Xia Qi was on the verge of breaking down.
Yet, Lu Xuan seemed as if he did not recognize him, his act was so natural that it made Xia Qi jealous. Xia Qi wanted to cry. He did deliberately keep his audition a secret from Lu Xuan, but as one of the interviewers, Lu Xuan could have possibly known that he was coming, right? They were just together last night, but why did Lu Xuan not tell him? Was Lu Xuan possibly angry? Xia Qi suddenly felt anxious. Just a few days ago, he told Lu Xuan that he had no work to do recently!
Xia Qi glanced at Lu Xuan nervously, unsure if he was upset. He berated himself for not being honest with Lu Xuan.
The preparation time was not long, and Xia Qi could not afford to procrastinate, so he quickly read the script. Luckily, he had already read the novel, so he had a brief idea of the scenes. Otherwise, he really would not guarantee that he was able to go through the script at this moment.
There were two scenes in total. Scene one depicted the supporting male character selling newspapers and cigarettes, with the male lead buying a newspaper. The supporting male character then slyly took the male lead’s wallet. Scene two took place before the Battle of Shanghai, with the supporting male character and the male lead having a conversation at the military academy.
The script given to Xia Qi was for scene one.
Two minutes later, Xia Qi nodded to the teacher on the side, signaling that he was ready. He tried his best to ignore Lu Xuan and immerse himself in the scene.
“Sir, would you like a newspaper? Only one cent. I also have cigarettes. Would you like some?”
As soon as the audition began, Xia Qi’s expression became fervent. He smiled warmly and walked forward with the “male lead”. While he enthusiastically introduced the newspapers and cigarettes, his bright eyes scanned the “gentleman” in front of him from head to toe.
“Sure, sir. Here’s your newspaper.” Xia Qi’s other hand went horizontally to reach for the folded “newspapers” that were pressed against his waist with his left arm. He skillfully took and unfolded one “newspaper”, then handed it to the “male lead.” As he received the money, his right hand seemed to stumble and drop downwards, making him lean forward, as if he accidentally tripped. The same hand reached out to grasp the “male lead’s” arm, smiling apologetically, “I’m really really sorry sir…”
Meanwhile, Xia Qi’s slender and graceful fingers of his left hand seemed to have taken something, which was quickly concealed within the “newspapers.” As he was walking backwards, he glanced left and right while absentmindedly calling out, “Newspapers for sale! Disturbing actions by the Kwantung Army, changes in the Sino-Soviet conflict! Newspapers for sale!”
Xia Qi watched as the “male lead” walked farther away. Once he was sure that he had not been discovered, he could not help but smirk cunningly while his eyes sparkled with craftiness and charm.
“Newspapers for sale! Anyone want cigarettes…?” Xia Qi adjusted his waistband and continued his day of peddling. “Disturbing actions by the Kwantung Army, changes in the Sino-Soviet conflict! Newspapers for sale!”
Xia Qi instantly relaxed. He bowed to the interviewers, and carefully glanced at Lu Xuan, worried that he might genuinely be upset. During the audition, Xia Qi did not dare to look at Lu Xuan, so he had no idea if Lu Xuan had watched him. At this moment, Lu Xuan was still the same as when Xia Qi had first entered the room – A calm expression and half-lowered eyes, while slowly flipping through the documents in front of him.
Xia Qi’s information and footage from the previous film had already been sent over. The interviewers reviewed the footage for a moment, discussing quietly among themselves.
“Alright, good job. Thank you for your hard work.”
The person beside Lu Xuan smiled at Xia Qi. Xia Qi did not know who this person was, so he politely bowed and left the room.
Outside the studio, Xia Qi massaged his head in distress. How could the situation turn out like this?
Yao Miaomiao was nowhere to be seen outside, so Xia Qi checked his phone and found a WeChat message from her. She said she went to inquire about the situation with someone she knew and asked Xia Qi to wait for her. Xia Qi felt helpless. There was no need for her to go away. She could have just asked Lu Xuan directly! But the question was, would he have the courage to ask him?
Not far away, there was a terrace lounge where several actors and their assistants were sitting and speaking in hushed tones. Xia Qi did not know when Yao Miaomiao would return, so he found himself a seat and waited.
A staff member from Baying Company came to offer Xia Qi some tea. After accepting the tea, Xia Qi held the cup and worried… Did Mr. Lu get angry or not?
Lu Xuan had been very serious just now. He did not smile at him or even look at him much. His aura intimidated Xia Qi to the point where he got scared. It was possible that he was really angry, or maybe it was just his usual work demeanor. In the first few months when he and Lu Xuan got together, Lu Xuan had been like this too, not treating him strictly nor easy-going either.
