Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 37
In the photo, a partially captured carousel can be seen. It appears to be a scene outside the carousel. The photo shows two figures with their backs facing the camera. Both of them are wearing hats of the same color, and their attire is very casual. While Zhao Yao turned his body to look backward, he happened to be captured in the photo.
The only part of the photo where a face is visible is the profile of one of the individuals, which, at first glance, bears a striking resemblance to Zhao Yao.
As for the other person, they are slightly taller than the person next to them, and their half-face is not visible. They have an upright posture, and even from their back, an undeniable presence can be felt.
【Oh my god! Is this a chance encounter at the amusement park, sisters??】
【I can’t believe it. I kept comparing it to previous frontal photos, and this profile really looks like CEO Zhao!】
【Damn, the height and silhouette of the other person, I declare, I’ve got it!!】
【Are they really not a couple? The chemistry is off the charts! It’s like we can imagine them in a million-word BL story.】
【No need to doubt, as a devoted fan for half a month, I can tell you for sure, it’s CEO Zhao!】
【And CEO Zhao is from City S… It all adds up.】
The blogger who posted the photo has appeared again.
【When I saw it at that time, it really looked like him. Then when I asked, Mr. Zhao didn’t answer, but the handsome guy next to him told me it wasn’t him. They seemed to be queuing for the carousel, but they left directly because I disturbed them. Woo, woo, I feel guilty!】
The photo caused quite a stir among fans. Some people don’t think it looks like him, but others think it’s definitely Mr. Zhao.
【No way, Mr. Zhao went to an amusement park?? And he queued for the carousel? Are you kidding me, blogger?】
【To be honest, it’s possible. It’s the amusement park in City S, and there’s a carousel sign in the photo.】
【If that’s Mr. Zhao in the picture, I’ll livestream myself eating a keyboard.】
【I’m from City S, and the carousel in the photo is from the amusement park in City S. Judging from the height and side profile in this photo, it’s quite possible that it’s Mr. Zhao.】
【Um… the person standing next to Mr. Zhao, could it be Pei the Movie Emperor?】
【Why are you daydreaming upstairs? Both the Movie Emperor Pei and Mr. Zhao are busy people. Do you think they have time to go to an amusement park together?】
Whenever there’s a rumor about Pei Mingzhan, his fans come to identify him. Some of Pei’s fans think the photo resembles him, but without a clear front-facing shot, it’s hard to confirm if it’s Pei Mingzhan. The clothes worn by the man in the photo are also different from what Pei Mingzhan usually wears, so it’s hard to draw any conclusions.
【Everyone, you can disperse. Just think about it, it’s impossible. How would these two busy people go to an amusement park together, and as two men?】
【Oh my god, stop it, everyone. I can’t take it anymore. Shut up!】
【I have a friend who works in City S and claims to have encountered Pei Mingzhan.】
【I have a friend who said they’re actually real.】
【I also have a friend…】
【I want to meet your friends.】
The manager finished reading the Weibo post anxiously and looked at Pei Mingzhan, who was sitting at his desk dealing with documents, sighing, “It’s a good thing you prepared other clothes and hats in advance. Don’t you know your fans have turned into detectives?”
Now they’re even digging into Pei Mingzhan’s casual wear.
“Is that so?” Pei Mingzhan didn’t look away. “But they didn’t recognize me, did they?”
The manager said, “But they took photos! And didn’t you even sign an autograph for the roller coaster staff? Aren’t you worried about something happening?”
Pei Mingzhan responded calmly, “Then we’ll deal with it if something happens.”
“You’re so fearless.” The manager had gotten used to Pei Mingzhan’s brain malfunctioning whenever he encountered Zhao Yao. “Do you really want to pursue him?”
“Well, aren’t I already pursuing him?” Pei Mingzhan looked up at him. “He’s not that easy to pursue.”
“Can you really take your a childhood crush seriously after all this time?” The manager couldn’t understand. “I really don’t know why he has such a big influence on you.”
Pei Mingzhan closed the folder and casually said, “You’re right, I couldn’t take it seriously before. That’s why if I like someone now, I have to go after them myself.”
