Rebirth: Supporting Actress/C17 The Prelude to His Face-slapping.
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Rebirth: Supporting Actress/C17 The Prelude to His Face-slapping.
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C17 The Prelude to His Face-slapping.

Diantha glanced at a dazed Hollis and sighed in relief when she realized he wasn't hurt.

She hadn't expected Anthea's pain threshold to be so low. It was just a stone hitting an acupoint, realigning a twisted meridian, and yet Anthea was in such agony that she flung the prop away. If Hollis had been injured by that, Diantha would have felt a pang of guilt, since she was the one who had thrown the stone.

Tucking the spare pebble, no bigger than a fingernail cap, into her pocket, Diantha slid the nunchaku under her arm. She pulled out a water bottle and a pack of tissues, offering them to Hollis with a gentle inquiry, "Mr. Bai, are you okay?"

Following Hollis' previous request, Diantha only referred to him as 'Young Master' in Glean's presence, never in front of others.

Hollis snapped out of his stupor, instinctively stepping back. After a puzzled blink at Diantha's eyes peeking out from under her bangs, he averted his gaze awkwardly and crouched down, clutching his head and exclaiming dramatically, "Holy shit, that scared the hell out of me! My good looks were nearly history!"

His reddening ears went unnoticed.

Hollis' outburst seemed to break the tension, and the onlookers, who had been holding their breath, finally relaxed.

Layla rushed to Anthea's side to comfort her. Anthea, seemingly in unbearable pain, simply shook her head with her eyes closed.

"Oh my God, that was terrifying!"

"If it hadn't been for the new assistant today, Hollis would've been in real trouble!"

"Damn, that assistant must have some serious martial arts training!"

"Absolutely, I mean, that speed was like something out of a kung fu novel!"

"They say the truly skilled don't show off. That move was like something out of a movie with special effects!"

"My sister asked me why I was kneeling to text her..."

"You all watch too much TV. Maybe it was just a burst of adrenaline because of concern for Hollis?"


"Exactly. If Sabino were in danger, I'd be even quicker!" a fan of Sabino declared, not to be outdone.


The director's assistant jogged over to Diantha and Hollis, apologizing profusely. Diantha handed back the nunchaku, and that's when the assistant noticed her hands—so white and delicate, they could be described as creamy jade without exaggeration. She seemed less like a crew assistant and more like a pampered heiress. It was hard to believe such dainty hands could catch a nunchaku thrown with such force.

Hollis, who had been squatting and holding his head, stood up, subtly positioning himself to block the assistant's view. The assistant, realizing his gaffe, pushed up his glasses and took the nunchaku with an awkward rush.

Diantha, oblivious to the exchange, offered Hollis the water bottle. "Boys should be braver. Don't get so easily frightened. Have some water."

Hollis cleared his throat and smiled with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "I'm a delicate flower that's been sheltered in a greenhouse—I need to be pampered."

Hollis was known for his sunny disposition, playful pranks, and a touch of mischief. His comment drew a round of good-natured laughter from the crowd.

Anthea, momentarily forgotten, whimpered softly, "I'm okay, Sister Layla. It's not that painful..." She lifted her head, her face ashen and beaded with sweat, looking pitifully endearing. With Layla's help, she stood and bowed to Hollis, her apology heartfelt, "Mr. Bai, I'm so sorry. It wasn't intentional. Something just struck my injured foot..."

A hush fell over the crowd. A timid voice asked, "Did anyone see what hit Anthea?"

"...No, but I might have been too busy admiring Hollis's handsome face to notice."

"I didn't see anything either... I was looking elsewhere... haha..."

"Honestly, I didn't see it. I was focused on the filming."

"Me too..."

With each response, Anthea's complexion grew paler.

Then someone suggested, "The camera's been rolling the whole time. Why not check the footage?"

Anthea brightened at the idea, but her hope quickly faded.

"The director switched to a close-up to accommodate Anthea's foot injury. We didn't capture the lower body," someone voiced Anthea's own thoughts.

Anthea's personal assistant, under Layla's stern gaze, frowned. "What are you implying? Are you suggesting that Anthea deliberately aimed for Mr. Bai?"

Silence followed.

Then another voice ventured, "...Why would the prop be thrown at Hollis's face? Was it really an accident?"

"Could it be jealousy because Hollis is so good-looking?"

"She doesn't seem to be faking it. Maybe her foot injury really did act up?"

Before Layla could respond, Anthea tugged at her sleeve, her voice soft yet firm, "Truly, I'm sorry. Please believe me, it wasn't intentional. If you'd like, we can have a doctor examine my foot to confirm the injury."

Layla tacitly approved of Anthea's approach. She trusted Anthea and, despite the delay it would cause to their shooting schedule, she knew that it was best to keep such scheming rumors to a minimum. Anthea had already stirred up drama in the production team not long ago, ousting the original lead actress. Another rumor, this time about feigning illness to avoid hardship, could seriously damage Anthea's career and public image.

To be on the safe side, Layla reached out to Heyden, Cassius's assistant.

The director, harboring a soft spot for Anthea, also silently endorsed her request.

The crew set aside their equipment as Anthea's assistant brought over a chair. Anthea, however, chose not to sit. Instead, she stood firmly, gripping Layla's hand, her upturned face exuding a resilience that tugged at the heartstrings. The crew's sympathies were gradually shifting in Anthea's favor.

Soon, the doctor arrived. Anthea faced him, biting her lip, her eyes brimming with unshed tears, yet she held them back.

Diantha's lips quirked into a slight smile.

Suddenly, a low cry pierced the air, "Ah, what a massive spider!"

Anthea's assistant glanced behind her instinctively. Anthea let out a scream, leaping up almost by reflex and darting behind her manager with nimble steps that betrayed no sign of injury. "Ah! Where is it? Get it away, get it away!" she cried, her words tumbling out in a choked and frantic mess.

The spider, nearly twice the size of Diantha's hand, was ginger-colored and perched on a tree by the lake, its furry legs moving with deft agility.

A white stripe adorned its forehead, and despite its plump body, it had an oddly endearing quality.

Hollis was about to reassure Diantha there was nothing to fear when he noticed her approach the tree with composed speed. She stepped onto a stone, gracefully lifted the spider, and walked with steady steps away from the set.

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