Mu Yue, watching Gu Wei's livestream from their agency's office, witnessed the whole thing.
In order to cover up the relationship between Gu Wei and Jiang Xun, Manager Zhao had worked hard to make it nearly impossible for the two of them to meet up. As soon as Gu Wei finished filming his drama, his manager had instantly lined up various interviews and television program appearances for him.
Before Gu Wei's livestream, Zhao Ya had even gone out of her way to call up all relevant parties and warn them to keep their mouths shut. But she'd failed to account for this bug in the system—Gu Wei's nemesis, Jiang Ying.
Mu Yue thought Manager Zhao had already done a good job. She'd given it her best shot. It just couldn't be helped that Gu Wei was dating his own nemesis's older brother. That sort of thing didn't happen very often.
Moreover, this nemesis had a mouth that just couldn't be shut up.
Mu Yue had a feeling she could already guess what tonight's trending topics would be—
After Jiang Ying's abrupt arrival in Gu Wei's livestream room, and after his baffling messages, the bullet comments completely ceased for a moment. Then they returned in full force, filling up the whole screen with question marks.
[HMMMMMM? Answering the phone? Jiang Xun's mom wants him to pick up the phone and sent someone to our Weiwei's room to tell him? Something's not right.]
[Wait, rewind. Weiwei is staying out all night, at a friend's place? Can we take a look at who this friend is?]
[T.ATW's leader brought the whole gang in here to check in on their lead dancer. Why do I get the feeling they all know where Gu Wei is right now? But they're not saying anything. Their bonds are the real deal!]
[Let's not banish the rival yet. He seems to know something.]
[No, let's get rid of him. The sooner the better…]
[The nemesis's brother… that's Jiang Xun, isn't it?]
[Weiwei, tell us the truth. Which friend's house are you at right now?]
[Is this really Jiang Ying? If it is, I'm sorry, but I'm so gonna start shipping.]
[I'm starting to think those detectives were onto something. Jiang Ying really hasn't been starting shit with Gu Wei lately. He's just been minding his own business. They don't seem like rivals at all anymore.]
[Don't overthink it…]
[Hey, do you guys remember when Jiang Ying was channeling Jiang Xun's loneliness post on Weibo? Something's felt off ever since then.]
[FoodForXunWei, let's ship first, ask questions later.]
[STOP. There's nothing to ship. They're just ordinary friends, right? This imposter is just talking nonsense…]
@JiangYingKANI: I'm not talking nonsense, and I'm not an imposter. I'm Jiang Ying, and I'm trying to get my brother to answer his phone.
[Stop fighting, this really is Jiang Ying. He even sent out a Weibo post just now, telling his brother to pick up the phone.]
[Moment of silence for the rival. He looked everywhere for his brother, couldn't find him, and in the end had to come into his nemesis's livestream room to look for him. RIP.]
[Weiwei, hurry up and tell him to answer the phone.]
[One of the earlier commenters is so negative, I feel like it's just one person dragging down the mood. Can we kick them out?]
Ever since all the other members of T.ATW crowded into the streaming room, Gu Wei's livestream had been climbing higher and higher on the trending topics list. More and more people flooded into the room, and many of them arrived just in time to see Jiang Ying asking Gu Wei to get his brother to answer the phone.
@JiangYingKANI: Would you hurry it up? I'm breaking out in hives just from being in your livestream room.
[Jiang Ying??? What are you doing here?]
[Jiang Xun, pick up the phone! Your little brother stepped into the enemy's territory just to find you!]
[Wait, I'm one of Jiang Ying's shadows, I just got here. What's happening? Why is Jiang Ying looking for his brother in Gu Wei's streaming room?]
[Holy shit, am I really seeing Jiang Ying in Gu Wei's room???]
[Can we just take Jiang Ying with us and go? We can start our own livestream, we're not so broke that we need to mooch off someone else's stream!]
[Jiang Ying, come home! What are you doing?]
[Excuse us, we'll be taking him away now.]
After hearing Jiang Ying had appeared in Gu Wei's stream, hordes of his 'shadows' stormed in. The number of viewers in Gu Wei's streaming room climbed higher and higher, until finally the video began to lag.
