Gu Wei's flight landed in H City at around noon. He had to rush into a car bound for the set of Like the Moon right away, with no time to rest.
It was only when he'd gotten into the car, watching the crowd of people milling about on the streets, that he remembered what he had done that morning.
The Gu Wei of that morning had let down all his defenses and did exactly what he'd wanted to do. After stealing a kiss, he had panicked and bolted out of the room with his luggage in tow, like a child who'd been caught stealing a piece of candy.
He had no idea what Jiang Xun thought of him now. He had fled too quickly, and he hadn't dared to look back to check for Jiang Xun's reaction.
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: Jiang Xun.
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: Are you at the airport yet?
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: HappyBlossom.jpg
Jiang Xun answered within seconds.
[Husband]: You're in H City already?
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: I just landed, I'm heading to the set now. Gotta get to work. [FightOn.jpg]
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: Ah?
[Husband]: I've been thinking. You ran out so fast. I wonder if that was because you needed to rush off to work, or if it was because you panicked. Running away after teasing me… seems like panic, doesn't it?
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: What did you say?
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: The wind is really loud here, I can't hear you. I don't know anything.
As Gu Wei had expected, Jiang Xun was still mulling over what happened that morning. He hadn't let it go.
Gu Wei was pretty nervous. In all his life, this was the first time he had ever used his actions to express his affection for someone else.
[Husband]: Actually, I'm quite happy.
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: Really?
[Husband]: My little friend has learned how to take the initiative to kiss people. It makes me so happy that I want to drag you back here, press you down on our bed, and bully you until I'm satisfied. Then I would let you go.
[Husband]: Oh, but that's not right. By then, even if I let you go, your legs would probably be too weak to let you run anywhere.
[Husband]: Want to hear the details?
"I do not!" Gu Wei huffed. He tossed his phone onto the car seat and stubbornly looked back out the window.
His assistant looked back at him, confused for a second before she realized what must have happened. "Chatting with Jiang Xun again?"
Gu Wei didn't pick his phone back up until five minutes later. When he did, he was a little expectant, but also a little scared. These details Jiang Xun had mentioned…
But it seemed Jiang Xun had boarded his flight as well, sparing Gu Wei those details.
[Husband]: I'm boarding now, I won't tease you anymore.
[Husband]: Work hard. I'll go visit you when I get a chance.
Gu Wei let out a breath and sent back a simple, Fly safe.
He stared the nickname Jiang Xun had given himself for a while, then remembered he hadn't checked in on the 'FoodForXunWei' supertopic in a while. He wondered if, in his absence, the shippers had been doing well.
This time, Gu Wei was extremely careful. He made an alt account before clicking on the topic.
Shockingly, it seemed not seeing Gu Wei or Jiang Xun in public for a while, especially not together, wouldn't stop these shippers. They were still having a grand old time.
@Little Hedgehog's Sunny Doll: #FoodForXunWei, daily reminder! Whether you believe it or not, these two are canon! Just look how shippable they are. Ahhh, I know too much. I know too much. I can't say anything, but I'm about to suffocate with how much I know.
@Shimpy Soldier: #FoodForXunWei, I haven't seen my ship together for such a long time. @EscapeWithoutATraceOfficial, hurry and film the next installment! The first part was so popular, now's the perfect time to shoot another one. I've already watched the first part five times!
@Guyu: I think Gu Wei just filmed 'Wandering With You'. He'll probably have to focus on shooting his drama for a while.
@Peanut Wall: @Guyu, okay, real talk, 'Wandering' isn't that good. It just doesn't give me a good vibe. That director will do anything to get trending. It feels so forced to have Gu Wei and Jiang Enyuan on the same show. I'll keep watching for Weiwei, but if he wasn't there, I probably wouldn't watch it at all.
@Guyu replying to @Peanut Wall: Totally agree. Remember in the last installment, when he was taking cover from the rain? He even apologized to us for giving us boring footage. As if Weiwei's footage could ever be boring!
@A Boat Like The Moon: #FoodForXunWei, I'm waiting for the next part of 'Escape Without a Trace'! These two are really just way too sweet, in variety shows and in real life! When Jiang Xun sent that Weibo defending Weiwei from that T&K guy, I almost screamed my head off.
@Chacha - Working Hard Every Day: #FoodForXunWei, here's my daily update, come have some delicious food. [link]
Gu Wei stared at the mass of messages.
He could hardly believe people were writing fanfiction about them already. And it even had daily updates.
Gu Wei couldn't help it. He was just too curious. He clicked in—
Gu Wei left his set and found a car parked outside. Just as he opened the door, he was pulled inside by Jiang Xun and dragged into his lap, where Jiang Xun forced Gu Wei to call him 'husband'…
Gu Wei almost dropped his phone in alarm.
That was terrifying. What was written there wasn't all that different from reality.
Could he really believe these fans didn't spy on their idols?
"Didi, we're almost there." Mu Yue looked at Gu Wei and saw his face growing redder and redder. Finally, she couldn't help but ask, "What on earth are you looking at?"
