A phone call that was full of twists and turns had just taken place.
Ji Xiaotao didn't know that the two of them had already talked late into the night, and he continued to worry and fret in his heart and dared not say much.
Fang Shaoyi was too calm. He was always like this. You couldn't tell what he was thinking just by looking at him, nor could you guess.
"Brother Tao, are you busy?" Yang Siran's assistant, Chen Tong, had been with the company for a long time and was somewhat familiar with Ji Xiaotao.
While Fang Shaoyi and Yang Siran were filming, Chen Tong came over to Ji Xiaotao's side, squatted down, and said hello.
Ji Xiaotao greeted him back and moved over to sit on Fang Shaoyi chair's, pointing to the one he had just sat on and said, "Sit."
Chen Tong smiled and sat down.
Ji Xiaotao held a big bag of clothes for Fang Shaoyi and chatted with Chen Tong: "Are you going focus on taking care of him now?"
"I don't know, I'm just following the arrangements," Chen Tong sighed and said, "Actually, I'm having a hard time taking care of people. I feel like I can't handle staying up late anymore in the past two years."
Ji Xiaotao laughed and looked at him: "You're still young, how can you not handle staying up late?"
Chen Tong replied, "My physical condition is not good, I'm far worse than you, Brother Tao. I can't stay up late, it gives me a headache."
Two messages came on his phone, it was from Jian Xu's assistant. They were nothing important, just two silly emojis. While replying with his own emojis, Ji Xiaotao said, "Why don't you apply to transfer to become an agent? It would be easier, but if you're representing a newcomer, you'll probably still have to run around for a year or two."
"Well, I mentioned it to Brother Lin last time," Chen Tong said. "It's a bit too much to follow so closely while they're filming."
Ji Xiaotao chatted with him like this, while also sending memes to Jian Xu's assistant on Wechat. Jian Xu was still a stable TV star, able to carry the ratings as long as the script wasn't too bad and the production was decent, ensuring that the box office wouldn't be too poor.
Fang Shaoyi had always had a good relationship with him, and among their classmates who became celebrities, only the two of them had reached such high positions. Jian Xu's assistant was only 24 years old and had just started in this industry last year, always considering himself a newbie. But he was a bit silly and always liked to send memes.
Ji Xiaotao asked him on WeChat: "Are you still in Beijing?"
Jian Xu's assistant, named Dong Lin, replied: "No, we're in X city. We're very close."
Ji Xiaotao said: "You speak properly."
Dong Lin replied: "Hahaha, what do you think I'm doing, trying to flirt with you? My Brother Jian said we're close enough to meet up."
"Ji Xiaotao: Really? Coming over to film?
Dong Lin: Yes, really.
Ji Xiaotao: Acting all gay.
Actually, the kid is a straight guy and not feminine at all. He just likes to act a little crazy. After chatting with him for a while, Fang Shaoyi had finished filming and Ji Xiaotao told him, "Brother Jian is in X city, he's asked you out for a meal together."
Fang Shaoyi asked, "What is he doing here? To film?"
Ji Xiaotao replied, "Yes, I heard from Dong Lin that they are expected to film here for 40 days."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and said, "Then you check the schedule and find a day to have a meal with him."
Yang Siran and Chen Tong were not far away from them. Ji Xiaotao heard Yang Siran whisper, "Can you not check my phone in the future? If there are messages then just leave them alone."
Chen Tong's response was not heard, his voice was too low, probably because he was too close to Fang Shaoyi and didn't want to speak too loudly. Ji Xiaotao glanced over and continued talking to Fang Shaoyi.
The shot just now wasn't good and they'll have to redo it later. During these breaks, Fang Shaoyi usually doesn't talk much to maintain his emotions. If he talks about unrelated things too much, his emotions will dissipate.
Yang Siran moved a few steps to the other side, and Chen Tong followed him, so they couldn't hear what they were saying. Yang Siran frowned lightly, as if he didn't quite agree with Chen Tong's words, and kept whispering to him.
Ji Xiaotao handed a cup of water to Fang Shaoyi, who silently took it and drank some water to moisten his throat.
This time, Jian Xu was coming to the film and television base to shoot a movie, which was only a two-hour drive from Fang Shaoyi's place. Fang Shaoyi took some time off to visit his set.
The director was a young and talented one that Fang Shaoyi had never worked with before, but they had met a few times at film festivals and chatted. They were shooting a light-hearted urban romance film, and Jian Xu played the role of a reserved sports teacher.
It was a typical Valentine's Day movie that you could enjoy with popcorn and coke without any stress. The director didn't have any big ambitions, and shooting this kind of movie wasn't tiring.
When Fang Shaoyi arrived, Jian Xu was sunbathing with his upper body exposed, with a thin layer of oil on his skin, making him very eye-catching under the sun.
