Qu Di didn’t dare to look in Yang Ji’s direction. He absentmindedly fanned Tang Xiyan, who had been complaining about the heat. After returning to his seat, Yang Ji asked his manager, “Who’s that beta? Why does he seem so close to Xiyan?”
The manager glanced and replied, “Xiyan’s personal assistant.”
“Is that so…” He retracted his gaze, feeling slightly better. After all, he was just a personal assistant, and when it came down to it, he didn’t differ much from regular crew members, except he served just one person.
Not long after, Qiu Fei and Qiu Wenhuan entered one after the other.
Qu Di politely introduced them, “Brother Fei, Assistant Qiu.”
Both of them acknowledged, and Qiu Fei handed the breakfast he had bought to Qu Di. “Have you eaten? I brought three sandwiches for you. It was busy this morning; you should eat more.”
Qu Di accepted it and said, “Thank you, but I’ve already eaten. I’ll leave it for Xiyan later.”
Tang Xiyan saw that his manager had brought breakfast for a personal assistant but hadn’t thought of him at all. He exclaimed, “Qiu Fei, what’s wrong with you? Your cash cow is right here! Are you mixing up priorities, giving it to the wrong person?”
Qiu Fei gave him a sideways glance. “You should eat less recently; you’ll look fat on camera.”
Not far away, Shu Yì saw Qiu Fei and greeted him with a smile. “Qiu Fei.”
Qiu Fei, who had been Shu Yì’s manager when he first debuted, quipped, “Hey, it’s been a while, isn’t it? Does this idol emperor now require an appointment for a meeting?”
“Others might, but if you come, I’ll open a green channel for you.”
Tang Xiyan glanced behind them but didn’t see Tang Chaobai. He asked Qiu Wenhuan, “I… um… Where’s Mr. Tang? Didn’t he say he’d come today?”
Qiu Wenhuan replied, “Mr. Tang suddenly had something come up and couldn’t make it. It wouldn’t be good to stand people up, so I’m here on his behalf.”
“What… so early in the morning, what could be more important than this?” His older brother always prioritized his affairs, and apart from the company going bankrupt, he couldn’t think of anything more important.
“Anyway, Mr. Tang has already informed them, so whether he comes or not doesn’t make much of a difference.”
The atmosphere on their side was pleasant, with everyone chatting. On the other hand, things were a bit awkward for Yang Ji. Qiu Fei was a well-known top-tier manager in the industry, and even Shu Yì had been under his management when he first debuted. Therefore, Shu Yì could strike up a conversation, but for Yang Ji, a newcomer from the same company, it was impossible to join in.
Yang Ji’s manager had noticed the situation and decided to help by addressing Qiu Wenhuan with a casual “Assistant Qiu.” Qiu Fei had no way of recognizing him, but he had met Tang Chaobai’s assistant a couple of times before.
However, Qiu Wenhuan didn’t recall this particular individual. He often moved between different departments of the company, and he responded to anyone who greeted him.
Nonetheless, he didn’t want to embarrass him. He nodded and said, “Hello.” Then he noticed Yang Ji, who was sitting nearby. Before an actor joined the company, they had to be approved, and Qiu Wenhuan knew this person.
Qiu Wenhuan approached Yang Ji and asked, “Your name is… Yang Ji, right?”
Yang Ji was somewhat taken aback and quickly stood up. “Hello, Assistant Qiu.”
“I almost forgot you’re also part of this production. How’s it going? Are you adjusting well?”
Qiu Wenhuan thought about introducing him to Tang Xiyan, as he was also from their company.
“Xiyan, this is Yang Ji from our company. If he has any questions, you can teach him.”
Tang Xiyan inexplicably disliked this person. He spoke with a cold tone, “Teach what? I’m a singer; I’m busy enough with my own stuff, how can I manage others?”
After saying this, he turned to look at Qu Di, who was sitting next to him. “Qu Di, fan me. Why did you stop?”
Qu Di hastened his movements. “Oh.”
Yang Ji was almost unable to maintain his smile. He had never experienced such disregard, but he couldn’t get angry. He forced a smile and said, “It’s okay. Master is too busy, and I don’t want to trouble him.”
Qiu Wenhuan noticed the tension between Yang Ji and Tang Xiyan but didn’t push the matter further. He consoled Yang Ji for a moment and gave him some instructions before leaving to discuss Tang Chaobai’s matters with the director.
Qiu Fei nudged Tang Xiyan with his elbow and whispered, “What’s gotten into you? We’re from the same company and the same production. Show a little courtesy.”
He thought Tang Xiyan had improved his behavior recently, but he seemed to be reverting to his old self.
Tang Xiyan remained silent and simply grabbed one of the sandwiches Qu Di had placed on the table, devouring it in one bite. He then glanced at Qu Di, who was fanning him without any expression, as though he were an emotionless fan.
Qu Di was startled by his stare. “What’s wrong?”
Tang Xiyan took a fierce bite and said, “Nothing!”
He had noticed that Yang Ji had been watching Qu Di, and after a quick observation of his assistant, he came to a conclusion: this guy named Yang had really questionable taste.
The opening ceremony proceeded as planned. After the formalities, it was time for the main actors to be interviewed and photographed by the media. Tang Xiyan and Wen Gu were the leads of the TV series, attracting the most attention. Moreover, their characters had many romantic scenes together, and since Tang Xiyan already had a substantial following, the media was keenly interested in their interactions.
Compared to the others, the newcomer Yang Ji felt left out. People occasionally mentioned him, asking if he had confidence and such, but as time passed, nobody seemed to care about his presence anymore.
