The host went around and interviewed each celebrity. At seven in the evening, everyone would take the elevator up to the terrace on the highest floor of the Hanging Gardens and meet with Prince Charming. Although the celebrities had yet to see him in person, the production team had already played a short clip introducing Prince Charming to them while they were guessing at his identity. Shooting a short segment just for an introduction was a kind of special treatment that none of the other guests in the previous seasons had received.
What kind of treatment did the previous guests receive? They had been introduced with only a few scanty words on a screen.
This time, the production team had deliberately shot a short clip to introduce this season’s Prince Charming. The clip started with a beautiful shot of the ocean followed by the camera panning to show a view of a private island with a single, luxurious mansion. The view had been shot by a cameraman in a helicopter. In the far distance, the blue sky melded with the ocean and became indistinguishable from each other. The scenery on the small island was in no way inferior to that of famous tourist islands. The luxurious mansion that occupied a small mountain and half of the coast looked like a castle straight out of a fantasy movie.
The clip was short and simple, but it had made the celebrities exclaim in awe.
While the clip continued to show beautiful scenery, a voiceover began to introduce Prince Charming’s background. The voice specially mentioned the fact that the helicopter belonged to Prince Charming and that he had enthusiastically lent it to the production team and even covered their food and lodging costs.
The guest this time had his own private island along with a staff of servants to take care of it all year round. The incomparably luxurious mansion opened up a new horizon for the gathered celebrities. They had seen wealthy people before, but it was the first time they realized that someone could be wealthy to this extent. They obviously lived on the same planet, but the staggering differences between them made it seem as if they belonged to two different worlds.
A world-famous architect had designed the mansion. It had high-tech home appliances and a staff of perfectly trained servants. It also had an infinity pool that opened out into the ocean and a personal IMAX theater. The carpets were handmade and the decorations were more luxurious than the ones in a royal palace. Additionally, the beloved pet wasn’t a dog but a lion…
Even Tang Feng, who had seen and experienced various things, couldn’t help but admit that this Prince Charming’s wealth was on another level altogether. After seeing how the rooms were furnished and decorated, Tang Feng knew that the man had good tastes. This Prince Charming was someone who knew how to enjoy life, but he also seemed very narcissistic. His tastes were quite similar to Charles’.
If even Tang Feng thought that this Prince Charming was wealthy beyond belief, then the other celebrities were simply stunned. News of actresses marrying into wealth or actors snagging a rich girlfriend were common in the entertainment circle. However, in comparison to Prince Charming, those people’s wealth paled significantly. And not just by one or two steps either. The distance between their levels of wealth was probably as long as the Great Wall.
If they could get into the good graces of this Prince Charming, then besides having the opportunity to act in big-name films, they probably wouldn’t even have to work anymore. They could live a luxurious life and travel around the world. There would no longer be a need for them to struggle and work to the bone anymore. Be it filming dramas, movies or recording songs, they were all exhausting work.
If any of them still held doubts about whether they should’ve joined the show, they were now all quite happy inside after seeing the extent of Prince Charming’s wealth. They had a one in ten chance of becoming this wealthy Prince Charming’s boyfriend, which was many multiples higher than the probability of them becoming famous.
The wealth that had been displayed in the video was probably just the tip of the iceberg. Let alone small-time stars like them, even the most popular actors and actresses of the country would be moved by that display. The celebrities who had refused to participate in the show due to the fear of ruining their reputations would probably regret their decision deeply after watching the first episode.
Wang Nan and Kai were very satisfied with the celebrities’ reactions. Wang Nan then sighed, “Kai, I have to praise you for being able to find such a ridiculously suitable fellow. But what are we going to do next season? Where are we going to find such a wealthy and eligible man like him again?”
Kai smiled and said indifferently, “We’ll think about it when next season comes. Our goal right now is to push this season of Dream Lover to the top.”
After the preparations were completed, a staff member led all the celebrities into the elevator and up to the top floor where the spacious terrace offered a panoramic view of the city’s beautiful night scene. The sky was dotted with stars and the bustling streets below were bright with light. The cool ocean breeze brought with it the scent of flowers and wet earth. Just a single breath of the cool air was invigorating.
Even though they were already standing on the terrace―the designated meeting place―the celebrities weren’t allowed to see Prince Charming immediately. Following the show’s format, each celebrity would greet Prince Charming individually. After that, all of them would sit down for dinner. The seating arrangement for the celebrities would be decided based upon the first impression they had made on Prince Charming.
After dinner, Prince Charming would hand out nine roses. The celebrity who didn’t receive a rose would be eliminated from the program.
The group of celebrities stood in front of the terrace door with two huge bonsai trees blocking their sight. At the moment, Prince Charming was waiting for them beyond the bonsais in a spot that offered the best view of the city.
Tang Feng was standing in the latter half of the line; there were six people in front of him. The most favored candidate, Feng Xiu Jie, had been placed in the third spot. A little bit nervous, yet also somewhat excited, the first celebrity walked past the two bonsai pots to greet Prince Charming.
What about Prince Charming?
Dressed in a suit, Charles appeared as graceful as a European aristocrat. He didn’t think of himself as a Prince Charming at all. In his mind, he should at the very least be a powerful and supreme king.
Earlier, when he had been in the lounge, a cameraman had followed him around capturing his every move. Annoyed, he had kicked the man out of the room. Did they think he was a monkey in a zoo?
Standing alone on the terrace with the wind blowing over him, Charles wondered if he had been delirious when he had decided to join the show. Otherwise, why would he have accepted the stupid invitation from that idiot Kai? He was Charles. What kind of men and women was he not capable of obtaining? Why would he need to stoop so low and come and date these small-time stars?
