The Play of Lips and Teeth

Chapter 3 - Wifey

Yan Zhao took a deep breath to suppress the urge to curse, “... That wasn’t what I meant.”

He spoke while trying hard to maintain his composure, “Selling Fu is a very sensitive issue. Our variety show is to be broadcasted on the television, and it wouldn’t pass the censorship if done your way.”

“Just this bit was already impossible?” Zhou Chenyu curled his lips, “Our xiangsheng on the stage is one hundred times more rio1 in comparison.”

…Oh, great, this person even knew the term ‘rio’.

Everyone is a straight man, f*ck that rio of yours!

Yan Zhao, “Aren’t you the least bit worried the fans will take it for real?”

Zhou Chenyu was even more puzzled, “Us two are men. How is it possible for anyone to take two men for real? Wouldn’t that be gross!”

Yan Zhao seemed to hear a voice rang in his ears:

Beep. First radar detection completed: This person is a straight guy.

Beep. Second radar detection completed: Not only is he a straight guy, he’s also the dumbest one among them.

Everyone said a gay would have a gay radar. Yan Zhao just found out today that he, as a straight man, was actually also equipped with a straight man radar.

Kinda afraid of straight men now.

When they’re done with the meeting and the photoshoot, it was already past ten in the evening. The day of work had at last formally concluded.

The program will officially start shooting tomorrow. According to the planning, the work and private interactions between every guest will all need to be recorded in. Hence, the two people were booked into the same standard hotel room. There'd be a webcam placed in the room to record the daily life of them both.

Yan Zhao had recorded countless variety shows before, so it wasn’t his first time to see such a shooting method. He was all used to the strangeness. Although no script was given for the recording in personal space, the two guests would usually interact with each other according to their previously set CP personality. This was a matter tacitly understood by each party.

Yet as long as he thought about how his roommate was Zhou Chenyu, Yan Zhao felt an unprecedented extreme headache.

A new show guest had suddenly dropped from the sky, then he found out that this new guest was a dumbass, and tonight he’d be living together with the said dumbass…

It was too hard for Yan Zhao to believe that all these had happened in a single day.

Simply too magical.

Luckily the night was getting late, so not much time was left for Zhou Chenyu’s illness to flare up.

Yan Zhao didn’t expect Zhou Chenyu, who outwardly appeared like a cool k-pop guy, to actually have the habit of a retired artist. Zhou Chenyu had taken a bath as soon as they arrived in the hotel, and then punctually went to bed to sleep.

As an internet-addicted youngster, of course it was impossible for Yan Zhao to follow his elderly lifestyle. Thus after the light was turned off, he was still scrolling on his phone in the dark.

He glanced at Zhou Chenyu who was fast asleep on the opposite bed, then mechanically opened a certain video website.

Later, he’d be recording a variety show with the fabled useless flower vase itself, so he really couldn’t resist his desire to see just how bad the xiangsheng of the Flower Vase Support Gen as was titled by the mass.

Worthy of the hottest xiangsheng duo, any of the footages of He Chenfeng's and Zhou Chenyu's performances had viewers numbering thousands to millions.

Yan Zhao didn’t have the habit of watching xiangsheng performance, so he didn’t understand the myriads of titles and habitually opted to watch the first one at the top of the search result.

The video was in HD, and under such a lens, the flourishing beauty of Zhou Chenyu’s countenance looked amazingly flawless in all 360°.

Yan Zhao was used to the sight of Zhou Chenyu in his casual clothes, so he felt a kind of novelty when he suddenly saw him donning a long-gowned cheongsam.

He had to admit, he did look quite good.

Even though he only showed the upper half of his body by sitting behind the desk, and wasn’t doing anything in particular, it can’t conceal his temperament of someone who was talented in words and unrestrained in life.2

To the extent that Yan Zhao spent almost one whole minute solely staring at that person sitting behind the desk.

By the time he took note of the xiangsheng content itself, the audience off-stage had already laughed themselves into a mess.

He at last understood why everyone called Zhou Chenyu a flower vase.

Still, when a flower vase was so stunning that it distracted the audience's gaze, was that then become its fault?

