Li Zhao ran around all day and arrived at his parents’ house before dark. By the time he opened the door with a key, his friends were already talking and laughing in the living room. Yan Ting was tapping on his laptop in the corner and the house was very lively.
“Zhao Zhao is back?” Lin Shen leaned out of the kitchen.” Quickly wash your hands and then chat with your friends. The mean is almost ready.”
“It is a good fragrance. What’s so delicious?” Li Zhao greeted his friends, put on his slippers and walked to Yan Ting’s side. He kissed Yan Ting’s cheek and once Yan Ting looked over, he laughed and hid in the kitchen.
His friends saw the scene and smiled. Zhao Zhao had a lover and relatives, they could finally rest assured.
“What are you doing in the kitchen?” Lin Shen was wearing an apron while stir frying vegetables. He saw Li Zhao enter the kitchen and tried to drive him out. “The kitchen is so smokey and artists should protect their faces.”
“It doesn’t matter if I do it occasionally.” Li Zhao went to Du Yushu’s side and crouched beside her to peel garlic with her. “Mom, the mask I gave you, does it work?”
“It works.” Du Yushu laughed. “The aunt at the door wants your help buying her a few boxes.”
The mother and son were whispering and the only person in the kitchen who was really busy was Lin Shen.
Dinner was ready and everyone sat around the table. Lin Shen picked up a drink on the table. “Come, let’s have a drink together.”
Their cups came together and made a gentle noise.
“Zhao Zhao’s grades were particularly good before. Xiaojun never completed his homework during summer vacation and Zhao Zhao had to help him. Later, the teacher praised Xiaojun, saying the homework was done really well.”
“Yes.” Zhou Ming laughed. “At that time, it was Zhao Zhao’s first day of junior high and Xiaojun was already in high school. In order to thank Zhao Zhao for his help, Xiaojun picked out a few coins and bought ice cream for Zhao Zhao.”
“That ice cream cost me five yuan and I didn’t want to eat it.” Chen Xiaojun was a bit embarrassed and scratched his head with a smile.
He still remembered when he bought the ice cream. Zhao Zhao was so happy that he jumped up and down. He was afraid the aunt in charge of the yard would find him and hid in a corner of the fence. He only dared to go back when he finished it all.
Thinking about it now, Li Zhao still thought the ice cream was delicious.
Lin Shen and Du Yushu listened very carefully. They didn’t want to miss anything that had to do with Li Zhao.
“Brother Ming, do you remember when you and Sister Xia returned from university and took us to the restaurant for the first time to eat hotpot skewers?” Chen Xiaojun smiled. “At that time, there were two meat dishes and two vegetarian dishes. In order to save money, we didn’t want to buy any drinks so we drank the free tea provided by the restaurant.”
At that time, they were really poor. Some meat dishes were 20 mao (one-tenth of a yuan) a skewer. As a result, they inserted two or three bamboo sticks in one chicken wing. They didn’t eat a lot and most of it was vegetables.
Yan Ting also listened very carefully. He picked up a piece of Li Zhao’s favourite food and delivered it to Li Zhao’s mouth. Li Zhao opened his mouth to eat.
Snow was blowing outside the window, the lights in the house were bright and laughter was constant.
After dinner, everyone played together for a long time before they proposed to leave. Li Zhao put on warm clothes and sent his friends downstairs. Yan Ting gave a scarf to Li Zhao and opened the door for them. Walking through the old but clean corridor, the cold wind blew on his face but it couldn’t take away Li Zhao’s smile.
Once downstairs, Zhu Xia looked up at the bright windows upstairs and reached out to adjust Li Zhao’s scarf. “Stinky kid.”
Li Zhao reached out to pinch the wool cap on her head. “Stinky Sister Xia.”
“All women are fragrant princesses.” Zhu Xia glared at him before laughing. She placed her hands into her jacket pocket and said, “Your parents love you very much. Accompany them more in the future. Congratulations on finding your family.”
“They don’t have any problems with your feelings with Yan Ting?”
Li Zhao shook his head.
“That’s good.” Zhu Xia smiled softly. “In the future, we will have an extra place to freeload a meal.”
“Sister Xia, my home is your home.” Li Zhao watched Zhu Xia carefully. “I already have a family.”
Zhu Xia stared at Li Zhao.
“You, Brother Ming and Brother Xiaojun are all my family.” Li Zhao opened his arms and hugged Zhu Xia. “Coming here isn’t freeloading. It is coming home.”
