Since he had been in the entertainment circle for a while now, he knew how to create hype around himself alone. That’s why he didn’t answer questions directly, only leaving emojis to fan comments to express his intent.
His comment section quickly blew up, many asking which role he played in the up and coming [Legend of Emperor Ling], and how no one knew the details. Xu Che didn’t respond and his fans took the silence as admittance… and spread the news everywhere.
Meanwhile Mo Shaoqing was unaware of everything that was happening online.
When he got home, he didn’t think about the confession he received from Ling Senhao, and instead immediately threw himself into work around the restaurant.
It had been nearly two months since he had last been into the restaurant, so there weren’t many changes.
First of all, Mo Shaohong hired a general manager for the restaurant named Pei Yu. He had a tall frame and in his early thirties with a delicate face. He would be in charge of all internal matters in the future while Mo Shaohong only needed to manage the finances.
Next, Mo Shaoqing hired two skilled chefs for Chef Yue. As a result, the kitchen would not be able to operate, so he suggested to Mo Shaoqing to use the down time to expand.
Not only that, Mo Shaoqing had noticed that in places that used to help decorations there were more tables. It seemed that the shop was too small for their growing clientele base. The waiting area for seating guests was packed full, and the more impatient guests would leave.
After the blooming of the wisteria flowers passed, only the greenery remained on the terrace. Some customers commented that the terrace was too monotone, so another problem had to be addressed.
Regarding the three problems he had at hand, excluding the flowers, which was easy to solve, the other plans required more preparation.
As it was the middle of summer, the temperature outside was the hottest it would be in the entire year. Mo Shaoqing decided that changing up the menu was the most important item to tackle.
The summers were hot, and many people did not have an appetite and tended to eat less meat. Although there were many who still enjoyed hot pot and bbq, Mo Shaoqing still decided to pull the most popular items from the menu.
Actually after the summer solstice is when summer was really here, but because Mo Shaoqing was busy with exams and filming he had to wait until summer vacation to change the seasonal menu. He decided to increase the portions of cold vegetable dishes and decreased the ones with meat.
Chinese Style Dishes: Cold Enoki Mushroom Salad, Bittermelon with scrambled eggs, grass jelly and stir fried mountain yam. These simpler dishes were delegated to Wang Lifang.
Non-vegetarian dishes include: blanched pork with garlic paste, Yu-Xiang style water bamboo shoots, green beans with minced pork, bitter melon with meat stir fry, sweet and sour pork and a series of soups such as winter melon with pork rib broth, garden vegetable soup, sliced fish and tomato soup, etc… were delegated to Chef Yue and other Sous Chefs on the team.
For small plates/dimsum there were: Purple sweet potato cake, chilled scallion noodles, and chilled mung bean soup, which Li Zhiye would be responsible for.
Western Style dishes: mango sago pudding, durian mille crepe, mango mousse, and mango pudding. These would be the responsibility of Mo Di.
Han Sisi would be in charge of creating drinks: Iced pickled plum, passion fruit and kumquat tea, kiwi mojito, watermelon smoothie with sago, and mango yakult.
Other dishes offered also included: pineapple rice, mango sticky rice pudding, spicy chicken wings stuffed with rice and numb and spicy (ma la) spot prawns.
In the end, customers who were unhappy with a menu change had no problems with it as many new dishes were added to the menu, right?
Once everything was organized and managed, Mo Shaoqing started to have some free time.
Once the menu change was completed, he took advantage of the warm weather and opened a Weibo account for Mo’s Private Kitchen. Then took pictures of each dish and posted them online, and reposted them on his personal account.
The current Mo Shaoqing was no longer a no-name celebrity. Due to certain “promotional events” that happened lately, his fan base had passed 80 000 followers online. Once he reposted the restaurant’s post, a stream of comments and praise were left by fans about wanting to go eat there at least once.
Xu Che looked at these posts with a cold gaze. Inside he thought, I’ll let you feel good about this for now. Just wait until [Legend of Emperor Ling] premieres, your career will be over… I’ll make it so you will never be able to make a comeback...
In the early morning of August 15th the [Legend of Emperor Ling] posted promotional posters on their Weibo featuring the main cast. The post was an instant success with over 10 000 reposts. Fans were quick to spread the word and by the second day the poster had been shared over 100 000 times.
At the end of August and summer vacation, [Legend of Emperor Ling] started broadcasting on air. As each episode took a long time to produce, filming was not actually completed and the series was airing while still in production.
After the premiere episode of [Legend of Emperor Ling] aired, major film and television viewership ratings exceeded 10 million. With such great results, the staff and cast became excited and motivated to work harder. Director Mo even boasted that he would hold a celebratory party when viewership hit 100 million.
In September, Mo Shaoqing entered into his senior year.
The official Weibo of [Legend of Emperor Ling] posted again. This time it included concept photos and behind the scenes at the makeup station, which also included Mo Shaoqing who was casted as “thousand faces”. Since the character was quite unique, he could be found in two of the photos in the post. One was as the friend of the ninth prince while they explored, and the other was of him looking very graceful*. Wearing a white robe, which was stained with blood, his fingers on the zither, lips curled in a smirk. The aura around him was solemn.
