Ex-Girlfriend – Chapter 67

Amusing Ourselves to Death Arc

Agent 04

After finishing up some tasks, Xin Lan took a look at the stock market trends.

The original owner wasn’t much into trading stocks; they dabbled a bit, both making and losing money. Xin Lan intended to make some profit using this opportunity.

Stock trading could yield quick money, although the risks were high.

The original owner wasn’t exactly short on money; she owned an apartment in a first-tier city and had a decent annual income. However, she weren’t excessively wealthy. Since she mingled within certain circles, especially given her need to socialize extensively, some greasing of palms was essential. The company wouldn’t provide her with this money, so she had to manage on her own.

Xin Lan looked at a few stocks and asked Zero Nine for an analysis of their upward and downward trends.

Zero Nine compiled a comprehensive analysis and provided the best course of action.

Xin Lan tapped the screen and began buying in.

After completing these tasks, she lay down to sleep.

The next morning, she was awakened by a knocking on the door.

Fortunately, she woke up without any displeasure, and after freshening up, she got into the car headed to the airport.

Shen Yun sat beside her, wearing a mask, observing Xin Lan with an expression that seemed to hold unspoken words.

The atmosphere in the car was quite awkward. Zhou Qinqin, sitting in the front, didn’t know how to ease the tension. She handed out breakfast she had bought, giving a portion to both Shen Yun and Xin Lan. Then, she bowed her head, focusing on her phone without saying a word.

Shen Yun removed her mask. The redness from yesterday’s slap had diminished considerably, leaving only faint traces of fingerprints. Due to Shen Yun’s fair complexion, they were quite noticeable.

She ate only a little of her breakfast, then began gazing at Xin Lan with an intense look of affection.

This gaze was not piercing, yet it held a distinct presence. Xin Lan lowered her head and focused on her phone, completely ignoring it.

Until they got off the car, Xin Lan didn’t pay any attention to her.

Shen Yun bit her lip, reluctantly putting on her mask and hat. She followed closely by Xin Lan’s side.

Because Xin Lan’s ticket was purchased later, even though they were on the same flight, she wasn’t seated next to Shen Yun.

Zhou Qinqin intended to swap seats with Xin Lan but saw her shaking her head.

Evidently, a conflict had arisen between the prominent boss and the junior boss. Zhou Qinqin didn’t approach them either, so as to avoid becoming cannon fodder herself.

Shen Yun sat in her seat, feeling extremely uncomfortable. Her eyes were bloodshot, indicating that she hadn’t slept well last night.

She couldn’t fathom how things had changed so quickly. Just yesterday, she had attended the wrap party for the drama production, full of anticipation for the future. Yet today, things had taken this turn.

Breaking up with Xin Lan was distressing, but even more unsettling was her concern about losing her connections.

She knew that, given her status, there were certain resources she wouldn’t have access to without Xin Lan’s efforts. Now that they had broken up, would those resources still be available to her? Would she be treated unfairly?

The more Shen Yun thought about it, the more anxious she became, her eyes growing darker and more somber.

By now, Shen Yun had begun to resent Chen Qing. If it weren’t for Chen Qing’s implication for her to make a move, she wouldn’t have accepted it.

After an hour-long flight, Xin Lan disembarked from the plane and left the airport, preparing to hail a taxi.

“Go back and rest for a while. I’ll pick you up at 7 AM the day after tomorrow. We have an appointment at 8 AM with Yaluo. Aries really despises people who are not punctual. At 7 AM, I want to see you with no traces on your face. If you don’t secure the endorsement this time, it’s your own lack of effort.”

Xin Lan spoke rapidly, glancing at her phone’s time and hurriedly making her way out.

Shen Yun didn’t manage to call her back, left only to watch her get farther and farther away.

She comforted herself, thinking that at least Xin Lan didn’t intend to target her. She didn’t seem very angry either. The endorsement deal with Yaluo was still on the table. As long as she secured that, her reputation could rise a bit further.

Xin Lan hailed a taxi and headed to the company.

There were already people waiting for her in the office. As she entered, they greeted her politely.

