Waiting Upon You – Chapter 4 Act 9
Quality Check: Misaki Yata
First Published on Ainushi.
Act 9: Key…
The manager seemingly expecting Ling Lang’s answer, only nodded unsurprised.
“Can I meet him this time?”
The manager stood wearing a difficult look on his face.
“Is it really that hard to see him, even just once?”
Ling Lang received an apologetic smile, “You know how it is, nobody in this world has ever seen Mr. Mo in the flesh before.”
“I got it,” Ling Lang changed the subject, “About that thing I asked you last time, how is that going?”
“What thing?” The manager pretended to be ignorant.
Ling Lang did not speak either, and as such the two just dawdled on but in the end, the manager was unable to hold on.
“Oh, about the ad?” The manager stared up as if looking at the sky, “No news yet.”
“It’s already been half a year, I can’t even get an ad?” Ling Lang sneered, “I’m really am quite a disappointment as an actor.”
“Ah, how could you think that?” The manager quickly reassured him, “It’s not that you can’t get it, but no one can afford it. Just hearing about the endorsement fee could scare everyone off.”
“Then lower the price.”
“How could we do that! “The manager firmly opposed,”This isn’t just about the question of advertising costs, but rather, the effect it would have on your worth!”
Ling Lang fell silent, and the manager slowly tried to explain it to him, “Look at it this way, after you debuted you’ve been in the business for a ten whole years now, and you’ve never once done an ad……”
“So now I can’t try it even if I want to?”
“Something like shooting advert has no artistic value, it’s boring, tiring, and you still have to play by the company’s rules, so it’s not something that suits you.”
Seeing Ling Lang’s silence, the manager could only bring out all his tricks, and reason with him based on the flow:”Right now, you don’t need to worry about food or clothing, and with your salary being high as it already is, you probably won’t be able to finish spending it…..”
Ling Lang interrupted him, “You’re probably the only manager in the world trying so hard to stop the artist under them from getting ad jobs.”
The manager wore an awkward smile.
“Actually, hasn’t your salary always been paid out from mine?”
The manager couldn’t avoid Ling Lang’s sharp gaze. After being in a deadlock for a long time, the manager could only frankly admit it, “That’s right, it’s just as you had guessed, my former employer was Mr. Mo, just like you, signing Ye Shi was just a fluke, but……”
He circled around the room, “For all these years, do you know what kind of price I’ve had to pay just to maintain your superior image? How many interviews and reporters I rejected, no matter what event it was, if you didn’t want to go all you had to do was say the word and you were exempt from it, and no matter who you wanted to offend within the circle, you would just do so. All the companies I’ve rejected over this past decade was enough to circle the earth five times if you lined them up!”
He waved his hand in agitation, “I’ve worked so hard to shape you into this image, and now you’re actually telling me that you want to do an advert?”
The manager plopped himself down beside Ling Lang on the sofa, “On that year, Mr. Mo instructed me to follow you, all so you could do whatever you wanted in this circle, you wouldn’t have to sell your body, your smiles, or ads, so you don’t have to sell anything!”
“And now, even though Mr. Mo is no longer paying for your living expenses, your income and savings are still enough for you to spend, so there’s definitely no need for you to do any labour of that sort at all.”
“Just listen to me, if you continue to maintain your current image, then that will be enough. I’ll settle the rest, OK?” The manager lowered his voice: “Not to mention, even if you do go out to shoot an ad now, Mr. Mo still wouldn’t come stop you, and you still won’t be able to see him.”
Ling Lang closed his eyes and let himself fall back to the chair, “Then, are you still working under him now?”
“Not anymore,” The manager shook his head, “When your contract with Mr. Mo ended, he broke off the arrangement with me too.”
“You’ve never seen him, not even once?”
“Never. We’ve always gotten in contact over the phone.”
Finally, Ling Lang’s voice resounded through the room that had been silent for a long while.
“I just wanted to thank him once, in person. Is it that impossible?”
Without even a reply, his idea was completely cut off with only a single heavy sigh from the manager.
The assistant seated in the car was eating a bag of chips waiting for the manager to come out of Ling Lang’s home.
