Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 15: Mystery Man
Yan Yaoxuan suppressed his excitement and deliberately asked, “What tattoo did you wash?”
Everyone knew what tattoo Shen Jintai had on his body. Mrs. Yan was a little unhappy when he saw him fanning the flames, so she interrupted him and asked, “Does it hurt?”
“It’s okay,” Shen Jintai said. After speaking, he glanced at Yan Qiuchi, but Yan Qiuchi didn’t say a word. He simply ate his meal in silence. He didn’t seem to appreciate this gesture.
Mrs. Yan felt that the atmosphere was becoming awkward, so she changed the subject and asked about Shen Jintai’s job. “When you start filming, I’ll visit you on set. After watching TV for so many years, I’ve been wanting to visit a television set.”
“I want to go too,” Yan Yaoxuan said.
“When the filming of his movie starts, you’ll already be back to school abroad,” Yan Qiuchi said coldly.
“I can ask for leave to come back,” Yan Yaoxuan said.
“No. The drama is very long, so it’ll take more than half a year to shoot. We won’t be finished by the time winter vacation comes. You can come visit then.” Shen Jintai said.
“Is there a press conference for the launch?” Mrs. Yan asked.
Shen Jintai nodded.
“Then you have to get a good outfit,” Mrs. Yan said. “Whenever you are free, I will take you to pick one out.”
“My agent is already in contact with some relevant brands,” Shen Jintai said. “I’ll just borrow a set when the time comes.”
At any rate, he was still somewhat of a top idol, so it shouldn’t be difficult to borrow a suit.
“You have been out of the circle for so long. The brands you can borrow from are limited. If you’re not satisfied with what they loan you, let Auntie treat you. Think of it as a gift for your comeback. We have access to all the VIP brands. I’ll take you there directly.” Mrs. Yan was very proud.
Fashion was also an important factor. It was normal for celebrities to borrow clothes for events. Whether or not they get to borrow their preferred clothes will ultimately depend on the brand’s intention. When a brand lent out an outfit, it was to capture the public’s interest. If a small star wanted to borrow an outfit from a big-name brand, they would have little say in what was loaned to them. On the red carpet, celebrities were frequently seen wearing hideous outfits… It wasn’t because they had terrible fashion taste, but because it was the only clothes the brand was willing to loan.
Shen Jintai’s wardrobe had all kinds of famous brands. Unfortunately, he had no formal clothing. All of his clothes were too flashy and flamboyant. The closest thing he had to formal wear was the black suit jacket, which was Yan Qiuchi’s.
“Let see what my agent can get me first. If I can’t borrow anything, then I’ll take you up on your offer,” Shen Jintai said with a smile.
Yan Qiuchi listened by the side silently. Shen Jintai had deliberately pushed his younger brother to sit next to him. Sima Zhao’s heart* was clearly revealed when he sat down and mentioned the tattoo washing. This whole thing was all just an act and he deeply sneered in his heart.
*Reference to Sima Zhao. A Chinese idiom involving and inspired by Sima Zhao states that “Everyone on the street knows what’s in Sima Zhao’s mind” meaning that a person’s supposed hidden intention is so well known that it is not really hidden. || In this context, he’s saying Shen Jintai’s hidden intention is really obvious.
While sneering, Yan Qiuchi also felt relieved. He liked the feeling that he was able to see through Shen Jintai. Knowing what he was planning, would make it easier to deal with him. While irritable, he also felt solace.
Yan Qiuchi, who hadn’t spoken the entire time, quickly finished his dinner. He stood up and started heading upstairs. Seeing he was leaving, Shen Jintai wiped his mouth and stood up as well. “I’ve finished eating too. I’ll go upstairs first.”
Mrs. Yan knew that he was going to find Yan Qiuchi, so she nodded. “Go ahead.”
Yan Yaoxuan also planned to go after Shen Jintai, but Mrs. Yan stopped him. “I have something to tell you.”
Yan Yaoxuan glanced at Shen Jintai, who had rushed upstairs and sat back in his chair. “What…”
Shen Jintai caught up with Yan Qiuchi, only to realize that he hadn’t called out his name. He was lost as to how to address him.
Yan Qiuchi turned around, stopped on the stairs, and looked down.
“Something wrong?” Yan Qiuchi asked.
Shen Jintai nodded and said, “Director Guo told me that you helped me settle the role changes.” He decided to thank him. In his eyes, there wasn’t anything more important than acting. “Thank you,” he said with emphasis. His eyes were sincere.
Yan Qiuchi: “I have always distinguished between my public and private life. My prejudices against you will not be brought into work. Director Guo chose you, so I believe in his vision as a director, but this does not mean that I am optimistic about you.”
Shen Jintai froze for a moment and said, “Then, for that, I also want to thank you.”
“I don’t know how you got the director to insist on choosing you, but since it’s been decided, I hope you can perform well. This drama is our company’s main investment project this year. Several hundred million dollars have been spent on it. If your performance is still as bad as before, even if it’s finished filming, you will be replaced,” Yan Qiuchi said lightly. “At that time, I also hope you understand that whether it is to support you now or to replace you in the future, I have no selfish intention. You don’t have to thank me now, and don’t hate me in the future*.”
*Clarity: He’s basically saying, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” All his actions are for the good of the business, so don’t thank him now because he interceded, and if he does get replaced in the future, don’t hate him either. Neither decision will be influenced by personal feelings.
Yan Qiuchi’s voice was nice but cold. While his face looked stoic and handsome, it always appeared stern when looking at others.
Shen Jintai said, “Got it. Like you, work is work, and feelings are feelings. I will not confuse the two. If I don’t perform well, you can replace me.”
