A thousand cups of wine are too few when drinking with close friends and it is a waste of breath to talk with whom one can’t see eye to eye. Once there is a good first impression it is easy for people to connect with one another without prejudice. Once you discover that the other party is better than you thought, this kind of goodwill will burst out naturally.
At first Gong Liangguang viewed Luo Ding as a junior. He had more than enough appreciation for Luo Ding in his heart but lacked trust. After all, older generations always have the idea that one who has no hair on his mouth, will have many slips, thus although he liked Luo Ding’s innocence, when he saw that Luo Ding was young, Gong Liangguang couldn’t help but worry that he was too naive.
As soon as he heard that Luo Ding had debuted many years prior as a singer and that even with such a blessed face, he actually failed to gain popularity, he became more certain of his own speculations.
But after a conversation with Luo Ding, he was a little uncertain.
Luo Ding … was, how to describe it, … quieter than he appeared. He was not annoyingly arrogant but communicated with people around him in a seemingly transparent and clear manner. He seemed to understand everything and though he did not speak much, every sentence was concise, well organized and artful. Talking to him was like drinking a cold beer in the summer, every pore felt refreshed. While his later actions differed from Gong Liangguang’s initial impressions of him, there was nevertheless a strange harmony that made it difficult for Gong Liangguang to find the usual obnoxious flattery from Luo Ding ‘s humble words.
Seeing that Luo Ding didn’t say much after he took a seat, the people on the platform unconsciously focused most of their attention on him. Gong Liangguang looked at the young man and found joy in discovery.
Though Luo Ding’s calm surprised him, he did not dislike it. He had always hated people who had bad intentions and approached him with cunning means. How could a person who can be understood at a glance survive in the entertainment industry? Though Gong Liangguang held himself aloof he was not stupid.
Luo Ding deliberately did not talk too much with Gong Liangguang. He understood that going beyond the limit was as bad as falling short, thus after paying his respects to Gong Liangguang, he focused most of his attention on other people around him. The female lead Pan Yiming was also invited to the event this time. Although she had won an award at a young age, she was not proud at all. In this circle, proud people often don’t last long.
The platform was suddenly divided into two areas. On one side sat, the middle-aged and elderly people like Zheng Kezhen and Gong Liangguang. They had gathered together and whispered among themselves. At certain times, when the fiery juniors on the other side chatted and raised their voices, they cast them a gaze, then looked at one another, revealing a kind smile.
In fact, most of the time, it was Wu Yuan doing the talking. On this occasion, Pan Yiming maintained a genteel demeanor while Luo Ding, who was also not a talkative character, quietly listened on the side and occasionally echoed one or two sentences. However, he didn’t need to exert himself to speak at all for as long as he sat there with a smile on his face, Wu Yuan and Pan Yiming could not help focusing most of their attention on him.
For decades Luo Ding had done nothing else and his long life in the limelight had led him to learn how to naturally make people feel at ease. Thus, though today, he had deliberately dressed himself in a youthful manner and his body was still very young, when it suited him, he could find the words to make others ignore his youthful appearance.
Pan Yiming had made her debut as a singer and was once a hit star but because she had now focused her career on acting in TV dramas, her album that should have been released was still not completed.
She was currently preparing for the release of her new record this year. In conversation, she learned that Luo Ding had no other work besides the drama filming and she excitedly invited him to participate in her music video shoot.
“MV?” Luo Ding looked at Pan Yiming with a smile, the gentle waves in his eyes making her blush gradually.
Pan Yiming’s heart was thumping in the pure admiration one would have for a handsome member of the opposite sex. She had not felt similar to a young girl like this for many years. Luo Ding was almost in line with all the fantasies young to middle-aged women would have of an ideal male god. He was handsome, gentle, tall, and well-dressed. Although young in appearance, he was calm and restrained, quite different from most boys of his age. Especially when he looked at her with his gentle eyes like hot springs. The kind of unconditional tolerance and affection his eyes contained made Pan Yiming indulge unrepentantly.
However, there was a difference between her girlish gushing and that of someone who had found a new crush. Pan Yiming nodded, her tone still rational. “Yes, there are two love songs on the new album. I had originally planned to work with Wu Yuan, but having gotten to know you today, I would really like to work with you!”
In fact, this was only part of the reason for her offer. Pan Yiming had many female fans and an MV was also a big weapon that could drive up album sales. She had not been ranked in the top three on the album sales charts for two consecutive years, so seeing Luo Ding’s outstanding appearance now made her realize that she could probably take this opportunity to make a big splash.
Luo Ding hesitated but did not immediately refuse. The workload for shooting an MV was not heavy, and because he had made his debut as a singer in his last life his singing skills were impeccable. Further, Pan Yiming had established herself in the entertainment circle and participating in her MV shoot could not only lay a good foundation for his network, but if properly promoted it will also greatly help his popularity.
