“Boss, your phone rang.”
Qu Yanting sat in the passenger seat. The sunlight made the color of his Italian linen shirt turn into cream. The sleeves were folded in half and a piece of brown watch was worn on the exposed wrist.
With a slight tile of his head, Qu Yanting’s face was reflected on the outside rearview mirror. He had a light complexion. His slightly long hair was combed back with hairspray, showing the clean forehead and the exposed neat eyebrows. A pair of square sunglasses were placed on the bridge of his nose. Half of his face was hidden behind the lenses, obscuring his expression.
The phone kept on ringing. Yu Nan, the driving assistant, reminded again: “Boss, won’t you pick it up?”
Qu Yanting finally reacted. He raised his hand and held the ringing phone between his fingers. The caller ID showed the name “Ren Shu”. Qu Yanting’s thumb stopped on the screen. After three or four seconds, he swiped the receive button.
Yu Nan sighed silently, saying in his heart: This is really struggling.
As soon as it was connected, Ren Shu’s voice came through the phone. He sounded like an old man in a good mood: “Hello? Yan Ting, it’s me. Have you set off yet?”
Qu Yanting’s back left the seat. His other hand was released from the empty grip and rested on his thigh. He rubbed the wrinkles on his trousers back and forth. Glancing at the road sign outside the window, he replied: “We are almost at the airport.”
Ren Shu said happily, “Yes, I will send a car to pick you up at the airport. Do you want to go directly to the hotel or come to the crew first?”
Qu Yanting asked, “Where are you?”
Ren Shu replied: “I am at the shooting location today. If you come to the set today I’ll finish work ahead of time and wait for you.”
Qu Yanting said: “Don’t delay your work, I’ll go to the hotel.”
“Alright, you go back to the hotel to rest. Let’s meet at night.” Ren Shu calculated the time, “Let’s eat hot pot at night, I’ll book the seat in advance.”
After a few words, Qu Yanting’s straight back slowly relaxed, and he leaned back on the seat. His tone was also relaxed: “Okay, I’ll wait for you to finish work and see you in the evening.”
The car drove into the road in front of the airport terminal, pulled over and the engine was turned off.
After hanging up the call, Qu Yanting unfastened his seat belt and said: “Later notify the hotel that you book to fill the refrigerator with black coffee, canned coffee is fine.”
Yu Nan had been following Qu Yanting for seven years. He had been an assistant since the establishment of Qu Yanting’s “Zhi Shang Yan Yun” studio. He knew all of Qu Yanting’s habits and said: “I have already notified them. Boss, you should take a break and don’t stay up too late.”
Qu Yanting turned a deaf ear to what Yu Nan said. He was wondering whether it was the off-season or the peak season of tourism recently. There were not many tourists, he didn’t like running into many people in the hotel.
“The room number is 6206. There are not many rooms on the top floor of the hotel, so don’t worry.” Yu Nan took the initiative to answer, “I don’t know how long you will stay here so I booked it for a week.”
Qu Yanting was also not sure because the duration of the project depended on the progress. He threw his house key on the center console and said, “Help me feed the cat and water the flowers. The house may be a bit messy.”
After years of being an assistant, the number of times Yu Nan visited Qu Yanting’s residence was quite limited, unless Qu Yanting had a long business trip. He picked up the key and said: “Then I will help you clean up the place.”
“No.” Qu Yanting was not polite, “I prefer it being messy.”
Yu Nan awkwardly nodded his head. His phone received an email which contained instructions for the maintenance of more than ten plants and precautions for feeding cats.
“Have you received the email?” Qu Yanting put his mobile phone down, “Old rules, send emails when something happens, send less messages, and call me if there is an urgent matter.”
Yu Nan was familiar with Qu Yanting’s habits, but still can’t help but complain. When I’m calling you with urgent matter1[T/n: 燃眉之急: As urgent as a fire singeing one’s eyebrows. Metaphor for urgent matters. That’s why Yu Nan said he would be severely burned.], I think I would have been severely burned before you picked up.
Qu Yanting glanced at his watch. It was time to go. At last he finally ordered: “Choose a gift for group leader Zhang, and the budget should not exceed a hundred thousand. He knows what it means.”
Yu Nan assured: “I remembered. Don’t worry, boss.”
Qu Yanting went into the airport. The suitcase was checked in. He only carried a black Phantom bag from H brand. The bag contained the manuscripts he wanted to read during the flight.
