Normally, when an idol was cast in a new drama or movie, their fans surged into the comments section of the casting announcement to support them. But the official cast announcement of 'An Auspicious Snow' left two fan bases so thoroughly baffled that they forgot all their responsibilities as fans for the better part of a day.
Both fan bases simultaneously fell into a confused and eerie silence.
Before long, two new trending topics appeared on Weibo—
The comments section below the official cast announcement had filled up with passersby who came to enjoy some gossip.
[Nice, nice, nice. They have a big budget, the production team is pretty good, the director's famous, and almost all the actors seem promising. Jiang Ying's questionable acting abilities aside, this must have been one expensive cast.]
[What the actual fuck? CryingLaughing.jpg Book fan here. We only voted for Jiang Ying to play this role as a joke, and kinda as a diss to his personality. Which of these old geezers actually hired him? It's fine to joke about this sort of thing, but I'm worried Jiang Ying won't be able to portray this character well.]
[+1, I'm also afraid this character is going to be ruined.]
[AH, AHHH, AHHHHHHHH! Qi Zhu has always been Luo Nanke in my heart! Just for that, I'm definitely following this drama. Jiang Ying can serve as comedic relief.]
[Jiang Ying's temperament is actually really fitting for this role. I'm cautiously getting my hopes up.]
[Goddess Huihui! I'm in love! Though I think Luo Nanke is the only one who survives in this drama.]
The casting announcement and the feud between Jiang YIng's fans and Qi Zhu's fans became hot topics on Weibo that day. Soon enough, the celebrities mentioned in the official announcement took to Weibo to share the post.
Finally, at eleven that night, netizens got what they were waiting for. Qi Zhu and Jiang Ying came online.
@QiZhu: Hello, I'll be playing Luo Nanke. I look forward to meeting you all in this role. @AnAuspiciousSnowTVOfficial: Baobei, we've kept you waiting. The official cast announcement is finally here. Luo Nanke, Qi Zhu. Hang Xiaoxiao, Xuan Huitong. Si Meng, Yi Jiayu. And everyone's favorite antagonist, Xuan Moling will be played by JiangYingKANI. Production will begin soon, and the drama is expected to air this fall. Little Xue is looking forward to viewing it with you all!
@JiangYingKANI: RAGE.jpg @QiZhu: Hello, I'll be playing Luo Nanke. I look forward to meeting you all in this role. @AnAuspiciousSnowTVOfficial: Baobei, we've kept you waiting. The official cast announcement is finally here. Luo Nanke, Qi Zhu. Hang Xiaoxiao, Xuan Huitong. Si Meng, Yi Jiayu. And everyone's favorite antagonist, Xuan Moling will be played by JiangYingKANI. Production will begin soon, and the drama is expected to air this fall. Little Xue is looking forward to viewing it with you all!
@QiZhu: smack.jpg @JiangYingKANI: RAGE.jpg @QiZhu: Hello, I'll be playing Luo Nanke. I look forward to meeting you all in this role. @AnAuspiciousSnowTVOfficial: ……
That stirred up the netizens' energetic chatter once more—
[Why do I suddenly feel like these two have a dynamic that's just like their characters' dynamic in the drama?]
[They do give off that vibe. The characters started out having small squabbles before shit got real. Let's see if they can bring this energy to their scenes.]
After seeing those posts from Jiang Ying and Qi Zhu, their fans finally settled down and began to diligently like and share the relevant posts. They streamed into the comments section of the official cast announcement and began to support their own idol, temporarily setting aside their feud.
But although all seemed calm on the surface, the war was far from over.
Jiang Ying hadn't been on Weibo in a few days, and during that time he'd received quite a lot of DMs from his fans.
@Sleepwalking Shadow: Gege, take care of yourself while filming. Work hard and don't tread water on set. Qi Zhu can't beat you in a fight, so don't give his fans any ammunition against you.
@Mimi Won't Lose: We don't know if you're the one who chose this drama, but we'll support you in anything you do. We just want our precious boy to have a good time. Have fun and don't force yourself to work too hard! We don't have to prove anything to anyone.
