Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 38
Zhao Yao’s statement actually indicates his dislike towards Lu Zishi.
The higher-ups at Huihua noticed this and gained confidence. Some of the rising artists in this circle became arrogant and disregarded others. Huihua Agency used to be glorious in the past, but due to its decline in recent years, some industry insiders no longer view Huihua with respect. This includes the recent incident involving Ji Heyu, which made them think Huihua is an easy target.
Later, Chen Xi took a firm stance and directly severed some lingering connections. He also brought up old debts owed by other companies, which made those companies start to take Huihua seriously and avoid provoking them. However, only the companies involved in these matters are aware of the situation. These companies, out of embarrassment, kept it a secret and maintained the illusion that Huihua is still an easy company to mess with.
Those present at the meeting all thought that Lu Zishi was in trouble for targeting Huihua without considering the Buddha 1 behind it.
The meeting proceeded as usual. Under Chen Xi’s insistence, Zhao Yao agreed to attend the company’s monthly meetings. As others reported on the company’s recent work details, including the coordination and allocation of artists and the smooth progress of other projects, Zhao Yao realized that there were no remaining issues for him to worry about, as Huihua’s reorganization had restored order and stability to various projects.
During this period, the company also engaged in business collaborations with other companies in the industry, acquiring some resources. However, there were still some problems.
For instance, Huihua Agency was still lacking fashion-related resources.
After the meeting, Chen Xi went to Zhao Yao’s office.
Zhao Yao’s office was empty for 29 days a month, with the remaining day usually reserved for meetings.
The two sat on the sofa to discuss quarterly work arrangements. Chen Xi briefly explained the planned arrangements to Zhao Yao but hesitated a bit before saying, “We can communicate with some friendly companies for other resources, but fashion resources have always been our company’s weakness.”
Zhao Yao had just heard Chen Xi mention this issue during the meeting, so he asked, “What do you mean?”
“The person in charge of managing these resources left a while ago. You know how important connections are in our industry. When that person left, they also took away some connections,” Chen Xi sighed. “The highly sought-after artists in the industry receive invitations for fashion resources. However, sometimes when there are scheduling conflicts or issues, they consider the connections. And those top-notch fashion resources are acquired through the company’s dealings. Currently, this is our company’s weakness.”
“What’s your opinion?” Zhao Yao knew that if Chen Xi brought up this matter, he must have his own thoughts on it.
Chen Xi handed over some documents to Zhao Yao. “In fact, it’s difficult at the beginning, but once we establish connections with those leading resources, we won’t have to worry about subsequent resources. The key is that it’s not easy to establish those relationships.”
Zhao Yao opened the documents and glanced through them. “Are you suggesting we establish a connection with RH?”
“Doesn’t this conflict with our schedule for the upcoming project launch next month?”
Zhao Yao noticed the conflicting dates inside and immediately thought of the key point Chen Xi raised. “Don’t you have anyone on your team who is skilled in handling these types of events?”
“This company is a bit different. Their leader just returned to the country, and he’s a difficult person to figure out,” Chen Xi said. “Many companies in the industry want to establish a relationship with them, but most have failed. The main reason is that their leader is hard to approach and indifferent to social niceties. They look at other people if they have predestined affinity with them.”
It has to be said that this company is renowned for its resources both domestically and internationally, and despite the tough leader, many people still hold hope of getting involved with them.
“Most of the invitees for this party are important figures, and in the past, they were mostly well-known individuals in the industry,” Chen Xi frowned slightly. “If we only send a high-level representative, it will seem like we’re not giving the other party face. You know that the previous high-level executives at Huihua were indeed respected in the industry, but with the restructuring of the high-level management at Huihua, it’s like having a semi-new team. In the eyes of other big players, we might appear a bit mediocre.”
“So, this person is quite influential?” Zhao Yao became interested. “So, you want me to go?”
Chen Xi’s intention was exposed, and he awkwardly smiled. “It’s really difficult to compete with those people. The main point is to give them face in the beginning. I’ve heard that this person has quite a background, so can we try to make an effort?”
