Chapter 128 - Pretty Faces, Dark Hearts [2 in 1]

Chapter 128: Pretty Faces, Dark Hearts [2 in 1]

Translator: Lonelytree  Editor: Millman97

Thankfully, Ye Shuang did not have time to run all over the place after that. Not just her, even Luo Mingxin did not have to find a reason to miss Miss Lin’s birthday party—he could not attend it because he had a valid reason. It was none other than because Brother Shuang was coming back to shoot his scenes.

Since he said that he was going to take the whole week to focus on honing his acting skill, and since Director Zhou was also very busy, no one went to disturb Ye Shuang for that entire week. It meant that she had plenty of time to wander all over town. She had lessons in both theory and practical applications; she was out there either swindling others with her identity as a socialite or stayed in her own room or a bookstore to brush up on her knowledge.

Even though the alien knowledge was high-end, its cultural development was still different from Earth. Ye Shuang did not have to worry about science and math, but she needed to pay extra attention to humanities and history. Her photographic memory served this purpose well. Ye Shuang worked at a speed that was several hundred times faster than normal to memorize these complicated theories. She memorized every single thing before examining them in closer details. After assimilating them into her mind, she used her equally insane mind-and-body coordination to live and breathe these theories…

For example, teaching a chimp how to do simple actions like picking up a bowl of water would require plenty of time because their musculature was not that evolved. However, teaching a more evolved human to do something like this would be easier and faster.

Others might require a long time to learn forms and manners, but with Ye Shuang’s evolved body, it was as simple as ABC for her. Others would need thousands of hours of practice before they could pick up something, but she only needed to pay some attention to it.

When Director Zhou finally found some free time and was reminded of this character who had a special cameo, he realized that he needed to follow up on Ye Shuang’s progress. That was the phone call Ye Shuang received at the Fu Hao Private Clubhouse.

“This pair sure is weird. They don’t have private numbers but share the same number between the two of them.” Director Zhou gave his orders to his crew while he grumbled to Luo Mingxin, who was sitting beside him. “Ye Shuang’s partner is a girl who also goes by the name Ye Shuang. I have not met her before. I wonder what kind of person she is.”

“Hehe…” Luo Mingxin, who had personally met Sister Shuang, sighed. There was a complicated emotion on his face. “I still think it’s better if you don’t know her too well.”

Director Zhou looked at Luo Mingxin with a confused look. “You’ve met her before?”

Can we not bring up this sad topic?

The two continued to chat for a while. Director Zhou had been slightly curious when a female voice answered his call yesterday, but he did not intend to intrude into Ye Shuang’s life. Thus, after Luo Mingxin showed obvious disinterest in discussing the female Ye Shuang, Director Zhou shrugged and went back to the official business.

“I’ve given that Ye Shuang one whole week of holiday already. Even though he had a great presence and photogenic face, I wonder whether he can accomplish this role or not.” Director Zhou was anxious and worried. He had not called to check up on Ye Shuang because of two reasons: one, he was really busy; two, he was afraid of finding out the answer.

It had been so hard for him to locate someone who fitted the criteria that he wanted. It had taken so much effort before he was able to convince the man to take the job. However, when the shooting started, he realized that dragging an amateur into a big role was a harder task than he had anticipated. To make the audience feel the uniqueness of this character with just a few scenes and to let them realize his love and hope for his little brother… Could an outsider really manage to construct such an image‽

Making the audience think “Oh my god, he’s so handsome. Yes, he is able to be Celebrity Luo’s big brother” was not enough. Director Zhou needed Ye Shuang to carry this movie’s soul. Luo Mingxin did not know whether Brother Shuang could manage it or not, but when he thought back to how Sister Shuang had managed to assimilate herself into the roomful of socialites and young masters…

He really did not know what to say.

“I’ve said, let it be!”

An annoyed teen yanked the seatbelt on his body with great impatience. Sitting in the passenger seat, he turned his head to look out the window. It looked as if he did not want to talk to, or even see, the man who was driving beside him.

The glass of the car window reflected the young man’s slightly despondent face. Unwilling to see himself in such a shameful state, the young man half-lowered his gaze to hide the darkness in his eyes. He harrumphed coldly as if he was trying to use it to hide something. “After all, as you’ve said, I was not born to do this! Everything is fine and dandy with the family business because you’re there. If I had time to look over those boring documents, I’d rather spend it looking at some beauties.”

The man in the driver’s seat was silent and calm. His suit made him appear generous and graceful, and not one hair on his head was not in place. There was a soothing and powerful presence about him. With just one glance, most people would not be able to drag their eyes away from him. They would be suppressed by the regal presence that seemed to naturally radiate from the man. There was an ease in his eyes that said that he never needed to worry about anything in his life because everything was within his control.

