AM: Chapter 17

It was exactly 12:30 when Pei Shaoze arrived at the shooting scene. Before the crew had time to eat lunch, he whispered to Zhang Fan to count the number of people and order takeout. The agent Zhou Yan spotted him and she immediately greeted him. “President Pei, are you coming to… visit the crew?”

Since the important work arrangements of the artists of Group C had to be reported to President Pei, Zhou Yan reported to him yesterday that Cheng Xia was going to shoot the MV with Chen Yijun. She wasn’t surprised that Pei Shaoze suddenly appeared here. She thought that President Pei might come here to look after Chen Yijun. After all, Chen Yijun was the biggest star of Group C.

Pei Shaoze knew everyone would think so and didn’t explain. He glanced at the busy staff nearby and asked Zhou Yan in a low voice, “Has the shooting already started?”

Zhou Yan replied, “Yes since it is snowing outside today. Do you want to go see?”

Pei Shaoze hummed in agreement and Zhou Yan immediately took him to the studio.

Director Zhang just tried to shoot the scene where Cheng Xia was playing the piano. Since Chen Yijun didn’t enter the shot, the two people didn’t intersect in the shot. Plus, it was just the first trial shot just now and didn’t count.

After watching the test shot on the monitor screen, Director Zhang excitedly waved to Chen Yijun. “Yijun, come. You will also be in the shot this time. I want to shoot you and Cheng Xia from this angle at the same time.” He walked to the door to demonstrate for Chen Yijun. “You will come through the corridor at this time, stop at this position and stand up on tiptoe to look through the window. I will take you through it first.”

Chen Yijun followed him through the scene and nodded. “I understand!”

Director Zhang made a gesture to the photographer. “Prepare this time for the official shooting.

Cheng Xia had been a bit dizzy just now from the harsh lights and it was hard to see the keys. He just played the piano by memory. After nearly 30 minutes of trial shooting, he had adapted to the strong lights on the set and the moving camera. In addition, Director Zhang was kind and the nervousness of his first shooting gradually relaxed.

Director Zhang shouted ‘Start’ and Cheng Xia immediately entered the act. He started seriously playing the piano with both hands.

As the young man’s hands danced skillfully over the black and white keys, soft notes gradually started to flow through the air.

The artistic conception of this piano piece was very beautiful, as if people could see the snow falling gently in winter. The young man playing the piano seemed to be alone in the snow. He walked with an umbrella in the heavy snow, a smile on his lips and his heart full of memories.

Occasionally, the young man would close his eyes lightly, reveling in the music he played. Other times, he would open his eyes and look at the keys, his eyes gentle like he was looking at his beloved lover.

His fingers flew and notes flowed out.

It was obviously the 12th month of the year, a winter month full of ice and snow. However, the song with a deliberately slow rhythm gave a different type of warmth and tranquility. It was as if they were far from the turmoil of the city in the paradise of falling snow created by Cheng Xia.

Chen Yijun passed by in the corridor and was attracted by the music coming from the room. She turned her head curiously and found that the person playing the piano was the beta senior she secretly liked. Chen Yijun’s eyes widened.

They were filled with surprise, excitement, anxiousness and wanting to approach but not daring to approach. She had complicated eyes but she couldn’t help standing on her tiptoes and peering in, cautiously afraid to disturb him…

The second camera completely recorded Chen Yijun’s emotional changes.

She had debuted for many years. Her acting skills might not be as good as the first-tier stars in the movie and television industry but she wrote this song herself. The plot of the MV had been rehearsed countless times in her heart, making it easy for her to enter the act. In addition, today’s Cheng Xia sitting there and playing the piano was exactly like she imagined. Listening to the soft music and seeing the young man sitting in front of the piano, Chen Yijun really felt her heart thumping.

It wasn’t about love. It was just pure appreciation. This dazzling young man was just as she imagined when she wrote the song, making people unable to look away.

The heavy snow fell outside the window and the whole world seemed quiet. Only the music played by Cheng Xia was left on the set.

***

Cheng Xia didn’t hear the director call out to stop. He was puzzled but had to continue playing the piano. Chen Yijun stood on her tiptoes and stared at Cheng Xia inside the room without realizing Pei Shaoze had come near her.

The alpha was close to 1.9 meters tall and didn’t need to stand on tiptoes. Pei Shaoze saw Cheng Xia sitting under the light and playing the piano instantly. The melody of the piano was very soft, like a gentle wind blowing through his ears and calming Pei Shaoze’s mood.