Huihua had a lot of upcoming tasks next month, and Chen Xi rarely received such an invitation but didn’t want to miss the opportunity. However, with all the work burden falling on his shoulders, he had already made up his mind. If Mr. Zhao refused, he would have to delegate someone else for the important product launch and go himself. But that would disrupt the handover arrangements for the launch, and there were only about ten days left…
If it really didn’t work out, of course, Huihua’s current tasks were important, and they would have to think of another solution for the resources.
Zhao Yao’s gaze rested on Chen Xi’s face, and after noticing his hesitant expression, he calmly said, “As I’ve said before, handle the small matters yourself. If you need help, just ask directly.”
He closed the documents and handed them back to Chen Xi. “Give me the relevant information about this person, and next month I’ll go in your place.”
Chen Xi was pleasantly surprised. “Alright, I’ll finish organizing it and send it to you shortly.”
If someone else went in this situation, Zhao Yao wouldn’t feel completely at ease. After all, within Huihua, Chen Xi was the only person who was capable and trustworthy.
After briefly discussing the arrangements for the next month’s product launch, Chen Xi left to attend to his tasks.
Zhao Yao didn’t linger in the company either. Since there was nothing else to attend to, he prepared to leave and go back home.
Just as he left the company building, Zhao Yao received a bunch of guides sent by Pei Mingzhan. They seemed to be travel guides for a certain destination, and upon closer inspection, they were quite detailed. After Zhao Yao sent him an e-book during their visit to the amusement park, he had been frequently receiving Pei Mingzhan’s annotations. It seemed that Pei Mingzhan had collected several other guides and compiled them into a detailed version.
Since their visit to the amusement park, their relationship had become closer. Zhao Yao didn’t hesitate to share his desired destinations with Pei Mingzhan, and they even went to other places together last week.
The driver asked, “Mr. Zhao, should we head straight back now?”
Zhao Yao paused for a moment and replied, “Wait a moment.”
He sent a message to Pei Mingzhan and then said, “Let’s make a quick stop at the bookstore.”
After Zhao Yao left, Chen Xi immediately immersed himself in his work. Ever since he received a brief reprimand from Mr. Zhao during the last meeting, he still felt a bit nervous when facing Zhao Yao. It was rare that Mr. Zhao agreed to attend the Demon Lord’s party next month, so Chen Xi felt the need to find something that would make Mr. Zhao happy and please him.
As soon as he entered the office, an idea struck him. He called in the person in charge of the “Li Meng” project and asked directly, “How do you plan to handle the matter with Lu Zishi?”
The project leader had just gone back to draft a proposal and was now faced with a question from their superior. They could only briefly share their thoughts.
Chen Xi listened silently for a moment and then said, “There’s no need to consider him too much. Since he doesn’t regard Huihua highly, we don’t have to be polite to him either. With such an arrogant attitude, we don’t need to consider him for our projects in the future. This matter should be resolved as soon as possible, and Mr. Zhao is keeping an eye on it.”
The project lead nodded hastily and said, “I will take care of it immediately.”
There are also many things happening at Huihua. The manager, Xiao Liu, recently brought in two potential celebrities. Ji Heyu can be considered as having risen to fame with the show “Sheng.” Not only did many business activities actively reach out to him, but there were also other resources willing to collaborate. On the other hand, there’s Zhang Qi, who has generated some potential buzz even before the official announcement.
After the high-level meeting at Huihua, for some reason, they were filled with enthusiasm. Even the project leader began selecting auspicious dates to prepare for an early start of production. Originally scheduled to begin filming at the end of the year, it seemed that the cast announcement might be prepared as early as November. Xiao Liu received a notification from the project leader, stating that the cast would be officially announced in a couple of days, so he needed to prepare Zhang Qi in advance.
The online discussions were escalating, and even Lu Zishi’s fans had already assumed that he would be the male lead in “Li Meng.” While they claimed not to make any assumptions before the official announcement, they were secretly celebrating and discussing it on popular social media platforms. Lu Zishi’s appearance can be described as refreshing and distinctive among the current generation of young idols, and this wave of popularity has gained him many new fans.
“The production team contacted me a few days ago, saying they wanted me to make a statement,” said Lu Zishi’s manager while looking at his phone. “Initially, they approached us asking if you wanted to play the lead role. I thought the lead role was ours, but now they want us to do an audition?”
