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Back home, Ji Wang was still in a trance. He originally thought it wouldn’t be so easy. This subtly proved again that Qi Boyan was just casually talking, and wouldn’t do anything in reality.
He called Hong-jie and asked what the situation was with the MV shoot. Hong-jie said in a baffled tone over the phone, "What's the matter, did something happen while filming?"
Ji Wang was a little embarrassed to say it, but he still asked, "Did the other party assign me to the shoot?"
Sure enough, Hong-jie smiled, "Xiao-Ji, you know that sister has always wanted you to be prosperous, but this time the other party didn't designate you. It was the casting director who had dinner with me, and I showed him your latest drama over WeChat. He set you down for the role.”
Hong-jie comforted him, “"In the end, it was you who worked hard. If you didn’t have any successful works, I wouldn't have been able to force you into it."
"That's Qi Boyan's MV, how many people can't act even if they try their hardest? But Xiao-Ji, don't be discouraged, you will be more popular than Qi Boyan in the future." Hong-jie also went out of her way to praise her artist.
Ji Wang couldn't laugh. He insincerely expressed his gratitude, thanking Hong-jie for her hard work and investments, and finally hung up the phone without knowing how.
Therefore, his encounter with Qi Boyan was purely coincidental. Moreover, from Qi Boyan's point of view, he was the one who went to great lengths to join the crew.
No wonder Qi Boyan was confident that he couldn't let go or forget, and he frequently came to tease him.
Ji Wang shook his head, unwilling to think anymore.
After the MV ended, he didn't have anything scheduled. When the actors were unoccupied, they were really idle.
He could only continue to exercise, study in class, and schedule his days to the fullest.
Ji Wang didn't specifically set up his phone system to reject unfamiliar calls, because it made it inconvenient to get deliveries or take a taxi.
But the phone call Ji Wang guarded against never came.
It was like Qi Boyan forgot him and disappeared from his life, but didn't disappear completely. Ji Wang only had to turn on the TV to see this person, to the extent that he rarely surfed the Internet. He hardly went out, going between his home, the gym, and the classroom, these three points in a line.
After a period of Internet withdrawal, Song Ge called him and said that he was really popular recently. He’d been in several hot searches, and his previous dramas were also picked up and made into fan videos.
Fans were surprised that Ji Wang had played so many roles, but they hadn’t discovered such a treasured brother before.
Ji Wang's flourishing Weibo was also flooded with a large number of fans. Song Ge said on the phone, "Brother, you may really be on fire this time."
"It should be Hong-jie's work. After a while, I have to be on a variety show. It wasn’t easy for me to cheat the opportunity to appear on the show, I have to have numbers one way or another.”
Song Ge said loudly, "Why are you so unconfident!"
Ji Wang helplessly smiled, "It's not that I'm not confident. If I’m popular, I should have been popular a long time ago, why wait until now? Come on, don't talk about this, what are you calling me for?"
Song Ge said, "Want a round of skewers? From the place we loved going to the most after our high school evening self-study sessions."
When it came to the past, there was naturally more to the story. Song Ge said, "Ren Ran has returned to China."
Hearing this name, Ji Wang's expression darkened considerably and he didn’t speak. Song Ge noticed, "What happened to you two back then? All I did was go to college somewhere else, and after not seeing you for a while, you two had a falling out.”
Ji Wang didn't know what to say. In truth, what happened back then had nothing to do with Ren Ran, but the relationship between them had become very awkward ever since.
Not long afterwards, Ren Ran went to study abroad and Ji Wang naturally cut off contact with him.
You had to know that in high school, he, Song Ge, and Ren Ran were all very good brothers. Ren Ran was also very disappointed with him. After all, Ren Ran only kindly reminded him about Qi Boyan's "true face".
It was him who couldn't accept it, so he took out his anger on Ren Ran.
Song Ge organized the dinner with good intentions, so Ji Wang couldn’t refuse to go. He changed into a new set of clothes, hesitated when heading out the door, then chose to put on a face mask. Although he wasn’t sure if he was actually popular on the Internet now, it was better to be prepared for anything.
His self-confidence in his attractiveness1 wasn’t from just one or two incidents. When Ji Wang first debuted, a big director came to select actors from their school. Ji Wang accompanied his friends and didn’t imagine that his audition would succeed and he acted as the third male lead.
He was still young at that time. Of course, he had dreams of becoming an instant hit, but reality taught him how to conduct himself.
After so many years, Ji Wang had gotten used to it. He had a very accurate understanding of the fact that he wasn’t popular. He treated every job with humility and was grateful that they were willing to hire him to act.
After graduation, Song Ge opened his own company. Ren Ran's family had money and now he was returning to China to inherit the family business.
Sometimes Ji Wang thought that if he didn't insist on acting, maybe he would be better off doing something else. But every time he thought about it, Ji Wang couldn’t bear to give up acting.
He was a person with long-lasting affections. He could love one type of wine, one brand of cigarette, one dish for many years, not to mention acting.
Although he liked acting enough at the beginning, entering the entertainment industry was an accident. Still, he’d been doing it for so many years and invested so much hard work. To really give it up wasn’t very good.
When they got to the kebab shop, Song Ge was sitting at the table they used to love and had ordered beer for all three of them.
The proprietress looked much older, but she still remembered Ji Wang, and even took Ji Wang's hand: "My daughter has been watching your TV series recently, leave an autograph for Auntie."
