Chapter 83

Full Level Bigshot Only Takes the Career Path Chapter 83


The coat was purchased during a shopping trip they had taken together. Today, they were originally wearing the same style, but later, Brother Lao got worried. He reached into Pei Mingzhan’s suitcase and retrieved the coat he had worn the day before to pair it with Pei Mingzhan’s outfit. Zhao Yao’s attention was completely attracted by Pei Mingzhan’s hand. He couldn’t even be bothered to look at the content the fans were posting in the barrage. His entire focus was caught by Pei Mingzhan’s hand.

Pei Mingzhan didn’t keep long nails. When he scratched the back of Zhao Yao’s hand, he mostly used the gentle pressure of his fingertips. This provoked a shiver that ran through Zhao Yao’s entire body. He lightly pursed his lips and contemplated pulling his hand away. Seizing that opportunity, Pei Mingzhan firmly grasped onto Zhao Yao’s hand.

【So, where’s my Zhao Zong?】

【It’s all a joke, just some other sisters teasing Old Pei, saying that his staff might be Zhao Zong, hhhh.】

【Most of the recent news about encounters in Super Talk is about Pei Pei and Mr. Zhao playing together, so everyone’s already biased.】

【By the way, did Peipei and Zhao Zong went to H City together? It feels like they’ve been to many places during the Spring Festival.】

【I guess that’s how friendship among rich people is, just that simple.】

Brother Lao and Le Le simply went to a small restaurant near the guesthouse to pick up some dinner. During this time, Brother Lao kept an eye on the livestream with his phone. When he finally saw the comments in the barrage, he immediately understood Pei Mingzhan’s true intention in shooing him away. He couldn’t help but wonder why Pei Mingzhan suddenly cared about his eating habits. After all, in the past, there were many instances when Pei Mingzhan wouldn’t eat while staying up late to film.

It turns out that the back trick is here!

Mr. Zhao didn’t want to appear on camera, but this person was still finding ways to show affection! Brother Lao looked at the barrage and gritted his teeth, saying, “This is Pei Mingzhan’s chance to soar to the heavens. Tomorrow, he could completely paralyze my Weibo.”

Le Le took the takeout box from the restaurant owner and confusedly said, “It can’t be, can it? Pei Ge can single-handedly crash the entire livestream??”

“Forget about the livestream,” Brother Lao paid the bill and urged, “Let’s go. We need to hurry back. I shouldn’t have let Pei Mingzhan go wild in front of the camera!”

Le Le suddenly realized and remembered what he had seen in Pei Ge’s room last night with Mr. Zhao. He spoke up, asking, “Lao ge, didn’t I tell you I saw Zhao Zong in Pei Ge’s room last night?”

Brother Lao paused slightly and then asked, “And?”

Le Le continued, “Pei Ge and Zhao Zong are sharing a room, right?”

Brother Lao halted his steps and stared at Le Le for a moment, then patted his shoulder, saying, “Not bad, your eyes aren’t just for show.”

Le Le: “???”

What did you mean? Was it the meaning he had understood?

-*

Zhao Yao didn’t let Pei Mingzhan hold his hand for too long, because keeping his hand clasped like this made it hard for him to focus on passing questions to Pei Mingzhan. Fortunately, not too long after, they heard the sound of the door opening from outside, and Brother Lao and Le Le entered with takeout. They asked about the progress of the livestream.

At the beginning, the barrage went off-topic, discussing Pei Mingzhan’s staff. But in this livestream, the main focus remained on Pei Mingzhan. As it progressed, the discussion shifted more towards Pei Mingzhan’s upcoming drama and next year’s schedule, without dwelling too long on the topic of his staff.

Le Le was about to take over Zhao Yao’s shift. He felt that it might be inappropriate to have Mr. Zhao do such minor tasks. Seeing that they had brought back takeout, Zhao Yao said, “It’s okay, you guys go ahead and finish your meal.”

