Chapter 104: Old Photos (2)

Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 103


“Next month, after the 20th, I’ll be able to join the team. Once you’ve discussed the shooting schedule with Director Li, provide me with a copy. Well, let’s make it quick and don’t delay.” Pei Mingzhan explained the timeline to Brother Lao while organizing the photo album. After finishing the call with Brother Lao, he turned to Zhao Yao and said, “Xiao Yao, I’ll be joining the team next month…”

As soon as he finished speaking, he noticed Zhao Yao flipping through a photo album. The familiar photos tempted Pei Mingzhan to reach out and stop him. “These are from my high school days, there is nothing interesting to see.”

“Pei Mingzhan, did you attend my alma mater for high school?” Zhao Yao held his hand and asked, “Are you hiding something from me? Last time, you told me you attended high school in H city…”

Pei Mingzhan saw Zhao Yao’s serious expression, and couldn’t help but say, “Why are your eyes so bright? Can you really recognize that it’s your alma mater?”

Zhao Yao paused slightly, “Did we know each other in high school? Then why didn’t you show me?”

“At that time, you didn’t know me. Showing you those photos wouldn’t be as good as showing you my childhood pictures.” Pei Mingzhan said. Seeing that Zhao Yao cared about this matter, took out another photo album from the unorganized box and spread it out in front of Zhao Yao, saying, “Take a look at this.”

Pei Mingzhan proudly presented the photos he took during his junior high school days. At that time, their school was the first middle school in S City, with separate sections for junior and senior high. The uniforms for the two sections were distinct. The senior high wore black and white, while their junior high wore blue and white. During Zhao Yao’s first year of high school, because of family reasons, he didn’t continue at the original school. But because of the admiration from his junior high classmates towards the senior high section, Zhao Yao had a vivid impression of the senior high uniforms.

During his junior high years, Pei Mingzhan would have been in senior high.

Zhao Yao’s memories of junior high were few at best. For him, academic life was merely a means to achieve grades on paper and stay at school. The subjects taught in class felt worlds apart from what his private tutors covered. So his time at school was mostly occupied by class-related activities. Unlike many other students who stayed on campus dormitory, he had Uncle Wang picking him up right after classes, sparing him from spending too much time at school.

Thinking of this, Zhao Yao couldn’t help but wonder if he stayed at school a bit longer back then would have led to getting Pei Mingzhan earlier.  

“Did you come to our school at that time?” Zhao Yao looked at Pei Mingzhan, puzzled by the fact that despite their long acquaintance, he had no recollection of Pei Mingzhan from those school days.

“No, there were other reasons for that time,” Pei Mingzhan began, but his sentence trailed off.

“After studying at your school for a while, I stayed for about half a month, probably for a competition,” Pei Mingzhan flipped open the photos to show him. “The uniform was provided by the teachers at that time. I only wore it two or three times and didn’t take many photos. Most of them are right here.”

“Did you know me back then?” Zhao Yao hesitated slightly.

Pei Mingzhan smiled, “How could I not know you? The little genius of the junior high section. Your fan club could line up to the school gate, even if I hadn’t seen you, I’d heard your name.”

“I wasn’t that popular,” Zhao Yao said, then paused slightly. “So, you mean you already knew me back then. Why didn’t you come find me?”

“Do you expect me to randomly come and say, ‘Zhao Yao, I’m the neighbor brother you knew when you were a child’?” Pei Mingzhan continued, “If I did that, it would probably have been awkward.”

Considering Zhao Yao’s reserved nature at that time and the limited time Pei Mingzhan spent at the school, it was unlikely that they would have formed a close connection. He hadn’t had the chance to warm up to people before having to return to H City.

“Alright, alright,” Pei Mingzhan packed up his things. “Speaking of business, I’ll be joining a film shoot next month.”

Zhao Yao, still looking at the photos, paused at his words. “So soon?”

They had recently moved into the new house, and Pei Mingzhan working on a film meant they would be separated for a while.

“En,” Pei Mingzhan smiled. “So, Zhao Zong, let’s quickly organize these things, spend more time together, because next month, you won’t be seeing me around.”

