T/N: Sorry for the confusion… So weird… this seems to be out of sequence…This has already been posted very earlier today, but for some reason, it’s not showing as our most recent post. So it’s being re-published. Some of you have most likely read this already.
LanXiRong returned to the country.
He didn't plan on returning till at least next month, but YanMingXiu’s phone call had made him so angry that he changed his schedule. He pushed his work back for a month and came back early.
Because YanMingXiu questioned what happened that night, and hearing from his tone, he seem to be implying that LanXiRong self-directed and self-acted the scene from the beginning, making it sound as if he was the actual “thief.” Although he refuted loudly with a bunch of reasons but he couldn’t hide the fact that he really was the first person to discover the burglary that night. Both CaiWei and YanMingXiu merely heard it from his perspective.
Because it was too late that night and most people were already sleeping; even the neighbors couldn't tell if they heard movements from next door. The thief himself didn't leave any concrete traces. All in all, LanXiRong really didn't have anything substantial that he could use to refute YanMingXiu's claims.
When YanMingXiu asked him why he went to ZhouXiang’s home, he was honest enough to admit that he was coincidently passing by and just wanted to go and see. YanMingXiu was even less convinced with this explanation but that is the fact.
That day he was just driving past on that road; the streets were clean and clear, letting him see the view of the street from his memory. He could recall the many times that he and Xiang Ge bought the (food) ingredients from the supermarket, chatting along the way as they walked step by step on the old floor tiles to ZhouXiang's home, each of these steps were deeply imprinted in his heart.
When he regained his senses, he had already unconsciously driven to the neighborhood.
He still remembered the longing and sorrow he felt as he looked up at the windows of ZhouXiang’s home from downstairs. He hoped that the light would be on so that he could just go up and knock on the door. The man would appear in front of him as usual, gently smiling and calling him “XiRong.”
This relationship (T/N) of his that is filled with ignorance and unsettling factors had never even started. Even he himself had his doubts and confusion (about the relationship). But all this had completely ended with ZhouXiang's accident.
T/N: the relationship LanXiRong is referring to is the romantic "love" relationship he wanted with ZhouXiang.
He would never forget how he felt that day when he received the call (of ZhouXiang's accident) from CaiWei. The pain was so excruciating that he didn't know what to do. He cried for a long time, locking himself in his room refusing to see anyone for several days. He really couldn't accept it. This person was perfectly fine. He had just talked to him on the phone and now he's gone.
He had completely disappeared from this world; even his body couldn't be found.
In the beginning, he still held onto the delusion, hoping that the search and rescue team could find ZhouXiang. Maybe he was just trapped and still alive. But a week passed. Then two weeks passed. Under YanMingXiu's frantic persistence, the search and rescue team searched for more than a month but still could not find a trace.
In the end, everyone gave up hope. Only YanMingXiu madly and stubbornly insisted that ZhouXiang is not dead. Because his body is not found; he must still be alive.
At that time, LanXiRong felt for the first time that there really were true feelings between YanMingXiu and ZhouXiang. Moreover, it was much deeper than he imagined, so deep that it devastated YanMingXiu to the point that he (YanMingXiu) changed completely. It was as if his former self has been completely destroyed by this accident.
He (LanXiRong) couldn't hate anyone. He could only frantically leave to hide abroad; or else he'd reminisced of their past memories (between him and ZhouXiang).
Until now, he finally could calmly face the fact that ZhouXiang had died. Only now, did he dared to try to enter ZhouXiang’s home in the dead of night to look at the things that he was familiar with and to reminisce about the person he once really liked.
It was only until this day that he finally dared.
But he didn't expect that he would actually run into a thief. He really didn’t know whether he was furious or fortunate. At least, he prevented the thief from taking away many of the things left by ZhouXiang.
He had also been paying attention to the progression of the case during this time. It's just that he couldn't communicate directly with YanMingXiu. He could only get some of the information through CaiWei so he knew very little. So it's actually good that he's coming back at this time. Otherwise, this matter would be on his mind and he will always be bothered by it.
CaiWei sent someone to the airport to pick him up and also called him to discuss his new music MV. He also asked if he would be starting to film once he returned because President Wang had personally promised to arrange for ZhouXiang to be the second actor in the MV. CaiWei would have to coordinate the two sides as soon as he discussed it over with LanXiRong.
