Chapter 35 – Astray Actor (7)

When Zhou Ji woke up, it was almost noon. The first thing he saw was the glaring sunlight.

In the quiet room, only the faint sound of the air conditioner could be heard.

His vision was blurry, and his mind was groggy, so he buried himself back into the blanket.

The blanket smelled of alcohol, but more prominently, it carried a faint, pleasant scent that permeated from the blanket and pillow.

It was Brother Chen’s scent.


Zhou Ji abruptly sat up. His mind cleared instantly, and his previously blurry vision became sharp. He turned his head to look at the unfamiliar room.

Desk, sofa, bookshelf, floor-to-ceiling windows, carpet.

He had no memories of anything after picking up the wine glass yesterday. He didn’t know where he was, but he had a vague guess.

Just the guess made his heart skip a beat.

Along with his heartbeat, the sound of a door opening also echoed.

The room door opened, and a person dressed in casual home clothes stood at the doorway, a towel draped over his neck, with wet hair slowly dripping water. The person looked at him, the corners of his eyes slightly raised, and said, “Awake?”

Zhou Ji responded that he was awake, his eyes staring fixedly at the red mark near the other person’s collarbone.

He extended his finger, pointed at the mark, and then pointed at himself.

Chen Luosong casually wiped his hair and said, “Who else?”

Then the person sitting on the bed began to vigorously knock on his own head.

Chen Luosong asked what he was doing.

Zhou Ji answered, “Trying to retrieve the lost memories.”

He couldn’t retrieve the memories, but his head was decisively slapped.

Retracting the hand that slapped him, Chen Luosong said, “Get up.”

Zhou Ji got up. After waking up, he habitually tidied the blanket, running his hands over its folds, once again catching that pleasant scent.

Although he couldn’t remember what had happened the previous night, after leaving the room, he instinctively apologized.

When the drunkard from last night sat down beside him, Chen Luosong was reading some documents. He just said it was fine when he heard Zhou Ji.

Zhou Ji smiled but then heard Chen Luosong say, “It’s not the first time I’ve been bitten.”


The smile on Zhou Ji’s face froze and gradually faded.

He immediately recalled the news he had seen earlier about someone else entering and leaving a hotel with Brother Chen.

Someone else had bitten Brother Chen, smelled Brother Chen’s scent, and even done things he hadn’t done while he was unaware.

“Brother Chen.”

Looking down at the documents, Chen Luosong felt a weight on his body. Without turning his head, he knew it was Zhou Ji leaning over again. He responded, “What?”

The person beside him bent down, buried his head in his body, and whispered slowly, “Brother Chen can only be my Brother Chen.”

Chen Luosong: “Hmm?”


After the crew finished filming, and after another half year of promotion, with the main cast being top stars, the series premiered with the highest ratings, becoming an undisputed hit.

Xu Wen, already a top star, saw his fame visibly soar even higher, and the resources he received also improved significantly. Zhou Ji, who had been a virtually unknown minor actor, gained significant exposure despite having fewer scenes compared to the main cast. These few scenes were enough to boost his recognition.

Receiving scripts, joining productions, and then repeating the process, the once minor actor was no longer an unknown and became increasingly busy.

Busy, but whenever he had time off, Zhou Ji would always rush back to A City immediately.

After that night when he had gotten drunk and stayed at Brother Chen’s place, Zhou Ji had instinctively become a frequent visitor.

Every time he came, he would immediately sniff around, and only after confirming that there were no other scents on the sheets would he feel at ease.

The first time Zhou Ji had someone sleeping beside him was because he was drunk. After that, when he came over, he didn’t receive the same treatment and could only sleep in the guest room.

Because he came too frequently, the guest room had become a guest room in name only, but in reality his room.

This time, he also made an appointment to go out and play.

Quickly changing clothes in his room, he immediately opened the door and went to the adjacent room.

As a figure appeared in the doorway, Chen Luosong was just putting on an outer shirt, standing by the table quietly fastening his shirt cuffs.

He was wearing a white undershirt with a loose, light pink shirt over it. His messy hair partially covered his eyes, and when he glanced sideways, his light-colored pupils reflected the light coming into the room, looking dazzling and stunning.

Zhou Ji’s eyes lit up.

Then, belatedly realizing, he called out, “Brother Chen.”

As he had expected, Chen Luosong indeed suited these clothes very well.

He remembered what he had said before, or rather, he had always been looking forward to this day. As soon as he received his salary, he bought clothes for Brother Chen.

Now, the clothes he bought finally occupied half of the wardrobe, standing out among the numerous black, white, and gray shirts and home clothes.

There seemed to be a subtle sense of pride on the face of the person standing at the doorway. Chen Luosong nodded and then said, “We can go out now.”

Zhou Ji agreed and couldn’t help but take another look.

Considering the health of the person still on medication, they didn’t go far and went to the nearby Central Park. The weather was just right, and the ginkgo trees in the park should have all turned yellow by now.

It was a holiday, so besides the locals who liked to play there, there were many tourists. As they got out of the car, they could see the flow of people coming and going.

Zhou Ji helped the person beside him out of the car, and after ensuring the other person was standing steadily, he somewhat awkwardly let go.

