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90.

Although Gu Yiliang and I are separated by only one celebrity tier, the number of fans who came to visit us at work were equally matched.

The moment the two groups of fans caught sight of the support items in each other's hands, they instantly widened their distance at a rapid rate, conscientiously dividing themselves into two masses on either side of the pathway. Their unified gazes stared intently at the entrance and no one from the same group of fans pushed or shoved each other. When their gazes interlocked with the adversary's eyes, they didn't behave like they had daggers drawn like on the internet.

Both sides had people carrying various kinds of equipment to record the whole segment. Since their biases would be the ones paying for it if they stepped out of line, everyone was fully aware of embodying the high standards of their own fan circles, attempting to oppress their rivals with it.

This was a battle without smoke.

91.

In the end, Gu Yiliang came out with me looking all cheerful and lively.

92.

Thus somehow plunging the entire scene into a state of awkwardness.

93.

"We only have thirty minutes? Let me know when time's up?" I asked.

Gu Yiliang nodded. "Okay. Give me some of your snacks. I didn't prepare any."

He can still botch his fans in their presence?

So I gave him half my snacks in front of everyone.

94.

I greeted the Pretty Yans [1] and handed the snacks in my embrace to a familiar big fan of mine. "It's probably not enough for everyone, so maybe you can just open them up and share them on the way back?"

"Sure! No biggie!" The little girl easily found a bag and packed everything up quickly before she lifting two bags up to me. "We've already given the food and drinks prepared for the production team to the staff members. What's in here are all the presents the Pretty Yans have prepared for you. The green bag contains fresh fruits and desserts so please remember to eat them on time. Don't leave it for later or else it will go bad. The blue bag is has a bit of everything like presents and letters. Just take a look yourself…"

I laughed uncontrollably. Every time I meet them, it feels as though I'm seeing my own mom when I was in boarding school. The only exception was that they didn't tell me to get along with everyone and warn me not to get bullied.

"…Please get along with the staff members." The little girl shot a glance at Gu Yiliang before anxiously lowered her voice into a soft whisper. "Your adversary… did he bully you?"

I choked. "…"

95.

I called out to him, "Gu Yiliang!”

Gu Yiliang turned around to look at me in confusion.

I said, "Gimme a smile!"

And Gu Yiliang threw me a dazzling and bewitching smile.

96.

Turning around, I was greeted by the look of astonishment from my big fan as well as a fragmented view of the group's expressions. I smiled and said, "Got it now? We're getting along just fine."

Seeing how they would still be trapped in a state of shock for a while longer, I fished out my phone, swiped up Alipay, and said, "How much did you guys spend this time?"

As soon as the majority of them recovered their senses, voices surrounded me at once to stop me in my tracks. "The funds are sponsored by the Pretty Yans who are working! None of the students paid for anything."

Alright then. I pulled my sleeve up. "There's a lot of autographs to sign, right? Please be quick since we only have a thirty-minute window."

Like performing a magic trick, one by one, they materialized their handheld banners, fans, and posters out of thin air…

I let my muscle memory take over, signing the items as I chatted with them for a while.

97.

While we were talking, my big fan suddenly tugged my sleeves, looking all confused and mysterious. She was gesturing for me to lower my head.

I slightly hung my head low in puzzlement, only to hear her softly whisper as a testament to my ear, "…Niangzi?"

98.

How is it that a brat with thick eyebrows and round eyes like you is betraying the revolution?!

99.

The situation was not looking good right now. shipping and having the actual people sealing the deal were two completely different things. If things went badly, it could destroy careers! I wouldn't dare to make light of Gu Yiliang's career.

With a vacant expression and looking all muddled, I used three fingers to cover my lips and sang in a low voice, "A ha?"

"…."

100.

Thank you, Phoenix Legend! Thank you, Lover Temptation [2]! Thank you for helping me deceive them! I sighed in relief.

I was writing 'To' on the item when Gu Yiliang called me. "Can you come over here for a while?"

I took a glimpse at the Pretty Yans and they were using their eyes and lip movements, one after another, to quickly drive me to his side. They looked so frantic that the only thing they hadn't done yet was to physically shove me toward him.

Why do I have this nagging feeling that I've been sold out by my own mom?

I returned the pen and autographs to them before skipping towards him. "What's up?"

Gu Yiliang smiled. "They want a picture of us together."

101.

He put his hand over my shoulder and I unconsciously threw mine around his waist.

We smiled together at the camera.

This was actually the first picture we'd taken together in the three years that we'd known each other.

There was still an underground big fan of the Niangzi Army watching me over there. I was going to release him as soon as the picture was taken, but the camera was flashing at us nonstop, the shutter clicking like rain beating on window panes. I couldn't find the right timing to do so.

He glanced at me apologetically with his tender eyes. I returned a nonchalant smile as I stared into his deep-set eyes.

102.

The moment our gazes interlocked with each other, a piece of my shipping soul broke apart. As I watched this scene unfold before my eyes from another perspective, I was very aware that should this picture get sent out, the Niangzi discussion board was going to explode.

