Yan Jing couldn’t believe what he heard and stared at Xie Chi. “Brother, you just said…”
He glanced at Lu Wen, who smiled and nodded at him. “Your Brother Xie agreed.”
Yan Jing’s expression instantly brightened and his eyes were full of joy. He secretly turned to look at Lu Wen and while he could still see, he blinked frantically at Lu Wen. “Did you hear that he agreed? Did you hear?! Did you hear?!”
Lu Wen nodded helplessly.
Xie Chi neatened his clothes and cuffs and formally stretched out a hand to Yan Jing. “Will this make it more real?”
Yan Jing stared at these extremely beautiful hands for a long time before he understood the words. The top of his nose became a bit tingling and he quickly shook hands with Xie Chi because he was afraid Xie Chi would regret it.
Xie Chi smiled a bit helplessly.
A short three minutes passed and Yan Jing’s vision became dark again. However, he remembered those white, warm hands. He had a partner and the motivation to work hard.
“Brother.” Yan Jing suddenly felt a bit embarrassed. “I’ll slip away to do my homework first or else it would be too embarrassing. If you have anything then contact me through the app. I’ll be there as soon as you call!”
He couldn’t see but there was the app’s voice reading function. It was a bit time-consuming but he was idle anyway.
Yan Jing couldn’t wait. Before Xie Chi or Lu Wen could answer, he had grabbed his phone and left the office.
“He is in a hurry.” Xie Chi looked at Lu Wen and sat down again with crossed legs. He slid his chair in front of Lu Wen, clasped his hands and spoke lazily. “I will ask you a question. You don’t have to answer it if it is inconvenient.”
Lu Wen was stunned for several seconds before reacting. “My face?”
Xie Chi was very honest. “Yes, we belong to the same world but you obviously aren’t human. Therefore, I am curious.”
Xie Chi lowered his eyes and stared at his fingers. What world did he live in and what was there that he didn’t know?
Lu Wen was silent for a few seconds before cheerfully answering. “In fact, there is nothing to hide. I am indeed not entirely human.”
Xie Chi was startled.
Lu Wen explained. “My home is close to the sea. Basically, as soon as I talk a few hundred steps, I can see the blue side. On our side, the elderly often warn young girls not to go swimming in the sea in exposed clothes because there might be s*xually promiscuous mermen who will force them to have s*x.”
Xie Chi asked, “Are you sure there is such a creature as a fishman?”
Lu Wen nodded and laughed. “Where else would I get these scales?”
Due to the cheerful Yan Jing and Xie Chi’s equal treatment, he had long stopped caring about the ugly scales on his face and felt that he could expose everything to Xie Chi. Xie Chi quickly accepted it. There were many things he hadn’t seen or heard of but this didn’t mean they didn’t exist. He just lacked an opportunity to know about them.
Lu Wen continued. “The legend goes that hundreds of years ago, people living on the shore regarded the fish people in the sea as gods and threw virgins into the sea to offer to the fish people every once in a while to protect them.”
Xie Chi asked, “What do the fish people look like?”
“No one has seen them but they do exist. I’ve seen manuscripts made by humans hundreds of years ago near my home. It seems that someone drew the appearance of a fish person but I don’t know if it is true or not. In the painting, they have ugly faces, fish lips, blue eyes, two small nostrils, a body covered with scales and huge exposed—”
Lu Wen coughed twice. “You know what I mean.”
“Yes.” Xie Chi felt awkward and changed the subject. “What about those girls who were offered to the fish people?”
“Some of them drowned, their bodies floating in the sea. Some were found safe and sound on the beach.”
“Those who encountered the fish people were saved and survived while those who didn’t encounter them were drowned?”
“Yes, the ones who survived the fish people were ‘enjoyed’ by them.” Lu Wen said. “Some of them will become pregnant. They can’t have abortions so they could only give birth to these children.”
Xie Chi stared at the scales on Lu Wen’s face and immediately understood. Lu Wen knew that Xie Chi was talking business and didn’t feel embarrassed. He simply took off his coat and turned his back to show Xie Chi a densely scaly back.
