The fifty contestants split into teams of twos, with a total of 25 teams.
Thereafter, the two judges that had the most professional modelling experience, Guan Mengyuan and Song Lin walked in. The two of them were supermodels, and what they wore in every appearance were worth learning from.
Everyone was discussing what were the brands or runway’s latest collection that they were wearing.
By their side stood the photographer Russell.
Most of the contestants did not look happy when they saw Russell. Russell was a famous photographer, but… During the last photoshoot, the bigshot left the contestants with a very bad impression. He was too haughty and too strict, never smiled, and liked to scold them.
Although these did not affect his professionalism.
“After looking at the scene in the recording studio, what did you all think of?”
“Night, the streets.”
Guan Mengyuan smiled, saying: “That’s right, the theme of today’s filming is ‘boxing’. As to what you will learn today, you will learn how to tell a story in photos.”
“Storytelling is very important in still photos. A good still photo needs to be able to tell a story, and should not be dry… Even if it is a photo of an empty hole, it will need to have a feeling of hollowness.”
“Before the photoshoot later, Hugo and I will demonstrate how to take a photo that is fashionable and can tell a story.”
Hugo was Song Lin’s English name.
“Now,” She showed her signature bright smile, “models, start choosing your outfits!”
When the rack of clothes were pushed out, the models’ expressions instantly changed. There was no other reason aside from the design of these clothes, which were extremely bold. It was the same for the colours, which were very loud.
In addition to all kinds of fishnet designs, there was a hint of gaudiness in between the sexiness.
If not worn well, these kind of clothes will give the image of street women and gangsters. If worn well, it will be fashionable.
Han Yun’s reaction this time was still slow. Chen Tiantian who stood by his side quickly grabbed his arm, “What are you waiting for? Move fast and grab!”
In the mountain of clothing, there seemed to be no clear boundaries between male and female clothes. There were skirts, but most were pants. Chen Tiantian’s professional knowledge was solid, and she had graduated from a fashion design institute. She was more knowledgeable than other models on what clothes will look good and what will not, and what kind of clothes will wear nicely on a person.
She was very fast and precise. She found the clothes that she needed at a glance, and grabbed them without hesitation. It was a short red tassel top with fishnet design on the shoulders, and a grandiose faux fur coat. She grabbed them in addition to one the few skirts available. It was a dazzling black leather skirt and fishnet stockings that looked like the design of Wang Daren.
In reality these clothes were not practical at all, and no one would ever wear them while boxing. Anyone who wears them for boxing will definitely lose. There was no such concerns for taking still photos though, as only the image protrayed was important, no matter how illogical.
After swiftly grabbing her clothes, she went to help Han Yun who was slow and selective in selecting his clothes. She complained, “You are so slow! Everyone would have finished after you finally pick your clothes!”
Han Yun was disdainful, “But can these clothes even be worn…”
Most of the clothes were quite exposed and cut into pieces. Han Yun took out a vest jacket with white fishnet fused with blue jean material. The sleeves were fishnet. Han Yun thought it was alright and not too exposed. By his side, Chen Tiantian quickly took out a pair of torn jeans. Tilting her head to look, she said, “Okay, let’s go with this outfit.”
Tough and sexy.
Han Yun was more or less satisfied with the outfit. Compared with the rest of the crazy clothes, this outfit looked normal. Beside him, a model who was not quick enough held up a roll of white bandage with a wry smile, “Is this a mummy’s clothes?”
When he entered the dressing room to change, Han Yun found a problem. He forgot to select an inner vest.
Han Yun wore the vest jacket directly, and just when he was planning to button it up, he found that the jacket… could not be buttoned. As for the buttonholes on the jacket, they were purely for decorative purposes.
He had no choice but to leave the jean jacket open, allowing a peek of snow white but muscled chest and abs.
After he wore the jeans, he then discovered that not being able to button the jacket was not the most serious problem. The most serious problem was that the waistband of the jeans was too large, and yet there was no belt!
Han Yun was getting mad. He held on to the waistband, and the moment he let go, the waistband started sliding down.
The spray painted torn jeans hung loosely at his waist with his underwear showing, looking as though it was going to fall down at any moment.
Han Yun looked at himself in the mirror. Sleepy-eyed, light amber coloured eyes, snow white skin, clothes flamboyantly open, barefoot, in dirty jeans.
Gosh… he looked so gay.
Han Yun unhappily bent down to lift the jeans. He could not understand why the jeans had a suitable length but came with a loose waistband, as if it was intentional.
-- He needed a belt.
