While ZhouXiang was chatting to ChenYing on the phone, he could vaguely hear arguments from WangYuDong’s room. It was brief and then was followed by the sound of the door slamming opened and closed. Soon after, YanMingXiu returned.
ZhouXiang again reminded ChenYing a few things and hung up the phone.
Seeing YanMingXiu walking in looking very unsightly, he wondered if the two really did argued. If so, that is truly rare.
ZhouXiang flipped the blanket over and planned on going to sleep after turning off the TV. He and YanMingXiu had nothing to communicate to each other, nor is he in the least bit interested in the dispute between the two. At this time, he didn’t even want to touch a fine hair on YanMingXiu’s head that could cause trouble for himself.
When he picked up the remote control, his attention was then turned to the TV screen. He suddenly realized that it is broadcasting the first film that he had collaborated with WangYuDong on as his stuntman. It had been six to seven years ago and was the first movie that propelled WangYuDong to superstardom. This martial arts movie is still regarded by many as a classic.
As ZhouXiang watched this movie, the technology can't be compared to today's time, be it the visual effects or special effects but his eyes couldn't leave the vivid leaping scenes or the very familiar faces of the crew during that time.
YanMingXiu’s eyes were also captivated by the scenes on the small 23-inch TV.
A freely leisure hero gracefully wearing a white robe, without even a speck of dust, appeared. His handsomely refined appearance along with his elegant and magnificently towering body became one of the classic screen images of that year, making the name, WangYuDong, instantly popular across the country.
However, no one knew that more than half of those stunningly breathtaking fighting scenes that looked like floating clouds and flowing water (natural and smooth) were done by ZhouXiang. Especially the film's most beautiful, most classic and most artistic scene where the hero gracefully went into the water. The entire sequence was done by him (ZhouXiang), WangYuDong merely showed his face when the hero turned around.
This could only be blamed on ZhouXiang for being too young and inexperienced at the time. He didn't know anything except for making money. However, if he didn't agree to have his name removed from the credits, he was afraid that the crew would not have continued to use him as a stuntman for the sole purpose of promoting WangYuDong.
After the movie became a hit, some people had once urged him to take this opportunity to stir up speculation but he didn't agree to it. The huge amount of penalty fees for breaching the contract wasn't actually a concern because as long as he becomes popular, this amount of money would have been immaterial. The reason he didn't agree at the time was mainly because he was too young and had a sense of righteousness. He felt that it would be wrong to do that.
If this was to be changed to the ZhouXiang a few years later, he likely wouldn't have handled it that way. But by then, the time had passed and it was already too late to say anything. Besides, he really didn't regret not taking that chance to promote himself.
At least before he met YanMingXiu, he never regretted it.
But now, seeing YanMingXiu silently watching the TV screen, deeply in thought, the corners of ZhouXiang's mouth curved into a mocking smile, “That’s not WangYuDong.”
Although he knew that he wouldn't get any sort of revenge against WangYuDong, he had been intolerably suppressing himself from all the grievances the past few days and couldn't restrain himself from just blurting it out.
He didn't even expect YanMingXiu to have a bit of reaction.
However, not only did YanMingXiu reacted, his reaction is extreme.
YanMingXiu suddenly turned his head and glared fiercely at ZhouXiang, “What did you say?”
The water scene showing on the TV is almost over. ZhouXiang looked at the familiar screen and laughed at himself, “I said, that was not WangYuDong but a stuntman.”
YanMingXiu’s body trembled uncontrollably.
Not WangYuDong? But a stuntman?
This person is telling him that the person whom he had fallen in love at first sight, the god-like heroic WangYuDong of that time, was actually NOT him, but a stuntman?
At this point, YanMingXiu could no longer tell whether he had first fallen for this person because of his back or did he become captivated after the person had turned his face around. But this is no longer important. What mattered is that if that back really belonged to a stuntman, then his feelings at that time were completely impure. The person he liked was merely his delusion; it might not even be a person!
YanMingXiu's voice trembled, "What reason do you have to say that it is not WangYuDong? There is no mention of a stuntman being used in this movie. The promotion publicized that all the scenes were performed by WangYuDong personally.”
ZhouXiang responded indifferently, “Those martial arts moves are not complicated to do but required solid foundation skills. If WangYuDong had a month or two of practice, he might be able do most of it. But if he really had that ability, he wouldn't have needed me (to be his stuntman). Those actions were definitely not done by him but by a stuntman.”
YanMingXiu suddenly rushed over and gripped onto ZhouXiang's collar with his voice lowly roaring, “What reason do you have say that it is a stuntman! If you dare to talk shit…”
ZhouXiang got a trace of twisted revenge upon seeing YanMingXiu’s distorted and frantic expression. To be able to shatter YanMingXiu’s fantasy of WangYuDong, even for a little, he would laugh happily.
