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A Date With the Future – William Chan, Zhang Ruonan

A Date With the Future is an urban drama directed by Jin Sha and Yu Bo, led by William Chan and Zhang Ruonan, co-starring Ren Hao, Ci Sha, Luo Qiuyun, and Jia Nai.

The drama tells the story of Jin Shichuan, a firefighter who rescued a girl, Xu Lai, from an earthquake rescue mission ten years ago and made a “ten-year promise” to appease her.

Ten years later, Xu Lai grows up to be an excellent journalist.

When a search and rescue dog team is formed in the city’s fire and rescue detachment, Xu Lai becomes the team’s search and rescue dog trainer as an international dog trainer.

She becomes a partner with Jin Shichuan, who is then the chief of the city’s fire and rescue special duty brigade and the captain of the search and rescue dog detachment, staging a romantic love story.


A Date With the Future

English Title: A Date With the Future
Chinese Title: 照亮你
Genre: Urban, Romance, Rescue
Episodes: 36
Duration: 45 min.
Director: Jin Sha, Yu Bo
Writer: Li Jie
Producer: Fang Fang, Yu Haiyan
Product Company: Tencent Penguin Pictures, Drama Apple Limited
Released Date: 2023-06-02
Boradcast Website: WeTV, TencentVideo, Viki



Ten years ago, Xu Lai was trapped in an earthquake. She was rescued by fireman Jin Shichuan and his rescue dog, Zhui Feng.

Ten years later, Xu Lai returns to China as a journalist and international dog trainer and meets Jin Shichuan at the rescue scene.

Jin Shichuan not only fails to recognize Xu Lai but also misunderstands her as an unscrupulous journalist. But Xu Lai ignores the misunderstanding and does justice to the rescue team.

When the rescue dog team is formed, Xu Lai becomes Jin’s partner as an international dog trainer and conquers the crowd with her professional skills. She even sends her dog Ping An to Jin Shichuang to lead him out of the shadows of his former dog, Zhui Feng.

As journalists and firefighters, they are always on the front line of danger, and as they work together with each other during emergencies, they are constantly testing dangerous, and their relationship gradually warms up.

As they are bidding farewell to their ex-mates, a serious fire breaks out and Jin is trapped in the fire to save his ex-brother, but this time it is Xu Lai who finds Jin together with “Ping An”. They finally become a couple.

Episode Plot

When Xu Lai was fifteen years old, she encountered an unprecedented earthquake. She was trapped in the ruins, enduring the darkest night. At that time, she thought she would silently die at the age of fifteen, gradually consumed by the endless darkness. Until a beam of light illuminated in front of her, the firefighter who saved her life was called Jin Shichuan. Through this rescue, Jin Shichuan left a deep impression on Xu Lai’s heart, and she stubbornly insisted on making a ten-year promise with the man who saved her life. Jin Shichuan treated it as a joke and casually agreed. For Xu Lai, this beam of light never disappeared in the following ten years. After ten years, Xu Lai applied to return to the country from the overseas branch of Huai Harbor TV Station to fulfill the ten-year promise.

Xu Lai became a journalist and international dog trainer. Her first task after returning to the country was to disguise herself as a delinquent girl and infiltrate illegal workshops and shops that produced counterfeit medical and beauty products to collect a large amount of material. The head of the news department of Huai Harbor TV Station admired Xu Lai’s hard work, but he didn’t understand why she applied to return to the country from the overseas branch. Xu Lai smiled and said that she had an important appointment. A major traffic accident occurred on the southbound 307 National Highway, with power poles falling and crushing two vehicles, resulting in extensive congestion. Jin Shichuan, the station chief of the Special Operations Brigade, received the notification and immediately led the team to change into their uniforms and rushed to the scene of the highway accident for emergency rescue.

Upon arriving at the accident scene, Jin Shichuan found that the situation was more complex than the information provided in the dispatch order. He decided to cancel the original plan and let Shi Lei report to the command center and contact the power company to cut off the power. Liu Xu, wearing insulated boots and gloves, conducted the inspection with him, while Lu Fangqi led a team and stood by on the west side, ready to extinguish fires at any time. Under Jin Shichuan’s arrangement, the firefighters worked in an orderly manner. As a journalist, Xu Lai immediately brought the cameraman, Lao Zhang, responsible for filming, to the scene to capture the news. She had good professional qualities and wrote her news materials well. The power pole at the scene was broken, and the risk of electric leakage was high. Jin Shichuan decided to use conservative dry powder firefighting, first testing the electrified and non-electrified areas, and then using water guns for comprehensive firefighting after the power was cut off.

