It was already autumn in Inner Mongolia, and it was getting a bit chilly, but the grass on the prairie was still green. This time, Yuan Ye didn't forget to bring his camera.
He has always loved the prairie, the boundless expanse of green that makes the soul feel free. He also loves the simple and honest life here, with flocks of sheep slowly passing by, carrying the unique smell of sheep.
Facing the camera, Yuan Ye smiled gently, "I told Fang-laoshi before that when we get old, we'll come to the prairie to retire, eat meat, drink wine, and watch the sunset every day."
Lin Tian walked past him, smiling and asking, "What did Fang-laoshi say?"
As they stood on the open field, Yuan Ye glanced back at Fang Shaoyi, who was not far behind him, and chuckled, "Fang-laoshi said he can live with me here, but he can't drink and eat meat with me every day. He has to maintain his celebrity image and not let himself become a fat old man."
Lin Tian chimed in, "I wouldn't be able to do it either. Aging is a natural process, but we still have to age gracefully!"
Yuan Ye nodded and stuck his hands in his coat pockets, taking a deep breath and saying, "Yeah, even Fang-laoshi will go from handsome to old."
Fang Shaoyi walked over and said, "I remember you already said I was getting old last time?"
"No, no, not at all," Yuan Ye patted his arm and laughed, "You're still handsome and young."
Last night, a single sentence from Fang Shaoyi kept Yuan Ye awake for half the night. He couldn't respond to it, nor did he need to. The meaningless conversation between them was pointless at this point, and saying too much would be unnecessary.
Today, with the camera following them from the front and back, the awkwardness and tension between them finally dissipated a bit, and they were able to speak more naturally in front of the lens.
At noon, they had a Mongolian meal, and almost all of it was meat. Yuan Ye only remembered that the yogurt was delicious. Only Yuan Ye and Chen Ru's wealthy husband ate a lot at the table, and they kept eating while others talked.
Later, Fang Shaoyi gave Yuan Ye his own bowl of yogurt, and Yuan Ye turned to him and asked in a low voice, "Are you uncomfortable? Why aren't you eating?"
Fang Shaoyi whispered in Yuan Ye's ear, "It's too greasy, I don't have much of an appetite."
Despite having a heavy cold, his breath was hot against Yuan Ye's ear. Such small gestures in a crowd were extremely intimate, and Yuan Ye's heart was warmed by Fang Shaoyi's breath.
Yuan Ye pushed the yogurt towards him and said, "Drink this, it's really good."
But Fang Shaoyi shook his head and didn't want to drink it. So Yuan Ye drank the bowl himself, wiped his mouth, and quietly left the table.
It took him almost twenty minutes to come back. Before he returned, he thought everyone had finished eating, but they were still lingering over lunch after forty minutes. Yuan Ye had already come in and it was awkward to leave again. Lin Tian asked him, "Where did you go, Brother Ye?"
Yuan Ye sat back in his spot and said, "Fang-laoshi can't eat so much meat. The director asked him to lose weight, so I made him a bowl of noodles."
He didn't mention Fang Shaoyi's cold, knowing that it would become a topic of discussion during editing, and everyone around him now would also ask about it. Normally, he could brush off a simple question with a single sentence, but in front of the camera, he had to be constantly aware and attentive to everyone's needs.
He didn't like it, and he knew Fang Shaoyi didn't either. Fang Shaoyi never talked about his injuries or illnesses to others. He didn't like being the center of attention and was used to being strong. He didn't like being seen as weak or vulnerable.
The shooting teacher wanted to take a close-up shot of the bowl of noodles, but Yuan Ye laughed and covered it up, saying, "My cooking skills are terrible. The noodles I made are only edible to him."
As Yuan Ye pushed the bowl towards him, Fang Shaoyi had been staring at his face since he walked in and was still doing so now. Yuan Ye whispered to him, "I only put a little bit of diced meat in it, eat up."
Fang Shaoyi lowered his gaze and also spoke in a low voice, "Thank you."
Yuan Ye was taken aback and after a while, he chuckled and shook his head, saying, "What are you saying to me?"