"I'm just… checking to see if anyone's talking trash about me," Gu Wei said. He quickly put his phone away and fought to regain his composure. "There's nothing today. I'm glad."
"Alright," Mu Yue said, nodding. "Keep your secrets."
Upon returning to the set, Gu Wei rejoined the cast of Like the Moon and continued filming his next scenes. The issue with the stalkers had sent huge waves through social media. Gu Wei had been mercilessly attacked at first, and now He Cheng's treatment of those stalkers had become a hotly debated topic as well.
In any case, because of his manager's and Jiang Xun's quick reactions, Gu Wei didn't suffer much from this incident. He Cheng's team, on the other hand, had been forced to waste a lot of time and resources on damage control.
He Cheng seemed even more disdainful of Gu Wei now. Ning Yao ignored He Cheng, and Xuan Huitong was as aloof as ever.
Gu Wei had no interest in having any contact with He Cheng outside of work, anyway. He just wanted to do a good job filming the first drama role he'd ever landed.
Half a month later, the show was entering its middle stages of recording. Xuan Huitong needed a few days off for another project, so the scenes between the male and female leads were put on hold. The focus was shifted over to Gu Wei's and Ning Yao's scenes, and there was also a part involving He Cheng's character—
"I'll kill you! You and your father are both useless!" a woman screamed, waving a bamboo pole furiously, occasionally knocking things off a shelf as she howled.
A skinny teenager in a school uniform bolted through the room, escaping to the balcony. He couldn't avoid a hard strike to his back as he fled. Finally, he looked back at the woman once before grabbing the balcony rail with both hands and vaulting himself over, falling from the second floor to the ground below.
Miao Zihan lifted his head and saw Chu Yue and Cheng Linya appear before his eyes. His cold expression filled with a little emotion.
This scene was the first turning point in Miao Zihan's life. From that moment, he began to pull away from his family. He made friends for the first time, and he learned how to pursue his own dreams.
But this was an extremely challenging scene for Gu Wei.
Although the balcony wasn't too high up off the ground, and although there were mats laid out down below, vaulting over the railing and falling hard on his knees was still difficult to bear. It hurt, and in order to capture the agility and nimbleness the director wanted from this moment, Gu Wei had spent a lot of time working with a trainer to perfect the stunt.
Moreover, the expression and mood demanded of Miao Zihan in that moment were also difficult for Gu Wei to express.
"Gu Wei, the look in your eyes isn't quite right. One more time," the director called out. "Need a break?"
Gu Wei shook his head.
He had always been serious about his work. It was just this part that was an especially challenging hurdle.
"You're still not in the right state of mind," the director said. "Try to step into Xiao Zihan's shoes and imagine what he's feeling in this moment."
It wasn't that Gu Wei couldn't imagine it, but there was an obstruction in his heart. They had redone this scene too many times, and He Cheng was starting to get impatient.
"If you can't do it, then just don't do it," He Cheng said icily. "You're holding up the entire cast and crew."
"Director. I'm sorry," Gu Wei said. "I'll do it again."
He closed his eyes and did his best to sink into Miao Zihan's mindset. This was a youth whose parents had divorced when he was little. He lived with his alcoholic mother, and he didn't find his purpose in life until he discovered the world of esports. But when he went home after making that miraculous discovery, he was fiercely beaten by his mother.
When Gu Wei opened his eyes again, he had donned the cold and distant mask of Miao Zihan.
He went home, his heart filled with hope, only to be doused in cold water by his drunk mother, who proceeded to attack him.
There was too much pain, too much despair. In that moment, it was like all the light had gone out of the world.
He fled through the room, trying to evade his mother's assault, but the doors were locked, barring him from escape. So, with no other options left to him, he had to vault over the balcony, landing in front of his classmates with his body covered in bruises.
Even though these classmates weren't close friends to him, when he lifted his head, his eyes reddened with tears.
"Alright, cut! That's a wrap." The director, finally satisfied, rushed over to Gu Wei. "That was great, really great. The expression was perfect. I have high hopes for you!"
The people on set began to disperse, but Gu Wei couldn't draw himself out of Miao Zihan's mindset so easily. Miao Zihan climbed out of the darkness after meeting Ning Yao's character.
But Gu Wei… what was he to do? How was he supposed to find his way back to the light?
Getting into the mind of Miao Zihan had dredged up some old feelings from the depths of Gu Wei's own mind. Feelings he had kept buried for a long time now. A deep sense of powerlessness and helplessness enveloped him, dragging him back to the years when he had been submerged in darkness.
"Mu Yue," Gu Wei said, softly. "I'm fine. Please just let me be alone for a while."
But that person didn't leave. Instead, they moved behind Gu Wei and took him into their arms.
That familiar woodsy, floral scent—it was Jiang Xun.
Miao Zihan would meet Ning Yao's character, and Gu Wei had met Jiang Xun.
"The Weiwei who's trapped in his character's mind," Jiang Xun murmured, lowering his head to whisper in Gu Wei's ear. "Does he want his husband to embrace him?"
"What are you doing here?" Gu Wei asked. His spirits were still a little low and deflated.
