Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 60

Ji Sheng’s pupils dilated, an almost empty whiskey glass reflected in his astonished eyes. In the transparent glass, a shallow layer of light golden liquid swayed gently.

The golden liquid stopped moving, and Ji Sheng finally reacted.

He gave Xie Xuanming a sharp push with his shoulder and freed up his neck.

“Is this a part of the script?” Ignoring the fact that the scene was still being shot, Ji Sheng asked absurdly.

Xie Xuanming didn’t say anything. He raised his head, stared at Ji Sheng for a while, and then suddenly leaned in quickly.

Ji Sheng didn’t expect Xie Xuanming to dare to commit another crime. He twisted his head to avoid the frontal attack, but the corner of his lips was still brushed with a soft touch of mint and alcohol.

After being attacked for the second time, Ji Sheng was completely enraged. He pushed the assailant away fiercely, stood up abruptly, and roared: “Xie Xuanming!”

The stool rubbed against the floor with a tooth-aching sound, and the glasses on the table also clinked and shook. The other actors stopped filming and peered over curiously.

Ji Sheng wiped his lips but quickly realized that this action made him look like a delicate lady.

Putting his hand down in annoyance, Ji Sheng looked at Xie Xuanming, who was slumped over and not yet sitting up straight, and asked, “What do you mean?”

Xie Xuanming was a little drunk, and his movements were obviously clumsy. He slowly sat upright, holding the edge of the table, still with his eyes downcast and not saying a word.

Ji Sheng was even more angry seeing this. He recalled Xie Xuanming’s blurred eyes before the man had made his move on him, and with some realisation, stepped forward and grabbed his collar, shouting angrily, “Open your eyes and see clearly, I am not your hapless white moonlight!”

Ji Sheng was so close that Xie Xuanming had to squint to see him clearly.

He looked at him for a moment and smiled, laughing to himself, “Actually, there is no difference.”

“You!” Ji Sheng was even more furious, the smell of alcohol was making his mind feverish and he couldn’t calm down anymore. He threw Xie Xuanming off hard and said in a cold voice, “Is this what you had in mind when you brought me to the set?”

“Not really.” Xie Xuanming said softly.

After two seconds of silence, he added, “Sort of.”

Ji Sheng was quiet.

After a long silence, Xie Xuanming heard him whisper, “Xie Xuanming, I really did consider you a friend.”

“Thank you.” Xie Xuanming closed his eyes and said softly and very clearly, “It’s a pity that I’m not.” 

He closed his eyes, hearing footsteps going away, and when he opened them again, Ji Sheng had already left.

Ji Sheng was so angry that he ran back to the dormitory, forgetting all about Sheng Kongzhi’s reminder.

When Ji Sheng entered, he heard the sound of the shutter clicking not far away. He didn’t bother and slammed the door shut.

There was so much negative news, it didn’t matter if there was one more.

Compared to this, Xie Xuanming’s attitude made Ji Sheng feel even more chilling.

He regarded Xie Xuanming as a younger brother and a friend, he was treating him sincerely. But what did Xie Xuanming regard him as?

Ji Sheng lay in bed, angry and sad, until he came to a conclusion.

A substitute.

From the moment they first met and he gave him Rolex, to the day they got drunk and he forced a kiss, to today…

Xie Xuanming’s attitude made Ji Sheng speechless.

He had always felt that Xie Xuanming’s feelings for himself were special; he was always more dependent on him than on others. Ji Sheng used to think that it was a baby bird complex, but now he realised that it was just an imitation effect.

Ji Sheng was angry, and perhaps a little more hurt than he wanted to admit.

He patted himself on the head to stop thinking about it, then rolled over and lay on his side, closing his eyes.

In the following days, Xie Xuanming sent messages to apologise, and Ji Sheng ignored them at first, but later replied in a perfunctory manner. The awkward relationship between the two seemed to have eased, but everyone knew that once a gap was created, it would be difficult to close it.

Ji Sheng didn’t have time to worry about that unwarranted conflict right now, as he was preoccupied with another matter.

Sheng Kongzhi was announced as the first male lead of the web drama and would be undergoing closed training to study acting.

This was originally a good thing, but it caused another fan war to start.

Sheng Kongzhi’s fans taunted Ji Sheng with the resources they had in hand, while Ji Sheng’s fans bit back at Sheng Kongzhi for picking up the leftovers. The two fan families tore each other apart, and even though the company tried to calm them down several times and the two protagonists made posts to discourage them, the battle continued.

When the fighting was about to spread offline, a Weibo with the avatar of “Sheng” written inside the moon suddenly uploaded a photo.

In the photo, Ji Sheng, Sheng Kongzhi and Xie Xuanming were eating, sitting at a round table. When they saw someone taking the picture, they smiled and showed “V” signs to the camera.

That was Ji Yueming’s Weibo.

During the “Music First” competition, Ji Yueming helped Ji Sheng in campaigning for votes on Weibo. Through the many photos of Ji Sheng as a child in her Weibo photo album, many fans knew her true identity.

At this moment, Ji Sheng’s mother spoke out.

The photo of Xie Xuanming, Ji Sheng and Sheng Kongzhi sitting at the table together to eat sent out at this moment was tantamount to setting off fireworks in the centre of a world war.

The fans of Sheng Kongzhi and Ji Sheng were confused, and Xie Xuanming’s fans who had been lurking for a long time also silently showed their heads and surrounded the battlefield.

It was naturally impossible for Ji Sheng’s fans to attack Ji Sheng’s mother. There was no major contradiction between Xie Xuanming’s fan family and Ji Sheng at this moment, so there was no need to scold.

But Sheng Kongzhi’s fans were more aggrieved.

