For the next two days, Xu Luoyang was completely engrossed in his script as if he was possessed. Even while eating, he would pause every now and then and mumble lines from the script and if he stumbled across an exciting part, he would dash over to Qi Chang’an, cling to his arm and giggle foolishly and when he’d read the heartbreaking sections, his mood would dip along with it.
Qi Chang’an understood this state all too well, having been in a similar situation himself while filming ‘The Last Hunter’. He had played a sniper who had lost his entire squad on the battlefield, save for himself in ‘The Last Hunter’, and so his emotional swings had been quite intense during that time.
Hence he chose not to disturb Xu Luoyang, only calling him for dinner on time and taking him to bed when it was late.
However it was as if Xu Luoyang had set an alarm in his mind. Because even when he was completely engrossed in the script, he would remind Qi Chang’an to take his medicine on time every day.
On the afternoon of July 6, Xu Luoyang put on a white shirt and black trousers, fastened his tie, then buttoned up the suit of his vest. However looking at his reflection, he still felt a bit nervous. After adjusting his tie for the fourth time, he glanced at Qi Chang’an standing beside him and sighed, “I’m still so nervous.”
Qi Chang’an raised his hand to adjust the collar of his shirt, reassuring him, “Don’t worry, everything will go smoothly.”
Xu Luoyang nodded, looking intently at Qi Chang’an, then a smile appeared in his eyes, “Then Mr. Demon, would you consider giving me a kiss to boost my luck?”
“I can consider it.” Saying this, Qi Chang’an lowered his head and kissed him on the lips, “I’ll be waiting for your good news.”
The moment he got into the car, Zheng Dong, in the driver’s seat, gave Xu Luoyang a once-over and chuckled, “You seem in good spirits.”
The expression on Xu Luoyang’s face looked bitter, “I was so nervous I didn’t even eat enough at lunch!”
“Why are you still as nervous as when you first started after all these years?” Zheng Dong handed him a thermos, “I remember the first time you went for an audition. You couldn’t eat for two meals straight. Then once we reached the place, you suddenly cried that you were hungry and thirsty and I had to go and buy you bread to munch on.”
Reminded of the past, Xu Luoyang suddenly didn’t feel as nervous. Unscrewing the thermos carefully, he took a sip of tea, licked his lips, then asked hesitantly, “Zheng Ge, what if I fail the audition?”
Zheng Dong’s tone was light, “If you fail, then you fail. This opportunity was originally like a pie falling from the sky. If you catch it, then it’s a bonus. If it doesn’t work out, we’ll go home. There’s a whole mess of announcements waiting for you back in our country anyway.” Seeing Xu Luoyang starting to relax, he changed the subject, “Where did you go to have fun these past few days?”
As soon as he mentioned this, Xu Luoyang’s eyes lit up, “After the wrap-up party, Chang’an took me to a forest in E country and we stayed in a treehouse and even hunted pheasants with a steel crossbow! Chang’an said there were too many pheasants there that it’s practically a plague, so the government even encourages hunting. We only roasted two though. But the pheasant legs were really super delicious!”
“….” The joys of the rich that I don’t quite understand.
The car pulled into the hotel parking lot and the two took the elevator to the seventh floor. As the doors of the elevator opened, Zheng Dong stepped out first, whispering, “I’ll wait for you out here.” Actually he was also very nervous, but afraid that it would add to Xu Luoyang’s mental burden, he hid it.
“Okay!” Xu Luoyang adjusted his collar and cuffs for the last time, then leaned in to Zheng Dong, “Zheng Ge, quick, put some pressure on me!”
“The fact that you met with Director Meng, received the script and the opportunity to audition has been kept tightly under wraps, but the press release has already been prepared. We are just waiting for you to secure the role and then we’ll send it all out at once.”
“And then nothing.” In the end Zheng Dong didn’t have the heart to put too much pressure on him, “Alright, alright. Your clothes and hair are all fine, go in!”
The agreed upon time was half-past four in the afternoon and it was right on time as Xu Luoyang knocked on the door three times and it was only after hearing a voice from inside say ‘come in’ that he turned the handle of the door and entered the room.
Stepping into the room, Xu Luoyang scanned the interior layout quickly.
The room was mostly large and empty, with Meng Huazhang and four other people seated at the far end of a long table, all dressed in suits. Xu Luoyang guessed that the screenwriter and the producer were among them.
And across from the long table, oddly enough, was a desk, a fully stuffed bookshelf, a blackboard, and a few other random items. Taken as a whole, it looked like a small study.
Xu Luoyang had a hunch in his mind, but he didn’t move.
“This is an audition we’ve arranged specially for you.” Meng Huazhang’s expression was still gentle, his tie tied meticulously, like a kind gentleman, “but for this audition, we’re not going to have you perform a scene from the script, nor are we going to have you cry or laugh.”
By this point, Xu Luoyang was very composed. He nodded, his face serious as he continued to listen.
“We’ve set a scenario.” Meng Huazhang exchanged a glance with the man next to him with brown hair and jade green eyes then said with a smile, “This here is Professor You’s study. We want to see how Professor You spends his rare leisure time.”
Professor You was the character Xu Luoyang was auditioning for. His full name was You Su, and his field of research was physics.
Xu Luoyang’s mind raced. He knew that ‘how to spend leisure time’ was an open-ended question. It sounded simple, but it was actually far more difficult than crying, laughing, or even acting out a scene from a script. However he relaxed completely as he asked politely, “May I ask, how old is Professor You during this leisure time?”
The one who answered this question was the brown-haired man sitting next to Meng Huazhang, “Forty-two, and he hasn’t yet had the opportunity to go back to the past.”
“Thank you.” Xu Luoyang nodded his thanks, then looked back at the layout of the ‘study’. After less than thirty seconds, he asked again, “May I move things around in here a little?”
Meng Huazhang’s smile deepened, “Of course, feel free.”
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