Yan Qiuchi originally thought that Shen Jintai was still the same. However, at this moment, he felt that he was completely different from before. Shen Jintai’s body seemed to be shrouded in mystery. How did he do it? In such a short period of time, his trick became so profound that it was even able to confuse him.
Yan Qiuchi returned to his room. He was very surprised by Bai Qingquan’s recommendation to Guo Rui. He knew about the grudge between Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan. In the beginning, when he had just founded an entertainment company, he invested in a talent show called <Pick Me>. In order to chase him, Shen Jintai signed up to participate. There were many operations behind the scenes of a talent show. Whether a person was suitable for showbiz could be seen at a glance in front of the camera. Shen Jintai was undoubtedly talented, but Bai Qingquan was equally as talented.
Bai Qingquan had a grassroots background. The program team signed him early, so naturally they favored him. Though Shen Jintai was talented, he had the temperament of a rich young master who couldn’t be disciplined. His true intention for entering the competition wasn’t pure, as it was to chase after men. All these factors combined made the program team very reluctant to support him.
Shen Jintai thought that he had been sleeping with Bai Qingquan, and that their relationship wasn’t simple, thus the grudge between the two was born.
To suppress Bai Qingquan, Shen Jintai did many things that he couldn’t stand. Having seen enough, as a big boss, he’d, of course, intervene. However, by doing so, he made the misunderstanding worse, and thus their grudge grew deeper.
If the shock level of Bai Qingquan recommending Shen Jintai was one star, then Guo Rui choosing Shen Jintai to play the second male lead was three stars.
Shen Jintai’s acting… would make one’s eyes bleed.
He was born unsuitable to be an actor. He was not dedicated to work. He was a rich young master who spent money on entering the entertainment industry to mess around. Thus, the roles he performed were naturally terrible.
However, Guo Rui was not an easy director to compromise. He had always had his artistic persistence as the leading director of Sunshine Media. Yan Qiuchi still believed in Guo Rui’s choice. Perhaps Shen Jintai really was suitable for this role.
The glass door of the bathroom was covered with a layer of mist. Yan Qiuchi propped one hand on the wall and stood under the shower with his head slightly lowered. The hot water sprinkled on his broad back and flowed down the gully on his back. His tall and sturdy body was stained with hot water. He became a bit flushed as the water droplets flowed down his chiseled chin. Yan Qiuchi suddenly recalled Shen Jintai’s tattoo.
It was easy to get a tattoo, but it was difficult to wash it off. His name was on it, which was piercing to his eyes, but now Shen Jintai had washed it multiple times to erase it. Moreover, because of its position, it would have been tricky to wash. The image of that afternoon when Shen Jintai was in his car, unbuttoned his shirt, and asked him to touch it appeared in his mind. Considering the position, it would’ve been painful whether it was getting or washing that tattoo.
The shower water suddenly heated up, becoming hotter as if it was going to burn his flesh. He had always suppressed his desires and had firm willpower in that regard. He must remain resolute and not be disturbed by Shen Jintai.
Shen Jintai didn’t take a bath that night. After cleaning up, he lay in bed and read his script. The script had a little problem with the character setting. He originally planned to talk to the screenwriter and the director today, but because Liu Hui was threatening his role, he forgot about it.
The round of readings they were doing now was to further improve the script. This was the ideal time to propose changes and revisions. However, these opinions couldn’t be mentioned casually. Because everyone had a part in the drama, if someone’s scenes or lines were changed, there would be complaints.
Shen Jintai sat on the bed, contemplating how to change his character without disrupting other people’s scenes. While lost in thought, Li Meilan called.
It was a bit noisy on the other end, as he could hear Li Meilan’s two kids yelling for milk. Li Meilan took advantage of his retirement to give birth to two children, a son and a daughter. The eldest was close to two, while the youngest was only eight months old.
“Zheng Siqi and his company issued a statement,” Li Meilan said while hugging one of the kids. “They have denied the romance rumors. Since the crew hasn’t released any official news yet, they haven’t said too much on the matter.”
Shen Jintai: “Well, I’ll take a look.”
Li Meilan: “I thought about it for a while. We’ll also not make it clear. Before the press conference, we’d better try to keep a low profile so as not to distract the heat.”
Shen Jintai hung up the phone and went to Weibo to check it out.
Monsoon Entertainment’s statement was so official that you could easily guess what the next sentence would be if you were reading it.
It was the comments that made Shen Jintai a little weary.
The first hot comment: “The Touhua hype failed.”
“Monsoon Entertainment is so stupid. What marketing account is it? If you want to sue it, you can sue Shen Touhua. It’s so obvious he’s the one hyping it.”
“Poor newcomer. Hasn’t even entered the circle yet but is already being used as a steppingstone.”
“Don’t Touhua like to step on others to get to the top? Have you forgotten Bai Qingquan, who was stepped on by him and almost couldn’t get up?”
“Shen Jintai hasn’t even clarified after the news broke out. At first glance, it’s just hype.”
“Am I the only one who believes this is true? Don’t you think that this handsome guy named Zheng Siqi has a temperament and appearance similar to Prince Yan?!”
Shen Jintai was taken aback when he saw this comment.
He clicked on Zheng Siqi’s Weibo to get a closer look. It was true! They do definitely look alike!
The only difference was the cold temperament between the two. In terms of physical features, the two were almost inseparable. Zheng Siqi was a little more handsome, while Yan Qiuchi was more opulent.
Few people like this comment, though. They didn’t really care. They were more focused on the hype of his current love life. But Shen Jintai had a dreadful premonition. He felt that this similar coincidence would cause huge waves when the drama is broadcast in the future.
The author has something to say:
Yan Qiuchi: Author, did you arrange a lot of rivals for me? *pulls nose*
Thus, the misunderstanding gets deeper…
Side note: This is what Yan Qiuchi looks like in the manhua: