Chapter 26: You Can Continue Being Naive In Front Of Me
Chapter 26: You Can Continue Being Naive In Front Of Me.
It is currently summer. The flowers in the Deng’s mansion garden bloomed brightly. Ruan Yesheng walked on a small trail decorated with flowers while Xi Mo followed after her at a suitable distance. The camera is also advancing slowly while following their footsteps.
Everyone present is watching this pair of focus.
The staff must stare intently because it is their job, but Feng Tangtang was staring because she is smitten. She hugged a bunch of snacks and sat under the umbrella. Tearing open a bag of chips, she took out some chips from inside the bag but didn’t put them in her mouth. She held them subconsciously in her hands and her eyes were focused on Xi Mo and Ruan Yesheng who were filming. She was swooning over them, her face looking like an idiot. She was wailing in her heart as if a crowd of fans had gathered within, her heart entering an unparalleled world.
Ruan Ruan and sister Xi are acting on the same screen, Feng Tangtang is going to cry.
After waiting for a moment in accordance with the script, Ruan Yesheng turned her head to look at Xi Mo who was beside her and said, “Ding E, my father wishes to send me into the palace.”
Xi Mo had one hand over the other and placed them in front of her body. Dignity could be sensed through her humility and she didn’t speak.
Deng Sui in the early days had no reservations in front of Ding E. Ding E doesn’t like talking. Most of the time, she acted as the listener. Deng Sui also knew her habit. Even if there is no verbal response, Deng Sui can still talk very naturally—She knew she was listening to her carefully.
Hence, Ruan Yesheng looked into Xi Mo’s eyes and continued speaking, “Previously, he had asked to talk to me in the study room. He said that I’m already of age, and that some things should be prepared for. The implication is that my portrait has been presented to his majesty to look over.”
Xi Mo didn’t say anything else. Looking at the front, she said faintly, “Miss, the swing is ahead.”
“Then let’s go quickly.” Ruan Yesheng smiled. She turned around and held Xi Mo’s hand, leading her towards the direction of the swing. Xi Mo’s feet were unsteady for a moment, afterwhich she cautiously followed Ruan Yesheng. Her step by step movement looked a little clumsy. Ruan Yesheng, who was at the front, joked affectionately, “You are always the same like a wooden block.”
Hearing that, Xi Mo lowered her head and said, “… Mn.”
According to the setting of the script, Ding E’s cautiousness should be shown here, forming a contrast with Deng Sui’s naivety and brilliance during her early days. Xi Mo acted the role very well, and Ruan Yesheng cooperated flawlessly. However, Xi Mo just felt that the tension she was feeling now does not seem to have been acted out according to her understanding of the script. Instead, the cautiousness and tension she was feeling now really took root in her heart.
She didn’t know whether it was because the weather was too hot or for some other reason, but a thin layer of sweat had formed over her palms. This slippery sensation made her feel very uncomfortable.
Ruan Yesheng felt it too. She slightly loosen her grip, but held it tightly again.
That uncomfortable feeling intensified after this loosening and tightening of grip. Xi Mo could only bite the bullet and hold Ruan Yesheng’s hand.
Many people would think that actors are just acting, that all the emotions such as joy, anger and sorrow are acted out in accordance with the script. All they did was put on a layer of fake skin. Naturally, many actors would refute this saying. They will confidently say that they have acted with their truth feelings, that the role is them and that they are their roles. They would think that those sayings are an insult to them. But when Xi Mo heard this saying, she wouldn’t react at all.
Maybe she has already analyzed herself thoroughly and felt that that was truly the case for her. Those people were just stating facts and there was no need for her to refute.
She showed her superb acting skills in front of the public, crying, smiling, being affectionate and going hysterical when needed. Every expression and every action of hers are so touching. Whenever a role lands in her hand, they turn out very vivid as if given a soul. Even though she has many haters, the haters rarely criticise her acting skills. It is also because of her flexible acting skill that allowed her to gain countless character fans. Those fans were greatly affected by her acting skills and can’t differentiate between their imagination and reality. Even in reality, many people are also used to calling her by their favorite characters’ nicknames. Everyone directed their fanaticism for the character onto Xi Mo, which caused their fanatical like to amplify and they end up liking her more and more crazily.
