Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 33

Ji Sheng lay in a daze, feeling a bit of pain in his forehead and suspecting he must have hit something.

His head buzzed and it took a while for him to cope with the pain and prop himself up.

However, when he raised his head and met Xie Xuanming’s cold eyes, the pain was gone.

Replaced by fear.

Worthy of belonging to the movie emperor, even Xie Xuanming’s nostrils had an unparalleled aura of dominance.

Ji Sheng didn’t have time to utter any typical horse’s ass flattering words when Xie Xuanming showed him what a true king’s spirit was.

Xie Xuanming raised his knees and unhesitantly pushed Ji Sheng off.

Ji Sheng hit the door frame; his forehead had not healed yet and now his lower back was severely injured, causing him to unconsciously rub it.

Xie Xuanming stood up. He glanced sideways at the sofa bed standing on all fours, then looked down at Ji Sheng, who was on his back. The corners of his mouth twitched in disgust; he stretched his leg and kicked lightly.

“If you are going to move, just move.”

Ji Sheng had a hard time saying anything; Xie Xuanming’s tone was already extremely unpromising. He didn’t dare to step in the minefield again and got up in one bounce, bearing the pain.

At first Ji Sheng dragged out the decommissioned small couch with difficulty and then began to move the sofa bed.

The reason why difficulties are difficulties is because they exist all the time.

And are invincible.

In the corner between the foot of the bed and the wall, the sofa bed got stuck again. Ji Sheng worked hard for a long time, his temples throbbing violently, but achieved no result at all.

Xie Xuanming coldly watched him display the lower limit of human mobility and spoke coolly, “You can turn it sideways.”

“I… can’t move it.” Ji Sheng gritted his teeth, sweat pouring over his forehead.

Xie Xuanming felt that he had swallowed a couple of dirty words but there was no evidence.

He set off: “Get out of the way.”

Ji Sheng was relieved to be slammed into the wall by a single movement of Xie Xuanming’s hand.

The sofa bed was not very heavy; Xie Xuanming easily turned it over, moved it, turned it back and put it in the original position of the small couch.

Ji Sheng watched from the sidelines, muttering secretly that with this arm strength, no wonder he could hammer people down with one punch…

While Ji Sheng was observing Xie Xuanming, Xie Xuanming was also observing Ji Sheng.

Ji Sheng stood by, unable to stop massaging his arms, looking genuinely exhausted.

“Your arm strength really doesn’t look like a drummer’s,” Xie Xuanming commented coldly.

Ji Sheng stopped kneading: “I pulled a muscle during the performance yesterday.”

“Really.” Xie Xuanming took two steps forward and put his hands on him without any discretion, his palm opening and wrapping around most of Ji Sheng’s arm, pressing against the nerves throbbing under the skin, “Then you really endure it well.”

Ji Sheng got goosebumps all over and shifted unnaturally: “I have good expression control.”

“Oh.” Xie Xuanming let out vaguely; when he let go, his fingers scratched Ji Sheng’s earlobe intentionally or unintentionally.

His expression control was good,

His ears were all red.

After the Double Twelve performance, “Ji Hui” gained a little fame in the circle, which led the Niepan band to take on a lot of jobs.

For the next period of time, Ji Sheng ran commercial performances or music festivals with Niepan.

His solid basic skills and many years of stage experience made every performance amazingly complete, and the repo photos and direct shots released could always arouse the public’s amazement.

The company had the foresight to set up a personal Weibo account for him.

After several performances, Ji Sheng’s Weibo followers that started from zero exceeded the 500,000 mark, and because the company was too poor to buy fans, this number was a real unadulterated one.

At the end of the intensive schedule, during a short period of rest, Ji Sheng received a message from Sheng Kongzhi.

Sheng Kongzhi: [Hello Ji Hui, are you free on Thursday? 】

Sheng Kongzhi: [I want to talk to you about some things. I’m sorry if I disturb you. 】

This contact from Sheng Kongzhi was not unexpected.

