Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 20

Over the next few weeks, Xie Xuanming spent his evenings rotating around the various bars with Qingchu, while being taken around to odd jobs by Ji Sheng during the day.

That guy, Ji Sheng, was awesome, the only problem was that his skills were very scattered and when he started working, it could be called East a hammer, West a stick(1).

He always liked to find a day-to-day job, and after two or three days of work, he would run around and change places with ease. The most wanted criminals with a lot of experience were not as fast as him. Xie Xuanming followed him, working tirelessly. He distributed flyers, became a Taobao model and even went to a variety show to play the audience… although Xie Xuanming’s acting as the audience was extremely unprofessional, “stupid” and “this is it” obviously written on his face. With the frowning Ji Sheng by his side they simply looked like “professionals” hired by an enemy channel to crash the show.

“Can’t you find a fixed job?” Sheng Kongzhi asked as he frothed the milk cap, “If you can’t, I’ll talk to the shop manager, and you can just take Xiao Xie and stay in the milk tea shop as a helper.”

“Don’t.“ Ji Sheng smiled and said “Welcome” to the guests who entered the store,  throwing his rejection in the gap.

Today, Sheng Kongzhi found that the milk tea shop where he was working was short of people, so he brought Xie Xuanming to work as a temporary worker for a day.

After Ji Sheng finished listening to the order, he talked to Xie Xuanming about the guest’s request, turned back to Sheng Kongzhi and made a face. “It’s so boring to stay in one place. I want to run around. I want to be a prodigal son.”

“Part-time prodigal son?” Sheng Kongzhi glanced at him in amusement, “Don’t you even consider Xiao Xie, he’s tired and thin from following you around every day.”

“Xiao Xie is just tall and thin, okay?” Ji Sheng walked up to Xie Xuanming, who was working hard, pinched his forearm and said with satisfaction, “A lot stronger, thanks to me.”

Xie Xuanming pulled away from him silently and sealed and packed the prepared milk tea.

“Forget it, if you don’t work yourself, don’t bother Xiao Xie.” Sheng Kongzhi scolded, smiling. He lowered his head to confirm the order and said seriously, “Why don’t you just stay here? The weather is so hot, anyway, the shop has air conditioning and it’s cooler. Saves you the trouble of running around in the sun and suffering from heatstroke.”

“You worry about me.” Ji Sheng drawled and said with a smile, “I’m so touched.” 

Sheng Kongzhi said helplessly: “If you know that I am worried, be sensible.”

Xie Xuanming was sullenly wiping the counter on the side; there was a closed sort of atmosphere between Ji Sheng and Sheng Kongzhi that no one could interfere with.

Su Jing said that they were bamboo horses, the kind that grew up sharing a pair of pants(2)

Glancing at Ji Sheng’s eyes curved in a smile, Xie Xuanming rubbed the counter more forcefully.

If there was really only one pair of pants, Ji Sheng would definitely give it to Sheng Kongzhi and run naked himself.

Sheng Kongzhi said, “I’m bored to be alone in the store. It would be better if you stayed with me.”

Xie Xuanming took a look at the sun outside and felt that running outside for eight hours to hand out flyers was better than standing here like an embarrassing proof that three’s a crowd.

He lowered his head; a small stain on the table still couldn’t be wiped off.

“Bear it.” Ji Sheng patted Sheng Kongzhi on the shoulder, “I really can’t stand doing repetitive work for a long time. After all, I’m trying to build up inspiration, otherwise I’d be writing the same old songs all the time.”

Sheng Kongzhi sighed: “Bringing out the inspiration routine again.”

“And you can’t let Xiao Xie be stuck working in a small shop all day long. Seeing more of the world is more important than earning that hundred yuan…”

Xie Xuanming wiped the table for a while, then quietly carried the rag to the sink to wash it.

On the counter he’d left, the stubborn stain was invisible.

After rehearsing that night, Li Tan followed the teenagers back to the rental house, saying that he had something to discuss.

However, when he came, everyone was lying down like a corpse, playing with their mobile phones or eating late night snacks, leaving him out in the cold.

“Good news, good news, everyone, get up and listen!” Li Tan clapped his hands vigorously, but none of the young men slumped on the sofa moved.

“Hey.” Li Tan was not happy: “Give a response, brats, are you dead?” 

“Dead, exhausted.” One of them had enough strength to groan, “Why didn’t you say it during the rehearsal?”

“Because it’s important? It has to be more formal.”

Ji Sheng snorted like a pig, changed position to flop his arm on the lap of Xie Xuanming’s who was sitting next to him and continued to lie like a corpse: “Xiao Xie, my arms are numb, help me massage them.”

