The daylight shone in through the wooden lattice window, reflecting the warmth of the room, and on the stool was the half-finished wood.
He looked at “Qin Chao” and spoke softly, “Didn’t you ask me yesterday where my family had gone?”
“Qin Chao” didn’t expect him to mention this suddenly. Previously he found that “Xu Zhan” didn’t want to mention it, so he didn’t ask again. But now he realized from the other party’s expression that the answer might not be good.
“Yes…. where did they go?”
“Xu Zhan” bowed his head, his exposed neck looking fragile. His eyebrows were hidden in the shadows, unreadable, but the hidden difficulty in his voice was impossible to ignore. “They’re all dead.”
“Qin Chao” froze for a moment. He’d imagined a million answers, but never thought it would be this one. Tugging hard at the corners of his mouth, “Last time I came back, weren’t they just fine? They…. How did they die?”
“Xu Zhan” didn’t say anything, his head was still bowed. But his thin shoulders suddenly trembled, and the smooth and clean wood was stained with water in several places.
Standing still, “Qin Chao” tightened his fist. He took a few steps over, raised his hand, and patted the other man’s shoulder.
The planer fell to the ground with a clatter, and “Xu Zhan” slowly put his head against “Qin Chao’s” waist. He raised his hands and clutched the corners of the other man’s clothes, using so much force that the material was wrinkled in no time. The tears fell into the pile of wood chips, disappearing in an instant.
Xu Luoyang waited for Qi Changan’s next line, but after ten seconds or so of it not coming, he was about to ask if he had forgotten his words when he suddenly noticed that his shoulders were still trembling slightly under his palms. His heart jumped, feeling that the situation wasn’t quite right.
Hesitating for a moment, Xu Luoyang slowly squatted down feeling a little nervous, “Are you okay?”
After finishing his words, he saw Qi Chang’an raise his head to look at him. The despair in his eyes rushed straight into Xu Luoyang’s heart, causing his breath to tighten instantly.
But Xu Luoyang inexplicably felt that this should not be Xu Zhan’s emotions in the script, but more like they originated from Qi Chang’an’s own emotions. A despair that was too deep, like bitter wine that had been brewed for many years.
Thinking of the lines Qi Chang’an had recited earlier, Xu Luoyang restrained himself from thinking deeply. But he didn’t know how he should comfort him and after thinking for a long time, he took a fruit candy out of his pants pocket. He tore open the candy wrapper and handed it to Qi Changan. “If your heart is bitter, eating something sweet should make you feel better, right?”
The more they got along, the more Xu Luoyang realized that Qi Chang’an was actually a not very approachable person. He was seemingly friendly and easy to approach, but it was all on the surface – his inner defenses were actually very heavy and strong.
But who didn’t have a little secret and a little scar? Xu Luoyang wasn’t prepared to poke others in the name of helping. After all if it were him, whenever someone poked his little scar he would explode into a rainstorm of needles!
So, he thought to pull out a fruit candy to show concern and comfort.
And it worked wonders!
Qi Chang’an took the candy and put it in his mouth, and within a moment, he calmed down and apologized in a hoarse voice. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t control my emotions just now. “
“It’s okay, I understand! I was doing a costume movie when my brother’s character died, and I cried so much after that scene that my skin was dehydrated!”
Seeing that the person in front of him should be fine, Xu Luoyang exhaled and relaxed to sit on the ground, only to pop up the next second, “Damn there’s a hidden weapon down there!”
Qi Chang’an quickly reached out and lifted a layer of wood shavings, revealing the covered wooden file and angle ruler. Xu Luoyang gave two awkward ‘ha ha’s’ and silently went to bring the low wooden stool over.
After this, the atmosphere was a bit awkward and Xu Luoyang felt that going on like this wasn’t the way to go. After thinking about it, he opened his mouth, “The scene I played with you just now suddenly made me understand why the first movie you acted in let you successfully get the best male lead in the international film festival, and the second movie even directly swept the three major film festivals.”
Before this, the two chatted about very everyday things but never got into work-related stuff. It was as if they recognized each other’s qualifications as co-stars the first time they were in a scene together.
Qi Chang’an’s eyes were focused, listening very carefully.
“I suddenly don’t know how I should say it,” Xu Luoyang paused and simply pulled his fingers to count, “You have germaphobia, bad health, are easily allergic, and full of picky eating skills, but you are still willing to run to a small remote place like Qinli Town. Staying for two months, and even getting nine cuts on your hands in order to learn carpentry.”
