Since the day Fang Luowei was encouraged by Chen Zhiwei to play a role in “Troubled Times”, Shen Xi took it upon himself to take Fang Luowei to and from the set for a few days in a row.
All this was seen by Chen Zhiwei. Although he couldn’t understand the relationship between Shen Xi, Fang Luowei and Li Mingxuan, he still understood that Fang Luowei had a special place in Shen Xi’s heart anyway.
Trying to please Shen Xi, coupled with the fact that Fang Luowei’s appearance in the costume was so stunning that it really attracted a lot of attention, Chen Zhiwen ruthlessly revised the script overnight, adjusting Fang Luowei’s original role of a passerby to the third male lead, and gave a call to Shen Xi at the first opportunity.
“Add some scenes?” When he received a call from Chen Zhiwei early in the morning, Shen Xi thought there was something wrong, but he didn’t expect that Chen Zhiwei would propose to add a part for Fang Luowei. Thinking about Fang Luowei’s excitement when he talked about acting, Shen Xi naturally agreed, “Just talk to Luowei.”
“Of course, don’t worry, I’ve already told Luowei.”
Chen Zhiwei was certain that Shen Xi would say yes, and this phone call was just an initiative to demonstrate his goodwill to Shen Xi.
After hanging up, Shen Xi dropped the phone on the sofa and climbed back into bed. It was the weekend and a rare occasion when Li Mingxuan didn’t have to get up early, so he was able to have a little more sleep.
“Who’s calling?” Li Mingxuan asked as he enveloped Shen Xi in his arms.
“Chen Zhiwei said he wanted to add some scenes for Luowei.” Shen Xi changed to a comfortable position, answering casually.
The words “add some scenes” reached Li Mingxuan’s ears, and the original sleepiness immediately dissipated without a trace. In the past few days, Shen Xi got up early every day to drive Fang Luowei to and from the set, which already was Li Mingxuan’s limit, but Chen Zhiwei actually wanted to add more scenes. An ambiguous light flashed in Li Mingxuan’s eyes, and then he lowered his head and nibbled on Shen Xi’s ear as if nothing had happened, “Is Fang Luowei going to officially develop in the entertainment industry?”
Shen Xi gave a solf “en”. Li Mingxuan rolled over and pressed Shen Xi down, “In that case, I think Xiao Xi needs to find an agent for Fang Luowei as soon as possible, and it’s best to arrange for an assistant as well. After all, there will be more things to do in the future and you can’t be by his side all the time. You know reporters always like to talk nonsense, and too much gossip is not good for a star.”
Li Mingxuan’s proposal had actually been on Shen Xi’s mind for a long time, except that the time when Fang Luowei got in prison in his previous life had not yet passed. Shen Xi was worried that there might be an accident, and the best way was to follow Fang Luowei’s side himself. On the other hand, Shen Xi could see that Fang Luowei genuinely liked this career, so he decided to find a senior agent to facilitate Fang Luowei’s future development.
Shen Xi was still pondering when Li Mingxuan lowered his head and kissed him, “What, no suitable agent?”
Shen Xi nodded. Li Mingxuan said quietly, “The boss of Shengshi Entertainment, Lin Yao, was my classmate abroad. Let me ask him for you to see if he has a suitable candidate at hand?”
“Is that okay?” Shen Xi was sceptical of such a naked act of poaching.
“It’s fine, he owes me a favour.”
After Li Mingxuan finished speaking, he lowered his head and blocked Shen Xi’s mouth. It was a rare day off for him. He really didn’t want to spend his time discussing Fang Luowei. As Li Mingxuan pushed his hand into Shen Xi’s pyjama trousers, the pleasure came out of nowhere and Shen Xi put the matter aside for the moment.
Li Mingxuan’s actions were swift and the next day he helped Shen Xi get in touch with an agent. The other party was named Zhao Wenping and he had been in the business for seven years. Although he was not a top agent, he had a lot of resources in his hands. More importantly, Li Mingxuan had checked that he was of good character and was not like some agents in the entertainment industry who were secretly pimping out celebrities to wealthy businessmen under the name of agent.
Zhao Wenping was originally from another entertainment company, but left it because of a disagreement with the company’s development philosophy, and was planning to go to Shengshi Entertainment, but was intercepted by Li Mingxuan.
Initially, when he heard that the boss was Shen Xi, Zhao Wenping was not very willing to come over. From the bottom of his heart, he was very reluctant to deal with a young master like Shen Xi who knew nothing about anything. However, since the person who talked to him was Lin Yao, the owner of Shengshi Entertainment, and the middleman was Li Mingxuan, Zhao Wenping had to reluctantly agree to meet Shen Xi.
