Since she was at an unfamiliar place, Hui Lin lowered her head didn’t dare to breathe too loud upon entering the office. When she heard that someone said she was Yang Chen’s girlfriend, she almost fainted on-the-spot. She nervously grasped her palms together which were sweating profusely.
Yang Chen pushed Zhao Teng’s head impolitely. “How do your eyes work? Do I look like an old cow that would eat young grass?”
[TL note: An old cow that would eat young grass (idiom): The man in a romance who is significantly older than the woman.]
“Director, but you’re not old,” Zhao Teng said as he pressed onto his aching forehead resentfully.
“This is my cousin who’s very gifted. After discussing with Boss Lin, we decided to send her to our company to receive professional training in dancing and music. You’ll be in charge of arranging her lessons,” Yang Chen said.
Zhao Teng finally got serious. After looking at Hui Lin from head-to-toe, he agreed that the girl definitely had the qualifications to become a superstar. Since even Lin Ruoxi thought she could make it, there was definitely something unique about her. As a result, he directly said, “No problem, the music and choreography teachers are all masters of their craft. We’re still worried that we don’t have talented members at the moment.”
The following things were much easier to be done. Yang Chen let Hui Lin follow Zhao Teng’s arrangements, to directly head over to the recording studio and the dance classroom to receive an assessment, so that her capabilities and what level of class she should start with could be determined.
It wasn’t possible for Yang Chen to be with Hui Lin all the time. So he said, “After you finish practising, give me a call when you feel like going home.”
Hui Lin found herself in a difficult situation. “Can… can I call Elder Sister’s phone instead?”
Yang Chen felt rather gloomy. “Am I so unpleasant to you that you want your elder sister to send you home on the first day?”
“No… I’m just…”
“Alright, alright. Do what you want.” Yang Chen wasn’t willing to listen to her reasons. He knew that the kid would get shy easily. She’d certainly feel more comfortable being with Lin Ruoxi who was similarly, a woman.
Hui Lin indeed didn’t dare to stay with Yang Chen for too long, especially after the ‘girlfriend’ matter caused by Zhao Teng. She got more and more shy and scared because she felt very sorry to Lin Ruoxi when she was misunderstood as Yang Chen’s girlfriend.
Regarding what Yang Chen said regarding his divorce and women outside, from Hui Lin’s perspective, they were really distant matters. She didn’t believe his words fully.
When Yang Chen returned to his office and wanted to sit down to play computer games, Wang Jie knocked on the door and came inside.
Holding a stack of documents, Wang Jie felt rather embarrassed. She asked, “Director, are you free in the afternoon?”
Yang Chen shook his head and answered, “Yeah. What is it?”
Wang Jie said, “There’s a client meeting in the afternoon which I’m supposed to attend with a driver and an assistant. However, there’s an emergency meeting in Yu Lei’s headquarters. So can I ask Director to go for me, I don’t know if you can…”
Client meeting? Yang Chen scratched his head. To be honest, he didn’t really like things like this. Wang Jie should be aware of this as well, otherwise she wouldn’t have looked at him with a pitiful and helpless look.
Yang Chen asked, “Who are the people we’re meeting up with?”
Wang Jie seemed like she found hope and got energized instantly. “It’s a new director who’s rather famous recently called Huang Hai, a man from Shandong Province. He used a budget of 3 million in his previous film and earned 12 million in the box office. This time, he took the initiative to contact our company and hope that we can invest in a small production movie with a budget of 5 million or so. He may have come to us because of our reputation, since there isn’t his place in other major companies anyway.”
“In other words, it’s his invitation for us, correct?” Yang Chen asked.
“It could be said that we’re negotiating on equal terms, since he is rather competent and doesn’t necessarily need our help. However, many other new directors hope to work with us because our company is newly set up. After all, if the first film succeeds, they’d be able to become our company’s manager director. This seniority is very important in the entertainment industry,” Wang Jie explained.
Yang Chen understood the situation generally. Currently, the newly set up company Yu Lei Entertainment was just like a huge cake in the eyes of rookie directors and actors. Those who couldn’t obtain good treatments from the other major companies were all hoping to get good benefits as a result of being the ‘founding fathers’ of Yu Lei Entertainment.
“Originally, I wanted to look at his script, character and work ethics. If both his character and competence aren’t an issue, I would sign a contract with him. However, the emergency meeting in the headquarters is really important, not to mention I’ve always been the one responsible for the procedures, so I thought of you, Director. After all, Director was the one who went to Hong Kong to negotiate with Muyun Corporation. This kind of work should be really easy for Director.” Wang Jie didn’t forget to praise Yang Chen.