This feeling became even more intense when the first celebrity shyly approached him like a baby quail. What kind of a guy was this? Normally, he wouldn’t even spare a glance at these sort of people.
“H-hello!” The first celebrity was shocked at Charles’ appearance and froze in his tracks, motionless like a wooden log.
They had imagined that a man who possessed such impressive wealth would be at least fifty or sixty years old. If not, then he would certainly be an ugly man with strange tastes. But the man in front of him was handsome beyond belief. He had an exceptional body and his sharp appearance was the ideal mixture of Eastern and Western features. His attitude was elegant, with a slight hint of unruliness and cold detachment hidden within.
His air and appearance were exactly like that of the aristocrats often seen in films.
At the greeting, Charles merely lifted a corner of his mouth in a semblance of a smirk. Having been overtaken by anxiety, the baby quail was left unable to speak. He merely lowered his head and ran off to the side. How could he even be considered a celebrity? In front of Charles, he couldn’t even be called an ugly duckling.
Afterwards, a few more celebrities walked out to greet Charles. They were either timid or enthusiastic. Some pretended to be calm, while others tried to be elegant. Having interacted with countless people, Charles flawlessly pulled off a gentlemanly act and greeted each one.
However, with each new celebrity that walked through the doors, the sky seemed to be becoming darker while the wind was blowing stronger, and Charles was becoming increasingly bored. Besides number three, whose appearance was barely passable, the others had all been eyesores in his opinion. Just what kind of people had Kai gathered this time? And where was Tang Feng? Why hadn’t he appeared yet?
Just as Charles was losing patience, the man he had been waiting for walked out from behind the bonsais. Tang Feng approached him calmly, walking not too fast and not too slow. When Tang Feng raised his head and saw that Prince Charming was Charles, a sliver of surprise flitted across his eyes. To other people’s eyes, it seemed like Tang Feng was probably surprised that Charles was so ridiculously handsome. The thought that a small-time star like him would be acquainted with such a tycoon didn’t cross their minds at all.
After seeing the surprise in Tang Feng’s eyes, Charles’ mood immediately lightened. The sky didn’t appear as dark to him anymore. The wind also wasn’t as irritating. Somewhat impatient, Charles straightened his back in anticipation. He watched as Tang Feng approached him step by step, his eyes never straying from the other man’s face.
He remembered again why he had accepted the deal with Tang Feng. Half the reason was because he was working with Lu Tian Chen and the other half was because Tang Feng’s looks were acceptable. In Charles’ eyes back then, Tang Feng had only had an acceptable appearance. Looking at Tang Feng now though, he suddenly felt that the young actor was quite beautiful. His eyes were beautiful; his nose was also beautiful. Tang Feng was beautiful everywhere he looked.
The more he looked, the more pleasing Tang Feng was to his eyes.
“Hello.” Tang Feng stopped in front of Charles and offered his hand. Charles smiled and grasped the offered hand in a shake, his hand forcefully gripping Tang Feng’s.
“Hello,” Charles replied with the same greeting.
Though the two of them had slept together for an entire month, their sudden meeting was unexpectedly ordinary.
After a simple greeting, they moved on to self-introductions.
“I’m Tang Feng.” Tang Feng flashed a smile.
“You can call me Charles. Please.” Seeming as if he had no interest in prolonging the conversation, Charles released Tang Feng’s hand and indicated that he should go stand with the other celebrities.
After Tang Feng’s turn was over, another celebrity walked out. There was nothing special about Tang Feng’s reaction at seeing Charles. Only the two of them knew what they were thinking inside.
Of course, Tang Feng had been surprised when he first saw Charles standing on the terrace. He’d never expected that someone as arrogant and conceited as Charles would participate in a show like this. On second thought, the director of the TV station was a well-connected man with access to a wide range of resources. Charles had probably received an invitation from Kai to join the show.
Nevertheless, he was still surprised by Charles’ appearance. Although Tang Feng already knew Charles wasn’t someone who put much emphasis on friendship, he would be greatly embarrassed if he were eliminated in the first episode. Tang Feng’s goal was to pass the first three rounds. He didn’t care about what happened afterwards.
If Charles really decided to eliminate him in the first round, then Tang Feng made up his mind to kick him right in the balls after filming ended.
All ten celebrities were lined up in front of Charles waiting for him to decide their order of seating for dinner. Charles walked towards Feng Xiu Jie and held out a hand in a gentlemanly fashion. He personally escorted Feng Xiu Jie to the seat directly to the left of his own. Next was an adorable and relatively famous young man. One by one, Charles escorted each celebrity to their seat at the table.
As before, Tang Feng’s seat was in a spot that wasn’t particularly good or bad. It was a decent seat in the middle of the table. It wasn’t especially close to Charles’ seat, but close enough that Charles could see him easily.
Dinner finally began. The celebrities who were seated closest to Charles had the advantage of being able to converse with him. One of them asked Charles if the island shown in the clip truly belonged to him. Another asked what Charles did for a living. Charles’ answers were as witty and charming as ever. This made him appear all the more charismatic in those celebrities’ eyes.
Tang Feng didn’t speak a word during the entire dinner. He merely focused on eating and having a few sips of wine in-between. He wryly thought to himself that Charles was merely here to fool around and date several celebrities at the same time. It was something that would suit his playboy mentality to the tee. And if that was the case, being the only one who had already had an actual relationship with Charles, he would most likely be the first one eliminated.
The end of dinner also signaled the end of the first episode. It was the climax where Charles would give out nine roses. The person who didn’t receive a rose would be eliminated.
Proofreaders: Daphne, KN