Not long after winning the Golden Emperor award for the movie "Ending", Bai Lang began working on the movies for the series of foreign books.
Even though the actual filming would not take place until a while later, however in the early period Bai Lang still had a lot of work getting make-up and styling for early promotional material.
When the casting was announced, naturally Bai Lang this new film emperor's reputation went up a few notches.
The popularity of this series of books in China was already so widespread that every household knew about it. It had a wide fanbase. After the first three movies were shown, the fans of the books were all curious as to who would play the role of the Asian student who would show up in the fourth movie. They saw that one month after receiving his award, the new film emperor was cast in the role and with the addition of the very popular Rong Air commercial, this casting choice made all the fans very satisfied. The casting director was also very happy. This meant that they had also gained a free, additional promotion gold card. With the two things complimenting each other, the effect was very good.
Thus, Bai Lang's career after becoming the film emperor took off faster than anyone could have expected.
After all the chance to film a foreign blockbuster was an opportunity that didn't come easily. There were many film emperors who while having a great career domestically, didn't have any bright successes overseas. The fact that Bai Lang got this opportunity can also be considered his fortune. When these two final movies were successfully shown to the world and succeeded both in terms of popularity, critical opinion and box office sales, Bai Lang rode the wave to successfully become an "international superstar". Even though he really hadn't filmed that many works.
And when Father Bai came to find Bai Lang, it was when the first movie Bai Lang filmed for that series of books had just come into the theatres.
At that time, no matter if it was big streets or small alleys, all were covered with posters for the movie. Bai Lang had also busy doing promotions for it. Father Bai loitered outside Total Entertainment's big building suspiciously and after being recognized by the eagle-eyed security team, Fang Hua brought him in via the back door then called Bai Lang to let him know.
Bai Lang went silent for a few seconds then agreed to come by for a meeting.
Bai Lang had only lightly pushed open the door when he saw the back of a person standing looking out the window of his personal office.
Father Bai was wearing pants of an indeterminate color and it was covered with dirt and grease. His ashy gray hair was very messy. In these years he had become quite a lot thinner and his shoulders were hunched as though he was about to collapse. No matter if it was when Bai Lang was young and at home, or when he was a farmer, Father Bai had never had this kind of dejected and downtrodden appearance.
Looking at this made Bai Lang's footsteps pause slightly. "Dad."
Father Bai who was spacing out next to the floor length windows was startled. Swaying slightly, he turned around.
On his old and pale face there were many lines etched. His expression was very hesitant, "Ah, Ah Lang…."
Looking at this father who appeared like a completely different person, Bai Lang really didn't know what to say. "Why don't you sit while waiting?"
On the coffee table next to the couch there was a cup of tea placed. The secretary wasn't likely to have forgotten her responsibilities.
Father Bai lowered his head. Guiltily he pulled at his clothes. "I'm scared, scared of making it dirty. I can just stand here, it's okay…."
If these words came from Bai Li's mouth, Bai Lang would definitely think he was acting.
But when it came from Father Bai, Bai Lang knew that his personality was so weak and soft that even if he told a lie, he would become agitated and embarrassed.
So he also didn't beat around the bush but directly asked, "Dad, do you need something so came to find me?"
When Father Bai heard this not unkind question he raised his head. His expression when he looked at Bai Lang had a little bit of anticipation.
But a few seconds later, when he saw Bai Lang was only peacefully waiting for him to talk, that little sliver of anticipation changed to anxiety, shame and in the end his face went red.
Father Bai lowered his head again, not able to look at Bai Lang in the eye. He said shamefully, "I, I came because… you, your mother… no, I mean, that…. Your big brother, he…."
Father Bai couldn't string a sentence together for a long time. Bai Lang only slowly walked beside Father Bai and also looked down at the cityscape that could be seen outside the floor-length windows. He thought it might be easier for Father Bai to talk without someone looking at him.
"What happened to Bai Li?"
Bai Lang asked this because he really didn't know.
