AM: Chapter 18

Pei Shaoze came to the set to visit and became the focus of everyone there. The scene of him walking over to chat with Cheng Xia quickly attracted the attention of the staff members. Many curious eyes were directed over there. Looking at it, everyone seemed to be guessing about the relationship between President Pei and Cheng Xia. Why was he chatting with Cheng Xia alone?

The gazes made Cheng Xia uncomfortable so he lowered his head and pretended to organize the food. Pei Shaoze noticed Cheng Xia’s difficulty and took the initiative to step back. “You eat first. I’ll go over there to see.”

The man turned and left. Cheng Xia gently exhaled.

President Pei had been very close to him just now. His heartbeat inexplicably sped up and he even had difficulty breathing. For some reason, he couldn’t help being nervous when he was alone with this alpha. He didn’t feel this way around other alphas. Cheng Xia thought about it carefully. He had lost control of his pheromones in front of Pei Shaoze, lay on Pei Shaoze’s bed without wearing anything and pestered the other person to mark him… it was natural to feel awkward when seeing President Pei.

The thought of this incident made Cheng Xia embarrassed. He didn’t want to think about it anymore and turned to leave with his takeout bag.

The shooting site had limited space. Director Zhang simply asked the school leaders to borrow a meeting room for everyone to eat in. He said, “Go to the room to eat. Remember to take away the garbage after eating!”

Cheng Xia entered the room and found his agent was also there. He sat down next to Zhou Yan and called out, “Sister Yan.”

Zhou Yan casually asked, “What did you talk about with President Pei?”

Cheng Xia honestly answered, “We just talked about the piano. He said that he also learned the piano.”

Zhou Yan replied with an ‘oh’ while feeling very puzzled. President Pei had stood outside the window just now and watched Cheng Xia intently. After entering the room, he took the initiative to chat with Cheng Xia. She thought that President Pei had different intentions toward Cheng Xia. However, he just chatted briefly with Cheng Xia before turning to find Chen Yijun. It seemed that chatting with Cheng Xia was just a boss casually caring for his employees?

President Pei’s attitude was really elusive. Zhou Yan simply gave up on guessing and said, “Director Zhang is very satisfied with the scene just now but he wants to improve it and shoot again in the afternoon. This way, there is more material that can be edited in post-production.”

Cheng Xia understood. “Yes.”

He was a newcomer and he didn’t expect to just do it once.

Everyone opened their lunch boxes and the smell of food wafted through the room. Cheng Xia was indeed hungry so he focused on the food. Braised chicken legs, tomato sirloin, snow peas, fish-flavored shredded pork… all his favorite dishes!

Cheng Xia ate with relish and satisfaction.

***

Outside the door, Pei Shaoze held up a large umbrella and walked into the snow.

Zhang Fan followed President Pei doubtfully. President Pei had lunch and didn’t stay with the crew. This was normal. After all, he couldn’t stand by and watch others eat, right? Then what was the meaning of walking through the school with an umbrella on a snowy day?

Pei Shaoze perceived Zhang Fan’s doubts and abruptly asked, “What do you think of the scenery of the 17th High school?”

Zhang Fan hurriedly replied, “Out of all the high schools in Rong City, the scenery of the 17th High School ranks in the top three, especially the snow scenery in winter. Many universities aren’t comparable.” So you are walking in the snow to enjoy the scenery? Zhang Fan didn’t dare ask this.

Pei Shaoze stopped in front of a lake and looked out.

The environment of the 17th High School was really good. There was a large artificial lake on the campus. In winter, the lake was covered with thick layers of ice and heavy snow fell one after another like feathers. The trees next to the lake were completely covered by snow and everything in the field of view was white. It was like a fairy tale world.

If a camera was shooting from the air then this scene must be beautiful. It could be used to make a snow scene promotional video.

However, winter vacation was only one month in February. School would start on March 1st. Once school started, the filming of a crew would affect the students’ studies and the school definitely wouldn’t agree. If the filming was over the holiday, time would be relatively short. However, if they rushed, they could make it happen.

Pei Shaoze frowned in thought. After a while, he took a video of the surroundings and sent it to Director Liu Xueyi who he had just added as a friend. [Director Liu, there are many events in Folding Paper that happen in winter. Take a look at the snow scenery of the 17th High School. Do you think it would work if we shot here?]

Liu Xueyi didn’t expect that after signing the contract at noon, the producer would go to inspect a shooting location in the afternoon. Was this Pei Shaoze a workaholic? He took a look at the video out of curiosity and immediately replied, [It’s so beautiful! Compared to the snow scenery made of foam, this scene is countless times better! It is just that the 17th High School is a key high school. Will the principal agree to let a drama shoot here?]

Pei Shaoze said, [I will solve this problem.]

He finished this message and immediately sent another one. [We have to hurry. Go back and let Teacher Xu write a plot outline and diversity outline as soon as possible. The actors will be decided this month and then we will start filming after the Spring Festival. Director Liu, do you have any problem with this timeline?]

Liu Xueyi and Xu Moran were waiting for their flight. The two of them had flown over from another place yesterday for the meeting with President Pei and made a booking for today’s flight home. Xu Moran couldn’t help his eyes widening. “He is in such a hurry to start after the Spring Festival?”