The director sipped on the iced tea brought by Ji Xiaotao, chatting happily with Fang Shaoyi. The director was a year younger than Fang Shaoyi, and in the director's circle, he was considered a young up-and-comer. He said, "Brother Shaoyi, let's take a set photo later, we'll post it on our social media."
Fang Shaoyi smiled and replied, "Sure."
Jian Xu, who now had a shirt on, walked over. The director asked someone nearby to take a photo of the three of them, then looked at it and said, "Before we post it, touch it up a bit. The pressure of taking a photo between these two is too much, and I might end up looking unattractive."
Everyone nearby laughed, and Jian Xu asked, "Why don't we just sit down and take the photo?"
"Forget it, it's the same anywhere. Just make sure to make my legs look longer when we post it," the director said.
That day, Fang Shaoyi and Jian Xu had dinner together with Ji Xiaotao and Dong Lin. They were old acquaintances, so it was no big deal for the assistants to sit with them. Although Fang Shaoyi and Jian Xu hadn't met up much in the past two years, their relationship was still strong and they always had plenty to talk about. Everyone knew they were close, and they truly were.
Inside the private room, Jian Xu took off his shirt and was only wearing a tank top. Ji Xiaotao laughed and said, "Brother Jian, your muscles are looking good lately."
Jian Xu scoffed and gave him a look, "Are you making fun of me? Your brother is right here, and I still have the nerve to talk about muscles?"
Ji Xiaotao chuckled, "You're almost as good as my brother, but even without comparing, your muscles are amazing."
"Is that a compliment for me or for your brother?" Jian Xu opened a bottle of ice-cold beer for himself and asked Fang Shaoyi, "Want some?"
Fang Shaoyi didn't drink much, so he poured himself a cup of tea.
Jian Xu tapped his cup against Fang Shaoyi's and said, "Let's cheers, brother. It's been over half a year since we last saw each other."
Fang Shaoyi asked him, "Do you have any other projects after this one?"
"Yes, I have another period drama to film after this. After that, I haven't accepted any other projects. I want to take a break," Jian Xu said.
During dinner, Jian Xu didn't eat much. He ordered a vegetable salad and slowly chewed on it while sighing, "The coach doesn't let me eat much. He even makes me eat eggs, which I hate the most."
Fang Shaoyi said, "Just substitute it with something else. It's the same."
Jian Xu and Fang Shaoyi were born in the same year, but Fang Shaoyi hasn't really filmed any romantic comedies in recent years, while Jian Xu has done many of this type. However, he's also 36 years old now and this type of work won't last forever. He needs to consider transitioning.
Fang Shaoyi and he are close, there's nothing they can't talk about. They spent all their time together when they were in school and haven't had any conflicts in recent years. They're true brothers in this industry.
Fang Shaoyi said to him, "If you want to transition, you shouldn't get many of these types of roles. You may get a few that audiences will buy into, and your fans may support you at the box office, but in the long run, your style will be stuck here and there won't be any benefits."
Jian Xu poured him a cup of tea and gave a bitter smile. "No one comes to me anymore, bro. The only ones they come looking for me now are for the third-rate supporting male characters or worse. I don't even get second male lead roles anymore. This one is already considered not bad, at least the script is decent. I can still take supporting guest roles, but how am I supposed to film these third- and fourth-supporting character roles?"
Jian Xu was a top-tier actor in the TV drama industry and had managed to stay at the top for many years. However, he no longer accepted idol dramas. The industry now only produced a few types of dramas that could be filmed and broadcasted, and even fewer if you excluded war dramas.
His work last year, a drama about post-marriage ethics, had received a good response, but he was already tired of that kind of role. Big-budget political dramas only came out once a year, and he couldn't afford to wait that long. It was an awkward situation.
The studio and company resources were all geared towards TV dramas, and the film industry's resources coudn't extend to them. The big directors and productions were out of reach, as many had a few fixed actors they worked with. He didn't want to take on bad movies, so he kept dragging on year after year, still filming dramas to this day.
Fang Shaoyi said, "There are some roles where the third and fourth supporting characters aren't too bad. I heard that you turned down Director Wei's drama last year. I'll keep an eye out for you and let you know if there's anything suitable. Whether it works out or not, I'll let your company handle the negotiations."
Fang Shaoyi turns down a lot of films every year due to scheduling conflicts, but he and Jian Xu are not in the same category. The films that invite him may not necessarily be suitable for Jian Xu. Moreover, he is not like the small actors in the company who can just talk to the director and get a small role. Jian Xu needs an important role, and such roles from big directors cannot be obtained just by saying hello.
"Thanks, brother. That Director Wei's play...the female lead is my ex-girlfriend, bro!" Jian Xu shook his head and smiled, looking at Fang Shaoyi. "Don't talk about me, what about you? You've been pretty busy lately, too?"
