They were on the same set, so spent every day together. Even if they didn’t say much to each other, the feeling was still different. Making eye contact was a form of communication: I know that you know.
The crew often had meetings, both big and small. Every meeting, Yuan Ye and Fang Shaoyi would instinctively gravitate towards each other. They always sat side by side. During meetings, if the topic turned to something unrelated to both of them, the two of them would start making eye contact. When you glance at me once, I’ll glance at you once. Yet, neither made facial expressions during this time, almost as if everything was unintentional.
On this day, during their meeting, the director grabbed Yuan Ye and said, “Sit with me.”
“Ah,” Yuan Ye rubbed his nose. “Okay.”
Fang Shaoyi walked over to sit too. The director pointed across the table, “You sit over there. You think I’ll let you two fool around again?”
“Haha, we never fooled around.” Yuan Ye sat there and rubbed a hand over his lowered head. “We followed the meeting rules.”
“You think nobody saw?” Director Jiang pushed Fang Shaoyi again. “Go sit on the other side!”
Even Yuan Ye felt a bit embarrassed about getting called out by the director. He chuckled and didn’t lift his head up. There was a cough drop in Fang Shaoyi’s mouth. He nodded and sat on the other side, following the director’s orders.
The meeting needed to be formal. When speaking about official business, Yuan Ye was quite professional. During his first few days on set, he rarely shared his own opinions because he hadn’t been the one who had written the script. Prior to figuring out the director’s intentions, he couldn’t say too much – even if he had, it would’ve been useless. Now, he had observed the director for several days, so it was time to say what needed to be said.
Jiang Linchuan had set the key very high. His stuff was never close to the audience’s lives; he never tried to make things more relatable. Though Yuan Ye had been able to tell this when he had read through the script earlier, Jiang Linchuan had made many changes during the actual filming. The audience probably wouldn’t be able to understand the movie if they kept filming in the manner that Jiang Linchuan wanted.
Yuan Ye was straightforward with his words. He directly told the director, “You can’t keep raising the key. At its heart, the movie is still just a small town story. Sen Cha is ultimately an assassin who’s here to find someone and then kill them. The story only has so much capacity. If you add too much, it’ll fly away. Director, what do you think?”
Jiang Linchuan thought about it, then said, “Right now, we haven’t surpassed its capacity yet. We still need to talk about humanity.”
Yuan Ye said, “There’s enough space now, but you keep adding things. Almost every character has had something added to them. The hardware store and car shop originally didn’t have their own stories, but now they do. I think that we need to reign things in a bit. Please reconsider.”
The biggest problem with Jiang Linchuan’s films wasn’t that they contained too much content. The biggest problem was that the audience needed to carefully go over every line. Every scene was a test for viewers. If the director got too into it, everyone else in the film crew needed to help hold him back. Yuan Ye wasn’t scared of insulting others at all. One needed to do the job they were hired for. Though he had come here mainly for Fang Shaoyi, he was already here, so felt obligated to do what he was tasked to do.
As soon as he said this, he naturally affected some others’ benefits. There were only actors who felt that they didn’t get enough scenes, not actors who felt like they had gotten too many scenes. It was better than great if the director was willing to add screentime or lines. But Yuan Ye didn’t want him to, didn’t want him to continue raising the moral ground for all these characters. If this were anyone else, onlookers would maybe think that this was the screenwriter telling the director to make the plot clearer, but since it was Yuan Ye, people would think that he was purposefully decreasing the amount of screentime supporting characters got so that the emphasis would remain on the lead actor. He wanted to place all the focus on the main character.
This was too common in film crews. Many people of Fang Shaoyi’s status even brought their own directors and screenwriters on set. While filming, they would continuously increase their own screentime and lines.
Jiang Linchuan looked at Fang Shaoyi and asked, “What about Shaoyi? What do you think?”