Pei Mingzhan nodded in agreement and then noticed Brother Lao’s mournful gaze. “You should have your meal first. Otherwise, it’ll get cold later.”

The fans in the livestream also noticed the commotion in the room and figured that the manager and assistant, who had gone out for dinner, had returned. Zhao Yao picked a few more questions, and the information that was mostly confirmed by the production team and the platform was subtly revealed through fan questions. This could be seen as indirectly generating hype for “Mi Ying” and creating some additional anticipation for the grand finale.

As the livestream was about to end, Pei Mingzhan noticed the last question:

【Peipei, you have a good relationship with Zhao Zong. Did you two go to H City together during this time?】

Pei Mingzhan read the question out loud, and everyone in the room turned their gaze towards him.

Without hesitation, he replied, “Indeed, we’ve been in H City for the past few days. He happened to be here for the New Year this year, so I took him around and we explored the city for a few days. H City has many places worth visiting, so if you plan to travel here, you can go around and explore.”

“All right, that’s it for today’s livestream,” Pei Mingzhan smiled. “Everyone, take a rest early.”

-*

After the livestream ended, while Brother Lao and Le Le were having their meal, Pei Mingzhan took the opportunity to discuss the work arrangements for the upcoming year. Brother Lao mentioned the activities for this year and thought that Pei Mingzhan didn’t want to arrange any more work for himself. He said, “I probably won’t arrange any activities for you here. If you have any projects you want to take on, just let me know. This year, I’ll focus on guiding the new talents in the studio.”

Pei Mingzhan knew that Brother Lao didn’t really want him to step back from the entertainment industry. He said, “You don’t have to come to me in the first three months, but if you come across any good film or drama scripts, you can send them to me for a look.”

Brother Lao was taken aback and asked, “Do you have the time for it?”

“I’ll have some free time in March and April, so I’ll take a look at the scripts, but it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll accept them,” Pei Mingzhan replied simply. “What do you think about the studio’s affairs? Can one person handle it all?”

The owner of Pei Mingzhan’s studio was none other than Pei Mingzhan and Brother Lao. But with Pei Mingzhan planning to step back from the limelight, most of the studio’s business responsibilities would fall squarely on Brother Lao’s shoulders. Apart from managing Pei Mingzhan’s personal work arrangements, he would also need to oversee the allocation of resources for the studio’s artists.

“I can handle it. If I ever find it too much to handle, I’ll let you know,” Brother Lao replied. He was a bit surprised by Pei Mingzhan’s willingness to accept scripts. Last year, Pei Mingzhan had been quite firm about his stance, so it was unexpected to see him easing up this year. “I’ll keep an eye out for scripts. If there’s a suitable one, I’ll recommend it to you.”

Zhao Yao paused when he heard that Pei Mingzhan might accept scripts. “Can you handle the workload?” he asked.

“Just as long as I get back on track, and besides, film shoots aren’t that long,” Pei Mingzhan replied before leaning in closer to Zhao Yao and whispering, “If I don’t act, what will you do if other actors start grabbing your attention in the future?”

Zhao Yao furrowed his brow slightly. “I won’t.”

Pei Mingzhan smiled and reassured, “I was just joking. When I consider accepting scripts, I’ll take into account my personal life and work schedule. Don’t worry.”

Not long after, Brother Lao and Le Le left, and Pei Mingzhan and Zhao Yao returned from outside to continue with their livestream duties. At this point, they were thinking of taking a shower and resting. Zhao Yao went first, took a shower, and then sat in a chair to check his Weibo. That’s when he stumbled upon the fans discussing the evening’s livestream, including the moment he had brought water to Pei Mingzhan, which had been captured in a screenshot, showing only half of his hand.

Now that the livestream had ended, Zhao Yao noticed that Pei Mingzhan seemed to enjoy doing things together with him, a behavior that, in the eyes of the outside world, was commonly referred to as “showing affection.” He understood this feeling, especially when the photos he posted in his social circle received compliments. It gave him a sense of pride that his boyfriend was exceptionally outstanding.

