Chapter 36 – Astray Actor (8)

Chen Luosong noticed the person sitting in the corner but didn’t look longer or plan to reminisce. He turned his attention back to listening to Zhou Ji talk, occasionally sipping his fruit tea.

Zhou Ji was dressed in a black hoodie and wearing a black baseball cap, looking like a cool guy. However, when he smiled, he seemed a bit simple-minded, exuding a peculiar naivety.

Putting down his fruit tea, Chen Luosong patted the cool guy on the head and said, “Let’s go.”

With only two or three days to rest, Zhou Ji soon returned to the film set.

Chen Luosong saw Xu Wen again a week later at a banquet.

It wasn’t unusual for celebrities to attend such events, but he wasn’t particularly interested. He glanced at Xu Wen and then looked away.

Assistant Bai was, as usual, by his side, carrying his medication and phone.

Though Chen Luosong usually drank grape juice instead of wine, he could drink alcohol, just not too much. That evening, he alternated between grape juice and wine, drinking a mix of both.

As the evening wore on, he eventually switched to only drinking wine, as he couldn’t drink too much grape juice.

Finally, as the crowd around him dispersed, Assistant Bai reminded him, “Mr. Chen, you’ve had quite a bit to drink tonight.”

Chen Luosong acknowledged this, glancing down at his watch.

It was about time to leave. Although there were activities planned after the banquet, he wouldn’t participate. He could leave as soon as the event ended.

Since they were outside the range of A City, it wasn’t practical to return there at that time. Assistant Bai had already booked a hotel nearby, so they could rest after leaving the event.

While Chen Luosong checked the time, Bai Mingwei also glanced at his watch and then stepped away to contact the driver.

As Bai Mingwei left, Chen Luosong put down his wine glass and headed to the lounge behind the hallway.

The lounge was surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides, offering a direct view of distant buildings and the fountain below.

As he sat down, he heard footsteps approaching from afar, eventually stopping behind him.

Turning his head slightly, he saw the light blonde hair.

It was Xu Wen. Dressed in formal attire, Xu Wen stood at the entrance of the lounge and greeted first, “Mr. Chen.”

Compared to his previous appearance, Xu Wen looked noticeably more fatigued.

Chen Luosong responded with a nod and motioned for him to sit.

Xu Wen didn’t sit. He only had two things to say and would leave immediately, so there was no need to sit.

Chen Luosong raised his eyes slightly.

The person at the door lowered his gaze and remained silent for a moment before asking, “I came to ask if what Mr. Chen said before still holds?”

Chen Luosong didn’t recall what he had said to Xu Wen. However, he assumed it was something the original owner had mentioned to him. Setting aside other concerns, strictly speaking, it was still something he had said, so he acknowledged it. “It still holds.”

Xu Wen seemed to smile, but it wasn’t a relaxed smile. He gave a slight bow, greeted him again, and then left.

Compared to their last conversation, Xu Wen’s demeanor had significantly humbled.

After contacting the driver, Bai Mingwei did not see Chen Luosong in their original spot and guessed where he might be, so he turned and headed to the lounge.

As he walked down the hallway, he saw the light blonde-haired man passing by. Xu Wen glanced at him briefly before looking away.

As Bai Mingwei walked past, he continued towards the lounge and indeed found the familiar figure inside. He said, “Mr. Chen, we can leave now.”

Chen Luosong then left the venue and got into the car heading back to the hotel.

The car ride was smooth, and the roadside scenery continuously retreated into the distance. Bai Mingwei, sitting in the front passenger seat, glanced sideways and saw the dim blue light from a phone screen emanating from the back seat.

Chen Luosong was reading a message.

Xu Wen, whom he had just seen not long ago, had sent him a text. Xu Wen mentioned that he wanted to discuss something and asked if Chen Luosong had time and where he was staying.

The contact information must have been saved by the original owner, as Chen Luosong had never used it and hadn’t noticed Xu Wen in his contacts.

Though he had drunk a bit too much tonight and felt physically weak, his mind was still clear enough for discussions. So, he agreed to meet.

Upon returning to the hotel, Chen Luosong took his medication as usual. After Assistant Bai left the room, he took a shower and changed into a bathrobe.

While Assistant Bai was busy with work late into the night, Chen Luosong received a document from him. He sat on the living room sofa, opened his laptop, and started downloading the file.

While waiting for the file to download, he poured himself a glass of warm water. Just as the file finished downloading and he placed the glass on the table, his phone buzzed with a new message.

【I’m here.】

Right after the notification sounded, there was a light knock on the door, as if the person didn’t want to be heard by anyone else.

Closing the file on his laptop, Chen Luosong stood up and went to open the door.

It was Xu Wen, now dressed in a black jacket, who removed his hat upon entering the room.

Chen Luosong walked back to the living room sofa, bent down to close his laptop, and said, “Have a seat.”

Xu Wen glanced at the fully open curtains and the distant buildings outside, his hand tightening slightly around his hat. “Can we go to the room?” he asked.

Not understanding but respecting the request, Chen Luosong agreed. This was a suite with two rooms, and he casually chose the one closest to them.

Xu Wen followed him inside.

The room was sparsely furnished, with only a desk, a single armchair, and a bed. The armchair was at the far end of the room, and not wanting to walk too far, Chen Luosong sat on the bed and turned his head, saying, “What do you want to talk about?”

Xu Wen, who had entered the room behind him, removed his black jacket.

—Underneath, he was wearing nothing else.

Chen Luosong’s initial reaction was one of surprise. His gaze shifted, and the view changed from the doorway to the ceiling. He sank into the bed, the overhead light glaring. He squinted slightly.

Xu Wen remained silent, offering no explanation. He grasped Chen Luosong’s wrist and shifted his weight forward, golden strands of hair mingling with black.