Yan Zhao resignedly pulled the progress bar back to the start and began to earnestly watch as both of them acted.

Although it was his first time watching an unaired xiangsheng, as a presenter who similarly lived by the gift of his mouth, he could somewhat make out the way their xiangsheng worked.

He Chenfeng was indeed a very outstanding Tease Gen. Although his appearance couldn’t count as very handsome when put in the entertainment industry, he was still the type who was more pleasing to the eyes than the average population. He was neither too tall nor too short, neither too fat nor too skinny. In short, he was the kind of young man who wasn’t hard to find in real life.

Yet his advantage laid on his top-notch acting skill. He could act a lot of characters, but it was his various kinds of adorable little expressions which was a huge boost to the comedic effect.

Another look at Zhou Chenyu by the side had also unexpectedly changed the whole day's worth of sand sculpture impression he had left on Yan Zhao.

Although he, as a Support Gen, didn’t have many opportunities to perform, his stage presence was incomparably steady. He can always smoothly deadpanned He Chenfeng’s punchline in the most perfect timing. All the punchlines he threw back were God’s brush strokes, causing the audience off-stage to cheer again and again.

…Who said he was a flower vase? Wasn’t this level of punchlines worth anything?

Both people seemed to echo one another so much that it was sometimes difficult to tell if it was a previously prepared punchline or the one they had just spontaneously made up.

Yet no matter which, it was enough to convey the tacit fit between the two. The term ‘a match made in heaven’ wouldn’t be too much.

Even if Yan Zhao had only watched this little snippet, he had already realized that among those who called Zhou Chenyu as a ‘Flower Vase’, lots were just baseless slanders.

Actually, the fact was always like this. The majority of internet trolls simply didn’t take effort to understand your professional level. They just relied on a keyboard to repeat rumors that they became facts, to later become the object of ridicule in the whole internet.

Yan Zhao did a 3-seconds-long repentance for his action of believing the rumors and contributed to spreading them.

He continued to watch, and became more engrossed as he did. He astonishedly realized that, away from the television channel, a xiangsheng performance in a small theater could be this novel and interesting. It had completely broken his inherent impression towards xiangsheng.

It was so much so that when the next punchline was delivered, Yan Zhao finally couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

Then he saw Zhou Chenyu flipped over in the next bed.

Startled, Yan Zhao hurriedly removed his earphones.

He borrowed the faint moonlight to cautiously observe him. Fortunately, the other party was still closing his eyes and appeared to be deeply asleep.

Yan Zhao involuntarily stared at Zhou Chenyu’s sleeping countenance. His face under the moonlight had clearer sharp edges, unlike his sloppy expression in the daylight, nor the quick intelligence and soft refinement like the one in the video. He just appeared beautiful in a peaceful and comfortable way.

Unfortunately, when remembering his retarded look when he started to talk, Yan Zhao felt all the beautiful filters he had around instantaneously collapsed.

If only Zhou Chenyu can be mute and as quiet as a chicken when he follows him in the variety shows, sitting obediently as a flower vase, wouldn’t that be great.

However it was obviously impossible to make Zhou Chenyu be quiet.

Yan Zhao, again, put on his earphones. He just noticed he had forgotten to click the pause button and the progress bar had gone a good more than a half.

He heard He Chenfeng, who was directly facing Zhou Chenyu by his side, said, “I went to your house, but you weren’t there. The one who opened the door was your wifey.”

Zhou Chenyu asked with a shocked face, “My wifey? How come I’ve not seen her? Where’s my wifey?”

In an instant, the off-stage was filled with the chorus of hundreds of fangirls, “Over here!”

Zhou Chenyu very cooperatively winked towards them, letting the off-stage immediately filled with a burst of squealing, “Yi—!”.

He Chenfeng pointed to the off-stage, “Haiyoo, I have these many little sis-in-laws, can you even take care of them all?”

Zhou Chenyu spoke toward the off-stage with neither a red face nor a flustered heart, “No rush, no rush. Ladies, please, get the line in order. Let’s come over one by one.”

The off-stage promptly burst out into laughter.