The manager saw Pei Mingzhan’s nonchalant attitude, how he behaved so properly in front of Zhao Yao but had an irritating demeanor when it came to unrelated matters, and it made him increasingly frustrated the more he looked at it.
The manager couldn’t stand Pei Mingzhan’s indifferent attitude, where he had two completely different attitudes when it came to cooking at home or going to an amusement park. He would act all proper in front of Zhao Yao, but when it came to other unrelated matters, he would become annoyingly arrogant, which infuriated the manager the more he saw it.
“Tell me about your childhood,” the manager couldn’t help but be curious. He couldn’t understand how Pei Mingzhan’s personality could be influenced by a childhood crush. It was like playing make-believe, who would believe it?
“Was your first love real? Don’t tell me that Zhao Yao had such a big impact on you from childhood?”
Pei Mingzhan replied, “That’s why I said my first love was fake, but you didn’t believe me.”
The manager got angry, “With your attitude, saying your first love was fake, do you think I’m so easily fooled?”
Pei Mingzhan didn’t respond and instead lowered his head to continue his work.
“I don’t understand you. If you want to pursue someone, why don’t you take more decisive actions? I don’t think Zhao Yao is the type of person who easily softens. You have to be more assertive.”
Seeing his resolute expression, the manager had to give him advice, “Do you understand how to pursue someone? Have you pursued anyone before? Sending flowers and gifts, saying sweet words, those kinds of things always work. Right now, you’re being too passive. If Zhao Yao doesn’t invite you, you don’t take any action.”
After listening to the manager’s endless nagging, Pei Mingzhan looked at him seriously and said, “Sometimes I can’t understand why you’re still single. Now I finally understand.”
The manager asked, “?”
Pei Mingzhan shifted his gaze away. “You mentioned someone taking photos at the amusement park just now?”
The manager nodded, “Yeah, didn’t I tell you the fans are like Sherlock Holmes? They can deduce a 100,000-word soap opera just from your backs! “
Pei Mingzhan nodded, “Then send me the photos later.”
After going to the amusement park with Zhao Yao, he ended up with only candid photos of Zhao Yao, and there was no photo of the two of them together.
The manager forwarded the photos to Pei Mingzhan and suddenly realized something, “Wait, first clarify the matter about being single. What did you mean just now, Pei Mingzhan? Why am I assumed to be single? Explain yourself clearly.”
Pei Mingzhan ignored him and quickly saved the received photos before the manager could retract them. “Don’t tell me you’re not single now?”
The manager, “…”
This person was clearly single too. How could he stand on a moral high ground and look down on them single dogs just because of a childhood crush?
The manager had a couple more cups of tea in Pei Mingzhan’s office to calm his anger. Seeing that Pei Mingzhan continued working, he didn’t bother him anymore and left after a few words.
Once the manager was gone, Pei Mingzhan stopped his actions and took out his wallet from his jacket.
The wallet appeared worn out, with a few pieces of the outer leather peeling off.
Inside the wallet were several photos. On top was a small note the manager had recently brought, with Zhao Yao’s private phone number. Underneath the note was an old, faded photo.
When Pei Mingzhan first met Zhao Yao, the child sitting alone outside the playground, watching them play. He thought it was someone’s younger brother running around and didn’t pay much attention to it. Later on, that child would be there at almost the same time every day, sitting outside the playground, staring at them, like a little sparrow that only nodded its head, with unusually bright eyes.
At that age, they were all kids who had just started elementary school and had a bit of middle-school syndrome illness. Pei Mingzhan’s friends had a more aggressive temperament. One day, when they saw the silent child sitting outside the playground, they called others over to scare the child. As soon as they spoke, the child stood up and ran away without looking back. Pei Mingzhan’s friends thought they had frightened someone else’s child, laughed it off, and forgot about it.
On that day, Pei Mingzhan didn’t go to the playground. He was sitting at home when his mother picked him up and brought him to the door, asking him to go and apologize to the other child.
He didn’t participate in his friends’ playful activities that day, but the nearby parents knew that he was the one who played with the group of children. So, in the end, it was his turn to go and apologize, carrying two bags of newly bought snacks with him. When he arrived at Zhao Yao’s house, he saw the child standing behind their parents, looking at him with round eyes.