When Han Yun left the dressing room while holding on to his jeans, some models who had already changed were sitting outside, along with the two judges. Today was their turn to host. Lin Meng was not there, and there was a camera filming at the side.
He saw the camera guy shift towards him and turned to walk away. Spotting him, Song Lin immediately called out, “Han Yun.”
Han Yun pretended not to hear and headed back to the dressing room, holding on to his jeans. At this moment, Chen Tiantian who had just changed came out from the dressing room on the other end. She was stunned when she saw how Han Yun looked, her gaze seemingly admiring. After a few seconds, she covered her mouth and said with a smile, "Oh, I forgot to bring you an inner vest. How could you forget it yourself?
Han Yun held on to his jeans, upset. With his back to the camera, he said, “Then you can bring me a vest.” He paused, “And a belt.”
At the demands, Chen Tiantian rolled her eyes, “Come on, even if other girls like you, I’m not someone who looks just at the face. If you want anything, you have to take them yourself. Besides, all the clothes have been taken now. You can just wear the outfit like this, I think it looks fine!”
It was kind of sexy.
“Tiantian is right.” It was Guan Mengyuan’s voice.
“Just wear it like this,” Guan Mengyuan and Song Lin walked to face him, together with the camera. Song Lin looked over him and said, ”During filming, you can also unbutton it.”
“These buttonholes cannot be used!” Han Yun had his jeans in one hand, and the top that could not be buttoned in another. He squeezed the tight jacket together, not allowing the camera to see him like this.
Song Lin laughed, saying, “I’m talking about the button on the jeans.”
Han Yun was stunned and stiffened his face, “That will be indecent!” The waistband was already large. If unbuttoned, won’t it slide down directly?
How was it not indecent?
Song Lin said, “I meant unbuttoning for the shoot, revealing just a little without your jeans sliding down.”
When half of the models were putting on makeup, the other half were learning some simple boxing moves from Guan Mengyuan and a boxing instructor. Boxing moves by itself were powerful, and how a boxer looks when sweating from exertion was sexy.
Someone asked: “Do we need to use boxing moves?”
Guan Mengyuan: “It’s not compulsory, you can decide for yourselves. This is just a train of thought. Taking photos should not be done without thinking, you need to put some thought behind it.”
Before the shoot started, Guan Mengyuan and Song Lon changed their clothes as well and put on simple makeup.
Guan Mengyuan said, “Hugo and I will give a demonstration on how to make a plain photo full of soul.”
By the side, the staff put on bright yellow boxing gloves for her.
She tied a high ponytail and stood inside the boxing ring, “First of all, outfits are your first inspiration. The message told by clothes are direct and interesting.”
“Take for example what I am wearing now. Obviously, I am a female boxer.” Guan Mengyuan wore a red fishnet cropped vest and had on a pair of torn shorts. Two bronzed long legs jumped lightly for a few times on the floor. She lightly tossed her head and looked at Russell with a determined gaze, and threw a punch. “Doesn't this look like an advertisement for a boxing competition?”
“However, what we want to take are definitely not advertisements, and…” After a simple tutorial, Song Lin flipped himself into the boxing ring under the spotlight.
The contestants saw what he wore. He wore a suit, with long hair combed to the back, and deep-set eyes. He gave the vibes of a jerk hiding behind a gentlemanly facade. But…
“Look closely at his clothes and you will find that it is actually a very cheap suit that would not cost more than 200 dollars,” She joked, “the cutting of the suit does not suit him. Look at the stains on the cuffs. He is not wearing a watch on his hand. Then look at the messily knotted cheap quality tie… All these show that this man is no more than a poor guy pretending to be rich.”
Having said that, the female boxer gave a powerful uppercut facing the camera, and turned around to give a fierce side kick.
While she was not a professional boxer, her quick punches had a sense of strength. As for Song Lin who was standing beside her, he looked towards the female boxer antagonistically. With three quarters of his face facing the camera, he purposefully pulled on his tie and brushed his hair back.
“The final point,” Guan Mengyuan said, “ the photo must have clear primary and secondary importance.”
Based on the drawing of lots today, Han Yun’s turn was towards the end. Han Yun and Chen Tiantian could only take their photos around four to five in the afternoon. The two of them watched the other contestants. All of them applied what Guan Mengyuan had said, putting on boxing gloves and swinging punches towards the camera.
Han Yun also learned a few moves from the instructor while holding on to his jeans just now.
After observing for some time, the two of them sat down at the side. Chen Tiantian said resolutely, “We can’t shoot like them.”
“Listen to me, I’m the best at making up stories.” She wanted to be the main lead, so the story had to be made up by her. In any case, Han Yun was not bothered about it and lazily listened to what she has to say.
