Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 53
In the luxurious room, Zhao Zhikai opened his eyes as his phone vibrated on the bedside table.
The woman lying next to him glanced at him, then turned over and continued sleeping. Zhao Zhikai got out of bed, put on his clothes, and pulled back the heavy curtains. He dialed his trusted subordinate’s number and said, “Hello, what’s the situation?”
The city in the distance was still shrouded in darkness. The more Zhao Zhikai listened, the darker his expression became. “Zhao Changshuo is quite cunning. He discovered this project too?”
After a few more words from his subordinate, Zhao Zhikai’s face turned black with anger. Ever since Zhao Yao withdrew from the competition, Zhao Changshuo had become more and more proactive. One by one, he exposed the people Zhao Zhikai had placed around Zhao Changshuo, and now he had set his sights on projects under Zhao Zhikai’s control.
Among the four members of the Zhao family of this generation, only Zhao Changshuo and Zhao Yao were outstanding. Zhao Zhikai had initially thought of supporting Zhao Qizhen, but he never expected him to be so ineffective. Not only did he fail to achieve any significant results in his work, but he also caused a lot of trouble.
Veins popped on Zhao Zhikai’s hand as he gripped the balcony railing. Everything had spiraled out of control since Zhao Yao withdrew from the competition. It was as if everything had started to unravel from that moment. He asked, “What has Zhao Yao been up to lately?”
His subordinate said a few more words.
“You mean he partnered with the Pei family to establish a live streaming platform?” Zhao Zhikai furrowed his brow slightly. “What else? How is the entertainment company he set up doing?”
Zhao Zhikai silently listened to his subordinate’s report and then said, “Zhao Yao has caused me so much trouble, and now he’s casually doing his own thing? You mentioned he’s assembling a team over there. Do you have any available personnel? Find a way to insert someone in there.”
Things couldn’t be so coincidental. Zhao Yao had just withdrawn, and Zhao Changshuo reacted so quickly?
Zhao Zhikai couldn’t help but think that he had been very cautious in his plans over the years. Even after Zhao Yao joined the company two years ago, he hadn’t gained access to Zhao Zhikai’s core resources. How did Zhao Changshuo manage to gather information about him? Either someone under him was a traitor, or Zhao Yao knew far more than he had anticipated. Furthermore, considering the close relationship between Zhao Changshuo and Zhao Yao recently…
Could it be that Zhao Yao was actually behind all of this?
The main recording of the variety show began, and before 5 o’clock, the regular guest, Brother Dai, woke up.
“Let the others sleep. They can catch up later,” Brother Dai yawned and went to the yard to freshen up. The show didn’t require the guests to wake up early, but the recording started at 4 in the morning. Some laid back guests would sleep until they naturally woke up, while others who wanted more screen time would get up early and stay busy.
The program team didn’t have strict requirements, but if the villagers wanted to buy fresh ingredients, they had to wake up early and go to the morning market. The program team didn’t provide food or drinks, so the guests had to take care of it themselves. As the eldest brother among the regular guests, Brother Dai had to wake up early to go shopping.
As the sky was still dim, as soon as he entered the yard, he noticed a figure standing by the corridor.
Brother Dai, holding a mouthwash cup, asked in a dazed manner, “Pei Ge?”
Pei Mingzhan turned his head and nodded in greeting. “Morning.”
Brother Dai was surprised to see Pei Mingzhan up so early. After exchanging a few words, he asked, “Why did you wake up so early, Pei Ge? It’s cold outside, you should get more sleep.”
“I slept early yesterday. Are you going to the market later?” Pei Mingzhan asked.
Brother Dai replied, “Yes, want to go together?”
“Sure, let’s go buy some fresh ingredients,” Pei Mingzhan nodded.
The program team provided a specific budget, which Brother Dai has been in charge of. As a well-known entertainer in the domestic variety show industry, Brother Dai has encountered many issues and understands that the allocated budget is intended to create entertainment effects. As they walked on the road for some time, they encountered several villagers on their way to the market. Brother Dai, who had been here for two seasons, said, “The vendors who come to the village to sell their goods sometimes have to run to several villages. Coming here is considered early. If we don’t hurry and go, the good stuff will be picked, and what’s left will be just mediocre.”
