VH: Chapter 66

The car drove slowly through the street. Li Zhao saw Yan Ting staring at the cotton candy cart on the street and told the driver, “Master, stop by the side of the road ahead.”

The driver quickly stopped by the side of the road and Li Zhao whispered to Yan Ting, “Wait for me in the car.”

Li Zhao opened the door, got out of the car and moved. Yan Ting’s eyes moved with Li Zhao’s back as he watched Li Zhao run past passersby, the figure gradually becoming blurred. Soon after, he saw Li Zhao holding two large things in his hand as he hurried back to the car.

The moment the door opened, a chill wrapped in a sweet fragrance floated into the car.

“Here you are.” Li Zhao divided the cotton candy with Yan Ting. “Try it?”

The cotton candy had no weight, like his childhood nihilism. Yan Ting had a memory since he was very young. He still remembered that in kindergarten, children sat together and said that the cotton candy they ate was as soft as a cloud. That day, he sat on the steps and stared at the sky for a long time, imagining what the white clouds would look like.

If he hadn’t seen the cotton candy stall on the street, he might not have remembered his childhood experience.

Yan Ting unwrapped the bag around the cotton candy and licked it lightly. It wasn’t as soft as he thought when he was young and it didn’t bring the feeling of flying. There was even the taste of the artificial flavouring.

“The cotton candy is made of white sugar.” Li Zhao tore off a piece of cotton candy with a clean bamboo stick and fed it to Yan Ting’s mouth. “Mine is strawberry flavoured. Try it.”

The first time Li Zhao ate cotton candy was when he was 10 years old. The uncle and aunt who sent him to the welfare home were worried he would be afraid on the way and bought him cotton candy.

He didn’t know how to eat it and just bit down. The icing covered his face and even his collar was sticky with sugar. He had been scared to death that the uncle and aunt would hit him. The aunt didn’t hit him. Rather, she gently helped him wipe his face and taught him to sing and tell stories.

At that time, he didn’t understand. As he got out of the car, he asked in a low voice if he could call her mother. The aunt cried very sadly. She kept nodding as she finally hugged him. The embrace was very warm—sweet and warm. Later, he came to understand that the aunt’s tears were of sympathy, heartache and kindness.

“It’s sweet.” The cotton candy wasn’t sweet but Yan Ting’s heart was sweet. Even he hadn’t known how much attention he had paid to the cotton candy cart but Zhao Zhao had discovered it.

“Zhao Zhao…”

“Eh?” LI Zhao looked up at Yan Ting, mouth stained with sugar.

“It’s nothing.” Yan Ting reached out and gently wiped the sugar stains on Li Zhao’s mouth. “Thank you.”

The little regret from his childhood was fulfilled here.

“It is just cotton candy. Why thank me?” Li Zhao laughed. “The person who should be thanking you is me.”

“Then we won’t say thank you.” Yan Ting withdrew his gaze and hid all the light in his eyes.

‘I don’t need any thanks from you, as long as you stay with me forever.’

Li Zhao subconsciously touched the corner of his mouth, a strange feeling that he couldn’t describe entering his heart.

Good brothers, good brothers, they were good brothers. A bit of intimacy between good brothers didn’t seem to be a problem?

After heating a hot pot meal where both the host and the guests enjoyed themselves, Yan Ting issued a few red envelopes in the ‘Family and Friends Love Each Other’ group before going to bed at night. The five people were as happy as on New Year’s Day.

In fact, Li Zhao also had a WeChat group called ‘Friendly Warm Warm Family’. In addition to him and his three friends, there was Chen Xiaojun’s girlfriend Lin Lin. Fortunately, he didn’t have a girlfriend or else Sister Xia might have to build a ‘Harmonious and Loving Family’ group.

After chatting with his friends for a while, Li Zhao fell asleep in a daze. The next day, he took Yan Ting running and ate breakfast together. Then he went to the company to take classes.

As a well-known entertainment company in the industry, Strawberry Entertainment was like a spinning top. All teams controlled public opinion on the Internet for 24 hours a day, striving to solve various problems on the Internet for their artists.

Unlike the trainees in the company, Li Zhao enjoyed one-on-one teaching and even the practice room was for his exclusive use. After class, Li Zhao saw many young men and women fashionably dressed in the public practice room.

“These are the newcomers in the company who have been training since early this year.” Da Ke brought water to Li Zhao and said, “They are taking the idol route.”

“They dance really well.” Li Zhao watched the practice seriously and sincerely praised. “It is hard to be a qualified idol.”

“There’s no way, the competition is too fierce now.” Da Ke complained in a low voice. “On Zijia Entertainment’s side, they saw us training young idols and also started to follow.”

Fans who were as strong as iron and turnover idols, every entertainment company wanted to grab more fans and take over this market. On Strawberry Entertainment’s side, a variety of master level teachers were invited to teach these young idols. As for Zijia Entertainment’s side, its business ability hadn’t improved much but marketing had been bought everywhere.

Looking at the scenery on the surface, there was no plan in the future for those young idols.

“Forget it, don’t talk about this.” Da Ke took Li Zhao to the lounge. “Just now, I met Lu Hao’s assistant downstairs. Mr Lu Hao wants to invite you to lunch. Would you like to go?”

“Brother Hao is coming to the company today?” Li Zhao’s footsteps paused. “I’ll go and say hello to him.”

Lu Hao came here today to sign a contract with Strawberry Entertainment. The conditions that Strawberry Entertainment gave him were very generous and gave him great freedom. The conditions listed were more generous than he had expected.

“It is an honour for the company to be able to cooperate with Teacher Lu.” President Sun signed and shook hands with Lu Hao. “I wish you a happy cooperation.”

“Happy cooperation.” The two men shook hands and the atmosphere was very harmonious.

“Speaking of this, it is thanks to Zhao Zhao’s help that we can successfully sign Teacher Lu.” President Sun smiled gently. “Zhao Zhao often told us about how you took care of him in the crew. Thanks to this relationship, our company had the cheek to talk about cooperation with Teacher Lu. Fortunately, Teacher Lu was willing.”

“President Sun, you’re too polite. It is my blessing to be an entertainer of Strawberry.” Hearing President Sun’s words, Lu Hao understood that Strawberry Entertainment was willing to give him such favourable conditions due to the relationship between him and Li Zhao.

It had been spread outside that Strawberry Entertainment really valued the newcomer Li Zhao. In Lu Hao’s own opinion, this was more than valuing Li Zhao. This was simply treating him as Strawberry’s own son.

Lu Hao’s position in the circle hadn’t reached the point to make Strawberry Entertainment sincere. At the beginning, he couldn’t guarantee that Strawberry Entertainment would pay enough attention to him. Fortunately, he was in the crew and showed kindness to Li Zhao.

“Teacher Lu is too humble. Our company is very happy to sign a big actor like you. To welcome you, our company has decided to hold a media conference in three days.” President Sun once again shook hands with Lu Hao. “A good actor like you should have many appearances.”

Lu Hao and his last company had parted on friendly terms. Now that he signed to Strawberry Entertainment, the company was willing to hold a grand media conference for him. This was equivalent to showing him face. He definitely wouldn’t refuse.

“Thank you, President Sun. The company must be tired.”

“It is nice to be tired.” President Sun patted Lu Hao’s shoulder. “Let’s go have lunch together.”

“President Sun, it is unfortunate. Previously, I asked my assistant to contact Li Zhao to invite him to a meal at lunch…”

“Zhao Zhao is also in the company today?” President Sun’s smile became even brighter. “That’s really great. Let’s go to lunch together.”

Lu Hao felt that after hearing Li Zhao was in the company, President Sun’s eyes seemed to glow. Li Zhao originally intended to invite Lu Hao to a meal. He hadn’t expected President Sun to personally find him and invited him to eat with Lu Hao in an unusually warm manner. Seeing that President Sun was so insistent, Li Zhao had to agree.

Ah, he accidentally saved some lunch money.

Entering the restaurant, Lu Hao saw the kindness of the big boss of Strawberry Entertainment.