But Pei Mingzhan’s enthusiasm for this hobby had a slightly higher frequency.

With some free time on his hands and a curiosity about Pei Mingzhan’s attitude, Zhao Yao climbed onto the XShui Forum discussion board to ask fellow netizens –

【Is it normal that boyfriends like to show their love?】

There weren’t many people on the forum, but this time of night was peak internet usage. In just a short moment, as soon as Zhao Yao refreshed the page, he noticed several responses below. Forum members all had fixed IDs, and there were a few IDs he had seen many times in this discussion section that belonged to regular forum users.

【I suspect you used this title just to show affection.】

【It’s normal, showing affection as a couple is a perfectly normal thing. Some people show their affection without even realizing it.】

【A boyfriend who loves to show affection? Lucky you, my boyfriend doesn’t even post on his social circle without reminders, let alone show affection.】

【If your boyfriend’s affection-displaying frequency is bothering you, you can tactfully discuss it with him.】

【I love showing affection every day. I can post several updates on my social circle in a single day. It’s that feeling of wanting the whole world to know how amazing your girlfriend is, that she’s the best in the world.】

【?? OP, have I seen you before? I think you asked other questions last time too!】

Zhao Yao selected a few responses and asked further questions. Netizens replied, reassuring him that showing affection is a very normal thing and having a boyfriend who is affectionate is definitely a win.

【OP, listen to me. The fellow forum users above have already replied to you. Showing affection is a very common thing, and you need to take the initiative too. Otherwise, if only your boyfriend is showing affection, over time, he might feel that you don’t value him enough or love him enough. Being willing to show affection means you hold a special place in his heart, and he wants the whole world to envy him for having a partner like you. It’s a feeling that can’t be controlled. However, it’s best to moderate the extent of showing affection. Sometimes, excessive affection can make single friends eat too much dog food.】

The person who replied to Zhao Yao was a veteran member of the forum, having earned several honorary medals, including the forum’s “Love Guru.” As soon as he provided an answer, numerous forum members below responded with likes and agreement.

Zhao Yao spent some time pondering and thought that what they said made some sense. It was his first time being in a relationship. While he knew a lot in theory, putting it into practice was proving a bit challenging. He and Pei Mingzhan got along without any generation gap, and Pei Mingzhan even initiated discussions on topics that suited both of them. But in comparison to himself, Pei Mingzhan was still a young man, and young people tend to have more active thoughts. Could it be that he was responding less to Pei Mingzhan than he should be?

When Pei Mingzhan came out of the shower, he saw Zhao Yao huddled on the sofa, looking a bit listless. “What’s wrong? Are you too tired today?” he asked.

During the day, they revisited the places they missed yesterday. Many rural areas had changed, so Pei Mingzhan had to introduce some of the old spots to Zhao Yao. When they returned, Zhao Yao had to catch up on his livestreaming work, and after a long day like that, he was indeed a bit tired.

Zhao Yao came back to his senses and glanced at Pei Mingzhan.

Pei Mingzhan’s hair was still wet, and he was wearing in a well-fitted pajama. He looked at Zhao Yao while drying his hair, seeming somewhat puzzled.

Zhao Yao said, “I’m a bit tired. Let’s rest early tonight.”

Pei Mingzhan walked over, placed a towel on a nearby chair, and reached out to pick up Zhao Yao, softly asking, “Are you upset about my livestream teasing you?”

Zhao Yao was momentarily surprised but shook his head. “No.”

Holding him close, Pei Mingzhan whispered, “How about we go public in a while?”

Zhao Yao didn’t have strong feelings about going public. After all, they hadn’t been keeping their relationship a secret, and Pei Mingzhan was already nearing the end of his entertainment career. Once his other projects were completed, he could easily step out of the industry. However, the thought of a talented actor like him not acting made Zhao Yao slightly regretful. “So, are you going to continue acting?” he asked.

