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    Chapter 60 - The Queen's Robe

    "Tang Fei, how did she become so talented?" Guan Yun slumped on the couch in the living room, her head hanging low as Tang Fei's singing filled the home speakers.

    Suddenly, the world seemed different. The expressionless Tang Fei was now an actress, and the illiterate could compose songs and lyrics!

    Eight years! She had known Tang Fei for eight years, yet she felt like she hardly knew her at all.

    Guan Yin looked up at his younger sister, who was clearly shaken. "If you keep treating this as a hobby, you'll only fall further behind."

    He delivered another blow to her ego personally.

    Was he really her brother?

    Guan Yun punched the cushion in frustration. "Hmph, I'm not talking to you anymore."

    At Yao Hui Tower that day, a rumor spread widely among the employees: The president had fallen in their office again! Barely discharged from the hospital, they were already whisked away by an ambulance.

    The staff, no longer panicked by the first incident, efficiently sent Shen Fan off, even having time for gossip: It seemed like President Shen was going through an unlucky phase; perhaps they should invite a master to alter the feng shui.

    ...

    In Xiangnan Province, in the dilapidated old neighborhood of its capital, Star City.

    Tang Fei's part-time assistant, Shu Xiaoan, and her family were temporarily renting a place here. After Shu Xiaoan's father was involved in a car accident, they had to sell their original house to gather the funds for his treatment.

    The neighborhood was older than Shu Xiaoan herself – a one-bedroom apartment with only forty square meters of space.

    They placed a bed in the living room, which served as Shu Xiaoan's shared sleeping area with her mother, while the bedroom was reserved for her father.

    Due to the accident, Shu's father was paralyzed from the neck down, suffered from mutism, and developed mental issues. He could no longer speak and had become extremely dull.

    At this moment, Shu Xiaoan was in the bedroom. She was seated behind the bed, exerting all her strength to prop up her father's heavy body, making it easier for her mother to clean him.

    The phone, placed on the corner of the table, continuously played Tang Fei's "Someone Like Me."

    After wiping her father's entire body, Shu's mother meticulously helped him button up his clothes. Together with her daughter, they carefully moved him back into a comfortable position.

    Exhaustion marked Shu's mother's once-delicate face. "An An, I've calculated that next Saturday is an auspicious day suitable for a wedding."

    "I don't want to get married," Shu Xiaoan's eyes reddened. The mother and daughter had been arguing about this for days.

    "Only when you're married can I truly rest easy. Can't you give me peace of mind?" pleaded Shu's mother in her voice.

    "How can you really be at ease if I marry someone I've only met three or four times, knowing nothing else about him except his wealth?" Tears cascaded down Shu Xiaoan's cheeks like a breached dam. "I can share the burden of our family debts with you. I have a decent-paying job now, and I'll send all my earnings to you. We can pay it off in ten or twenty years together. Please, don't force me into marriage. I'm begging you, Mom."

    Shu's mother bowed her head. A tear escaped from Shu's father's eye corner, and saliva trickled down his mouth. She gently wiped it away, still revealing a trace of tenderness in her expression. But toward Shu Xiaoan, she remained stubborn. "I won't feel relieved until you're married, and your partner is wealthy. Little An, you don't know the pain of being troubled by money. I don't want you to experience that hardship."

    "I'm willing to!" Shu Xiaoan grabbed her phone and rushed downstairs.

    Shu's mother rose, took a few steps, then turned back to her husband. He stared blankly, mouth open, making meaningless sounds. She held the doorknob for a long time before finally shutting the door and going downstairs after Shu Xiaoan.

    "Xiaoan, Xiaoan..."

    ...

    In the capital city, at the flagship store of the Enamored chain photography studio, the producer of "Zhu Xiansheng's Little Princess" was explaining the situation with a worried frown to the investors.

    Enamored Photography Limited was the investor behind the drama, while the lead actress, Zhong Xue, was the daughter of the Enamored family.