Zhao Yao reluctantly set aside the photo album and turned to tidy up other items. “Let’s finish packing this up.”

-*

In the evening, when Zhao Yao returned to the bedroom after showering, he found Pei Mingzhan sitting in front of the computer, exchanging messages with others. After closer look, he realized it was a Weibo group chat. Without even looking, Zhao Yao knew what Pei Mingzhan was up to.

Since they went public, the two of them had been traveling abroad for some time and hadn’t paid much attention to the online comments. Pei Mingzhan’s studio had also requested him to tone down the public displays of affection online for the time being. Pei Mingzhan nodded in agreement, and indeed, there hadn’t been much public affection displayed online.

But, he created a secondary Weibo account and infiltrated Zhao Yao’s fan group.

Zhao Yao only learned about this last month because occasionally, he would see Pei Mingzhan on Weibo. But there were no signs of activity on his trumpet account, making it clear that Pei Mingzhan had created a new trumpet account. Zhao Yao knew that his boyfriend had an unshakable habit of flaunting their relationship online, and he let him be. However, there was one incident when Pei Mingzhan’s secondary account clashed with a fan named Zhao Qizhen. It was then that Zhao Yao discovered that Zhao Qizhen and Pei Mingzhan didn’t get along online.

Yao Bai explained this situation to him, providing a thorough explanation of “only fans” and “CP fans.” Among Zhao fans, not all were exclusive fans. Most focused on Zhao Yao’s career. And since Zhao Yao and Pei Mingzhan had kept a low profile for a long time, discussions about their relationship weren’t that much as before. Once, Pei Mingzhan got into an argument with a prominent fan in the group, a clash primarily rooted in Pei Mingzhan being a “CP fan” while the fan in question was an “only fan.”

This big fan turned out to be Zhao Qizhen’s trumpet.

Because of the striking resemblance in communication style and perspectives on certain issues in reality, Zhao Yao’s team noticed it. After a discreet investigation, they discovered that this person was indeed Zhao Qizhen.

Ever since Bai Chengxue’s imprisonment, Zhao Qizhen had undergone a significant transformation. He stopped causing trouble at school and instead focused on his studies, dedicating his free time to assisting at the company.

The projects Zhao Qizhen was involved in were no longer the same as before. Instead, he started from the grassroots, working like an ordinary company employee. When Zhao Yao first heard about this change, he was a bit surprised because Zhao Qizhen’s original personality didn’t seem like one to undergo such a drastic transformation. However, over time, Zhao Yao had to admit that Zhao Qizhen had indeed experienced an earth-shattering change.

When Bai Chengxue was still around, Zhao Qizhen used to cause trouble for him regularly. But recently, for some unknown reason, Zhao Qizhen had begun promoting Zhao Yao online. Because of the matter of Zhao Qizhen’s trumpet, Zhao Yao had also instructed Huihua PR to pay more attention to this account. Recently, when Zhao Yao went to the company for a meeting, Chen Xi mentioned that Zhao Qizhen often liked and reposted their official Weibo posts.

Zhao Yao couldn’t figure out how Zhao Qizhen suddenly created a trumpet account and infiltrated his fan group, even going so far as to repost promotional content. When someone called to ask, Zhao Qizhen insisted that the person online was not him. Regarding Zhao Qizhen’s eccentric behavior, Zhao Yao didn’t have the time to deal with him personally. Instead, he had the team keep an eye on the situation but didn’t pay much further attention to the matter.

Zhao Yao said, “I’ll go to the study. I forgot to bring some books.”

Pei Mingzhan nodded, still focused on his phone.

On his way to the study, Zhao Yao ran into Uncle Wang, who happened to be carrying a few photo albums, planning to bring them to the study. Seeing Zhao Yao approaching, he said, “I just remembered, there are a few photo albums sent by the Zheng family that were delivered earlier. I forgot to give them to you when you were organizing things during the day.”

The two entered the study, and Zhao Yao found the book he had been reading earlier on the desk. He also noticed a wallet that had been left behind.

