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CA Chapter 23.2

Translator: Hua

Lu Wen kicked a pebble and headed to Unit 101.


Seven or eight big men squeezed into 101’s living room, the sofa was full. Lu Wen had the lowest status, so he consciously moved a small folding stool to sit next to them. He opened the pastry box and took out the crispy pineapple bun1 for himself.


Ren Shu said: “The work isn’t done yet, and you have already started eating.”


Lu Wen murmured: “I like to eat something while watching a movie.”


The deputy director was adjusting the film, and he was happy when he heard the words: “What watching a movie? We are reviewing the work sample.”


The sample film was transferred and connected to the TV. It was the content shot on the night before. Ye Shan and mother Ye clashed, their emotions broke out. After that, Ye Shan woke up from a dream and looked at father Ye’s photo.


There was no background music nor editing. The unprocessed sample was not as perfect as the finished film, but there was a kind of surveillance video-like reality, raw and natural.


Lu Wen gradually forgot to bite the bread and stared at the screen intently. After the two sample films were played the first time, the deputy director accidentally pressed the wrong button and started to play a scene filmed earlier.


It was the first time that Ye Shan was filmed at night—the solo scene of Ye Shan under the vine.


Under the grapevine in the middle of the night, Ye Shan sat there alone, with his face resting on his arms, quietly lying on the edge of the table. The glare from the light bulb struck down, highlighting his brow bone and nose bridge, while the sadness in his eyes was hidden in the dark.


Lu Wen was stunned.


Frame after frame, it was him. But in a trance, he saw another person.


Dai Fu of the photography team said: “The lighting in this scene is very good. It didn’t spoil the actor’s performance.”


“En, Xiao Lu did a good job.” Seeing that Lu Wen didn’t respond, Ren Shu snapped his fingers, “Xiao Lu, what are you thinking about?”


Lu Wen returned to his senses: “It’s nothing…I got distracted.”


The deputy director said with a smile: “You don’t concentrate on work, just like Ye Xiaowu, but you played the role of Ye Shan very well.”


Ren Shu felt the same way, but didn’t dare to take credit for it: “At first, he wasn’t doing well, so I scolded him. But Screenwriter Qu used a different method. He had a talk with Xiao Lu about the drama, allowing him to grasp Ye Shan’s feeling at once.”


Lu Wen was stunned: “Director, what do you mean?” 


“You forgot about it?” Ren Shu replied, “In the 14th scene, you played Ye Shan’s first scene. Several shots were taken that day. Didn’t screenwriter Qu call you to his office?”


Lu Wen murmured: “But he…”


“What did he teach you? Did he beat you?” Ren Shu said, “Screenwriter Qu wanted to give the little actor a lesson, but he still has to do it secretly in his office to save some face for the other party. He was teaching you how to act in the drama and let you experience the emotions of the role, do you understand?”


Lu Wen’s eyes were blank, with his hand clutching a handful of bread crumbs.


Qu Yanting lied to him about Raun Feng’s high remuneration, was it intentional?


Qu Yanting attacked him, humiliated him, suppressed him with his status, were all for the sake of teaching him how to act in this drama?


So… Qu Yanting didn’t look down on him at all?


The suffocating feeling that had been bottled up for a long time in his stomach rushed up, desperately needing some release. Lu Wen stood up abruptly and yelled at Ren Shu: “Why didn’t you say so earlier!”


Just after two days of comfort, Lu Wen had another knot in his heart again.


Since learning about that drama teaching, his mood had become complicated. He wanted to say something to Qu Yanting. Although he wasn’t good at organizing his speech, at least he had to say “thank you”.


However, Qu Yan Ting was too busy handing over the work with Ren Shu to pay any attention to him.


Two days later, Ren Shu went to Beijing, and Qu Yanting took full responsibility for the work.


At five o’clock in the morning, in a private hospital in the city.


Lu Wen got out of the RV, dressed in a hospital gown with makeup. His face was bruised with coagulated blood. There was a thick layer of blood scab on his brow bone, and a realistic fatal wound on his forehead.


When the elevator opened to the eighth floor of the Department of Health Care, the door was opened to a busy and orderly environment.


Next to the beverage vending machine, the mechanical team just took a breath; a dozen or so of group performers were sitting in the rest area, there were doctors and nurses; other actors were waiting in the corridor, Tao Meifan, Ruan Feng, Xianqi, and all the neighbors were there.


Lu Wen passed everyone to the door of the ward. Through the square glass inlaid in the door, he saw the people in the room, and then he caught the one he had been concerned about for the past two days.


Using the phrase “concern about” was a bit clingy, but with his language level, he couldn’t find a more appropriate word.