The meeting was scheduled for Sunday evening. Li Mingxuan naturally had to accompany Shen Xi, and since it was to select an agent for Fang Luowei, Shen Xi directly asked Fang Luowei to come as well.
The four of them met at a well-known private restaurant in Zhongjing. In the elegantly decorated private room, Shen Xi noticed Zhao Wenping at first glance. Zhao Wenping was only in his early thirties, with a moderate figure and in a pair of glasses, looking refined and introverted.
Zhao Wenping’s eyes passed over Li Mingxuan and Shen Xi silently, and fell on a bright-looking young man to Shen Xi’s right. He had vaguely heard rumours in the circle that Shen Sanshao had spent a lot of money on a little singer, and if the rumours were true, then this young man was the little singer and the one he might be responsible for in the future.
Zhao Wenping habitually assessed Fang Luowei with a professional eye. If one simply looked at his appearance, Fang Luowei could definitely be ranked in the top ten even in the entertainment industry, which was known to have countless beautiful men. What was more important was that Fang Luowei gave people a very sunny and clean feeling. This trait was extremely rare in the entertainment industry, the land of fame and fortune. Even if it was there, it was just an image, not coming from the heart like in Fang Luowei’s case. Zhao Wenping just didn’t know what Fang Luowei’s professional quality was. Thinking about the rumoured relationship between Fang Luowei and Shen Xi, Zhao Wenping vaguely felt sorry for the young man.
In the world of entertainment, it was always one wrong step at a time. If you entered the circle by relying on unspoken rules, then no matter what height you reached in the future, this stain would never be erased. What’s more, since the gold master could uphold you, he could naturally uphold others. If you had already carved out your place in the circle by the time the gold master was tired of playing, it was okay. If you hadn’t, it was estimated that you would be transferred to the hands of different gold masters in the future.
Zhao Wenping’s thoughts were only fleeting, and he was already greeting Shen Xi politely.
Everyone sat down casually. Zhao Wenping glanced around and quickly noticed something was wrong. Opposite him, Fang Luowei did not sit next to Shen Xi. He was separated from Shen Xi by Li Mingxuan. More importantly, Li Mingxuan’s attitude towards Shen Xi was too close, and there was a vague feeling of being lovers coming from them.
Zhao Wenping was startled, and the thought that had just occurred to him seemed to linger in his mind. Following this thought, the more he looked at them, the more he felt that the relationship between the three was complicated. Shen Xi looked at Fang Luowei not at all as if Fang Luowei was being nurtured as the rumours said, but more like he was treating a friend. And the relationship between Shen Xi and Li Mingxuan was so intimate that the two were more like lovers than relatives. But every time Li Mingxuan got close to Shen Xi, Fang Luowei’s eyes flashed with sadness.
This was really something!
Zhao Wenping was surprised, but his face did not show it at all. He chatted with Shen Xi eagerly but without any flattery, while Li Mingxuan occasionally added a sentence and Fang Luowei sat by the side and listened intently. After the meal, Zhao Wenping already had a general idea. He didn’t know what about Fang Luowei attracted Shen Xi but Shen Xi really regarded him as a friend and supported his entry into the entertainment industry.
Zhao Wenping weighed up the situation in his mind and without much consideration said yes to Shen Xi’s invitation. Only when he got up close and personal did he realise that Shen Xi was not as domineering as the newspapers made him out to be, but rather aloof. As for Fang Luowei, he had left a good impression on Zhao Wenping, who wanted to see how far Fang Luowei could go in the world of fame and fortune with Shen Xi behind him.
The meal could be described as a happy one, and both Zhao Wenping and Shen Xi were very satisfied. After finishing the meal and making an appointment to go to the company tomorrow for the entry procedure, Shen Xi naturally pulled Fang Luowei, “Get in the car, I’ll take you home.”
Zhao Wenping took a subtle glance at Li Mingxuan’s expression, smiled and said to Shen Xi, “I’ll take Luowei back, it’s good to get acquainted with each other.”
Fang Luowei froze for a moment, then smiled and broke away from Shen Xi’s hand, “Then I’ll trouble Mr. Zhao.”
Shen Xi thought about it and felt it would be good for the two of them to get acquainted in advance, so he did not object. In his heart, Li Mingxuan praised Zhao Wenping straight away for being on the right track and gave him a satisfied look.
After seeing Shen Xi and Li Mingxuan leave, Fang Luowei politely got into Zhao Wenping’s car.
