Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 78
In the blink of an eye, the Lunar New Year arrived. The Zheng family’s New Year’s Eve dinner was very lively. Even without saying much, Zhao Yao found himself drawn into the festive atmosphere. It was nothing like the quiet New Year’s celebrations at the Zhao household. The Zheng family members gathered around, playing cards and chatting, with Uncle Wang joining in too. In the not-so-distant television, the Spring Festival Gala was airing, and Aunt Zheng even came over to coax him into playing. But Zhao Yao had no interest in any of it. Instead, he sat next to Zheng Leqi, engrossed in his mobile phone.
Surrounded by the lively atmosphere of the living room, Zhao Yao scrolled through his phone, looking at the numerous New Year wishes lit up the screen. Suddenly, memories from his past life flooded back. It had been a long time since he had celebrated the New Year.
In the past, New Year’s celebrations meant sitting in a corporate office. The night was so desolate that only the faint clicking of a mouse and a continuous stream of group messages on WeChat offered any company.
Then, his New Year’s were spent in a recuperation facility, with the ward’s wall-mounted screen broadcasting the vibrant Spring Festival Gala. The room was brightly lit, but it felt dim, as if it was lacking something.
But now, things are completely different. He was sitting in a lively world, where the cold emptiness of the past was nowhere to be found.
During the Lunar New Year, Chen Xi granted himself some time off. As a workaholic who rarely returned home, he finally found himself receiving the love and care of his family. Soon he suddenly realized that working over the New Year might not be such a bad choice after all after escaping the loving gazes of numerous aunts and uncles.
Nestled on the couch, he played with his phone. He started by sending several red envelopes in the various company chat groups and then proceeded to send his best wishes to his superiors. Once he’d drafted a heartfelt New Year message to Zhao Zong, he sent it out with brimming confidence.
After a while, he received a reply from Zhao Zong, and even received a New Year red envelope.
Chen Xi sat up straight in surprise. It was the first time Zhao Zong had responded to him with something other than emojis. Quietly, he captured a screenshot of this epic response.
Zhao Yao replied diligently to the well-wishes from familiar contacts on his phone, and he sent out New Year red envelopes to a few individuals. As he switched back to his chat interface, after responding to those messages he suddenly saw a small red envelope from Pei Mingzhan.
Pei Mingzhan: [Red Envelope] Happy New Year to my boyfriend.
Zhao Yao: Happy New Year.
The members of the Zheng family were all occupied with their tasks. Zheng Leqi felt anxious sitting beside Zhao Yao. The Zheng family had some other relatives, and there were several individuals in Zhao Yao’s age group who were also regarded as brothers. But Zheng Leqi didn’t sense the same kind of presence in his other brothers as he did in Zhao Yao. His cousin, merely sitting beside him and doing nothing, managed to give off a strong aura that weighed heavily on him.
Despite the overwhelming aura, he felt an intense curiosity about his cousin. He wanted to initiate a conversation but couldn’t seem to find the right moment, and even the game in his hands lost its appeal.
Earlier in the day, his cousin had indeed approached him for a brief chat, asking about his studies and even giving him a lucky red envelope.
Now, his cousin sat playing on his phone, and he wanted to find a conversation topic to break the awkward silence.
“Cousin…” Zheng Leqi hesitantly started a subject, “Why aren’t you joining them for a game of cards?”
Zhao Yao tilted his head slightly, noticing his younger cousin not engrossed in his phone but rather looking at him curiously. He inquired, “Just chatting, what’s up?”
Zheng Leqi hesitated, then said, “Well… My dad mentioned that you’ve started your own entertainment company. Does your company have a lot of celebrities?”
“Who would you like to know about?” Zhao Yao rarely engaged in conversations with kids of Zheng Leqi’s age, and his perspective on things now is different from that of a child. There was undoubtedly a generation gap, making communication a bit challenging. He hadn’t been very involved with Huihua. But seeing the child’s interest piqued, his initial thought was that the kid might be curious about certain celebrities.
Zheng Leqi asked, “Oh? So, cousin, which celebrities are there in your company?”
Zhao Yao thought for a moment and then mentioned a few names. Surprisingly, the only one Zheng Leqi knew was Ji Heyu. Although Xiao Ji was still considered a rookie, his popularity had risen rapidly. He was now a key talent within Huihua and was a hot topic among the younger generation.
