Rise of the Wasteland

Chapter 236



Chapter 236        Boy Toy


Li Changmin was completely shocked when he saw Zhou Qingfeng’s face on the television screen. He even screamed when he heard how the guests of the show attempted to explain the mysterious identity of the movie’s protagonist.

This kid is a superstar, I can finally make a fortune out of something!

Li Changmin suddenly came up with a thought in his mind. He was familiar with all kinds of weird plans and tricks. Hence, he immediately began to wonder if he could use Zhou Qingfeng to his advantage. After all, the latter was an international star that had slept with his wife. He felt that it was quite reasonable for him to demand a few million dollars from Zhou Qingfeng.

However, right before Li Changmin had the chance to get close to Zhou Qingfeng, Feng Ruhai, who had just seen the movie poster, suddenly appeared as well. He quickly returned to the house as he too wanted to confirm Zhou Qingfeng’s identity. He too felt that he could gain some benefit out from it if his daughter had a relationship with an international superstar.

Zhou Qingfeng knew that his denial would be useless for them. Thus, he explained to them by saying that he wanted to keep a low profile and he did not want his whereabouts to be exposed to the public. He was able to escape the situation where Feng Wan decided to throw a tantrum, pull his hand, and leave the house in the end.

Li Changmin and Feng Ruhai flashed quick grins before they rapidly swallowed them when Zhou Qingfeng finally left the house. Only God knew what they were thinking about.

Meanwhile, Feng Wan and Zhou Qingfeng left the house and arrived at a small park in the community. Feng Wan put Zhou Qingfeng’s normal pair of sunglasses on him and said half-jokingly,”‘I don’t care if you’re a star, I just don’t want you showing up in public to seduce the girls.” Zhou Qingfeng could only respond to her with a bitter smile.

There was a huge ‘Wasteland’ poster outside the small park, and it seemed that the community street office was planning to have a free movie screening in the park. The white projector screen was being set up in the middle of the park to provide entertainment for the community.

It definitely felt much better to watch a movie on a big silver screen than a small television or display screen. A lot of adults and children that went out for a walk quickly gathered themselves in the park, and everyone seemed to be extremely eager to see the movie screening.

As the crowd slowly grew larger in scale, Feng Wan, who was standing in the middle of the darkness, looked at the lighted posters and asked, “How do you feel as a movie star? I’m pretty sure they’ll trust you if you were just stand out and claim that you’re Zhou Qingfeng.

Zhou Qingfeng laughed as he then replied to her question with another question, “Then, how do you feel as the girlfriend of a movie star?”

Feng Wan gave it a serious thought before saying, “I do feel a little nervous and scared at first. I feel that I’ll get into trouble on the account of my cherished item. I’m just scared that you’ll be snatched by someone else.”

“I’m feeling a little nervous and scared too.” Zhou Qingfeng sighed. Since ‘Wasteland’ part 1 was being screened for free in the theater, he would not be making any money out of it. He had to wait for the release of ‘Wasteland’ part 2 to earn a portion of the total revenue.

However, the second part of the movie was set to release after a month. Zhou Qingfeng knew that he could not afford to waste a month’s worth of time.

“You seem to be worrying about something?” asked Feng Wan.

“Will you believe me if I tell you that I’m short on money?”

“How much do you need? I do have some savings……”

“Fool, never give money to a man that you’ve known for only a short period of time. Anyway, I’m not short of a small amount of money. I’ll need heaps of it.”

The two found a place in the dark corner of the small park and sat down. The crowd too had gradually become quiet as the movie was about to begin. The story began with the dinner between Zhou Qingfeng and the Lawrence family, and how Zhou Qingfeng saved Leina from the darkness.

When the vicious faces of the Portaschi brothers came out from the shadows, there was a burst of excitement from the audience. Many children shouted at their parents as the adults then tried to comfort their children.