Everyone loved to listen to great things. Although Yang Chen didn’t have many good memories in Hong Kong, he immediately accepted her request after listening to what she said. After thinking for a bit, he said, “Put the things I need here. I’ll go there in the afternoon.”
Wang Jie relieved herself. If Yang Chen denied her request, she really didn’t know who she should ask. The company was still new after all, it was normal for them to lack manpower.
After Wang Jie left, Yang Chen took the materials to look at the director Huang Hai’s resume and planned work. At last, he saw the agreed meeting place in the afternoon. It was a rather famous entertainment club in Zhonghai called Coconut.
Yang Chen frowned when he saw the location. If he recalled correctly, this place was located near a bar street. It was called an entertainment club, but it was actually a place of prostitution in other words. Various shady services often appeared there. This should also be one of the reasons why Wang Jie wasn’t willing to go, since she couldn’t push away such a duty just because she didn’t like the place. As a result, she used the excuse of attending a meeting in the headquarters to pass the job to Yang Chen. It shouldn’t be too big of a problem for men to attend such an occasion after all.
In the afternoon, Yang Chen drove to Coconut alone. It had a storefront with a southern island design. Although it was winter, the two ladies welcoming customers at the entrance still had their slim arms and thighs exposed in the air. They were only wearing a slightly thicker vest on top of their thin clothing.
Upon entering the club, two rows of room beside a warmly lit walkway could be seen.
After Yang Chen reported the appointed room number, he followed a female server and passed through two corners before arriving at the destination.
He opened the door and looked at the huge room lit by three floor lamps. The lighting wasn’t considered bright, but wasn’t dark as well. There were red sofas, grey carpets and a huge LCD television broadcasting a music program. Yang Chen didn’t exactly know what song it was playing, but it should be a Korean dance music.
The three figures who were seated on the sofa instantly stood up. The moderately tall man in his thirties with a moustache was the director Huang Hai. There were also a bald middle-aged shortie and a rather good-looking woman with rather heavy makeup on.
“Welcome, Director Yang. I’m really honored. I didn’t expect that Director was willing to come over personally.” Huang Hai passionaly offered his hand and walked towards Yang Chen before for firmly holding hands with him.
“Don’t be, since all of us are planning on working together, I certainly have to show my sincerity,” Yang Chen said lightly.
Huang Hai nodded repeatedly before introducing the people to Yang Chen. “This is the producer I always work with, Luo Changan. This lady is my wife Elle, also a second-line actress, but Director Yang shouldn’t have heard of her since she’s not very well-known.”
Yang Chen bet Elle must’ve chosen Huang Hai when she was buying a lottery, in the hope that she could yield a harvest by marrying him. Now that Huang Hai really got more successful, she naturally became the director’s lady.
After greeting Luo Changan and Elle, Yang Chen sat down with the three. The server brought some snacks and grape wine over. He served a British three-tiered snack platter, displaying a rather unique way of treating customers.
“I hope Director Yang doesn't mind that I picked such a place for this discussion. I just felt that having a traditional dinner with various dishes while discussing the film is not only extravagant, but ineffective as well. I hope Director Yang can understand, there are only the four of us anyway,” Huang Hai explained with a smile.
No matter who listened to his speech, the reasoning was actually not bad. Not only would people think he was thoughtful, he would give the impression of being more serious and dependable as well.
Yang Chen let out a faint smile. “Director Huang, you don’t have to be so formal. I’m actually a very casual person. Let’s talk about serious things.”
“Alright, alright. Director is really straightforward, but we have to start drinking before that, since it’s our first time meeting. Otherwise we’d be considered overly rude,” Huang Hai said before turning to Elle who had been holding a smile. “Elle, quickly open the bottle of grape wine and pour for us.”
Elle cozily hummed with acknowledgement as she faintly threw a flirtatious glance at Yang Chen before running to the side to open the grape wine bottle.
Luo Changan took out the newest movie plan together with its outline from a folder and passed it to Yang Chen. Smiling, he said, “Director Yang, being someone who as been in the industry for more than twenty years, I guarantee that this movie will definitely sell. As long as we get enough investment, getting Hong Kong Film Award or Golden Horse Award isn’t difficult.”
Yang Chen took the file and had a look. It was a small budget comedy and action movie, also a type of comedy which is really popular nowadays as it brings out the philosophy of life.
However, when Yang Chen took a closer look at the estimated budget, it was different from what Wang Jie’s materials showed. It became eight million, three million higher than the original budget.
“Director Huang, in the proposal our company’s manager showed me, this movie only had an estimated budget of five million. Why did it suddenly go up by three million?” Yang Chen stared into Huang Hai’s eyes and wasn’t willing to let go of even the most minute details.