When Ji Sheng opened his eyes the next day, the bed in front of him was neatly covered with the quilt, and Xie Xuanming had already left.
The irregular sleeping position made Ji Sheng’s body so sore he felt he was falling apart. He sat up, rubbing his face bitterly and pinching the most affected area around his waist, when his gaze was suddenly attracted by a small yellow square on the armrest of the brown couch.
It was a post-it note, left by Xie Xuanming.
Ji Sheng tore off the post-it note; the handwriting on it was strong and powerful.
Looking at the words, you would never expect a moody, unpredictable man to write them. Ji Sheng harboured discontent in his heart and vented it in secret.
The drum will be delivered today.
No extra toiletries in the bathroom.
The fare is on the bedside table
Ji Sheng stared at the three lines of words for a long time, and realized three truths.
First, he didn’t suffer from backache in vain, at least he got a new drum set.
Second, Xie Xuanming told him not to touch the utensils in the house and go back to the dorm to wash.
Third, he had the money to go back.
Ji Sheng turned his head, and on the cabinet, two banknotes were pressed under the vial of eye drops.
Two red bills, tens of yuan more than the amount requested by Ji Sheng.
Although there was a subtle implication in getting a tip at the bedside, as a destitute person with less than 50 yuan of total assets at the moment, Ji Sheng did not and was not entitled to feel insulted. He gladly tucked the bills away, completing his first asset expansion since his rebirth.
Naturally, it was impossible for Xie Xuanming to leave him breakfast, so Ji Sheng didn’t rush to brush his teeth.
In line with the idea that Heaven knows, you know, I know, Xie Xuanming doesn’t know, Ji Sheng decided to use the guest toilet to answer the call of nature without any internal struggle.
After that, he washed his hands, poured a handful of cold water on his face and scrubbed it. With two hundred yuan in his pocket, he left the villa.
Ji Sheng originally planned to take the bus back, but the rehearsal notice in the group chat and his tired body made him give up this idea and take a taxi instead.
It was even more difficult to find a taxi in the villa area than in the urban village. The residents in the area generally had their own transportation and drivers, and taxi drivers with some common sense would not go there.
The mobile phone software showed that the nearest taxi was five kilometres away and it was going to take more than ten minutes to get there.
Ji Sheng leaned against the gate and waited for the car, bored and nagging the security guard.
Ji Sheng: “Brother, what kind of work do you do? ”
Security guard standing guard: … …
Security guard: “Security.”
Ji Sheng: “Security is good, ah. Guess what I do? You absolutely can’t imagine.”
Security guard: … I don’t want to imagine.
The security guard said indifferently: “Unemployed vagrant.”
“Wrong answer.” Ji Sheng shook his head and said solemnly, “I am a substitute.”
Security guard: … …
The guard glanced at Ji Sheng, the man who remained calm after his shocking statement, brimming with the odd air of ‘substitute and proud, competitive and invincible’.
The security guard turned his eyes away and said to himself that there was likely something wrong with the guy’s head.
The security guard said bluntly: “Substitute is good, ah.”
Ji Sheng said, “It’s okay, but I can’t sleep at night, and it takes a bit of effort.”
Security guard: ?
Ji Sheng said, “But I will try to adapt.”
Security guard: ????
At this time, the taxi arrived, Ji Sheng waved to the shocked security guard, smiled and said ‘see ya’.
The security guard didn’t really want to see him again. He sincerely hoped that the young gold master would find his white moonlight as soon as possible and kick out the excessively mutant “meal substitute”.
Whatever the security guard thought, Ji Sheng got into the car and disappeared.
Ji Sheng returned to the dorm; all the band members had gone to practise, leaving Huang Sizhe to open the door for him with a weird expression on his face.
Huang Sizhe looked constipated and seemed to have something to say, but Ji Sheng was not in the mood to take into account the sensitive feelings of this adolescent child. He was about to get sick of the sticky feeling in his mouth, so he rushed into his room, grabbed his bathroom cup and headed for the balcony.
