Chapter 22 – Her greatest protector
Once Shi Xuan was settled, everybody went back downstairs to eat the hot pot. Because it was the first big meal they had made together, the atmosphere was lively and people ate their fill, even Feng Wei.
Shi Xuan kept on deliberately avoiding Sheng Qiao while talking. Whenever the topic turned to her, she would either change it or not answer. After a while, the group had realized that she seemed to not want to deal with Sheng Qiao.
Zhong Shen was known to be short tempered and was unhappy immediately, but because Sheng Qiao kicked him under the table, he did not react on the spot.
After talking about their respective works for a while, Shi Xuan said with a smile: “Senior brother wrote me a song some time ago. It has been recorded and will be released in two days.”
The way she said it, it was as if Huo Xi had been the one to take the initiative to write for her when she had obviously been the one requesting it. Shi Xuan’s fans in the barrage were all commenting with [Looking forward to Xuan Xuan’s new song.] and because Huo Xi’s fans had no hostility towards them or their idol, they would reply [Looking forward to their cooperation.]
Le Xiao took a bite of beef and asked: “What song? A love song?”
She had just asked casually, The atmosphere had made everyone relax and forget about the camera. But for a live broadcast, this question was too ambiguous.
Fans were the most anxious of those kinds of questions and when they saw Shi Xuan lower her head and smile in silence, it looked as if she had tacitly agreed.
Sheng Qiao held her chopsticks with too much strength and the egg in the bowl was crushed. Then she heard Huo Xi say: “I don’t know how to write love songs.”
The group was taken aback and he added: “The song I wrote for you is about someone’s pursuit of the light in the dark. If you found love lyrics in it, it’s best to modify them before it is released, otherwise the lyrics and music won’t match.”
Shi Xuan was still smiling: “I see.”
But when she lowered her head to eat, annoyance flashed through her eyes.
Sheng Qiao who had felt full a minute ago suddenly found out she could eat two more chicken feet.
After their meal and doing the dishes, Le Xiao called Shi Xuan over and asked with the camera behind her back: “Xuan Xuan, do you have a problem with Xiao Qiao?”
Shi Xuan paused for a moment and smiled: “No, why do you ask?”
“It looks like you don’t like her very much. I was a bit prejudiced against her before too, but Xiao Qiao is actually a very nice person. You will understand if you get to know her.”
Shi Xuan turned her head and glanced at Sheng Qiao who was wiping the table.
“It’s nothing.” After a pause, she added: “We are just not from the same world, there is no need for deep friendship.”
Right. One was a wealthy heiress with a spotless background, one was only a junior high graduate with countless scandals and naked photos. It was inevitable for Shi Xuan to look down on her.
Le Xiao was also from a good background and could understand Shi Xuan’s point of view but now she truly regarded Sheng Qiao as a friend. She only smiled and without saying anything anymore, she went to help clean the kitchen. The noise that was coming from the kitchen was Sheng Qiao directing them to tidy up.
Shi Xuan stood on the side with a shallow smile, as indifferent to the world, and the audience sommented:
[There seems to be an invisible line between them; the mundane world one one side and the celestial realm on the other.]
[Xuan Xuan is the immortal fairy herself.]
[Xuan Xuan is pure and innocent and will return to the heavenly palace one day.]
[I’m used to seeing all the usual praises but this one is too awkward!]
[In the big messy entertainment circle, how does one stay pure? Everyone ends up in the mud sooner or later.]
[Why are you cursing people to death!]
[I think there is a poem that suits her very well. It is pure and clean. We Xuan Xuan, who will return to the palace in the future]
[I can bear all the awkward blows before, and the sentence of my sister Lin is too much upstairs!]
[Also,’the original quality is clean, come and go clean’, the big dye vat of the entertainment industry comes in, do you want to go clean again? I think it will end up in the mud sooner or later]
[Open your mouth and curse the man nm is dead]
[The quality of the original is clean and the clean is not a curse? It’s all death sentence, can you use Lin Daiyu as a metaphor, but I can’t use Miaoyu to describe it? Using these two is to praise your celebrities, every day I don’t have any points to force them]
While people were arguing in the broadcast room, Shi Xuan who looked indifferent had darker thoughts.
