On the silver stage with a diamond-shaped pattern, Wen Li walked to the center of the stage.
The spotlight from above illuminated the pearl hair accessory she wore, hidden within her purple curls, emitting a faint glow.

Stylists often like to add sparkling decorations to female artists, making them shimmer under the stage lights.
Wen Li's French court-style dress was a modern adaptation with diamond embellishments on the square neckline.
The skirt ended just above her knees, revealing a pair of slender legs.

Her most impressive looks were actually in traditional costumes.
Even the fans believed that compared to her already perfect modern appearance, whether it was a bun, floral hairpin, or long gown, whether it was the flourishing Tang Dynasty, the dignified Ming Dynasty, or the simple Song Dynasty, as long as she portrayed a historical figure, Wen Li was the most eye-catching.
It was as if she naturally walked out of ancient paintings as a beauty.

The impression of Wen Li among the one hundred trainees was the same.

A beauty in traditional costumes.

But they didn't expect her to look so good in this idol-like makeup.

Others may not know, but Wen Li herself knew that the opportunity to go overseas was due to scouts being captivated by her appearance.
They believed that if she debuted abroad, she would become the face of that generation's girl group.

Wen Li felt proud in her heart, but she maintained a humble demeanor.
She raised the microphone and said, “Hello, trainees.
I'm Wen Li, your Chief Judge.
It's a pleasure to meet you all.”

As soon as her voice came out, the trainees finally believed.

It really was Wen Li!

“My goddess! Oh my god, it's my goddess!”

“Pinch me, is it really her? I love watching her dramas.”

“Pinch, does it hurt?”

“It hurts! It's definitely her! You're awesome for making it into a group because of her.”

Among the one hundred trainees, most of them were genuinely excited, while a small group stood up and cheered for the sake of the camera.
However, there was one trainee who didn't even bother to stand up.
He kept his head down and didn't look at the person on stage.

“Xu Li! What are you doing? The camera captured you!”

After being reminded by his companion, the young man named Xu Li reluctantly clapped along with the crowd.

“What's there to applaud…” the young man glanced at the person on stage with a reluctant expression, “It's not like I haven't seen her before.”

His companion grabbed his arm excitedly, “You haven't seen her in real life, have you? We've only heard insiders say that she looks incredibly beautiful on camera, and in person, she must be even more captivating.
I believe it now, I truly believe it.
This trip was so worth it.”

The young man scoffed and didn't say anything.

This was the atmosphere of a top-tier female artist.
The production team wanted to capture every trainee's excited expression with the camera.
After the cheers subsided, the studio gradually quieted down.
Wen Li greeted the mentors one by one and finally sat in the middle of the mentor's seat.

Xu Xingyue leaned over and complimented, “Senior Sister, you look stunning today.”

Normally, she should have replied with, “You look beautiful too,” but Wen Li didn't.
Instead, she smiled and said, “I think so too.”

Xu Xingyue's expression changed slightly, and she continued, “Senior Sister, if you're not going to perform on stage later, it would seem a bit excessive to dress up like this.”

Wen Li understood her words.

She meant that since Wen Li wasn't prepared to perform, making such a grand appearance was unnecessary, making a fuss over nothing.

“No, not at all,” Wen Li smiled and said, “Didn't you notice just now when I came out, the audience's reaction was much more enthusiastic than when you came out?”

Xu Xingyue's smile froze.

The two of them whispered to each other, but no one else could hear what they were saying.
When the cameras rolled and the post-production added effects, they would appear as close sisters engaged in a private conversation.

Wen Li felt that Xu Xingyue, her junior, seemed a bit clueless.

She may be popular now, but she was just getting started.
There were too many flash-in-the-pan artists in the industry.
Today, one could be endorsing a brand, and tomorrow, they could be terminated and have to pay damages.
Even at her current stage, Wen Li couldn't guarantee that she would remain popular for long.
Perhaps Xu Xingyue was too young or too caught up in her newfound fame, but she lacked manners.
Wen Li didn't really care about seniority titles, but she always felt that Xu Xingyue was subtly challenging her.

