Reborn as a Substitute Chapter 85

Xie Xuanming shook his head and left. Ji Sheng was so upset by the lecture that he didn’t care about eating anymore.

He picked up the chopsticks, took two bites of food and chewed them without feeling the taste.

After about ten minutes, the driver sent a message saying that he was at the door. Ji Sheng didn’t want to stay any longer, so he got up and went back.

When he arrived at the villa, Xie Xuanming was in his study, still looking indifferent, which made Ji Sheng even more puzzled.

He knocked on the door and walked in, went to Xie Xuanming’s side, and gently knocked on the table.

“Can I use the basement?” 

“Whatever.” Xie Xuanming didn’t even raise his eyes, nor did he ask why he wanted to use the basement, completely cutting off Ji Sheng’s plan to start a conversation and break the ice, “The access card is in the second drawer on the left, the blue one.”

Xie Xuanming cut off the topic decisively. Ji Sheng had no choice but to go to the cabinet dejectedly, find the card, and go from the study to the basement.

He opened the door to the basement, took the drumsticks off the wall and sat down on the drum chair.

After moving the chair, Ji Sheng raised his hands.

As the drumsticks fell on the drum surface, his thoughts drifted away with them.

When practising drums freely, Ji Sheng’s brain cells were always extremely active. The drum was like a pacemaker for his emotions; all his thoughts and worries spread outwards like ripples on the water from the moment the front ends of the drumsticks touched the drum surface.

Ji Sheng lowered his head and kept drumming; the faster his hands moved, the more depressed his mood became.

He knew exactly what bothered him: one, Xie Xuanming was verbally abused by netizens who did not know the truth, and two, his feelings were questioned.

The former was force majeure. Ji Sheng also was in the entertainment industry: he naturally understood that doing this job required suffering this sin. Ignoring unprovoked abuse and criticism was the best solution, much better than caring about it.

He beat hard for a few minutes and forced himself to accept negative comments about Xie Xuanming.

So the question came to the latter issue.

Xie Xuanming denied his feelings.

This really made Ji Sheng feel at a loss.

Ji Sheng was not so stupid that he could not even perceive his own feelings. Although he had been so stupid in his previous life… But after he was reborn and awakened, he looked back at the past and realized that a long time ago, his relationship with Xie Xuanming had been sprinkled with the flavour that could only be called liking.

But Xie Xuanming didn’t think so.

Ji Sheng beat the drum, shifting his perspective, and was puzzled to realise that from a spectator’s point of view, his own feelings were indeed abrupt, more like a polite expression of being forced to respond than a natural emotion.

No wonder Xie Xuanming misunderstood.

Ji Sheng vented until he exhausted his strength. When he stopped, his wrists were shaking with pain and his ankles were numb from strenuous exercise. Gasping for breath, he hung the drumsticks back on the wall, lay down on the floor and looked at the ceiling blankly.

He lay there for a long time, still unable to understand the current situation, or why the relationship between them was so strained when they clearly liked each other.

Ji Sheng was puzzled. His only emotional experience was too complicated to provide him with a corresponding solution. In desperation, he chose to turn to others for help.

Ji Sheng dialled Su Jing’s number.

“Hey, have you finally figured out that you want to run?” Even though it was late, Su Jing picked up the phone in seconds.

“No.” Ji Sheng said, “Didn’t you say that I can call you if I have any questions? I need help now.”

“Oh, so not going to leave. Then I’m hanging up.” 

“Don’t hang up, don’t hang up!” Ji Sheng hurriedly cried out, “It’s a very important question, I really can’t help it.”

“What’s the problem?” 

“It’s like…” Ji Sheng explained the situation, and also verbatim repeated Xie Xuanming’s statement at noon.

After he finished speaking, the other end of the phone fell into a weird silence. After a few seconds, Su Jing gritted his teeth and asked, “You call in the middle of the night just to ask me how to solve your emotional problems with Xie Xuanming?”

“Uh-huh.” Ji Sheng affirmed.

“Am I a fucking late-night emotion streamer?!” Su Jing exploded.

“Didn’t you do this part-time job too!!!” Ji Sheng was very aggrieved.

“…” Su Jing was speechless for a moment, “Okay.” 

Su Jing calmed down, recalled Ji Sheng’s retelling just now, and the fire instantly soared again: “What do you mean, ‘I don’t believe that you like me’? Isn’t that just complaining that you don’t like him enough? Xie Xuanming is really PUA’ing you, right?” 