Other fans typically worried about whether their idol was eating enough or dressing warmly enough when they went on set to film a drama. Or they might worry about other people stealing the spotlight from their idol or bullying their idol. Jiang Ying's fans, however, only really had to worry about their idol bullying other people.
But, although Jiang Ying was fierce, he was pretty reasonable. He rarely picked a fight without a good reason, and his fans knew that as well. That was why they continued to like him and support him.
It was getting late, and Jiang Ying was starting his pre-bedtime ritual of scrolling through his phone. He hadn't logged into the 'Fight!' app in a few days, and he really felt like something was missing from his life without it. As he flopped into bed, his mind drifted. For some inexplicable reason, he thought back to Qi Zhu and the bowl of vegetable soup that had appeared before him at dinner.
Jiang Ying rolled onto his other side and loaded up the 'Fight!' app.
It had been a few days since he last logged in, and it was already so late at night. Just one little fight shouldn't hurt anything, right?
He logged in as Boss Crab and carefully avoided that troublesome 'Subject Fight' button. Freestyle fights were more his thing, anyway. He launched one of those matches and just so happened to run into his old rival, [sunny].
[Boss Crab]: ???
With a familiar opponent, Jiang Ying perked up right away. They got into it without further delay, arguing over some inane topic that didn't really matter. Afterwards, when Jiang Ying was getting ready to sign off, he noticed that a 'spectator' function had been added to the app at some point.
In their temporary game room, a thousand people had gathered to watch.
[Boss Crab]: …
[sunny]: Tsk, fame has its price.
[Boss Crab]: I'm gonna bounce. See ya~
Jiang Ying quit the app. He planned on going to sleep right away, but saw that Qi Zhu had sent him a few messages on QQ.
[Class Monitor]: [poke poke]
[Class Monitor]: Little Ying, are you still awake?
[Class Monitor]: Do you want to talk about the script?
Qi Zhu had sent those messages around twenty minutes ago, right around the time Jiang Ying and sunny started their match.
With nothing better to do, Jiang Ying typed a few words into the dialog box. Then stopped. And realized something wasn't quite right. He quickly deleted what he'd typed.
Jiang Ying took a moment to log into Weibo as Boss Crab first. As expected, Qi Zhu had used his main to give a like to the gameplay video that Jiang Ying had just shared to that account.
That was close. Jiang Ying had nearly exposed himself. It would have been suspicious as hell if he answered Qi Zhu's text right after Boss Crab finished a fight.
Jiang Ying decided his best course of action would be to pretend to be asleep. He couldn't respond to Qi Zhu's text now. This was a matter of dignity.
But the other party brazenly continued texting him. And these texts came in pretty quickly.
[Class Monitor]: Since you're sleeping, there's something I want to mention.
[Class Monitor]: I forgot to tell you over dinner. There's a variety show coming up. Someone else from your agency was supposed to participate, but something came up for them. Since you don't have any work except the drama lined up, your manager asked me to see how you felt about taking it.
[Class Monitor]: It seems to be a pretty laid-back show. You would be going to stay in some old, rustic village.
[Class Monitor]: The people over at the variety show need an answer soon. Since you're already asleep, I'll accept the gig for you?
Well, whatever. He may as well go.
Jiang Ying watched as Qi Zhu continued to type. He swore to himself he wouldn't respond no matter what.
[Class Monitor]: Okay, I accepted it for you.
[Class Monitor]: Goodnight.
Goodnight, Jiang Ying thought. The corners of his lips twitched upwards before he closed his eyes and got ready to sleep. But, just then, QQ chimed again to alert him of another new message.
Jiang Ying blinked open his eyes and made an inquisitive sound.
This guy really had a lot to say tonight.
[Class Monitor]: Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I'm participating in this variety show too.
[Class Monitor]: See ya~
Jiang Ying sat bolt upright in bed.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: ???
[Big-Clawed Crab]: YoMommaSmellsLikeDurian.jpg