“Oh…” Ji Sheng was at a loss under his gaze for a moment, then looked away and smiled hastily, “Then you are… quite a character.”
Xie Xuanming still stared at him, noncommittal.
“Xiao Hui!” The keyboardist shouted, waving his hand, rescuing Ji Sheng from being overwhelmed, “Come here.”
“Oh, coming.” Ji Sheng replied, almost impatiently jumping up from the couch.
“I’ll go over for a bit.” He didn’t even look at Xie Xuanming and hurried away as if fleeing.
Xie Xuanming remained seated in his original position and did not stop him.
A few people from Niepan were gathered around a staff member talking about something. The atmosphere of chatting was not very pleasant. Huang Sizhe’s voice was heard from a distance, asking angrily:
“What do you mean by bad influence? Don’t you have eyes to see the clarification? If you’re so slow, why do you want to work in a variety show, just go find a job in a factory!”
“Contestant, please calm down.” The staff’s tone was helpless, “Although it was a misunderstanding, the black material has already spread. The brand refuses to use artists with a bad reputation, so there’s nothing we can do, right?”
Ji Sheng stood beside the guitarist, looked at the two people arguing, their faces red, and asked in a low voice, “What’s the matter?”
“Didn’t we have a drink endorsement before?” The guitarist whispered back, “Then because… public opinion was not good, the sponsor won’t let Niepan take it.”
Ji Sheng understood.
It had been a tradition for the popular contestants to advertise sponsor drinks since the first season of “Music First” and basically all talent shows. Generally in the middle and late stages of the show, popular contestants would cooperate with brands to shoot advertisements and endorse products. This would be the first endorsement that many show participants received.
Niepan had been on the show for a few months, attracting a lot of attention because of its excellent stage performance, and because of frequent accidents, it had turned its casual fans into diehards. So now Niepan could be said to be a genuine number one popular band in the show and should have taken over the band’s endorsement for good reason. But now they were told that the spokesman was changed.
The first place was denied the resources. If it was known, it would probably cause a lot of ridicule on the Internet. The black material was clarified but they were accused of the black material existing once. No wonder Huang Sizhe was angry.
But this kind of thing couldn’t be helped. The contestants were innocent but the brand was also innocent. Who would want to affect their sales because of the artist’s reputation? After all, businessmen had to do business too.
What’s more, Ji Sheng was accustomed to endorsements being withdrawn. He made a smash hit in his previous life and had countless endorsements in his hands. Later, his popularity plummeted and major brands asked to cancel the contracts. In the end, the only one left was an unknown toothpaste brand. He was wretched when filming the advertisement, making him feel nauseous when he smelled toothpaste. Only when he changed to fruit-flavoured children’s toothpaste could he reluctantly bear it.
At this moment, Huang Sizhe and the staff were arguing fiercely, and neither was willing to show weakness.
Ji Sheng knew Huang Sizhe’s juvenile temperament and knew that no matter how he argued, it would be a waste of effort, so he sighed, went over to him, patted his shoulder and said, “Forget it.”
Huang Sizhe’s face was stiff, his fists clenching and unclenching.
Ji Sheng took a step forward and continued to persuade in a low voice: “Don’t make it difficult for people to do their work. It’s not his problem either.”
He turned his head and smiled at the staff: “Thank you for your hard work, go ahead and do other things.”
Huang Sizhe didn’t say a word, the staff let out a sigh of relief, said goodbye to Niepan hurriedly and ran away.
“Whose problem is that?” Still unconvinced, Huang Sizhe said stubbornly, “We obviously did nothing wrong, why was the endorsement withdrawn?”
“I’m sorry.” Ji Sheng said, “It’s my black material…”
Huang Sizhe froze, reacted and immediately said, “It’s not your problem, and I don’t blame… I didn’t mean it, brother.”
He called him “brother” very reluctantly, which was very different from a certain good boy who had called him that before, yet unexpectedly similar.
Ji Sheng was inexplicably amused, smiled, squeezed his shoulder and said, “I know you don’t blame me, but the truth is that Niepan lost the endorsement because of me.”
Huang Sizhe clenched his fists again and denied: “It’s because of the people who make rumours, those bastards.”
“Yes yes.” Ji Sheng sighed, “But it was clarified in time, which is a blessing in misfortune.”
Huang Sizhe’s eyebrows twitched, as he thought of the black content linked to Xie Xuanming. Even though he later issued a clarification, it was too late, so he couldn’t help but frown: “You… do you still want to stay with Xie Xuanming?”
“En? What?” Ji Sheng didn’t know why he mentioned Xie Xuanming.
“After you and him got together, many accidents, rumours and black materials always happen frequently. They are everywhere. I think, brother, you’re a paste coffee, you wouldn’t be so messed up on your own, so it’s Xie Xuanming who made many enemies and dragged you down with him.”
Huang Sizhe made his own analysis, and Ji Sheng was taken aback.
Huang Sizhe’s idea was actually very logical, but unfortunately the cause and effect were reversed.
It wasn’t because he was by Xie Xuanming’s side that he was repeatedly under attack; on the contrary, it was “Ji Hui” himself who attracted the hatred and Xie Xuanming who protected him like a talisman.
Ji Hui was a paste coffee that no one cared about, but Ji Sheng was not.
But it was hard to explain to Huang Sizhe. After all, the fact that “Ji hui” was “Ji Sheng” was so pseudo-scientific that it sounded like a fantasy.
