Chapter 30: If I Promised You, I Will Definitely Do It
The camera returned back in place and Ruan Yesheng walked back to her previous position.
The log keeper clapped the board and Ding Pei walked in again. Ruan Yesheng got up to greet and knelt again.
Ding Pei stammered, “Deng Xun, a man with a kind heart, was a great military general who defended the country against Qiang. He has been loyal and devoted until the very end. When I heard… this bad news, I instantly felt that I have lost an important sapport…”
“Cut!” When Lin Qitang heard that he made the same kind of mistake again, he roared, “What sapport! It’s support! Say it with me, gong! It’s not hong! And why are you stuttering so much? Your expression is completely wrong too. You’re here on behalf of the emperor to read his manuscript, not to read your list of crimes!”
He is not that kind of strict director. He is generally easier to get along with, and sometimes he would invigorate the atmosphere. Now that he is actually yelling like this, it seems that he is really outraged.
Ding Pei had been nervous in the first place. When he pronounced a word incorrectly the first time and made a joke of himself, he clearly heard someone in the set laughing. Now that he had pronounced a word incorrectly the second time and was even yelled at by Lin Qitang, he became even more nervous and didn’t know where to stand or what to do. He could only apologise repeatedly. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry!”
It’s actually very common to make mistakes with the lines when filming. Most of the time, the mistakes come from saying the lines in the wrong order or saying something different from the line. It could also be due to the actor forgetting their lines and having to ad-lib. However, it was still pretty rare to have mistakes that came from pronouncing common words wrongly. Usually when reading the script, the actor will check it up if they see a word they don’t know, or the assistant will help their artist to highlight the rare words. Most of the words are common, and few people pronounce them incorrectly.
Saying the wrong lines will make people laugh, and this kind of situation is pretty relaxing. A lot of the funny behind-the-scenes moments are very interesting. But if one mispronounces a word, and especially with a common word, the person becomes a joke. Though it wasn’t explicitly said, there are probably people secretly ridiculing in their hearts that this singer only has a pretty face but no education.
And Lin Qitang wasn’t angry at Ding Pei for pronouncing wrongly in the first place. What he was angry about was that after Ding Pei pronounced the word wrongly, causing people to laugh, Ding Pei heard their laughter and his state became terrible. He became more and more nervous and didn’t even dare to act anymore. If the lines are pronounced incorrectly, they could depend on the dubbing during post production. However, his whole state has been affected and the scene must be refilmed. This was what Lin Qitang was upset about.
Xi Mo, who was kneeling at one corner, frowned upon hearing the snickers of some people.
She has always felt that the act of ridiculing others when they made a fool of themselves is a show of their lack of upbringing. Originally, she didn’t have much of an impression of Ding Pei. She only remembered that Yan Tinghuan had been fooling him to drink at the dining table. Looking at him now, she only felt that he looked a little pitiful as he stood there trembling. However, she was positioned far away from him. To add on, she was in another body now and didn’t have much status to speak in the crew. She could only stay quiet and couldn’t do anything to help.
Although Ding Pei had gained a small amount of fans during his singing audition, he couldn’t be considered very popular. It was especially so in the acting aspect as he is basically clueless. People in the circle have a tendency to respect those with high position and step on those with low position. If it was Yan Mu who read the lines wrongly, probably no one would dare to laugh in front of him.
Lin Qitang was dissatisfied and asked to retake. Unfortunately, Ding Pei was still nervous in the next few takes and wasn’t able to enter the right acting state, so Ruan Yesheng had to get up and kneel down, kneel down and get up again, repeating this dull segment repeatedly.
After several NGs, Lin Qitang finally lost his anger from all the repeats. He waved his hand and said, “Alright, take a few minutes to adjust yourselves. We will retake once more later. Ding Pei, look at your lines again. If you really can’t get it, just recite a few poems you’re familiar with. Even ‘The moon shines before my bed so brightly that I mistake it for snow on the ground’ is okay. Don’t be affected by the lines to the point that you can’t act anymore. I don’t ask for anything else, it’s enough as long as your facial expressions are in place. The dubbing can be added afterwards.