During this time, he worked overtime every day until late at night. He scanned all the movie and television dramas with youth themes in recent years as well as watched movies with a score of over 9 on the movie and television forums. The materials of directors, celebrities, popular variety shows of major TV stations, advertisers who had worked with Tianxuan etc. were all piled up in his computer.

Pei Shaoze was used to such high-intensity work and drank a cup of coffee to refresh himself when tired. Yet at this moment, he watched Cheng Xia sitting there with a smile and playing the piano. The bright light in the room hit his face. It was a flawless face that could hold on even when the camera was shooting it directly. The young man was very serious, very focused and… also dazzling.

Pei Shaoze suddenly felt that it was worth it to work hard again.

The original book Accidental Mark never mentioned that Cheng Xia could play the piano, nor did it describe what Cheng Xia was like playing the piano. Today, Pei Shaoze saw with his own eyes a scene that wasn’t possible in the original novel.

Ever since he forcibly changed the plot despite the system’s warnings, Cheng Xia who wasn’t marked and insulted seemed to have his own consciousness. The world was gradually getting out of the control of the original novel.

Pei Shaoze was extremely glad about the choice he made in the beginning.

If he had obeyed his instincts to possess Cheng Xia at that time, Cheng Xia would become his ‘lover’ and any resources he gave to Cheng Xia would have a different taste. It was like an owner raising a dog and feeding bones to it. It was a type of ‘charity’ from a high-ranking boss to his lover. Even if Cheng Xia became popular in the future, he would never get rid of the fact that he ‘climbed into the boss’ bed to get resources.’

Such a start was unfair for Cheng Xia who had outstanding talent.

In the later period of the original novel, the blackened Cheng Xia came back and killed Lin Qianshu and Pei Shaoze. Both his acting skills and popularity reached the peak. Cheng Xia who grew up in the storm was indestructible but he was also covered in bruises.

Today, this young seedling had been carefully looked after by Pei Shaoze and planted in a flowerpot. He hadn’t experience the wind or rain and hadn’t been tortured. Due to this, his smile was so warm and sunny. The young man playing the piano under the lights caught the attention of everyone around him.

Pei Shaoze slightly smiled. Inexplicably, there was a type of feeling of relief that his seedling had grown up.

Pei Shaoze followed Zhou Yan to visit the crew. The scene was being shot so Pei Shaoze didn’t bother them. He stood in an unobtrusive corner and looked through the window.

He completely ignored Chen Yijun near him. Since standing by the window, his eyes were on Cheng Xia who was playing the piano in the room. He had just come through the snow under an umbrella and still carried a hint of the ice-cold air of snowflakes on his body but when he looked at Cheng Xia, his eyes became very gentle and his lips were even raised in a smile.

In Zhou Yan’s impression, Pei Shaoze always showed a serious and calm face at the company and rarely smiled. Yet today, President Pei watched Cheng Xia playing the piano and actually smiled.

She had to say that President Pei was very handsome when smiling. If he was willing to debut then he would definitely captivate many fans… Zhou Yan imagined the scene where Pei Shaoze debuted and became startled at herself. She hurriedly retracted her thoughts.

Inside the room, Cheng Xia finished playing the entire song. Once the music ended, the people around him came back to their senses. Director Zhang hurriedly yelled, “Stop!”

The photography and lighting was turned off and Chen Yijun was also brought back to reality. Cheng Xia was a bit nervous and wondered if he didn’t perform well enough. Was that why Director Zhang shot him playing for nearly four minutes?

As a result, Director Zhang stood up excitedly and slapped his thigh hard. “Awesome, this is the scene I want!” He beckoned for Cheng Xia to come over. They watched the playback before he asked, “What level are you in the piano? Cheng Xia, I was brought in by you!”

Cheng Xia answered, “I just passed the professional 10th level of the Music Association last year.”

The Rong City Music Association was the most authoritative music assessment organization. One could become a piano teacher after passing the 10th level of the Music Association. Director Zhang gave a thumbs up. “Awesome! Why didn’t you go to the conservatory of music! If you get the professional certificate and hone yourself, you can open a personal concert!”

Cheng Xia smiled. “My father wanted me to test for the conservatory of music but I have always been naughty. It is uncomfortable for me to sit still for a long time. I love acting more compared to the piano so I reported to the film academy.”

“Well, it is also good to go to the film academy. You are very talented in acting. You had no problems with your look and actions just now. However, you have to practice your sense of the lens. A few times when the camera came over, you turned your head and it didn’t get your face.” Director Zhang lovingly patted Cheng Xia on the shoulder before asking with interest, “That’s right. What is the name of the song you just played? It sounds pretty good.”

“It is called Snow Fantasy.” A low voice suddenly inserted itself in. Director Zhang and Cheng Xia both looked back.