Lu Zishi looked satisfied with the recent increase in his fanbase. “If it weren’t for the news that they were planning to cast a seasoned actors, I wouldn’t have wasted my time with them. There are plenty of period drama productions that have approached me.”
“Besides, you passed the audition, and you’re obviously much better than that Zhang Qi,” the manager continued. “I don’t understand what they’re thinking. Zhang Qi has been blacklisted in the industry for so long, and Huihua is using him as the lead actor without fearing that the drama will be suppressed or offend other industry big shots. It would have been better to choose you as the male lead, creating a win-win situation, wouldn’t it?”
“I don’t think my performance was bad at all. The director even said I did a good job during the audition. It’s not like I had an unfair advantage; it’s similar to someone preparing by reading the script. Why can’t they wrap their heads around that?” Lu Zishi sneered. “They even fired some crew members, that’s beneath us. If they ever contact you again, you can ignore them.”
The manager replied, “Of course, I won’t entertain them. When they announce the cast and claim that Zhang Qi is the male lead, we can redirect the public opinion and accuse them of manipulating the fans. Your fans will give them a hard time.”
Lu Zishi was very satisfied. As long as they kept dragging the “Li Meng” production team, the longer they delayed, the greater the benefits they could gain. When the time came, they could clarify by saying they were busy with other activities and didn’t have time to explain everything clearly. They might even be able to create a pitiful image and attract another wave of fans.
Although it was common in the industry for production teams and actors to create hype, Lu Zishi had no intention of pleasing the “Li Meng” team. When he issued his clarification statement, as long as it was worded tactfully, his fans would support him and seek justice for him.
While they were discussing, the agent received a phone call.
After answering the call, his expression immediately changed. “What? You said the ‘Li Meng’ production team made an official announcement?”
Lu Zishi’s expression also changed upon hearing this. “Didn’t they say they would wait for our statement? And wasn’t ‘Li Meng’ supposed to start filming at the end of the year? Why did they make the announcement so early? What are they up to?”
After hanging up the phone, the agent hurriedly checked Weibo to see what was happening. As expected, he saw a post from the official account with the ID “TVSeriesLiMeng,” which contained some promotional materials. Although they called it materials, it was similar to an official announcement.
The materials had no additional information, only a silhouette image of the male lead.
@TVSeriesLi Meng: Preparations for the production are underway, and I snuck out to release some materials. I heard everyone is very curious about who will play the role of Su Li Guang, our male god. So here’s a little silhouette for you all to guess~ [Image]
【Wow~ The silhouette of the male lead is out.】
【Who is this person? I haven’t seen a similar image before, doesn’t seem to be a recent rising star.】
【This silhouette doesn’t look too slim, maybe they really cast a powerful actor!】
【Huh~ This image looks a bit like my brother’s recent magazine photo!!! Is it Lu Zishi?】
【Ah ah ah! It’s my brother Lu Zishi! Thank you for the official announcement, production team!】
【No way? They really cast Lu Zishi? With his acting skills???】
The agent was startled when he saw the image posted by the official account, but upon closer inspection, he realized that it did indeed resemble Lu Zishi’s recent magazine photo. He let out a sigh of relief. “Haha, this production team is something else. They’re blatantly trying to ride on our fame and gain attention. They even chose a silhouette image that looks like you to release.”
Lu Zishi was delighted, thinking that the “Li Meng” production team had made a genuine official announcement. If they made the announcement at this stage, their original plan to capitalize on the marketing strategy of “Li Meng” would be ruined. He said, “That production team is so pathetic. How could they clarify things so quickly when they get a bit of attention? Since they have also released a silhouette image, we can take advantage of the situation as well.”
The manager understood Lu Zishi’s thoughts and immediately said, “Okay, I’ll contact the company and arrange another wave of marketing for you.”
Lu Zishi nodded in satisfaction.
Meanwhile, in the conference room at Huihua Agency, many people were closely monitoring the online situation. The project leader, with sweat on his forehead, was focused on the marketing account under Lu Zishi’s agency. As expected, right after their material was posted, these marketing accounts followed up with a wave of promotion.
