Far away in Y City was a very angry Ling Senhao, “How are you people so useless, I’ve only asked you to watch over one person --”
“Sorry Boss Ling, we were able to follow closely at first, but afterwards Mr. Mo’s belonging was stolen. We followed behind him and the thief but there were so many turns in the alleyways so…”
Ling Senhao tensed up, “A thief? There was a theft and you didn’t even tell me about it earlier?! Quickly go look for him, if you can’t find his whereabouts don’t bother coming back.”
Ling Senhao angrily hung up the phone, Looks like I should transfer some people from the clan over. He then called Mo Shaoqi’s cell phone again…
Mo Shaoqi was walking along the streets, amidst the traffic he was able to arrange his thoughts. As the sky was getting dark, he then realised he didn’t know which hotel Rui Sha and Xiao Wen were staying at.
Taking out his cell phone, he noticed he had dozens of text messages and quite a few missed calls.
Oh no, I hope nothing happened, he quickly opened up his messages.
Rui Sha: Shaoqi, Xiao Wen and I are at Hotel Kelaier, if you don’t know how to get here call me.
Xiao Wen: Brother Mo, where are you? Are you done your errand yet?
Rui Sha: Xiaoqi, where did you go? Why aren’t you picking up my calls? Get back to me soon, Boss Ling is very worried.
Mr. Ling: Xiaoqi, did you get lost? I can send someone to pick you up, call me.
Mr. Ling: Xiaoqi did something happen? Where are you? Please contact me ok?
It was only then that Mo Shaoqi realised how reckless he had been, letting so many people worry over him. He quickly called Boss Ling.
Ling Senhao heard his phone ringing and immediately know it was Mo Shaoqi. Few people knew his personal phone number anyways so he quickly picked up.
“Shaoqing where are you, are you feeling sick or did something happen?”
Mo Shaoqing felt moved and guilty at the same time: “Boss Ling, it’s Mo Shaoqi, I’m sorry, I…”
“It’s ok, you don’t have to say anything, as long as you’re alright. I’ve arranged a flat for you, have Rui Sha bring you to look around. You can stay in there from now on.”
Mo Shaoqi arrived at Kelaier Hotel and met up with Rui Sha and Xiao Wen. The two took him to the 2 bedroom flat that Ling Senhao had arranged. The block of flats was located within Third Ring Road* which made commuting very convenient.
Rui Sha commented that although the community was small, there weren’t many apartment blocks. Due to the area being well hidden with lots of privacy, many artists and talents lived there.
“So is this like an artist dormitory?” asked Mo Shaoqi.
“Obviously…” it couldn’t be, this place was clearly somewhere the boss arranged for you alone, a new talent, a 100 square foot flat located within Third Ring Road, haha.
“That’s gotta be it!” Xiao Wen replied innocently, “Our company’s treatment is top notch!” he added with admiration. Rui Sha thought It’s fine, there’s no need to explain right now. “Ok, go inside, we’re going to head back to the hotel now. Rest well.”
Mo Shaoqing headed up to the 22nd floor. The flat wasn’t big, the furnishings was simple and it also had air conditioning, heading, and heated floors. It really suited his taste. Mo Shaoqing was very satisfied with the careful arrangement done by Ling Senhao.
Unexpectedly this place will become his main residence as he worked in the Capital, so he felt like he had to personally decorate.
Finally, he went out to a furniture store and bought a few decorative vases, some art and some kitchen tools etc.
Once the home was rearranged to his liking Mo Shaoqi fell onto his bed tired. The cool air from the AC soothed him and made him lethargic and sleepy.
Unexpectedly his eyes opened, looking at the heater attached to the ceiling corner, he couldn’t help but think about the home he lived in in his past life. Of course this place was much better in comparison.
Mo Shaoqi was actually really scared of feeling cold, when he was reborn in southern Y City he really couldn’t stand the damp and cold climate there. In an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar speech, he just constantly looked frightened. But the family around him pampered him making him feel guilty and scared that he would one day return to being alone like in his previous life.
It’s good that I was able to come back…
Maybe it was because he was back in a familiar place that he was able to sleep soundly and sweetly that night. Although the situation involving Zhang Yi saddened him, there wasn’t a way to change what had already passed. The most important thing now was to work hard.
Two days later Mo Shaoqi followed Rui Sha to ELL magazine’s head quarters which was downtown. Rui Sha led him expertly through the bustling crowd.
Arriving at the 15th floor, they passed through in a glass walkway, opening the door the inside of the room was filled with photography equipment, and rows upon rows of clothes.
Rui Sha immediately went to give a greeting: “Hello Director Ma Xiusi”.
Mo Shaoqi followed suit, “Hello Director Ma Xiusi!”.
“Is this the newcomer at Xing Yang?” asked the Director Ma Xiusi. He had a beard that was groomed into a small braid, his laugh felt a bit evil, definitely not effeminate.
His fingers stroked his chin, as his sharp gaze lingered over Mo Shaoqi for a bit and concluded: “Good. I’ll select some clothes for you.”