“Based on what we are wearing, you are definitely a boxer. As for me, I am either your girlfriend or a street woman...” Her spindly eyelashes blinked. It was an effect brushed out by the makeup artist. Her makeup also looked dirty, and a brown eyebrow pencil had been used to draw out freckles on her nose, making her look like she had not slept and showered in days.
Looking at her face, Han Yun yawned, feeling sleepy.
“They all chose the boxing ring and to hit the punching bag. We will choose the bike instead.“ Her red painted nails tapped on her lips.
Han Yun leaned lazily on the sofa, with one hand on his waistband in case it slipped. His wide open jacket showed his attention grabbing white skin. His black hair fell carelessly, and his facial features were so beautiful that it made Chen Tiantian, a woman, jealous.
She glanced at the eye candy who was obviously not aware of his beauty, “You just came out of the boxing ring, tired. You want to find a woman…”
“Alright, find a woman.” He gave Chen Tiantian a once-over. Being a gentleman, Han Yun refrained from saying that he will not be attracted to someone like her.
“Or perhaps I’m the one looking for a man,” Her spindly eyelashes drooped, looking sleepy, “the plot will be somewhat like this.”
When it was time for both of them to take photos, Song Lin’s first words were: “Han Yun, unbutton the jeans.”
Raising his head, Han Yun swept a lazy glance at him: “I don’t want to.”
The onlooking contestants lowered their voices and discussed: ”He’s so arrogant? What background does he have?”
“He offended Song Lin, a judge. Hee hee, he is finished.” The contestants watched on closely, thinking that he was going to be done for.
Who knew, Song Lin did not get angry. He walked forward and said a few words to Han Yun.
“Do you want to get first? Listen to me, and you will win the best still photo this week.”
“If you don’t want to unbutton yourself, I will do it for you.”
Han Yun frowned, and after resisting for a few seconds, he reached out and unbuttoned his jeans. Song Lin smiled, satisfied. He picked a pair of red boxing gloves for him, to match with Chen Tiantian’s short red tassel top.
Song Lin wanted to laugh as Han Yun spread his legs to sit on the bike with his jeans in one hand. Suddenly, the bike fell back unsteadily due to the added weight. Han Yun immediately jumped up like a rabbit, looking shocked. He did not forgot to hold on to his jeans, afraid of flashing others.
Song Lin could not hold back his laughter this time: “How are you so careless?”
Han Yun did not like his tone and disregarded him.
Staff nearby shifted the bike upright. Song Lin pointed to one of the staff and said, “You can support the bike from behind as it falls easily.”
The position behind the bike is an angle that the camera cannot capture, so it could hide a staff.
Chen Tiantian also discovered that… Song Lin seemed to be treating Han Yun too well. She narrowed her eyes and shoved bubble gum into her mouth.
The staff helped Han Yun to put on boxing gloves. As soon as Han Yun put on the gloves, he felt that the insides were wet and stuffy. He sat sideways on the black bike -- they were not the first team to choose the bike as a prop.
Russell hunched down and started taking photos.
Chen Tiantian had red painted nails. She wore a pair of tall red heels. Her fishnet stockings were deliberately torn and hung in shreds down her legs. She placed one hand on Han Yun's bike, with fur coat collapsed to her waist, showing her round shoulders. She switched poses quickly, blowing gum from her mouth.
Russell said: "The bubble gum is a good prop. Your expression is a little too dazed, take it down a notch."
As for Han Yun, he did not know what was in the gloves, which was making him uncomfortable with the stickiness. Russell scolded him straightaway, "Are you not ready yet?”
Russell was known for his bad temper.
As he took the photos, he continued scolding, "Aren’t you a little too relaxed?"
Chen Tiantian also glanced at him: What are you doing!
Everyone could see that Chen Tiantian completely stole the limelight from Han Yun. As compared to his great performance for the previous still photo, Han Yun looked like a new rookie now. Even Song Lin who tends to favour him frowned, unsure of why he was not prepared.
Han Yun did not answer. He sat with his legs apart. His long legs were particularly eye-catching. His jacket was open, revealing his sexy abdominal muscles and chest.
On the messy black graffiti wall, the yellow lighted sign ‘CLUB’ flickered.
Han Yun guessed that the sticky feeling in the gloves was probably due to sweat of previous contestants who had used them. He wanted to take the gloves off, but as both hands were wearing gloves, he could only use his mouth to bite them off.
