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CA Chapter 23.1

Translator: Hua


When asking this question, Qu Yanting felt that his IQ had been dragged down by Lu Wen. It is easy to be stained black when one is close to ink1Turning red with cinnabar, turning black with ink. Metaphorically, approaching a good person can make a person better, and approaching a bad person can make a person worse.

 

As a freshman in college, Qu Yanting didn’t really know his classmates from the same department very well. Meanwhile, Ren Shu had already got himself a girlfriend from the dance department. When they broke up at the end of sophomore year, Ren Shu got crazily drunk and hugged the bunk bed ladder: “Yanting! I don’t believe in love anymore!”

   

Qu Yanting corrected his previous remark: “I mean, do you prefer those with high face value or acting skill?”

   

“I like them all.” Ren Shu replied, “It’s best to have both good looks and acting skills.”

  

Qu Yanting skipped this topic. He was tired for the whole night and his brain couldn’t turn fast enough. He really couldn’t guess who Lu Wen was implying. He just gave up the idea. After all, even if he guessed correctly, he was not in the position to interfere. 

   

After taking the last shot, Ren Shu shouted: “Okay, pass!”

   

The light turned on and the room suddenly brightened. When it was over, the staff rushed in to clean up, and the stuntman got up from the upper bunk, creating a mess.

 

Lu Wen was still sitting in the chair and didn’t move.

   

“Xiao Lu?” The cameraman called to him, “The shooting is finished, what’s wrong?”

   

Qu Yan Ting followed the sound to look over. Lu Wen’s back was facing him, his expression couldn’t be seen at all. A trace of a vertebra was slightly raised at the back of his neck, indicating that his head was pressed very low.

   

Lu Wen was deeply affected by this scene as if he was the one experiencing it. From childhood to adulthood, he always missed his mother whom he never met in this way. After another two or three seconds, he raised his hand and wiped his face, left the chair, and pressed his flushed eyes.

   

Qu Yanting guessed it, but pretended not to know. He jokingly asked: “You were asleep just now?”

   

Lu Wen took advantage of this question and got himself out of this embarrassing situation. He pretended to vaguely reply: “Um…I’m too sleepy.”

   

The most chaotic few minutes passed, and the camera crew was almost gone, freeing up some space. Sun Xiaojian squeezed in and waited for Lu Wen to remove his makeup and change his clothes.

 

Moving to the bedside, Lu Wen forgot his grief and asked with all the pretensions, “Change here?”

   

It was too late and it was too troublesome to change in the dressing room or in the RV. So he should just change here and call it a day. Sun Xiaojian, the most annoying and nosy person, said: “They are all old men. What are you ashamed of?”

   

Lu Wen couldn’t stand the challenge and immediately took off his vest: “I’m afraid everyone will see my devil figure and be jealous.”

   

He said so while looking at the wall. Ren Shu was yawning and narrowed his eyes. Qu Yanting grabbed the script and lowered his head to play with his mobile phone. No one paid attention to him at all.

   

Ren Shu finished yawning and said, “if I knew things would go so well, I wouldn’t have let you come and endure with me.”

   

“It’s okay.” Qu Yanting was sending a message to the driver, asking him to wait for him at the alley.

   

Ren Shu was so tired that he took out a cigarette and lit it to relieve his fatigue with nicotine. He hadn’t huffed two mouthfuls, when the stage manager came in and asked: “Director Ren, are you leaving now?”

   

“Nonsense.” Ren Shu asked, “Otherwise I will stay for cleaning?”

   

The stage manager said: “There were five drivers left for tonight, one of them sent teacher Tao off, and hasn’t returned. He took the A2-3 car key…”

   

Ren Shu was supposed to take the A2-3 car. He said speechlessly: “Call him, ask him to come back quickly.”

   

“I can’t get through…” the stage manager said, “He didn’t answer the voice mail either.”

   

When there was more work, the driver and the logistic team couldn’t help but making mistakes. Ren Shu suddenly became angry, and was about to lose his temper while pulling the cigarette; however, Qu Yanting pressed his shoulder in time.

