FLBOTCP Chapter 39

Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 39


Lu Zishi is absolutely infuriated by the comments online. Ever since he found out that he was set up by the “Li Meng” drama crew, he has been urging his agent to inquire about the situation. The person in charge of the project, who used to treat them with kindness and courtesy, is now not answering any calls. Their studio can only seek information from other sources.

The result is that because they initially ignored the clarification requests from the “Li Meng” crew, now “Li Meng” has clarified the situation on their own, showing no interest in mutually beneficial marketing.

In recent years, Lu Zishi’s popularity has soared, and he has become a favorite of several brands in the industry. However, due to the impact caused by the incident with “Li Meng,” his fans’ sense of superiority and the studio’s paid publicity have become a joke in the eyes of netizens.

【Don’t blame the fans. Haven’t you seen how many times those marketing accounts praised your brother before the first Weibo post?】

【Some of these marketing accounts are in cooperation with the studio. Do you think they would post those Weibo messages without your brother’s studio’s approval? They are all influential figures. They don’t need to piggyback on your brother’s popularity.】

【Are you saying the crew was trying to attract attention from his fans? Didn’t you notice that it took less than 24 hours from the release of the silhouette images to the response from the crew? If that’s trying to attract attention, then you haven’t seen the kind that lasts for half a year.】

【Wasn’t it Lu Zishi’s biggest fan who initially spread the rumor that he was the lead actor in “Li Meng”? At that time, the casting news for “Li Meng” hadn’t even been announced, right?】

Lu Zishi had no choice but to have his studio issue a clarification statement, stating that he was not involved in “Li Meng” and asking netizens not to misunderstand. However, privately, his fans felt aggrieved, so he had his assistant explain to the fans: He participated in the casting, but the role was taken by someone else, so he couldn’t participate.

His fans were originally very angry because the news of his participation in “Li Meng” came from his biggest fans, and they also said it was the studio’s statement. But upon hearing that he had participated in the casting but wasn’t selected, they suddenly felt sorry for Lu Zishi.

“What’s wrong with this production crew?” Lu Zishi became increasingly angry as he read the comments online. Initially, he wanted to leverage the popularity of “Li Meng” to attract more fans, but now he not only lost many fans but also faced accusations of devaluing himself for marketing purposes.

“Huihua has changed owners, and the new owner seems to be a rich second-generation with a lot of money. The production crew probably thought they gained some confidence because of the money. However, Huihua has so many projects under its name, it may not have much control over “Li Meng.” The boss of Huihua is very busy with all those matters, so he may not pay attention to this small issue. You don’t have to worry about offending the production crew.”

The manager said, “But it’s not good for them to treat you like this. In the later stages of “Li Meng,” you will still need other connections to get through the censorship. When the time comes, you can talk to other influential investors. They will be able to support you.”

The more Lu Zishi thought about it, the angrier he became. “Isn’t the lead actor the same person, Zhang Qi, who competed with me for a role before? Since the production crew doesn’t give me face, we don’t have to give them face either. Let’s just release the news that the lead actor is Zhang Qi. He also has a shady past, and I don’t believe the book fans won’t criticize them.”

“We underestimated the production crew in this matter. We thought they would at least clarify the situation after one or two weeks, but unexpectedly, they didn’t want to ride on your popularity. Instead, they directly clarified the matter. Our marketing efforts couldn’t suppress the traces in time,” the manager said in silence. “I asked the vice president, and he said we should handle this matter as we see fit. We can put some effort into securing the lead role in ‘Li Meng’ to at least give you some satisfaction. There’s one more thing…”

Lu Zishi frowned, “What is it?”

The manager said, “Isn’t RH’s big boss hosting a party next month? Mr. Wang 1 said he would take you there to experience the scene. You have to find a way to win the big boss’s favor, and then you won’t have to worry about fashion resources in the second half of the year.”

“The big boss?” Lu Zishi knew about this. Mr. Wang told him to be prepared because he said that everyone appearing at the party would be industry leaders. As long as he could catch the attention of these big shots, things would go smoothly for him. “Is it the resource that many people are fighting for?”

“You could say that. RH’s collaboration is based on personal chemistry. They don’t select people based on their popularity within the industry,” the manager said. “But they have a prominent position internationally. Once you join their ranks, you can freely choose from top domestic brands, and brands will compete to work with you.”

“Is RH that powerful?” Lu Zishi became intrigued upon hearing this. He knew that the industry had many underlying rules, and success wasn’t solely based on popularity but also on personal connections and networks.

