Chapter 72: Make Her Speechless (3)
“Are you okay?!” Ye Fan rushed over Ding Ruoyi’s side, hastening her steps until she almost slid across the slightly damp bathroom tiles. She crouched down next to Ding Ruoyi, wordlessly pulling the other girl’s long, lustrous hair to the side and out of the way of the projectiles that kept flying into the pot of the toilet. Once close by, Ye Fan was the epitome of tranquility. She was unflinching in the face of the acidic, rancid stench and pained groans that drifted throughout the bathroom. Instead, Ye Fan opted to gently rub her back gently in a circular motion. Before her transmigration, the original Ye Fan had suffered from stomach problems many times, she had been in the same position as Ding Ruoyi, the only difference being she just hadn’t had a friend to hold her hair back at that point of time.
Once Ding Ruoyi had finished vomiting, Ye Fan had helped her up and shouldered half her weight as they slowly made the trek to Ding Ruoyi’s bedroom, as slow as a couple of adventurers cautiously climbing Mt. Everest. Gently settling the other girl onto the bed, Ye Fan rushed to the kitchen to get her a cup of warm water. When she slid to a stop, Ding Ruoyi had curled up into the fetal position on top of the blankets, knees tucked into her chest as if she wanted to become smaller until she could disappear. The food must have not meshed well with Ding Ruoyi’s usual diet. Her stomach had already been very weak to begin with, but it seemed as if the unfamiliarity to her new surroundings and diet had been the main aggressors and causes of health issues. Ding Ruoyi’s face was bruised blue with illness, a pale shade taking over the healthy, freckled cream that usually shone through, both in real life and also in television.
Ye Fan patted Ding Ruoyi’s forehead gently, feeling the beads of cold sweat that had broken through like a popsicle or a cold can or coke set out in a humid and hot in the blazing summertime. “I’ll buy you some medicine, you should have water in the meantime.” Ye Fan’s words washed over the sick Ding Ruoyi. The pale girl shook her head lethargically as she croaked in a rough voice “ No need…this is your…first time in the city, you might get lost.” Despite her regard to her own condition, Ding Ruoyi was filled with an overwhelming concern for Ye Fan as the other actress took such a good job of her, treating her as if she was part of Ye Fan’s family.
Ye Fan had definitely won her heart, as Ding Ruoyi discovered that Ye Fan was a great companion in times of sickness and well as times of health. Ding Ruoyi couldn’t have sent a refusal to Ye Fan, her one source of home and comfort while stranded, sick in another, foreign country. Ye Fan was her lifeline into making the situation any better. ”I’ll have to trouble you then.” Upon the slightest permission granted to her, Ye Fan rushed to inform the crew of Ding Ruoyi’s condition before disappearing into the streets of the city to get her proper medicine.
The crew turned out to be absolutely no help in this matter also. They didn’t want anything to interfere with their filming of an authentic and as much as possible natural shoot of these celebrities’ lives. They would not help unless it was absolutely necessary. Like this, the contestants were left to fend for themselves in the merciless environment of the concrete jungle.
Fortunately, Ye Fan was very used to traveling due to her career as a musician before her transmigration into this world. Her passport had seemed more like a wide ancient tome than the slim, shiny booklets that everyone else used. Her passport had lost its initial shine and over the course of multiple trips, it was reduced to a leathery skin that was filled with an array of colorful stamps inside, flipping through the pages was similar to witnessing a rainbow. Ye Fan had been to Austria in her previous life and the present Austria of this world didn’t seem too far off from what she remembered. It was like gazing into a rippling pond and recognizing your own distorted reflection but, unable to perceive all the slight details that you normally would. Ye Fan walked the streets of Austria confidently, only stopping once in a while to check whether she was indeed going in the right direction.