 

Qu Yanting estimated that the other cars had already driven away, and it was not easy to call a car at this time, otherwise the stage manager wouldn’t have come to inform them. He said: “Don’t wait, take your Porsche back.”

   

Ren Shu forgot that he had a car and said, “Then I’ll drop you off first.”

 

Qu Yanting shook his head. It would be day break soon, he should let Ren Shu go back to the hotel to rest. He could wait a little longer and contact the hotel car to come over.

  

Beside the bed, Lu Wen just put on his pants. Sun Xaoijian was helping block the view, but as a result he leapt away all of a sudden. Lu Wen was caught off guard, he said in shock: “Holy shit! I’m naked!”

 

Sun Xiaojian rushed toward the screenwriter and director. After listening for a long time, he caught the perfect opportunity to fawn over, how could he miss it: “Screenwriter Qu, if you don’t mind, let’s take our car back together?”

   

This arrangement was the most convenient. Qu Yanting was too lazy to drag his feet2Be unable to make a decision., and replied: “Okay, let’s go together.”

   

At four o’clock in the morning, it was cold and dark. The set was gradually emptied. The old streets outside the community were as dim as the night, with street lights dotted with a few streaks of yellow.

 

Qu Yanting went back to the lounge to get the documents. After a few minutes of delay, there were very few people after he came out. Turning from the community to the street, and then walking close to the entrance of the alleyway, he found a person poking at the foot of the wall.

   

Lu Wen was here for ten minutes already. Sun Xiaojian got into the car first with his bag while ordering him to wait here, so he could escort Qu Yanting through the alley where robbery could not be carried out.

 

“Wait for me?” Qu Yanting asked.

   

Lu Wen replied, “If I don’t wait for you, am I waiting for a mountain city love encounter?”

   

Qu Yanting couldn’t help admiring Lu Wen’s physical strength. After a day and night of shooting, he still had the strength to bicker. He was tired and walked away silently.

 

Lu Wen fell behind Qu Yanting and stepped into the narrow alley. The surroundings were dark and dull, with a faint breeze. He was used to being served so  he just held his own hands, and did not have the awareness to turn on the flashlight.

   

Qu Yanting didn’t mind, the darkness was even more calming.

 

The sound of footsteps was a little scattered. Lu Wen had long legs and big steps. He caught up with Qu Yanting in a few steps, then slowed down and stepped back, doing so repeatedly.

 

Qu Yanting staggered slightly and said, “Walk in front.”

   

“No.” Lu Wen was afraid that if he was in front, the other party would completely fall behind him, “Leader go ahead, I’ll follow closely behind.”

   

Qu Yanting thought his words were funny and asked: “Am I the leader?”

   

“That’s right.” Lu Wen couldn’t help turning over the old account. “At the beginning, I mistakenly took the leader’s car and was kicked off. Later, the leader actually wants to ride in my car.”

  

Qu Yanting didn’t expect this day would come, so he had to let Lu Wen take his revenge.

   

Continuing to walk forward, almost halfway through, there was a crisp sound in the alley. Qu Yanting’s shoe touched a piece of broken porcelain, which was the broken flower pot blocking the road. He tripped a step, lost his balance, and fell forward.

   

Lu Wen didn’t have time to exclaim, his movements were quicker than his brain. He rushed forward and reached out. He caught Qu Yanting and pulled him backward with a great force.

 

Thud, there was a dull sound.

 

It was too dark, Lu Wen didn’t know where he was holding Qu Yanting. He was not sure if it was Qu Yanting’s shoulder that was knocking on his chest.

 

There was no gap between them, Qu Yanting couldn’t move. Lu Wen was right behind him, with his arm across his waist, holding him.

 

As soon as Lu Wen moved his head, his chin would rub against the hair behind Qu Yanting’s head. He turned his head slightly, the low pitch voice filled Qu Yanting’s ears: “Leader, stand firm?”    

 

Qu Yanting let out a “hm” sound. The arms were pulled away from his waist slowly, Lu Wen stepped back and distanced himself.

   

Lu Wen took out his mobile phone and turned on the flashlight to help Qu Yanting illuminated. At the same time, he leaned down, picked up the debris and threw it into the flower pot, and then single-handedly carried the flower pot and put it by the wall.

