Qi Zhu was silent.
The makeup artist was also silent.
Jiang Ying was baffled.
What the hell was this?!
Then, he suddenly remembered. So this was how 'Fight!' intended to collaborate with a fitness app.
For a moment, the air in the room seemed to freeze.
The makeup artist was the first to speak. "You… um, what app is this? It seems quite… thoughtful, reminding you not to get too addicted. But what does it mean by 'fighting'? Didi, are you fighting with people online?"
Jiang Ying was about to throttle this 'thoughtful' app. "I… just downloaded it yesterday. I was a bit curious. I'm still figuring out what it does."
There was almost no way he could talk himself out of his now.
"That's good, it suits you," Qi Zhu said. He leaned against the wall and gave Jiang Ying a slow onceover. Then, echoing a line from that infuriating game, he continued, "Fight on. Maybe you'll get to face Boss Crab one day."
This guy spoke with a perfectly calm and indifferent tone. But Jiang Ying still got the feeling Qi Zhu was mocking him.
"Don't overthink it. I'm not mocking you," Qi Zhu added, as though reading Jiang Ying's mind.
The class monitor's heart was too impenetrable. Jiang Ying couldn't believe a word he said. The more Qi Zhu told him not to overthink things, the more Jiang Ying overthought them.
Before Jiang Ying could really get to the bottom of Qi Zhu's true meaning, a knock sounded at the door to the dressing room. One of Qi Zhu's assistants came in and said, "Qi-laoshi, the director would like to discuss some details of the script with you. Also, taking everyone's schedule into consideration, you two might have to film your variety show before you start on your scenes here."
"Okay. I'll go see the director now." Qi Zhu nodded and left with his assistant.
"Alright, you sit still," the makeup artist said to Jiang Ying. "We're not done with you yet. I'll go get your costume, and the costuming team will be by later to outfit you."
Even if she didn't really understand what had just happened, the makeup artist wasn't completely obtuse. She could detect a subtle air of something in the room, and she figured it would be best to give Jiang Ying a moment alone to cool his head.
But as soon as he was alone, Jiang Ying unlocked his phone again, picked a random name off his friends list in the 'Fight!' app, and started to rant.
[Boss Crab]: What the fuck is wrong with this app? Why are their updates so crap? Can't they use a brain cell and release new features that are actually useful?
[sunny]: Yep. Yep. Yep. What kind of 'features' are these? Are their devs thinking with their brains or their feet?
[Boss Crab]: They're absolutely heartless. I'm just here minding my own business, trying not to expose my name. They're making my life hell just because I don't want people to find out who I am.
[sunny]: Everyone feels the same way, dude. I'm gonna go drag them on Weibo. You coming?
[Boss Crab]: You go ahead. It's not really convenient for me to get on Weibo right now. I have to stay low-profile for a while.
[Boss Crab]: LittleDinoSweats.jpg
[sunny]: Tsk, coward. MiddleFinger.jpg
Although Jiang Ying said he would stay out of it, there was no way in hell he would actually keep his word. He had plenty of alt accounts. He picked a random one that he used specifically for feuding, found the app's update release announcement, and targeted a comment that had obviously been planted by one of the app's little alt accounts to promote the update.
Jiang Ying didn't hold back.
Planted Alt Account: The dev team must have worked so hard on this update! I can tell they put a lot of care and attention into the new features. Now the game reminds me to get some exercise after I play three matches in a row. I'll never have to worry about getting too addicted to this game again!
That obvious plant had already received some harsh responses from users who were, in fact, a bit addicted to the app—
[Is this really necessary? I'm just on this app for some fun, and you people are talking about addiction.]
[Fuck, you guys got me in trouble with my mom. She chewed me out for fighting with people for 151 minutes even though my college entrance exams are coming up. Wahhhhhh.]
[No one's going to exercise even if you remind them, you know? SlightSmile.jpg I'm a homeroom teacher, and I was proctoring midterms for a third-year middle school class today. I figured I could play a few rounds to pass the time, and… well, I'm sure I don't have to say anything else. My fellow netizens can imagine what happened next.]
[Big oof to the previous commenter. I wonder what my teachers were doing all those years when they proctored exams for us.]
Jiang Ying's trash talk skills far surpassed any of his talents that made him an idol. He'd seen way too many of these obvious plants that showed up in the comments of some official announcement just to talk up a product or show. He knew exactly how to beat them down. Once he locked on to his target, he spat out a few fierce lines and sent the alt scrambling away with its tail tucked between its legs.
Planted Alt Account: I'm going to report you! You… you… you're unreasonable!
Mud Crab: k, report away. If you don't report me, you're lower than dogshit.
Sure enough, his alt was banned in the line of duty after just a few minutes.
Jiang Ying logged into a new account. He planned on continuing his war against the 'Fight!' app, but he suddenly noticed that Qi Jun had posted a ton of new updates to Weibo recently. Ever since last night, Qi Jun had been reminiscing nonstop about his youth. It felt a bit like he was frustrated with something in his present day life.
