Wu Fangyuan hesitated for a moment. While standing just outside the doorway, he stared at Luo Ding with anxiety: “Is it really okay? You’ll be going alone!”
Luo Ding rummaged in the closet for a long time before picking a suit he liked. He took the suit out of the closet and threw it on the bed, glancing at Wu Fangyuan indirectly: “Yes.”
Had it not been for Wu Yuan’s invitation, with Luo Ding’s current popularity and his network, it would have been impossible for him to gain the chance to attend Gong Lianguang’s birthday party.
Gong Liangguang was a well-known and established entertainment mogul who mostly engaged in behind-the-scenes work. Although he was not as popular as an idol star, in the entertainment circle, his influence was no less than that of a top-tier male actor.
Luo Ding had come into contact with him before, of course, through his identity as Cao Dingkun. But as a result he was much clearer than most about Gong Liangguang’s personal circumstances. Gong Liangguang was not merely an entertainer. He was also a professor at the Beijing Film Academy who had taught for more than ten years and had many well renowned disciples all over the world.
Although Gong Liangguang’s personality was introverted, because he mostly participated in the filming of historical TV shows he also held some political clout. Thus, in a certain sense, he could be regarded as an uncrowned king.
Although this fiftieth birthday party was grand, Gong Liangguang did not give invitations to just anyone. Other than the heavyweights from the various industries in the entertainment circle, there were not many celebrities invited.
Zheng Kezhen and Deng Jian Lian, as well-known directors who were of the same age as Gong Liangguang were invited because at the moment, they had been appointed by CCTV to direct a large-scale historical production that, in recent years, was increasingly rare in China. As one of the starring actors, Wu Yuan was also fortunate to get an invitation. However, Luo Ding, as a little-known actor, who only played a supporting role, would have been unable to even touch the doors had he headed there on his own.
Fortunately, guests attending this kind of party had the right to invite a companion, but how many people in this vanity fair are willing to create opportunities for others? Unless there was a close relationship most people will only pretend to not know of this opportunity.
Luo Ding had received an invitation, but it was to invite Cao Dingkun and had nothing to do with his current identity. The present entertainment industry was not like in the past, as long as one has the strength, you will inevitably shine.
In fact, there were far more unknown and talented people behind the scenes than the public was aware of. Without the right opportunity, it wouldn’t matter that you are pure gold, no one will find your splendor through the lens. Although Luo Ding had confidence in his acting skills, there were too many variables before a movie was broadcast. It was not his style to wait stupidly for others to mould his destiny. As long as there is an opportunity he must do everything to grab on tightly.
After cleverly making a good impression on Wu Yuan at meal time, Luo Ding, while in conversation, appeared to inadvertently mention that Gong Liangguang was the actor he respected most. Sure enough, Wu Yuan, who was boastful in a private, immediately flaunted his invitation to the birthday banquet. On seeing Luo Ding’s composure as well as the poorly hidden envy in his eyes, Wu Yuan extended an invitation to Luo Ding as a way to show off in front of his new friend.
Luo Ding silently remembered this favor in his heart while accepting Wu Yuan’s invitation. The difference between him and Su Shengbai lay in the fact that he knew how repay grace. In his last life, Luo Ding’s ability to rise to the highest ranks was because he was favored by many people. Without exception, these people had deepened their relationship with him after he became popular and had helped to establish his good popularity in the entertainment circle.
Wu Yuan was a gregarious man with a coarse but nice personality. This suited Luo Ding, who was somewhat indifferent in nature. As long as Luo Ding was willing they could always maintain a distant friendship.
Knowing that Gong Liangguang’s personality leaned towards formality, Luo Ding deliberately dressed himself in a clean and smart manner. His hair was fluffy and soft, his light-gray fitted suit was molded to his body and matched his every move, lending him a more student-like temperament. When the door was opened, Wu Fangyuan was dumbfounded once more.
Wu Fangyuan still could not understand how Luo Ding could have secured that role. Luo Ding has always been an out-and-out singer and even played a nearly mute role in his group. He had never heard that Luo Ding was capable of acting and this occasion had been his first time ever attending an audition.
