Chapter 7: Anti-fan
“A Breath of Fresh Air at the Internet Cafe!”
Sponsors: Special thanks to Ariana, MondayBlues, Nabilah R., and Lionlayle! Your donations really made my day!
Translator’s Note: Sorry for the late update! I was busy with holiday stuff, and then I had to finish registering for Spring Semester. Hope you guys enjoy this chapter!
Driving the car back onto the main road, Jiang Xiuwen turned to look at Di Qiuhe with eyes full of gossip, who was sitting shotgun, over and over again.
Di Qiuhe noticed his line of sight, and put the notebook paper that he had been clenching in his hands onto his lap without saying a word. He turned his head over to face him, with that good-looking face of his, and a murderous aura.
“Cough.” Jiang Xiuwen removed his gaze, looked back towards the front, and tried to ask as casually as possible, “So who was that guy just now? You and him seemed to be really close with each other. Is he a new friend of yours?”
“He’s not.” Di Qiuhe answered in a heavy voice, his hands tightening their hold on the piece of paper. Just as he thought of saying that he was just a little “pup”arazzi that didn’t know how to distinguish between good from bad, he quickly swallowed the words as they came to his mouth. He finally also tried to act as casually as possible, and responded by saying, “He’s one of my little super-fans. Last time, I gave him an autograph. In order to pay me back, he decided to give me a signature as a return gift.”
Jiang Xiuwen glanced over at the piece of paper held in his hand with an odd expression on his face, “In order to show his gratitude to his idol, a super-fan gave his own signature as a return gift, and then ran away from him like he was the plague?” And even implied that this idol was a dog? Are you sure this wasn’t an anti-fan?
Di Qiuhe’s body stiffened. He turned his head away, and stuffed the piece of paper into his pocket. He adjusted the chair so he could lay down, pulled the baseball hat over to cover his face, and pretended to be dead, “I’m tired. Wake me up when it’s time to eat.”
“…” It only takes five minutes to drive from here to the restaurant. I dare you to try and find a more reasonable reason to try and avoid having this conversation!
After annoying the Film Emperor, He Bai welcomed in a new Monday with both his mind and body relaxed. Then, he was stunned silly when he went to the cafeteria window to buy breakfast.
“One bowl of rice porridge, two vegetable buns. Your total will be three yuan. Please swipe your card.” The loud voice of the cafeteria auntie could be heard coming from the window.
He took his hand out of the empty compartment in his camera bag, was silent for a few moments, before coming out from the front of the line. He reached for his cell phone to call Wang Hu, “Hey Lao Da- I need you to come save me. I forgot to bring money for breakfast…”
After finishing breakfast, Niu Junjie, who had already walked out from the shadow of getting his heart broken, took a look at Wang Hu and Chen Jie, who were walking in front of him. He said in a low voice, “Xiao Bai, did you run out of living expenses? I saw that you seemed to have quit all of your part-time jobs. The semester’s about to come to an end, so it’s better that you decided to stop working. This way, you can have free time to prepare for the end of term exams. So, um, you shouldn’t make yourself too tired. With regards to your next semester’s tuition and all that, if you have any problems, just know that your brothers are always here to help.”
He Bai looked at how he tried to be as careful as possible, trying not injure his pride, and his heart felt warm. He couldn’t help but lift up his camera and press down on the shutter, before smiling and putting his arm around his shoulder, saying, “I still have enough living expenses. I just lost my ID card somewhere, so I had no way to swipe at the register, and need to get a new one made. Since you offered to help, then until my new ID card is ready, you’re responsible for my three meals a day!” In the past, he used to be really sensitive towards money. He wasn’t willing to take advantage of his good friends, which led to Wang Hu and the others always being as careful as possible when it came to the subject. But now, he had already lived many years surrounded by an ocean of money, and had come to understand the concept that “even siblings need to return debts,” wasn’t really realistic when it came to getting along with others. A good friend’s good intentions should be accepted when it was appropriate, and when there was a good opportunity in the future, you could always find a way to return that favor. This kind of interaction between friends, was the most comfortable way to get along.
Niu Junjie saw his attitude, and took a sigh of relief in his heart. He immediately laughed heartily, took a card out of his pocket, and stuffed it in his hand with a face that said, “I’m rich and I have a lot of money.” He replied, “Of course, of course, of course. You can have this card- whatever you want to eat, just swipe it whenever! My dad put twenty thousand yuan in there, and if i’m the only one to use it, I won’t be able to finish even by the time we graduate!”