Rescue and electrical testing were carried out simultaneously. At the moment the power pole fell, Jin Shichuan saved the trapped masses in the vehicle. The onlookers didn’t understand and accused the firefighters of not using water to extinguish the fire. These scenes were captured by the cameras as materials. Jiang Xin, an experienced reporter from the station, had a dislike for Xu Lai and believed that the materials she filmed were useless. So she crossed the cordon and started filming with her camera. As a result, an explosion occurred at the scene, and her camera fell beside a white SUV. She was rescued by the firefighters. After Xu Lai learned about the incident, she risked her life to retrieve the camera. When Jin Shichuan saw her rushing in, he grabbed flame-resistant cloth and rushed in to save her. Fortunately, both of them were not in danger in the end, but Jin Shichuan regarded Xu Lai as an unscrupulous reporter because of this.

Jin Shichuan did not remember that Xu Lai was the girl he had saved years ago, but Xu Lai was not discouraged. She was confident that she would make him remember. After the news report, someone deliberately took a portion of the footage out of context, deliberately magnifying and smearing the firefighters of the Special Operations Brigade, which caused a great controversy online. Jiang Xin blamed Xu Lai for it. Xu Lai immediately showed a video of Jiang Xin editing the material, leaving her speechless. Although Xu Lai didn’t want to take the blame for this, she was willing to bear the consequences and produce a special report on the firefighters to clear their name. The team leader agreed to let her do this special report, but he wouldn’t use it if it didn’t have any highlights. Jiang Xin, relying on her qualifications, looked down on the new intern Zhou Tingwei. Coincidentally, Xu Lai needed a cameraman, so she recruited Zhou Tingwei.

Childhood friends Huo Yanzong and Han Fang came to the TV station to pick up Xu Lai after work. They grew up near the train station and had a deep bond. Huo Yanzong was a young and promising entrepreneur, while Han Fang was a notorious playboy. Huo Yanzong had feelings for Xu Lai, but Xu Lai only saw him as a buddy. After chatting with them for a while, Xu Lai was about to go home to walk her dog. She had a Labrador named Ping’an. Although Huo Yanzong knew that Xu Lai liked Jin Shichuan, after all, so much time had passed, he didn’t believe that Xu Lai could find Jin Shichuan, let alone replace his position in Xu Lai’s heart. As a resident journalist, Xu Lai went to the Special Operations Brigade Station, and Jin Shichuan still didn’t remember her. He only knew that she was the unscrupulous reporter, and the other team members had lost their trust in Jin Shichuan, so they were unwilling to accept Xu Lai’s interview.

The political commissar gave the order that even though the recent tasks were heavy, Jin Shichuan had to cooperate with the interview from Huai Harbor TV Station. Xu Lai had a chat with the political commissar. Having been in the fire department for many years, the political commissar had long been familiar with people’s misunderstandings of firefighters. However, it was the first time he saw a reporter actively standing up to defend firefighters’ reputation. He reminded Xu Lai that Jin Shichuan was a tough nut to crack and would only stick to his principles. It wouldn’t be easy to win him over. Xu Lai was full of confidence. She had anticipated encountering difficulties on this trip. However, the subsequent interview didn’t go smoothly. Everyone tacitly refused to accept Xu Lai’s interview, and Zhou Tingwei didn’t manage to capture a frontal shot. Xu Lai had a principle, which was to capture the leader first. As long as she could win over Jin Shichuan, the rest wouldn’t be a problem.

Recently, the two of them stayed in the fire station, but they arrived late and found that the cafeteria had run out of food. Xu Lai shamelessly ate from Jin Shichuan’s plate. Jin Shichuan had never met a woman like her before, so he pushed his plate towards her and accepted her interview. However, Xu Lai’s questions were not serious, giving Jin Shichuan the feeling that she was prying into his personal life. Jin Shichuan noticed this and stopped answering her questions. The alarm bell rang, and the firefighters, led by Jin Shichuan, quickly went on duty. Lu Fangqi stayed at the fire station and answered a few questions from Xu Lai. Firefighters were not only responsible for rescue missions. They would go wherever help was needed, whether it was dealing with a bee sting or helping remove a stuck ring, people could always count on firefighters for assistance.

