Chapter 450: The despised comrade Little Zhang!
His Aunt's house.
An alleyway on Nanheng Street.
It wasn't a big house, only around 60 square meters. It had been segregated into two zones, the inner zone, where Zhang Donghua and Zhang Shuang slept, and the outer zone was the living room. However, since Zhang Shuang started her blogshop last year, the living room had been converted into a 'warehouse' and was full of boxes, big and small. There wasn't even enough room to walk around in the mess.
In the house.
Zhang Donghua put down the phone and said, "Little Ye's coming over in a short while."
Zhang Shuang walked over cautiously, "You told him?"
"I briefly told him about it." Zhang Donghua complained, "Seriously, this is your own matter and you made me do it for you."
Zhang Shuang bitterly replied, "I just feel bad asking. For Little Ye to get to where he is now, our family didn't even help at all. I've not done much for him as an elder sister either. Now that my brother's doing well through his own hard work, how can I approach him and ask for help... he's a big star now, a C-list celebrity. Do you even know how what that means? Even just stepping out and taking public transport, there would be people talking about him. If I buy a random newspaper, there might even be news or pictures of him. He might not be a big shot yet, but he's definitely not small either. For me to... it just doesn't feel right for me to ask him for help. You know very well that I don't like asking people for help, but this time I really have no choice left. If the stock in the living room don't get cleared soon, I will have no more cash left."
Zhang Donghua was also badly troubled by the stock in the living room. She said, "When it comes to trading, the most unwanted problem is the stock not moving. It might still be alright if you had a job, at least that would guarantee you have some cash flow, but since you are not working a day job anymore, just that amount of unmoving stock is enough to kill you. I've taken care of Little Ye since young. He's filial and places importance on relationship. If he is able to help, he will definitely help."
Zhang Shuang said, "I know that, but I'm worried that he might be bound by some contract restrictions. A celebrity cannot simply do whatever endorsement they want."
Zhang Donghua did not understand such things, "Ask him yourself when he gets here."
The sound of footsteps could be heard at the front yard. A woman's voice called out "Shuang!"
Zhang Shuang, "........."
The voice shouted out again, "Shuang!"
And then, a woman, who wasn't very tall and looked to be around 26-27 walked into the house. She did not knock and just pushed the door open. It could be seen that she was very familiar with the people living here.
Zhang Shuang made an annoyed expression and said, "Liu Qian, how many times have I told you. Can you not call me by just my name alone? At least call out my full name. If you keep randomly calling out "Shuang", what would others think if they saw and heard you? It sounds so weird." ('Shuang' means to feel good.)
Liu Qian smiled happily, "Well, that's what your name is."
Zhang Donghua smiled, "Qianqian, you're here?"
"Auntie, I'm here to visit you. How are you doing?" Liu Qian asked.
"Rather good. How are your parents?" Zhang Donghua asked.
Liu Qian said cheerfully, "They are doing even better than I am. They just went to Taoran Pavilion this morning to dance. I couldn't even stop them."
Zhang Donghua took a cloth bag and said, "Great. Well, I'll leave you and Little Shuang to yourselves. I need to get some groceries. Stay for lunch, alright?"
Liu Qian unreservedly said, "Of course I will stay. You can't chase me away even if you wanted to. There's food, so how could I not stay?"
Zhang Shuang quipped, "You sure are not leaving empty handed."
When Zhang Donghua left, she shut the door behind her. Liu Qian and Zhang Shuang both sat down.
Liu Qian glanced over to the pile of clothes in the living room and asked, "Those still can't be sold?"
Zhang Shuang said with sadness, "There were only two orders yesterday and none for the day before that. On your side, there's no need to make any more orders from the factory for now. We can't even sell what we have now."
"You don't need to tell me that." Liu Qian said depressingly, "Business has been too poor this year. Although last year wasn't that smooth either, at least we could earn enough to feed ourselves. We even quit our jobs in hopes that our blogshop would take off, but now look at us. We've pushed ourselves into the corner. How much money do you have left?"
Zhang Shuang threw up her hands, "Just some tens of thousands in savings."
Liu Qian sighed, "This sis is the same as you. We're both poor! Our brand can't go on like this any longer! We need to find a way out. Yesterday, you called me to come over today saying that you thought of a way we could use to get more business? What's the idea about? Quick tell me. I'm suffocating from the pressure."
