Chapter 27: You Thought Too Much Too
The sun was very bright. The two of them stood like wooden blocks beside the swing and the atmosphere was a little strange.
Ruan Yesheng lowered her head, then looked up again and glanced at Xi Mo. She saw Xi Mo rubbing her hands subconsciously at the side, seemingly wanting to rub off the sudden embarrassment just now. Xi Mo’s expression was also very difficult to describe. Ruan Yesheng turned her head. The water in her eyes seemed to sway for a moment after being shone by the sun. But she still stood there without speaking nor moving, and just continued staring at Xi Mo with a pair of spring-like eyes.
Xi Mo felt goosebump after being looked at by those eyes. She felt that the whole of Ruan Yesheng’s sight was suddenly sticking to her body and her hand also felt inexplicably hot.
After a while, for the sake of breaking this strange atmosphere, she could only say with a low voice, “Are you okay?”
Her voice was just too low, it was as if it was forced out. At the same time, Lin Qitang at the other side asked loudly into the loudspeaker, “Are the two of you okay?”
Lin Qitang’s loud voice from the loudspeaker naturally covered Xi Mo’s question.
“We’re okay, just a moment of carelessness.” Ruan Yesheng motioned towards Lin Qitang, “Director Lin, let’s continue.”
Two staff members came over to check the situation. After making sure that there was no problem, they went back. Lin Qitang said, “Cut away that portion just now. We will start from Ding E’s line. We will re-record the back portion and this scene is done. Everyone get ready!”
Ruan Yesheng tidied her apparel and sat back on the swing dignifiedly. Xi Mo also walked behind her and returned back to her position during the previous filming.
“I’m fine.” Ruan Yesheng lowered her head slightly and said softly with her back facing Xi Mo.
Xi Mo’s expression froze for a moment. Then, she immediately understood that this was a late response to her previous question and didn’t say anything.
Lin Qitang said to start and the filming started again.
Both of them are people who can immediately start acting. Xi Mo has been filming all this time, so it was needless to say. Once the clapboard is clapped, she can instantly become the character. Although Ruan Yesheng hasn’t filmed anything for so many years, one can see that she has never slackened. Even though she never filmed all this while, she has always maintained the habit of learning and training and was able to get into character very quickly. This small disturbance was quickly resolved and the shooting quickly returned to the right track.
Feng Tangtang and the makeup artist sat in a row, while Gu Qisong stood beside them like a wooden club. The three of them ate snacks while watching. Midway through, Feng Tangtang looked at her watch and left. She was responsible for her “Sister Xi’s” dinner. Lu Qingming had asked her to help Xi Mo prepare better meals and she dares not neglect. Every meal must be prepared early.
The shooting in the afternoon went smoothly, and all the plans made were completed on time. This is also due to the cooperation between Ruan Yesheng and Xi Mo. They rarely had to reshoot, and the staff are very grateful in their hearts. They continued until 5.30pm before stopping temporarily. Everyone went for dinner one after another and fatigue can be seen on their faces.
There is a night scene in the schedule given by the production coordinator, and it will be filmed until eleven o’clock at night. Ruan Yesheng held the script and sat on the resting chair, wanting to make preparations for the night’s filming. However, she barely turned a few pages of the script in the end.
She thought of the dead chicken incident during the day. Her face was a bit solemn, and she was in a daze.
Could it be the people from that side?
Why did they choose this time? There hasn’t been any movement for so long, and suddenly there is such a dead chicken threat, which is a bit childish and not like their style. But they always have strange changes and are always hiding. Maybe they really do dare to make all kinds of strange moves?
Now that she and Xi Mo have changed their bodies, that side would certainly make their move on Xi Mo.
Ruan Yesheng suddenly felt a little irritable. Even though she is usually a person who doesn’t show her displeasure on her face easily, she couldn’t help but frown now. Her fingers kneaded the script pages causing light creases to be formed, and her eyes were cold.
“Sister Xi, dinner is ready.” Feng Tangtang held several layers of lunch boxes and whispered softly beside her.
Ruan Yesheng was currently deep in thought. When she casually looked up, what Feng Tangtang saw were her cold eyes, causing her to almost drop the lunch boxes in her hands.
Although Sister Xi was cold before, she was used to it after all, and she would never show such an unfamiliar look in front of her.
“Oh, Tangtang.” Ruan Yesheng returned to her senses and felt a little sorry for scaring Feng Tangtang, but she deliberately maintained her expression and said indifferently.
Feng Tangtang: “…”
Sister Xi said in the morning that she would call her Tangtang in the future, so she was already mentally prepared. But now that she heard it, she felt that it was no different from being subjected to Lingchi.
“Put it down.” Ruan Yesheng put the script aside: “Let’s eat together?”