Dong Lin had been holding back for a long time and finally got a chance to speak up: "Hahaha, has Yuan Ye started chasing after you, Brother Shaoyi?"
Most people wouldn't dare to joke around with Fang Shaoyi, but Jian Xu had no problem speaking his mind. Fang Shaoyi aside, he was even familiar with Yuan Ye, having known him since he was a youth back then. They used to eat together all the time, and back then, Yuan Ye was like a little brother to him. Who would have thought that Yuan Ye and Fang Shaoyi would really get together?
And after that, they really divorced.
Ji Xiaotao nudged Dong Lin and said, "Why are you prying into their business?"
But Jian Xu continued, "Don't be mad at my assistant, Dong Lin, just ask. Ask your Brother Shaoyi if he's made up with Yuan Ye yet."
Fang Shaoyi didn't respond, simply taking a bite of his food and remaining silent.
Jian Xu continued, "Did you guys get bored just living your lives without any excitement? I told you last year that you were being too idle, playing around with feelings."
At the dinner table, Fang Shaoyi didn't like to talk about himself and Yuan Ye's situation, nor did he want to bring it up, even if it was to Jian Xu.
Plus, Fang Shaoyi couldn't say anything anyway. What could he say? Could he say that Yuan Ye didn't actually pursue him after he posted on Weibo? There didn't seem to be any intention to pursue on his end, but now they occasionally talked on the phone at night and chatted with each other.
To be honest, it was too embarrassing to say. This monkey was unreliable.
What has this monkey been busy with lately that he's so unreliable?
Yuan Ye had the phone pressed to his ear, making tea and responding with "Mm-hmm" as he listened.
"So, you said a lot, but this is still a bad book," Yuan Ye put the tea back on the table and stretched his arms, saying, "What were you thinking? Why didn't you ask me before you bought it?"
"I'm not just brushing you off, I read every single word. If it doesn't work, it just doesn't work."
"What sixty million, even if it means losing the money you used to buy this book, you'll just have to accept it. If you throw another 60 million in, you'll be crying in the future. Why don't you just hire someone else to rewrite it, with a different spin."
"Don't bother with the story, it's useless."
"Me? I can't write this, it's not about the money. I wouldn't write it for 10 million or even 80 million. You could kill me and I still wouldn't write it."
"Next time, use your brain before spending money. Bye, cutie."
After hanging up the phone, Yuan Ye threw it onto the table and reached behind to massage his stiff neck. He had been rushing to finish his writing assignments lately and felt like his bones were all stiff and creaky.
Earlier, it was Ning Lu who called him. He had bought a script from a top screenwriter for a hefty sum last month and felt that he could make a killing. He messaged Yuan Ye, saying that he planned to invest 60 million yuan to make a movie that would surpass last year's "Wilderness Fairy Tale."
Yuan Ye had not had a chance to read the script as he had been busy lately. Yesterday, Ning Lu urged him to read it, but Yuan Ye only glanced at it briefly and felt that something was off.
After taking a closer look, he realized that it was really not good. He even flipped to the ending and knew that if it were to be made into a movie, it would be a complete disaster.
Those stories where wealthy investors were deceived into buying losing stocks described Ning Lu exactly.
It was all a coincidence. Before buying the script, Ning Lu had asked Yuan Ye to take a look at it for him. However, at that time, Yuan Ye had disappeared from his phone for many days after posting on Weibo.
Ning Lu couldn't contact him. The screenwriter also fooled him, and he didn't care that much anymore. He just bought it and was even waiting for Yuan Ye's praise.
Yuan Ye's words hit him hard. He couldn't believe he had thrown away millions of dollars like that.
Ning Lu was a great investor. He was rich and naive, and any project that fell into his lap was lucky. Yuan Ye shook his head and turned his neck back and forth. He couldn't handle this silly and sweet rich man's heart.
After a while, Yuan Ye couldn't bear it anymore. He pulled out Ning Lu's lousy script and wrote a story outline of over a thousand words for him. He highlighted the key characters and wrote a brief summary.
"If you trust me, don't film this. See if you can sell it at a lower price. If you insist on filming, this is the only feasible plan I can think of. Take a look and decide for yourself."
Yuan Ye sent an email to Ning Lu and then notified him through WeChat.
He had been idle for over a year and had accumulated some debt, but he had managed to pay off most of it during this time. He had been working on his own book for two years and only had the final chapter left to write, which would probably take a few more days.
He checked the time and it was already 10 pm. He called Fang Shaoyi, but the phone rang for a while before someone answered, but it wasn't Fang Shaoyi.
"Brother Ye? Brother Ye are you looking for my brother? He's at a meeting with the director!" Ji Xiaotao shouted.
"Okay, then it's fine." Yuan Ye was about to hang up the phone.
Ji Xiaotao called out to him, "Brother Ye!"