Fang Shaoyi thought a bit before answering, “Up to now, things are still okay.” He glanced at Yuan Ye, then said, “But we’re not talking about my scenes. Each respective actor has the best understanding of their own characters. It’d be better to ask for the others’ opinions.”
Yuan Ye looked at him too. After, he didn’t say anything else.
At night, Fang Shaoyi called Yuan Ye. Yuan Ye answered. Fang Shaoyi said, “Come down for a midnight snack.”
Yuan Ye said, “Alrighty. On my way.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
The film set right now wasn’t in a village. There were plenty of restaurants nearby. Ji Xiaotao ordered takeout to eat. Yuan Ye journeyed downstairs in his slippers and pajamas. Ji Xiaotao opened the door for him. As soon as Yuan Ye smelled the food, he said, “Look at how your face looks now. Still eating spicy food this late? Seems to me like you don’t want to find a significant other anymore.”
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Yuan Ye stared at the beads of water on the other’s body. He laughed and asked, “Just finished showering?”
Fang Shaoyi made a noise of acknowledgement while scooting to the side a bit, making space for Yuan Ye to sit.
Yuan Ye sat down and moved closer to the other. He looked up at him and lowly said, “Your body wash smells quite nice.”
“You two are too much.” Ji Xiaotao had long since gotten over his initial excitement about the two of them. Now, his expression was completely blank, “Either way, you’re only flirting. Quit flirting, I can’t leave now. I still have to eat.”
Yuan Ye burst into laughter. He told Fang Shaoyi, “Fire him.”
“You’re the boss,” Fang Shaoyi nodded.
The midnight snacks were spread out all over the tea table. Ji Xiaotao and Yuan Ye ate while Fang Shaoyi watched them. Fang Shaoyi told Yuan Ye while he was eating, “You’re not a kid anymore. How come you’re still so direct with your words?”
After he heard this, Yuan Ye paused in his actions. He looked up at Fang Shaoyi and asked, “You’re talking about the script?”
Fang Shaoyi made a noise of acknowledgment. While maintaining eye contact, he said, “You told the other actors to their faces that they were getting too many scenes. That’s inappropriate. None of them said anything outright, but they definitely have opinions they’re keeping to themselves.”
Yuan Ye shook his head. He only responded with, “My words were slightly insulting, but I’d rather say things to their faces. I can’t act nice and friendly in public then privately say such things to the director. That’s too low. I couldn’t do that. Even if I have to insult someone, I’d rather do it to their face.”
Yuan Ye had always been like this. Fang Shaoyi liked this about him too. Yuan Ye lived in his own manner; Fang Shaoyi didn’t want to circle him in or control him, didn’t want to tell him how to live. However, in human society, especially in a cannibalistic industry like this one, there was no way for humans to be this open forever. Yuan Ye knew these things too, even if Fang Shaoyi didn’t say them. But he was still determined to be himself. This wasn’t right or wrong and was pretty commendable.
Fang Shaoyi gazed at Yuan Ye. His eyes were filled with a gentle light, yet were also slightly distant. The other had been like this when he had been seventeen and eighteen. In the blink of an eye, that age had almost doubled, but he was still so stubborn
Fang Shaoyi reached a hand out and rubbed his hair. He said, “When the director’s filming, the idea in his mind might not be completely clear, but as soon as we finish filming everything and they edit the raw film, he’ll be able to tell. If there’s too much stuff, he’ll cut the extra scenes out. You’ve watched a lot of his movies; you know he has good control over these things.”
Yuan Ye furrowed his brows, but still shook his head. “Being a director is lonely enough. We can’t just leave the whole movie to him and expect him to figure it out himself. You clearly recognize that he’s wrong and going down the wrong path, but you’re just watching him continue to do so. And then, you just wait for him to straighten himself out again. But what if he can’t? If the movie flies away, the director takes all the blame. That’s too cold, ge.”
“Even if you say it, the director might not listen. Otherwise, why do you think there are only two little screenwriters on set? Director Jiang’s movies are all fights with himself. It’s hard for him to change something he believes in,” Fang Shaoyi told him.