Xin Lan chuckled softly, placed what she was holding on the desk, and settled into her boss’s chair, looking at the young person sitting on the couch.

“Tell me, what’s going on?”

Her laughter made Cheng Zhi’s heart tremble, and he lowered his head further under the gaze of Xin Lan’s eyes.

Oh no, why did it feel like her aura was becoming stronger and stronger?

“Cat got your tongue?”

“Big sis, I was wrong. I shouldn’t have violated the company’s rules and had a private relationship.”

“Did you break up?”

Cheng Zhi remained silent.

Xin Lan picked up the photos from the folder on the table. There were over a dozen pictures, all showing Cheng Zhi being intimate with a girl. Thankfully, there were no kissing scenes; they were holding hands, sharing a drink. Even with just these, releasing them could lead to unpredictable consequences.

If Cheng Zhi were an established star, she might not have questioned him this way. But Cheng Zhi was still on the rise, and most of his fans were female. Revealing a romantic relationship would undoubtedly be detrimental.

“The money to buy these photos will be deducted from your payment.”

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Cheng Zhi nodded, his expression even more downcast.

Fortunately, the paparazzi who took these photos had some connections with the higher-ups in the company, so the selling price wasn’t too high.

“You need to understand that the company doesn’t forbid artists from dating, but now is not the right time. I’m not forcing you to break up, but I hope you realize that your career isn’t just your own matter. The company can invest money and resources in nurturing you, and we can also help clean up messes, but that comes when you’re capable of providing the company with sufficient returns.”

Cheng Zhi hung his head, resembling a big dog with drooping ears.

“I’ve thought about whether I should hand you over to someone else.”

Xin Lan tapped the edge of her desk, her contemplative expression conveying to the sole spectator that she wasn’t joking.

Xin Lan had been thinking last night. If she were to strive for signing Qin Yuyan, then it seemed like she had a bit too much on her plate with two people already on her hands.

While it was common for current managers to handle multiple talents, Shen Yun was on the rise and had achieved a decent level of fame. Xin Lan still wanted to keep her as a card to play, part of her strategy for promoting her. Until she had toyed enough with her career, she couldn’t let her go to someone else.

Although Cheng Zhi had a minor incident, it was manageable and not a big deal. The young man had a good appearance and a likable character setup. If managed well, it wouldn’t be difficult for him to rise in the future.

The issue lay in Xin Lan having two talents on the rise in her hands. If she were to sign Qin Yuyan as well, there was a possibility of evoking envy among her peers. Jealousy aside, the bigger concern was that higher-ups might find it inappropriate.

Xin Lan furrowed her brows. If she were the CEO of the company, she wouldn’t have this worry. But the CEO also wouldn’t be a miserable ex-girlfriend who had been cast aside.

“Sis! Please don’t do this, sis! I know I messed up, I promise I’ll behave from now on!”

Cheng Zhi was taken aback by her words and quickly lifted his tearful face.

He had been under Xin Lan’s management for a year, and she had treated him quite well. Moreover, Xin Lan was now one of the top-ranked managers in the company. If she handed him over to someone else, his treatment would definitely be worse than what it currently was.

Cheng Zhi thought that Xin Lan was giving him up to someone else because his romantic involvement had been exposed. He believed she was breaking up with him and was on the verge of tears just looking at Xin Lan.

Xin Lan gazed into his eyes. Cheng Zhi was only 21 now, not yet tainted by the chaos of the entertainment industry.


“I’ll go ask around first before making a decision. Having someone else manage you might not be a bad thing for you.”

Xin Lan took a sip of hot water, stood up, and left her office, leaving Cheng Zhi inside to reflect on his actions.

Xin Lan knocked on the door of the CEO’s office. As she stepped in, she heard a voice with a playful tone.

“Well, if it isn’t our busy bee. How come you have the time to visit my office today?”

“Mr. Xu is joking. No matter how busy, it’s impossible not to come and see you.”

Xin Lan gave a faint smile as she looked at the man sitting in the CEO’s chair.