The contrasting photos captivated the audience. Instantly, the “thousand faces”, “Mo Shaoqing dual roles” and “[Legend of Emperor Ling] thousand faces” populated the hot searches and trending section.
Under Rui Sha’s guidance, Mo Shaoqing started to promote the series. At the same time, he could also promote his acting role as the character’s first appearance on the series was coming up.
Mon_Shaoqing: This is Thousand Faces saying hello to everyone! I hope everyone can give me some pointers! [Photo] [Photo].
“Wow, this Mo is unexpectedly debuting in [Legend of Emperor Ling], and as Thousand Faces too!”
“Re: [Legend of Emperor Ling] the role of Thousand Faces is actually much deeper than what you see on the surface…”
“The Thousand Faces disguise is the best one out there, who knows who will appear in the other roles?”
“There aren’t many flowy clothes in the series, but I have a set, hehe!”
However there were also those who were doubtful:
“It looks good, but who knows about the acting abilities. Apparently it is a newcomer that’s not even from the acting department!”
“I don’t have high expectations, feels like it doesn’t follow the original work.”
“Does he have facial paralysis? Although Thousand Faces is a cold character, doesn’t mean his face can’t move, don’t blame facial paralysis!”
“I agree with the post above, Thousand Face’s acting is amazing!”
“Sitting here waiting for episode 15, until then no conclusion will be made”
Elsewhere, Xu Che’s Weibo was also getting buzz:
“Che Che, what role did you play? The TV series has already started airing, no need to keep a secret any more!”
“The official Weibo hasn’t released my promotional photos, maybe they’ll come out in the second act?”
“No way, Che Che was wearing Hanfu. This is not a characteristic of those in war attire nor foreign countries, it’s definitely in the first act…”
“Che Che, the last photo you posted licking the screen is not enough, have any more fan service?”
“Why do I feel that the clothes Che Che is wearing familiar?”
“It’s true, that Mo Shaoqing also has the same clothes. Could two people be playing the same role /laughing emoji/.”
As fans continued to discuss and comment on the post they found out the blog got deleted!
This left many fans angry! What happened? Why did the post get removed?
Xu Che’s die hard fans were now messaging in a group chat.
ImCheChesLegPendant: Having to delete his Weibo account, I hope it’s not something series!
XuCC: Why didn’t the official Weibo make a post with him in hair and makeup? TOO SUSPICIOUS!
LoveLifeLoveCheChe: Maybe someone pushed out my Che Che… the casting team or something, that’s why it wasn’t posted!
CheCheWifey: Suddenly I have a bad feeling about this, my Che’s scenes shouldn’t have been deleted! To replace him in the cast and then delete their scenes, that’s too much! Che Che must have found out his part got deleted and did what he did!
XuCC: Quite a scary thought!
YingYingYing: the horror!!!
NinthHeaven: It can’t end like this, give my Che Che justice.
As Xu Che had debuted a few years back, his fan base wasn’t comparable to someone in the A-list but the number wasn’t small either.
The fighting power of his fanbase was strong, and soon the issue was brought to the attention of the official Weibo (of the TV series), requesting the series to give an explanation.
The person in charge of the social media account was confused. Who is this Xu Che? What was his role? Why didn’t he appear?!
By the time this had reached Mo Ansheng’s attention, Weibo was already on fire. Regardless of how this started, he had to figure out how to explain the situation.
The assistant director reminded him that Xu Che wasn’t completely cut from the script. Previously, Mo Shaoqing had body doubled for him playing the luthier and the scenes before that weren’t cut out to save time. Although those scenes had small screen times, his fans’ eyes were too sharp. Perhaps they would soon realised their male god was only a cameo, one of the many faces of Thousand Faces.
Mo Ansheng was analyzing the pros and cons of the details. He had been in the industry for over 10 years, these types of tactics he’s seen countless times. If his guess was right, Xu Che’s goal was to rile his fan base and “discover” that his role was taken away, while simultaneously gaining free press from the popularity of the show.
Although it wasn’t entirely wrong to recast during filming, he definitely thought that by leaking the information himself no one would suspect him. Then at the same time, he could take down Shaoqing by gaining a leg up. Hah. It was a good calculative move.
Would that make him happy? Mo Ansheng laughed coldly: “Xu Che did film in the series, everything he’s posted was during testing make-up and clothes. Completely remove all instances of him for me!”
The official Weibo did not post any explanations. Fans who complained over a few days saw no response. Their male god also did not make any appearance in the TV series, and the buzz died down.
In his apartment, Xu Che angrily threw everything and anything off the table. “A bunch of idiots, they can’t even see through this?! Usually running their mouths, what male god, what idol, just a bunch of morons…”
“Alright, my little ancestor, stop arguing. There are a lot of people living in this complex!” His agent quickly rushed over to comfort him, but in actuality he was a bit dissatisfied. He had many artists under his care, Xu Che could be considered the most confusing so he had invested much time and care on him, but that didn’t mean he was here to be a grandson*!
Xu Che was now appeased, right now his fame wasn’t big enough and could only live in the artist dorm. He had to be careful with everything he did, this role was supposed to be his comeback and make him a second tier artist. Having someone steal that away, how could he willingly resign!