Upon entering the market, Brother Dai’s sharp eyes caught sight of a familiar figure. In the distance, he saw Mr. Zhao, along with his steward, standing in front of a soy milk stall, seemingly buying youtiao 1. Since they were currently recording the show, it was not convenient to go up and greet them. However, there were staff members around Mr. Zhao, ready to handle any unexpected situations.
Brother Dai decided to avoid Mr. Zhao and walk in the opposite direction.
“We haven’t had breakfast yet,” said Pei Mingzhan, stopping in his tracks.
“Huh?” Brother Dai was momentarily confused but quickly realized. They had woken up early in the morning, and in the previous two seasons, they had relied on instant noodles to get by. Hearing Pei Mingzhan’s words, the tempting aroma of the soy milk stall made it hard for them to resist.
When the production staff of the director’s team heard that Mr. Zhao was planning to visit the market today, they were already exhausted. On one hand, they had to ensure the smooth progress of the recording, and on the other hand, they had to keep an eye on Mr. Zhao in case any issues arose.
So, when the monitoring video of the recording showed Mr. Zhao and Movie Emperor Pei, the director’s heart skipped a beat, and he quickly asked through the walkie-takie, “What’s going on?”
The staff member on the other side replied, “Mr. Zhao is buying soy milk…”
The director then asked again, “How did Mr. Pei go over there!”
The staff member replied, “Pei ge and Dai ge are hungry.”
Originally, Zhao Yao and Uncle Wang had bought breakfast. The owner of the soy milk shop was used to serving the food for dining in, and she had her little daughter bring it to a small table on the side. It was the first time Zhao Yao had eaten in such a small shop. The tables and chairs were not high, and when he sat down, his legs could only fit in a small space. Just as he and Uncle Wang had sat down, the crew members from afar approached.
Oh right, they had a recording in the morning.
From Zhao Yao’s perspective, he could see what was happening in the market. He saw Pei Mingzhan and another person walking over, seemingly wanting to buy breakfast.
On the way over, Brother Dai was still thinking about the budget. The budget provided by the program team wasn’t much, just enough to buy some meat and vegetables. At other times, they would work in the fields, and the villagers there would give them some local specialties. The program team hadn’t explicitly mentioned these rules, and it was up to them whether to follow them or not. But now, if they were to buy breakfast, it would mean they would have less money for buying groceries.
Although the breakfast for two didn’t cost much, it would still amount to ten yuan when calculated.
Pei Mingzhan saw Zhao Yao and nodded in greeting, straightforwardly asking, “Can we join you for a meal?”
Zhao Yao paused with the soy milk bowl in his hand. Did Pei Mingzhan know that they were recording a show?
Uncle Wang glanced at Zhao Yao’s expression and then asked the owner for two more portions of breakfast.
Zhao Yao said, “Please have a seat.”
Pei Mingzhan sat down without any hesitation.
The small table now accommodated four people, and Brother Dai was suddenly drawn into this strange atmosphere.
At this small breakfast table, there was one of their guest of honor for this season and the sponsor from the program team. Brother Dai looked at the hot soy milk brought by the owner and suddenly found the smell less appetizing. He felt like he should say a few words to ease the tension, but before anyone at the table could speak, they started eating their breakfast silently.
Feeling helpless, Brother Dai looked towards the director’s team in the distance for assistance.
However, the director deliberately avoided his gaze and just made a fist gesture, giving encouragement.
When Chen Xi was at work, Yao Bai happened to come to discuss something. A couple of days ago, Yao Bai had learned that Mr. Zhao was involved in another investment and was planning to assemble a new team. He was currently looking for suitable candidates. Chen Xi had also seen the list Yao Bai sent over and suggested sending some candidates to a headhunter, as some of them might be difficult to approach.
“This team should have been established earlier. Mr. Zhao isn’t someone who enjoys managing things, but the number of investment projects is increasing,” Chen Xi had some connections in this field. “Don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on this matter for you.”
After discussing the team’s affairs for a while, Chen Xi suddenly remembered something, “Is the promotion of ‘Li Meng’ going well? It’s almost finished shooting, right?”
Due to Mr. Zhao’s involvement, Huihua had increased their investment in “Li Meng.” The company was particularly concerned about the progress of this project, and it had been mentioned several times in their meetings.
“It’s going well. The filming will be completed in about a month. The official Weibo account regularly releases promotional materials,” Yao Bai replied, feeling a bit puzzled. “But Shiyang Films has been quiet during this period, which confuses me. They caused a lot of trouble before the filming started, but now, during a critical time, they haven’t made any moves. Could they have backed down?”
