Chapter 30 – Astray Actor (2)

Turning his head and noticing the gaze of the person behind him, Chen Luosong loosened his grip and asked, “Where do you usually stay?”

“The school,” the person behind him replied.

Glancing down at the time, Chen Luosong said, “It should be past curfew by now.”

Zhou Ji lowered his head and responded softly, “Yes.”

At this hour, the dorm supervisor was already asleep.

Leaving the corridor, they took the elevator downstairs and walked out the main door. A car parked outside the bamboo grove was immediately visible. This area was already outside the city, making it difficult to catch a taxi. Chen Luosong had Zhou Ji get into the car first.

The driver asked where they were headed. Chen Luosong asked Zhou Ji for the name of his school, then looked down at his phone and gave the driver the name of a hotel.

In an instant, Zhou Ji visibly tensed up.

Chen Luosong couldn’t help but laugh, “Relax, I’m in no condition to do anything.”

He was telling the truth.

His body was already weak; the original villain couldn’t do much even if he wanted to. After the car accident, he was even more frail. If Zhou Ji had exerted a bit more force earlier, he probably wouldn’t have been able to stop that wine glass.

Zhou Ji had noticed this too.

The room was on the second floor, right next to the stairs, but this person took the longer route via the elevator and needed the driver’s help to get into the car.

“You’ve got some guts.” Chen Luosong put down his phone and looked over, saying, “You dared to go after Zhang Zheng twice in a row.”

Zhang Zheng was the name of the executive.

Chen Luosong said this and couldn’t help but laugh again.

Two consecutive attempts: the first time with his hands, and the second time seemingly planning to use glass shards. In a way, he had gotten smarter.

Quite a temper too.

Before arriving, he already knew that the plotline would deviate; he just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.

According to the original book, this person was supposed to endure humiliation and grow twistedly under pressure. However, right from the start, there was a deviation as he directly faced Zhang with his fists.

Zhou Ji lowered his head, his mouth slightly tight, not saying a word.

He knew that what he did might not have been right, perhaps a bit extreme, and it could be considered as having personally strangled his own future.

But he still did it.

In the back of his mind, he always felt like there was a voice telling him that someone didn’t want him to submit to humiliation, and he didn’t need to submit.

The vehicle drove down the road, heading towards a hotel near the school.

Zhou Ji got out of the car, thanked him, and was about to leave when he saw the person sitting in the car also get out.

The other person asked him, “Do you have your ID card with you?”

He did. He had developed the habit of carrying his documents with him a long time ago.

So, the other person led him to the hotel, saying as they walked, “If you can’t get into the dormitory, stay here for the night. It’s close to the school. Tomorrow is Monday, so if you have classes, you should be able to make it from here.”

Zhou Ji did not follow him forward.

The hotel’s lights were brilliant, and it was obvious at a glance that it was expensive, likely costing more for one night than a month’s living expenses.

“Let’s go.”

Just like when they were in the room, the person who had walked a few steps ahead came back again. This time, however, he patted Zhou Ji on the shoulder instead of touching his wrist.

In the end, he was brought into the hotel.

The inside of the hotel was even larger than it appeared from the outside. The lobby was bright, with people occasionally coming and going.

Chen Luosong checked him in.

Handing the room card to Zhou Ji, Chen Luosong glanced at the time and said, “It’s late, go up and rest.”

He didn’t seem to have any intention of staying, and after speaking, he turned to leave.

Zhou Ji’s hand, hanging at his side, tightened slightly. Finally, he called out to him.

He wanted to get a contact number so he could repay the hotel expenses later.

Chen Luosong gave it to him.

After successfully adding the contact, Zhou Ji noted it down and then, remembering something, looked up again, “Excuse me…”

Chen Luosong said, “My surname is Chen. Just call me Brother Chen.”

Zhou Ji: “Okay, Mr. Chen.”

Chen Luosong chuckled, ruffling Zhou Ji’s hair, “Blockhead, call me Brother Chen.”


That night, after returning home, Chen Luosong went to the company the next day.

When he arrived at the company, Assistant Bai handed him an agreement, complete with all the necessary details, only lacking a signature.

Sipping tea and glancing at the agreement, Chen Luosong slowly swallowed his tea, falling into a rare moment of silence.

Although he had never seen one before, it was clearly a “support” agreement.

Assistant Bai seemed to have weathered many storms, handling the business with great skill, the agreement’s terms clear and concise.

The person sitting behind the desk remained silent for a long time, so Bai Mingwei asked, “Is there anything that needs to be revised?”

