Waiting Upon You – Chapter 5 Act 13
First Published on Ainushi.
Act 13: Jailbreak…
The makeup artist carefully observed Ling Lang’s face for a while, before coming to a conclusion. “Ling Lang, have you been sleeping better than before? You had some blue under your eyes when we’d just reached the island, but now it’s all gone.”
Ling Lang did not turn his head, but from the corner of his eyes, he managed to catch Feng Hao at the next dressing table smiling at him.
Ling Lang closed his eyes and pretended not to have seen it. He could feel the makeup artist painting around his eyes with a large brush. “Is that no good?”
“It’s not.” The makeup artist frowned in deliberation. “You’re a criminal who was thrown into jail under a severe crime, being put in such a situation you’re riddled with stress and you’re encumbered with worry, how can you just sit back and relax? It was very suitable when you had some darkness under your eyes but now I have to draw them on for you.”
Everyone in the room other than Ling Lang and his manager broke out into laughter, while the manager spared an uneasy glance towards Feng Hao. Last night, he’d decided to bite the bullet and call Ling Lang’s room, but nobody answered. As for where the other had gone, it was self-evident.
Along with the previous few scenes, the scene they were shooting today spanned a long duration of time, so both Ling Lang and Feng Hao had already been in the prison together for a very long time. For the sake of working towards their common goal of jailbreaking, they’ve experienced many difficulties together and a lot of complex emotions had been formed between them.
Ling Lang had a habit of reviewing the script before the shooting in an attempt to merge himself with the character, but during the filming today, he found himself unable to enter that state.
Feng Hao came over. “Why the frown??”
Ling Lang pointed at the script. “I keep getting stuck at this part.”
Feng Hao moved closer to see. “Ah, you think so too, senior? I think this part-“
Before he was able to finish his sentence, someone had come over to ask them to prepare. They were shooting the climax of the whole film, and the fight would be dragged on for quite a while. Several people had to escape from the tunnel and run all the way to the seaside with many cranes and tracks set along the way. All the staff had a battle-ready look as they waited.
“Ready——” The voice of the assistant director rang out from the megaphone. “Three, two, one——”
The director’s voice followed, resounding through the entire set. “Action!”
Hearing the command, both Ling Lang and Feng Hao began to run desperately, two inmates following closely behind them. Their jailbreak operation had been exposed at the last minute, so Ling Lang quickly set off an explosion within the tunnel to slow down the wardens, but the wardens responsible for keeping watch outside had already found out that the four inmates were trying to escape, and made preparations to intercept them.
Gunshots began to sound out around the area, and the only weapon the four had on hand was the gun Feng Hao had snatched from one of the wardens. Very soon, one of the inmates was shot and he fell. Ling Lang couldn’t resist turning back to look, his steps slowing with hesitation.
“Ignore him! Run!” Feng Hao yelled, guessing Ling Lang’s intention as he ran ahead.
Ling Lang gritted his teeth and continued to rush out behind Feng Hao. The other inmate was shot in the chest and stopped after managing another two steps, two more bullets piercing his body immediately after. He looked hatefully towards the freedom right in front of him as he went down.
This time, Ling Lang’s pace did not slow, but a sad expression emerged from his face. His role was a character who was wise, tenacious, and kind. He couldn’t be stand to be ruthless to anyone, even if they had harmed him before, which had been publicly pointed out by Feng Hao as his greatest weakness. Sooner or later, that weakness would be the death of him.
“Don’t move!” An armed warden suddenly jumped out in front. Feng Hao didn’t even have to think, his first reaction was to raise his gun and shoot the man right between the brows.
“Only a fool would yell ‘don’t move’ before they fire.” Just as Feng Hao finished speaking, a gunshot sounded out nearby, and Ling Lang staggered, landing on him.
Feng Hao turned around and supported him, noticing the ambush behind them. He immediately shot his gun three times and sent the man straight to heaven.
