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December 14th, Tuesday…
Pei Qian came to the shooting location of Tomorrow is Beautiful early in the morning. He had not come in a while and was worried about it.
His last visit was two weeks ago. Pei Qian made a passing remark to Lu Zhiyao about being a bum. He didn’t think that it would ignite an acting explosion by Lu Zhiyao, which won the unanimous praise from the crew.
Therefore, Pei Qian suppressed his worries during this period and did not go to the studio again. He was afraid that his unintentional words would allow Lu Zhiyao to experience new revelations, and then the situation might get out of control.
However, it was impossible for him to not go at all.
Pei Qian felt that he should not only hold an ostrich mentality. Otherwise, it would be too late if something were to happen.
Early detection and treatment were still required. Even if the situation was irreversible, he could better prepare himself in advance to spend money to reduce some losses for himself.
So he came to the shooting location again today since he was free.
The set was rather busy with staff shuttling back and forth. Pei Qian did not want to disturb everyone’s work either. He just stood at the side to watch casually.
The surrounding scenery was no longer the narrow capsule but that of a futuristic urban outdoor scene. Even though it was supposed to be an outdoor scene, it was still shot in the studio with a lot of green screens hanging around.
Those cool, futuristic scenes would be synthesized with special effects.
The close-up scenes would still be using real objects. For example, the male lead and the heroine would be eating together in a small shop by the roadside in this scene. The shop was built. There were tables, chairs, tableware, decorations, etc. Everything inside was real objects.
In addition, the signs of the shop, trash cans by the roadside, the costumes of the male lead, and the heroine were all custom-made. These were all carefully crafted props. These imitations could somehow pass off as genuine.
One could discern that this neighborhood was filled with poor steampunk fashion from these settings.
According to Director Zhu Xiaoce’s plan, the buildings in this movie would be roughly divided into four different key styles:
One, the male lead was staying in a capsule that looked very advanced but was cramped, narrow, and homogenized. It was a standard uniformly constructed welfare facility.
Second was the slums in the world outside where the male lead and the heroine dated. Many small shops here seemed to be in steampunk style. It was lively but filled with chaos and disorder.
Third, the bright and beautiful outside world which included the scenes from the talent show. It looked very technological, spacious and atmospheric. It had a sci-fi setting style in a general sense.
Fourth, the houses of the upper class were mainly in the style of classical mansions with pretty fireplaces, large oil paintings, and expensive-looking wooden furniture. They would only be decorated with some high-tech elements to distinguish them from real mansions from reality.
That was because only the upper class in the script could afford to play with the ‘classical art’ of oil paintings and musical instruments. In their circles, ‘retro’ architectural style was a trend used to make a distinction in taste between the rich and those who were not.
The present scene was shot with some meaning of ‘cyberpunk’ in ‘future urban slums’.
It was the first time Pei Qian met the heroine of this movie.
The actress was Lin Ruyi. She had a round face, big eyes, and two pretty dimples when she smiled-a standard image of first love.
Pei Qian tried to search for her information previously but didn’t find any famous works. He only realized that she was a newcomer that had yet to graduate from the film school.
In terms of looks, Lin Ruyi was not particularly good-looking since she had a round face. She was therefore not photogenic.
However, that matched the setting for this script.
The female lead was not a stunning or alluring character in the script. Otherwise, she would have been favored by the upper class, and the stories that happened later on would not have happened.
Pei Qian only had one requirement for the female lead: she should not look too good.
It was an era that depended on appearance.
If the female lead was too good-looking, it might become a hot topic as well. The consequences would be even more disastrous if her acting skills were good.
Wouldn’t it be bad if the audience did not hate the heroine but loved her to bits even though she acted as a Green Tea Bitch because she was too good-looking? Of course, Pei Qian knew that it was not realistic to find someone who was ugly to be the heroine.
In the end, Pei Qian felt that the pick of this rookie actress, who did not seem particularly outstanding in her looks, was a rather good choice.
Pei Qian recognized the plot of this scene in no time. It was where the female lead had entered the talent show but was not selected.
The male lead, played by Lu Zhiyao, and the heroine were resting and having a drink in a small shop by the roadside now. Lu Zhiyao would try to make Lin Ruyi happy, and Lin Ruyi would go along with him unconcernedly.