LanXiRong discussed it with his assistant and agreed. When CaiWei mentioned the name ZhouXiang, LanXiRong is a bit stunned. Although he knew that (younger) ZhouXiang was not (older) ZhouXiang, but this name had a huge effect on him, he couldn't calmly face it.
ZhouXiang, who used to get paid based on the time that he worked, has now become a busy man. His "schedule" will also need to be vetted out. For example, the filming progress of the movie slightly clashed with the filming of LanXiRong's MV, especially if they have to go to GuiZhou to shoot a specific scene next month. This scene is one of the most pivotal scenes for the plot of the story. He'd have to stay for at least half a month.
After discussing with CaiWei, he decided to finish filming the MV before he leaves. LanXiRong's schedule was also very tight. He had no reason to wait for ZhouXiang. At the same time, ZhouXiang didn't want to miss this opportunity.
Now that ZhouXiang officially signed a contract with JuXing, JuXing will start to train him as an artist. Although ZhouXiang always felt that he was not the same caliber but with CaiWei's help and being taken under LanXiRong's wing, it would not be a problem for him to make a living being a stuntman or an actor. He also didn't have to report to work from 9-5 and don't have to do other side jobs. His income would also be much higher than before.
Compared to the deal with YanMingXiu, he certainly wanted to make money on his own. However, he is not a materialistic person so if it could be like how it was before (before he died), it is fine with him. Too much fame is a burden.
Although he has money in his hands, he didn't dare to be careless. Uremia is really an illness where money is thrown into a bottomless pit. ChenYing's health had not been good. Having long-term depression with frugal living had made her body frail and weak. Now that she's seriously ill, it nearly destroyed her. In less than a month, they have already spent tens of thousands of yuan. Just medicines and nutrients cost a few thousands. ZhouXiang did a rough calculation, with each month's rent, water, electricity, food, doctor visits, and caretaker, the family’s monthly expenses almost totaled ¥20,000. ZhouXiang is now scared of spending money.
But right now, he is still planning on buying a car, otherwise it would be too inconvenient to come and go. With the ¥370,000 debt, he dared not to pay it off all once because he feared that people would be suspicious. But this amount must be reserved. Calculating it like this, there are many areas that needed to spend money. The two million is like an hourglass, it may not be enough for a few years.
ZhouXiang used to make at least ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 a month. Although this is not considered to be much in Beijing, he only had to support himself. He didn’t really save money nor could he save money. He did buy a lot of insurances so even if he got sick, he was not afraid. As a result, he had never learned to spend money carefully. He spent whatever he earned. Even though his savings were small but he didn't have any sense of crisis.
However, now that he has so much money in his hands, he didn't dare to casually spend it. Every yuan needed to be meticulously calculated before spending. ZhouXiang felt that since his rebirth, his personality had changed so much that he's even unfamiliar with the current him.
After filming the scene as WangYuDong's stuntman in the morning, he quickly grabbed a box lunch and rushed to LanXiRong's MV location. By the time he got there, it was almost 2 o'clock.
If it wasn't because WangYuDong, YanMingXiu, and that scheming TanYin not showing up today, ZhouXiang believed it would definitely be impossible to finish filming in the morning.
The filming location was at a school. When he arrived, most of the staff had arrived except for LanXiRong. ZhouXiang first went to talk to the director and the producer.
He had been too busy lately. Shooting this MV was a last minute decision. ZhouXiang didn't even look at the script. It was simply a short MV without any scripted lines so it's not late to be looking at the script now.
His role in the MV is the main actor's - and that is LanXiRong - romantic rival to fight for a girl. This MV is more focused on the campus school life. He had to dress up as a rascal and smash a beer bottle on LanXiRong’s head.
Right after ZhouXiang read the script, he is speechless. Maybe it was to please the younger fans so the theme song was actually designed for such a melodramatic plot.
What made him quite embarrassed was that LanXiRong is only 24 years old this year and has a trademark baby face. The actress who plays the leading role is not even 20 years old. For these two to be acting in a campus school life themed MV is definitely not a problem, but for ZhouXiang, he is almost 27 years old and not particularly young. He thought if President Wang knew of the content of this MV, he would not have agreed for him to be in it.
Sure enough, when the director and the producer saw him, it was obvious that they weren't too satisfied and felt that ZhouXiang was not young enough. But at this crunching crucial moment, they couldn't object. So they had him quickly get dressed up for the role.
ZhouXiang looked at the script while getting his makeup on.
When he was done with the makeup, the effect was very good. He looked a few years younger, exuding confidence, making him look quite handsome.