Ding Pei knew that there was no other way. Biting his lips, he nodded with a red face, “Okay. Thank you director Lin.”
Ruan Yesheng’s legs were trembling a little when she stood up this time and she staggered a little. She maintained her expression and calmly adjusted her standing posture before straightening herself. She knelt all the way during the memorial service, and she had to kneel many times earlier. Now, her knees were aching.
Ding Pei hurried over and said embarrassedly, “I’m sorry, sister Xi. I’m really sorry! I’m… I’m too useless.”
He was extremely frightened. Other than sorry, he didn’t dare to say anything else.
Ruan Yesheng was afraid of giving him pressure, so her expression has been warm throughout. “Anyone would have times when they recite their lines wrongly. Don’t mind it too much. This is your first time acting, so it’s normal. Everyone went through this.”
“Thank you sister Xi.” Ding Pei’s eyes were a little hot. “But I know that it’s because I’m too stupid. Even if it’s the others acting for the first time, they definitely wouldn’t waste so much of the crew’s time like I do.”
Ruan Yesheng glanced around and asked with a lowered voice, “I have a question for you. It may be a little straightforward, but please don’t mind it. I really don’t mean anything else. “
Ding Pei hurriedly shook his head, “Not at all. Sister Xi, please ask.”
Ruan Yesheng paused for a moment and asked, “If you are very, very popular now, do you think they will laugh at you like how they did just now?”
Ding Pei was taken aback. He lowered his head and stammered out a reply only after a while, “They definitely wouldn’t laugh.”
“In fact, they will still laugh.” Ruan Yesheng said softly, “But they will only laugh secretly in their hearts and wouldn’t dare to laugh out loud. If you can’t see or hear it, you won’t be affected. If you become very popular, they wouldn’t dare to laugh right in front of you. They will only dare to laugh behind your back.”
Ding Pei bit his lip and was silent.
Ruan Yesheng looked at him and said, “If a person is not nervous and finishes the filming, he might not necessarily become popular. But if the person is very nervous and has problems interpreting the character, then even the foundation of becoming popular will be lost. In this circle, people will dare to embarrass you if you’re not popular. And if one gets embarrassed, it will lead to them being nervous. This is a cycle. So, do you want to stay nervous or not?”
Ding Pei raised his head with a complicated look on his face. Then, as if breaking through the haze before him, he came to an understanding and his expression became bright. Nodding to Ruan Yesheng, he said, “I got it, I don’t want to be nervous.”
Ruan Yesheng laughed, “I’ve mentioned earlier that I don’t mean anything else. I wasn’t talking about how you are now.”
Ding Pei bowed to her sincerely and said, “I understand your intentions, sister Xi. Thank you so much, I will definitely work hard.”
He seemed to have gathered a huge amount of courage as he whispered a question with a red face, “Sister Xi, please don’t blame me for being too gossipy. I just wanted to ask, when you first started acting, did you get laughed at when you didn’t act well? You… don’t have to worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
“I don’t think there was such a case?” Ruan Yesheng casually said, “After all, I will kill them with my glare first.”
Xi Mo did indeed do that back then. Ruan Yesheng knew this well. Who would dare to offend her directly when Xi Mo swept her gaze at them? She has a prominent family background. Who in this circle didn’t know that she has a strong background?
Ding Pei: “…”
Xi Mo looked at Ruan Yesheng from a distance and didn’t know what she said to Ding Pei. As they spoke, Ding Pei’s ashamed expression, which looked as if he was an ostrich wanting to bury his head into the sand, regained his youthful vigor. Although she couldn’t hear them, she guessed that Ruan Yesheng probably helped him.
But she didn’t guess that Ruan Yesheng “blackened” her again.
After a few minutes, Lin Qitang asked Ding Pei about his choice. “How about it, are you planning to recite the lines or a poem this time?”
Ding Pei’s eyes were shining this time. He said, “I will recite the lines well. Director Lin, please give me another chance.”
