This question… this third question… landed squarely in the blind spot of Gu Wei's knowledge base.
The jig was up. Who was it that said fans didn't need to pass a test to be fans? Gu Wei had had less than ten minutes to celebrate his escape from Jiang Xun's clutches, and already he was being tested.
Being a fake fan had been nice while it lasted. Now, Gu Wei was dead meat.
He had collected so many Jiang Xun memes, and yet his esports knowledge was still… lacking.
What was an 'elimination count'? This sort of question… if Gu Wei didn't know the answer, could he guess?
The host was looking at him, waiting for his answer. Even Jiang Xun was looking his way with an encouraging, expectant expression. And the cameramen had their lenses pointed straight at Gu Wei.
Good luck, Gu Wei. You can do it. Give your answer. Say it loud and clear.
Gu Wei frantically racked his brain, trying to remember any keywords he had seen in recently trending topics. Especially ones relating to numbers—
Seven consecutive wins.
That had to be it. Seven.
"Your answer?" the host prompted.
"...seven. Seven?" Gu Wei ventured cautiously. He eyed the host nervously, trying to gauge what the reaction would be. Just a trickle of a hint of a reaction would have been enough.
Netizens often said anti-fans could shame Gu Wei for his personality, but even anti-fans would never be able to find any flaws in his looks. That was true. When he gazed at people with those peach-petal eyes of his, he was incredibly alluring.
But at a time like this, even if Gu Wei could guess what reaction was coming, it would be of no use to him.
The host said nothing for a long moment.
This was no trickle. It was a flood.
The cameramen were silent as well.
They were also avid esports fans, and they had no ideas what to say to an answer like that. All they knew was that they had to dedicate one camera to Gu Wei and one to Jiang Xun. Their reactions in the coming moments would surely be priceless footage.
Jiang Xun, too, was silent.
Gu Wei made an inquisitive sound.
Had he given the right answer? Or the wrong answer? Was he dead meat now? Or would he live to see another day?
The host, wearing a mournful expression, finally said, "No, no that's incorrect. It's two hundred and nineteen."
It was the MVP of the world championship tournament, after all. What kind of achievement would seven kills be?
Now, it was Gu Wei's turn to be rendered speechless.
He hadn't even gotten close.
Was Jiang Xun really that powerful? It sounded like nonsense to him.
It was really over, then. His cover of being Jiang Xun's diehard fan had just been blown to smithereens.
Jiang Xun led him off to the side, away from the cameras. "What was that? Didn't you say you were my fan?"
"Explain," Jiang Xun demanded.
It wasn't going to be so easy to fool him this time.
"You might not believe me if I tell you the truth." Gu Wei closed his eyes. His heart began to race. And he decided, well, he may as well come clean. "Ge, I'm just a fan of your reaction memes."
Jiang Xun furrowed his brows with confusion.
"Haven't you watched my tournaments before?" he asked.
"Yeah, I… I went with my bandmates," Gu Wei admitted. "They watched the game, and I watched…"
As he spoke, his voice grew smaller and smaller, until it was practically inaudible.
He had just gone to watch the memes being made live. Seeing all of Jiang Xun's hilariously livid expressions in the heat of the moment, when he talked shit and cussed out his opponents, was ever better entertainment than chasing celebrity drama.
Gu Wei knew he was in the wrong. Again.
Jiang Xun was almost pissed enough to laugh. After he had climbed the ranks in the esports world, he had amassed fans of his skill, fans of his face, and fans who fantasized about being his girlfriend. But this was the first time he had ever heard of someone being a fan of his memes.
This little bride his family had arranged for him just kept surprising him again and again.
Ever since he met Gu Wei, there hadn't been a single dull moment in Jiang Xun's life.
The host from the show and the cameramen couldn't have guessed such a development like this would come about. They could only stand off to the side, watching the action unfold.
"Why are you a fan of my memes?" Jiang Xun asked, feeling a headache coming on.
This did actually explain a lot of Gu Wei's earlier words and actions.
It explained the onslaught of Jiang Xun memes that had accompanied his rant on WeChat. And it explained that baffling line he'd uttered when they ran into each other in Northern Europe.
"Reaction memes are not supposed to be that pervy!"
"Because…" Back in the present, Gu Wei was hesitant to give an honest answer. Finally, he bit the bullet and admitted, "Ge, I think your memes are better looking than you."
Jiang Xun stared.
Was he supposed to be happy? Was he supposed to be happy about that?
Gu Wei huffed and hurriedly shook his head. "I didn't mean it like that! I just meant, your memes are…"
Well, the fact of the matter was simply that the memes were better than the man behind the memes.
The memes just shot hilariously fierce, hateful looks at people. They didn't bully people or call people their little bride. And they didn't go out of their way to make a person blush with just a few suggestive words.
"Little Gu, my little lying friend," Jiang Xun chided. His head was really throbbing now. "Is this puberty? Is this an adolescent's rebellious phase?"
Gu Wei was way too good at unintentionally charming people, and also way too good at unintentionally making people mad.
Weren't those hallmarks of rebellion?
Jiang Xun took Gu Wei even farther from the cameras, leaving the crew behind. Once they were out of sight, he gave Gu Wei's butt a very light, very gentle thwack.
"You're teasing me on purpose."
"You…" Gu Wei bowed his head to hide his face. He hadn't been able to dodge at all. Even though Jiang Xun's slap had been so light and so gentle, Gu Wei still blushed to the tips of his ears. It was such a deep red blush that it practically looked purple. Willfully avoiding Jiang Xun's gaze, he said, "My point is… your memes aren't nearly as diabolical as you."
"Then, since you aren't my fan, all the deals we made are off," Jiang Xun said, intentionally keeping his voice and his expression perfectly neutral. "Dissing me on WeChat, and liking my ancient post on Weibo. You have a good, long think about how you're going to make that up to me."
"Okay," Gu Wei agreed quickly. He knew there was no point in trying to escape this fate, so—no more running. No more hiding.
He thought about it for a moment. They had ditched the cameras, so—
Gu Wei lifted himself up on his tiptoes, mindful of the mic pinned to his collar, and whispered in Jiang Xun's ear: "Ge, I know I was wrong. So I'll get you a year."
Jiang Xun's eyes flashed.
"Really?" Jiang Xun had honestly only wanted to tease the kid when he talked about 'buying' him for a year. He never imagined the kid would actually give him an answer.
Gu Wei nodded earnestly. "Really."
He genuinely believed he had come up with the perfect solution just now. One that was full of sincerity. A service that was sure to satisfy Jiang Xun. Gu Wei himself had no experience, and he was sure to do a bad job with something like this. So, naturally the best course of action would be to hire a professional. Gu Wei knew exactly what he needed to do now.
Since he had been busted as a fake fan, this was the only option left to him.Jiang Xun was really too curious. He had to see how Gu Wei handled this after they finished filming their program.