Xu Fang, at the age of 32, was the Executive President of StarMap Entertainment. He had been the original owner’s immediate superior and had always taken care of her. Their relationship was quite familiar.

After some pleasantries, Xu Fang got to the point.

Xu Fang: “You didn’t come just to talk about that young lad under your care, did you? Skip the gratitude; the company will deduct from his pay.”

Xin Lan: “I didn’t come just for that. I wanted to ask if we have anyone available in the company to take him in.”

Xu Fang: “That young lad?”

Xin Lan: “Yes.”

Xu Fang raised an eyebrow and sat up straight.

Xu Fang: “What’s the matter? Are you dissatisfied?”

Xin Lan: “How could I be? The kid is quite obedient. It’s just that this year, Miss Qin finished her studies and came back. She dipped her toes into a variety show. You’re aware of this, right?”

Xu Fang understood: “Are you interested in her too?”

Xin Lan: “Too? Has someone else consulted you?”

“She’s in high demand. Let the kid stay with you for now. If you can really sign her, that’s your skill,” Xu Fang paused for a moment, “But if you feel overwhelmed, why not send Shen Yun out?”

Qin Yuyan is an actress, and Xu Fang felt that if Xin Lan had to choose, she shouldn’t let go of Cheng Zhi. Although Shen Yun’s value is significant, those in their line of work need to think long-term. With two female actresses under their management, resources will surely be fought over.

After all, gender is a factor here. Male roles can’t be portrayed by female actresses, and female roles can’t be played by male actors. Even if the two female artists have different positions, the scales can’t be perfectly balanced.

“She won’t work.”

Xin Lan denied, and Xu Fang shrugged.

“Clearly, she’s your precious. But you shouldn’t reveal your heart and soul too much. Some people have a conscience, while others might not.”

Xu Fang chuckled, remarking that Shen Yun was currently on the rise. Although she seemed sincere, there might be hidden ambitions. Once she gained more power and wanted to go solo, poaching others, there would be no tears shed for her.

Xin Lan neither confirmed nor denied the term ‘precious,’ and she stood up.

“Don’t rush to leave. How about we have lunch together? Caitlin hasn’t seen you in a while, and she’s been mentioning you to me.”

As soon as Xin Lan heard that name, an image of an 18 or 19 year old girl popped into her mind.

“Sure, then call me later.”

Xin Lan walked back to her office while thinking about Caitlin.

Caitlin was Xu Fang’s sister, and her Chinese name was Xu Siyu.

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Before the original owner could become as independent as she was now, she had learned from Xu Fang. Sometimes, Xu Fang would have her run errands like picking up his sister or delivering things to her. Through these interactions, the original owner had gotten to know Caitlin.

At that time, the original owner was around 25 or 26 years old, while Caitlin was 15 or 16. With a ten-year age difference, they shouldn’t have had much in common. However, the original owner had a gentler personality back then, with a lot of patience for others. Moreover, Caitlin was the boss’s sister. So, whenever Caitlin needed advice or assistance, the original owner would be there to guide or help her. Over time, Caitlin grew dependent on her.

Xin Lan thought about being careful not to act out of character during their meal later. After all, this mission’s environment was different from the previous ones.

When Xin Lan returned to her office, she was met with Cheng Zhi’s pitiful gaze.

“Alright, stop looking so gloomy. You’ll still be staying under my management.”

Cheng Zhi let out a sigh of relief, looking like he had escaped a disaster.

“Sis, I’ll definitely work hard and make you proud!”

“You don’t have to make me proud, just make yourself proud. For now, try not to meet up with your girlfriend.”

Cheng Zhi nodded vigorously.

“By the way, who is your girlfriend? Is she from the entertainment industry or outside of it?”

The photo only captured Cheng Zhi’s face clearly, while the female lead was either looking down or shown from the back, making it hard to identify which one she was.

“Consider her half inside the circle. She’s a singer and an actress… Sis, what’s with that expression on your face?!”

“A bit surprised.”

“She’s an excellent singer and actress. Her family is also involved in this industry.”

Cheng Zhi’s expression turned proud, not hiding his excitement at all.

