Chapter 18: Invitation
Not many people who had seen the movie went to the hotpot restaurant, so Su Min freely ate there without any disturbances. By the time he finished his meal, his whole body smelled like hotpot.
Back at school, Su Min’s entire group chat was @-ing him.
“I heard that the person who changed the plot in “University Thriller” is called Su Min. Is it our school’s Su Xueba2?”
“I went to see it, and it really is him–”
“Oh my god, does Su Min have super powers? I want to interview him about how he felt living in a horror movie.”
“Compare to that, I want to ask Su Min about how he felt sleeping with a ghost, @PolymerMaterialScienceAndEngineeringClass2SuMin.”
“I want to know what you’re doing sneaking around in the girl’s dormitory, @PolymerMaterialScienceAndEngineeringClass2SuMin.”
Su Min pretended he was dead and didn’t answer.
Although he didn’t reply, he still had to go to class, and as long as he went, they would know that it was him. After all, he couldn’t change his face.
For a while, Su Min was the most popular person on campus.
Every time he arrived to class early, his classmates would deliberately read comments on the internet aloud for him to hear, itching to get inside his head.
Even his professor had once piped in a sentence before starting class.
No matter how serious Su Min was, he couldn’t help but be embarrassed. From then on, he didn’t delay leaving right after lessons ended.
There weren’t many people majoring in Polymer Material Science and Engineering; in total, there were only two classes. However, as long as a person’s academic qualifications were high enough, the job they found in this field would provide very good pay. Because of this, Su Min was determined on continuing his studies.
Today, the two classes merged together to form one big class.
Instead of playing on his phone during lessons, Su Min concentrated on his books.
Just then, the phone in his pocket vibrated.
Li Wenxin touched his book, whispering, “Quickly look at WeChat, I sent you something.”
Su Min doubtfully took out his phone. “What did you send?”
Li Wenxin simply raised an eyebrow and, not giving anything away, laughed with no good intentions. “Open it and see for yourself.”
Su Min suddenly had a bad feeling.
He opened WeChat and saw that he was sent a link. Once he clicked on it, the link led him to a movie discussion forum.
He heard the name of this forum before.
The post Li Wenxin sent to him was about the new “University Thriller”. Looking at the title, Su Min felt a little uneasy.
He had a premonition he’d find something weird.
【Shock! Did everyone go see the recently very popular re-release of “University Thriller”? Do you have any words to say3?】
Landlord: I already watched it, hahahahahaha. While watching, I suddenly had a profound realization that love could come into being anyplace, anytime. There were good-looking people, and the ghosts even showed mercy. This horror movie is really good–the sugar is especially delicious.
1st Floor: I went to see it with my parents! My mom asked me why one schoolboy kept talking to the air. When I said that he was in the middle of a courtship, she thought I was lying...
2nd Floor: In order to prepare for this movie, I first went to watch the original “University Thriller”. Who wrote the script? Why did a horror movie turn into a romance movie? Spicy chicken movie–waste of my cinema ticket!
3rd Floor: Upstairs, don’t be so agitated. Think about it: you spent money on one movie but ended up watching two–a horror movie and a romance movie. Think about how much you’re saving.
4th Floor: Hahahahahahaha, you all don’t understand love! Jing Xian, hurry up and take your little lover away. Next time, can we see some PDA?
5th Floor: Why did the script arrange for me to play ‘Please, Bi Xian’? In the end, I died before even meeting Bi Xian... Does this movie only look at faces?
6th Floor: Nononono, it looks at IQ! Su Min is a high IQ, top student in Engineering. Doesn’t he sound quite powerful?
1314th Floor: Let me just grab this floor4. From today onwards, I am the CP powder of Jing Xian X Su Min. Those who want to eat sugar, hit me up and I’ll give it to you.
1315th Floor: Quickly, everyone go to this friend’s website. They already wrote a fic about these two, and the sugar is extremely delicious. 1235—
1316th Floor: Love is like a blue sky with white clouds. A sunlit and boundless sky, but suddenly storms come... Even ghosts can fall in love. What else is impossible?
Su Min saw that this post was blowing up.
Why are these people focusing on the wrong things? Are they properly watching the movie?
Couldn’t they just enjoy solving mysteries like him?
Reading their posts–especially the ones on the later floors writing yellow books6 about him–made him flush with anger. Were these people not afraid of getting banned...?
Li Wenxin asked, “Spill it, what were you doing together with Jing Xian in the movie?”
Su Min shook his head and said, “Nothing.”
Knowing that he just didn’t want to say it, Li Wenxin pouted before going back to enthusiastically read the forum.
The yellow books here were really well-written, ah.
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Two weeks quietly passed by.
The re-release of “University Thriller” finally stopped showing in theaters. A few days ago, Su Min received another text from the cinema.
Because he had played a part in the re-release, the cinema gave him a portion of the profits. Altogether, his earnings were quite high.
It’s no wonder so many people wanted to experience a movie; the promise of money after their success was enough to hook the audience.
Su Min’s own family circumstances were above average, so this factor didn’t matter much to him.