That wasn’t a pleasant first meeting. His friends bullied Zhao Yao, and he had to take the blame and apologize.
Later on, he couldn’t remember it clearly, but he remembered that he started playing with Zhao Yao after that, and their relationship gradually improved.
Pei Mingzhan took out the photo from his wallet. The photo depicted two people.
A child with a crew cut holding a kite in his hand, with another child standing beside him wearing a red costume.
To this day, Pei Mingzhan had a deep impression of that scene. His first love wasn’t a lie to others. It was when he first saw Zhao Yao wearing a red costume that he felt a sudden heart-fluttering sensation. Zhao Yao was his favorite person when he was a child.
Zhao Yao’s grandmother loved watching dramas and often made handmade costumes. Once, when Zhao Yao was about to accompany his grandmother to watch a play, his family forced him to change into a beautiful red costume. At that time, Pei Mingzhan had just started his vacation and returned to the outskirts of H City. When he heard that Zhao Yao had come over from S City, he hurriedly ran to the small courtyard of Zhao Yao’s grandfather’s house to find the little child to play with. However, he saw Zhao Yao crying in the courtyard, wearing the small costume.
At first, he didn’t recognize that the child was Zhao Yao.
When the child in the costume saw someone peeking at the gate, he ran behind the adults and cautiously watched. Meanwhile, Pei Mingzhan was too shy to enter the courtyard. He turned his head, blushing, and ran back home.
Once he returned home, his older brother pulled him out. His older brother thought that his younger brother had been wronged and wanted to go to the neighbor’s house to seek justice for him.
However, it wasn’t because he had been bullied. When he reached the door, he didn’t want to go inside. In the end, his older brother dragged him in.
After the adults explained, Pei Mingzhan learned that the beautiful little fairy he had seen was actually Zhao Yao dressed up by his grandmother.
At the age of five, Zhao Yao already had some self-esteem. Wearing the costume was like wearing a little skirt, and he knew that skirts were meant for girls. He was always unwilling, standing there feeling wronged, with his eyes turning red.
Later, Pei’s older brother took him back home and told their parents about this incident. He said that Peipei had fallen for the neighboring Zhao kid. The whole family knew that he had misunderstood something. His mother smiled and said that Zhao Yao was Peipei’s first love, and he couldn’t even walk properly when he saw him.
This was originally a joke between the elders, but young Pei Mingzhan took it seriously and even boasted to his other playmates to save face, saying he had a beautiful first love.
That beautiful first love was Zhao Yao.
The photo in his wallet was taken by Zhao Yao’s grandmother when his older brother took him to the neighboring yard. She kept one and gave it to him, and he had treasured it ever since.
The children from before have grown into different people, but whenever Pei Mingzhan sees Zhao Yao’s stern expression, he always remembers his childhood face, feeling wronged while wearing the costume.
The surrounding elders all tried to persuade Zhao Yao that there was nothing wrong with wearing the costume, that boys could wear it too, and how cute it was. However, Zhao Yao cried even harder.
Zhao Yao has probably forgotten about this incident now, but Pei Mingzhan still remembers it and keeps the joke about his first love until now.
Two days after returning from the set, Yao Bai entered the “salted fish mode 1” at Zhao’s house again. Just as he was engrossed in surfing the internet, he suddenly saw a reposted emotional post from an account he followed. He found the account somewhat familiar and upon closer inspection, realized it was the small account he had prepared for his brother Yao to browse emotional tree holes 2.
He quickly clicked on it and discovered that during the time he hadn’t been paying attention, his brother’s homepage had gone from being blank and clean to being messy.
One account: From the current situation, market fluctuations will continue for a while in the next quarter… //@xx Finance: Just now, the stock market released major financial news…
【Damn, shocked, the big shot was right.】
【The crash a few days ago was insane. Thanks to the big shot’s words, I chose to avoid risks in advance and saved my life.】
【Thanks to the big shot, the analysis makes a lot of sense.】
One account: I think the comments make sense. The atmosphere in the cinema is indeed not suitable for dating. //@TrustedSister: Submission [Boyfriend took me to the movies, then wanted to kiss me…]
【No way, aren’t you straight?】
【What’s wrong with dating at the movies? Have you experienced it?】
【Clearly someone without a girlfriend. How can you dare to say that if you haven’t been to the movies with your girlfriend?】
The internet traces were very evident. He had read financial reports, emotional tree holes, and even reposted Huihua’s clarification statement. In short, it was all messy. His brother even discussed stocks with people, occasionally responded to silly comments from netizens, and the followers of his small account on Weibo kept increasing, reaching several thousand.
