Waiting Upon You – Chapter 2 Act 5
TLC: Momoe Pom
Editor: Lady Blue, Puissansa
Quality Check: Noa
First Published on Ainushi.
Act 5, Magic
The movie was a nationwide box office hit. There all sorts of announcements followed. Ling Lang had always disliked attending any kind of promotional activities, but there will always be that one or two promotional activity that can’t be rejected. When it came to times like these, he would silently stand aside like a piece of stage equipment – luckily, the media had long been accustomed to it.
At the broadcasting studio, Ling Lang sat in the corner of the three-person sofa, leaning against the side. Feng Hao sat in the center seat next to him, and the other side was empty. The lack of distance between them counts as having invaded into Ling Lang’s personal space. He didn’t understand what the other party was even thinking. As a professional actor, he clearly knew that sitting like this would display an imbalance on the television screen, but it was as if Feng Hao did not know about this; even the director of the program did not correct him.
After a short phase of routine questions, a montage of exciting highlights from the movie started being broadcasted on the big screen. Naturally, the first interaction between the both of them was included as well.
Ling Lang was once again forced to review that particular scene that made him lose control. Although that initial impulse was no longer there, his thoughts still inevitably wandered off elsewhere. Thereafter, Feng Hao and the host talked about things, while he didn’t speak a word until Feng Hao spoke into his ear.
Ling Lang recollected himself to find that Feng Hao’s face appeared before him out of the fantasies he was just having. He had unexpectedly allowed his imagination to run wild, completely forgetting that this would be broadcasted on tv.
Feng Hao, seeing him looking like he had just been woken up from a reverie, couldn’t help but find it funny. “Senior, it seems that you can space out even when recording a program.”
Ling Lang covered his awkwardness with a small cough, shifted his body and asked him, “Which section are we recording now?”
Feng Hao revealed a helpless expression, “Senior, you really did not participate at all.”
“I remember that after the interview ended, there was nothing that had much to do with me.”
“Next is my turn to showcase my talent. Can I be so bold as to request Senior to assist me?”
Ling Lang frowned. This isn’t a variety show. Why is there a need to showcase their talent?
“Why did I not know about this segment before?”
“This plan was decided and added in at the last minute.”
“What do you want me to do to assist you?
The program director notified them to get ready. Feng Hao did not have time to explain. He faced the camera and arranged his sitting position, slightly inclining his head towards Ling Lang’s direction, and said in a low voice, “You’ll find out soon enough.”
The host said the customary introduction lines. After exchanging some words with Feng Hao, they proceeded to the main subject of this segment.
“Most of the viewers don’t know much about you. After all, you are a newcomer.”
“Do you want to use this opportunity to let everyone know more about you? For example, what special skills you have, sing a song or something, for everyone?”
“Actually, I wanted to sing a song for everyone, but regretfully my throat isn’t feeling too well.”
“But,” He quickly said, “I can improvise by performing a small magic trick for everyone.”
“Oh?” The host expressed great interest, “May I ask what magic trick? Do you need me to assist you?”
“With you being so accommodating, the audience would definitely say that you are my prop,” Feng Hao jokingly said. Immediately, the audience guffawed.
After the laughter died out, Feng Hao turned his head towards Ling Lang and said, “If it’s possible, I would like to invite Teacher Ling to assist me for a bit.”
Ling Lang’s eyes clearly revealed his astonishment.
“What are you doing?” Taking the chance when the staff went to get the props, he privately asked Feng Hao.
“Performing a small magic trick, it’s not difficult,” Feng Hao softly replied.
“I basically have no idea what I am supposed to do.”
“Senior, you don’t have to do anything. All you need to do is just cooperate with me.”
The staff took out the prop that had long been prepared. It was actually a bundle of rope.
Feng Hao took the rope and laughingly said, “Can I trouble Teacher Ling to stand up?”
Although Ling Lang has no idea what is up his sleeve, at times like these, he wasn’t able to refuse. He could only stand up from his seat, walk to the center of the stage and wait to see what Feng Hao wanted to do.
“In my hand, I am holding an ordinary rope.“ Feng Hao took the prop and displayed it to the audience, even handing the rope to the host to pull at it, indicating that he did not meddle with the rope.
After the inspection, Feng Hao walked to Ling Lang’s side, “Now, I will tie up Teacher Ling.”
The backstage staff broke out in cold sweat. In their 30-year-long career, they had never seen someone so daring.
