Rebirth: Supporting Actress/C13 Poison Lotus Flower
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Rebirth: Supporting Actress/C13 Poison Lotus Flower
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C13 Poison Lotus Flower

Diantha quickly showered and slipped into the black-and-white maid outfit she had borrowed from the servant's quarters. She dabbed on makeup and restyled her hair, her thick bangs falling to her nose and obscuring most of her face. Just visible beneath the fringe were hints of brown freckles, while the rest of her hair was neatly tied into a bun on top of her head.

Looking in the mirror, she grinned at the reflection, her goofy charm shining through. Satisfied, she left the room, skillfully dodging Butler Edwards and Mrs. Barnes, who might recognize her, and made her way out of the villa without a sideways glance.

Only after passing through the garden and the large iron gate, out of the camera's watchful eye, did she shed the outer garments to reveal a practical gray sports jacket and jeans underneath. She stowed the maid costume in her carry-all, donned a cap to match her jacket, pulling the brim down low, and hailed a ride with her phone. Settling into the car, she texted Hollis, "En route. I'll be at the set in thirty minutes."

Hollis responded with lightning speed, "Sis, you promised me—really promised—you wouldn't stir up trouble on set!"

Before Diantha could answer, he fired off another text, "Crap, crap, crap. Bro Qin brought Xiao Xin to the set. Sis, you're my actual sister. You knew, didn't you? Tell me you're not here to wreak havoc!"

Curling her lips in amusement, Diantha texted back, "The casting rights for 'Merchant' in exchange for this stint on set. Relax, I've given you my word. As long as you cover for me, I won't cause any scenes."

Hollis seemed to wrestle with the idea, "Sis, your brother Sabino, who's been silent for a year, is on set too. Why not reach out to him?"

"You said it yourself—we haven't spoken in a year," Diantha reminded him.

Hollis fell silent.

After sending a meme of clinging to a benefactor's leg, Hollis added, "I've passed you off as the family's new personal assistant. Mr. Fisher will meet you outside. Just stick with him once you're on location; he'll get you inside."

"Mr. Fisher?" Diantha inquired.

"Glean, my agent. You can't miss him. He's the most flamboyant one there," Hollis assured her.

Twenty minutes later, Diantha stepped out of the car, immediately drawn to a human spotlight decked out in a glittering stage costume that sparkled in the sunlight. She adjusted her cap and approached confidently, asking, "Mr. Fisher?"

The man, his face lightly made up, flicked a glance her way and flipped his pink hair. With an arched brow and an air of impatience, he looked down his nose at Diantha, "You're the Hicks family's new assistant?"

With a pleasant smile, Diantha nodded, "Yes, I'm Dith, assigned to look after the young master today. You must be Mr. Glean, his manager? Just call me Dith. Apologies for the delay; traffic was a nightmare."

"Babe, if you knew it was going to be busy, why didn't you leave earlier? Are you sure you can handle our Hollis?"

Diantha's chuckle was light, her makeup and bangs disguising her usual sharp features, lending her a simple look. "Rest assured, Mr. Fisher. I'm the strongest of the household staff. If I've been sent, I'm certainly up to the task."

Mr. Fisher snorted, clearly unimpressed, "Who thought it was a good idea to send us someone so... unsophisticated?" He then beckoned Diantha, "Don't just stand there. Come on, Hollis is waiting. We're on a tight schedule; don't be late again!"

Diantha followed with her usual good nature.

Glean, though not yet a household name, would later become known as a top-tier agent for his role in launching the careers of award-winning actors Hollis and Sabino.

Later still, when Sabino's reputation took a hit from a scandal involving drugs, gambling, and prostitution—a setup by the nefarious Sulo—he was quickly blacklisted by the industry.

At the time of Sabino's framing, Diantha was still reeling from her brother's untimely death, her mind clouded by the constant presence of Cassius and Anthea. It wasn't until Sabino landed in jail that she realized the gravity of his situation.

In Sabino's darkest hour, it wasn't Diantha, the self-absorbed sister preoccupied with her own life, who came to his aid, but Glean, who stood by his protégé, claiming responsibility for his charge.

Diantha was deeply grateful, and no matter how harsh Glean's words or demeanor, she took it all with a smile.

Her determination to join the crew stemmed from a desire to prevent her brother from meeting Anthea and repeating the past life's tragedy.

In a previous life, Sabino and Anthea's paths crossed on the set of "Teenagers," where Sabino's fondness for Anthea grew from her strength and kindness. Their relationship deepened over time, eventually spiraling beyond control.

Sabino was always clever and quick-witted. He wouldn't have fallen into Sulo's trap so easily if not for his love for Anthea, which clouded his judgment and dulled his caution.

Let's take a step back. If Sabino hadn't fallen for Anthea and constantly sought her out, and if Anthea hadn't noticed Sabino's affection and kept him on the hook with a teasing, ambiguous relationship, Sulo wouldn't have become displeased and set a trap for Sabino.

Truth be told, if Anthea were a good girl worth chasing, Diantha would have gone to the ends of the earth, risking everything, to smooth things over with Cassius and Sulo, ensuring his brother won the girl. But Anthea wasn't that girl. To Diantha, she was nothing but a deadly poison disguised as a lotus flower.

Diantha was determined not to repeat past mistakes. Having been too self-absorbed in a previous life and failing her sisterly duties, she was now committed to protecting her brother from Anthea's toxic influence.

Diantha followed Glean into the photo studio, where Hollis and Sabino were in the makeup room. As emerging actors, they didn't have the clout for separate spaces and shared a manager, so they shared the room as well.

Upon entering, Diantha overheard the makeup assistants gossiping. "Anthea, the one who ousted Tong Tong, sure made an entrance today."

"The guy who dropped her off was incredibly handsome! More so than any celebrity I've seen!" Another assistant nudged the starry-eyed speaker, gesturing towards the makeup mirror. The girl quickly covered up, "Ahem, I mean, Sabino and Hollis are handsome too, but there's just something different about that guy's charm!"

Another chimed in, "Exactly, he's got that commanding presence, like a CEO straight out of a drama!"

"He actually is a CEO, you know. Haven't you been following the news? That's the CEO of Edwards Group that's been all over the internet."

"Wait, the same Director Edwards rumored to be keeping Anthea and dealing with a jealous wife at home?"

"That's the one. They say his wife is fierce. Pushed Anthea down from the second floor in a fit of rage. Lucky it wasn't higher, or it could've been fatal."

"Anthea's still got her foot bandaged up. Rumor has it she was pushed by Director Edwards' wife."

"Frankly, Anthea's just sixteen. Director Edwards doesn't strike me as the type to go for someone so young. His wife's reaction seems over the top."

"Totally. Men who are watched too closely tend to rebel, and Director Edwards is no exception."

"Exactly. You can't keep too tight a leash on a man. Plus, Anthea was just pushed down the stairs, breaking her hand, and now her leg's twisted from another fall. What if she hits her head next time... Geez, what a mess..."

Hollis looked up at the sound of these whispers and saw a girl in a quaint, country-style dress following Glean. "Who's that?" he wondered, catching a glimpse of Diantha's eyes peeking out from behind thick bangs. She blinked at him, and he did a double-take, nearly choking on his gum. "Holy smokes, is that Diantha?!"

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
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