The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 33: Afternoon Tea
Jia Siqi exclaimed in disbelief, “Wang Chen, the winner of Absolute Idol!” He stared at the icon that tracks new followers and commented, “Oh my God! I feel like I’ve become a superstar!”
He was so excited last night that he didn’t sleep at all. Throughout the night, he was constantly grabbing his phone and looking at his social media page. He watched as his fans went from more than 900,000 to a million-overnight. His fanbase hasn’t risen for several months.
Now that Wang Chen had taken notice of him, Jia Siqi felt like the gods had descended upon him, ready to escort him to a greater plane of existence in the heavens above.
“Brother Xiaozhi, this time we really have become superstars!” Jia Siqi said daydreaming.
“Don’t be stupid. Do you really think you are like them?” After one night, Bai Xiaozhi had already recovered his senses. “To put it bluntly, we are just a fad. Don’t mind the increase in fans. Those people are paying attention to us not because they really like us, but only because their idols friended us. That’s just how much influence their idols actually have.”
Moreover, what happened last night made Bai Xiaozhi see clearly the real gap between himself and Yin Chang, a true idol.
– New Fan A commented: “I came from Chang Chang’s Weibo and throughout the night, I didn’t even get to finish looking through all of the jokes. What a treasured boy this is that I followed! Ahhhh!”
However, Jia Siqi is still immersed in his own dream, turning a deaf ear to Bai Xiaozhi’s logic. As a result, he continues to relay funny messages to him from time to time.
Jia Siqi: “We’re supposed to be friends, why are you exaggerating?!”
Bai Xiaozhi: “Rest assured, they’ll be gone when they finish reading.”
Jia Siqi: “……”
– New Fan B: “Bai Xiaozhi, Jia Siqi’s friend, is also very handsome. Together they make a great duo. I’m a fan of this couple!”
Jia Siqi: “Look! Some people say we are just like a couple!”
Bai Xiaozhi: “Every day, I train with you and we sleep in the same room. When I wake up, the first thing I see is your face. You tweet and post pictures ten times a day. Do I have a choice? If it’s Yin Chang in the dormitory with you, would your fans still claim the same thing?”
Jai Siqi: “Oh, so should we end our duo?”
Bai Xiaozhi replied: “That’s not what I’m saying!”
– New Fan C said: “I have decided. When I can’t post about my idol on Weibo, I’ll just stay here for my enjoyment! Little brother, post more jokes, ha-ha!”
Jia Siqi: “Uh, look at this… So in their eyes, are we just concubines in a harem? Yin Chang is a queen concubine and you and I are the new concubines…”
Finally, Bai Xiaozhi had enough. He forcefully threw a pillow over at Jia Siqi: “Go be the concubine! Don’t involve me!”
If he stayed, he felt like he was to be dragged down by Jia Siqi’s IQ. As a result, Bai Xiaozhi got out of bed quickly and headed for the training room.
With a month and a half to go before the festival, he assumed that ‘Idol face-to-face’ was the best opportunity for him to promote himself that his agent was able to secure in the short term.
If Bai Xiaozhi failed to get recognized as an A-List star, he would not return after the Chinese New Year. Alas, his days of singing and dancing in the training room were not long. Finally, he could cherish the moment.
When Jia Siqi saw him getting ready to leave after washing up, he followed suit: “Bai Xiaozhi, wait for me!”
Bai Xiaozhi: “……”
On his way to the training room, Jia Siqi continued to talk about social media. He babbled on: “However, Yin Chang’s page really doesn’t have many posts. It’s only one per month on average. They are just announcements and retweets by officials and has very few likes ….He’s so cold. Why would he friend us?”
With a look of long time understanding, Bai Xiaozhi squinted at him and commented in exasperation: “Do you really think he would do such a small thing as posting to Weibo? Of course, his agent is in charge! Maybe last night’s friend request and likes were all orchestrated by his agent.”
Feeling disappointed, Jia Siqi commented: “Oh, so it’s like that. It’s not so exciting when I think about it.”
However, his look of disappointment vanished as fast as it came. Suddenly, Jia Siqi excitedly said: “What about Wang Chen? Should I post on Weibo thanking him for following my social media?”
Bai Xiaozhi raised his voice and nearly burst: “Will you calm down for a minute! You aren’t his fan!”
Jia Siqi: “But he’s very popular.”
Bai Xiaozhi scoffed: “Popular my ass. Half of his fans are purchased!”
Jia Siqi was surprised: “…Really? How did you know?”
Bai Xiaozhi explained: “ You can’t see it? Both the number of retweets and likes are inflated while the number of comments is stagnant. They aren’t nearly as much as Yin Chang’s……”
While chatting, the phone rang and Bai Xiaozhi answered the call. It was from their agent, Yuan Qian.