Li Tan became angry when he saw his mindless appearance. Seeing that Xie Xuanming actually stretched out his hand to rub Ji Sheng’s arm obediently, he became even more angry and shouted: “Is our noble lead singer here to give you a massage?! Can you stop bullying Xiao Xie!”

Ji Sheng ignored him, and Xie Xuanming continued to knead his arms, his expression unchanged.

Li Tan was out of breath and had to zoom in directly: “There’s a job…”

No one answered.

“It’s a competition, for music bands, the bar is pretty high and the attention is good.”

Su Jing’s screen tinkled.

“The key is that there’s a prize.”

Sheng Kongzhi, hugging a watermelon, showed a little bit of interest: “How much?”

“Fifteen thousand.”


The watermelon fell to the ground. As the phone hit the bridge of his nose, Su Jing let out a cry of pain. Ji Sheng turned over and opened his eyes wide in amazement.  “How much?” Xie Xuanming avoided his iron fist and moved aside silently.

Li Tan got comfortable and repeated: “The winner gets fifteen thousand.”

“Zimbabwe dollars?”

“RMB!” Li Tan was angry again, “Can you let me finish?”


“It was a couple of established bands that approached the rich kids to set up the competition. The winner is 15,000, the runner-up is 10,000, and the third place is 5,000. The news came out last week, and many bands were inquiring… Everything is good about this competition, but it is difficult to sign up. The Lizi band that fought with us before, remember, they applied four times and didn’t get in.”

“Oh.” Ji Sheng raised his eyebrows, “If Brother Tan says that, there must be a way.” 

“Sort of, I got in touch yesterday.” Li Tan said, “A man named Zhao Wenhua said that there is a way to sign up Qingchu… but he made a condition.”

“What condition?”

“He said that he’s a fan of Qingchu and wanted to meet Xiao Sheng and Xuanming.”

“Meet me.” Ji Sheng was taken aback, “I have never seen this fan.”

“There are many fans you haven’t seen before.” Li Tan said, “I’m afraid you are the only one who doesn’t know that you are very famous in the circle. That Brother Zhao, who is considered a fan of yours, wants to  meet for a drink and communicate.”

Su Jing frowned: “Forget about drinking. With Ji Sheng’s drinking capacity, he drinks a bit and gets sold to someone. And there is also Xiao Xie who is underage and it is illegal for him to drink.”

Sheng Kongzhi also objected: “It doesn’t sound very reliable. Is there any other way?”

Li Tan said helplessly: “If there was any other way, wouldn’t I tell you? The problem is that it’s probably the only way.”

He said: “Actually, it’s not that scary, just adults talking about business at the wine table. To put it bluntly, it’s just to sing karaoke, have a couple of drinks and make friends… That’s how it always works.”

Li Tan did talk a lot of “business” at the wine table. Members of Qingchu often saw him drunk hugging the toilet and throwing up. After throwing up, he would raise two fingers and say, fucking hell, those bastards are really not human…

The wine table culture penetrated to the bottom, and even though young people were somewhat disgusted, they also had to accept it.

Ji Sheng snapped his fingers absent-mindedly.

Fifteen thousand.

The guaranteed budget for an album was 40,000 yuan, and the sum that everyone could pull together was only 20,000 yuan…

Qingchu really needed that 15,000 yuan.

It also needed a chance to make a name for itself.

Ji Sheng made up his mind.

“Okay, I’ll go.” He shrugged, “Isn’t it just drinking? You know how much I can drink.”

“Pretty little.” Su Jing said coolly.

Ji Sheng ignored him and raised his chin at Li Tan: “But forget about Xiao Xie, he is not an adult and it is not appropriate for him to go to that kind of place.”

Li Tan was a little embarrassed, but still nodded and said, “I’m trying to communicate…”

“I’ll go.” Xie Xuanming interrupted coldly.

“Don’t make trouble.” Ji Sheng sighed, turned around and patted him on the head, “Even if you go, you’ll be lying on the sofa asleep after a glass of beer anyway.”

“I’m going.” Xie Xuanming was rarely stubborn, “Otherwise, if you are drunk, who will be responsible for carrying you back.”

“F!“ Ji Sheng didn’t expect that even Xie Xuanming would ridicule his poor alcohol intake and said angrily, “I’m not bad at drinking, okay?”

“Xiao Xie has a point.” Sheng Kongzhi agreed with Xie Xuanming’s point of view, “You really need someone to keep an eye on you.”

Su Jing also said reluctantly: “Although I think this thing is unreliable and it is best not to go, but if you insist on going, it is indeed much more reliable for the two of them to go together than to go to the meeting alone.”

