead chicken over just now is… her who was using Ruan Yesheng’s body right now.
Ruan Yesheng herself is no longer the target.
Then why was she still so frightened?
Was she frightened because of her conditioned reflex to pass trauma?
Xi Mo’s face was stiff and her heart suddenly didn’t feel so calm.
Don’t tell me she was worried that I have replaced her as the target…
… This must be a misconception.
Xi Mo said coldly, “Then what are you afraid of? If it’s really some strange person from last time looking for trouble to scare you, it’s me who is blocking the bullet. You are not the self you used to be, who can recognize you?”
Ruan Yesheng purposely made a look of realisation. “That’s true. Why didn’t I think of it? How stupid of me.”
Xi Mo: “…”
It was totally a misconception!
Xi Mo suddenly felt unhappy again and said with a cold expression, “Just what trouble did you get into in the past? How can someone use such a method to intimidate you?”
“Who wouldn’t face some sort of trouble when they live in this world?” Ruan Yesheng turned her head and her expression became serious, “Since you now know that I had some trouble before, you must be careful and pay attention to everything. If you see something wrong, tell the people around you. Tinghuan is my friend, you can trust her. “
“Can I ask what kind of trouble it is?” Xi Mo asked.
Ruan Yesheng shook her head and said, “You might find it hard to believe, but there are many times when I myself… do not understand. I have been thinking of ways to face it, but even now, I don’t even know who is the one causing me trouble. A lot of things always come inexplicably.”
Xi Mo realised that her eyes looked very serious and even had a complicated sense of sorrow. It may be inconvenient for her to say, so Xi Mo did not ask anymore.
Ruan Yesheng said softly, “I will find a way to exchange back our bodies as soon as possible.”
Xi Mo’s eyes lost focus.
Perhaps she has gotten used to Ruan Yesheng’s sly pretense and random flirtatious act. Now that Ruan Yesheng was suddenly so serious and even had a look of fragility that made people soft hearted, Xi Mo couldn’t get used to it.
“It’s okay,” Xi Mo said indifferently, “I’m not like others, I won’t be frightened by a chicken.”
“You are not in a hurry now? Previously, didn’t you want to strangle me so much to force me to change back our bodies?”
“Does forcing you work?” Xi Mo casually said, “If forcing you worked, I would have been forcing you everyday.”
An inexplicable blush appeared on Ruan Yesheng’s face. She looked at Xi Mo with glistering wet eyes and asked, “How do you plan to force me?”
Xi Mo: “…”
Why are you blushing!
Perhaps she felt too irritated, she started feeling hotter. The coolness brought by the calmness of her mind before was evaporated by the big sun and she was about to emit smoke from all over her body.
Ruan Yesheng suddenly turned her head. Xi Mo followed her line of sight and looked over and saw that Liu Yusi had come here at some point of time. She was holding a prop palace fan and fanning herself vigorously, her pair of eyes looking towards Xi Mo.
Liu Yusi admits that she can’t get Yan Mu to express any interest towards her even if she tried her best. Yet, this woman before her who had long lost her popularity actually managed to attract Yan Mu’s attention on the first day. She felt very unhappy about it, so she didn’t even look at Xi Mo. She only smiled and looked at Ruan Yesheng, “Sister Xi, why are you here?”
Ruan Yesheng said monotonously, “Cooling down.”
“It’s indeed pretty cooling here.” Liu Yusi obviously wanted to continue to get closer. “Didn’t Director Lin invite you to take pictures?”
“I have taken it.”
They have conversed a little, but Ruan Yesheng’s answer all seemed to have come out from the freezer and were emitting cold air. Liu Yusi has heard of the temperament this big shot has sometimes, that she was hard to get close to. She didn’t get anything interesting out of this conversation, but she couldn’t do anything about it. She shook the palace fan and looked around and immediately saw the spread opened folding umbrella on the ground.
“Oh my god, why is there blood flowing out of this umbrella?” Liu Yusi’s voice had a little bit of pretentious exaggeration.
Xi Mo felt that the powdery smell covering her face was almost spraying onto her body. Xi Mo’s expression remains indifferent and she was too lazy to talk to her.
“Just what is this?” Liu Yusi was curious and wanted to go over to take a look.
“A dead thing.” Xi Mo answered.
Liu Yusi: “…”
Liu Yusi boldly opened the umbrella to take a look. She has lived a pampered life and doesn’t even know how to kill a chicken. Naturally, she was shocked by what she saw. “Why did you all put a dead chicken here?”
One was a popular film empress, one was a female actress who lost her popularity, and they have a dead chicken by their side. In Liu Yusi’s eyes this kind of combination ultimately converged into the word “abnormal”.
Afraid that she would misunderstand and talk nonsense everywhere, Xi Mo finally raised the corner of her lips to smile at Liu Yusi. “I killed a chicken to eat for my lunch. I didn’t want to eat the restaurant food and wanted to eat something that tasted like home.”
Her heart was saying ‘leave’.
Takeaway doesn’t taste nice, and there were indeed many people in the crew who chose to prepare their own meal, so Liu Yusi didn’t think much about it. She only said, “Why do you kill the chicken yourself?”
Xi Mo put up a delicate look of someone who doesn’t have people to take care of her, “Miss Liu, I only have a manager by my side, and she is being unreliable by still sleeping there. I have to do everything myself.”
