FLBOTCP Chapter 54

Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 54


Shiyang Films.

Boss Lin 1  looked satisfied as he received the report from his subordinate. They had traded a project that was originally competing with Honey Melon TV and Strawberry TV to gain the trust of Honey Melon TV, which allowed them to secure the Huihua project. Huihua had been releasing too many high-quality projects lately, and many platforms expressed their desire to collaborate with them, making it difficult for their plan to unfold smoothly. But now that they had Honey Melon TV on their side, things would be much easier to handle.

“Huihua will probably find another platform to take over this project. Otherwise, all the previous publicity preparations would be in vain,” Boss Lin tapped the table and continued, “You make sure to delay other platforms and proceed according to our original plan.”

He paused for a moment and asked, “By the way, how is the task I assigned to you earlier?”

“The filming location for the Huihua production is in the countryside of H City. The show is already in progress, and for some reason, Zhao Yao went there in person too,” the person in charge replied. “We have also taken care of the task you assigned to us. Do you have any other arrangements?”

“Zhao Yao is quite capable. If it were in a different place, I might not be able to outmaneuver him. But if he provokes me, he shouldn’t expect a good outcome,” Boss Lin sneered. “The matter with Honey Melon TV has probably reached Chen Xi. I refuse to believe that if something happens to the ‘Youxian’ crew, Zhao Yao can keep his ground.”

Boss Lin said, “You can go now. Proceed according to the plans.”

“Understood,” the person in charge quickly left.

Boss Lin calmly flipped through the report. They made some minor adjustments regarding the Honey Melon TV situation. The platforms that were initially planning to collaborate with Huihua would also hesitate now. As long as they could delay for about half a month, it was estimated that Chen Xi would start to feel anxious.

When the time comes, if the platforms they favor go on to collaborate with the Chen Xi, they can minimize the Chen Xi’s share of the projects and maximize their own benefits. Given the current thriving situation of Huihua, isolating them directly wouldn’t work well. However, with slight adjustments, ensuring that the benefits of Huihua’s projects fall into their hands would be the wisest approach.

This partner attaches great importance to the issue of profit sharing. It would be unsightly to isolate them completely. Only by taking the money that is almost within their grasp and distributing it into their own pockets can they maximize the impact.

No matter how big the face 2 of the  Zhao Group is, in the end, they haven’t encountered this industry. With Zhao Yao’s current capital, he falls a little short if he wants to compete with them.

-*

Upon hearing Yang Mumu’s words, Pei Mingzhan immediately remembered Lele’s reminder from last night and asked, “What’s wrong with him?”

“Just now, while you were in the kitchen, he was constantly watching from outside,” Yang Mumu, who had been in the entertainment industry for a while, was quite perceptive and knew that recording a variety show was actually a semi-public occasion. “He’s very clever, directly avoiding the camera’s position. Pei ge, you should be more careful. The program’s security measures are in place, but occasionally it’s difficult to prevent others.”

Pei Mingzhan understood what she meant and replied, “Alright, thanks.”

After finishing lunch, the other guests who had been working in the field returned.

Pei Mingzhan asked Lele to deliver the side dishes to Zhao Yao’s place, while he asked Yang Mumu to help carry the dishes to the courtyard.

Uncle Wang was almost done preparing lunch. As Lele was about to deliver the small side dishes, he was planning to go upstairs and call Zhao Yao. Zhao Yao had been feeling a bit drowsy since he returned in the morning. He had come to the countryside to relax, but apart from watching the recording of the variety show in the morning, he had been holed up in his room browsing the internet.

Perhaps it was because he had been leaving frequent comments on relevant Weibo posts, he had gained quite a few followers on his own Weibo account.

While looking at the comments on Weibo, Zhao Yao accidentally clicked on the trending topics section. He wasn’t particularly interested in trending topics, and usually only checked them if there was major news about Huihua. However, what caught his attention now was the real-time trending topic displayed below the search bar, #Pei Mingzhan’s Seductive Moonlight#. He wondered if it was a collaboration between the program team and Pei Mingzhan. He tapped on it with his hand.