After Qiu Qian's accident, Bai Lang and Qiu Qian pretty much had no secrets from each other. So Bai Lang knew that Qiu Qian had used schemes to evict Bai Li, as well as Father Bai and Mother Bai from that two apartments. After that, Qiu Qian arranged a pit for Bai Li to jump into using the money he had gotten from the sales. However Bai Lang didn't enquire further about whether or not he had actually jumped. Because after that the car accident had occurred and both Bai Lang and Qiu Qian's focus turned to other things.
Three years later when they came back to the country, the Bai family hadn't come to find them. Bai Lang also asked Qiu Qian not to look for them.
In reality, Bai Li really couldn't withstand the temptation of the trap Qiu Qian had set for him. He had invested the majority of his money and lost almost everything. However the only thing good about this time was at least that the money was his own and not borrowed. After losing nearly everything he had, if Bai Li learnt his lesson and was willing to work hard and find a proper job, then with the small amount of remaining money he had, it was not impossible to survive together with Father and Mother Bai even though life would be bitter for some time.
However Bai Li persisted in dreaming about getting rich overnight. But right now he and Bai Lang had publicly cut off their relationship. Also most people knew that right now Bai Lang wasn't in the country. So no matter if it was a legitimate bank or a loan shark, no one was stupid enough to lend Bai Li any money.
So Bai Li could only pin his hopes on the lottery. He did some odd jobs to earn a bit of money, but was often fired. As soon as he earned a small amount of money he would immediately use it gamble. However at least at this time, what was left of the Bai family's money as well as Father Bai's small income he earned as a ticket seller was tightly grasped by Mother Bai. So even though Bai Li's income was zero, the family of three was able to rent a small apartment and just managed to get by.
However Bai Li was not willing to keep living like this. Because after Bai Li stole the deeds of the apartments to sell, Mother Bai's attitude towards Bai Li had changed to treating him like an enemy. She would often hit him and swear at him. Every day during the three meal times this scene would definitely occur. This made the already short-tempered Bai Li fill with anger and on a particular day he finally lost control and pushed Mother Bai violently to the ground, twisting her ankle.
Mother Bai lay on the ground and yelled out painfully. She didn't forget to curse hatefully at Bai Li and said she would definitely sue this unfilial son to death!! Ungrateful wretch!! So big and old but still wants his old parents to support him, this useless trash!!
When Bai Li heard this he was both angry and frightened. He knew that the crime of hurting someone would be compounded by the fact that he was a son hurting his parents. So without another thought, he snatched the bank card that Mother Bai had always guarded preciously and without even turning back around, he rushed out the door and never came back.
When Father Bai finished work and came home, Mother Bai was in so much pain she had nearly fainted. Because originally she thought it was just a sprain and that she could endure the pain and just massage and roll it a bit until it became better. But when she manipulated it, the originally 50% injury was turned by her into an 80% injury. By the time she got to the hospital, the shattered bone was already at the point where it would never heal back to its original state. This fall caused her to become a cripple.
Mother Bai was filled with even more hate. Holding her crutch, she hobbled to the police station to file charges against Bai Li. This turned Bai Li into a wanted man. It was unknown whether or not he would be caught, but the Bai family's circumstances didn't get any better because of the charges.
After Bai Li stole the family's money and ran away, Father Bai's tiny income after paying Mother Bai's hospital and medication fees meant that they were no longer able to afford to rent the apartment. Although the kind-hearted landlord agreed to let them stay another few months, however the small amusement park that Father Bai worked in was also demolished. Now that he lost his job, if not for the fact that Mother Bai sold her jewellery and managed to find an even worse, dilapidated apartment to momentarily hide from the wind and rain, then probably right now Father Bai and the disabled Mother Bai would probably be homeless and living on the streets.
"After that, me and your mother looked through the trash for things to sell." Father Bai said slowly. His voice became even lower. "Right now, we can still live, but just a few days ago your mother was robbed. She was beaten up and the other person also put out a notice. We, for a few days we haven't been able to collect any trash. We, really don't have any other way, so, so…."