After the interviews, it was already one o’clock in the afternoon. The director suggested they have lunch. Naturally, no one would refuse the first cast gathering. To facilitate the shoot, all the actors and crew were accommodated in a hotel nearby. As there were many people, the director decided to book a few tables on the hotel’s first floor for a shared meal.
Qu Di didn’t sit at the same table as Tang Xiyan and went to a different table with Zheng Siyi. He didn’t know anyone there, so he tried to establish a connection with Zheng Siyi, even though she didn’t seem very willing to engage with him.
Originally, he remembered the rule of not drinking alcohol, but later, the director got drunk and staggered over to their table, insisting on toasting them.
Everyone had their glasses raised, and he couldn’t refuse. He ended up forcing himself to drink a glass. However, as the liquid hit his throat, he almost wanted to spit it out. A sharp, burning sensation spread from his tongue. He quickly swallowed it down but felt like his esophagus and stomach were being burned by that tiny cup of transparent liquid.
He usually only had a couple of sips of beer at gatherings, and he had never experienced such strong liquor. After downing a glass, he started to feel his head getting a bit dizzy. He could barely hold his chopsticks.
Turning to look at Tang Xiyan, who was still eating, he wasn’t too worried. With Qiu Fei around, nothing serious should happen. After telling Zheng Siyi that he was going outside for some fresh air, he went to the door to clear his head.
At this moment, Yang Ji, who had been quiet and hadn’t said much, stood up and told his manager, “I’ll use the restroom.”
As Yang Ji exited the banquet hall, he noticed Qu Di sitting on a sofa in the lobby, leaning back with his arm covering his eyes.
Hearing the voice, Qu Di’s heart trembled. He stood up and created some distance between them. “Mr. Yang, is there something you need?”
Yang Ji didn’t like Qu Di’s avoidance, but he didn’t want to show it. He glanced at the people around them and found someone at the front desk watching them. So, he turned to walk outside. “Come with me.”
Qu Di didn’t want any further involvement with him and declined his request straightforwardly, “No, I don’t need to. Tang Xiyan is still inside. I just felt a bit unwell, but I’m fine now. I’ll head back.”
This was the first time Qu Di had rejected his request. In a moment of anxiety, Yang Ji blurted out, “You have some skill, finding an Alpha right away. I underestimated you. But look at yourself; you won’t hold Xiyan’s interest for long.”
Insulting words flooded into Qu Di’s ears one by one, but he didn’t want to engage further. He brushed it off as water off a duck’s back. After all, he had seen what kind of person Yang was on the day they broke up.
Yang Ji watched as Qu Di walked away, not paying attention to his words, and acted as if he hadn’t heard anything. It was as if his harsh words had landed on cotton, completely unnoticed. In such a public place, he couldn’t approach him any further. He clenched and relaxed his hand in his pocket. With a dark expression, he muttered to himself, “You’re quite something!”
When Qu Di returned to the banquet hall, the director had already left, as he had gotten drunk and had to be helped back. People were starting to disperse. He saw Tang Xiyan, who seemed to be looking for him, and waved to get his attention. Tang Xiyan, upon seeing him, ran over and scolded, “Where did you go again?”
Qu Di rubbed his stomach and replied, “That drink was too strong; I felt unwell, so I went outside for some fresh air.”
Tang Xiyan sniffed and said with some disdain, “No wonder you reek of alcohol.”
Qiu Fei chimed in, “He definitely didn’t dare to drink with you, so he went to find these little assistants. I had a few drinks, and even Li Mèng, who can’t handle alcohol, tried to outdrink him. She ended up passed out on the table.”
Qu Di asked, “Are we going back now?”
Qiu Fei checked the time and said, “There’s nothing left to do. Let’s go back and rest. I’ll leave first. Qu Di, keep an eye on him, and call me if anything happens.”
In the following months, Qu Di was the one primarily accompanying Tang Xiyan. Qiu Fei had been busy with the new talent he was managing, so he could only come by occasionally.
“Let’s go, let’s go! I don’t need to babysit you; you’re not a child.”
After Qiu Fei left, Yang Ji returned. His manager rushed over and asked why he had been gone so long. He made up a casual excuse.
Qu Di took out a room key card and handed it to Tang Xiyan. “This one is yours, on the 53rd floor, Room 5316. Your luggage was placed there yesterday. In the first drawer of the wardrobe, you’ll find socks. In the second drawer, you’ll find underwear. Your clothes are already arranged and hung in sets in the closet. Just grab and wear…”
Tang Xiyan didn’t want to listen to his nagging and asked, “What about you? Where are you staying?”
“I’m on the 12th floor, Room 1233. I’m sharing with a logistics staff member. If you need anything, just call me.”
Tang Xiyan furrowed his brow. “Why are you still in a double room? Is Tang Yi that short on money?”
Qu Di didn’t mind, and he had seen the logistics staff today. It was a young beta who had graduated recently.
He handed the key card to Tang Xiyan. “I’m just a personal assistant. This is enough for me. You can sleep peacefully in your presidential suite.”
Tang Xiyan suggested, “How about I pay for a single room for you?”
Qu Di hurriedly stopped him. “Please don’t. I don’t want to stand out. Don’t worry about me.”
“Forget it; you’re too kind.”
The two of them took the elevator together. When they reached the twelfth floor, Qu Di got off first. He walked alone down the carpeted corridor, and the overly quiet hallway felt somewhat eerie. He quickened his pace but was startled by a pair of feet at the corner.
As he focused his gaze, he felt that the shoes seemed somewhat familiar. He took a few steps closer and discovered that it was, in fact, Shu Yi. He was leaning against the wall, his eyes closed and his brows furrowed.
Qu Di called him a couple of times as he crouched down, but Shu Yi showed no reaction at all. As he got closer, he smelled a strong scent of alcohol, mixed with the faint minty pheromones of an Alpha.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
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