Since Lu Zishi wanted to capitalize on the popularity, he would undoubtedly choose the right timing. If they waited for another two days to start the marketing, they would miss the initial surge of interest generated by the material. Therefore, Huihua speculated that he would bite the bait when the material was released and closely follow up with the next round of promotion.
The project leader said, “They have already engaged marketing accounts for promotion. We’ll wait another half an hour for their press release, and then the official account can take action.”
Whether Lu Zishi wanted to capitalize on their project’s popularity, it also depended on whether Huihua Culture would agree or not.
The staff in the conference room were aware of the arrangement and began working diligently, awaiting the right moment.
Online discussions and opinions were escalating. Although the project had not yet gained much attention, many fans of the original work had already flooded the official account, demanding a change of actors. Meanwhile, Lu Zishi’s fans had already assumed that he would play the male lead and were comparing the magazine pictures they shared with the silhouette image posted by the official account.
In the evening, the official account of “Li Meng” went live and started responding to comments. They directly retweeted a comment from one of the book fans.
@TVSeriesLiMeng: No, not him~ You can guess again. //@MoonlitCurve: Is that Lu Zishi????
【Not Lu Zishi???】
【From the brink of death, could we still hope for a skilled actor to be the male lead?】
【Did they change the actor for real? I also saw the comparison between that magazine picture and the silhouette. Wasn’t it Lu Zishi?】
【If you look closely, you’ll see that the clothing details in someone’s magazine picture and the silhouette are completely different. It’s just that the head looks somewhat similar, and the fans have started celebrating prematurely. This is so funny.】
【Oh my god, these days Lu Zishi’s fans have been bothering me so much. They were acting all high and mighty, saying they would wait for the official announcement, but secretly celebrating. And now the lead isn’t their “brother”? Ha!】
【Damn, this face slap is so satisfying. Even Lu Zishi’s marketing account had almost confirmed that he was the male lead.】
【Lu’s fans suddenly fell silent? Why aren’t they saying anything?】
【Hahaha, my goodness, I saw the marketing account deleting their tweets, but unfortunately, I’ve already taken screenshots. Hehehe.】
【Official account, oh official account, who is the male lead? I’ve been searching through so many actors’ pictures, but I can’t find this one.】
@TVSeriesLiMeng: He’s an actor with several years of experience. Everyone can expand the scope of their guesses. //@IOnlyKnowHahaha: Official account, oh official account, who is the male lead…
The online situation was buzzing, but Zhao Yao’s life remained quite ordinary.
When Yao Bai arrived at Zhao Yao’s house, he noticed several unopened books laid out in front of his older brother. Uncle Wang was busy bringing in packages from outside.
As he walked and observed the boxes, Yao Bai asked, “Brother, what did you buy this time?”
“Bought some books,” Zhao Yao replied, carefully using scissors to open the packaging.
Yao Bai glanced at the packaging on the floor. These books seemed slightly better than the ones his brother had previously read, but they still belonged to the genre of romance and emotional relationships. It was as if his brother had moved on from beginner-level books to more advanced ones, including travel guides.
Confused, Yao Bai discreetly walked over and asked Uncle Wang for an explanation.
Uncle Wang then explained that some of the books were recommended by Pei Mingzhan, while others were discovered by Zhao Yao himself online.
Yao Bai questioned his existence, saying, “Even the Film Emperor Pei reads these books?”
“I don’t know,” Uncle Wang whispered. “Besides reading these books, Young Master has also been reading books about friendship. He said that trust between friends could serve as a reference.”
“This….” Yao Bai, who had been busy with the “Li Meng” project these days and hadn’t paid much attention to his brother’s emotional state, cautiously asked, “Have they been getting along well lately, my brother and Pei?”
“Recently, Young Master has been going out with Mr. Pei on weekends,” Uncle Wang replied. “They have plans to visit the city’s oceanarium the day after tomorrow, which is the weekend.”
The day after tomorrow was the weekend.
“Is my brother spending all his time studying this stuff and going out with other men on weekends without finding a girlfriend?” Yao Bai’s thoughts grew more and more uneasy. Certain disturbing thoughts started to emerge in his mind, and the explicit content he had come across in recent days was spinning rapidly in his head. He asked, “How did my brother and Pei Mingzhan become so close?”