Since he added Ji Sheng’s WeChat, he said hello to him every few days. Unfortunately, Ji Sheng’s response was always lukewarm and indifferent. The tone of his responses and his classic emoticons made the top star Sheng Kongzhi as humble as a dog-licking fan of a goddess.

But being a licking dog was all about perseverance, so Sheng Kongzhi was not discouraged and continued to seek out the “goddess’s” attention and even begged for an offline meeting.

Looking at his invitation to meet, Ji Sheng spun a drumstick carelessly. Of course, the licking dog had perseverance, but there was a mad dog perched beside him.

Taking into Xie Xuanming’s bad temper beyond the reach of divine powers, if he knew that his nominal companion was fornicating with his mortal enemy, one couldn’t imagine what kind of fit he was going to have.

Ji Sheng thought about it and wrote “Sorry, my itinerary is full that day” in the message.

However, he hadn’t sent it yet, when Sheng Kongzhi wrote again.

[It’s about Xie Xuanming and a friend of mine. I’ve been thinking about it, but I still think you have the right and the need to know this. 】

The finger that was about to press the send button froze. Ji Sheng clicked ×, deleted the existing content and typed a reply again.

[What time next Thursday? 】

At nine p.m. next Thursday, Ji Sheng opened the door of a private room in a club.

This club was all about the privacy of its guests, and its remote location and the design of double-layer one-way glass made it a common place for artists in the entertainment industry to meet.

When Ji Sheng arrived, Sheng Kongzhi was already waiting in the room. Seeing him come in, Sheng Kongzhi got up and said, “Sorry, I had a trip before, so I could only make an appointment so late.”

“It’s okay.” Ji Sheng pulled the chair, took a seat and said straightforwardly: “What did Senior Sheng want to tell me that I ‘have the right’ to know?” 

Sheng Kongzhi didn’t expect him to cut straight to the point. He paused for a moment, then smiled and said, “Do you want something to drink first? Cocktails here are well made, we can sit and chat slowly.”

“Thank you, no need, I am a little allergic to alcohol. I am also in a hurry to go back.” Ji Sheng said, “The friend mentioned by Senior is Senior Ji Sheng who has passed away, right?”

Sheng Kongzhi’s smile gradually disappeared. He was silent for two seconds, then nodded softly: “Yes.”

“Oh.” Ji Sheng said, “Although it might offend you if I say that, I have heard that that Senior seemed to have… disrespected you…”

“Fake.” Sheng Kongzhi interrupted him quickly, “Those rumours were made up by the media.” 

“Oh.” Ji Sheng’s expression was a little subtle; he apologised, “Sorry for offending you. I heard that your company sent out a press release and a lawyer’s letter. I thought… no one had come out to clarify when Ji Sheng was alive, so I was gullible enough to believe the rumours, I am sorry.”

He was speaking sincerely but it felt as if he plunged a knife into Sheng Kongzhi’s heart.

Why did the rumours intensify?

Because Sheng Kongzhi, the key person to know the truth, chose to be silent.

Ji Sheng looked at Sheng Kongzhi calmly and didn’t look away when he saw some traces of pain and regret on his gentle face.

After a while, Sheng Kongzhi said hoarsely: “It’s okay.”

He continued: “The matter of Ji Sheng… the situation was complicated then. At that time, the company and I wanted to protect him as much as possible, but Xie Xuanming got in the way and messed up the plan, until it eventually turned into this…”

“Oh.” Ji Sheng said, “What did Senior Xie do?” 

“He provoked the relationship between Ji Sheng and me, made Ji Sheng no longer trust me and the company, and then behaved uncontrollably… The company’s public relations therefore couldn’t proceed…”

“Why did Xie Xuanming do this?”

“I don’t know.” Sheng Kongzhi said, “It might be that he wanted to harm Qingchu’s interests, or possibly for personal reasons.” 

“Oh.” Ji Sheng said.

Personal reasons.