Zhao Wenping said casually while driving, “Luowei, do you like Sanshao?”
What responded to his words was Fang Luowei’s surprised eyes and unnatural expression, “How could it be? Shen Xi and I are just friends.”
Zhao Wenping smiled lightly, “Luowei, you may not understand the relationship between an agent and a star. You should know that once I sign a contract with the company, I will be the closest person to you for the next five years. We will be colleagues, friends, partners, and most importantly, we must trust each other. I need to have all your information at my fingertips so that I can be the first to reasonably resolve whatever accident happens.”
Fang Luowei did not say anything and Zhao Wenping did not take it personally, “I can see that Sanshao takes great care of you. I hope you can remember my advice. In this circle a true friend is much more important than a lover.” There was the second half of the sentence that Zhao Wenping did not say. Shen Xi already had Li Mingxuan by his side. Even if Fang Luowei decided to fight, he might not be able to win. It was better to take a step back and be friends. According to Shen Xi’s attitude towards Luowei, Li Mingxuan would definitely not let Fang Luowei suffer.
Zhao Wenping’s words left Fang Luowei silent for the rest of the way.
Did he like Shen Xi? Fang Luowei himself was not sure, he just knew that he did not want to see Shen Xi and Li Mingxuan together. In contrast, he could not help but want to be with Shen Xi all the time. When did this feeling start? Fang Luowei could not say for sure.
Shen Xi fell from the sky at the time of his most distress and after that, Shen Xi intervened in his life in a way that he could not refuse.
Shen Xi would take the initiative to seek him out for dinner, Shen Xi helped him deal with threat from Brother Wang, Shen Xi helped him take care of his grandparents, Shen Xi helped him settle his contract with his previous company, Shen Xi paid for him to record a song, Shen Xi encouraged him to act, and Shen Xi even signed an agent for him.
All of Shen Xi’s kindness to him was unconditional, and Fang Luowei had a vague illusion that Shen Xi was incredibly tolerant of him, and would do anything for him as long as he was happy.
Fang Luowei didn’t know what attracted Shen Xi to him and why Shen Xi was so kind to him, but Fang Luowei was sure that no one could refuse such kindness.
The two of them returned in silence to the neighbourhood where Fang Luowei lived. Shen Xi had rented a house for him there after he had signed up with his company. Next to this neighbourhood was the most prestigious nursing home in Zhongjing, where his grandfather and grandmother were living at the moment.
Fang Luowei’s heart felt indescribably sad. Perhaps Zhao Wenping was right. Lovers might break up, but Shen Xi might be the only one in his life who would be a good friend to him wholeheartedly.
Zhao Wenping steadily parked the car by the community and Fang Luowei looked at him, “Thank you!”
A smile flashed in Zhao Wenping’s eyes, “It’s what I should do.”
Zhao Wenping didn’t start the car until Fang Luowei’s figure disappeared. When he left, Zhao Wenping suddenly thought that he had made a contribution to the stability of the boss’s family, but it was a pity that Li Mingxuan didn’t know about it.
The next day after Zhao Wenping went through the signing-up procedures at the company. He very consciously took over all of Fang Luowei’s current daily activities, including, of course, the daily round-trip transfers to and from the set.
Shen Xi directly handed him a card and told him to pick out a car for himself, and by the way, he provided Fang Luowei with a full set of an assistant and a driver. Zhao Wenping was a bit worried that Shen Xi would go bankrupt one day, but when he thought of the Shen and Li families standing behind Shen Xi, he felt that he was worrying about nothing.
As Zhao Wenping quickly got a grip on his work, Shen Xi refocused his energy on Shen Group, and soon the first conflict between Shen Ji and Shen Cheng broke out.
Shen Group sold Yunrou at a discounted price of 300 million to a previous competitor!
By the time Shen Ji got the news, the board of directors had already approved the deal. Seeing the look of pity on the faces of his former subordinates, Shen Ji tried his best to suppress the anger in his heart and hurried to Shen Cheng.
As the general manager of Shen Group, Shen Cheng managed all the company’s incoming and outgoing transactions. Shen Ji had deliberately reminded Shen Cheng before that he must let him know about Yunrou’s affairs. He did not believe that Shen Cheng would not know about the existence of this deal beforehand, so why hadn’t Shen Cheng told him?
Why was he the only one who had been kept in the dark about this deal?
Shen Ji’s expression was too ugly, and the employees who came and went were curious, but when they noticed that Shen Ji’s destination was the general manager’s office, their expressions became unpredictable.
“Ah Cheng!” Shen Ji pushed the door open without knocking and walked in. Inside the office, Lu Gesen was standing in front of Shen Cheng saying something.
