After ZhouXiang quietly returned home, he fell asleep as soon as his head hit the bed. He slept until noon of the next day.
ChenYing knocked on his door, “ZhouXiang, get up. Someone is looking for you.”
ZhouXiang hazily opened his eyes and bolted out of bed. His first reaction was that YanMingXiu had come. Since he turned off his cell phone, YanMingXiu could most likely come directly to find him.
ZhouXiang asked while getting dressed, "Mom, who is it?"
“It's LanXiRong. He's waiting for you so hurry up.”
ZhouXiang heaved a sigh of relief. After he got dressed, he simply washed up and walked out of his room.
LanXiRong was sitting in the living room, patiently responding to all sorts of questions from Aunt Wang while signing an autograph.
LanXiRong turned his head and smiled, “Xiang Ge, your phone is turned off so I came here to pick you up."
“You must have forgotten with so many things going on recently. Today is the release of my new album. I want to take you there."
When ChenYing heard their conversation, her heart beated like drums. Why is this big celebrity, surnamed Lan so respectful toward her son, always addressing him "Xiang Ge"? It felt like ZhouXiang is really his big brother. This made her so happy that she couldn't say anything.
ZhouXiang's face paled; his expression exhaustive but he forced himself to liven up and smiled embarrassingly, “I've forgotten. Sorry. Wait for me a bit. Let me change into a suit, then we can leave immediately."
“Don't need to. I've already prepared a set of clothes for you in the car. You can get your hair done when we get there. We're tight on time, let's go now."
ZhouXiang said, "Okay, let’s go.”
ChenYing was just about to say something when LanXiRong smiled and said, “Auntie, turn the TV channel to XX 4pm this afternoon. The promotional event will be a broadcasted live. You'll be able to see me and Xiang Ge."
“Okay, okay!” The two old ladies chuckled so happily that they couldn't even close their mouths. ChenYing is even more proud of her son. He's just great no matter what.
ZhouXiang followed LanXiRong into the car. Once LanXiRong got into the car, the smile he exhibited earlier in front of ChenYing disappeared, replacing it with a serious expression, “Xiang Ge, Wei Ge and I thought of another method. It's the last resort. Since there are no other ways at this time, we could just go directly into the home to take back your important things.”
ZhouXiang hesitated for a bit. He lowered his head and sighed, "There's no need to."
“Are you worried of being caught by the police? You don't have to go, I'll find someone to. You make a list……"
“XiRong, thank you,” ZhouXiang turned his head and smiled softly, “But I already went there.”
LanXiRong’s eyes widened as he slammed on the brakes, “You……you already went? When?"
LanXiRong quickly asked, "Then were you able to get your things?"
“No, but I didn't need to." ZhouXiang reached out and stroked LanXiRong's head, "XiRong, you've grown up a lot and helped me a lot. Xiang Ge is very grateful to you but you don’t have to worry about this matter anymore.”
“Xiang Ge, what do you mean?”
ZhouXiang smiled stiffly, “I ran into YanMingXiu when I went.”
LanXiRong is stunned. His heart suddenly beat rapidly. Hearing this news put him at a complete loss on what to do.
What he is most worried about… still happened.
LanXiRong suddenly pressed his hand down on ZhouXiang’s shoulder and said sternly, "Xiang Ge, did he do anything to you? What did you guys talk about?"
“Nothing much. At least, I got back the things that belonged to me.” ZhouXiang said, "This is also a good thing. After all, that condo is what I'm most worried about.”
“Xiang Ge, you won't get back with YanMingXiu again right? The way he treated you, you won't be fooled again right?"
LanXiRong looked at him nervously; his beautiful big eyes full of tension and pleading.
ZhouXiang pretended to smile, "What are you thinking? How could I? I'm a person who has died once, especially after seeing myself become a pile of bones, I've completely gotten over it. My fate with YanMingXiu had already ended in my last life.”
LanXiRong breathe out a sigh of relief but still felt very uneasy, “Xiang Ge, I'm very happy that you think like this but YanMingXiu is definitely not going to be easy to….. (get rid of)…” LanXiRong realized that saying this would make YanMingXiu seem very affectionate so he changed his words and said, "YanMingXiu is too overbearing. You must try to stay away and don’t come in contact with him.”
“Don't worry. I know. Let’s go, isn't the time very tight?”
LanXiRong just remembered the promotional event and restarted the car.
The promotional event is held at a hotel’s banquet hall. Many of their company’s stars have arrived as well as some of LanXiRong's friends and a large number of reporters.
Seeing more than a hundred people walking around in this banquet hall, it is enough to see how much influence LanXiRong has in the entertainment industry. ZhouXiang is very envious and very happy for LanXiRong.