As he walked he said: “I’m sure you already know what the concept of the shoot is, the rule here is that it doesn’t matter who you are, if your work is no good, then you can leave.”
Ma Xiusi came back from a rack and handed a few outfits over to Mo Shaoqi, pursing his lips to point, “The change rooms are over there, Ai Lun help the newbie get hair and make up.”
An “OK!” sounded out from the crowd.
Ma Xiusi then moved on to check up on the other models in the shoot and left Mo Shaoqi alone.
“Ma Xiusi is like that, he’s always busy. He only gives pointers to the ones he likes, so your luck is pretty good. He even selected your outfits!” Rui Sha was worried that he would feel bad that the director left quickly so she went to comfort him.Mo Shaoqi smiled bitterly, was he that delicate? When he first started working in his last life, he experienced being completely ignored. Comparatively, Director Ma’s attitude could even be considered not bad.
“I’m fine, Sister Rui Sha. I’m going to work harder, I just lack experience. I’m not even sure how I should pose later…”
“Don’t stress, the photographer today is very renowned in the industry, even if all 365 degrees around you is a dead angle he has the ability to still take a good photo. The photos will be edited post-production anyways. Quickly get going.”
Mo Shaoqi headed to make up first. It was clearly a shared dressing area as palettes and powders were scattered across the table. Several makeup artists were busily rushing around to get everyone’s makeup applied. Mo Shaoqi could only sit at an empty makeup chair and wait.
When it was finally his turn, the person called Ai Lun still hadn’t arrived. So instead, a young woman did his makeup for him. Mo Shaoqi knew that he wasn’t a high priority on set, so why would a professional makeup artist bother to volunteer to do his makeup!
At least his facial features weren’t bad. He didn’t even have dark circles, so he didn’t require much makeup.
“Your skin is really nice! I’m going to fill in your brows and contour your nose. Some eyeliner too.”
When she was done, she asked him to take a look. Mo Shaoqi smiled slightly. Without knowing it, he easily stole the makeup artist’s heart.
“Alright, take a look” She had quickly and effortlessly completed his makeup, turned and handed him the mirror.
A young man with naturally dark hair and chiseled facial features stared back in the mirror. His eyes seemed proud and aloof at the same time like snow-capped mountains. But when he smiled, his eyes were clear like spring water - innocent and charming.
Without delay, Mo Shaoqi immediately went to change into his first outfit.
His first set of clothes was a yellow sweater with the Dunn.Brown monogram. Yellow was a hard colour to pull off, but Mo Shaoqi was quite pale and wore it well. It was paired with a pair of loose black jeans that were also from the same brand.
Ma Xiusi frowned when he saw Mo Shaoqi come from hair and makeup. “What took you so long? And your hair…. Forget it. We’ve been waiting for you, quickly get on set”
It was only now that Mo Shaoqing noticed all the props that were placed under the white backdrop. The photographer and lighting technicians were ready on stand by, waiting for him to get on set.
Mo Shaoqi had zero experience, to say he was nervous was an understatement. But right now, all he could do was keep calm. This was the opportunity that Boss Ling fought for him to have…
Mo Shaoqi randomly picked a spot to sit and placed his hands behind him for support and held a pose. He could heard the shutter click and the lights flash.
After a few seconds he got up and leaned against the wall behind him. Slightly lifting his head, he stared into the camera through his bangs.
Maybe because the lights were quite bright, but he couldn’t catch where Director Ma and Rui Sha were. Naturally, he also couldn’t see the expressions they had on their faces.
Mo Shaoqi silently reminded himself to not lose focus.
He then moved on to strike a pose one after another. He could only hear the adjustment directions coming from the director as if the rest of the studio was lost in space, it was very quiet.
Mo Shaoqi then changed into a white jumper. Before getting back to set he grabbed a pair of black rimmed glasses from the makeup table. Stopping for a moment to think he also grabbed some baby’s breath before returning to the studio.
This time he was mentally prepared. He slowed down his steps and put the baby’s breath flowers into a vase. In the background he could hear the camera click.
The corner of his mouth raised, ‘Good, this is the result I wanted’.
Mo Shaoqing continued to incorporate the baby’s breath in simple poses like biting on his thumb, posing in deep thought, and covering his face with his sweater.
Without any guidance coming from Director Ma, Mo Shaoqi wasn’t sure if he was still being watched, so he decided to risk it all in the next shot.
He crossed his arms reaching the hem of his sweater and lifted them up.
There was an audible gasp in the background, Mo Shaoqi didn’t mean to expose himself and hid his face with the clothing. He leaned forward to try and cover his stomach.
He could hear the shutter click more rapidly--
‘Very good, my bet was right.’
Ring roads are referring to the major radial road that can be found in cities that use a radial or concentric arranged cities (urban planning). In Beijing, The city centre is the Palace. There are main roads in the North/South and East/West directions, but also roads that loop around the city districts. If you take a look on google maps you can see the ring roads. The lower numbered the ring road, the closer to downtown you are and the higher the cost of living is!