Lin Ruyi would suddenly explode and burst out with emotion before leaving when Lu Zhiyao told her that he had saved enough money to buy a two-person capsule. This scene would be regarded as a turning point in this plot. It could be summarized into one sentence: the lead actor was cheated on.
Sigh, that was an eternal and classic toxic point.
Pei Qian could not help but feel emotional.
At this point…
Lu Zhiyao was thinking about the future, brown-nosing humbly. However, even though he was brown-nosing, it did not make others feel uncomfortable. On the contrary, they find him a little pitiful because he was handsome.
Lin Ruyi, on the other hand, was staring blankly at the drink on the table. She nodded her head from time to time or just went along with what he said, obviously thinking about other things. “I heard that there is a good restaurant nearby that sells delicious simulated meat, standard clean water, and red wine.
“The simulated meat we ate last time only simulated about 60% of the taste of real meat. It was very delicious, and yet this restaurant said that they are able to produce 80% of the flavor. It also had many flavors such as beef and chicken.
“There’s also standard clean water. The ones we drank had a rusty taste, but they say the standard clean water in this store is said to have no peculiar smell. Better still, it has a light fragrance which is 100 times better than what we have in the capsule.
“There’s red wine as well. The bottled red wine sold in the capsule is very expensive. The price of red wine there is only 70% of the price from the vending machine in the capsule. They said there is almost no difference in the taste. “Shall we go try it out tomorrow or the day after?”
Lu Zhiyao looked at Lin Ruyi sitting opposite him.
Lin Ruyi gave a polite smile. “Okay, sure.”
The two shallow dimples appeared on her face when she smiled, which looked very charming.
That smile disappeared in no time though. She continued to stare absentmindedly at the cup on the table and took a sip indifferently. Her expression seemed to suggest that the water in the cup was tasteless.
Lu Zhiyao felt a little helpless. His long speech only brought him two words. Nonetheless, he adjusted his own emotions quickly.
That was because he prepared a very big surprise today.
They fell into a short period of silence. Lin Ruyi looked as though she was thinking about something while Lu Zhiyao sipped his drink, making up his mind to speak.
“I know not being selected on the talent show previously was a big blow to you. It’s okay, it will pass.
“Don’t worry, I’ve made plans for our future.”
Lin Ruyi raised her head and stared at Lu Zhiyao blankly as though she did not understand what he meant. “Hm?”
Lu Zhiyao could not prevent the corner of his lips from smiling. “I made enough money to buy a two-person capsule!
“We’ll choose a suitable place tomorrow, and then you can move in! A two-person capsule might not be big, but we can slowly change to larger accommodations in the future!
“Maybe one day, we’ll be about to afford a 60-square meters luxury apartment with a kitchen. Our children will be able to go out at 6 in the evening. We’ll be able to watch the sunset if we’re lucky…”
Lu Zhiyao excitedly portrayed the bright future in his imagination. However, there was no joy on Lin Ruyi’s face. She became more and more impatient.
“Keep your money. I don’t want to stay in some two-person capsule. Neither do I want to marry you and have kids with you.
“Let’s break up.”
Lu Zhiyao’s smile froze on his face.
“Why? What’s wrong with you? You’ve been acting strange ever since the talent show…
“It’s just one show… it doesn’t matter…”
“You don’t understand my feelings at all; of course, you think it doesn’t matter!” Lin Ruyi said sternly.
Lu Zhiyao was speechless. “My dear, I know how you feel! I saved the registration fee with great effort. This matter is a huge loss for both of us!”
Lin Ruyi seemed to get even angrier now. “This is also a huge loss to you? You just lost some money! I lost my dream!”
Lu Zhiyao was speechless for a while. He suddenly realized that this matter was strange so he continued asking. “Darling, what’s wrong with you?
“I don’t think I did anything wrong, I’m only planning to buy a two-person capsule to be with you. Why are you so angry about it?” “Why am I angry?” Lin Ruyi’s mood seemed to be getting worse. “Everything!” They were both speaking in English so this “everything” was rather imposing.
