At the end of the performance, the hoisted platform with the drums slowly landed. The glass panel firmly set on the stage again but Ji Sheng was still sitting motionless on the drum chair.
“Xiao Hui?” Lu Haoren waited for a long time and, still not seeing him to come forward for the curtain call, turned back to remind him.
Only then did Ji Sheng bend over and put down his drumsticks. His hands were slightly trembling and the quivering tips of the drumsticks struck the glass panel with a discordant noise.
He got up holding onto the drum kit and braced himself to walk to the front, then bowed with the rest of the Niepan members and walked off the stage.
Once backstage, the keyboardist bounced around with his arms akimbo and his head turning wildly.
“That was an unbeatable performance just now!” He shouted excitedly, “We’re definitely number one this time!”
“Keep your voice down.” Lu Haoren discouraged him as he turned to look at Ji Sheng. Just now on stage, the members were all into the performance and the drummer was positioned in the back, so Ji Sheng went up and down without being noticed by the Niepan members. Only Lu Haoren, the lead singer, turned around during the free play period and was shocked to see Ji Sheng floating up under the ceiling together with the drums.
There was no such stage design during the rehearsal.
Lu Haoren asked Ji Sheng in wonder: “Why did you suddenly rise up just now? When did you discuss it with the program team…”
Before he could finish his sentence, he saw Ji Sheng go down. Ji Sheng’s legs went weak; he grabbed the chair and knelt down, hugging the seat of the chair and coughing a few times, dry-heaving.
“What’s the matter?!”
“Are you okay?”
The shocked member of Niepan quickly surrounded him.
Huang Sizhe took a few steps forward and squatted down, saying anxiously, “Ji Hui! How are you? What happened?”
He tried to help Ji Sheng and see what was going on, but his hand was grabbed and then he was picked up and tossed aside by the back of his collar.
Huang Sizhe staggered a few steps, stood up and fixed his eyes on Xie Xuanming.
Xie Xuanming pushed Huang Sizhe aside with a natural movement and squatted down beside Ji Sheng.
“Xie—” Huang Sizhe’s face alternately turned white and purple. As soon as he started roaring, he was held back by the other members who covered his mouth.
Just kidding; if this child didn’t want a future, Niepan still wanted a bassist.
Although it was not the first time he had contradicted Emperor Xie.
Xie Xuanming looked at Ji Sheng, saw his pale face, frowned, reached out and patted his back firmly, helping him calm down his breath.
“Deserting, huh!” Huang Sizhe snapped, breaking free from the restraints of the other members, “There’s still one group left, and Teacher Xie is coming off the stage? Isn’t this a dereliction of duty?”
Xie Xuanming ignored him, looking at Ji Sheng alone, and said, “Bring me a glass of water.”
The band members looked at each other, wondering who Xie Xuanming was talking to. Huang Sizhe was very upset: “Why listen to you!”
“Ji Hui needs some water.” Xie Xuanming’s tone was impatient, “Otherwise you’ll just stand here and he’ll be fine?”
Huang Sizhe choked, stood still for two seconds, gritted his teeth and turned to find water.
Huang Sizhe was quick to bring water, and when he came back, he brought a staff member with him.
“Here.” He handed the water to Ji Sheng.
“Thank you.” Ji Sheng said hoarsely, barely raising his head.
Ji Sheng reached and was about to pick up the cup, but was intercepted by Xie Xuanming.
His hand froze in the air and hung weakly for a second. Ji Sheng looked at Xie Xuanming, his tired eyes barely sending out a “?”
“You will splash it all over yourself.” Xie Xuanming said, “It’s a wonder you stuck around to finish the song.”
Only then did Ji Sheng realise that his hand was shaking badly and he wouldn’t be able to hold the cup steadily.
Before he said something, Xie Xuanming had already brought the cup to his lips. Ji Sheng could only open his mouth and take small sips of water.
His body was also shaking badly, and the water got into his nose several times, making him cough. Xie Xuanming simply held the back of his neck and fed the water to him as if feeding medicine to a cat or soup to a child.
Huang Sizhe watched the two of them anxiously, and when the paper cup was empty, he pointed to the staff: “He is looking for you for something.”
“Me?” Ji Sheng swallowed the last sip of water and asked, raising his head.
Everyone turned their eyes to the staff.