The nearby pharmacy store was brightly lit and advertised so Ye Fan’s keen eyes didn’t miss its location. She hurried along the payment line, bags stocked with anything Ding Ruoyi could possibly need later, the items flowing out of the bags like bubbles threatening to escape a bathtub. She was equipped for any emergency, armed to the teeth with antidiarrheals and stomach medicine. She also bought some vegetable porridge and some light side dishes from a nearby Chinese restaurant, in order to bring back something that she felt might suit Din Ruoyi’s palate much better.
While Ye Fan was buying the medicine, the crew followed along, filming everything she did.The crew’s cold and apathetic behavior towards her situation caused Ding Ruoyi’s heart to harden with resentment and bitterness towards them. However, she could not do anything but hope that everything had been worth it and the show received the results they wanted.It was Ye Fan that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. If the other actress hadn’t helped her, she had no idea how much pain she would’ve had to go through alone. Although this was her first time meeting Ye Fan, her generous nature was crystal clear as she watched Ye Fan take up so much effort to help someone who was practically a mere stranger to her.
Ye Fan kept vigil at Ding Ruoyi’s bedside as she slowly drifted away to sleep, all of her worried features softening as she finally resembled the young girl she was. Ye Fan gently tucked the covers beneath Ding Ruoyi’s chin and flicked off the gentle yellow light. Ding Ruoyi had seemed like a caterpillar in its chrysalis stage, as she was wrapped up tightly in her cocoon of blankets. Ye Fan hoped that the incoming metamorphosis would transform her health for the better. Ye Fan slinked out of the room like a thief, intent on not making any noise that could wake Ding Ruoyi up from her peaceful slumber. Upon entering her own room, she relaxed, the tension draining out of her body like a snapped rubber band. The peace was momentary, the fact that her drawer had been moved sent sirens blaring through her head. Even though it was still locked, there were clearly traces of it having been touched.
But Ye Fan was very calm at this moment. Serenely, she opened the drawer.
As expected, the money was all gone
Although she had suspected the crew had something planned from the very moment she was elected to take responsibility for the money, she never would have assumed that they would have stooped to conducting a complete smear campaign to dismantle her image until it was shattered to the extent that the pieces could never fit together again. She had expected some sort of scheme to make Tang Jin look better-it would have been weird and unsettling if they remained passive and hadn’t done anything.
Their thoughts were blatantly clear. They had deliberately given her the money so they could take it away later. Wasn’t it just so they could create the damaging illusion that she had been irresponsible and lost the money?
Ye Fan could almost predict the following sequence of events engineered by the crew with alarming clarity, as if she was like the oracles talked about in ancient stories. First, their course of action would begin with letting the netizens know about this issue simply to generate a buzz.Then, while the audience would be getting angry about it, the team would leave her to deal with the massive fallout and countless criticisms that would inevitably be thrown at her character by herself, without any support as they continued filming the show.
However, Ye Fan would still follow the flow of the show.
She’d let them take control of this situation and have what they want. There was nothing she could do about it now, anyway. She’d turn the tide on them later, when they least expect it. They could certainly expose the incident right now, but controlling the results of the situation was not in their hands alone.
Ye Fan sneered. She would win these petty schemes.
Holding the empty envelope in her hand, she went straight to the crew.
When Ye Fan said that the money was gone, the cameraman recorded everything.
The other closed doors opened one after the other as well. Tang Jin, Gu Yachen, and Li Qiong all came out of their rooms to see the cause of the commotion..
When Tang Jin encountered Ye Fan, her face was as blank as an untouched canvas. Tang Jin didn’t show even the most minute of reactions. The whole stand-in situation had really put her in a tight spot, with everyone either demanding an answer from her or accusing or praising Ye Fan. It was considered benevolent enough by Tang Jin that she didn’t throw Ye Fan a scathing glare. Although, it wouldn’t have mattered if she had, the crew had informed her beforehand that they would cut out all the scenes that might reflect her in a negative light. Thus, there was even less of a need to care about Ye Fan, that pathetic loser.
When Ye Fan saw Tang Jin’s expression, it was evident that she was an insider in the whole scheme, if not its mastermind. Ye Fan understood in a flash.
This was all a trap orchestrated by the crew.