“Zhao Zhao, is there anything to avoid?”

“The red wine here is good. Do you want to try a bit?”

“You don’t drink? It is better for young people not to drink.”

Seeing the enthusiasm of President Sun and Assistant Cao toward Li Zhao, Lu Hao felt that he had made some mistakes in his judgment just now. Li Zhao wasn’t the son of Strawberry Entertainment, he was more like their father.

He secretly had doubts in his heart. President Sun was a person in the entertainment industry who could make countless big names afraid just by stomping his foot. How could he be so polite to Li Zhao? Was this old fox trying to please Li Zhao or to please a big person behind Li Zhao?

Look at Li Zhao, who was happily enjoying even the pre-meal side dishes sent by the restaurant. He really didn’t look like he had a backstage. In the circle of actors with a big background, who wasn’t held by a big director or a big producer?

Li Zhao didn’t have the qualifications to participate in a star drama. In these days, the crew honestly filmed and no one came to discuss changing or adding scenes with the male lead.

Finally, he picked up a movie resource that might be a poisonous cake. It was said that the theme was an alien science fiction movie. Domestic alien sci-fi movies could be roughly divided into two categories: one was rotten to the extreme and the other wasn’t too bad. Was this a movie that an actor with a big background would take?

Only the endorsement of the Cangshi watch seemed like it came from a big background. However, Cang Huan’s senior executives had publicly expressed their appreciation of Li Zhao in a TV program so Lu Hao felt that Li Zhao got this endorsement with his personal charm.

Even he felt that Li Zhao was the most likeable young actor in his generation.

“I heard Luo Rong say that your new movie is about to start?” President Sun asked. “The company has arranged a special makeup artist and hair stylist for you. Take them with you when you enter the crew.”

“President Sun, there is a makeup artist in the crew…”

“How can that be? Your current popularity means that if you don’t have an exclusive makeup artist, you’ll be laughed at by your peers.” President Sun laughed. “You just have to be at ease and film. The other things will be solved by the company.”

“President Sun is right.” Lu Hao raised his glass and touched it to Li Zhao’s glass. “In your current position, if you don’t have enough followers then others will think you aren’t valued by the company and they will bully you unscrupulously.”

“Thank you, President Sun.” Li Zhao eventually agreed.

During the meal, Lu Hao found that although President Sun was enthusiastic about Li Zhao, he was very considerate and wouldn’t create any bad associations. For those who had been in high positions for a long time, this type of situation showed that he respected Li Zhao to the point of flattery.

Lu Hao glanced silently at Li Zhao, who was eating the free fruit plate from the restaurant.

Schrodinger’s background.

Li Zhao’s phone rang and the talking President Sun immediately stopped all movements.

“I’m sorry.” Li Zhao apologized to the two people and connected the call while heading to the bathroom. President Sun vaguely heard Li Zhao call the other person on the phone as ‘Ting Ting.’

Clatter.

The chopsticks in President Sun’s hand fell against the edge of the bowl and made a shrill sound.

“My hand slipped.” President Sun smiled politely but the hand holding the cup was trembling.

Lu Hao was unclear but President Sun knew who this ‘Ting Ting’ was who called. Mr Ting took the initiative to call, showing how close the two of them were in private.

Some time ago, he heard that Mr Ting moved into the villa where he lived when he was young but the news hadn’t been confirmed. It wasn’t until he watched Seclusion Mountain Forest a few days ago that he found the place where Li Zhao lived was the same as the place where it was rumoured Mr Ting was now living. If he couldn’t guess the relationship between the two people then all the years he had lived had been in vain.

The mysterious and indifferent Mr Ting actually had such a good relationship with an entertainer of Strawberry Entertainment. He was naturally firmly covering up this news and stealthily being happy under the covers. Too many people wanted to hold onto Mr Ting’s thighs. President Sun leaned on Li Zhao and finally saw the dream of being a thigh pendant.

“I’m eating outside with President Sun and Mr Lu Hao.” Li Zhao reported his itinerary. “Have you eaten?”

