When Zhuo Yue came to his senses the next day, he was already lying on the bed in his apartment. The memory of last night was blurred into disjointed images, and some passages could not be remembered at all. In the following weeks, Zhuo Yue did not see Fang Mingyan again. He started professional physical training according to Shen Luo’s arrangements. Not only did he exercise his muscle lines, but he also hired a dance teacher from the company to train the flexibility of his limbs. At his request, the company arranged English-speaking courses and language expression courses for him. During the gap period after filming the movie, he kept working hard to recharge himself every day, which was quite fulfilling.
That afternoon, Lin Hui came over with a beaming face, “Yue ge, there is an announcement tomorrow afternoon. KF TV’s ‘Starlight Brilliance’ program has invited the director and several creators, and you are also going.”
Zhuo Yue knew why he was happy. The ‘Starlight Brilliance’ was a program that revolved around the interaction between the hosts and celebrity guests through games. Occasionally, there were some attention-grabbing side stories. It was one of the top-rated variety shows in the country, usually featuring well-known celebrities. Zhuo Yue hadn’t been in the public eye for a while, so this was a chance for him to make a comeback. However, program invitations were not typically extended in such a hurry, and opportunities for supporting actors like him to appear were usually minimal. With these thoughts in mind, he asked, “Did Chief Shen mention why she wants me to go?”
“She only said that this opportunity was obtained by the company and asked you to take advantage of it.” Lin Hui replied.
Zhuo Yue didn’t ask any more questions and carefully read the program flow that was passed on. Then he crammed in his homework by watching all the recent ‘Starlight Brilliance’ programs and arrived at the TV station early the next afternoon.
The director, the best actors, and the actresses had separate lounges, while the supporting actors were all arranged in a large room for makeup. Zhuo Yue didn’t see Zhong Cheng, which surprised him. While on his way to the restroom, he coincidentally ran into Jiang Yan coming out from one of the individual rooms, and the two made eye contact.
Jiang Yan wore a white lace dress today and applied delicate light makeup, looking pure and beautiful. She looked Zhuo Yue up and down for a while, then raised her lips and said, “I didn’t expect you to be a ruthless person as well.”
The hidden meaning in Jiang Yan’s words left Zhuo Yue feeling a little confused. He looked at her with a bewildered expression. Jiang Yan, the lead actress, smiled meaningfully and walked away without explaining further.
During the rehearsal, Lu Chenyang stood next to him and asked, “Is the injury on your back feeling better?”
“It’s fine.” Zhuo Yue was not so distant from him, and he was much more relaxed when he spoke, “Thank you for asking your assistant to send me the ointment. The effect is very good, and the scars are almost invisible.”
“Did you make that return gift yourself?” The Best Actor Lu smiled, “It tastes very good.”
He smiled sheepishly, “I don’t know what you like. I heard from the assistant that you have been staying up late filming, so I made a pot of chicken soup for you.”
“As soon as the thermos bucket was opened, the fragrance made the people on the crew drool. If I hadn’t been quick, someone would have snatched it away.”
“You’re exaggerating. Who dares to rob you?” Zhuo Yue couldn’t help but smile. His smile was as bright as the sunshine in March, seemingly radiating from his elegant face.
Lu Chenyang’s expression softened, and warmth oozed from the corners of his brows and eyes, “That’s right, what’s in my hands, I won’t let others snatch it away.”
He spoke very slowly, his eyes fixed on Zhu Yue as if he were speaking to him seriously. Zhuo Yue suddenly felt a little embarrassed and changed the topic, “Zhong Cheng didn’t come.”
Lu Chenyang curled his lips, “He did want to come.”
“What happened to him?”
“Can’t get out of bed.”
“So serious?” Zhuo Yue was a little surprised, “What’s wrong with him?”
Lu Chenyang looked a little odd. He stopped talking for a moment, turned his head, lowered his voice, and said, “He was hooking up with a certain director a while ago, and Chairman Luo from Chongyuan Real Estate found out about it. I heard that he got a bruise on his nose and face. He couldn’t get out of bed for several days, and all the announcements were postponed.”