"I'm here to see you," Jiang Xun answered, stroking a hand through Gu Wei's hair. "And I'm here to have a chat with the director on my mother's behalf."
Little Gu was still dressed in his costume, outfitted like a young and athletic teen. He still wore his makeup as well, with a bruise painted over the corner of his mouth. Though it was by design, he looked downright pitiful.
"I'm okay," Gu Wei insisted. "I just got too deep into character. I'll be fine in a few minutes."
Jiang Xun was there. To Gu Wei, that was enough to bring him joy and lift him out of those hazy feelings of meaninglessness.
"That was some good acting," Jiang Xun said, heaping praise on his little friend. "Your movements and expressions were all on point. For a newcomer, it's enough to give your audience a nice surprise."
"You saw?" Gu Wei was startled. He had concentrated so hard on the scene that he hadn't even noticed Jiang Xun on set.
"I saw," Jiang Xun confirmed with a nod. "You were brilliant. There are too many people here for me to embrace you properly, but wait until we get back to the hotel, and I'll make it up to you."
"You can go, I'm okay by myself," Gu Wei said. "Don't worry. I'll wait for you outside the dressing room."
Jiang Xun must have really had something he needed to relay to the director. After helping Gu Wei settle back into his own body and mind, he let Gu Wei go off to get out of costume by himself.
Gu Wei sat in the dressing room. While he let the makeup artist get him out of his costume makeup, he thought back on the scene he had just acted out.
There were undeniably some parts of him and some parts of Miao Zihan that overlapped. That was why he had been able to immerse himself so deeply in the role, and it was also why he had been reluctant to immerse himself so deeply in the role. He was slow to get into character, and even slower to get out of character.
"The trailer for the next installment of 'Wandering With You' is coming out soon. Check it out and see if there's anything you may be attacked for," his manager had said in a message she left him earlier that afternoon. "If there's anything, let us know right away."
By the time Gu Wei saw that message, the trailer had already been released—
@WanderingWithYouOfficial: The trailer for the sixth installment is here! Let's escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city and visit a tranquil little visit with our guests this time! VIP viewers on all premium streaming services can check out the episode early. Is everyone excited? Has everyone guessed who the special guest of this installment will be? It's… @JiangYingKANI!
Gu Wei loaded up the trailer and began to watch. Many familiar scenes had been edited into the compilation—
Jiang Ying being chased halfway around the village by a goose. Gu Wei grabbing the goose by the neck and bringing it right up to Jiang Ying's face to show him it was harmless.
The games and performances after dinner. Jiang Ying asking Jiang Enyuan, Aren't you tired of this shit?
All the guests banding together to sing the 'Shou Ze' theme from the world championship after hearing the game results from earlier that day.
Struggling over room assignments at the end of the night.
And also… incriminating evidence of how Gu Wei actually sprained his neck in his sleep.
All those scenes had made it into the trailer, and they were all being hotly discussed. Already, tens of thousands of comments had been left under the trailer—
@You'll Go Bald If You Stay Up Reading All Night: Way too much drama, this season is practically unwatchable. We've got Gu Wei and his old enemy, and Gu Wei and his current nemesis. Does this director have it out for Gu Wei or something?
@Qiqi: It's not that bad, I think this season has been pretty good. The setting of the little village gives me a comfortable feeling.
@Why Isn't Winter Here Yet: It's pretty interesting, at least. I think Gu Wei seems really likeable in this installment, and his relationship with Jiang Ying doesn't seem to be all that bad. It's like their fans just blow their 'feuds' way out of proportion.
The discussions were calm and harmonious, for the most part. Almost all the commenters were just discussing the content of the show, and no one was targeting Gu Wei for the sole purpose of dissing him. Gu Wei was just starting to think he could relax, when he suddenly saw an alarming comment.
@Passionfruit: Sorry, I'm just a passerby, but I have to say… I think these two people are pretty shippable. I'm so glad to finally see someone snap back at Jiang Enyuan. I really hate that guy.
Gu Wei was suitably alarmed.
No. Absolutely not. This was one ship that could not be allowed to sail.
You could eat anything you want. You could drink anything you want. But you absolutely could not ship anything you want.
Did this person think the 'FoodForXunWei' crowd would take that lying down?
@Passionfruit: Can I just ask… are Gu Wei and Jiang Ying maybe canon?
Gu Wei stared in abject horror.
This person was about to shave at least ten years off his life span.
FFXW is real, FFXW is real.
Before Jiang Xun could lay eyes on this disaster on Weibo, Gu Wei felt the need to silently repeat that mantra to himself ten times.
And, five minutes later, Gu Wei discovered he wasn't the only one who had gotten worked up about this catastrophic line of thinking. Because under one such comment, a string of replies had appeared.
@Passionfruit: Sisters, I really just want to ask, is Gu Wei/Jiang Ying real? Can I ship this?
@JiangYingKANI: IT'S NOT REAL!!! QAQ
@T.ATW-GuWei: IT'S NOT REAL!!! QAQ
@Little Hedgehog's Sunny Doll: IT'S NOT REAL!!! QAQ