In addition, beneath some Weibo comments, there were people calling him “big shot,” as well as netizens who took the opportunity to criticize others.
Yao Bai was completely shocked when he saw this. He casually refreshed the page and found that his brother had reposted a new Weibo.
One account: About amusement parks, last time I went with friends, the atmosphere in the haunted house was pretty good. //@TodayIWannaDate: Sisters, please recommend suitable places for a date!
Yao Bai cautiously turned his head and glanced at Zhao Yao, who was sitting on the sofa playing with his phone. He was extremely shocked. What strange things had his brother been looking at recently? How did he start progressing to the dating stage? What had happened to his brother?
The keywords “movie theater” and “amusement park” easily led to misinterpretation. Yao Bai thought about how his brother hadn’t been dating anyone and had been going out with Movie Emperor Pei recently…
Yao Bai shuddered and asked cautiously, “Brother, what have you been looking at on your alternate account recently? I noticed you’ve been reposting a lot of things.”
“No big deal, just browsing the internet,” Zhao Yao replied briefly.
Yao Bai caught a glimpse of the interface on his brother’s phone, which was paused on an article from a certain blogger’s Weibo. He said carefully, “You don’t have to pay attention to those comments. Some netizens are just seeking attention. Things on the internet can be true or false, so we shouldn’t take them seriously.”
“Is that so?” Zhao Yao paused for a moment and said, “Sometimes I think they make some valid points.”
Yao Bai had originally been afraid that his brother would be affected by other netizens’ comments, but now he realized he was worrying for nothing. “You don’t have to take what they say online seriously. Their arguments are baseless. If someone uses foul language, just block them. If you don’t like someone’s comment, delete it. And…”
Suddenly, Zhao Yao looked at him and said, “Yao Bai.”
Yao Bai became nervous and responded, “Yes?”
Zhao Yao felt that Yao Bai was being too noisy. He wasn’t a three-year-old child, and he understood things on the internet. He continued, “Since you have time to go online, have you been following the updates on the ‘Li Meng’ project? If you want to take the lead, ‘Li Meng’ is a good opportunity. Follow Chen Xi’s lead, and you can learn a lot.”
“I’ve been following it!” Although Yao Bai liked to slack off, he was diligent when it came to work. He had searched and discussed a lot about “Li Meng” online, and even conducted a small-scale market survey. “The political intrigue drama market in China isn’t doing well at the moment. After Huihua bought the IP, it remained shelved for several years. The popularity is no longer as high as when the novel was popular, but there are still some original fans paying attention.”
“Then it’s time for some promotion. How are your preparations for the promotion?” Zhao Yao asked.
Yao Bai nodded, “You can trust me on that, brother. I’ll take care of everything that needs to be done. Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you, I received a notification just now. The audition results from the director are out. As we speculated, Lu Zishi didn’t make it after changing the scene. Director Tang ultimately chose Zhang Qi.”
Zhao Yao was not surprised by this. He suspected that the main reason Lu Zishi didn’t make it was because he had seen Lu Zishi’s performance in “Li Meng” in his past life, and it was completely different from the performance clip Chen Xi had sent him.
It was only after repeatedly watching that scene with Pei Mingzhan later on that he noticed the clues. It must be said that the chosen audition scene was the most suitable for Lu Zishi to perform among all the plotlines. At first glance, it was difficult to detect any lack of acting skills. Instead, there was a feeling that this person could act.
Because the character’s portrayal in Lu Zishi’s audition scene somewhat matched his own personality, but in the script, this part was the male lead’s pretense. When placed on Lu Zishi, it became a natural performance. That’s why the director and Pei Mingzhan initially thought he did a decent job.
Zhao Yao asked again, “What did the director say?”
