The next day, Zhou Xiang went to the company to find Cai Wei. To his surprise, Chief Wang, who only came to the company once in a blue moon, was there too.
Zhou Xiang thought that the situation must be very grave and was extremely nervous.
Chief Wang saw his expression and knew what he was thinking. After he slowly drank some tea, he said, "Relax, everything’s alright now."
The weight on Zhou Xiang’s mind was immediately lifted.
"After Cai Wei told me the situation yesterday, I gave Wang Yudong a phone call. Director Wang is an elder, his personality can't be changed. Although that old man is unreasonable at times, his talent is real. Wang Yudong shouldn’t bother arguing with him. I talked to Wang Yudong for long time yesterday. He said that he'll go to apologise to Director Wang in a few days’ time. I got another investor to talk to Director Wang. That take won’t be in the movie, so you don't need to worry."
Zhou Xiang said with a strained smile, "I was so nervous. I'm just a little, little stuntman, I really can't afford to offend anyone."
Director Wang smiled too, "Those two troublemakers, let's pray that the movie finishes filming without delay so I can smoothly get back my money, and that there won't be any more hiccups. Keep a close watch at the set, if anything happens, report to me immediately."
"I got it."
"Hey, Cai Wei told me that you're living with your little boyfriend? Is it serious this time?"
Zhou Xiang didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "Wei'ge, I've noticed that even since you got married, your tongue has gotten more and more loose, Sister-in-law must be feeding you really well."
Cai Wei scoffed, "Don't freaking mock me, isn't this a good thing? You've been drifting along by yourself for so many years. Don't you want to find true love too? Am I not allowed to be happy for you?"
Director Wang nodded, "I've been away for too long, I feel detached from the modern world. You're allowed to bring family members at the annual dinner, bring him with you to join in with the fun."
"That's over a month away. I'll think about it when the time comes." Zhou Xiang felt that as Yan Mingxiu didn't like coming in contact with people, he probably wouldn't want to come.
Chief Wang raised an eyebrow. "Why can’t you let us see him? I just wanted to see how a person who even Cai Wei, who is an entertainment agent who has seen all types of people before, says is handsome to the point of no return, would look like."
Zhou Xiang let out a sigh. "Director Wang, he truly doesn't want to become a celebrity. You two should just give up." What these two old foxes were thinking was completely written on their faces.
Cai Wei shrugged his shoulders. "What a shame. After seeing his face, when I look at myself in the mirror, I feel that life is really sorrowful."
Thinking about how he currently had Yan Mingxiu all to himself, Zhou Xiang couldn’t help but feel fortunate and proud.
Two days later, Zhou Xiang went to the studio again. For the first time, Wang Yudong was there before him and already getting his makeup applied.
Zhou Xiang walked over nervously and respectfully greeted, "Dong'ge."
Wang Yudong aimed a glance at him through the mirror and smiled, "You're here." He then scrutinised Zhou Xiang from head to toe. The expression in his eyes was really blunt.
Zhou Xiang felt cold air drilling up through him from the soles of his feet.
He uneasily headed towards the makeup station on the side. Mi You looked at him with a face of concern.
Wang Yudong said, "Hey, wait a moment, spin around for me see."
Zhou Xiang blinked. His heart drummed. Resigned to his fate, he span around once.
Wang Yudong let out a low laugh. "No need to say it, it is really similar. I saw that segment you filmed. The viewers definitely won't be able to tell that that isn't me, Wang Yudong. I see that finding you as my body double was a really good deal."
Cold sweat dripped down Zhou Xiang’s body. "Dong'ge, please don't tease me, my build only resembles yours a little bit, my presence and bearing don’t come even close. It might be possible to fool some normal viewers, but your seasoned fans and the people who know the ropes in this industry will be able to tell in one glance that it's a body double, there's absolutely no comparison."
Wang Yudong narrowed his eyes, and glanced at him with a smile, "Your words make even me feel apologetic. Go get your makeup done, work well and we'll still have opportunities work together in the future."
Zhou Xiang nodded. For some reason Wang Yudong's smile made him feel uncomfortable. He had a feeling that this would be his and Wang Yudong's last collaboration. That however, made him heave a sigh of relief instead. Losing one source of income wasn't a big issue. If he accidentally offended a Big God in the circle, he might not even have a place here anymore. Not only did Wang Yudong have a higher status than him, Wang Yudong also had an incredible background. Wang Yudong wasn’t someone that Zhou Xiang could afford to offend so he'd rather stay further away.
Wang Yudong had come to shoot that inn scene today. Zhou Xiang was at a neighbouring set shooting another scene.
Zhou Xiang glanced towards Wang Yudong's side from time to time. Director Wang’s demands were as strict as always. Those who were familiar with the way he worked knew that he actually wasn’t personally picking on Wang Yudong. He treated everyone this way. On the set, he was the Emperor. He said what he meant and only just that. However, in the eyes of Wang Yudong, who seemed like he was amiable and elegant but was actually a proud and arrogant person, Director Wang had it out for him. Wang Yudong couldn't help but overthink and misunderstand, especially because, even after last time's unpleasantness, Director Wang wasn't exercising any restraint at all, and was still shouting and yelling at him.
Although they managed to finish shooting that scene, the tension between the two hadn’t eased at all.
Zhou Xiang's heart trembled with fear seeing this. He also started praying that this movie would wrap up quickly, and then he could get his money walk away.
Time flew, and it was already winter.
Beijing's winter was especially cold this year and snowed in the beginning of November. Although the weather was cold, Zhou Xiang and Yan Mingxiu’s little home was always nice and warm.