“My classmates were all following ‘Sheng,’ and I thought Ji Heyu was super impressive,” Zheng Leqi finally found a way into the conversation, eagerly sharing his classmates’ thoughts on Ji Heyu with Zhao Yao.
As he listened to the child’s excited chatter, Zhao Yao’s phone lit up with several photos from Pei Mingzhan over the years. The Pei family seemed to be having a lively celebration, and in those pictures, he spotted other members of the Pei family. Then, Pei Mingzhan sent another photo. It was the one they had taken in Starbucks with the help of a fan.
Pei Mingzhan: [Photo] Forgot to send you this last time.
Zhao Yao looked at the photo, and he thought Pei Mingzhan’s smile in it was especially radiant. He quietly saved the picture.
Zhao Yao: My younger cousin wanted to chat with me. Do kids of his age these days all like chasing stars?
Pei Mingzhan: Chasing stas? Is that the one I signed an autograph for a couple of days ago?
Zhao Yao: It seems he’s not chasing you but rather Xiao Ji.
Zheng Leqi spoke until he felt his mouth was dry. His cousin would occasionally respond to him, making him feel like he was making some progress in their relationship. As he continued speaking, he was called over by one of his brothers who was playing cards on the other side. Reluctantly, he left the conversation with Zhao Yao, then the area around Zhao Yao grew quiet again. He glanced at his chat interface before dialing a voice call to Pei Mingzhan.
The Pei family’s New Year celebrations were incredibly lively, with relatives visiting continuously over the past few days. Tonight, it was even more spirited, with many people coming over. Pei Mingzhan never liked such gatherings. After spending years away from home, he wasn’t familiar with many of these faces. These New Year’s greetings would continue until at least nine or ten in the evening. Feeling uninterested, he walked into a quiet spot to chat with Zhao Yao.
On WeChat, Zhao Yao was talking to him about the Zheng family’s New Year celebrations. Although the description was simple, Pei Mingzhan noticed something different about Zhao Yao this time. The more time he spent with Zhao Yao, the more he realized that Zhao Yao was someone who kept his guard up. When discussing topics with people, he always maintained a safe distance and often stuck to the same range of subjects, never bringing up other matters of his own accord.
Initially, when the two of them spent time together Pei Mingzhan had to start their conversations with topics that piqued Zhao Yao’s interest. In return, Zhao Yao would only ask questions and provide answers within that specific subject. He never initiated discussions on other subjects. Over time, as their relationship grew closer, Zhao Yao began to occasionally bring up his own matters.
The atmosphere at Zhao’s house was quite somber. Pei Mingzhan had seen Zhao Changshuo on several occasions, but Zhao Yao’s attitude towards him didn’t seem like that of a family member. But as he watched Zhao Yao messaging tonight, it was the first time he had seen Zhao Yao being so gentle in his attitude towards a family member. It tugged at his heart.
“Mingzhan Ge.” A slightly melodious voice chimed in.
Pei Mingzhan’s attention shifted away from his phone screen as he glanced at a fashionably dressed youth. As the youth spoke, the chains on his clothing swayed, producing a subtle tinkling sound.
It was a relative’s child. Pei Mingzhan couldn’t recall their name or find any familiarity in their face.
During the Pei family’s New Year celebrations, there were always visitors. Some close friends they had strong ties with, and others who were less discerning about intruding in the family’s affairs.
This young child was related to his father’s side of the family, not very well-known to him, but he had a vague impression of him.
“Is there something you need?” Pei Mingzhan asked.
The youth wore a bright smile on his face. “No. Everyone’s sitting inside. Mingzhan Ge, how did you end up here?”
He had specifically accompanied his parents to visit today, only to find Pei Mingzhan not staying there to talk with others but instead standing alone in this cold spot, playing on his phone. He had heard about the news that Pei Mingzhan might withdraw from the entertainment industry, and his parents were quite anxious. Originally, when Pei Mingzhan went into the entertainment circle, it had been met with widespread approval. But hearing about his possible return, they were concerned about the Pei family’s second young master parachuting into management, which could potentially impact their interests.