After the security check, there was no time to wait for the plane, he was almost the last passenger to log into the cabin.
Qu Yanting likes the process of flying. He can justly turn off his mobile phone in broad daylight without worrying about receiving text messages or calls suddenly. The moment the screen went dark made him feel relieved and relaxed.
The plane moved slowly before taking off.
The city was condensed into an integrated circuit and was buried by the surrounding cloud.
In the quiet first-class cabin, some people were reading and some were listening to music. Qu Yanting was reading a manuscript intently, with a pen between his fingers, making notes and revisions from time to time.
Everyone did their own things, and no one noticed that there was a star sitting in a closed cabin at this moment.
The flight attendant walked around and didn’t notice.
At the position by the window, Lu Wen tilted his head up and dozed off. The script covering his face gradually tilted and slid down to the right side of his face onto his shoulder.
Lu Wen’s agent sat next door. He had a short buzz cut with black-rimmed glasses. His whole body was covered with expensive Nike. He crossed the partition and picked up the script, rolled it into a tube and knocked on Lu Wen’s shoulder.
Lu Wen opened his eyes sharply and straightened his neck.
He didn’t have sunglasses, a mask, or make-up, and his face was cleanly exposed—wheat-colored skin, prominent brow bones, high nose bridge, smooth and three-dimensional contours, full of masculinity. However his eyes ruined this masculinity. The corner of his eyes were smooth and not sharp, and the silkworms(aegyo sal) lying underneath the eyes were full, adding a bit of innocent childishness to this face full of male hormones.
Not long ago, he finished a historical drama. His sideburns were torn by the hair cover and turned red like a small wound. Those who didn’t know him would have thought he was in a fight.
Sun Xiaojian said: “We are joining the production group in the afternoon, but you can still sleep.”
Lu Wen rubbed his eyes: “I was in the production group and not in jail. Why can’t I fall asleep?”
Sun Xiaojian leaned over the partition and whispered: “How can it be the same as before? This time you are the number one male lead. Compare it to prison, you should be a major criminal.”
Lu Wen also leaned over, grabbing the partition and facing Sun Xiaojian with a joy in his eyebrows: “That’s why I’m sleepy. I was so excited that I didn’t sleep for most of the night.”
At this time, the stewardess passed by and gently reminded him: “Sir, please sit down.”
In the entertainment circle, the first tier was the big shot, the second tier was also very beautiful; the third tier was low in value, but they could be regarded as having some presence in the circle; the fourth tier was low-key and hard to get popular. Even if the five-six-seven tier was far behind, they could still pick up a group of fans. As for the eighteenth tier, it would be best to buy fans to maintain your dignity.
Eighteenth tier was the kind of actors that you failed to recognize even if you saw them face to face.
As an eighteenth tier young actor, Lu Wen has appeared in four or five TV series, each of which was a small supporting role of male No. 5 or later. He finished his scene before the audience could even remember his face.
After joining the industry for a year and a half, he had no fans, no team to swarm, and only Sun Xiaojian, a rookie agent with zero experience and no connections, served as his agent and assistant.
However, Sun Xiaojian was a very dedicated agent, just like the accompanying parents of senior high school students. Most importantly, he was full of hope for Lu Wen and firmly believed that Lu Wen would one day become a big hit and become a dazzling star in the entertainment industry.
After three hours of flying, the plane hovered to the southwest and landed slowly in the mountain city of Chongqing.
Passengers disembarked one after another, and Lu Wen stood up, standing out from the crowd with a height of 1.88 meters.
He unfolded a long windbreaker and put it on. If it was Sun Xiaojun who wore it, it could only mop the floor. He wore a simple T-shirt with Chinos pants and a pair of canvas shoes.
After getting off the plane, Lu Wen strode forward with his long legs, and left Sun Xiaojian far behind. Walking straight to the terminal building, he stopped and stood in the midst of the hustle and bustle of people.
Sun Xiaojian caught up and said, “I just contacted the drama crew. He said that there was a car to pick us up and he would immediately send me the license plate number.”
This was the normal state of the Eighteenth tier actor. At Jiangbei Airport, the top ranked airport in the country, there were no fans chasing, no passersby asking for a group photo, no airport fashion photos, and even no crew reception in advance, and they had to be hung up for a while.
Lu Wen couldn’t help himself, and said: “Then go out and wait, anyway, the crew’s car has a logo, so it’s easy to find.”