Zhou Xiang had already gotten used to seeing Yan Mingxiu when he woke up every morning, and falling asleep together at night.
In the beginning he thought there would be a lot of friction living together with a wilful and arrogant person like Yan Mingxiu. However, in reality he discovered that after he made an all-out effort to manage their daily lifestyle, and went along with Yan Mingxiu's temper as much as possible, they had almost no arguments or disagreements, and it was harmonious between them most of the time. When Yan Mingxiu first moved in he only brought some simple luggage, but now this house had traces of Yan Mingxiu everywhere.
As always, Zhou Xiang lived a leisurely lifestyle where he worked whenever he had work, and rested at home whenever he didn't. On the other hand, Yan Mingxiu's company had been running for over half a year, and had already gone into orbit. Yan Mingxiu spent less and less time at home during the day, and his mind was on his company most of the time.
However, even though he went to work during the day, he didn’t attend social events at night much. He returned home most of the time to eat dinner with Zhou Xiang. Although Zhou Xiang knew that the reason for this was because of Yan Mingxiu's unsociable personality, Zhou Xiang still felt very gratified. He felt that their relationship was more or less like a newlywed couple's, passionate and sweet. He was really satisfied with the way things were.
The movie was going to finish shooting at the end of the month. Zhou Xiang had already finished all his scenes. The production team organised an end-of-filming celebration wrap party. It didn't really matter if a minor character like him went or not but to his surprise, Director Wang personally told him to come back to attend the wrap party, making Zhou Xiang feel flattered and overwhelmed.
Zhou Xiang arrived at the studio in the afternoon. Many reporters had already arrived, preparing to interview Wang Yudong.
Zhou Xiang sat at the side chatting with his colleagues. He suddenly heard a disturbance at the door.
Several people turned their heads. A man wearing a thick black cashmere cloak and sunglasses walked through the door. Although he was wearing sunglasses and a scarf, the sharp-eyed reporters were still able to recognise him as Lan Xirong in one glance.
Some reporters charged forward wanting to interview him. Lan Xirong pulled off his sunglasses and politely smiled. He then slowly pushed away the microphone. "I've come to find a friend today, please let me off." After he spoke, he cast aside the crowd of reporters and headed for Zhou Xiang's direction.
Zhou Xiang stood up. After they parted on bad terms the last time they met, it had already been two months since he had seen Lan Xirong. Lan Xirong still rang him once in a while but Zhou Xiang didn't know what he should say to him anymore.
Lan Xirong smiled gently at Zhou Xiang. "Xiang'ge, I heard that the movie is wrapping up today so I came to visit you." He placed some cake on the table, and beckoned the idle crew members. "Everyone, come and try some cake, this bakery’s the mango mousse is really good."
A crowd of people rushed over to fight over cake. Lan Xirong took the opportunity to pull Zhou Xiang out of the crowd.
Zhou Xiang smiled, "Thank you, to tell you the truth, I’m not working today, I just came here to celebrate."
The two of them were standing at a corner a large distance from the crowd. Lan Xirong purposely positioned himself so his back was facing the reporters, not letting them see his expression. He said softly, "Xiang'ge, I really missed you. That's why I can't stop myself from coming to see you."
Zhou Xiang patted his shoulder. "I listened to your new album. In the past, you always sung next to my ear, you have truly been gifted with a beautiful voice."
Lan Xirong let out a sigh. "Xiang'ge, are you going to continue putting me off like this?"
Zhou Xiang answered awkwardly, "I'm not, it's not easy to meet up with you, I'm also really happy."
"I just came back to Beijing yesterday after promoting my album the past few months. I still remember that you said that you were going to invite me out for a meal. I know that you won't break a promise so I came over to freeload off you guys’ celebration party, which can also be considered having a meal with you." Lan Xirong's expression was very lonely.
Zhou Xiang felt ashamed. Whether or not he had only said it to be polite at that time, he had indeed promised to invite Lan Xirong for a meal. But in the end, Lan Xirong had already been back for over half a year, and he still hadn't had his meal. The truth was, if Lan Xirong hadn't confessed to him, perhaps Zhou Xiang would have called Lan Xirong to sit down to have a chat after Yan Mingxiu forgot about Lan Xirong. This originally wasn't a serious matter. However, everything changed after Lan Xirong had that conversation with him.
He didn't know how to face Lan Xirong, so he could only keep a distance. However, upon seeing Lan Xirong's eyes with slightly black rings, and his exhausted face, Zhou Xiang had no doubt that Lan Xirong had specially come here to see him today immediately after finishing his promotions, before he had even had time to rest. Zhou Xiang had a soft heart, and felt increasingly apologetic seeing Lan Xirong in this state.
He rubbed his hair. "Hey, we're going out to eat together after we finish work, you can come with us, the more the livelier."
Lan Xirong nodded. "Xiang'ge, the studio is too stuffy, can we go for a walk downstairs?"
Zhou Xiang knew that Lan Xirong felt uncomfortable being stared at by so many people, and had no choice but to agree, "Wait a moment, I’ll get my coat."
Zhou Xiang put on his coat, and followed behind Lan Xirong, heading for the door. Zhou Xiang wasn't used to being stared at with a fervent gaze by so many reporters. He felt like he didn’t know where to place his legs. Fortunately, the reporters knew the rules, and didn't indiscriminately take photos.
When they had almost reached the entrance, a person entered the doors, meeting them head-on.
Zhou Xiang was startled, and stared blankly at Yan Mingxiu.
Yan Mingxiu looked at him, and then looked at Lan Xirong. His complexion immediately changed.