A light bulb went off in Xin Lan’s mind. Qin Yuyan’s family was also involved in the arts, even though the chances of them knowing each other were slim. But who knows?

“Could you help me ask your girlfriend if she knows Qin Yuyan?”

“Qin Yuyan?”

Cheng Zhi wondered who that was. He nodded and agreed to ask.

“By the way, I have a male facial cleanser endorsement deal on my end. I recommended you, and it’s set to start shooting in three days. Be prepared for it.”

“Thanks, sis!”

Cheng Zhi’s last drama had finished filming half a month ago, and he was getting restless with nothing to do. When he heard about the casting, he became excited beyond measure.

He had said that Sister Lan wouldn’t just abandon him like that. She had just scared him by saying she didn’t want him anymore, and now, not even two minutes later, she’s got him an endorsement deal.

Cheng Zhi came in looking downcast and left looking overjoyed.

This young lad has a bit of a humorous charm and, unusually, doesn’t seem to have a lot of deceptive intentions.

Actually, Cheng Zhi had a reasonable amount of resources under the original owner’s management. It shouldn’t have come to him sitting idle at home for half a month after the drama wrapped up. However, the original owner was someone who placed a strong emphasis on managing the artists’ image. She’d rather have Cheng Zhi stay at home than participate in some strange variety shows.

Xin Lan remained busy in her office, handling documents until noon, when a notification sound alerted her, causing her to lift her head.

She rubbed her shoulders and glanced at the green plants in her office.

Considering she had been facial massaging for quite some time now, this was the first time she felt traditionally busy.

The message was from Xu Fang, inviting her for a meal.

She locked the drawer and grabbed her bag before heading downstairs, where she saw a car parked at the entrance. She opened the car door and got in.

“We’ll pick up Caitlin first and then head to the restaurant.”

Xu Fang said, looking at the driver and signaling him to start driving.

Xin Lan nodded, taking out a small mirror from her bag to touch up her makeup.

Shen Yun, not sure if she understood that she could be quite bothersome, hadn’t sent any messages to Xin Lan all morning, which gave Xin Lan a peaceful feeling.

Caitlin is currently in her sophomore year at a renowned film school in the city, majoring in acting.

When she first met the original owner, she was a high school student. The original owner asked her what major she wanted to pursue, and at that time, Caitlin said she had no idea. However, right before the art college entrance exams, she told the original owner that she wanted to study acting.

The original owner didn’t really support this decision because Caitlin had a somewhat introverted personality and might not be suitable for the entertainment industry. Nevertheless, considering that Caitlin’s brother was the CEO of an entertainment company and their family was well-off, with protection and support, the original owner eventually changed her stance to support Caitlin’s choice.

As the original owner got into a relationship with Shen Yun, her contact with Caitlin gradually decreased. Shen Yun didn’t like the original owner being too close to others, and ironically, she ended up creating distance between herself and others first.

It’s quite amusing.

The car arrived at the outskirts of the university town. It’s currently midsummer, and Caitlin was wearing a black shirt and hot pants. She already had fair skin, and the black outfit made her appear even fairer.

She opened the car door and sat down next to Xu Fang.

“Brother.”

She greeted Xu Fang first, then turned her gaze towards Xin Lan.

“Sister Lan, it’s been a while.”

The gaze of the young girl was fixed directly on Xin Lan, and Xin Lan smiled apologetically.

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“I’ve been quite busy lately, so I haven’t had the chance to reply for a long time.”

“Are you so busy that you can’t even reply to messages?”

“I’ll make sure to reply next time.”

Xin Lan said this without any hint of insincerity, speaking very naturally.

“Keep your promises, okay?”

“Keep your promises.”

Caitlin curved her lips and sat obediently.

The car arrived at the designated restaurant. Xu Fang had reserved a well-known private kitchen where the dishes were served quickly.

Xin Lan knew that Xu Fang had invited her to dinner mainly for Caitlin. She engaged in occasional conversation with Caitlin, asking about recent updates, and the atmosphere didn’t feel awkward at all.