Xie Chi looked at these scales and wondered. “Your mother…”
He felt this was a bit offensive and stopped the topic in time. “Sorry.”
Lu Wen was very calm and smiled. “It isn’t what you think. My mother wasn’t a virgin who was thrown into the sea. My mother had a lively personality when she was young. She liked to steer a fishing boat to play in the sea. One day, she encountered a storm and her boat was overturned by the waves. My mother almost died but she was rescued by a fishman. She was pregnant with me when she came back ashore.
“My mother is a very romantic person. She gave birth to me happily and kept telling me there was nothing to be ashamed of. It was just that I couldn’t understand previously and was always concerned about it.”
“Then she doesn’t remember what the fishman looks like?” Xie Chi wondered.
“She doesn’t remember.” Lu Wen smiled. “However, this didn’t prevent her from falling in love. For 20 years, she believed that she would see the fishman who saved her again one day.”
Xie Chi suddenly understood where Lu Wen’s goodness and integrity might’ve come from.
“So you’re a mix of a fishman and a human?”
Lu Wen answered, “Yes, I looked like a human baby when I was born. As I grew up, scales gradually appeared on my body. The closer I am to the sea, the faster the scales will appear on my body. I clamored to move to the city that was far away from the sea because I didn’t want to end up completely covered in scales and unable to escape from the water.
“Those who are the offspring of a human and a fish person have two development directions. One direction is that they are influenced by the sea. Their entire body is covered in scales and they can’t leave the water. One day, they will jump into the sea and never come back. The other direction is to stay away from the sea and barely maintain a human form.”
Xie Chi nodded, surprised and a bit emotional. Then he inquired, “Then what is this lineage awakening?”
“The fish person lineage is very difficult to wake up. After awakening the scales on their face will fade but they will come out to protect the torso when necessary. They usually won’t cause any trouble. This is exactly what I want and it is why I’m here. I don’t want to be influenced by the sea and evolve in the direction of a fish person. I want to maintain my human form, awaken the fish person lineage and be a normal person.”
Xie Chi nodded. “There is such a strange thing. Why does no one know about it or there is no media coverage?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps some mysterious force is at all.”
Lu Wen realized how magical this sentence was after speaking and smiled with embarrassment.
Xie Chi stated, “So there are many secrets hidden in our world.”
Lu Wen nodded in agreement.
The phone suddenly rang. Xie Chi looked down and found that Yan Jing was looking for him. He stood up slightly apologetically. “I have to go now.”
Lu Wen said, “Okay.”
Xie Chi put his phone in his pocket and walked to the office door. As he came to the door, he suddenly paused. Then he turned around and leaned against the door. “In fact, when I was a kid, I never thought I would become a horror painter.”
Xie Chi’s voice was soft and his eyes were lowered.
Lu Wen was stunned. “What do you mean?”
Xie Chi raised his eyes. “My parents set me up to be a scientist and I thought I would become one. It was because I was a child, I did show a strong interest in science. Then one night, I had a dream that I couldn’t remember properly.
“Once I woke up, I was extremely convinced that I would become a horror painter.”
Lu Wen was shocked. “How could this be?”
Xie Chi shook his head. “I don’t know. My interest in everything else was lost at once and I had no choice but to become a painter.”
Lu Wen was shocked speechless.
“At that time, the job I would do when I grew up wasn’t worth thinking about so I didn’t pay much attention to why.”
Xie Chi listened to Lu Wen’s experience and suddenly recalled this past. Lu Wen was very confused.
Xie Chi added, “Sometimes I dream and can hear faint sounds. I don’t know if it is an illusion or not.
“Many of my paintings are inspired by things I’ve dreamed about but I’m not even sure what they are. The appearance is subtle and unspeakable.”
Lu Wen looked incredulous.
Xie Chi always thought that he had been investigating supernatural events to accumulate supernatural information, which was why he thought about it day and night. Now he felt that things might be more complicated than he thought.