She did not like Sheng Qiao because they weren’t from the same world, but really, she despised her. One of the reasons was because she had originally been one of the full time participant of this show.
Unfortunately, because the agency wanted to maximise the money made from Sheng Qiao, they had replaced her at the last minute. It wasn’t like it really mattered to Shi Xuan to do the variety show or not, but she had not expected Huo Xi would join.
With Huo Xi’s fame, he rarely participated in variety shows. This time, he had joined because he had been at the other end of the director’s kindness when he had first debuted and owed him. The director had personally invited him and he could not refuse.
But in order to maintain the mystery around the show, the director had hid the news and had not let anyone know.
Had Xingyao Media been aware that one of the most popular celebrities would participate, they would have not sent Sheng Qiao. When Shi Xuan had gone to the agency for a meeting yesterday, she had heard Gao Meiling had been hospitalized because of her anger.
Shi Xuan had then asked her agent if she could go as a guest. She had liked Huo Xi for a long time, before he even debuted.
She called Huo Xi Senior Brother not only because the two of them belonged to the same agency, but also because they had both graduated from Columbia University.
It was just that at the time, there were already too many people chasing after him and he probably did not know who she was. When he had become popular overnight after his debut, it had become even harder to get closer.
Unlike what fans thought, Shi Xuan had not entered the entertainment industry to have fun but for Huo Xi.
For this, she had given up her master in economics and despite the opposition of her family, she had insisted on stepping into this circle and had signed a contract with Xingyao Media. She had thought she would be able to get closer to him, but Huo Xi was still so far away.
Compared to the indifference of fame and wealth image she had built for herself, Huo Xi really did not care about anything. It wasn’t that he was cold, he was just like a gust of wind; uncatchable and always drifting away.
Shi Xuan did not seem to care about anything, she did not fight nor grab. Because she had had the best and everything she wanted since childhood, she had never had the need.
Huo Xi was the first to make her feel that way.
And Sheng Qiao who was stained at a glance, what right did she have to stay next to him?
Not only she was at his side but she was there happily. These people in front of her were all obedient; Qiao Qiao left, Qiao Qiao right. If it weren’t for the live broadcast, Shi Xuan would have already made her lose face.
When everything was cleaned up, the sky was already dark and Le Xiao asked to watch a horror movie again. A few of them immediately said yes; they drew the curtains and turned off the lights to create the atmosphere.
When Sheng Qiao came out of the kitchen after cutting the fruits, she was almost scared to death by the red ghost that suddenly appeared on the TV and the screams of the group.
She put the bowl on the coffee table and said “I’m a little sleepy” before climbing up the stairs to escape.
The group was still screaming downstairs from time to time but her fear of ghosts was hard for others to understand. Just a little imagination would make anything worse and simply by glancing at the female ghost, she was not even able to enter the bathroom. Her mind made it like the ghost was standing in the mirror.
After being in the room for a long time and to no avail, she sent a message to Zhong Shen to ask him to accompany her to the bathroom. But because Zhong Shen was too engrossed by the horror movie, he did not reply to her and only answered in a low voice when she finally called him.
“What’s wrong, why are you calling?”
“Can you come upstairs?”
“Why? This is the best part!”
“… Okay, I’m on my way.”
After hanging up the phone, Sheng Qiao took a long sigh of relief and tied up her hair. A knock on the door sounded and she went to open it while complaining: “Horror movies… What is so good about horror movies? It’s fake…”
Her words got stuck in her throat as she looked at Huo Xi standing in the hallway.
“You… Why are you…” Her tongue was knotted and it took her a while to finally manage to make a full sentence: “Why are you here? Where is Zhong Shen?”
“He’s watching the movie and doesn’t want to miss it. What’s wrong with you?”
Sheng Qiao scolded Zhong Shen in her heart but kept a smile on her face: “No, it’s nothing. You can go back downstairs.”
Huo Xi looked at her: “Are you still afraid even if you know it’s all fake?”
