Chapter 65

Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 65


-*

Zhao Yao looked at the medicine pouch that Pei Mingzhan had taken out and said lightly, “These are my regular health supplements, and there are a few pills for insomnia.”

“You’re still struggling with insomnia?” Pei Mingzhan asked, a little concerned.

“En.” Zhao Yao didn’t know how to explain his insomnia issue to Pei Mingzhan. Over this period, his condition had gradually improved. Although he still occasionally suffered from insomnia, it wasn’t as severe as it had been in his previous life.

Hearing Zhao Yao calmly admit it, Pei Mingzhan felt a sense of helplessness, but he didn’t show it. Instead, he changed the topic, “I just got off work and bought some local snacks from Y City. Once I’m done with my busy schedule in two days, we can play here over the weekend.”

The hotel delivered the dinner soon. After they finished eating, Pei Mingzhan went to take a shower, while Zhao Yao soaked in the medicine and sat in the living room watching TV. The internet TV was recommending various popular dramas, but Zhao Yao wasn’t interested in them. Instead, he clicked into the variety show section, preparing to watch some variety shows.

When Pei Mingzhan came out of the shower, he saw Zhao Yao covering his legs with a blanket, holding a cup, and watching the variety show seriously. He glanced at Zhao Yao and asked, “Why are you watching these?”

“To pass the time, and some of the content is quite interesting,” Zhao Yao replied, pouring a glass of water for Pei Mingzhan. “I heard from Chen Xi yesterday that the new series Mi Ying is about to air. Aren’t you going to promote it?”

Pei Mingzhan heard about this from Brother Lao. “I’m quite busy these days, so I probably won’t.”

After saying that, he added, “Don’t drink too much. It might not be good if you get too energized.”

Zhao Yao wanted to say he wouldn’t, but he noticed Pei Mingzhan’s anxious expression and didn’t press further. Instead, he said, “I saw some guides on the forum a couple of days ago. I’ll forward them to you. We should be able to use them when we go to play in a few days.”

“Don’t you have your boyfriend to teach you?” Pei Mingzhan took Zhao Yao’s hand and began to massage it, moving up his arm. “Why do you need guides when you can ask me?”

Zhao Yao felt that Pei Mingzhan was also relatively new to the world of dating, despite having acted in dramas before. Those experiences couldn’t be taken as real, so they both needed some theoretical knowledge and guidance from others to increase their intimate relationship.

Seeing that Zhao Yao remained silent, Pei Mingzhan continued to massage his hand while holding him close, watching the somewhat tedious romance variety show together.

But Zhao Yao watched with such seriousness that he didn’t even say a word.

Two hours later, Pei Mingzhan unexpectedly yawned, and Zhao Yao noticed it. He then asked, “Feeling sleepy?”

Pei Mingzhan nodded and said, “En, should we go to sleep?”

Zhao Yao nodded and went to the bathroom to wash up and get ready for bed. By the time he reached the bedroom, Pei Mingzhan had already made the bed and placed a glass of warm water on the bedside table. He said, “Have some warm water. If you still can’t sleep while lying down later, then you can take the medicine.”

“Actually, you don’t have to…” Before Zhao Yao could finish speaking, Pei Mingzhan walked to the bathroom as if he did not hear him. 

Zhao Yao walked to the bedside table and stared at the glass of warm water. Zhao Yao recalled that back at home, Uncle Wang would also prepare hot milk or warm water for him before bedtime, but Uncle Wang was essentially his family. 

Few people had ever been so wholeheartedly kind to him. He hadn’t known Pei Mingzhan for a very long time, but their relationship had progressed to this level of intimacy, which surprised Zhao Yao. He had always believed in keeping his trust in others at a safe distance, but with Pei Mingzhan, all his defenses seemed to have crumbled.

Zhao Yao thought to himself that indeed, love was a mysterious thing.

After Pei Mingzhan came out of the shower, the two of them prepared to sleep. The last time they had shared a bed, Zhao Yao had never imagined that Pei Mingzhan would now be his boyfriend. It was a bit surreal just lying there, and he realized they were past the theoretical stage. He could now move forward into the practical stage with Pei Mingzhan…

Seeing Pei Mingzhan lift the covers and lie down, Zhao Yao calmly said, “I seem to have trouble falling asleep.”

Pei Mingzhan casually pulled him into his embrace and asked, “Why can’t you sleep? Should I coax you to sleep?”

