Waiting Upon You – Chapter 3 Act 8
Quality Check: Misaki Yata
First Published on Ainushi.
Act 8: Weakness…
The director stretched out his head helplessly, “Are you feeling unwell today, Ling Lang?”
Ling Lang shook his head, but his complexion was terrible, “I’m sorry.”
His manager went over to them, “How many times has it been?”
The assistant counted the strokes scribbled onto the piece of paper, “If you don’t count the ones before, just this shot alone adds up to a total of 41.”
“That’s about to break the record isn’t it?”
Feng Hao was quite deeply concerned about Ling Lang as well, “Senior, are you alright? You don’t look too good. Is it too cold?”
Ling Lang avoided his sight. At the moment, the one person he was most terrified of facing was Feng Hao, and as long as a scene appeared where he would have to initiate eye contact with him, he would be unsuccessful in completing it.
“I’m a bit tired, can I take a break?” Ling Lang asked.
“Oh……Alright,” said the director with a wave of his hand, “Fifteen-minute break.”
The assistant was very surprised: “Don’t you think that something’s a bit off with Ling Lang today?”
The manager nodded, “You mean he’s very off. When have you ever seen him request a break before he himself took one? He always came and went as he pleased.”
The assistant held her chin thoughtfully, “Did something happen between him and that one over there?”
The two simultaneously moved their sights towards the distance where Feng Hao was holding a coat and he was just about to help Ling Lang put it on, but the latter clearly seemed to be keen on taking every chance to avoid him.
“Senior, you should put on a coat.”
“No need,” With quickened steps, Ling Lang walked off without a single glance.
“You’ll catch a cold.”
“I said I don’t need it.”
“You can’t avoid me just because I managed to guess what you were thinking, can you?”
Ling Lang stopped, Feng Hao went up to him and wrapped him up well with the coat.
“Alright, no need to fuss over it, this isn’t anything to be ashamed of,” Feng Hao moved to face him, “While filming your role as the undercover cop, didn’t senior get a reaction as well?”
Ling Lang’s fingers trembled, he was unsure of whether it was because of the cold or the fear of his secret coming to light.
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone,” Feng Hao caressed his face, “Come, let me see if I’ve hurt you.”
The two stood a good way away from the crowd, so nobody could hear the conversation between them, but the action was quite clear indeed.
Although the crew had strict discipline, there were several who couldn’t hold themselves back from secretly taking their phones out.
“Who said you could sneak a picture? Did you forget all about the crew rules?” The director knocked the head of the assistant director with the script again.
The assistant director held his head in grief, “Director, the phone you have seems to have higher megapixels than mine.”
“When you snap a photo, that’s called sneaking a shot; when I snap a photo, it’s called leaking the goods,” Said the director confidently.
“Then what about them?” The assistant director pointed to the side.
“If the makeup artist does it, it’s called a promotional still; The photographer, bloopers; The script holder, archiving; The screenwriter, obtaining materials.”
“So it’s only sneaking a shot when I do it?” The assistant director cried inside.
“As long as you know, so put your phone back where it belongs!……Ah, do you think the angle of the shot I took looks good?”
Ling Lang’s body stiffened at Feng Hao’s touch, he did not dare to evade him or fling his hand off.
The Feng Hao who made Ling Lang feel pressured appeared again, this time it was not within the shoot, but rather outside it.
Feng Hao looked at the wounds on Ling Lang’s face with great concern even though they were drawn by the make up artists, “If you concentrated a bit more, you may not have had to suffer so much…or should I say that you did it intentionally?”
“You did that on purpose?” Ling Lang suddenly asked.
“What?” Feng Hao was puzzled.
“You did that on purpose last time, didn’t you?”
Feng Hao was speechless for a moment but he finally understood what he was trying to point out, he flashed him a smile without denying, “It wasn’t painful for you last time, but it really made my heart ache to hit you this time.”
