When Zhang Jie called him, it was the next morning. She complained to ZhouXiang on the phone for a long time, saying that he should've listened to her before and that he shouldn't have discussed this with CaiWei. Now that it had delayed for this long, WangYuDong's side had already found a stuntman.
ZhouXiang only now realized that CaiWei had put the responsibility of delaying the time on him. He could only apologize. He thought that this time there will be no chances for him.
He didn't expect that Zhang Jie would still ask him to go there. She said that if he performed better than the other stuntman, he can replace him. WangYuDong never cared about the money. What he pursued is quality.
ZhouXiang rushed to the set before noon following her request.
Zhang Jie was waiting for him at the entrance. When she saw him, she quickly said, "You finally came. To tell you the truth, the chances are not high. It all depends on you. If you get it, don't forget about me."
ZhouXiang nodded, “Definitely won't. Thank you, Zhang Jie.”
When the two entered, WangYuDong was discussing the script with the director. ZhouXiang looked at this man that he was very familiar with. WangYuDong was still as handsome and refined as ever. Wherever he goes, there is this aura from him that people couldn't bear to neglect; however, ZhouXiang hated him very much. In fact, ZhouXiang never felt that WangYuDong did anything wrong. People are fully justified to only look after their own self-interest. WangYuDong was also just looking out for himself. It was just that ZhouXiang was jealous of him. Because of YanMingXiu's matters, ZhouXiang was too ashamed to show his face in front of WangYuDong.
He desperately wanted to forget the past but the past will not leave him alone. Instead, it is even drawing closer toward him. Now he is again standing with WangYuDong and be his stuntman. To him, this really happened not too long ago.
When the two approached, WangYuDong looked up at them.
ZhouXiang suppressed himself from panicking. Just like when he first came in contact with WangYuDong before, he respectfully addressed, “Dong Ge.”
He knew quite a bit about WangYuDong. WangYuDong especially likes to be flattered.
When ZhouXiang thought of his own hypocritical smile he began to hate himself.
WangYuDong “hmm”, and smiled kindly, “You were the one that Zhang Jie was talking about? What's your name?”
“Oh. Zhang Jie was full of praises for you but JuXing responded too late. My side has already recommended someone. But if you really do better than him, I will pick the best. Of course, the compensation will also make you very satisfied. It just depends on whether you have abilities or not.” WangYuDong patted him on the shoulder and smiled, “Don’t be nervous. Perform well. My works had always seek for perfection.”
ZhouXiang nodded, “I'll try my best.”
“Xiao Gu, take him to put on makeup and give him a stuntman costume. Hurry up.”
A girl responded as she pulled ZhouXiang and left.
Half an hour later, after getting dressed up for the role, he followed Xiao Gu to the set.
ZhouXiang knew this film director from before. But now, of course, this director doesn’t know him. ZhouXiang nodded, “Director Zhao.”
Director Zhao glanced at him, “Who is this?”
Xiao Gu explained, “Dong Ge’s stuntman.”
“Wasn't there one already?" said the individual standing not far away from Director Zhao and frowned as he glanced over.
Xiao Gu softly uttered, “I also don’t know. Zhang Jie, come here.”
Zhang Jie and WangYuDong came together, and WangYuDong quickly explained the matter.
Director Zhao said, “Then come and give it a try. Show us a few casual moves first so I can see the affect onscreen."
ZhouXiang did some warmup and then performed a series of self-defense moves in front of the camera.
When he was in school, he practiced swimming but he didn’t have the talent so he didn’t continue. At that time, a buddy in his dorm was practicing martial arts. He felt that it was fun so he often learned a few things along with him. Although his speed and force wasn't that good, he got the poses superbly with it looking more beautiful than drawings. He didn't expect that it will later become his career. After he became a stuntman, he followed along the teacher to learn about martial arts filming. The class' concentration was on teaching them how to make martial arts moves look good. ZhouXiang only needed to make a move before all his senses came back to him. Adding on, he had been exercising whenever he has time so at this time, he didn't feel that his body was as stiff as it was when he first woke up so his movements were very smooth.
The camera turned slightly toward him. ZhouXiang felt that he had returned to that carefree and emotionally unrestraint feeling of being in front of the camera. For a moment, he got carried away, fully immersing himself.
When he finished performing the series of martial arts postures from his memory, he turned back and he saw that several people, including the director was staring blankly at him.
ZhouXiang is very confident with his professional skills so he smiled faintly, “Is that okay?”
Before WangYuDong even got to speak, the director already snapped his finger, "It's you."
Zhang Jie was so elated that she discreetly gave him a thumbs up.
Only WangYuDong looked at ZhouXiang thoughtfully. He felt that he had seen this series of ZhouXiang's fluid movements before but he couldn’t remember where.
Director Zhao said to ZhouXiang, “Go over there to find the stunt coordinator and discuss it with him. Because the stuntman's role wasn't decided for the longest time, the martial art scenes have lagged behind. Hurry up and go."
