“Mr Chang.” Sitting beside Chang Shi Gui was another investor for The Legendary Chronicles of Tanhai. He had long heard of rumours that Chang Shi Gui was interested in this female celebrity but had not been able to successfully pursue her. He was even ridiculed by many in their social circle because of this. “The producer told me previously that this female actress works very hard on set. It’s no wonder why Qian Conghai admires her.”
When a man is interested in a woman, he would also be happy when that others compliment her as well, regardless of whether he was successful in pursuing her. This was a recognition of his tastes.
True enough, Chang Shi Gui smiled unconsciously at his words. “That’s how she is. She does her best in everything, no matter how arduous it may be.”
The investor smiled and nodded, as he thought to himself, this actress is really capable. Look at Chang Shi Gui’s tone, you can just feel the gentleness seeping out.”
There were rumours that the ladies from the Jiang and Bai families were interested in Chang Shi Gui. They had been unable to succeed in catching his interest, but this actress managed to do so!
Onstage, the host asked Ning Xi, “What was the most difficult thing that you faced acting as Fairy Qingyun?”
Ning Xi smiled. “As many fans of the novel would know, Fairy Qingyun is the epitome of a perfect fairy. Hence, the hardest thing was to carry that godlike aura and act out the gestures.”
Ning Xi was telling the truth. After all, this was what the public had been most concerned with when discussing the casting of Fairy Qingyun. Many people felt that none of the actresses in the industry could actually portray that perfect Fairy Qingyun.
No one had ever seen a fairy before, but everyone had heard stories about them since they were young. Hence, they would always have some fantasies about fairies.
This was the reason why Ning Xi’s role had been controversial from the beginning, and after the film’s premiere, would be in the centre of fans’ attention.
“I’ve got to reveal this. During production, Ning Xi had read a fair bit of articles about fairies in order to better portray this role. At that time, her phone’s wallpaper was that of the flying Apsara in Dunhuang; she even put up images of the flying Apsara around her apartment!” Sun Yuhan started. “At that time, we were even joking that Xixi was preparing to go into cultivation.”
“An image of the flying Apsara in Dunhuang?” The female host appeared shocked. “That’s on another level!”
“I just felt that the flying Aspara’s lines in those images were exceptionally beautiful,” Ning Xi turned her head and thought about it further. “That’s probably how I imagine a fairy should look.”
“The novel included a part which described Fairy Qingyan dancing gracefully. Will this feature in the movie?” The male host asked curiously, “Watching a beauty dance would be exhilarating.”
Ning Xi lowered her head as she smiled silently, neither confirming nor denying the question.
At this moment, Director Qian responded, “The audience won’t be disappointed.”
The attention of the movie critics present were piqued from his comment; Director Qian probably did film this scene. That would be a logical move; after all, Fairy Qingyan was one of the biggest mysteries from this movie; if the dance scene was well-filmed, the film would definitely gain more attention.
However, the movie productions in recent times did not do well when it came to dance scenes. In many cases, a moving dance scene would normally end up as a bad dance routine, even though many would still pretend to be in awe of the routine.
Of course, this was not the fault of the director alone. As movie productions were cost-intensive, even if a director wanted to produce a better scene, producers would not agree. Of course, actors might not cooperate as well, and the audiences were not fussed about whether a dance scene was extraordinary.
If people had become this restless, then there was nothing that directors could do.
They could only hope that Qian Conghai had overcome this limitation and had filmed a fascinating dance scene.
Now that all the hype was raised, even the audiences watching the live telecast from their homes were also interested in the movie. Once the premiere ended, the movie screening started.
The scene that caught their eyes appeared once again, pulling the audiences into a mythical xianxia world.
A male lead on a cultivation journey with the accompaniment of a female lead, as well as the demons that they met along the way. All these were key elements to the plot that kept the audiences in their seats.
When Ning Xi’s character Fairy Qingyan floated down from the clouds, everyone was mesmerized; what they saw wasn’t Ning Xi, but a true fairy.
The main storyline wasn’t about how fairies could help mortals, but that human determination could win the heavens, and fairies were not as aloof and perfect as mortals believed.
When Fairy Qingyan was dancing before the gods in the Heavenly Palace, the mortal world was suffering from the worst drought in a hundred years. They had knelt and prayed to the gods, but the gods were oblivious to the prayers of their followers, and instead indulged in frivolous activities.
The novel focused on the male lead’s cultivation and success, but the movie focused on the morality, divinity and the attitudes of people. It aimed to tell the audience that people had to be self-reliant and grow stronger, and to bravely face the futures ahead. The former had more feel-good parts, while the latter was deeper, in line with the spread of positivism.
The dance scene was ethereal; the audience couldn’t help but immerse themselves in the scene. However, it was also the beauty of the scene that showed how cold and cruel the gods were.
The finale of the movie was left fairly ambiguous. The enchanted mountains and oceans were still shrouded by the clouds and fog, but the people who were worshipping had visibility lessened.
An old man asked the male lead, “Young man, where are you going?”
