World Hopping: Avenge Our Love
First Published on Chaleuria
“A newbie?” The director was surprised. He knew that Xie Qianchen had not taken any more new talents under his wing for two years; he had actually either buried or sent others on their way much more often. However, this was his first time seeing Xie Qianchen personally escort someone to a screen test.
“Yes, a newbie. His name’s Shen Yi. He’s been professionally trained, and his foundation is a little weak but he has talent.” A rare glint of appreciation appeared in Xie Qianchen’s eyes as he looked at Shen Yi. “Take care of this one for me, Old Yang.”
“How can I refuse when you’ve asked?” The director laughed and patted Xie Qianchen on the shoulder. “What role do you want him to take on? Tell me about it, and I’ll tell Ning Lan to change the script and give him more good exposure if the role works for the plot.”
“I’d like him to take the role of the little prince who was put on the throne by the regent.” Xie Qianchen spoke casually, but the expression on the director’s face changed.
“Is it an inconvenience?”
“It’s not that, but I’m afraid that he won’t be able to pull off the role. You know who the male lead is!”
“Yeah. It’s Li Xuyang.” Xie Qianchen nodded.
“So do you feel that Shen Yi will be able to take it?” The director was doubtful. Li Xuyang was a serious actor, and most importantly, his acting style was considered the most “domineering” in the film industry — you’d get crushed if you couldn’t follow his pace. Normal newbies wouldn’t want to be matched with him even if they wanted to be famous. However, this Shen Yi standing before him right now didn’t look like he could hold his own against Li Xuyang at all.
“Let him try. I’ll take him home if he can’t make the cut.” Xie Qianchen acted like he was not bothered either way, but the director could hear that he was just saying it — Xie Qianchen was confident.
This was a talent he’d taken under his wing after all. How could he not make the cut?
“Geeze, Qianchen!” The director sighed, and nodded in agreement. The look he gave Shen Yi, however, was enquiring, and worried. Even the script writer named Ning Lan came to sit next to the director and she shook her head helplessly.
“This time, Qianchen has really…”
“It should be fine.” The director cut her off, but the sadness in his eyes grew deeper.
He still felt that Xie Qianchen was going to get in trouble again this time. That Shen Yi kid didn’t look like the peaceful type either, but he couldn’t bring it up. Xie Qianchen had struggled to get over his past after all, and was finally taking a new talent under his wing again. He couldn’t bear to let him be disappointed.
Besides, he owed him a kindness. Back then, when he’d signed on with Cao Kun, he had not been able to even touch a camera. If it hadn’t been for Xie Qianchen, who had put his name forth to work under a famous director then and was his respected teacher now, he would not have become the successful man he was today.
He mussed his hair in frustration, and chased all his useless thoughts to the back of his head. He then told his crew to bring Shen Yi and Xie Qianchen to the dressing room to rest before they got called for the screen test.
Director Yang was conscientious in his work, and he could also tell that Shen Yi had not had a good night’s rest, so he arranged for them to have the dressing room which was furthest away from noise. The dressing room had just two occupants too; Shen Yi and Xie Qianchen. The air conditioning was on and it was very quiet.
“You’re different from what they say about you.” The too-quiet atmosphere made things awkward. Shen Yi spoke first, to try to dispel the awkwardness, but Song Yucheng had no intention of responding. He simply handed him the script.
He was quiet till the screen test was about to begin, when he suddenly instructed Shen Yi, “Don’t react later, no matter what you hear or what instructions you receive. Leave it all to me.”
“Got it.” Shen Yi didn’t understand why he would instruct him to do this, but Xie Qianchen’s sombre expression made it impossible for him to object.
Shen Yi understood that this screen test was very important for him, and he was not going to play around when it concerned his future though he hated Xie Qianchen. Xie Qianchen also knew far better than him what the best way of survival was in a situation like this.
Even so, Shen Yi was also a little curious about what Xie Qianchen meant when he’d said not to react. The little mystery, however, was immediately solved when he exited the dressing room and went to the preparation hall.
Shen Yi had not expected that the entire group of people at the screen testing area would look at them with such repugnance in the short span of an hour. The newbies who had just entered the industry, especially, were not able to school the expressions on their faces and they were polite on the surface but the dislike in their eyes was so thick that there was no hiding it.
