Little Lemon spent half the day trying to calm herself down. Then she spent half the night waiting for 'Fight!' to come back online after its catastrophic crash. Then, Little Lemon-jiejie's first order of business was to load up the app and flip through her conversations with a certain crab.
As long as the user didn't personally delete these records, the 'Fight!' app would generously save all private chats and battle logs.
To most netizens, Jiang Ying equals Boss Crab was a huge piece of information.
But to the newly enlightened Little Lemon, with her detailed chat records, this was an even bigger deal.
Two weeks ago—
[Battle-Ready Boss Crab]: Do you know how to pursue someone?
Little Lemon, scrolling through her chat history, thought:
Wh… at… the… f???
Who did the crab want to pursue?
Two weeks and two days ago—
Boss Crab and Jiang Ying's anti-fan battled, resulting in the anti-fan disconnecting in defeat.
Little Lemon-jiejie had rushed straight to Weibo to pen a little essay exonerating Boss Crab of his crimes against Jiang Ying. Then, the two members of the Top 10 on 'Fight!' struck up an easy friendship. Little Lemon had gone on to use her lemony words and lemony logic to explain to Coward Crab exactly why ZhuiFengZhuYing was so shippable, and Coward Crab had only said—
Little Lemon, scrolling through her chat history, now thought:
Boss Crab = Jiang Ying = Her Idol. Then did that mean she had wildly and fiercely promoted her ship… to one of the parties involved in said ship?
Little Lemon was speechless.
Not good at all.
She continued to scroll through their chat history, feeling like a heart attack was waiting for her right around the corner.
Based on what she read, she had shipped her idol right in front of him. She'd argued with him. She'd provoked him. And in the end, she'd even taken it upon herself to clear his name?
Other nuggets from their chat logs—
[Boss Crab]: ??? Not shippable. What you consider ship bait might just be their ordinary routines. It's just how they're used to acting with each other.
[Restless Boss Crab]: No, you're the worst. Even if there's candy, it won't fall into your mouth.
Little Lemon choked.
On Weibo, a netizen had summarized all of the activity Jiang Ying had carried out under Boss Crab's name.
@A Certain Netizen: Everyone already knows about him dissing himself. This account praised Qi Zhu and slammed Jiang Ying, and it wound up being attacked by both their fan bases. A months-long war was waged against him, and he just took the beating without saying a word. CoversFace.jpg Boss Crab didn't get active on Weibo again until Little Lemon cleared his name. That was after he fiercely took down an anti-fan in the game. He left his mark on the industry as a formidable foe to all antis.
[screenshot of old fights]
Comment 1: Nice, nice, nice. I only knew Qi Zhu's fans were good at counter-attacking trolls. Now I'm thinking, are they really that impressive? There's a guy acting as a one man troll demolition team out here.
Comment 2: It's so easy being his fan. All we have to do is watch the commotion. Attacking and defending, he'll handle it all himself. Sometimes he'll even boost himself in the popularity polls. Us fans don't have to do anything. We get to reap the rewards of being his fan while saving time and energy.
Comment 3: Hahahahahaha, I really can't understand modern idols. He can obviously make a living off his pretty face, but he just has to go out and fight.
Comment 4: Jiang Ying: Sorry, it just started as a little hobby, then I accidentally became a fighting king. What could I do?
Jiang Ying, who had been eyeing Weibo all this time, groused, "Why haven't you people gotten over this yet? I still want to use this account. Have your laughs and go away already!"
"Whose fault is that?" Qi Zhu asked coolly.
"Yours," Jiang Ying uttered snippily. "Have you been sitting in my room since dinner, laughing at my misery and eating up all this gossip?"
"You just realized?" Qi Zhu was sitting next to Jiang Ying's bed, wearing a self-righteous expression.
"Why didn't I ever know you were such a gossip hound?" Jiang Ying demanded, prodding Qi Zhu in the chest.
"It depends on the person." Qi Zhu caught and trapped Jiang Ying's hand, gazing into his eyes. He paused deliberately, then continued, "It's a give-and-take with us."