He went to the backstage to change his clothes and then got his hair and makeup done. Busy for an hour, the promotional event soon began.
The staff informed ZhouXiang to wait in an area backstage. In a bit, he'll appear together with LanXiRong.
ZhouXiang knew that LanXiRong deliberately wanted to promote him. With ZhouXiang appearing together with LanXiRong in this event along with the promotion for the MV broadcast, his value is obviously expected to rise. There are many people who have the talents but just lacked the opportunity for the audiences to recognize them.
ZhouXiang now has such opportunity; he must seize it very well.
At this time, Ah Liu ran over and shouted, “Ah Xiang. Come out first. President Wang is here. Let's all go greet the big boss."
ZhouXiang quickly got up and followed Ah Liu out. It was said that President Wang had just returned from Tibet and specially came to support LanXiRong. This evidently shows how much he values the company's most profitable money maker.
LanXiRong also went over. CaiWei walked over from afar and waved at them. Several people walked to the door to greet President Wang.
However when President Wang came in from the hidden back corridor of the ballroom, several people are stunned.
Besides a few entourages and his wife, President Wang also brought YanMingXiu along.
ZhouXiang's entire body froze; his eyes connected with YanMingXiu by a distance of more than ten meters. YanMingXiu didn't look too different from his typical appearance. In addition to being a lot thinner and a bit dispirited, the cold indifference that he usually exudes still lingered. Only at the moment when he saw ZhouXiang was there a faint glimmer of intense emotions from those dark bottomless eyes.
President Wang looked tanner but very energetic. Praising from afar, "Aiyah, how did ZhouXiang become so handsome? Who is the stylist? Give him a raise."
ZhouXiang wore a tailored iron grey color suit that accentuated his long slim body. His eyebrows were just trimmed and his eyes were bright and fully expressive making his entire person looking very dashing. Even with him standing next to a top-notch gorgeous stunning man like LanXiRong, he only seemed slightly inferior. Compared to LanXiRong's youthful exquisite appearance, ZhouXiang radiates a more matured and charming aurora.
When ZhouXiang smiled politely at President Wang, the three people (YanMingXiu, CaiWei, LanXiRong) whom he (ZhouXiang) were quite familiar with, saw in an instant a shadow of his former self. This twenty-seven-year-old body is more like the ZhouXiang from before; from his expression to his appearance, he is more and more like him.
YanMingXiu’s expression emanated strong yearnings but because of the occasion, he can only desperately suppress it.
Seeing YanMingXiu's expression, LanXiRong loathingly gnashed his teeth.
"President Wang, you're back."
A few people came up to greet and shook hands with President Wang.
President Wang looked proudly at LanXiRong, the big star he had nurtured. He smiled and said, "This is the third album. Xiao Lan, you never let me down.”
LanXiRong laughed, "I can't do this without President Wang's nurturing."
After saying a few polite words, President Wang turned his attention to ZhouXiang, looking at him from head to toe and sighed, "Is this my imagination? Why is it that each time I see you, you are more and more like that ZhouXiang? The previous one……why is this? Not only just your temperament, even your facial features are more and more like him."
The several people that knew the truth suddenly stiffened.
There is a little bit of tingling in ZhouXiang's heart. He smiled, “It's probably because President Wang missed Xiang Ge (referring to his previous self older ZhouXiang) too much. President Wang is such a sentimental person. I am very fortunate to be working for you. Ever since I entered the company, Wei Ge, XiRong and President Wang, have all taken special care of me. It can be said that what I have today is from borrowing Xiang Ge's luck. Not only do you miss Xiang Ge, I also miss him very much.”
These spoken words appear to be very fitting but made those who knew ZhouXiang feel emotionally heavy. Not only did President Wang sigh, CaiWei's and LanXiRong's expressions are grief-stricken. YanMingXiu especially felt sharp piercing pains in his heart.
President Wang sighed, "Aiigghh (sigh sound), since you guys have fate, then you live together with ZhouXiang's identity. Now that I think about it, I really regret that I couldn't promote ZhouXiang into fame. From now on, I will put more work on promoting you. With so many people helping you, you have to work harder. Don't let us down."
"Thank you, President Wang, I will definitely do my best."
President Wang nodded satisfactorily. He suddenly remembered something. Slapping his hand on his head, he said with annoyance, “Aiyah…look how forgetful I am. MingXiu, MingXiu, come over here. Sorry. I've just been reminiscing the old days. You've met them right? No need for introductions, right?"
YanMingXiu nodded with his eyes falling on ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang silently drift away from YanMingXiu's sight.
President Wang said, "Everyone knows MingXiu right? He came especially to support and aid XiRong with the event. I don't see a problem with this album getting millions in sales. In addition, (talking to) ZhouXiang, MingXiu wants to invite you to participate in his new movie; it's an exceptionally heavy role. I've skimmed through the script and already accepted for you. But don't be happy too early, MingXiu has very high expectations."
