Saving One Hundred Million StarsChapters List
Chapter 5: The Young and Renowned Drama Maniac 
Qi Zhi was referring to the scene that Li Mengfu had NG'd many times just now. Li Mengfu had spirit and was not lacking in acting skills, so she only needed a little guidance.
Hearing this, Li Mengfu looked at him with bright eyes, speaking excitedly: "Okay!"
Li Mengfu had always known how serious Qi Zhi was when it came to acting.
Qi Zhi's performances had never been merely superficial acting skills; he was a madman who liked to fully immerse himself in his roles.
Although in recent years there had always been rumors circulating about his box office flops over the years, Li Mengfu had always believed in him, believing in the youth who astonished the entertainment world four years ago with his acting skills.
Seeing her in such an excited state, Qi Zhi's gaze softened even further.
He lightly shook his right hand, wanting very much to reach out and ruffle her hair, but held back because of Mother Li's presence, and he ended up just rubbing his fingers together.
Mother Li, hearing their conversation, showed a genuine smile: "It's really troubling you, XiaoQi."
"It's no trouble," Qi Zhi shook his head.
Early in the morning around six o'clock, a round red sun hung on a thin branch, the sun rose in a haze, as clear and bright as water.
As soon as Qi Zhi arrived on set, he heard Li Mengfu calling him in a slightly shrill voice.
Li Mengfu's voice was akin to her mother's, where it could easily become shrill on a high note if one wasn't careful. Yet, it carried a bright sweetness, much like a dolphin's sound.
Qi Zhi said with a smile, "Good morning."
Li Mengfu looked at him with bright eyes, and Qi Zhi's expression grew even softer. Before he could get closer, Li Mengfu was already chattering about the scene last night.
Qi Zhi took a few quick steps closer and stood beside her and lowered his head slightly, focusing on her words intently.
The onlookers, seeing the incredible dedication of the two young lead actors, instinctively gave them space to delve into their roles without any disturbance.
"Given her background as a high-born lady during her lifetime, even as a vengeful ghost, she shouldn't wail and howl so intensely."
"Facial expressions should be subtle, with the focus on the acting of the eyes to send shivers down one's spine".
Saying this, Qi Zhi gave Li Mengfu a gloomy and icy cold look.
The next second, he collected his expression and said in a low voice: "Your ghost makeup is already vivid and heavy, so your facial features moving too much could make your acting seem exaggerated."
This was also the reason why Li Mengfu had not been performing well in front of the camera last night.
It wasn't that the makeup artist applied the makeup too heavily, but because Li Mengfu's natural appearance was on the sweeter side, and she was known to the public as the "Nation's Sweetheart".
Without the whole thick makeup to cover up, it would be easy to break the character, and it was also fortunate that the makeup artist didn't give Li Mengfu a 'blackened smoky makeup'.
"Ah, I see," Li Mengfu mused, her brows furrowing slightly. She revisited her NGs from the previous night and realized it was indeed as Qi Zhi said.
"I can't believe I didn't notice how I looked in front of the camera last night." Li Mengfu slapped her forehead in chagrin.
She had been extremely tired last night, and the more NGs she had, the more anxious she became, and she messed up for a while.
She initially intended to ask Director Chen for advice, without expecting Qi Zhi's words to enlighten her so much.
Qi Zhi couldn't resist teasing her with a grin, "Why don't you give it another try for me?"
Upon hearing this, Li Mengfu shot him a mischievous smile, saying, "I'm going to find Director Chen."
And just like that, she swiftly ran off into the distance.
Qi Zhi watched her retreating figure with a wry smile. A slight curve formed at the corner of his mouth as he took long strides to catch up with her.
"Not bad." After Li Mengfu finished her performance, Director Chen nodded his head in satisfaction, "We'll keep it as it is for tonight."
Getting Director Chen's approval, Li Mengfu's eyes sparkled with joy. Her face lit up with a radiant smile, and her two dimples were simply adorable.
Seeing her adorable look, Qi Zhi, unable to restrain himself, placed his hand on her shoulder and guided her towards the center of the set. "All right, let's prepare for the next scene. Otherwise, Director Chen might scold you later."