“If you want to see, I can perform for you anytime,” Pei Mingzhan said as he carried Zhao Yao to the bed. Then, he whispered in his ear, “Xiao Yao, do you know why I entered the entertainment industry?”

Zhao Yao paused. “Isn’t it because of your passion?”

Many people said that. Pei Mingzhan, the young master of the Pei family, entered the entertainment industry because of a personal passion.

“A part of it, yes. Do you know about childhood dreams?” Pei Mingzhan asked.

Zhao Yao replied, “Childhood dreams? You mean those dreams from when we were kids?”

Pei Mingzhan pulled the blanket over both of them and said, “Yes, do you remember your childhood dreams?”

“I don’t remember,” Zhao Yao replied. “Was acting your childhood dream?”

“Yeah, it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember,” Pei Mingzhan said as he kissed him.

Zhao Yao was caught off guard by his wet hair when Pei Mingzhan kissed him and shivered slightly. He said in a slightly concerned tone, “Pei Mingzhan, do you want to catch a cold?”

-*

Zhao Yao, a mysterious figure who lived not in the livestream room but in the realm of livestream rumors. In the evening, due to Pei Mingzhan’s livestream, he became the subject of widespread discussion among netizens. Originally, there was controversy surrounding the ending of “Mi Ying” even before it aired. However, a few vague hints dropped by Pei Mingzhan in the livestream fueled strong anticipation among netizens for the show’s ending.

Apart from that, there’s also the tone in which Pei Mingzhan mentioned his future career plans in the live broadcast. Fans detected Pei Mingzhan’s intention to step back from the limelight from his gradually reduced commercial activities and his demeanor during this live stream. But Pei Mingzhan didn’t state it decisively. Instead, he simply hinted that he’ll still consider accepting good projects in the future.

【In fact, it’s quite evident that Pei Pei has been contemplating a retirement from the spotlight.】

【Achieving success and then gracefully stepping back is a good thing. He hasn’t explicitly mentioned retiring, so there may still be opportunities in the future.】

【Actors aren’t just about generating buzz. They have their own lives. I believe it’s normal for them to reduce their work output, so there’s no need to be too sad.】

【Although he’s been in fewer projects lately, Pei Pei’s condition has indeed improved significantly.】

【You know, Pei is approaching his thirties. Can we expect him to start looking for a girlfriend?】

【Hahaha, indeed, he’s getting to the age where he should settle down. He’s been quite reserved, and it’s making me look forward to some dating rumors about him.】

【Rumors? I’m Team Zhao all the way, Xiao Zhao is just too fragrant.】

Zhao Yao’s fans couldn’t spot Zhao Yao in the live broadcast, but they did manage to stumble upon a screenshot of a half-hidden hand in Pei Mingzhan’s fan forum. A group of tech-savvy experts meticulously compared this hand with all of Zhao Yao’s previous candid photos, desperately attempting to determine if this mysterious figure was indeed their missing-in-action Zhao. However, the glimpse of the hand in the live stream was too brief, and the image too blurry, leaving the experts with no concrete conclusions.

Recently, due to the adventures of Zhao Yao and Pei Mingzhan in H city, there have been numerous candid photos of Pei Mingzhan circulating on his fan forum. Interestingly, among the Zhao fans, there are quite a few fans who also support Pei Mingzhan. So, whenever a new candid photo emerges, it’s swiftly shared and celebrated on Pei Mingzhan’s fan forum as well.

【Spring break has come to an end, and our loyal career fans of Zhao Zong are eagerly looking forward to his return to work.】

【Hahaha, I’ve noticed that the official Huahua account hasn’t posted any new pictures lately. It seems that with Zhao Zong absence from work, achieving success for the Huahua account might be quite a challenge.】

The official Huahua account doesn’t need to worry about its performance. Even though they haven’t been able to attract traffic with candid photos of Zhao recently, “Li Meng” is about to premiere! This project, carefully crafted by Huihua over the past half year, stirred up excitement from the moment its trailer was released. So, on the night of the premiere, Huihua is busy preparing promotional materials to share the exciting content with the audience.