“I’m angry about the inferior syrup drinks mixed with water in the roadside shops, the nauseating greasy snacks, walking in the dark slums accompanied by mice for three hours a day…”
Lu Zhiyao was dumbfounded. “But didn’t we originally live like this happily? Why are you saying…? Could you be…?”
He saw Lin Ruyi wearing more accessories and the slightly raised belly. A terrible conjecture appeared in his mind.
Lin Ruyi seemed to be on the brink of collapse. She covered her face with her hands and only raised her head again with tears in her eyes, but she seemed very determined.
“Sorry, I don’t want to lie to you anymore. I became that judge’s lover and am pregnant with his child.
“So let’s break up. We’re done.”
Lu Zhiyao’s expression changed from suspicion to shock and then finally to despair. His body which was originally leaning forward slightly seemingly lost its support and collapsed on the chair.
Lin Ruyi stood up, about to leave, but Lu Zhiyao grabbed her wrist abruptly.
“He didn’t marry you or give you a lot of money, right? He doesn’t even care about this kid. If not, you wouldn’t be lost and at the brink of collapse, right?
“Maybe, he… even abandoned you when he knew you were pregnant, right?”
Lin Ruyi’s body trembled slightly.
Lu Zhiyao knew he guessed it right and that he still had a chance. He quickly added on. “It’s alright, it’s alright…
“You’ll have a hard time alone. No one would be willing to accept a pregnant woman. You need me. I’ll take care of this kid with you.
“Trust me, I won’t mind this. I will definitely…”
He was pleading with his voice.
Lin Ruyi was silent for a few seconds before she flung Lu Zhiyao’s hand away. “This kid has the blood of an upper class. I don’t want him to become a useless poor guy like you.”
Lin Ruyi left with huge strides decisively.
Lu Zhiyao watched her leave. He opened his mouth wanting to shout after her, but he would not say anything. It was as though he was drained of all his energy. His whole body ‘collapsed’ onto the ground.
“Not bad, pretty good!
“After seven or eight shots, there is finally one that is more satisfactory. You’ve worked hard, everyone!”
Director Zhu Xiaoce took the lead in applauding and encouraging. At this time, Lin Ruyi-playing the heroinehurriedly bowed towards Director Zhu Xiaoce and the crew and then to Lu Zhiyao.
“Thank you for your guidance, senior. I would not be able to be so immersed if it weren’t for senior’s great acting skills.”
Lu Zhiyao smiled. “Your acting skills were good from the start. I don’t dare to take credit for it. Besides, I’m just a ‘box office poison’. When it comes to acting I’m sure everyone knows who is the one guiding who.”
Pei Qian, who was watching silently, secretly gave a thumbs-up in his heart.
Awesome! The scene just now gave him goosebumps. He even wanted to hit someone.
Lu Zhiyao breathed life to a brown-noser; the last few lines vividly explained how brown-nosers would not end up well. Moreover, Lin Ruyi played a Green Tea Bitch right to the dot.
The micro-expressions and emotions at the start were well done. The last two sentences were the finishing touches.
Pei Qian felt severe discomfort watching on the set. It was too poisonous! Guys would fall silent, and women would cry when they watch this.
Pei Qian felt that he might faint in anger on the spot if he were to watch this in a movie theater. Moreover, Pei Qian also realized some major good news.
Perhaps it might be a good thing for Lu Zhiyao’s acting skills to improve? If Lu Zhiyao did not play it well, everyone might not feel this sense of empathy. They might even secretly feel delighted for Lu Zhiyao’s plight in the movie. He did not have much affinity with audiences after all.
However, Lu Zhiyao was doing a good job so people would naturally feel the brown-noser aura from him and an instinctive sense of discomfort.
Lu Zhiyao’s fans would surely be angry, right?
More people would criticize this movie then!
Pei Qian suddenly felt light-hearted. It did not seem such a big deal now that he accidentally helped Lu Zhiyao improve his acting a little.
Even the best actor could not be saved if the script was poisonous enough!
A smile appeared unconsciously on Pei Qian’s face as he stepped forward for a discussion with Director Zhu Xiaoce.
 This refers to a woman with immoralities that are contrasting to her innocent looks.
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