After concluding their private talk, Gu Wei and Jiang Xun returned to their cameramen and stepped back into frame to continue recording the show.
They both looked calm and collected, like they had already reached some agreement to resolve their earlier issues. And Jiang Xun didn't bring up Gu Wei's extraordinarily wrong answer about his gaming stats.
The host from the show was still dumbfounded by these recent events. He got the feeling that, when the program aired this segment, this extremely secretive and extremely shady exchange would surely incite curiosity and debate among all the viewers across the nation.
"Can I try one more time?" Gu Wei asked.
"Don't worry, I won't leave you behind," Jiang Xun said, patting Gu Wei's downy soft hair before turning back to the host. "You guys have prepared another way for him to get out, right?"
"We do have something," the host said, nodding with an apprehensive look. "But… it'll be more of a challenge. The difficulty level will be increased."
"We'll give it a try," Jiang Xun said.
This 'challenge' with the 'increased' difficulty level that the host spoke of was… charades. It was a game that would test the bonds and understanding between two people. The host, having seen Gu Wei miserably fail to answer a simple question about Jiang Xun, thought it was reasonable to assume these two didn't stand a chance in hell of clearing this challenge.
They would most likely struggle fruitlessly, then end up having to wait for another teammate to come rescue them.
"You have two minutes. Gu Wei will give the hints, and Jiang Xun will guess the idioms we've chosen as your keyphrases. If you get four correct, you'll win a task key," the host explained. "When you act out the key phrases, you can give hints by speaking. But you can't say more than ten words per phrase, and you can't use any of the words that are in the idiom your partner is guessing."
"Got it," Gu Wei said, though he was starting to feel a little anxious.
"What are you getting nervous for?" Jiang Xun asked, instantly noticing when Gu Wei started to tense up. "Don't be scared. If you fail, I'll just stay here with you. That'll get us out eventually. There's no way the director would let us stay cooped up in this building for the entire show."
Gu Wei nodded. He started to feel a little more relaxed, and at the same time felt a hint of warmth filling up his chest.
He had participated in many variety shows before, and there had been many obstacles that he couldn't overcome on his own. But this was the first time that he had someone with him, someone who promised to stay by his side regardless of the outcome of this challenge.
"Are you cold?" Jiang Xun asked. It was early autumn, and the temperature was low so early in the morning. The uniform the showrunners had prepared for Gu Wei seemed to be a size too big on him, which made him look even more small and frail than he normally appeared. Seeing that had sparked Jiang Xun's concern.
Gu Wei shook his head, but subconsciously took a step closer to Jiang Xun.
But the host soon instructed them to move to new positions. Jiang Xun was to stand with his back to a screen that would show the idioms he needed to guess, while Gu Wei stood in front of him and faced the screen.
The timer began to tick. The first phrase appeared on the screen:
Gu Wei stared blankly at the screen for a second.
How was he supposed to act out a phrase like that? Sure enough, this was a real challenge.
He thought about it for another second before spreading both arms and making a flapping motion as he said, "Four words."
Jiang Xun furrowed his brows.
"What is that?" Jiang Xun asked. "A bird?"
Gu Wei shook his head. "No, no."
The timer continued to tick down. In the blink of an eye, they were down to just one minute remaining. The host had started to look a little smug and amused, but Gu Wei could be resourceful under pressure.
He blurted out the first thing that came to mind: "When you added me on WeChat."
Jiang Xun froze for a second before he guessed, with no small degree of uncertainty, "A chicken-and-duck conversation?"
"Yes!" Gu Wei exclaimed.
The host was baffled. What kind of hint had that been?
It must have been a wild guess. The next phrases would leave them stumped for sure.
Gu Wei was starting to see the fun in this game. As the host and the cameramen watched on in utter confusion, he somehow managed to get into the groove.
The second phrase:
Bold as brass2.
Once again, Gu Wei was struck by a bolt of inspiration. "Ge, it's me showing you my Moment on WeChat."
"Bold as brass?" Jiang Xun guessed.
"Correct!" Gu Wei beamed. "Ge, you're amazing."
The host stared at Gu Wei, then at Jiang Xun.
What the hell was going on here? Was it even possible for two people to be so lucky?
The third phrase:
"Ge!" Gu Wei was feeling even better now. They could do this. "It's when I liked your Weibo post!"
"Cruel intentions?" Jiang Xun blurted out.
Gu Wei puffed up his cheeks, offended. "That's what you really think of me?!"
"No, no," Jiang Xun said, laughing and shaking his head. "Is it 'borrowing trouble'?"
Gu Wei flashed the cameras a proud smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes.
The host was completely speechless by now.
Where did this bizarre understanding between the two of them come from? They had practically seemed like strangers just a while ago, and now they suddenly seemed to have an overabundance of inside jokes that only they understood.
The director, who had appeared to watch, was about to go mad. This challenge was supposed to make the participants gesture and guess wildly and frantically, thereby making the audience laugh when it aired.
But Jiang Xun and Gu Wei were like bugs in the program. They were way too calm, and way too good at this.
A reality show that couldn't put its guests in a pinch wasn't a good reality show at all.
"Last one, ge." Gu Wei grinned. It was rare for him to be so energetic on a variety show. "We just need to get one more right, then I can follow you out!"
That phrase, follow you, inexplicably tugged at Jiang Xun's heartstrings.
"How can this be going so smoothly for them?" the host whispered to the director. "Have they seen the answers before?"
"Impossible, I only chose these phrases last night," the director said, shaking his head. "Let's switch out the last idiom for something more challenging, something harder to describe or act out."
And so, in the last twenty seconds of the challenge, the newly chosen fourth phrase slowly appeared on the screen behind Jiang Xun:
Tying the knot4.
Gu Wei fell silent.How the hell was he supposed to describe that?
1. This is a Chinese saying that essentially means a conversation in which people are talking to each other without actually understanding each other, like a chicken talking to a duck, or like Gu Wei and Jiang Xun talking about the 'service' Gu Wei was selling for Chi Yunkai.
2. '胆大包天' is the original Chinese, meaning recklessly brave. 'Bold as brass' is an English idiom meaning boldness to an arrogant/rude extent.
3. '惹是生非' is the original Chinese, basically meaning to make trouble. The English idiom 'borrow trouble' means to do something unnecessary that causes trouble.
4. '谈婚论嫁' is the original Chinese here, meaning specifically to talk about getting married. (Planning an engagement, for example.) 'Tying the knot' in English means to get married.