“That’s the main reason.” Qi Chang’an didn’t hide his thoughts, asking, “Luoyang, when you first decided to be with me, did you already plan to go public eventually?”
Xu Luoyang nodded, “En, I discussed it with Zheng Ge from the start. You’re so great, being with you is nothing to hide, but I also know that we need to take things step by step, which is why I’ve been raising the awareness of Gu Cheng CP slowly. This method might take longer, but the result will definitely be the best.”
Which was why he never avoided interacting with Qi Chang’an on Weibo and the variety show.
“See, you’ve been considering the future from the beginning, even prepared to cultivate.” Qi Chang’an’s smile deepened as Xu Luoyang glared at him, continuing, “Just like you, I think about the future too.”
He glanced at the script that had been set aside, “You love acting, even more than singing. I don’t want our relationship to force you to give up what you’ve been working hard and striving for, so I hope when we go public, while receiving blessings, when facing opposition, accusations and abuse, I can protect you.”
Xu Luoyang shook his head, saying a bit quickly, “I can protect myself too. If the price is you giving up what you like—”
“Nao Nao.” Qi Chang’an interrupted him, “I like you the most.”
A few seconds later, he added, “At the beginning, I accepted Director Chu’s invitation to act, mostly because I hoped to use the role to pretend to be someone else, to escape the shadows left from childhood, and to find a moment of respite.”
“But now it’s not necessary.” He hooked his pinky with Xu Luoyang’s, “I have you now.”
Seeing that Xu Luoyang wasn’t saying anything, Qi Chang’an said helplessly, “And my big brother has been managing the family business since he was 18. He’s tired and hopes I can help him.”
Xu Luoyang made an ‘en’sound in response, saying slowly, “You have so many reasons, and they all make sense, but if you’re busy on both fronts, your health will suffer.”
“I can do a good project every couple of years and devote some energy to work.”
“Fine.” Xu Luoyang leaned his head against Qi Chang’an’s shoulder, feeling a bit depressed inside, suddenly unsure of what to say. He hugged Qi Chang’an and after holding it in for a while, told him, “Nothing is more important than your health. Whether it’s other people’s opinions or the obstacles we’ll face in the future, none of that matters. I hope that when we’re both old, we can still walk hand in hand, and that I’ll get up quietly in the night to tuck you in and wake you up in the morning.”
“En, I promise.” Qi Chang’an patted Xu Luoyang’s back, then said with a laugh, “But Nao Nao, are you sure it won’t be me tucking you in in the night and waking you up in the morning?”
Xu Luoyang glared at him fiercely, “Mr. Qi, you’re focusing on the wrong thing!”
The next afternoon, when Zheng Dong drove over to pick Xu Luoyang up, he found him with a worried frown, “What’s wrong, feeling sad because you’re a year older?”
Xu Luoyang leaned back listlessly against the seat, “Chang’an has made a very big decision.”
“Are you very worried?”
“En, his health isn’t great, and he has a lot on his mind. I wish he wouldn’t be so tired, but even as his lover, I don’t think I can just interfere.”
“I don’t quite understand your relationship troubles, but as an observer, first and foremost, Qi Chang’an is much smarter than you, he knows what he wants, and he’s not foolish. Second, if he’s telling you his decision, it’s definitely well thought out, so you should trust him.”
Xu Luoyang nodded, “That’s what I think too! But I’m still so worried!”
“…..” Sure enough, this was the sweet little worries of love?
The car stopped at a garden club and Zheng Dong led Xu Luoyang to the private room he had reserved called ‘West River Moon’. He checked the time, “I made an appointment for half an hour later, but I heard Du Ruan Lan usually arrives fifteen minutes early.”
Xu Luoyang had already switched to an energetic state, in high spirits, “En, I’m ready, don’t worry!”
Sure enough, just fifteen minutes later, the door to the private room opened. A middle-aged man wearing a dark blue robe with loop fasteners entered, with a string of beads on his wrist, his appearance and temperament very scholarly.
Xu Luoyang stood up with Zheng Dong, and the three shook hands before sitting back down at the table.
“I’m not one for formalities, so since we’re all here for the movie ‘Against the Light’, let’s get straight to the point.” Du Ruan Lan said this right after sitting down and taking a sip of tea.
Xu Luoyang was relieved. It seems they weren’t close friends for nothing. Du Ruan Lan was very similar to Chu Wei, in that both were efficient and practical and neither liked to beat around the bush. So adjusting his attitude, he said directly, “Director Du, I want to play the role of Ding Xuan.”
“I see, but many people want this role, so tell me your reasons.”
In the blink of an eye, Xu Luoyang’s expression changed. He controlled his facial muscles, gradually revealing a fierce expression like a lone wolf, half-threatening, half-smiling as he said, “I believe there’s no better candidate than me.”
The atmosphere suddenly tensed.
This was a line from the script, where Ding Xuan had asked his superior for permission to infiltrate the prison under a false identity to investigate the truth.
After exchanging glances for a few seconds, Du Ruan Lan sighed, “Now I know why Old Chu recommended you. That look in your eyes is truly amazing.”
His expression softening, Xu Luoyang returned to his smiling demeanor, “Thank you for the compliment, Director Du. If you choose me, I’ll perform even better on set!”
Du Ruan Lan laughed, “Isn’t your self-recommendation a bit too direct?”
Xu Luoyang continued to smile, “Having you sit here is already very direct.” As he said this, he stood up with his wine glass, “Let me toast to you!”
Du Ruan Lan held up a cup of tea, “I’m under strict rules at home, so I can only substitute tea for wine.” Putting the cup down, he scrutinized Xu Luoyang’s appearance carefully, then asked, “You like the script?”
“Very much, especially the character Ding Xuan. I like him a lot.”
Nodding, Du Ruan Lan poured himself another cup of tea, “How long has it been since you got the script that you’ve memorized all the lines?”
“I won’t say I have memorized it word for word, but I’ve basically memorized them all.” Xu Luoyang took out two sheets of paper, “I was so excited while reading the script that I wrote a character analysis. The screenwriter is really talented. Every line is perfect.”
Du Ruan Lan took the papers and looked through them from beginning to end before handing them back without saying much.
However, after that, Xu Luoyang noticed that the atmosphere became more relaxed. He initiated various topics of conversation and they chatted harmoniously for half an hour.
But seeing Du Ruan Lan checking his watch, Xu Luoyang stood up, indicating that it was getting late and that he and his manager should leave.
Du Ruan Lan nodded, “Hmm, let’s chat again next time if there’s an opportunity.”
After leaving the private room and walking for a while, Xu Luoyang asked Zheng Dong, “Zheng Ge, what do you think?”
“His impression of you should be good. At least he mentioned meeting again next time.”
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