The manager smirked, “As long as you associate yourself with the big shots at RH, do you think a ancient drama like ‘Li Meng’ would have trouble finding investors willing to spend a fortune on casting you? Being associated with RH’s resources guarantees tremendous potential for success. At that point, they won’t care about your qualifications. As long as they can promote you, you’ll definitely have smooth sailing.”

Lu Zishi felt much better upon hearing this, “Then I need to prepare well. I’ll go ask Mr. Wang later about what the RH big shot likes.”

-*

In the apartment, Uncle Wang noticed that Zhao Yao was sitting on the sofa in the study when he brought him warm water.

He gently put down the water cup and asked, “What’s wrong, Young Master?”

Zhao Yao’s phone displayed some information that had just been forwarded to it. He asked, “How long has Zhao Ruihong been back in the country?”

“Miss Zhao Ruihong is back?” Uncle Wang was somewhat surprised.

Since Zhao Yao withdrew from the Zhao family group, he hadn’t paid any attention to the affairs of the group. He only had his eyes on Zhao Zhikai and Zhao Qizhen, but he never expected Zhao Ruihong to return to the country. In his memory, the last time Zhao Ruihong returned to China was at his father’s funeral in his previous life, but it only happened once. After that, the Zhao family went through turmoil, with some going to jail and others stepping down from power, but Zhao Ruihong never came back to take a look.

The last conversation Zhao Yao remembered having with Zhao Ruihong was at his father’s funeral. She walked up to him and offered her congratulations in advance, and they hadn’t spoken since then. In his previous life, after he came into power, he sent people abroad to find Zhao Ruihong, but she lived a life of luxury and extravagance, ignoring everything in the country. After a few years, he stopped sending people to look for her.

The last piece of information he had about Zhao Ruihong was that she was dating a celebrity in the foreign entertainment industry.

Among all the people in the Zhao family, she was the most sensible one. She had long withdrawn from the power struggle and had the best outcome.

If it wasn’t for the photo of RH’s current leader that Chen Xi had sent in the information, Zhao Yao wouldn’t have thought of Zhao Ruihong. It was true that Zhao Ruihong had her own company operating, but it was her personal asset and had no connection to the Zhao family group. Zhao Yao suddenly remembered that in the investigation file about Zhao Ruihong in his previous life, it did mention RH’s industry, but he hadn’t paid attention to it at the time and only thought of it now.

Zhao Yao said, “The people I sent out didn’t mention anything about Zhao Ruihong, which means she has probably been staying in the old mansion since she returned to the country and Zhao Changshuo has been protecting her. I guess he suppressed the news as well.”

Uncle Wang noticed that Zhao Yao’s expression wasn’t right and asked, “Isn’t it a good thing that Miss Zhao has returned to the country?”

He knew that Zhao Yao didn’t dislike Zhao Ruihong. In fact, among the four of them in the Zhao family, Zhao Yao had the most harmonious relationship with Zhao Ruihong.

Zhao Ruihong had no other connections with Zhao Yao, and she didn’t even have any dealings with the other members of the Zhao family. But Zhao Yao didn’t see it that way because in his previous life, Zhao Ruihong didn’t return to the country during this critical period. He couldn’t help but think that he had overlooked some important key point, which led to Zhao Ruihong suddenly choosing to come back.

“If you put it that way, her return to the country indeed has nothing to do with me, which can be considered a good thing,” Zhao Yao furrowed his brow slightly. “But I can’t figure out why she returned. It’s baffling.”

“If you put it that way, her return to the country indeed has nothing to do with me, which can be considered a good thing,” Zhao Yao furrowed his brow slightly. “But I can’t figure out why she returned. It’s baffling.”

Uncle Wang felt that Zhao Yao was overthinking things and said, “Miss Zhao might just want to come back and take a look or perhaps there are other reasons. Could the Young Master be thinking too much?”

Zhao Ruihong had no interest in the power of the Zhao family and even found entering the Zhao family group annoying.

Zhao Yao contemplated, “Perhaps I’m overthinking it…”

Uncle Wang noticed that the young man’s fingertips kept rubbing against his thumb. He had noticed this habit in Zhao Yao recently. Whenever he was deep in thought, he would unconsciously make this small gesture.

Just as Zhao Yao was lost in thought, the doorbell suddenly rang.

Someone had come to visit.

Uncle Wang nodded and said, “I’ll go and check.”