The youth didn’t see this as a bad thing. After all, Pei Mingzhan going into the entertainment industry had originally been more of a whim, and now that he was refocusing on the family business, it could only be a good thing.
Seeing that Pei Mingzhan remained silent, he continued, “I’ve heard that Mingzhan Ge isn’t in the entertainment industry anymore. That’s great. When you come back, you can help Mingyan Ge with the company’s affairs. It’s much better than that circle. With your talents, it won’t take more than a few years to significantly expand Pei Group’s business.”
The chaotic world of the entertainment industry tarnished Pei Mingzhan’s reputation even when mentioned.
Pei Mingzhan frowned slightly. “Is there something you need?”
The youth’s expression froze and he continued, “They’re discussing business inside, and I found it a bit boring. So, I came to keep Mingzhan Ge company and have a chat.”
At that moment, Pei Mingzhan’s phone rang. It was a call from Zhao Yao.
Just as they were discussing Zhao Yao’s cousin over the phone, Pei Mingzhan immediately ended the call and softly asked, “Is your cousin not talking to you anymore? Do you have some free time to call me?”
The youth was slightly taken aback by Pei Mingzhan’s tone. He had never heard him speak this way before.
Pei Mingzhan spoke gently to the person on the other end of the phone but he glanced at the youth with a cold gaze. Then, he turned and walked in another direction, without giving the youth any further attention.
The youth felt reluctant and tried to follow him but ended up coming face to face with the Pei family’s eldest son, Pei Mingyan, who was descending the stairs from the second floor.
Pei Mingyan had been upstairs chatting with friends and was in the process of bidding them farewell when he descended the stairs. It was then that he encountered Pei Mingzhan, who was walking past with his phone in hand.
Shortly after, he noticed this young relative entering from the balcony, apparently planning to follow Pei Mingzhan.
He had seen this young child several times before. On each visit, the child would often inquire about Pei Mingzhan with the family’s servants. Their relationship with the family wasn’t particularly close, and they were among the relatives his father kept at arm’s length.
As for the balcony outside, it was a place Pei Mingzhan enjoyed spending his time. But it was quite apparent that he wasn’t even using his usual spot to relax at the moment.
Upon seeing Pei Mingyan, the youth lowered his head and greeted, “Mingyan Ge.”
Pei Mingyan casually raised his hand to stop the youth. “Haven’t your parents told you not to wander around the Pei family’s old residence?”
The youth gritted his teeth slightly. “I was just talking to Mingzhan Ge, and I came here to find him.”
Pei Mingyan’s friend smiled as they heard this. “Which family’s child doesn’t understand the rules?”
The more the youth listened, the stiffer his expression became. “I…”
Pei Mingyan casually glanced at him, then continued past with his friend. Along the way, they encountered the butler, so he instructed, “The child who was on the balcony just now, along with his family, there’s no need to let them inside in the future.”
The butler’s expression turned serious. “Of course, Young Master.”
“Wasn’t that kid just saying he was a fan of mine?” Pei Mingzhan turned and walked into the garden outside the Pei family’s residence, continuing the conversation they had just been having. He asked with a smile, “Now, he’s chasing Ji Heyu?”
Zhao Yao hesitated for a moment. “Young people tend to be like that.”
Pei Mingzhan asked, “And what about you?”
Zhao Yao said, “I like someone like you.”
Pei Mingzhan chuckled. “It looks like I’ll have to take on a movie role next year. If my popularity fades, what will you do if you don’t like me anymore?”
“That won’t happen,” Zhao Yao replied, then added, “I hear it’s quite windy on your end. Aren’t you inside the house?”
Pei Mingzhan said, “Just came out for some fresh air. We have some guests visiting tonight, so the house is a bit chaotic.”
Zhao Yao understood. “It can be quite bothersome indeed.”
After playing cards, Aunt Zheng wanted to ask Zhao Yao if he’d like some fruit. She didn’t see him on the sofa, so she asked Zheng Leqi, “Xiao Qi, have you seen your cousin?”
Zheng Leqi had just been chatting with Zhao Yao but was called away by his older brother, so he replied, “I think my cousin went to make a phone call.”
The older folks playing cards paused for a moment. “Oh, okay, let’s continue.”