While he was brushing his teeth, Huang Sizhe followed him and looked at him without saying a word, standing in the doorway.
“Why didn’t you go to rehearsal?” Huang Sizhe’s sense of presence was so strong that Ji Sheng had to react to the inquiry in his eyes, mumbling with the toothbrush in his mouth.
“You didn’t go either.” Huang Sizhe seems to have been waiting for him to speak for a long time and responded as soon as Ji Sheng asked. As he spoke, a bit of embarrassment appeared on his face, as if he was remorseful.
Ji Sheng glanced at him, not understanding where he had provoked the child again.
Ji Sheng didn’t bother to think about it. He simply ignored Huang Sizhe, picked up the bathroom cup and rinsed his mouth.
“About that,” Huang Sizhe seemed to be entangled for a long time, cleared his throat, and said vaguely, “——”
“What?” Ji Sheng didn’t hear him clearly and looked up blankly. There was a touch of white that hadn’t been wiped clean at the corner of his mouth and there was a hint of stupidity in his usually sharp eyes.
Seeing him like this, Huang Sizhe became angry again. He zoomed in and shouted, “I said I’m sorry! Can you not be so dumb, you can’t understand what people are saying and you don’t have a personality, you just do what you are told to do, are you a puppet? You have no brain and no character, you won’t even know if you’re bullied to death!”
He used the way of bullying “Ji Hui“ to scold ”Ji Hui” for not resisting when he was bullied.
Ji Sheng blinked, not understanding his logic much.
Ji Sheng lowered his head to flush out the residual foam and responded slowly, “I’ll try my best.”
Huang Sizhe choked.
Huang Sizhe was so angry.
After Ji Sheng finished washing, he found Huang Sizhe still standing there, looking embarrassed.
What’s the matter with this kid?
Ji Sheng was really puzzled: “Is there something else?”
“I said I’m sorry.”
“I heard it.”
“You didn’t say it’s okay.”
Huang Sizhe gritted his teeth, bit the bullet and said, “Just tell me if you accept my apology.”
Ji Sheng felt extremely helpless. He was now Huang Sizhe’s teammate. Even if Huang Sizhe didn’t say anything, he could only “forgive” Huang Sizhe and forget about him, let alone now that he had apologised.
But Huang Sizhe didn’t understand that. He was young and consisted of sharp edges and corners and wanted to divide right from wrong by drawing a clear line.
Ji Sheng pushed away his wet hair thinking that a child who was so obsessed with reasoning was a pain in the ass. Apologising was like confessing for him and he had to solemnly confirm whether it was accepted or not.
Ji Sheng wanted to deal with him perfunctorily with a few words, but when he saw Huang Sizhe’s cheeks flushed and his eyes shy and serious, he suddenly became a little distracted.
He inexplicably thought of a certain sharp kid he had met many years ago.
“Don’t you f*cking know how to say no?” The precocious seventeen year old in his memory was talking with rare exasperation, “So brainless, if I hadn’t come back in time yesterday, something could have, no, would have definitely happened to you for f*ck’s sake.”
How did he react at the time?…
Nineteen-year-old Ji Sheng looked at seventeen-year-old Xie Xuanming’s flushed face in surprise and stretched out his hand heartlessly to rub it: “The sun is rising from the east. Our good baby actually used two dirty words in one sentence. Come, come, go and report the joy to Lao Sheng and the others.”
The memories stopped; Ji Sheng shook his bathroom cup, and when he raised his eyes, he felt some softness that he hadn’t expected from himself.
“Alright.” He said gently, “I accept your apology and thank you for your suggestion. I will try to make myself more temperamental in the future.”
As the sun rose higher, Ji Sheng and Huang Sizhe opened the door of the underground garage.
“Here they are.” The lead singer greeted them and said in surprise, “Sizhe, your face is so red, are you sick?”
“No.” Huang Sizhe denied in a muffled voice.