Ji Wang was so embarrassed that his face tightened. He gave her an autograph and took a photo, and the auntie also sent him a plate of snacks.
Holding the snacks, Ji Wang was exchanging niceties with the auntie when his shoulders suddenly felt heavy, and someone held him in place: "Auntie, why are you only giving him snacks, what about me?"
Ji Wang turned his head. Ren Ran half hugged him and beamingly asked the auntie for food. Auntie reassured him there was some for everyone and gave Ren Ran another plate.
After a long time, no see, Ren Ran had changed his hairstyle and lost a bit of weight, but still looked confident. He naturally hugged Ji Wang and went to the table.
Song Ge bit his chopsticks and looked at the two of them inquisitively. When he got to the table, Ren Ran let go of Ji Wang and pinched Song Ge's face: "Princess2 Song, long time no see, you’ve become even more delicate!"
Song Ge was furious: "Go away! Don't call me Princess Song!"
Ji Wang watched the two people laugh from the side. Song Ge quickly became reacquainted with Ren Ran, and the two had endless content to talk about. Ji Wang had always been the one to listen on the side, adding wine and giving people food; taking care of everyone, like a big brother.
When Ren Ran saw that the food Ji Wang had added to his plate looked like a small hill, a trace of melancholy flashed in his eyes, “After I left the country, no one helped serve me food.”
Ji Wang calmly answered, "Haven’t you come back?"
Ren Ran shook his head with a smile and finished the beer in front of him in one gulp.
After eating, Ren Ran wanted to continue drinking, but Ji Wang blocked his glass: "Enough, don’t you remember when your pheromones went out of control from drinking too much?”
Ren Ran's movements froze, and his smile was a bit reluctant. Song Ge held his breath and carefully looked at Ren Ran's face.
Song Ge internally admired Ji Wang's courage. He’d even casually said Ren Ran's sore spot out loud - Ren Ran was an omega.
He was an omega that differentiated late. Before that, Ren Ran was always a beta.
The loss of control of pheromones was also in the public eye. Later, there were a lot of rumors about this incident, saying that Ren Ran was disrespectful, that he did not use inhibitors and pheromone blocking stickers properly, and even caused several incidents of alpha fighting.
What’s more, in the alpha fights, one of the participants was Ji Wang.
For this reason, Ji Wang was disciplined, but Ren Ran found a way to help him cancel it.
When Ren Ran was almost sexually assaulted, it was Ji Wang who saved him. From then on, Ren Ran listened to Ji Wang's words, up until they fell out.
Ren set down the beer, switched to milk, toasted them, and asked, "Song Ge, it can’t be that you’re still single?"
Song Ge rolled his eyes: "How come as soon you arrive you start with personal attacks? Why don’t you ask Wang-ge if he’s still single?”
Ren Ran smiled, "You think Ji Wang is like you, but he definitely isn’t."
Ji Wang didn't speak. Song Ge, unresigned, said, "How do you know? He’s still single, he’s been single for many years."
Ren Ran looked at Ji Wang in astonishment, Ji Wang threw mutton skewers into Song Ge's bowl: "You can't stop your mouth even when there’s food to eat."
The topic changed a few times. After drinking a dozen drinks, Ji Wang wanted to smoke halfway, so he went outside. There was an alley behind the skewer shop with no one there. Ji Wang lit a cigarette, took a deep breath, and took out his phone again.
Still no calls, let alone unfamiliar numbers.
A bottle was kicked open behind him. Ji Wang held his cigarette and looked back. Ren Ran put his hands in the pockets of his hoodie: "Ji Wang, why haven't you dated after so many years?”
Ji Wang inhaled another breath of smoke, determined to ease his relationship with Ren Ran, but not wanting to answer directly, so he laughed hoarsely: "How do you call someone, you have to call me brother."
Ren Ran's lips moved, and his face was a little stiff: "It shouldn’t be that you...are still with Qi Boyan..."
Ji Wang became a lot colder: "It has nothing to do with you."
Ren Ran closed his mouth as if he’d been punched hard. Ji Wang didn't want to argue with Ren Ran, so he softened his tone: "Go back, or Song Ge will think we abandoned him."
When passing by Ren Ran, Ji Wang's sleeve was pulled by Ren Ran, and Ren Ran said stubbornly, "I still think I was right back then."
Ji Wang didn't speak, and Ren Ran softly said, "He's lying to you, I'm telling you the truth."
Ren Ran: "Or do you prefer to continue being deceived by him?"
Ji Wang clenched the cigarette in his fist and snuffed out the live flame: "Yes."
Seeing Ren Ran's speechless appearance, Ji Wang rubbed Ren Ran's hair: "My relationship with him has nothing to do with you, you don’t have to worry about it.”
It wasn’t that Ji Wang had never considered what Ren Ran said. If Qi Boyan was willing to continue lying, Ji Wang was also unwilling to wake up. It was a pity that Qi Boyan was unwilling, and didn’t even bother with a half-hearted attempt.
So Ji Wang could only wake up, and there was no Qi Boyan in the dream.
After being awake for a long time, he naturally no longer dared to dream, because it really hurt.
- I’m not confident in this translation - the original phrase is “自作多情” which seems to refer to someone who considers themselves to be attractive or loved by others ↑
- This is a joke because the character “格” that makes up Song Ge’s last name is the same as in “格格”, which refers to princesses during the Qing Dynasty ↑