“Stinky boy, who did you learn this from?” Zhu Xia wanted to laugh but she couldn’t hold back her red eyes. “You are better than anything. Okay, I have to go to work tomorrow. I’ll go back first. You don’t have to escort me. It is cold outside. Go back early.”
Once she finished, she smiled and pointed to the upstairs window. “Someone is worried about you being frozen.”
Li Zhao looked up and saw Yan Ting standing by the window, looking at them. Seeing Yan Ting at the window, Li Zhao couldn’t help showing a big smile.
Zhu Xia glanced at the young couple. Then she held Zhou Ming’s arm, waved and turned away. Everyone had found their own tranquility. It was very good.
On the Internet, Zhao Junnan’s farce regarding buying a water army to smear Li Zhao had come to an end. It was found that he not only bought a water army, he also suppressed other young actors who were the same type as him. The most tragic one was a small newcomer who debuted in a certain idol talent competition. Zhao Junnan implied he wasn’t dedicated and he was mocked by netizens for a year or two.
Zhao Junnan’s actions were exposed one by one. Then the major TV stations canceled their invitations to him and the brand side released him from the contract. People in the industry knew that Zhao Junnan was completely cold this time. There was no chance to turn things over. In fact, the moment that the feared Cangwei team acted, insiders guessed that Zhao Junnan was going to be finished.
Netizens found that Zhao Junnan’s name was deleted from the Weibo publicity for several end of year shows. The flagship store of a product endorsed by Zhao Junnan also removed Zhao Junnan’s promotional photos.
Zhao Junnan might’ve been in the entertainment industry but from today, it was as if he had never appeared. His resources were quickly divided between other actors of the same type. The artists he worked with couldn’t wait to come out to condemn him and show their sense of existence.
He wasn’t the first artist to fall from the altar and he wouldn’t be the last.
Li Zhao didn’t have any time to care about Zhao Junnan’s end. He was busy shooting covers for magazines, doing announcements, promoting movies and living a busy life with Yan Ting.
“Zhao Zhao, Banana TV and Orange TV have invited you to their New Year’s party. Are you interested in attending?”
Some of the New Year parties would be held on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Some would be moved to the first day of the next year to avoid the national channel’s Spring Festival Gala. Last year, Li Zhao could only go to the party of an online platform. This month, he received offers from several TV stations.
“Did Beijing TV send an invitation?” Li Zhao was so sleepy he couldn’t open his eyes.
“Yes but their offer isn’t as good as these two.” Zhang Xiaoyuan flipped through the asking price sheet. “If you want to go then we can continue to communicate with them.”
“Brother Xiaoyuan, I’m going to the Spring Festival Gala as part of the live audience.” Li Zhao opened his eyes. “I am going to accompany my family on New Year’s Eve. I won’t participate in other activities.”
“The live audience for the Spring Festival Gala?” Zhang Xiaoyuan felt some envy.
“An internal ticket for loved ones.” Li Zhao smiled. “The Spring Festival Gala arranged an interview for the family of the opera master. I definitely can’t be absent.”
Zhang Xiaoyuan remembered that Li Zhao’s biological mother was a famous opera artist and a master performer at state banquets.
“I understand.” Zhang Xiaoyuan responded. “Shadow of the Sky and Seven Boyfriends will be released at 10 o’clock on the new year. The studio will help you forward the publicity materials on Weibo.”
“Okay.” Li Zhao looked up at the sky that wasn’t light yet and wanted to shrink down into his large down jacket.
Today, he was going to the TV station to record a variety show that would tie in with the publicity of Shadow of the Sky. The publicist of this movie had a very wide network. He not only grabbed good publicity channels but he helped grab nearly 20% of the arrangements despite the pressure of other blockbusters. Of course, it was still much worse compared to the 35% of Seven Boyfriends. Even so, it was an alien science fiction movie. The crew was already very satisfied.
After arriving by plane, the program group received the Shadow of the Sky crew, had lunch and then officially started recording in the afternoon.” The overall atmosphere of the show was very relaxed. It was recording the whole time but it only took three or four hours.
In the evening, the program team invited them to eat hotpot. Li Zhao found that the atmosphere between Deng Guang and Du Xing wasn’t right. There were several staff members between the two of them and they made no eye contact the entire time.
This couple had broken up?
Dinner ended and the program arranged for vehicles to send the entertainers who were going to the airport. LI Zhao found that Du Xing was also carrying a suitcase. Noticing Li Zhao’s gaze, Du Xing barely squeezed out a smile.
They had booked the same flight in first class. On the way to the airport lounge, Du Xing whispered to Li Zhao, “I brought up with Da Guang.”