After finally swallowing the tea in his mouth, Chen Luosong waved his hand slightly and said, “No need.”

Before the other person left, he remembered something and added, “All previous agreements are null and void.”

Assistant Bai knew which type of agreements he was referring to and asked which ones were void.

Chen Luosong replied, “All of them.”

Bai Mingwei was momentarily stunned, lowered his eyes to look at him, then looked away, agreed, and turned to leave the office.

Once the office door was closed again, Chen Luosong propped himself up on the desk to stand and put the agreement papers into the shredder.

From that day on, for an entire week, he habitually went to the company every day. Assistant Bai was quite competent, so there wasn’t much that needed his attention.

Since their last meeting, he had not seen the hot-tempered Zhou Xiaoji again, though they had chatted a few times on the phone. The other party said that he had no money at the moment but would definitely repay the hotel expenses after some time.

Chen Luosong was not very concerned about the hotel expenses; he just routinely reminded him to eat well and rest properly.

Mr. Zhang, who was stopped in the middle of venting his anger, was not very patient. In less than a week, he had contacted Assistant Bai again, hoping to get in touch with him through Assistant Bai.

This time, it was not about arranging another drink but about seeking investment.

Assistant Bai had already had preliminary discussions with Mr. Zhang; now it was up to him to decide.

Under normal circumstances, he just needed to nod. Mr. Zhang’s company was publicly listed and had been growing rapidly for the past few years. Its expansion was fast, and shareholders had confidence in it. The company’s future looked promising. Investing in such a company generally would not result in a loss.

Moreover, he had just taken a person from the other party, so logically, he should support them in some way.

In the quiet office, Chen Luosong sat on the sofa, put down the document in his hand, and said, “No investment.”

Not expecting him to refuse, Assistant Bai, sitting opposite him, looked over.

Chen Luosong picked up the tea next to him, took a sip, and briefly said, “Investment is possible, but giving money is not.”

No one would organize a gathering for drinks and fun without a reason. If someone invites people, there must be a purpose behind it. Mr. Zhang, whose face injuries had not healed and who wasn’t presentable, organized a drinking session likely for the purpose of securing an investment.

Trying to secure investment within such a rushed timeframe clearly indicated internal financial troubles. The efficiency of securing funds through investment is far less than directly obtaining a bank loan.

Realistically, it was not that Mr. Zhang did not want to take a loan; he simply couldn’t secure one.

Faced with a publicly listed company, all major banks uniformly refused to lend, which likely meant that Mr. Zhang’s company was already flagged in internal financial reports.

Rapid expansion and development to attract funds, expanding even faster to obtain more funds, resulted in a seemingly prosperous exterior but internally, warehouses were filled with damp and rusting equipment, and large factories without a single worker.

Such a company had lost its ability to operate independently and could only survive by continuously absorbing external funds. Once the funds were exhausted, the company would die.

Investing in such a company was no longer considered an investment but rather giving away money.


The pupils behind Bai Mingwei’s glasses dilated, and he unconsciously sat up straight, finally giving his full attention to the person sitting opposite him.

“Is there anything else that needs to be handled?”

After drinking half of the tea, Chen Luosong slightly raised his head and said, “I probably won’t be at the office after noon.”

“There are still two documents that need your review,” Bai Mingwei habitually asked, “Do you need me to accompany you?”

“No need.” Chen Luosong leaned back on the sofa, smiled, and said, “A kid is treating me to lunch.”


For a moment, Bai Mingwei couldn’t find the words to respond.

After noon, Chen Luosong indeed left, not staying a minute longer. When Assistant Bai returned to the office with a freshly brewed cup of tea, there was no one inside.


Since the last incident, no one from the company had contacted Zhou Ji. When he finally received a call, he was informed that the company was under investigation, the contract was automatically terminated, and he was to cooperate with the investigation. In the end, he didn’t even have to pay for the medical expenses.

The first thing he thought of when he got the money was to repay the hotel expenses. He transferred the money, but the recipient didn’t accept it. They eventually agreed that he would treat the other party to a meal instead.

The restaurant was chosen by the other party and turned out to be unexpectedly simple and ordinary. It was near the school and within walking distance.

The restaurant was inside a mall. When he arrived early, the mall’s large screen was still showing advertisements, and the face of the brand ambassador covered three whole floors.

Standing under the billboard, he watched the continuous flow of people.

Five minutes before the agreed time, he saw a figure enter the mall.