  

He said, “Let’s go, be careful.”

   

Qu Yanting said, “Thank you just now.”

   

Lu Wen was only reliable for five minutes. He yawned and said, “You’re welcome. I’m sleepy, let’s go, leader.”

   

The nanny car was parked at the other side of the alley, with two large bags of spare clothes in the back. Sun Xiaojian was in the second row. Lu Wen and Qu Yanting got in the car and sat in the first row side by side.

   

Perhaps they were all tired. The atmosphere on the road was very dull. Qu Yanting closed his eyes and rested while Lu Wen was undoing the earphones wire.

  

Sun Xiaojian was an opportunistic person. When they reached the red light at the intersection, he leaped forward, grabbed the back of the chair and said, “Screenwriter Qu, do you have motion sickness? I have motion sickness medicine.”

   

Qu Yanting didn’t open his eyes: “No need.”

  

Sun Xiaojian asked: “Screenwriter Qu, what do you think of Lu Wen’s performance in the two scenes tonight?”

   

Qu Yanting replied: “Not bad.”

   

“I’m relieved when you say that.” Sun Xiaojian seized the opportunity and began selling melons3王婆卖瓜 (Wang Po selling melon): An idiom refers to businessmen who advertise and boast their own products in order to sell them. , “I don’t know much about acting. From the perspective of an audience, I think Lu Wen’s performance is particularly contagious and it made me wanna cry.”

 

Lu Wen was ashamed and flustered: “Then go cry and stop talking.”

  

Sun Xiaojian ignored him: “In the second scene, Ye Shan looked at the photos quietly. It’s amazing. Silence is better than sound. Screenwriter Qu, I’m not bluffing, our Lu Wen has absolutely unlimited potential.”

   

Qu Yanting recalled the scene. There was no line in that scene because Ye Shan’s guilt and pain had already been shown vividly when he clashed with mother Ye. When looking at the photos of Father Ye by himself, all that occupied him was yearning and tranquility.

   

Lu Wen’s performance in the first scene was “releasing”. In the second scene, he stared at the photo unblinkingly, calm and content, and finally shed a tear quietly, which was “receiving”.

   

Qu Yanting said: “Not only is it handled well, but it is also very sophisticated.”

   

Lu Wen was not an arrogant person. He was a rookie actor with no professional background and inexperience. He didn’t know about releasing or receiving, he just missed his mother. He believed Qu Yanting also understood.

   

Suddenly, he said: “Ye Shan should not be blamed.”

   

Qu Yanting’s eyelashes trembled. He opened his eyes gently.

   

Lu Wen seemed to be talking to himself: “It’s not Ye Shan’s fault. Father Ye died in an accident. No one can predict it. If we track the root cause in this way, my mother was also killed by me.”

   

Qu Yanting said: “This is different.”

   

“Nothing is different.” Lu Wen retorted.

  

Sun Xiaojian was afraid that things would go wrong so he hurriedly interrupted: “The script was written by screenwriter Qu, what are you arguing with him? Be good and keep untying your earphones.”

  

Lu Wen wasn’t arguing, he was just expressing his inner feelings: “I only represent myself. For Ye Shan, I felt very heartbroken for him. If there really is such a person, I hope…”

   

Qu Yanting’s Adam’s apple rolled up: “What?”

  

Lu Wen said: “I hope he doesn’t cry again like he did tonight.”

 

The car was silent in the second half of the journey. It was almost morning when they arrived at the hotel. Lu Wen and Qu Yanting separated in the corridor. It was inappropriate to say “good morning” or “good night”, so they tacitly swipe their room card into the door and said goodbye for the time being.

 

The carnation flower was still on the porch cabinet. Qu Yanting stroked the petals and went back to his bedroom to have a rest.

   

One day and one night passed. On a cloudy morning, the sky was gray-blue.

   

The mobile phone vibrated beside the pillow. The caller ID shows “Screenwriter Qiao”. Qu Yanting abruptly woke up. It was estimated that Professor Wu had an answer. He got out of bed while connecting to the call. Screenwriter Qiao was surprised and said, “You’re picking up so fast today.”

   

Qu Yanting played it cool: “My hand slipped.”