Liu Xueyi asked him solemnly, “Just tell me if it can be done in three days. It isn’t the final script submitted to the General Office of Radio, Movie and Television. It isn’t difficult for you to write a plot outline, right?”

Xu Moran gritted his teeth. “I can do it if I work overtime!”

Liu Xueyi replied, [President Pei, Xiao Xu and I have no problems. However, isn’t it too rushed to start after the Spring Festival?]

Pei Shaoze explained, [If we miss the school holidays, it will be difficult for us to borrow the venue once school starts.]

Liu Xueyi agreed. [That’s right. Then Xiao Xu and I will work overtime these days to get the plot first. We can carefully polish the script while choosing actors!]

Pei Shaoze, [I plan to use drones to shoot from the air. Take advantage of the frequent snow in Rong City recently to film the winter parts. After the filming is finished, we can shoot the summer part in Ya’an City. The southern part of the country is now full of green trees and flowers. Shooting summer scenes there won’t violate the harmony.]

Liu Xueyi and Xu Moran tacitly glanced at each other.

In other words, the exterior of the drama would be fully shot in reality. In the past, Liu Xueyi’s low-cost web dramas were shot in a studio. The beautiful scenery was actually a canvas and the protagonists acted in front of a green screen. To be honest, even after post-processing, there was still a sense of cheapness.

Being realistic was good but it was also expensive! The entire crew had to fly to Ya’an City. Food, accommodation and transportation all cost money. The borrowing of public venues required additional expenses. The extras were also a big expense. Wasn’t this no longer the standard of an ordinary online drama?

Liu Xueyi couldn’t help saying, [The money…]

Pei Shaoze, [Tianxuan has invested 10 million and I will bring in at least 5 million investment. You can save money on the cost of publicity and the newcomers aren’t paid a high amount. 80% of the money will be spent on filming. Isn’t this enough?]

Liu Xueyi was so excited that he almost dropped his phone. [It is enough, enough!]

It was 15 million to make a youth school online drama and 80% was spent on filming. This wasn’t just enough, it was more than enough! Some people could shoot with 5 million. It didn’t make sense if they couldn’t shoot well with 15 million yuan!

Pei Shaoze, [Thank you for your hard work over the next period of time. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.]

Liu Xueyi was full of fighting spirit. [Okay. President Pei, we will go back to pack our bags. Then we will close ourselves off in Rong City and work on the script!”

Once the conversation ended, Pei Shaoze turned and headed in the other direction. He wanted to look again at the environment of the school.

After the Tianxuan meeting last time, he told shareholders that each group’s investment below 10 million could be directly decided by the group leader. Once it exceeded 10 million, it had to be discussed at the company meeting.

This passage was actually very informative. The group leader’s investment couldn’t exceed 10 million but this didn’t mean that the investment in a drama had to be limited to 10 million—because the group leader could use his own ability to pull in investments from outside.

Based on Pei Shaoze’s contacts, it wouldn’t be difficult to attract an investment worth millions from his rich second generation friends. In addition, he hadn’t even touched advertisers, sponsors and other areas. Once the doors in these areas were opened, he wouldn’t need the approval of other senior executives of the company for any drama he wanted to make in the future. Then once the drama he invested in became hot, would he need to be afraid of losing money in the future? It was estimated that a lot of sponsors would rush to give him money at the time.

Zhang Fan finally knew why President Pei was exploring the school with an umbrella. He didn’t only come to the 17th High School to visit the crew. It was also to inspect the shooting scene for the next school drama. It was killing two birds with one stone. He planned so carefully that it was no wonder the efficiency was so high!

At this time, on the set.

Cheng Xia had finished lunch. There were five dishes in the set meal but the quantity was small and precise. Moreover, 18 year olds was the age when the body was developing. He ate all the dishes and cleaned up the fruits. Only the dried snacks bag and milk tea were left sealed.

Cheng Xia tidied up the lunch box. He got up and wanted to go outside to take out the trash. Then his assistant Sister Rong took the initiative to take the trash bag and helped him pour the milk tea into the thermos. She smiled and said, “If you want to drink it in the afternoon then find me at any time. The drink will be hot!”

Cheng Xia thanked her and went out for air. The moment he walked out the door, he saw President Pei in the distance.

Pei Shaoze was wearing a long coat and holding a black umbrella. He was tall and upright and his steps were calm. The handsome man walked slowly through the snow. From a distance, he looked like a thickly colored ink painting, full of winter depression and coldness.

Cheng Xia stared into the distance blankly, unable to look away for a while.

The cold wind mixed with snowflakes rushed toward his face. Cheng Xia suddenly remembered the terrible night that incident occurred. It had been snowing when Pei Shaoze sent him home. Pei Shaoze was worried he would be cold and gave him a down jacket.

The warmth of the thick clothes on his body seemed to remain in his heart.

Sometimes he couldn’t help wondering. What would he do if it was switched to another alpha who forcibly marked him that night? Or how would he deal with it if the other person looked at him with contempt and regarding him as a scheming omega relying on the boss to rise higher?