Weren’t these people being too obvious about it? Shen Yi knew that Xie Qianchen did not have a good reputation, but he didn’t think that it was this bad.
At that moment, two people walked over, and they made the uneasiness in Shen Yi’s heart shoot right up.
One was a man who looked like an elite, and the young man he brought over was very familiar. He was the male lead in a now-hot idol drama. The identity of this elite man was obvious now. He was one of the top three managers — Luo Tong.
Speaking of which, Luo Tong and Xie Qianchen had an old grudge between them. Back when the ranking for the top managers in the industry had been established, Xie Qianchen had kicked Luo Tong off his pedestal and taken the top spot. Later, though Xie Qianchen’s reputation had suffered, his track record was still there, and Luo Tong had been unable to overcome that even though he worked on it for two years. Some also considered him an ineffectual joke in the industry.
Xie Qianchen had been just too outstanding after all. However, that excellence was of his yesteryears. It was all just things to reminisce about for his current self.
It was obvious that Luo Tong advocated this idea. He walked over to Xie Qianchen the moment he saw him, with a look of ill-intent; it was obvious that he had come to stir up trouble.
“Well, it’s rare to see you come out.” Luo Tong pretended to be polite. “Who’s this you’ve brought? What role is he going for?”
“The crown prince.” Xie Qianchen did not hide it. Luo Tong asked, so he very generously answered.
Quite a few people stared at Xie Qianchen in amazement right after he uttered those words. It was apparent that they thought that Xie Qianchen was being entirely unrealistic.
Everyone knew Li Xuyang’s style of acting, and he never worked with actors who had no skill, because he felt that it would be an affront to himself. This Shen Yi that Xie Qianchen had brought obviously looked like an empty, pretty flower, so how would Li Xuyang ever give him a second look?
And Luo Tong, knowing that he was more capable than Xie Qianchen, spoke his insult in a voice only he and Song Yucheng could hear.
“Forget it! Don’t let Shen Yi make a fool of himself. He’s worked hard to get the big boss to back him, so shouldn’t he be begging for something more suitable for himself?” Luo Tong’s tone was full of mockery.
Ha! What acting skill would a pale little pansy like Shen Yi have? Besides, this “talent” of Xie Qianchen’s was not one he’d picked himself. As an elite manager himself, who else could be used as a comparison? No one else dared to say this, but he did.
But Xie Qianchen smiled as he shook his head, and pointed at Shen Yi behind himself.
“Don’t you have some sort of misconception about yourself? The big screen is not an idol drama. Your looks are no use! Plus, with your appearance, you don’t even look like a young man, nor do you have the ability to train the next big star. This kid’s not bad, so why don’t you give him to me? Don’t ruin this one.”
Song Yucheng did not mince his words and he angered Luo Tong. Luo Tong glared at him, his eyes full of hate.
“Xie Qianchen, the situation now is not like it was two years ago!” Luo Tong reminded Xie Qianchen of his status. However, the faint smile on Xie Qianchen’s lips echoed his restraint.
“Yes, it’s not like how it was two years ago but is there a difference from when I stood here two years ago?”
“. . .”
There really wasn’t any difference. Luo Tong was silent.
Two years ago, Xie Qianchen was the most beloved wherever he went. He had friends everywhere, and even the people he managed were held higher in regard. Now, however, Xie Qianchen had nothing and was only managing a not-very-popular Shen Yi. Still, he was like a fish in water, just like two years ago.
How was he so confident? Luo Tong was upset by this, and jealous, and oh how he loathed this! How was Xie Qianchen able to be so loved everywhere he went? Most of the experienced people in the industry obviously knew that Xie Qianchen was just Cao Kun’s dog — a plaything he had ruined. And they all knew what he had caused. But even so, two years after Xie Qianchen’s fall from grace, those people were still orbiting around him like stars about the moon.
Luo Tong had done his best to keep his expression calm, but cracks had appeared. Song Yucheng took this chance, and provoked him further.
“Luo Tong, you’ll always be a loser, no matter how many years pass.” He took a step forward of his own accord, and lowered his voice to a sinister hiss. “Murderer.”
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