Qi Jun didn't stop there. He put his rather 'unique' aesthetic to work and even put together an ugly video edit of the photos that had been taken at their class reunion. A slideshow of those photos played out inside a garishly flowery border.
@GuapiMedia-LittleQiZong: Good friends, if you like what you see, give it a like. Let me take you on a walk down memory lane, through my teenage years.
Little Qi-zong's agency wasn't particularly big or particularly small. Plenty of celebrities were signed to them, and those celebs all gave Qi Jun's post a like before they started to watch the video clip.
Very soon, Qi Jun's post began to make the rounds. The reactions went something like this—
[Little Qi-zong, stop eating already. You're already the chubbiest one at the party.]
[Qi-ge, when you edit your pictures, can you give yourself two red blushies on your cheeks? CryingLaughing.jpg]
[Qi-zong, next time don't let them take your picture when you're sitting with such attractive people. You're at too much of a disadvantage there.]
[Eh? This class seems pretty impressive. I see a lot of big shots from big companies sitting there. And those two guys sitting next to Little Qi-zong look familiar too. Have I seen them somewhere?]
[Wait, wait. Am I seeing things? Why does that look like Jiang Ying to me?]
[Holy shit, holy shit! Isn't that Qi Zhu? WTF IS HAPPENING HERE???]
Jiang Ying's fans and Qi Zhu's fans, who had just been arguing with passersby, all had the exact same reaction—
Hadn't they just argued that Jiang Ying and Qi Zhu would certainly go their separate ways? What were these two doing, having dinner together?
Netizen 1: Based on what Qi-zong said just now, these two must have been middle school classmates. Otherwise, why would they be at the same reunion?
Netizen 2: Case closed. So Jiang Ying called Qi Zhu 'class monitor' earlier because they used to be in the same class. Why didn't anyone know about this before?
Netizen 3: Because these two never had much to do with each other. Even if we dug into their pasts, we wouldn't think to connect them.
Netizen 4: So those people from before were right. These two actually can get along sometimes. Their relationship isn't nearly as bad as their fans make it seem.
After completing his social media work for the day, Qi Jun waxed poetic about his bright and beautiful teenage years to his cat. It was then that he received a WeChat text from Jiang Ying.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: What are you doing?
[Big-Clawed Crab]: CuriousRabbit.jpg
[Qi Jun]: Reminiscing about my long lost middle school glory.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: Your timing is really something else.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: You actually miss middle school?
[Qi Jun]: To be honest, not really.
[Qi Jun]: There are some things I definitely don't want to experience again. Like scoring a fraction of what everyone else got on a test, only to hear two competitive assholes comparing their high marks behind me.
[Qi Jun]: Not gonna lie, I still have nightmares about that.
Little Qi-zong continued to lament over his shitty old test scores. Jiang Ying left him to it and went back to Weibo. In just a few short minutes, netizens had spewed their shock all over the platform. A new tag had started to gain some attention—
[That can't be. Didn't Qi Zhu study abroad in high school? How could they have been classmates?]
[This is from their middle school reunion.]
[I can't believe it. I couldn't believe it when someone said they were going to be filming a drama together, and I can't believe this now. They were classmates?]
@Houla Houla: Everyone, I have some very interesting news.
@Money Tree: Don't beat around the bush. Tell us.
@Houla Houla: Did you guys notice the time these photos were taken? You can see it on someone's phone in one of these pictures. Just two hours before this photo, the king of 'Fight!' roasted Jiang Ying to ashes. And just a while before that, Boss Crab, that same king, was talking Qi Zhu up with a tidal wave of rainbow farts.
@Reciting Full Tests From Memory: Whoa. If you didn't bring it up, I really wouldn't have thought of that. You're totally right. When this picture was taken, their two fan bases were at each other's throats. Everyone thought Jiang Ying and Qi Zhu would throw down on the spot the next time they met. And now we're finding out they were just having dinner together?
@tan90: Is this supposed to be a publicity stunt for 'An Auspicious Snow'?
@Sleepwalking Shadow: @tan90 Your mom's a publicity stunt. God, not everything is about drumming up hype! We're all shocked, okay? Our gege was just liking our comments about him and Qi Zhu having nothing to do with each other, and now he's gone silent. He's probably as surprised by this as we are.
Jiang Ying was indeed speechless. But the story was out there, and there was no way to take it back. He may as well just let netizens have themselves a laugh.
