Chapter 1 – Rebirth (a)
Shanghai, at the 60th annual Film Festival Awards ceremony.
This was undoubtedly a star-filled night, even the surrounding colorful lights seemed more dazzling than usual. The cameras’ flashes were as bright as day, the carefully crafted diamonds on the dresses were shining brightly, and the stars of the entertainment circle were all dressed up, walking gracefully through the red carpet, revealing a flawless smile to the camera.
However, the presence of one person made the screams that had filled the area suddenly reached it’s peak.
“Ji Ran! Ji Ran! ”
The long-awaiting fans lifted the fluorescent boards on their hands and called the man’s name.Immediately after, all the photographers also pointed their cameras at that person’s direction.
The man appearing at the end of the red carpet was the most popular movie star in the Entertainment circle: Ji Ran.
The man was wearing a white long gown, with a black hat adorning his head. The traditional styled clothing accentuated his tall and slender figure. He stopped on the red carpet, his whole persona exuding a gentle and warm aura.
Walking by his side was a newly debuted female artist named Xie Shi Qi, a pale blue cheongsam lining her exquisite stature, and a delicate hairpin crowning her flowing black hair. She looked dignified and elegant, while also maintaining her natural sexy charm as a woman.
They were a perfect match for each other. Their matching traditional clothes were based on the image of a pair of hero and heroine from a recent popular box office movie.
Xie Shi Qi set her foot on the red carpet with her arm linked with Ji Ran’s. Her fingers clenched in obvious tense at Ji Ran’s hand.
Ji Ran smiled, patted the back of her hand to express comfort, then said softly: “Don’t be nervous, just walk slowly. Look more to the right, there are several large web site reporters there, pay attention to your expression, let them get a few good shots of you. ”
“Okay.” Xie Shi Qi nodded. In addition of always being serious when filming, Ji Ran was also always extremely considerate in treating girls, therefore, over the years there had never been any gossip spread about him. In a top class entertainment circle, this was a rare feat.
The two of them faced the cameras together, and the award host immediately handed over a microphone to them: “Welcome to Mr. Ji Ran and Miss Xie Qi Shi!”
Ji Ran took the microphone, smiled and said: “Hello everyone, I am Ji Ran.”
His smile was very bright, appeared like the sun in front of the cameras, many of his fans burst into an immediate exaggerated screaming match when they saw this magnified smile of his.
The host was also entranced by his brilliant smile, and when he finally came back from this trance, he asked Ji Ran: “Cough, Mr. Ji, I heard in ‘Troubled Time ‘ filming process you never used a stuntman when doing the fighting scene, is this true? ”
As we all knew, when it came to difficult martial arts, a lot of stars would use a stuntman to complete it, but Ji Ran never did, all difficult plays were done by himself. Regarding this, people started to spread all sorts of rumors, some said that he came from a martial arts family, others said that he had learned the fist Kungfu in his childhood, in a word–this star had extraordinary skill, especially when doing martial arts.
The host went on to say: “The ‘Troubled Time’ has many fighting scenes, there are also some parts where you have to be kicked and punched in the air, these dangerous scenes, you also did them personally?”
Ji Ran answered frankly: “Yes, this play of fighting action for me is not difficult, do not need to use martial arts skill.”
The host was surprised: “So the rumor about you being a black belt in Karate is true?” ”
Ji Ran smiled: “Yes, I have also learned some Boxing and Tai Chi. I have been interested in these since childhood.”
“…” the host exclaimed, “It seems I should be more careful not to offend you, otherwise I will be beaten badly by you.”
Ji Ran said: “Fortunately, I don’t usually hit people easily.”
“What will happen when you hit someone?”
Ji Ran laughed: “I will make them regret being born as a human being.”
There was a deafening scream from the scene, and some excited fans even shouted “sadism”, “Beat it” and “Do it live”!
A drop of sweat rolled down the host’s forehead, and he finally decided not to discuss this topic anymore, handing the microphone to Xie Shi Qi, “It’s your first time acting with Ji Ran, how do you feel?”
Xie Shi Qi said: “Ji Ran Senior’s popularity is very high, and I’m just a new debut. In the beginning, I felt very big pressure, afraid that my own performance will not be good enough. However, I never thought that even though this senior is always especially serious when filming, but he is also very caring for rookies, always accompanying me patiently in acting, he also taught me a lot of skills. I gained many benefits from working with him.”
Ji Ran looked back at her, smiled and encouraged: “You are flattering me too much. She also has worked very hard, and I’m happy to have a chance to cooperate with her.”
The two of them had tacit understanding, and the host would have liked to explore it more, however due to the time limit, he only had enough time to ask a few simple questions before he had to let them into the venue.
The ceremony soon began, the announcement of each award was always followed by a scene of applause. The audiences were waiting for the last heavyweight “Best Actor” award. The film festival this time also coincided with it’s 60 anniversary, so the competitions were unusually fierce. The finalists, in addition to the traditional themed film “Troubled Time”, there were also a light and fresh Love film starred by a popular actress, a sci-fi movie which cost billions in its large production, as well as a tear-jerking affection drama, each film had a very high evaluation in the box office.
The honored guests stalled for a few minutes, before finally announcing the answer: “I hereby announce that the winner of the 60th annual Film Festival Award’s Best Actor is … Troubled Time, Ji Ran!”
The scene of applause following this announcement was amazing, the cheering and screaming almost enough to overturn the roof, Ji Ran fans were so excited to the point of crying.
Although the competition was intense, for Ji Ran to win this best actor award, it’s still well-deserved!
Ji Ran hugged his friends around him, then walked to the stage, took the special trophy, smiled and said: “I am extremely grateful to Liu for presenting this to me. I am grateful to the support of my company. I thank the crew for their hard work. And also thanks to the people who have always been supporting and encouraging me! Thank you!”