“I’m also wondering about that. I’ll find someone to look into it for you,” Chen Xi said.
“Do you have enough manpower?” Yao Bai knew that Chen Xi had been concerned about the staffing issue.
“Mr. Zhao brought the entire company over. Don’t I have enough manpower?” Chen Xi replied, “I don’t know if you’re familiar with this person, but he was the vice president of Xingchen. He just joined us a few days ago to take over the project. He’s familiar with the industry. If there’s no problem on your end, I can have him come over and assist you.”
Yao Bai, who was not originally from the entertainment industry, was aware of the dirty tricks in the industry that he couldn’t defend against. Chen Xi had considered this as well, saying, “This way, you’ll have some help, and I’ll have time to focus on Mr. Zhao’s team.”
“Alright, I heard you changed Zhang Qi’s agent?” Yao Bai asked.
“Well, isn’t Xiao Liu too busy with Ji Heyu’s schedule?” Chen Xi thought of Ji Heyu and realized that Zhao Yao really had foresight. Ji Heyu had talent, but after this period of systematic learning, his singing abilities had noticeably improved. He gained high popularity on the “Sheng” variety show and directly secured second place.
Although he didn’t surpass the first-place contestant in terms of votes, his popularity increased even after leaving “Sheng”. Many invitations were sent to Huihua, and his popularity soared to the top and front ranks among Huihua’s signed artists. Chen Xi felt uplifted as he looked at the report handed to him by his secretary.
But when these things were presented to Mr. Zhao, he simply responded with a casual “okay.”
Yao Bai nodded, “Yes, Ji Heyu is incredibly popular now.”
While the two were talking, their secretary entered the room in a hurry and said, “Mr. Chen, there’s an issue. The project we invested in Honeymelon TV has been returned.”
Upon hearing this, Chen Xi glanced at Yao Bai, and they immediately understood the situation. “Find out who returned it and investigate with the Shiyang Films,” he instructed.
During the recording of the variety show, the director was somewhat worried. According to their original plan, this particular segment of the recording should have provided a lot of usable material. However, because Movie Emperor Pei kept talking to Mr. Zhao, the footage involving Mr. Zhao couldn’t be used, resulting in only half of the intended footage being usable.
Mr. Zhao had also come to buy groceries in the morning, and the director couldn’t understand why a powerful CEO like him would be interested in buying groceries. They observed that Mr. Zhao and his accompanying steward were particularly meticulous about the grocery shopping, buying a lot of things from the beginning to the end of the market. As a result, encounters between Brother Dai and Pei, caused by this situation, resulted in them occasionally crossing paths with Mr. Zhao in the market and exchanging a few words. What should have taken half an hour to buy groceries ended up taking an hour to film.
Brother Dai also had mixed feelings. Wasn’t the relationship between Movie Emperor Pei and Mr. Zhao supposed to be ordinary? How come no one else could get a word in when these two started talking?
The director had no choice but to remind Pei Mingzhan, “Pei Ge, although our show doesn’t have so many rules, we still need some usable material for post-production editing.”
Pei Mingzhan was puzzled. “Didn’t we film for a long time in the morning? None of it can be used?”
“It’s not that we didn’t film enough. It’s just that we can’t use the footage with Mr. Zhao,” the director sighed, pulling his hair out in frustration. Having the leader being filmed as part of the variety show was a first in his filming experience, and it was even more challenging because this particular leader was not easy to deal with.
Pei Mingzhan smiled. “This place is small, and I overlooked it. But you can also discuss this issue with Mr. Zhao. He’s quite easy to talk to, and one or two shots are not a big problem. Just cut out the part where we talk.”
The director had no choice but to send a staff member to ask Mr. Zhao. They received a response telling them to handle it as they saw fit, finally putting the director’s mind at ease.
After returning to the guesthouse, the other guests also woke up. Cooking was originally the responsibility of a young resident guest who was in charge. His cooking skills were average, but much better than the other guests who had never been in the kitchen. However, as soon as they arrived at the guesthouse today, Pei Mingzhan took up the task of cooking and assigned others to do different tasks.
Brother Dai curiously asked, “Pei Ge, you can cook too?”
Considering Pei Mingzhan’s background and wealth, his continuous rise in the entertainment industry and rumors of influential connections, it was surprising that someone like him would know how to cook.