The staff member was just an ordinary part-time worker. He was shocked when he accidentally caught a glimpse of the intimate movements of the actor and the contestant. After watching it for a long time, he forgot about the message he had to pass. Now that he was stared at by everyone, he felt goosebumps and remembered the purpose of coming here.
“There is a live broadcast, and each band will have a representative…” The staff said, “The representative of Niepan is Ji Hui.”
The live broadcast after the performance could be regarded as inheriting the tradition of the previous season…
Ji Sheng couldn’t help glancing at Xie Xuanming and found that he was looking at him intently.
As soon as their eyes met, Ji Sheng quickly lowered his head and avoided his gaze.
Lu Haoren took a step forward and asked, “Can someone else go? As you can see, our teammate is not feeling well.”
“Probably not…” The staff member said embarrassedly, “It is planned to be Ji Hui.”
“Who planned it?” Huang Sizhe’s face was black, his displeasure clearly written on it.
“I don’t know.” The staff were about to cry, “I’m just a messenger…”
Huang Sizhe shut up.
They were all people who had no right to speak, so there was no need to embarrass each other.
So his gaze returned to the only person present who had the right to speak.
Under everyone’s gaze, Xie Xuanming turned away from the trembling staff, looked down and asked, “Can you?”
Ji Sheng coughed and whispered, “No problem.”
“Don’t go if you feel uncomfortable.” Xie Xuanming straightened up, stretched out his hand and said, “Whatever it is, I’m on your side.”
“En.” Ji Sheng grabbed his hand.
Xie Xuanming lifted him up with some force, and Lu Haoren stepped forward and made a sign of taking over.
Xie Xuanming did not withdraw his hand and turned his eyes to look at him.
He was considerably taller than Lu Haoren, looking definitely oppressive when he stared down at him.
“Teacher Xie.” The matter of snatching someone from the hands of a movie emperor was so scary that Lu Haoren’s legs weakened, but he still insisted on finishing his comment, “In front of the camera, it’s better for the mentor and the contestant to keep their distance… or else Xiao Hui will be scolded.”
Xie Xuanming looked at him for a moment longer, sending chills down his spine before withdrawing his gaze.
He let go; Ji Sheng swayed and Lu Haoren hurriedly stepped forward to help him regain the balance, whispering, “Let’s go.”
When they came to the live broadcast room, all the members of Niepan were stopped outside and Ji Sheng was the only one who could enter.
He sat down on the chair in the live broadcast room and glanced around.
The second season of “Music First” was filmed at the same location as the previous season, and even the venue for the live broadcast had not changed. Ji Sheng looked at the familiar furnishings with a feeling of isolation.
It was indeed a different world.
He couldn’t help looking at a certain corner, which was empty, and then at his side, which was also empty.
His gaze drifted out of the room, to the place where the man who once had been sitting side by side with him stood with his arms crossed, the cold aura emanating from his body silencing the staff around.
Naturally, no one dared to stop Xie Xuanming.
“Ji Hui… Contestant Ji Hui?” The host’s voice brought him back to reality, “Are you listening?”
“Ah, en.” Ji Sheng replied, looking away.
“Let’s take a look at the comments.” The host followed the procedure dutifully and handed over the tablet, “The comments were all sent by the audience on the spot. We have screened them and there will be no spoilers involved.”
Ji Sheng took the tablet, gently rubbing his stomach and quietly suppressing the nausea, then looked down at the screen once his eyes were clearer.
He scanned the comments quickly.
Probably after learning the lesson of “Middle Finger-gate” of the first season, the program did not dare to deliberately select negative comments to test the mentality of the contestants, for fear of a disagreement with another strong character. With its previous record, KUZI was not sure they could gain an edge in online opinion.
As a result, the comments selected for the contestants in the second season were not one or two, but a large number, floating over the screen densely like a barrage.
Ji Sheng glanced over; most of them were compliments, and occasionally one or two questions or critical remarks.
Quite a real comment section.
It’s a pity….
Ji Sheng tapped his finger twice on the screen and couldn’t resist glancing outside the room again.
Do you want me to say it? Will it be too shameless?
Xie Xuanming stood in the corner of the equipment area and nodded imperceptibly.
Ji Sheng’s heart suddenly settled down.
Someone was backing him up.
He lowered his head and selected the piece of criticism he had just seen.