However, Xi Mo knew that acting was acting, and no matter how real she acted, it was only acting. There are many actors who have put in too much of their feelings when acting with others, causing them to fall in love with other actors. In this aspect, she is very clear and distinct about it to the point of being overly calm.
She cruelly separated her acting emotions from her true inner feelings. For the sake of acting, she can have a split personality anytime and anywhere. However, she knows that those are all not herself.
But now, in front of Ruan Yesheng, they were simply acting out a scene, and it was only a small tiny episode in the scene. Yet, she actually felt true cautiousness from the bottom of her heart—one that wasn’t acted out by her. Perhaps due to experiencing this for the first time, this strange feeling made her feel at a loss.
Fortunately, Xi Mo was very good at adjusting her thoughts and calmed down soon afterwards. After suppressing this uncomfortable feeling, she returned back to the state of Ding E. She calmly separated Ding E from herself and continued filming.
Several cameras adjusted their filming positions, one of which is mainly for filming a close-up of those two. Xi Mo carefully helped Ruan Yesheng up the swing.
Deng Sui has always been reliant on Ding E. Ruan Yesheng sat on the swing and looked at Xi Mo with a smile, “Push it slowly this time, and don’t go too high.”
“Don’t worry, miss.” Xi Mo replied.
Xi Mo pushed the swing behind Ruan Yesheng. The weather is too hot, even the sun appeared to have turned transparent. The sunlight seemed to turn into many halos, so dazzling that people can’t help but squint their eyes. The swing swung back again. Xi Mo held onto Ruan Yesheng’s waist to prevent Ruan Yesheng from accidentally falling. Lowering her head, she could see the halo falling onto Ruan Yesheng’s hair accessories and shining brightly.
Feng Tangtang was watching from the sidelines and thought in her heart: Why does this scene look so romantic? What’s wrong?
She pondered over it, but couldn’t think about the reason why she felt something wrong. However, she felt inexplicably excited and her blood seemed to be surging. Then she turned her head to look again and saw the bodyguard Gu Qisong nearby standing very straight like an observation tower. She quickly waved at Gu Qisong and let him come under the umbrella to enjoy the shade.
Gu Qisong came over and Feng Tangtang handed him the opened bag of potato chips. “Brother Gu, have some?”
“Thank you.” Gu Qisong nodded in thanks with a stiff face, but he didn’t eat. His eyes looked back once again in the direction of the filming. After experiencing the dead chicken incident earlier, he looks tense and dare not relax for even a moment.
Feng Tangtang knew that he is dedicated to his work, so she didn’t bother him anymore. Hence, she placed the bag of potato chips in her hand and continued watching excitedly. She raised her hand casually so Gu Qisong can just stretch his hand over to take it if he ever wishes to eat.
Over there, Ruan Yesheng had her back facing Xi Mo and was still acting. She said, “Ding E, what are your thoughts of me entering the palace?”
Xi Mo pushed the swing gently and said, “I don’t have any thoughts about it, Miss’s thoughts are my thoughts. Therefore Miss, you can tell me about your thoughts. I’m always listening.”
She has already got out of the discomfort she felt when she accidentally acted with her true feelings previously. Feeling as if she has an out-of-body experience, she can continue watching coldly from the sidelines Ruan Yesheng and herself acting. Her acting is great and comes as easily as the spring breeze. In the calmness found deep within herself, she felt the comfort she was used to. The feeling of being invaded deep into her heart was finally completely left behind by her.
Very good. She was still herself from before.
It didn’t change because of anything.
… And it definitely will not change because of the woman in front of her.
