A short just over a one minute misaligned scene took over two hours to film. This director was a famous big-name in the country. He had a very odd old man's temper. When he was working, he didn't like the look of anyone; even a fresh and lively twenty year old girl could be reduced to tears by his scolding. As this was Zhou Xiang's second time working with him, Zhou Xiang had already fully grasped his personality. Zhou Xiang didn’t get mad no matter how many times the director requested him to do it again. It wasn't that Zhou Xiang didn't have a temper. It was just that he knew that if he got impatient, the old man would be even more impatient, and no one would expect to leave that day.
When they finished shooting that scene, Zhou Xiang's body was soaked in sweat. The old man was very satisfied with him. He even remembered Zhou Xiang's name. After they finished shooting, he said to Zhou Xiang, “This drama is still missing an actor for a character, if you can have time in your schedule, go have a talk with A'Cheng. The character doesn't have many scenes, in the entire drama, altogether, you will only be appearing just over half an hour, but I guarantee that the pay will satisfy you.”
Zhou Xiang chuckled, “Thank you. You really didn’t need to specially coming over to talk to me about small matter like this. I just play extras, fitting a time in my schedule won’t be a problem at all. Then, I'll go and talk to Cheng'ge. Director Wang, if you have this sort of opportunity in the future, I hope you will still remember me.”
The old man nodded expressionlessly, but from the fact that he hadn't blown or scolded anyone in the past two hours, one could see that he was really satisfied with Zhou Xiang's performance.
“Hey, Wang Yudong has arrived.”
Everyone looked towards the door. Wang Yudong strutted in following behind his two assistants. He was wearing a pair of sunglasses, and was dressed casually. He looked extraordinarily handsome, attracting everyone's gazes as soon as he appeared.
Wang Yudong was a film star who had shot to fame in these past two years. He reportedly had an incredible family background and the ancient costume serial drama, which he filmed as soon as he debuted, was specially made in order to promote him. It could be said that Wang Yudong possessed all of the potential to become popular. He had a superior appearance, knew how to appropriately speak and behave according to the occasion and above all, he had people to hype and promote from behind. Although his acting was stiff and rough when he first started, it didn't stop his handsome face from appearing every day in all kinds of media. Hence, his career skyrocketed and he became extremely famous and popular, and was currently Yixing Media's number one money tree.
At first Zhou Xiang accepted random martial arts stunt double jobs from all over the place, but due to the advantage of having a build and back view that resembled Wang Yudong's, he was able to ride on Wang Yudong's success as well. Now, whenever Wang Yudong needed a stunt double, he would mainly come to find Zhou Xiang.
After Wang Yudong walked in, he took off his sunglasses while smiling, and greeted the crew members without the slightest bit of arrogance. He then went over to Director Wang to apologise. He didn't explain why he was late either and just apologised to the old man with a smile.
You can't hit a person who is smiling and has already admitted they are wrong. Though not resigned, Director Wang couldn't express his anger at him, so he told Yan Mingxiu to hurry to get himself made-up.
After Wang Yudong finished coaxing Director Wang, he turned around and saw Zhou Xiang. “Hey, A'Xiang.”
Smiling, Zhou Xiang nodded, “Dong'ge, you're here.” He was actually quite a few years older than Wang Yudong. Zhou Xiang had also been in the circle for longer but with his position and status in the circle, there was no reason for Wang Yudong to call him ‘ge’. However, he didn't hate Wang Yudong. Wang Yudong was a really tactful person. As long as you didn't have any conflicting interests with him he always appeared very gentlemanly. Zhou Xiang was too lazy to pay attention to the rumours and slanders concerning Wang Yudong. He was just a small stuntman; in his entire lifetime, he would never be able to impinge on Wang Yudong's interests. The two of them, living together in harmony, how wonderful.
Wang Yudong affectionately patted Zhou Xiang’s shoulder. “If you've finished shooting, go take a shower and change out of that costume. Look at all that sweat on you, if you catch a cold, who am I going to find to be my stuntman?”
Zhou Xiang laughed, “Got it, I can take my leave now that you're here. Then, I’m going now.”
“Ok, see you later.”
Zhou Xiang was planning to go remove his makeup and change. As soon as he turned around, he saw that especially good-looking boy from before walk into the set. He had probably gone to the toilet. As soon as that boy saw Wang Yudong, his eyes lit up, and he called out happily, “Dong'ge.”
Wang Yudong immediately turned around. He said with pleasant surprise, “Mingxiu? Why are you back in China?” After he finished speaking, he walked over and gave Yan Mingxiu a tight hug.
A dazzling smile appeared on Yan Mingxiu’s face, “I graduated.”
“Graduated? Then, you don’t plan to work overseas? And came back just like this?”
Yan Mingxiu grabbed Wang Yudong's arm, looking at him with delight, his eyes brimming with happiness. “What's so good about overseas, you don’t even come to visit me.”
Wang Yudong laughed. He said in a low voice, “Didn't your sister go visit you on my behalf?”
Zhou Xiang was standing close to them and happened to catch what he said. He couldn't help but guess that Wang Yudong and this boy's sister definitely didn’t have an ordinary relationship.
Yan Mingxiu's mouth twitched, “That doesn't count.”
“Fine, nothing beats home, I’m glad you're back. Wait for me, Dong'ge will definitely hold a welcome dinner for you tonight.”