Uncle Wang sensed that Yao Bai’s question had an underlying meaning, but he answered truthfully, “Young Master said that he and Mr. Pei are friends.”
Yao Bai: “…”
Was this considered just being friends? Going to amusement parks together, planning activities on weekends, and now they were even going to the oceanarium… And the key point was that they were going alone.
Calm down, calm down. His brother and Film Emperor Pei were just innocent friends.
The living room’s internet TV switched to a behind-the-scenes interview segment, and Uncle Wang watched it while unpacking the deliveries. “Xiao Ji seems to be getting popular.”
“Yeah, his career is going well now.”
Zhao Yao put the book down and picked up another one, removing the bubble wrap.
Lately, Zhao Yao had been watching fewer TV dramas and spending more time searching for strategies online. On the other hand, Uncle Wang had started watching more TV shows. He quite liked that kid Xiao Ji. Every time there was an update on his program, Uncle Wang would watch it without fail. Eventually, he even started following the behind-the-scenes interview segments in addition to the actual episodes.
There weren’t many people around Zhao Yao. He always treated Uncle Wang as a family member and accompanied him to watch a few episodes because Uncle Wang liked Xiao Ji so much.
Ji Heyu didn’t disappoint him. The potential he showed was even better than expected. With such talent, he wouldn’t have to worry about his career as long as he didn’t make any mistakes. It was only a matter of time before he achieved great success.
“Xiao Ji’s development is going well. I heard from his manager, Xiao Liu, a few days ago that he has been connecting with many resources recently. Moreover, he has been performing well on the show. If he continues to develop like this after the show ends, his popularity should rise. He might even become a new rising star.” Yao Bai also joined in to help Uncle Wang unpack the parcels. He realized how much his brother had bought. There weren’t many books among them, but there were various miscellaneous items like hats and jackets. “Brother, you even bought clothes?”
“Yes,” Zhao Yao calmly replied.
Since Pei Mingzhan’s fans were sharp-eyed and almost recognized him last time, he bought some inexpensive clothes as backups. Also, every time he went out, Pei Mingzhan would give him a hat. Although they didn’t go out often, Pei Mingzhan would change his hat every time, resulting in a sudden increase in the number of hats in his wardrobe.
He wasn’t used to wearing hats, but he didn’t want Pei Mingzhan to always bring one for him. So, he thought of adding some items for their outings.
Yao Bai looked at the scene and felt that his brother would probably change his outfit every time he went out, maybe even buying scarves for winter. “You bought scarves for this winter??”
“Yep,” Zhao Yao replied simply.
Are they all the same style??
Zhao Yao replied, “Just bought them for now.”
After finally unpacking everything and sending the books to the study, Zhao Yao asked Yao Bai to come over and asked if there was anything important.
Yao Bai had just finished his work and wanted to report about Lu Zishi. He also wanted to join them for dinner. “My mom has started introducing girls to me again recently. Last time when I went home, I was so scared. The girl was sitting in the living room, which made me feel so awkward. I haven’t dared to go home during this period.”
“Why don’t you get to know her?” Zhao Yao became interested when he heard this topic. “Has there been no matchmaking event in your community recently?”
Yao Bai shuddered at the mention of matchmaking. “Brother, why are you always interested in this? Matchmaking is not a good thing. Once it starts, there’s no turning back!”
Seeing that Yao Bai didn’t want to talk about it, Zhao Yao didn’t ask further. The behind-the-scenes footage of the singing show on TV had already ended, so he casually switched to a variety show and reopened the dating show.
Familiar clips were playing on TV.
Yao Bai was puzzled, “Brother, didn’t you watch this episode already?”
Zhao Yao nodded, “I didn’t watch it carefully before. I’ll take a closer look this time.”
How many times can you watch this kind of variety show? Yao Bai wasn’t interested in these things, so he started playing with his phone. As soon as he opened WeChat, he saw several red notifications from the group chat he had with Pei Mingzhan’s manager. He opened it and found that Pei Mingzhan’s manager had sent multiple messages.
Don’t want to go on a blind date today: @Hardworking Manager 2, Brother Lao, what are you doing?