“I know a little, but I can manage,” Pei Mingzhan glanced at the artists standing in the courtyard. “It seems like there aren’t enough ingredients for so many people. Do you have other ways of obtaining them?”
“Yes, we’ll go to the fields later to lend a hand and get some fresh ingredients,” Brother Dai said. “Pei Ge, what other ingredients do you need? Just let us know.”
Pei Mingzhan nodded in acknowledgment.
Although the weather was getting cold, the sun was still shining brightly today. Before setting off, one of the guests was touching up their makeup. Brother Dai thought that they might not return from the fields on time, so he instructed his assistant, “If Pei Ge has any specific requirements later, give me a call.”
After saying that, he added, “I know you’re a fan of Pei Ge. After the show ends, I’ll get you an autograph. But don’t disturb him during the recording, okay?”
The assistant glanced at Pei Mingzhan, who was busy in the kitchen, and nodded.
The only two people remaining at the guesthouse were Pei Mingzhan and Yang Mumu. Yang Mumu was the only female guest, and it didn’t seem appropriate to have her working outdoors, so she stayed in the kitchen to assist Pei Mingzhan with washing vegetables and other tasks. Yang Mumu had some experience in the kitchen, and she quickly became efficient at washing vegetables. The two of them soon took charge of preparing lunch for the others.
“Pei Ge, should I place the washed vegetables here?” Yang Mumu asked, setting down the items.
Pei Mingzhan acknowledged her and told her to take a rest.
Seeing Pei Mingzhan’s smooth knife skills next to her, Yang Mumu couldn’t help but think that men nowadays were really good at taking care of the household. Since she didn’t want to be in the way, she found a place to sit and rest. The courtyard outside the kitchen wasn’t too big or small, and there were some sponsored products placed nearby. She moved a chair to a shady spot and was about to play with her phone when she noticed someone lurking suspiciously at the entrance of the kitchen.
Because the filming was still ongoing, the staff members occasionally moved around, but it generally didn’t affect the normal shooting of the variety show. Moreover, for a slow-paced show like “Youxian,” the staff members usually didn’t need to remind the guests, except for the cameras placed around the guesthouse to record their activities. The only other instances were when the guests went out, and the accompanying camera crew followed to film them.
Yang Mumu carefully examined the person standing by the kitchen and realized that they didn’t look like a staff member, but rather an outsider. After observing for a while, when the person slightly revealed their profile, she remembered that they seemed to be Dai Ge’s assistant.
Last night, when everyone was talking in the living room, this assistant was frequently moving around, so she had some impression of them.
Yang Mumu paused for a moment. Could it be?
Pei Mingzhan came out of the kitchen while he was halfway through preparing the dish. Seeing Yang Mumu sitting in the courtyard, he asked her to keep an eye on the soup in the kitchen. “I’m going next door to borrow some sauce. We ran out of it here.”
Yang Mumu nodded and agreed. She glanced at the ingredients placed on the kitchen counter and wondered what kind of grand meal Pei Ge was preparing that the program team did not provide. But then she thought it didn’t make sense. If the program team didn’t have those ingredients, would the neighbors next door have them?
The director sitting behind the monitor also became puzzled and turned to ask the staff, “Don’t we have enough ingredients there?”
In order to give the guests a chance to showcase their skills, the staff had brought almost all the available ingredients from the market. “They should be enough… What ingredients does Pei Ge need?”
Uncle Wang was cooking while Zhao Yao went to the location where the director’s team was resting. The staff there carefully introduced him to various behind-the-scenes work and briefly explained the segments of the show. During the conversation, a few segments caught Zhao Yao’s attention, and he asked, “Why aren’t these two games included?”
The staff felt a bit awkward and said, “Our show is already relaxed enough, and the director was concerned that games would take up too much screen time and disrupt the show’s positioning.”
Zhao Yao briefly recalled his experience of watching this show in his previous life and said, “I understand the show’s positioning, but our show itself falls under the low-cost category. The game segments don’t need to be as elaborate as those in other variety shows. You can find ways to simplify the game details and make them a unique feature of our show.”
The staff seemed a bit perplexed and asked, “Is that so?”
“You need to create a specific sense of anticipation for the audience and give them a general impression of our show. After watching a couple of episodes, the audience might find the show interesting, but when it comes to discussing the details, they will lack a concrete impression,” Zhao Yao explained.