“That’s the way it should be.” Qi Chang’an’s tone was natural.
“Yes, that’s the way it should be, but to be very honest with you, this is the first time I’ve spent a full two months figuring out and experiencing the life of a character for a film and a role. I also sleep twenty minutes less every morning and wear makeup to disguise myself in order not to be recognized. Last night I was wondering if it was worth it or not.”
Saying that, Xu Luoyang smiled, but his tone was solemn, “But just now, when I watched you suddenly fall apart emotionally because of your role, I suddenly understood one thing – it’s only natural to give for a role.”
After saying this, Xu Luoyang was embarrassed, “Haha does it feel like the painting style has become a little fast, it switched to chicken soup for the soul.”
Qi Chang’an didn’t say anything. He just repeated the words Xu Luoyang had just said — ‘it’s only natural to give for a role.’ After saying that, he suddenly stood up and took a small item out of the bamboo basket sitting on the tool table and handed it to Xu Luoyang.
Xu Luoyang took the item in his hand and asked somewhat cautiously, “Is this….. for me? Or just so I can look at it and brag about it in a friendly way?”
What he was holding was a carved wooden maple leaf, only it was the size of his palm. The ‘leaf’ was very thin and roughly carved, but it was evident that great care had been taken. Xu Luoyang didn’t want to return it after holding it.
“It’s for you.” Qi Chang’an smiled, returning to his usual appearance, “I’ve only just learnt how to do it, the previous twenty leaves have all failed, this is the only one that worked.”
Xu Luoyang immediately put his hands behind his back, “It’s mine, no more asking for it back!”
Xu Luoyang was holding the wooden maple leaf and turning it over and over to look at it carefully when Zheng Dong’s phone call came again. He directly pressed the speakerphone.
“It’s been discussed with director Zhang. The crew will directly put out the news that you and Qi Chang’an are working together and taking the double lead in the new movie, and then spend money on creating hype to directly reap the first wave of the movie’s popularity. But this proposal will only work if Qi Chang’an also agrees, after all, you are in the limelight now. If Qi Chang’an doesn’t agree, then the news will only be released about you alone.”
Glancing at Qi Chang’an who was right next to him, Xu Luoyang pretended, “Hmm, I’ll ask him later and get back to you.”
After the phone call was hung up, Xu Luoyang pretended to cough and blinked, “Mr. Qi, will you help?”
Qi Chang’an smiled and nodded, ”Ok, what do you need me to do?”
“Director Zhang will send out the video of our scene that morning, and brother Zheng will explain how the two of us experienced life in a remote town. Anyway, it’s just to be clear that I’m very far away from B city and extra busy, so there’s no way I can go on a date with Yun Shu.” Xu Luoyang’s fingers touched the wooden maple leaf, “The evidence is already sufficient, you just need to say that I’m with you, and finally just sit back and watch the face slapping.”
At four o’clock in the afternoon, Xu Luoyang hunkered down under the air conditioner in the police station office. He took his phone out, logged in to Weibo and found that, as expected, there were already several water armies at work. With a stream of ‘the goddess who stunned you back then’ or ‘mentioning Yunshu, do you remember xxx?’ This kind of character cut video was very straightforward ‘A heaven’s touching face! Yun Shu has wasted the last ten years!’ The pictures were more or less the same.
Xu Luoyang was disgusted as he watched. This year’s publicity team was no good, the traces of hype was too obvious and too fake that easily made them lose traction. They might as well have paid him to do it!
At 4:20, director Zhang’s Weibo account was updated with the video of the scene that had been agreed upon. At 4:27, the official blog of You Li Entertainment reposted this Weibo post and emphasized that Xu Luoyang had already followed the crew to a remote town with Qi Chang’an almost half a month ago to shoot a scene and had not come back to B City.
Twenty minutes later, the small wave of water army prepared by Zheng Dong had brought a steady wind, just waiting for the publicity team from the crew to enter.
Xu Luoyang breathed a sigh of relief and went to check Qi Chang’an’s Weibo again, just in time to see an update –
“For the past ten days, Xu Luoyang has been with me all day and all night.”
After reading it several times in a row, the more he looked at it, the more he had a bad feeling in his heart. He clicked on the comment section cautiously and then he found that, sure enough, it was crooked.
“– Ow! See what I found? All day, all night, we have been together!!!”
“– Sure enough, sure enough, official sugar is the sweetest! I’m going to get a washbasin for it!”
“– Chang’an Luoyang, even the name reveals an aura of dog abuse! This cp, this fairy will support it first!”
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