Zhuo Yue didn’t know what to say and sighed, “I see. I only have this opportunity because he cannot come.”
“You will appear here no matter what. The position Huasheng wants cannot be occupied by little Zhongcheng.” Lu Chenyang’s words were full of meaning.
He was stunned for a moment, and suddenly his pupils shrank, and he suddenly realized, “Could it be that Zhong Cheng was beaten because…”
Lu Chenyang smiled and said nothing.
Zhuo Yue’s heart was pounding for a long time, but he finally understood the situation. Given Zhong Cheng’s cautious nature, engaging in an affair would undoubtedly be done discreetly. The fact that it smoothly reached the ears of the benefactor suggested someone was leaking information. It was likely that Fang Mingyan, the well-informed person, was the one orchestrating it. With this move, not only did Zhong Cheng receive a severe reprimand, but Zhuo Yue also found himself on a program he had no chance to appear on. It was truly killing two birds with one stone. Now he knew why Jiang Yan said such things. She saw through the little actions and assumed it was him.
Zhuo Yue really couldn’t explain this misunderstanding. He was not that pedantic in nature. More than a year of frustration made him understand this circle’s cruel fighting situation. Since Fang Mingyan had created such an opportunity for him, he would do his best to seize it.
He was very serious during the whole filming process. He interacted with the hosts, actively participated in the games, behaved in a polite manner, and tried his best to show his best side to the audience by taking others’ feelings into consideration when he spoke.
In fact, after the program was officially aired, Zhuo Yue really caused quite a stir on the internet and instantly attracted a large number of fans.
Because of a still photo from the show that was released for the first time.
He jumped up from the water; his upper body was naked, and the crystal clear water droplets were thrown out by his slightly raised head. His half-lidded eyes were full of seduction that made people’s hearts flutter.
A mere silhouette had captivated millions of people.
The entertainment industry was like a huge casino, where being popular or not was just a matter of thought.
As the poster spread overwhelmingly on the internet, Zhuo Yue, who had been silent for a whole year, suddenly became a hot topic on major internet platforms. His never-before-seen semi-nudity breaks the mould of his former dandy self, and his ambiguous and bold homosexual role shatters his conservative image, bringing him back to the public eye in a whole new light. His sexy silhouette, bewitching eyes and handsome face instantly ignited the hearts of countless young girls. Within 24 hours after the ‘Starlight Brilliance’ program was broadcast, Zhuo Yue’s silent Weibo account soared to nearly two million followers, occupying the top of the daily search charts and even outshining the duo of the movie star and the queen of the film.
The driving force behind this was naturally Fang Mingyan. He had always had a knack for controlling the public eye, and his push this time was also very effective, causing huge waves in an instant.
Director Xie naturally would not let go of this favourable wave. Soon, the official film promotion account posted a short clip, the content of which was, of course, the kissing scene between Lu Chenyang and Zhuo Yue. The kiss was edited so beautifully and touchingly that one couldn’t help but blush and heart beating just by looking at it.
After the trailer was released, it caused an uproar on the internet. Some netizens accused the film studio of deliberately selling something rotten1usually refers to gay stories as a lot of BL/danmei fans named themselves as rotten, while others fought back hard. The war situation quickly escalated to a level of support for gays and anti-discrimination, and the movie was already highly hyped before it was released, earning a lot of attention. Lu Chenyang’s cryptic message on Weibo that night, ‘Good night, Flower Boy’, added fuel to the fire. A large number of fans screamed with excitement, completely bringing Lin Xiu and Hua Zhan in the movie to reality, shouting ‘Linhua CP’ and making the two of them into a pair. The nickname ‘Flower Boy’ also took root and became exclusive to Zhuo Yue.
The purpose of the publicity has been achieved, and who cared how much hype was involved when an outdated artist was made famous again? Xie Anqing and Fang Mingyan, who were far apart, looked at the glowing computer screen and showed similar smiles at the same time.