The money-stealing scene from the Catclaw bar, the showdown outside McDonald’s, the Lena Fox on the street and the showdown between Victor Hugo and the kidnappers outside the hospital formed the first part of the movie.

“What the hell, this guy is really brave. He just broke into the bar full of gangsters alone.”

“The film is so realistic. Every scene of the movie seems to be plain and calm, but I can feel the strong murderous intent conveyed by the protagonist. I can even feel a sense of tension just by watching him walk down the streets.”

“Is this a McDonald’s or a bank? They even have bulletproof glass and barbed wire fences around the restaurant. Seriously?”

“That’s because all the thugs were running rampant in that area. Didn’t you hear what the protagonist said? He said that the Brooklyn area of New York is extremely dangerous.”

“My god, don’t you think he looks so handsome, especially when he robbed the two cops?! He’s fast and furious.”

“The part where he saved the girl is so funny. He didn’t actually know how to fire a gun, but it was more than enough for him to scare the kidnappers away.”

“How dare they have a massacre inside a hospital? So many people died during that incident, especially the kid that got shot. May God be with them.”

“What the hell, did he just kill the chief officer from the NYPD? I’m impressed… It seems that he doesn’t usually fire his shots, but when he does, he makes sure that he gets a kill.”

“This is definitely one of the most breathtaking movies I’ve ever watched. I think it’s mainly because of the realistic filming approach from the director.”

“Yeah, I do agree with you. Everyone’s just so lively. Even the protagonist grew up step by step, unlike the other movies that have their protagonists grow up after a time skip.”

“I now want to know if the protagonist managed to lay his hand on the robotic dog.”

“Of course he got it, but barely.”

Feng Wan had been staring at Zhou Qingfeng for quite a while, and she found out that his eyes never left the screen even once. She then whispered in his ear, “How do you feel now?”

Zhou Qingfeng stared at the screen and sighed, “I almost died in the movie.”

“I don’t understand what you mean.” Feng Wan then threw a few glances at her surroundings and said, “Look, everyone’s gathering in this park just to watch the movie.”

The entire park had already been crowded with heaps of people, and countless heads could be seen when the screen lit up. At a glance, there were at least three to four hundred people that attended the movie session. In the past, when a movie was being screened by the community in the park, there would only be one to two hundred attendees at most. There were simply too many people in the park today.

“Look at this well.” Feng Wan handed her phone over to Zhou Qingfeng. She showed him some of the movie forums, and all of them were currently flooded with comments about ‘Wasteland’.

“Just came out from the theater. Just wanted to tell everyone that it’s definitely your loss for not watching the IMAX version of the movie. Although there are no special stunts in the movie, the level of realism in the movie is well beyond one’s imagination. I almost felt like I was apart of the crew.”

“I’m currently in New York, in the United States. I’m pretty sure none of you would’ve imagined that the Americans will actually like an Asian as the movie protagonist. The fans of the movie are now marching in the streets of Manhattan. There are even some female fans holding the signs and shouting, ‘Hey, Victor Hugo. Will you marry me?’

“The American Times has just updated their list of Asian-renowned characters. They randomly surveyed more than 2,000 people across the country and found out that Victor Hugo is now the most recognized Asian American around the globe. Almost everyone from the survey is currently thinking, where the hell is the protagonist right now? What is he doing at this moment?

When Feng Wan saw the last comment, sparks could be seen flying before her eyes. She then grabbed Zhou Qingfeng’s hand firmly and said in excitement, “My boy toy! Come, let me kiss you. I want to let the entire world know that the man that they’ve been searching for the past few weeks is currently kissing me.”

“Molecular biology is a concept proposed in the 1950s.”

"The theory will always exceed its practical application. There are so many theories that have been put forward from decades ago but they’ve yet to find any application for them."

“How old are you now? Which university did you graduate from?”