The lead singer didn’t mind and said happily: “Come and see, the drums are here.”
“F*ck, it’s Star!” The keyboardist squatted in front of the brightly glimmering drum set, harrumphing, “The boss is generous!”
The guitarist said enviously: “Give me the whole thing, I have long wanted to change to a brand-name girl.”
“Don’t think about it. You can’t abandon your bad girl, so make do with your cheap Yamaha. ”
The keyboardist and guitarist giggled, while the lead singer stood with his head in his hands, “The Star Series drum kit costs 20,000 and up. How can we afford to pay for this if it is scratched or bumped…”
The keyboardist smiled and hugged Ji Sheng’s shoulders, pinching his chin: “Xiao Hui guarantees it with his body, such a beautiful child is worth at least 30,000 yuan.”
Ji Sheng glanced helplessly at this unorthodox teammate, wondering if everyone who played the keyboard had this kind of morals…
Before he could speak, Huang Sizhe broke out first: “F*ck your mother, Zhou Wuyou, do you live in the feudal era? Saying this kind of sh*t!”
“Okay.” The keyboardist named Zhou Wuyou was obviously accustomed to Huang Sizhe’s routine irritability. He shrugged, “Then you can only ask Xiao Hui to pay attention and not to scratch them when he is playing. If we aren’t selling Xiao Hui, the bunch of us tied together won’t be enough for the boss.”
Huang Sizhe was still about to burst out; Ji Sheng quickly grabbed him and said soothingly: “Let’s practice, I want to try the sound of the new drums.”
On the performance day, their pick-up and drop-off was still the same little lousy van, but the driver was different.
The new agent, surnamed Wang, didn’t say much, and after a few words of caution, he went off to drive. Ji Sheng glanced at his muscular arms and felt that this man was more like a bodyguard than an agent.
Maybe his job was to be a bodyguard.
Ji Sheng guessed he might have been sent by Xie Xuanming.
This thought reassured Ji Sheng a lot. He still trusted Xie Xuanming’s ability. A man who had been in the entertainment industry for three years would have been put down as soon as he made his debut if he didn’t have a good eye for people.
With Xie Xuanming’s men watching, the chances that the person who hid in the shadows and tried to kill Ji Hui would make another move were slim to none.
The bodyguard agent sent Niepan to the destination and arranged for a makeup artist to come.
“What makeup do you need in a doll costume?” Huang Sizhe resisted, while the keyboardist and guitarist on the side also showed a look of displeasure.
“What if you want to take off your headgear for a curtain call?” The makeup artist smiled good-naturedly.
Anyway, in the end, only Ji Sheng and the lead singer put on makeup.
Although it was a performance for children, the organisers also gave Niepan face, arranging their show at the end, as if they were big stars.
The scene was lively for more than an hour, and finally it was Niepan’s turn.
Standing behind the curtain on the side of the stage, the members were notified that they were ready to go. One by one, they started putting on their doll costumes and headgear.
After putting on the headgear, the field of vision became narrow and grey; the lead singer looked at the stage behind the curtain through the sight holes covered with black gauze.
The drum set and keyboard were placed on the stage, shining with a cold metallic light.
The lead singer looked at them for a while, then turned around and wanted to gather the band members to cheer and boost their morale, but unexpectedly met Ji Sheng’s icy sharp, translucent eyes.
At this moment, there was a feeling of low air pressure about the usually gentle and silent drummer, making him look tense like a snow leopard crawling on a cliff.
He stared at the back of the stage, where the Star drums waited for him, the muted light flowing like a dark river over the oak surface.
He held his headgear under his left arm and clenched the drumsticks with his right hand. Through the bloated doll costume, the lead singer could vaguely see the tight lines of the drummer’s muscles.
The lead singer was taken aback, hearing Ji Sheng exhale a long breath and whisper, “Finally…”
When he said this, he looked like an old-time samurai.
The samurai coldly caressed his long unused sword, and from the moment the blade was unsheathed, he set foot on the road to retrieve his glory.