TL Note: The movie that Ning Xi was acting in was initially named “Great Selfless Love” in the raws, then became “A Father’s Great Love”. Will be tweaking older chapters too!
Ning Xi only received the police’s notice the next day, when she was on the set.
She had spent the night at the Chang estate, and the next morning, she brought with her a large bag of gifts from Tao Huixue. After instructing the bodyguards to send the gifts back to the villa that Chang Shi Gui and her lived, she went to her own nanny car.
The Chang family villa was on Xianghe Road. This area had a guard post every three steps, and a security officer at every five . If someone hung around the area without any reason and was discovered by the district police, they would certainly have to undergo police investigations.
Zhang Qingyun drove to the residence in fear. It was only when the car reached the entrance of the Chang estate that he finally heaved a sigh of relief. He sat in the car, and when he saw Ning Xi and Tao Huixue chatting cheerily as they walked out, and the amount of items carried by the guards behind them, he couldn’t help but praise Ning Xi in his heart.
Not only was she able to make Chang Shi Gui plan an elaborate proposal, she could stay over at the Chang residence and have harmonious conversations with Chang Shi Gui’s mother, and they were so close that they seemed like a pair of mother and daughter. This was a feat that most people wouldn’t be able to achieve.
After Ning Xi got onto the nanny car that he was driving, Zhang Qingyun intentionally wound down the window and nodded politely at Tao Huixue before he started the engine.
“You had actually entered the Chang family’s doors silently, that's quite unexpected.” Zhang Qingyun winked at Ning Xi as he said, “Goddess, please don’t forget about me when you become prosperous.”
Ning Xi raised a brow, “That’ll depend on your performance.”
“Sure, Goddess. That’s not a problem, Goddess.” Zhang Qingyun circled around a bend, “You’re in such a good mood today, but you’ll be filming a crying scene later. Will you be able to cry?”
Coincidentally, the two most important emotional scenes in “A Father's Great Love” were scheduled to be filmed today. These two scenes represented the advancement of the essence of Ning Xi's character, hence they were extremely important. Last night, the director even specially made a call and asked Ning Xi to carefully analyse the character’s emotional state.
“It’s fine, I’ll do my best.” Ning Xi sucked in a deep breath. These few years, she had portrayed many different characters, but there weren’t many scenes where she had to cry. To her, this was also an enormous test.
A crying scene was a test of one’s acting skills. Some people might cry beautifully, but not realistically. When audiences saw them, they would only feel, “Oh, she has suffered.”
A real crying scene would draw audiences’ emotions into the role, making them sympathize with the character and be influenced by the character’s emotions.
“Oh right, why didn’t I see Mr. Chang just now?” Zhang Qingyun felt that the situation this morning was rather strange. The future mother-in-law and daughter-in-law were like biological mother and daughter, while Mr. Chang, the real son, didn’t appear.
“He had some business meetings, so he left for the airport early in the morning.” Ning Xi didn’t really like to reveal too much of Chang Shi Gui’s work schedule, and Zhang Qingyun was smart enough to not ask further. However, Ning Xi’s words gave him peace of mind. He could at least see that Chang Shi Gui’s mother was really happy with Ning Xi, otherwise she wouldn’t have treated Ning Xi so nicely even when Chang Shi Gui wasn’t around.
For a manager like himself, it was a good thing that the celebrity that he was managing could have a harmonious family.
After they reached the set and Ning Xi finished her makeup, she sat by a quiet corner, building up her emotions.
“A Father’s Great Love” wasn’t only about a father’s love, but about the ways in which a family interacted. In the movie, the father was a good man who loved his children, but the way he brought his children up was driven by some traditional perspectives. This eventually created a drift that couldn’t be resolved for a long time.
Hence, this movie wanted to tell all the fathers in the world that a father’s love shouldn’t be like a mountain that stifles his children, and they shouldn’t remain silent and lack communication with their children. This was a movie that was filled with cold humour and critiqued traditional ideas.
The director and the scriptwriter had captured the points in the film very accurately. The daughter that Ning Xi portrayed was brought up under the silent-style fatherly education. She appeared positive and driven on the outside, but beneath the surface, she hid a natural repulsion to marriage and family. It was only that she masked it well, hence most people wouldn’t notice it.
However, when the conflict escalated, the emotions within her finally broke down, and she unleashed all the grievances and trauma from her childhood.
Therefore, naming the movie “A Father’s Great Love” wasn’t all about praising the silent care that fathers have towards their children. It acknowledged a father’s love towards his children, but was critical about it.
The backdrop of Ning Xi’s first crying scene was during a quarrel with her father, where she broke down and sobbed. This scene was filmed smoothly, but because she had cried too hard, her make-up was ruined. Hence, while she was drinking water, the make-up artist was touching up her make-up.
“Sister Ning, you have a call.” Ning Xi’s assistant, Xiao Yang, handed her phone over and whispered, “The caller says that he’s the team leader of the Dongnan Police Station’s Investigation Department.”
When the make-up artist heard the words “police station”, her movements froze. She took a couple of steps back and patiently waited for Ning Xi’s call to end. Ning Xi's quest to seek justice for her mother was a matter that had spread throughout the entire entertainment industry; everyone knew about it. Thus, when she heard that it was the police calling, she tactfully gave Ning Xi some private space.