Lin Qitang glanced at him and gave his consent: “Go.”
Clapping the board, they went back to their position and Ruan Yesheng knelt down once again.
Ding Pei read out, “Deng Xun, a man with a kind heart, was a great military general who defended the country against Qiang. He has been loyal and devoted until the very end. When I heard… this bad news, I instantly felt that I have lost an important support and feel very sorrowful. His daughter is beautiful, gentle, virtuous and righteous, and is supposed to enter the palace next month. I pity for his sudden loss. Feeling her filial piety, I’m willing to wait for her to keep vigil and mourn for her father for three years. She will be rewarded once she enters the palace three years later.” 
Ruan Yesheng lowered her head and tapped her forehead on the floor. She spoke woodenly without any sorrow nor joy in her voice, “Deng Sui has understood the decree and thank His Majesty for his great benevolence.”
This run was shot very smoothly. Ding Pei was at least not as nervous anymore. As long as he overcomes his nervousness, he doesn’t have much problems with his lines anymore and his expressions were basically in place. They filmed the scene one last time and it went a little better this time. He improved very quickly and Lin Qitang let him pass.
The crew had a tight schedule. They didn’t have time to go back to the hotel for lunch and everyone had to eat at the set location. After that, they each find a folding chair to nap for a while, and then continue to work.
After a busy day like this, they could finally be dismissed after five o’clock. Since there are no night scenes tonight, many people’s faces are more relaxed. They could at least go out to play at night or have a good sleep.
Xi Mo was packing her bag. Ruan Yesheng walked to her side to watch her pack but did not speak.
Xi Mo saw the shadow cast by the person who was approaching her side. Glancing back at her, she saw Ruan Yesheng with an eager look of wanting to speak yet holding back and not speaking. This made her feel that Ruan Yesheng was still the same as when she was in school before, and for the first time she had the thoughts of wanting to laugh.
She thought that she looked kind of cute now.
This was also the first time she felt that it wasn’t strange using the word cute on Ruan Yesheng.
Ruan Yesheng had also invited Xi Mo out for meals during their university days, but she only agreed three times. After agreeing to her, Ruan Yesheng always liked to follow her around until the time of the meal, as if afraid that Xi Mo would find an excuse not to go after agreeing to.
Seeing Ruan Yesheng like that, it seems that she often gets stood up but is helpless against it, so she has some trauma now. But she herself only agreed to Ruan Yesheng’s invitation three times and she turned up every time. It definitely wasn’t because of her. She always keeps her promise. Presumably, the one who often made Ruan Yesheng get stood up is someone she is very close to. Otherwise, Ruan Yesheng would not care so much, being so cautious and worrying when she waits for the person she made plans with to turn up, as if the person she was waiting for wouldn’t turn up because of some reason if she wasn’t careful.
Xi Mo thought for a while, but it didn’t show on her face. She only said, “If I promised you, I will definitely do it. If I can’t, I won’t promise you. Tell me the address and I will find you later.”
She was afraid that Ruan Yesheng’s lack of sense of security would show up, so she added: “Don’t worry.”
Ruan Yesheng felt that although her words were faint, there was obviously a kind of considerate comforting. Ruan Yesheng’s eyes brightened a lot and she said with a very happy mood, “Mn, I know that you always keep your promise.”
Xi Mo didn’t speak. Ruan Yesheng told her the location they were eating at and said, “I’ll wait for you.”
Xi Mo packed up her bag and walked out a few steps, but turned around again and asked her, “What did you say to Ding Pei earlier? He got into his acting state pretty quickly afterwards.”
Ruan Yesheng’s lips curled into a smile. “Oh that. I encouraged him with the demotivational quotes you often see in WeChat Moments. He is simple-minded and took it pretty well. Simple and effective.”
Xi Mo: “…”
You’re really toxic.