How should she put it? Not ordinary, but overly confident.

Wen Li ignored it and picked up the script next to her, preparing to cue the contestants for their performances on stage.

On both sides of the Chief Judge seat sat Yan Zhen and Xu Xingyue, followed by Qi Sihan and Icy.
They were all professionals in their respective fields, with better industry capabilities than her.
Commenting on the performances wasn't her responsibility, so Wen Li listened attentively, waiting for the mentors to pass the baton to her, and then she would politely give her evaluations.

In the blink of an eye, three groups of contestants took the stage, delivering performances that were mediocre and unremarkable.
The mentors didn't say anything overly harsh, but they also didn't offer much praise.
They advised them to practice diligently over the next few months.

As the fourth group of contestants prepared to go on stage, Wen Li asked as usual, “Are you ready?”

The male contestant in the center position immediately spoke up, saying, “I'm ready, but before we begin the performance, I'd like to say something.
Teacher Wen, I'm your fan, and I really, really like you!”

Buttering up? She enjoyed it.

Wen Li nodded and smiled, saying, “Thank you.”

“I also like Teacher Song! I've watched all of his movies multiple times.
I even have the ticket stubs at home.
I couldn't bear to throw them away after watching, so I asked my mom to keep them.
When the show is over, can you pass along my love for Teacher Song?”

Another fan with a dual allegiance, seemingly leaning more towards Song Yan's side.
He mentioned watching Song Yan's movies multiple times but didn't mention watching Wen Li's TV dramas.

The trainees in the audience burst into laughter.

Wen Li smiled and said, “It's better for you to express it yourself.
Just say it to the camera and Teacher Song will watch the show.”

The male contestant's grip on the microphone tightened, and his eyes sparkled.
“Really? Teacher Song will actually watch our show?”

“He will.”

He'll even come as a guest in a few episodes, but for now, it's confidential and can't be revealed.

After receiving Wen Li's confirmation, the male contestant immediately made a crazy confession to the camera.

Yan Huai, sitting next to Wen Li, chuckled and said, “This student of ours is quite daring, confessing to her husband in front of Teacher Wen.”

The trainees below playfully dragged out their words, teasingly.

Wen Li: “…”

This group of trainees even sang the theme song from one of Song Yan's movies.
Their vocal abilities were excellent with good techniques.
They sang with deep emotions and were pleasing to listen to.
They could be considered among the top vocalists.

After they finished singing, the male contestant said to the camera, “Teacher Song, I hope you'll like it.”

Wen Li: “…”

She had acted in so many TV dramas and had so many theme songs! Couldn't they have chosen one of them?

Fortunately, there was another group of trainees who were her die-hard fans.
They sang the theme song from the TV drama she had participated in and even reenacted a scene from her filmography.
Wen Li's mood improved slightly.

At the midway point of the recording, the director called for a temporary break.
Most of the trainees below were drinking water and chatting.
Wen Li thought about her phone, which had been confiscated by the staff, and quickly got up to retrieve it from them.

She glanced at it but still hadn't received any messages.

He must be busy.

Not knowing what to do with her phone, she suddenly remembered that she hadn't called her father to talk about the recent Chinese painting incident.

The phone rang for a while before Xu Shimao picked up the call.

“Li Li, is there something you need?”

“Nothing, just about the recent Chinese painting incident.
Dad, have you heard about it?”

“Ah Yan already told me that day.
I immediately sent him my ID card and the studio's business license.
Hasn't he dealt with it yet?”

It was late at night when Song Yan called him.
He apologized first and then explained the purpose of the call.

Xu Shimao asked if he needed any help, but Song Yan declined, saying he could handle it on his own.

And Li Li?

She was asleep.

Xu Shimao helplessly said, “According to what you said, the situation seems quite serious.
How can this girl still sleep?”

Song Yan smiled and said, “It's alright.
If she's asleep, she won't have to worry about this matter.”

Wen Li didn't know about this incident and realized that her father's official Weibo was verified in that way.