Li Zhao glanced at Du Xing.
“He was afraid that things would be exposed and broke up with me>” Du Xing drank a mouthful of coffee and smiled bitterly. He didn’t even find the coffee stains on his sleeves. “I should’ve known. Same sex love will often end in nothing.”
Li Zhao still didn’t speak because the other person didn’t care about his words. Du Xing just regarded him as a safe object to complain to. In the past, Li Zhao had accidentally discovered their relationship in the crew so he also felt a bit emotional. He hadn’t expected such a sad ending.
“I might not be suitable for the entertainment circle.” Du Xing smiled bitterly. “There are too many situations where you have no choice and not much freedom.”
“I’m sorry, I told you too much.” Du Xing’s eyes were a bit red. “Still, thank you for helping us hide it this entire time.”
“The next one will be better and want to reveal it.” Li Zhao comforted him. “Don’t deny all feelings just because of one love affair.”
“Do you believe in a love that can grow old together?”
“I believe it.” Li Zhao nodded. “There will always be someone who loves you best.”
“Thank you for your comfort.”
“I’m not comforting you, I”m just telling the truth.” Li Zhao had just finished speaking when a woman stood before him.
“Li Zhao, I’m Yan Ting’s aunt.” The middle-aged woman looked at Du Xing as she spoke. “Can I talk to you?”
Du Xing was sitting next to him with the coffee. Now he gave up the space to the woman who suddenly appeared. Hearing the word ‘aunt’, Li Zhao frowned. “Madam, Ting Ting doesn’t have an aunt in his family.”
“Oh.” The woman sneered and sat opposite Li Zhao. “I know what you did with Yan Ting.”
Li Zhao stared at her coldly and didn’t speak.
“You’re a star and your movie is about to be released. Aren’t you afraid that I’ll explode this?” The woman looked at Li Zhao critically like he was a small person not fit to sit at this table.
“It’s fine. It isn’t a big deal to let him raise me.” Li Zhao didn’t have any sense of urgency on his face. “I don’t have any major flaws except for how much I eat.”
The smile on the woman’s face became colder. “You probably don’t know but Yan Ting is paranoid and crazy like his mother. If you dare to leave him, your end will be like my short-lived brother. You will die by his hands.”
“My family’s Ting Ting is so good. Why should I leave him?” Li Zhao raised his eyebrows. “Auntie, your means of instigating separation isn’t too advanced. No matter what you say, I won’t listen.
“You don’t want to leave him because he has money?”
“My Ting Ting isn’t only rich, he also has a great body.” Li Zhao smiled. “Such a good man, only a fool is willing to let him go.”
The woman’s face was grim. “Even if he is a cold-hearted monster?”
“He is just too gentle and kind to clean up his relatives.” Li Zhao’s face sank in an instant.” Auntie, in a novel, you wouldn’t be able to live for three chapters.”
Gentle and kind? Hah?! The woman thought it was the best joke she had ever heard.
“My family’s Ting Ting is too good, gentle and considerate, kind and golden, broad-minded and reasonable. You can come and tell me this because he usually doesn’t care about you.” Li Zhao lowered his eyes and spoke calmly, “I’m small-minded and my heart is narrow.”
The woman whispered, “Then let me see if you can grow old together and love for a lifetime.”
Having said this, she got up and left the lounge.
Li Zhao, “……”
What did she come to do? Provoke his feelings with Ting Ting? Who was so idle?
Two hours later, the plane landed at Beijing Airport. Li Zhao and Du Xing walked through a special passage. At the exit, Du Xing saw a particularly handsome and imposing man who looked familiar, as if Du Xing had seen him somewhere.
Before he could look twice, the man walked directly to Li Zhao and reached for the suitcase in Li Zhao’s hand. Li Zhao’s assistant didn’t have a chance to do anything. He saw the two men’s hands secretly touching.
How… many times?
By the way, wasn’t this the demolition tyrant who came to visit Li Zhao in the crew in the past? They, they…
Du Xing felt as if he had seen something he shouldn’t have seen. Then he saw Li Zhao suddenly kiss the man’s ear. He didn’t seem to care that this matter was known by Du Xing. He looked at the backs of the two men and understood something.
Perhaps in the world of emotions, there wasn’t so much fear, just enough love.
The author has something to say:
Bad person: That Yan Ting…
Baby Zhao Zhao raised his hand high: I know. He is good, cute and smart. He has a good temper and good personality. He has no shortcomings at all.
Bad person: ???