Top Star Agent Chapter 2

"Everyone, please step outside," Xiang QingWei said as she entered.

Assistants Xiao Dong and Xiao Mei immediately left the makeup room, closing the door behind them, leaving only Xiang QingWei and Ling Jia Yi inside.

Xiang QingWei walked straight over, without uttering a word, and delivered a resounding slap.

Of course, it wasn't on Ling Jia Yi's handsome face but on his leg sprawled across the makeup table.

There was a sharp "smack" sound.

Ling Jia Yi yelped and quickly retracted his leg, then, holding his thigh, he looked at Xiang QingWei in disbelief.

Xiang QingWei's face was stern: "How many times have I told you to be mindful of your image?"

Ling Jia Yi's defiance faded, and rubbing his thigh, he said with a hint of grievance, "It's not like we're outside. There's no one else here."

Xiang QingWei was not swayed by his excuses, responding coolly, "You're too casual. Do you even remember the difference between public and private anymore?"

Knowing he was at fault, Ling Jia Yi silently massaged his thigh. When he let go and saw the red mark on his pale skin, a wave of self-pity surged within him: "It's all red now!"

Xiang QingWei said, "Pain is the only way to learn."

Ling Jia Yi looked at her accusingly: "How can there be a woman as heartless as you?"

All his life, Ling Jia Yi had been adored for his good looks, always pampered and spoiled by everyone, careful not to upset him. But Xiang QingWei was different; she was tender when things were good but didn't hesitate to scold or even hit him when they weren't. She was simply not like a woman!

Sometimes, Xiang QingWei really wanted Ling Jia Yi's fans to see what he was truly like behind closed doors, to see if they would still spout those nauseatingly saccharine phrases about their 'brother' being an unattainable flower, cold and aloof like a deity.

Xiang QingWei had no time for idle chatter and said firmly, "Get ready and go apologize to Director Gou."

Ling Jia Yi's expression changed: "What?"

Xiang QingWei looked at him: "Do I need to repeat myself?"

Anger flared in Ling Jia Yi's beautiful eyes: "Didn't Xiao Dong tell you? That woman messed up her lines seventeen times today!!! Just three lines! Even a pig would have learned them by now! Since we started shooting, not a single scene with her has been done in one take! I still have over a hundred scenes to shoot with her, how am I supposed to continue?!"

"Even if you can't continue, you have to. You're not yet a big enough star to demand a recast," Xiang QingWei said with a stern expression. "Do you understand the impact it would have if news of your walkout today got out? People won't care how many times the unknown female second lead bloopered. They'll just say that you've started throwing tantrums the moment you got a little fame."

Ling Jia Yi's face turned sour.

"Do you think the director doesn't want to replace her?" Xiang QingWei sighed, then softened her tone, "Believe me, the director wants to replace her more than you do, but he doesn't have the power to do so right now."

As she spoke, Xiang QingWei leaned in slightly, her hand caressing Ling Jia Yi's pale cheek, her clear eyes fixed on his stunningly beautiful ones: "This industry is like a pyramid, and you're only halfway up. If you want power, you need to reach the top. But until you get there, you must make concessions and compromises."

The anger and frustration in Ling Jia Yi's chest dissipated, leaving only his heart pounding wildly.

What's with this woman? If you're going to talk, just talk, why... why touch his face?!

Hmph, he knew it. She pretends to be uninterested on the surface, but she must have been eager all along, right? Look, now she can't suppress her feelings anymore and is taking the opportunity to get handsy with him...

Xiang QingWei was completely unaware of Ling Jia Yi's inner turmoil. Seeing him calm down, she withdrew her hand and stood up straight, "Okay, take a little more rest, and then I'll accompany you to apologize to Director Gou. Although Director Gou is still quite young, he's very talented and is bound to make a name for himself sooner or later. Getting along with him will only benefit your future."

Ling Jia Yi huffed.

Although he was not too pleased with Xiang QingWei praising another man in front of him, he had to admit that during the half-month of shooting, Director Gou did show some talent.

Xiang QingWei patiently explained, "I have high hopes for this drama. The script is excellent, the director knows his craft, and the role is well-defined, offering you a lot of room to showcase your talent. Besides the female second lead, the other cast members are quite remarkable. It's your luck to have landed such a script, and I hope you cherish this opportunity. 

If possible, I hope you won't adopt a hostile attitude towards the female second lead. She may not have a formal acting background and lacks previous acting experience, but I've asked Director Gou, and he says she can be quite good at times. You should try to help her out. It will help you too. The success of a drama isn't just about one actor's performance."

"Alright, alright, I get it. Stop nagging," Ling Jia Yi interrupted her with an impatient look.

Although he appeared impatient, Ling Jia Yi knew Xiang QingWei was right. He liked the script from the moment he saw it, which is why he chose this drama over another film.

Xiang QingWei was used to his impatience and still spoke gently, "Do you want some water?"

Ling Jia Yi arrogantly lifted his chin.

Xiang QingWei fetched a bottle of water from the corner fridge, opened it, and handed it to him.

Ling Jia Yi took a sip of the water she handed him and suddenly expressed dissatisfaction, "What have you been busy with lately?"

Last year, Xiang QingWei was almost always by his side, accompanying him on set and taking care of him. But this year, she assigned him an additional life assistant and then seemingly abandoned him. 

