Ch2 – Liang Yu
Because the sex scandal involved drugs, Xu Jingzhe even went out of his way to get a drug test.
The studio then posted proof of his innocence onto his Weibo.
This was able to appease at least some of his fans.
However, there were still a bunch of anti-fans jumping up and down, analyzing every aspect of Xu Jingzhe’s perfect facade.
They claimed that his public persona had collapsed.
They claimed his private life was actually super chaotic and messy.
They listed all kinds of little details, making their argument seem somewhat plausible.
Xu Jingzhe simply uninstalled his social media.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Actors all cared about their image, and Xu Jingzhe was no exception.
“Liang Yu?” Xu Jingzhe was a little surprised.
“Why was he there?”
Zhang Man sighed.
“How should I know? Also, what are you surprised about? It’s strange enough that you were there too.”
As soon as this topic came up, Xu Jingzhe kind of didn’t want to continue the conversation anymore.
He was reading a script.
The costume drama he had coming up had a lot of historical themes.
The drama had a lot of lines, and they were difficult to memorize.
Zhang Man: “I won’t force you to tell me about your private affairs.
Liang Yu’s team already took the initiative to contact us.
The conditions they put forward will definitely be the best.
The most important thing is that the both of you are similar in status.
If you two get into a relationship, your fans will accept it.”
Xu Jingzhe glanced at her and said, “You sure know a lot.”
“How could I not know?” Zhang Man said confidently, “Fans will look at both sides when they’re shipping.
It’s just like how a mother-in-law will judge her son-in-law.
He has to be worthy of her son or daughter.”
Xu Jingzhe: “Aren’t there still girlfriend fans?”
Zhang Man: “It’s okay.
They can just pretend that they’re starting a harem!”
Xu Jingzhe asked suspiciously, “… How do you know so much about this stuff?”
Zhang Man said proudly, “I even know about those fans that like to feminize their idols.
Do you know the nickname your antis have for you? Rem.
Amazing, isn’t it?”
Xu Jingzhe’s fansites were rather professional.
He didn’t interact with them, but Zhang Man’s team seems to know about them.
He had solid works and awards, and his status within the industry was rather high.
An average fan of his tended to be on the older side, and they were usually pretty tolerant.
They didn’t get into fights at the drop of a hat.
For the most part, they were rather easygoing.
However, the community as a whole was still rather spectacular.
They weren’t afraid of putting money down, and they usually stuck around for a long time.
It wasn’t difficult to clear up the sex scandal, but the boss already made it clear.
He wanted to be completely absolved of it.
In addition to his upcoming costume drama, Xu Jingzhe still had two television dramas waiting for him next year.
Although his losses weren’t as heavy as Liang Yu’s, they weren’t small either.
Besides, he was a very hardworking person.
He refused to carry this bad reputation.
Zhang Man: “Sort out some personal items that you’ve used in the past three or four years.
We’ll collect them and exchange them with Liang Yu’s team.
Over the next few days, we’ll release some material and test the waters.
By the way, the two of you should schedule an appointment for dinner.
I’ll contact a team to take a couple photos.”
Xu Jingzhe still was not at ease.
“Have his previous relationships been dealt with?”
Zhang Man: “If they haven’t been dealt with, how could I possibly have the guts to send you over to him? However, let’s talk about you.
I haven’t had to wipe your ass for you even once when it comes to relationships.
Since when have you been okay with men?”
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Zhang Man probably also thought that he was a little abnormal.
She had mentioned it a bit over the past two years.
“I never restricted you from falling in love.
You’re a male celebrity over the age of thirty, and you’ve earned several awards.
It’s about time you started thinking about stuff like marriage.
It would also be a good opportunity to transform your image.
The public thinks a lot more favorably about someone who is a ‘husband’ or a ‘father’.
Most importantly, it’ll improve your status within the industry.
After all, investors always like cooperating with stable and reliable partners.
Who wouldn’t want something like that?”
Xu Jingzhe didn’t speak.
Of course he understood what Zhang Man was saying.
Unlike female celebrities, marriage for a male celebrity was just a bargaining chip.
In the future, they would be able to maintain roles as a “good husband” and a “good father”.
It was no exaggeration to say that they would be able to enjoy this benefit until the day they die, living an entire life as an artist.
However, the problem was that Xu Jingzhe didn’t play that game.
Even in the face of this awful scandal, he would not consider “female celebrities” as potential partners.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to, but he felt it was unfair to the other party.
Zhang Man tried to persuade him several times.
In the management team’s opinion, Xu Jingzhe should have gotten married ages ago.
Maybe they could take this opportunity to turn something fake into something real.
He would be able to naturally start a relationship.
Then, he’d be able to start a family, and his career would go up another level.
However, that was exactly what Xu Jingzhe was afraid of.
“I already told you not to look for female celebrities.” Xu Jingzhe was sitting in the nanny van.
He had just finished an interview.
It was his official statement regarding the sex scandal that his team had specially arranged for him.
Zhang Man had been running around so much that she was now consistently ranked first on her WeChat Sports.
She helped him take care of everything, inside and out.
Zhang Man had no choice.
“If you don’t want me to look for them, then I won’t.”
She added, “I’ll go ahead and contact Liang Yu.
The two of you should at least meet with each other first.”
Xu Jingzhe’s silence meant that he was acquiescing.
He seemed to daze off for a little while.
Then, he suddenly thought of something and frowned slightly.
“He really didn’t participate in that sex party? What did the drug test say?”
Yang Jierui held Xu Jingzhe’s drug test report in his hand.
He seemed satisfied.
Then, he carefully glanced at the man in front of him, who was on the rowing machine.
Liang Yu had a very strict and high-standard fitness schedule.