Ruan Yesheng was still smiling, but she turned her head back again. There seemed to be a little bit of worry as she said, “I am willing to enter the palace. I know what my father meant. Grandfather has been long gone. The Deng family is benefitting from our ancestor’s efforts, so we still remain a noble family now. However, the family is also afraid that this grace will be lost with the passing day and we will gradually lose our favour. He let me enter the palace because he was thinking about the future of the Deng family. Right now, the imperial court is in turbulence. His Majesty and the Empress Dou are fighting fiercely in secret, and father doesn’t know which side to stand with now. He is afraid that if he offended Empress Dou, it would cause trouble for the family. However, he is also afraid of causing his majesty to be dissatisfied. Caught in the middle of the two of them, he is very frightened. My father said that the tides on the court will change sooner or later, just that he didn’t know when it would occur. If I enter the palace, I can serve His Majesty and Empress Dou at the same time and help father watch the situation. If that day really comes, we won’t be at a loss and be slaughtered by others.”
Ruan Yesheng finished such a long series of lines without any pauses, and her expression changed along naturally with her lines. Feng Tangtang was so focused on watching she forgot to eat her chips. She thought that Sister Xi is simply a goddess when she doesn’t lose her temper and concentrates on acting. She is so close to turning into a silly fan, and one that suspects herself of having Stockholm syndrome. Someone had appeared beside her at some unknown timing. When she took a look, she saw that it was the makeup artist that is waiting to touch up makeup. The makeup artist was watching very focusedly and even took Feng Tangtang’s snacks to eat. These two silly fans had their mouths opened as they ate like squirrels. From time to time, they share their thoughts about what they saw, and admire the acting skills of the two over there. There was also Gu Qisong who stood like a wooden stick next to them.
After Ruan Yesheng finished speaking, she chuckled, “Ding E, I just keep talking about what will happen after entering the palace, but nothing has been confirmed yet. I have spoken too soon.”
Xi Mo replied calmly, “With Miss’s looks, magnanimity and knowledge, entering the palace is inevitable if Miss wishes to. It’s just that although Miss is willing, you’re not happy.”
The two conversed back and forth, both able to respond to each other’s acting.
Ruan Yesheng signaled Xi Mo to push the swing higher. She sat gracefully on the swing and looked like a free bird. “I’m entering the palace for the Deng family, but I have to serve his majesty when I have never met him before. How could I be happy? But I think that when I see his Majesty in the future, we can slowly deepen our feelings. If I really love him, I can be a lot happier naturally. Third brother didn’t want me to enter the palace and was very dissatisfied. He said that my thoughts were nothing but naive. When father learned of this, he grabbed Third brother and gave him a scolding. Who knows where third brother has gone now.”
The swing stabilized in Xi Mo’s hand. Ruan Yesheng raised her head during this moment of pause and asked, “Ding E, do you think that I’m naive?”
Xi Mo looked into her eyes. When she saw the light shining within, her heart clenched.
For some reason, she saw the springful past in this seemingly pure yet at a loss look.
When they were in university, she once said that Ruan Yesheng was naive, and she had said so with a slightly irritated tone.
At that time, her aura was enough to make everyone around her retreat thirty miles, yet Ruan Yesheng was always able to approach her confidently. She felt that she and Ruan Yesheng were not familiar with each other, but Ruan Yesheng always couldn’t seem to tell. It might have been a coincidence. There were two times when Ruan Yesheng ran into her on the same intersection. After that, Ruan Yesheng often got up early and waited for her to pass by at that intersection.
But she didn’t know about it at the time. Due to some reason, she had changed the route she took to the classroom. When she passed by the intersection once again, she saw Ruan Yesheng waiting there.
At that time, Ruan Yesheng still looked pure and innocent. She was wearing a snow-white skirt and it was drizzling, yet she was still able to twirl a few rounds while holding an umbrella, smiling as she kicked the petals that fell with the rain.
“Naive, childish.” This is what Xi Mo said to her when she walked over.
In her memories, she has indeed once been naive.
But then she changed afterwards. After she came back from a relatively long leave of absence, Xi Mo almost couldn’t recognise her.
Ruan Yesheng changed so fast, the speed of her growth was like she was going to grow out of her bones. She hasn’t seen her only for a period of time, but her naivety has completely faded. She interacted with others maturely and courteously and knew when to advance and retreat. As time went by, she became the school’s famous siren. She was smart and charming, and as if she had worn a smiling face mask, no one could see through her. She was able to interact with people with ease.
