By the time Jiang Ying got to his parents' place, that post from the drama's official Weibo account had already been circulated like crazy.
"You're pretty impressive," Jiang Xun snarked. "You can pay the trending topics list a visit every other day now. It looks like you don't need any support from the agency anymore. You're getting plenty popular on your own."
Jiang Ying was taken aback by the obvious attack.
But naturally he fired right back: "If God Xun has enough free time to make fun of me, shouldn't he be spending that free time pampering his Weiwei?"
Weibo really was getting loud and chaotic over that video clip the screenwriter had shared—
Netizen 1: I'm super happy with this cast. Please hurry up and shoot the drama. I'll be looking forward to seeing 'An Auspicious Snow' later this year.
Netizen 2: Is that the original author sitting next to Screenwriter Wu? He's so young.
Netizen 3: These two girls are way too beautiful, and they're both pretty in their own way. As a book fan, I'm really looking forward to this adaptation.
Netizen 4: Meow, meow, meow? Meow-ge? Can you please stop chewing on those pig's trotters and look around? I'm laughing my ass off, he's sitting next to two gorgeous goddesses. Yin Jiayu and Xuan Huitong are right there, but he only has eyes for his pig's feet. This boy is really dedicated.
Netizen 5: LOOK AT THOSE TWO AT THE END! That's what I call dedicated. What are they doing?! CoversFace.jpg
As soon as Jiang Ying's fans and Qi Zhu's fans heard their gege were involved in this video, they rushed right over—
[Wowww, Jiang Ying-gege.]
[Wooow, Qi Zhu-gege.]
[Um… why are our gege sitting together?]
Although the footage taken by Screenwriter Wu wasn't exceptionally clear, it was more than clear enough to let both fan bases see exactly what their gege were doing. Not only were Jiang Ying and Qi Zhu sitting together, they were enthusiastically heaping food onto each other's plates.
Fans from both sides reacted in the exact same way:
[Am I hallucinating?]
[What the actual fuck?]
[We could say they had no choice but to go to the same middle school reunion, but what the hell is this? They're serving each other food? Could their relationship really… be not that bad?]
[trembling.jpg Have we made a huge mistake? Should we not be fighting after all?]
[I'm super confused, but… look at how our Little Ying is smiling when he puts food on Qi Zhu's plate. He's so cute, bwahhhhhhhh. He's usually not like this, he's usually so fierce.]
[I… I also have to say something! Our Qi Zhu-gege isn't usually like this either. He's always so cold and aloof, but look at him. Look at him! He's playing around now, ahhhhhhhh, he's so cute, he's too cute. I love this childish version of our gege. I think he even smiled. HE SMILED!!!]
At that point, a few passersby joined in on the discussion.
@Gossip Seeker: Have you guys ever heard the saying that you become childish and pure in front of the person you like? Because you let your guard down in front of that person and become your true self. I don't mean anything by this. Just saying. heart.jpg
@The Unchanging Sea: Then… can I just ask, real quick, real quietly… are these two shippable? It feels like there's some potential here.
That one stone set off a thousand ripples. Two fan bases exploded at once.
[Shippable this, shippable that! All you care about is shipping! UGH!!!]
[Please, spare our Little Ying from your deviant thoughts. He already lost one nemesis. Gu Wei's little hedgehogs won't fight with him anymore. Qi Zhu's fans are all he has left. If Little Ying has no one left to fight with him… he would be so lonely! QAQ]
[It's really not easy being one of his shadows. We have to worry about him fighting too ferociously, and we have to worry about him not having anyone to fight.]
[Yeah, even if their relationship isn't bad… no, nope, absolutely not. I won't let you ship. I'm taking Qi Zhu-gege away.]
[Please let our Jiang Ying continue living the life of a bachelor too. It's a beautiful life.]
After scrolling through all these comments, Jiang Ying discovered their fans were already starting to waver.
Due to those two meals, many netizens had started to question his cat-and-dog, fire-and-ice relationship with Qi Zhu. They were starting to think there was a more interesting story there.
The Jiang family's roomba bumped up against Jiang Ying's foot. His mother, passing through the living room, glanced his way.
"What are you stressing out about over there?" Song Jingxi asked. "You just got here. Why have you already started shedding?"