But if he agreed too quickly, it would seem that he was too desperate, thus as though Luo Ding wanted to refuse he frowned in embarrassment: “This is not a good idea, I have no fan base …”
“You are blind!” Pan Yiming really wanted to smash his head open. She couldn’t figure out why a character like Luo Ding was not popular yet, but she believed in her vision and also saw that in his heart, Luo Ding was still thinking about her album sales. Thus, her heart was moved, and she reached out and grabbed Luo Ding’s wrist, in silent encouragement.
“Have you heard my song?”
Luo Ding was stunned: “Of course I have heard it.”
“Can you sing?”
This was Pan Yiming’s most famous song, which had been sung all over the streets in the early years. How could Luo Ding not have heard it? He knew vaguely what she wanted to do, but he didn’t reveal his knowledge and pretended to be a little dazed: “I can sing.”
“Gongliang xiānshēng!” Pan Yiming grasped Luo Ding’s wrist and turned her head towards Gong Liangguang with a smile, “Today is your birthday and as you do not accept gifts, in order to express our blessing, how about Luo Ding and I give you a song? “
Gong Liangguang’s eyes widened for a moment, he turned his head and looked at the lively crowded stage before him, and then swept his gaze to look at Luo Ding.
“Okay.” He hadn’t heard Luo Ding sing yet, but he had listened to Lao Zheng say that though his acting skills were amazing, Luo Ding had actually chosen to start as a singer. Gong Liangguang looked at Luo Ding. He knew so many seniors in the music scene, If the other party has the ability, he will be happy to extol him but if he was a waste of music then he could arguably suggest that the other party give up the music industry and specialize in acting.
Thinking this way, he permitted Pan Yiming to pull Luo Ding up while shouting “Let’s see if we have a good rapport “. Luo Ding smiled and glanced at his watch, it was already this late yet there were still people who were absent.
There was a sudden commotion in the crowd outside and the chattering voice became louder. Gong Liangguang did not turn his head and only laughed at the two identical words that frequently appeared amidst the noisy voices.
The greetings came one after another, becoming clearer as he drew nearer. Luo Ding also noticed the anomaly at the scene and after breaking eye contact with Pan Yiming he couldn’t help but stunned.
Under the light, the tall man walking slowly towards his side, while arranging his sleeves, had a gentle smile on his face. His handsome features were unforgettable. Just looking at the inverted triangular body shape outlined by his suit, Luo Ding could tell that his figure was excellent. His entire being was like a conductor that naturally attracted the attention of everyone in the surrounding area. As always, he simply nodded to the people who greeted him with the most ordinary smile and yet his aura which caused strangers to be unable to approach never diminished.
Duan Xiubo! He actually also knew Gong Liangguang!? Gong Liangguang’s network of contacts had once again surpassed Luo Ding’s understanding.
There was a reason for his surprise. Although Duan Xiubo was only 30 years old, he was one of the domestic superstars who could truly be called a leading figure and in contrast to his predecessors who were ten or even twenty years older, he had reached the peak of the entertainment industry in advance.
Unlike other film stars who worked hard from the bottom up, his first acting gig was an important role in a Hollywood production. The release of that romantic drama set an unprecedented box office record which has not faded to this day. Duan Xiubo achieved fame from that production and had been developing his career in Hollywood for the past three years.
As one of the few domestic stars who could break into Hollywood, his existence was naturally a sensation in China. Such a high starting point was destined to be different from the ordinary artists’ journey.
Simply acting alone was not good enough to create such an unscientific opportunity. Anyone who was smart enough would know that Duan Xiubo had a very deep background. Therefore, Duan Xiubo’s image in the entertainment circle was always different from other actors. Even the most able seniors in the industry tried as much as possible to score points with him.
Luo Ding was once a domestic male star who could also be called a leading actor. Naturally, he had worked with Duan Xiubo and though they did not have a deep friendship in private, as a master who had also worn a mask for several decades, after just a few rounds, he had already deciphered the nature of Duan Xiubo’s gentle mask.
This fellow was known in the industry to be “humble” and “mild” and has always been gentle with those who tried to establish a relationship with him. Taking pictures, signing autographs, and adding them as friends on Wechat, It seemed he had no airs at all and he easily made people have a favorable impression of him.
But in fact, the number he used to add friends to WeChat and contacts he gave to others were all under the management of his assistants. He would probably only ask for updates every ten days to half a month. In this way the artists who were flattered after seeing his attitude and humility and who daydreamed about the other party with affection did not realize that they had been gently rejected and in this way, they also helped Duan Xiubo promote his good reputation.
Luo Ding had always held a respectful and distant attitude towards people of same kind, and Duan Xiubo similarly did not interfere with him. Both understood that the other’s gentleness was an utter disguise, but within a safe distance, they could interact freely.