Wang Hu and Chen Jie, who were walking in front of them, were listening to their conversation. When they looked back to see Niu Junjie’s happy face, they understood that the problem had been resolved, and took a sigh of relief. They took a look at one another tacitly, and slowly joined the two others walking behind them. They naturally joined in the conversation, and walked side by side towards the teaching building.
At noon, the four of them swiped Niu Junjie’s card to buy some small dishes at the dining hall, and had a lively meal together. After eating, He Bai went to the ID card center by himself, and went through the process of getting a new ID.
Without other people by his side, he finally had the time to try and remember where he lost his ID card. After thinking about it here and there, his mind flashed through an image of Di Qiuhe’s face.
He vaguely recalled that day in the small alleyway, when his heart was uncharacteristically flooded with sympathy. He took out his ID card to seriously explain who he was, and even encouraged Di Qiuhe with some mind-numbingly sweet words… And then, the other person just took his card with him, just like that, without any shame at all?! What the hell kind of Film Emperor is this! Taking away something a poor student uses to buy food, doesn’t this hurt his conscience at all?
And then, he remembered how the other person ruined his photograph of the little girl playing with the dog. He couldn’t help but angrily take out his camera, and flip to yesterday’s picture. He started to click delete, dele-… huh? This guy’s hand seems to be holding something…
He looked at the camera screen more closely, enlarged the picture, and then saw that Di Qiuhe’s slender and good-looking hands seemed to be holding some card-shaped object. Looking at the color and size, it seems to be, vaguely, as if, just like… it was his ID card…
So that means that yesterday, Di Qiuhe called him out in order to return the ID card to him?
He put down the camera, and guiltily looked up at the bright afternoon sun.
Forget it. Just take it that they both repaid each other’s grievances. Just let him and Di Qiuhe’s fate end with him losing his ID card, and that piece of notebook paper with the drawing of the dog.
After finishing the supplementary procedures, he went to an off-campus internet cafe. First, he sent the photos that he had edited yesterday (of Di Qiuhe at his workplace), along with the sets of portraits to Xu Yinrong’s inbox. Then, he downloaded the pictures that he needed to edit by the end of this week from the work email he reserved for Saint Elephant, and started working.
An hour later, his afternoon class was about to begin. He stretched out his arms, and called Wang Hu to help him bring his textbooks. Then, he uploaded the edited photos onto his email, closed his computer, paid his bill, and left.
After he left, the long-haired artsy youth sitting next to him took off his headphones, closed the game on his screen, went on the campus forum, and excitedly, with his fingers typing so quickly they seemed to be flying, made a new post– A Breath of Fresh Air Spotted at the Internet Cafe! A Cute Underclassman Comes to the Internet Cafe to Finish Homework!
At some high-end apartment building complex, Di Qiuhe had just returned home after settling an endorsement fee, and turned on his computer. His fingers automatically clicked open the Q University’s Campus Network, and went to the page for buying and selling items.
Transaction Progress: The Seller did not respond.
His expression turned cloudy. He picked up the notebook on his desk, opened it, took out the pink notebook paper, took a picture of it, chose the option for selling an item, priced it at ten yuan, and then clicked upload, uplo-… The operation was interrupted, and your item failed to upload.
That annoying little “pup”arazzi!
He angrily closed the screen that said his item failed to upload, refolded the piece of notebook paper, placed it back into his notebook, thought about it for a while before taking it out again, stuffing it into his wallet, and ground his teeth. He gloomily thought about how He Bai said that this thing would help him block disasters. If it couldn’t, then he would tear the university apart until he found him, and make that little “pup”arazzi apologize for last night’s deception! Admit that he was wrong! Massage his shoulders and legs and become his little brother!
After ordering the little “pup”arazzi around in his head for a while, he was finally in a good mood. He grabbed the mouse with a gentle and kind expression on his face, casually refreshed the forum, and then saw that a new post had gone viral, and appeared on the front page.
Huh? A “Cute Underclassman?” Could they be as cute as his little “pup”arazzi?
He laughed out loud, and clicked open the post with a sort of pride that he couldn’t really understand, skimmed over the content of the post, and then carelessly used his mouse to scroll down.
A photo could be seen attached at the bottom of the post- the background was an internet cafe, and you could see from the picture’s angle, that it was taken secretly. In the middle of the picture, was a slightly thin boy wearing a checkered shirt sitting on a black sofa chair. He had a mouse in one hand, his posture was extremely good, and on the screen in front of him, a complicated photo editing software was open with a enlarged photograph for an advertisement that had been edited halfway.