Ling Lang shut his eyes. He would’ve never guessed that his deepest secret would be exposed to someone else this early on. Being called the King of the Silver Screen, he thought he had hidden it perfectly, but he was swindled by the acting of a newcomer.
He had received a massive shock in a short amount of time, but Ling Lang was able to calm himself down.
“Now you know everything, what do you want?”
Are you going to tell the media about it? It was enough to cause a bustle for the media no matter whether it was true or false, and his fame would only fan its flames.
Or maybe he wants to blackmail him, his road to stardom will be smooth with the King of the Silver Screen escorting him.
Feng Hao pursed his lips, “I want to satisfy you.”
“What did you say?” The unexpected answer caused Ling Lang to widen his eyes.
“Didn’t I tell you? Since the day I saw you in that play, I’ve been a fan of yours, I decided at that moment that senior’s future desires…will be met by me.”
Feng Hao’s eyes glittered as he spoke those words, his eyes were glittering, it seemed improbable that he was making a joke.
Ling Land stared into his eyes, but couldn’t infer his thoughts.
After a long time had passed, Ling Lang lowered his head and laughed in a low voice, he didn’t know whether he was laughing at Feng Hao, or himself.
“Stop messing around,” said he quietly before turning back to the set, Feng Hao followed him quietly from behind without giving any explanations.
Everyone quickly hid their phones when they saw the two return and carried out their work earnestly.
Ling Lang who had just re-entered the shoot seemed to be a different person altogether, the skill of the Silver Screen’s King was once again on display, and many of the difficult shots were done in one take. His serious attitude made everyone feel energized, and the delayed progress was quickly caught up.
When the crew went back down the mountain to rest in the evening, Ling Lang, who had been freezing for an entire day on the mountain, felt his whole body as rather numb after being dressed in only a single layer. He couldn’t wait to jump into a hot bath when he returned to the hotel.
Ling Lang finally warmed up after his bath, he wiped off the mist on the glass and looked at the figure that appeared in the mirror, and his fingers suddenly touched his own face out of impulse. Feng Hao really hadn’t used that much power during the day, but the pain had been burning constantly in his heart, until now.
The doorbell rang, Ling lang put on a bathrobe and went to open the door, but the person who stood outside the door just so happened to be the one person he absolutely did not want to see at this moment, Feng Hao.
“Senior, have some ginger soup, it can repel coldness from within.”
Ling Lang received the thermos from his hands without asking where he got it from, and simply gave his thanks in a very unaccustomed manner, “Thank you, is there anything else?”
Feng Hao chuckled, “Senior is quite as aloof as everyone told me indeed.”
“I’m sorry, I’m not a very hospitable person in private.”
“If anything I said during the day offended, then I hope I can apologize to you now,” Feng Hao spoke sternly, “However, I will not take my words back, I’m serious about every word I said.”
Ling Lang shook his head, “There will be no next time.”
“What do you mean?”
“I won’t let you grab hold of my weaknesses anymore.”
Feng Hao was disappointed, “Did senior think that I wanted to grab hold of your weakness?”
Ling Lang stayed silent.
Feng Hao sighed, “Senior has misunderstood me, then I might as well just play the villain.”He lifted his head,” If I catch any of senior’s weaknesses in the future, I won’t just leave it as I did today.”
“There will be no next time,” Ling Lang repeated affirmatively.
The filming in the mountains lasted an entire month. During this month, both Ling Lang and Feng Hao would face each other calmly while the filming went on, and when filming ended, they would immediately disappear from sight. This disappointed the crew who were waiting for more material.
On the day of the afterparty when the filming was concluded, Ling Lang had already packed his luggage and left the crew without informing anyone.
When the film was still in its editing process, all sort of publications from the early stages of the filming had already been spread wholly across the heavens and the earth. Ling Lang would only attend the events which he was required to participate, so everyone was already used to his ways and didn’t think much of it.
On the contrary, the newbie Feng Hao who had only acted in two films post his debut was even more nonchalant than the King of the Silver Screen. Every time there was a publication, he would ask whether Ling Lang would be attending. He would only go if he heard that he was, if not, he wouldn’t even show his face.