   

He walked into the bathroom while chatting on the phone. He drew the hot water with one hand while unbuttoned and took off his clothes. After the phone conversation, he soaked in hot water and took a bath comfortably.

 

Qu Yanting slept for too long and needed to move his muscles and bones, so he didn’t call the driver today.  He waited until the rush hour passed before taking the subway. The strangers were sparse and distanced so he didn’t feel uncomfortable. Out of the subway station, he walked two blocks before arriving at the set.

   

Group A was shooting on the third floor. Qu Yanting did not go up. He ordered Xiao Zhang to tell Ren Shu that he had something to talk him. After the shooting, he asked Ren Shu to go to 101.

   

After the shooting was finished, Ren Shu went to Qu Yanting immediately without delay. 101 door wasn’t locked and the living room was also unoccupied. Qu Yanting was leisurely watering the flowers on the balcony.

   

“Why did you come here in the middle of the morning today?” Ren Shu walked over, “It’s strange, we don’t have much work today.”

  

Qu Yanting’s words were brief and concise: “I’m looking for you.”

   

Ren Shu was confused. Standing beside Qu Yanting, the two big men were facing a pot of malnourished flowers. He flicked the petals: “If you have anything, just tell me.”

  

Qu Yanting didn’t like to beat around the bush, and directly said: “The Vision Association will hold a seminar in Beijing in two days.”

   

Ren Shu knew and understood that Qu Yanting wouldn’t tell him this for no reason, so he waited for the following.

   

Qu Yanting pinched a withered leaf and said: “Professor Wu from the production center will attend. Don’t you want to see him?”

   

Production Center, the full name was CCTV (China Central Television) and China TV Drama Production Center. Professor Wu was the deputy director. When they were in college, Professor Wu was the associate dean, and a doctoral supervisor of feature film photography in the Department of Photography, and an idol that Ren Shu had always admired.

   

“Buddy,” Ren Shu had always wanted to see him, but he couldn’t grab the chance. He asked a little excitedly, “What do you mean?”

   

Qu Yanting kept him in suspense, saying: “Our studio has a TV series that participated in this seminar, and will send screenwriter Qiao to attend. At the end of the seminar, there will be a dinner or a tea party and Professor Wu will be invited.”

   

He pinched a small handful of dead leaves and flowers, carefully gathered it in his palm, and lowered his voice: “If you want, you can go back to Beijing. I will ask screenwriter Qiao to make arrangements. Then you will go to see Professor Wu with her.”

   

Ren Shu stared at Qu Yanting, with bright eyes and glowing sparks.

   

Qu Yanting belatedly cracked a joke: “Look into the mirror, you look like Nezha4In Chinese mythology, Nezha (哪吒) is a precocious teenage deity who serves as a patron saint of young adults. After gestating in his mother’s womb for three years and six months, Nezha was born with superhuman strength and the ability to speak. His Chinese myth is based off of the Hindu god, Nalakuvara. Read more. about to transform.”

  

Ren Shu allowed himself to be ridiculed, and said: “Why are you so generous?”

   

They didn’t have much contact over the years, and only reunited for this drama. While chatting late at night during the preparatory stage, he mentioned that he wanted to see Professor Wu, but he never thought that Qu Yanting would remember it all the time.

 

Qu Yanting said: “I went to a university with financial support, and our major burnt money. In those years, you bought the wrong clothes and filled out the wrong meal card from time to time. Every time I went to your house, you let me eat and take things back. I at least have some conscience, there is no reason not to repay the kindness of others”

   

Eating hot pot that night, Ren Shu didn’t mention a word about the past. The desolate state of the young man resembled an old scar on his self-esteem. He couldn’t bear to open it up: “We helped each other. What kindness? Are you trying to humiliate me?”

   

“Don’t say anything superfluous.” Qu Yanting changed the topic, “when it’s time to book a ticket, book it quickly and arrange the work of the crew.”

   

He was so excited just now that Ren Shu almost forgot that he was the director. He was in a dilemma: “I have to go back and forth for a day or two, all the crew members…..”

   

Qu Yanting said: “Allocate the staff of the director team.”

