Ji Sheng sat outside the operating room with his head down and his hands clasped tightly.
He received the news of Ji Yueming’s accident during the recording of the show, rushed to the hospital to sign some papers and sat on the bench without moving again.
The phone in his pocket vibrated from time to time. He didn’t know whose messages it was.
It could be his assistant, Sheng Kongzhi, Li Tan…
Ji Sheng couldn’t be bothered to check; all his attention was on the red light above the operating room that said “in surgery”.
He didn’t know how long it took, but the red light finally turned green.
Ji Sheng stood up abruptly; the operating room door opened, and the doctor walked out.
Ji Sheng quickly took two steps forward; his lips moved, and he asked timidly, “Doctor…”
“The surgery went well.” After many years of practice, the doctor understood the mood of the patients’ families very well. He succinctly mentioned the key point, “The patient is out of danger.”
Ji Sheng’s body slumped a little; his tight nerves suddenly relaxed, bringing a throbbing pain to his temples. His dry eyes blinked and he said in a hoarse voice, “Thank you.”
“No need.” The doctor handed him the documents, “The patient has suffered a head blow, there is a possibility of concussion. Several tests need to be done afterwards… You go to the ground floor and pay first.”
Ji Sheng hurriedly took the documents, glanced at the list, raised his head and asked, “Doctor, can I ask about how much it will cost?”
The doctor quoted a number and Ji Sheng froze for a second, swallowing with difficulty, his eyes red, “I don’t have that much money… right now.”
Ji Sheng was telling the truth. The settlement date was at the end of the year. Now it was not the middle of the year yet; he had received very few payments that were not enough to support large expenditures.
“You don’t need to pay the money in one lump sum. You first pay for the surgery, tests and medicines. The amount I’ve mentioned includes the cost of follow-up hospitalisation for recuperation, there is no rush to pay…” The doctor said, quoting another slightly smaller amount.
“Just pay that much first.”
The doctor had other work to do and couldn’t stay long. He said a few more words to Ji Sheng and left in a hurry.
Ji Sheng stood still, holding the documents. Then he checked the balances of his few cards, looked at Alipay and WeChat, finally helplessly realising that even with the reduced fees, there was still a considerable deficit.
The hospital was not a charity enterprise; without paying the money, the next tests could not be done.
Ji Sheng went down to the ground floor, settled the payment for the surgery first, then relied on his credit cards to gather the money for a few tests, and walked to the corner to sit down.
Ji Sheng scanned the message box and hesitantly sent messages to Sheng Kongzhi and Li Tan.
He sent Li Tan [Brother Tan, can the settlement be paid in advance?]
Sent to Sheng Kongzhi [Do you have any spare money in hand?]
Li Tan learned about Ji Yueming’s car accident a few hours ago when Ji Sheng suddenly left the recording site. He called to ask about the situation, and immediately went to tell the public relations department to work overtime to pay attention to the state of public opinion. It could be said that he was very concerned about this matter. But when Ji Sheng sent a message, he was silent for a long time before replying.
Li Tan [Is it convenient to answer the phone?]
After receiving a positive reply, Li Tan called.
“Xiao Sheng, is your mother better?”
“Out of danger.” Ji Sheng said, “But there are still tests to be done and the amount is rather large. I don’t have that much money in hand, so I want to apply for early settlement.”
Li Tan was silent for a while.
“Xiao Sheng, there is this thing…” Li Tan said, his words heavy, and Ji Sheng’s heart sank, “You also know that Qingchu is moving… The finances are a bit overstretched, and the money has been invested in the construction of the new office. Large amounts are unlikely to be available before the next settlement from Hemei Entertainment…”
He provided a long list of explanations and Ji Sheng listened in silence until the end: “So if I apply for an early settlement now, how much can you give at most?”
“Wait a minute.” Li Tan said, “Let me see.”
Ji Sheng waited for a while until Li Tan quoted an amount that was more like half of the full medical bill.
After Li Tan finished speaking, he hesitated and asked, “Is it not enough?”
Ji Sheng’s silence answered everything.
Li Tan went silent again. After ten seconds, he sighed and said, “Xiao Sheng, I really can’t get the money out for the time being, but if you are really short of money, I still have a solution…”
“Do you remember that Hemei mentioned having a personal meet and greet before?”
Ji Sheng remembered that after the first Loptr tour, Hemei Entertainment did discuss with the companies that if the members were interested, they could have their own personal meet and greet.
However, due to the tight schedule and a low cut, coupled with a bunch of magical trolling actions by Hemei Entertainment, no members were willing to sign up for a solo tour in the end.
Ji Sheng also refused before. He was a drummer and didn’t think he had the strength to hold up the whole show.
Li Tan was still talking: “Although it is a rotten split of 90/10… but if you are interested, I can ask Hemei…”
Ji Sheng lowered his eyes, glanced at the medical documents clenched in his hand and said, “Okay.”
“Then I’ll have someone contact Hemei, ah. We should be able to negotiate it soon. I’ll ask them to advance the performance fee…”
Ji Sheng listened quietly and said, “Good.”
More than half an hour had passed during his conversation with Li Tan. When Ji Sheng looked down, Sheng Kongzhi’s messages were all over the screen.
Sheng Kongzhi [What’s the matter?]
Sheng Kongzhi [I heard that Auntie had an accident, what’s the situation now?]
Sheng Kongzhi [Is there enough money to pay for it? Can you pay for it? Do you want me to come over? ]
Sheng Kongzhi [Transfer 10,000]
Ji Sheng didn’t accept it, moved his finger, and replied in a few words.
Ji Sheng [The situation is stable, there is no need to come over.]