He continued, “For example, in competitive variety shows, the audience looks forward to the unique game segments, while in food shows, they anticipate different dishes in each episode. As for a project like ‘Youxian’ that focuses on rural living, you can initially attract the audience by letting them experience the feeling of the countryside. However, once you exhaust the same materials, the audience will grow tired, and then what will you use to compete with similar shows?”
The staff conveyed Zhao Yao’s words to the director, who was left pondering. “Did Mr. Zhao really say that?”
“Yes, Mr. Zhao also asked you to pay more attention to these aspects. He said that although the show can gain fame through the guests, long-term development relies on the show itself. He wants us to make the show excellent,” the staff said and then asked, “Director, what do you think Mr. Zhao meant by these words?”
The director lightly tapped the script in his hand against the staff member’s head and said, “Are you foolish? Mr. Zhao has already discussed the future with us, and you’re not working properly?”
The staff member suddenly realized.
“Usually when leaders come to discuss these matters, either they give you vague answers for you to guess on their intentions, or they take a few days to give you a response,” the director said. Initially anxious and on edge, he finally relaxed upon hearing Zhao Yao’s words. “Leaders don’t come to talk about development unless they genuinely care about the show. Mr. Zhao is concerned about this program, which is why he said so much.”
There were many rumors about Zhao Yao in Huihua. Some people said he was easy to talk to, while others found him too mysterious. Knowing that Zhao Yao was coming to review the project, he could only inquire about the situation. However, in the eyes of many, Zhao Yao was a difficult person to deal with, known for his ability to handle matters efficiently despite spending no more than two days at the company each month. So when he listened to Zhao Yao, he felt quite nervous. Therefore, he organized a small welcome event when Zhao Yao came over.
However, Zhao Yao rejected the invitation.
Failing to guess on Zhao Yao’s intentions, he now faced the possibility that Zhao Yao had an overall perception of the entire show. He had been anxious for so long, but now Zhao Yao’s words finally put his restless heart at ease.
“Did Mr. Zhao leave?” the director asked.
The staff member replied, “Mr. Zhao said he doesn’t need to be involved in other matters and asked us to follow the plan on our own.”
Just as Zhao Yao was coming out of the production team’s room, he encountered Pei Mingzhan. There was a camera crew following behind, as if they had come out at the last minute. Zhao Yao slightly avoided him, and neither of them greeted each other. However, when Pei Mingzhan entered the guesthouse where Zhao Yao was staying, Zhao Yao, who was following behind, furrowed his brow.
After returning to the guesthouse, Zhao Yao didn’t greet Pei Mingzhan directly. He walked into the kitchen when he saw Pei Mingzhan leaving with a small bottle of sauce from Uncle Wang and some other ingredients. He asked in confusion, “What did Pei Mingzhan come here for?”
Uncle Wang explained with a calm expression, “He came to get some sauce and ingredients. Young Master, don’t you like the pickled vegetables made by Mr. Pei? When you were talking to him yesterday, he mentioned that if he had time today, he would make more and bring them over. But the production team didn’t prepare the ingredients he wanted, so he came to me to get them.”
Zhao Yao wondered, how did Pei Mingzhan know that Uncle Wang had the sauce?
When Pei Mingzhan returned to the guesthouse, two guests who had been working in the field came back to get something. They were holding products from the sponsors and shooting a short advertisement over there. Yang Mumu stood at the kitchen door and said, “I’m not very good at judging, but I think the soup is almost ready.”
Pei Mingzhan nodded and went inside, placing the sauce on the table.
Yang Mumu curiously glanced at the bottle and said, “Huh? Pei ge, don’t we have this sauce here?”
Pei Mingzhan tilted his head and replied, “Is that so? I couldn’t find it when I looked just now.”
Yang Mumu retrieved the sauce from behind the condiment shelf and said, “It was placed too far inside, no wonder you didn’t see it.”
“Oh, by the way, Pei ge,” Yang Mumu was about to leave but then noticed the assistant of Brother Dai sneaking into the guesthouse. “Do you know Dai Ge’s assistant? I find him a bit strange.”
Translating the part during the filming of variety in themorning was so infuriating. Like come on. Pei Ge, you’re literally working :3 My face when he said “didn’t we film for a long time?” was this -.-
Anyways Zhao Zong was ready to rescue!
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- Chinese fried dough sticks