"Let's get going, the car is downstairs," Fu Zhi announced with his cell phone in hand. "Chi Yunkai will meet us there."
Gu Wei had just posted his diatribe to his Moments on WeChat. He had yet to fully recover from the shock he'd just received. He nodded distractedly, not quite paying attention, and got up to follow his bandmates downstairs to the van waiting to pick them up.
He didn't want to wait too long for the other guys to check their WeChat and see his new post, so he gave them a gentle nudge in that direction and brought up Jiang Xun himself—
"What kind of person is Jiang Xun?" he asked.
"Now you're interested?" Fu Zhi laughed. "When we were talking about him earlier, you were just messing on your phone the whole time."
Gu Wei nodded.
"Jiang Xun is pretty special," Fu Zhi said. "Originally, he was supposed to enter the entertainment industry. He would've had tons of connections and resources at his disposal if he chose to go in that direction, but he didn't."
"Entertainment?" Gu Wei frowned, confused. "What does he have to do with the entertainment industry?"
"Well, you already know who his little brother is. Jiang Ying had a lot of support behind the scenes when he launched his career, so he must have had some impressive backers," Fu Zhi explained. "And you know Jiang Zheng, right? The legendary actor? We all watched his movies growing up. That's their dad.
"He's got a stake in more than ten big media companies. As long as Jiang Xun and Jiang Ying didn't do anything totally heinous, they could've taken an easy road to stardom.
"So, that's why all the negative press disappeared when Jiang Xun liked that trending trailer. All these big media companies are scared to death of offending Jiang Zheng and his family."
Gu Wei was speechless. Again.
It seemed this was a meme who he couldn't afford to offend.
"Look at this," said Luo Chenxuan. He held out his cell phone. "From when Jiang Xun was a kid."
Gu Wei scooted over and took a look at the video Luo Chenxuan had loaded up. It was a clip from a television series, featuring a much younger Jiang Xun. The little reaction meme looked like he was only eleven or twelve.
The little Jiang Xun was playing the role of a young emperor, dressed in a tailored set of emperor's robes. He sat atop an imperial throne, facing a crowd that knelt before him. With a look of cold indifference on his face, he lashed out and swept a storm of papers and books off a nearby desk.
Fu Zhi said, "Awesome acting skills."
Luo Chenxuan said, "Amazing eyes."
Shi Xinyan said, "Look at that face."
Gu Wei said nothing.
Although he didn't want to admit it, the little Jiang Xun's acting ability really did far surpass his own.
"Seriously, look at that face," Luo Chenxuan echoed. "That's not a normal person's face, you can tell he was born with good genes. He acted in a lot of things when he was a kid. It was only when he grew into his rebellious stage that he got into esports instead."
"Then… weren't his parents opposed to it?" Gu Wei asked.
"Of course they were opposed." Fu Zhi said. "He was such a promising young star, suddenly snapped up by the esports world. Loads of people try to make it big in esports and end up retiring as nameless nobodies. I heard his mom was actually pretty reasonable, but his dad—well, that's the emperor of acting, Jiang Zheng. He's got one hell of a temper, and he was very opposed.
"Back then, some tabloids were even saying Jiang Zheng raised a useless failure of a son. But then, bit by bit, Jiang Xun got good results and became a famous pro player. So those media outlets have all shut up about it now."
"A lot of people said Jiang Xun didn't know what he was doing back then," Luo Chenxuan added. "But, really, Jiang Xun always knew exactly what he wanted."
Gu Wei understood now. This was a stubborn, obstinate meme with a backstory.
To get to where he was in the esports world, Jiang Xun must have worked harder than anyone knew.
Gu Wei suddenly caught himself thinking that maybe Jiang Xun was pretty impressive after all. And that maybe he wasn't so bad.
Everything that happened between them before had been a misunderstanding. He could have just talked to Jiang Xun over WeChat and properly explained everything. Why did he have to go and post that rant about Jiang Xun's character flaws and moral deficiencies?
Gu Wei was starting to feel just a teensy bit guilty.
He took out his cell phone and decided to delete the vent post he'd just made.
Before he could unlock his own phone screen, Fu Zhi leaned over and showed him something on his cell: "Look at this, that guy Chi Yunkai bunked off work to go play with dogs. Look at how many huskies there are! We should go check this out on our day off, too."
On Fu Zhi's cell phone screen, there was a selfie Chi Yunkai had taken with a big group of huskies. He'd posted it on WeChat to show it off to his friends, and…
The post was timestamped 12:59.
Gu Wei took Fu Zhi's phone and scrolled up a little, then down a little, and froze when he didn't see the post he had made on Fu Zhi's feed.
He had sent out his post at 13:30. If no one else on Fu Zhi's friends list had posted any Moments during that time, then Gu Wei's rant should have been right above Chi Yunkai's pack of dogs.
But on Fu Zhi's phone, the most recent post was the pack of dogs.
His lengthy exposé about the reaction meme was nowhere to be found.
"Did you remove me as a friend?" Gu Wei asked.
Fu Zhi looked bewildered. "Huh? No."
Gu Wei's hand started to tremble. He grabbed his own phone again, opened up WeChat, and instantly saw the Moment he had posted just a short while ago.
No problems there.
It had sent.
"What did you post?" Shi Xinyan asked. "I don't see anything here either."
Gu Wei suddenly had a very, very bad feeling.
With that intense sense of foreboding weighing down on him, Gu Wei steeled himself for the worst and tapped on the little icons under his post.
In the list of friends who this post was visible to, there was just a very familiar-looking pikachu.
Other than that, there was no one else.
Gu Wei jolted in place.
It seemed he had done something very, very bad. Again.
Gu Wei had originally intended to make it so that Jiang Xun was the only person on his friends list who couldn't see the post. But Gu Wei had been scattered and confused when he sent out the post, and apparently he had made it so that Jiang Xun was the only person on his friends list who could see the post.
He practically fell over himself in his haste to delete the Moment. After scrabbling at his phone screen for a second, he breathed a sigh of relief when that post and the attached memes disappeared.
It was a good thing he deleted it so quickly. The meme himself probably hadn't seen it yet.
Who could have lived with the embarrassment if Jiang Xun had seen it?
Just then, Gu Wei's cell phone suddenly buzzed and a notification of a new message popped up at the top of his screen.
[100K Volts]: [screenshot] Incriminating evidence.
Gu Wei froze up.
Well, that wasn't good.
Clinging to his last shreds of hope, Gu Wei covered his eyes with his right hand and peeked out through his fingers as he tapped on the notification to load up Jiang Xun's message.
[100K Volts]: Little Gu, are you itching for a spanking?
[100K Volts]: I'll take that year-long subscription now. I can't wait to teach you a few things.