Contacting him directly without Qingchu’s intermediation.
Ji Sheng unexpectedly took down his phone and looked at the screen, confirming that it was an unfamiliar number.
“Excuse me, where did you find my contact information?”
“Ah… well, we have channels, and since we think you are perfect for the role, we approach you.” Li Bingjun said vaguely, the conversation changing to the wrong topic, “I will email you the script, you can read it first and contact me if you are interested. I will also contact you again…”
Ji Sheng was still not interested in acting and was going to refuse, but on the other side Li Bingjun quickly said goodbye and hung up before he could speak.
Ji Sheng was taken aback for a while, thinking to himself: forget it, it’s not too late to refuse when he gets in touch.
He also thought that he might need to report this matter to Qingchu. After all, Qingchu had regulations prohibiting artists from bypassing the company to take private work. But considering that it was not clear whether the other party was really a screenwriter, that he did not really accept the invitation and that the relationship with the company during this period was quite embarrassing… Ji Sheng finally threw away his mobile phone and lay back on the bed.
The nightmare did not harass him again, and Ji Sheng had a rare peaceful sleep throughout the afternoon, only to be awakened by a phone call in the evening.
He rolled over and picked up the phone, squinting to look at the caller.
Ji Sheng, slightly more awake, turned over and sat up, accidentally pressing on his right wrist. He grunted in pain, changed the hand holding the phone and picked it up, carefully avoiding the wound: “Hey, Xiao Xie.”
“Brother Ji.” Xie Xuanming said, “Did you just wake up? Your voice sounds a bit hoarse.”
“…En, just woke up.”
“Are you going to be free in the next few days?”
“Next few days,” Ji Sheng thought for a while, “It is possible I’ll have to go to the hospital for a review, but I haven’t determined which day… what’s the matter?”
When the wrist injury was mentioned, there was silence on the other end of the phone for a while before Xie Xuanming said: “Nothing. The crew is going to have a day off soon. I wanted to see if you are free and if you can come out for a meal.”
“As soon as you have a day off, call me and we’ll meet for dinner.” Ji Sheng scratched his hair; the wound was stinging again. He let out a hiss and hurriedly lowered his hand.
“What’s the matter?” Xie Xuanming’s voice became tense.
“It’s okay, twitched a little.” Ji Sheng said, “Then send me the time. I will move the review time.”
After hanging up the phone, Ji Sheng discovered that Li Tan had sent a message during the few hours he had been asleep.
Li Tan [Is there a series that approached you recently?]
Li Tan [If the series party comes in contact, make them contact the company directly. Recently, many people have been staring at you and want to take advantage of your gap period to push down the price]
After Ji Sheng read the message, he typed “I don’t plan to act in the series” in the message box but didn’t send it out.
Finally, he deleted that sentence and typed again.
Ji Sheng [Got it]
Xie Xuanming asked Ji Sheng to meet in a cafe.
He had been filming for too long, and the fans he had accumulated during the variety show had run away, including sishengs and those who sold photos, so Xie Xuanming was blessed with the fact that he no longer had to be careful about going out. He arrived at the cafe without his hat on, and his upright figure drew a lot of attention from passers-by.
On the other hand, Ji Sheng, because of the increased pressure of rumours, wore a cap and wrapped his face up to his eyes. He also wore long sleeves on a hot day because he didn’t want to expose his injury. He looked like an alien among people in T-shirts and shorts.
The good thing was that the two of them were sitting in a semi-enclosed booth, so there were far fewer prying eyes once they were seated.
“Brother Ji.” Xie Xuanming greeted him, hesitated for a second after sitting down, lowered his head and leaned over, looking into Ji Sheng’s eyes under the brim of his cap.
He was so close that the tips of their noses almost touched, and Ji Sheng leaned back sharply, took his hat off and asked, “What are you doing?”
“Brother was not saying anything, I was afraid I’d mistaken him for someone else.” Xie Xuanming retreated and leaned back in his seat.
Ji Sheng smoothened his hair and touched his wound again.
Xie Xuanming didn’t miss the change in his expression. His face distorted, he asked nervously, “Does it still hurt?”
“No, it doesn’t hurt much, it’s just a bit itchy.” Ji Sheng didn’t want to talk about it, so he raised his eyes and asked in amazement, “Why have you lost so much weight?”
Xie Xuanming did lose weight, his cheeks were sunken, his already distinct jawline became sharper, and the originally smooth lines became more austere, highlighting his eyebrow bones and temples.
His whole aura had also become a lot “sharper”, wrapped in the coldness of a knife, a far cry from the seventeen year old kid with a little baby fat on his cheeks that Ji Sheng remembered.
“The plot needed it.” Xie Xuanming explained, “It also looks good on camera.”
“Oh—” Ji Sheng said with emotion, “Our Xiao Xie is really good at doing everything. You are so serious, I won’t be surprised if you get the best actor for the first movie!”
“There is indeed such a plan.”
Ji Sheng solemnly drew an ideal picture and Xie Xuanming added a couple of strokes to it without changing his face. If the conversation between the two spread out, it would probably make people laugh their heads off. They would be ridiculed for three days and three nights as an “entertainment industry joke”.
But exchanging such hollow phrases, both of them knew tacitly that Ji Sheng was not simply complimenting, and Xie Xuanming was not just listening to it.
They both would remember it.
“If I win the best actor, to congratulate me, Brother Ji, will you give me a gift?”
“Sure. What do you want?” Ji Sheng readily agreed.