It was the Lunar New Year, and it was only natural for a young person to make a phone call. The older generation didn’t want to disturb him.
Late that night, Pei Mingzhan, who rarely posted on Weibo, broke his silence and shared a post. The accompanying picture showed brightly colored lanterns hanging high in an oddly angled view, giving it a comically endearing appearance.
@PeiMingzhan: [Red Envelope] Happy New Year! [Image]
Zhao Yao just hung up the call when he received a Weibo notification. Clicking on it, he saw a photo taken a few days ago when the two were at the H City Zoo. He mentioned the lantern was particularly large, so Pei Mingzhan proposed taking a photo for comparison, pushing him to stand beneath the red lantern, capturing a contrasting image.
The Weibo post actually displayed a cropped version of the photo, cutting out the other half where he stood beneath the red lantern.
As Zhao Yao gazed at the red envelope icon in the Weibo post, he suddenly realized that he hadn’t sent a red envelope to Pei Mingzhan. So, he switched back to his WeChat interface and sent a New Year red envelope to Pei Mingzhan. While entering the amount, he noticed there was a limit to the red envelope amount on WeChat and accidentally sent several more than intended.
After sending the red envelope, he realized that a New Year notification from the XShui forum app had just been pushed. It was a summary of New Year’s romance strategies for the season.
Following its consistent approach to love, the XShui forum had already pushed a variety of strategies on the first day of the New Year. Zhao Yao hadn’t visited the forum in a while, but when he saw the push notification, he decided to take a look. The titles of the threads were rather peculiar.
#Tips for not getting up during the New Year#
#Recommendations for Tourist Destinations Across the Country#
#How to Handle Long-Distance Relationships During the New Year?#
#Shocked: It turns out this is what New Year is really like…#
When Zhao Yao came across these strategies, he was somewhat surprised. Although the titles were strange, the content inside was full of useful advice. He found several valuable recommendations that he hadn’t seen when he last browsed the forum. He bookmarked them one by one, intending to try them out with Pei Mingzhan. But as he reached the last title in the push notification, he suddenly frowned in confusion.
#How to Impress Male/Female Parents When Visiting for the New Year?#
Meanwhile, on Weibo, it was bustling with activity as various artists posted their New Year’s wishes. The devoted fans of Zhao Yao at the Huihua and Zhajiang Mian platform’s official accounts didn’t manage to get any responses, so they could only go back to their own super chat to eat old food to satisfy their hunger. On the other hand, the fan dedicated Pei-Zhao CP fans quietly rose to prominence with an in-depth analysis post meticulously crafted by a respected big boss.
@LittleFairyLovesTea: Taking stock of the recent strange actions of Film Emperor Pei and the rumors about his friends outside the industry, it’s almost certain that Film Emperor Pei’s semi-retirement from the entertainment industry is a done deal. Logically, the frequency of his Weibo updates should decrease to facilitate his gradual exit from the circle. But starting from three months ago, Film Emperor Pei’s motivations for posting on Weibo have been quite a little unusual. That’s why I’ve put together a detailed analysis for everyone to enjoy the CP pairing.
The image provides a detailed analysis of every single one of Pei Mingzhan’s Weibo posts, including the time, location, and people involved. It even matches with several of CEO Zhao’s schedules. While one coincidence can be seen as just that, multiple coincidences start to make it seem like there’s something fishy going on. This extensive analysis has sent many hidden CP shippers into a frenzy.