“No, it's already been taken care of.”

“That's good,” Xu Shimao paused for a moment and sighed softly, “Actually, there's no need to trouble Ah Yan.
Both of you are public figures, and the more you say, the more mistakes you'll make.
Just tell your uncle about it, he'll definitely help you.”

Wen Li's tone wasn't very good.
“My uncle will help me? If he was willing to help me two years ago, I wouldn't have been so heavily criticized.
It's just a 'small matter'.
I bet he won't even bother listening to me.”

Xu Shimao advised gently, “You had a big argument back then.
Think about how many angry words you said to upset your uncle.
You know his temper.
Isn't it normal to say a few angry words? If you're not busy with work lately, go home and see your grandfather.
Repair your relationship with your uncle while you're at it.
Otherwise, your mom wouldn't be pleased if she found out about it later.”

Her father spoke in a soft tone, which made her unable to refute back.
She muttered, “I understand.”

Wen Li was someone who responded to softness rather than toughness.
Her father had a good personality and used a gentle approach to educate her.
That's why she listened to her father.

“Oh, by the way, how is Xiao Li doing lately?”

Hearing him ask about her younger brother, Wen Li felt somewhat puzzled, “Isn't he studying abroad?”

“He came back after graduating this year.
Haven't you been in contact with your brother?”

“No, why would I contact him if I have nothing to do? Do I want to pick a fight with him?” Wen Li frowned, looking impatient, “So where is he now, begging for food?”

Xu Shimao laughed helplessly, “What are you talking about, begging for food? How can you say that about your own brother? He's also in Yancheng.
It seems like he signed up for some program.”

“What program?” Wen Li was confused.

“I don't know.
It seems like he's living with a group of boys and will appear on television,” Xu Shimao also sounded perplexed, “You say, what is 'Living with a group of boys'? Isn't that an internet addiction center? Can they go on television for getting rid of internet addiction?”


Wen Li thought to herself that her father was truly an idle man who didn't know anything about online matters.
But listening to Xu Shimao's words, she felt that something was amiss and had a bad premonition.

Wen Li disdainfully said, “What is he going on a show for? Does he also want to join my profession? Can he? With his terrible temper, he'll drive away fans in minutes.”


Xu Shimao didn't say anything because his son's exact words were, “If Wen Li can make it, why can't I? People even like her terrible temper.
She's my sister, born from the same mother.
Am I worse than her?”

He knew saying this would probably upset his daughter, so Xu Shimao decided to brush it off.

After exchanging a few more words, the father and daughter hung up the phone.
Wen Li still wanted to call Lu Dan to ask for help in finding out what program her brother had joined.
However, the staff reminded her that recording was about to begin, so she had to hand over her phone once again.
She didn't have time to call Lu Dan or check if Song Yan had replied to her message.


Song Yan's phone was on the conference table, on silent mode, so he didn't notice any incoming messages.

“This script is really good, especially the male lead character.
It has a strong fan base.
Why don't you reconsider it?”

Since being politely declined by Song Yan last time, Director Guo's script adaptation of a fantasy novel ended up in President Bai's hands.  Bai Sen was very confident and presented many collaboration conditions.

As long as Song Yan agreed, there would be no need to worry about anything else.

Hearing these conveyed words, Song Yan thought that Director Guo really doted on his “goddaughter” of his.

He had come directly from home, dressed more casually, with his hair not particularly styled, loose strands falling on his forehead, giving him a lazy appearance.

Meanwhile, Bai Sen, sitting in the main seat, was dressed in a suit, his phoenix eyes slightly narrowed, his hair neatly styled with hair gel, wearing a helpless expression.

The two of them looked similar in age, but their temperaments were completely different.

Song Yan was an actor, skilled in various character portrayals, but in private, he wasn't easy to get along with.
He maintained a professional attitude towards everyone.
On the other hand, President Bai, despite being a decision-maker in the company, was generally more casual, sometimes even going out for drinks with employees.

Bai Sen didn't see anything wrong with this script.