Yuan Ye said while gazing at him, “It’s his business whether or not he listens. I still need to say what should be said. It’s a good thing that I wasn’t the one who wrote this script: it’s not my son. Otherwise, I would have much more to say.”
Fang Shaoyi didn’t continue down this topic. He used his palm to rub the back of Yuan Ye’s head. He chuckled softly and said, “Okay. Then do things the way you want. Keep eating.”
In all these years, Yuan Ye only ever listened to Fang Shaoyi. Fang Shaoyi was a few years older than him and had been surviving in the industry since young. He was very mature in his social interactions. When Yuan Ye had been younger, he had actually relied on Fang Shaoyi a lot. Or, this emotion could be described as admiration. Who didn’t like a compassionate, gentlemanly person? But he couldn’t be like Fang Shaoyi. He was destined to be a sharp and contentious person. His personality often wasn’t welcomed.
However, after Fang Shaoyi spoke to him, Yuan Ye more or less changed a bit. For some things that didn’t necessarily need to be said, he no longer opened his mouth. He also wasn’t the only one speaking up on set. The producers, artistic director, and even head cinematographer were all trying to limit Jiang Linchuan, refusing to let him put all his thoughts into the movie.
The screenwriter, Little Gao, told Yuan Ye, “Ye ge, you just have to tell me how you want to edit it. I’ll do the rest.”
Yuan Ye threw a bottle of water at him. He smiled, “Thanks.”
“It ought to be like this anyways. You’re the one who takes care of us too much,” Little Gao said while catching the water bottle.
The screenwriters at the lowest level were there only to work. They were always working, but in the end, might not even be able to get their name in the credits. Some never even earned money for this work. In the earlier years, Yuan Ye had done this job too. The other party had kept delaying the second half of the payment, to the point that Yuan Ye had thought that he would never get it. In the end, though, they had found out he was Fang Shaoyi’s spouse, so had been extremely diligent and transferred the money over immediately. Yuan Ye patted him and said, “Take it slow.”
“Un, with a master to help me, things have gotten a lot better,” Little Gao replied.
Yuan Ye stood on set, avoiding the workers carrying things around. Suddenly, someone tapped him from behind. Yuan Ye turned around, only to see Chi Xing and Cheng Xun. Behind them were their two assistants.
“We’re visiting your set!” When Chi Xing smiled, his eyes curved into crescents. His appearance was very endearing. “Long time no see, Ye ge!”
Next to him, Cheng Xun greeted him too. He called out, “Yuan Ye ge.”
Yuan Ye felt quite surprised seeing the two of them. He scooted slightly to the side, emptying out a path. He asked them, “What are you two doing over here?”
“We have a guest appearance. On the other side of the film studio,” Chi Xing said.
Yuan Ye asked the two of them, “Jian Xu’s film?”
Their assistants handed out all the items they had brought. Yuan Ye asked the two of them, “How about getting dinner before you guys leave tonight?”
Yuan Ye hadn’t expected that after attending a variety show, he would gain two new young friends. And their friendship wasn’t only for appearance’s sake. Now, they had already finished filming the variety show, so the two kids were even more honest with their words. They said whatever they wanted to. It was only now that Yuan Ye realized – Chi Xing was actually a complaint king. He complained about all the celebrities he had ever collaborated with, including Lin Tian and her husband, who had been on the show with them.
His complaints were too amusing. Even Fang Shaoyi started laughing. He told him, “Don’t say these things to anybody else.”
“I won’t. Aren’t I always a little cutie in front of everybody else?” Chi Xing said, expression innocent.
Yuan Ye laughed, “I always thought that you were a dumb rabbit. At the end of the day, you’re the one that’s actually the little fox?”
“Exactly. It was all an act,” he said honestly. “I’m not a dumb white sweet at all. I’m actually a sly boy.”