“It’s no longer just a leaked question; the crew intentionally made Lu Zishi draw that scene. The staff member who helped Lu Zishi has already been fired, and Lu Zishi left with a disgruntled expression after his performance that day,” Yao Bai conveyed Tang’s meaning. “Director Tang said that the difficulty of this scene’s performance lies mainly in highlighting the true nature of the pretense. Lu Zishi’s slightly exaggerated acting happened to coincide with the exaggeration required for the pretense, so everyone thought he did well.”
“That scene suited Lu Zishi’s personality, and combined with the need for a slightly exaggerated performance in the pretense, these two factors made up for his shortcomings in acting skills,” Zhao Yao continued, “It’s not entirely the director’s team’s fault. Originally, the expectations for popular stars were low, and with his decent performance, the combination of these two factors did create an unexpected feeling, naturally overlooking his opportunistic approach to acting.”
In the middle of the conversation, Zhao Yao’s phone suddenly rang, displaying an unidentified number.
He looked at the string of phone numbers appearing on the screen and his face immediately turned serious. He gestured for Yao Bai to stay silent and then answered the call, saying, “Hello?”
After listening to what the person on the other end said, Zhao Yao fell silent for a moment. “I understand,” he replied.
Seeing his brother’s serious expression, Yao Bai couldn’t help but feel nervous. “Yao Ge, what’s wrong?”
In a solemn tone, Zhao Yao said, “It’s a call from my insider at the recuperation center 3. My father is planning to go abroad for treatment.”
Yao Bai was surprised. “Chairman Zhao? Has it become that serious already?”
Zhao Yao lowered his gaze. It was not only serious but also a one-way trip this time.
After the Chairman of the Zhao Group fell seriously ill, the company’s full authority was handed over to Zhao Changshuo and Zhao Zhikai to handle. Even the nursing home he stayed in was a private one. After his father’s suspicion of his worsening condition and his declining health, he stopped seeing anyone except for important confidants. Even Zhao Changshuo could only visit him once a month.
Choosing to go abroad this time meant that the illness had reached an irreversible stage. Zhao Yao knew that after his father went abroad, he would pass away within a year, leaving the inheritance rights to him, the most outstanding performer in the Qichen Project. But that was from his past life. In this life, he didn’t take over Qichen. As long as Zhao Zhikai didn’t cause any trouble, the inheritance rights would ultimately fall into Zhao Changshuo’s hands.
Zhao Yao didn’t like his father. His father was rumored to be a passionate man in the outside world, but in reality, he was almost ruthless when it came to handling matters. For the sake of his career, he would exploit anyone or anything to the fullest, making decisive moves in the business world. It must be said that the prosperity of the Zhao family was built upon the foundation laid by his father in his youth.
However, such a person had many beloved women by his side. His first wife was a marriage arranged by the parents during the early years of the Zhao family’s prosperity, and they were a well-matched couple. His second wife was a strategic alliance set up to expand their business territory in City H. As for his third wife, she was a young and beautiful woman he found after achieving success in his career.
Zhao Yao knew that his mother deeply loved his father. She originally thought they were deeply in love with each other, but she didn’t know that she was being used by her husband, and even their closeness and intimacy had a hidden ulterior motives. His father deceived his mother, leading her family to pave the way for him. All these things Zhao Yao learned after inheriting the family’s rights following his father’s death. That’s why Zhao Yao didn’t like his father at all, and one could even say he despised him.
Narrowing his eyes slightly, Zhao Yao remained silent for a moment before saying, “The Zhao family is about to undergo a major change.”
Yao Bai looked at him unexpectedly, feeling that something was off, but he couldn’t ask directly. Instead, he said, “Actually, I don’t understand why Chairman Zhao’s condition is so serious, yet he doesn’t want others to visit him. When my mother was sick before, although she said she didn’t like it, she still hoped that her children would come to accompany her.”
“Yao Bai, do you know what it feels like to be in a position of power?” Zhao Yao suddenly said. “Perhaps it’s just an ordinary illness, but those who have been lurking in the shadows will show their claws, eager to take everything away from your hands.”
Giving up power is a path that must be taken, but the time should be decided by the person in power.