The director found several peons as followers for this rascal role, they were changing their clothes.
At this time, LanXiRong slowly arrived.
As soon as he entered the door, he saw ZhouXiang wearing a white collared shirt with three open buttons, his hair gelled high up, and a Band-Aid on his face practicing a grin in front of the mirror. The afternoon sun protruded through the big windows into the classroom, putting on a layer of pale yellow glow to ZhouXiang's entire body.
In that moment, LanXiRong is stunned. He seemed to see a very familiar person standing not far away, at a distance that is within his reach. If he was to just take a step forward, he would be able to firmly grasp this person.
A loud shout instantly pulled LanXiRong back to reality. He dazedly stared at the ZhouXiang in front of him. Did he see clearly? This is clearly (younger) ZhouXiang and not that one (older ZhouXiang). This made him feel such bitter hatred.
ZhouXiang also turned around and greeted LanXiRong.
LanXiRong was still watching him with a look that ZhouXiang couldn’t comprehend.
The producer ran over and urged, “XiRong, go change. We'll shoot a scene first and check to see the result.”
LanXiRong shook his head to get himself out of that depressive mood and walked toward the other classroom.
When LanXiRong finished with his dress-up, he walked back to the classroom set. ZhouXiang is shooting a scene where he is bullying the classmates in the classroom. Although it is the first time that he acted in such a little kid role, he did it well.
After filming the scene in the classroom, they moved the shooting location to the outside corridor to shoot a scene where ZhouXiang would be leading a bunch of peons with brooms to chase after the male lead.
Since the director was not satisfied with the few takes, he told them to run again and again while LanXiRong acted with the heroine inside the classroom.
When LanXiRong finished shooting, he went to the corridor to watch ZhouXiang's progress.
On one side, the movie camera's displayed screen was repeatedly playing ZhouXiang's chasing scene.
“I think that this take, it's good here and he's not blocked. You could see that his back is exposed."
“But a person had run out of the scene. I still think that the fourth take is better…”
While the director and the producer were discussing, LanXiRong’s eyes were suddenly focused on the screen in the display.
He walked over step by step, with his eyes staring at the back view of a person running fast on the screen. It made him feel strangely familiar.
Where had he seen it before? He must've seen it somewhere.
At first, he felt that because this ZhouXiang's figure is similar to Xiang Ge so their back views are somewhat similar. But having similarities of the back views with somebody else is not particularly hard to find, it's just that this scene made LanXiRong feel familiar, not only the back but also running motions…..
Where exactly had it seen it before? Why did he care so much about this scene? He desperately tried hard to recall. It's really weird. Where had he seen this running back view?
A flash of light dawned on LanXiRong and his expression suddenly changed.
He suddenly remembered that day at ZhouXiang’s home when he ran into that thief. That panically fleeing back view coincided with this running back came to his mind.
It looks so similar!
After being shocked for a brief moment, LanXiRong immediately felt that this must be just a coincidence. It should just be two similar backs that happen to look very much alike. This ZhouXiang has a legitimate career and income. He couldn't possibly be connected to the thief. No matter how the average person looks at it, they would not connect these two totally unrelated things together.
LanXiRong felt that he must have been too exhausted recently and had too many things on his mind so it is running wildly. One can't say that it's highly questionable just from have similar back views.
Even though this ZhouXiang’s back and Xiang Ge's back are very similar; and from the moment he saw this person, this person had given him a sense of familiarity, making him want to delve further in understanding him, he was worried too much will instead make him uncertain on what to do next.
He felt that his person really has fate with Xiang Ge. This is the only reason he could think of.
After work is over, most people had already left.
Since there were less people around, LanXiRong took this time to walk over to ZhouXiang and asked, "Are you free after work? Wanna come have a drink with me?"
LanXiRong's heart swelled. Although he believed that this ZhouXiang would not be the thief, he still wanted to confirm something. After he said it, he regretted it a bit but he felt that if this person (ZhouXiang) disagrees, he still would not give up.
ZhouXiang is also stunned. He then smiled, “Fine ah, but how come you wanted to drink with me? I am not too sure." Can’t blame him for suspecting people. In reality, he didn't know why LanXiRong did this since he felt that he had nothing worthy for LanXiRong to be interested in.
"No particular reason. We're from the same company. Moreover, you and Wei Ge's relationship is not bad. I've already called him. He'll come in a little bit."
ZhouXiang heaved a sigh of relief. It turned out that he was thinking too much.