This person, was the little “pup”arazzi?
He unconsciously sat upright, and stared at the carefully blurred face of the person in the photograph. His gaze was so hot it could burn through the screen, and seemed to be able to look through the mosaic to see that face that was so good-looking, it was annoying, and the small dimple that was just asking to be poked that appeared on the left side of his face when he pretended to smile.
“Being in a messy place like an internet cafe… he deserves to have his picture taken secretly!” He coldly snorted, and couldn’t help but use his mouse to scroll back up to read the main contents of the post again, this time in detail. After he finished reading it, he couldn’t help but right-click on the photo, and download it.
And then, he started to feel upset again.
When the little “pup”arazzi does his homework, he has to go to an internet cafe. Is it because he doesn’t have his own computer? That guy seemed to dress pretty plainly, and he even went to look for a part-time job yesterday… He suddenly felt like his heart hurt.
He loosened his grip on the mouse, and glared at the two photographs that were taken secretly for a few seconds. The more he looked at those mosaics, the more he felt like they hurt his eyes. He moved his eyes away from them, and noticed something on the screen in front of the little “pup”arazzi. He furrowed his brows, and enlarged the photograph a little.
In the middle of the editing software, on the corner of the half-finished advertisement picture, there were the words, “Saint Elephant Photography.”
He immediately thought of the studio opposite Red Guest Photography, and thought of how the little “pup”arazzi said that he was there to find a part-time job yesterday. He couldn’t help but feel even more bad, and took out his phone to call Jiang Xiuwen.
Jiang Xiuwen was driving when he saw Di Qiuhe calling him. His eyes turned, and pretended to casually ask Jiang Guanshan, who was sitting shotgun flipping a script, “Hey Dad, someone’s calling me. It’s not convenient for me to answer them since I’m driving- can you pick it up for me?”
Jiang Guanshan was called back from his thoughts looking at the script, picked up the phone, and glared at Jiang Xiuwen when he saw the name on the caller ID. He then pressed answer, and turned on the speaker phone, making sure that his son didn’t have an opportunity to pull one over him.
Jiang Xiuwen’s brows drew together when he saw this.
“You useless piece of trash.” After the phone connected, Di Qiuhe’s voice could immediately be heard coming out from the other end. Without giving the person on the other side a chance to reply, he continued, “You can’t even win when it comes to recruiting part-timers. No wonder your competitors were able to get the business deal with the TV station instead of you guys.”
Du du du, the phone was hung up on the other side..
The Jiang family father and son: “…”
“Qiuhe, he…” Jiang Guanshan started speaking first, with a somewhat complicated expression, “In front of his peers, is he always this… uninhibited and unrestrained?”
Jiang Xiuwen recalled how his good friend always maintained a gentle and friendly mask in front of his elders. He felt at a loss, and managed to try and give him an excuse, “He’s just worried about me. I mentioned the thing with the photography studio to him earlier, and he was pretty concerned for me… As you know, he has a soft heart. When his friends go through rough times, he gets even more anxious than they do.”
“Oh really.” Jiang Guanshan rubbed the edge of the script, and said with a look of indifference, “I can tell from the way he spoke. You know, that he’s really anxious.”
Jiang Xiuwen took a sigh of relief, and continued to try and explain the situation with a smile on his face, “Right, he’s just too much of a good person. He always likes worrying about…”
“So, what’s the deal with your competitors robbing you of the business deal with the TV station?” Jiang Guanshan looked at him from the side, with eyes blazing like torches, “Who was the person who told me that everything was going great at the photography studio? That business was going smoothly, and it would become profitable soon?”
“So tell me, is that kid Di Qiuhe really just worried about you, or is his real personality just like that?”
“Close the studio. Come home and learn how to direct with me.”
“His personality is just like that! But, the fact that he’s worried about me is also true!” Jiang Xiuwen immediately abandoned his moral integrity, and lit a candle for his best friend in his heart, “Dad, just listen to me. Actually, Di Qiuhe, he…”
Before going to bed, He Bai opened the campus network, and was about to ask about the progress of replacing his ID card. As a result, the minute he opened it, he received a huge amount of transaction notifications. After being stunned for a couple of seconds, he remembered that he had listed Di Qiuhe’s autograph for sale.
At that time, what did he set the starting price at? Five bucks? Or was it ten bucks?