His smile had always been so sincere, pure, right from the beginning of his career, so that sun-like smile had become his trademark. Even though right now he had grown to become a popular superstar who had won two Grand awards, the feeling he gave off is still the same as that young and warm teenager who smiled and said, “I really like acting,” all those years ago.
Careful people could find out that every time he won an award, his winning speech never included a thank you for his family. Because he did not have family.
It was a secret that the reporters took a long time to peel out. In fact, Ji Ran grew up in an orphanage, he had gone through many hardships throughout his debut. When he was young, he often played cannon fodder passers-by on TV. For a long time, he even struggled to fulfill his basic needs of clothing and food, but he was always optimistic, open-minded, always conveying a positive image in interviews. He never complained about his hardship, he did not even once mentioned about his own background in an attempt to win sympathy.
His achievements were all thanks to his firm and steadfast steps. So, even when he faced many criticism for winning the best actor award last year, he never felt guilty. And today, this win, would finally serve as a proof of his strength.
While holding the trophy and smiling brilliantly, Ji Ran stepped down from the stage.
At the gala dinner that night, all the movie crew came to toast for Ji Ran, celebrating his second best actor winning. Ji Ran also did not refuse, simply took the drink lightly, however he was not a good drinker, and soon became drunk on the sofa.
Xie Shi Qi looked at his frowning face, and could not help but reach out a hand to soothe his brow. Unexpectedly, the hand just stretched out, but was immediately stopped by another hand.
“Miss Xie, people like him is so easy to take advantage of, right?” Suddenly came a joking voice, it’s Jiran’s agent – Yu Qianhe.
The manager surnamed Yu was also a powerful person, his name sounded humble and gentle, his surface appearance was also elegant and gentle, smiling all day, posing a harmless human appearance, but people in this circle knew, this man scheming was deep, his background complex, whoever dared to offend him, he absolutely had the means to crush them.
Xie Shi Qii’s mind was punctured, she immediately took her hand back in panic, using them to cover the hair around her ears instead. She then smiled and said: “Mr. Yu, you think too much, I just see him looking very uncomfortable, so I want to give him a glass of water to drink.”
“Really?” Yu Qianhe smiled and came closer, whispered in her ears with a low voice,”Ji Ran never have any plan to find a girlfriend, you’d better not have any idea about him. Since the play is finished, it is better to get out of the play as soon as possible… What do you think? ”
Having said his piece, he then gently hugged up the man on the sofa, causing Xie Shi Qi’s eyes to widen in surprise before she quickly turned her head away.
When Ji Ran woke up, he found himself lying in his bedroom bed. It was only dawn, but his biological clock made him habitually get up at 7 o’clock every morning. His head felt painful because of hangover. Ji Ran rubbed his temple, then quickly finished washing himself, and after changing his clothes, he went to the gym next door to do his daily morning exercise.
The morning exercise consisted of doing a few familiar karate moves, fist punching, legs kicking. His movement was extremely handsome, the white clothes and the black belt between his waist outlined the tension in his body, making him looked like a ferocious beast in the forest, as long as someone dared to get close to him, he could absolutely use one punch to break their nose.
He was like a beautiful leopard, with his near perfect body line, looking very slender, and yet hiding an amazing explosive force inside…
Yu Qianhe stood at the door, always smiling as he appreciated his movements. He waited until Ji Ran finished the whole set of exercises, then handed over a towel and a long prepared hot milk to him, saying: “Today is the beginning of the holiday given to you by the company, why are you still up so early?”
Ji Ran took the towel, wiped his face, shook his arm, drunk his milk, and said: “Getting up early is a good habit, right… By the way, what’s the plan for today? ”
Yu Qianhe saw a few drops of milk stains on his lips and chuckled, reaching out to help him wipe it, then said: “The nearby seaside has a resort, the scenery is also good, really quiet, and it has an open-air swimming pool that you like, want to go there to relax?”
Ji Ran, who was completely unbothered by Yu Qianhe’s previous action, finished drinking his milk, and gave a quick pat on the other man’s shoulder: “Good idea, I’d like to swim.”
After breakfast, the two of them set out together, with Yu Qianhe driving the car and Ji Ran sat in the passenger seat, listening to a song leisurely.
While listening, Ji Ran couldn’t help but ask: “When will my next filming begin?”
Yu Qianhe looked back at him, his eyes full of helplessness: “This is just the start of your holiday, and you are already so restless?”
Ji Ran played with his hair carelessly: “Holiday is so boring, might as well go on filming. Next time, you can go apply to the company, not to give me such a long holiday. ”
“…… You are the only star who has applied for a shortened holiday with the company.” Yu Qianhe smiled, shook his head, and said, “The next play is a sci-fi theme, you’re going to be a prince of the Empire, it’s your first sci-fi movie, it’s challenging. Recharge your energy first, wait until March. ”
Talking about filming, Ji Ran was immediately excited: “Great, I like sci-fi theme, I’ll go back to see the script a few times later…”
Their car took a turn, and then they suddenly saw a truck, which seemed to have a brake failure, approaching fast in their direction.
“–Be careful! ”
Yu Qianhe quickly turned the steering wheel and slammed on the brakes, when he saw they were going to crash with the truck, he immediately leaped to protect Ji Ran’s body, putting Ji Ran in the protection of his embrace.
There was a loud “bang” sounding in their ears, and their body felt so painful to the point of making them losing consciousness, the overwhelming sprinkle of broken glass pierced their skin, and their vision turned bloody.
Before losing his consciousness completely, the only thing Ji Ran remembered thinking was: life really is filled with more drama and tragedy than in the movies, we were just casually driving out to relax ourselves, how can suddenly become involved in a car accident?!