“Is it bad?” Feng Hao asked and clutched the other’s arm. Ling Lang shook his head while biting down on his lip, expressing that he was fine.
Feng Hao lowered his head and found that Ling Lang had been hit on his left leg.
“Shit,” Feng Hao cursed under his breath.
“It’s right in front.” Ling Lang extended a finger, pointing, and as soon as Feng Hao turned back he could see the last blockade of their escape path: a barbed wire fence three meters high. This wire fence was located at the outermost perimeter of the prison and was one of the earliest protective measures installed on the island. Ever since the construction of the electrical fences, the old fence was obsolete.
Feng Hao’s eyes brightened up at the sight and he immediately ran towards the wire fence. Ling Lang endured the sharp pain in his leg and followed behind him with tottering steps. With just a huff, Feng Hao climbed all the way up to the top of the fence, yet as soon as Ling Lang lifted a leg to climb, he noticed that his left leg could move any longer.
“Halt! Don’t run!” More and more wardens caught up behind them, shouting. Feng Hao turned his head indignantly, would this attempt really end in a failure?
Ling Lang raised his head abruptly. “Go!”
Feng Hao was stunned for a moment, not thinking before calling back, “Give me your hand!”
“I told you to go first!”
“I said give me your hand!”
Feng Hao’s yell could shake the heavens and for a moment the wind seemed to have stopped blowing. All that was left in Ling Lang’s vision was Feng Hao’s unshakeable gaze and the hand that reached out for him.
“CUT——” The director’s voice echoed throughout the island.
Feng Hao immediately jumped down from the wire fence and hugged Ling Lang, wrapping his arms around his head, patting his back lightly. “It’s alright now, it’s alright.”
Ling Lang placed his head powerlessly on Feng Hao’s chest, his shoulders visibly trembling.
The director clapped his hands and brought the scriptwriters to gather in a circle to discuss the story, while everyone else on the scene stood dumbfounded.
Under Feng Hao’s comforting, Ling Lang’s emotions slowly calmed down.
“How did you come up with saying that?” Feng Hao asked, lifting Ling Lang’s chin.
Ling Lang shook his head. “I don’t know. It felt like the lines were right at my lips, and I just blurted them out.”
“Maybe what you wanted to express was what the character was really thinking about.”
The results of the discussion with the director and the others came out: they would keep this footage and redo the scene according to the script. They can decide on any changes after that.
Feng Hao jumped up the wire fence once again, he only needed to take two more steps forward to regain his freedom. For a person sentenced to life imprisonment, there was nothing more important in his life than freedom.
Ling Lang caught his ankle. “Take me with you!”
The wardens were coming closer and closer. Half of Ling Lang’s pants were drenched red with blood and it was clear that he could go no further.
Feng Hao knitted his brows into a frown, wanting to shake off the hand.
“Take me with you!” Ling Lang yelled again affirmatively, “I’m the only one who can get you out of here!”
Feng Hao stopped moving.
Ling Lang gritted his teeth. “The ship I mentioned before this was a fluke. It will explode as long as you drive it out for two hundred meters, so it’s to distract the wardens.”
Feng Hao’s face darkened, but Ling Lang couldn’t care much at this point. “I’m the only one who knows where the real boat is. Take me, and we can go together.”
Feng Hao cursed and decisively extended a hand out to him. “Give me your hand!”
“I said give me your hand!” the assistant imitated Feng Hao’s lines, yelling as she rushed towards the manager.
“Are you mad?” The manager slapped her hand off. “You’ve been yelling for a while now, don’t you get tired?”
“Don’t you think that this line brings out this strange feeling? I was so absorbed into the show while watching at the side.”
“Even if it evokes feelings you’d still get tired of it after repeating it so many times.”
The assistant ignored him and ran up to Feng Hao, giggling. “How is it? Doesn’t Ling Lang just love improvising?”
“Do you all call senior by his name in private?”