Zhang Shuang equivocated, "I'm not sure if it will work or not."
Liu Qian said, "Then at least tell me what the idea is."
"I'm thinking...of finding a model to help us..." Zhang Shuang did not finish her sentence.
Liu Qian was already shaking her head. "It wasn't like we didn't hire a model in the past either. All of them were so expensive, but after the shoot, not many clothes were sold either. It's not a problem about the model."
Zhang Shuang coughed and said, "What I'm talking about is not any ordinary model.
Liu Qian glanced at her and said in amusement, "You even say not an ordinary model? Are you planning on inviting a celebrity to endorse our brand?"
Zhang Shuang said, "...Yea."
Liu Qian stretched out her hand to touch her forehead. "Here, let Sis see how high your fever is."
"Stop fooling around." Zhang Shuang swatted her good friend's hand away in a speechless manner.
Liu Qian said, "You're the one fooling around. We only have tens of thousands left combined. What celebrity can we afford to hire? We don't even have any money to do any big promotions on a website. Those celebrities are money diggers. Let's not even talk about C or D-list celebrities, even an ordinary E-list celebrity with a few more fans would cost hundreds of thousands just to endorse our product and be a model. And that's an optimistic and conservative estimate of the costs. If you really want a C or D-list celebrity, how can you get one without a couple million or so? Besides, we aren't big brands like other people. We don't do commercials on TV and are just a small blogshop. Even if you can cough up the million we need to invite them, those bunch of celebrities might not even give us a glance. Besides, if I had a couple million, why would I open a blogshop. I'll just open a real store, right? Lady, I think you have gone silly from your fever."
Zhang Shuang said, "Aiyah, it's not what you are thinking."
"Then what do you mean?" Liu Qian asked.
Zhang Shuang hesitated all day before saying, "About that, actually my younger brother is in the entertainment industry. Hai, but he's technically not considered a person of the entertainment industry either. Anyway, he's quite popular. I think think if he can help us, our blogshop might be..."
"Your brother? You still have a brother? How did I not know after knowing you for so many years?" Liu Qian asked.
Zhang Shuang said, "He's not my real brother. It's my mother's younger brother's son. You don't come to my family gatherings often, so of course you've never seen him."
Liu Qian looked at her. "Is your brother handsome?"
Zhang Shuang stuttered, "Average I guess. I can't consider him handsome."
Liu Qian rolled her eyes. "Then how popular can he be? At most he is a rookie who just signed a contract with a management company, right? Maybe only a few people would know him. Using him as a model would be useless too."
Zhang Shuang did not like hearing that. "Hey, what do you mean it would be useless. If my brother..."
As she was saying this, a sound of footsteps approaching could be heard. Then, the door was pushed open. Zhang Ye said, "Aunt. Eh? Where's she?"
Zhang Shuang's eyes lit up and walked out of the room. "Little Ye."
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "Sis, you're home?"
"Yea, you came here so quickly?"
"Of course, we don't stay that far from each other."
"My Mom went to go get some groceries." Saying that, Zhang Shuang turned her head and did some introductions. "This is my college classmate, and also my best friend, Liu Qian."
Zhang Ye took off his sunglasses and stretched out his hand. "Nice to meet you."
Liu Qian sized him up a few times before shaking his hand. "Nice to meet you too."
Zhang Shuang said to her, "This is my younger brother."
Liu Qian said with a laugh, "I can tell. Both your noses are quite similar. It's almost like both of you were carved from the same mold." It appeared like she did not know Zhang Ye, since she had no reaction at all.
Zhang Ye was not surprised. There were still many people who did not know who he was. He had also not reached the point where everyone knew him either. He looked at Zhang Shuang. "Sis, if you have anything in the future, you can just call me directly. It's not like you don't have my cellphone number."
Zhang Shuang said, "I was afraid that you'd be busy."
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "For you, as a brother, I'll make time no matter how busy I am. Right, my Aunt said your blogshop was lacking a model?"
Zhang Shuang was just about to speak.
Liu Qian secretly nudged her.