103.

As such, Gu Yiliang hooked his arm around my neck and led me towards the big fan who was currently taking our picture. I watched on blankly as he picked out two pictures and requested the fan to directly transfer it to him.

104.

Namely:

In the picture where we flashed a smile at the camera, my lips broke into a wide grin as my eyes arched while he was smiling with his mouth closed.

In the picture where we were looking into each other's eyes, there seemed to be thousands of words congealed in our gazes.

I was decked out in a steel grey outfit while he was donning a brick-red outfit. I was right yesterday. Our colors match well with each other.

105.

At this very moment, I knew deep down that he would be posting these pictures soon.

106.

And it was precisely at this very moment when I realized, deep down, that Gu Yiliang was the true Rio Niangzi master.

Translator Notes: 

[1] Pretty Yans: name for Wei Yanzi's fan club.

[2] –Niangzi! –A ha! are actually two lines from the lyrics of Lover Temptation (郎的诱惑) by Phoenix Legend. So MC is using the song to pretend that he doesn’t know about the Niangzi ship~

107.

One's gotta treat everyone equally. I dragged him over so that my Pretty Yans could take some pictures of us too, and it was about time for the session to end.

I watched the staff as they urged the fans to leave and reminded them to be safe on their way back. Then I caught a glimpse of a girl that didn't look too familiar. She stood not far from me and was staring at me hesitantly.

I waved at her with a smile and asked her to be careful, but as if she had suddenly made up her mind, she started running toward me in little thumping steps. She took out a handheld banner from her bag and handed it to me together with a sharpie, saying that she wanted an autograph with a 'To' message.

"Why didn't you give it to me just now?" I took off the pen cap. "To whom?"

She said in a whisper, "To… @WilLiam…"

108.

The name sounded a little familiar. I looked down, and I immediately knew why she didn't hand this banner to me together with everyone else.

On the pink-and-blue handheld banner was a picture of a chibi Gu Yiliang throwing his arm around a chibi me — All inside a baby pink heart-shaped bubble.

This f.u.c.king banner f.u.c.king was a f.u.c.king Niangzi version!

And WilLiam, wasn't that one of the big name shippers that I just followed last night?!

And she was an extremely productive one! The Yuan Longping of the fandom! One that reigned half of the fanfiction kingdom!

So it was you?! My author-sama!

109.

I contained the turmoil in my head and quickly readjusted my demeanour, resuming my ever-so-calm idol face.

I feel that it was time to re-examine the composition of my fans.

So while you guys were pretending to be my fans, you were secretly fancying the fact that my adversary was s.c.r.e.w.i.n.g me over?!

Each and every one of you looked so dignified, righteous, upright and plainspoken, yet all of you have written tens of thousands of words of s.m.u.t behind my back?!

Kiddos, you're giving your dad a hard time.

110.

The shippers were in a rather awkward position in the fan base, and disturbing people in real life was considered a very rude act. Perhaps I had been petrified for too long, but WilLiam became a little uneasy as she waved her hands, "It's fine. Totally fine if you don't want to sign. Don't force yourself!"

To sign, or not to sign, that was the question. I was trapped in a dilemma. Gu Yiliang then came over and asked me, "Why are you still not going back yet?"

Subconsciously, I shot him a pleading look asking for help.

Then I sharply caught wind of WilLiam letting out a low 'Eek' while standing beside me.

111.

Alright, I know. Tonight, I'm going to be the star in another tens of thousands of words of s.m.u.t.

112.

Abandoning myself to despair, I spread out the banner in front of Gu Yiliang and asked for his opinion, “Can I sign this?”

WilLiam was now making a stream of low 'eeks' like a rooster crowing at dawn. But I no longer cared. After all, not all fans had the fortune to personally witness their bias spreading love right in front of them. It's understandable.

113.

"Sure!" Gu Yiliang patted me on the head as if my question amused him, "Do you want me to sign it too?"

114.

Look! This is the Real Master.

115.

I heard a guttural squeak squirming its way out of WilLiam despite her extreme effort to hold it all in. Afraid that she was going to faint soon, I immediately shoved the sharpie into Gu Yiliang's hand and said, "Here."

This was the real Passing-the-pen-to-the-author-sama.

Without even thinking about it, Gu Yiliang signed his name on the side where my picture was.

Real Master-creating-fluff-on-the-spot / Real bias-spreading-love-before-my-eyes.

116.

A sweet pie of fluff stuffed firmly into my mouth and WilLiam's mouth.

My HP bar was clearly longer than hers for I could still manage to sign my name next to the chibi Gu Yiliang's chubby face, while her hands were already shaking to no end.

Just as I was trying to decide on who should sign the “To" message, WliLiam took the banner away from me with her trembling hands. "…Nonono, I don’t need the 'To' anymore. Don’t let my name ruin this consummate work of beauty, I'm too unworthy…"

I was speechless.

117.

She gingerly put the banner away and put on her backpack.

