Chapter 9 - The Arrival of Mei Niu

Dragging her suitcase down from the taxi, Sheng Jiaoyang looked up and examined the lavish building in front of her. After studying it for a few minutes, she then walked to the security room to sign-in.

She’d still been half-asleep yesterday morning when the contest staff had called and told her to participate in the upcoming training.

The training was with the other contestants who’d passed the selection process, and when she included herself, there was a total of thirty people.

At the entrance of the room where the other contestants were waiting, there were a few staff members collecting everyone’s cell phones and luggage. The noise in the waiting room could be heard through the unlatched door, and when she heard such an uproar, Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t want to go in.

“Oh, another one’s here!” When Sheng Jiaoyang finally pushed open the door and walked in, the spacious room instantly went silent as all gazes swept towards her.

Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t care at all and tried to find a place to sit down.

“I heard that we could be eliminated at any time during our training. Only half of us will be able to enter the competition.”

“Really? That’s so cruel!”

“Which competition isn’t cruel?”

Listening to the discussions on the other side of the room, Sheng Jiaoyang’s expression remained unchanged. She just calmly raised her eyes and discreetly sized up the other contestants in the room until she unexpectedly saw two slightly familiar faces. They were the two girls who’d lined up in front of her when she’d signed up at the competition registration.

After all the contestants had arrived, one of the senior staff members finally made an announcement.

“Alright, now all of you need to follow the crew to change your clothes. There’s a fashion show that you’re all required to participate in today.”

The senior staff member’s voice was like a clap of thunder that shocked all the contestants.

“There’s going to be a fashion show today? Didn’t we just come here for training?”

“Will they be eliminating anyone?”

“Why didn’t they tell us about this on the phone yesterday?”

-

The staff ignored the contestants’ complaints and just silently carried out their duties.

Sheng Jiaoyang was assigned a full-length chiffon dress. When it came to walking down a runway, a full-length chiffon dress was one of the more uncomfortable dresses to walk in. If she wasn’t careful, it would be very easy for her to trip herself up on the long hemline of the dress. For those that had never worn this style of clothing before, it would indeed be challenging.

Apart from herself, several other contestants also received a full-length dress. While the remaining contestants were given shorter styled dresses which were more comfortable to walk in but revealed more of their skin. The entire dressing room was filled with mournful wailing.

“Ladies, listen up! Now that you’ve successfully entered the first segment of the competition, your every word and action will be picked up by the cameras. All of you, please pay attention to your manners, ok?” The staff members hadn’t been able to stand the banshee-like noises permeating the dressing room and had gotten one of the senior staff members to warn them.

In a flash, the noise within the dressing room quietened down.

Sheng Jiaoyang breathed a sigh of relief; it was finally peaceful.

Once they’d changed their shoes and had picked a numbered ticket, they were then taken backstage according to the number on the ticket that they’d drawn. One by one, under the guidance of the staff members, they were led to the stage.

The number that Sheng Jiaoyang had drawn was somewhere in the middle. This position wasn’t perfect, but she wasn’t all that nervous. She luckily had a sufficient amount of experience from observing plenty of runway shows before, giving her an abundance of confidence and an idea of what she had to do.

When it was her turn, she walked onto the stage, stood on the designated position, and arranged the train of the dress around her feet. When a staff member waved their hand at her, she started walking, and with her measured steps, the light material of the dress fluttered slightly in the air.

The full-length dress that was considered extremely inconvenient for other people was effortlessly managed by Sheng Jiaoyang as she’d worn similar dresses many times in the past. Previously, since she was short, in order to wear a beautiful dress like this she’d had to wear high-heels with a heel of at least twenty centimetres. As it had been quite tricky back then, walking in such a dress with her current height was now even easier.

The only thing that troubled her now was her vision as she was unable to wear her glasses on the runway. Unfortunately, she’d had no time to have her eyesight corrected before rushing off to attend the training. And, since her range of vision was limited to about one meter in front of her, she was left with no other option but to pay careful attention to where she placed her feet.

