Wen Li's competitive spirit was truly strong.
The strength lay in the fact that she could usually be lazy, but once it came to personal grievances, she would burst forth with unimaginable perseverance and determination.
For the past two years, she had been secretly competing with Zheng Xue.
If Zheng Xue starred in one TV drama, she would star in two.
If Zheng Xue worked without a break for 300 days a year, she would work without a break for 365 days.
She didn't mind being tired; she just wanted to earn more money than Zheng Xue, have a higher level of fame, and surpass Zheng Xue in all aspects.
It would be even better if she could make Zheng Xue feel uncomfortable at the mere mention of her name.
The cameras were hidden and the audio quality was not as good as a microphone.
In the surveillance monitor, they could only see the two of them leaning against the wall, whispering to each other, with no idea what they were saying.
Next door, Zheng Xue was still acting coquettishly, and her tone was truly sweet.
Suddenly, Wen Li remembered her performance in the first episode and felt increasingly dissatisfied.
Wen Li wasn't particularly interested in eavesdropping on others, so she walked back and sat down.
She took a deep breath and shouted loudly, “Honey!”
There was suddenly no sound next door, clearly indicating that they had heard it.
Song Yan walked over and sat down next to her, “What's wrong?”
Wen Li mouthed, “Speak louder.” Then she quietly tugged at his clothes and pointed at the wall with her chin, indicating that she wanted them to hear.
Most of Song Yan's emotional tension was reserved for acting.
There was a clear distinction between his character and himself, and he rarely spoke loudly in real life.
Wen Li thought he was too refined, and she doubted if the people next door would be able to hear.
So the man cooperated with her and repeated what she said.
She said, “I've been on the road all day, now my feet hurt.”
They had been traveling by means of transportation all day.
They probably hadn't even walked 2,000 steps in total.
Song Yan lowered his eyes to look at her legs.
She valued style over comfort.
Despite the temperature being only around ten degrees, she wore a pair of short jeans just to show off her long and slender legs when being photographed at the airport.
This woman had naturally excellent proportions.
Since becoming an artist, she had both innate conditions and exercised to maintain her leg shape.
Her legs were straight and slender, with smooth lines and no muscle texture.
However, they didn't appear frail at all.
When she sat down, there was a slightly flattened arc between her legs, and her ankles were the most delicate.
The measurements of her thighs and calves were all slender and well-proportioned.
Song Yan squatted in front of her and reached out to touch her ankle, “Let me massage it for you.”
The voice still wasn't loud enough.
She didn't expect him to help anymore.
“Do you want to massage my feet? Really?” she pretended to be surprised and said, “You're so kind to me.
I feel so happy.”
Who would still go around saying, “I feel so happy” all the time? Speaking in such an exaggerated tone, it was suitable only for TV dramas.
The staff on the surveillance monitor also thought the same way.
They had originally wanted to capture the most authentic side of the couple in private, but little did they know that Wen Li had realized they were observing in secret and started acting.
If it were included in the final cut, the program might be accused of being scripted.
Song Yan wanted her to stop talking.
At this moment, it would be best for her to be obedient, blush appropriately, and be less exaggerated.
But she wanted the people next door to hear, so he went along with her.
Next door, there was complete silence.
They probably realized that the soundproofing of this temporary room was not good, so they chose to keep quiet.
After massaging for a few minutes, Wen Li retracted her feet, “That's enough, that's enough.”
Song Yan stood up, supporting his knees, and asked, “Is it still painful?”
Huh? Her legs weren't actually hurting.
It was just an act.
Didn't he know?
“Huh?” Wen Li thought about acting the whole way through, so she nodded in agreement, “It doesn't hurt anymore since you massaged it for me.”
Then, in a lowered voice, she provocatively raised her eyebrows at him and said, “More affectionate than them.
It will drive them crazy.”
The two of them looked at each other.
Song Yan, being a “tool guy”, didn't show much temper.
He simply pushed her forehead with his hand.
Wen Li's head tilted back, but she wasn't angry.
She smiled triumphantly, with a curve on her lips that didn't reveal her teeth, but a few satisfied chuckles slipped out.
Song Yan sighed and also chuckled softly twice.
The staff watching through the surveillance monitor had no idea what they were laughing about.
It was inexplicable, but the laughter transmitted through the screen was contagious, and a few staff members couldn't help but smile.
The director felt regretful, “Assistant, remember to make sure they wear microphones for such tests next time.”
“Do we still use this footage of them laughing?”
“Let's use it,” The director, a man in his forties, had a youthful heart and understood what young girls liked nowadays, “Edit a short video with some background music, and millions of likes will come easily.”
When they came out of the Broadcasting Building, it was already evening.
Star City's late-night snack culture was highly developed.
As soon as the plane landed in the afternoon, the team was already enthusiastically discussing where to go for late-night snacks.
They finally settled on a popular restaurant they found on a social media app.