There were a lot of cars parked outside, and the two strolled along the white line one after the other. According to past experience, eighty percent of them were nanny cars. When they had been in a poor crew, they had also sat in a microvan.
Lu Wen scanned a row of cars, his gaze reached the one in front and stopped suddenly.
Sun Xiaojian poked his head out from behind and followed Lu Wen’s sight. After seeing clearly, he pushed his glasses in disbelief: “…Damn.”
A 90% new Porsche Cayenne had just been cleaned and maintained. With the faint light, the window of the car shone brighter than a mirror. In the driver’s seat, the driver dage even wore a suit and tie.
Lu Wen had been in many filming crews. This kind of treatment was the first time for him. He said with a lack of confidence, “Is it a mistake?”
Sun Xiaojian pointed his chin to the windshield, and there was a sign on the lower left corner inside. Printed on: “The First Night” crew, A1.
In order to facilitate the overall planning, each car in the crew would be affixed with a number, and A1 belonged to the highest grade. There was nothing wrong with black and white words. Lu Wen’s confidence increased a little. He joked: “I became famous after three hours on the plane?”
Sun Xiaojian was used to saying nice words, he said: “You can’t sit in that car if you are not famous? It’s not like you play a small role this time.”
Lu Wen gave a sunny smile and nodded his head: “Yes, I am the male number one this time. I am the center of the whole show. The lead should have the status of the lead.”
Sun Xiaojian stepped forward with a wink and pulled the car door. The bottom was covered with brand-new carpets. The leather interior was exquisite and beautiful, and each seat had Shu embroidered pillows. As you got closer, you could smell a faint fragrance.
Lu Wen shook off the windbreaker handsomely, raised his leg into the car, and sat down on the seat in one breath.
The driver was taken aback. He turned his body halfway and looked at Lu Wen and Sun Xiaojian who suddenly appeared in surprise. He looked at them for four or five seconds.
Lu Wen stretched out his hand, snapped his fingers in the air, and said, “Shifu2[T/n: 师傅. Polite form of address for skill workers.], I’m that handsome?”
The driver recovered his senses and hesitated to say hello: “You3[T/n: 您. Polite form of the word you. Used to address someone with higher status.]…to the crew?”
“Yes, we just got off the plane.” “Said Sun Xiaojian, “Don’t be stunned, help us put away the luggage.”
The driver got out of the car to help and looked at them while lifting the luggage. He couldn’t help but confirm again: “Are you going to the crew of “The First Night”?”
“What could be wrong?” Sun Xiaojian said, “The drama crew is not very reliable. You are here, but the license plate number is not given early. Fortunately, this car is conspicuous.”
Lu Wen felt thirsty. He twisted the screw of a Paris water bottle prepared in the car and handed Sun Xiaojian a coke. He took a sip and asked, “Shifu, how long will it take to get to the crew?”
The driver replied, “It’s around…an hour and a half.”
Lu Wen frowned, feeling that the driver was very muddled and hesitated in every sentence. He has an old and a young driver in his family, and he had always adhered to three principles: accurate answering, fast action, and steady driving.
After a while, he said: “OK, then get going.”
The driver didn’t take action but looked at the terminal building and finally asked, puzzled: “Director Liu went to pick you up, you did not see him?”
Outside the airport, a well-dressed middle-aged man waited for a long time. His surname was Liu. He was the production director of the crew of “First Night”.
The VIP aisle tended to be deserted. Qu Yanting was the last person to board the plane before taking off, and almost the last person to exit the cabin after landing. He knew that someone was waiting for him, but the closer he got to the exit, the more uncontrollable his pace slowed down.
Director Liu had sharp eyes and he noticed Qu Yanting’s figure instantly. He waved his hand and enthusiastically shouted, “Mr. Qu, we haven’t seen each other for a long time!”
When Qu Yanting heard the sound, his hand clenched tightly as he pulled the suitcase. As he approached, he shook his hand with the Director Liu and said “It’s been a long time. I didn’t expect you to drive all the way here to pick me up. Where is the car?”
Director Liu smiled, “The car is just outside. I will take you to the hotel to rest first.”
- 1[T/n: 燃眉之急: As urgent as a fire singeing one’s eyebrows. Metaphor for urgent matters. That’s why Yu Nan said he would be severely burned.]
- 2[T/n: 师傅. Polite form of address for skill workers.]
- 3[T/n: 您. Polite form of the word you. Used to address someone with higher status.]