To capture the firefighters removing a beehive from up close, Xu Lai carried her camera and went in to film. She got the footage she needed, but she also got stung on her forehead. In the end, Jin Shichuan swatted away the bee that stung her. It was a rewarding day for Xu Lai, and she was happy. As she left, she greeted everyone, even though they didn’t pay much attention to her. Jin Shichuan gave her some ointment for her scratch and told her not to come again tomorrow. In the evening, Xu Lai spent time with Han Fang. They unexpectedly ran into Huo Yanzong, and Han Fang tactfully created a private moment for them and left, saying he had something to attend to. Huo Yanzong escorted Xu Lai home. The next day, everyone thought Xu Lai wouldn’t come, but during a social rescue operation, Xu Lai and Zhou Tingwei appeared before everyone’s eyes.

This time, they were rescuing an elderly man who got his head stuck while trying to catch a chicken. The firefighters used hydraulic pliers to cut the iron frame and rescued the man. The man was worried about his chickens and didn’t feel at ease going to the hospital. Jin Shichuan and the man assured him that he could go to the hospital without worry, and they would take care of the chickens for him. Xu Lai asked Zhou Tingwei to capture this scene, and she also joined in the effort to catch the chickens. One chicken was stuck in a crevice, and Xu Lai, with her slender arms and legs, successfully rescued it. Jin Shichuan thanked Xu Lai for her help, so she took Jin Shichuan’s phone and called her own phone, thereby saving his number. While catching the chickens, Xu Lai never took her eyes off Jin Shichuan, and everyone felt that Xu Lai definitely had feelings for Jin Shichuan.

Xu Lai received a call to return to the station for a meeting, but having chicken feathers all over her, she found it inconvenient. Xu Lai came up with a solution. Taking advantage of the fact that the team members were having their meal in the cafeteria, she sneaked into the shower room to take a shower, with Zhou Tingwei standing guard outside. In the middle of it, Zhou Tingwei had stomach pain and went to the restroom first. Coincidentally, Jin Shichuan entered the shower room and met Xu Lai. Two more team members came in afterward, and Jin Shichuan instinctively pulled Xu Lai inside. They stayed in the shower room until the two team members left. It was Xu Lai’s first close contact with Jin Shichuan, and she was very happy about it. Back at the station for the meeting, Team Leader Qin was dissatisfied with the topics submitted by everyone, but Xu Lai presented her own feature, which everyone thought was excellent. Team Leader Qin decided to use her feature.

Jiang Xin felt dissatisfied and tried to sarcastically remark about Xu Lai, but Xu Lai lightly brushed it off. After getting Jin Shichuan’s phone number, Xu Lai would send him messages whenever she had free time. At first, Jin Shichuan glanced at them, but since Lu Fangqi was around, he stopped looking. After various experiences, Lu Fangqi and others began to see Xu Lai in a new light. They didn’t expect her to be able to keep up with them so energetically these past few days.

Xu Lai’s firefighter feature became popular, and the topic gained a lot of attention. Lu Fangqi showed the news to everyone. Although they claimed not to forgive Xu Lai, they had actually started to change their opinion of her. Jin Shichuan also saw the news and wondered how Xu Lai knew about something that happened to him ten years ago. Political Commissar Wen called Jin Shichuan and ordered him to go on a blind date. Jin Shichuan wasn’t interested in dating, but he had to accept the arrangement. So he came up with a plan and asked Lu Fangqi to go in his place and deliver a message to the blind date.

After the firefighter feature was released, many people online developed a one-sided admiration for the handsome Jin Shichuan. Xu Lai saw the comments and couldn’t help but declare her sovereignty over Jin Shichuan, even though they hadn’t even begun a romantic relationship.