He lowered his head slightly and began to bite the gloves. Instead of scolding him this time, Russell became excited and spoke, mixing Chinese and English: "I've got it, I've got it. OK, I'll finish with two more..."
People who knew him knows that he only uses mixed languages when he gets a good photo.
Recording started a few days after, as it took time to select and edit photos. Han Yun was sitting on a taxi when the sky started to drizzle. He was listening to the radio and heard the host chatting about the competition. The key points were mentioned: "Tonight at 8.00pm, Typhoon T, be there or be square."
Looking outside, there were posters on public buses.
The driver adjusted the channel: "Beijing Meteorological Station… upgraded alert to orange storm warning, may be accompanied by… strong thunder and lightning..."
Hearing the words ‘thunder and lightning’, Han Yun looked at the dark sky and frowned.
Today was recording of the judges’ comments.
"This still photo… I'm not very satisfied. You had a haughty expression that shouts ‘I'm a model.’ Where is your professionalism?”
"Luo Yusen, you have strength in still photos. You also have a face that is easy to shape and very discernible! You had a lot of potential..." The judge who spoke was Claude, who was of Chinese Singaporean origin. He was a very capable show director in the industry. "But now, I feel your potential is decreasing and your performance is getting worse..."
Every model was scolded. Those who did not perform well or have bad luck this week will leave. Those who stay will gather themselves together and regain the appreciation of the judges next week.
Luo Yusen’s faced greyed at the criticisms. He clenched his fist, unconvinced.
Twenty five teams of models walked up pair by pair to receive their comments. Han Yun stood for more than an hour without a sip of water before it was their turn.
Guan Mengyuan saw him and walked down directly with her signature bright smile: "Han Yun, I'll tie your hair again. Did you do it yourself?"
"Next time don't tie it like this, or don't tie it up. It's nice too."
No one expected supermodel Guan Mengyuan to come down and tie his hair. As it was being recorded, the contestants refrained from discussing. But those who saw the scene were very dissatisfied: "Song Lin is like this, Guan Mengyuan is also like this. What's going on?"
"What kind of background does he have?"
The still photo was shown.
The remaining contestants immediately swallowed their dissatisfaction.
The black graffiti background wall and black bike that almost blended into the background was separated by a lighted board with four English letters ‘CLUB’. The woman in the photo looked arrogant and provocative. She had one hand on her hips, showing sexy curves, and blew bubble gum.
With editing magic, the dirty makeup looked different, and no longer gave people a ‘dirty’ impression.
As for the man sitting on the bike, he nodded his head forward slightly, biting red boxing gloves. His eyes looked straight at the camera, skin several tones whiter than the woman beside him. His clothes seemed to be exuding sex appeal, while still showing an intriguing purity.
He was at odds with the scene, seeming that boxing was a new occupation that he had no choice but to take up after his downfall.
The stylist judge that has a wicked tongue took a look at the photo, and then took a look at Han Yun: "No matter how many times I have seen it, I feel that Han Yun's face is really a gift from the creator." She was a designer who specializes in high-level customization for stars. Her vision was somewhat different from that of the fashion circle. She does not quite approve of the so-called high-level faces, but prefers good looks instead.
Guan Mengyuan: "Tiantian, you performed well. I can see your complete body curves. It's very sweet. I like the creativity of blowing bubble gum. Did Harley Quinn inspire you?
"Yes, I love that movie." The corners of her mouth tilted up at the compliment.
"I like it too, but --" Guan Mengyuan pursed her lips and smiled. The sudden twist caused Chen Tiantian, who thought that she was a winner, feel a sinking in her heart. She turned to look at Han Yun in the photo.
"But -- if you blow bubble gum, your beautiful french gap teeth will disappear, and in this photo, I only see Han Yun’s existence."
"The theme this time emphasizes ‘power’. Remember what I said? Han Yun was just sitting, but his expression was very powerful, hitting the soul."
"You're in complete control of this picture."
"Who will stay in the competition?"
The judges scored one by one. Han Yun was surprised by the very high score that he obtained. After all, he was just like a passerby.
Upon seeing his score, Chen Tiantian's face turned pale, and eyes turned red.
Between the two of them, Han Yun was promoted and Chen Tiantian went to the undetermined seats. Han Yun entered the backstage directly, while Chen Tiantian still has to wait for everyone to be done with their comments, before she can accept her fate.
The recording ended in the evening. Han Yun won the best still photo of the week. His partner did not get eliminated, but stood out from the undetermined seats.
To the disappointment of Han Yun, Luo Yusen was promoted too.