Having seen Pei Mingzhan with this wallet before, Zhao Yao figured it must have been left there when they were organizing things during the day. When he reached for it, he only grabbed the edge of the wallet, and as he picked it up, he happened to notice a transparent compartment inside.

In the compartment, there was a small note with his private phone number written on it.

Zhao Yao hesitated slightly, reaching over to pull out the note. As he did, he discovered a photo tucked beneath the note.

Underneath were a few photos, and the one placed at the top was a childhood picture of the two of them. Zhao Yao had seen this photo in the Zheng family’s album. it captured the time when he was wearing a costume, displaying a bit of a sulky expression. Unexpectedly, Pei Mingzhan had also kept a copy and stashed it in his wallet.

After setting aside this photo, he revealed another picture tucked underneath.

“Master, have you found the book?” Uncle Wang noticed his young master standing in front of the desk without moving, and approached to take a look. He saw Zhao Yao holding a small photo.

The photo depicted a young man in a blue and white uniform, standing confidently at the podium, gazing ahead with determination and confidence, with an English-style backdrop. It was evident that this was a stage for an English speech.

Uncle Wang paused slightly, “Isn’t this a photo of you from junior high, Master?”

Having taken care of Zhao Yao for so many years, Uncle Wang had seen him in every phase of life. The familiar young man in the photo was indeed Zhao Yao.

“This photo, is it from my junior high school speech?” Zhao Yao frowned slightly.

Uncle Wang was quite surprised to see this photo. At that time, the Zhao family was facing difficulties, with the old director facing fierce competition in the business world, and various factions targeting the Zhao family. Even the safety of the Zhao family members was at risk. The audience at the speech was few, and although the young master had won a gold award, he left right after the competition ended, not even attending the award ceremony.

“Master, where did you find this photo?” Uncle Wang hadn’t had the chance to take a few pictures for memories back then, considering the need to ensure Zhao Yao’s safety. According to his memory, there shouldn’t be a photo from that speech in the house.

“This was taken by Pei Mingzhan.” Zhao Yao smiled faintly. The photo’s resolution wasn’t particularly high, and some parts were a bit blurry, indicating it was likely taken with a phone and developed later. It seemed that Pei Mingzhan had already seen him at that time, secretly taking a photo. But Zhao Yao wondered why Pei Mingzhan didn’t take the initiative to approach him.

Zhao Yao hesitated slightly, “I don’t remember much about that time. I just recall it was a competition.”

“This photo is quite rare. I didn’t expect Mr. Pei to have taken pictures back then at your junior high school.” Uncle Wang thought for a moment, then said, “There are no photos from that time at home. At that time, you didn’t even attend the award ceremony. You went home right after the competition. Later, Mr. Zhao 1 requested a half-month leave from school, considering safety issues.”

“Half a month?” Zhao Yao paused, “So, I didn’t go back to school later?”

“Yes,” Uncle Wang confirmed. Seeing Zhao Yao’s face turn somewhat pale, he asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Zhao Yao lowered his gaze slightly. Just as he was about to put the photo away, he noticed a powerful inscription on the back of the photo.

Surprised, he ran his fingertips casually over the back of the photo, feeling the slightly indented texture of the inscription.

“Master, what’s wrong?” Uncle Wang asked again when Zhao Yao remained silent.

“Nothing. I’ll head back first,” Zhao Yao closed the wallet and swiftly left the study.

Uncle Wang stayed behind, watching as his young master seemed initially intent on taking a book but left it on the desk. He found it a bit strange. After all, wasn’t his young master coming to the study to get a book? How could he forget to take one?

 After leaving the study, Zhao Yao sat in the small living room on the second floor for quite some time. The wallet in his hand seemed unusually warm, making him unintentionally reminisce about the past. If he hadn’t left right after the speech, would he have met Pei Mingzhan earlier? If he hadn’t taken leave at home back then, would he have become friends with Pei Mingzhan sooner?

The passage of time was too long ago. He couldn’t even recall when Pei Mingzhan had come to his school or when Pei Mingzhan had silently started paying attention to him.

Zhao Yao opened the wallet again, looking at the photo, his thoughts in turmoil.