Yan Mingxiu looked at his watch. “I originally thought that you’d be here earlier, so I specially came here to wait for you. It's too late now, I’m having dinner with my dad tonight. I have to get going. Being able to see you is enough. That welcoming party, let's have it some other day.”
“True, it's too late today, how about tomorrow? You decide the time, no matter what Dong’ge has on, Dong'ge will definitely get out of it and make it there for you, how 'bout it?”
Yan Mingxiu broke into a smile. Seeing that smile on his face, Zhou Xiang was suddenly hit by a restless desire to do something.
He sighed somewhat regretfully. He passed the two people who were still chatting, and entered the dressing room to remove his makeup.
As a man, he wasn't worried about being rough with his face. He rubbed his face with makeup remover for half a day, washed it off and was done. He then changed into his own clothes and walked out.
Yan Mingxiu had already left. Wang Yudong was in the middle of applying makeup. Zhou Xiang walked over to ask Xiao Liu, “You guys have to work overtime?”
Xiao Liu scowled miserably. “Yeah, your work is done... while we...” He angrily stuck out his lips at Wang Yudong's direction, and lowered his voice, “We still have to wait on him.”
Zhou Xiang laughed, rejoicing in his misfortune. “Then, I'm going now.”
Xiao Liu curled his lips. “Go, go and never come back.”
Zhou Xiang swatted his head, laughing, “Beat it, well I’m going to go home to have a hot bath, eat snacks, and play games.”
The volume of his voice was especially loud, drawing complaints from everyone. Zhou Xiang loosened his shoulders. Humming a little tune, with one hand in his pocket, the other hand spinning his car keys, he headed for the parking lot.
Yan Mingxiu was at the intersection trying to hail a taxi.
He had just gotten off the plane, and before even going home, had rushed to the set with his luggage after finding out Wang Yudong's schedule. His sister talked to a staff member and he was let in. In order to surprise Wang Yudong, he didn’t give him a phone call, and simply waited there. Even though he had waited for over three hours, being able to see Wang Yudong made it all worth it.
Yan Mingxiu thought about Wang Yudong's gentle face and smile, and felt his fatigue and exhaustion was nothing significant anymore.
He was actually lying when he said that he was having dinner with his dad. The plane ride was ten hours and including the time spent catching the plane and waiting for the plane, he hadn't rested for almost twenty hours already. Although it wasn't anything he couldn’t endure, he didn't want to express fatigue in front of Wang Yudong, so he was planning to find a hotel to sleep.
It was currently the rush hour, the exact time people were getting off work. The taxis were either all full, or were rushing to hand over to the next shift. He had waited for ten minutes but not even one taxi had stopped for him. Fighting a battle against his sleepy eyelids, he started getting a bit mad. He wanted to call the chauffeur over to pick him up but he was also scared that his mum would jabber on about how he didn't go home first after getting off the plane. He had initially been planning to pretend that he only came back tomorrow.
Just as he was hesitating, a Volkswagen stopped in front of him.
Zhou Xiang lowered the window. He kindly said to Yan Mingxiu with a bright smile, “Where are you going? I can give you a ride.”
Yan Mingxiu took two seconds before he realised that this person was Wang Yudong’s martial arts stunt double. When he previously saw Zhou Xiang, Zhou Xiang was dressed in an ancient costume, and had heavy makeup on his face. Without that outfit and makeup, for a moment, Yan Mingxiu truly couldn't quite recognise him.
Zhou Xiang’s back view, which resembled Wang Yudong’s back view so much that even he ended up mixing them up, immediately floated into his mind. Zhou Xiang's nimble body when he was sword dancing had leapt before his eyes from time to time. During the afternoon, Yan Mingxiu had mainly killed time watching Zhou Xiang film his scene.
Yan Mingxiu lightly knitted his brows. He was a bit hesitant.
He didn't know what was up with himself. Even though this person hadn't done anything to him, he felt a bit hostile towards him.
Zhou Xiang said with a smile, "You won't be able to catch a taxi at this time. Look at the sky, it's about to start raining. I'm free after work, I can give you a ride." Zhou Xiang could see his hesitation. He laughed, “What're you afraid of, can my car eat people?”
Yan Mingxiu couldn't find any reason to refuse either so he nodded. "Thanks."
Zhou Xiang got out of the car, wanting to lift Yan Mingxiu's suitcase for him.
Yan Mingxiu felt that Zhou Xiang's attentiveness was a bit fishy. He grabbed his suitcase, and he said, “I can carry it myself.”
Zhou Xiang opened the trunk and pointed at the clutter inside. “Sorry, got quite a bit of stuff in there.” Zhou Xiang was an outdoor enthusiast. The car had a lot of equipment that he hadn't had the time to take back home yet.
Zhou Xiang bent over and one by one gathered his stuff into a pile further inside to make space for Yan Mingxiu's suitcase.
Yan Mingxiu stared at Zhou Xiang's close-cropped hair, strong wide shoulders, and slender neck. He couldn't help but drift into a slight daze. How can this person’s back view look so much like Dong’ge’s?
After Zhou Xiang cleared some space, he said, “Come put it in.”
Yan Mingxiu placed his luggage inside, and the two sat into the car.
Zhou Xiang smiled as he extended his right hand. “My name is Zhou Xiang, the ‘xiang’ from the word ‘fly’.”
Yan Mingxiu shook Zhou Xiang’s hand. “Yan Mingxiu.”