The assistant was quite surprised at the question. “No, we call him by his name in front of him too. Ling Lang doesn’t like being called a teacher and nobody dares to call him by a nickname. He doesn’t have an English name either, so as time went by everyone just got used to calling him by name.”
“But,” The assistant moved closer and cupped a hand around her mouth, “Let me tell you a little secret. We call him King of the Silver Screen Ling, Iceberg Ling, and Bigshot Ling, but don’t you dare tell him.”
Feng Hao stifled a laugh. “Isn’t that a bit too exaggerated?”
“It’s still alright.” The assistant thought about it. “At least he’s the same inside and out, it’s better than those celebrities who appear to be charming but vent on their assistants in private.”
The assistant followed the group back to the break room and as soon as she saw the lunch laid out on the table, she jumped in joy.
“Ah! Fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh lettuce! I almost forgot what they looked like!”
The manager picked up a cherry tomato, threw it into his mouth, and gulped it down in one go. “How could such high-class goods be here?”
The assistant rushed over, exclaiming, “Ah! That’s mine!”
The delivery man who came to send the food over said, “It was Feng Hao who asked for these to be delivered this morning, and we were all blessed by it too.”
The crew, who already had a very good impression of Feng Hao, were even more impressed. The assistant went up to slap him heartily on the shoulder. “Wow, as expected, Prince Feng comes from an outstanding family. Tell the Ye Group to make way!”
The manager stuffed her mouth shut with the lettuce. “Shut up, what are you going to eat if the Ye Group is shut down?”
“Of course I’m going to follow Prince Feng! Quick, go tell Ling Lang to switch companies, then we’ll group up and hop over as well,” said the assistant, her words unclear as she chewed on the lettuce.
“But which agency is Feng Hao signed under?” Ling Lang’s makeup artist suddenly put in.
The question stumped the entire room for a moment. Everyone looked at each other but nobody could answer, sitting awkwardly in silence.
The eyes of the crowd moved towards Feng Hao’s agent who was currently burying himself into his food at the corner. The young agent, suddenly the center of attention, was so scared that he swallowed everything in his mouth in one go.
“This, this…… Actually, Feng Hao…… He’s still a free man till now.”
“You’re a free man?” Listening in from the other corner of the room, Ling Lang was also quite surprised.
“Is that strange, senior?” Feng Hao asked, picking the tomatoes from his own lunchbox into the other’s.
“Why didn’t you sign with a company?”
“I didn’t find one that suited me. What about you, senior? Are you doing well under the Ye Group?”
Ling Lang had already signed with an agency before graduation, but something came up and the contract broke off before even a year had passed. Mr. Mo paid for his penalty, then introduced him to the Ye Entertainment Group, and helped him sign a virtual contract with them.
He may be an artist signed under the Ye clan on the surface, but in truth his pay comes out of Mr.Mo’s pockets. He does not take on any advertisements of endorsements, Mr.Mo had even decided to pick out only a small part of the share he was supposed to take, just to say that he had taken it, but of course only his manager and a few senior executives in the company knew.
“It’s alright,” Ling Lang vaguely replied.
“Have you considered switching?”
“My contract breaching fees are very high.”
“I’ll pay for it.”
Ling Lang looked up at him. “Where do you want me to switch to?”
“To my company.”
“You have an agency?”
“I don’t.” Feng Hao blinked. “But if you are planning to come, senior, I will make it happen.”
“And if I don’t?”
“Then I’ll join the Ye group to be with you.”
Ling Lang lowered his head and looked at his packed lunch box. “You don’t like tomatoes?”
Feng Hao pursed his lips. “You could say that.”
“Then why did you have them sent over from so far away?”
Feng Hao answered with an irrelevant statement. “You didn’t eat much these past few days, senior.”
“If you did it for me, then why won’t you tell me?”
Feng Hao chuckled. “I’ve done way more for you than you would ever know, but I didn’t do them so that I could tell you about it.”