Yuan Ye helplessly replied, "Don't shout so loudly, it makes me feel like something is wrong with me."
"Brother Ye, I finally heard from you!" Ji Xiaotao sounded very excited, "I thought you disappeared!"
Yuan Ye raised an eyebrow, it seemed that he didn't know about the calls between him and Fang Shaoyi. Yuan Ye smiled, "Ah."
Ji Xiaotao asked, "Brother Ye, what are you busy with?"
Yuan Ye didn't have time to chat with him and said, "I'm really busy, Xiaotao, I have a lot of things to do, let's not talk for now."
Ji Xiaotao was quick to say "Okay, okay, byebye" and hung up, saying that he would tell his brother to call back later. In fact, if he had looked at Fang Shaoyi's phone, he would have known that their call and WeChat records were all there, and there were quite a few of them.
Later, Fang Shaoyi called back and Yuan Ye answered, putting him on speakerphone and placing the phone on the table. "Brother Yi," he said.
"I just went out for a bit," Fang Shaoyi said.
"I know," Yuan Ye laughed. "Xiaotao told me."
When Fang Shaoyi went to take a shower, he left his phone outside. Yuan Ye left his phone on the table and didn't hang up, so it just stayed there. When Fang Shaoyi came out, Yuan Ye heard him and asked, "Are you done showering?"
Fang Shaoyi replied with a "Mm," and Yuan Ye asked, "Did you wash your face?"
They sometimes just talk on the phone, not really saying much, but the calls are pretty long. It's a new and interesting feeling.
Fang Shaoyi told him, "I went to Jian Xu's place today to visit him."
"He's filming there too? In the film and television city?" Yuan Ye raised an eyebrow and asked.
"Yeah, he's filming a movie," Fang Shaoyi replied.
"He's taking on movies now?" Yuan Ye asked, "What kind of movie?"
"A light-hearted one about love," Fang Shaoyi said.
"Ah," Yuan Ye said, "So Brother Xu isn't changing his style?"
"It's not easy to change," Fang Shaoyi took the new script he just got from the director and looked at it while talking to Yuan Ye, "Can't find good movies to take on, and he doesn't want to take on bad ones."
Yuan Ye and Fang Shaoyi chatted for a long time, and he really enjoyed talking to Fang Shaoyi, even though it may not seem very mature behavior.
They finised chatting at almost midnight, and Yuan Ye was actually quite tired, but he didn't really want to sleep. So, he decided to continue working and quickly finish what needed to be done.
In the following days, Fang Shaoyi had night scenes for filming, and Yuan Ye and him chatted a bit over WeChat messages, but they didn't talk on the phone. Yuan Ye didn't want to call Fang Shaoyi while he was working, and they didn't have anything important to discuss anyway. It would be too much to call during filming.
On Friday, Yuan Ye sent a document through email and then sent a voice message on WeChat saying, "President Zhang, I sent the file to your email. I won't bother with anything else. Just let me know when you're done reviewing it and send any comments back to me. This one doesn't need any graphics, so you can handle the rest."
The other party replied, "Thanks, Brother Ye. I'll take a look later."
Yuan Ye smiled and said, "No problem. If you can't reach me by phone, just leave me a message and I'll get back to you."
The other party responded with a simple "Okay."
Yuan Ye stood up and stretched his waist. In the past, if Fang Shaoyi was around, he would force Yuan Ye to stand up after sitting for too long. Fang Shaoyi's rules were usually strict, and if they weren't followed, there would be consequences.
But now that he was a free man, no one was there to boss him around. He was free to do as he pleased.
With a chuckle, Yuan Ye bent down to close the email window.
On his computer desktop, a news page automatically popped up, but Yuan Ye didn't pay attention and was about to click the X to close it. These pop-up windows were always so annoying and couldn't be blocked. But when he went to close it, the interface scrolled down to the entertainment section and Yuan Ye instinctively paused.
People are always sensitive to their own names, let aloneFang Shaoyi's.
Yuan Ye scanned the page and let out a sigh. He had uninstalled Weibo, never looked at news on his phone, and only checked WeChat if he received a message. But in modern society, it's impossible to completely cut off the internet. Just like now, it can't be avoided even if he wanted to.
Yuan Ye shook his head and closed the computer.
The section he had just seen was filled with gossip and pictures.
Title in bold: Fang Shaoyi stays in a room with a young male star until dawn. Netizens ask: "Yuan Ye, are you still chasing after him?"
The accompanying pictures are a bit blurry, with the watermark "xx entertainment exclusive" covering the entire image. There are several pictures of Fang Shaoyi opening the door for a young man and the process of the young man leaving later.
The author has something to say:
(With the background of same-sex marriage, there's no need to argue about the color of the divorce certificate. Whether it's red, green, blue, or black, it doesn't matter.)