"Oh." Li Mengfu glanced at his hand on her shoulder, pretending not to notice and acquiescing to his closeness.
However, after just two seconds, Qi Zhi withdrew his hand down and casually asked:
"You came alone today?" Neither Father Li nor Mother Li had appeared on the set until now.
"Uh-huh." Li Mengfu blinked, "They seem to be up to something."
Early this morning, the atmosphere of the Li family's parents was not right, as if they had a fight. After Mother Li told Li Mengfu to go to the set by herself, she 'snapped' the door shut behind her.
"I still remember the last time we filmed together, your uncle or aunt would always be with you." Qi Zhi's gaze flickered briefly as he talked about the year they first met.
"I'm seventeen now, not a little kid anymore." Li Mengfu glanced up slightly at Qi Zhi, while thinking, besides, what could happen when you are here?
As the two chatted, they began filming for the day.
Today's filming went very smoothly, and even the scenes, which had been challenging the previous evening, only required two retakes and they wrapped up early at 7:30 in the evening.
Night fell, the dark blue sky was dotted with a few stars, blinking and drowning in the neon lights of the metropolis.
This year, Li Mengfu came to the film set alone.
Being underage without a driver's license, she called a rideshare service and planned to take a taxi home.
On the street, Qi Zhi drove by, honked twice, and rolled down the window to nod at her, "I'll give you a ride."
"When did you get your driver's license?" Li Mengfu was a little surprised.
Qi Zhi smiled, he turned eighteen this April, and took the opportunity to get his driver's license while preparing for the college entrance exam.
"Last month," Qi Zhi said loudly, while the cars behind him honked their horns to urge them to move faster and not stop at the street corner.
Li Mengfu hurriedly opened the rear door, seeing this, Qi Zhi's gaze flickered slightly: "Why don't you sit in the front."
Only then did Li Mengfu realize belatedly that by sitting in the back, she took Qi Zhi as a driver.
She snickered, while fastening the seat belt she laughed uncontrollably: "I just glanced at the 'learner' sign on the rear of your car."
Li Mengfu didn't say the second half of her sentence, worried about the safety of sitting in the passenger seat.
"Tch," Qi Zhi clicked his tongue through the rearview mirror at her, with an aggrieved tone: "Next time sit in front."
Hearing this, Li Mengfu teased from behind with a smile like a flower: "Yes, young master!"
Qi Zhi drove while laughing and chatting with her.
The next morning, the blood red sun rose breaking through the dense fog, creating a fiery spectacle on the distant horizon.
In recent days, Li Mengfu had been coming to the film set alone.
During a break, Qi Zhi asked her: "What happened?"
Li Mengfu shook her head without a word and sat down silently next to him, pursing her lips and spoke vaguely: "It's nothing, just a bit tired."
Li Mengfu couldn't hide her thoughts.
Seeing her appearance, Qi Zhi knew something had happened, probably involving Li Mengfu's parents.
Qi Zhi frowned, thinking of her vampire-like parents, he gently said:
"If something happens, you can tell me about it."
His voice was soft and gentle, with the characteristic clarity of a teenager. Li Mengfu raised her eyes to look at him, Qi Zhi's gaze was soft, the corner of his mouth raised slightly:
"We're friends. If you have any worries, you can naturally share them with me."
Hearing his repeated emphasis, warmth bloomed in Li Mengfu's heart. She relaxed her brows and slowly revealed a genuine smile, nodding her head in response.
Seeing her so cooperative, Qi Zhi reached out and lightly rubbed her shiny black hair.
Li Mengfu was still in costume makeup and hairstyle at the time, Qi Zhi didn't want to mess up her hairstyle, and let go after just a moment.
Noticing his caution, Li Mengfu's mood suddenly lifted for some reason, she giggled and her eyes lit up.
"Ahem." Qi Zhi coughed lightly: "Sorry, your short hair style is just too cute, so I couldn't hold back."
Hearing this, Li Mengfu suddenly blushed to the tips of her ears. She glanced at Qi Zhi with a flickering gaze, then lowered her eyes to avoid his.