Zhao Yao felt the warmth of Pei Mingzhan’s arm around him, and everything he touched behind him felt warm as well. It was as if his entire body was enveloped, making him want to lose himself in it. “I don’t really feel like sleeping.”

Pei Mingzhan smiled at his words and lowered his voice slightly as he asked, “Then let’s do something else?”

Zhao Yao’s back was against Pei Mingzhan’s chest. It seems as if Pei Mingzhan was whispering in his ear, making the tips of his ears itchy.

Pei Mingzhan asked, “Last time, when we stayed in the hotel, you asked me what people think about when they lie in bed together, men and women. What do you think about when they lie in bed together?”

Zhao Yao replied, “Didn’t you already tell me?”

“That’s different,” Pei Mingzhan smiled. “Our situation is different from others, Zhao Yao. I’m asking you, can you guess what Pei Mingzhan thinks when he is lying in bed with you?”

Zhao Yao suddenly froze, his mind struggling to come up with an answer, but it felt like his mind was a paste. He acted a bit stubborn, saying, “I don’t want to guess.”

“Then turn around, and I’ll tell you.”

Pei Mingzhan’s seductive voice sounded in Zhao Yao’s ear. He couldn’t help but turn his head to look. As a result, Pei Mingzhan seized the opportunity to capture his lips, drowning all the questions between their mouths.

As the night deepened, Zhao Yao, wrapped in the blankets, watched Pei Mingzhan head to the bathroom to freshen up. His eyelids gradually grew heavy. Although Pei Mingzhan was no longer by his side, he still felt the warmth of his presence wrapping him.

When Pei Mingzhan returned, he found Zhao Yao had already fallen asleep. He decided not to continue further. But the two chose to help each other to reduce the fire. The path that lay beyond was not suitable for their current stage. He softly called out a few times, “Zhao Yao? Yao Yao, are you asleep?”

Zhao Yao didn’t respond, clearly sound asleep.

Pei Mingzhan dimmed the lights in the room, leaving only the two small bedside lamps, and then went to the living area to fetch a notebook. He gently pulled up the blanket for Zhao Yao, couldn’t resist running his fingers through his hair. It took him a while to regain his composure. He knew they had a long road ahead of them, and he hoped that every time, Zhao Yao would sleep peacefully.

In the late hours of the night, with only one lamp casting a soft orange glow, Pei Mingzhan worked quietly. The person lying beside him had already fallen into a deep sleep, breathing weakly and calmly.

-*

In Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo Moments, someone suddenly posted a picture – a chance encounter photo.

In the photo, Pei Mingzhan was dressed in a black suit, standing under the eaves of a building while talking on the phone. His side profile is sharp and handsome and the tailored suit showcased his perfect physique. His gaze was fixed straight  ahead, revealing an abstinent temperament.

The social media platform exploded because this picture was not a promotional still from a drama, nor was it an official release. It was a candid candid shot of the real Pei Mingzhan.

【Damn it! That temperament? Mom, I want to marry this man, wuwuwu.】

【So why is no one looking for Pei Mingzhan to act as a gentle scumbag villain Ah Ah Ah AH! 】

【Isn’t this building a commercial building in the center of City Y! Pei Pei came to Y city to act? !】

【Impossible, the blogger didn’t say he was filming, and the two bodyguards standing next to him are so fierce!】

【Ahhh, why is it either City S or City Y, when can you come to our side! 】

Brother Lao hadn’t managed to reach Pei Mingzhan on the phone when he saw the leaked photo online. To be honest, when Pei Mingzhan planned to quit the industry and start a career, he expected such a day. Previously in S City, he had encountered fans a few times, but he hadn’t been photographed then. Additionally, the S City company had direct access to the parking lot, making it less likely for fans to encounter him. But the Y City branch was in the city center, where the chances of running into fans were much higher, so it was somewhat inevitable that clear pictures were taken.

On his end, he had already instructed his studio to contact some of the major fan groups to help manage the situation. He had previously hinted to some of the big fan groups that Pei Mingzhan might have intentions to quit the circle. Plus, after the explosion of the Zhajiang Mian platform, he had redirected his career towards the platform. While fans were disappointed that Film Emperor Pei Mingzhan was retiring from acting, seeing him on variety shows recently had stirred some excitement among them.

Fortunately, Pei Mingzhan’s fans were more focused on his works, and because he was an actor, they didn’t get very excited when they met Pei Mingzhan on the road. The situation was still under control.