Lu Wen knocked on the door and got permission to push the door in.


The ward was light-colored. Qu Yanting was standing at the overbed table at the end of the bed, writing something with his back straight. He was wearing the oatmeal-colored linen shirt he wore the day he arrived in Chongqing.


He replaced Ren Shu’s responsibilities and implemented them in shooting, from the composition of the shot to the scheduling of the scene, and then to the space creation, all of which required him to check.


The silhouette outlined by the afterglow was too tall, Qu Yanting tilted his eyes and was met with Lu Wen’s miserable appearance.


The executive director named Kang Daning said: “Let’s go over the camera alignment test.”


Qu Yanting retracted his gaze: “Put the soft light screen on the No. 1 lens, and then turn on the low-hanging mode.”


Lu Wen took off his shoes and went to bed, lay flat and closed his eyes. He heard footsteps from each place, the door opened, and other actors came in one after another.


The scents in the room were chaotic and confusing. There was perfume of actors and actresses, floral scents, juniper leather scents, and the smell of disinfectant in the ward itself.


Suddenly, a scent intruded his nostril and breath, it was clean and refreshing like the smell of aftershave. Lu Wen opened his eyes. Qu Yanting came to the bedside and took the worktable on the bedside desk


He blankly looked at the other party for a long time before hesitatingly called, “Teacher Qu”.


Qu Yanting looked at him from above and had no time to say hello. He pinched the corner of the quilt and covered Lu Wen’s head, saying “Don’t move” through a layer of cotton cloth.


Lu Wen’s voice was dull: “What if I can’t help it?”


His head felt some pain, Qu Yanting knocked him with his book to scare him. The valium shot was ready, and he was prepared be injected at any time.


A few hours passed quickly as they went through the scenes, shooting, and acting the script scene by scene.


Lu Wen had been lying on the bed, almost falling asleep in the middle. At lunch time, everyone was headed out, while he dawdled at the side of the monitor in the corner. Qu Yanting packed his things behind the table, but hadn’t left yet.


The log keeper opened the window to ventilate, and a burst of coolness poured in, blowing off the list on the table.


Lu Wen picked it up first and handed it over. Qu Yanting took it, and said to him: “Hurry up and remove your makeup, the paint could hurt the skin.”


Before Lu Wen could reply, Qu Yanting had a dry cough. He had been directing the filming all morning without drinking water. He gathered his things and walked out, covering his lips with the script.


Lu Wen followed him out of the ward and shouted, “Teacher Qu–“


But Qu Yanting called the log keeper, and said in a hoarse voice, “Ask the photography team to gather in the garden. I will go down immediately and take advantage of the small number of people at noon to shoot a set of scenery shots.”


After he finished speaking, he went to take the elevator. Lu Wen caught up and asked, “Teacher Qu, when are you free?”


Qu Yanting said: “You need something?”


Lu Wen solemnly said: “I have something to tell you.”


Qu Yanting didn’t understand why this young man was so pestering. He looked at his watch and estimated the time: “After the shooting finishes at about 1:30pm, you can find me by the lake.”


At the rear garden of the rehabilitation department, there was a semi-circular corridor, a pool of lake water, lush camphor trees, and a large lawn covering the central square. With dual camera position, A camera as the lead, B camera as the assist, they first test shot to see the effect.


Qu Yanting reviewed the shot again. Judging by the color scale, the connection between light and shading had an intense momentum: “The sky is too overcast, adjust the EI(Exposure Index) higher. Brother Duan, Isn’t the frequency a little low for that run through shot in No.3?””


This question was to save him some face. Duan Meng, the operator, immediately said: “It’s less than 6%, it’s really low.”


Qu Yanting said: “Control it at 8-9%, and keep this frequency when you cut the rendering shots.”


Duan Meng hurriedly agreed. Qu Yanting had a gentle appearance, but his working style was sharp and decisive without a word of nonsense. After the adjustments were correct, they started the official shooting.


On the RV, Lu Wen was eating a lunch box after removing his makeup.


Sun Xiaojian came back from buying fruit, carrying a plastic bag, and took out two big yellow and red persimmons from it. It was sold by an uncle at the entrance of the hospital, and it was completely ripe.


He washed and dried the persimmons, then put them on the plate. Lu Wen touched it, the skin was thin, juicy, and soft, about the size of his palm.


Sun Xiaojian said: “My mother buys a box every year.”


Lu Wen said: “No wonder you have a waxy face.”


“Nonsense.” Sun Xiaojian pulled up a baseless popular science, “The north is dry, we eat persimmons to moisten the lungs and relieve coughs.”