[Why is the drummer’s expression so ugly during the performance? The close-ups show either a frown or a black face. Don’t artists do expression management now? The business ability is too poor, right?】
Ji Sheng read out this theoritizing on his character and raised his head: “First of all, I would like to apologise to the audience. I am really sorry for not being able to show my best state and provide the best viewing experience during the performance.”
He stood up, bowed slightly, and straightened up with a bit of sharpness in his eyes: “However, I also hope that the program team can apologise to me and my band.”
The face of the person in charge outside suddenly changed. The painful lessons of the previous season made the staff extremely sensitive, to the point where they were afraid of snakes and scorpions.
He whispered to the person beside him: “Cut it off…”
“Don’t cut it.” A cold voice interrupted him. Xie Xuanming’s tone was indisputable, “Let him finish.”
“Teacher Xie…” The person in charge wanted to cry without tears, “This…”
Xie Xuanming ignored him and looked back at the live broadcast room.
“The program team did not inform me about the stage design for today’s performance.”
Ji Sheng’s back was straight, and he was talking without humbleness, “I understand that the show wants to give the audience better visual effects or create surprises. But the fact is that such a “surprise’ will only scare the musicians, making it impossible for them to perform with peace of mind and greatly diminishing the performance effect. My out-of-control expression management is empirical evidence.
“The design of lift-off, not to mention the question whether safety can be guaranteed, first of all ignores the mental state of the contestants. Today I was lucky enough to complete the performance smoothly. In case it was a contestant with a fear of heights or other psychological disorders, can the program guarantee their performance and even personal safety?”
The microphone spread Ji Sheng’s words clearly and sent them to every electronic device of the live broadcast audience.
The person in charge slumped down unsteadily. The scale of the show was too large for him to control all of it. Who knew that the group of people in the stage design team could actually come up with such a stealthy operation as suddenly lifting the contestants into the air.
The previous season insulted the personality of the contestants, and this season directly advanced to threatening the safety of the contestants.
The person in charge abruptly had an idea of resigning.
The generous amount written in the contract eventually prevented him from dropping the ball and leaving.
“Turn off the live broadcast…” He waved his hand solemnly, very helpless, “Then prepare the public relations, let the props team take responsibility, and find out what idiot caused this kind of shit.”
The live broadcast was cut off. Ji Sheng got up indifferently; he had already said what he needed to say.
He left the host at a loss and walked up to Xie Xuanming.
“That’s quite a good point.” Xie Xuanming’s expression was bland.
“Thank you, I need to go to the bathroom.” Ji Sheng whispered, “I have to wash my face… maybe I have to vomit.”
Ji Sheng stood alone in front of the sink and poured cold water on his face.
He refused the offer of the Niepan members to accompany him.
But he couldn’t refuse Xie Xuanming.
“I’m waiting for you outside.”
A few minutes ago, when Xie Xuanming said that flatly, Ji Sheng’s words “You go first” stuck in his throat and he finally swallowed them.
Ji Sheng sighed and poured two more handfuls of water on his face.
How to explain…
Xie Xuanming knew that “Ji Sheng” was afraid of heights.
Would he believe it if he said he had a bad stomach?…
But then again, he was chosen for the live broadcast because of his fear of heights… He should have known better than to anger the show.
Was it really worth it to drop his alias for the sake of venting?
Ji Sheng sighed, and simply stuffed his whole head under the faucet.
Under the cold water, Ji Sheng’s ears suddenly caught the sound outside the door.
“What are you doing here?”
“Is he in there?!”
“It has nothing to do with you, get out.”
“I don’t want to quarrel with you, let me in…”
Startled, Ji Sheng straightened up.
There was some argument that ended in shoving and fighting.
The sound of heavy objects hitting, and someone was thrown against the door panel.
Ji Sheng hesitated to go out, trying to figure out the situation, but bumped into the person who rushed in.
“Sheng Kongzhi… Teacher?” Ji Sheng stared intently, saying in amazement, “Why are you here?”
Sheng Kongzhi’s face was bruised but his eyes lit up with chilling excitement the moment he saw Ji Sheng.
“Ji Sheng!” He shouted, ecstatic, pulling Ji Sheng into his arms.
The author has something to say：
Xiao Ji, baby, if Xiao Xie hadn’t spoiled you, you would have fallen off the horse a long time ago.
One thought on “Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 50”
F*ck the program 😖