Jiang Ying looked down and saw some fine hairs scattered around him. He instantly claimed, "Those aren't mine. They're Weiwei's."
"Weiwei isn't here yet, and his hair hasn't been this color lately," Song Jingxi shot back. She sighed at the son who earned her disapproval on a daily basis. "You young people need to spend less time on Weibo and focus more on acting. It's downright pointless to mess around on your phone all day."
"Oh, oh, oh, I know. No Weibo, no fighting, just acting. Acting all day, every day," Jiang Ying promised absently as he continued scrolling through Weibo to track the ongoing feud between his and Qi Zhu's fans.
At that point, after scrutinizing the video in a hundred different ways, their fans suddenly discovered a new detail.
@The Shadow You Left Behind: Darlings, let's not rush to say they have a good relationship. I want everyone to take a very, very close look at this video. Get your magnifying glasses out. Aren't they specifically serving each other the foods the other one hates? CryingLaughing.jpg
@Southern Winters Are So Cold: ?! I think you're right. Were they forced to play nice for the cameras as promo for the drama? But they're still secretly taking jabs at each other. When I think about it like that, doesn't everything make sense?
Phenomenal. Jiang Ying was so proud of these fans for coming up with an explanation that sounded so reasonable.
He wanted to use his main account to give that comment by 'Southern Winters Are So Cold' a like in order to encourage that person to continue spreading their wonderful ideas.
However, netizens weren't so quick to buy the explanation this time.
@Gossip Seeker: First off, I just want to have a civil discussion here. I think the logic there doesn't quite check out. For one thing, 'An Auspicious Snow' doesn't need to scatter ship bait to make itself popular. This is a huge production that'll rely on its plot and quality to find success. For another thing, you guys said it yourself. They're giving each other food that they know the other person doesn't like. So let me pose a question here. If you hated someone so much that you wanted to knock their head off, would you really go out of your way to memorize every one of their most hated foods?
@The Unchanging Sea: I think… you have a point. You found a flaw in that explanation.
By then, both fan bases were shaken up.
[God, this is really something. Jiang Ying is… kind of impressive. We're Qi Zhu-gege's fans, and we don't even know everything he dislikes.]
[The way these two act around each other… could it be because they were deskmates?]
[Not likely. I mean, do you remember everything your deskmate hated eating? Have you guys considered that… what we perceive to be a 'bad relationship' might just be their special way of interacting with each other?]
[I just want to point out that Qi Zhu and Jiang Ying have never publicly stated that they have a bad relationship with each other, but their fans have always fought. Now that I really think about it, I don't think people who have a bad relationship would pay this much attention to each other. If I think about the people I hate, I honestly just can't be bothered to find out what they're up to. Qi Zhu has such a cold and uncaring personality that I feel like he would be the same way.]
[After thinking about it carefully, I feel like this makes sense. Back when I was in school, this was exactly how I messed around with my wilder friends. This is just how good bros act.]
Jiang Ying stared, baffled.
No, no. He was very seriously, very earnestly fighting with Qi Zhu. For real. Every day.
Their two fan bases continued to discuss.
[Since their relationship isn't so bad, let's not fight at the drop of a hat in the future. Passersby get a bad impression of us when we fight so much, and our idols might not like it either.]
[Mhm, agreed! Their relationship is pretty good, but NO SHIPPING.]
[Sounds reasonable. But that makes me wonder… why have we been fighting so much lately? Who's been stirring up trouble?]
[Just thinking about that riles me up. It's all because of that 'Boss Crab' who supported one of them and dissed the other!]
[I think you're right??? I know of that app. That guy did those two 'Entertainment Industry' subject fights, then bailed. I haven't seen him do a subject fight ever since. He caused this mess on purpose, didn't he?]
Jiang Ying's bafflement intensified.
[Ugh, now I'm getting pissed too. I think our gege followed him and even got removed at one point. Just by looking at Boss Crab's Weibo page, you can't tell he's one of us at all. And he wouldn't join any of the fan groups we invited him to. This guy was just making trouble for everyone to get attention for himself.]
[We shadows are angry too!]
[Sisters, move out. Let's kick his ass.]