Hence, in the eyes of others, although this girl didn’t walk rigidly, her movements were too stiff, and it decreased the gracefulness of the dress.

“Yiyan, I heard that you specifically chose this girl, but I don’t see anything special about her,” came the voice of a woman sitting to the left side of the runway, in the front row of the audience. Adorned with an excessive amount of accessories, her face was covered with a heavy layer of makeup. But, while her facial features appeared quite youthful due to the makeup, the fine lines around the corners of her eyes revealed that she was much older than she seemed.

Sitting beside the woman was Zhuo Yiyan, the one who’d given the exemption card to Sheng Jiaoyang. He looked at the girl walking meticulously on the runway and laughed as he said, “It’s still early. Some people just need to experience more before they’re reborn.”

“Although this contest is just beginning, there’s already enough to see their potential. For example, that girl called Xiao Yang, who appeared on the stage earlier, was perfect. She’s also a novice who’s never walked on a runway before, but the aura and poise she displayed could be considered better than that of many models who’ve been doing this for years. Even though she lacks catwalk experience, it was apparent that she was confident in her abilities. However, this Xu Jiaojiao is too formal. Moreover, her features are too delicate; she lacks any sharpness. Even as a fashion model, I’m afraid that she wouldn’t take a very good photo.”

Zhuo Yiyan had yet to speak when a young woman with a mixed-race appearance sitting on his right abruptly said, “She resembles my former self.”

The woman with heavy makeup was suddenly quiet.

A corner of Zhuo Yiyan’s mouth lifted. With just a few words from the currently popular international supermodel, the older woman past her prime was immediately defeated.

“Lina, the show is already at the halfway mark, and this is the first sentence you’ve said. It seems that this contestant has caught your attention,” Zhou Yiyan said as he turned his head to look at the young woman seated next to him.

The woman’s facial features were very distinct; her eyes more profound than those of an average Asian. A thin layer of makeup was applied to her face, making her already beautiful appearance seem extremely attractive. In addition to that, she had a cold expression on her face, giving her beauty a somewhat overbearing aura.

She was a mix of Chinese and Italian, with her mother being Chinese. Her Chinese name was Lin Na, and this was her first time visiting this country.

In the past, Lina had wanted to return to her mother’s hometown and take a look around, but she’d been busy with work. Unfortunately, before she was famous, she’d been busy pursuing her dream. Then, after becoming famous, she’d started a brand with her sisters, personally entering a research lab to develop new aromatherapy techniques. Even now, her schedule for this trip was utterly packed.

If it wasn’t for her close sister’s accident, she wouldn’t have postponed her itinerary and accepted an invitation to be on this program. But, since she had, she wanted to use this as an excuse to see how good this country was that her Little Sun[1] had bothered to visit and mess around in.

Watching as the girl called Xu Jiaojiao disappeared behind the stage curtain, Lin Na slightly opened her red lips and answered Zhuo Yiyan, “She walks on the stage like my past self, and her name is also similar to that of my best friend’s childhood name.” Unfortunately, my Little Sun didn’t have a good body constitution like this Xu Jiaojiao.

“This is probably an excellent example of fate,” Zhuo Yiyan smiled as he responded.

Lina slightly nodded and didn’t speak again.

The show didn’t take too much more time before it finally finished, and by then, the audience had more or less formed impressions on the contestants. Especially the guest invited by the event organisers; they’d realised that she would undoubtedly play an essential part in the competition.

Following the runway show, the contestants were divided into two groups.

Those who’d been assigned to wear a long dress were placed in one group, while the other group was compiled of those who’d worn a short dress.

“For the next fifteen days, both teams will be placed into training to prepare for the competition. In regards to team captains, we’ve chosen the two who we think will be up to the task after evaluating your performances on the runway. The captain of the long dress team will be Xiao Yang, while the captain of the short dress team will be Luo Yi. Your captains will be responsible for assisting the teacher in charge of discipline within the groups, as well as taking care of other issues. Next, we’ll introduce our special coach who’ll be helping all of you…”

“Lina!” The host grandly pointed to the side.