They had barely taken a few steps into the park when Zhou Ji made his first purchase.

There was a shop near the park entrance. He saw something through the glass window and stepped inside.

The shop was crowded, so Chen Luosong didn’t go in. Instead, he walked a few steps forward and stood by the roadside where he wouldn’t be in the way, slightly raising his eyes to look at the dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves.

As the person who went to buy things had said, the ginkgo leaves along the roadside had all turned yellow.

Everything in sight was a sea of gold. The tall ginkgo trees stretched down to the end of the road, their fallen leaves forming a thin layer on the ground. When the wind blew, the ginkgo leaves curled up, rose, and fell again.

It was already autumn.

Chen Luosong thought about how much longer he would stay here.

“Brother Chen!”

A familiar voice called from behind, and he turned his head.


The wind blew down the road, rustling the leaves incessantly. Standing under the tree, Chen Luosong turned around, his loose shirt and tousled hair lifting in the breeze. Behind the fluttering ginkgo leaves were his usual light-colored pupils.

Before his mind could react, Zhou Ji, holding a bag in one hand, had already pulled out his phone with the other and pressed the shutter immediately.

Nearby, someone else also raised their phone to take a picture. Before they could snap a photo, Zhou Ji jogged a few steps forward and stood next to Chen Luosong, who had turned back.

Chen Luosong looked at the person standing beside him and asked, “What are you taking a picture of?”

“I’m taking a picture of how good you look,” Zhou Ji replied. “Can I use it as my background?”

Although it was a question, Zhou Ji’s expression was confident, already looking as if he had made up his mind to use it as his phone background.

Not quite understanding why anyone would use a photo as a background, but not caring much either, Chen Luosong said “hmm” and asked, “What did you buy?”

Zhou Ji put his phone back in his pocket and took out a small item from the bag he was holding. “I bought this.”

They were two small pendants shaped like ginkgo leaves, perfect for attaching to a phone.

Chen Luosong smiled and briefly commented, “They look nice.”

The park was large, with not only ginkgo trees but also expanses of maple trees. The small maple leaves formed a continuous stretch, painting half the mountainside red.

After finding a place to sit for a while, Zhou Ji glanced at his phone and said, “There’s a fruit tea shop nearby. Brother Chen, would you like some?”


“…I can’t take this variety show. I’ve already said before, there’s an issue with the production company. I’ve already accepted two scripts for the second half of the year and don’t have time to record a variety show.”

In the bustling drink shop, a person sitting in the corner held a phone in one hand and pressed the baseball cap lower on their head with the other, revealing only their light blonde hair.

[There’s nothing we can do, the company has already agreed with Mr. Wang. You just need to find a time to sign the contract.]

[If there’s a schedule conflict, just take time off. With your status, as long as you perform adequately, those directors won’t dare say anything.]

The drink on the table was still more than half full, the ice melting into water, droplets sliding down the cup and pooling on the table.

Listening to the voice on the other end of the phone, the person’s grip on the hat tightened. After a moment, they said, “This means I’ll have no rest for three consecutive months.”

[There’s nothing we can do, that’s the higher-ups’ decision. You’ll just have to bear with it a bit. I have other matters to attend to, so I’ll hang up now.]

The line went dead with a busy signal.

Xu Wen lowered his head and looked at the darkened screen.


Since the leadership of the company he signed with changed, things had been progressively getting worse. The new management wasn’t interested in the company’s growth, only in squeezing out every bit of remaining value.

Months of continuous work, taking on endorsements and scripts he shouldn’t, endless hype around merch, ultimately leading to a tarnished reputation both inside and outside the industry, turning him into a has-been.

With his contract period not yet up and unable to afford the breach of contract penalty, it was almost a dead end.

The phone fell from his hand onto the table, making a sound just as footsteps echoed in the previously empty aisle.

Someone sat down at the table in front of him—two people, sitting face to face. One of them was facing him, the other had their back to him.

The person with their back to him said to the waiter, “Hello, we’ll have two cups of…”

The voice was familiar; he had heard it on TV before.

It was Zhou Ji.

Almost instinctively, Xu Wen pulled his baseball cap down as low as it could go.

The two people sat down and started chatting while waiting for their fruit tea. The air around them was filled with a sense of relaxation and ease.

Sitting across from Zhou Ji was Chen Luosong. Even without seeing his face, Xu Wen recognized the voice and could roughly guess who it was.

Rumors in the circle, true or false, were rampant. The most persistent one was that Mr. Chen, who used to favor young stars, had changed his ways. He no longer kept young stars around or attended drinking parties, and only kept Zhou Ji by his side. Some said that other aspiring young stars had tried to cozy up to Mr. Chen but were quietly thwarted by Zhou Ji.

Xu Wen slightly lifted the brim of his cap and glanced at the person sitting opposite. He was momentarily stunned.

In that brief second, the person in the light pink shirt looked up and met his gaze directly.

Caught so easily, Xu Wen didn’t have time to think of what to say. He saw the other person’s face break into a slight smile. Chen Luosong nodded at him briefly, then looked away, resting his head on his hand, listening lazily and naturally to Zhou Ji, who was still talking about things that had happened at school.

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