However, the director was very excited.
His new movie, “University Thriller”, finally broke away from the ranks of being ‘spat on in the streets’, and he had gotten rid of the fixed image created from his previous three movies.
As his ‘Great Hero’, Su Min had the ‘honor’ of appearing on his Weibo for one continuous week. No matter what, every one of the director’s posts would, in one way or another, include Su Min.
And whenever Su Min was mentioned, Jing Xian was brought up, too.
When the two movies stopped playing on the big screens and were replaced by new movies, the heat eventually died down.
Su Min’s information was released by many people. Jiang Da’s7 official blog that was also forwarded led many people to comment over there.
Many netizens were concerned about Jing Xian’s identity.
Su Min once tried to research, but even the great detectives8 of the internet couldn’t unmask the actor behind Jing Xian.
They ultimately reached this conclusion: Jing Xian is likely a character made up by the cinema for the script and nothing more; he is not an actual person.
It was a very reasonable guess.
That was also what Su Min had concluded, but, for reasons unknown, the thought made him uncomfortable.
Sometimes, when he’d recall the movie’s plot, all that he had experienced would feel especially real.
Lin Xiao Yan and Lin Yiri’s actors didn’t know him. Weibo once mentioned that the ones who really do were the two characters in the movie.
Somehow, Jing Xian seemed even more out of reach.
Every time Su Min saw the faces of these two actors, he couldn’t help but think of their characters in the movie. The differences between the character and actor was too big–especially Lin Yiri and his actor.
In the end, Su Min threw everything relating to “University Thriller” in the deepest part of his mind and concentrated on studying.
After the movie finished showcasing, many people would soon forget about it.
It’s just a horror movie. Even if it might differ from other films to some extent, there would only be a few who’d really remember it.
With that thought in mind, Su Min continued to live a lifestyle of three-points and one line9. Gradually, things began to settle down.
One day after self-studying and reviewing notes, Su Min prepared to wash up and go to bed.
His daily routine was very disciplined: sleep at 10PM and wake up at 7AM. He had kept this up for years.
At first, his roommates thought that he wouldn’t be able to last for more than a month. However, after a semester of witnessing Su Min’s self-discipline, everybody wanted him to accept their kneels.
Only a self-discipline god could persist.
It was impossible for internet addicts like them to fall asleep before 12 o’clock everyday.
For their kind, a day would end at 5AM and start at 5PM.
However, since Su Min’s movements were very light, their sleep schedules weren’t disturbed. And, thanks to bed curtains and earphones, Su Min also didn’t have any complaints on the noise.
The whole dormitory was joyous and harmonious.
After brushing his teeth, Su Min heard his phone alerting a text.
Putting down his cup, he opened his phone and clicked on the message. When he read it, Su Min froze and stared blankly at the screen.
Seeing him stand there for several minutes, Li Wenxin thought that something was wrong.
He leaned over, inquiring, “What are you looking at? You didn’t pay attention when I called you. It’s already 10 o’clock, shouldn’t you be heading to bed?”
Su Min snapped out of it.
He showed Li Wenxin his phone screen. “It’s an invitation from New Century Cinema. They’re releasing a new horror movie.”
Compared to a general horror movie, the box office for the re-release of “University Thriller” was on fire. Consequently, it also boosted the box office for the original movie.
Even the director himself was celebrating on Weibo.
As a result, Su Min was met with his fellow students’ attentive gazes before and after going to class. Fortunately, he spent most of his time in the dormitory and his classmates couldn’t intentionally come in to ask questions.
As for their strange and meaningful glances, Su Min simply ignored them.
It had been a long time since he’d experienced the movie. The memories he stored deeply in his heart were suddenly hooked out by this text message.
Li Wenxin looked at the screen. The short message stated that the name of the movie was “Murder Island”. At a glance, one could tell that this wasn’t going to be an easy horror movie.
He was afraid it’d be more terrifying than “University Thriller”.
The school plot contained many horror stories, but they were nothing more than legends and folklore. On the other hand, plenty of things could go wrong on a small island.
A movie that had “Murder” in the title and involved people trapped in enclose spaces reeked of blood and death. Who knew how long it would take before someone lost their life.
Li Wenxin thought for a moment, then asked, “Do you want to go see it? I’m afraid you’ll fall ill from fright after coming out. The first time is enough, but the second one is overkill.”
Su Min whispered, “Go.”
Next to him, Wang Di was shocked, “You won’t keep indulging in horror movie from now on, will you? Wake up, top student.”
Su Min looked at him, “You guys said this last time.”
Wang Di awkwardly smile. “It’s not like I’m worried about you. Just look at the name–“Murder Island”–you’re going to die.”
“It’ll be alright.” Su Min already made up his mind.
Li Wenxin suddenly thought of something and stopped worrying. “Alright. In any case, you did survive the last film. Good luck.”
Su Min felt that something wasn’t right with his words, but he didn’t think too much of it.
The cinema wanted him to be the first to watch the movie and, because of their last cooperation, gifted him the movie ticket.
Su Min sent a text back to the cinema.