All the contestants whipped their heads in the direction he was pointing. When they saw the tall and beautiful person slowly appear on the stage, all their faces’ contorted into various expressions of surprise.

In recent years, Lina had become well known as a rising star in the international supermodel community. Since she had the face of an angel, yet the figure of the devil, not only was she successful within the modelling industry, she was also starting to build up a reputation in the film and television industry. Moreover, she’d managed to create a thriving brand in a short period as well as being acknowledged by the fashion industry for having good taste.

On top of all this, Lina’s identity as half-Chinese had helped her to catch the attention of Chinese people. Before she’d even come to China to advance her career, she would often appear in their entertainment headlines. There was no one in China who didn’t know her!

After hearing the host’s shout, Sheng Jiaoyang, who was initially calm, suddenly opened her eyes wide. Quickly whipping her head over to look, she clearly saw the woman who was approaching.

“Mei Niu![2]” she subconsciously blurted.

The other contestants started laughing when they heard that.

The host also couldn’t help laughing, but he immediately felt terrible and hurriedly said, “Miss, even if you’re shocked to see such a beauty, like you’ve caught sight of a celestial being, please calm down, okay?”

Another burst of laughter echoed around the room.

Only two people on the stage didn’t laugh. One was Sheng Jiaoyang, and the other was Lina.

When Lina had heard that shout of ‘Mei Niu’, she’d almost thought it was her imagination playing tricks on her. But, looking at the person who’d called her, she realised that it was the girl named Xu Jiaojiao.

How did she know the secret nickname that was given to her by Little Sun? Or, was it just a coincidence?

“Lina, please give us a self-introduction!” the host said.

Lina focused on what was happening around her and said flatly, “Hello everyone; I'm Lina. Currently, I only have enough time this afternoon to give all of you a few pointers. How much you end up learning all depends on yourselves.”

It’s really Mei Niu! Sheng Jiaoyang’s mood improved, and she completely ignored anything more that the host had to say.

She was eager to rush over, regardless of everything else, and make sure that it was definitely Mei Niu. Then, she wanted to tell her about all the unbelievable experiences that she’d gone through these past few days. Unfortunately, the rational part of her mind was in charge of her body, and she could only stare helplessly as Mei Niu walked off the stage. At the same time, Sheng Jiaoyang found herself moving to follow the other contestants to change clothes.

“Yangbao, I really want to be in the same group as you!”

These words were spoken by a girl who’d entered the competition with her best friend. Currently, the two girls were embracing in the dressing room, looking like a pair of lovers unwilling to part.

As the other contestants walked past, they looked at the pair with strange gazes and felt that they were a bit too dramatic. Although they had now been split into two teams, both groups would be together during training. So, there was no need for the pair to act as if they were being separated.

“Alright, now quickly go change your clothes. In the future, we’ll still be training together. It doesn’t matter if we’re not in the same group, right?” Xiao Yang comforted the girl in her arms.

“Mhm, wait for me after you’re done changing clothes. Let’s go to the training room together.”

“Okay!”

Once Xiao Yang had found her locker, she noticed that the girl standing next to her was the one everyone had just laughed at. So, deciding to take the initiative, she greeted her. “Hey, I’m Xiao Yang. I feel like you’re a little familiar!”

“You were in front of me at the competition registration.”

“Aah, yeah, I remember you! You seem to like Lina very much; you couldn’t take your eyes off her when she was on stage. Is she your idol?”

“No.” Sheng Jiaoyang quickly changed her clothes and turned to leave the dressing room.

Another girl next to them curled her lips in disdain as she said, “Heh, so arrogant! Just a country bumpkin, and yet she dares to call out to Lina like that.”

Xiao Yang chuckled before saying, “We should quickly change our clothes and go to the training room!”


1. Sheng Jiaoyang: Yang means sun; Jiaoyang means blazing sun

2. Mei Niu: Beautiful girl

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