Ji Sheng was still struggling when Huang Sizhe suddenly took a step and asked in a low voice: “Besides… you were originally forced to stay by his side. We are no longer bound by the contract and have some fame. You can find a way to leave…”
“Sizhe! Xiao Hui!”
As soon as Ji Sheng spoke, he suddenly heard the keyboardist call.
Ji Sheng raised his eyes, and the keyboardist and guitarist were panicking in front of him, their eyes darting around as they gestured for him to look back.
Ji Sheng followed the hints of the two of them and turned his head, almost bumping into Xie Xuanming who was very close.
Facing Xie Xuanming’s cold expression, Ji Sheng got goosebumps. He glanced at Huang Sizhe guiltily, not knowing if Xie Xuanming had heard what the two of them had just said.
It was strange to say that in his previous life, not to mention his teenage years, even if he turned against Xie Xuanming later, he was also carefree in front of him and didn’t care what Xie Xuanming thought about what he did and said. Who knew that after he was reborn, he would inexplicably feel that his hands were tied in front of Xie Xuanming.
Could it be because he pretended to be Ji Hui for a long time and developed an empathy effect, inheriting all Ji Hui’s awe and fear of Xie Xuanming?
Ji Sheng wondered.
Before he could figure it out, Xie Xuanming took his wrist and dragged him away from the scene forcefully.
Xie Xuanming didn’t let go of Ji Sheng until he got to the underground parking lot. When he let go, Ji Sheng already had clear finger marks on his wrist.
After knowing his identity, Xie Xuanming hardly ever treated Ji Sheng so roughly.
He was really angry.
Ji Sheng held his slightly swollen wrist and gently turned it twice, asking tentatively, “What’s the matter?”
“That question just now.” Xie Xuanming’s voice was very cold, “What were you going to answer?”
Ji Sheng thought, if you wanted to know, you could just stand and listen quietly instead of pulling people all the way down to ask.
However, on second thought, Ji Sheng found that he was not sure of the answer to the question either.
His quietness had a different meaning in Xie Xuanming’s eyes, who smiled mirthlessly: “You want to leave, right?”
“No.” Ji Sheng quickly denied it this time. He tried to explain, “Where can I go? Ji Yueming is still in the hospital, and no one knows who I am, I…”
His voice sounded smaller and smaller. His wrist hurt more as the time passed. Ji Sheng was inexplicably depressed and whispered melancholically: “I have nowhere to go.”
Xie Xuanming looked at Ji Sheng quietly for a while, then said in a flat voice: “So, you are still by my side because of Ji Yueming, because I know who you are and because you have nowhere to go.”
Ji Sheng was choked by his interpretation, thought about it for a while and reluctantly found himself unable to say anything.
“I…” Ji Sheng started.
“Forget it.” Xie Xuanming interrupted him, walked around the front of the car and opened the driver’s seat door, “This is also fine.”
He gently held the car door and said to himself mockingly: “What reason did I expect you to give? Get in the car.”
After that, he lowered himself into the driver’s seat and closed the door heavily.
Ji Sheng stood on the spot for a few seconds, and only when the beep sounded did he slowly get into the passenger seat.
The whole journey was quiet. Since his identity was revealed, Xie Xuanming was personally driving Ji Sheng, as if he was determined to switch jobs to become a driver.
Ji Sheng couldn’t help but draw a cross in his heart for the driver who had lost his job.
Stopping at the traffic lights and waiting, Xie Xuanming suddenly said, “Sheng Kongzhi also meets your criteria.”
“Knowing that Ji Yueming is in the hospital, knowing who you are and willing to let you stay with him.” Xie Xuanming calmly explained the three reasons, “Why don’t you go to him?”
Ji Sheng: “…”
Ji Sheng laughed angrily: “No way? Why on earth are you dwelling on this?”
He was both a little annoyed and a little incredulous: “How can I go to Sheng Kongzhi? Thank God I can stay away from him… And can you stop dragging him into everything? You sound so strange as if I’m fornicating with him. I’ve blocked him out on my WeChat and phone, now I don’t even have his contact information, how can I go to him?”
Ji Sheng lost his temper and let himself vent, and his depression dissipated a lot. Seeing that Xie Xuanming didn’t say a word, he let out a sigh of relief, pushed back his hair and suddenly heard the phone ring.
It was an unfamiliar number.
It came just in time.
It didn’t matter if it was an insurance seller, a real estate agent or a money scammer.
It was a good call in this situation when he didn’t want to talk to Xie Xuanming.
Ji Sheng picked up the phone intrepidly, his finger slipped over the hands-free button, and before he could say hello or turn off the hands-free, he heard a gentle male voice on the other end say “Hello”.
Ji Sheng’s body froze abruptly, and he craned his head a little.
In his line of sight, Xie Xuanming was staring coldly, the corners of his mouth curved in a mocking arc.
He opened his mouth and asked in a dangerously low voice, “Don’t even have his contact information?”
Ji Sheng: ……
Ji Sheng deflated like a leaky balloon.
The mobile phone was still working hard and the words of Sheng Kongzhi calling from an unknown number sounded on the other end of the phone.
“Xiao Sheng? I still think we need to talk. I know that Xie Xuanming does not allow you to see me, so if you can, hide it from him and set up a time to come out?”
Xie Xuanming’s eyes grew colder and colder.
Ji Sheng felt he was going to faint.
Woohoo, the sky is going to fall on me.