“No, no need. I have dinner, I’ll eat it later.” Feng Tangtang felt flattered yet fearful once again. She swiftly placed the lunch boxes containing various kinds of food in front of Ruan Yesheng and said, “I’ve made a light meal for you for dinner. Oh right. In the afternoon, I asked the chef in the kitchen to buy a chicken back to cook. It’s an authentic natural chicken that never ate a single fodder. It’s especially nutritious.”
Upon hearing the word chicken, Ruan Yesheng thought of the dead chicken who died a horrible death and began to feel unwell. When she saw Feng Tangtang open the soup container, the soft chicken could be seen under the clear soup. The meat was cooked to pale white. Ruan Yesheng suddenly felt like vomiting.
Seeing her expression, Feng Tangtang stopped and asked cautiously: “Sister Xi, is it that… you don’t want to eat chicken?”
“It’s not that.” Ruan Yesheng didn’t want to hurt this candy’s good intention. Just looking at the chicken soup took Ruan Yesheng a lot of energy, so she rubbed the bridge of her nose and said calmly: “I’m just a little tired, sorry to bother you.”
Acting as Deng Sui for filming was already tiring enough for her, but she had to continue acting as Xi Mo even when they are taking a temporary break. She had to spend more than half the day acting as someone else. At this moment, she also felt a little helpless.
“No, you’re not bothering me at all!” Feng Tangtang was almost stammering. “There’s still a night scene later and it will get even more tiring. Sister Xi, hurry and have some chicken soup to supplement yourself.”
Ruan Yesheng said, “Okay, you go and eat too.”
Feng Tangtang nodded and said that she would come to clean up later, and then left.
After a moment of silence, Ruan Yesheng looked at the box of chicken soup. She really didn’t have an appetite for that, so she set it aside and just ate some other dishes.
The crew’s work is busy and tiring. Dinner time passed in a blink of an eye and it was almost time to start filming again. The scene is still at the Deng’s mansion. The lighting and props technicians are busy setting up. The lights on the set swayed about, some bright and some dark. Ruan Yesheng finished touching up her makeup and leaned back to memorise her script.
Even though she didn’t have any problems with the filming during the day and looked as if things were going smoothly for her, she was in fact still more or less nervous from the bottom of her heart. It was especially so when she had to act with Xi Mo. She was always working at 120% and would look at the script whenever she had time.
Someone approached from the front and casted a shadow on her. Ruan Yesheng lifted her eyes from the script.
The light moved past her face as well as Xi Mo’s long hair. The two of them looked at each other at where light and shadow met.
“You’re looking for me?” Ruan Yesheng smiled.
She has to put on a mask and pretend to be cold in front of others. Only in front of Xi Mo who knows their secret does she not have to cover up and can smile whenever she wants to.
This freedom makes her feel comfortable.
“You asked Feng Tangtang to give me chicken soup?” Xi Mo’s tone was flat. Ruan Yesheng couldn’t tell what tone she was using, but it didn’t sound angry.
Ruan Yesheng pursed her lips and smiled but didn’t say anything.
Sure enough, Tangtang dotes on her. She made soup for her “Sister Xi”, but also didn’t forget to secretly give ‘herself’ a portion.
Unfortunately, Xi Mo would have to receive this care and concern on her behalf and she doesn’t seem quite happy about it.
Xi Mo said, “She said that she made you chicken soup and gave me a portion of it. Did you ask her to bring it to me? Did you think that I would still have the appetite to eat chicken after seeing the miserable state of that dead chicken during the day?”
She is so prideful, she wouldn’t say that she almost vomited when she saw the chicken soup just now.
“Weren’t you quite calm when you carried that dead chicken? Don’t tell me you were also traumatised?” Ruan Yesheng lowered her head and continued reading the script.
“So it was really you who asked her to come?”
“What are you doing?” Ruan Yesheng took a step back and her eyes moved about appearing aggrieved. “Did you think that I have done it on purpose to ruin your appetite, so you came here to confront me? Am I such a bad woman in your heart? “
She spoke with 7 point charm and 3 point anger. Whenever someone with a less determined mind stands in front of her, they would be saddened by her voice.
Not a single change could be seen on Xi Mo’s face.
She couldn’t wait to stuff a drumstick into her mouth right now.
“You think too much.” Xi Mo glanced at her.
Then, she calmly said, “If it’s you who asked Feng Tangtang to come, I would first like to thank you for your good intentions. However, I saw the dead chicken today and really do not have the appetite for that, so I didn’t take a single bite and gave it all to Yan Tinghuan.”
Ruan Yesheng was a little taken aback. She paused for a moment and said, “You came to me just to tell me this?”
