648 A Million Times for You 10
Hence, she decided to fly over to C City in a bid to meet Yan Ge and his manager personally.
Whether or not the deal could be clinched successfully would have to depend on her sincerity.
Once she arrived at the airport, she parked her car in the car park and immediately boarded a flight towards C City.
Within two hours, the plane touched down in the airport of C City.
An Xiaoning hailed a taxi and headed to the television studio.
As soon as she reached her destination, she gave Yan Ge a call, which went through quickly.
"Hello, is this Mr. Yan?"
"Hi, I'm An Xiaoning, and I would like to discuss an upcoming drama with you personally."
"An Xiaoning? You mean Jin Qingyan's ex-wife, An Xiaoning?" Yan Ge asked.
An Xiaoning felt a sudden sense of awkwardness and answered, "Yes."
"May I ask where you are now?"
"I'm at the entrance of the hotel you're staying in."
"Alright, I'll come down to fetch you right away."
Not long after Yan Ge ended the call, a nanny van drove toward An Xiaoning. The door opened, and Yan Ge and his manager alighted.
As soon as Yan Ge alighted, a swarm of fans, who had been waiting for him outside the hotel, rushed toward him and surrounded them, though they were soon stopped from advancing forward by the bodyguards.
Yan Ge was much more dashing in person. An Xiaoning reached a hand out for a handshake and greeted while smiling, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Yan."
"Nice to meet you, Ms. An. Let's talk upstairs," said Yan Ge, shaking her hand.
An Xiaoning proceeded to enter the lobby of the hotel together with Yan Ge and his entourage.
"I saw on the news that you're currently in the midst of filming for a movie. Is production coming to an end soon?"
"Yes, we're more or less finished with filming. I heard that a few years ago, Ms. An invested in a movie that became a hit with booming box office sales. I thought you would continue to invest in subsequent films but, surprisingly, I haven't heard any more news since," said Yan Ge.
An Xiaoning chuckled and said, "I've been making it onto the news because of my private life. I haven't invested in any new films or production since then, though."
Amused by her self-mockery, Yan Ge smiled and said, "That's the media for you. They tend to amplify every little detail of others' private lives that they manage to get their hands on."
Once they entered the elevator, An Xiaoning got straight to the point, "I personally came to look you up because I'd like to discuss a new project with you. We're in the midst of preparations for an upcoming drama, and I think you're the only suitable choice for the male lead."
"Is the story set in ancient times or present day?"
"Ancient times. But the storyline is different from those ancient historical dramas you've filmed in the past. I'll get my subordinates to send you the character writeup, as well as the rough plot of the drama, later. You may take a look at it first," said An Xiaoning, knowing that he had starred in various dramas in the past.
Once they entered Yan Ge's hotel room, the manager gave An Xiaoning his email address, after which she immediately told Jing Tian to send the documents to it.
An Xiaoning also took the chance to ask about Yan Ge's schedule for the next month.
An Xiaoning was relieved to hear that Yan Ge was planning to take a two-month break after the filming of the movie ended. His schedule would not clash with the filming of the drama, which was stipulated to begin in December, leaving Yan Ge with a month to rest.
"Ms. An, you two go ahead with the discussion. We'll excuse ourselves first," said the manager.
After the door closed, An Xiaoning asked, "When it comes to selecting dramas, do your manager and bosses make the decision or do you get to have the final say in which productions you'd like to star in?"
"The latter, of course. I'm not an actor who can be easily manipulated and controlled. So the contract I signed with my artiste management company is slightly different from those of other actors. I get to decide entirely which drama or film I'll be starring in," he answered.
An Xiaoning smiled and remarked, "How assertive. You'll get to select the best drama to star in, then."
"Who's going to play the female lead?"
"We haven't decided on an actress yet. Are there any actresses you'd like to work with, in particular?"
Shaking his head, Yan Ge answered, "No."
"You've worked with so many actresses before. Are there any that you'd like to cooperate with again?"
"There aren't any, actually," he said.
After receiving the email from Jing Tian, Yan Ge began perusing its contents, which included the synopsis, setting, and character map of the drama. Meanwhile, An Xiaoning remained seated quietly and waited for Yan Ge to say something.
"I'm very interested in this drama. I believe the drama will become a hit with such a rich plot, as well as your production team. I've watched the movie that you invested in several times, and I find it to be amazing. So, I do aspire to work with Director Jing Tian," Yan Ge said candidly.
Realizing that there was a glimmer of hope, An Xiaoning immediately asked, "May you quote your price?"
"Five hundred thousand dollars per episode for a drama. But we can discuss the price again if you'd like to bargain. I mainly decide based on the quality of the drama. I don't mind getting paid less if I'm comfortable with the script, the cast members, and the production team," he said with a smile.
"There's no need to bargain. You're definitely worth that price," said An Xiaoning.
Yan Ge grinned widely upon hearing her words. He had never worked with such a generous producer or investor before, for most of them would usually bargain with him for a lower price.
"I have one more request. The female lead must be played by an actress who has adequate acting chops and is competent enough," Yan Ge added.
"Rest assured, I'll seek your opinion before coming to a decision."
Relieved to hear her words, Yan Ge said, "Alright, I agree to take on the main role of this drama. You're the only investor so far who have come forth to meet me personally, and you're so sincere about hiring me as well. I've long heard that you were uniquely different, but now, it seems like you're a person of great tact as well. I'm really glad to be able to work with you, Ms. An."
"Is this also the shortest time you took to accept an offer for filming?"
An Xiaoning chuckled and said, "Seems like I didn't make a wasted trip, after all. Lunch is on me today."
Due to how famous Yan Ge was, he would practically make it onto the entertainment news all the time.
The paparazzi and fans of Yan Ge had snapped photos of An Xiaoning waiting for Yan Ge at the hotel lobby, followed by the two of them spending two hours in the hotel room alone together after the manager and assistant had left, and, lastly, their luncheon.
Although the paparazzi knew An Xiaoning's purpose for meeting him, they nevertheless labeled the piece of news with a juicy title: "Yan Ge and An Xiaoning Have a Rendezvous at a Hotel, the Two Are Suspected to Be Dating," all for the sake of attracting attention and gossip.
"Hotel" was a word that was bound to spark gossip and rumors of a flirtatious relationship.
The news instantly caused a major uproar on the internet, where heaps of Yan Ge's female fans aired their grievances and disdain toward An Xiaoning. They berated her and called her a thrice-divorced and shameless wretch who's trying to implicate their idol.
On the other hand, there were also several rational fans who did their analysis of the situation, claiming that if there was really something between them, Yan Ge wouldn't have agreed to meet An Xiaoning and shake her hand in broad daylight, or walk into the hotel together openly with no means of hiding their faces beneath a mask.
There were also some insiders who said that An Xiaoning was looking for Yan Ge in a bid to cast him in the upcoming drama she had invested in.
The matter was soon blown out of proportion.
The Gu family found the piece of news amusingly absurd, for they obviously knew what was really going on. But then again, there was always bound to be mindless netizens who run their mouths before even getting their facts right, as well as those who are clueless about the actual situation.
For example, Ji Yu, Tuoba Gucheng, and Jin Qingyan.
At this point, it was not that Jin Qingyan did not trust her, but rather, he thought that it was very likely for her to date a male idol since she had already begun searching for her next prospective partner.
It was her freedom, anyway.