She had a simple appearance and a simple style, but she had a solid foundation and true creative talent.
The recording of Xing Lan's performance was edited by netizens and circulated online.
But the thing that made her famous was not her creativity and ability to improvise, but because she was the only person that directly advanced to the next round.
"This plain-looking contestant is quite talented."
"I rewatched the recordings of her performances in the earlier rounds. She previously stuck to a very modest path, but this time, she suddenly exploded onto the scene."
"This chick is quite cool, has she signed with an agency yet?"
Because a lot of people paid attention to the competition, Xing Lan had a small taste of fame. If Tangning had not changed her name or image, she may have already been identified as Li Xin. Fortunately, it now took a lot more time to identify her.
That night, Lin Qian decided to help Xing Lan celebrate, "I promised you earlier that I'd take you to see someone after you get into the top 100."
Xing Lan was more nervous now than during her competition. At this moment, she was actually sweating a little.
"What's wrong? Are you scared?" Lin Qian held back her laughter while they were in the car. "I can give you a few keywords so you can try to guess who this person is, in case you get too shocked when you see her later"
"Quick, tell me."
"Model. Actress. Married."
"This isn't much of a hint," Xing Lan rolled her eyes.
Lin Qian laughed and did not say another word.
Soon, the two women arrived at the agreed hotel. At this time, Tangning had also just arrived. Xing Lan stood behind Tangning, and as soon as she saw her, she whispered to Lin Qian, "Is that Tangning? Is she the actress that retreated from the industry because she was involved in a death?"
"Why are you asking?" Lin Qian asked. "You don't like her?"
"To people like me, she is like an unreachable star. I like her attitude on life and the way she handles things. Her films are great, she married an extremely capable man and she's a hard-worker. I think any normal person would like her, right?"
"Lucky," Lin Qian responded.
"Congratulations, she's your boss," Lin Qian said as she opened the door to the room that Tangning entered a step ahead of them.
Xing Lan was stunned as she stood dumbfounded in the doorway. She felt like she was in a dream. But, things felt even more surreal when she looked Tangning in the face.
"Come in," Tangning said to the two women.
Xing Lan was surprised. This elegant woman was actually her boss.
To be honest, this was not hard to guess. After all, Long Jie had already appeared earlier. But, it was understandable that Xing Lan didn't know because no one knew that Long Jie was still working for Tangning.
"You can call me Ning Jie," Tangning said to Xing Lan. "Congratulations for getting into the top 100."
"I never imagined..." As Xing Lan looked at Tangning close up, she felt that she looked 100 times more beautiful and gentle than she did on screen.
"Are you going to continue being surprised like this?" Tangning said with a smile. Afterwards, she said to Xing Lan, "Entering the top 100 means that Li Can will treat you even more ruthlessly. You need to prepare yourself for 'that problem' to resurface."
...was referring to Xing Lan's alleged stealing.
Xing Lan's face immediately turned pale, "What should I do?"
"You just need to endure it. Don't give up because of it. Leave everything else for Superstar Media to handle," Tangning replied. "You have no choice but to face it head on, even if it's a thorn in your heart. Can you do it? No matter what happens, you can't breakdown."
Xing Lan looked at Tangning for quite some time.
Dear God, this was her boss.
Thinking of this, Xing Lan's fear reduced by half. Although Xing Lan didn't know her chances of beating Li Can, this matter was as simple as squishing an ant for Tangning, wasn't it?
"I trust in you."
"Entering the top 100 means your battle has officially started. Don't let your guard down, you can't make a wrong move."
At this time, Xing Lan wasn't aware of the pressures that Tangning was facing. She simply thought that Tangning had high hopes for her. So, she promised herself that she'd win first place in order not to waste the second chance that Tangning had given her.
The three women ate as they conversed and got along extremely well. As night hit, Tangning received a pushy call from President Mo.
"Lin Qian, take good care of Xing Lan. I'm going to go home first. 'Someone's' waiting downstairs."
"OK, Ning Jie."
"Lin Qian, is that 'someone', President Mo?" Xing Lan asked curiously.
Lin Qian glanced at her, "Who else do you think it is? Ning Jie's safety has always been President Mo's personal responsibility..."
As per Tangning's expectations, Li Can's current intention was to reveal Xing Lan's history of stealing to the public.
She wasn't simply focused on causing trouble during the competition, she even convinced her parents to cause trouble. She only felt assured after she had this double guarantee.
Afterwards, Li Can revealed her plan to her manager. But, her manager was worried because of the warning that Long Jie had previously given them.
"Why don't you just let the b*tch compete. She might not necessarily get a good result. If you offend Hai Rui, your future won't end well. Even if your sister debuts, she can't possibly be as famous as you..."
"No, you don't know my sister. She's truly talented. If we don't stop her like three years ago, she will definitely win first place."
Li Can wasn't overreacting. "Look at the way she entered the top 100, isn't it obvious? Between the two of us, only one can survive. I have no choice."
Her manager took a deep breath and nodded her head, "OK, we'll do as you say. But, this will be the last time. If you don't succeed this time, you need to stop. Otherwise, you will eventually ruin yourself."
Li Can nodded. She was sure that Xing Lan wouldn't be able to endure the pain from this scandal. She was an ambitious person, but this scandal was going to label her as a thief.
But, Li Can was even more despicable than this. To guarantee the success of her plan, she gave her parents a phone call, "Dad, sis is participating in a competition. If the news of her being a thief gets revealed, what would happen to our family's pride?"
"The two of you better stop her. Otherwise, I will also be destroyed. I've always had a lot of enemies, if they were to find out that my thief sister is parading around, I will definitely be implicated."
After hearing this, Father Li almost had a heart attack, "This animal, is she trying to kill me with anger? I'll go speak to her."
"She has an extremely capable manager at the moment. Be careful," Li Can warned with 'good intentions'.
"Don't worry, Can Er, your father knows what to do..."