Boss Crab's follower count was still steadily rising. When he saw a familiar name join the ranks, Jiang Ying felt… complicated.
Who the hell wanted to be followed by Qi Zhu? That wasn't okay, not even on an alt.
So Jiang Ying went into Qi Zhu's profile page, opened the menu at the top right corner, found the 'Remove Follower' option, and tapped.
Mission accomplished. Jiang Ying felt like all was right with the world once more.
Jiang Ying spent all afternoon brushing up on the source material of 'An Auspicious Snow'. The original novel was extremely well-written and engaging. It was the type of book that drew readers in and made them lose track of time.
The character Jiang Ying would be auditioning for, Xuan Moling, was the main antagonist. After reading the original work, Jiang Ying started to understand why book fans and netizens had voted for him to play this character.
He and Xuan Moling were similar in some ways. They were both somewhat ostentatious, with a tendency towards riling people up and drawing their ire.
The author had done a good job of constructing this antagonist. Xuan Moling wasn't born evil, but rather had been forced down the wrong path by the circumstances of his life. He was both pitiable and despicable, and the novel's conclusion was quite satisfying.
It was a good role, but Jiang Ying had a feeling viewers of the drama adaptation would primarily be interested in the more uplifting parts of the story.
When Jiang Ying pulled himself out of the book to check Weibo, he had already missed the time he normally would have eaten dinner.
His Boss Crab alt account had a signature: Lone wolf. He had followed a grand total of zero people on that account, and all of his followers there—over a hundred thousand at the time—had followed him because of the argumentative prowess he demonstrated on the 'Fight!' app.
Today, the activity on the Boss Crab account was pretty unusual. He had received countless mentions and direct messages after Qi Zhu followed him out of nowhere, and loads of people now believed Boss Crab had been a secret, diehard Qi Zhu fan for many years.
But something was wrong. Hadn't he already removed Qi Zhu from his followers list?
It was only after he'd scrolled around on Weibo for a few minutes that Jiang Ying realized. While he'd been engrossed in the original novel of the drama he would be auditioning for, Qi Zhu had followed Boss Crab again.
Qi Zhu and Jiang Ying had never been on good terms, and they'd never followed each other on their main accounts. Seeing Qi Zhu follow Boss Crab was a little… strange. Jiang Ying didn't remove him a second time and went to check his DMs instead.
Jiang Ying had loved socializing and gossiping and being the center of attention ever since he was little. He didn't just read the DMs he received on his alt accounts; he read them on his main as well. When he received DMs from fans showering him in rainbow farts, he sent back a big smile emoji. When he received DMs from antis cussing him out for this or that, he sent back a slight smile emoji. But he responded to everyone; he was super fair like that.
Most of Boss Crab's new DMs came from members of Qi Zhu's defense squad. The members of Qi Zhu's defense squad were pretty serious about suppressing trolls and antis, and they were always looking to recruit new, capable members. This time, they'd set their sights on Boss Crab.
The more official invitations looked like this—
[Good afternoon, we've heard you're also a fan of Qi Zhu. Would you be interested in joining our official defense squad? In the future, let's follow new events together, counter antis together, and comment on new dramas together.]
Jiang Ying could laugh at this sort of invitation and find some flashy way of refusing.
But there were some other invitations that had a bit of… character. A few of those caught Jiang Ying's attention—
[Sister, I have a recording of Qi Zhu-gege's deep, sexy breathing sounds. All collected from various dramas. You want?]
Jiang Ying blinked. The fuck. No, he did not want.
[Sister, as I'm sure you know, it's impossible to be Qi Zhu-gege's fan without desiring his body. Take a look at these delicious photos of him in post-battle makeup. So alpha, so seductive.]
Jiang Ying blinked again. No, absolutely not. There was no desire. None.
[Sister, I have pics of Qi Zhu-gege's sexy abs. Wanna see?]
Jiang Ying, who accidentally tapped open one of those photos, blinked again.
Okay, so those really were some nice abs. Like. Really nice.
He was a bit salty about that.
But he seriously wasn't a fan. Last night, he'd really just wanted to win a fight. Why did no one believe him?
And just how many pictures of Qi Zhu had he received today, after making a name for Boss Crab with his 'Fight!' match last night?
It was probably all because of that screen recording ACD had shared. In that clip, Jiang Ying had argued too ardently in Qi Zhu's defense. Qi Zhu's fangirls must have taken him for a kindred spirit and all rushed to share their content hoards with someone they believed to be one of them.
@Peace-Loving Boss Crab: Who's your sister?
At nine that night, Qi Zhu received another message from Jiang Ying while studying the script for his upcoming drama.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: [poke poke]
[Big-Clawed Crab]: Must be nice to have abs.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: Spits.jpg
[Big-Clawed Crab]: SpitsInTheOtherDirection.jpg
[Big-Clawed Crab]: SpitsInEveryDirection.jpg
[Class Monitor]: ?
[Class Monitor]: You don't have any?
[Big-Clawed Crab]: ……
For the next minute, Jiang Ying had zero interest in saying anything else to Qi Zhu.
The post he'd put up as Boss Crab was already getting some attention, but it seemed Qi Zhu's fans were still obstinately missing the point.
[Peace-Loving Boss Crab isn't our star-chasing sister… could this be a star-chasing brother?]
[Wow, our Qi Zhu-gege even has male fans.]
Jiang Ying huffed. He obviously wasn't a fan at all. No matter what, he had to clear this up tonight.
He started composing a new Weibo post: Have you guys ever considered that I'm really not a fan, I'm…
He and Qi Zhu had such a crappy relationship that saying he was Qi Zhu's fan was an insult to his very soul.
However, his post was only half-written when he received a QQ notification. Qi Zhu had sent him a new message.
[Class Monitor]: [poke poke]
[Class Monitor]: Around this time last night… what were you doing?
Jiang Ying's heart skipped a beat. He quickly abandoned his post and switched back over to QQ.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: LittleDinoSweats.jpg