When he heard this Bai Lang also lowered his eyes. His heart felt very complicated.
In his past life, Bai Li was finally able to get rich in the end. He used Bai Lang's money and so there wasn't any discord between him and Father and Mother Bai.
In this life, Bai Lang cut off Bai Li and so Bai Li could only go back to bite his parents. However for it to get to this state, to say it's karma or retribution….
However Bai Lang had to ask himself, was this what he wanted?
His father who looked so old and broken, and his mother who was a cripple. Right now could he really feel happy?
"Ah, Ah Lang," Father Bai finally spoke again. "I, I know that me and your mom, we were wrong about your older brother. Pre-previously, we had some misunderstandings about you. That's our mistake. Everyone, everyone says that we did this to ourselves, but, but…."
"Don't say anymore, dad." Bai Lang interrupted him.
Father Bai went quiet. His face was very pale.
Right now his son wouldn't even look at him. His mouth opened slightly then finally closed again.
"I will transfer 10,000 yuan a month to father's bank card."
Father Bai, whose legs were feeling weak at this moment, froze and stared at Bai Lang.
Bai Lang also finally looked at Father Bai in the eye.
"There won't be anymore. Because the other half should have been given to you by Bai Li. In this life, I won't ever help him pay a single cent again."
"No…. it's, it's already enough." Father Bai's face showed he couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"Two people living on 10,000. It will be hard in the city. However if you go somewhere more regional, you can live well." After talking, Bai Lang walked towards the office table and took out a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down a phone number. He also wrote a cheque and handed both to Father Bai. "If something comes up, you can call this number."
Father Bai looked at what was in Bai Lang's hand then looked at Bai Lang. With trembling hands he took it. He spoke with a whimper.
"Ah, Ah Lang, it's me and your mom that have wronged you… this, you…."
Bai Lang turned his head away. He didn't want to listen to this. It would only reopen the wounds that had already been covered over.
"Go back quickly ba, take mom to see a doctor and…. Eat a good meal."
Father Bai saw the situation and shamefully wanted to say something, but after pondering for some time he couldn't find the right words. Finally he rubbed his eyes and moved his feet to leave. When he got to the door, just before he stepped outside, Father Bai turned around and suddenly asked.
"….. Ah Lang, you, are you living well?"
Bai Lang's back was to his father. He didn't reply but his eyes went red.
It had been so many years but he had finally received a word of concern.
This can be considered progress ba.
After that Bai Lang stayed in the office for some time. Just like Father Bai, he stood next to the floor-length window and looked at the scenery outside for a long time.
All the way until a warm pair of arms embraced him from behind. A familiar and comforting voice sounded.
Bai Lang lowered his already dry eyes. "Who said I cried?"
"You're soft hearted on the inside. You can't hate to the end, but you also aren't foolish enough to thoroughly forgive."
Bai Lang turned around in Qiu Qian's arms. He breathed Qiu Qian's scent in deeply and laughed. "It sounds like you're saying I brought this on myself."
"Don't worry." Bai Lang felt his head being kissed. "You just do what you want, as long as your happy it's good."
Bai Lang leaned into Qiu Qian's embrace and shut his eyes. He made a noise of agreement then said, "Let's eat hot pot tonight. Later let's go by the supermarket."
"Okay." Qiu Qian nodded.
"Let's invite Er Hong, Xiao Li, Sister Fang and Ah Zan's family."
Qiu Qian wasn't pleased. "Why you want to call so many people for?"
"Hot pot is better with more people."
"I can eat many people's portion. It's the same."
"That's Xiao Hai."
Dozens of kilometres away, Qiu XiaoHai sneezed loudly next to Rong Zan.
"It's so cold ah, when I get home I'm going to ask Ah Bai to make hot pot!"
Just as he said this, his phone rang.
Just before the next lunar new year festival, Bai Lang's house received a cardboard box of vegetables.
On it was written Father Bai's name, and there was also a crumpled letter.
In it the first sentence, although it was just a formality, was written: "Ah Lang, are you living well?"
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