After sitting for a while, he took out his phone, opened the Weibo app, and found the Weibo account that hadn’t been active for a long time in his account list.

-*

Pei Mingzhan finished playing on his phone and realized that Zhao Yao hadn’t come back from the study to get a book for quite some time. He had to put down his phone and go find him. Shortly after leaving the room, he spotted someone sitting in the living room.

The living room’s television wasn’t turned on, and Zhao Yao sat there quietly as if holding something in his hands.

“Why don’t you go back to the room?” Pei Mingzhan walked over to Zhao Yao and noticed a wallet placed on the table in front of him.

The wallet looked somewhat worn, and Pei Mingzhan recognized it at a glance – it was his. He paused for a moment, then looked at Zhao Yao, “What’s wrong? Did you find something inside?”

Zhao Yao saw him approach, set down his phone and nodded, “I found a small note inside.”

“That was a few years ago. At that time, Lao Ge thought I wanted to make friends with you, so he gave me your contact number,” Pei Mingzhan sat beside Zhao Yao and continued, “But I didn’t add you.”

“Why?” Zhao Yao looked at him.

Pei Mingzhan went on, “I felt it wasn’t necessary. After all, we had only met less than twice at that time. But later, when we were both on the drama set, didn’t we actively become friends? You even recommended a doctor to me, advising me to maintain a good routine.”

Zhao Yao recalled that period, hesitated for a moment, and didn’t continue the conversation.

“Not going to continue asking?” Pei Mingzhan smiled at him.

Zhao Yao hesitated for a moment, “I saw there was also a photo inside. A photo from my junior high school days. Were you…?”

“No, I just thought someone looked good, so I took a picture,” Pei Mingzhan reached out and pulled him into his arms, “And now, I’ve successfully pursued that good-looking person.”

Zhao Yao smiled slightly, “I feel very lucky in this life.”

“Because you met me?” Pei Mingzhan sensed the fluctuating emotions in Zhao Yao and gently pressed his forehead against Zhao Yao’s.

The two were very close, their breaths intertwined in a moment of confusion. Zhao Yao lifted his gaze and could see Pei Mingzhan’s eyes, clear and bright, filled with sincerity, so irresistible. Unable to resist, he reached up and planted a kiss on Pei Mingzhan’s lips.

“En.”

The night was destined to be restless.

Pei Mingzhan wasn’t keen on bringing up their past, not because the memories weren’t beautiful, but the thought of cherishing the present moment over dwelling on the missed years made him feel that way. So whether they had met years ago or not didn’t matter much. What mattered most was that he could be with Zhao Yao and fulfill his wish to be together.

As time passed, Zhao Yao had fallen asleep.

Pei Mingzhan finally had the chance to pick up his phone, which had been vibrating for quite some time. On the screen, there were nearly 10 missed calls from his assistant, Lele.

After the calls stopped, they switched to text messages, asking him to respond to the reminders and check the messages.

He paused for a moment, recalling the scene in the living room where he found Zhao Yao earlier. So, he picked up his phone to check online updates.

When the trumpet account came online, there were several messages in the list. Pei Mingzhan had developed a habit of frequently logging into the trumpet account to see what fresh content other fans shared with him. But this time his attention was not on those updates but rather on a particular message.

A Trumpet account: “Love starts unexpectedly without warning, deepening with each passing moment.”

Pei Mingzhan paused slightly after seeing this sentence. He turned his head to glance at the peacefully sleeping Zhao Yao and chuckled, “Did you also see the message on the back of the photo?”

This sentence was what he had written on the back of the photo, the first time he realized that he had feelings for the person in the picture.

The person was dazzling, bringing joy to anyone who saw them.

⊹˚. ♡

The author has something to say: Any suggestions for the next book from our lovely readers?

I’m still contemplating, and I’ll let you all know once I decide, hehe~

Also, please show some love and pre-order! It means a lot to me, QAQ.

—————-

A big thank you to the little angels who voted for me or irrigated the nutrient solution between 2020-12-05 02:00:08 ~ 2020-12-06 00:51:18.


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  1. Xiao Yao’s father[]

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