Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 67: A Specially Invited Guest
The road Li Su Li was taking was to be on the negative side of the press, using her notoriety to become a hot topic.
But since her debut seven or eight years ago, all the tricks in her book had pretty much been used up, and the general public were starting to have visual fatigue.
Although they would still pile on hate comments and scream at her when they see her, her popularity was not as high as it used to be, only moving up the charts every now and then, becoming very rarely mentioned.
When they were headed back into the village house they stayed at, Li Su Li discovered her manager standing by the tent the director and the filming crew set up temporarily.
She immediately scowled in disdain as she saw her looking back at her, as if a murky dark ocean was lying behind her.
She quickened her steps and slammed the door with a bang behind her.
Zhao Ke Yi was following closely behind, and she reacted just in time to avoid the door hitting her right on the nose.
Her eyes turned red, as if tearing up from the anger rising in her, but she couldn’t expel it out.
She hid from the cameras, heading into the washroom to wipe her tears away.
Fu Xiu Nian was just putting rice in the pot when the filming crew suddenly notified them that each person must individually do a small interview that would not be included in the main program.
Instead it will be as packaged as a hidden extra in the full exclusive package for members of the streaming platform, and because the girls weren’t quite ready for their emotional outbursts, the guys would start first.
The order was decided to be Ah Qi, Fu Xiu Nian and then Chen Yi.
The interview spot was chosen to be in the temporarily set up tent by the production team.
The first two went fairly straightforwardly, being asked only about what they felt throughout the entire filming, after their hard work and all that, but when it was time for Chen Yi’s turn, the crew were asking very sharp questions, full of traps every step and turn of the way.
Film crew: “When the program announced your participation, it actually caused quite a stir online.
Have you known about it or understood what the fuss was about?”
A good phrase was “caused a stir”, but in reality, it was a one-sided negativity fest.
Chen Yi raised his eyebrows and answered with a very dismissive response,
I don’t make myself search for unhappiness.”
The crew member choked on his words but quickly came back to his senses and changed to a different question.
He smiled and continued,
“We can see that you have quite the blunt personality.
During the filming of this program, everyone has been sleeping together, eating together, so you must have some understanding towards each other through your interactions.
And in those, there have been multiple times where there was rough understanding between some of the other guests, especially with you.
Have you ever thought about why?”
This question, no matter how one answers, was just one big trap.
Since its inception, this variety show << I Came From Far Away >> has been on the rise, looking to be quite the contender for the year.
Yet there had been much hidden puppetry going on behind the scenes, even privately exposing its scripted personas of each celebrity.
One day or another, it will soon shoot itself in the foot with its schemes.
This was in the script that Zhou Ming gave to Chen Yi, and Zhou Ming had even prepared an answer for this exact question to make sure he netted even more hate:
I think Su Li is not really a team member.
She’s a bit more of an uptight, high maintenance kind of person, more of a city girl.
And she’s not very good at interacting with other girls.
Perhaps it was because there was always someone helping her before, so the road she had been walking on was very clear and flat, and didn’t make her taste any hardships.
Put into this environment all of a sudden, she hasn’t accepted it very well, nor has she adapted quite well.
The answer seemed like he has a slight frustration, but the more you think back on it, the more it gives you a deeper implication.
The biggest rumor that Li Su Li was involved in was that she had a sponsor.
There were some that gossiped about how she used her body to climb up in ranks, to claw her way up using other female celebrities as stepping stones.
At first she was getting torn apart by the fans of those female celebrities with hate comments, and it almost got to the point where it culminated in a plan to throw acid at her.
In fact, it had just only been about two years since she tossed out the “public bus” title she had been associated with.1
Facing up the film crew’s hidden anticipatory gaze, Chen Yi pushed back his hair and said with disinterest,
“Oh, her mouth’s missing common sense, my mouth’s honesty can’t be stopped, so perhaps the tension comes from that.”
The other was not ready to give up and asked,
“Is there anything else other than this?”