The Hardworking Manager was Pei Mingzhan’s manager. They had consecutively sent several messages in the group chat mentioning Yao Bai but without saying anything specific.
Hardworking Manager: Xiao Bai, are you free this weekend? Accompany brother for a trip.
Don’t want to go on a blind date today: Where are we going?
Yao Bai felt a little curious. How come Pei Mingzhan’s manager reached out to him?
Hardworking Manager: The oceanarium. Lao Pei said he doesn’t want people following him, but last week we were almost surrounded by fans. If fans block them again this week, I won’t be able to suppress the trending topics.
Yao Bai also felt that it wasn’t quite right for his brother Zhao Yao to go out with Pei Mingzhan on the weekend. Although there shouldn’t be any problem going out with a friend, and it’s even a good thing that his brother is willing to go out. But is Pei Mingzhan an ordinary person? If he shows his face, at least half of the people on the street would recognize him. It’s only a matter of time before they attract fans and get blocked while casually going out.
Being stopped by fans will inevitably cause some stumbling and inconvenience. Moreover, his brother just recovered from a leg injury, so this issue does require some attention.
But most importantly, there is a risk of being misunderstood.
Don’t want to go on a blind date today: That’s true. If these two men go out to play, if it weren’t for my brother’s straightforwardness, I would think they have some kind of relationship.
Hardworking Manager: ?
Hardworking Manager: Which eye of yours saw that they have no relationship?
Don’t want to go on a blind date today: I understand, I understand. They are just friends.
Hardworking Manager: Do you really understand?
In Yao Bai’s heart, he wondered what else he didn’t understand. He was already starting to understand at a deeper level.
Today Don’t Want to Go on Blind Dates: It’s not very appropriate for us, right? Isn’t this stalking thing a bit too much?
Hardworking Manager: I am Pei Mingzhan’s agent, and you are Zhao’s assistant. How is it inappropriate?
Upon seeing this, Yao Bai realized that there was some truth to it.
Hardworking Manager: Besides, we won’t disturb them. If fans approach and stop them, we will step forward and make our presence known. Fans will assume we have some activities to handle, you know?
Today Don’t Want to Go on Blind Dates: Understood, understood. [OK]
The voices of the TV guests were not soft, and Yao Bai’s typing was too engrossed, causing irregular sounds as his fingers touched the screen.
Zhao Yao noticed Yao Bai’s state twice with his peripheral vision. Seeing him alternate between laughing and pondering, he couldn’t help but think of another matter.
When Uncle Wang came over to deliver fruits, Zhao Yao secretly said to him, “Do you have time these days to talk to Auntie Yao and not push him too hard?”
It was widely known that Mrs. Yao was finding blind date prospects for Yao Bai. Uncle Wang had heard Mrs. Yao talk about many girls who were good matches or were familiar with Yao Bai…
Suddenly, he realized and glanced at Yao Bai. “Young Master, rest assured. This little Bai is still young, but he is indeed feeling anxious.”
Look at how they’ve pushed the child to this point.
They had dinner relatively early that night, and after Yao Bai finished eating, he left. As he walked, he played with his phone and nearly collided with the door.
Uncle Wang looked worriedly at Yao Bai leaving, thinking, “He didn’t even drink, so why is he walking unsteadily?”
Zhao Yao returned to the study, turned on the computer, and logged into his email. He found that Chen Xi had sent him several files. Some were regular project reports, but one of them was an email sent two days ago, containing information about a company Chen Xi had been in contact with.
This company was the industry giant, RH, which Chen Xi had mentioned to him earlier, hosting a party next month.
When Zhao Yao saw these two letters, they seemed very familiar, as if he had seen them somewhere before.
He downloaded the attachment, opened the file, and immediately saw RH’s charts, followed by a familiar face.
Manager: Why do I feel like you don’t understand?
Yao Bai: I understand, I understand.
TN: 2/4 chapters. Also this chapter almost reached 5k words (*Q*). Author-sama ＿○／ |＿
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- CN Slang Buddha: powerful person
- 劳苦社畜 literally translate labor social animal (LOL), or hardworking office worker or laboring wage slave meaning someone who works diligently and tirelessly in an office or corporate environment.