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As the clock struck zero, Xu Luoyang sincerely made two wishes. The first being that Chang’an should be in good health and should suffer less from illness, and the second being that he would also have good films to make in the new year and that his acting skills would improve.
Fearing that if he was too greedy, the chances of his wishes coming true would be reduced, Xu Luoyang gave up his wishes for ‘an award’ and ‘meat every day’.
When Qi Chang’an saw him making a wish with his hands folded and eyes closed, he asked him with a smile, “Luoyang, what did you wish for?”
Xu Luoyang was just about to say that the wish he had made wouldn’t come true if he told him, but then he remembered that Qi Chang’an was a great demon and not like ordinary people, which meant that if he told him, it wouldn’t be against the laws of heaven and earth. So lowering his voice, he whispered, “My first wish is for you to be healthy and less sick in the new year, and my second wish is for my acting skills to improve a bit more next year so that I can have good scripts to film.”
After that, he looked at Qi Chang’an eagerly “Do you think these two wishes will come true?”
Qi Chang’an met Xu Luoyang’s eyes. He hadn’t expected that Xu Luoyang would put the wish for his health first.
A clear spring sprang up from the dry ground at the bottom of his heart, spreading out inch by inch, as if it would soon send up shoots and blossom.
But Xu Luoyang interpreted these ten seconds or so of Qi Chang’an’s silence as him sensing the laws of heaven and earth, and looked at Qi Chang’an expectantly without urging him on.
It was only after a long time that Qi Chang’an nodded, his voice gentle, “Your wish will definitely come true.”
“Great!” Xu Luoyang bounced happily on the spot, then went behind Qi Chang’an and put his hand on his shoulder with a slight force, “The year is over, my wishes have also been granted. Mr. Qi, it’s time to go to bed!”
Qi Chang’an smiled and allowed him to push him, walking forward cooperatively, “Okay, see you tomorrow.” he said then looked at Xu Luoyang, “Nao Nao, good night.”
“Good night, Mr. Qi!”
**Holidays were always short and passed by in a flash. On the first day of the New Year, Xu Luoyang and Qi Chang’an had lunch together and then he boarded the plane on time, arriving at Gaoyu Film and Television City just after 9pm. Just after dropping off his luggage, he was called by Chu Wei to discuss filming arrangements for tomorrow.
Hearing a knock at the door, Chu Wei looked up at Xu Luoyang, “Was your New Year’s Eve so joyful?”
Xu Luoyang was in such a good mood that he wanted to hum a song, but he restrained himself from showing off, “Yes, I’m in a very good mood!” He handed Chu Wei a red packet, “Director, it’s only six hundred and sixty-six yuan, I hope the shooting goes smoothly for our crew!”
It wasn’t much, but the important thing was what it symbolized, so Chu Wei didn’t refuse it. Reaching out, he put it away and handed him a script, “I’ve changed a few details, take it back and look at it. If you don’t think it’s right, we’ll discuss the changes tomorrow.”
Xu Luoyang nodded, “Okay, I’ll read it when I get back.”
**Although Chu Wei procrastinated in filming and often had whimsical ideas, he would always discuss with his actors when it came to their roles.
**”Alright, but it’s important to take care of yourself first.” Chu Wei calculated, “your scene will be finished in a week. There are more rivalry scenes later; tomorrow an actor will enter the crew and would be playing your half-brother, Zi Xian. When he comes, act out some scenes with him first. If the effect is good, then we’ll keep him, but if it’s not, then we’ll replace him.”
Xu Luoyang couldn’t take on the responsibility in these words, so he just nodded, “I will definitely act well. Director, you should also take care of yourself.”
But the next morning, Xu Luoyang found out that the new actor in the crew was a familiar face.
“Xia Nan? It’s been a long time!” Because he was wearing a wig and headgear and couldn’t move, Xu Luoyang had to raise his hand and wave it in greeting, talking to Xia Nan in the mirror, “Yesterday Director Chu was saying that someone was coming into the crew today, I didn’t expect it to be you, I didn’t hear anything about it before!”
“It’s been a long time indeed.” Despite being in the same circle, he and Xu Luoyang hadn’t seen each other in a year and three months because they didn’t have much overlap in terms of work.
Xia Nan stood still and looking at Xu Luoyang in the mirror, laughed, “I didn’t dare brag until I got the exact results. My agent only informed me yesterday afternoon that the role had been decided, so I rushed to pack my luggage, too excited to sleep in the night, and caught an early flight over.”
What he didn’t say was that since he knew that Xu Luoyang had joined the cast of Chu Wei’s film and that a role hadn’t been cast yet, he had urged his agent to contact people and it was only with great difficulty that he managed to secure the role.
It had been so long since he had seen him that he was worried that he had become a stranger in Xu Luoyang’s eyes.
After hearing him say this, stylist Tang Fang gave Xia Nan a look.
Xu Luoyang didn’t think much of it. He just thought it was nice to see an old friend. He thought about it then said, “My situation was just about the same. I rushed here straight from the plane, I didn’t even have time to introduce myself to Director Chu when I put on my costume and started filming. You can grab a bite to eat, the Director will be here later, and we would start filming straight away.”
**Xu Luoyang informed him kindly — Director was extremely efficient, so if one didn’t want to be hungry while filming, they just had to go and eat.
Xia Nan understood, and looking at Xu Luoyang a few more times he turned to leave the dressing room.
No sooner had he left than Zheng Dong called.
After talking about business and daily life, when he heard Xu Luoyang say that the newcomer to the crew was Xia Nan, an alarm sounded immediately in Zheng Dong’s heart. He asked almost casually, “Have you seen him?”
**”Of course I have. Xia Nan said he came to see me without even leaving his luggage, so I guess it must be because he’s new to the crew and so not sure about the director’s temperament, that’s why he’s a bit uneasy. We’ve been on the same variety show before, so we’re somewhat acquainted. Maybe that’s why he rushed to ask me for some advice. It’s understandable, so I more or less gave him a piece of advice.”
**When Zheng Dong heard this, he didn’t know how to reply. This Xia Nan had chased after Xu Luoyang for two years before giving up, which could be considered a commendable perseverance, but what was this situation now? Was he preparing to stage a comeback?
But Zheng Dong didn’t really understand. If Xia Nan had put this perseverance into acting, he would have won a movie star award by now already. Why did he have to hang himself on this crooked stump named Xu Luoyang?
After recalling the words Xu Luoyang had just said, Zheng Dong thought that Xu Luoyang could still be single for another hundred years.
Just as Xu Luoyang had estimated, Chu Wei had his stylist take Xia Nan to the set to change his clothes and makeup as soon as he arrived.
Xia Nan’s career path wasn’t wide, because his appearance and temperament often leaned towards the role of a gentleman in ancient costume. He had tried playing other roles before, but they all failed, so he simply stopped struggling, as he could make money anyway. Moreover such roles were more likely to be popular.
This time, he was playing the role of Zi Xian, who was also gentle and generous, but was indecisive and sometimes appeared to be a coward who often
retreated in the face of troubles.
Chu Wei sized Xia Nan, who was dressed in an elaborate old-fashioned costume up and felt that although the costume didn’t give him the same sense of amazement that Xu Luoyang’s did, it was still quite okay, so he made a gesture and said to Xu Luoyang, “Zi Chu, go over there and act a bit to see how it feels.”
Nodding, Xu Luoyang walked over then turning his back to the camera, whispered quickly, “Find a scene where you remember your lines well.”
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