ZhouXiang responded okay. As he rushed over to look for the stunt coordinator, he passed by a man glancing at him in contempt.
ZhouXiang is stunned. But then he remembered that this person was the other stuntman WangYuDong found. His role was taken by ZhouXiang. ZhouXiang didn't turn his head to look at him and just walked passed without giving a reaction. The entertainment industry had always been the survival of the strongest, so there nothing to complain over.
The stunt coordinator was very dissatisfied with the director’s last minute change because he had already talked to the previous stuntman for a long time.
However, he soon discovered that this young man was much more professional than the previous one. He didn't have to mention many actions at all because ZhouXiang can understand it at once and he even proposed some modifications fitting to the role's advantage. The stunt coordinator surprisingly asked him, “How many years have you been working as a stuntman?"
ZhouXiang responded vaguely, “Not too long."
"I felt that you've been working for a long time, so professional."
In addition to being a stuntman, ZhouXiang had also began to participate in stunt coordinating work in the last few years. Of course, he's a professional. The person in front of him doesn't know him, so he (ZhouXiang) can reveal his abilities without any reservations.
The more they talked, the more they agreed and even modified more than half of the previous action sequences.
Director Zhao requested to try and shoot a part first. ZhouXiang picked the first scene. The person who was to film with him on this first scene soon came. ZhouXiang took a prop sword and shuttled between the two of them. Using a sword was not his forte. It was something he later learned. In the past, when he filmed WangYuDong's films, another stuntman would be used if sword skills were required. But this part was relatively short so ZhouXiang did it on his own.
After filming, Director Zhao was quite satisfied with him, “Not bad. We'll start the official filming in the afternoon.”
ZhouXiang thought that he could get ¥40,000 to ¥50,000 this time so he was deeply moved and very happy.
At this moment, there was a commotion at the door. ZhouXiang looked over and saw YanMingXiu coming over with Assistant Jiang.
ZhouXiang was first shocked, then couldn’t help but smile. YanMingXiu appearing at a place where WangYuDong is at, it is not strange at all. He slightly turned his head away since he didn't want YanMingXiu to see him. He guessed that YanMingXiu came to visit the set.
He didn't expect that Assistant Jiang's eyes were so sharp and saw him at once, "Hey, isn't that Xiao Zhou?"
ZhouXiang could only turn around awkwardly addressed them, "Jiang Ge, President Yan.”
YanMingXiu look at him astonishingly.
WangYuDong smiled, “You guys know each other?”
YanMingXiu quietly asked, “Why are you here?”
Before ZhouXiang could speak, WangYuDong responded, “He’s my new stuntman. His performance is pretty good. Since ZhouXiang’s accident, I haven’t found a stuntman to my liking. He is the best one so far.”
Both YanMingXiu and ZhouXiang's expressions changed; one was unsightly; the other nervous.
When WangYuDong saw YanMingXiu's expression; his eyes flashed, his mouth smirked with a faint smile, “MingXiu, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” YanMingXiu handed him the things in his hand. “I went to ChongQing to handle some business and just came back. My sister just happened to be on the business trip too but she will have to come back next month. She asked me to give this to you.”
WangYuDong handed the things to the assistant, “Oh, okay. I will call her today. When I’m done working, I'll go see her.”
YanMingXiu was a little dazed and didn't hear what WangYuDong had said. Instead, his eyes drifted to ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang wiped his sweat, “Director Zhao, I am going to get a takeout box. Can I go eat?"
“Go right ahead.”
ZhouXiang walked to the other side of the set.
Right when he got his takeout box, someone patted him from behind. He turned and saw that it was Assistant Jiang.
“Hey, Jiang Ge, have you eaten yet?”
“No, just about to.” Assistant Jiang smiled and said, “What a coincidence."
“Yeah,” ZhouXiang smiled stiffly.
“MingXiu tell you to go find him at the break lounge."
“Bring an extra takeout for him. You guys can eat together." Assistant Jiang looked strangely at ZhouXiang. He really didn't know what it is with this guy, to be able to get close to YanMingXiu. Could it be that his boss likes ZhouXiang? Assistant Jiang was very uncertain. He had been with YanMingXiu for a long time and noticed that he was neither interested in men or women.
ZhouXiang could only bring an extra takeout with him.
Assistant Jiang stopped him, “Oh, Xiao Zhou. Let me tell you, MingXiu's mood is very bad these two days. It likely because his home was burglarized by a thief so be careful when you talk to him."
“Thief? Was it when he was in ChongQing?” ZhouXiang hoped to get some information from Assistant Jiang.
“Yeah, MingXiu had just arrived in ChongQing when he got the news. Then he rushed back at night and then flew back to ChongQing at noon the next day. So exhausting. I can see that he's very tired and his mood is very bad so be careful."