Because it was not far from the Broadcasting Building, many artists would go to this restaurant for late-night snacks after recording shows, gradually turning it into a celebrity hotspot and a popular place for artists to check in after work.
Wen Li didn't want to go at first.
She genuinely enjoyed eating late-night snacks, but now that she had come to a city full of late-night food stalls, she saw traps and crises everywhere.
But since tonight's late-night snacks were Song Yan's treat, even if she was unwilling, she could only grit her teeth and go along.
The two teams managed to find a table to sit at.
Near their table, a TV mounted on the wall was playing a variety show.
These men and women who usually worked with artists and were part of the glamorous entertainment industry were no different from regular office workers.
After work, they completely let go of their work burdens and became boisterous.
Wen Li was enjoying some crawfish, eating while getting her mouth full of spicy oil.
The intense stimulation from the chili made her cough a few times.
Finally, she took a sip of iced cola and sighed with satisfaction, “That feels great!”
Wen Li bit her chopsticks and swallowed her saliva.
Wen Wen looked at her with pity in her eyes and handed her a peeled shrimp, saying, “Sister, just take a bite.
It's just one bite, no big deal.”
“Since you put it that way, I can't refuse.
Before she could finish speaking, she eagerly opened her mouth, gesturing for Wen Wen to feed her.
Suddenly, Lu Dan interjected, “Once you have one, you'll want a second.
Once you have a second, you'll want a third.
With your gluttonous nature, it wouldn't be surprising if you ate five catties tonight.
Don't come crying to me tomorrow when you have a stomach ache.
You still have to go to the gym, you're not allowed to leave before you complete three hours of exercise.”
Wen Li closed her mouth disappointedly.
She turned her head to look at Song Yan's table.
The public's expectations for male artists' figures were not as strict as they were for female artists.
He had better self-control than her, often went to the gym, and didn't need to specially control his diet.
He was currently clinking glasses with a few familiar staff members.
Later, a few more people came to toast, and Wen Li didn't refuse.
She made polite comments about how hard everyone worked while bravely downing a few glasses.
It didn't take long before she used dizziness as an excuse to go back to the hotel and rest.
Wen Wen was young, so it wasn't appropriate for everyone to encourage her to drink.
Therefore, she was the only one who could drive and take her back to the hotel.
Wen Li sat in the back seat and opened the car window to feel the breeze.
The lively scenery along the way dazzled her eyes.
Compared to the exquisitely decorated shop windows, this kind of ordinary urban life was the most comfortable and leisurely.
She sighed deeply and let out a burp, “Wen Wen, I'm so pitiful.”
Wen Wen glanced at her through the rearview mirror, “Sister, what's wrong with you?”
Wen Li pouted.
“As a female celebrity, I earn so much money every year, but I can't buy any big-name items! Even my phone case is a global limited edition! I can't even afford a few dozen yuan per jin of crayfish!”
Wen Wen: “…”
The conversation was filled with a sense of Versailles1, she didn't want to engage with this particular female celebrity.
“I'm 1.66 meters tall! I gained a few pounds during the New Year, reaching 96 jin! Then those people on the internet said I was fat! I had to eat a month of diet meals and grit my teeth to lose weight again!”
Wen Wen: “…”
“They're thin! They're the thinnest! Their ashes and the urn combined weigh nine jin and six liang!”
“Sister!” Wen Wen sighed, “Please speak politely.”
“Polite speech, polite speech,” Wen Li realized that she lacked manners and quickly corrected herself, “Their inorganic matter and the urn combined weigh nine jin and six liang.”
Wen Wen simply stopped trying to persuade her.
After all, there was no one else in the car, and she knew that her sister's uncivilized remarks would be kept secret until the day she was laid to rest.
In reality, Wen Li wasn't even drunk.
She just took the opportunity to vent her frustrations and complain about things she couldn't normally express.
When they arrived at the hotel, Wen Li walked in a straight line as usual.
While searching for her room card in her bag, Wen Wen asked Wen Li with concern, “Sister, should I go to the pharmacy and get some hangover pills?”
Wen Li sighed, “I'm not drunk, and even if I were, a good sleep would do the trick.
Why would I need hangover pills? I'm not that sensitive.”
The elevator reached the 18th floor, where the restaurant was located.
Wen Li anticipated that someone would enter and instinctively put on her sunglasses.
Ding! As expected, there was someone outside the door.
It was someone familiar.
Lu Ming and Zheng Xue were standing at the entrance, holding hands.
Initially, they had sweet smiles on their faces, but when they saw the people inside the elevator, they froze.
Wen Li knew that the production team had booked a five-star hotel for the guests, but she didn't expect to bump into them tonight.
Wen Wen was caught off guard and wondered whether to greet them or not.
If she didn't, it might upset the other people.
But if she did, she feared Wen Li wouldn't be happy.
After much hesitation, Wen Wen couldn't come to a decision.