Fans eagerly anticipating “Li Meng” had been waiting in front of their television for a long time. The show was scheduled for a prime-time TV broadcast, with the online streaming platform airing it fifteen minutes later. As friends sat in front of their televisions, the moment the theme song started playing, and the awe-inspiring voice and grand opening filled the room, they couldn’t help but be awestruck by the grandeur of the “Li Meng” production.

The theme song was the work of the current rising star, Ji Heyu. This newcomer had skyrocketed to fame right after his debut, impressing countless netizens with his exceptional vocal prowess and dedicated work ethic. However, Ji Heyu was primarily known for singing pop songs, so when he lent his voice to this awe-inspiring traditional Chinese music, especially with the seamless orchestration in the background, it transported the audience directly into that glorious ancient dynasty from the very beginning of the theme song.

“Li Meng” is an ancient court drama that revolves around a group of young individuals, with the male lead, Su Liguang, at the forefront, battling against the deeply entrenched old power structures. Within this narrative, themes of national enmity, family grudges, and the rise and fall of a generation intermingle. The story also delves into the conflicts between youthful ideals and stubborn traditional beliefs, especially through the perspective of Su Liguang. This young hero, having experienced trials and tribulations at a tender age, enters the political arena, shedding light of all kinds of human nature from his unique viewpoint.

Su Liguang is a challenging character to portray. He has experienced more at a young age than most others, and finding a young actor in the entertainment industry who can embody his youth and maturity is a difficult task. Firstly, they need outstanding physical attributes. Secondly, they require a mature acting ability, and thirdly, perhaps most crucial of all, they must be able to convey the calm and insightful demeanor of Su Liguang beneath the surface.

So, when Director Tang received the script, he had a conversation with his old friend Chen Xi, discussing the fact that there was only one person in the industry who could carry the role now, and that was Pei Mingzhan. However, due to personal work commitments and his semi-retirement from the limelight, Pei Mingzhan’s studio declined the invitation for projects like “Li Meng,” which had long production schedules and extensive involvement with the crew.

But he also recommended Zhang Qi, who happened to be the very person that Huihua’s owner, Zhao Yao, had suggested.

Facts have proven that Zhang Qi proved to be more than capable of living up to these expectations.

When viewers tuned in to watch the first episode, they were met with nothing short of perfection in the performances of both seasoned actors and the highly anticipated male lead, Su Liguang. As they immersed themselves in the story, viewers forgot that this was an adaptation of existing intellectual property and were instead seamlessly drawn into the narrative of “Li Meng” through clever cinematography and the meticulous craftsmanship of the scriptwriters.

The most devoted fans of the original work had initially approached this series with discerning eyes, but the first episode’s plot twists and the actors’ performances left them completely captivated. Despite being familiar with the storyline, watching the series again felt entirely different. The script cleverly introduced suspenseful elements into the original plot, creating a seamless narrative that made them want to keep watching without any tendency to comment, as there were no unpleasant moments throughout.

Moreover, when Su Liguang made his entrance, despite the teaser scenes in the trailer, the audience was still amazed by his casual yet effortless movements. In his simple gestures, one could glimpse a world of possibilities. And when he confronted the flourishing dynasty with such calm and insight, his character truly came to life.

【Ah ah ah ah ah! It’s amazing!】

【I’m a fan of the original work, and I used to criticize Zhang Qi, but now, seeing his portrayal of Su Liguan, I just want to kneel down.】

【Oh my god, how could an actor like Zhang Qi be so unknown before? He’s so talented.】

【Seriously, ‘Li Meng’ isn’t easy to act or film, but the scriptwriters and directors are exceptionally skilled, and the actors are delivering top-notch performances. When all these elements collide, damn, it’s just too good!】

After the live broadcast, Zhao Yao and Pei Mingzhan returned to the Pei family home. They had spent a few days out and returned just in time to find Mother Pei engrossed in watching “Li Meng,” so much so that she didn’t even notice their arrival. It was Pei Mingzhan who eventually called out to her, and she finally snapped out of her trance, inviting Zhao Yao to sit down and watch the show with her.