He hardly saw her once a month. Whenever he asked, she was always busy. Could there be anything more important than him? Wasn't she his agent? Her job should revolve around him!

It was as if he had just noticed Xiang QingWei's attire for the day, which was different from her usual. He glanced at her and huffed, "I heard you took the day off. Where did you go? And dressed like this?" 

He sneaked another glance at her. Her hair, usually meticulously tied back, was loosely draped down, and she was wearing a skirt for a change, revealing two smooth, slender, and dazzling legs... He hadn't expected her to look quite womanly when dressed up.

Xiang QingWei smiled, "Private matters, so I won't report to you."

Ling Jia Yi's face fell, "Why do I have to report my private matters to you, but you can't report yours to me?"

Xiang QingWei calmly stated, "Because you're the artist, and I'm the agent. You are under my management, but I'm not under yours."

Ling Jia Yi was indignant but couldn't find a reason to refute her.

Frustrated and yet helpless against her.

Xiang QingWei then changed the topic, surveying him from head to toe before commenting, "Is this a new look? I haven't seen it before, but it looks good."

Ling Jia Yi suited ancient costumes, not just in appearance but also in bone structure. He had an air of nobility with a hint of heroism, fitting both a refined young master and a proud young general.

Ling Jia Yi gave her a sidelong glance and snorted through his nose, "Is the style good-looking, or is it me?"

"Of course," Xiang QingWei watched him with a smile, generously offering her praise, "You're uniquely handsome."

Initially, Ling Jia Yi was somewhat displeased, but after Xiang QingWei's compliment, he felt completely at ease. Beyond that ease, there was a hint of sweetness. Despite hearing endless flattery day in and day out, such a cliché compliment coming from Xiang QingWei's mouth...

It was undeniable that Ling Jia Yi indeed possessed a flawless visage, impeccable features, eyebrows and eyes so beautiful they could make most female celebrities green with envy, skin so fair and cool it was the envy of many, and a figure that could strut down a fashion runway at any moment.

And the luxurious clothing and hair crown only added to his natural air of nobility and arrogance.

Xiang Qingwei felt quite proud of her discernment, having spotted the then bleach-haired, heavily made-up Ling Jia Yi in a talent show, plucking him out mid-season. She had poached him for her own, arranged for him to drop out, and sent him to study acting for three months. She had worked hard to snag him a spot, and then, he rose to fame overnight.

Endorsements, events, and scripts came fluttering in like snowflakes, overwhelming them.

She spared no expense in hiring a renowned stylist to tailor a look that suited him, steering clear of the odd hair dyes and heavy makeup from his talent show days. His hair was kept clean and black, wearing light makeup only for events, and always bare-faced in private, never carelessly piling on so-called fashion items.

Simplicity and cleanliness maintained his most striking and attractive qualities.

He didn't need to ingratiate himself with anyone; just being himself was enough to attract countless followers.

At the moment, waiting outside the makeup room, Xiao Mei looked back anxiously, "Can Weiwei handle Jia Yi?"

She had only been with Ling Jia Yi for two months and had thoroughly experienced the temperament of this star; any girlish fantasies she might have had were completely shattered. She had never seen anyone so difficult to serve.

Today, he had thrown a particularly big tantrum, even managing to drive the director away in frustration.

"Don't worry," Xiao Dong said with an easygoing smile, "Jia Yi doesn't listen to anyone but Weiwei. As long as Weiwei steps in, there's nothing she can't handle. Last year at this time, it was Weiwei who took care of Jia Yi. Whenever he lost his temper, Weiwei would smooth things over just like that."

"Wow, Weiwei is amazing," Xiao Mei said with a look of admiration and longing. She didn't even dare to speak when Ling Jia Yi was angry.

Sure enough, in less than ten minutes, the makeup room door opened.

Xiang Qingwei walked out in front, followed by a sullen-faced Ling Jia Yi.

Xiao Dong gave Xiao Mei a "see what I mean?" look, then went about her business.

Xiang Qingwei led Ling Jia Yi to apologize to Director Gou and even had Ling Jia Yi pay to treat the entire set to iced drinks and watermelon.

The crew, originally disgruntled with Ling Jia Yi, had their anger cooled by the icy beverages and watermelon.

"Miss Xiang, you've worked hard," Director Gou said, grateful as he watched the set return to a harmonious state.

He only knew how to make a good film; everything else was beyond him. Many of the crew members were from the production company, and he couldn't direct them. If Xiang Qingwei hadn't come, he wouldn't have known what to do.

"It's what I should do," Xiang Qingwei earnestly replied, "Jia Yi is still young and takes his acting too seriously. Please be patient with him. I've already spoken to him, and he knows he was wrong. Anyway, if there's anything, call me anytime."

Director Gou nodded repeatedly, "I know, Jia Yi is indeed talented and serious about acting." His eyebrows drooped with worry, "Miss Xiang, as you know, our film really lacks funding, and I had no choice..."

"I understand," Xiang Qingwei said with a smile, "Don't frown so much. It's always a bit difficult at the beginning, but it will get smoother. And, don't call me Miss Xiang. Aren't you a few years older than me, Director Gou? Calling me that makes me feel old. Just call me Qingwei."

Director Gou laughed a bit sheepishly and embarrassedly, "Sorry, I just followed what others called you, got used to it."

Xiang Qingwei smiled with pursed lips, then asked, "Where is the actress playing the second female lead? May I talk to her?"

...

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