Chen Yi spread his hands and arms wide open, showing a face that said no matter what you do, you won’t be ready for me,
And then no matter what they asked, Chen Yi said he didn’t know, and the interview had a very unsatisfying end.
When Chen Yi walked out of the tent, Zhou Ming stopped him in his footsteps.
The latter looked quite mad and took the chance to scold him out of view from the cameras,
“Did I not tell you to follow the script? You and Li Su Li are perfect to be tied together, and you could use both of your infamy to rise up on the charts, to grow in popularity.
Who let you just blindly talk out of your ass?”
Chen Yi looked at him like he was an idiot,
“I’m not a murderer, so why would I need to be infamous?”
What a motherfucking dumbass.
And then he walked away, ignoring Zhou Ming who was shocked into a state of confusion.
The rice was just about to be ready, and the chimney in the kitchen was puffing barely visible clouds of smoke.
The scent of rice and the various dishes were slowly spreading, making everyone start to feel the emptiness in their stomachs.
Chen Yi, however, had no appetite and took his designated (declared by himself) chair and sat in the courtyard, looking out into nature before him.
Li Su Li was away for her own interview, Zhao Ke Yi was still not in the right emotional state, and Ah Qi was speaking to her quietly.
No one cared about Chen Yi, and Fu Xiu Nian was about to walk away when he doubled back.
He crouched down by Chen Yi and said,
“Chen Yi, why aren’t you taking a bite?”
Chen Yi gave a very asshole-ish type of reply,
“Nah, I wouldn’t count on it.
Your cooking is terrible.”
Fu Xiu Nian silently looked at him,
“But you haven’t tasted it yet.”
Chen Yi: “I can tell just by the look of it that it’d taste horrible.”
When they finished their lunch, the filming would then be concluded.
The two of them hadn’t known each other for long, and they hadn’t really started to form a basis of understanding yet before needing to separate right after.
So Fu Xiu Nian said,
“Well then, what kind of food do you like to eat? When I visit you at your filming sites, how about I make you some meals?”
And then felt like that was a bit over the line, like it was a bit too soon, he blurted out after as he made a fist with his hands,
“From now on, I am your fan.”
Chen Yi asked back,
Fu Xiu Nian: “Loyal to the death fan.”
The comments began to fill up the screen again:
What kind of eyes does Fu Xiu Nian have? Does he need to go to the optometrist ]
[ Fu Xiu Nian is so blind.
Does he only see that Chen Yi’s on the charts right now, so he’s just buttering him up, blowing up his ass into the heavens.
This kind of stingy asshole, if Chen Yi could really bring him fame, that would be a miracle ]
[ Hey you, you crossed the line.
If you need to hate, why are you dragging my Xiu Xiu into this.
His personality’s too innocent, being nice to everyone.
Is that a fault? ]
[ You fucking leave.
Stanning Chen Yi will need a trip to the optometrist? I’m his fan.
If you can’t take it, come fight me! ]
[ I’m blowing up in anger here.
I’m also Chen Yi’s fan.
Who dares to make me go see an optometrist, I will smash his head open, slam your fucking eyes blind ]
[ Chen Yi is a thug.
Chen Yi’s fans are even more thuggish.
It’s no wonder why they say those who are alike gather together ]
[ And so why are you here talking to this group of thugs huh? You don’t think you don’t know what you are doing here? ]
[ Puh ahahahaha don’t be like this.
Are Chen Yi’s fans ok in the head? Other fanclubs name themselves so nicely, only you guys would call yourself as thugs ]
[ Hahahahaha that’s so fucking funny.
The celebrity’s a comedian, the fans are even more so ]
There’s no real need for a particular reason to be a fan of someone.
The sun did not shine with the same heat as it did at noon, but its rays still shone brightly without any bit of dimming.
Chen Yi looked at Fu Xiu Nian, and the other’s black hair was glowing with a slight golden tone under the sunlight, giving off the feeling of a gentle, innocent, never could be harmful kind of aura.
The two of them, they were like a wolf and a rabbit.
Li Su Li finally came back, and she walked straight to her room to pack up, not even sparing them a single glance.