“Is Siqi with you?” Yuan Qian asked.
“Yes, we are on our way to the training studio.” Since they were always inseparable and Bai Xiaozhi was more level-headed, in general, their agent informed him of news first so that he could pass it along to Jia Siqi.
Yuan Qian got straight to the point: “I heard that Yin Chang and Wang Chen both have followed your social media, right? Not only will you probably get more fans in the next couple of days, you will also get more comments and opinions expressed. I’m sure you can guess why. Remind Siqi not to get too excited. Do not tweet and post during this time so there isn’t any backlash. And, don’t ever get down on your knees and kiss people’s feet!”
It seems, Yuan Qian is very familiar with the personalities of her artists. She knows exactly the type of thing Jia Siqi might stupidly do.
“Well, I’ll remind him…” Bai Xiaozhi glanced at Jia Siqi sideways and motioned him not to act rashly.
Yuan Qian continued: “Since they are following you, you must think of yourself in the same class as them. The entertainment industry is a fickle and turbulent place. No one can predict who will be the most popular in the future. Keep that in mind, ok?”
“I know.” Bai Xiaozhi replied and although he said it, he thought to himself, is that even possible without an established background and strong financial support? Even though Jai Siqi came from a wealthy family, he hasn’t risen to the top. How can either of them compare to Wang Chen and Yin Chang?
When he saw how quickly Mi Xiu become a celebrity, he had his own dreams of becoming famous. However, after he experienced it himself, he knew just how naïve his dreams were. The kind of luck a person needed was a mere one in a million.
“Also,” Yuan Qian paused and said, “Yin Chang would like to set up a time to have afternoon tea today.”
Since Bai Xiaozhi was still ruminating about his own bad luck, he didn’t react immediately. “…Huh?”
Yuan Qian explained: “His manager just called me. Yin Chang wanted to know if you and Siqi were free this afternoon. I canceled your classes after 2 o’clock on your behalf so you could meet him. I reserved the company’s conference room number 3 for you to meet.”
Bai Xiaozhi was surprised: “Why would he invite us to have afternoon tea?”
Yuan Qian: “Didn’t he friend you?”
Bai Xiaozhi: “Wait, wait, wait — was he really serious?”
Yuan Qian: “Is that a problem?”
Bai Xiaozhi: “…”
Yuan Qian: “Two o’clock in the afternoon. Don’t forget.”
After explaining the situation, Yuan Qian hung up the phone. In disbelief, Bai Xiaozhi was staring off in space. Seeing such a rare expression, Jia Siqi couldn’t stop himself from poking Bai Xiaozhi on the side with his fingers and ask: “What did Yuan say?” What did Yuan say!? ”
He flatly stated: “She said Yin Chang invited us to have tea this afternoon.”
When Jia Siqi heard him, his jaw dropped. Jia Siqi was rendered speechless.
At half past one in the afternoon, after washing and changing from their morning training, Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi arrived at the designated conference room
Ten minutes later, Yuan Qian walked into the room. She was a little worried about Jia Siqi and thus, reminded him again about behaving properly. Then she said: “You do know that Yin Chang is now part owner of Nova Entertainment, right?”
Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi faced each other dumbfounded, and both shook their heads.
Before Yin Chang arrived, Yuan Qian said in a low voice: “Nova Entertainment was established by his father and Director Yao Manhuai as a partnership. Since his father is no longer with us, half of the company’s shares have been transferred to his son.”
Bai Xiaozhi & Jia Siqi: “……!!!”
“Now that you know the situation, what type of relationship you have with him depends on you. The point being, you don’t have resources. Understand?” Yuan Qian patted his shoulder. She knew of the kids’ talent, but things haven’t been working in thier favor. Lately, they have been under a tremendous amount of pressure. In order to ease thier burden, she always wanted to help them in some way.
While sitting in the conference room waiting for Yin Chang, Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi had a different mindset.
Jia Siqi: Fuck! Yin Chang is their boss! What bullshit is she spewing?
Bai Xiaozhi: What does Yuan Qian mean by a relationship? Why does that sound fishy? I’ve heard rumors about the special favors that artists do for corporate board-members. Are we going to experience this unspoken favor?
Full of ideas, amid their speculation, Yin Chang arrived.
As she guided Yin change inside the room, she smiled and greeted Yuan Qian. “You’re here so early.”
Although Yin Chang often came to the company to take classes, he practiced in the exclusive VIP training rooms that Yao Manhuai arranged for him. Since the floors and passages were separated, there wasn’t any intersection with the other trainees and company artists. As a result, this was the first time that Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi met Yin Chang.