He changed personal trainers often throughout the year.
Sometimes, Liang Yu would feel that his personal trainer wasn’t good enough and switch him out.
After finishing his last set, he stood up and wiped his head with the towel handed by the personal trainer.
Then, he turned towards Yang Jierui.
Yang Jierui had to admit, even after watching him for more than ten years, Liang Yu’s face was still as striking as the first time he saw it.
He had deep eye sockets and a tall nose bridge, which was rather rare among Asians.
The angle of every shadow on his face looked as if it was measured.
He looked perfect in any lighting, regardless of the angle.
This was as long as he didn’t speak.
“So what if he didn’t take drugs? It’s not like you’d be able to tell if he fucked around.” Liang Yu’s tone contained a bit of ridicule.
Because of how beautiful he was, even his malice appeared vivid and lively.
“He might’ve done it more than ten times that night, men and women.”
Yang Jierui didn’t really approve.
“Xu Jingzhe hasn’t had a single scandal after all these years.
I looked into it, and his team didn’t suppress anything.
It’s just that the paparazzi weren’t able to get anything on him.
If he was really that messy of a person, there’s no way there wouldn’t be any clues.”
Liang Yu snorted.
Then, he snarked back, “You sure have looked into him a lot.
You want to switch employers or what?”
Yang Jierui: “…”
Liang Yu took another look at the drug test report.
He quickly flipped through it.
Then, he threw it aside rather irritably.
Yang Jierui felt a headache coming on.
“What about him are you dissatisfied with?”
Liang Yu blankly commented, “He looks like a playboy.
I bet he’s a scumbag.”
Yang Jierui: “?”
Liang Yu was indeed at the hotel that night, but, like Xu Jingzhe, he couldn’t reveal what he was actually doing.
Although Yang Jierui wasn’t entirely clear about it either, he still knew a little bit.
Many celebrities kept information about their families a secret, and Liang Yu was no exception.
He wasn’t professionally trained.
He was already twenty-five by the time he debuted.
Some information about his background had come up before, but none of it was definite.
In the end, Liang Yu ended up suppressing a lot of it using money.
He had worked as a model before becoming an actor.
If he hadn’t become an actor, he probably would’ve become an international supermodel.
That was the reason why his resources within the fashion industry had always been very good.
Of course, his sexual orientation was also exposed at that time.
Within the fashion industry, nine out of ten men were gay.
The last guy had a high probability of being bisexual.
Liang Yu’s team planned to use this “date” as proof that he did not participate in the sex party from the beginning.
Liang Yu was gay, so they didn’t need to find a woman to help with the cover up.
After looking through their options, Xu Jingzhe was the only male celebrity that fit the team’s requirements.
However, Xu Jingzhe was so clean that Yang Jierui wasn’t sure whether the other party would be able to accept a man.
So, when Zhang Man’s team responded that they would cooperate, Yang Jierui thought to himself, “Xu Jingzhe sure has hidden himself well.”
“It doesn’t matter.
It’s not like he’s going to lose out.” Liang Yu sat in the back seat and closed his eyes.
“He’s got the awards and the popularity.
He’s already got a strong foothold in the industry.
The public likes him.
His sexual orientation isn’t going to affect him at all.”
Yang Jierui huffed, “You’re talking about yourself, aren’t you?”
Liang Yu didn’t deny it.
This wasn’t the first time he was being this narcissistic.
If it wasn’t for how cringy it was, he would probably call himself “Young Master”.
Today was going to be the first time the two main characters would meet.
They were going to meet at a Japanese restaurant in the center of Beijing.
The place seemed to be rather hidden, but Zhang Man and Yang Jierui had actually secretly arranged everything in advance.
When it came to the relationship between paparazzi and artists, they were often pretty antagonistic with each other, but there were also occasions where they worked together.
For example, someone on the artist’s side would pretend to have something to expose and reveal a little bit of info.
Then, the paparazzi would sniff out the gossip and squat around for a headline.
Xu Jingzhe was in his car.
His personal makeup artist was still doing his hair for him.
He and Liang Yu would definitely have their photo taken, so, in order to not lose to Liang Yu in terms of appearance, Xu Jingzhe took the initiative to get his hair professionally done.
It was hard for Zhang Man to comment on his all-around hard-working attitude.
She knew that Xu Jingzhe cared a lot about appearances.
To some extent, it was good for an artist to have a high bottom line, but, if it was too high, it was easy for the people under him to have nothing to do.
“It’s already perfect.” Zhang Man looked at the time.
“You won’t be able to find a problem even if you pressed a microscope against your face.”
Xu Jingzhe looked down at his shoes.
“I feel like I need to change my socks.”
Zhang Man: “… Liang Yu really isn’t going to look at your socks.”
Everything else might’ve been fine, but Zhang Man turned out to be wrong about the socks.
They were having Japanese food.
When Xu Jingzhe took off his shoes and stepped onto the tatami, Liang Yu, who had arrived ahead of schedule, unabashedly turned his attention towards his socks.
Xu Jingzhe: “…”
Liang Yu’s gaze stayed on his socks for a little too long.
Xu Jingzhe subconsciously wanted to pull his feet away, but he held back.
He paused for a bit.
Then, he took a few steps forward and sat down at the low table.
Liang Yu was still looking at him.
This man didn’t seem to know the meaning of the word “hidden”.
His gaze was blunt and direct.
Xu Jingzhe felt like a machine gun was sweeping across his face.
Those eyes could shoot holes into people.
“I have to say, Mr.
Xu.” Liang Yu changed his sitting position.
He leaned forward and held his chin in his hand.
Then, he gave him a fake smile and said, “The color of your socks is kind of … lame?”
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