Feng Hao’s hand movement was very skillful. It gave others the inevitable impression that he had diligently practiced it before. He looped the rope around Ling Lang’s neck, allowing the rope to cross in front of the chest, followed by winding it around his arms a few times, lastly setting his arms behind his back and tying a very complicated knot.
“Can please you turn around for the audience to take a look?”
Ling Lang turned around. The close-up shot from the video camera showed that his hands were tied tightly.
“Are you able to free yourself from it?
Ling Lang moved his hands, indicating that he could not.
Feng Hao indicated to him to turn back around. Taking another section of rope, he similarly demonstrated in front of the camera. This time, he wound the rope along the whole of Ling Lang’s body, confining him as he again tied a dead knot at his ankle.
“Teacher Ling, try to see if are you able to move now?
Ling Lang shook his head.
“Do you need to check?” Feng Hao asked the host.
“Well,” the host was probably afraid of being frostbitten by Ling Lang’s aura, “I believe that Teacher Ling would not lie.”
“Alright, next.” Feng Hao took up a black curtain, covered it in front of Ling Lang, “Countdown with me. Three—”
The audience, in unison, continued on, “Two—”
Feng Hao raised his hand and the curtain lifted open. Ling Lang had not moved an inch from his original position but the two parts of the rope scattered at his legs. Immediately, cries of surprise sounded out on site.
Feng Hao picked up the rope.There were no indications of it being broken. Suddenly, the whole crowd gave a thunderous applause.
Curiously, the host took the rope, turning it over and over to look at it. He couldn’t help but ask Ling Lang, “You’re really not his prop?”
Ling Lang’s reaction was probably the calmest, “I don’t know how he did it.”
“How did you do it?” The host asked curiously.
Feng Hao placed his index finger to his mouth, “That is a trade secret.”
The host once again exclaimed in admiration, “You should not be acting, you should be performing magic.”
“Actually, I only know how to do this one magic trick,” Feng Hao said modestly.
“Why did you specially learn this magic trick?”
Feng Hao smiled and looked towards Ling Lang by his side, his words containing double meaning, “I thought that someone might like it.”
After the program recording ended, Feng Hao and Ling Lang walked back to their resting room together. Taking the initiative, he asked, “If Senior wants to know about the principle behind the magic trick, I don’t mind telling you.”
Ling Lang did not seem to have any interest in it, “If the magic’s principle is revealed, then there would be no meaning to it.”
“Hey,” Feng Hao sighed exaggeratedly, “I thought that I could use this chance to rehearse it a few more times with Senior. This is a unique skill that I am good at. I’m counting on it to attract young fans.”
Ling Lang packed his things in an orderly manner. To him, Feng Hao’s words was like wind brushing past his ears.
Feng Hao’s face suddenly appeared right in front of Ling Lang’s eyes. It made Ling Lang slightly dazed, “What are you doing?”
Feng Hao puckered his lips laughingly and said, “Senior is indeed the King of the Silver Screen.”
Ling Lang frowned slight, “What do you mean?”
“Great acting skills,” Feng Hao retreated, his expression neutral, as if he had never mentioned this topic. “Senior is still not willing to tell me your phone number?”
“If there is anything please call my…”
“Manager, right?” Feng Hao interrupted him. “I knew that’s what you would say. Since Senior is so insistent, I won’t ask for it again.”
He waved the car keys in his hand, “I’ll send you back?”
Ling Lang flatly refused, “No need, I drove my own car.”
Ling Lang sat in the driver’s seat, but he did not immediately start the car. Rather, he closed his eyes and leaned on the backrest. The stirrings inside his body which started back at the broadcasting hall had now subsided by quite a lot, but the memory of the excitement stimulated by Feng Hao still existed in his mind.
Unable to control himself, he touched his own wrist. There were no trace of rope marks on it, yet it seemed like an invisible brand was left behind on him. His skin was still felt faintly hot.
Only he knew, when Feng Hao was tying up both his hands, his index finger had lightly scratched his palm. This covert action was hidden from the camera- it was even hidden from the host – making him befuddled. He completely did not know if the other party did it deliberately or if it was due to carelessness.
If all of Feng Hao’s action from before could be considered as stoking a fire, then this action was like igniting the fire. In that split second, his lust was ignited. The wish he had since puberty was actually properly achieved in public.
He had felt an indescribable feeling the moment the rope was on his body. He only remembered using a lot of effort to restrain his excited trembling. Additionally, he was glad that what he wore today did not humiliate him in public.