Ji Sheng [I have a solution for the money, don’t worry, thank you]
After he replied, Sheng Kongzhi responded with a bunch of messages, but Ji Sheng really didn’t have the heart to read them. Li Tan quickly sent the money that could be paid. Ji Sheng got up and paid for the tests. He sat down on a chair with his face covered for two minutes and went back upstairs to see how Ji Yueming was doing.
Hemei Entertainment was not in the least bit ambiguous when it came to making money. As soon as Qingchu’s idea came up, Hemei replied quickly and sent the contract to Ji Sheng almost the next day.
Ji Sheng took a glance at the contract and was not surprised to see that his share had been lowered compared to the previous conditions, and that there was a staggering number of restrictions of all kinds.
A typical bullying contract.
But Ji Sheng had no choice but to sign his name on the last page.
A few days later, Hemei Entertainment announced Ji Sheng’s solo tour. Once the announcement was made, Ji Sheng’s fans were excited for a while, and then realized that something was wrong. After that, both fans and the black fans who were fishing in muddy waters began to ask various questions in the comment section.
[A meet and greet at 3 a.m.? Is this a meeting in the netherworld?]
[Good guy, this is determined to make fans go bald]
[No way, the official announcement is today, the tickets will be sold tomorrow and the tour will be next week. What are you doing? It’s too fast!]
[2000 VIP tickets, this is too shady… someone is intent on cutting the leeks(1), ah!]
[How can this be called cutting the leeks (funny), it’s clearly a gift from their brother, ah!]
[Hehe, another one who has fallen for the money, the road turned black]
The news of the tour unsurprisingly attracted marketing accounts and since this tour was so outrageous, the marketing accounts didn’t even need to add fuel to the fire to put the topic on the hot search.
#Ji Sheng Solo Tour#
In the topic, fans were wailing about the ticket prices and black fans and passers-by were taunting.
Hemei Entertainment did not do any PR about this hot search and was even happy with its appearance.
All they cared about was how well the tickets sold and how much money they could collect, and this kind of free advertising-like stuff simply made the publicity department overjoyed.
Despite wailing, the fans still planned to rush to that solo tour, and there were not a few fans aiming for VIP tickets.
In Ji Sheng’s fan supertopic, there were even posts from students asking if they should have saved money to attend the tour.
Ji Sheng scanned the posts, paused, and then silently posted on his Weibo.
[Spend wisely, students should not skip classes to come to the meet and greet, VIP tickets are just an early entry, going to queue in advance has the same effect, don’t spend money in vain]
He also reposted an article that taught touring geeks how to avoid getting cut off in a livehouse tour.
The character at the centre of the storm suddenly spoke out; the black fans froze for two seconds and then began to snipe again.
[Top poker player of modern times – selling overpriced tickets and advising to spend wisely]
[Laughing, Ji Lao’Er is a two-sided wool puller, ah!]
[Is it okay to post this? If you don’t cooperate with ticket sales, you will be torn apart by Hemei Entertainment, right?]
Hemei Entertainment was indeed disturbed. Promoting rational consumption on the eve of ticket sales, wasn’t it obviously a low blow?
They hurriedly contacted Ji Sheng and tried to get him to delete the post.
Their messages achieved no result.
Ji Sheng replied to all Hemei staff who came to complain [The contract does not stipulate that Weibo posts cannot be posted] and ignored them.
But the messages kept coming; Ji Sheng got tired of them and blacklisted the numbers one by one. After he finally cleaned up, he fell on the bed and lay like a corpse.
Ji Sheng was in the hospital last night until the morning and only returned home at noon, his body and mind exhausted.
He lay there from the afternoon to the evening, until the dark clouds gathered outside and the muffled thunder started exploding in the sky from time to time without waking him up.
Ji Sheng was awakened by the vibration of his mobile phone.
He turned over and unlocked the screen in a daze, instinctively ready to blacklist the number, but stopped in the mid-movement when he saw the name.
Xie Xuanming [Transfer 50,000]
How did Xie Xuanming know?
Ji Sheng froze.
For fear of being harassed by black fans and for the sake of the police investigation, Qingchu clearly blocked the news of Ji Yueming’s accident.
Ji Sheng was still confused when Xie Xuan Ming sent another message.
Xie Xuanming [If it’s not enough, I have some more, so I can transfer it.]
Ji Sheng held up his mobile phone, the light making him squint.
He tapped his finger on the screen a few times and replied.
Xie Xuanming returned a few more sentences, to the effect that Ji Sheng shouldn’t be polite, and mentioned the hot search…
Ji Sheng was so tired that he couldn’t stop his eyelids from drooping, unable to read a couple of lines.
The thunder rang for a long time, and the rain finally came down. Ji Sheng rolled over and heard the hustle and bustle of the people outside rushing into the buildings to shelter from the rain.
The thunder rang again, and the phone vibrated.
Xie Xuanming [Are you still there?]
Ji Sheng woke up a little bit and was going to send him a proper goodbye.
With the next sentence, Ji Sheng woke up completely.
Xie Xuanming [I’m downstairs]
Ji Sheng was stunned for a second, then sat up abruptly, struggling to move to the window.
The curtains were drawn, and the wind blew in with the rain through the opened window.
The phone vibrated again; Ji Sheng pulled the curtains open to look down, and saw Xie Xuanming.
Xie Xuanming [I don’t have an umbrella, can I come in to get out of the rain]
He was standing in the rain, his mobile phone illuminating a small patch of drizzling rain.
Xie Xuanming looked up at Ji Sheng, his hair dripping with water, his meek eyes staring up through the rain.
He looked like a poor wet puppy.
The author has something to say:
Xiao Xie, you are really good at it…
Xiao Ji… I hate you for being a piece of wood
1. A metaphor for those in a superior position exploiting those in a disadvantaged position