Was Xia Qi becoming too spoiled? Lu Xuan treated him so well, yet Xia Qi still lied to him. Although his intention was not to trouble Lu Xuan, it was still considered lying. Xia Qi regretted it so much. He should not have lied to Lu Xuan that day. As Lu Xuan’s attitude towards him improved recently, he became senseless of the situation. Sooner or later, Lu Xuan would come to despise him!
When alone, thoughts could go wild. Xia Qi could not control himself from overthinking. In the end, he felt restless. He took out his phone and stared blankly at the two words – ‘Mr. Lu’ – in his contacts.
This number was the one Lu Xuan used to contact him back when he was on the film set, and Xia Qi had changed the name between “Mr. Lu” and “Lu Xuan” several times. In the end, he settled with “Mr. Lu” and even set a special ringtone for it. However, besides that one time, the number had never rung again.
Usually, Lu Xuan would communicate with Xia Qi through Yan Zhuo Yi. Looking at Xia Qi’s call records, Yan Zhuo Yi’s number appeared the most frequently, and for some reason, Xia Qi suddenly felt a bit disheartened.
Unrequited love is a silent drama, after all.
But that might be for the best, Xia Qi consoled himself. If he were to become famous one day, or if he lost his phone, at least there would not be any scandals involving Lu Xuan.
Lu Xuan had always forbidden his lovers from contacting him, and perhaps that was why.
Maybe today’s situation was not as complicated as he thought. Lu Xuan had a stake in Shengshi Media, so it was strange for him to be invited to participate in the audition process. Xia Qi just happened to be one of the actors auditioning this time, and Lu Xuan probably did not bother to ask him about it in advance, thinking it did not matter. Lu Xuan was always good at separating his personal life from professional matters, and Xia Qi knew that.
Xia Qi let out a soft sigh, gazing out the window absentmindedly as he waited for Yao Miaomiao.
“Hey, did you notice? The person sitting right in the middle…”
“He looks kind of familiar. Who is he?”
“That’s Lu Xuan! The current head of the Lu family, and it’s said that he’s also the boss of Shengshi Media…”
“It’s him! That Lu Xuan! “
“Lower your voice!”
Two female actors were whispering to each other. Without missing a single word, Xia Qi was all ears.
“I heard that President Lu is still single…………”
“Yes, but it seems like he has quite a few lovers around him.”
“Sigh… I heard that President Lu’s parents have passed away.”
“That’s right. That’s why so many people are eager for the position of Mrs. Lu. As long as it’s President Lu’s will, they can immediately become an official couple. They can enjoy the benefits of the wealthy family without being restricted by the elders of the family. It’s just wonderful!”
“Haha, you seem to be quite well-informed. I wonder if President Lu needs anyone by his side now…”
Unable to bear it any longer, Xia Qi really wanted to run over to them and scream: He does not need anyone, not at all! You don’t need to come!
Xia Qi could not sit still this time. He got up and walked around the terrace to catch some fresh air, but the more he walked, the more anxious he felt. His face turned red, as if he had been possessed. He picked up his phone and looked at the two words “Mr. Lu,” his heart pounding. Several times, he almost dialed the number!
No, no! Xia Qi put his phone away. He had already deceived Lu Xuan once, so he could not afford to act mindlessly and call him during work hours. Lu Xuan would surely hate him!
However, he really wanted to apologize and, at the same time, find out if Lu Xuan was actually angry.
Xia Qi felt like a small mouse trapped in a rice jar, so anxious that he was about to go in circles. Unfortunately, Yao Miaomiao still had not returned, and she had not replied to his WeChat messages either.
Taking a deep breath, Xia Qi thought that calling Lu Xuan directly would not be a good idea. But… could he send a text message?
It should be fine, right? It will be just a short message, and it should not disturb Lu Xuan. Besides, even the mobile service occasionally sends messages to Lu Xuan, so he could do it too, right? Xia Qi would sincerely apologize for lying to him and show his determination to change. Once Lu Xuan forgave him and was not angry anymore… perhaps Lu Xuan would like him more.
His palms were getting sweaty, and Xia Qi picked up his phone again, thinking about how to phrase the message to convey his sincerity and willingness to change… Ahhh!
This time, Xia Qi really screamed. His shaky hands accidentally dialed the number!
Some of the nearby actors turned their heads to look at him, and Xia Qi quickly apologized. As he looked at his phone again, he was flustered and tried to hang up, but the call had already connected!