This kind of man, this kind of older brother… there was zero talk of competition—the young man could not even bring himself to have a shred of confidence. His big brother was an idol in everyone’s eyes like the sun in the sky, so what did it matter if he did not make anything of himself in life‽ Who would care‽ After all, as long as he remained beside his big brother, everyone’s eyes would be focused on his brother.

As if being reminded of something, after the short silence inside the car, the young man suddenly raised his voice, and his tone turned uglier. “I don’t like the company. I don’t like doing business. I don’t like plotting against others. I…”

“Liu Xuan.”

The man was not angry even though the young man had made such silly argument. He merely cut through the young man’s grumbling by stating his name. His gaze did not even move away from the street half an inch. The awe-inspiring presence that was inherent in those two simple words was enough to stun the young man. His lips were open, but he found himself unable to say anything else. The young man bit on his lips angrily. He turned his shame into anger. Why couldn’t I even gather the courage to counter him‽

After an angry huff, the young man leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes, saying, “I want to sleep; don’t disturb me!”

His body slammed against the seat and refused to communicate. There was no sound of people and traffic on the highway, which amplified the silence that filled the car. Suddenly, the young man heard a barely-discernible sigh next to his ear. The man who had said so little during the ride softened his voice and sighed. He was no longer as calm as he had been, but his face was wreathed in a great weight of helplessness. “My silly little brother.”

What? He dares to mock me‽

The young man, who had intended to endure the pressure silently, forced his eyes open. He wanted to roar back at the man to prove that he too had a temper. However, when his eyes opened, he unexpectedly met a pair of beautiful eyes that looked back at him. The light filtered through the car window and fell on the man’s impossibly handsome face. The man had turned around earlier, and he was looking at the young man.

The pupils that were as dark as an inky well were filled with complicated emotions, and this was the first time that Liu Xuan had seen such soft kindness on his big brother’s face. There was even a helpless smile that hung on his lips.

“What am I going to do with you?” he said softly. “What am I going to do with you? You still haven’t grown up.”

Unwillingness, helplessness, and quiet acceptance.

“Actually… I’m just worried about you.”

As the voice ended, the man’s body suddenly tipped forward. His right hand that was holding the hand-brake loosened, and his left hand turned the steering wheel hurriedly. When all else failed, he leaped over the seat to use his powerful arms to hug the young man and used his body to completely shield the young man underneath him.

What is going on‽ As the car twirled out of control, the young man’s shocked gaze swept the space under the driver’s seat, and he saw that his big brother’s feet had remained on the brake. Brake‽ What’s happening‽

All complicated thoughts froze in that one moment. After his eyes were completely shrouded by darkness, the young man felt the car shake, and the sound of glass shattering reverberated beside his ears. Then his nostrils were filled with a heavy hint of blood.

That was the last memory the young man had of his big brother…

“Cut! Perfect!”

Director Zhou’s excited cheer filled up the set, shattering the silence that followed the earlier scene. Following which, the crew rushed forward. Some went to pull the actors out of the car; others cleared away the debris. In just a matter of minutes, the scene was set up to shoot the other scene.

Ye Shuang pressed on the car seat and extricated herself from Luo Mingxin. Her long leg crawled out from the model car interior, and she shook the plastic shrapnel off his body. She raised her head and ran to Director Zhou excitedly. “Do we need to repeat that scene?”

In a smooth motion, Director Zhou stuck a red packet that was meant to ward off bad luck into Ye Shuang’s hands. Ignoring the meaning inherent in Ye Shuang’s words, he exclaimed excitedly, “Of course! We’re starting over when the dead people’s make-up is ready. Remember to put more blood on the face. If a face like yours is dead, that’ll surely make people cry… Right!”

At this point, he directed his fire toward Luo Mingxin, who was also climbing out of the compartment. “Remember to cry, let them tears flow… You have to make them believe that you’re in depth of despair! Xiao Ye has done such a great job even though he’s a new actor, so don’t waste his death!”

“Haha…” Ye Shuang laughed awkwardly.

Luo Mingxin had a rough idea how Director Zhou would die in the future.

Director Zhou finished giving his orders and ran back to the camera to look at the on-screen effect. He had initially thought the newbie would require plenty of retrials before he could get the feeling that he wanted. He had already been prepared to spend a long time there.

However, to his surprise, the man’s acting skill increased tremendously in just a few days. The few scenes he did were perfect. Not only did he perfectly embody the big brother’s majestic presence, even the zoomed-in cuts were as pretty as a picture. They could be posted online without any need for editing.