Zhao Ke Yi had wanted to work out their relationship and went up to start a conversation,
“Su Li, are you going to eat?”
“You have already finished, and now you finally think to ask me if I have eaten? Too bad I don’t eat leftovers, and for the rest of my life, I never want to come back to this disgusting place.
When I go back, I can and will eat whatever the hell I want.”
For whatever reason, Li Su Li was blowing up in anger, and she packed up noisily and with aggression, her face full of unhappiness.
Not only her, to be honest, everyone else wasn’t exactly in a great mood.
When the filming crew announced that the program was done once and for all, they exchanged contact information before heading to their rooms to pack up and leave without any more words.
Chen Yi threw his luggage into the trunk and was about to sit in the passenger seat when his assistant Ling Dang hesitatingly passed a cellphone over,
“Xiao-Yi Ge, Ah Ya’s new concert to promote her single is on its last show, at the World Trade Stadium.
Zhou-Ge said that you’ll be a guest, and to be there by 7:30.
It has already posted this on weibo…… 2“
Ah Ya was one of Global Entertainment’s female song artists.
Supposedly she had the backing of a high up company executive and the moment she debuted, she was able to release a solo album.
These past years, she had achieved some fame, and without speaking about her singing ability, she had gathered quite a few fans for her clean, graceful image.
However, she has always lacked the “trend”, the something to be on the charts, and this time, making Chen Yi be a guest for her last show was meant to help her create some buzz.
This kind of thing was obviously hard work and only for generating negative press.
When the status post was published, Ah Ya’s fans were first shocked from the surprise and then they blew off their tops.
They immediately ran to Chen Yi’s page and started a new tornado of hate comments, tearing apart everything and anything about him, and the storm did not seem to be ending anytime soon.
Passive aggressive and directly cursing him, all sorts of comments were sworn at him, saying that he’s trying to leech off their idol.
[ Fuck me! How did this fucking piece of dogshit leech on? Ok, I’ll be nice.
Go back to your hole will you Chen Yi? ]
[ What helpful guest appearance? I’ll already be thankful if he doesn’t mess this up! How could our Ah Ya be so pitiful? Bumping into parasites when she’s just touring? ]
[ Who the fuck thought about this!!! Who came up with this idea? Better speak up as I have a working grenade in my hand ]
[ Can Chen Yi fuck off? Why is he everywhere? Can there be a day today where I don’t have to hear about him? I just want to throw up now ]
[ My angel Ah Ya, how ethereal she is.
Why do you have to invite such a person to be a guest in your show ]
Chen Yi scrolled a few times before giving up.
He had never liked to cause himself suffering.
He sharply asked Ling Dang,
“Where’s that bastard, Zhou Ming?”
Ling Dang was just checking over everything that needed to be prepared and rechecked the directions to get to the stadium,
“He left by himself at 1 this afternoon, and told us to head to the World Trade Stadium first.
He said there will be someone who will meet us there.
It’s currently 2:30, and we will have to get there early to change your clothes and your makeup.
Xiao-Yi Ge, you should get some rest now, otherwise you might have a hard time.”
Chen Yi asked,
“What do I need to do?”
Ling Dang started the car,
“You just finished your recording, so the higher ups want to borrow your recent popularity to boost up Ah Ya.
So most likely it’s just sitting in the guest panel seats, showing your face for a bit, interacting a bit.”
Chen Yi didn’t have time to respond before his phone vibrated a few times.
He took a quick glance, and all the messages were from Fu Xiu Nian.
His fingers lightly danced on the keyboard, sending a line of message out before saying to Ling Dang,
Counting it as a free opportunity to listen to a concert.”
The amount of Ah Ya’s fans was alright, and adding on to the numerous anti-fans of Chen Yi, the situation was skyrocketing up onto the charts after only a few hours.
Fu Xiu Nian naturally couldn’t not have seen it, and as he scrolled further and further down the discussion threads and comments, it was only getting worse and worse.
Every comment seemed to be beating for the title of who could be more vitriolic.
Currently sitting beside him was a middle aged looking lady with a pair of black rimmed glasses.