Lu Wen remembered seeing Qu Yanting cough. When he finished eating, the time was almost up. He was going to the lake for their appointment, and along the way, he brought a big clean persimmon.


There were few people at noon. Lu Wen held a persimmon all the way, walked up to the rear garden, bypassed the corridor, and crossed the central square. There were almost no people in the rear garden as the photography team went to eat after the filming.


He approached the lake from a path on the lawn, surrounded by camphor trees. Five or six meters away from the lake, Qu Yanting sat alone on a double bench under the most flourishing camphor tree.


Lu Wen didn’t know how long the other party had been waiting, so he hurriedly stepped forward.


Suddenly, a person appeared by the lake, it was Ruan Feng.


Ruan Feng ran over first, with a “thud”, he took the seat on the bench next to Qu Yanting. Everything happened too suddenly, Lu Wen paused his steps, staring at Cheng Yaojin2“Cheng Yaojin shows up suddenly along the way” (Chinese: 半路殺出個程咬金): Used to describe a situation where someone shows up unexpectedly and disrupts a plan. It is also used to describe an unwelcome busybody who shows up where he/she is not wanted. who had come out halfway.


Qu Yanting was taken aback: “Why are you here?”


“Are you surprised?” Ruan Feng smiled, putting his arm on the back of the bench, and pressed Qu Yanting’s shoulder, “You must be tired today, I’ll give you a massage.”


Lu Wend stayed on the spot, watching Ruan Feng “embracing” Qu Yanting’s back, and retracting his steps.  His mind couldn’t remember too many things, and he almost forgot the relationship between Qu Yanting and Ruan Feng.


That’s right, he was just here to thank him, how could he compare with their love affair?


Perhaps, Qu Yanting had made an appointment with Ruan Feng, but just took a few minutes to see him.


Who told him to be late?


Lu Wen looked down at the persimmon in his hand that was covered with warmth. He didn’t know if it could really relieve the cough. He didn’t say a word, didn’t show up, and turned away sensibly.


Qu Yanting looked around and found no one else, but it was a public place after all, so he let Ruan Feng sit down. Ruan Feng retracted his hand: “I slept at noon. I looked around for a long time before I found you.”


Qu Yanting asked: “What for?”


Ruan Feng said: “I don’t think you’ve eaten. The lunch box is braised fish, I know you don’t eat it.”


Qu Yanting had already eaten. Since that time, Xiao Zhang had ordered a meal for him alone. Ruan Feng was relieved: “Director Ren let you shoulder the responsibility. Although it’s only a few days, it is tiring enough. Others don’t feel distressed for you, but I do.”


Qu Yanting looked back and thought of another big pestering young man.


Ruan Feng said strangely: “What are you looking at, is anyone coming over?”


Qu Yanting avoided answering: “You came to chat?”


Ruan Feng was here to ask. He previously agreed to invite Group B to dinner today. It happened that Qu Yanting was shooting with Group B in the afternoon. He wanted to ask if Qu Yanting would join them.


Qu Yanting didn’t even think about it, and immediately refused. It was annoying for him to be around too many people, especially in gatherings and social occasions.


Ruan Feng said: “But there are also many people on the set.”


“It’s not the same, it’s work.” Qu Yanting gently stroked the worktable with a calm expression. For him, this substitute job was far more enjoyable. He didn’t feel like he was suffering at all.


Ruan Feng couldn’t do anything about it: “Well then, should I come find you tonight?”


Qu Yanting knew that this kind of dinner party wouldn’t end until early morning. He didn’t have the energy to wait so late, so he refused.


Ruan Feng was obedient, and whatever Qu Yanting said was what he said.  It was inconvenient to stay for too long. He had to go back to the RV. Before leaving, he said: “If someone doesn’t listen to you and is making trouble, tell me, I’ll help you clean them up.”


Qu Yanting disdainfully said: “Don’t pretend to be aggressive. Remember every time you were bullied as  a child, you would come back home crying?”


Ruan Feng blushed: “I won’t talk to you anymore, I’m leaving!”


There was some gentle breeze by the lake, and it was a bit cold. Qu Yanting endured it, fearing that if he left to take a coat, someone who was late might come and find that there was no one here.


He leaned on the armrest of the bench, feeling very tired. He had been in contact with too many people today, all the nerves were tightly twisted and pulled. It needed to be relaxed one by one, just like the ripples on the surface of the lake.


The minute hand moved more than half a circle on the dial, and the ducks had already drunk enough water by the lakeside.


Qu Yanting sat until half past two, it was almost time to start work, waiting any longer would delay the shooting. He walked back along the lake, feeling angry and funny. He didn’t expect that he would be stood up by the little actor.