“Ok. Let's go. I haven't drink in a long time. Wei Ge's alcohol tolerance is pretty good. We'll definitely enjoy tonight.” ZhouXiang expressed a boldly spirited expression, but deep down he was a bit worried. Although he is not afraid of LanXiRong but CaiWei's alcohol tolerance is better than his. He couldn't beat CaiWei in drinking so he is afraid that he would inadvertently say the wrong things after drinking too much.
He sat in LanXiRong's car to go to the bar. CaiWei was already there waiting for them. He also brought Ah Liu with him as well. The two had a table of liquor waiting for them.
When ZhouXiang saw the liquor, he grumbled within his heart. It's easy for CaiWei to not drink, but when he does, he'd go all out in getting the others drunk.
Just as Ah Liu was drinking and howling as he sang, the three of them just chatted. Fortunately, it was just gossiping about work related matters, nothing important.
After some unknown time, ZhouXiang really couldn't drink anymore.
LanXiRong is very smart. He knew that his alcohol tolerance wasn't good so he would sometimes trick CaiWei or have even have him (ZhouXiang) drink for him. LanXiRong could do this but he (ZhouXiang) couldn't. He really couldn't learn LanXiRong's seemingly spoiled but serious tone and attitude, making it difficult for people to refuse him. After a few rounds, LanXiRong didn't drink much but CaiWei was still urging them. He (ZhouXiang) was almost to the point where he couldn't take anymore (liquor).
The music in the room along with Ah Liu's howls and screams continuously got louder and louder. Just when the noise is piercing his ears, ZhouXiang didn't know how, but he could still hear his own cellphone ringing.
He still wasn't drunk but he felt very dizzy. He suddenly remembered that he didn't tell his mother that he would be home late. It was almost twelve o’clock now. His mother is definitely worried.
He quickly pulled out his cellphone, but his hand trembled and the cellphone fell to the ground.
ZhouXiang was about to pick it up but his body wobbled and he fell into LanXiRong's arms. In this reeking of alcohol environment, a refreshing smell drifted into his nose, making him sobered up a bit.
LanXiRong patted his back, “Don’t move. You can't reach it. I'll pick it up for you." LanXiRong bent down and picked up the phone from under the coffee table. The phone is very durable. It didn't suffer any impact and was still ringing. LanXiRong inadvertently glanced at the screen and saw three characters, “Yan-Ming-Xiu”.
LanXiRong is momentarily stunned. He knew that the two had collaborated but they are already close to the point where they would call each other at midnight?
ZhouXiang still thought that it was his mother. He reached for the cell phone without thinking, "Hello, Mom……"
YanMingXiu creased his brows, “You're drinking?”
“Huh?” ZhouXiang didn't react for a long time. The first thing he realized was not YanMingXiu calling him but that his stomach was being compressed. It turned out that he was still slumped on top of LanXiRong’s thighs. LanXiRong's knees are on his stomach. He muttered as he crawled up, "Hello?"
"ZhouXiang!" YanMingXiu said in a heavy tone, "Where are you?"
“With Wei Ge and them.” ZhouXiang drank some water to make himself more sober, "President Yan, is there something?”
This 'President Yan', no one heard it in such an environment. Only LanXiRong knew who the other person is as he continued to stare at ZhouXiang.
“Hello? Go to a quiet place!” YanMingXiu displeasingly scolded.
ZhouXiang could only pull himself up and wobbled to the bathroom to talk. At the same time, he called out, “Ah Liu! Ah Liu! Lower your voice.” After he said that, he held onto the wall and walked into the bathroom. “Hello, President Yan, can you hear me now?”
Just when he wanted to close the door, he felt some resistance. When he turned around, he saw LanXiRong holding the bathroom door, squeezing in with him and slammed the door shut, closing off most of the noise from outside.
ZhouXiang looked at him in surprise.
With a blank expression, LanXiRong grabbed the phone from ZhouXiang's hand and said coldly, “YanMingXiu, I'm LanXiRong, we're drinking now. ZhouXiang drank too much. You could call him another day.”
YanMingXiu was startled for half a second, gritting his teeth, “Surname Lan, why the fuck can't you just go away?" He hung up the phone after saying that.
By this time, ZhouXiang also grabbed his phone, screaming, “XiRong, what are you doing!”
LanXiRong didn’t know what he was thinking. It was as if he hated for YanMingXiu getting close to 'ZhouXiang,' even if this is just a person with the same name.
End of the chapter