Chapter 295 – Interview Accepted

The arrival and departure of several important figures were sudden, yet it didn’t affect the atmosphere at the art exhibition. Perhaps when they first appeared, the invitees might have involuntarily focused on them and felt astonished. However, now, once their attention was captured by the artworks’ overwhelming emotions and they immersed themselves in them, they couldn’t look away. Some didn’t even realize when these significant figures left.

In the livestream room, the screen was tranquil. Initially inundated with comments, the screen was now calm. If not for the increasing number of viewers displayed in the top left corner, one might have mistaken it for a broadcast with minimal attention.

Both in the live stream and at the exhibition, an unexpected quietness prevailed. Every gaze was fixed on the exhibited artworks until the final piece concluded, and only then did the live stream’s camera focus on the information about the creators of this exhibition.

Chen Li’s information was displayed on a board, showcasing a recent photo of him. Large eyes, long and curly eyelashes, a slightly pouted lips. At this moment, Chen Li seemed well-nourished, his face bearing a hint of baby fat, appearing quite adorable.

In the photo, with an expression that seemed lost in thought, Chen Li looked no more than twenty years old. If not for the detailed information stating Chen Li’s actual age, this photo could easily deceive people into thinking Chen Li was underage. The deceptive nature of his baby face was truly powerful.

Many individuals stood in front of Chen Li’s information board, driven by their desire to know the creator behind these soul-stirring, deeply patriotic artworks, after being moved and awestruck by them.

Upon discovering the true artist, those invited to the exhibition, including artists, critics, and individuals from various social spheres, were filled with surprise. Even though some knew that the creator of this exhibition was a disciple of Master Zhuge Yu and Master Sun, having met their disciple in previous gatherings, witnessing the works of art first-hand created by such a young individual left them feeling astounded.

Those who had met Chen Li before experienced a particular sensation, while those encountering his photo for the first time, along with his age on the information board, felt a similar sense of surprise and astonishment.

When they first laid eyes on the paintings, they had their own imaginations about the creator. In their minds, anyone capable of producing such works must possess rich life experiences. Perhaps not too old, but certainly not this young.

However, upon going through Chen Li’s information, there was an inexplicable sense of understanding.

So, this young artist was the creator of “Light.” He had entered Forbes’ list of artists last year, becoming the youngest artist on that list.

He was an exceptionally outstanding and extraordinarily talented artist. After reading Chen Li’s profile, many couldn’t help but think that it was no wonder his paintings were commanding such sky-high prices in the art market now.

Similarly, in the live stream, Chen Li’s entire profile was broadcasted in front of the audience. His age and appearance astonished the viewers. Most of the audience watching the live stream were from the art world and were familiar with “Light” and had heard of Chen Li’s name.

Yet, no one had expected that Chen Li, who had surged into fame in recent years, was this young. Was he even out of university age?

After the information was revealed, the live chat started buzzing. Some commented on Chen Li’s appearance, some discussed his age, and others were enlightening about the painting “Light.” The screen was filled with a whirlwind of comments, overwhelming to behold.

However, Chen Li, as the protagonist, appeared low-key at the exhibition with Wei Chen, carrying a chubby Qiuqiu in his arms.

Even though people around were praising his work, and he could hear their evaluations, it didn’t make Chen Li feel proud. Instead, he remained surprisingly calm.

Most people’s attention was fixed on the exhibition, and they hadn’t noticed the presence of the creator among them. They genuinely praised the exhibition, and some critics were eager to offer their comments.

Wei Chen had his arm around Chen Li’s shoulders, surrounded by praise for the exhibition. He witnessed many moved to tears by the paintings. Suddenly, he felt a warmth in his eyes, not just because he, too, was profoundly moved by the paintings before him, but also because he felt proud of his Li Li.

Sensing Wei Chen’s emotions, Chen Li turned to him. “Achen.”

“Mm.” Wei Chen met Chen Li’s gaze, his eyes filled with tenderness. “Li Li, I was proud, proud because of you.”

Between Chen Li’s brows and eyes, a smile immediately appeared. He curved his lips, revealing a faint yet immensely happy smile.

For Chen Li, among thousands of people and countless compliments, none sounded as pleasing as Wei Chen’s words just now.

The live camera happened to sweep in their direction, capturing Chen Li’s recent expression, broadcasting it to the national and even global audience. Though it was a fleeting moment, many viewers recognized Chen Li.

“Is that the creator of this art exhibition?”

“Seems like it! Director! Director! Could you please replay the previous shot?”

Many noticed, including the director, who quickly instructed the camera to scan back to their position. However, by then, both Chen Li and Wei Chen had already left.

But their departure wasn’t due to knowing they had been caught on camera; instead, Wei Chen received a phone call.

It was from Zhuge Yu, regarding Chen Li.

Earlier, due to the presence of some influential figures at the art exhibition and its inherent excellence, the exhibition had made headlines. China TV’s reporters contacted the organizers, hoping to interview the creator of the exhibition.

Upon learning this, the head of the Cultural Propaganda Department personally called Zhuge Yu, inquiring if Chen Li could accept China TV’s interview.

Zhuge Yu couldn’t easily decline China Television’s request, so he passed the call to Wei Chen and Chen Li, hoping Chen Li could decide for himself.

Accepting China TV’s visit meant that Chen Li would step in front of the national audience from behind the scenes. His name in the art world would no longer be just a name; it would represent a real person.

Wei Chen looked at Chen Li with tender eyes, conveying immense strength to him. He didn’t pressure Chen Li; he wanted Chen Li to make the decision himself.

Meeting Wei Chen’s gaze, Chen Li felt a bit puzzled. He hadn’t yet grasped the changes this exhibition would bring to his life, so he wasn’t sure whether to accept the upcoming visit.