The shooting in the afternoon wasn’t heavy. The crew had an agreement with the hospital, the shooting must end before seven o’clock. Lu Wen was in Group A, and Qu Yanting changed to Group B. The two did not see each other all afternoon.


After finishing work in the evening, on the way back to the hotel, Lu Wen leaned on the car window and said nothing, with the brim of his hat covering his eyes.


Sun Xiaojian was full of doubts. After eating at noon, he didn’t sleep. He ran out and swayed around. After a lap, he came back with a stinky face3. He didn’t understand what happened to Lu Wen.


“Where did you go at noon?”


“The lake.”


There was a small forest next to the lake, Sun Xiaojian felt an unusual intuition: “Why are you going to the lake? you’re meeting someone?”


Lu Wen’s face became even more stinky: “I had an appointment with the little duck, I went there to swim!”


Sun Xiaojian became more and more curious: “What happened?”


Lu Wen snorted: “I shouldn’t have gone.”


“Who knows why you go there, holding a persimmon like a fool.” Sun Xiaojian was unable to dig out gossip, and changed to sharing gossip. “I heard that Ruan Feng invited Group B to dinner tonight.”


Lu Wen looked up suddenly, and shouted at the driver: “Turn around, I’ll invite Group A to Jiangbeizui4One of Chongqing CBD district with highrise buildings. International Financial Center!”


Sun Xiaojian didn’t understand why he was suddenly struggling to compete, and punched him: “Fuck you, it’s time to shoot the highlight of the whole drama. Go back and read the script obediently.”


Speaking of the script, he thought of the screenwriter.


Lu Wen snapped off his baseball cap: “Look at a fart, let’s go to Zhazidong cave5One of Chongqing dark tourism spot. It was a Chinese concentration camp that opened in 1943 and were used by the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO) to gather intelligence about the Empire of Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War..”


“What the hell are you on about?” Sun Xiaojian resisted the swear word. “I think your great uncle6A Chinese internet slang refers to male “menstrual cycle”, when they experience emotional ups and downs. is here. You’re energetic and restless. You went swimming in the lake at noon, right? You didn’t have a good swim? OK, go back to the hotel to make up for it, swim 20 laps and go back to your room to sleep.”


Lu Wen didn’t see Qu Yanting in the afternoon. The other party was with Group B. At this time, Ruan Feng had invited everyone to a dinner party, and the two of them must have secretly cast flirtatious glances in front of everyone.


He said: “I will swim fifty laps.”


Back at the hotel, Lu Wen packed up and went to the pool on the 54th floor.


Enter the minimalist style porch, the left side led to a bar, and the right corridor led to the dressing room and powder room. Lu Wen turned right and was stopped by the waiter.


“Sir, I’m sorry, the swimming pool is not open to the public tonight, you can go to the bar to relax. “


Lu Wen asked: “Why?”


The waiter: “A guest made a reservation in the afternoon. He booked it until eleven o’clock tonight. I am very sorry for the inconvenience.”    

Why is everything going wrong today? Lu Wen asked casually: “They’re having a party?”


The waiter: “No, that guest is just swimming.”


Lu Wen was shocked: “Is it necessary to book a swimming pool alone?!”


The waiter looked embarrassed.


“This pool is hundreds of square meters. Does he have to occupy it all by himself?” Lu Wen ridiculed, “Isn’t it lonely? Isn’t it boring?”


While he was talking, a familiar figure flashed out of the locker room.


Qu Yanting walked out, wearing a calf-long silk bathrobe. Its cyan color glowed under the wall lamp, the neckline was slightly open, and his collarbone was ajar. The strap tightened around a thin waist, making the body more slender and tall.


He heard someone making a ruckus, which sounded familiar, so he came out to have a look.


Lu Wen was dumbfounded: “…Why are you here?!”


Qu Yan Ting walked over on his flip-flops and asked rhetorically, “Then where should I be?”


You should be having dinner with group B…


Lu Wen took a breath of air and swallowed the words.

Hua: I’m happy QYT get to experienced being a director again. T_T

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  • 1
  • 2
    “Cheng Yaojin shows up suddenly along the way” (Chinese: 半路殺出個程咬金): Used to describe a situation where someone shows up unexpectedly and disrupts a plan. It is also used to describe an unwelcome busybody who shows up where he/she is not wanted.
  • 3
  • 4
    One of Chongqing CBD district with highrise buildings.
  • 5
    One of Chongqing dark tourism spot. It was a Chinese concentration camp that opened in 1943 and were used by the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (SACO) to gather intelligence about the Empire of Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • 6
    A Chinese internet slang refers to male “menstrual cycle”, when they experience emotional ups and downs.
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