Lele looked at the hot searches online and said, “Even when Pei Ge is about to retire and take a break, he still manages to trend like this.”

After looking at the photos, he asked, “By the way, Lao Ge, didn’t you have plans to get Pei Ge roles in this kind of drama? How come it didn’t work out?”

“Well, that’s because Pei Mingzhan changed his mind at the last minute. Anyway, I can’t really understand this person. He says he loves his career deeply, and then he suddenly decides to retire after realizing his dreams.” Brother Lao sighed. “And Mr. Zhao has gone to Y City. If this gets out, it could be a real mess. If Pei Mingzhan were just an ordinary celebrity, it wouldn’t be this complicated…”

“I’m curious too. Why does Pei Ge love acting so much? To be honest, when I first started working with him, I didn’t think he was particularly passionate about acting in his daily life. But when he’s on set, he becomes a completely different person.” Lele muttered, “They say male actors become more popular after turning thirty, right? If Pei Ge loves acting so much, why don’t he act for a few more years?”

Lele’s question made Brother Lao remember something. When he first became Pei Mingzhan’s manager, Pei Mingzhan was still a rookie who just entered the circle. He wasn’t from an acting background, and he came from a well-off family. It was somewhat puzzling for someone with such a background to enter the entertainment industry as an actor. Brother Lao later asked about it when they were drinking.

At that time, Pei Mingzhan was a little bit drunk and mentioned the matter with a hint of joking. He talked about how when he was a child, he used to boast about becoming a movie emperor someday.

Brother Lao had thought it was just a child’s talk. After all, who didn’t dream big as a kid? But Pei Mingzhan really won the Best Actor award later.

“I asked him about this when we first started. It seems like it was a childhood dream. He said there was an old man who practiced opera near his hometown. When he was in elementary school, he used to visit the old man’s house often. That’s when his interest in acting began.”

Brother Lao continued after a moment, “When he first entered the industry, he had only one goal in mind . He said it was to reach the pinnacle of acting and achieve the highest honor. It may sound funny, but I used to laugh at him for trying to soar without a foundation. But in just a few years, he’s won almost all the major awards.”

Lele had never heard this story before and was surprised. “Pei Ge took it that seriously? He said he wanted to be a film emperor as a kid, and now he actually became one?”

Brother Lao sighed. It was true. All this for a childhood crush. Now he had gone all the way and is crazy. He suddenly remembered something and asked, “By the way, Lele, did you ever have a childhood crush, like a girl you liked when you were little and still think about as you grew up?”

Lele gave Lao Ge a sidelong glance, “Brother, are you looking for spring?”

“What are you thinking, you little rascal?” Brother Lao said. “I’m just curious about what you young folks think.”

Lele thought that men in their thirties must have something in their minds. He patiently explained, “I haven’t, but some of my classmates have. Do you know why it’s called ‘first love’? It must have a special significance to be called that. Like ‘White Moonlight,’ for example, it’s always beautiful when you think of it…”

“Okay, okay, so it’s just the little girl you liked when you were a kid, right?” Brother Lao found it hard to explain this to Lele. “Let me ask you this. Let me use an analogy, for example, if someone like Pei Ge, who had a first love. Do you find it believable?”

Lele felt a bit embarrassed. “Ah, this? Lao Ge, tell me the truth, have you never had a puppy love?”

Brother Lao, “What does that have to do with me?”

“Is it really so hard to believe that Pei Ge had a first love? Who hasn’t had puppy love when they were young?”

Lele felt that something was wrong with Brother Lao recently. He kept asking these strange questions, “For example, Pei Ge. A person like Pei Ge can be seen as having a high EQ. And in all these years in the industry, he hasn’t been romantically linked to any female celebrities. Someone like him, if he has feelings for someone, it must be an intense and passionate love. If he still remembers his first love until now, it’s even more telling. It must have been a youthful, unforgettable romance, and something must have happened between them.”

Indeed, isn’t it an intense and passionate love story? Brother Lao thought. He had been exhausted lately, dealing with all the issues surrounding Pei Mingzhan. But what Lele said made sense. For someone like Pei Mingzhan, his relationship with Zhao Yao was likely more than just a simple first love. Yet, when he had seen Zhao Yao in front of the Zhao Group building, it had felt like they hadn’t seen each other for many years.