ZhouXiang nodded. Seeing that he couldn't get any information, he went to the break lounge with the takeout.
ZhouXiang knocked on the door gently. YanMingXiu's low voice came from the inside, “Come in.”
He pushed the door open to go in. YanMingXiu was sitting in the chair, his head leaning against the wall, resting with his eyes closed.
ZhouXiang put the takeout on the table, “President Yan, Jiang Ge said that you haven’t eaten.”
YanMingXiu opened his eyes and glanced at him.
ZhouXiang was still in his costume, which was a purely white heroically noble costume with quite a bit of a natural and unrestrained demeanor.
YanMingXiu raised his chin, "Sit."
ZhouXiang sat across from him, minding his own business as he took out his own takeout to eat. He could feel YanMingXiu’s eyes staring at his head, full of restless anxiety.
“Why did you come to be Dong Ge's stuntman?”
ZhouXiang felt choked up a bit. He looked up and calmly replied, “Zhang Jie introduced me.”
YanMingXiu's eyes stared at him piercingly, "I just saw your video recording, your moves……who taught you?"
ZhouXiang cautiously answered, “I took martial arts classes when I was younger. This is something I've liked since I was a child.” All this is true. ChenYing had showed him photos of ZhouXiang when he was a child in martial arts class.
YanMingXiu felt that he is lying. Who is really this person? Why does he and (older) ZhouXiang have so many coincidences? Both having the same exact first and last names, both working under CaiWei's agency and even now, he also became WangYuDong's stuntman. Adding on, every time he is with him, the kind of familiarity striking him directly on the face makes him lose his bearings and put him at a complete lost on what to do.
This person is like "him (older ZhouXiang)", very much like him. From the first time he saw him till now, he’s practically more and more like him.
How could this be?
YanMingXiu desperately restrained his urge to question him loudly. He had become more and more curious of this person. Being with 'this' ZhouXiang makes it impossible for him to not think of "him (older ZhouXiang)."
YanMingXiu followed up to ask, “How do you know CaiWei?”
“We… we met at the hospital.”
“How did you meet?” YanMingXiu’s piercing questions had already surpassed the level of their familiarity but he still looked at ZhouXiang unyieldingly, forcing a response from him.
ZhouXiang knew that with his current position, he really can’t afford to offend him. He responded half-heartedly, “Wei Ge’s father had a stroke and was paralyzed. My mother took care of him at the hospital.”
He subconsciously didn't want YanMingXiu to know that he was comatose in the hospital for two years because this (younger) ZhouXiang and that (older) ZhouXiang had their accidents on the same exact day. Before, he didn't believe in anything paranormal but now he is convinced that supernatural powers exist in the world. When the both of them had their accidents at the same time, his soul entered this person body.
This is inconceivable to ordinary people. So even with the people closest to him, he can’t bring himself to tell them, not wanting them to have any suspicions.
YanMingXiu looked at ZhouXiang’s eyes and felt that he was still trying to mask something. He decided to send someone to investigate this person. He didn't know why he would pay extraordinary attention to this person. It's almost like….like he can slightly feel "him" through this (younger) ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang finished eating very quickly but YanMingXiu's chopsticks didn't even move. He kept looking at ZhouXiang with scrutiny. This meal was really tasteless for ZhouXiang.
After eating, ZhouXiang left first. Coincidentally, Director Zhao called him, wanting to have a discussion with him at that time.
Just as he walked over, YanMingXiu also followed him and bluntly asked Director Zhao and WangYuDong, “This film is not bad. Is there a suitable role for me(T/N)?”
T/N: The reason YanMingXiu asked for a role is because he wanted to get closer to find out more about ZhouXiang.
The two peoples' mouths dropped. WangYuDong reacted quickly and immediately smiled, “Of course, there is a role that is suitable for you.” Aside from the films he invested in, YanMingXiu almost never participated in other people's films because he refused to smile in front of the cameras. Because of that, there are many roles that he can't act in. At the present time, only WangYuDong can persuade YanMingXiu to cameo in his film for a few minutes. Moreover, with just a smile, an expression lasting less than two seconds is enough to make the box office exceed the expected 30% in sales. To be able to have YanMingXiu participate in his film, he could not ask for more.
Unfortunately, he had asked for a quite a while last time before YanMingXiu agreed. This time, he didn't even dare to think about it. Unexpectedly, YanMingXiu actually took the initiative to ask. This made WangYuDong and Director Zhao elated.
There was actually no suitable role for YanMingXiu in this film but if they only needed to add a role at the last minute, it would be a box office guaranteed.
Director Zhao said to the person next to him, "Hurry and call the screenwriter over. How can a meal take so long to eat. Quickly!"
ZhouXiang turned his head and looked at YanMingXiu enquiringly, YanMingXiu also looked at him quietly, with a probing inquisitive look.
End of the chapter