“Big Brother!” Shen Cheng was obviously very surprised by Shen Ji’s appearance; especially Shen Ji’s expression made him feel baffled.
Lu Gesen sensibly chose to excuse himself and thoughtfully closed the office door for the two of them. After a warning glance at the inquiring eyes outside, Lu Gesen returned to his office in a happy mood. Looking at Shen Ji, it was obvious that he knew about Yunrou’s cheap sale. Sure enough, Shen Xi was right. Yunrou was Shen Ji’s inverse scale, and no one could touch it.
Lu Gesen looked playfully at the office next door, wondering if Shen Ji enjoyed the surprise.
“Big Brother, why are you here at this time?” Past experience told Shen Cheng that Shen Ji was in a rather bad mood at the moment, so he had better be careful.
Shen Ji frowned, “If I hadn’t come, I wouldn’t even have known that Yunrou was going to be sold.”
A hint of surprise flashed across Shen Cheng’s face and then he looked embarrassed, “So you already know, Big Brother, I was planning to surprise you.”
“Surprise me?” Shen Ji’s face turned gloomy, but unfortunately Shen Cheng was keeping his head down and didn’t notice.
“Yes, Big Brother. Wasn’t it because of Yunrou that you were kicked out by the board of directors gang? Now that I’ve sold Yunrou, after a while when the storm dies down, you’ll be able to come back, Big Brother.” The implication in Shen Cheng’s words was very sincere, and his face even had a happy expression, but after noticing Shen Ji’s look, he hesitated, “What’s wrong?”
Shen Ji tried to suppress the anger in his heart, “Who proposed this deal? Do you know what Yunrou’s market value is estimated to be? One billion three hundred million, and you actually sold it for three hundred million!”
Shen Cheng couldn’t help but argue, “Of course I know the market value of Yunrou, but wasn’t that before? Now after the dioxane fiasco, Yunrou is not worth anything at all.”
Shen Cheng’s words slowly died out in front of Shen Ji’s cold face. The magnificent image of Shen Ji that had been formed in Shen Cheng’s heart for a long time made him not dare to argue again, but a hint of defiance flickered in his eyes.
Shen Ji frowned, “Who exactly proposed this deal? Gao Qiulin or someone else?”
“There was no one else, I made the decision on my own.”
“Didn’t Lu Gesen stop you?”
Shen Cheng gave Shen Ji a sheepish glance, “He did, but I went straight to Father and he said that the deal wasn’t a loss. After all, it was cheap to buy back then and it was better to get rid of it sooner.”
When Shen Ji heard that, the anger in his heart could no longer be restrained and he kicked the desk in front of him fiercely.
A loud bang resounded in the office and the employees outside all stared at each other in disbelief.
“Big Brother, I really wanted to surprise you. If we settle Yunrou earlier, won’t you be able to return to the position of general manager sooner?” Shen Cheng explained hurriedly.
Shen Ji took a deep breath, didn’t look at Shen Cheng again, turned around and left, slamming the door shut.
“Big Brother!” Shen Cheng looked in the direction of the door with disappointment. He could not understand Shen Ji in the least, he really did it out of the goodness of his heart, and his father also strongly supported him. Why would big brother be so upset?
“Cheng Shao, is everything okay?” Lu Gesen appeared in the doorway at some point.
Shen Cheng shook his head, “Why do you think Big Brother is unhappy?”
Lu Gesen thought for a moment, “Yunrou is, after all, Shen Dashao’s heart and soul, and he has given a lot for Yunrou over the years. In his heart Yunrou is very important, it is inevitable that he will be upset about Yunrou being sold cheaply like this.”
Shen Cheng frowned, “But Yunrou is no longer valuable to Shen Group, so why is Big Brother so stubborn?”
Lu Gesen’s eyes flashed, “It’s just a different perspective. From the company’s point of view, there’s nothing wrong with Cheng Shao’s approach. It’s just that Shen Dashao’s feelings for Yunrou are too deep to accept it for a while.”
Shen Cheng hesitantly glanced at Lu Gesen, “I remember you said that you can’t be emotional in managing a company.”
Lu Gesen pulled the corner of his mouth, “Of course, you have to know that you are not alone in the company, especially in a company like Shen Group. There are thousands of employees underneath, you have to be responsible for each and every one of them.”
Shen Cheng nodded hesitantly, “I understand. Father also agreed to this matter, and I did nothing wrong.”
Lu Gesen glanced at Shen Cheng with appreciation and gave him a rare smile, “Of course!”