“Okay.”

“I’ll pick you up in the evening.”

Li Zhao hung up and returned to the dining table. “I’m sorry, my friend’s phone call has delayed everyone’s time.”

“It’s fine. We’re eating in private and there is no need to be polite.” President Sun smiled more enthusiastically. “Is your friend looking for you? If you are in a hurry then I will ask Cao Jia to drive you over.”

“It’s okay. He is still working at the company. I will pick him up from work later in the afternoon.” Li Zhao picked up his chopsticks. “Shall we continue to eat?”

“Yes, let’s eat.” President Sun nodded.

Lu Hao and Li Zhao had been in the same crew for months and were already familiar with each other. He saw Li Zhao calling this person by a nickname and also picking them up from work, so he couldn’t help asking, “Zhao Zhao, are you in love?”

Falling in love at such a young age was bad for his career. If it was someone else, he would be too lazy to persuade them in case he offended people but Li Zhao was different. “Zhao Zhao, you are still young. You shouldn’t think about things like falling in love too early.”

“Cough cough cough cough!” President Sun covered his mouth and coughed desperately. He gazed at Lu Hao with a bit of panic and anxiety.

‘Lu Hao, I advise you to have a stronger desire to survive. If your words today reaches Mr Ting’s ears then someone will die.’

“President Sun, are you okay?” Lu Hao saw that President Sun was coughing and his cheeks were flushed. Lu Hao stopped caring about persuading Li Zhao and reached out to pat President Sun’s back.

“I’m fine, I’m fine.” President Sun smiled. “Teacher Lu, our company doesn’t interfere with the private life of artists. It is okay to fall in love.”

Lu Hao, “???”

As the boss of an entertainment company, was it appropriate for him to say such a thing? Was this right considering his identity?

“But I think…”

“It is fine as long as Zhao Zhao feels it fits.” President Sun turned to look at Li Zhao. “Am I right?”

Li Zhao, “???”

What was he right about? Li Zhao nodded blankly. No matter what the boss said, just clap and agree.

Lu Hao glanced between Li Zhao and President Sun and started to think about Strawberry Entertainment, a first-class large company in the industry. The boss supported young artists to fall in love? This company was poisonous.

***

Cang Huan’s employee benefits were excellent and there was enough time for a meal at lunch. As a newcomer from a branch company, Zhu Xia had never had the opportunity to access important company documents.

In fact, it wasn’t just her. The other two interns who had come to the company for a month or two didn’t have access to core documents.

She could understand. It was such a large company that any decision that went wrong might bring great shock to the business community.

“Sister Xia.” An old employee put a folder on Zhu Xia’s desk, “Print this document immediately and carefully check the data. Then go upstairs with me to give it to the secretariat in half an hour.”

Zhu Xia took the document. This was the new product planning plan from her previous branch company. After quickly checking the data, Zhu Xia went to the printing room.

“Sister Xia.” Wei Tian followed behind her. “Do you need my help?”

“It’s fine, there are many materials to print.” After the documents were printed, Zhu Xia picked them up. Seeing Wei Tian still standing at the door, she smiled and asked, “Have you finished your work?”

“I’m an intern and I don’t have a lot of work to do.” Wei Tian looked at Zhu Xia enviously. “Although Sister Xia transferred from a branch office, your working ability isn’t inferior to that of the head office.”

“What head office and branch office? Everyone working together are colleagues.” Zhu Xia took the last piece of information and placed them in a file box. “Your internship period is about to end. Rest assured, with your ability, the assessment results will definitely be good.”

“Thank you.” Wei Tian glanced at the tightly-closed file box and turned back to her seat.

Zhu Xia, this old woman, was simply a wily old fox in the office. She didn’t leak water when working and there was no chance at all for Wei Tian to access the core data.

Once Wei Tian left, Zhu Xia quickly organized the documents and walked to her colleague’s side. “The documents are ready.”

“Come up with me.” Her colleague held the pile of information and whispered, “It has been more than a week since you came to the head office. You haven’t gone upstairs yet?”

Zhu Xia shook her head.