Zhao Yao leaned back slightly against the chair. Zhao Ruihong’s return to the country posed no threat to him. If it were in his previous life, he might have been happy about it. Among the four siblings of this generation in the Zhao family, Zhao Changshuo was mostly raised by their father when he was young, while Zhao Ruihong stayed at the old mansion for a long time. At that time, Zhao Yao’s mother was still alive, and as the main wife, she also had the responsibility of taking care of Zhao Ruihong. So when they were young, Zhao Yao had the best relationship with his second sister.

During their childhood, when they had almost no playmates, Zhao Ruihong was one of the rare people who took care of him, a little kid. As they grew up, their relationship gradually drifted apart. When Zhao Ruihong was studying, she stayed at boarding school and rarely returned to the old mansion. The most common rumors Zhao Yao heard were about her extravagant behavior at school. She lived like fire, blazing and intense.

So when he took over the Zhao family group, the cold congratulations she gave him at the funeral made him feel that their relationship had truly drifted apart.

Uncle Wang returned after a while and said, “Young Master, Da Shao 2 is here.”

Zhao Changshuo is here?

Zhao Yao was a bit surprised and asked, “Why is he here?”

It was currently 8:30 in the evening.

Zhao Changshuo had just finished working overtime. Instead of having his secretary or Zhao Yao’s assistant schedule an appointment in advance, he took the initiative to visit. During this period, he had learned that Zhao Yao rarely left his house. The bodyguards assigned to protect Zhao Yao had informed him that Zhao Yao only went out on weekends, and the rest of the time he stayed at home.

So Zhao Changshuo had a general understanding that Zhao Yao was usually at home. His third brother had indeed been focusing on self-cultivation after leaving the Zhao family group. In the past, the two of them had disputes over business matters. At that time, Zhao Yao was spirited and even a bit stubborn, showing the traits of a workaholic young man.

Previously, Zhao Changshuo thought that Zhao Yao intended to rebuild his own career. However, after observing him during this period, he found that if Zhao Yao was doing it for the sake of his career, he seemed too passive. Based on Zhao Changshuo’s understanding of Zhao Yao, he should have already had his own plans and intentions during this time, either contacting new connections or setting up his territory to plan his career.

However, none of this seemed to be happening. Even during the recent public relations crisis at Huihua Corporation, Zhao Yao mostly left it to Chen Xi, who belonged to the Chen faction.

“How’s your foot recovering?” Zhao Changshuo asked when he saw Zhao Yao coming out.

Uncle Wang quickly came over to make tea, and Zhao Yao sat down on the other side, asking straightforwardly, “Why did you come at this time?”

“Father’s matter, you’ve heard about it, right?” Zhao Changshuo didn’t waste any words and went straight to the point.

“Just say it directly,” Zhao Yao also guessed that Zhao Changshuo’s visit must be related to the Zhao family. With Zhao Zhikai and Zhao Qizhen making significant moves during this period, it wasn’t difficult to guess the reason for Zhao Changshuo’s visit. He was currently considered openly aligned with Zhao Changshuo’s camp, so the upcoming period might not be peaceful.

“Zhao Zhikai has reached his hands into the project that Dad previously invested heavily in. Initially, Dad trusted his confidant to manage the project, and Zhao Zhikai planned to make a move while Dad was abroad,” Zhao Changshuo said. “His original plan was to use Zhao Qizhen as a puppet, but Dad’s condition deteriorated too quickly, and he couldn’t hold back anymore.”

“Zhao Zhikai never intended to use Zhao Qizhen. The two of them, mother and son, were just objects that Zhao Zhikai used,” Zhao Yao furrowed his brow slightly, recalling the results of the investigation he had asked EV to conduct. “His reach hasn’t extended to Father yet, so during this period, the person he might target last is you. The simplest and quickest method would be to target the projects under your control, or even set traps for you.”

In this critical period, even the slightest movement can have a much greater impact than before, to the extent that even resistance from the top management of the group is possible. Zhao Yao remembered the tactics used by Zhao Zhikai to deal with him in his previous life, and it was not impossible for those tactics to be used on Zhao Changshuo. “You better be careful with the people around you, including the old timers who have been with you for a long time. You must understand clearly whether Zhao Zhikai’s goal is focused on your project or on the foundation of the group. If it’s the former, then it can be dealt with, but if it’s the latter, you will face even more trouble in the future.”

Upon hearing this, Zhao Changshuo hesitated and asked, “Do you know something?”

“You’re thinking too much. It’s just a piece of advice based on my experience working with Zhao Zhikai over the years. When that person is pushed to the edge, he can do anything,” Zhao Yao said in a calm voice. “Don’t forget, he entered the group many years before you did, and he even started scheming when your father was still in the group. Someone like him, wouldn’t he have left himself some trump cards in advance?”