Feng Ruhai had been chatting with Zhou Qingfeng for more than half an hour and he was having a great time. However, he was instantly dumbfounded at the end when he heard that Zhou Qingfeng was just a high school graduate and was currently a vagrant. Nonetheless, his expression remained unchanged as he continued chatting to Zhou Qingfeng, but his inquiries gradually turned from detailed to general.

“It’s always good for young people out there like you to have a bit of ambition and aspiration. A low academic qualification is never a problem, as effort is the only element that can determine one’s level of success. Your current level is almost equal to that of a freshman medical student. Keep it up!” Feng Ruhai’s words seemed to be praising him, but Li Changmin, who sat on the other side, burst into laughter like he had just won. He laughed as if he had finally bounced back from the game.

Feng Ruhai did not stay for much longer or wait for his daughter to come back. He seemed to be quite tactful as he left right before Feng Wan came back. However, Li Changmin, for whatever reason, decided to tell Feng Wan that his father-in-law had just left a few minutes ago. He even told her some of Feng Ruhai’s words.

Feng Wan was instantly infuriated. She slammed her door when she entered her room.

“What happened?” Zhou Qingfeng was holding a copy of ‘Molecular Biology’ in his hand. The content of the book was a bit difficult and he could only understand it after reading a lot of relevant materials.

“What did you and that old bastard talk about?” Feng Wan sat down next to Zhou Qingfeng, grabbed his hand, and said, “He’s a very cunning person. Don’t fall for his trick.”

“It’s the first time I’ve met a daughter who calls her own dad a cunning person,” Zhou Qingfeng smiled at first before hugging Feng Wan. “Don’t worry. I’m not that easily fooled. Moreover, people who want to trick me usually end up pretty bad. However, I did learn something during my conversation with your father today. He advised me to not only read the book, but also the journal articles, including the articles from decades ago. I think his words do make sense.”

Feng Wan gradually felt better thanks to Zhou Qingfeng’s calmness. She soon realized that the books, which she had been collecting a few years, were all taken out by Zhou Qingfeng. She then asked, “My mother spent her life writing these books, but that old bastard took all the credit away from her in the end. Why did you move these books out from my storage?”

As Zhou Qingfeng was not familiar with Feng Wan’s family, he did not follow up with further questions. He answered, “I’ve been doing some smuggling business lately and understanding a lot of things is an important element to be successful in this area of business. I can carry on the business without knowing the practical skills of biology and medicine, but I must be able to know the content behind it.”

Feng Wan’s intuition told her that the man standing in front of him was just bluffing. She then took a poster out from her bag and handed it over to Zhou Qingfeng, “Take a look at this, what do you think about it?”

It was the poster for ‘Wasteland’ Part 1 and Victor Hugo’s handsome face was printed in the middle of the poster. Zhou Qingfeng instantly acted like a spoilt child and he threw himself at Feng Wan’s chest, “I really don’t know what’s happening. But I can swear to God that I’ve nothing to do with the movie.”

I really have nothing to with the movie… I'm only connected to the events behind the movie which means that I’m still technically correct.

Zhou Qingfeng looked at Feng Wan using his most sincere eyes, ”Have you ever seen an indecent actor like me before? Trust me, I’m just a smuggler.”

Feng Wan showed disbelief all over her face. She then said, “When Xu Rong told me that you’re a superstar, I was completely stunned. I thought to myself, There’s no way I’ll be so lucky… Superstar? Boyfriend? No way! But then I was quite happy at first and I had a good feeling about it.”

“However, as I gathered news about this movie for the past few days, I instantly realized that something was not right! I suddenly became paranoid again. I felt that you were just looking for someone to play with. There might even be some cameras hidden in the corner too and then someone will come to me and tell me one day that I’ve appeared on a celebrity variety show. By that time, there’s nothing I can do except fake a smile.”

Zhou Qingfeng could only embrace Feng Wan in his arms to try comforting her as the latter slowly burst into tears. Feng Wan threw herself at Zhou Qingfeng and said in tears, “I don't know why I’m crying… I’m just scared that you’ll ditch me one day in the future.”