The more Feng Hao would act like this, the more nonsense the media would write up, adding on to the fact that he was able to play such a big role soon after his debut, many people could guess what sort of background he came from. All sorts of rumours sprang up, and Feng Hao suddenly had a dozen new identities overnight, any of them easily capable of shutting down a multinational enterprise with just a wave of his hand when the wind blew over.
The manager came to Ling Lang’s house and unexpectedly found him watching a variety show on TV. The program had always been a rather large one, as when others only dared to discuss Feng Hao’s origins in private, they were the only ones who dared to broadcast it in such a wide manner.
But of course the program had tried to invite Ling Lang once before, the manager refused it without even asking Ling Lang’s opinion, as neither Ling Lang’s personality nor attitude was suitable for such variety shows.
“You’re actually watching this?” The manager was very surprised.
“To kill time.”
Right as everyone was done gossiping about Feng Hao’s family background in the show, another bomb was mysteriously thrown up by the host.
“There were a few crew members who gave us some of the inside scoop. They said that Ling Lang and Feng Hao shared an unusual relationship, and would even have excessively ambiguous interactions between the filming sessions, is this the case?”
“Not at all, definitely not,” the director denied it righteously, “Those are all rumours.”
A smile peeked out from the corner of the host’s mouth, “Let’s take a look at the big screen.”
A picture of Feng Hao touching Ling Lang’s face immediately appeared on screen, you could tell with one look by the angle that this was a candid shot.
The scene was in an uproar.
The manager secretly observed Ling Lang’s reaction, there was not a single hint of emotion on his face.
“If those were all rumours, then may I please ask how can you explain this photo?” The host asked him aggressively.
All the cast members on the show looked at each other in surprise.
One of them asked: “Was this photo passed out by you?”
He said: “Not me not me, it was definitely her!”
She said: “It wasn’t me! I know, it must be that guy!”
That guy said: “My phone’s camera doesn’t even have that many megapixels!”
Everyone coincidentally looked towards the director.
The director took out his phone with a face of innocence, “I’m innocent, I wasn’t even facing that direction. Besides, I could’ve gotten a better shot from my angle, just take a look if you don’t believe me!”
The videographers put on a huge “Secret” on the director’s phone.
The manager shook his head in amazement, “The ratings of this program must have shot through the roof.”
Ling Lang picked up the remote and turned off the TV, the sudden silence in the room was rather unsettling.
“That……You and Feng Hao……”The manager probed carefully.
“I know what to do,” Ling Lang replied shortly.
The manager was still somewhat uneasy after hearing his words, he had a short confrontation with Feng Hao outside of Ling Lang’s door last time, he could feel a strange sort of deterrent emanating from his body, but Ling Lang usually had strict self-control and since he had said so, there was not much the manager could say.
Ling Lang asked the manager who was still getting bothered by himself over there, “What did you come for?”
Only then did the manager recall his purpose for coming here, and he hurriedly handed over a new script to him.
“This subject……” Ling Lang frowned as soon as he saw it.
“Prison films are quite rare.” The manager wiped away his sweat, he even omitted a lot of content from the back, such as how the prison in the film was set to be located in an isolated island where all the inmates were guilty of heinous crimes, there was no shortage of bloody, violent, and even man x man shots, this was the first time he had passed over such a script to Ling Lang.
Ling Lang was still reading the script carefully, “What role am I playing as?”
The manager announced a name.
“Has the person set to play my rival been decided?”
“Mm,” The manager answered with much difficulty, “From what I heard, there’s about an 80-90% chance that it’s going to be Feng Hao.”
Ling Lang who was flipping through the script stopped, seemingly in a mind to refuse.
The manager faltered, “There’s one more thing…”
Ling Lang silently waited for him to continue.
“This film was sponsored by Mr. Mo.”
Ling Lang closed the script, “I’ll take it.”