He Chenfeng laughed while pointing at Zhou Chenyu, “This little fish3 of ours is a famous seven-times-a-night chad.”

Zhou Chenyu calmly faced him, “You tried so you knew?”

Bam, the tremble of Yan Zhao’s hand brought the phone crashing straight to his face.

…This person was rather too shameless, wasn’t he??

If it was an internet celebrity, for example Yan Zhao himself, who had done such a large scale of ‘car-driving4, flirting with fans, and selling Fu’ operations all in a quick succession, wouldn’t he be blackened into a coke5?

Sure enough, you couldn’t use the common standard of the entertainment industry to limit xiangsheng actors.

Indeed, there was nothing wrong with what Zhou Chenyu had said. Put in a variety show, he had really been much restrained.

Don’t know if Zhou Chenyu’s xiangsheng had him brainwashed, Yan Zhao’s dream was filled with Zhou Chenyu’s unrelenting calls of ‘wifey’.

By the time he dispiritedly woke up the next day, the first thing he saw was Zhou Chenyu standing in front of his bed.

He spent 3 seconds realizing that those ‘wifeys’ he heard weren’t actually from the dream.

Yan Zhao sat up with a whoosh, “Who are you even calling?”

Zhou Chenyu flung him a coquettish glance, “Isn’t this room only for the two of us to have our two-people world?”

It was obviously an ordinary room distribution, but perplexedly become tinted with matchless erotic feeling in his mouth. Yan Zhao seethed, “Are you a psycho!”

To this, Zhou Chenyu curled his lips, “Wasn’t it your production team who told us to fry CP, ma.”

Yan Zhao morning grumpiness wasn’t lessening, “It isn't even business hours now, to whom are you even frying?”

Zhou Chenyu replied, “Then midnight was also not business hours, I don’t know who it was that hid behind the quilt and sneakily watched the other perform xiangsheng.”

…WTF!

It was the first time in Yan Zhao’s life to have the desire to take somebody down even if it ended up ruining himself, “You saw but you still pretended to sleep!”

“Wasn’t I just curious how you will respond?” Zhou Chenyu gazed at him ambiguously, “I didn’t expect being called ‘wifey’ once by myself can delight you for half a day. Since you like it, then I’ll call you with this everyday from here on.”

Yan Zhao cussed, “Like what fart! Are you a psycho!”

Zhou Chenyu laughed out loud, “I was teasing you. How can you be so funny, hah? Do you have to be so sneaky when watching my xiangsheng performance? Those who didn’t know would think you’re watching a GV.”  (note: gay erotic video)

Yan Zhao, “...You’ve acted in one?”

“So you found out,” Zhou Chenyu continued to laugh, “Wasn’t the other male lead precisely yourself?”

Yan Zhao, “Zhou Chenyu, are you a psycho!”

Zhou Chenyu helplessly curled his lips, “In these five minutes, you’ve used this sentence to cuss me thrice.”

Yan Zhao, “Stating a fact is not called cussing, thank you.”

Zhou Chenyu, “Can’t you even take jokes? Little Didi, aren’t the people around you shunning you from being boring?”

Yan Zhao, “You’re the Little Didi! Your whole family is Little Didis!”

Zhou Chenyu stifled his laughter as he nodded, “En, you don’t have Little Didi.”

Yan Zhao: “......”

Yan Zhao: “I’ll take it out for you to see?”

 


  1. 'rio' as in 'real'. Used a lot in CP shipping.
  2. In case you don't get it, he's saying he was as elegant as a scholar, but unbridled/carefree in his conduct.
  3. Little Fish = Xiao Yu, homonym with Little Yu as in Zhou Chenyu
  4. Vulgar contents
  5. In the bad reputation kind of sense.

Translator Note:
The title in Chinese is 媳妇儿 (xifu'r) (erhua variant of 媳妇 (xifu) because the story was set in Beijing) with the meaning of wife or young married woman. I feel using 'Wifey' is barely able to convey the playfulness in it. Hubby x Wifey kinda feel.

For old married couple, it's more to laogong(husband) and laopo(wife) for me.

On another note, I'm calling out Mr. Yan Zhao for not being as straight as he claims to be :v

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