Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 78: << Life Changes With a Dance >>
After Chen Yi grabbed his last meal1, << Minister >> was nearing its end.
This drama had started filming from the middle of summer into late fall, and after being together for so long, a camaraderie would naturally be formed.
The filming crew organized a large wrap-up party with everyone and at the dinner everyone lifted their glasses together, wishing each other a successful future.
Director Kong privately patted Chen Yi’s shoulders, saying some advice to him that was very meaningful in a certain way,
“Young man, keep up the practice and improve yourself.
There will be a day where you will come up on top.
Keep this kind of heart and your future will be brighter than today’s.
Hopefully we will have a chance to work together again.”
Cen Qing’s acting was not bad, but his few smarts were not used in the correct place.
Director Kong was not a young man anymore, and so he had never seen eye to eye with newcomers coming into the entertainment industry.
Acting skills? None.
Actual skills? None.
Even Chen Yi, at first he didn’t really like him, yet as time passed, he found that he was really the most level headed, understanding one of them all.
Chen Yi respected those seniors who were good and had virtue.
Although he didn’t really plan to stay in the entertainment industry for long, he still listened and took in the advice.
After the dinner party was over, everyone went their separate ways, continuing back on the paths they decided to take.
Chen Yi and Fu Xiu Nian had scheduled to take the same flight and they arrived back at about 3 in the afternoon.
Because this was not publicized, fans did not know.
When they were filming, their home had been unoccupied for so long, and all the furniture was covered in a layer of dust.
Chen Yi flippantly used a cloth to wipe down the sofa before immediately lying on top of it, arms and legs wide open, and let out a comfortable sigh.
Fu Xiu Nian had recently become extremely attached, liking to stick to Chen Yi whenever possible.
Seeing him like that, he also dropped right beside him, snuggling into him silently.
His head nudged him slowly and softly, with strands of his hair feeling ever so ticklish on Chen Yi’s skin when he moved.
The moment Chen Yi lowered his head he was met with eyes glimmering like obsidian.
He felt as if he was holding a cat in his arms and raised his eyebrows to say,
“You’re not cleaning up?”
Fu Xiu Nian was too lazy to move right now and snuggled in even deeper while clinging onto him like an octopus,
“Yi-Ge, can I count on you?”
Chen Yi said very honestly,
“Don’t count on me for these kinds of things.”
Fu Xiu Nian slipped his hands under Chen Yi’s shirt as he heard that.
His fingers were slightly cold, gently pressing on Chen Yi’s muscles.
Lifting his head to look up at him, his voice brought on a tint of seductiveness,
“Can’t you pretend it’s for exercise?”
Chen Yi didn’t even get a chance to respond before he heard a vibrating sound.
Blindly reaching around the sofa for a while before finding it, he took one look at the caller id and tossed it to Fu Xiu Nian,
Fu Xiu Nian took a look and he didn’t avoid Chen Yi, answering the call right in front of Chen Yi.
Chen Yi didn’t really listen closely, but his ears could faintly catch words relating to “admitted at the hospital”.
Fu Xiu Nian’s face froze up slightly during the phone call, but he answered the caller with some comforting words.
He hung up and stood up from the sofa as he said to Chen Yi,
“My uncle was admitted to the hospital last night.
I need to go and see what is going on.
No one knows the full situation yet.”
Chen Yi followed him up,
Fu Xiu Nian grabbed a jacket and hung it over his arm,
“Smoking and wine has all but broken down his liver.
It’s been an ever ongoing health issue with my uncle.
They’ve already asked the doctors and the problem shouldn’t be that big.
My aunt had passed away early and so there is only my cousin now.
She’s too young to deal with this, so I need to go and figure it out.”
Fu Xiu Nian’s last word dropped, and he saw Chen Yi about to send him out.
He reached out instead to push him back down to the sofa and paused for a slight second before lurching forward to drop a kiss on his face.
His Adam’s apple moved, and with a low and sexy voice, bringing on a surprising dominance he said,
“I will try and settle everything and come back quickly.
Take care of yourself.
Remember to eat your meals on time.”
And then passed his house key to Chen Yi.
The latter accepted it as his fingers stroked across Fu Xiu Nian’s palm,
“If there’s anything you need from me, remember to let me know.”
Two faint dimples appeared on Fu Xiu Nian’s cheeks,
“Then you could help me clean this place up?”
Chen Yi: “……”
Fu Xiu Nian just took one step when Chen Yi pulled him back by the wrist.
He looked back questioningly and was met with Chen Yi’s emotionless face.
Chen Yi: “You didn’t even let me cook before, didn’t even let me wash the clothes, nor did you even make me wipe the table.
And now you are going to make me sweep and clean the house?”