"Hurry and head back. Be careful and stay safe," Gu Yiliang said to her.

"Don’t forget to tell the others after you arrive," I added.

She waved fiercely at us, her eyes all red, "I'll visit you two again some other time!"

118.

I kept feeling that there was something strange about the scene.

But before I had a clue about what it was, Gu Yiliang turned his head and smiled at me, "Feels like we're a couple sending our child to college."

"…"

Master-sama! Give me a break! I'm suffocating from this fluffiness that only I get to enjoy!

119.

I picked up the two huge bags. One was blue, and the other one was green. Little Chen suddenly popped up out of nowhere and seized one of the bags from me like lightning, "Yan Yan, Yan Yan, leave it to me! If you get caught on camera later, you fans will be complaining, saying stuff like, 'How can the assistant let my baby carry the bag by himself,' again."

I laughed, "It's only a few steps."

Then the bag in my other hand was taken away from me as well, and it was by Gu Yiliang.

Looking at my now lifeless face, he weighed the green bag in his hand and said, "Green. It suits me." [1]

120.

"…" I had no words. "Don't you feel like there’s something wrong with what you just said?"

"…"

He finally said, "Forget it. Let's get back soon, otherwise the director will come and rush us."

121.

The male and the female leads were shooting a scene of them playing opposite each other, while I waited on a little campstool off the stage, peering about.

Gu Yiliang was leaning against the table next to me, softly reciting the lines to himself.

“…Those that I thought I would forget were actually kept in my heart. Those that I thought I would keep in my heart were actually carved into my bone…Every time…”

The tragic second male lead's lines were probably too whiny that he paused for a few seconds.

I continued without even thinking about it, "Every time I think of those scenes, those words, those interactions between us, I feel the pain, a pain that's engraved in my heart and carved in my bones. Because I know very well that I will never have things like those again."

122.

He looked at me with some surprise, "…How do you know that line?"

It was the dialogue between the second male lead and the female lead that had nothing to do with me. No wonder he was surprised. I answered honestly, "I remember everyone’s lines."

That was a bit too much of an exaggeration, so I quickly added, "But only for these scenes. I haven't read the ones after it."

He was all the more amazed, "You can memorize everything just by reading through it?"

I nodded, "If I read it a few times, then I can remember the lines. But I forget everything after we finish shooting, otherwise they take up too much s.p.a.ce in my brain."

123.

He flipped through the script in his hand and chose a random section, "Huh, you sound so respectful and dignified, but once——"

"——you tear off that hypocritical mask of yours, you're just a ruffian! Rogue! Shameless b.a.s.t.a.r.d!"

He continued, "Ruo'er, look. The sky——"

"——is already dark, but we're still several miles away from the closest town. We might as well stay here for a night."

"Ah-Wan! Your leg!"

"Don't worry, it's just a small scratch. Were you hurt anywhere?"

"Your eyes are your smile——"

"——shines like the stars and is gentle like the evening breeze. It's the brightest scene I've ever seen in my life."

124.

No matter whose line he was reading, he could adjust his expression and tone accordingly to make a vivid presentation, while I read everything all the way through in a monotone and looked like a dead fish.

125.

Gu Yiliang took a soft breath and stared at me in silence. After a while, his eyes shifted back onto the script as he asked, "…Do you have time tonight?"

I stopped for a second, then poked my head to his side, trying to read the script in his hand. "Whose line is it? I don't think it's on there."

Slightly choked, he threw me a helpless glance. "…No, what I mean is, if you have time, can you go over the lines with me?"

Here it comes! The experienced artist is going to favor me with his instructions! I replied blithely, "Sure sure! You can just wait for me in your room. I'll come over once I'm done showering."

126.

Little Chen happened to walk by with a mini fan in his hand. His expression changed abruptly. He looked around in alarm, then at me hesitantly, then at Gu Yiliang next to me. In the end, he shoved the mini fan into my hand, swung his body around, and ran away from the parasol.

My phone vibrated, notifying me of a new message on Wechat.

127.

OrangeWarmSun: Yan Yan, you should pay attention to your surroundings when you talk. So many people could be eavesdropping on you!

While I was still confused by it, several more messages popped up on the screen immediately afterwards.

128.

OrangeWarmSun: Allow me to gossip for a bit! You've called a paparazzi waiting on the spot already, haven't you? So that you can seduce him and completely ruin his image and reputation?

OrangeWarmSun: That doesn't sound very cool.

OrangeWarmSun: Or are you trying to seduce your adversary so that you can defraud him of money and love?

OrangeWarmSun: Or are you trying to seduce your adversary so that you can break his body and his heart?

OrangeWarmSun: That doesn't sound very cool.

OrangeWarmSun: Do you need me to prepare anything for you? Feel free to ask If there's anything I can help with!

129.

I blacklisted him.

Translator Notes: 

[1] Green as a color represents someone being cheated in a relationship. Like a man is said to become 'green' or 'wear a green hat' if their wife is seeing other men.





CHAPTER DISCUSSION