The male lead looks at the mountains in the distance. After a while, he then opens his mouth. “I’m looking for someone.”
“Who are you looking for?” The elder asks.
The male lead shakes his head without a word, and slowly disappears in the crowd.
In the movie, the female lead reincarnates after dying in the hands of the demonic realm. Fairy Qingyan survived the attack from the demons, but was punished by the Fairy Emperor for intervening in mortal affairs. Her immortality was taken from her and her soul destroyed, and she dissipated from the world.
Hence, the male lead was probably looking for the reincarnation of the female lead; however, some critics felt that he was looking for Fairy Qingyan, as the finale was shot precisely in the same place that Fairy Qingyan appeared.
When the movie ended, the entire venue was silent for a few seconds, then loud applause filled the room.
The entire crew of The Legendary Chronicles of Tanhai walked up onstage and bowed to the audience in thanks.
Despite the name of the movie, the content was full of ridicule towards the immortal realm. This was what made Qian Conghai successful; at least, his concept had won over the censor board and the movie critics.
“To a successful movie! Cheers!” In the private room, the crew from The Legendary Chronicles of Tanhai raised their glasses, all of them in a good mood.
Even though the movie had just premiered that night and they had yet to calculate the box-office earnings, the reaction from the audience at the screening had already assured them that this was undoubtedly going to be a successful film.
They would usually refrain from teasing the director, but all of them let their hair down, taking turns to give Director Qian a toast. Fortunately, they still held back, otherwise Director Qian would have been very drunk.
However, most of them still did not dare to tease the two investors. Even though they hoped that they could gain the favour of the investors, they didn’t dare to act when they saw the lead cast sitting properly in their positions.
Zhang Peipei was the second female antagonist in the movie. Even though she didn’t have a huge share of scenes, she benefitted from Zhu Moli’s downfall. She sat beside Ning Xi, and poked Ning Xi’s arm curiously, “Xixi, how did you dare to make friends with President Chang? He looks really stern.”
Ning Xi looked at her curious face, but also noticed the flash of hope and anticipation within her eyes. She feigned ignorance to Zhang Peipei’s hidden intentions and smiled. “It’s probably because I’m used to it; after all, we’ve known each other for long.”
“Huh?” Zhang Peipei was astonished. “You’ve really been good friends for many years?”
“Yes.” Ning Xi smiled without continuing.
Zhang Peipei was both envious and jealous. If she had such a powerful friend, she probably wouldn’t be as calm as Ning Xi, and would have tried to gain the man’s favour.
Yet, it could precisely be because of Ning Xi’s character that allowed her to make friends with this powerful man!
After all, charisma was something that was innate.
Halfway through the meal, Chang Shi Gui suddenly reached out and placed a plate of deshelled prawns in front of Ning Xi.
The people on their table looked at Ning Xi’s perfectly manicured hands, then looked towards the quiet Chang Shi Gui. Then they pretended that they didn’t witness that scene, even though their minds were racing.
So, the rumours were true. The President of Chang Enterprises was really interested in Ning Xi!
They then observed Ning Xi’s reaction. She wasn’t flattered, nor did she flinch from the interaction, but naturally picked up her chopsticks and started eating the prawns. This disposition … was truly out of the ordinary.
Could it be that this was up the ally of tyrannical CEOs? They didn’t care for those who chased after them, but cherished those who were aloof to their presence?
Ning Xi pretended that she wasn’t aware of the shock from the others in the table. After she ate two prawns, there was an abrupt knock on the door of the private room. The person closest to the door opened it, and saw Zhu Moli at the entrance.
It had been some time since they’d seen her. Zhu Moli looked visibly frail. She hustled into the room, scanned the surroundings, then her gaze landed on Ning Xi’s table.
The entire crew was aware of Zhu Moli’s bullying of Ning Xi. The atmosphere in the room suddenly became awkward, looking at her appearance in this room.
The crew had neither invited her for the premiere, nor this dinner. What was she trying to do appearing here?
Zhu Moli knew that her appearance was sudden, and that most of them wouldn’t welcome her. However, she was at her wits’ end, and didn’t know what else to do but to establish better relations with the crew.
“Teacher Zhu, please join us here.” The director’s assistant reacted quickly, as he pulled Zhu Moli to a table in the corner of the room, furthest from the host table.
The Zhu Moli of the past would have been infuriated from being given such a seat. However, she sat down quietly, and even smiled at the table on her table.
The atmosphere in the room quickly recovered, but everyone still isolated Zhu Moli, regardless of whether they meant it or not. Yet, Zhu Moli still bore with this cold attitude.
“If she knew this would be her outcome, why did she even do it in the past?” Sun Yuhan whispered to Ning Xi, “Stay away from her later, in case she goes mad and …”
Now that Zhu Moli was in such a desolate state, she would be capable of anything if pushed off the edge.
“I know. Thanks Sister Yuhan.” Ning Xi smiled at Sun Yuhan, then raised her head and saw Chang Shi Gui staring at her.
Ning Xi winked at him. Chang Shi Gui’s lips turned up into a smile, and his expression softened.