“Mr. Lu, Mr. Lu…”
It was just 7 o’clock in the morning, both of them had slept late the previous night and Xia Qi wasn’t sure if he could wake up Lu Xuan at this hour, as he vaguely heard Lu Xuan’s assistant mentioned last night that he had an important meeting today. Xia Qi felt a bit distressed and hesitated a little as he softly said, “Mr. Lu, it’s 7 o’clock now, you…”
Lu Xuan opened his eyes, and a smile slowly formed on his lips. He pulled Xia Qi back into his embrace and chuckled, “Why are you up so early?” As he spoke, his hand playfully slipped into Xia Qi’s loose shirt and started pinching him mischievously. Xia Qi didn’t dare to avoid it and silently endured it, trying his best not to react. Last night, when they were being intimate, Lu Xuan said, “Xiao Qi is getting bolder.” This made Xia Qi feel nervous as he hadn’t fully understood Lu Xuan’s sexual preferences. Finding Lu Xuan as his financial backer was not easy, so Xia Qi had to be vigilant and reflect on himself seriously.
Lu Xuan’s voice carried the unique tone of laziness and sexiness when waking up early. Blushing, Xia Qi endured Lu Xuan’s unruly hand and whispered, “I remember you having work today.”
Lu Xuan took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and glanced at the small alarm clock on the bedside table, sighing, “On which day do I not have work….”
“Do you have something to do today too?” Lu Xuan walked out of the bathroom barefoot after taking a shower, dressing up as he asked, “Are you going for your film set?”
Xia Qi was a bit mesmerized by Lu Xuan’s great figure but quickly nodded in response, “Yes, the first scene is today. I… I might be a bit busy these few days, I’m really sorry.”
Lu Xuan was quite easygoing and said, “It’s alright.”
Xia Qi stammered, thinking that Lu Xuan couldn’t possibly have only him as a lover, and if he went out of town, Lu Xuan could easily visit someone else.
Unaware of Xia Qi’s thoughts, Lu Xuan assumed it was him feeling nervous about his first time filming and said, “Don’t worry, Director Fei has already made the arrangements. He won’t give you a hard time.”
Xia Qi hurriedly replied, “Thank you. I… I will work hard and not trouble you too much.”
Xia Qi played the male supporting role in Fei Hao’s film “Chaotic Times.” The character was likable and had sufficient screen time. As a newcomer, Xia Qi couldn’t help but wonder why Lu Xuan had helped him to secure this role. If he messed up in his act… It doesn’t matter if he was replaced temporarily, as it will be difficult for Lu Xuan to handle it.
Lu Xuan chuckled lightly and rubbed Xia Qi’s head with his hand, saying, “That’s my business. Just focus on your acting will do.”
Xia Qi nodded earnestly, and Lu Xuan glanced at his watch and said, “I don’t have time to have breakfast with you. I’ll leave first. You may call Yan Zhuo Yi if you need anything.”
Yan Zhuo Yi was Lu Xuan’s assistant, and Xia Qi usually contacted Lu Xuan through him. Xia Qi agreed and walked Lu Xuan to the door.
Returning to the bed and laid down, Xia Qi, like every time he saw Lu Xuan off, heaved a sigh of relief but also felt a bit reluctant to part with him. This feeling grew stronger with each passing day.
Lu Xuan has been supporting Xia Qi for almost half a year now, surpassing the previous record for the duration of Lu Xuan’s support for a lover. Xia Qi never believed that he had any outstanding qualities compared to others. In other words, it means that one day, Lu Xuan might give him a substantial divorce fee and officially end this relationship.
Xia Qi carefully recalled the recent events and realized that Luo Xuan did not show any signs of being tired of him, except for the embarrassing words from last night. Xia Qi reflected once again and decided to restrain himself more in bed from now on.
After lying down for a while, Xia Qi got up to organize his things. His assistant had already arrived at the film set yesterday, and he should have gone there as well. However, Lu Xuan suddenly became excited and decided to call him over.
Fortunately, Xia Qi was used to taking care of everything himself, so it didn’t take him long to pack his suitcase. He went to the company and took the company’s car to the film set.
It was already noon when Xia Qi arrived at the film set. Xia Qi’s assistant, Yao Miaomiao, pulled him to meet with Director Fei. They had already met during the audition. Xia Qi politely bowed and shook hands, saying, ‘I’m terribly sorry. I had something come up yesterday and was unable to arrive on time.’
‘It’s alright.’ The phone call that was made to inform about Xia Qi’s absence was from Lu Xuan, so he already knew about it and gave Xia Qi a reminder saying, “Just do not cause more delays in the schedule next time.”
Xia Qi apologized hastily. The filming of the leading actors had been going on for almost half a month now, and Director Fei had vented his anger for the past few days. However, as now he was too tired to vent his anger, he was at his most gentle time now. He gestured for the assistant director to direct the film shoot while Director Fei personally dragged Xia Qi into the film.