You've collected so much dirt on me. I could eat you whole, but I'll settle for eating up your scandals.
Qi Zhu didn't say all that out loud, but Jiang Ying could tell what he meant. He could read the deeper meanings in the words Qi Zhu did speak.
Jiang Ying watched him for a moment. After spending so much time with Qi Zhu, he was extremely familiar with the way Qi Zhu spoke and behaved.
"It's going to be okay," Qi Zhu said, half-heartedly comforting the aggrieved party after taking in all the jokes and gossip about him. "There's no end to the scandals in the entertainment industry. Someone will come along and take the top trending spots away from you. Probably."
Jiang Ying continued to swipe over the screen of his phone, ultimately stopping on the page where the 'Fight!' app was located. "Class Monitor, do you really not want to give this app a shot? I feel like your mystifying way of talking is becoming a better and better fit for this app."
"Oh," Qi Zhu said.
Zhuoyue, Qi Zhu's foreign friend, had said that Qi Zhu recommended the app to him as a tool to learn Chinese. Jiang Ying still remembered that. He also remembered that Zhuoyue had said Qi Zhu did have an account, but he'd never been active on it.
Previously, Jiang Ying hadn't been able to reach out to Zhuoyue on the app. He couldn't risk exposing Boss Crab's true identity. But now, Jiang Ying had already been metaphorically pantsed in front of the whole world. Didn't that mean he could fearlessly send Zhuoyue a message through the app now, to ask about Qi Zhu's account?
At eleven that night, the user that every 'Fight!' player was waiting for—Boss Crab—finally logged in.
Countless friend requests were waiting in his inbox, each with a brief greeting message attached—
Brother, let's get to know each other?
I never thought there would be a day I came here to chase an idol.
You're so attractive! Can you fight with me?
Checking in. I hear you're a big celebrity.
Jiang Ying swiftly changed his own status message—
Be good. Go back to wherever you came from. Haven't you heard this saying? Don't get too close to your idols.
The players on the forums all instantly refused to take that word of advice. They insisted that Jiang Ying could just go about his business, and they would watch. They promised not to attack or insult him.
They just wanted to watch… and laugh.
Kinda jealous of Boss Crab's apprentice now. He got so close to a celebrity. He gets to DM an idol. [HOT]
1: Agreed. Though I'm just a casual fan, I guess. I like his personality.
2: His apprentice? Fighter3357868 has been super low-key all this time. I don't know where he found a guy like that.
3: I get the jealousy, but I gotta say… Jiang Ying is the sort that never backs down, but he always attracts anti-fans. What if his apprentice… is one of his antis?
4: Then we'll soon witness a tragic master-apprentice breakup. Boss Crab would lose his beloved apprentice.
5 (Boss Crab, in the process of changing his name): ??? SlightSmile.jpg The tournament is almost over. Have you brought up your rank yet? Rather than waste time talking nonsense here, why not play a few rounds? No wonder you still hold such a low rank after playing so long. Cuteness.jpg
6: WTF? Is the previous commenter the man of the hour? Or just an imposter?
7: Look at the way he talks. This is probably the genuine article. He's pissed.
8: I can tell. He's panicking.
Jiang Ying had decided that being exposed wasn't the end of the world. Qi Zhu wouldn't hate him for something like this, and everyone in Jiang Ying's family knew exactly what he was like. They wouldn't look down on him for this either. At that moment, Jiang Ying was mostly concerned with hearing what his little apprentice thought of all this.
What if his little apprentice didn't like Jiang Ying?
Jiang Ying would have to use his fighter's logic to brainwash him a little.
[Anxious Crab]: Hi~
[Anxious Crab]: Look at me.
[Anxious Crab]: LittlePandaSweats.jpg
Uh-oh. It seemed his apprentice knew everything. But Jiang Ying had fought tooth and nail to win over his apprentice, and to teach his skills to this student who had been so unwilling to learn at first. There was no way Jiang Ying could allow them to break up so easily.