Ruan Yesheng returned to her hotel room. She worked a lot today and sweated a lot. She will be having dinner with Xi Mo later and it’s not proper to turn up full of the smell of sweat, so she quickly went to take a bath. After bathing, she put on a satisfactory set of clothing. Standing by the window, she pulled open the curtain and casually looked around. She stayed on a relatively high floor and the nearby street can be fully viewed with a glance.
The area around the hotel is quite lively with many shops lined up. Ruan Yesheng watched for a while until her eyes were suddenly attracted to a figure. She saw Xi Mo walking around the street from a distance.
The clothes Xi Mo was wearing were different now from when she first went back. She had probably taken a bath. Looking at it time wise, she probably just went out. She looked around as she walked, looking casual, but was actually incredibly focused. She seemed to be carefully scrutinizing the surrounding, seemingly wanting to thoroughly see through the area surrounding the hotel. She then lowered her head in thought for a while before walking into a fruit store.
It was unknown what Xi Mo talked about with the shop owner. She came out only after a while, her right hand carrying a bag of fruit. When she left the store, the shop owner kept waving at her while beaming with joy, as if he had just met a god of wealth.
Ruan Yesheng felt that it was strange. At first, she thought that Xi Mo suddenly became polite and specially prepared some fruits because she had an appointment for dinner at night with her.
But she quickly denied this possibility. Xi Mo wouldn’t do this.
Ruan Yesheng would rather believe that Xi Mo was going to use her ‘high above others’ haughtiness that could reach the sky to launch the fruits to the astronauts at the space stations in greeting, or to use her snow-accumulating cold and noble temperament to freeze out an ice knife to have a fruit carving exhibition while practicing her knife skills rather than to believe that these fruits are bought by Xi Mo for her to eat after dinner.
Besides, the restaurant will prepare desserts and fruits after dinner, so there is no need to buy it.
Ruan Yesheng thought for a moment. Then, she took the lift down. At the hotel lobby on the first floor, she put up a coincidental stance towards Xi Mo and stopped her as she smiled and said, “What a coincidence.”
Xi Mo didn’t expect that she would appear here. She said, “Didn’t I ask you to wait for me there? I’m about to head there now.”
Ruan Yesheng spoke nonsense, “I wanted to go out and buy something, but I didn’t expect to run into you.”
Xi Mo stared at her for a while to the point Ruan Yesheng’s hair was standing a little before she said, “Your hair is only halfway blown dry, would you be unafraid of the embarrassment and go out to the street to buy things? Use a better reason for your lie next time.”
Ruan Yesheng didn’t feel awkward seeing her lie get exposed. She said with a smile, “You are still so smart.”
Xi Mo helplessly said, “You’re also still the same as before, following me even after I agreed to your invitation. I’ve already said that I would definitely turn up if I made my promise.”
Ruan Yesheng was a little stunned when she heard her. Her original intention was that she was curious about why Xi Mo would walk about on the streets and even buy fruits. This wasn’t like Xi Mo, so she purposely came to check on Xi Mo. She didn’t expect for Xi Mo to misunderstand, thinking that she was just like before, afraid that Xi Mo wouldn’t turn up and so follows Xi Mo all the way until the time of the meal.
After feeling stunned, a different kind of feeling emerged. The more she thought about it, the happier she felt. She said, “Unexpectedly, you still remember it even after so many years.”
Xi Mo gave her a glance. “I have a good memory.”
No matter what Xi Mo said, Ruan Yesheng just felt very happy.
She still remembers.
When Xi Mo finished speaking, she carried the bag and stepped towards the left. “Let’s go.”
Ruan Yesheng hurriedly said, “The restaurant is not this side.”
Xi Mo looked at her and said, “Go and dry your hair first. It’s easy to catch a cold.”
 It’s a different kind of I, the type which the emperor uses to address himself.
 Ding Pei pronounced a word wrongly again.
 In Chinese, the word that Ding Pei is supposed to say is ‘gong’ and not ‘hong’.
 Blackened – Saying bad things about someone to ruin their image.
 The emperor is addressing himself as ‘zhen’, which is the emperor’s way of saying ‘I’.