Pei Shaoze opened the door and the tall alpha blocked the light overhead the moment he entered the room. He braved the snow to come and there was a hint of coldness on his body. The hem of his long black coat was wet with snow and there were traces of snowflakes on the edges of his leather shoes. Still, this didn’t affect his aura. The strong sense of oppression that belonged to an alpha instantly made him the focus wherever he went.

The room suddenly fell silent as if the time pause button had been pressed. The staff members didn’t know the identity of this alpha and were afraid to come out in this atmosphere.

Pei Shaoze looked at Cheng Xia. “Am I right?”

Cheng Xia’s mind returned and he hurriedly nodded. “Yes, this song is Snow Fantasy. I thought about how the content of the MV is related to snow so I played this piano music.”

Pei Shaoze admired it. “You played well.”

Chen Yijun came in behind him and smiled. “President Pei has come to visit the set? I suddenly feel very honored!”

Pei Shaoze hummed, stepped forward and politely held out his hand. “Hello Director Zhang.”

Director Zhang hurriedly reached out and shook his hand with a smile. “President Pei actually came to visit the set in person. We are really flattered and couldn’t react for a moment, hahaha!”

Pei Shaoze spoke politely. “Director Zhang is being too polite. Yijun’s single is to be released on Valentine’s Day. Time is more urgent and these next few days will be hard for you.”

He glanced back at Zhang Fan and said, “I asked Assistant Zhang to help order meals for everyone. The weather is so cold and you have been busy all morning. Have lunch first and eat enough to have the strength to continue shooting.”

There was a loud round of applause. “Great!”

“I was just feeling hungry. Thank you!”

For many staff members, this was the first time they had seen the young boss of Tianxuan Group. There were many negative rumors about Pei Shaoze but once everyone saw him today with their own eyes, they felt… President Pei was pretty good? He was concerned about the company’s artists and came to visit in person. He didn’t put on a boss’ air and even thoughtfully ordered meals for everyone.

Zhang Fan asked the delivery people to bring the lunch boxes over and everyone’s favorability toward Pei Shaoze rose even more.

Wasn’t this takeout too rich?

Braised chicken legs, tomato sirloin, fried snow peas, fish-flavored shredded pork, fried eggplant with beans, two meat and three vegetables plus a bowl of wintermelon pork ribs soup. There was also a fruit set containing watermelon, cherry tomatoes, dragon fruit and kiwi as well as a cup of oatmeal milk tea that was sealed and could be kept in the afternoon and a snack bag full of peeled walnuts, peanuts, almonds and other dried fruits.

When hungry and cold, seeing such a sumptuous lunch made everyone feel really warm!

Someone whispered, “Isn’t this lunch box very expensive?”

“There are five dishes, soup, fruit box, nut bag and even milk tea. President Pei is so generous!”

“I suddenly want him to come visit the set everyday…”

Cheng Xia was also taken aback after opening the lunch box. He usually ordered takeout worth 20 yuan which was enough for him. He couldn’t afford such an expensive lunch box. President Pei bought lunch for all the staff members today and probably spent thousands of yuan. Was this the so-called ‘rich and willful?’

Cheng Xia looked up and suddenly met Pei Shaoze’s eyes. For some reason, Cheng Xia had the illusion that President Pei was watching him? He hurriedly drove away such unreliable thoughts and showed a polite smile toward Pei Shaoze. “President Pei, aren’t you eating?”

Pei Shaoze walked to him. “I’ve had lunch.”

Cheng Xia made an ‘oh’ sound. After a few seconds of silence, he asked softly, “President Pei, do you know the song I played just now?”

“I learned the piano as a child and really liked this song.” Pei Shaoze paused and added, “However, I’m not as good as you. You got to the professional 10th level while I only learned to the amateur 6th level. I have no talent in music.”

“Ah, I was forced.” Cheng Xia smiled with embarrassment and spoke honestly, “As a child, I was too naughty and ran around making trouble. My parents had me learn the piano to calm me down. My dad personally drove me and escorted me to the piano teacher every weekend and this lasted more than 10 years…”

Escort? Pei Shaoze’s eyes became gentle as he imagined the scene of Cheng Yiming taking the naughty little Cheng Xia to learn piano. He looked at Cheng Xia and said, “There is no harm in your father forcing you to learn a talent. Look, you used it today.”

“……” Cheng Xia didn’t know how to answer. He was a bit nervous and too embarrassed to look into President Pei’s eyes. He was even more puzzled about something else. Wasn’t President Pei here to visit Chen Yijun? Why come to chat with him?


Proofreader: Cat

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