When Yin Chang’s gaze fell on them, Jia Siqi felt like he was severely electrocuted. The young man’s gray-blue eyes were like jewels, making it difficult for people to look away.
“H-, Hello.” Jia Siqi said, face turning red.
Words got caught in Bai Xiaozhi throat. He is… Damn! Too handsome! If Yin Chang is the guy who he needs to perform special favors for, he….. He thinks he could be okay with it.
Yin Chang nodded to them and smiled slightly: “Hello.”
A hundred flowers blossomed in Jia Siqi’s mind for an instant. Even though his smile was only a small polite one, it made one feel like they were bathed in spring light. It felt comforting.
Lu Lingxuan asked: “Have you all eaten lunch?”
Yuan Qian: “Wouldn’t we have starved to death if we hadn’t yet?”
Lu Lingxuan laughed: “Then I will take them to a café for afternoon tea.”
Not only was Yuan Qian Jia Siqi’s and Bo Xiaozhi’s agent, she also had other artists to think about. She excused herself and left.
Lu Lingxuan greeted the two handsome men then said: “Let’s go.”
Yin Chang personally drove the car over to the English teahouse that Lu Lingxuan specially found for them.
Bai Xiaozhi and Jia Siqi were sitting in the back seat. Seeing that they were too nervous to speak, Yin Chang took the initiative to break the ice: “Jia Siqi, I saw your Social Media page last night. Your car is quite nice.”
Jia Siqi felt a little flattered and awkwardly said: “Oh, that car? It’s a coming-of-age gift from my mom.”
He chuckled uncomfortably. Because of what Yuan Qian had said, he felt anxious and as a result, conversation became difficult.
Unexpectedly, Yin Chang glanced at him through the rearview mirror and asked: “Do you have a driver’s license?”
Bai Xiaozhi: “……!!!” He really read Jia Siqi’s Social Media page! He noticed my own jab!
Jia Siqi blushed and said, “I, I…I haven’t passed the second part yet.”
Yin Chang said: “I see.”
Now that Yin Chang started the conversation, Jia Siqi felt more at ease. He was talkative by nature. Once he relaxed, Jia Siqi asked endless questions about Yin Chang driving experience, what cars he liked and so on. The mood in the car lightened up quite a bit.
By the time they arrived at the teahouse, Jia Siqi was completely free from any stress. He chatted, unreserved. “Yin Chang, thank you last night!”
Yin Chang: “Thank me for what?”
Jia Siqi excitedly said: “Because you have followed me, I have more than one million fans now. I’m able to brag to others that I am a star with millions of fans!”
Yin Chang smiled: “Oh, I just hit like because I thought you were funny.”
Jia Siqi listened fervently and winked at Bai Xiaozhi nearby: Did you see it? I conquered the man in front of me with my personal charm!
Bai Xiaozhi gave a light cough and hesitated. He asked: “Why do you… why do you want to buy us drinks?”
Leaning against the back of the chair, with his hands in his pockets, Yin Chang thoughtfully explained: “Aren’t we going to be on the show together soon? It’s the first time I will be on a TV show. Except for Wang Chen, I don’t know any of you. I’m afraid something embarrassing will happen so I wanted to get acquainted with you guys beforehand.”
Lu Lingxuan recommended Yin Chang try to imagine them as friends. But, Yin Chang felt imagining friendship was too troublesome. Since they were all in the same company, why not be friends beforehand? That way on stage, wouldn’t it be easier?
Since being in the company conference rooms were so formal, they would inevitably be too conscience and guarded. To ease the awkwardness between them, he set up this rendezvous point outside of the company.
Yin Chang added: “Since I’ve only read your Social Media page, I don’t know anything more private. If we can get to know each other in advance, when the host asks us questions, we can help each other out. If you have something you want to say in front of the camera, just let me know in advance and I’ll look for an opportunity for you to express yourself.”
Bai Xiaozhi was shocked. He thought he and Jia Siqi were just there as accessories to Yin Chang. It was natural to think they had to have a low profile to give Yin Chang the spotlight. He didn’t expect Yin Chang’s willingness to accommodate them. As a result, Bai Xiaozhi was almost moved to tears.
Yin Chang thought about the other two people involved with the TV show and asked, “I want to call Wang Chen and Yu Ruize to invite them here as well, but I don’t have their contact information. Since it’s not through company channels, maybe it would be too sudden.”
Bai Xiaozhi was stunned, and took the initiative to say: “Wang Chen, I don’t know him, but Yu Ruize…I am very good friends with him.”
Yin Chang raised his eyes: “Really?”
Bai Xiaozhi: “Well, he has been resting these past two days. I also talked to him about the TV show last night. Do you want to get in touch? I can call him.”
Yin Chang cheerfully said: “Okay.”