It was a holiday, so there were many people entering and exiting the mall at this time, yet he inexplicably spotted the person walking through the crowd right away.

Zhou Ji walked towards the other person but noticed that the individual who had entered the mall slightly paused, looking up at the advertisement overhead for a moment.

The ad was for a clothing brand, and he recognized the person in it. The model was a senior who had graduated several years before him and had now become a top-tier celebrity, known best for his striking looks.

—That face certainly appealed to many people.

Zhou Ji paused only briefly before continuing forward and greeting the person.

Hearing his voice, the other person finally tore his gaze away from the advertisement, turned his head, and responded.

The restaurant was on the second floor, and by the time they arrived, it was already quite crowded. They sat in a corner and placed their order.

Chen Luosong looked at the thin shirt the person opposite him was wearing and asked, “Aren’t you cold?”

Just like last time, now it was early spring, and the weather was still somewhat chilly, yet the other person wore only a thin shirt.

Zhou Ji glanced down at his clothes and felt it was fine.

The person then asked about his recent work, and he answered.

—It’s strange, it feels very strange.

This was only the second time they had met, and they hadn’t known each other for a short time, yet he always felt oddly familiar with this person, and their conversation flowed naturally.

He never talked about his work with anyone, and he hadn’t thought of telling anyone about signing with a new agency, but when the person asked, he just said it, naturally, without any hesitation.

He wasn’t someone who complained or vented, but it felt like he couldn’t control himself, like he had developed a habit without realizing it, something he couldn’t correct or overcome.

It felt like he was drunk on the warmth of March, unable to raise any defenses.

The person listened attentively as he spoke, the steam from the cup in their hand rising and blurring their features, but a smile was faintly visible on their face.

The waiter brought the ordered dishes, and as the dishes were served, Zhou Ji looked at the table and seemed to sense something, asking, “Brother Chen, do you not like cherry tomatoes?”

Chen Luosong raised his eyes slightly and responded that he didn’t particularly like them, then asked, “How did you know?”

Zhou Ji also wanted to know why he knew. He pondered for a moment and finally said, “Maybe it’s because Brother Chen has a face that doesn’t like eating cherry tomatoes.”

Chen Luosong chuckled, “Then my face is pretty good at growing.”

Zhou Ji glanced at him again, but didn’t respond immediately.

Indeed, it was quite attractive, somewhat difficult to look away from.

After finishing the meal, everyone’s beloved cherry tomatoes were eaten by Zhou Xiaoji.

After dinner, Chen Luosong suggested going upstairs for a stroll.

Upstairs was the clothing area, noticeably less crowded than downstairs.

Zhou Ji initially thought he was just browsing, but later realized he seemed to have a plan.

The other person entered a store in a planned way and picked out a piece of clothing in a planned way.

He saw the clothes the other person picked out.

A hoodie, warm yellow, with a small chicken pattern on the chest.

Perhaps it was his imagination, but he felt like the other person’s gaze often lingered on the little chicken.

“Isn’t this one quite nice?”

Before he could speak, the other person chuckled and said, “I saw it while looking at the display case next to the big screen downstairs.”


Zhou Ji remembered. Next to the big screen downstairs was the display case of this store.

So, the person next to him wasn’t looking at the person in the advertisement earlier, but at the display case next to it.

Quickly, the person who was originally picking out clothes had the store assistant pack the clothes.

Then, the paper bag containing the clothes was handed to him.

As a bonus for buying clothes, he also got a fluffy little chicken toy, so he held the paper bag in one hand and held the little chicken toy in the other like the Pagoda-Bearing Heavenly King Li holding up his tower.

Squeezing the little chicken toy made a sound similar to a rubber duck.

With both hands free, Chen Luosong tucked his hands into the pockets of the clothes, his tousled hair hanging down as he smiled with a slight curve of his eyebrows and eyes, “Indeed, it suits you.”

Holding the little chicken toy like King Li, he insisted that he couldn’t take these clothes back.

Chen Luosong waved his hand casually.

Zhou Ji looked at the little chicken toy in his hand, then glanced at the person standing opposite him, and finally said, “Then when I earn some money later, I’ll buy clothes for Brother Chen too.”

The person opposite smiled and replied, “Sure.”

<< _ >>


Zhou Xiaoji – Zhou Little Ji

Li Jing (deity), also known as Pagoda-Bearing Heavenly King Li, is a figure in Chinese mythology and a god in Chinese folk religion. He carries a tower that can capture any spirit, demon, or god within its walls.

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