Accidentally, winning the role in one fell swoop was no less shocking than seeing a man become pregnant.
Luo Ding’s changes had surprised him, but these changes were not big enough to make the current Luo Ding and his former personality appear completely different from each other. Luo Ding’s silent and quiet nature, as always made Wu Fangyuan feel both a sense of familiarity and unfamiliarity and heightened his contradictory feelings.
Wu Fangyuan opened his mouth and subconsciously wanted to say a few words to Luo Ding advising him to be more careful while at the banquet, but after Luo Ding clearly entered his sight, Wu Fangyuan’s gaze suddenly halted.
He suddenly had an inexplicable intuition. This Luo Ding now was different from the one who had attended this morning’s audition.
Gong Liangguang’s villa was situated next to a golf course on the outskirts of the city and enclosed by woodland so the outside world could not easily peek within.
Astonishingly, there was a small commercial car in the middle of a bunch of low-key luxury vehicles. This car was personally borrowed by Wu Fangyuan because Yaxing Entertainment had rejected Luo Ding’s application to rent a van.
After looking around, Wu Fangyuan was quite ashamed: “Had I known, I would have spent more money to rent a Cayenne, but I didn’t think about it.” Such a poor appearance is too shameful.
Luo Ding ignored him. He was a little-known artist and had not come to this event to compete with anyone. It was easy to cause a counter-effect by appearing too flashy, thus this current appearance was just right.
As Wu Fangyuan could not follow him inside, Luo Ding said goodbye to him, and despite the eyes of the surrounding people questioning who he was, he calmly handed the secondary card contained in the invitation letter to the doorman. After the other party checked the authenticity of the invitation, he made certain that Luo Ding did not bring a mobile phone with him and then gestured him inside with a smile.
Through the gate was another world, a world more familiar to Luo Ding.
Perfumed clothes, gorgeous hair, infatuated with paper and gold. Women in dresses dragging on the floor and men in suits and leather shoes whispered in groups of three while smiling insincerely.
He knew most of these people by name and they had also called Cao Dingkun brother at a meeting not long ago. But now, even the news of Cao Dingkun’s death couldn’t affect the perfect smile on any one of their faces. This is the friendship in the entertainment industry. How much sincerity was there? Many people refused to face this truth.
Luo Ding smiled slightly, sweeping away the inexplicable emotions in his heart, picked up a champagne flute from the table at the entrance and looked for Wu Yuan’s whereabouts in the venue.
Everyone around looked at him indifferently while chatting and laughing. No one knew who Luo Ding was, yet his appearance was so good that he did not look like a person who worked behind the scenes. But if he was an actor, how can such a highly recognizable face be unknown? They all exchanged looks but because they didn’t know any details no one wanted to be the first to step forward.
Luo Ding’s eyes flickered, and he spotted Wu Yuan standing near a rattan screen so he walked there quickly.
Wu Yuan’s position was basically the focus of the audience. Zheng Kezhen was also seated there. He knew that the other party intentionally sought to develop himself, but he could not help but be a little nervous.
Gong liangguang’s face was long and thin, his pair of thick eyebrows were gathered in the center of his face in a frown. In fact, he was really not very friendly.
This kind of birthday banquet was intended to pave the way for the juniors in his family. He didn’t have the patience to entertain and had completely relinquished this task to his son, while he secretly chatted with his old friend Zheng Kezhen. Everyone who attended the banquet knew his temper and therefore did not come to the high seat to socialize with him and at most wished him a happy birthday in passing.
But Gong Liangguang was even more annoyed by this. Though he never openly stated his preferences, but as an academic and senior artist, he really did not like people who were full of scheming and were calculating from head to toe. The entertainment industry was becoming more and more frivolous. For instance, the historical drama Zheng Kezhen currently had in hand should have been filmed and promoted to display the culture of the ancestors, but no one was willing to promote it because of the large investment requirement. Every time he recalled this, he felt distressed.