Despite being backlit, it was clear that Xu Wen’s eyes were slightly red and unfocused. His breath drew closer, and just before they touched, Chen Luosong used the strength in his legs to flip them over, freeing his hand in the process. He then grasped Xu Wen by the neck and smiled, asking, “What do you think you’re doing?”

Xu Wen, taken aback by this turn of events, was momentarily stunned. His eyes finally refocused, and he replied in a hoarse voice, “…Discussing something.”

Chen Luosong, still holding Xu Wen, thought that discussing something typically didn’t involve ending up on a bed.

Chen Luosong didn’t withdraw his hand from Xu Wen’s neck, keeping them in the same position as he said, “Be more specific.”

Xu Wen responded, “When the contract ended, you said you’d agree to anything, as long as I…”

“Alright, that’s enough.”

Chen Luosong cut him off, saying, “Stop right there. You don’t need to continue.”

Seeing that Xu Wen had indeed heard him and nodded, Chen Luosong released his hold and got off the bed.

Xu Wen sat up, momentarily unsure of what to do.

The light dimmed around him as he turned his head, and the first thing he saw was a piece of clothing. It was his black jacket.

“Put on your clothes first,” Chen Luosong said, handing him the jacket. “We should discuss this in the living room.”

Xu Wen took the jacket.

As he slowly zipped it up, he felt like he was reclaiming something he had lost.

When he went to the living room, Chen Luosong had already tied his loosely fitting robe and was sitting on the sofa.

Xu Wen sat down opposite him, watching as Chen Luosong took a sip of water from the table, then asked what he wanted to discuss.

Xu Wen said, “I want to leave my current agency.”

He explained that he loved acting and enjoyed his current job but didn’t want to ruin his future prospects. Given the company’s current trend, it was only a matter of time before he was completely exploited and then discarded.

The situation was favorable because he had gained some fame, but it was also difficult because of that fame. His prominence made the company even less likely to let him go. The high breach of contract fees were followed by hefty compensation fees, and while he brought in significant revenue, the cost for another company to take him on was also substantial. So far, all the companies he had contacted were still considering his case.

Chen Luosong remembered the original plot and couldn’t help but rub his temples.

Originally, Xu Wen, as the protagonist, was supposed to face a crisis and then meet the heroine at tonight’s banquet, inadvertently resolving his predicament. However, the storyline deviated, and Xu Wen, who was supposed to completely disregard his former patron, unexpectedly chose this path. He must have already made up his mind before the banquet, constantly thinking about this matter, thereby missing the plot where he was supposed to meet the heroine.

One misstep led to the entire plot being reshuffled, never returning to its initial state.

Slowly putting down the water glass, Chen Luosong asked, “Do you want to make a deal?”

Xu Wen looked at him.

The deal was simple: Chen Luosong would pay the breach of contract fee and any other associated compensation. In return, after signing a contract with a new company, Xu Wen would transfer a certain percentage of his personal income, after company deductions, to a specified bank account for ten years.

Xu Wen’s hands tightened before abruptly loosening. His palms were sweaty, yet he couldn’t help but smile and said, “…Alright.”

It was late, and Chen Luosong had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol. Though he had managed to reverse the situation and grasp Xu Wen’s throat earlier, that was the last of his strength. If anything else were to happen, he wouldn’t be able to move. Exhausted and sleepy, he told Xu Wen to go home and rest early.

Xu Wen left, thanking him before leaving.

Chen Luosong, half-opening his eyes, waved a little in acknowledgment.

The door closed, and the space returned to silence. The person standing in front of the door turned around and slowly walked towards the other untouched room.


The next morning, Assistant Bai came to deliver medicine on time.

Chen Luosong took the medicine with warm water, bent over to make a few notes in his notebook, then turned to the person beside him and said they should draft a contract.

Bai Mingwei lowered his head, glanced at the laptop screen, and unconsciously adjusted his tie, recalling the person he encountered in the hallway yesterday.

—So that’s how it is.

His gaze moved downwards, noticing the additional account and card number at the bottom, and he asked, “What’s this?”

“This is the account for a charitable fund,” Chen Luosong explained. “You’ll be in charge of the card. Once the funds are received, please transfer them to the charity.”

Bai Mingwei acknowledged with an “Understood,” and then inquired, “Are you heading straight back to A City today, Mr. Chen, or…?”

As Chen Luosong slowly buttoned his shirt, he replied, “Zhou Ji is nearby. I’ll go see him.”

Bai Mingwei had anticipated this response. His expression remained unchanged as he said he’d contact the driver and left the room with the medication.


Zhou Ji had received a message from the top contact person the day before, and had informed the crew in advance, waiting for the arrival at noon.

At noon, after filming, the others in the crew saw him leaving at a sprinting speed, as if running a hundred meters dash.

Someone who was still packing lunch boxes turned around and asked, “What’s wrong with him?”

Someone passing by said, “He’s supposed to meet someone.”

Running so fast, it was quite obvious who he was going to meet.

People around laughed.

Outside the crew, on the tree-lined road, a car quietly parked by the roadside.

Chen Luosong had left the hotel in the morning and arrived near the crew around noon.

There was still some time before the appointment, and he originally thought he would have to wait for a while. However, as soon as he got off the car, he saw someone running from the end of the tree-lined road.

The other person seemed to have inexhaustible energy, causing a gust of wind along the way, and his hair under the black cap was messy from the run.

Then, unsurprisingly, he hugged him tightly.

Zhou Ji bent down, took off his mask, and buried his face in the person’s neck, taking a deep breath.


His eyes, narrowed with a smile, gradually opened.

Zhou Ji slowly tightened his arms around the person and said, “Brother Chen… there’s someone else’s scent on you.”

<< _ >>

Related Posts

Leave a Reply