Underneath Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo post, Zhao Yao recognized the photo taken last night when they went to the field. He carefully recalled the events of last night. In the village fields, it could get quite windy in the evening, and the moon wasn’t the focal point. At least, he didn’t have the intention to admire the moon.

He continued scrolling down the Weibo post and came across the one about their last meal at Pei Mingzhan’s house. As he kept scrolling, he saw promotional images from one of Pei Mingzhan’s activities…

After continuously scrolling through several posts, Weibo prompted him to follow the user, so Zhao Yao clicked the follow button and continued to browse Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo.

“Young Master, it’s time to eat,” Uncle Wang approached him. “Mr. Pei asked Lele to bring some pickled side dishes.”

As Zhao Yao’s gaze left his phone, he put on a simple jacket and wore the standard small cotton shoes. When he went downstairs, he didn’t see Pei Mingzhan. Looking out of the inn’s window, he saw the artists gathered in the courtyard, having lunch together.

Zhao Yao suddenly felt that having a meal with Uncle Wang was a bit quiet.

Since Uncle Wang came to the countryside, his mood had improved a lot. When Zhao Yao went to watch the recording, Uncle Wang would chat with the nearby villagers and learn from them. This table of lunch was made by him after learning from them. “Young Master, why don’t you try this?”

Zhao Yao tasted it and found that it was indeed slightly salty, but in a good way.

Uncle Wang said again, “Mr. Pei’s side dishes are made so well. I can’t quite replicate them.”

Zhao Yao scooped up a few more small pickled dishes. He didn’t know why, but the taste of this dish easily reminded him of his childhood. “You made too much.”

“I thought Mr. Pei and the others would also take a break at noon, so I made a bit more,” Uncle Wang also realized the problem. It was mainly because he had too many things he wanted to make, and he accidentally made too much. “There are some leftovers in the kitchen. How about I take them to the program team next door?”

Zhao Yao had no objections. “That’s fine.”

-*

Understanding that Young Master meant to send the leftovers to Mr. Pei, Uncle Wang proceeded accordingly.

The director was in the middle of the program recording when he noticed Mr. Zhao’s steward, Uncle Wang, walked over with a small basket in hand. Thinking that something might be wrong, the director assumed that the steward had some clever idea in mind. So, he approached and asked if the steward could deliver the dishes to the guests.

The meal segment of the program is recorded in its entirety, but only about one-third of it will be included in the final edited episode. The cameras on this side are almost turned off, and the next scene to be filmed is the afternoon activity in the village, which is not directly related to the meal.

Uncle Wang said, “There’s too much food left, and the young master asked me to bring some over.”

The director couldn’t resist the tempting aroma and said, “Just send it directly over.”

Uncle Wang left a plate of small dishes for the director and glanced at the empty lunch boxes nearby. “These are some delicious small dishes. You should give them a try.”

The director was pleasantly surprised and said, “You’re too kind.”

The remaining plates of small dishes were directly delivered to the guests’ table. The regular guests had been enduring a tough time during this period, and although there was an improvement in the food thanks to Pei Mingzhan’s presence at lunch, there were still limited ingredients. They hadn’t eaten enough, and the rice was enough, but the dishes were scarce. When the program team sent over three plates of small dishes, Dai Ge was moved to tears and said, “With Pei Ge here to record the show, our treatment has improved too!”

One of the staff members whispered, “It’s from the neighboring guesthouse. They said it’s for you guys.”

Who is the neighboring guesthouse? Isn’t that the investor, Mr. Zhao?

Among the people at the table, they had attended a social dinner yesterday and heard someone mention the delicate relationship between Mr. Zhao and the Movie Emperor Pei Mingzhan. Among those present, the person who was closest to Mr. Zhao was indeed Pei Mingzhan. It was evident that these plates of food were a result of someone’s good fortune, and no one dared to touch them.

“Everyone, please eat. We still have to continue recording in the afternoon,” Pei Mingzhan said simply. 