“…” Xie Xuanming thought for a while, “I don’t seem to lack anything.”
“Then keep it as a rain check.” Ji Sheng smiled, “You can ask me for it when you think about it.”
At this moment, the drinks ordered by the two of them came up. The waiter handed out the glass. Ji Sheng instinctively stretched out his right. Unexpectedly, he pulled the wound again. He shook his hand and was about to use his left hand, but Xie Xuanming was one step ahead of him, took the glass and placed it firmly on the table.
Ji Sheng froze and raised his eyes to meet Xie Xuanming’s nervous expression, his heart aching slightly.
“You are exaggerating.” He said jokingly, “My hand is only temporarily unusable, it’s not like it’s broken.”
Ji Sheng’s tone was relaxed, but his voice was not well controlled. The trembling was very clear in it, and he didn’t care if it could be heard.
Losing the dominant hand, for a drummer, for Ji Sheng, had never been something that could be mentioned in a joke.
Xie Xuanming knew it.
He fell silent; the condensed water slowly slid down his fingers holding the glass.
The drop of water rolled to his wrist, and Xie Xuanming let go of the glass. He sat back, wiped away the moisture from his hand and whispered, “Well, it was a bit exaggerated.”
Ji Sheng had some difficulty in responding, and the table fell silent as he was at a loss for words.
After a minute or so, Xie Xuanming’s drink also arrived. He raised his head to say thank you. After taking a sip, he said, “Brother Ji, do you have any plans to act recently? Is there a screenwriter who contacted you?”
“How do you know?” Ji Sheng asked in surprise.
“They approached me too.” Xie Xuanming said, “Mentioned that there was the idea of asking you to act in it.”
“You want to act in a TV series?” Ji Sheng was even more surprised. Although he didn’t pay attention to acting, he knew that there was a wall between movies and TV series, “Don’t you plan to continue to pick up movies?”
“Can’t pick it up…” Xie Xuanming lowered his head a little and smiled stiffly, “It was an accident to receive a movie role in the first place, it’s not so easy to pick up another one.”
“Oh…” Ji Sheng comforted, “If this one has good results, there will be more.”
“…” Xie Xuanming was quiet for two seconds and asked, “Do you have any plans to take on this series?”
“No.” Ji Sheng quickly denied, “I don’t know how to act. Wouldn’t I pull back the crew if I went there?”
“But I hope you can take on this series.” Xie Xuanming raised his eyes and looked at Ji Sheng seriously, “I can teach you acting skills. I really want to work with you on a drama.”
Ji Sheng looked away, avoiding Xie Xuanming’s serious eyes: “Besides…”
“And…” Xie Xuanming didn’t wait for him to finish speaking, and added, “If you don’t take it, this series will not be made. I heard the screenwriter say that the filming plan has been put on hold for a long time because no suitable actors could be found. If no actors are willing to act this time, the management will let the filming plan be aborted… Then I might also…”
He lowered his voice and said in frustration: “There will be no more filming.”
“En?” Ji Sheng was taken aback, “No other scripts have approached you?”
“No.” Xie Xuanming looked dejected.
“I know Brother Ji, you don’t like acting… but the drama party really can’t find anyone and…”
“I’ll give it a try.” Ji Sheng sighed, making up his mind.
“En?” Xie Xuanming raised his head and looked at Ji Sheng with shining eyes.
“It’s not a bad thing to try something new.” Ji Sheng gently moved his wrist. “But I have to sign up for an acting course first… and have to wait for the injury to heal.”
“It’s fine!” Xie Xuanming’s emotions soared visibly, his eyes curved in a smile. He rarely looked so cheerful, “Brother Ji, if you are willing to act, everything is fine.”
“Okay.” His smile made Ji Sheng a lot happier; the corners of his lips curled up as he said, “I’ll go back and read the script, and then contact the screenwriter.”
Ji Sheng read the script on the way back. It was a typical urban light comedy, without much hype, but the male lead and the second male lead were very good. The male lead was a typical noble president persona, and the second male lead was a young wolf dog. Even though he knew little, Ji Sheng could vaguely perceive that this was a good idea.
No wonder Xie Xuanming was obsessed with it.
Ji Sheng thought while reading the script，
Compared to him, the second male lead was more suitable for Xie Xuanming, a bright-eyed canine male or something…
This idea flashed for a moment and was immediately rejected by Ji Sheng.
The TV drama circle paid attention to the number of fans, and there was no reason for Xie Xuanming to play a supporting role.
Ji Sheng exited the mailbox and called the screenwriter.
“What?” After talking to him for a few words, Ji Sheng thought he had heard it wrong, “The role I am going to play is the first male lead?”
“Is that right?” Ji Sheng felt ridiculous, “I have never acted in a TV series. Xie Xuanming is much more suitable than me.”
“To tell you the truth…” The screenwriter sighed and said, “We originally thought that it would be better for Xie Xuanming to play the first male lead, but after contacting him… He agreed to play, but he was determined to play the role of the second male lead and we couldn’t persuade him… I’m just wondering, there are quite a lot of fan snatchers these days, and so many that automatically drop… how can you want to play the second male lead more than the first male lead, it’s just weird.”
Ji Sheng was silent, and said thoughtfully: “Actually, I also want to play the second male lead. Editor Li, can you be accommodating and transfer Xie Xuanming back to the first male lead?”
The author has something to say：
There is another flashback chapter to explain how Xiao Xie switched from a good dog to a mad dog.