-*

When Zhao Yao woke up the next day, he hadn’t recovered yet. He had slept so deeply that his head felt a bit fuzzy upon waking up.

He could hear some voices from the living room. When he looked in that direction, he saw Pei Mingzhan already dressed in a suit, adjusting his tie. When Pei Mingzhan noticed that Zhao Yao had woken up, he smiled and asked, “How did you sleep?”

“Okay,” Zhao Yao replied, still feeling a bit dazed, and he wrapped the blanket around himself as he sat up.

Pei Mingzhan had to go to work today. He instructed the front desk to bring breakfast up to the room. He also reminded Zhao Yao to have breakfast before leaving. After Pei Mingzhan left, Zhao Yao suddenly realized what had happened between them last night. It suddenly occurred to him that most of the relationship advice he had seen in the past were mostly for heterosexual couples. There wasn’t much guidance for same-sex couples like him and Pei Mingzhan.

Zhao Yao knew that if the relationship progressed to the later stage, they would get married. While they hadn’t taken that step the previous night, he also  knew that the way to fall in love and have an intimate relationship with a man was different… The situation from last night felt like he had been led by Pei Mingzhan entirely.

At 10 AM, RH Magazine’s official blog account released their annual magazine. As a highly regarded fashion media outlet in the country, publications from RH Magazine held a significant position in the domestic fashion and entertainment industry. It was a well-known rumor that getting featured in RH Magazine had the potential to skyrocket someone’s popularity in both the fashion and entertainment circles. Whether they were fashion darlings or up-and-coming artists, being featured in RH Magazine was a badge of honor.

With the old year gone, the new one was on the horizon.

The release of RH Magazine’s annual publication attracted widespread attention in the industry. But media outlets soon noticed that inside the magazine, there was a feature on a rising star from the previous year, Ji Heyu.

Speaking of Ji Heyu, he was relatively unknown in the first half of the previous year. However, in the second half of the year, he rapidly gained fame through the reality show “Sheng.” With his unique vocal abilities and attractive appearance, he quickly secured a spot on various popularity charts. But as a newly emerged star, the fact that he could feature in RH Magazine was a surprise to many netizens who followed RH.

【I know RH introduces new faces every year. I thought this year it would be someone else, but Ji Heyu?】

【Holy shit, shit, Xiao Ji looks so good in this magazine shoot!】

【Ji Heyu? Is RH on the decline now? Are they starting to suck up to newcomers?】

【Hehe? Are the rumors of RH’s decline resurfacing again? Every year when they feature newcomers, you all come here to mock. Isn’t it annoying?】

【The person you said wasn’t popular last year is now a top-tier artist in the country. I may not understand fashion, but RH has always had a rule of thumb for someone to become famous! 】

【I hope people on the internet have some cultural awareness. Look up what RH is as a brand before making comments, okay?】

The official Huihua account and Ji Heyu’s team immediately forwarded RH’s Weibo post. Ji Heyu has firmly established himself in just half a year, and his future prospects are boundless. Chen Xi was very emotional when he saw the artist report sent by his secretary. Who would have thought that just last year, he was worried about Huihua’s development? At that time, the resources from “Sheng” were accidentally negotiated. You must know, Huihua had never promoted newcomers before, and Ji Heyu, the first newcomer had the potential to become a top-tier artist.

The secretary said, “Mr. Chen, we’ve received many resumes from newcomers this year, and there are also many artist studios approaching us for collaboration.”

Huhui’s reputation has also grown, and Chen Xi knows that the most important thing now is to progress steadily. He replied simply, “Tell the artist management team that when signing newcomers, we should prioritize quality over quantity. Also, when considering collaborations with studios, take the artist’s situation into account. Just make sure to handle these matters with care.”

“Understood,” the secretary replied. “By the way, Mr. Chen, the PR department just informed me that there’s been an increase in online discussions about Mr. Zhao, and they want more materials.”

Chen Xi was already used to Mr. Zhao’s online traffic. He immediately said, “Don’t ask me for materials. Tell the PR department to arrange for the next meeting to have Mr. Zhao take promotional photos themselves. I don’t have any materials here.”

What’s the big deal? In such a large company, they still wanted him to secretly take pictures for promotional materials. Don’t they know they can take advantage of Mr. Zhao’s visits to the company to take some promotional photos? And they keep urging like this, even though they don’t show such urgency for other projects.