However, on the way out from the TV station, Han Yun took an elevator with him. Luo Yusen's venomous eyes did not move away from him: "I won't let you continue to win!" Han Yun swept a distant gaze over him. With a slight smile, he said: "I'm sorry, I will keep on winning. You'd better think about how to ensure that you're not eliminated," his lips parted slightly and said calmly: "garbage."
Feeling that he spoke really well, Han Yun took a taxi outside the building in a good mood. But as soon as he saw the heavy rain, his mood became uncomfortable.
On the way home, raindrops pattered on the car roof. Han Yun listened to music with earphones on.
Guoguo sent him a message.
"Today is the first episode of your program, isn't it? I'll be sure to watch it on time.”
Today was Friday, the official broadcast of the first episode of the program.
It was the golden time. The advance promotion of ‘Typhoon T’ had been done well. The trailer was broadcasted on TV stations and on online video media streaming websites everyday.
Han Yun sat in the living room and turned on the TV. He liked watching TV very much, especially period dramas. For his first TV appearance, he was very much interested, so much so that he did not even call for Fu Yuan when he reached home.
If Fu Yuan came, it meant that the lights will be turned off. As he wanted to watch TV, Fu Yuan can't come. He leaned against the sofa, and the patter of rain outside was largely drowned out by the TV.
During the recording of the first episode, there were many contestants but the edits were done very fast. Each contestants had only a few shots. Han Yun watched slowly, and finally knew the name of stutterer.
At this time, Guoguo called him: "I watching your program, why haven't I seen you? I saw you in the trailer. Why..."
"I'm still in the back, but it should be soon," as he said that, he saw himself on TV. He heard Guoguo on the phone shouting: "I saw you, I saw you!"
Han Yun had more shots than other players.
"The contestants in your program seems alright, but you definitely must be the best looking male model."
Han Yun coughed and was about say a few humble words when there was a loud thunderbolt from the outside.
His face turned white and whole body froze.
Guoguo also ah-ed and said: "The thunder is scary."
Han Yun's expression still maintained a frightened look. He held the pillow on the sofa and said with difficulty, "I'm not afraid. It's not frightening. It's just thunder. There is nothing to be scared about."
It was not clear if he was saying it to the other party or to himself.
Guoguo chuckled: "I'm not afraid of thunder. It's just that it was too loud. There will be heavy rain today. That is also good as people can watch your program if they can’t go out..."
Han Yun heard faint thunder outside. Afraid that he will make a mistake and expose the fact that he was more afraid of thunder than she was, Han Yun quickly made a dinner appointment with her and ended the conversation.
The thunder was becoming more and more intense, and the continuous flash of lightning lighted up the dark room. The sound was loud, even covering up the sound of the TV.
Han Yun rolled two paper napkins into small balls and put them into his ears. After that, he covered his ears as well.
He mumbled: “I don’t hear anything, I don’t hear anything!”
He has been afraid of thunder since he was a child. On the night of his mother's death, it was thundery the whole night long. Even after he grew up, he was still afraid. It was not to the extent of trembling with fear, but it was still more serious than regular girls. At the very least, Han Yun would shake for an instant when thunder roared in his ears.
In another flash of thunder and lightning, the TV suddenly went out. Han Yun had no time to think whether it was due to the thunder or the arrival of Fu Yuan.
"Xuanzhu..." Han Yun's voice trembled slightly.
He held on to a pillow firmly, curled up on the sofa. A pair of powerful arms lifted him from the sofa: "Don't be afraid, your minister is here."
Fu Yuan knew that he had a close relationship with his mother. The night that Han Yun's mother passed on was similar to tonight, with lighting that lighted up like day and a whole night of thunder. The raging sand around his body turned into a warm quilt which wrapped up Han Yun's body and prevented him from feeling cold.
"I'll carry you to bed." His voice provided a sense of security to Han Yun.
Fu Yuan carried Han Yun step by step up the stairs.
Han Yun can still hear the sound of thunder, and even feel the lightning, but it was not as strong anymore.
He raised his head from Fu Yuan's chest.
There was a sudden flash of lightning outside the window and the whole sky was as bright as day. Unknowingly, the room was not as dark today.
Han Yun caught a glimpse of Lord Fu's handsome face, which has not changed since ancient times. He also noticed that his forehead had a pair of black horns?
The horns were not like an ordinary ox or sheep's horns. On the contrary, they look similar to an elk’s. They were not huge, bends backward, and made people want to use their hands… to feel them.
Thinking so, he actually stretched out his hand, but in an instant, Han Yun could not see anything anymore.
The sudden darkness made him unhappily silent for a few seconds: "Lord Fu, I have already seen them. Why are you still hiding?"