It had a high IP popularity, a significant investment, and the writing was good.
There wasn't much to criticize.

But Song Yan still refused, saying, “I can't play the role.”

“Why can't you play it?” Bai Sen delved deeper, “Are you afraid you'll mess up the performance?”

Song Yan knew his level of mastery over scripts.
It wasn't that he was afraid of messing up, but rather what Director Guo had said at the time: “My goddaughter is your fan.”

Song Yan has a strong sense of pride and doesn't lack other scripts to choose from.
If the director doesn't truly believe he's suitable for the role or the script, he has no interest in taking it.

He couldn't openly state the reason since he would have future dealings with Director Guo, so he had to come up with an excuse.

“You called me here just to persuade me to take this script?” Song Yan leaned back in his chair, his tone casual, “Then I'll go home and rest.”

“Why go home? Is it more comfortable for you to pretend to be a loving couple with Wen Li in front of the camera?”

“At least it's more comfortable than wasting my breath with you here.”

“Fine, Song Yan, very well.
Ten years of friendship is not as good as the two years you pretended to be married to that little girl,” Bai Sen raised an eyebrow and pretended to be annoyed as he looked at him.
“Even though you used to ignore that little girl in high school, when I introduced her to you, you were completely dismissive.
Tell me, have you taken a liking to my ex-fiancée?”

Bai Sen dared to make such a joke because he was certain it was just a joke.
During high school, Song Yan and Wen Li didn't even know each other.
When they were in high school, Wen Li attended a private art school next to their school and finished classes earlier.
Wen Li didn't like to take the bus alone, so she would come over and ask him to accompany her home.
She would find Bai Sen's classroom easily, lean against the doorframe, and poke half of her head in.

“Bai Sen, it's time to go home.”

Bai Sen was a bit of a slacker in high school and didn't like to do his assignments.
He would often be kept after class, but Wen Li didn't mind.
After everyone in the class had left, she would confidently walk into the classroom, sit next to him, and wait for him to finish his homework.

The class representative for other subjects could easily get by with a few words, but they couldn't escape the physics test.
Song Yan was the class representative, and even though they were good buddies, Song Yan was a strict physics representative who wouldn't let him go home if he didn't finish the test.

The classroom was quiet, with no one talking.
Wen Li wore headphones and played her PSP, swinging her legs leisurely beneath her art school uniform.
Song Yan was writing the test papers for other subjects, sitting up straight and fully focused.

Bai Sen, who had drunk too much cola in the afternoon, needed to use the restroom.
When he came back, he found the two of them still in their original positions, not exchanging a word or even glancing at each other.

Bai Sen immediately concluded that these two had clashing auras.

Who could have imagined that two people with clashing auras would have another connection two years ago?

During the period when Wen Li was facing a career crisis, Bai Sen was ordered by her uncle not to interfere and help her, with the intention of forcing her to return home and apologize.
Song Yan, who never had any ambiguous relationships with female artists, was being attacked due to his clean reputation.
A bunch of haters suddenly emerged, claiming that he was a closeted homosexual.

So the two of them struck a deal and signed a marriage contract.

Song Yan frowned and corrected in a flat tone, “Your engagement was canceled many years ago.
Don't call her that anymore.”

Bai Sen smiled bitterly, “Alright, alright, I won't call her that anymore.
Even her nickname.
What's with your big jealousy? It's not like we're a real couple.
You're being petty.
She used to be my fiancée, that's true, but it wasn't my decision.
Her grandfather arranged it for her.
I was also a victim in this.”

Song Yan ignored him and picked up his phone from the side to check it.

Bai Sen realized that Song Yan froze as soon as he picked up his phone as if his soul had been captured by the device.
His eyes stared straight at the screen, and he even made a zoom-in gesture with his fingers.

“What are you looking at?”

Bai Sen stood up and stretched his neck towards Song Yan's direction.

Realizing someone was looking over, Song Yan suddenly placed the front of his phone face-down on the table.

Bai Sen laughed mischievously at Song Yan's exaggerated reaction, “No way, right? You actually watch those videos on your phone when attending meetings?”