The secretary explained, “The PR department mentioned that they also wanted to take photos, but Mr. Zhao didn’t come to the company for meetings last month, and he didn’t come this month either.”

Chen Xi carefully considered this and realized that indeed, there hadn’t been much going on in the past two months. Mr. Zhao used to visit the company during his free time, but recently, he either had plans on weekends or preferred staying at home during weekdays.

The secretary asked, “Will Mr. Zhao come to the next meeting?”

Chen Xi regretfully replied, “He probably won’t. Mr. Zhao went to Y City, and we don’t know when he’ll be back.”

He then asked curiously, “What kind of comments have surfaced online to make the PR department rush for materials?”

The secretary remained silent for a moment and then replied, “It’s just a competition for an online popularity contest…”

There is indeed a lot of talk about Mr. Zhao on the Internet, and not only Mr. Zhao’s fans, but also marketing accounts have begun to praise him. They claim he’s a master of investing, putting money into whatever is hot. Many thought his investment in Huihua, which was on the verge of collapsing, would be a flop. But he managed to turn it around. Investing in Zhajiang Mian platform when the market wasn’t doing well, but soon it became popular.

Netizens were curious about how many investments Zhao Yao had made. When they checked, they found out about two, both with high standings in their respective circles.

【Stop being curious. Is he a shareholder? Comrade Xiao Zhao never takes a loss. No need to worry about resources or scandals. Xiao Zhao is making a name for himself. Fans only needs to become members.】

【My boyfriend is so powerful, one Huihua and one Zhajiang Mian App.】

【As a business fan, I’m very satisfied. Fans of Mr. Zhao has nothing to worry about, except for the lack of materials.】

【Hahaha, this is my first time to be a fan of a CEO, and Mr. Zhao is so self-sufficient that the only scandal is with Fil Emperor Pei.】

【What kind of scandal is that? Didn’t you see that Actor Pei’s Weibo has officially announced that the two are friends!  [Whispers: Friends who have dinner together]】

【Don’t mention it, I’ve seen discussions in Mr. Zhao’s fan circle starting already. Is Huihua the crown prince, or is it Zhajian Mian?】

【The names give it away, right? Huihua clearly picked a name fit for a crown prince, while Zhajiang Mian sounds like the name of the guardhouse dog in my neighborhood.】

The Zhajiang Mian dog meme immediately went viral, and artists in the fan community created anthropomorphic illustrations for Huihua and the Zhajiang Mian.

Huihua was represented as an elegant Ragdoll cat, while the Zhajiang Mian app was portrayed as a goofy and clueless dog. This cat-dog pairing created a set of nine images, with a cute version of President Zhao holding the Ragdoll cat in the center, and the goofy dog following behind.

【Hahaha, this is so funny!】

【Every time I see Zhajiang Mian, I get hungry. But now, when I see this image of our President Zhao, I burst out laughing.】

【Hahahahahaha, I suggest the Zhajiang Mian platform change their logo to this image. I think this picture is good!】

【Wuwuwuwu, Xiao Zhao holding a cat is so cute!!!】

【I didn’t think much of it at first, but after seeing everyone’s comments and this comparison, the name “Zhajiang Mian” is indeed silly.】

【We, the Zhajiang Mian fans, won’t back down! How about us, the goofy dogs? We dogs can be princes too!】

So, Zhao Yao’s fans were divided into two groups: the Huihua Ragdoll cat fans and the Zhajiang Mian dog fans. They enthusiastically debated which one was Zhao Yao’s real “son.”

Gu Sui was originally working overtime, and when he saw the Weibo posts, he secretly rejoiced that he didn’t need to spend money to buy hot searches. Not to mention, it was wise to get Pei Mingzhan and Zhao Yao to invest in them. The traffic brought the made  Zhajiang Mian platform propel to new heights. They didn’t even need to spend any publicity fees. They can get Mr. Zhao’s hot search for free.

But when he read the comments from netizens suggesting that the name of his app sounded like a security booth’s goofy dog, Gu Sui’s happy expression turned dark.

What did that mean? Was “Huihua” considered more elegant than “Zhajiang Mian”?


Author’s note: Zhao Yao-style ‘Fight the Landlord.’

Chen Xi: Ace (Zhao Yao’s promotional image)

Gu Sui: Trump card (Zhao Yao + Pei Mingzhan’s promotional image)

Chen Xi: …?

Gu Sui: You should lose.


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