This was one of Happy Star Entertainment’s top managers, Yan Jin, and she had a certain way about her, being very good at what she did.
No celebrity artists under her had not been famous or popular.
She took a quick glance at the screen and immediately came to a conclusion.
“Global Entertainment won’t last much longer.
They will die by their own methods if they only know to use these kinds of induced marketing.
As long as their artists have eyes, who would dare sign onto their company? When Chen Yi’s fame has passed, he’s going to be left to his own demise.”
Fu Xiu Nian opened up the laptop by his side and logged onto his throwaway account.
His fingers flew on the keyboard, furiously typing, arguing back with all the haters he could.
He calmly replied,
“That might not be the case.
I think Chen Yi will skyrocket into fame, good fame, soon.”
Yan Jin paused, and then she smiled at Fu Xiu Nian,
I have dwelled here for a long time now, and what have I not seen? Don’t think that Chen Yi’s been trending, but that trend is based on his notoriety.
There’s a time limit ticking on that.”
Fu Xiu Nian said,
“And what if he comes into fame?”
He quickly took a look online, and he said to Yan Jin,
“There’s only one year left until the end of his contract with Global Entertainment.
I think Happy Star should try and sign him on.”
Global Entertainment and Happy Star Entertainment, these two companies have been the top two companies holding up the entertainment industry.
But these few years, Global Ent.
had started to crack, with Happy Star Ent.
lurching forward, growing to be stronger than Global Ent., possibly to the point of creating a monopoly.
The images of their artists were positive, and their PR was excellent.
And so with these kinds of infamous celebrities, with pages and pages of negative press like Chen Yi, it would be extremely difficult to sign him on.
Yan Jin smiled,
“Mr Fu Xiu Nian, this is not my area.
But I think the possibility of the company executives signing on Chen Yi will not be very high at all.”
Fu Xiu Nian stared at his computer monitor, and he suddenly said,
“Do you have a throwaway account for weibo?”
Yan Jin was surprised,
Fu Xiu Nian: “I have cursed and swore at too many people, so my account has been reported and suspended.”
Yan Jin: “……”
When the car reached the World Trade Stadium, it was already 6:30, and the person in charge was already waiting there for them.
Chen Yi put on a baseball cap and a mask as he headed through the employee entrance, covering his face up tightly.
The one meeting them was holding a timetable and she spoke in a rush,
“Clothing has already been prepared for you, so you can head in to change your clothes and do your makeup.
Right in the middle is the special guest seating area, and when Ah Ya has finished singing the opening song, the camera will pan right over.”
She was a young lady, and her attitude was not the greatest, and Ling Dang was 99% sure that she was an anti-fan of Chen Yi.
*1 “public bus” means, well, to say it more politely… the female is “open” to the general public (like a public bus), for anyone to have a gander with her
*2 weibo: this is like facebook/twitter/reddit combined.
Basically their social media all in one (the thing to note especially about this is that there are fan groups, so to say, some of which are usually “officially” backed up, with resources, time scheduling etc.
that may be released to the fan club organizers (usually if official, is appointed/approached by the celebrity’s manager or agency).
Stanning an idol is quite a dedication to be honest and requires “a bit” from your wallet, and depending on the celebrity and their size/amount of fans, there are usually requirements to even get in/to keep staying in the group (mostly able to speak/talk (be active basically) + donate + do stuff for the celebrity as part of the fanclub).
There are a few more things but that will be revealed by the characters in this volume very soon
It’s been a very busy few weeks since the start of the year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon for me, but I promise I will try and reply to all comments as soon as I can Thank you to all those who leave such supportive and kind words and letting me know you enjoy the novel as I did! And of course, I can never forget to thank all the readers who has joined in on the ride (or come to check it out too!) Each and every one of you have made my day(s) (and Plum’s) for the ongoing interest in the story(-ies) ever since I started and I always look forward to the responses and stats as I publish a chapter everytime (and use it to fuel my energy trying to keep up with the translations haha)! Thank you so very much ₍՞◌′ᵕ‵ू◌₎♡
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