Midway through the meal, Xin Lan got up to go to the restroom. When she came out, she saw Caitlin washing her hands by the sink.

“It seems like Sister Lan has become quite unfamiliar.”

Caitlin’s voice was soft, and amidst the sound of water, it was a bit hard to hear clearly.

“Do you think so? Maybe it’s just been a long time since we last met.”

Xin Lan pressed the soap dispenser and replied with ease.

“Maybe,” Caitlin replied. “It just feels like we’ve drifted quite far apart.”

Caitlin grabbed a tissue to dry her hands, then tossed it into the trash.

After finishing her handwashing, Caitlin didn’t leave. Instead, she waited for Xin Lan by the restroom’s entrance.

The two of them returned to the private room in silence. Just before entering, Caitlin suddenly spoke up.

“Sister Lan, for you, we’re friends, right?”

“Yes.”

Xin Lan nodded without hesitation. For the original host, Caitlin was indeed a friend.

As for herself, it depended on the situation.

“That’s good then.”

The young girl showed a slightly shy smile and pushed open the door to the private room.

After finishing her lunch, Xin Lan had her assistant send her the itinerary for the day.

Artists are busy, and so are their managers.

They must constantly work to maintain their relationships and connections, expanding them whenever possible.

It wasn’t until she lay in bed resting in the evening that Xin Lan felt a sense of realization.

It had been a while since she had been working tirelessly under such high pressure, and she didn’t find it too bad.

Her phone chimed with a notification, and Xin Lan unlocked it to see a message from Cheng Zhi.

【Orange Juice】: Sister, she said she’s heard of this person, but they’re not familiar with each other. What’s going on?

【Xin Lan】: I want to meet this person, but I haven’t made a connection yet.

【Orange Juice】: Sister, are you interested in signing them?

After leaving Xin Lan’s office, Cheng Zhi had gone to ask his girlfriend and also looked up information about Qin Yuyan online. He now understood what Xin Lan was planning.

【Xin Lan】: Yeah.

【Orange Juice】: Then what about Sister Yun?

【Xin Lan】: Don’t call everyone “sister.”

Cheng Zhi’s eyes widened as he stared at his phone, his expression as if he had seen a ghost.

The fact that this phrase had come from his “Sister Lan” was amazing!

Cheng Zhi wasn’t naive; he understood others’ intentions toward him. He knew Xin Lan put in more effort for Shen Yun, and he didn’t feel much jealousy. Judging by the situation, had Shen Yun angered Xin Lan?

【Orange Juice】: Yes, sir!

【Orange Juice】: I’ll ask her if there’s any way. Go for it, Sister Lan! You’ll definitely succeed!

【Xin Lan】: [Completely confident.jpg]

【Xin Lan】: Rest well these days, no puffiness or dark circles. Keep your skin and figure in the best condition for me, otherwise, I’ll be monitoring your weight loss.

【Orange Juice】: Understood!

At 6:40 the next morning, Xin Lan was awakened by the alarm clock.

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She reached out and grabbed the ringing alarm clock, opening her eyes.

Today, she was going to take Shen Yun to the audition for Yaluo. To be honest, whether Shen Yun could secure the role or not didn’t matter much to her. However, she knew Shen Yun would definitely make the most of this opportunity, and she was happy to see her succeed.

After freshening up, Xin Lan applied light makeup, put on a professional suit, and stepped into high heels before heading out.

Her assistant and the driver were already waiting downstairs. When she got in the car, An An handed her a sandwich and a carton of milk.

Xin Lan’s home and Shen Yun’s home were not far apart, and they arrived quickly.

Before departing, Xin Lan had sent messages to Shen Yun and her assistants to prepare for the day.

Shen Yun sat in the car wearing sunglasses and a mask. Miao Miao handed her the breakfast, and Zhou Qinqin passed over a meal.

The bruises on Shen Yun’s face had completely faded, and her skin looked much better.

Whether Shen Yun had come to terms with something or had a new plan in mind, she didn’t attempt to strike up a conversation with Xin Lan during the journey. She didn’t use those eyes filled with unspoken emotions to look at Xin Lan either. After finishing breakfast, she closed her eyes for a brief rest.