Ning Xi’s call with the police wasn’t too long, it only took about six minutes. However, the make-up artist felt that after the call, Ning Xi's mood was rather odd. Even though Ning Xi acted normally, the make-up artist could sense that something was wrong with Ning Xi.
After the make-up was complete, the filming was relocated indoors. Ning Xi sat silently by the bedside, her gaze falling upon Zhang Yimin, who lay on the hospital bed. Zhang Yimin didn’t say a word, but simply looked at her with a loving gaze, resembling a gentle and warm father.
Everyone else on set didn’t interrupt the two of them. When the director saw that the mood was already set, he signalled for all the small groups to get ready, and the filming began.
“Dad!” The daughter that Ning Xi was portraying didn’t have too many lines, but the moment the word “Dad” came out like a sob from her mouth, everyone on set became silent.
What kind of sob was this? It was as though a traveller who had gone on a long journey had finally returned home, but realised that while the hometown remained the same, the people had completely changed. And the person who was always on his mind could never be found again.
It was also as though everything in the past had been in vain. Just as she was ready to put down the past, the person who could make her do it had already vanished.
Ning Xi sobbed inconsolably. Under the camera, she knelt by the hospital bed, crying uncontrollably, like a child who had lost her favourite toy. She was crying so hard that she was breathless.
The director observed the monitor silently, looking at the close-up of Ning Xi’s crying. Right now, every micro-expression on her face showed an immense sorrow. Even the most critical director looking at this scene would certainly not be able to pick out any flaws from it.
“Ok, this scene is a pass.”
He had already said that the scene could end, but the lead in this scene didn’t stop crying. Instead, she covered her face and sat down on the floor, bawling her eyes out. The cameraman who was filming the cuts behind-the-scenes didn’t turn off his camera at this moment, and continued filming the situation on set.
There were times when actors were too immersed in the scene that they couldn’t step out of it. It wasn’t strange for such situations to happen, hence most of the crew didn’t think too much about it.
“My daughter, let’s not cry anymore. This is acting, it’s not real.” Zhang Yimin saw Ning Xi sobbing till she was almost out of breath, hence he got off the bed and started patting Ning Xi’s back lightly. He was already so old, so he wasn’t afraid that others would spread rumours about him. He continued consoling Ning Xi, helping her to walk out of the scene, while asking the assistant to bring some water for Ning Xi.
“Thanks, Teacher.” Ning Xi held the cup and took a sip amidst her sobs. There were others who even brought napkins, sweets and biscuits for Ning Xi.
While everyone thought that Ning Xi couldn’t walk out of the scene, Zhang Qingyun sensed that something was amiss. He had managed Ning Xi for two years, but he had never seen her this affected by a scene. This wasn’t like Ning Xi at all.
Xiao Yang helped Ning Xi to a chair by the side. Ning Xi then walked towards the director, her eyes swollen, as she apologised, “I’m sorry, Director. I’m afraid I have to miss this afternoon’s filming.”
When the director heard this, he asked with concern, “What happened? Let us know if you need any help.”
Ever since Ning Xi joined the production, she could withstand all sorts of hardship. She had never put up any airs, had good acting skills, and was popular. She was also polite and cordial to the staff, so as a director, how could he not like an actress like her? Now that he heard Ning Xi asking for leave, the first thing he thought was that Ning Xi probably had to go due to an emergency.
Ning Xi noticed that there were still people observing the situation around her, hence she lowered her head and whispered, “Just now, before filming started, the police called and said that they’ve arrested the suspects behind my mother’s murder.”
The director paused for a moment before reacting. He nodded repeatedly, “That’s an important matter. Go and handle it first, we’ll film Guo Ji’s scenes this afternoon. The filming progress won’t be affected.”
“I’ll have to trouble Director then.” After Ning Xi thanked the director, she left in a hurry, not even taking time to remove her make-up.
A number of people had witnessed Ning Xi asking the director for leave. There were even some who overheard something along the lines of suspects being apprehended. The entire crew immediately understood what had happened - Ning Xi’s mother really didn’t commit suicide; she was murdered.
Her father had died from a car accident because of her classmates’ prank, while her mother was murdered. Ning Xi’s childhood was really tough. The staff who initially envied her for landing a rich husband only felt their envy disappear now, and all they could feel was sorrow.
There is no perfect life in this world. The same could be said for Ning Xi, who was often teased by netizens as having the best fortune in life.
Chang Shi Gui had just finished an inspection of a branch office and was having lunch with the higher management of that office when his phone rang.
“What’s the matter?” Chang Shi Gui had somewhat lost his cool, as his spoon hit the side of the bowl, creating a shrilly clink. The management who was seated around the table looked at one another - what had happened?
“Xixi, go and have lunch first. I’ll be there soon, I’ll go in with you.”
He ended the call, then stood up and addressed everyone at the table, “I’m sorry, there has been a family emergency. I’ll have to end the lunch earlier.”
The management group all said in unison that family matters were more important. However, once Chang Shi Gui strode out of the hotel, all of them were confused. They thought to themselves, what was this major emergency that caused their usually calm boss to look like this?
 Indicates a place that has high security.