He was very angry, but Ji Sheng caught the point: “Complaining I don’t like him enough? Why does he feel this way?” 

“I don’t know.” Su Jing grunted, “Maybe he lacks love, maybe he wants you to give more, maybe you really don’t show how much you like him… But this is a good thing. After all, you also know that people who love more in relationships never end well…”

“Oh…” Although Su Jing’s words might have been nonsense, Ji Sheng still fished something out of them, “Thank you, I get it.”

“? What do you get?” 

“It’s because I didn’t show that I like Xie Xuanming very much, that’s why he thinks that. I need to be more proactive.”

“What kind of business level understanding is that…” Su Jing obviously didn’t expect that his flurry of nonsense not only failed to persuade Ji Sheng, but actually had the opposite effect. He was so angry that he was about to open his mouth and scold his love-sick friend into waking him up…

Ji Sheng didn’t give him this opportunity.

“Good night!” Knowing Su Jing’s virtues, Ji Sheng naturally didn’t plan to give him a chance to talk.

He ignored Su Jing’s angry roar and hung up neatly.


Ji Sheng let out a long breath, his fingers tapping on the floor unconsciously.

Expressing his liking?…

He lay down for a while, propped himself up and stood up from the floor.

Ji Sheng turned off the lights, took the card and came out of the basement, not surprised to see the study light still on.

He glanced down at the time; it was almost two o’clock.

Ji Sheng knocked on the door, and a “Come in” came from inside the room, neither too loud, nor too quiet.

When Ji Sheng pushed the door in, Xie Xuanming was still sitting at his desk, maintaining the same posture as when Ji Sheng left with his card a few hours ago.

Ji Sheng stood at the door and asked a stupid question: “Why are you still awake?” 

“I haven’t finished my work.” 

“It’s late.” 

Xie Xuanming paused and closed the file in his hands: “I’ll go to bed soon.” 

He put a stack of papers on the side of the desk, piling it up. Before he got up, Ji Sheng hesitantly walked up to stand beside him.

“What are you reading?” 

“The script.” 

“The web drama?” 

“En.” Xie Xuanming said, “Looking if there are any places that need to be changed.”

“Are there?” 

“Quite a lot.” This meaningless conversation finally compelled Xie Xuanming to look up. “Do you have anything to say?”

Ji Sheng touched his nose: “En.” 

Xie Xuanming waited for his answer with his head raised.

Ji Sheng remained motionless for two seconds, feeling that it was not good to speak like this from the above, so he squatted down.

Xie Xuanming’s gaze went down with him. With Ji Sheng squatting, he was lower than Xie Xuanming’s line of sight and his face looked small and pretty, the mole at the corner of his eye flickering in the light, very eye-catching.

“En?” Xie Xuanming repeated monotonously.

“Didn’t I confess to you before?” Ji Sheng lowered his eyes and whispered, “But I don’t think I’ve said that yet.”


“I like you.” 


Ji Sheng let out a sigh of relief, and the tension accumulated in his heart gradually dissipated with these words of confession.

When Xie Xuanming did not respond, Ji Sheng plucked up the courage to look up at him.

“I like you.” After a pause, he said in a low voice again, “Are you still angry…”

“No.” Xie Xuanming finally spoke. He seemed to smile briefly, but quickly returned to being expressionless, “Didn’t I say, I’m not that easy to get angry.”


“Really.” Xie Xuanming lowered his eyes and looked at him, “Don’t squat, it’s getting late, wash up and go to bed.”

Having said that, he pushed the chair back and stood up.

Ji Sheng nodded, got up, and put the card back in the drawer.

Xie Xuanming had already tidied the desktop and stood at the door. He put his hand on the switch and waited for Ji Sheng to come out and turn off the light.

Ji Sheng walked out of the room, stopped at the door, and looked up a little unwillingly: “Don’t you have anything to say?” 

His eyes shone brightly, as if they were filled with fragments of light and shadow.

Xie Xuanming looked at his own reflection shining in these eyes, and asked quietly, “What should I say?”

“…” Ji Sheng lowered his head in frustration, “Good night.”

He was about to go out, but his shoulder was held back.

Xie Xuanming grabbed his shoulder with one hand and turned off the light neatly with the other.


The switch snapped.

At the moment the lights went out, Xie Xuanming lowered his head and quickly approached Ji Sheng.

Ji Sheng felt the corner of his eye being gently touched.

“Good night.” Xie Xuanming gently pecked on the tear mole, “I like you too.”

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