Facing YanMingXiu’s expression of wanting to eat people, he still smiled and said, “I am also a stuntman myself. I'm sure that it was not done by WangYuDong but by a stuntman. If you don’t believe me, since President Yan knows so many people, go find someone reliable and ask?”
A stuntman… impossible, how could it be a stuntman… Who? Who is the stuntman in this movie?
YanMingXiu's minded immediately thought of a name, this kind of possibility made his heart practically skipped a few beats.
No… it's not him… it can’t be him…
YanMingXiu pushed ZhouXiang away ruthlessly and grabbed the phone from the desk. He quickly rummaged through the phone book. In the end, he called a person who certainly would know the inside story. This person used to be WangYuDong's assistant.
After WangYuDong established his own entertainment company, he was hired as the company's CEO. He had followed WangYuDong for many years. From the time WangYuDong debuted to present. All matters regarding WangYuDong, no one knew it better than him.
The phone quickly connected.
“Hello President Yan greetings.” The voice on the other end of the line sounded a bit flattered (because YanMingXiu called him).
“Lao Wu. I'm going to ask you something, tell me honestly. If there is even a trace of lies, I won't let you off.”
Lao Wu is stunned, his voice immediately followed by fear as he stuttered, “Yan, President Yan, you… YuDong… you want….”
“Cut the bullshit, answer me one thing.”
“You … ask… as long as I can say…”
"Was there really a stuntman used in WangYuDong's first movie?"
When Lao Wu heard this question, he let out a sigh of relief. He thought that YanMingXiu had caught WangYuDong doing something questionable. As it turned out, he was just asking this kind of superficial question.
At the time, they did a great job concealing this information in order to promote WangYuDong. But now, it is no longer important whether or not WangYuDong used a stuntman or did those scenes himself. None of this could affect WangYuDong's status at this point.
Therefore, Lao Wu responded honestly, “President Yan, a stuntman was indeed used back then. But in order to increase the promotional effect, we told the media that he did all the scenes himself. As for the stuntman, it was settled by paying him off.”
“Who was the stuntman?” When YanMingXiu asked this question, his face looked hideous, his eyes bloodshot and his fists clenched, just like a beast forced into a desperate situation. It was only waiting for a head-on collision moment, then he would…
“Oh … that was ZhouXiang mah. Later, YuDong cooperated with him the most. Both of them have worked on four to five movies together. ZhouXiang has always been our first choice.”
The phone in YanMingXiu’s hand slammed to the ground. A burst of gloomy darkness consumed him. The twisted pain in his body almost took all his breath. His mind kept buzzing and almost everything is blood red in front of him; the entire space around becoming unreal in his eyes.
Why does God have to mess with him like this?!
When he was sixteen years old, he stopped in front of the cinema and saw the trailer of this movie seven to eight times. The scene of the hero's back gracefully falling into the water left him infatuated and deeply mesmerized. Yet this person was actually ZhouXiang, actually ZhouXiang!
It was not WangYuDong, not anyone else, but was ZhouXiang, ZhouXiang!
Ironically, he treated ZhouXiang as WangYuDong's substitute. Who is the fucking substitute for who!?
This step… he had been wrong from the beginning and had continued walking on this path till was dark. Finally, it got to the point of no return, making him lose everything. Even his prayer for a chance to remedy was unobtainable.
ZhouXiang had disappeared. He has a lot of things he wanted to tell him… a lot of things he wanted to do with him… and a long life ahead he wanted to share with him. But ZhouXiang had disappeared just like that. Because of his mistakes, he had step-by-step pushed ZhouXiang onto a path that separated them.
He had hurt the person he loved most. Now everything has become retribution on himself.
YanMingXiu is in so much pain that he wanted to die. He really wanted to disappear on the spot. Then maybe he and ZhouXiang could appear in the same place.
He was starting to lose his balance. At this time, his rationale is already on the verge of collapse. This huge blow made him feel panic-stricken and tremendous grief at the same time
ZhouXiang could never have imagined that YanMingXiu would have such a huge reaction. He (ZhouXiang) was dazed on the spot, at complete loss looking at YanMingXiu.
YanMingXiu dumbfoundedly walked toward the door, almost mechanically opening the door and quickly staggered out.
The hotel door opened and then slammed closed, a gush of cold wind blew into the room, waking ZhouXiang from his senses.
He didn’t understand what was happening to YanMingXiu. Was this something that difficult for him to accept?
He was stunned for a few minutes before remembering that YanMingXiu was only wearing his pajamas when he left. Where is he going in this freezing weather? It is very cold even just standing in the hallway. Leaving like that, he'll absolutely freeze.
He quickly put on his clothes, picked up YanMingXiu's coat and ran out of the room.
End of the chapter