No one other than the manager had ever been to Ling Lang’s house before. Even she, his personal assistant, was no exception.
The assistant had read a magazine, eaten two bags of chips, and just as she was opening a third, the manager opened the door to the driver’s seat and got in.
“What took you so long today?”
The manager grumbled, “There are two great gods, and neither are easy people to please.”
“Two?” Questioned the assistant, still munching her chips, “Which two?”
The manager who was just about to start a car suddenly recalled something and quickly undid his seatbelt and turned to his side, “was it you who leaked the photo from the set?”
The assistant shifted her gaze to the scenery outside the window, “Oh, the weather is so nice today.”
Ling Lang walked to the room on the other side of the living room. This particular room was empty except for a single LCD screen on the wall, which displayed a sole vase on a shelf by the side, only containing two lone sunflowers.
He walked to the center of the room and knelt down, for ten years of the same action had turned into a habit, like a regular ritual.
He knew that whenever he knelt here, Mr. Mo would be able to see his every move clearly from the TV screen, but the other party’s camera would always only face the sunflowers on his desk. Even his voice was processed through a voice changer. The manager was right, no one in this world knew Mr. Mo’s true identity.
Within the circle, there existed not even a single person who didn’t know who Mr. Mo was, everybody shared the same dream of meeting him just once. Just one sentence from Mr. Mo was more powerful than any unspoken rule. Countless people weren’t even able to touch Mr. Mo’s shadow, so for Ling Lang to be able to have a video call with Mr. Mo every week was already considered extremely fortunate.
But that was something that had already passed half a year ago.
There will be no response, but the other’s voice had already taken deep root within his heart from long before.
“I accepted your film.”
“But I’m afraid……”
——What are you afraid of?
“I’m afraid of him.”
——What you fear is not him, but the desire within your heart.
——Our agreement has already ended, you are free now.
“Can I use…… that?”
——Of course, that is also a choice you are free to make.
Ling Lang approached the bedroom and opened the safe by the bed and took out a locked strongbox. After opening it, there were nine boxes of all the same size placed within, and Ling Lang picked up one of them.
On that year, when he received a parcel from the courier with Mr. Mo’s name on it, this was one of the contents that was within that parcel.
After that, for nine consecutive years, Mr. Mo sent him one each year. The design would be different each year, except for the very last year. On that year, Ling Lang received freedom.
——What do you mean by this?
That was the first time he heard Mr. Mo’s voice on the phone —— Through the voice changer.
——I would like to raise you for ten years.
——Don’t joke with me!
——Don’t worry, I won’t touch you, nor would I let anyone else touch you, I will protect you, nobody can force you.
——I will help you clear all the obstacles in your path, I’ll allow you to do whatever you wish to do, and help you reach the peak of your career.
——What are your conditions? And why did you send me this?
——I sent that to you not for you to wear, but as a reminder, a reminder of who you belong to.
——What it locks is not your body, but your heart. For ten years I want you to keep yourself pure for me, so even your heart may not belong to anyone else.
——These are my conditions, can you do it?
The past scenes replayed in Ling Lang’s mind, when his recollections ended, the item within his hands had already been thoroughly wiped with alcohol several times.
All the gifts Mr. Mo had given him, he had never used them, not even once.
They have kept his heart locked for ten whole years, and now they will finally be used for their actual purpose.
“Senior, come sit here,”Feng Hao happily pointed to the empty space beside him. The shooting site this time was on an island in the Pacific Ocean, the crew booked an entire plane and had flown over.
Unexpectedly, Ling Lang did not refuse him this time. He put down his luggage and sat down by Feng Hao’s side naturally.
“I hope you can advise me again this time.”
“You and me both.”
Feng Hao moved closer to him, “Have you seen the script yet, senior? This drama seems to be tailor-made for you.”
Ling Lang had a calm expression, “I’ve already told you, I won’t let you catch my weaknesses ever again.”
Feng Hao possessed an exceptionally sincere attitude, “Then, I hope senior is able to successfully prevail over your own instincts,” He lowered his voice, “I am anticipant of getting along with senior in the prison.”