[Ahhh, it's lagging. Lagging! Lag, lag, lag.]
[What's wrong with this app? It's my first time using it, why is it so difficult?!]
[There are too many people in this room. Can some of you please leave?]
[It's fine if I'm lagging, just keep recording Gu Wei! Don't miss a single second!]
"What's going on? Why are we lagging?" asked a certain boss of the streaming app.
"We're overloaded," answered a visibly distraught member of the technical staff. "Gu Wei is pretty popular on his own, and then those other guys from T.ATW all came in to check out the commotion. Fu Zhi and Luo Chenxuan are especially popular. They're A-listers, you know. Our platform just can't handle it.
"Then you throw Jiang Ying into the mix, and all his fans start trying to squeeze into the room too. These six, all together, are causing a huge traffic jam. Forget about our app, there's not a single streaming service that could handle this."
Gu Wei had no idea the stream was lagging, and he was genuinely worried that Jiang Xun's mother needed to talk to him about something urgent. But he also remembered what his manager had told him about not saying a single word about Jiang Xun. In the end, he could only tap gently on the table and use a sweep of his eyes to tell Jiang Xun to go grab his phone from the living room.
Jiang Xun followed his line of sight and asked, "What's in the living room?"
Answer your phone, Gu Wei mouthed silently.
"Jiang Ying came into my stream to look for you," Gu Wei whispered as quietly as possible. "He probably couldn't get through to either of us on our phones."
"Oh, got it." Jiang Xun nodded and finally got up to head into the living room.
Gu Wei breathed a sigh of relief, then turned back to face the camera that was still broadcasting him live.
@T.ATW-ShiXinyan: I know nothing.
Despite these half-assed efforts to calm the viewers, the screen was still flooded by bullet comments going 'EHHHHHHHHH?' and 'AHHHHHHHHHH' and so on.
Jiang Xun went to answer his phone, and Jiang Ying left Gu Wei's stream. He took all his fans with him and left Gu Wei with one hell of a mess.
[Weiwei, you have someone next to you!]
[Who were you talking to just now?]
[Ah, ah, ahhhhhhhhhh, Weiwei! Your eyes have exposed something!]
[It must be the friend who you're very close to these days~]
[So it really is Jiang Xun next to you. Then, question! During Jiang Xun's livestream, were you the one eating potato chips next to him?]
Gu Wei was speechless.
The internet truly remembered everything.
[We thought you and Jiang Xun hadn't seen each other in a long time! We all thought you were distancing yourselves because of the rumors online, and I was starting to think my ship had already reached a bad end. But, but, but! You're at his house! I can't believe it. That Sunny Doll on Weibo was right about everything. This ship really is a good place to invest my feels!]
[Where's Jiang Xun? Did your manager forbid him from talking? You were really planning to keep us in the dark all night!]
[Doesn't this mean Jiang Ying is a really good son? Ah, I'll be his fan for one night.]
[Xueqing Entertainment's Zhao Ya, get out here! We have a bone to pick with you.]
Gu Wei, with his manager's words still ringing in his head, did his very best to avoid the subject. "I just… have a day off, and I'll be going back to work tomorrow."
[We understand. You're only off for one day, so of course you went to Jiang Xun's house. Don't worry, we understand everything.]
[They're really just on good terms, nothing more…]
In the living room, Jiang Xun found three missed calls on his phone. One from Song Jingxi, two from Jiang Ying.
"What's up?" Jiang Xun asked when he called his mother back. "My phone was charging earlier. I didn't have it next to me."
"You took Gu Wei back to your place?" Song Jingxi asked.
"Yeah, he's in my room right now." Jiang Xun glanced over at Gu Wei in the bedroom. "It's rare for him to have a break."
"Why didn't you bring him home to see us? Your father was just nagging me about it a few days ago, saying that it's no good to only say you're engaged. We need some sort of celebration, something to make it official. Have you been so busy that you forgot all about that? Honestly, what kind of person brings someone home before their engagement is formalized?" Song Jingxi got more and more worked up as her lecture went on. "Don't you dare bully him. Understand?"