Zhao Yao knew that “Li Meng” would premiere tonight. Yao Bai had reminded him several times on WeChat to keep up with the updates. At first, Zhao Yao didn’t pay much attention, but as he watched the show with Mother Pei, he realized that Zhang Qi’s acting seemed even more mature than when he had seen him before. He had heard from Yao Bai about Zhang Qi’s dedication on the set and understood that this young actor was driven by a strong desire to excel, especially after years of facing adversity. To be able to remain focused and deliver such a remarkable performance, Zhang Qi was really amazing.

For outsiders, they see the brilliance, while insiders see the secrets.

Mother Pei was immersed in the thrilling plot and the actors’ performances, while Zhao Yao, in addition to these aspects, paid close attention to the overall performance of the entire production crew. After watching for a while, Pei Mingzhan turned to Zhao Yao and said, “I’m serious when I say this. This show might just win awards.”

Zhao Yao looked at him upon hearing this. “Is the evaluation so high?”

“En.” Pei Mingzhan watched the changing scenes on the television and said bluntly, “I knew you guys would do well, but I didn’t expect it to be this good.”

In truth, Zhao Yao was also an outsider to the entertainment industry. He hadn’t scrutinized the show as closely as Pei Mingzhan had, but listening to his evaluation, it became apparent that the first episode of “Li Meng” exceeded the initial expectations of the audience. One could even go so far as to say that it was an extraordinary performance, showcasing the potential and prowess of the entire production right from the very first episode.

Pei Mingzhan noticed Zhao Yao’s interest and sat beside him, explaining various techniques and the clever thoughts behind the director’s shots as they watched. Zhao Yao listened attentively. He suddenly realized that within the seemingly simple frames, there was a wealth of knowledge. “Director Tang really knows his craft. He knows how to capture the essence of the actors,” he remarked.

“This filming process is actually mutual,” Pei Mingzhan explained. “The director captures the most brilliant aspects of the actors, and the actors, in turn, must deliver their best performance within the frame. However, if both the director and the actors are outstanding, then every frame they create will be a one-in-a-million shot.”

Such pure performances actually require time and honing of skills. The scenes featuring seasoned artists and veterans are more suitable for savoring than those of the younger generation. In “Li Meng,” the supporting roles are all played by seasoned actors. For Zhang Qi, who plays the lead, to shine among these seasoned performers is quite a challenge. But in reality, he showcases the strength and talent that can easily stand up to the task. Years of playing minor roles have given him the insight into how to make the most of the limited screen time and this has become one of his standout qualities in this series.

As Zhao Yao listened, he began to feel a sense of empathy. He reached for his phone and tapped on it.

Pei Mingzhan, curious about his actions, asked, “What are you doing?”

Zhao Yao found the group chat he had joined for the “Li Meng” production team, opened several red envelopes, and said, “Sending them red envelopes.”

Pei Mingzhan watched Zhao Yao’s proficient actions as he sent out the red envelopes and asked, “I’ve told you so much. Is there a reward?”

Zhao Yao didn’t have time to notice the flood of “Thank you, boss” emojis popping up in the “Li Meng” group chat. He paused for a moment and then asked, “A reward?”

Pei Mingzhan looked at him.

*Ding—*

A notification popped up on WeChat.

Pei Mingzhan lowered his head and saw the message that appeared in the push notification on his phone—

Yao Yao: 【WeChat red envelope】.

Zhao Yao skillfully sent a red envelope to Pei Mingzhan, saying simply, “Then I’ll send one to you, too.”


The author has something to say:

Pei Pei: Do I get a reward?

Yao-ge: I’m sending you a red envelope.

Pei Pei: …


Hehe

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


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