When Jiang Ying saw the reunion photos Qi Jun had posted last night, he'd assumed Qi Jun would leave it at that. But Qi Jun had actually spent all night putting out post after post about his past. He'd even found a money-making opportunity in the attention he was getting; he was now answering paid questions.
Netizen Question: Little Qi-zong, I want to ask what Qi Zhu and Jiang Ying were like in middle school. How was their relationship? We only know their fans hate each other. That's not enough information.
@GuapiMedia-LittleQiZong: Middle school, huh? Those two were deskmates for three years. They sat in the row behind me, and they were… honestly? Pretty annoying.
Jiang Ying's fans and Qi Zhu's fans had feigned disinterest in the whole thing for a while, but now they couldn't help but rush in, all voicing the same sentiment—
What? Oh my god? They were deskmates???
Jiang Ying got back on his main and sent Little Qi-zong a direct message.
@JiangYingKANI: What are you doing?
@GuapiMedia-LittleQiZong: Making bank.
@JiangYingKANI: You're using me to get rich? You're really that hard up for cash?
@GuapiMedia-LittleQiZong: I'm not doing anything of the sort~! You've taken paid questions before, haven't you? I'm just learning from you… and borrowing a bit of hype along the way.
@JiangYingKANI: Fine. Make as much money as you want, but make sure you drag Qi Zhu down.
@GuapiMedia-LittleQiZong: ??? Why?
@JiangYingKANI: Haven't you noticed? He's been lurking around giving you likes this whole time. Hurry up, drag him.
@GuapiMedia-LittleQiZong: Alright, alright. Whatever you say.
Qi Zhu had supposedly gone off to talk to the director about the script, but now he was liking all of Little Qi-zong's posts and comments like a mindless bot.
Jiang Ying looked around and found a chicken feather duster. He grabbed it and got ready to go next door to see what was going on with the director, and to whoop whoever needed to be whooped.
"What are you doing?!" The makeup artist returned just in time to see Jiang Ying aggressively moving towards the door while wielding a chicken feather duster. "Put that away and sit down!"
A few people rushed in to hold Jiang Ying back and get him changed into his costume for the drama.
Jiang Ying was subjected to a long costuming session. Then he was ushered off for official cast photos. He seethed and fumed the whole time, and everyone praised him for perfectly capturing the fierce essence of his character. Finally, he was freed from the clutches of the makeup and costuming department, only to learn that Qi Zhu had already left.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: [poke poke]
[Class Monitor]: ?
[Big-Clawed Crab]: [cast photo] Isn't your deskmate beautiful?
[Class Monitor]: RollingEyes.jpg
[Big-Clawed Crab]: Why'd you leave?
[Class Monitor]: Did I have any reason to stay? If you want to give me another ride, I can drive back and satisfy you.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: How about no.
[Big-Clawed Crab]: PoopBomb.jpg
Qi Zhu didn't say anything to that, but a new message popped up in Jiang Ying's family group chat.
[If You Love Me Please Send Me Money]: CuteBlush.jpg
[Big-Clawed Crab] (Dragon King)1: Oh, Weiwei, are you busy today?
[100K Volts]: He's off today.
[100K Volts]: Ogre Jiang, Mom wants you to come home for dinner tonight. Don't just eat takeout every day.
[Big-Clawed Crab] (Dragon King): Sure, I'll come, I'll come.
[100K Volts]: I have one more message for you from our eminent Empress Dowager — Mom says she heard you've been getting along with Qi-gege lately. She's immensely relieved. You two basically grew up together, and now you're both actors. You should take care of each other.
[Big-Clawed Crab] (Dragon King): ?
[Big-Clawed Crab] (Dragon King): Where'd she hear that?
As it turned out…
Maybe there was something about early spring that made people nostalgic. Just last night, Qi Jun had reminisced on his youth. And now, the screenwriter of the drama adaptation of 'An Auspicious Snow' was lamenting the loss of his own youth as well. He took to WeChat and posted a video to his Moments, along with a message expressing his high hopes for the cast members who were so full of youth and vitality.
The drama's official promo team saw a golden opportunity and quickly shared that video on Weibo.
@AnAuspiciousSnowTVOfficial: Little Xue has received a clip from the screenwriter! Come have a look and see if you recognize anyone here~
The screenwriter had taken that short clip during the dinner with some of the show's investors, cast, and crew. The camera swept around the table, and the quality of the wobbly footage wasn't anything to write home about. But it captured many of the cast and crew that were gathered.
There was a shot of the two beautiful actresses in attendance. There was a shot of Miao Ye chowing down on pig's trotters.
And there was a shot of two actors surreptitiously sneaking food onto each other's plates.
1. Having a 'dragon king' icon next to your name in a QQ group chat means you're the most active person in that group chat.