"I spend all my time protecting him. Why would I bully him?" Jiang Xun laughed. "Your phone call came at a really good time. You know Jiang Ying went into Gu Wei's stream to look for me?"
With this, Jiang Ying had more or less served some sort of purpose. At that moment, Gu Wei's manager was probably suffering a massive migraine. The energy in the livestream room was overflowing.
Jiang Xun looked back into the room where Gu Wei was still struggling to explain what just happened to his viewers. Then Jiang Xun stooped down and gave MVP's head a pat. The corgi got up and started to waddle towards Gu Wei on its short little legs.
Song Jingxi didn't know anything about the livestream situation, and she didn't seem to care. She continued, "Did you have Chu Yi chat with Gu Wei about his problems yet?"
"We just met with him this evening," Jiang Xun said, without going into the details. "We'll find a solution."
After the first counseling session, Chu Yi had taken Gu Wei's drawing and explained what it meant to Jiang Xun. The structure of the house was incomplete, which indicated there had been something lacking from his family in the past. Something that happened in his childhood was influencing him now, and to understand the reason they needed to explore that past.
The house, tree, and person Gu Wei had drawn were all rather far from one another, and the person was quite small. That could very well indicate he was trying to escape from something, and that he had reservations about intimacy as well as doubts about himself.
With that information and the crumbs about Gu Wei's childhood that Gu Wei supplied, Jiang Xun was trying to slowly form an understanding of the Gu Wei from the past.
"Then that's good," Song Jingxi said, relaxing now. "Gu Wei only has one day off, so you absolutely mustn't bully him. Take good care of him, okay? It's not easy to find a match for a minority like you, and Gu Wei is such a good kid. Don't just wrap yourself up in your games. Pay attention to him, treat him well. Do you understand?"
"I understand," Jiang Xun reassured. "I swear I won't scare him away."
But it was completely impossible to not bully Gu Wei at all. Just half an hour ago, there had already been some bullying.
"Oh, by the way," Jiang Xun added. "Is Dad busy these days?"
"Not busy at all," Song Jingxi said with a huff. Her tone filled up with obvious dissatisfaction as soon as she started talking about Jiang Zheng. "He won't make any TV appearances and he won't accept any new dramas. He just watches Jiang Ying like a hawk every day, making sure he's doing a good job on set. Once in a while, he'll go teach a class. I can't believe there are still students vying to learn from that man. Why, what's up?"
"Let him give Weiwei some lessons next time. I think Weiwei likes acting a lot," Jiang Xun said. Jiang Zheng had once been a legendary actor, and he was now an instructor at an acting academy. Jiang Xun hadn't forgotten his promise to find someone who could properly teach Gu Wei all about acting.
"Of course, that's no problem. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to teach Weiwei. At least someone in our family wants to get serious about acting," Song Jingxi said. "I'll let you go. What has Jiang Ying done now? His manager is trying to call me."
In the master bedroom, Gu Wei checked the time. The scheduled hour for his livestream was already more than half over. He decided to try to start wrapping things up.
"Does anyone have any other questions for me? If not…"
[We do, we do, we do!]
[Yes. Lots, lots, LOTS of questions.]
[Are you two going to sleep together at night?]
[How far has your relationship progressed?]
[Question for Mr. Lead Dancer of T.ATW! During your recent variety show, why did you scream, 'Jiang Xun is a big pervert'?]
[Holy crap, did you guys really pay Director Zhang to unlock the censored line?]
[That really is what he shouted! Hahahaha, you guys are too clever.]
"Um, so," Gu Wei continued. "Today's livestream is just about over…"
If Gu Wei didn't wrap things up soon, his manager was going to lose her actual mind.
[Weiwei, exactly what have you done with this friend who you're on very good terms with? I really want to know.]
[Question! Weiwei, how did you really hurt your neck? I have a friend who says they want to know.]
[+1, I also have a gaggle of friends who want to know.]
[Our Weiwei is so smart, how could he possibly scratch himself? Someone else did this to you, didn't they?!]
[Please let me overthink this! On your neck… it can't be a hickey, can it?!]