“Oh, no. I don’t have any affiliations with them. It’s just that my wife has recently invested in a film. I've received feedback that it’s best to get our special effects post-production done by that company but they seem a little hard to reach.
You know I’m quite impatient, especially towards things that I have zero interest in.
Since you know them, could you help tell them that Yu Lei Entertainment from Zhonghai, China is producing a film and would like ILM to work on its post-production? I am willing to pay above their usual rates as long as it’s not too ridiculous.”
Nothing Yang Chen said made sense to the rest of the cast and crew.
What was with his tone? Why did he sound like he owned Industrial Light & Magic?
His following statement sent chills down their spine.
“Just let them know. No need to beat around the bushes. Get them to send someone over to sign the contract. We’ll give them every penny they ask for. Don’t they dare delay my progress or I’ll…I’m sure you’re aware that I’ve demolished some other headquarters earlier. ILM would be significantly easier than that.”
Christen giggled on the other end. “Nothing has changed about you, always opting to scare the shit of others but I guess that’s what makes you Yang Chen. All I need to do is mention your name and have Lucas find out more about you from the American government. By then, not even the White House and Pentagon could stop you.”
Yang Chen grinned. “Well, it better be that way. Call me when you’re done, good night.”
“Good night.” Christen blew a kiss through the receptor, ending the call.
Yang Chen returned the phone back to his pocket and flashed a smile at Hui Lin along with a wink. “I got it under control.”
Hui Lin gaped a little before letting joy bloom over her face. “I almost forgot how capable you are, Brother Yang.”
Sheepishly, she started to pinch stray strands of her hair.
Yu Shuo attempted to pry with a beam. “Director Yang was that Miss Christen on the phone?”
Yang Chen nodded nonchalantly. “Yeah, that’s right.”
The answer triggered Yu Shuo’s guilt. How foolish was he to underestimate this man? How could he have forgotten that Yang Chen was able to invite Christen to attend their premiere in China?
Such a man certainly wasn’t any mere director of a sub-company.
The people around them started another round of heated questioning. “Director, Miss Christen? That Christen?”
“Yes, who else? Which other Christen do you know who could call ILM on a whim.” Yu Shuo smiled.
The crowd was shocked. They were in utter disbelief with the seemingly unfazed Yang Chen.
Zhang Kaiwei had extreme terror plastered all over his face too. His contact with one of ILM’s investors had stemmed from his first Hollywood cameo. He had to go through great lengths to please the person in accordance with the American preferences for the relationship.
But an International Diva like Christen was certainly out of reach for him. Chances of coming across each other were close to zero, let alone establishing a relation.
The man standing in front of him was average-looking at best. If he had stripped away his attire, there wouldn’t be any difference between him and a lowly roadside vendor. Weirdly, he was able to give Christen a random call and have her help him.
“Ah, I remember that Yu Lei International was the first company in China to invite Christen to join Stars of Yu Lei as a judge.”
“I thought that was just more of an official affair. I wasn’t expecting them to establish private contact.”
The crowd landed their gaze on Yang Chen once again, their expressions filled with wonder.
Yang Chen kept his calm, unassuming demeanor. Unknowingly, the crew acknowledged his superiority. A humble man like this was a worthy character of the upper class.
Such mannerism, such confidence and that hint of ego.
Had made his initial unbearable appearance look extremely applaudable now.
Yang Chen couldn’t help but feel a little disgusted by their stares. “Your trust doesn’t matter much to me. In the next few days, an ILM representative will be here to sign the papers. In other words, I’ve helped you solve your post-production woes. Those who still intend to force Hui Lin with the kiss scene can fuck off. If I could get the world’s best special effects company involved in this project, I can get an internationally renowned film crew to work instead.”
If he had spewed such words earlier, no one would’ve taken him seriously. Things were different now. No one dared to question the authenticity of it.
Undeniably, it was a sharp turn of events. Who would still wish to go against Yang Chen now?
The man could simply instruct Christen, an internationally famous diva, to work. Everyone else was literally no match for him.
Brushing that aside, if they continued to stay with the crew and did their best to appease Yang Chen, maybe they could leech off the benefits.
The crowd faked a smile. No one mentioned another word about the kiss scene.
Yu Shuo’s heart let out a sorrowful sigh. There really wasn’t much he could do about them.
Zhang Kaiwei averted his gaze to the ground, emotions stirring into a flurry within him. A flash of greed and jealousy glimmered in his eyes. He swallowed it back and then lifted his head. This time, his face was filled with what seemed like gratitude and joy.
“That’s great! With Director Yang’s networking, I’m sure this production will enjoy smooth progress. If Miss Hui Lin remains uncomfortable about the scene, we could all just stick to the plan and use a substitute for it. I’m sure everything will be fine as long as we capture from the right angle.”
The crowd agreed. “Kaiwei’s right. It shouldn’t be too big of an issue with Director Yu Shuo’s experience, we can pull this off!”