Gong Liangguang was whispering to Zheng Kezhen and complaining about this kind of distortion of values when he suddenly heard a clear male voice in his ear. The voice had a lightness and thoroughness that he had not encountered for a long time and made him look up subconsciously.
His eyes brightened, as he straightened his back and observed the approaching man with a serious look in his eyes.
The thin young man was tall. From the fabric and tailoring on his grayish suit one could tell that it was not a brand-name product, but he wore it inexplicably well. It was difficult to describe in words but compared with those who dressed in custom-made clothing from head to toe, he exuded a clean temperament.
His fluffy, ruffled hair was not dyed as was the fashion pursued by young people today. In its original, black and straight form it made people easily feel good at first glance. In his lifetime, Gong Liangguang had seen too many handsome men and women in the entertainment industry, but after looking closely at this man’s features he still couldn’t help but be surprised. Those black eyes that seemed to have been washed with pure water were clear and translucent. Gong Liangguang met his eyes subconsciously when he looked around the venue, only to find that his gaze was pure, and it seemed that there were no impurities.
Seeing each other smile and in tacit understanding, Wu Yuan and Luo Ding exchanged a high-five in a beautiful movement which was akin to floating clouds. The resounding clap awakened Gong Liangguang from his trance.
Gong Liangguang couldn’t help but stare at Luo Ding in the eyes. While looking at him he stretched out his hand and tugged at Zheng Kezhen’s hem: “Hey! Lao Zheng, who is this?”
Zheng Kezhen was still surprised by the slight difference between Luo Ding now and the audition in the morning. Currently, Luo Ding looked a bit like Fu Zhu, but it was not the unrelenting lifelessness of the other, rather it was a temperament that was so clear that it could not be sullied.
He had not studied Gong Liangguang’s preferences, and naturally did not expect Luo Ding to find his favor. Now, the purity that Luo Ding showed made him feel that the latter was very pleasing to the eye, and he reflexively introduced him to Gong Liangguang. “Oh, this is Luo Ding, an actor. He will be playing Fu Zhu in my drama. You’ve seen it, right? You know who Fu Zhu is?”
Gong Liangguang was a little stunned: “Fu Zhu? He plays Fu Zhu? For the character of Fu Zhu, his temperament … it does not fit!” That youth’s dying spirit and the young man in front of him seemed to be worlds apart!
Zheng Kezhen rolled his eyes: “Don’t look down on others, his acting skills are good.” He said. Zheng Kezhen stood up and shouted at Luo Ding, who was whispering with Wu Yuan, “Luo Ding, come let me introduce you, this is senior Gong Liangguang!”
Luo Ding’s eyes widened slightly, and his gaze fell on Gong Liangguang in an unexpected look. This expression, which was somewhat restless, matched his youthful appearance and seemed unusually appropriate.
“You’re Gongliang Laoshi?” He didn’t choose the title Zheng Kezhen gave Gong Liangguang, and neither did he ask for a handshake. Instead, he stood up straight as if he had suffered a subconscious reaction and nodded restrainedly to the other side. This kind of politeness was undoubtedly more in line with Gong Liangguang’s heart.
Gongliang Guang’s brow had already risen and he smiled, leaned forward and patted Luo Ding’s shoulder without concealing his appreciation of the other party: “Good boy! You actually made your Zheng Laoshi be willing to give you such an important role as Fu Zhu, the talented people in the acting industry have really emerged!
t/n: This may be the longest chapter yet. Luo Ding has made his entrance into high society now 😊
Let me know in the comments if you find any typos!
 The phrase used here is “桃李满天下“ (táolǐ mǎn tiānxià) a set phrase which is understood as “peach trees and plum trees are everywhere” and implies someone having students all over the world.
 Starring in a Zheng Kezhen and Deng Jian Lian historical drama
 The term used here 纸醉金迷, zhǐzuìjīnmí which I believe is a Chinese idiom which means to indulge in a life of luxury
 Meaning teacher, a title
 Zheng Kezhen had introduced him as senior