Zhao Changshuo’s expression turned serious upon hearing these words. This was indeed his underlying concern, but now Zhao Yao had made everything clear to him. It felt like every time Zhao Yao spoke to him, it was not just a simple conversation, but a way to guide him to think about deeper and unexpected issues, completely unlike someone of the same generation.

“I understand,” Zhao Changshuo responded.

“In recent years, the development of the Zhao family has been far slower than before. You may need to start thinking about this issue in advance,” Zhao Yao concluded. The mess of the Zhao family only gradually became apparent later in the previous life, and part of the reason for Zhao Yao’s efforts and worries was that the problems with the Zhao family were discovered too late. If Zhao Changshuo could solve these problems a few years earlier in this life, perhaps the Zhao family could revive under his leadership.

Zhao Changshuo expressed his curiosity, saying, “Every time I come here, you always bring surprises to me.”

“Well, I don’t say these things for no reason,” Zhao Yao said, noticing Zhao Changshuo’s serious gaze. He changed the topic and said, “I heard that the closure of Xingchen Agency has already been confirmed within the group. I want to thank you for the projects you sent me before. This time, I want to discuss acquiring some of the staff with you.”

Finally feeling relieved upon hearing this, Zhao Changshuo replied, “Sure, tell me. If we’re short of manpower, I’ll have my secretary contact them for you.”

Zhao Yao recalled the previous issue that Chen Xi complained to him about their agents. The team from Xingchen Agency was only filling the vacancies, and some of them had already moved to other positions. It seemed that the biggest shortage in Huihua at the moment was exceptional agents. “I heard that some agents from Xingchen are planning to switch to other companies. Unfortunately, Huihua is currently understaffed. I want to explore the possibility of convincing those people to change their path and join us at Huihua.”

“Is that all?” Zhao Changshuo was aware of this issue as well. The person in charge of Xingchen had also mentioned the problem of reallocating employees later. Some would be reassigned to work in the group, some to other companies, and some were considering seeking better opportunities elsewhere. He thought that providing projects and a team for Zhao Yao would be enough to solve the initial troubles of Zhao Yao’s startup. However, now that Zhao Yao had made this request, it became clear that Huihua Agency was expanding at a faster pace than he had imagined.

“No problem. I will have my secretary contact them in advance, and if they are interested, I will have them get in touch with your assistant,” Zhao Changshuo assured.

Zhao Yao noticed that Zhao Changshuo had become quite accommodating lately. “Thank you for that.”

“There are also a few directors from Xingchen who may want to leave,” Zhao Changshuo added. He felt that the matter of a few agents was relatively minor, but the things Zhao Yao mentioned gave him a lot of insight. He asked, “Is Huihua in need of directors?”

Zhao Yao looked at him unexpectedly and replied, “Yes, we are.”

Zhao Changshuo nodded and said, “Good.”

As Zhao Yao heard this, he suddenly realized that Xingchen’s reserves might be better than he had imagined. In his previous life, when he began paying attention to entertainment projects, the entertainment company under the Zhao Group had already disbanded. He hadn’t expected that there would still be so many talented individuals remaining.

Curious, he asked further, “Anything else?”

“We have two managers who are planning to transfer to other subsidiaries,” Zhao Changshuo replied, noticing Zhao Yao’s serious gaze. He quickly added, “I will have my secretary inquire about it.”

Zhao Yao continued to watch him intently.

After a brief moment of silence, Zhao Changshuo said, “There are also some public relations…”

As Zhao Yao and Zhao Changshuo continued their conversation, Zhao Yao managed to extract detailed information about the inner workings of Xingchen. Initially, Zhao Changshuo intended to recommend a few agents, but as the conversation progressed, he found himself recommending those who were originally planned to be transferred to other companies. By the end of their discussion, Zhao Changshuo even had a vague sense of being subtly manipulated by Zhao Yao.

Before parting ways, Zhao Changshuo gave Zhao Yao a slightly mournful look.

However, Zhao Yao didn’t notice it at all and simply asked, “Has Second Sister returned to the country?”

“Yes,” Zhao Changshuo paused, “You haven’t been back to the old mansion recently, so you wouldn’t know. She has been staying at the old mansion.”

Zhao Yao pondered for a moment.

Zhao Changshuo continued, “Given the current circumstances, I’ve been keeping her return to the country a secret. Although she isn’t interested in the conglomerate, her timing of returning to the country is rather coincidental. If someone with ulterior motives notices her, it could be troublesome.”