Lu Fangqi was rehearsing a scene where he would pass a message when the woman arrived. She also wasn’t interested in the blind date and was just going through the motions. Just as she was about to leave, a customer nearby suddenly had a respiratory obstruction. As a doctor, the woman saved the patient’s life in time. But when the patient was lifted onto the ambulance, Lu Fangqi had already disappeared. Taking advantage of Xu Lai’s absence, Jiang Xin distracted everyone and used Xu Lai’s computer to like the explosive post by Mo Da. Xu Lai rode her motorcycle to the fire station and met Lu Fangqi on the way, learning that Jin Shichuan didn’t go on the blind date. Xu Lai was thrilled and headed straight to the fire brigade. She straightforwardly asked Jin Shichuan if he wanted to date her, but he coldly and firmly rejected her.

Xu Lai was drinking with Han Fang when she received a call from Team Leader Qin. Due to the TV station’s official Weibo account liking Mo Da’s post, Mo Da believed it had damaged their reputation and sent a lawyer’s letter to the TV station. Xu Lai rushed back to the station, but Chief Lv was angry and didn’t listen to Xu Lai’s explanation. Afterwards, Team Leader Qin expressed belief in Xu Lai, but explained that it wasn’t the time for explanations. The most important thing was to minimize the negative impact on the TV station and reduce the losses. Yun Kai had a long-standing cooperation with Mo Da, but now that Mo Da was surrounded by negative news, CEO Huo Yanzong defied public opinion and decided to terminate their cooperation and file a lawsuit against the company. Huo Yanzong learned from Han Fang that Xu Lai had liked Mo Da’s post.

In order to help Xu Lai, Huo Yanzong specially went to Huai Harbor TV Station to meet Chief Lv and promised to participate in the station’s prime-time advertising, hoping that Chief Lv wouldn’t pursue Xu Lai’s responsibility this time. Jiang Xin eavesdropped from outside and then followed Huo Yanzong into the elevator, talking about fairness. Huo Yanzong said only a few words, but Jiang Xin couldn’t hold back her anger. Before leaving the TV station, Huo Yanzong met Xu Lai. At eleven o’clock in the evening, Xu Lai remembered that she wanted to message Jin Shichuan, but considering the time, he was probably already resting, so she ultimately didn’t send it. Meanwhile, Jin Shichuan was still on a mission, rescuing a girl who threatened to jump off a building after a breakup. Jin Shichuan and several team members safely saved the girl.

The team members then discussed Xu Lai being rejected by Jin Shichuan and wondered if she would take it badly. Unintentionally, Jin Shichuan also had such concerns and thought about messaging Xu Lai, but ultimately decided against it. Jiang Xin spread rumors in the station that Huo Yanzong was backing Xu Lai behind the scenes. Colleagues discussed this in the restroom, and Xu Lai overheard it. Xu Lai went to find Huo Yanzong and asked him not to help her in this way. She already had a solution. Xu Lai disguised herself as a factory worker, recorded the unauthorized operations of Mo Da’s subsidiary company, and made a phone call to report the factory for violating the storage of prohibited items. Jin Shichuan received a notice and rushed to the company, where he unexpectedly found Xu Lai anxiously running on the rooftop.

A female worker noticed that Xu Lai was behaving strangely, so the factory security and two men chased after her. Jin Shichuan quickly went upstairs and rescued Xu Lai, carrying her down when she sprained her foot. Xu Lai expressed her gratitude to him and learned that he had read the messages she had sent him.

Back home, Xu Lai was so excited that she felt like flying. She sent a message to Jin Shichuan to let him know she had safely arrived. This time, she received a reply from Jin Shichuan. Xu Lai showed the collected information and materials to Team Leader Qin. She believed that Mo Da indeed engaged in falsifying ratios, violating production regulations, and deceiving consumers. Xu Lai wanted to take this opportunity to thoroughly investigate Mo Da’s internal production. With Team Leader Qin’s confidence in her, they decided to take a gamble. As expected, once the report was released, netizens praised Huai Harbor TV Station, and numerous companies expressed their willingness to cooperate with the station, hoping that it could help improve their brand image. Xu Lai’s merits and faults canceled each other out this time, and she didn’t receive any punishment for liking the post.