Ji Sheng saw that no one supported him and was dumbfounded: “Hey, you guys are really…”

“Four to one.” Xie Xuanming expressionlessly added a knife, “The minority obeys the majority.” ”


Li Tan made the final call: “Then that’s it. I will reply to Zhao Wenhua’s message… and, by the way, tell him about your situation and make him be more responsible and not make things difficult for you…”

“Can it work?” Su Jing questioned, “Isn’t the thing these pussies love to do the most is to flaunt their big little power and make things difficult for people in every way?”

Although Su Jing liked to run his mouth on a daily basis, unfortunately he really had a crow’s beak this time(3).

Zhao Wenhua was indeed a dog who loved to make things difficult for people.

Zhao Wenhua, that guy, was obviously a scumbag. He ordered Ji Sheng and Xie Xuanming around, asked them to sing vulgar songs and then started pouring alcohol into the two of them.

After Ji Sheng had two drinks, Zhao Wenhua set his eyes on Xie Xuanming, pestering and shoving the glass towards him.

Xie Xuanming frowned and didn’t answer or look at Zhao Wenhua.

Zhao Wenhua pressed the glass forward again without backing down: “Do you not give me face?”

The two confronted each other, forming a stalemate.

“Brother Zhao. ” Ji Sheng smirked and took the glass. As he drank, his ears and cheeks turned a little red, but he still shielded Xie Xuanming, “He is not an adult and can’t drink. I will take his place.”

“Not an adult—” Zhao Wenhua sneered, “You are not an adult, but you can go to the bar and play in a band, yet you can’t have a glass of beer… After all, you’re just looking down on me and not giving me face.”

“Not at all.” Ji Sheng smiled faintly but sincerely, “The child is allergic to alcohol, so he really can’t drink… Brother Zhao, if you look at it like this, I’ll make amends by drinking two drinks.”

“Two drinks?” Zhao Wenhua exclaimed in an exaggerated disbelief, “Replacing people is always multiplied. Do you want to buy my face with two drinks? Impossible! I’m not giving you a hard time, but say five drinks and no less, otherwise you really don’t leave Brother Zhao a way out of this embarrassing situation.”

Ji Sheng smiled brightly, cursing this pig-headed dog thing in his heart.

He finally understood how Li Tan got drunk like that every time.

Ji Sheng had already drunk two or three glasses and his head was hazy and muddled.

The alcohol was not pure beer, it had something stronger, like vodka, mixed into it.

Five glasses of it needed to be drunk.

But a minor shouldn’t be forced to try this.

Ji Sheng made up his mind and was about to agree, but another hand stretched out one step ahead of him.

Xie Xuanming took the glass blankly, raised his head and drank it.

“Xie—” Ji Sheng didn’t have time to stop him, so he had to watch his Adam’s apple roll and the flush burn its way from his collarbones to the tips of his ears.

Xie Xuanming clenched the glass tightly and covered his stomach.

The blazing heat was instantaneous, waves of nausea and dizziness hitting his brain non-stop.

He stepped back, was caught by Ji Sheng and broke free again.

“I’m going to the bathroom.” With the last of his strength he raised his hand, showing the empty glass, squeezed out the words and stumbled out of the room.

Xie Xuanming hugged the toilet and retched for a while.

The last two times he was drinking were cocktails with less than twenty percent of alcohol. This was the first time he tried strong liquor and found it very unlikeable and unsuitable.

Xie Xuanming hadn’t eaten dinner; his stomach was empty and the glass of liquor was dangling in it like a ball of fire, making him feel very uncomfortable.

For a few moments, Xie Xuanming felt that he was going to faint. He thought that he really might be a little allergic to alcohol and he thought that he was really useless. He couldn’t stand a glass of beer, making things difficult for Ji Sheng.

Ji Sheng.

Thinking of Ji Sheng, Xie Xuanming sobered a little.

He propped himself up on the toilet and wobbled over to the sink to wash his face.

The young man in the mirror had dishevelled hair, red eyes and a pale complexion.

Xie Xuanming couldn’t recognize himself, and he didn’t bother to dwell on it.

He had to go back to the private room quickly, he didn’t know how Ji Sheng was going to be mistreated while he ran out on his own.

The cold water was splashed on his face two or three times, and the burning feeling was finally suppressed.

Xie Xuanming felt a lot better. He straightened up and walked back quickly. He reached the door and was about to open it when he suddenly heard a burst of laughter inside.

“Don’t say that, this kid looks like this, he is delicate like a girl, makes people itchy looking at him.”

Xie Xuanming’s heart sank. Even before he understood the meaning of the words, he was already kicking the door open furiously.

The scene in the room really made him dumbfounded.

Ji Sheng tilted his head and leaned drowsily against Zhao Wenhua as the man smiled lewdly, his dirty hands about to reach into Ji Sheng’s clothes.

1. Lacking a  whole picture

2. Childhood friends

3. Make an inauspicious remark

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