“You too,” Zhao Changshuo added, “I’ve heard that you often go out on weekends. Please be more cautious about your safety. Pei Er also has capable individuals around him, but you and Pei Er should be vigilant when you’re together. Although the Pei family has resolved the issue with the personnel, there might still be some overlooked individuals. His surroundings may not be entirely safe, so please be cautious.”

Zhao Yao nodded, hesitated for a moment, and asked the question he was concerned about, “Did Second Sister say why she returned to the country?”

Zhao Changshuo was slightly surprised that Zhao Yao seemed to be concerned about Zhao Ruihong. After recalling Zhao Ruihong’s words, he could only say, “I asked her that question, and this is how she told me…”

“She returned to the country to eat melons 3,” Zhao Changshuo replied.

-*

Pei Mingzhan didn’t have any variety show arrangements in the near future, as his original plan was to finish his commercial activities after the release of “Jianghu” and focus on the subsequent promotion of his unreleased projects, which didn’t conflict with his current plans.

Pei Mingzhan’s fans were aware that he was gradually withdrawing from the entertainment industry. Although it wasn’t explicitly stated, fans couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness. The manager noticed that Pei Mingzhan had been working late these days and approached the subject with a hint of negotiation, “I promised you not to schedule any work for you, but your intention to retire was mainly for your new company. You also mentioned that you might continue acting once the company stabilizes.”

“Well, there’s no need to completely retire. Even during this period when you can’t film, it’s possible to appear as a guest on a variety show, such as a travel-related program. Consider it as a way to give back to your fans. We can discuss the scheduling and time arrangement,” the manager suggested.

Pei Mingzhan had been dedicating more and more time to work recently, and with weekends already cleared in his plans, he had grown accustomed to such high-intensity work arrangements. “What invitations do we have for next month?”

The manager, delighted that there was an opportunity, immediately responded, “We’ve received several invitations. I filtered out the ones you wouldn’t be interested in. The remaining options include two variety shows focused on cultivating actors and one focused on travel and leisure. These are all suitable for you, and the requirements for the programs aren’t too demanding. The leisure-oriented program has a slower pace compared to the cultural and tourism programs you’ve participated in before. Consider taking a few days next month to relax.”

The manager had his own selfish motives as well. Pei Mingzhan was too serious about his work, and he didn’t have much time for genuine rest.

Pei Mingzhan paused briefly upon hearing the suggestions. “Send me the specific details to my email. I’ll take a look later.”

As it was getting late, the manager planned to leave after finishing the conversation. “By the way, make sure to rest early during this period. You’re not any younger than those recent graduates. Learn from Mr. Zhao and take care of your health. Don’t wait until you’re old to regret it…” The manager’s words were interrupted when he noticed Pei Mingzhan already packing up his files, clearly intending to leave for the day.

The manager expressed surprise, “Mr. Zhao’s influence is quite something, huh?”

Pei Mingzhan locked the important files, picked up his suit jacket from the back of the chair, and prepared to leave. “You reminded me.”

The manager asked curiously, “?”

With one hand holding his jacket and the other swiftly flipping through a contact list, Pei Mingzhan found a particular contact and said, “I forgot to make a phone call today.”

-*

After seeing off Zhao Changshuo, the house suddenly became quiet.

Zhao Yao had a bit of a headache and went to rest in his bedroom after talking to Uncle Wang. He lay on the bed with his eyes open, unable to control his thoughts from running wild. Logic told him that these things didn’t need his consideration at all, and that they were no longer related to him. However, Zhao Yao had a habit of not being able to stop thinking about things he couldn’t understand.

“Stop thinking about it,” he told himself.

But the next moment, he started to calculate the reason for Zhao Ruihong’s return to China and considered what extreme measures Zhao Zhikai would take in his disadvantageous position… The thinking process was difficult to stop from the beginning, and his forehead began to ache. He pulled out the medicine prescribed by the doctor from the bedside table and drank it with the cold water that had been on the table earlier.

At that moment, his phone, placed not far away, suddenly rang. Zhao Yao’s face didn’t look too good, but when he saw the contact person on the phone screen, he had a sudden sense of detachment from his highly focused thoughts.

It was a call from Pei Mingzhan.


Author’s note:

Zhao Yao: Is there more?

Zhao Changshuo: …Yes.

Chen Xi in the office: Huh??


T/N: 3/4

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  1. Mr. Wang is not related to Uncle Wang []
  2. Elder Young Master[]
  3. CN Slang eating melons: watching show; being gossipy[]

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