That serenity that knew this was going to be the end. The willingness to face death, the courage to look death in its eyes… there was no sadness nor despair. The only thing that broke his barrier was that sigh. It was filled with worry for his little brother.

A whole generation of young girls would be swept off their feet when they saw this at the cinema!

Director Zhou was so excited that he felt like running laps around the set. He thought that he had found an unaltered gem. However, even before he started to work on it, he realized that the gem was already a brilliant gem. This was such good luck that fell from the sky!

Pulling the assistant director and all the cinematographers over, Director Zhou began drafting a completely different plan. He ordered them to focus more close-ups on the face and eyes—there was no reason to purposely avoid them anymore!

The man’s eyes were filled with emotion. In fact, it was comparable to Luo Mingxin.

“…Actually, Director Zhou didn’t mean to do this on purpose.” Luo Mingxin sighed, looking at Director Zhou, who flitted about the set like a madman, before turning to look at the handsome man before him who had fake blood flowing down his face. In the end, he could not help himself from explaining, “Normally, when Director Zhou works with a newbie, he’ll do the most difficult scenes first since if they can survive the most difficult hurdle, the rest will be easy…”

What kind of insane habit is this‽ Ye Shuang’s lips twitched into an unnatural smile. She did not dare to make too big an expression because she was afraid that she might ruin the make-up. “That’s why, when I arrived, he told me directly, ‘Xiao Ye, go and die.'”

Luo Mingxin coughed awkwardly, but soon it was replaced by a good-natured smile. “After all, the effect was nice, right?”

In honesty, Luo Mingxin also did not have confidence in the newbie that Director Zhou seemed to pull out of nowhere. Even though the man was impossibly handsome and perfectly fitted the image of the older brother in the movie, an image alone was not enough to make a character. The big brother’s presence, personality, his uniqueness, his ability to make others surrender to him with just one interaction… these were things that could not be accomplished with just a pretty face.

After all, there were plenty of handsome guys in the world, but did they all have the presence required for the movie‽

It was because of that anxiety that Luo Mingxin went to visit the set on Ye Shuang’s first day. He did not say it explicitly, but he had been there to give some pointers to the newbie. However, after meeting the uniquely-gifted Sister Shuang and witnessing her ability at the private clubhouse, Luo Mingxin’s worry toward Brother Shuang had decreased greatly. Since they were partners, their ability wouldn’t be drastically different from one another, right?

The scene that they had just shot was the first scene for the day. It was the most important scene that set the tone and foundation for the rest of the movie. Ye Shuang’s performance did surprise Luo Mingxin.

Luo Mingxin was a photogenic man. It was not because he liked to hog the camera, but the audience were not idiots; they could figure out whose acting, emotions, and characterization was more authentic when they were in the same frame. This was something that could be discerned quite easily.

It was still okay if there was no comparison, but once there was comparison… ‘Celebrity Luo is always the main character’ was not something that was exaggerated by the media.

The most horrific experience was when he made a cameo for his friend in a school romance drama. It was a typical love square between three males and one female. Technically speaking, the female lead should have been the main character, and all the male characters were considered supporting characters. However, due to the insuppressible presence of Luo Mingxin, the audience only focused on his scene and ignored the two main leads that the love story was focused on. In the end, due to his immense popularity, the ending of the drama had to be rewritten to show that the character Luo Mingxin played had to leave the country so the two main leads could be together… It had pretty much nothing to do with the female lead.

That drama became one of the few darker moments in Luo Mingxin’s acting career. The start of the drama showcased the strong and independent female lead, the plot centers about the three male characters pursing her, and the ending was the third male lead having to leave the country attached with a monologue.

The audience enjoyed the drama, but in the end, no one could tell what the drama was about. Who is the plot supposed to be focused on? How come the main plot is so convoluted‽

The female lead had been disappointed. She was supposed to have been supported by Celebrity Luo, but her career had thus been shoved into the gutter. The first male lead had also been disappointed. No one even remembered him after the drama was over. The production company had been disappointed. If they had known earlier, they would not have arranged Celebrity Luo to cameo in this drama!

However, this time, without even looking at the recording, Luo Mingxin knew that Ye Shuang would not be overwhelmed by his brilliance on screen. If anything, due to his character setting as the little brother, he might end up being the one who was overshadowed.

This kind of experience was rare for Luo Mingxin… it was a complicated feeling.

Even though Ye Shuang could not move much when the make-up was being applied, her eyes could still move. She caught the various emotions that crossed Luo Mingxin’s eyes. One moment, he was relieved; another moment, he was filled with dread. The man was as temperamental as a woman!