Ling Lang was pushed heavily against the iron bars which created a loud noise. The prison guards not far away pretended as though they hadn’t heard anything. Being one of the darkest prisons in the world, any and all violent cases were implicitly allowed, and even if a life was taken, they would only regard it as though there was only one less scourge walking the earth.
Two inmates pulled Ling Lang back and gave him another round of kicks and punches until they felt it was about just enough. Only then did they pull Ling Lang up from the ground and pressed him down to kneel in front of Feng Hao.
It was unsure whether it was due to acting in two villain roles back to back, but the on-screen image of Feng Hao who was born with a bright look had been stereotyped, he had once again accepted the role of a prison tyrant this time.
The makeup artists had helped give Feng Hao a middle-aged look, they had even added a few fine lines by his eyes, but Ling Lang instead felt that it was unnecessary. Feng Hao’s performance always made one forget about his age.
At that thought, Ling Lang remembered the facial theory he had proposed that year. He had insisted so much on his own opinions, but he was also prejudiced with Feng Hao’s image the first time he saw him.
“Hey new guy, let’s talk about some of our rules here, give our boss three kowtows and lick his shoes clean and you’ll be one of us in the future, if anything happens then the boss will cover for you, if not……”The inmate shot him a wicked grin.
Two people held down Ling Lang’s head down in a death grip, he could only desperately look up at Feng Hao. Feng Hao merely sat there quietly without a word, wearing a cold look on his face and with a gaze that looked at him as though he was looking down at a mere insect, Ling Lang’s heart jumped and a painful feeling rose up from his lower region.
The inmate pushed Ling Lang’s head down lower and lower until he was almost touching the surface of Feng Hao’s shoe. Ling Lang’s heart beat violently and he yelled, “Let me go, I have something to say!”
The inmate looked at Feng Hao, Feng Hao squatted down and the grips of the two were slightly loosened.
Ling Lang raised his head up and looked straight at Feng Hao seemingly without any hint of fear, “If you let me go, I will be of use to you.”
The two inmates laughed when they heard him speak, even the corners of Feng Hao’s mouth had curled up to an angle that was hard to discern.
“Let’s hear it, what sort of use do you have?” Feng Hao asked him without a hurry.
Ling Lang’s voice was extremely steady, “I can bring you out.”
“Well done!” The foreign director was very satisfied with the pair’s performance.
Feng Hao helped Ling Lang up and spoke in his ear, “Senior’s performance is pretty good today.”
Ling Lang pretended not to understand what he was implying and went straight back to the dressing room to take his stuff. The conditions on the island are not as good as on land, the rooms were limited so even the big name Ling Lang had to share a break room with Feng Hao.
When he came out this morning, Ling Lang was worried that the cleaning staff would touch his things so he brought the key out with him and kept it on his own dressing table. Right now he had rushed over to take away the key before the others returned, but when he returned to the resting room, the box that was supposed to contain the key was empty.
Ling Lang started to sweat in shock, he searched through the entire dressing table but the key was not there.
The key is gone! How could this happen? Ling Lang’s limbs turned cold, and for the first time in his life, he felt anxious.
“Senior, what are you searching for? Are you looking for this?” Feng Hao appeared silently behind him.
Ling Lang whipped around and saw the object of his search between Feng Hao’s fingers. He stretched his hand over to grab it but unexpectedly, Feng Hao moved faster than him. He withdrew his hand and held the key in his palm.
“Give it to me!”Ling Lang’s prior calmness had disappeared.
“Nuh uh,” Feng Hao refused, “I’ve said this before, if I catch senior’s weakness again, I won’t just let it go.”
“That’s just a key.”
“Just a key? So why are you so agitated about it, senior?”
“That key is important to me,” Ling Lang was desperately trying to control his emotions.
“Is that so? How important is it?” Feng Hao opened his palm, “What a unique key, but I’m also quite curious, is senior wearing 3000, or 6000?”
The blood drained from Ling Lang’s face in a split second.
Feng Hao brought the key to his lips and planted a light kiss on it. When he opened his eyes, his bearing had completely changed, “You want it back? Come to my room tonight.”
3000 and 6000 are chastity belt models from the brand CB-X, with the differences being the size and design, with 6000 being longer and the 3000 wider.