Afterwards, Qi Zhi and Li Mengfu's cooperation in filming became increasingly tacit.
The two were collaborating for the second time, and even during breaks on set, everyone could see the two leads chatting and laughing together, creating a harmonious atmosphere.
The night scenes they shot that day went a bit late, and by the time it was wrapped up, it was already nine in the evening.
Qi Zhi glanced at the moon and then sideways at Li Mengfu who was removing her makeup.
Her expression was weary, with traces of sorrow between her brows, and those usually bright and shiny eyes were clouded with a layer of mist, making one unable to help but worry about what had happened to the young girl.
Qi Zhi idly scrolled on his phone, waiting for her quietly on the side.
"Qi Zhi." Within a quarter of an hour, Li Mengfu stood up and smiled faintly at him: "Let's go."
As usual, Qi Zhi sent her home.
Li Mengfu sat obediently in the passenger seat resting her eyes.
Qi Zhi turned his head slightly, catching a glimpse of her face with its fine fuzz and a hint of a light, bluish shadow under her pretty eyelashes.
With a gentle tap of his fingertip, soothing light music began to play in the small space.
It was the instrumental music from the movie "Full Moon."
After listening for half a minute, Li Mengfu opened her eyes, unable to hold back saying: "It's from 'Full Moon', I didn't expect it to be in your playlist."
Hearing this, Qi Zhi smiled: "I saw you were really tired today, so I just randomly played something."
"Later when I watched the finished film by myself, I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for the open ending. If only Yu Sheng and Jing Yue could be together it would have been so much better.
Li Mengfu's thoughts were opened up. Seventeen or eighteen year old girls are always full of naive fantasies about love.
Qi Zhi saw that she had regained her spirits, and followed up on her words by saying: "There's beauty in leaving things to the imagination. Sometimes, a perfect and conclusive ending might lack a certain poetic atmosphere."
Li Mengfu nodded casually: "I remember Teacher Guan is currently writing her second work, I haven't had a chance to read it yet."
The "Teacher Guan" mentioned by Li Mengfu was the original author of "Full Moon", she was a famous contemporary novelist.
"There's actually a second part?" Qi Zhi's eyes showed a hint of surprise.
"Yeah, it's not published yet."
Li Mengfu smiled lightly and leaned in a bit closer to Qi Zhi and whispered secretly: "I saw it on Teacher Guan's friend circle, she didn't cover up the manuscript name very well, so I found her writing it."
"You are quite the ghost." Qi Zhi smiled.
Li Mengfu blinked: "Shh, you have to keep it a secret."
Seeing her playful appearance, Qi Zhi agreed with a smile.
In just a moment, they arrived at the small community where Li Mengfu lived. However, before Qi Zhi even got out of the car, he saw two people arguing and grabbing at each other by the entrance.
The shrill voice of the woman pierced through the main street, it was a bit muffled by the roar of cars yet it faintly reached the ears of Qi Zhi, who had excellent hearing:
"Damn you... you scoundrel! You've squandered all of Mengmeng's earnings!"
"Crazy old hag, what nonsense are you blabbering!" The man saw her screaming loudly, attracting passersby to watch, he gripped the bank card tightly in his hand, anger and embarrassment causing him to roughly shove the woman away.
Li's mother stumbled and almost fell to the ground, luckily Qi Zhi reacted quickly to support her.
"Mom..." Li Mengfu's voice quivered.
Upon seeing that the bank card in her father's hand was one they had opened years ago to save up her dowry, Li Mengfu turned pale, despair surfacing in her eyes.
Dad must have been gambling outside and lost again...
And this time he must have lost a lot of money, otherwise why would he take the bank card they used to save her dowry?
When Li Mengfu's father saw his daughter had returned, he was a little embarrassed, so he said: "Mengmeng don't worry, Dad spotted a good horse just now, I'll definitely win it all back tonight!"
Having said that, Li Mengfu's father hurriedly got in the car, afraid to stay even a second longer in case he lost the money.
Li's mother was crying out desperately and staggered to the ground: "Quickly stop him! That's Mengmeng's dowry money!"
Help Us Grow
Read. Donate. Experience.Buy us a Coffee