There was a faint smile on Duan Xiubo’s face, and his eyes seemed to sweep across everyone’s face, but Luo Ding understood that the other party did not notice anyone at all.
“Guang shū, I arrived a little late, let me render my apologies.” Duan Xiubo reached out and patted Gong Liangguang’s shoulders, with an attitude as casual as that of Gong Liangguang’s peers. Of course, his attendance alone was sufficient.
Gong Liangguang was not angry at all. The smile on his face was the same as when he was talking with Luo Ding. Obviously, he was in a very good mood: “I’m glad you made it!”
Duan Xiubo smiled slightly, and then swept his gaze over the others seated on the platform again and nodded.
Luo Ding heard Wu Yuan who was near him suddenly gasp and before he could respond he saw Wu Yuan quickly approach Duan Xiubo and begin talking.
Not only Wu Yan, but other than old old seniors like Zheng Kezhen and Deng Jian Lian who were still holding back, almost all the onlookers who were still around had gathered their courage to approach Duan Xiubo’s side.
Luo Ding did not find even a little bit of impatience on Duan Xiubo’s face, but he knew that the other party was probably disgusted with what was happening around him.
Luo Ding didn’t follow the crowd but he saw Pan Yiming’s posture which appeared to want to approach Duan Xiubo but did not dare to go close. He considered the other’s offer to participate in her MV shoot, and decided to give a plum in return for a peach by increasing the strength with which he held her wrist.
Pan Yizheng snapped out her daze immediately. Compared to Duan Xiubo, who was surrounded by people all the time, her cooperation with Luo Ding, was rather more important.
“Oh, yes, let’s sing!”
Pan Yiming first cut through the crowd, spoke a few words to Duan Xiubo and then hurriedly returned to push Luo Ding towards the stage.
Duan Xiubo’s line of sight inadvertently crossed over and happened to meet Luo Ding’s gaze.
Luo Ding calmly nodded at him and let Pan Yiming push him away without any reluctance. Duan Xiubo was slightly surprised at this strange attitude.
” Guang shū.” Duan Xiubo tapped Gong Liangguang’s shoulder and his chin lifted in the direction that Luo Ding had taken, “Who is that kid?”
Gong Liangguang spotted Luo Ding who was asking for a guitar from the artists on the stage, and his gaze couldn’t help softening: “Hey, his name is Luo Ding. He is a very good child. He will be singing for me after which he will come down in a little while, I will introduce you to him then, you will definitely get along with him. “
Duan Xiubo had merely asked in a moment of curiosity so he looked away without much interest. He rarely saw Gong Liangguang praise a person in this manner, so he smiled and did not refute Gong Liangguang’s words.
Luo Ding tested the sound of the guitar, and then randomly found a high chair to casually sit down on. His every move was indescribably graceful and attracted the attention of some of the female guests seated in front of the stage.
Pan Yiming spoke into the microphone cheerfully: ” Gongliang xiānshēng, as there is no master tape for the time being, Luo Ding and I will present our ugly singing today, I wish you well now and in the future!”
At the same time, Luo Ding’s long fingers fiddled with the guitar strings. After confirming that the guitar was correctly tuned, he slowly closed his eyes.
A humming sound was unexpectedly heard by everyone, as if coming from outside the venue, and Pan Yiming, who was playing with the microphone, was obviously unprepared, and immediately glanced at Luo Ding in shock.
The author has something to say: In addition to answering some tangled questions below, I think you have all been worried that Luo Ding would have been found to have changed too much and have misunderstood! Luo Ding has no father, no mother and no friends. The only person he is familiar with is Wu Fangyuan, who still depends on him to survive. So what if Wu Fangyuan notes his personality changes? Those who may have noted the change will treat it like an illusory guess? What’s more, Luo Ding and the original owner have some similarities in personality. Even the most familiar Wu Fangyuan is not sure whether his strange feeling is an illusion, so it is even more impossible for others! Why does he have to hide his actions? Is it possible that someone will go to the shaman to divine?
 Young people will inevitably make mistakes
 Discovered that the female lead was Pan Yiming and not Pan Yi Yi so I have changed her name throughout to reflect that.
 An honorific term, could be read to mean teacher
 An informal title meaning old/elderly or wise
 The term used here is 河水不犯井水 which literally translates into river water does not interfere with well water and is an idiom which means “ to mind ones own business”
 Title – uncle
The term used was 投桃报李 (Tóutáobàolǐ) – The literal meaning of this idiom is to give a plum in return for peach. This idiom is derived from The Book of Songs (China’s first poetic anthology of 300 songs compiled by Confucius himself, which literally means “(someone) gives me a peach and I send a plum in return”. It’s a display of good relationships between friends, especially when exchanging gifts.
 To attract her attention
T/N note: I feel like I say this after every chapter but this is possibly the longest chapter yet. Cries in Chinese idioms.