Yang Mumu, seeing the awkward atmosphere, took the initiative and said, “Thank you, Pei Ge. I won’t hold back then.”

Only then did the others start to eat.

Outside the recording venue, a young man dressed in casual black attire frowned deeply when he saw the scene. A staff member walking by reminded him, “Xiao Xu, the artists might need touch-ups later. Did Dai Ge arrange that?”

Xiao Xu snapped out of his thoughts and replied, “Oh, yes, I know.”

He then asked, “Brother, the food you just delivered, was it sent by Mr. Zhao from next door?”

“It was Mr. Zhao’s steward who brought it. It seems they made too much for lunch,” the staff member said. “Don’t just stand there, go and attend to your duties.”

“Dai Ge has a really good relationship with Mr. Zhao,” Xiao Xu sighed. “I’ll go and get busy then.”

The staff member glanced at Xiao Xu and felt that Brother Dai’s new assistant had a peculiar tone. He had also heard about Brother Dai’s previous assistant having a minor accident and being hospitalized last week. This new assistant seemed to have been recently assigned by the company and was usually very enthusiastic, but he always seemed to be getting involved in other matters. Although the atmosphere within the program team wasn’t too tense, there were surveillance cameras everywhere in the guesthouse, and the footage captured would be used in post-production. It would be a waste of material if he wandered around and got caught on camera.

 The new assistant had some quirks, and the staff member decided to talk to Xiao Xu about it later to avoid any further issues.

-*

After returning to the guesthouse, Wang Su briefly informed Zhao Yao about the situation with the director’s team and their meager boxed meals. Zhao Yao was still browsing through Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo when he heard about it and paused for a moment. “Then these next few days, discuss with their logistics team and let us handle the meal arrangements,” he said. 

As he spoke, he thought about informing Chen Xi about this matter. This project still had potential, and they could allocate a bit more funding. 

Suddenly, his phone rang, and Zhao Yao saw the name on the screen. He answered the call and said, “Hello, is there any movement from Shiyang Films’ side?”

Chen Xi was taken aback. “How did you know?”

Since their last discussion, Chen Xi hadn’t called to report on minor matters during this period. Generally, the phone calls would be about important decisions. And during this time, besides the project, the most troublesome issue should be Shiyang Films, which never made a move.

Zhao Yao immediately asked, “What did they do?”

Chen Xi on the other end of the phone was surprised by Zhao Yao’s accurate perception. He briefly explained the situation and said, “We investigated, and it seems that the person responsible for blocking our project has some connection with Shiyang Films. Most likely, it was Mr. Lin’s idea. We can no longer pitch the project to Honey Melon TV. We’ll have to find another place.”

This was originally agreed upon with Honey Melon TV, and they were just about to sign the contract. But now, there was an obstacle with the person in charge of the project.

Huihua had thought everything was settled, and they had even prepared for the subsequent promotion. But now, with the project suddenly blocked, all their preparations would be in vain.

“Are you sure it was Shiyang Films’ doing?” Zhao Yao’s tone was cold. “They have the audacity to block the Huihua project directly without touching ‘Li Meng’ first?”

Chen Xi had started investigating the situation in the morning, and Shiyang Films didn’t try to hide much, so they quickly found out the cause and effect. He continued, “I have already contacted other platforms. It’s a pity that this project, which could have been on a satellite TV, has been blocked. If necessary, we will have to consider releasing it on online streaming platforms.”

“Find out which platforms or TV stations Shiyang Films has close cooperation with. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Since they have started blocking our project, their tactics won’t stop so easily. It’s more like a warning to us,” Zhao Yao walked to the window as the cold wind blew in. “But no matter how close the relationships are, they are ultimately based on interests, and you understand that.”

Chen Xi responded, “I understand that. We had decent collaborations with several other platforms before. We won’t insist on Honey Melon TV now. The expected returns may not be ideal, but we won’t have problems finding platforms.”

Not far away, the program team was already preparing to move to a different location. The afternoon’s plans would mostly take place in the village, and the guests would leave ahead of time to prepare for the afternoon recording.