Ten years of acting saved him. Those praises from Feng Hao… Maybe he was unwilling to accept the implication. It was as if this person had a hold on all his weaknesses. His intuition was telling him that Feng Hao might have discovered something, but his instincts urged him to him avoid the truth.
Ling Lang was still in a conflicted state. His mind was struggling between being in a numb state or trying to accept reality, when he heard someone knocking on the car window. He opened his eyes, only to see the person he was thinking about standing right outside. Grinning as he looked at him, he did not seem like someone that would scheme against others.
He rolled down the car window. The sound of Feng Hao’s voice travelled in from the outside, “That’s great. Senior haven’t left yet.”
“Is something the matter?” Ling Lang asked concisely.
The expression on Feng Hao’s face changed into one of distress. “I said that I wanted to send you, but in the end my car won’t even start. Would Senior give me a ride?”
“… Then, what about your car?”
“My manager will help me deal with it later.”
Feng Hao was already sitting in the front passenger seat when Ling Lang started the car. He thought, this is the downtown area, it’s very convenient to get a cab. If it was someone else, would he still be so nice as to give the other party a ride?
He could not verify this idea, because other than Feng Hao, most likely there would not be a second person that would make such a request of him.
Ling Lang took a look at his watch. His manager had repeatedly reminded him that he must go to the suit tailoring shop and get his measurements today. He had even helped him make an appointment. In his manager’s own words, he had never seen any artist wear the same set of clothes more than a few times at important occasions. He could virtually be conferred an Oscars’ achievement award for simple living.
Feng Hao’s house happened to be in the opposite direction from the suit tailor. He must get there before they close, but even if he rushed there, he was unsure if he would be able to make it in time.
It was at that moment when Feng Hao suddenly asked, “Sorry, could I ask Senior to please send me to another place?”
He mentioned the suit tailor’s name. Ling Lang turned his head in astonishment. Does this person know how read minds?
“It’s like this. I made an appointment today with the shop to go there and choose clothes. Now, they are about to close… would it be an inconvenience?”
For a long while, Ling Lang looked at him suspiciously then shook his head.
“That’s good,” Feng Hao laughed, “Senior should come in with me and take a look. The clothes that this shop makes is pretty good, I’m just not sure if they will be pleasing to senior’s eyes.”
Ling Lang interrupted him, “I happen to be going there too.”
“Really?” Feng Hao said, seemingly happily surprised. “That’s a real coincidence.”
Fifteen minutes later, the both of them arrived at the entrance of the suit tailor’s. The sales assistants were well-trained. They treated him courteously, even after seeing a huge celebrity such as Ling Lang.
Ling Lang simply picked two designs and a staff member came to take his measurements. Feng Hao was looking at him from the side, with his arms folded and smiling happily. Ling Lang constantly felt that gaze fix on his body; it was as if he was mentally undressing him. It made him really uneasy.
“Why are you not getting your measurements taken?” Ling Lang asked.
Feng Hao did not answer. The sales assistant helped him answer, “Mr Feng is our regular customer. His measurements were recorded long ago.”
Even while explaining, the sales assistant swiftly took his measurements using a measuring tape. More and more data was recorded on the paper – soon only one item was left.
Feng Hao walked over and plucked the tape measure from the sales assistant. Just as Ling Lang was perplexed, the soft measuring tape encircled his neck.
The two of them were very close to each other. So close that if one took half a step forward, their bodies would touch. Feng Hao glanced at him with his eyelids lowered. He was very slightly taller than Ling Lang, but this action, however, gave Ling Lang an illusion of the other person being taller than him by a lot. Tall enough to look down on him. Moreover, that smile at the corner of his mouth, no matter how he looked at it, it seemed like teasing.
“Thirty-eight,” Feng Hao read out the number and the sales assistant immediately wrote it in the book. Ling Lang waited until after the measuring tape was released, then he rapidly retreated a step back, as if he would only feel safe with at least this distance between them. Feng Hao only smiled upon noticing this and returned the measuring tape to the sales assistant.
After walking out from the shop, Feng Hao took the initiative to sit in the front passenger seat. Ling Lang started the car, heading straight to Feng Hao’s house. If his manager saw this act, it would definitely make his jaw drop in surprise.
After driving a short period of time, Ling Lang suddenly turned the steering wheel. The vehicle advanced and raced towards the opposite direction.
“What’s wrong?” Feng Hao realized that something had happened.
Ling Lang lightly glanced at the rearview mirror, “Paparazzi.”