Yet none of this happened. Pei Shaoze handled the matter in the gentlest way that left no shadow on Cheng Xia. He was like an older brother forgiving the mistakes a child carelessly made. He never mentioned it again.

It really gave Cheng Xia face and dignity. He always seemed cold but he was actually a very gentle person…

As Cheng Xia had these thoughts, Pei Shaoze had already walked up to him. The teenager was in a daze and Pei Shaoze heard the line ‘Cheng Xia’s good impression of you +5’ in his mind. The little seedling grew an inch taller by himself?

Pei Shaoze asked softly, “What are you thinking?”

Cheng Xia’s mind returned. There was no one around him but his cheeks were slightly hot. He whispered in a volume only the other person could hear, “I was thinking about how to return the down jacket I borrowed. Would you like me to send it over?”

Pei Shaoze nodded. “Okay, I will send you my address through WeChat. You can send it to me another day.”

Both of them deliberately lowered their voices as if saying… a secret only they knew. The down jacket and sleeping in the same bed that night were indeed secrets only they knew.

The feeling of whispering made Cheng Xia’s heart beat like a drum and he hurriedly changed the subject. “President Pei, where are you going?”

Pei Shaoze answered, “I am looking at the environment of the 17th High School. It is quite suitable for shooting snow scenes.”

Shooting snow scenes? The school drama President Pei said he wanted to invest in had many winter snowy scenes. Could it be that besides visiting the crew, President Pei also inspected the shooting location today?

Pei Shaoze saw through Cheng Xia’s thoughts and nodded. “It is that school drama. How are your preparations?”

Cheng Xia immediately became serious and spoke obediently as if answering the teacher’s questions. “I have gone back and read the original book. I’ve looked through it at least three times and carefully studied the protagonist’s personality and psychological changes.”

“The original book?” Pei Shaoze raised his eyebrow slightly.

“Yes, I went to the bookstore and bought the book myself.” Cheng Xia smiled shyly. “I always feel that the outline and character setting isn’t comprehensive enough. After reading the original novel, I have a deeper understanding of some of the characters in the book.”

Pei Shaoze was very pleased to hear Cheng Xia say this. He thought that Cheng Xia would be like most artists and look only at the information given by the agent. He didn’t expect this little guy to be quite clever. He actually went and bought the original novel to read.

Pei Shaoze had chosen this novel based on Cheng Xia’s characteristics. If there were no surprises, Cheng Xia would definitely be chosen as the protagonist.

However, taking the cake directly to him and letting him obtain the cake through hard work were two completely different experiences. Pei Shaoze didn’t want to give Cheng Xia resources directly. He hoped that Cheng Xia could enjoy the process of ‘working hard, reap success and take step by step toward the top.’ This process was the most important thing.

Cheng Xia was very serious every time he talked about work and Pei Shaoze admired such a serious and hardworking young man. Facing the young man’s clear eyes, Pei Shaoze warmly told him, “Opportunity is only for those who are prepared. Go back and study. The audition time should be set soon.”

Cheng Xia nodded energetically. “Thank you President Pei!”

Just then, Chen Yijun walked out and saw President Pei and Cheng Xia were chatting. She couldn’t help saying in a joking manner, “President Pei, aren’t you here to visit me? Why do I feel like you are always chatting with Cheng Xia?!”

Pei Shaoze didn’t care about her joke and calmly told her, “Yijun, in fact, I didn’t come here just to visit the set. There is something I would like your help with.”

Chen Yijun looked surprised. “What help?”

“You can borrow the 17th High School to act as the shooting venue for the MV. You must have a pretty good relationship with the principal, right?”

“Yes, I graduated from the 17th High school and the current principal happened to be my head teacher back then.” Chen Yijun looked at Pei Shaoze in a puzzled manner. “President Pei, are you looking for the president for something?”

Pei Shaoze nodded. “Can I trouble you to go talk to the principal? I have a school drama and I want to film it at the 17th Middle School. In addition to the crew, a large number of extras are needed. If possible, I hope the principal can cooperate with us and help find some students of the right age for group scenes. As for the cost, I will talk to the principal in person.”

Shooting a TV series at the 17th High School? This could be considered a type of publicity for her alma mater and Chen Yijun immediately agreed. “No problem. I will make an appointment to introduce you. I also think that the scenery of my alma mater is beautiful!”

Then Pei Shaoze went to the photography shed to say goodbye to Director Zhang. “Director Zhang, I have something to do so I won’t bother you anymore.”

Director Zhang smiled. “Okay. President Pei, on behalf of the staff, thank you for your concern!”

Pei Shaoze exchanged a few polite words with the crew. As he walked to the door, he glanced back at Cheng Xia. The young man was also looking at him. The two people’s eyes met and Cheng Xia immediately looked away in an embarrassed manner, saying politely, “Goodbye President Pei.”

Pei Shaoze nodded at him and left.

Goodbye, Cheng Xia. The next meeting will probably be at the audition. I hope you can give me some surprises.


Proofreader: Cat

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shdill

Their interactions are just the right amount to make both Cheng Xia and Pei look close but still pro