You don’t treasure me anymore now that you have me???
Fu Xiu Nian stomped down on the laughter bubbling inside him and calmly stated with a blank face,
Because I already have you in my hands.”
Just like women.
Before they marry they are little innocent sheep.
After marriage however, they turn into roaring tigers.
Fu Xiu Nian was not up to the point of a tiger, but he was most definitely not a wibbly little bunny in the eyes of others.
When Chen Yi uses the broom, he could accidentally break it in half.
Fu Xiu Nian thought to himself, training him to be able to take care of himself wasn’t that bad.
In the period of time they took to film the drama, the court case between Li Su Li and GE had finally come to a conclusion.
Both sides chose to peacefully resolve their disagreements, going their own separate ways and ending the contract without any further fuss.
At that time, any news on the case had been trending on weibo, but as Chen Yi was focused in the enclosed filming environment, he didn’t know.
It was said later on that Li Su Li had signed with a modelling company, going back to her old line of work, back to her old stage of catwalks, and so she was still living her life passably.
Chen Yi and Li Su Li’s situation were quite similar and he could use the same reason to end his contract early with GE.
But as the time was nearly up anyway, with only about two months left, there wouldn’t be enough time to even start a preliminary trial.
Just bear with it and it will pass, Chen Yi had thought.
He had just finished filming and rested for just a few days when his manager, Ning Tong came to find him.
She drank some tea, went through the courtesies and small talk before hesitatingly saying why she was here today.
“Yi-Ge, there is a variety show for dancing, like a competition, called << Life Changes with a Dance >>.
The company wants you to be a special guest on the judges panel and it starts recording next week.”
As there were only two more months before the contract was up, GE still believed in the words, mosquitoes were still meat.
<< Life Changes With a Dance >> was a hit show the Bright Star Channel brought back from another country, wanting to break through the boundaries of dancing and also trying to break through the molds of other shows.
Before they had even started broadcasting, they had reported to places all over the country, opening the contestant spots to every citizen.
Out of the regular citizens, they would pick the best two to join the program.
The two would be partnered together and they would go into three PK elimination rounds.
This show had been running for two seasons now and the response had not been bad.
Ning Tong was easier to listen to than Zhou Ming and so he didn’t make a face and just said,
“I can’t dance.
Ning Tong smiled,
“From what I have seen from your information, didn’t you learn dancing before? That counts.
Besides, special guests don’t need to do anything, you just have to sit on the sidelines.
You have a “redemption” vote so whoever you feel is bearable, you give it to them.
Simple as that.”
Chen Yi asked suspiciously,
“Two months is considered learning?”
Ning Tong coughed in embarrassment, not really answering the question,
“This program has run for two seasons already, so it has quite a loyal fanbase.
There are actually quite a lot of people who would fight to get on and the company did want Zhao Xi to go.
But he sustained an injury during filming and other artists who were around his level didn’t have the availability, and of those who are free but aren’t completely of a newbie status seems to be just you.”
Chen Yi didn’t say anything.
Ning Tong continued,
“If you are going to be on a program, why not pick something a bit better? This at least gives you an appearance fee.
Better than having the higher ups throw you to the wolves, going on some program that makes you survive in the wild.
One meal a day would be lucky and there would be no place for you to cry.”
Chen Yi finally loosened at that,
<< Life Changes With a Dance >> had a panel of three judges and one special guest judge.
The three judges were set each season and the special guest was a random popular up-and-coming celebrity at the time, so the show could be said to grab with one hand the foundational knowledge and with the other, the trendiness, the talk of the town.
Chen Yi hadn’t accepted the offer for very long before the program team for << Life Changes With a Dance >> began promoting its special guest for the upcoming weeks.
When it was known to be Chen Yi, netizens began discussing what kind of luck did he stumble onto for him to first be able to get a role in the big drama film of Director Kong and then a spot on such a highly popular variety show.
What kind of real life cheat did he get?
<< Minister >> had not been released yet and so the general public viewed Chen Yi just as a celebrity that was all talk and no substance.
And seeing him with such good prospects, it did not deviate from the normal course of gathering jealousy and green eyed envy.
And in the middle of it all, Zhao Xi’s fans were tearing the field with the most red eyed rage.
I guess any random cat or dog from the streets can get on a show now.
If it was not for Zhao Xi injuring his leg and being admitted for a hospital stay, how could this fall onto Chen Yi’s lap?
Technically speaking, Chen Yi was saving the show.
And with an event like this that could sow dissent, Zhao Xi himself should be coming out to clear any misconceptions and round up his rowdy fans.
Yet these past few days, he had done nothing.
Chen Yi’s fans right now were just budding sprouts, without any rules and each one of them were not to be taken lightly.