He leaned back against his headboard and started his nightly ritual of checking up on the 'Fight!' community before bed. The app had seen some wild success lately, and apparently they'd even partnered with a fitness app to make sure everyone stayed healthy while fighting.
That didn't really interest Jiang Ying at all, and he didn't feel like fighting with some internet rando that night. His gaze fell on the smart speaker in his room.
"Gossip Buddy?" Jiang Ying prompted.
The speaker instantly responded, "I'm here! It's currently 23:55 in the evening. The air quality is good today. Early to bed, early to rise. That's the key to good health. Buddy will play a lullaby remix of 'River of Love' for you."
Jiang Ying furrowed his brows.
"No, I don't wanna hear it," he said. "Shut up."
"Then why did you call out to me for no reason?" Gossip Buddy retorted.
"Why am I just now finding out that you have a bad attitude?" Jiang Ying frowned. "Let me hear about some of Qi Zhu's scandals."
After a brief pause, Gossip Buddy answered, "…I don't have anything like that. Shuffling music for you now."
Due to the crappy lullaby played by the infuriatingly dim-witted 'smart' speaker, Jiang Ying got so pissed that he didn't get much sleep again. When Assistant Chen dropped by the next morning to bring him to the set of 'An Auspicious Snow', he found a Jiang Ying who looked thoroughly bushed.
"There's been a lot of pressure on you lately," Assistant Chen ventured cautiously. "Is the script of 'An Auspicious Snow' really hard to get through?"
"It's fine." Jiang Ying yawned. He was super sleepy.
It was a new day, and Jiang Ying would only be able to wake himself up with a good old fight. So, during the car ride and during his time in the makeup chair on set, Jiang Ying participated in three matches on 'Fight!'—two freestyle fights and one subject fight. The topic of the subject fight: Are artificial intelligence programs actually intelligent or not?
When Qi Zhu walked into the dressing room, Jiang Ying had his head buried in his phone. Assistant Chen was nowhere to be found.
The makeup artist had worked with Qi Zhu before. They were on pretty familiar terms, so as soon as she saw Qi Zhu enter the dressing room, she called out to him for help.
"Good timing, Qi-laoshi. Can you do me a favor and take this kid's cell phone away?" The makeup artist turned her stern gaze to Jiang Ying and added, "Close your eyes, close your eyes! You're really way too addicted to your phone."
Jiang Ying had just finished a match. He didn't bother waiting for the results to load before locking his phone and handing it over to Qi Zhu. He obediently closed his eyes, but he didn't shut his mouth: "Jiejie, Qi-laoshi is only a year older than me. If you call me a kid, then he's just a kid too."
"Oh, hush," the makeup artist chided impatiently. She had a bit of a temper. "Honestly, who acts like this? You're completely glued to your phone. You need to learn that there's phone time and work time."
"Focus on work for a while. Study the script well," Qi Zhu chimed in. He sat down on a nearby couch and set Jiang Ying's phone on the coffee table, screen-side down. He watched as the makeup artist worked on Jiang Ying, then continued, "This director can be harsh. You'll be scolded if you aren't careful."
Jiang Ying was being assaulted by a flurry of makeup brushes. He couldn't exactly open his mouth, so he just discontentedly grumbled something practically unintelligible under his breath. The makeup artist didn't understand a word of what he said.
But off to the side, Qi Zhu seemed to understand perfectly. He smiled and responded, "It won't be the same this time. If you don't act well, I'll be the first one to scold you."
Jiang Ying fell silent.
"Qi-laoshi, what do you think?" the makeup artist asked once she was finished. She ducked left and right, studying Jiang Ying from all angles, before turning to seek Qi Zhu's opinion.
"It's pretty good. But his look will need some adjustments when his character changes later in the story," Qi Zhu said.
Jiang Ying finally escaped the makeup artist's evil clutches. He instantly retrieved his phone from the coffee table and unlocked it with his fingerprint. All the ire that had been building up inside him bubbled to the surface. He shot Qi Zhu a glare and started, "You think…"
However, his phone, which had just been unlocked by his fingerprint, cut him off right there. The 'Fight!' app picked up where it had left off, displaying his scores from his last match and blaring an announcement that had been put in place after the app's collaboration with some health and fitness app:
"You have been fighting continuously for 197 minutes! Remember to get up and move around! Fight on~"