As Zhao Yao heard Chen Xi mention the platforms, he felt that there was a missing piece in the puzzle. It didn’t make sense for Shiyang Films to just block a single project. With their methods, they could have done it a month ago. Waiting until this stage must mean they had other arrangements in mind.

“Subsequent arrangements, interests…” Zhao Yao suddenly realized something. Indeed, there was a possibility of being behind.

“Another point to note is that the platforms may continue to exploit the issue of revenue sharing and use their own connections to take advantage. In the end, relationships speak in terms of interests, and this seems like a tactic that a big company like Shi Yang would employ,” Zhao Yao continued. “What you need to do now is to prevent Shi Yang from making a move and avoid falling into their traps. I suggest collaborating with familiar partners for the project and addressing other issues later.”

Zhao Yao thought about the development of this situation. Since Shiyang Films was targeting Huihua, they wouldn’t resort to petty tactics that would diminish their reputation. Given Shi Yang’s position in the industry, if they were to create conflicts, it would involve a whole network of interests. However, as the saying goes, relationships based on interests are the most fragile. Today, Honey Melon TV considered their cooperation with Huihua in terms of mutual benefits, but other platforms would have their own considerations. 

Due to the preparation for promotion, Huihua’s priority was to have the project aired within the scheduled time frame to maximize their benefits. Other platforms might leverage Huihua’s eagerness for success. After all, in a project dispute, both sides want to gain more benefits. It’s possible to obtain the maximum benefit without offending anyone. Why not take that opportunity?

“Shi Yang probably already has a backup plan. Ultimately, the project’s revenue depends on its viewership. If we encounter pressure from the platforms to lower the price, it would be better for us to collaborate with familiar platforms. It may be challenging to establish a strong presence through online streaming, but we can’t afford to be at a disadvantage,” Zhao Yao calmly stated. ” Xingchen likely had connections with other platforms before. We currently have multiple options, but we mustn’t be lured solely by the prospects of profit.”

Chen Xi suddenly realized that he hadn’t fully considered this aspect. He had thought that it wouldn’t be a problem for Huihua to collaborate with a slightly lower-tier platform. However, he hadn’t anticipated that the platform might exploit their willingness to collaborate and squeeze their profits. If they fell into this trap, a promising project could be undermined. Chen Xi responded, “I understand now.”

Zhao Yao continued, “As for Youxian,we can maintain our original investment. If the higher-ups have any suggestions, they can propose a follow-up investment plan and come to me. I’ll invest.” 

“Okay,” Chen Xi acknowledged. “Thank you for your consideration.”

Zhao Yao replied, “No problem. Thank you for your hard work.”

Chen Xi was both surprised and flattered. “This is something I should have considered from the beginning,” he responded.

After hanging up the phone, Zhao Yao couldn’t help but feel that something was off. If this plan was to succeed, it would require many prerequisites. Even though Shi Yang Entertainment was influential, it would be difficult for them to sway the majority of platforms. While it seemed that Shi Yang was suppressing Huihua openly, considering their possible ulterior motives, Zhao Yao couldn’t shake the feeling that Shi Yang had more planned. So, who could be giving them such confidence?

“Ding, ding.”

Just as he snapped out of his thoughts, Zhao Yao noticed a file sent by Yao Bai. It provided an update on the progress of their ongoing project, which seemed to be going well. 

Yao Bai’s work couldn’t match the composed and steady demeanor of Chen Xi’s secretary. But it was important to remember that Yao Bai had only been with the Zhao Group for two years. In Zhao Yao’s previous life, during a period of career advancement, Yao Bai had chosen to resign and pursue further studies abroad. Part of his decision was driven by his recognition of his own limitations and the desire to improve himself.

Zhao Yao didn’t have many people he trusted. He had patiently allowed Yao Bai to grow and develop over time, but he didn’t have the patience to find another trustworthy assistant. He trusted Chen Xi because they had a deep understanding from their past lives, and Zhao Yao was well-acquainted with Chen Xi’s character. However, he knew that even within his trusted circle, there could be vulnerabilities. It would be relatively easy for others to try to infiltrate and exploit those weaknesses, but Zhao Yao didn’t have the energy or desire to engage in power struggles or tolerate underhanded methods.