When they were close to arriving at Yalou, Xin Lan explained some important points to Shen Yun.

The original host had a good relationship with the person in charge of Yalou. The choice of models and the type of shoot were handled by the advertising team, but the final decision still depended on the client’s approval.

This time, Yalou was shooting their newly launched hydrating face mask. According to their claims, the effect was so good that using just one sheet could make your skin radiant. The requirements for the models’ skin were very high. While some adjustments could be made in post-production, poor skin condition would certainly lead to disqualification.

Before the audition, the original host had obtained a few sheets of the mask from the person in charge, Iris. They were meant for Shen Yun to try out the effects and also to improve her skin condition.

“Hey, Iris.”

As Xin Lan entered the Yalou shooting location, she spotted the long-haired man standing there and greeted him.

“Hey, my dear Lan Lan.”

Iris walked over and embraced Xin Lan, showing a warm smile.

“Is this the model you brought?”

Iris’s gaze swept over Shen Yun, particularly focusing on her face.

Shen Yun felt as if she had been scrutinized from top to bottom by some kind of X-ray machine, making her a bit uncomfortable. However, she still put on a smile and greeted Iris.

“Yeah, how do you feel?”

“It looks good.”

“Who else is coming?”

“Yu Zijun and Fu Wen.”

“Strong competitors.”

Iris smiled without saying anything.

Yu Zijun was a fellow actress who debuted around the same time as Shen Yun. She was also one of the “Four Young Actresses” and had gained popularity. Fu Wen, on the other hand, was a rising star who recently gained attention for her role as a likable supporting character in a popular drama.

Thinking for a moment, Xin Lan concluded that the choice of Yu Zijun by Yalou was likely similar to their choice of Shen Yun, and Fu Wen might have been chosen due to her rising popularity and charming appearance.

Fu Wen, whom the original owner had encountered before, was a young girl with fair and tender skin, radiating with collagen. Her skin was translucent, and she had a hint of baby fat on her face. Given her appearance, she seemed like a suitable candidate for shooting a facial mask advertisement, as the results would likely be impressive.

After chatting with Iris for a while, Xin Lan led Shen Yun to the director who was busy setting up equipment.

After the necessary adult pleasantries, they got down to business.

Although there were three candidates, they wouldn’t be shooting simultaneously. Once the equipment was properly set up, Shen Yun began her part according to the script.

Xin Lan didn’t focus on Shen Yun but stood not too far away, observing.

Shooting commercials is quite a challenging task. Shen Yun immersed herself in the repetitive takes, while Xin Lan scrolled through her phone. At that moment, Iris walked over to her.

“I’ve heard them say that you’re quite devoted to your precious one.”

Xin Lan smiled without giving a direct answer.

Or perhaps, that was the best answer she could offer.

Iris was a shrewd individual, capable of reading between the lines in Xin Lan’s smile.

“It seems rumors aren’t always accurate. However, this one does seem like a promising candidate, and perhaps the most suitable according to our criteria.”

With popularity and good looks combined, Iris couldn’t make a definite judgment as they hadn’t seen the others perform yet.

“You seem to be in much better shape today than before.”

“Really?”

Iris nodded. Their last meeting had taken place half a month ago when Xin Lan and him had dinner together and discussed this very advertisement.

Back then, Xin Lan seemed like a live volcano – outwardly calm, but giving off a sense of restlessness, pressure, and busyness that could erupt at any moment.

Now, she appeared much more serene, exuding a sense of composure.

Iris didn’t engage in a lengthy conversation with Xin Lan and went off to attend to his own matters.

Xin Lan’s phone vibrated, and upon seeing the message, a slight smile appeared on her face.

【Orange Juice】: Sister! Little Yuanzi says that the 17th is Grandma1 Qin Yuyan’s birthday. There will be a birthday celebration within the industry. She can attend, and even bring a plus one. Will you go?



  1. “Grandma” is used as a respectful term for an older person in the entertainment industry
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