The film’s release date was set for Valentine’s Day. At the premiere, standing to the right of Lu Chenyang was the heroine Jiang Yan, and to the left was Zhuo Yue in a white suit. The second male lead, Zhong Cheng, was pushed to the side, and he was so angry that his expression was dark.
A reporter asked Zhuo Yue, “It is said that you played the protagonist’s gay friend in this movie. What is your personal view on homosexuality?”
Zhuo Yue thought for a while and replied, “I think this is just a way of love. There is no right or wrong way. I hope people can treat them with a more tolerant attitude.”
The reporter continued to ask, “There is a kissing scene between you and Lu Chenyang in the trailer. Do you feel awkward when performing this scene?”
“We are all professional actors. To meet the needs of the film, we will do our best to portray our characters well.” Zhuo Yue avoided the important point easily.
Another reporter jumped in and asked, “Mr. Zhuo Yue, fans paired you and Lu Chenyang and named them ‘Linhua CP’. What do you want to say?”
He smiled helplessly, “This is just the relationship between the characters in the film, and fans are just making fun of us.”
“It wouldn’t be bad to make a couple.” At this moment, Best Actor Lu, who was standing next to him, suddenly interrupted. He put his arm on Zhuo Yue’s shoulders very naturally, looked at the black camera with a smile and said, “We are actually a good match.”
Zhuo Yue was startled and didn’t say anything. Jiang Yan raised her eyebrows and pretended to be angry, “You two don’t take me as the female lead seriously. Forget about the premiere. Just release the trailer.”
Her words relieved the situation without leaving a trace. Lu Chenyang laughed and turned around to apologize, “I was wrong. Please forgive me, goddess.”
A famous director was in charge, movie kings and movie queens co-starred, and the wealthy Golden Eagle funded it; the audience liked it very much. This light romantic comedy was a hit on Valentine’s Day and achieved impressive box-office success. Zhuo Yue’s performance in it could be said to be the icing on the cake. He finally stepped from the shadows of obscurity into the spotlight and began to receive invitations from advertisements and TV series.
At the same time, because of Lu Chenyang’s ambiguous statement, “It’s a good match”, their relationship became a target for all kinds of media to spread their thoughts. News such as ‘Linhua’s CP is actually real? The actor said the two are a perfect match’ and ‘The male protagonist does not love the female protagonist, but loves the male co-star’ on the internet attracted a large number of fans to view, complain and make comments.
This movie brought Zhuo Yue back to the public eye with great momentum. Shen Luo had accepted some commercials for him and was selecting some variety shows for him in order to extend his exposure time. The programme ‘The Right Time to Fall in Love’ has just been launched, produced by KF TV. It had a good team and a lot of attention. The film crew strongly invited Zhu Yue, and Shen Luo wanted him to participate but was hesitant because of his awkward status.
The show ‘The Right Time to Fall in Love’, as one could tell from the name, was about romantic relationships. It featured two celebrities, a male and a female, playing house on the show and talking about love for the audience, using ambiguous or romantic scenes to touch people’s hearts. Zhuo Yue was an airborne soldier signed by the boss himself, and the two even lived together for a while. Now, it seemed that they had broken up, and Fang Mingyan basically ignored him, but when it came to creating public opinion for Zhuo Yue, he spent a lot of money without batting an eyelid. The person who was very stingy and haggled over one cent was now so generous that it was difficult for people not to speculate on the relationship between the two. Shen Luo was afraid if she made her own decisions and let Zhuo Yue go, she would make the boss unhappy by seeing him being intimate with a woman on the screen, so she simply sent a report to ask for instructions and let Fang Mingyan make a decision on his own.
Not a moment later, there was a response.
A simple sentence.
“If I have to take care of such a trivial matter. What do I hire you for?”
Shen Luo was so choked by this question that she asked her assistant to reply to the film crew with a gloomy expression and then dialled Zhuo Yue’s phone.
Zhuo Yue was shooting a magazine cover and didn’t speak for a long time after hearing the news.
Shen Luo said out of thin air, “This is what Chairman Fang means.”
He lowered his eyes and said softly, “I know.”
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