There are many projects that Huihua Culture is preparing to launch, and even their official blog has started to consecutively promote the news of the ongoing serialization of these projects. This has caught the attention of many netizens. Huihua has been gaining momentum recently, with one high-quality work after another, and even the quarterly lineup has become very appealing. In addition to the projects that are currently airing, many registered projects have also been uncovered by netizens. Among them, “Li Meng” has garnered the most attention.
“Li Meng” can be said to be a nostalgic piece for a certain age group of netizens. When “Li Meng” was completed, it ignited the hearts of many people. Many netizens began to reminisce about the time when they would hide under the covers and read novels, and even started passionately discussing the important plot points of “Li Meng.” However, when news of the TV drama adaptation surfaced, many fans’ emotions immediately exploded. Some were concerned about casting choices, while others were worried that the production team would ruin the original work. Various concerns emerged, and just when Yao Bai was worrying about the market for power-struggle dramas, this wave of backlash from original fans quickly swept through the comments section of Huihua’s official blog.
【Hey, I did not know it was your company that bought the rights to ‘Li Meng.’】
【Please, don’t go for popularity anymore. So many recent adaptations have ruined my favorite works. Sob.】
【Can you not make it?!】
【Are you serious? Are you really going to make it? Are you sure it will capture the feeling of the original work?】
【If you’re really going to make it, please cast the roles carefully! Don’t give me newcomers. Get some veteran actors. This is a power-struggle drama!】
【Don’t turn it into an ancient puppet show, and don’t add unnecessary romantic storylines. Please, do it properly!】
When the news reached the production team of “Li Meng,” the pressure on the entire team intensified. It was a mix of both new and experienced actors, and although they had a larger budget and managed to bring in some veteran actors they couldn’t previously afford, they still retained some of the original planned cast members. After all, these were the best choices envisioned by Director Tang and Producer Chen after years of planning. The biggest variable in this equation was the decision to cast Zhang Qi as the protagonist.
The production team started intensifying their preparations, while online discussions about “Li Meng” suddenly surged.
Before the production company announced the cast, many book fans began recommending their ideal choices for actors, resulting in a wide range of suggestions. In the midst of this atmosphere, for some unknown reason, news emerged that Lu Zishi was going to play the male lead, Su Liguang, in “Li Meng.” This immediately sparked a debate between the original fans who were against casting popular actors and Lu Zishi’s fans.
The actual lead actor, Zhang Qi, had already signed on to the project and was awaiting the official announcement from the production team. However, due to the widespread rumors, some internet users mistakenly believed that Lu Zishi’s involvement was true, and the public opinion grew even more heated. When Zhao Yao arrived at the company for a meeting, he heard about this matter and asked, “Hasn’t the production team explained the situation to Lu Zishi’s side?”
“They have,” the project manager replied. “The production team has negotiated with Lu Zishi’s studio and requested a clarification statement, as this is a baseless rumor. If it’s not clarified properly, it may lead to further complications. However, every time the production team contacts his agent, they come up with various excuses, claiming that Lu Zishi is currently busy with other activities and has no time to address it.”
“He’s quite arrogant, isn’t he?” Zhao Yao furrowed his brows slightly. “He isn’t afraid of offending Huihua?”
The project manager had seen many such promotional tactics and fan-driven controversies in the entertainment industry. “He’s currently enjoying a surge in popularity and is favored by several investors. They all expect him to make money for them. Previously, his agent even leaked to his loyal fans that Lu Zishi would be playing Su Liguang. When this rumor spread within the production team, it made him lose face. In a way, they’re trying to pressure us to change the casting.”
Such situations were not uncommon, with artists and production teams mutually using each other for marketing and publicity to increase their respective exposure.
However, Lu Zishi’s attitude seemed to disregard Huihua completely.
“In that case, does he only rely on cheating for his acting skills?” Zhao Yao casually remarked. “He may be the darling of other investors, but not to me.”
“Since filming is scheduled to start at the end of the year, let’s not let him ride on the popularity of our production. It’s easy to attract bad luck.”
Xiao Pei: This is my first love (showing a photo and bragging to other kids).
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If there are any mistakes/error, feel free to comment it down below.
- CN Slang Salted Fish = lazy
- CN Slang Tree Holes: places in internet where people post their secrets. The name is inspired by an Irish tale about a man who confided his secrets to a tree. -Google:)
- recuperation center = nursing home