Afterwards, Xu Lai had a private conversation with Jiang Xin. She had checked the surveillance footage and, although she had deleted it, Jiang Xin overlooked the surveillance video in the corridor. Based on the timing of the likes, the only person in the office area at that time was Jiang Xin. Xu Lai warned Jiang Xin that just because she didn’t hold her accountable this time didn’t mean she would tolerate it again in the future. Team Leader Qin called Xu Lai into the office and reminded her that being too aggressive in the workplace was not a good thing. Today was the open day at the fire station, and Xu Lai and Team Leader Qin applied for the opportunity to go on an external assignment at the fire station. The girl who was rescued by Jin Shichuan last time had developed feelings for him and specially came to the fire station on the open day to see Jin Shichuan. Lu Fangqi hurriedly called Xu Lai to inform her.

Xu Lai rushed over and intercepted this romantic opportunity for Jin Shichuan, claiming to be his reserve family member. She took the girl aside and talked to her about some principles. The girl left in a huff, and Jin Shichuan walked over, commenting that Xu Lai never stopped lying. Ignoring his sarcasm, Xu Lai put her hairpin on his hand. Jin Shichuan recalled his former comrade, Fang Huai, and the dog, Chasing Wind, that had been his companion for a long time. Fang Huai had died, and Chasing Wind had sacrificed itself during a rescue operation, becoming a pain that Jin Shichuan could never erase in his life. Jin Shichuan received a call from Old Pan while exercising and rushed to the base. He unexpectedly saw Xu Lai at the base, who was training a dog that looked very similar to Chasing Wind.

Old Pan said Xu Lai was an international dog trainer who often came to the base to train her dogs. She had even won awards in dog training competitions. Jin Shichuan seemed to see the scene of him training Chasing Wind again. The dog she was training, Ping’an, looked a lot like Chasing Wind. Jin Shichuan saw a photo of Chasing Wind in his wallet and finally remembered that Xu Lai was the girl he had saved in the earthquake ten years ago. He explained that his promise of the ten-year reunion was to ensure her health and happiness, and it wasn’t a definitive commitment. Xu Lai held onto his clothes, knowing full well that her feelings for Jin Shichuan were not based on dependence but genuine love. Jin Shichuan appeared cold on the surface, but his heart was stirred because of Xu Lai. Xu Lai was drinking with Han Fang when she received a mission and hurriedly left. Huo Yanzong chose not to drink in order to see Xu Lai off.

There was a fire in Huizeyuan Community, and a private car was blocking the fire lane. Jin Shichuan tried contacting the owner but failed. With lives at stake, Jin Shichuan ordered the car to be forcefully moved. Xu Lai entered the community with Zhou Tingwei and provided real-time coverage of the scene. They rescued the trapped individuals, and an elderly lady rushed over, crying that her son was still upstairs. Jin Shichuan made a decisive decision and led his team back inside to rescue the person. Xu Lai spoke with the elderly lady and learned that her son rarely went out and had gained a lot of weight, weighing over 200 pounds now. Jin Shichuan instructed the other team members to bring the person out first while he stayed behind to continue searching. Xu Lai saw an explosion upstairs, and her heart tightened with worry for Jin Shichuan’s safety.

After the explosion, Jin Shichuan was pinned down by a falling cabinet. He struggled desperately, smashing an aquarium to free himself from under the cabinet. However, due to the decreasing oxygen, he gradually lost consciousness. Xu Lai, wearing a firefighter suit, bravely entered the fire scene to rescue Jin Shichuan. When Jin Shichuan saw her appearing, he instantly regained consciousness. The team members outside arranged a ladder to assist them. Just as they were climbing the ladder, a violent explosion occurred in the fire scene. Jin Shichuan held Xu Lai tightly, protecting her. In that moment, Xu Lai felt fearless and only sensed the warmth of this genuine embrace. Everyone was rescued, and Jin Shichuan and Xu Lai were unharmed. As the team regrouped to prepare to return, the owner of the private car came over, instigating trouble and pushing Jin Shichuan, who had just come back from the brink of death.