After finishing their meal, they each went back to their tents to rest. Fang Shaoyi took a nap while Yuan Ye didn't return. He borrowed a horse from a local to go out.
The young director was hesitant to let him ride alone. If anything happened, she couldn't bear the responsibility. But Yuan Ye assured her repeatedly that he wouldn't fall, and even wrote a disclaimer for her. With a wave of his hand, he set off on his own. The cameraman followed for a while, but soon fell behind.
Yuan Ye told them, "I'll be back in half an hour. Don't bother filming this part, just pretend I'm taking a nap."
Yuan Ye was an experienced horse rider, so there was no way he would fall. He had been riding horses since he was a child. Back then, there weren't as many cars on the streets, so his grandparents had to take a horse-drawn carriage to go to the county. His grandfather would drive the carriage from behind, while Yuan Ye would sit high up on the saddle, looking proud and majestic.
Now, Yuan Ye patted the horse's neck and said, "Hey, big guy, want to run a lap with me?"
The horse flicked its tail and blinked its beautiful big eyes without a care in the world.
"Let's go one round and feel the wind," said Yuan Ye.
With one hand casually holding the reins and the other hand holding a whip, he lightly tapped the horse's backside and urged it on. He rode a big red horse that gradually picked up speed until it was galloping freely across the grassland.
Yuan Ye smiled and looked up at the sky, then closed his eyes and felt the wind blowing on his face. This was his nature, his passion. The tangled and obscure thoughts in his mind were blown away by the wind, and when he and the horse rode back, their faces were both adorned with a smile.
Fang Shaoyi stood with the young director in front of the tent, chatting away. Yuan Ye slowed down his horse and walked towards them, holding the reins.
Fang Shaoyi said to the director, "You see, I told you he'll be fine. Let him play whatever he wants, he knows what he's doing."
The young director couldn't help but laugh and cry, "Fang-laoshi, even if you dare, we wouldn't dare, if anything happens won't the director kill me directly?"
Yuan Ye continued to stroll over on his horse, and Fang Shaoyi looked at him with a distant softness in his eyes. He shook his head and said, "Why don't you think about it, if even I can be at ease, why can't others?"
The young director didn't understand at first, but then she smiled and said, "Yes, you are the one who understands him the most."
After releasing Yuan Ye earlier, she regretted more and more. She shouldn't have let him ride the horse alone. If nothing happened, it would be fine, but if something went wrong, she would be the first to be held accountable. Even a small scratch would be a big deal. Later, she couldn't sit still and went to find Fang Shaoyi, asking if they could call back Yuan-laoshi.
Fang Shaoyi was calm and told her to relax. In fact, thinking about it now, his partner didn't even blink. No matter how much they worried, they couldn't surpass the concern of a couple. Fang Shaoyi wasn't worried, so there was no need to worry.
Yuan Ye sat on the horse, looking down at them and asked, "Are you saying something bad about me again?"
The young director stuck out her tongue and said, "I was too worried that you would run too far and not come back."
With a smile, Yuan Ye patted the horse's neck and said, "The horses here are originally raised by the owners for riding, and they are especially obedient. The horses we used to raise were much harder to handle than this one. You can ask Fang-laoshi how long it took me to train them."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and also stroked the mane of Yuan Ye's horse. He lightly scraped it with the back of his hand and said, "The horses I raise are always particularly disobedient."
Yuan Ye glanced at him and then pursed his lips before jumping off the horse. He led the horse back to its owner and the assistant director said to him, "We're ready to start filming, Yuan-laoshi! Please don't run off again!"
Yuan Ye led the horse without looking back, but just lifted his hand and waved it gently. That afternoon's program was full of flaws, but despite feeling frustrated, Yuan Ye knew they still had to record it well. It was the same old story, they took the money so had to do their best to record the show.
The program crew had them all wear sterile suits and disinfected them from head to toe before entering the cowshed. After touring around, the highlight finally arrived.
Each group had to choose their own dairy cow, and whoever could milk the most within the specified time would get to stay in the air-conditioned luxury room. It was the only one available, with a shower and air conditioning.