Sheng Qiao: “What?”
Huo Xi shook his head: “Don’t you want to wash? Go.”
Sheng Qiao: “…”
No, she did not want to anymore.
After walking up two steps and noticing she was still rooted in place, Huo Xi added: “Hurry up.”
Sheng Qiao finally moved her legs and rushed over quickly.
The room she stayed in did not have a separate bathroom and she shared hers with Feng Wei. Huo Xi stood at the door, arms crossed and leaning on the frame. Sheng Qiao squeezed the toothpaste and started brushing her teeth; she was not afraid of the ghost anymore, the mirror was reflecting Huo Xi’s figure who was illuminated by the warm light.
Oh, mom, this is the person I like! He’s shining!
Huo Xi suddenly turned his head and looked at her through the mirror: “How long are you going to hold the toothpaste?”
Sheng Qiao pulled back her thoughts, bowed her head and quickly finished brushing her teeth and washing her face.
The audience was conflicted.
After Sheng Qiao had gone upstairs, the live broadcast had created another room but not many people had gone to watch her at first. Until Huo Xi had suddenly left the main screen and entered Sheng Qiao’s broadcast and a large number of viewers had followed.
[This screen is not very comfortable.]
[She needs someone to accompany her to the bathroom… does she think she’s a three years old child?]
[The dog skin plaster in all her splendor.]
[Baby is just too much of a gentleman. How can Sheng Qiao deserve it?]
[People, be honest, we all want to be accompanied by Huo Xi to brush our teeth.]
[People, be honest, just now Sheng Qiao called Zhong Shen. It was your Huo Xi that came up on his own, why are you blaming Sheng Qiao? I’m speechless.]
[My Qiaoqiao is obviously scared by the horror movie, have you not seen her face change? Can’t she ask for a friend to accompany her? Huo Xi went up by himself and now you scold her.]
[Passersby, Huo Xi is a gentleman and Sheng Qiao was not wrong. Can you not tear at each other?]
[Tear her? Please, she’s not worthy.]
[Shut up! If she’s not worthy, should she kneel and kowtow three times to thank the emperor?]
[I don’t get it… The group is getting along with each other right now, why can’t Zhong Shen watch the movie and Huo Xi come up? Is Sheng Qiao not allowed to be afraid because Huo Xi is accompanying her?]
[It just doesn’t work! I don’t want to see Sheng Qiao and Huo Xi in the same frame and I do not want Sheng Qiao to contamine Huo Xi. I don’t even want them to talk to each other, are you happy? I just hate Sheng Qiao so much I have to endure the nausea every time she interacts with Huo Xi. Am I not allowed to complain?]
[When will she finally terminate the contract and get out of the showbiz?]
[When she quits, I will invite a lion dance troupe to beat the gong outside of Huo Xi’s studio to celebrate.]
The hate for Sheng Qiao of Huo Xi’s fans ran really deep.
After washing up, Sheng Qiao returned to her room and Huo Xi slowly walked behind her. When they arrived at the door, he whispered: “Rest early.”
“Yeah.” She sofly added: “Huo Xi, good night.”
Back to her room, her fear had faded a lot. Sheng Qiao let a long sigh of relief out and covered the camera with a hat. She turned off the lights, climbed on the bed, put her headphones on and turned on the phone. Her secret folder was full of Huo Xi’s performance videos and she started one from his last concert happily. What the hell, nothing mattered, Huo Xi was her greatest guardian.
Now that she had changed identity, she could stay by his side every day. She could now see him and talk to him but it was looking at him shining on the stage she felt the closest to him. She did not need to hide, she did not need to suppress her feelings: he was her favorite person and she was just his fan.
This was the best distance.
She might be Sheng Qiao now, but she liked to hide.
TL note: I think this is a HUGE moment and basically the answer we all have been waiting for. Sheng Qiao IS a wife fan and she loves him but Huo Xi is her idol before anything else. He has helped her grow as a better person and as a fan but that’s who he is: her idol. Like some kind of deity she can worship and watch from afar but never mix with. Poor Huo Xi will have some work to do if he wants his girl entirely.