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Editor: Yumilnoue

Chapter 10

He naturally switched the topic and talked about the interesting things that had happened in the police station in the past two days, and when he got to the good part, he even carried five roles by himself and showed off his solid line skills in a low-key manner.
It was only when he heard laughter in Qi Chang’an’s voice that Xu Luoyang was relieved.

However, at the thought that Qi Chang’an was alone in a foreign country, that he had no one to talk to about his grievances, and he had to drag his sickly body to make up for the filming, Xu Luoyang felt very sad, and the food abroad was so bad, he didn’t know if Qi Chang’an, the king of picky eaters, could eat enough every day.
Oh yes, there should be discrimination among the demons too. If poor Qi Chang’an was still being ostracized by the local demons over there, his pity factor would increase exponentially!

After talking for a few minutes about the script, Xu Luoyang suddenly said, “If I don’t become a singer or continue to be an actor  in the future, maybe I can become a comedian. When I start a national comedy tour, I’ll give you a vip ticket in the middle of the first row.”

Qi Chang’an’s laugh was slightly hoarse, “I will definitely come, to every show.”

“That’s a must, and you have to send me a flower basket, the biggest kind.”

He wanted to tell Qi Chang’an that he might be replaced, that he might not be able to keep the role of Qin Chao, that he would not be able to act the movie with him.

But after opening his mouth, he finally just asked Qi Chang’an, “Say, Mr. Qi, do you like acting with me?”

He wanted to be sure.

“Yes.” Qi Chang’an answered without hesitation, “I’m addicted to acting with you.”

With a sudden dampness in his eyes, Xu Luoyang pulled the thin blanket over him, curled up his body and lay on his side, his voice was a little lower, but still lighter, “I’m also addicted to acting with you. If I’m not careful, I’ll start acting in a schizophrenic way, and sometimes I even wonder whether I’m Xu Luoyang or not.” he finished and emphasized. “That’s why I really like playing opposite you.”

That’s why I don’t want to give up this role at all.

“Hmm, I know.” Qi Chang’an breathed softly, “because I am too.”

The call went on for a long time. Qi Chang’an waited for the sound of Xu Luoyang’s breathing to calm down, making sure that he had fallen asleep, before hanging  up the phone.

His body was very tired. His temples were tight and he had been suffering from a vague pain, but he had been filming day and night for several days, and his jet lag had completely messed up his biological clock so it  took him a long time to fall asleep.

When Qi Chang’yin came to wake up Qi Chang’an, he heard a muffled sound as soon as he opened the door. He quickly walked to the bed and saw a thin layer of cold sweat on Qi Chang’an’s forehead in the dim light of the lamp beside the bed, his brow was furrowed and he was sleeping restlessly, obviously having a nightmare.

When he leaned down and heard what he was saying clearly, Qi Chang’yin’s body suddenly stopped.

Qi Chang’an’s voice with a sharp fear, repeated over and over again, “Mom… I’m really not sick… mom… “

Qi Chang’an had been a boarding school student in England since he was twelve years old. He had been  studying at a boarding school in England, only coming back twice a year. After entering the University of Westminster to study business, he became even busier with his studies, then because of a coincidence, he was invited by a director in London to attend an audition. Not long after he participated in the filming of “The Blizzard”, followed by “Desperate Hunter”, during which he had been eating and living on the set.

Qi Chang’yin thought his brother was too busy filming and that’s why he didn’t come home often. He even thought that now that 14 years had passed, time would wash away everything and that maybe Qi Chang’an had already forgotten the past, but today, Qi Chang’an’s murmur as he had a nightmare made him realize–

–It turns out, just sleeping in this room was already a kind of torture for him.

He hid his emotions, “Chang’an, get up and eat dinner.” Qi Chang’yin said, not quite accustomed to slowing down his tone, and as soon as the words left his mouth, he saw Qi Chang’an’s eyes snapping open as if he had never been asleep at all. There was even a flash of wariness and unease in his eyes.

“Luo…” Seeing the person in front of him, Qi Chang’an stopped speaking, slowly sat up and rubbed his brow, “Brother? What time is it?”

“It’s just five o’clock, the kitchen has prepared dinner, you can eat all you want. Does your head still hurt?” Looking at Qi Chang’an’s red eyes, Qi Chang’yin felt his heart ache.

“I’ve slept for a while, I’m better now, don’t worry.” Qi Chang’an said, lifting the blanket and getting out of bed. A little unstable, he reached out stealthily and held the bedpost behind him.

Pretending not to see his small movements, Qi Chang’yin turned on the light and discussed, “I’ll arrange for Dr. Holman to come over after dinner and finish all the tests as soon as possible, is that okay?”

Qi Chang’an nodded, “Okay.”

Qinli Town.

The barbecue was served. Xu Luoyang stared at the pork for a few moments, but finally put it on Director Zhang’s plate with a painful look, “Can you give me the barbecue stick when you’re done, I’ll pretend I’m eating it myself.”

“Why don’t you eat two skewers too? Really, I’ll help you keep it a secret and not tell Zheng Dong, how about that?” Director Zhang opened a can of beer with a smirk and urged Xu Luoyang to do the same.

Director Zhang’s full name was Zhang Bocheng, he was in his forties, and when he wasn’t on set, he was an unkempt uncle. He wearing a lapel sports shirt, dark blue sports shorts, and clip-on flip-flops which matched the atmosphere of the barbecue stall perfectly.