All of a sudden, a scream can be heard from the living room, ‘What the f*ck, what the actual f*ck?!” Both Zhou Qingfeng and Feng Wan were shocked by the scream and after paying attention to the voice, they identified that the voice belonged to Li Changmin.

After a few seconds, there was a knock on the door and Li Changmin was yelling out loud outside the room, “Bro, bro, open your door. You’re on television. What’s your name again? Something Zhou, or Zhou something? Anyway, stop acting… I already know everything, you’re the superstar!”

Feng Wan was still crying at first, but when she heard what her ex-husband said, she instantly rolled her eyes at Zhou Qingfeng and said, “I almost fell for it once again. Go out and tell Li Changmin the exact same thing you told me. Do you think he’ll believe you? I know that you’re only acting… No wonder you’re a superstar.”

I’m really not an actor!

Zhou Qingfeng mourned what happened to him but there was nothing that he could do about it. However, Li Changmin was knocking on his door non-stop from the outside. Hence, he had no choice but to open the door.

When Zhou Qingfeng finally opened the door, he saw that Li Changmin, who was originally strong and bulky, was crouching as if he was serving the empress Cixi as Li Lianying, her personal bodyguard. Li Changmin grinned cheerfully, “Oh my God, I now finally understand why you’re driving the worn-out Pika. You’re just trying to enjoy your low-key luxury lifestyle. You truly have outstanding inner qualities.”

Seriously? Outstanding inner qualities? It’s just a vehicle that I randomly picked from Wasteland.

Zhou Qingfeng was literally speechless. How should I explain to him? I don’t think my explanation will be useful anymore!

“You don’t need to explain anything. I’ve already understood everything.” Li Changmin pointed at the television in the living room, which was playing a variety entertainment program. Several guests were discussing ‘Wasteland’ and its actor, “In order to increase its mysterious intensity and ticket sales, you guys are required to sign the confidentiality agreement and are not allowed to identify yourself in public. Am I right?”

There’s no way he’ll trust what I’ve just said to Feng Wan.

Zhou Qingfeng racked his brains but still, he failed to come up with a plan. Hence, he waved his hand and said, “Yes, you’re right. I am the main protagonist. I purposely hid in this city of Tianyang to avoid media.”

“I was lucky enough to meet Sister Wan by chance, but I really do love her and I don’t want to see she get hurt. So, I need you to keep this secret for me.”

“I knew it!” Li Changmin was extremely proud of himself as all his guesses were spot-on. He then tried to pull Zhou Qingfeng closer to him. He wanted to improve his relationship with Zhou Qingfeng so that he could gain some benefits from him in the future. All of a sudden, the doorbell of the house rang.

Just like how Li Changmin knocked on the room door a few minutes ago, the voice from outside of the house appeared to be extremely hurried as well. Li Changmin reluctantly went to open the door and it turned out that Feng Ruhai, who had just left the house around half an hour ago, had returned like a gust of wind.

Feng Ruhai’s white hair was in complete disorder and his initial calmness had gone as well. When he saw Zhou Qingfeng, he swiftly walked towards him and shook his hand, “Good boy, you’re indeed a good actor. I would’ve been fooled by you if it weren’t for the man downstairs that promoted the movie.”

“You’ve been acting even before I entered the house, right? You’re indeed an internationally renowned movie star! Interesting, interesting! I’m extremely satisfied, and I hereby approve of your relationship with my daughter!”

Li Changmin originally wanted to butter Zhou Qingfeng up, but he immediately realized that his skills were still far away from his old father-in-law. Feng Ruhai had successfully beaten Li Changmin to it by approving the relationship between Zhou Qingfeng and his daughter.

This time around, Zhou Qingfeng was on the verge of going crazy. He yelled in silence, What the hell… I’m really not an actor!

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