    Amidst the chatter, Zhong Xue's mother suddenly slammed her hand on the table. "You promised us that Zhong Xue would become famous and make money after starring in this drama. Now that she's been rejected by Xiangnan TV, you have to take responsibility!"

    "That's not fair. It was Xiangnan TV's advertisers who insisted on having Tang Fei as the lead and re-editing the series under the title 'Si Cuichuan'. You were the ones who stubbornly refused."

    "We paid for it, so why can't our daughter be the lead actress?" Zhong's mother leaped up from her seat.

    "She can! Let her be the lead then. I'm not getting involved anymore." The producer started putting on gloves and a scarf, clearly ready to leave. Zhong's mother quickly sat back down. "Hey, don't go. Why are you washing your hands off this? Tell us what needs to be done, and we'll discuss it further."

    "Go find Tang Fei and renegotiate the contract. Splurge on inviting her for promotional events and re-attract sponsors under her name."

    "Are you saying we have to beg her?"

    "Beg if you must. Only she can save us now. How many eyes are on Xiangnan TV's winter vacation slot after the Spring Festival? If we don't act fast, another drama will snatch it away."

    "I'm spending money and still have to beg. What kind of karma is this?"

    ...

    In the makeup room of the 'Psychic Frenzy' production team at Jiangzhou Film Studio, all the makeup tables were pushed to the sides, and every light on the vanity mirrors was switched on, illuminating the room brightly.

    Zhou Weichuan led a large team of dressers in a row, solely dedicated to serving Tang Fei.

    Du Mei's three outfits hung elegantly on silk mannequins, while the attendants nearby, wearing white gloves, greeted with professional smiles.

    Tang Fei's gaze fell upon one of the ensembles, and an attendant promptly explained, "Miss Tang, this is Du Mei's haute couture gown for the season. Its design inspiration stems from the Greek mythological warrior goddess Athena, emphasizing the regal side of women. Hence, we call it the Queen's Battle Robe."

    The black gown featured a gradient of gray at the hem, incorporating the curved draping elements found in Greek attire. The shoulders were adorned with armor-like epaulettes.

    The model's hair was left loose, complemented by a golden crown forehead band.

    The overall style exudes an exotic mythological aura, with its simple color palette and three-dimensional tailoring, imbued with a cool, aesthetic charm.

    Tang Fei continued to observe. The fitting specialist explained, "This set is also from our current haute couture collection. Its design concept is inspired by winter branches."

    It was a pantsuit.

    The black branch patterns against the white fabric created a unique spatial sensation. When modeled, it seemed to transport the viewer to another dimension.

    Perched atop the model's head was a headdress resembling deer antlers in the form of a hair clip.

    Upon reaching the third ensemble, the fitting specialist explained, "The design concept is 'Snow of Feathers'."

    The white gown was intricately embroidered with feather patterns, with swan feathers individually embedded into them. Diamonds were nestled between these feathers, shimmering under the lights, creating an illusion of an icy winter wonderland.

    From afar, the sheer white minidress appeared as if blanketed in snow, but up close, it was a collage of individual feathers. It was paired with a long cape adorned with white feathers and a vintage-style diadem adorned with a single white plume.

    Snow of Feathers! It was as if one had donned a gown made of heavy snowflakes, immersing oneself in a world of white.

    The outfit featuring intersecting geometric branches conveyed the most modern aesthetic, while the one incorporating retro elements from classical mythology exuded a battle robe vibe, with its sharp, assertive allure. Upon seeing it, Tang Fei immediately thought of the makeup card depicting the discarded queen of an Egyptian pharaoh.

    This is it!

    Tang Fei's gaze fixated on the black evening gown.

    "Whose dress would you like to try on first, Tang Fei?" Zhou Weichuan asked.

    "The Queen's Battle Robe."

    A garment aggressive in its very name.

    "On the battlefield of the signing ceremony, I wish our leading lady, clad in her armor, will conquer the world." Zhou Weichuan's eyes shimmered with stars as he laughed.

    "I won't bring disgrace to the company," Tang Fei assured, surrounded by the styling team as they drew the changing curtains around her.

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