Sheng Kongzhi didn’t seem to want to continue on this topic. He rubbed his temples, his expression a little bitter.

“I often think that if I had enough ability to protect him at the time, he probably wouldn’t…” Sheng Kongzhi couldn’t go on. He took a deep breath, “Ji Hui, I don’t want to see the tragedy repeat itself. You are a very good drummer. You need a platform and a space to develop instead of being trapped next to a lunatic every day being his bed companion.”

He looked sincere and his words sounded genuine.

“I know it’s not good to slander others behind their backs, but you must have already discovered when you dealt with Xie Xuanming that Xie Xuanming is not a good choice to rely on. I hope you can think about your future… And due to my personal emotions, if you come to Qingchu and get a good development there, it could also be considered that Qingchu and I had the opportunity to compensate Ji Sheng for his missed chances.”

Sheng Kongzhi kept talking for a while, but Ji Sheng was silent.

That’s a good point.

He thought,

Understate and skip your own responsibility and mistakes, and hypocritically cover up those who can’t speak anymore with a new face.

That’s a good point, ah.

At once, all the pain of his previous life was evoked, spreading like an erosion.

After ten seconds of silence, Ji Sheng spoke:

“Senior Sheng, the dead cannot be compensated. The dust settles at the end of their lives. The act of compensating for the dead is meaningless and hypocritical, and it is even more stupid to try to compensate the dead by doing good to others.”

Ji Sheng glanced at Sheng Kongzhi who suddenly turned pale, got up and said softly: “However, you don’t really mean to compensate, you just want to reduce your guilt.”

After that, he left the embarrassed Sheng Kongzhi, turned and left the room.

There was no taxi at the entrance of the club, but there was a special car to take guests back.

The waiter skillfully pulled the door open for Ji Sheng; Ji Sheng bowed and got into a car.

“Where is Mister going?” The driver asked.

Ji Sheng gripped the handle and wouldn’t let go, the veins on the back of his hand swelling up.

His other hand covered his stomach and his fingers scrunched and crumpled his shirt.

Fighting back the bone-chilling nausea and pain, Ji Sheng muttered to himself, “Give me a break.”

Meeting an old acquaintance was not as smooth and breezy as he had imagined. It took Ji Sheng a while to calm down and realise that his mobile phone had been vibrating, and there were two missed calls on the screen.

He fumbled in the dark, and his trembling fingers slipped on the screen three or two times before he turned it on.

“Hello.” He said dryly.

There was heavy breathing on the other end of the phone, but no one answered.

Ji Sheng, with some renewed energy, took the phone away from his ear, looked at the name on the screen, froze, put it back to his ear and spoke hesitantly, “Xie Xuanming… Senior?”

Still, there was only silence and the sound of breathing.

“Can I help you?”

“Come to me.” Xie Xuanming finally spoke, his voice hoarse and inarticulate.

“I’ll give you the address, be here within fifteen minutes.”

Ji Sheng hung up the phone uncertainly and saw the address sent.

He was stunned.

It was a cemetery.

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9 thoughts on “Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 33

  1. Player Ji Sheng:

    # Achievement unlocked: Weibo account reached 500,000+ followers (+ reputation) #

    [Quest completed!] Meet up with Sheng Kongzhi
    + Qingchu signing offer obtained

    [New quest!] Meet up with Xie Xuanming
    Reward: ???

  2. I do think the one that didn’t respect the dead was Sheng Kongzi.
    As if helping Ji Hui gonna help Ji Sheng. I even doubt the help was sincere. Maybe he just wanna make our Xiao Xie mad.
    Ah, the next scene…

  3. Goddangit! I was hoping for some fluff the next chapter only to get poor Ji Sheng ragdolled by Xie Xuanming. Lmao

    And then just a few paragraphs later, we got fluff again. 😂

    I call this a toxic relationship between us, author! Why are you hurting me and then comforting me in the next moment?!

    Shoot, I’m probably a masochist or something. I’m liking this push and pull. 🤣

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