【Thank you, blogger. Hooked on this!】
【The one about the moonlit night! I remember saying it felt a bit strange at the time, and the next day, they exploded with news of a secret relationship to divert attention. Now, thinking back, the person enjoying the view with Old Pei that night might have been Xiao Zhao. I’m suddenly so excited!】
【!!! The blogger is absolutely right! And that dinner picture! Their relationship is just too good – visiting the oceanarium during the day, then having dinner at home. I’d think they were a couple!】
【The one from a few days ago at Starbucks, I really think that’s Xiao Zhao himself. That picture is solid proof!】
【Hasn’t anyone analyzed Pei Mingzhan’s New Year wishes? The red lantern, the composition is so strange…】
【I work in a related field, and when I saw that picture from Pei Yinged, my first thought was that it’s only half a picture. Maybe he cropped out the other half.】
【What the heck, I thought it was just an oddly cute picture, but there’s more to it!】
【Old Pei has some photography skills, right? With his skills, even if it’s ugly, he wouldn’t post such a strange picture, would he?】
【Oh my, what could be in the other half? I’m so curious, my mind can’t help but wander!】
Pei Mingzhan changed to his alternate account. He started to like and retweeted all of Zhao Yao’s Weibo posts, then he switched over to the “Pei Zhao CP” super chat. Recently, Zhao Yao frequently shared content related to their relationship and even posted fan art of them, which, according to fans, was well-drawn. Following Zhao Yao’s trump, Pei Mingzhan discovered the “Pei Zhao CP” super chat. As soon as he clicked on it, he noticed the long detailed analysis post at the top. He glanced at it briefly and gave the blogger a thumbs-up.
The lively atmosphere at the Pei family’s gathering had already dispersed. Elder Brother Pei noticed that Pei Mingzhan was still sitting on the living room couch, engrossed in his phone. So he said, “I was wondering why you were out in the garden making a call. Turns out, someone took your spot. They won’t be coming next time.”
Pei Mingzhan replied casually, “Some people can be quite imposing. This year, we had more guests than usual, it seems the pressure you applied last time had an effect.”
Elder Brother Pei paused for a moment. There were some matters that brothers didn’t discuss openly. He said, “Dad and Mom were genuinely worried about the incident on your set. Originally, Dad didn’t get involved in the company’s affairs much. But because of that accident, he got quite furious during the shareholders’ meeting. Most of the guests tonight were here to apologize. At the same time, they were testing Dad’s stance.”
“That time was an accident,” Pei Mingzhan said and shrugged. “I’ll bring Zhao Yao over in a couple of days. Can you talk to Mom about it?”
Elder Brother Pei replied, “She already knows about you and Zhao Yao. These days, she keeps asking when you’ll bring him over.”
Their family was quite open-minded, and Zhao Yao was someone his mother liked. It wasn’t going to be a difficult situation when they visited, and there was a possibility that she’d be thrilled enough to accept him right away.
In his WeChat, Zhao Yao had sent a bunch of red envelopes that Pei Mingzhan hadn’t opened yet.
Pei Mingzhan switched back without saying a word, and one by one, he opened the envelopes.
On the other side, Elder Brother Pei, curious about his silence, leaned in and asked, “What’s the secret mission you’re on?”
Pei Mingzhan also readily opened up the chat history for him to see, and Elder Brother Pei was caught off guard by the content inside.
Yao Yao: [WeChat Red Envelope]
Yao Yao: [WeChat Red Envelope]
Yao Yao: [WeChat Red Envelope]
Yao Yao: [WeChat Red Envelope]
Pei Mingzhan: [Kiss]
The person labeled as ‘Yao Yao’ sent at least a dozen red envelopes, and the chat log ended with Pei Mingzhan’s shamelessly cheeky emoji.
Elder Brother Pei: “…”
Pei Mingzhan calmly turned off the screen and simply said, “I was afraid she’d get too excited and scare people away.”
Zhao Yao stayed up late for a rare occasion. Ever since Pei Mingzhan started urging him to go to bed early every night, it had been a while since he stayed up past 2 or 3 AM. Just as he finished reading through the forum’s strategies, he received updates about the Zhao Group from his confidant. As he suspected, Zhao Zhikai had chosen to protect Zhao Qizhen while sacrificing Bai Chengxue. This decision had caused quite a stir within the company. Bai Chengxue had been taken in by the police for investigation on suspicion of leaking confidential information, even before the New Year. It seemed like the Zhao family was currently in a state of turmoil.
He gave instructions to his confidant the next steps, then exited the conversation. To his surprise, he saw Pei Mingzhan’s message, [Kiss], which had been sent two hours ago.
Why wasn’t there any notification? He had no idea that Pei Mingzhan had replied.
Zhao Yao paused for a moment, then rummaged through the collection of emojis he had received from Yao Bai a few days ago. After some searching, he found a cute [Kiss] emoji and sent it.
The author has something to say:
Yao Ge spent half an hour searching for emojis: [Kiss]
Brother Pei who has witnessed everything:…
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