ZhouXiang stared blankly at YanMingXiu.
President Wang thought that he was too happy. He laughed aloud, "Don’t get too excited. We'll talk about the details later. You just show your face in the promotional event today. ZhouXiang, your future is limitless.”
For a little-unknown actor who can participate in YanMingXiu’s movie, it's no exaggeration to say that this is a leap into the sky. It is a huge honor and great fortune to be able to jump directly from a minor actor to a first or second line actor so it never occurred to President Wang that ZhouXiang would probably disagree. He also didn't know that ZhouXiang is already thinking of ways to reject the offer.
It's not that ZhouXiang doesn’t love fame and fortune, but if the price is dependent upon YanMingXiu in order to move up, he's definitely unwilling. If he just moves forward with his feet firmly planted on the ground and stayed down-to-earth, one day he will have good results. After all, he has LanXiRong helping him. His starting step is already very good. He doesn't need to be extremely popular, especially not when it's linked to YanMingXiu's success.
He must find a way to refuse, but right now is not the time. President Wang had already taken YanMingXiu into the banquet hall.
Others followed and filed in.
ZhouXiang and CaiWei, LanXiRong followed from behind.
CaiWei frowned, "This YanMingXiu really knows how to use his influence. He merely needed to grab onto President Wang, then you, ZhouXiang, can only be at his mercy.”
LanXiRong fiercely scoffed, "He's really a pest that won't leave. Such a shameless bastard……”
ZhouXiang said depressingly, "Let's not talk about this. I'll find a way to deal with it. XiRong, today is your promotional event. Hurry up and go in. Remember, you must not look unhappy in front of the media.”
CaiWei said, "Don't worry. XiRong knows what's important.”
LanXiRong wanted to say more but in the end, he could only slump his shoulders. Although he had personal resentment toward YanMingXiu, he could not ignore President Wang's prominence. Not being able to stop YanMingXiu from getting closer and closer to ZhouXiang made him feel very depressed and helpless.
ZhouXiang suppressed the negative emotions in his heart and patted LanXiRong on the shoulder, "Let's go. Put on your cute smiling face that everyone loves."
LanXiRong forcefully smiled. Seeing that nobody was around besides them, he whispered, "Xiang Ge, can I give you a kiss?”
ZhouXiang astonishingly responded, "What?”
CaiWei heard it clearly and scolded with smile, "Look at you……” After saying that, he shook his head and left.
ZhouXiang slightly mocked, "You brat… are you actually nervous?”
"I'm not nervous. I just want to give you a kiss.”
LanXiRong exposed an expression like that of a spoiled child wanting to eat candy. That expression blended with his beautiful baby face made him look a bit pitiful. Thus, making it hard for people to refuse. It’s no wonder that women of all ages upon seeing LanXiRong will want to hold him in their arms and spoil him.
ZhouXiang bunched up his brows, “Where do you want to kiss?”
"Where do you want it to be?" LanXiRong asked excitedly.
ZhouXiang put his fingers on his lips, kissed it and blew him a kiss, "Okay, let's go in." After saying that, he turned and walked away.
LanXiRong is dissatisfied with his half-hearted response. He stepped forward and quickly pecked ZhouXiang's lips, then smiled slyly, “Xiang Ge, don't fool people like that ah."
ZhouXiang shook his head and said helplessly, "Go on in, stop wasting time.”
LanXiRong glanced at him deeply, “Xiang Ge, let’s go. As long as I can have a say in my future movies and albums, I want you to be a part of it.”
ZhouXiang smiled, “Thank you.”
The two entered the banquet hall from the backstage. As soon as they stepped through the door, countless flashes rushed at them in frenzy. LanXiRong is used to this. He exposed his signature smile and greeted everyone. ZhouXiang still couldn’t get used to the lights. The constant flashes almost made it impossible for him to open his eyes so he could only follow LanXiRong onto the stage.
LanXiRong was soon surrounded by several reporters. The host on the stage repeatedly advised, “Don’t surround XiRong. Don’t rush. You can ask any questions in a moment. Don't rush everyone. Don't block the entrance. Let XiRong get through first."
ZhouXiang was pushed to the back with several reporters stopping in front of him, all wanting to get closer to LanXiRong. LanXiRong’s bodyguards rushed over to try and rescue him.
ZhouXiang helplessly wanted to go around but couldn't find a way so he was at a loss.
Just when there was a bit of chaos in the scene, a commotion came from behind ZhouXiang. With the help of his assistants and bodyguards, YanMingXiu broke through the reporters' encirclement and walked toward ZhouXiang.
End of the chapter