Zhao Yao doesn’t trust many people. He has the patience to let Yao Bai gradually grow, but he doesn’t have the patience to find another trustworthy assistant. He feels at ease with Chen Xi because he knew him well in his past life and knew what kind of person he was. However, his trusted circle could also be vulnerable, and it’s actually quite easy for others to insert spies. However, he doesn’t have the time or interest to engage in power struggles or deal with behind-the-scenes scheming. He despises those underhanded tactics. 

As he thinks about these matters, an inexplicable restlessness rises within him. Zhao Yao goes into the room, takes out some medicine, and drinks it with cold water from the table. Then, he plans to watch some TV dramas to relax his mood. But, he suddenly saw a new message from Pei Mingzhan popping up on WeChat Moments.

Pei Mingzhan, “Want to join us here? [Image]”

The picture shows a basketball court in the village, where other artists are already playing basketball, and there are many villagers watching around.

Zhao Yao is a bit surprised and asks, “Aren’t you all recording the program?”

Pei Mingzhan, “We’re recording the program and playing a match with the villagers. If we win, we get local specialty smoked meat.”

Zhao Yao looked at the weather outside and noticed that the wind was a bit strong. He messaged Pei Mingzhan, saying it might not be suitable. He walked down to the courtyard of the guesthouse, where everything was quiet. Not far away, he could see Uncle Wang chatting happily with the villagers at their homes.

He stood in the courtyard for a while, watching Uncle Wang with a smile on his face, seemingly enjoying himself. The owner of the guesthouse noticed Zhao Yao standing in the courtyard and asked, “Mr. Zhao, is there something you’re looking for?”

Zhao Yao withdrew his gaze, nodded in acknowledgment to the owner of the guesthouse, and without saying a word, went inside the house.

The owner of the guesthouse found it a bit strange. Usually, guests who come to their place like to explore the village, but Mr. Zhao, on the other hand, only went to the neighboring program group a couple of times and spent the rest of his time indoors watching TV.

Mr. Zhao is a highly regarded figure within the entire program group, and yesterday the director specifically instructed them to pay extra attention to Mr. Zhao’s needs. The owner initially thought he would be a demanding guest, but Mr. Zhao turned out to be easier to get along with than expected, although sometimes a bit peculiar.

The basketball court in the village was an impromptu arrangement that the program group discussed with the village chief and announced. Among the male regular guests in the group, there were some artists who could play basketball, but their skills were quite average. Initially, the three of them were at a disadvantage, but then Pei Mingzhan, who had been sitting on the side playing with his phone, suddenly changed his mind and wanted to join the game. The situation quickly turned around.

The director watched as Pei Mingzhan scored again and thought to himself that it was fortunate he hadn’t played earlier. They had already recorded plenty of usable footage, and they could create a dramatic twist in the editing. Otherwise, there wouldn’t have been much to capture with the game being so one-sided.

The director let out a sigh, staring at the monitor with a sigh. The recording for today had been excessively long.

After a while, the logistics staff hurried over and whispered a few words. The director’s expression immediately changed. “What? There’s a dinner arrangement?”

The logistics staff briefly explained the reason, saying that Mr. Zhao wanted to improve the food of the program group.

The director immediately thought of what he had heard about the welfare benefits provided by the “Mi Ying” crew. He couldn’t help but swallow his saliva and asked the logistics staff, “There aren’t many restaurants in this area. Does Mr. Zhao really want to provide meals for us?”

“We already have staff members who went out to buy food. Maybe we can have something else for dinner tonight!” The logistics staff said with some joy, “Mr. Zhao is really kind!”

The director thought about the plate of small dishes that they had already finished, realizing that the stories about the “Mi Ying” crew were true. Mr. Zhao really did provide benefits for the crew!