They had escaped the explosion and fire but couldn’t escape the baseless accusations from this arrogant and unreasonable car owner. Xu Lai couldn’t stand it and kicked the troublemaker in retaliation. The man quickly fought back, but Jin Shichuan held Xu Lai in his arms, shielding her. However, he ended up being struck in the back. Later, the man realized he was in the wrong, and fearing police involvement, he reluctantly left. After this incident, everyone could see that Xu Lai was serious about Jin Shichuan, considering she risked her life to save him in the fire. With unanimous agreement, everyone began calling Xu Lai “sister-in-law.” Jin Shichuan reproached Xu Lai for her reckless behavior in entering the fire scene, even though she had received rescue training. In his presence, Xu Lai obediently admitted her mistake.

Everyone created an opportunity for them and intentionally left Jin Shichuan behind. Xu Lai followed Jin Shichuan like a shadow, while Huo Yanzong waited for her in place. Xu Lai took the opportunity to ask Huo Yanzong to accompany Jin Shichuan to the hospital for treatment. Upon learning that this man was the one Xu Lai liked, Huo Yanzong couldn’t help but feel a sense of crisis. He wanted to confess his feelings to Xu Lai, but she interrupted him and quickly pursued Jin Shichuan. Lu Fangqi was also receiving an injection at the hospital and unexpectedly encountered Zang Qiu, the female doctor from last time. Jin Shichuan also saw the female doctor and recognized her. When they talked, Xu Lai secretly watched from a corner, unable to figure out the true relationship between Jin Shichuan and the female doctor.

After the nurse finished treating Jin Shichuan’s wounds, Xu Lai eagerly offered to help him get dressed. Jin Shichuan felt helpless and ordered Lu Fangqi to pull Xu Lai away. Instead, Xu Lai drew closer to Lu Fangqi and asked him to find out about the relationship between the female doctor and Jin Shichuan. Huo Yanzong drank a lot of alcohol and thought that if he hadn’t missed that bus in 2012, he would have been the one to save Xu Lai, and Xu Lai would have been the person he held dear. But fate played a trick, and Xu Lai fell in love with Jin Shichuan. Just as Xu Lai’s feelings for Jin Shichuan were persistent, Huo Yanzong was also deeply attached to Xu Lai. He was willing to lose everything except Xu Lai, and he wouldn’t allow anyone to take her away from him.

The kitchen of the fire station failed to prepare meals on time. Seeing this, Jin Shichuan personally cooked for everyone. It was a rare occasion for everyone to enjoy a meal cooked by Jin Shichuan, and they were all excited. Lu Fangqi was hospitalized and inquired about Zang Qiu’s situation through the nurse. He learned that her ex-boyfriend was a firefighter and had won first place in the national firefighting competition. Zang Qiu quickly found out that Lu Fangqi was inquiring about her at the hospital and angrily forced him to leave. To save his life, Lu Fangqi ran out wearing patient clothes and informed Xu Lai about everything he had learned. Xu Lai suspected that Zang Qiu was Jin Shichuan’s ex-girlfriend, but she quickly realized that it didn’t matter. After all, they had already broken up, and Xu Lai still had a chance.

Lu Fangqi returned to the fire station and went to probe Jin Shichuan’s intentions. Jin Shichuan didn’t tell him directly but started reminiscing about the past. Zang Qiu wasn’t his ex-girlfriend; she was the wife of Fang Huai. During a rescue operation, Fang Huai sacrificed himself to save Jin Shichuan. That’s why Jin Shichuan felt guilty towards Zang Qiu, and Zang Qiu couldn’t let go of Fang Huai’s death or forgive Jin Shichuan.

Jin Shichuan is unable to settle down and start a family, which Xu Lai understands and knows he cannot make promises or offer a future to anyone.

Xu Lai decides to change her strategy and becomes determined to win over Jin Shichuan.

Later, Xu Lai becomes the training instructor for the fire station’s search and rescue dogs. Everyone is in awe when they discover that she is an internationally renowned dog trainer.

Jin Shichuan wanted to talk to Xu Lai about the kiss they shared that day, but Xu Lai acted as if it was insignificant. She casually mentioned that she had been drunk that day, implying that he shouldn’t take it seriously.

Xu Lai’s change in strategy indeed left Jin Shichuan puzzled. In the middle of the night, Jin Shichuan secretly asked Lu Fangqi about this matter.

As heavy rain poured down and thunder roared, Jin Shichuan worried that Xu Lai might be afraid, so he came to pick her up.

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