“I came here to make sure. If it is really you who asked her to come, then I want to tell you this.” Xi Mo explained with a serious look, “You specially asked someone to give me something, but I didn’t eat it and gave it to someone else. However, it doesn’t mean that I am brushing aside your good intentions. I’ve accepted your intention, but today’s situation is special.”
Ruan Yesheng was surprised. She felt that although the woman before her was indeed so serious sometimes and rigid and inflexible like a board, she was actually a little cute. Ruan Yesheng’s mood experienced ups and downs and her expression also changed along with it. In the end, she broke into laughter.
Xi Mo: “…”
Laugh! All you know is laugh!
Why does your face not experience any cramps!
Wait no, that’s my face!
Ruan Yesheng laughed for a while before managing to hold it back. She looked at Xi Mo’s eyes and said softly, “I do think a little too much.”
She put the script lightly on Xi Mo’s shoulder like a dragonfly tapping the water and said, “You thought too much too.”
The lights swept towards this side again. Lin Qitang has been talking to the staff over there, his voice sometimes loud and sometimes soft. Xi Mo squinted her eyes amidst the noise and moved Ruan Yesheng’s script away.
“It’s time to work.” Ruan Yesheng said with a smile.
Xi Mo gave her a glance and turned to leave.
With the camera in place, they were ready to start. Xi Mo’s night scene is the most tiring because she has a fighting scene.
There is one part in which Ding E’s brother attacked Deng’s mansion at night as an assassin, but was captured by Deng Sui’s father Deng Xun. Deng Xun grew suspicious at that time. In order to test Ding E, he ordered Ding E to kill the assassin herself. With the acquiescence of her brother, Ding E finally ended her brother’s life with her own hands. This part was already acted out by Xi Mo when she went for the audition, so she was familiar with it. Deng Xun’s actor is also a well-known senior actor. He was helping out this time for the sake of Lin Qitang and made a few guest appearances in the show. His acting skill is of course undeniable and this scene passed very quickly.
The next fighting scene will be very important and can be called the turning point for the early part of the show. Lin Qitang is especially focused on filming these night scenes that take place in Deng’s mansion.
The assassins striked again, this time on a large scale, and Deng’s house was in chaos. As a spy planted in the Deng’s mansion since young, Ding E was naturally appointed the most important task. Deng Xun was led to the outer courtyard by the assassin leader. Ding E killed several assassins and followed Deng Xun to the outer courtyard to face the enemy together with Deng Xun.
The lighting was purposely made dim, with a little bit of greenish-white strange effect. There are moving lights and shadows everywhere, swaying on the flowers and trees of Deng’s Mansion and feeling like ghosts.
Xi Mo sprint all the way with a sword in her hand. Cameras followed behind her, one of which was taking a close-up of her footsteps.
Her footsteps were very calm in the beginning. It did not have the slightest bit of hesitation as if there were no distracting thoughts in Ding E’s heart at this moment but only clear goals. However, it became a little disorderly afterwards. It was because she saw Deng Xun and thought of Deng Sui. When the show is aired, close-ups won’t rely entirely on Xi Mo’s face, but also on her body language. For example, her footsteps are more important at this time, and she has to rely on the change of her footsteps to show the mood of the character.
The scene is very oppressive, and Ding E has almost no lines. Xi Mo had to express the complexity of this role solely by her expression and body.
The actor who was acting as Deng Xun got stabbed by the male actor who was acting as the assassin leader. Clutching his chest, he stood one side and shouted, “Ding E!”
The cameras kept changing their position. Xi Mo jumped out from the shadows and fought with the male actor expressionlessly.
“Cut!” It hasn’t even been a minute and Lin Qitang asked them to stop.
This scene was just too important, so Lin Qitang was more nitpicking about it. He said, “Ruan Yesheng, you were a bit too fast when you came out just now. You have to be a little slower here! Do it again!”
Xi Mo nodded: “Okay. I’m sorry, Director Lin.”
The cameras got back to their position again. As the lights flickered, Xi Mo jumped out again and her cold sword flashed.
Xi Mo jumped out at the right timing this time and there was no problem. Lin Qitang did not say anything and allowed the filming to continue. Xi Mo drew her sword. The male actor who was wearing assassin clothes and had his face covered raised his sword and came over.
A stunt coordinator came to instruct their fighting. Although the fighting would be slow and would be sped up during post production, their moves still have to be in place when filming. Their moves have to be sharp and their expression must also be correct. There were also times when Xi Mo had to make her moves after being lifted up by wires. She was already used to hanging on wires when she was filming in movies in the past. Sometimes, she even has to be hung up in the air the whole day. However, being tossed about in the air sure makes her very dizzy.