This was truly a blind spot in Yuan Ye's knowledge. He was no longer in the territory of wild monkeys. Although his grandfather also raised cows when he was young, they were not dairy cows, so he had never milked before.
Two girls were busy complimenting the cows on their beauty and cuteness, while the other couple, consisting of Chi Xing and Cheng Xun, were studying which one to choose.
Yuan Ye said to Fang Shaoyi, "Brother Yi, you stand there. You are the film emperor, and you must maintain your film emperor's demeanor."
He turned to the photographer and said, "Come on, film me."
Yuan Ye bent over and studied which one looked bigger, which one had more milk, and which one had a better temperament to squeeze out more milk.
"This one looks too thin, and it seems like it won't work..." Yuan Ye had been bending over for so long that his face turned red, and his nose was blocked. He spoke in a muffled voice, "I'm a thirty-something-year-old man, and I'm bending over here to study this, ah? Is this appropriate?"
Beside him, Chi Xing was laughing uncontrollably and asked, "Brother Yuan Ye, have you made your choice?"
Yuan Ye glanced at him and asked, "Why are you asking?"
"I think you're the most serious one here. Do you have a backup plan? After you pick, we'll take the one you didn't choose," replied Chi Xing.
Yuan Ye chuckled and said, "You're quite easy to deal with."
The purpose of this segment was to make fun of them, intentionally recording it this way. Even after selecting a good cow, they still had to prepare it properly, disinfect and massage the key areas. A technical guide was present to instruct them on how much pressure to use and which direction to massage.
After they finished massaging, the technical guide was on-site to teach them how to squat and use their hands to squeeze the milk out. Yuan Ye squatted beside the cow, grasping one of its teats and squeezing according to the technician's instructions.
"Today, I'm at your mercy. You can go ahead and make fun of me," he said.
On the other side, Fang Shaoyi was squatting and not working properly. He was just laughing at Yuan Ye. While squeezing, Yuan Ye was muttering something, and the scene was so funny that even the young director couldn't stop laughing.
"Go ahead and laugh. I'll do it myself and see when I can squeeze out a bucket. If you get cold tonight, we'll see if you're still laughing," Yuan Ye said, glancing at Fang Shaoyi.
Fang Shaoyi continued to laugh. Yuan Ye had never seen him laugh like this before.
"Laugh some more. I'll do it. As long as you're happy," Yuan Ye said.
Yuan Ye's movements were loose and tight, up and down, and the white milk stuck to his slender and beautiful fingers. Fang Shaoyi looked at his hand, and as he laughed, his eyes gradually deepened.
With a sideways glance, Yuan Ye's lips curled into a mischievous smile. The camera couldn't capture the angle, but his thumb intentionally scraped against his fingertip, leaving two drops of white milk. When milking, he made a circular motion with his hand, adding a touch of playfulness to the otherwise ordinary action.
As he locked eyes with Fang Shaoyi in the shadows, Yuan Ye raised an eyebrow and threw a small hook with the corner of his eye.
Fang Shaoyi said something to him, but without making a sound, only mouthing the words. Yuan Ye instantly understood.
To others, he appeared to be milking as usual, but suddenly burst into laughter, his eyes almost disappearing.
Fang Shaoyi stood up and walked to the side to check on others' progress, not bothering to join in Yuan Ye's antics.
Sitting on the ground, Yuan Ye laughed and continued to squeeze. The film emperor refused to work, but he couldn't laze about either. If he didn't work, they wouldn't have air conditioning at night, and Fang-laoshi was still suffering from a cold.
He didn't want him to get any worse. Besides, if he felt uncomfortable and got in a bad mood, Yuan Ye would have to endure more words from him and wouldn't be able to sleep all night.
Shaking his head, Yuan Ye remembered the comment Fang Shaoyi had mouthed to him earlier and couldn't help but laugh. Sometimes, Fang-laoshi was just too adorable.
Earlier, Fang Shaoyi's eyes had darkened and his face had shown his helplessness, but he had to pretend to be calm and collected.
He lightly threw out a comment, "Why are you so shameless?"