The recording of the program reached halftime.
The trainees who had been waiting backstage for a long time without going on stage were already feeling disinterested.
Only a few strong contestants would get excited when they went on stage.

The director deliberately arranged the mentors' stage performances during halftime to liven up the atmosphere.

The four mentors specialized in vocals, dance, and rap respectively.
The vocal and rap performances were equally impressive.
Boys generally enjoyed handsome performances, but they also appreciated beautiful performances.

Qi Sihan performed a graceful Chinese dance in a water-sleeved costume.
Watching this, the trainees' eyes lit up slightly.

But it wasn't until Xu Xingyue went on stage that the atmosphere exploded completely.

She had prepared three dance routines, even changing her outfit backstage for it.
First, she performed the theme song from the previous season, followed by their girl group's most popular hit song, and finally an extremely challenging power-packed hip-hop routine.

The choreography was intricate and progressive, starting with a familiar and popular dance that everyone could follow and gradually becoming more difficult, showcasing her skills.
Xu Xingyue finished with a split move that demonstrated her flexibility.
The initially subdued trainees immediately stood up, shouting in unison, “Senior Xu!”

“Senior Xu! Senior Xu!”

She was indeed talented, with almost no weaknesses in singing and dancing.
She always dared to push herself during the show, so it's no wonder she was so popular.

Xu Xingyue brushed the bangs stuck to her forehead and smiled happily.
“Was my performance okay? I hope I didn't embarrass the seniors from the previous season.”


“You did great! You did great!”

Then Xu Xingyue looked towards Wen Li, who was seated in the center of the mentors.

“Sister Wen.”

Wen Li didn't know why she was calling her, but her momentary distraction shouldn't have been too obvious.

“All four mentors have prepared performances and showcased them.
You are the chief judge, so you can't hold back,” Xu Xingyue tilted her head, panting slightly as she smiled, “Doesn't that make sense?”

Wen Li was stunned.

Initially, the show's higher-ups said she was a judge, just there to generate buzz, and didn't need to prepare any performances.
Did the script suddenly change?

Xu Xingyue quickly answered her confusion, “This wasn't originally planned, but since Senior Sister decided to join us on this stage and is the chief judge, you must have exceptional skills.
I really want to see Senior Sister show us a few moves.
What do you all think?”

The trainees stayed silent for a few seconds before joining in the excitement, “Yes!”

Xu Xingyue raised her hand, signaling the trainees to chant Wen Li's name along with her rhythm.

“Wen Li! Wen Li! Wen Li!”

Wen Li looked at the cheering audience and felt speechless.

Could the script be changed so casually? Wouldn't it delay the recording process?

She looked at the director, who gave her a thumbs-up gesture.

Even Wen Li felt uncomfortable changing the script so easily for her appearance on the show.
How come when Xu Xingyue suggested it, the director readily agreed?

What kind of background did this junior sister have?

Seeing Wen Li's somewhat reluctant expression, Xu Xingyue softly comforted her, “I know this might be difficult for Senior Sister.
Maybe dancing isn't your strong suit? But since you're the chief judge, you should still show us a few moves.
If you're not prepared, we can freestyle.
It's fine even if you don't dance well; the editors can edit it out.”

The term “freestyle” in dance refers to improvising moves based on the rhythm and beat of a randomly selected song.

For professional dancers, it comes naturally, but for novices, it's a bewildering experience.

Xu Xingyue asked the trainees loudly, “Trainees, are you looking forward to Sister Wen's freestyle?”

“We're excited!”

Since Wen Li returned to the country, she had been focused on acting and only occasionally visited the dance studio.
She hadn't danced in front of a camera for a long time.

The cheering grew louder and louder.
Wen Li felt as if she had gone back to her childhood, when her parents would pull her in front of relatives and say, “Come on, Li Li, show your uncles and aunties a dance.”

She never expected to encounter such a situation as an adult.

She self-indulgently wondered: Could it be that my exceptional dancing skills are about to be revealed?

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like