The cameras were still advancing forward. From the beginning until now, Lin Qitang had never shouted the word ‘cut’. The word ‘satisfied’ is exuding from all over his body. He also didn’t know how Xi Mo felt at the moment. After all, everything displayed on the monitor screen was perfect. He didn’t expect that the two of them could cooperate so harmoniously during their first try even though they had no prior practice. Lin Qitang is happy, and the other staff are even happier. The smoother the shooting process, the easier it will be for them and they don’t have to keep repeating the process.
Xi Mo’s palm is sweating again like before.
Fortunately, there is no need for Ding E to speak in this part of the script as it was still Deng Sui’s part. Ruan Yesheng gave a self-deprecating laugh, “Never mind. It will be totally different after entering the palace anyway. There really wasn’t a need for third brother to worry that I’m too naive.”
The emotion in Xi Mo’s eyes was erratic. She remembered the past Ruan Yesheng, and almost couldn’t distinguish between her memories and reality. The feeling that penetrated deep into her heart once again made her feel at a loss.
Lin Qitang, who doesn’t know the truth, looked at the close-up of Xi Mo’s expression on the monitor. Seeing her accurately portrayed expression, his facial muscles twitched with excitement. But for the sake of his pride as the director, it wasn’t good for him to show his excitement too obviously. Hence, he could only hold it in, to the point his brows were trembling.
Xi Mo put her hand on Ruan Yesheng’s back waist and gently pushed the swing out again.
She said slowly, “I will stay by Miss’s side. If Miss is in the palace, I’m also in the palace. Even if things get unpredictable in the future, you can continue being naive in front of me.”
Her voice was light yet gentle as they scattered in the summer light.
—Oh my god!
When Feng Tangtang heard this, she almost jumped up from the stool while hugging the makeup artist and waving a flag while screaming. But where could she get a flag from? There was only a bag of potato chips in her hand. When she wanted to use the bag as a replacement for a flag, she noticed that her bag of potato chips was almost empty. Gu Qisong who had a stiff expression was eating from her bag of potato chips, letting out munching sounds while watching Xi Mo and Ruan Yesheng who were acting over at the other side. Although he still had a deadpan face, he seemed to be engrossed in watching the show.
Feng Tangtang knew that her brother Gu might have also joined the team of silly fans.
After Xi Mo finished this sentence, it coincided with Ruan Yesheng coming back down with the swing. Ruan Yesheng’s heart was pounding. She couldn’t help but raise her head and glanced at Xi Mo again, her ears red.
Xi Mo also looked down and saw Ruan Yesheng’s red ears. The two looked at each other, and she suddenly became a little flustered. With that, neither of them could care about matching the rhythm of the swing, causing the swing to sway about. Ruan Yesheng wasn’t sitted well on the swing. Her body leaned forward and was about to fall down.
Lin Qitang thought the filming went so smoothly, he almost forgot how to pronounce the word cut. Seeing Ruan Yesheng falling forward, he was so scared that he almost fell off the stool. At the same time, he shouted, “Cut!”
At the same time, the calm atmosphere of filming before in the set suddenly turned into a turmoil. Silly fan no. 1, Feng Tangtang, stood up in worry. The face of the newly joined silly fan Gu Qisong turned grim and he almost ran over.
Fortunately, Xi Mo has already reached out to pull. Seeing that she isn’t able to pull Ruan Yesheng back up, she subconsciously took a big step forward and hugged Ruan Yesheng firmly from behind.
Ruan Yesheng sat on the swing. Xi Mo held Ruan Yesheng tightly with her hands from behind and managed to stabilize the swing this time.
Ruan Yesheng: “…”
Xi Mo felt the silence of Ruan Yesheng in her arms. Then, she saw Ruan Yesheng’s almost blood-red ears and was stunned.
Then, she felt the roundness and softness of the two lumps in her hands. Her face paled and flushed and she hurriedly retracted her hand from Ruan Yesheng’s chest.
Ruan Yesheng quickly jumped off the swing, turned around, and stood straight there. Like a good girl who got played with, she pursed her lips. However, her brows and eyes seemed to contain the colour of spring and she didn’t speak.
Xi Mo: “…”
… I didn’t molest you!
… That was originally my own chest!