“Achen, what should I do?” Chen Li asked, perplexed.

Wei Chen didn’t give a specific reply but laid out some things for Chen Li to consider. “Li Li, after this exhibition, you’ll gain substantial recognition in your circle. Accepting China TV’s interview would also help in this regard, but exposure brings both good and bad influences. You should think it through. Regardless of your decision, I’ll support you.”

Chen Li still didn’t quite understand. His life hadn’t encountered much, spending the first twenty years in isolation, deep within endless darkness, living numbly. After meeting Wei Chen, Chen Li’s life became vibrant, but Wei Chen shielded him from all darkness, allowing only the good and sweet parts of life to reach him.

Fame and fortune meant nothing to Chen Li; he didn’t seek either. His life was simple and straightforward.

So when sudden fame came rushing toward Chen Li, he didn’t even realize it himself and felt even more confused about what to do with this recognition.

However, suddenly it seemed like Chen Li remembered something. Looking tenderly at Wei Chen, he asked, “Achen, if I become famous, will Grandpa stop preventing us from being together?”

Even though he had accepted the red envelope from Grandfather Wei, Chen Li was sensitive and could sense the resistance behind Grandfather Wei’s smile. Since then, he had known that Grandfather Wei hadn’t truly accepted him.

If he gained fame and helped Achen’s career, would Grandfather Wei then accept him?

Though Wei Chen never explicitly discussed Grandfather Wei’s attitude toward him, Chen Li wanted to make some efforts for their relationship, rather than burdening Wei Chen with everything.

Wei Chen didn’t expect Chen Li’s question. His gaze hardened momentarily before he couldn’t help but pull Chen Li into his embrace, his voice low but filled with affection. “You don’t need to worry about these things; I’ll handle it.”

Chen Li shook his head, earnestness shining in his big eyes. “Achen, this is our issue, let’s solve it together.”

Wei Chen nodded in response. “Okay.”

Chen Li smiled again. “Then I’ll take on this interview.”

“Hmm.” Wei Chen’s words trailed off as he leaned down, gently capturing Chen Li’s lips.

At that moment, the little one in Chen Li’s arms woke up. Instinctively, chubby hands reached out, trying to grab Chen Li’s lips, inadvertently separating Wei Chen and Chen Li in the process.

Wei Chen playfully held onto the chubby hand that was aiming for Chen Li’s lips and chuckled, “You little troublemaker!”

Seemingly reacting to the disdain from his “Big Dad,” Qiuqiu blew bubbles at Wei Chen, then grinned, revealing a set of pink gums without teeth.

Wei Chen’s heart was in chaos because of this little troublemaker. He reached out and pulled Qiuqiu close, feeling the soft and warm body, much like his own emotions at the moment.

Chen Li squeezed Qiuqiu’s hand and couldn’t resist placing a kiss on the chubby hand, which caught the attention of Qiuqiu. Qiuqiu tried to reach for Chen Li’s lips.

The habit of pinching lips belonged to Qiuqiu, often happening when Chen Li would cuddle and help him fall asleep. Qiuqiu insisted on pinching lips; only then could he fall asleep. If his hand was moved away, the baby, who had just fallen asleep a moment ago, would immediately open his eyes.

It wasn’t clear from whom this habit was inherited.

Perhaps due to the urgency of the news, Chen Li didn’t have much time to prepare for this interview. As soon as China TV’s reporters received confirmation that Chen Li agreed to the interview, they immediately set the time and place.

With limited time, the interview was scheduled for three o’clock in the afternoon, just four hours from the present time. As for the location, the reporters allowed Chen Li to choose, and he opted for Studio Q at Q University.

During noon when Chen Li went for the appointment, Wei Chen accompanied him. They didn’t bring the baby along on this occasion, and Chen Yunlan voluntarily offered to take care of Qiuqiu.

When Chen Li and Wei Chen arrived at the studio, it was around two in the afternoon, the sun shining brightly in the sky. Despite being in autumn, the lingering heat of summer, known as the “autumn tiger,” persisted, and the temperature remained relatively high.

The reporters had been there for half an hour by the time the two arrived. Chen Li’s paintings, created before his pregnancy, adorned the studio. Each piece was outstanding, and the photographers were capturing these artworks on video. As they entered, the photographers were focusing their lenses on Chen Li’s paintings.

Upon seeing Chen Li, the reporters approached immediately. Noticing where Chen Li and Wei Chen’s gazes fell, the reporter promptly explained, “I’m terribly sorry. These artworks are just too excellent. Of course, if Mr. Chen prefers not to showcase these paintings, we can edit them out.” Although the reporter knew that airing these paintings would trigger a fierce pursuit of Chen Li’s artwork.

“It’s okay, go ahead and film,” Chen Li said.

The reporter breathed a sigh of relief. Before arriving, he had gathered some understanding about Chen Li and knew that the person standing beside Chen Li was his partner, Wei Chen.

Initially, seeing Wei Chen’s serious demeanor upon their entrance, the reporter had expected it would be difficult to interact with him. But now it seemed that Wei Chen was here to accompany Chen Li and wouldn’t interfere with Chen Li’s decisions.

The reporter relaxed, but Chen Li felt a bit nervous—not because of facing the camera but due to interacting with strangers. Sensing Chen Li’s tension, Wei Chen squeezed his hand, offering encouragement.

Chen Li looked at Wei Chen, feeling the warmth in his eyes, took a deep breath, and then went to the makeup artist. After all, being on TV required some preparation.

Soon, everything was ready, and the interview was about to begin. However, before starting, the reporter apologized to Chen Li again and explained the rushed nature of the interview.

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