"What do you want?" Zhang Shuang stared at her and then said, "Right, my shop's business is terrible. The winter wear we produced this year isn't selling at all. They are all outside, and if I can't sell them, so there's no way to even produce spring wear for this year, and so I wanted to ask if it's alright with you."
Zhang Ye said in amusement, "That's no big deal. How can you say things about whether I'm okay with it. I'll do whatever you need me to do. Do you want to do the shoot now or when?"
"Today works for you?"
"Any day would do."
"Alright, then let's do it today!"
Zhang Shuang was extremely happy hearing Zhang Ye's reply, but then she suddenly thought of a matter. "There will be no conflicts with any of your contracts, right?"
Zhang Ye waved his hands. "It's alright."
Zhang Shuang said, "I don't want to give you trouble. I heard that you celebrities can't do endorsements easily. I don't know much about the contracts in the entertainment industry either."
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "I don't know either, but it should be fine. Even if there's a problem, I don't really care. It's not like I've never made mistakes. Will they eat me up because of it? Taking a few pictures for my elder sister is perfectly justified!" His current company was Weiwo WebTV, but he really did not know about contracts in the entertainment industry. He didn't care either for he had his own principles.
Zhang Shuang also realized that. Her younger brother was notorious in the entertainment industry and was basically known by all. People did not dare to offend him easily. "That's great then! Thank you Little Ye!"
Zhang Ye said, "Sis, you don't have to stand on ceremony with me. If you have anything, just ask me and I'm capable of doing it, I'll get it done. If I'm incapable of doing it, I'll get someone to do it for you!"
Zhang Shuang was a bit touched and acknowledged.
Zhang Ye never denied his relatives!
Although after he grew up, other than the holidays, he seldom met his Aunt and Sis, he had lived in his Aunt's place for a few winters when he had still been young. As his parents were too busy with work to care for him, he would scrounge for food and drinks at his Aunt's house during the winter. He would only be brought home in the evening, so it could be said that he grew up together with Zhang Shuang, so their relationship was pretty good.
Zhang Shuang looked at the time. "Let's go to a hotel. I'll make the reservation. There's no way we can take the pictures at home anyway. It's more convenient at a hotel. Is that alright, Little Ye?"
Zhang Ye smiled and said, "I came here to help, so I'll do whatever you need me to do."
Zhang Shuang couldn't help but think to herself how nice it was to have a younger brother. "Alright then, take a seat first and have a drink. I'll give the hotel a call." Saying that, she went out.
When Liu Qian saw this, she also hurried outside. She stopped Zhang Shuang who was out in the courtyard making a call. She said with a face that looked like she was at a loss of whether to laugh or cry, "What are you doing? You're really getting your brother to be a model?"
"Didn't we already talk about it?" Zhang Shuang said.
Liu Qian rolled her eyes at her. "It's not that I'm putting you down. Your brother's looks of course can't be said to be ugly, but he's not considered handsome either. And that figure...There's no figure at all. He doesn't look like a model at all. He's even worse than the previous two models we used. What's the point of taking pictures of him? Let's not talk about raising sales, I'll be overjoyed if the sales don't decrease!"
Zhang Shuang was amused. "Hey, don't tell me you don't know my brother?"
"It's the first time seeing him. Why would I know him?" Liu Qian couldn't understand her words.
Zhang Shuang did not say anything else. "Anyway, just listen to me. Once the pictures are uploaded, you will know. You really do not know a thing."
Liu Qian asked, "What do I know?"
Zhang Shuang leered at her. "Do you know how many companies asked my brother to be their spokesperson? Do you know how much endorsement fees my brother gets a year?"
Liu Qian asked, "How much?"
Zhang Shuang said, "The amount of endorsement fee he gets a year is at least a few million. Many companies offered a couple million for my brother to be their spokesperson, but I heard he rejected all of them."
Liu Qian chuckled. "Keep bragging. Just keep bragging!"
Zhang Shuang was rendered speechless. "You're the one who is ignorant and doesn't watch the news or keep up with the entertainment industry. Forget it, I'll not tell you anymore. Hur Hur. I'll make the reservation at the hotel."
Liu Qian chased after her. "Hey, don't go. Tell me clearly, what's the meaning of this? Do you really want to get your brother to be the model? That figure of his..I think my Dad would be more suitable!"