Suddenly, there was no objection to the initially controversial idea. Everyone had found Hui Lin’s decision to reject the kiss scene noble.
Yang Chen scoffed. The rising tension hardened everyone’s expression.
The man grinned maliciously. His gaze was burning as he stared at Zhang Kaiwei. “Damn. You switch sides fast. It’s quite the talent. No wonder you’re such a great actor.”
The atmosphere on set suddenly turned chilly.
Hui Lin stared at Yang Chen with confusion written all over her face. But she knew Yang Chen had his own rationale behind his actions so she didn’t say a word.
“Mister Yang… It seems that you’ve greatly misunderstood me.” Zhang Kaiwei’s heart palpitated wildly, but he retained his gentle smile.
Yang Chen only uttered a word crisply.
Zhang Kaiwei paled.“Mister Yang… What do you mean...?”
“Do you not understand me? I said scram… There’s no need to play your role in this production. If you don’t want to lose potential future jobs, you better leave this place now,” threatened Yang Chen emotionlessly.
The crew surrounding them didn’t dare to challenge his words. It was Director Yu Shuo who stepped up with a hardened scalp. “Director Yang, let’s not be too brash. Kaiwei’s our male lead and he hasn’t really done anything wrong.”
“Are you people stupid or am I the stupid one?” Yang Chen huffed. “I have already seen through your intentions. You and your team are trying to milk Hui Lin’s first on-screen kiss for extra profit and to boost your popularity. You’re just in for the clout. You must think that you’re very smart, eh?”
“That’s… not it. Director Yang, please don’t accuse us wrongly.” A bunch of crew quickly defended themselves.
Zhang Kaiwei stepped up to the plate. “Mister Yang, you can criticize me for my acting but it’s uncalled for to insult my virtue. I, Zhang Kaiwei, am a morally upright person and I have my own principles. I will not accept your accusations. This is defamation! If you continue to utter words like this, I’ll have no choice but to bring you and Yu Lei to court where I’ll defend my reputation with the justice of the law.”
Yang Chen turned around to face Hui Lin. “Gosh, what do I do. Hui Lin, his words make me sick. I feel like killing him right now. What do you think?”
That may sound like a joke to the others but it had meant grave danger to Hui Lin.
“Please don’t do it, Brother Yang. You can’t just murder someone here, there are people watching. It won’t do good to the film crew, there’ll be consequences.” Hui Lin frantically pleaded. “He didn’t do anything, just let him go.”
Everyone else was perplexed to see Hui Lin genuinely pleading for Kaiwei’s life. Even if Yang Chen was a man with a great network, there was no way he would kill as he pleased.
Enraged, Zhang Kaiwei exclaimed, “Mister Yang, if you continue to threaten me, my bodyguards will not hesitate to restrain you. I’m not afraid to tell you that I’ve got plenty of influential friends. If they find out that I was subjected to such humiliation, I assure you that you’ll receive the aftermath.”
Yang Chen gagged. “Jeez, what an embarrassing shitshow. You really think you’re some hotshot. Here, listen up, you enjoy privileges because your company is willing to spend on you. To me, you’re nothing more than a gigolo.
This is our Hui Lin’s first acting gig. Though she’s admittedly unskilled and is only decent-looking at best, she could rely on her singing abilities to boost her popularity through her die-hard fanbase. You’re just a man who rose to fame after hugging a rich daughter’s thigh through the streets and slaving your life away by appeasing others.
Fucking hell. Yet, you’re here talking about being morally upright? I can’t take it anymore, just fuck off already.”
Before anyone could wrap their head around the situation and respond accordingly, Yang Chen disappeared from where he was. In a flash, he materialized behind Zhang Kaiwei.
A palm collided with Zhang Kaiwei’s proud handsome face mercilessly.
The slap rang crisp. It was a little light-handed for Yang Chen’s liking but to Zhang Kaiwei, it felt as if he was kicked by a horse.
With a pained scream, Zhang Kaiwei was sent tumbling on the ground. He rolled over twice before he stopped.
A red palm mark manifested on his cheek, which had swelled up and deformed his face. Worse, blood had begun to trickle down from his nostrils and the corners of his lips.
Everyone was terrified.
Abruptly, a female employee screamed. “Ah! There’s a fight!”
A few of Zhang Kaiwei’s bodyguards quickly sprang into action. Four of them quickly rushed over as they danced their gigantic fists towards Yang Chen.
They had only trained in taekwondo as part of their curriculum. They were nothing to Yang Chen. He extended his arm to welcome their fists. Speedily, he twisted each of the four clenched fists violently.
Crackle! Crack! Pop!
The crisp sound of bone fractures rang out. Yang Chen then turned in the opposite direction and pressed them against the ground. Soon, they were all a groaning mess.
The atmosphere took a drastic change. The chaos died down to become a scene of deadly silence.
The situation had come as a shock to everyone else. Opting to stare at Yang Chen cautiously as they began to back off on reflex.
Was he even human? This was more nerve-wracking than an action movie.