It was Zheng Xue who spoke first, “Wen Li, is this your new assistant? You don't even know how to greet people.
It seems like you haven't taught her well.”
Caught off guard, Wen Wen stammered, not wanting to put her sister in a difficult position.
She quickly said, “No, that's not it…”
Wen Li interrupted in a calm voice, “Who said that? I've taught her very well.
Some people don't deserve a greeting from my assistant.
Can you blame her for that?”
Wen Wen looked at Wen Li, deeply moved by her response.
Zheng Xue sneered, wanting to pull Lu Ming into the elevator.
But Lu Ming took a step back and whispered, “Let's wait for the next one.”
“Why should we wait for the next one? Is this elevator exclusively for her?” Zheng Xue retorted, then smirked ambiguously, “Or is it because you feel guilty, darling?”
Lu Ming instinctively glanced at Wen Li.
Wen Li was wearing sunglasses, so one couldn't see the emotions in her eyes, but she stood with her arms crossed, chin held high, seeming indifferent to whether they took this elevator or waited for the next one.
He couldn't help but feel a little disappointed and recalled the conversation he overheard between Wen Li and Song Yan in the lounge this afternoon.
In the end, he was pulled into the elevator by Zheng Xue.
The elevator was spacious enough to accommodate four people comfortably, but due to the tense atmosphere, the space felt extremely cramped, as if it would explode.
There was silence throughout the ride until they reached their floor, and all four of them simultaneously moved their feet.
Damn it, their rooms were also arranged on the same floor.
The damn production team was deliberately causing trouble.
The four of them walked out of the elevator, with Zheng Xue and Lu Ming in the front, whispering something from time to time, occasionally glancing back at Wen Li.
As they walked into a blind spot of the surveillance cameras, Zheng Xue couldn't hold back anymore and turned her head, saying, “Wen Li, how can you be so detestable?”
Lu Ming futilely opened his mouth, his expression complicated.
You want to argue, don't you?
Fine, it's perfect.
I've been craving crawfish all day and now I have a belly full of anger.
“There are plenty of people who dislike me.
Who do you think you are?” said Wen Li, mimicking the mannerisms of a sketch actor, with a mischievous and nonchalant tone.
“You!” Zheng Xue's blood rushed to her head, infuriated by Wen Li's words.
“Two years ago, you were bashed online, and yet here you are,” she clapped her hands sarcastically, “I applaud you for your courage.”
Wen Li chuckled twice, “Did you lose your memory? I was voted number one on the show.
Without me, there would be no fame.
Stop making assumptions.
You and your husband couldn't generate enough popularity to even match up to me.”
Zheng Xue suddenly felt a sharp pain.
She despised the fact that she couldn't achieve Wen Li's level of fame.
For the past two years, she had been chasing after Wen Li, but she was always overshadowed by her.
Zheng Xue's chest heaved up and down, her eyes glaring with anger as she spoke excitedly, “Don't think I don't know what's going on between you and Song Yan.
There are others like you in the industry.
There's no need to pretend.
You were eagerly pursuing my husband, it's not surprising that Song Yan would accompany you on the show to avoid wearing a green hat.”
“What the hell do you mean by a green hat?”
Hearing Song Yan's name, Wen Li's alcohol-induced anger finally burst out.
“Your husband? He was the one sending me those ambiguous messages.
If it weren't for the CP hype, I would have blocked him directly.
And you, with your love-struck brain, think he's some kind of desirable man.
Let me tell you, our family's Teacher Song is a hundred times better than your husband.
He's more handsome, he makes more money.
I'm not blind, why would I let our family's Teacher Song suffer for your husband's sake?”
Zheng Xue widened her eyes in shock.
She didn't expect Wen Li to be so sharp-tongued.
She raised her arm, wanting to grab her hair.
“What? You want to grab my hair?” Wen Li cautiously took a step back, “With your thinning hair, be careful I don't make you bald.”
Zheng Xue missed her target and grew increasingly frustrated, starting to babble madly.
“…Wen Li! You and Song Yan have a contractual marriage.
What use are his handsomeness and wealth? You're not a real couple!”
“Contractual my ass.
Our family's Teacher Song speaks less but is skilled in action.
I don't know if Lu Ming is skilled in action or not, but he certainly can't compare to our Song Yan.
I can't leave the bed for three days after one night with him.”
Both Zheng Xue and Lu Ming's faces turned dark.
Wen Wen: “…”
Oh no, her sister's alcohol-fueled courage had completely emerged.
Having just graduated from university, she didn't want to listen to these arguments between adults.
Wen Wen silently took a few steps back, wanting to escape the scene.
After all, her sister had a sharp tongue.
Even if Zheng Xue and Lu Ming joined forces, they couldn't out-argue her.
As she was about to reach the elevator, Wen Wen saw a familiar figure.
Song Yan, who should have been eating supper at the restaurant, was standing there with a bag of packed crawfish in his hands.
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