   

Ren Shu said “Hm” and stared at the window. Four or five seconds later, he took out the shooting notice from his arms and smiled very faintly.

   

“It is simple to arrange manpower, the key point is to have a decision maker and gatekeeper.”

   

“Whoever you find suitable, just–“

   

“Don’t toss over the responsibility.” Ren Shu interrupted, handing over the crumpled notice, “I think you are quite suitable.”

   

It was Qu Yanting’s turn to be surprised. His gaze fell on the paper, and refused to move away. His sight stuck on the black words written on the white paper. After a long time, he replied: “Don’t be kidding, I’m a screenwriter.”

   

Ren Shu said: “You are the best student in the Directing Department.”

   

Qu Yanting said: “Studying is not the same as working. Maybe it was just empty talk on paper.”

   

“I think you are belittling yourself.” Ren Shu put the notice on the window sill, “Besides, you have been following director Zeng for years, your level must have been advanced.”

   

Qu Yanting swallowed a mouthful of air and pressed his lips together.

 

Ren Shu said: “Just agree. This is the drama you wrote, and the money you invested, isn’t it natural for me to give you the responsibility? When you observe the filmg, you seldom express your opinions to ensure my greatest power as a director. I know it all, just listen to my arrangements this time.”

   

Qu Yanting slightly hesitated. There seemed to be some elusive enthusiasm in his eyes.

   

“Okay… I’ll try it.”

   

Qu Yanting agreed, and reached out for the notice, only to realize he had been unknowingly clenching his fist. He released his hand, the thin sweat from his palm moistened the withered flowers and leaves, as if it was another spring.

   

Today, they were going to review a sample film. Ren Shu asked: “Do you want to take a look at it together?”

   

Qu Yanting came here with a specific purpose and would return to the hotel later. He will have a conference call with the studio in the afternoon.

   

Seeing this, Ren Shu requisitioned this lounge, and sent a message to the assistant to inform all the directors, cameramen and male lead of Group A to come to this room to gather for film review.

   

The male lead received the news and ran down from the third unit, carrying a pastry box in his hand. He received so much praise last night that he would feel uncomfortable if he didn’t burn the bag5Derogatory term which means spending money recklessly. and treat others.

   

The box that Lu Wen carried was for Qu Yanting. The other party didn’t come in the morning, and it became cold. Now that he went to the screenwriter’s lounge, he brought it in the passing.

 

Halfway down the road, he saw the screenwriter himself heading out.

   

Qu Yanting took the director’s filming notice and read it as he walked past an old telephone pole, casting a shadow in front of him. He looked up only to see Lu Wen blocking the way like a daylight robbery.

 

“Where are you going?”

   

“Back to the hotel.”

   

“What time do you go back?”

   

Qu Yanting felt strange, wherever he went, he still had to report to this person?

   

Lu Wen also realized that he was a bit intrusive. He giggled foolishly and handed over the pastry box: “I treat the whole crew to breakfast, your share, pineapple buns and puffs.”

   

After no less than three times, Qu Yanting said: “Your salary is not enough to treat others.”

 

“I’m happy to.” Lu Wen shook the box, “Do you want to eat or not?”

   

Qu Yanting did not answer: “I have already eaten, you can save it as a snack.”

   

Lu Wen didn’t force him, and withdrew his hand. When Qu Yanting passed him by, he looked back at the back of the other person. He never asked, is his salary really higher than Ruan Feng?

   

If yes, why did Qu Yanting lie to him that day?


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  • 1
    Turning red with cinnabar, turning black with ink. Metaphorically, approaching a good person can make a person better, and approaching a bad person can make a person worse.
  • 2
    Be unable to make a decision.
  • 3
    王婆卖瓜 (Wang Po selling melon): An idiom refers to businessmen who advertise and boast their own products in order to sell them. 
  • 4
    In Chinese mythology, Nezha (哪吒) is a precocious teenage deity who serves as a patron saint of young adults. After gestating in his mother’s womb for three years and six months, Nezha was born with superhuman strength and the ability to speak. His Chinese myth is based off of the Hindu god, Nalakuvara. Read more.
  • 5
    Derogatory term which means spending money recklessly.
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