“By the way, was it your partner who taught you how to act?” Luo Mingxin was reminded of something, and he posed Ye Shuang this sudden question.

“Partner?” Ye Shuang blinked. “I guess you could say so.”

This couple sure is insane. Luo Mingxin wanted to say something else, and he noticed the make-up artist had her ears as big as an elephant’s. In the end, he chose a more rounded way to make his point. “Actually, I don’t want to meddle into other people’s business, but recently someone… Cough! Your partner should know who that is. In any case, that person is quite interested in her, so you’d better advise her to be on the look out.”

“She’s quite busy at the moment.” Ye Shuang shrugged. Naturally, she knew that Luo Mingxin was referring to Mr. Lu. Since she did not make a statement, the man might have misunderstood. Since he was merely being kind, Ye Shuang explained patiently, “She has accepted a case out of Jing Hu City, and she’ll be busy trying to close the deal. She won’t be around, and she’ll be leaving in a few days. I’m not even sure she’ll return to Jing Hu City. By the way, why are you so worried on her behalf‽”

Luo Mingxin was stunned. “I’m worried about her‽”

“Are you not?” Ye Shuang tossed the question back before frowning. “How come I feel like our conversation is a little bit silly‽”

Yes, it is a little bit silly.

The make-up artist continued to stick the fake glass on Ye Shuang’s face. These two are so good-looking, but their hearts sure are dark! They insist on speaking in riddles even though the topic is so damn interesting! Couldn’t they just give me something to gossip about?

Luo Mingxin’s brows creased heavily. “Don’t misunderstand me. I just think the things that she’s doing are a bit inappropriate. Why seek trouble when trouble has not found you? You need to pay attention, especially now. I suspect she might be going to some not so good places.”


“Like Shi Fang Casino…” Luo Mingxin explained. “The buildings on the surface are okay, but plenty of illegal trades go on underneath the surface. Even though a normal person might not know about them, what if she caught wind from some random source and barged into the place? Who knows what would happen to her…”

“Okay, I understand.” Ye Shuang nodded satisfactorily. She had spent the whole night on the internet but could not find these places, but now Celebrity Luo was revealing the road for her.

Luo Mingxin suddenly had a bad feeling. “You won’t tell her that, right?”

“Don’t worry, I won’t reveal this to a second person.”

“Not even the first person!” Luo Mingxin suspected that this man was playing word games with him.

“…Fine, I’ll never tell anyone about this, regardless of whether they’re male, female, friends, cousins, or even my partner!” Ye Shuang raised her fingers to swear.

Luo Mingxin studied Ye Shuang seriously. After he made sure the man did not seem like he was kidding with him, he relaxed slightly. “…Promise, you won’t tell anyone, okay‽”

Ye Shuang nodded silently before frowning as she scratched her chin. “By the way, Celebrity Luo, have you fallen in love with my partner‽”

What, where did that accusation even come from‽ Luo Mingxin’s handsome face was almost green from the misunderstanding.

The make-up artist finally found her chance to grab Ye Shuang’s hand that almost went to her face. “Don’t move! You’ll ruin the blood!”

I’m in heaven… I finally touched my idol’s soft hand…

The day’s shoot was finally over.

Since the shooting was carried out on set, the scenes at the bungalow would have to wait. Ye Shuang made use of this opening to leave early and return to the hotel to change. Then, she needed to follow up on the case that she had received at Fu Hao Clubhouse.

Even though Shi Fang Casino had its attraction, since she already had a case, a lucrative one at that, not closing it sooner made her worry. Thankfully, Sister Shuang had a good reputation at Fu Hao Clubhouse, and she was lucky enough to run into someone who needed her service. The first case there came easily, but assigning the talents from San Lin City would require her to notify Han Chu.

After all, Jing Hu City was another agent’s territory. Even though the talent was technically from San Lin City, this kind of case was normally accepted when there were too many requests to go around, and the local agent did not have the resources to handle all of them.

Han Chu did not know what to say when he accepted the call. “…So you’re telling me, you travelled to Jing Hu City for a break and ‘just so happened’ to accept a case‽”

“Yes, it was pure coincidence!” Ye Shuang immediately tried to explain that she was not trying to intrude into other’s territory. “Actually, if I don’t accept, the client will just find his own friend to deal with it. Your other agents are handling seven districts, so they might not have the time to handle this case.”

“You’ve crossed the line!” Han Chu’s voice came through the phone, but his tone switched immediately. “But it doesn’t matter this time. Remember, in the future, either the client or the talent has to come from San Lin City.”

Wait, this means you’re allowing me to take other people’s piece of pie‽