They were insulting each other with Ji Sheng’s fans here, and suddenly found that their idol happily ran to someone else’s house for dinner.

It was meant to be a fight, and suddenly there was no sense in it.

Sheng Kongzhi’s fans were dumbfounded, but the fire in their hearts was not extinguished. They couldn’t fire externally, so they could only choose to shoot internally. For a while, the angry fans even had a tendency to turn into anti-fans, writing small essays in the super topic, accusing Sheng Kongzhi of “collaborating with the enemy”, “disrespecting his fans”, “disrespecting his idol status” and “behaving out of character”…

Ji Sheng’s fans felt more comfortable and ran to the other party’s super topic every day to watch the joke, not above adding a few words of taunting and igniting a new war.

In this way, new contradictions emerged again.

Li Tan was worried all day long, not knowing what to do with these fans.

After all, they were the artists of the same company; with the fans so hostile, wouldn’t that make other companies laugh? 

When Sheng Kongzhi went to the closed group for training, there was no way to contact him, so Li Tan could only approach Ji Sheng and ask him to find a way to suppress the flames of war.

Ji Sheng was also speechless. If he could persuade his fans, he would have done it a long time ago. Basically, it was like spilling salt into the sea, all for nothing.

He rubbed his head and thought for a while, then came up with an unconventional method.

Although Xie Xuanming sometimes liked to do things recklessly, before being reckless, there was one thing he was really right about —— to cover up a hot search, the best way was to use another hot search.

While other people’s fans were beyond Ji Sheng’s control, Ji Sheng was still able to create hot news to divert attention of his own  fans.

Ji Sheng did what he said and called his assistant: “Xiao Wang, have you posted all the materials you took before, the videos?”

Xiao Wang rattled a few words.

After listening, Ji Sheng said, “Okay then, you can pick and choose and post them.”

“Good Brother Ji! Which one to post?”

“Just post the one you think will increase the number of fans the most.” Ji Sheng replied, rubbing his brow.

“Hey? Brother Ji, didn’t you think it was too vulgar before and didn’t let me post it…”

“Post it.” Ji Sheng said helplessly, “Now I’m letting you post it.”

“Okay, brother.”

That night, the account of Ji Sheng’s assistant posted a video. In the video, Ji Sheng was playing drums with his upper body naked, his smooth muscle lines tightening and relaxing with every movement, the combination of strength and beauty amazing.

As soon as this video appeared, Ji Sheng’s fans instantly withdrew from the battlefield of the fan war.

No one cared about what stupid jokes the other party’s fans were playing; Ji Sheng’s fans were too busy turning into screaming chicken under the video.

Sheng Kongzhi’s fans were so angry that their teeth itched. Although the opponent retreated without a fight, they were the ones who lost the momentum.

Unwilling to be reconciled, they posted under the video, tagging Ji Yueming, with the words ”Take care of your son’s hair.”

But Ji Yueming didn’t shy away from reposting it generously, and even tagged the ID of the fan who was looking for trouble.

[My son is in a good shape, why, do you live in the Qing dynasty?](1)

As soon as this sentence came out, it immediately became a meme in Ji Sheng’s fan circle. They repeated it under all the weird fake account posts, generally replying [My baby/idol/husband/wife is in a good shape, why, do you live in the Qing dynasty?]. The fans of Sheng Kongzhi jumped in anger, but could do nothing about it.

In the bedroom, the sisheng fan held her mobile phone and looked at Ji Yueming’s golden words under the provocative Weibo post that she had posted. She screamed in anger and threw the mobile phone on the quilt with a muffled sound.

“This woman.” The sisheng gritted her teeth, “Worthy of being that stupid mother of Ji Sheng, she acts and behaves just as bitchy as her son.”

She was so angry that she beat the bed a few more times, her face grimacing as she found a photo in Ji Yueming’s album and frantically sent it to an anonymous number.

[About Ji Sheng, you said you can’t do it, what about this woman]

[This woman, I don’t want to see her again]

Ji Yueming rode back slowly in the rain on a small electric bike.

This was the fourth rainy day of the week. It was probably the rainy season and it rained continuously, the rain dripping and pounding on the ground. The humid and sultry weather always made people feel that something bad was about to happen.

Ji Yueming stopped at the red light and carefully checked whether the fruit she bought that was hanging on the handle of the bike was sealed.

Because of the rain, Ji Yueming rode very carefully, bypassing many potholes along the way. But even so, her shoes were still mostly wet.

The fruit was sealed and there was no water in the bag. Ji Yueming shook the drops of water from her raincoat with satisfaction and looked up at the traffic lights.

The green light was on, and Ji Yueming moved.

It was getting late and there were no people on the road. Seeing that there were no cars around, Ji Yueming increased her speed confidently.

When she reached the middle of the road, a van suddenly rushed from behind the corner and crashed into her at a very high speed.

Ji Yueming was almost blinded by the headlights of the van. She wanted to brake…

But it was too late.

With a muffled ”boom”, Ji Yueming felt her body become weightless.

She flew out like a kite with a broken string and landed heavily on the ground.

The little electric bike lost its rider and slid a long way under the heavy blow. The plastic bag on the handle was torn apart and a few apples fell out, rolling on the wet ground.

One of the apples rolled to Ji Yueming’s side, hit her body and stopped slowly.

It came to rest in a pool of blood.

1. A specifically male hairstyle worn by the Manchu from central Manchuria was the queue (the hair on the front of the head was shaved off every ten days and the remainder of the hair was braided into a long braid). During the Qing dynasty it was imposed on the Han Chinese. So, the interaction is kinda like this: the fan says Ji Sheng’s hair is a mess, and Ji Yueming says “are you from the Qing dynasty, do you want everyone to go half-bald”. 

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