“Chaos Era” is set in the early period of the Republic of China. As the relationship between the male and female leads unfolds, a large family goes from disintegration to ultimately reuniting and experiencing the crucible of war together. The film seems to be about war and the love story of the main characters, but it actually focuses more on the changes and choices of familial bonds, romantic loves, and friendships during chaotic times. Xia Qi played the role of the younger brother of the male lead. He has had a secret crush on the female lead since childhood and was willing to sacrifice himself for his family and the female lead during the most intense battles, thereby reawakening the familial bond that has gradually drifted apart due to self-interest which fueled the fighting spirit of the male lead, inspiring him to lead the family to survive in the midst of chaos.
“You have feelings for Ying Ran, you’ve liked her since childhood, but she is your elder brother’s fiancée, and your most respected person is your eldest brother. From the very beginning, you knew this relationship would not have a future; it was all just self-deception.” The emotions of this character You Zai was quite complicated. Director Fei knew that Xia Qi was a first-time actor, so he had to explain to him in detail for him to understand, “You already knew it’s impossible, but you still had a crush on her for a long time. This kind of unrequited love… Have you ever had a secret crush on someone?”
Xia Qi paused for a moment, then nodded. Director Fei made an “OK” gesture and continued, “This is more complicated than a secret crush because you can’t tell anyone about it from beginning to end. If you do, people will think you’re crazy. Do you understand?”
Xia Qi stared off into space, then nodded gently.
However, after seeing Xia Qi’s subdued reaction, Director Fei felt a bit agitated and continued, “This storyline is very subtle. Except for you, no one in the play knows that You Zai likes Ying Ran. And even when You Zai dies in the end, no one knows. It’s possible that people watching the film in the future won’t even notice this emotional thread between You Zai and Ying Ran unless they were attentive enough. Even so, you still must portray it. You need to know that you love her. This kind of unrequited love is intense and can only be buried within your heart. It was… this kind of feeling...“
“That feeling is… I love him…” Xia Qi took a deep breath and slowly said, “Quietly and secretly, unknown to anyone, passionate and intense within my heart.”
Director Fei’s eyes instantly lit up. He initially had some doubts about this actor who was forced into the role, but in that moment, he became incredibly satisfied with this actor after he saw the light in Xia Qi’s eyes.
“Yes, yes, yes…” Director Fei genuinely smiled at Xia Qi for the first time. He patted Xia Qi’s shoulder and said, “That’s the feeling, subtle yet passionate and very complicated at the same time. You should have read the script by now, everything else is fine; it’s just that you have to grasp the intensity of this emotion well. You, as You Zai, were named as ‘Shan He You Zai’ (The Mountains and Rivers Remain). In the end, You Zai fulfilled everyone’s wishes. It’s a meaningful role, so you must act well.”
Xia Qi nodded, “Thank you, Director Fei. I will do my best.”
Director Fei then went on to explain the scenes they would be filming today. Since Xia Qi came from a professional background, communicating about certain things was quite simple. Because of this, Director Fei grew more and more satisfied with him, encouraging Xia Qi a few more times before returning to continue directing the film. Xia Qi’s agent, Yao Miaomiao, walked over with a smile, saying, “Well done, Xia Qi. Director Fei rarely compliments people.”
Xia Qi smiled, “No, Director Fei was just being polite.”
Yao Miaomiao didn’t confirm or deny it. She glanced at the time and said, “I just asked, your scenes were not many for the next few days, only two short ones. After you finish the shoot, you may leave for a week. Have you told Mr. Lu about it?”
Xia Qi instinctively lowered his voice, “No, I did not specify with him about when I could go back. Mr. Lu… should be fine with it.”
“Is that so?” Yao Miaomiao couldn’t help but tease, “Then who was it that called Director Fei last night to have him send you back on a whim?”
Xia Qi’s ears instantly turned red, and Yao Miaomiao chuckled, “Don’t be so shy. Mr. Lu even said he might come to visit you. You can invite him to visit you, and that way, Director Fei will take even better care of you.”
Xia Qi hurriedly shook his head, “Mr. Lu was very busy and did not have time.”
“Is that so…” Yao Miaomiao shrugged disappointedly. Xia Qi had always been like this, never making any demands from Lu Xuan, and it made people want to pinch him for being too honest. “It’s your first time joining a production, and I’m worried you might be bullied. I will have to leave this afternoon too. Can you take care of yourself?”
Xia Qi nodded, and Yao Miaomiao had more than just him as an actor under her management. It was already quite considerate of her to accompany him all the way here. Xia Qi reassured her with a smile, “Everyone is busy; they do not have time to bully me. You can ride the company car back in the afternoon; there’s no problem at all.”
Yao Miaomiao winked, “Alright, take care of yourself. Keep up the good work.”
The assistant director came to call Xia Qi, he smiled at Yao Miaomiao before following the assistant.