-*

After finishing his work, Brother Lao returned to the studio. As soon as he arrived, he heard the greetings from other employees in the studio. He walked over and asked about the situation, and one of them said, “After Pei Ge posted that message last night, many people were discussing whether there is a new drama or variety show. And just now, I noticed a strange netizen.”

Being noticed by the studio meant that the netizen had garnered some attention. Lao Ge followed the computer’s Weibo interface and scrolled down, discovering that this netizen was indeed strange. Even though the marketing accounts were aware of the news of Pei Mingzhan appearing on a variety show, they could only speak ambiguously without confirmation from the studio. However, what was strange about this netizen was that they posted a picture on the countryside that resembled Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo post from last night, and the scenery was also very similar to Pei Mingzhan’s.

Since this post was published in Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo Square, many fans quickly noticed it. 

The similarity in scenery piqued the curiosity of most fans, and they were eager to learn some inside information from the blogger. However, the blogger did not make any further comments after posting the Weibo.

After carefully examining the netizen’s previous and following Weibo posts, Brother Lao realized that this person was a die-hard fan of Pei Mingzhan. However, there was something off about this so-called fan. Their Weibo posts had a somewhat fanatical tone. In the entertainment industry, fans can be divided into various categories. When Pei Mingzhan first entered the industry, he had many girlfriend fans, but as his career gradually developed, fans who supported his work became the majority, while the girlfriend fans decreased.

Brother Lao noticed a detail in one of the netizen’s recent Weibo posts. It seemed to resemble the accommodations of the program. Although Brother Lao had not been to the filming location, he had seen information about the shooting locations for “Youxian.” 

“Could this person be a staff member of the program?” Brother Lao wondered. Another staff member monitoring the Weibo platform chimed in, “That’s unlikely. It would be a breach of contract to reveal shooting details before the official release.” 

The staff member suggested, “Laoge, should you report this to the program team?”

Brother Lao’s expression grew more serious as he said, “Of course, I will report it. Let me call Lele first.”

Revealing information during the recording period is a serious matter. After receiving the call, Lele (乐乐) immediately negotiated with the program team. The director was also caught off guard by this situation. The staff members of the program team had all signed contracts, and such unauthorized disclosures were absolutely forbidden. The program team started an internal investigation, while the artists who had finished playing basketball had also returned.

Lele briefly explained the situation to Pei Mingzhan, saying, “It’s probably like this. Either there’s an issue within the program team, or someone is secretly following us. Laoge asked me to tell you to be more cautious and pay attention to things like doors, windows, and personal belongings.”

Being in a rural area and with the utmost care taken to keep the recording information confidential, it was puzzling how someone could have infiltrated with such private knowledge. Lele couldn’t quite understand it either. However, considering that the person in question was a fan of Pei Mingzhan, it was still possible that they were an overly enthusiastic girlfriend fan. This made Lele feel the need to be more alert. At that moment, he suddenly remembered the assistant who had approached them last night, accompanying Brother Dai. Could it be related?

Just as they were discussing the matter, they heard a sudden noise coming from inside the guesthouse.

Pei Mingzhan turned his head to look towards the upstairs of the guesthouse. The sound seemed to have come from the second floor.

Most of the guests were in the courtyard, so there shouldn’t be anyone inside the guesthouse at this time.

While others didn’t pay much attention to the noise, Pei Mingzhan turned and headed upstairs. He saw Brother Dai’s assistant standing at his room door, hurriedly closing it. Other guests followed Pei Mingzhan inside to see what was happening, and they saw the assistant standing at the doorway. 

Brother Dai was the first to notice Assistant Xiao Xu and exclaimed in surprise, “What are you doing here?”


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If there are any mistakes/error, feel free to comment it down below.


9
  1. Sometimes Lin would be Mr. Lin/ Lin Zhong and sometimes Boss Lin/ Lin Laoban depending on the context. I might change the ones before during proofreading[]
  2. Respect, Honor and Social Standing of a person/group, so big face can also mean prestigious, respected[]

1 Comment

  • Carina Wandering Fujoshi says:

    Thanks for the update.
    Hurry! Catch that rat! 🐀

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