Ruan Yesheng stood in the distance and silently watched Xi Mo being hung on the wires. Deng Sui does not know martial arts and relies on Ding E for protection. Ruan Yesheng didn’t have to suffer from being hung on wires throughout this scene and it is all taken on by Xi Mo.
The assassin was subdued by Ding E. Xi Mo raised her sword and pointed it at the male actor’s throat.
The actor acting as Deng Xun ordered, “Ding E, quickly kill him! Kill him!”
Xi Mo’s eyes turned and she glanced at the person ordering her. Her palm suddenly reached out to strike the chest of the actor acting as Deng Xun.
At this scene, the setting was for a palm strike meant to take his life. Deng Xun was caught off guard and is supposed to spit out blood immediately. Moreover, Lin Qitang requested for this blood to be spitted out with great visual effect.
After the palm strike, the senior actor acting as Deng Xun widened his eyes in shock with a pained expression. Following that, he would bite through the blood bag and vomit blood according to the script.
Xi Mo is already long prepared and can’t leave the scene. When Deng Xun is vomiting blood, she has to maintain eye contact with him. There would be a close up on her expression.
The senior actor has been having a pained expression for a long time, but for some reason, he couldn’t bite through the blood bag successfully and the blood never sprayed out.
The two of them froze at that scene.
Senior actor: “…”
Xi Mo: “…”
“Cut!” Lin Qitang shouted, “What’s wrong again! Props technicians, go take a look!”
The set became noisy again. The staff went over to check and replaced the senior actor’s blood bag with a working one.
The senior actor has always been respected by others and has already grown accustomed to it. However, he also felt a bit embarrassed now. He said to Xi Mo, “Miss Ruan, sorry about that.” He has been acting for so many years, of course he knows that it’s very hard to get into the right mood when filming. Once the right mood is suddenly broken, it will be hard to get it back again.
Xi Mo smiled and said: “It’s not your fault Teacher Li. It’s inevitable that props might have some flaws. Let’s continue.”
When the filming restarted, the senior actor was surprised to find that the actor before him got into the right state very quickly.
She was just like someone of split personality. She was this person outside of acting and was another person when acting. There were no overlaps at all.
After successfully biting through the blood bag this time, the blood was sprayed on Xi Mo’s face as required. The blood sprayed all over her face and the camera hurried over to get a close-up of her face.
Xi Mo’s face was full of the uncomfortable prop blood, so she naturally felt very uncomfortable in her heart. However, this didn’t affect her acting. She stood in the dark under the obscure light and the air blower was blowing her long hair and clothes. Her face is full of blood but even her eyelashes don’t seem to tremble at all. It appeared numbingly cold in the ever changing light, and hollow like a sword that had been dead for many years.
Ding E once said to the young Deng Sui that swords have souls. To protect Deng Sui, she will be Deng Sui’s sword.
But at this moment, after killing Deng Sui’s father, the soul of the sword died.
Ding E’s soul has also died along with it.
Ruan Yesheng was about to enter the scene. She saw every single move of Xi Mo previously and her heart was thoroughly shocked by Xi Mo’s acting.
She has always known that Xi Mo’s acting skill is good, and she knew this since university.
She has collected every work of Xi Mo and felt the soul of every character in the shows. As she appreciated her acting, she also quietly studied it at the same time. However, it’s been a long time since she got to come to the scene in person and watch Xi Mo’s acting up close.
Lin Qitang signaled Ruan Yesheng to run into the scene. Ruan Yesheng lifted her skirt and ran into this hell-like massacre scene desperately.
“Father!” she cried out with her voice trembling.
The senior actor laid on the ground, dedicatedly pretending to be a corpse with the sword of the male assassin stuck in his chest.
Ruan Yesheng rushed over to hug the “corpse”. Xi Mo, who had a face full of blood, stood at the center of focus of the camera. As she started to move, the cameras also started following after her. She walked up to Ruan Yesheng and looked down at Ruan Yesheng.
Ruan Yesheng raised her head. Her eyes were red and her tears were about to fall. She only looked at her from the bottom up.
Their eyes met. Xi Mo saw Ruan Yesheng’s teary look which looked like a pear blossom covered in rain water and knew that it was a fake cry. Her heart clenched. In that instant, she suddenly thought: If this woman really cried, what would it look like?
Ruan Yesheng is good at acting. Her fake crying and real crying might be the same, or it might just be difficult to distinguish.
This unexpected distraction made Xi Mo a little uncomfortable. She knelt down slowly and handed over her long sword. With one knee on the ground, she said, “I didn’t manage to protect the family head. Please kill me, Miss.”
Ding E lied to Deng Sui at this time, so she did not dare to face Deng Sui directly. Hence, Xi Mo lowered her eyes and only looked at the corpse in front of her.
 Tangtang’s name sounds like candy.