YOUR MEMES ARE BETTER LOOKING THAN YOU

Chapter 14: Your Little Darling Has Liked A Post

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Jiang Xun's Weibo account was ten years old. When Gu Wei pulled it up, the most recent post he saw was a highlight reel of clips from the tournament Team TMW competed in a while back. The video started with footage of the five members of the team climbing the stage to receive the highest honors for winning the tournament.

The Jiang Xun in the video was just like the Jiang Xun that Gu Wei had come to know. He wore a gaming headset, and his fingers flew across his keyboard at lightning speeds. The screen shook with action, and Jiang Xun's tactics were sure to dazzle any viewer.

Gu Wei couldn't understand the tactics part of it, but he could plainly see that the comments section was full of fans who were wildly impressed.

Xun Fan 1: Holy shit, that suppressive fire at 9:30 is fucking incredible. I'm begging God Xun to teach us that trick, I really want to learn.

Xun Fan 2: How many MVP awards did Jiang Xun get this season? He's too good.

Xun Fan 3: I can't handle it, our big bro is too fucking cool. I have to rewatch this one more time.

Xun Fan 4: We're all bowing down. Big bro, accept our worship.

Gu Wei scrolled down some more, but every post on Jiang Xun's page was about his various tournaments or his training. Jiang Xun would post a notification every time his team had a practice match or a scheduled livestream.

But even farther down, further back in the past, Jiang Xun would sometimes send out a post or two about his everyday life.

Back then, before Team TMW made it big, Jiang Xun's posts were rarely shared or liked. The comments left underneath those older posts were all from fans of their team who had dug into his post history after the team got famous.

These internet fans only cared about the moments of triumph and success. They didn't see the hard work and nuance behind that success. Only those moments when their favorites stood in the spotlight mattered. They didn't have any interest in the process of how their favorite player climbed to the top.

About three years ago, Jiang Xun had posted—

Just esports, no sleep.

The post included a photo of Jiang Xun and his four teammates. It looked like, in order to train, the five of them had pulled several all-nighters in a row.

As soon as Gu Wei saw the photo, he grinned. Jiang Xun was good-looking, so even after staying up for a few nights, he just looked a little tired, but no worse for wear. His teammates, on the other hand, were all in pretty rough shape, with huge bags under their eyes that made them look like pandas. The five of them were making heart signs for the camera, shortly after winning some small tournament.

Among the pandas, there was Jiang Xun looking all high and mighty.

Gu Wei had to laugh.

It was a picture from a time when Team TMW had yet to achieve the success it enjoyed today. The guys in the picture just looked like a group of young friends who could find joy in their hard, back-breaking work. Compared to the more recent photos of them hoisting the world championship trophy, the atmosphere was completely different.

Gu Wei scrolled even farther down Jiang Xun's history. In the photos from back then, Jiang Xun was just a teenager, and there were some obvious differences between that Jiang Xun and the one Gu Wei had met only recently.

Subconsciously, the corners of Gu Wei's lips curved up into a smile. He felt like he was seeing a different meme.

When the meme was just a second-year in middle school, he didn't seem quite as fierce as he did now.

As he scrolled through Jiang Xun's Weibo, Gu Wei got the feeling that he was seeing a montage of Jiang Xun's life.

He had seen a version of Jiang Xun from before the fame, and even a version of Jiang Xun that seemed spirited and rebellious.

Suddenly, a notification popped up at the top of his cell phone screen. Gu Wei swiped away from Weibo and opened WeChat to check—

[Gu Cai]: So, how's Jiang Xun? If you like him, we'll confirm the engagement.

[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: He's not bad, but I refuse.

[Gu Cai]: Why? With that problem of yours, you need someone to take care of you. The doctor said you need to find a person who you can talk to, a person who can talk to you.

[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: No, I'm fine now. I can't affect him like that. He's a world champion, you know. If I burden him, that would make me a national disgrace. Call off the engagement. I have my own plans.

[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: EvilRawr.jpg

[Gu Cai]: Oh? You getting engaged is a national matter now? Then, fine, whatever you say.