“No, no, I want to be firm!” Xu Luoyang was able to resist the temptation, but it was hard to not eat the pork, so he took a big bite of the roasted corn which made his tongue burn badly from the heat that he almost cried out.

Director Zhang poured a glass of herbal tea for Xu Luoyang and handed it over while  he took a sip of his own beer, “You want to ask about the role today, right?” 

“Yes.” Xu Luoyang nodded as he inhaled, “I heard from Zheng that Shi Yuanhao also wants the role of Qin Chao.”

“The news is correct, his agent came to me a few days ago through very high connections.”
His heart sinking slightly, Xu Luoyang continued to drink the tea, his expression did not show any emotion, “Then what do you think?”

“Me? I replied straight away that Shi Yuanhao was not suitable for the role of Qin Chao, his acting skills were not up to par with my standards and there would be still some polishing for him to do.”

Xu Luoyang laughed, “So that means my acting skills are definitely above the pass mark with you? Please tell me, how many points can I get?”

Director Zhang smiled and glared at him, “Eighty, no more!”

“I’m satisfied with eighty.” Xu Luoyang then asked, “What about Qi Chang’an?”

Hearing this question, Director Zhang thought for a few seconds before answering, “Ninety-eight, you’ve played the male lead in my film so I know your standard, but Qi Chang’an is a gifted actor, very agile, but I’ve only seen his work, I haven’t seen him on camera yet, so I’m leaving two points of leeway.”

After taking a sip of his beer, Director Zhang returned to the previous topic, “Shi Yuanhao has been a cash cow for Haiyin Entertainment for the past two years, and has been working on commercial films, but his agent, Wu Bi, looks down on my movies. In reality, only a fool like you would push off two months’ work to come here and wait.”

Xu Luoyang just held his glass of tea and smiled, thinking, ‘He’s not the only one who’s stupid, there’s also Qi Chang’an!’

“Wu Bi had suddenly come out to grab the role, probably because you didn’t give him face before and didn’t cooperate with the scandal. To say a few words, I think Yun Shu has really been brought down by her agent.  Originally, being a judge of the show is a kind of elevation, and she has her own contacts. Once she has the right role, even if she can’t return to her previous height, she will definitely have no problem becoming popular again. But she was too impatient, she can’t even wait a year and a half.”

Speaking of this, Director Zhang was angry, almost hitting the table, “When she was a newcomer, she was still under your father’s tutelage where she honed  her acting skills. Now that she’s back, she wants to get you hyped up with her and step on you to get to the top, so she’s ungrateful!”

The smile on Xu Luoyang’s lips faded as he clinked his glass with Director Zhang’s herbal tea, “It’s not worth getting angry at these people, besides, I’m used to it.”

His father, Xu Qunqing, was once known as the ghost of the film industry. His every film  was a classic, and he loved to train newcomers, many of whom had made a name for themselves in today’s show business. But after his mother’s death, his father was devastated. He was soon diagnosed with terminal cancer, and died before he lasted a year.

After that, people who used to call him “Yangyang” warmly changed their smiling masks and acted like they never knew him.

Director Zhang drained his glass of wine, “I don’t know what the attitude of the capitalist side is for now, I’ll help you find out.”

Xu Luoyang’s tone was hesitant, “Then I’ll find time to write out the lyrics and give you a look first, but if I take over the end credits, won’t the producers have a problem with that?”

With that, he poured wine for Director Zhang.

Director Zhang glared, “Luoyang, you have to have confidence in yourself, confidence! At least the album has already been released twice, what can those people say?”

When the empty glasses were full, Xu Luoyang smiled and said, “Hmm, I’ll try not to lose face. Thank you Uncle Zhang.”

It was already eleven o’clock after the barbecue, and Director Zhang was overwhelmed by three glasses of plum wine, yelling that he had to go to kindergarten to pick up his daughter from school – his daughter was already an adult.

Xu Luoyang was so helpless that he called Director Zhang’s assistant to come and pick him up, and while he was waiting by the roadside, he had to guard against Director Zhang running down the road when he wasn’t looking. When he looked at Director Zhang, who was drunk and talking about his daughter, he suddenly thought, if his parents were still alive — no, don’t go on thinking about it, Xu Luoyang, you can’t have such thoughts.

He called Zheng Dong on the way to tell him the situation, but before he reached the floor, he received a message from Qi Chang’an, “I’m off the plane, 30 minutes till I reach  the arrival terminal.”

Xu Luoyang calculated the time and replied very positively, “I’ll pick you up!”

In the early hours of the morning, Qi Chang’an came out of the terminal with his suitcase along with the crowd of people, and saw Xu Luoyang wearing a black peaked cap in the middle of some old ladies holding a ‘hotel’ sign.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and washed jeans, glowing as he stood by the worn out car station. When he got closer, Qi Chang’an heard Xu Luoyang bragging to a few older women with a radiant and delighted look on his face.

“Disregard the fact that this is my first time out and I don’t even have a sign, I’m a good hustler! Don’t believe me? I’ll show you!”
After that, he took five seconds to look left and right to find his target, and finally walked up to Qi Chang’an, “Hotel, hotel, van pick up, get in and go, do you want to stay? If you want to stay, go now!”

Qi Chang’an nodded and followed him with his suitcase.
Xu Luoyang raised his chin towards the ladies holding the sign next to him and led Qi Chang’an away with his head held high.

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