Lu Wen was suspicious. “This…”
Xie Chi smiled lightly. “Maybe we will have a chance to understand why in the future, but not now.”
Lu Wen was a bit melancholy and Xie Chi smiled at him. “It is on the premise that you are still alive.”
Lu Wen, “……”
Xie Chi came back from Lu Wen’s office and then entered his own office through the app. It looked exactly the same as Lu Wen’s office.
Xie Chi invited Yan Jing and Yan Jing opened the door in an excited manner while holding his mobile phone. “Brother! A variety show has sent you an invitation letter!”
“Variety show?” Xie Chi hadn’t expected that the app would have variety shows in addition to horror movies.
Yan Jing pulled over a chair, sat across from Xie Chi and showed his phone to Xie Chi. There was an invitation letter on it.
[Hello Xie Chi, sixth on the New and Sharp Budding Talent list. This is an invitation from the competitive horror variety show, Horror Skewers. We sincerely invite you to participate in our program. The program rewards are quite rich. You won’t be disappointed. The exposure has always been high and it is a great opportunity for you to increase your followers.]
Horror Skewers? Skewers? Xie Chi thought of the entertainment programs such as song skewers and dance skewers. It considered combining several different songs or dances into one program to entertain the audience. Horror Skewers, as the name suggested, should be a collection of several horror stories.
Yan Jing said, “The moment I submitted the binding procedures with you, this invitation letter was sent to me. I didn’t understand what happened so I asked two agents I just met. They told me that we are lucky. Isn’t today July 30th? This show is held every two months and the deadline for this invitation is tomorrow. Then the show will be recorded live on the 3rd of the next month. We are just in time.”
Xie Chi nodded while listening. Then he asked, “What does it mean to be sixth on the list of New and Sharp Budding Talent?”
Yan Jing pulled out a piece of paper from a blue folder he brought with him and handed it to Xie Chi. “This is the agent’s background data. The list is the total points ranking of new actors in the last two months. I looked at it and found that there are more than 20,000 newcomers. Brother Xie, you are ranked sixth.”
Xie Chi browsed the content on the paper. Only the top 10 names on the list were provided. The number one person was called You Jing and he had 1988 points. The second was Ren Ze with 1443 points.
Xie Chi frowned slightly. Was the difference so big? It was more than 500 points.
The next few people on the list didn’t have much of a difference.
Yan Jing couldn’t sit still and constantly moved around excitedly. “Brother Xie, Brother Xie, don’t you see that you are sixth? This is the last for the past few months. It seems that you only entered the app in July? The statistics of the list are from the beginning of June to the end of July. Many of the people in front of you have been here for almost the full two months, like You Jing and Ren Ze. You have only been here for less than a month and you’ve already squeezed into the top 10. You really aren’t worse than them. Perhaps you are a lot better than them!”
“That’s right. By the way, Brother Lu Wen is 10th with over 800 points. He has three or four days before he has been here two months which means he has just caught it.” Yan Jing pointed at Lu Wen who was ranked 10th.
Yan Jing was more reliable than before and Xie Chi quickly understood the situation.
Horror Skewers was a horror variety show where new and sharp budding talented actors competed. The invited people were the top 10 actors who were bound to the app within two months. Participating in it was voluntary. If an actor was shooting other horror movies when invited and the schedule couldn’t be staggered then it could be skipped.
Horror Skewers was a variety show where actors entered a horror scene and challenged a series of ghost stories to see who cleared the level the fastest and who passed the most stories.
There would be senior actor guests as well as audience members. The entire variety show would be broadcasted live. In the final rankings, the audience vote accounted for 20%, the guests’ selection was 30% and the personal performance was 50%.
The first place reward was 300 points, second place was 200 points and third place was 100 points.
These reward points were low but due to the high exposure of variety shows, the fan limit was very high. If an actor performed well then combining the number of fans and the prize rewards, they will definitely be able to earn points.
The most important thing was that this show only took three days. This was much more cost-effective than shooting a horror movie.
Yan Jing asked eagerly, “Brother, are you going?”
Xie Chi smiled. “Go.”