[Gu Cai]: I'll call Auntie Song after I finish the manuscript I'm working on.

[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: Okay.

On the other side of the chat, Gu Cai looked down at the new script he was working on and mumbled to himself, "It's not much, not much at all. It'll take… oh, around two months for me to finish. I'll call off your engagement then."

Just two months. It wouldn't make a difference.

The careless Gu Wei wholeheartedly believed his father's promise and didn't question it any further before switching back over to Weibo to scroll down Jiang Xun's page some more.

After responding to those messages, Gu Wei forgot to swap his phone back to his left hand. He scrolled and scrolled some more, and soon he felt his eyelids start to droop.

He fell asleep just like that, still holding his cell phone.

And on his cell phone screen, Jiang Xun's Weibo page continued to glow.

 

On the outskirts of H City, a Bentley slowly pulled through the gates of the Jiang family's villa. Jiang Xun had been watching the recording of a recent practice match. When the car stopped, he set it aside and stepped outside.

"Are you still watching that game of yours?" Song Jingxi asked. "You spend all your time on that game, from morning to night. Even after winning a world championship, you don't take a break. It's a good thing we're having you do this reality show after all. It'll be a good way for you to relax a little."

"Mhm, I got it." Jiang Xun nodded absently. "I'm still going to head to my club tomorrow. I'll get to the recording for that show later in the evening."

"You really need someone to watch over you all the time," Song Jingxi complained. "Don't dedicate your whole life to your little games. How have things been going with Gu Wei?"

"Nice kid," Jiang Xun admitted. When he thought back to their encounter in the dressing room earlier that night, where Gu Wei had bowed his head so shyly, Jiang Xun's eyes crinkled with a smile.

"Then keep spending time together," Song Jingxi said, nodding thoughtfully. Her mind traveled back to a trending video she had seen not long ago, and she quickly added a reprimand: "And don't let that indecent nature of yours run loose. Don't scare him off. I worked hard to make that connection for you, you know."

The bad temper that ran through the Jiang family's bloodline seemed to have manifested in Jiang Zheng and Jiang Ying. But when it came to Jiang Xun, perhaps because he had turned his back on the entertainment industry, that temper was replaced by a naughty and roguelike heart.

Song Jingxi didn't understand the world of esports, but she had seen enough of her son's livestreams to know what they were like. The screen was always full of a barrage of rolling comments saying things like 'awesome awesome awesome' and 'hahaha' and 'BAD BOY KILL STREAK TOO DAMN HOT'. Of course these things would leave a deep impression on her.

"What are you guys talking about now?" Jiang Ying asked, emerging from a warm shower in his pajamas. "I heard my big bro is going on a reality show. Why aren't you taking me along? I'm super charismatic. Whenever I'm on a show, it trends for sure."

"Just focus on filming your drama," Jiang Xun said. "You don't worry about your own work at all, you just think about feuding on Weibo all day."

"Those twenty-some side accounts you bought recently," Song Jingxi added. "How many of them have already been blocked?"

Just as Jiang Ying was about to defend himself, the cell phone he had placed on the edge of the coffee table went off with an intense chain of vibrations. The cell phone had already been precariously perched on the edge of the table, so the strong burst of buzzing sent it toppling towards the floor. It just so happened to land on the rug near Jiang Xun's feet.

Jiang Xun bent down to pick it up. "Can't you put it closer to the middle of the table?"

His lecture was cut off abruptly as he saw a string of notifications from some app with a purple icon pop up on the screen of Jiang Ying's phone—

Guard My Superstar1[Your Little Darling T.ATW-GuWei Has Liked A Post]

Guard My Superstar[Your Little Darling T.ATW-GuWei Has Liked A Post]

Guard My Superstar[Your Little Darling T.ATW-GuWei Has Liked A Post]

Guard My Superstar[Your Little Darling T.ATW-GuWei Has Liked A Post]

 

1. The app is called 超级星饭团, and it essentially notifies you of any social media activity (posts, likes, etc.) from celebrities you track. Their English slogan seems to be 'Guard My Superstar', so I took that as the translation. The icon is a purple heart.

 

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