So they immediately went down the battlefield, battling for the most poisonous tongue, and there seemed to be no limit.
What does Zhao Xi have? All he knows is to either sing a few phrases of rap, dance a few moves of street dance? His tongue can’t even say words properly when he talks, who cares about stealing his spot.
You should let Zhao Xi immediately jump up from his sick bed right now and aunties square dancing would be stronger than him.
What is he going to do on << Life Changes with a Dance>>? Hop on one leg on the stage to dance like a rabbit?
The anger in the fans of Zhao Yi immediately burst within them at these comments and they fought back hard.
Someone dug up the information that Chen Yi had only learned to dance for two months and they used this as a driving point in their arguments.
>> Zhao Xi went through the proper channels and graduated from a dance academy.
He’s gone through training by professionals and Chen Yi learned for two months in a training class on the streets and he dares to say he’s learned to dance? Trash Trash Trash!2 What an audacity to dare steal my Xi Xi’s spot! This angers me to death!
The fans of Chen Yi had the same attitude of Chen Yi when they saw these kinds of comments.
They wouldn’t tear back at them, but they wouldn’t wash themselves clean and only returned these words: Anger you to death, anger you to death.
This kind of taunting made the jaws of others hurt and the two groups of fans did not stop their battle even when the show started broadcasting.
The fans of Zhao Yi waited in front of their monitors for the show to drop, ready to stomp on any wrong thing Chen Yi did.
And Chen Yi’s fans did the same, preparing to fight back at any time.
And so the day for the recording came up unknowingly.
The rehearsal would start in the morning and then in the afternoon, it would officially start filming.
Chen Yi had arrived very early, where there were only two judges there so far, Tong Ao Yue and Ying Zi.
These two were the country’s top dancers and they had only retired when their age caught up to them.
Tong Lao-shi3 was wearing a pair of black glasses and she looked quite solemn and serious whereas Ying Zi Lao-shi was a bit more mellow, and his personality was the best.
Each time he saw Chen Yi, he would be smiling and had that everyone is equal in his eyes feeling, everyone is his family.
The third judge was called Zhang Duo, and he had a head full of dreadlocks, with a very recognizable and iconic small mustache.
He had quite the reputation within the street dancing community and he was only thirty years old or so.
Only when everyone else had arrived did he slowly saunter in and everyone seemed to be used to it, evidently not the first time this has happened.
The three judges’ seats were right in front of the center stage and the special guest judge was on the right-most side, which meant that Chen Yi sat right next to Zhang Duo.
Before he came onto the show, Chen Yi had heard that Zhang Duo could be considered Zhao Xi’s mentor.
He had wondered if the other would give him trouble, and the moment he thought that, Zhang Duo did exactly that.
The contestants on stage were rehearsing and the judges were already in discussion.
Chen Yi knew that he did not understand these things and so the entire time, he had not offered any insights.
Seeing this, Zhang Duo stopped his nonstop jibber-jabbering and shook the list of contestants in his hands.
He fakely smiled at Chen Yi and said,
“I heard that you had learned dancing for two months.
What do you have to say about these contestants? You could say something and let us all talk about it.”
His words were full of mockery, eliciting a furrow of eyebrows from his nearby judge, Tong Ao Yue.
Chen Yi turned happy and said out directly,
“I don’t understand so I have no thoughts.
If I knew, then what would you judges be here for?”
Click here to bypass all the footnotes!
*1 last meal: Most accurately as his meal box/box of meal (and where I had always thought went back to the olden days where a person on his deathbed/death row would be given one last meal, but in reality as I search the origin of this internet slang …) this came from apparently Stephen Chow’s King of Comedy movie where the main character there (acted by Stephen Chow) was always given “a meal box” to send him away when he was not needed by the director(s) anymore as he always acted small roles (but kept wanting to act in bigger roles).
This also at the same time was accented by Japanese animations/games, if someone dies in a game or anime, the voice actor would leave the production (taking only “one meal box” before leaving).
So the netizens then took on this meaning as the person/character’s going to die/dead/being killed off if you take “a meal box”.
*2 trash: They’re actually saying spicy chicken, which takes on the tone for trash as an internet slang.
It’s also sort of universal like fuck which can be used in multiple situations, (that video of usages of fuck come to mind), where it’s not only for straight on calling someone trash, stupid, so sometimes you might see it being joked around or like fuck really? kind of thing.
*3 Lao-shi: Usually means “teacher”, but can also be as like mentor, or someone really knowledgeable/high up in the area they specialize in (as in like this case) and being called this as a form of respect to their knowledge (kind of like Xian-Sheng, which can also mean teacher or Mister).
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