Cheng Xun laughed off to the side. He said, “We’ve all been fooled by his physical appearance. In the past, he always acted so pitiful before me. I only helped him because I noticed that he kept getting bullied in his group. Turns out he was faking everything on purpose.”
Chi Xing nodded. “Yep, everything was an act. Only you were sincere. I just wanted to date you.”
The vibrant energy that young people had was truly quite contagious. After eating a meal with the two of them, Yuan Ye felt like he had lost a few years of age. All night, he listened to Chi Xing complain. When Chi Xing sometimes got too out of line, Cheng Xun would remind him to watch his words from off to the side. Yuan Ye smiled and said, “Let him speak. Otherwise, I’m scared that he’ll feel stuffy. How long has he been holding all this in?”
In actuality, this was because they knew that Yuan Ye and Fang Shaoyi could be trusted. Besides, they weren’t on the same level: the two of them were practically a generation apart from Fang Shaoyi.
Originally, their flight had been for 5 PM that night. In order to eat this meal, they had switched it to the midnight flight instead. Yuan Ye drove a sedan and dropped the two of them plus their assistants off at the airport. On the way back, only he and Fang Shaoyi remained.
Just now, while they had been chatting, Chi Xing had mentioned that he also wanted to be like the two of them and get married as soon as he and Cheng Xun reached legal age. He didn’t dare to be so highkey and hold a wedding ceremony, but he wanted to secretly get their marriage certificate. At the time, Yuan Ye joked, “Isn’t dating forever good too? You can always be in the honeymoon phase.”
Chi Xing said, “Then why were you determined to get married back then?”
Yuan Ye was driving, so kept his eyes forward. He answered, “I felt that marriage would last a lifetime. After getting married, everything would settle down.”
“That’s what I think too,” Chi Xing said while gazing at Cheng Xun.
Cheng Xun squeezed the other’s ear, amusement in his eyes. He didn’t say anything.
The following events weren’t suitable to be spoken about; they would only cause pain if spoken – Fang Shaoyi and Yuan Ye had gotten married, but marriage didn’t guarantee a lifetime.
On the way back to the hotel, Yuan Ye was still driving. Fang Shaoyi sat in the passenger seat. Suddenly, he asked, “You regret getting married back then?”
Without even thinking about it, Yuan Ye shook his head. “No.”
Fang Shaoyi gazed at him, “Hearing what you just said, I thought that you felt regretful.”
Yuan Ye smiled. The corners of his eyes crinkled into gentle crescents. “Back then, neither of us thought that we were young. We felt very mature. But looking at them now, I always feel like they’re still kids. Isn’t getting married at such a young age a joke? It’s fortunate and rare when two kids can have a successful relationship while dating. Hearing them speak about marriage makes me feel like they’re just messing around.”
Fang Shaoyi gazed at Yuan Ye from his seat. The other’s eyebrows, nose bridge, thin lips, and side profile all proved that he was a handsome, mature man. His sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. The part of his arm revealed was unspeakably sexy. Men of this age had a charisma that couldn’t be found in young people.
Having experienced things before, he could see things clearly now. Even the light in his eyes was distant and calm.
Yuan Ye suddenly turned to make eye contact with him. Then, he said, “The contract of marriage is so precious for a relationship. If you get it when you’re too young, it’s almost as if you don’t know it should be treasured. You only feel the pain after it’s gone. But when you feel the pain, it’s already too late.”
His words were honestly very touching. They could instantly prod the gentlest parts of one’s heart. Fang Shaoyi closed his eyes and asked, “And now?”
“Now? Ha, what is that saying again? Winning your wife back again is hell,” Yuan Ye said, corners of his eyes curved in amusement.
Fang Shaoyi smiled too. He heard Yuan Ye add, “After you realize that you lost the most precious thing to you, you’ll understand that your bones have disappeared…… The person in pain will know, I guess.”
Tbh, I wish I could live more like Ye ge LOL
Will be another chapter today! (This one was originally supposed to be yesterday’s update but I had to delay it QQ)