“I’m telling you, this place has a very serious taboo and you need to remember her.” Her colleague’s voice was almost inaudible. “Don’t call the big boss Mr Xu in front of him.”

“Why?” Zhu Xia was puzzled. Wasn’t the boss’ last name Xu?

“We don’t know. It seems to be related to his childhood.” Her colleague shook her head. “In any case, just remember not to call him Mr Xu.”

“What do people usually call him?”

“It’s okay to call him Boss or Mr Ting.” Her colleague pressed the elevator button and whispered in Zhu Xia’s ear. “I heard that Special Assistant Qin and the others in the secretariat all call him Sir.”

Looking at the light shining in the elevator, Zhu Xia suddenly felt that the head office seemed to be a game of chess that couldn’t be solved. It was full of mystery everywhere.

The elevator reached the floor of the chairman’s office. She looked at the miserable white light in the corner and the bright floor. Then she subconsciously held her breath and stiffened. Here, she couldn’t feel any vitality. It was as if there were no living people on the entire floor. It was so quiet and scary.

“Are you here to deliver some documents?” A woman with neat hair in a professional suit came out of the office. She glanced at Zhu Xia and took the file box from her hand. “You were transferred from a branch. Are you a new colleague?”

Zhu Xia glanced at her badge and saw she was part of the secretariat. “Yes.”

“Welcome to the head office and I hope you have a good day at work.” The woman’s mouth curved, her smile so standard that not a single flaw could be found.

“Thank you.” Zhu Xia thanked the woman and was about to leave with her colleagues when she heard footsteps coming from the end of the corridor.

“Sir, the Cangshi watch sales are excellent and the market evaluation is very high…”

Zhu Xia looked up and saw Special Assistant Qin following behind a man with a very respectful attitude.

Then once she saw the man’s face, her knees were so soft that she almost knelt on the cold floor.

“What’s wrong with you?” Her colleague realized something was wrong and reached out to hold her arm.

“My knees are a bit soft.” Sister Xia didn’t want her legs to be soft but they weren’t listening to her.

The secretary frowned. What was going on with Zhu Xia? Before entering the head office, the individual’s comprehensive ability score was very high. How could Zhu Xia have this reaction when seeing the boss?

The moment the door was pushed open, Yan Ting suddenly stopped and turned to look at the end of the corridor. Across the brightly lit corridor, he met Zhu Xia’s eyes.

Zhu Xia’s body shook and she barely stood firm by supporting herself against the wall. There must be something wrong in this world. Who was she? Where was she? What was she doing?

“Sir?” Qin Xiao saw Yan Ting stop without warning and have an obvious emotional reaction. Looking down, he saw only two staff from the assistant department and the staff of the secretariat.

This Zhu Xia, was there something wrong? It shouldn’t be. He had checked Zhu Xia’s identity thoroughly. Her background was clean and her working ability was very strong. The most important thing was that her character was excellent.

After growing up in a welfare home and entering a prestigious university, she gave back to the welfare institution that raised her. There were no suspicious places and no intersection with the boss.

Yan Ting stood in front of the door for a few seconds before turning and walking in Zhu Xia’s direction.

Zhu Xia, a hard-working and brave student who graduated from a prestigious university. At this moment, she finally realized what it meant by the wind was roaring, the horse was calling and her mind was roaring.

How could Zhao Zhao’s boyfriend by the mysterious and cold boss? A relocated household tyrant, how could he become a big boss? Had she crossed into a reverse drama?

Zhu Xia thought about how she had given the boss an 8,000 yuan envelope and felt she was really powerful. She was going to heaven!

The sound of the footsteps got closer. Yan Ting stopped in front of Zhu Xia.

The atmosphere was so still that it was hard to breathe.


The author has something to say:

Baby Zhao Zhao ran a long way to buy cotton candy for Baby Ting Ting: This sweet marshmallow, you have on and I’ll have one. Is it sweet?

Baby Ting Ting nodded: Sweet.

Sister Xia: A bright and righteous person speaks the truth and doesn’t meander. I want to jump into the water and swim.

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