Liu Yusi wanted to get to the bottom of it. She might have been an earnest student in the past to the point that the teacher would be annoyed by her questions. “But why didn’t you kill the chicken in the kitchen but ran all the way here?”
Xi Mo waved her hand and put on a full show, saying, “It’s like this. Initially, I borrowed the kitchen to kill the chicken. However, in a moment of distraction, the chicken ran away. It ran all the way here, so I chased after it here. Let’s not mention how anxious I was. Then, I ran into Xi Mo and her bodyguard Gu Qisong here. Gu Qisong helped me catch the chicken, and also helped me kill the chicken along the way. He was once from the special force after all, all it took was a neat cut. He even lent me the umbrella to store the chicken. In this way, I can just carry the chicken back to pluck the feathers. Comrade Gu Qisong sure was a living Lei Feng.”
Why haven’t you left!
Ruan Yesheng held her expression and nodded her head lightly, expressing that she was a witness.
Xi Mo made an ‘oh’ sound and said to Liu Yusi, “Are you going to ask me where Gu Qisong went? His hand was full of blood after killing the chicken, so he went to wash his hand. He will be back soon, let’s wait for him here.”
Are you leaving or not!
Liu Yusi looked over and happened to see a man not far away walking towards this direction. It was Gu Qisong. Her body had spent most of its energy in growing her breast, so there wasn’t much IQ left in her. After pondering, she felt like that really is the case. It was also reasonable and convincing. Besides, this is not a big deal anyway. Since there was nothing interesting here, she said, “Sister Xi, I will go over there, take your time to enjoy cooling down here. Let’s chat when we are free.”
Ruan Yesheng nodded her head and Liu Yusi left while fanning her fan.
After the plague had left, Ruan Yesheng’s eyes turned and she smiled, “You’re pretty good at coming up with stories.”
“You’re pretty good at pretending too.” Xi Mo replied to her.
Gu Qisong walked over with a stiff face and said respectfully to Ruan Yesheng, “I’m sorry, I didn’t manage to catch the person.”
At that time, Gu Qisong was some distance away. By the time he reacted by handling the chicken and climbing over the wall, the person on the other side of the wall had already ran far away. Ruan Yesheng didn’t have much hope in the first place. She only asked, “Then did you see it?”
“Yes. I couldn’t see it clearly as it was far away, but the back figure looked thin and the person was wearing a baseball cap. It looks like a woman.”
Xi Mo and Ruan Yesheng looked at him at the same time: “Woman?”
Gu Qisong said, “She ran very fast and was very familiar with the surrounding environment. Please be rest assured, I will continue to investigate. There may also be CCTV on the nearby roads, I will go make a request later.”
Ruan Yesheng thought and said, “Go tell Lu Qingming and ask him to arrange a few more people to be on the lookout.”
“He already knows and is dealing with it.”
“Don’t tell anyone about this yet, keep it private first and watch out for any changes.”
Gu Qisong nodded his head.
Ruan Yesheng asked Gu Qisong to take the chicken back to Lu Qingming to see if he could find out any other details. After experiencing this turmoil, Xi Mo was no longer in the mood. Ruan Yesheng stayed not far away yet not close to Xi Mo until the start-up ceremony was over and everyone had dispersed, ensuring that Xi Mo remained within her line of sight.
Even so, work has to continue.
There wasn’t much time. After having lunch and taking a rest for a while, the crew assembled at the Deng’s mansion and prepared to start filming.
In order to reduce their spending, TV dramas’ filming modes are basically scene-focused. They would proceed whichever way is convenient and finish filming all the scenes of a location before proceeding to the next location. They will not follow in sequence the plot development in the script when filming and creating the drama in the right sequence all depended on post production. Hence, everything changes quickly. In the previous scene, the male and female lead hasn’t even come to like each other. But in the next scene, the male and female lead can already go back to their hometown to get married.
The weather was extremely hot. The staff at the set were all very busy and there were equipment and people everywhere which pushed the feeling of suffocation to the limit.
Ruan Yesheng sat under the umbrella and let the makeup artist touch up her makeup and Feng Tangtang was busy fanning her from the side. Lin Qitang called Xi Mo over and talked to the both of them about the script, “The scenes today are all in the Deng’s mansion. There are many scenes of the two of you as master and servant. We will first film the scene at the swing. At this time, Deng Sui still hasn’t entered the palace and was relatively simple minded. She grew up under the protection of Ding E and is very dependent on her. You two are acting together for the first time, run through the scene first to get a feel of it.”
Ruan Yesheng didn’t get to take a nap this afternoon and her eyes were a little tired. However, she still made herself look more energetic when facing Lin Qitang. She touched up her makeup while occasionally conversing with Lin Qitang.
After he was more or less done with explaining, Lin Qitang looked at Xi Mo and said, “As for you Ruan Yesheng, many times when Xi Mo has a scene, you have to be beside her. When Xi Mo comes out, follow closely behind her. Always pay attention to how you act. Even when you have no lines, your expression still has to be appropriate. There will be a close-up shot later. Also, pay attention to your positioning.”
“Okay, director Lin.” Xi Mo put on a humble appearance and nodded her head repeatedly.
When all the equipment is ready and all the actors are in place, Lin Qitang sat in front of the monitor and signaled to start. The log keeper clapped down the clapboard and the filming started.