1112 Perplexed and Smitten 172
After Li Shuangshuang left, Xiao Yue put Fang Erlan's suitcase down and unzipped it. She then hung all the clothes that Fang Erlan had brought onto hangers. "Why do I feel like this production has a tighter budget than the one that Sis Xiaoning had invested in?" Xiao Yue remarked.
"I heard that the investors had pumped in quite a large sum of funds. However, it's right that they scrimp and save whenever possible. This room is good enough. If you find your room uncomfortable, you may move in with me."
Xiao Yue waved her hands profusely and said, "No, no, I'm your assistant. It won't be appropriate to share the same room as you."
"I appreciate your kind offer, Sis Erlan, but I'd better stay in my own room. The suite has to be shared amongst four people, right? It'll be fun once I get to know my roommates better. Hey… Sis Erlan, why did you bring so few clothes? Is this one of the costumes for filming?"
Xiao Yue picked up Xiao Chenyang's robe. Fang Erlan hurriedly stopped her and said, "These are Cousin's clothes. Just leave them inside the suitcase and get him to bring it back to his room later. By the way, give him a call now. He should be coming up soon."
"Did Cousin buy himself a mobile phone?"
"Yes, he did."
"Sis Erlan, hurry and give me Cousin's mobile number."
"Give me a minute." Fang Erlan gave Xiao Chenyang a call. Less than two minutes later, the doorbell rang.
Xiao Yue zipped the suitcase and whipped out her mobile phone. "What's his number?" she asked eagerly.
Staring at her mobile phone screen, Fang Erlan read Xiao Chenyang's mobile number out loud, after which Xiao Yue hurriedly saved it in her contacts list. She then said to Xiao Chenyang gleefully, "Cousin, I have your mobile number now. Let's keep in touch frequently from now on."
Xiao Chenyang brushed her off bluntly, "There's no need for us to contact each other unless it's related to work," said Xiao Chenyang.
"Cousin, what are your QQ and WeChat account numbers? Give them to me so that we can chat online in the future."
"I don't use those platforms."
"If you don't wish to tell me, so be it," said Xiao Yue, who thought that he was merely unwilling to let her have his accounts.
"He really doesn't have those accounts. He just bought his mobile phone a while ago. How could he have registered an account on those platforms so soon?" said Fang Erlan.
"Cousin, are you a caveman?" Xiao Yue asked.
Xiao Chenyang instinctively shot Fang Erlan a glance. She frantically shook her head in a bid to imply that she had never divulged anything to Xiao Yue.
"Caveman… what do you mean?"
"It means you're primitive and you can't keep up with the times…" Xiao Yue explained. She then chuckled and continued, "Even kindergarteners own mobile phones these days. I can't believe you actually just started using one. Do you stay away from laptops and computers too?"
He immediately retorted, "Who said so? I do use laptops, of course. However, I just never felt the need to carry a mobile phone with me since there was no one that I had to contact anyway."
"Oh, I see. Cousin, Cousin, we both stay on the ninth floor. My room number is 907 while yours and the chauffeur's is 908. It's a suite that's composed of four adjacent rooms."
"You only needed to tell me what my room number was. I'm not interested in yours."
He was once again being a wet blanket that dampened Xiao Yue's feelings. Noticing how dumbfounded Xiao Yue was, Fang Erlan decided to give her an out. However, before she could even do so, the smitten Xiao Yue gazed at Xiao Chenyang and exclaimed, "Ah, Cousin, I just fancy how cool and aloof you are. You're so suave!"
Xiao Chenyang was speechless. "What an idiot…" he murmured. He looked at Fang Erlan and gibed, "Don't you put the applicants through an IQ test before deciding to hire them as your assistant?"
Xiao Yue stormed off in a huff and made her way to the ninth floor with her luggage. Fang Erlan chided, "Can't you… be more tactful with your words?"
"Why must I be tactful?"
"There are different ways to put your message across to her. If you change your tone slightly, others will feel more comfortable."
"That'll cause more problems. I don't like mincing and sugarcoating my words when it comes to someone I don't fancy or care for."
"Here, the suitcase contains all of your clothes. Mine are already hung up in the closet. Place it inside your room on the ninth floor and we'll go for lunch afterward. I'm famished," Fang Erlan said while pushing the suitcase toward him.
"Nah, just leave it inside your room. When I need to change…"
Before he could even finish, she interjected, "No, that won't do. Didn't I already tell you that there are surveillance cameras everywhere along the corridor outside? If you enter my room and exit in a different outfit… it's unacceptable."
Noticing how she seemed to be in a difficult position, he conceded, "Got it, I'll bring it down later."
"I'll go with you. At the same time, we can ask Xiao Yue and the chauffeur along for lunch."
"The chauffeur came upstairs with me. He's been waiting outside."
"Okay, let's go."
To their astonishment, they were greeted with the sight of a familiar face the moment they opened the door. "Jing Shui? Why are you here?" Fang Erlan asked.
"Of course I'm here. I'm staying in room 1030, right next to yours."
"Huh? Are you filming nearby too?" Fang Erlan asked in puzzlement.
"Is it a production that you're directing by yourself?"
Shaking his head, he answered, "No, I'm partaking in the same production as you are."
"We're acting in the same television series? Don't you specialize in directing films and television series? Why have you started acting?" asked a dumbfounded Fang Erlan.
"I decided to give it a try, just for fun. I want to gain some fresh experience too. The co-director of this series is my friend."
"Which role are you playing, then?" she asked.
"A minor… supporting role."
"Why would you be staying in the room beside mine, then?" Fang Erlan asked, utterly confused.
"I paid for the room with my own money."
Xiao Chenyang dragged the suitcase out of the room, closed the door, and began walking toward the elevator. At the sight of him leaving, Fang Erlan said to Jing Shui, "Let's talk another time. I'm going downstairs now."
"Wait, let's go together. I was planning to go downstairs too."
"We're going to the ninth floor so that my cousin can place his suitcase inside his room. You may take your leave first," Fang Erlan said tactfully.
They entered the elevator together and descended to the ninth floor.
The four of them, including the chauffeur and Xiao Yue, headed to a noodle restaurant for lunch.
It was a restaurant with many specialities.
However, during lunch, Xiao Chenyang forbade the chauffeur and Xiao Yue from sitting at the same table as him and Fang Erlan. Instead, he made them sit at the table next to theirs.
"What are you doing? Why didn't you let them sit with us?"
"Because I have something to say to you in private." He leaned forward and said softly, "That Jing Shui has an ulterior motive. He's a co-director and yet he ignored his profession and joined the production unit as an actor. He even forked out the money to pay for a room beside yours. Psht…"
"Don't be too quick to judge others…"
"You know whether or not I'm judging and making a wild guess," he said, staring at her sternly.
Fang Erlan ignored him. "Pass me your mobile phone," she said as she extended her hand toward him.
He placed it on her hand and asked, "What's wrong?"
"I'll help you register an account on a networking site. You may use the site to communicate with others online when you don't have your mobile phone with you." She then set up a new social media account for him and asked, "You'll need a username. What username do you prefer?"
She typed the username in and asked, "How would you like your friends' settings to be?"
"Add your account to my friends list and then block all other friend requests."