[Anxious Crab]: Do you chase celebrities?
Jiang Ying let out a breath of relief. If he didn't chase stars, he wasn't someone involved in the industry. That was good. That meant there was no problem. Jiang Ying could easily deceive his apprentice.
[Anxious Crab]: Do you know Jiang Ying?
[Anxious Crab]: Mm, me. Besides that, do you have any impressions of him?
[Fighter3357868]: Fierce. Fierce towards himself, even fiercer towards his enemies.
[Fighter3357868]: Don't worry. I quite like Jiang Ying.
Instantly, Jiang Ying felt better. Reinvigorated. This listless apprentice he'd fished out of the sea was really, really great.
[Anxious Crab]: Jiang Ying has lots of scandals. Don't you hate that?
[Fighter3357868]: I don't.
[Anxious Crab]: Ah, that's a relief. This master of yours didn't raise you up for nothing.
[Anxious Crab]: I like straightforward, honest people like you.
[Fighter3357868]: I also like people like you.
[Anxious Crab]: You're almost ready to graduate from our master-apprentice relationship. Give me a few days to compose myself, then I'll teach you a few more things. And then you'll be ready to strike out on your own.
[Anxious Crab]: From today on, if anyone tries to bully you, just whip out Boss Crab's name. I promise no one will dare mess with you.
With that, the conversation ended and Jiang Ying was reassured of the fact that he still had an apprentice on his side. Next, Jiang Ying had to take care of the massive pile of private messages he'd received.
[sunny]: Hahaha, you deserved that LOLOLOLOL
Jiang Ying stared.
Random psycho. No response necessary. Next.
[Little Lemon]: &*（……&……￥##……
[Anxious Crab]: Little Great Mountain?
[Anxious Crab]: What's the matter? Rolled your face across the keyboard?
[Little Lemon]: Holy shit, Coward Crab. You actually have the guts to come back here?
[Anxious Crab]: Hm? You're still calling me Coward Crab? Am I not your idol? Hurry, hurry. Flatter me.
[Little Lemon]: ……
[Little Lemon]: Spits.jpg I was worrying for nothing. You're definitely still the same old you. Nothing ruffles your feathers.
[Little Lemon]: Every time I think about declaring in front of so many people that Boss Crab and Jiang Ying couldn't possibly be the same person… ah, my face hurts again.
[Anxious Crab]: What was I supposed to do? I couldn't abandon this account. This account is priceless, okay?
Jiang Ying had used this Boss Crab account for three years already. He'd already collected four mascot figures. If he had to choose between giving up his 'Fight!' account and being an idol, he would give up being an idol. That kind of thing, that could have made his manager fume and rage, was what Jiang Ying genuinely felt.
[Little Lemon]: Are you really my idol?
[Anxious Crab]: Ai, I've already been exposed. Can you stop poking at my fresh wounds, please? Little Great Mountain, don't be a dick.
[Little Lemon]: Wtf, my face is hurting more and more. I… what kind of ridiculous thing is the idol I've chosen to stan? CryingIntoHands.jpg
[Anxious Crab]: You're dissing me? SlightSmile.jpg You haven't even shed your status as a fan yet, and you're already dissing your idol. Do you want to stay in the entertainment industry or not?
[Little Lemon]: Then why were you shipping ZhuiFengZhuYing with me?! Why were you eating the same candy? What were you thinking?
[Anxious Crab]: ? How is that my fault? I haven't even started in on you yet. When you asked me if ZhuiFengZhuYing was shippable or not, Qi Zhu saw. He saw! And he kept asking me what I thought, how I felt, and who I was talking to.
[Anxious Crab]: Back then, I hadn't even given him my confession note yet. And he saw me fighting with someone about our ship? Do you have any idea how embarrassing that was for me?
[Anxious Crab]: The candy you're eating is my daily life. You can eat it, and I can't? Huh?
[Anxious Crab]: Hello? HELLO? Where'd you go? Don't run! Get back here and fight me!