More than two hours later, Qiu Xing’s body moved. Xie Yang quickly locked his mobile phone and hid it under the pillow. Then he closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep.
The mattress moved and Xie Yang found that Qiu Xing’s hands on him had loosened. The hair on his forehead was pulled and a few seconds later, his lips were itchy.
Xie Yang opened his eyes. “Mouse.”
Qiu Xing stiffly leaned back. He faced Xie Yang’s gaze and wanted to get up using his arm as support. Xie Yang’s quick eyes noticed it and he grabbed Qiu Xing, turning from passive to active behaviour.
The atmosphere was once again on the verge of spiralling out of control.
Xie Yang pinched Qiu Xing’s ear.
Qiu Xing’s Adam’s apple moved quickly and he finally couldn’t help it. He raised his hand to hold Xie Yang, turning this person over to be ‘bullied.’ Xie Yang sensed Qiu Xing’s change and retreated decisively. He got out of bed, tidied up his clothes and told Qiu Xing, “I have to take photos of my clothes and accessories for Qin Cheng. I will be going first.” Then he picked up his things and strode away.
The door was closed.
Qiu Xing stayed half-leaning on the bed where he was pushed away by Xie Yang. Then he raised a hand to cover his eyes, took a deep breath and hit the pillow.
“…Bad thing who bears grudges!”
Xie Yang did bear grudges and he never forgot anything.
At breakfast, Xie Yang suddenly asked, “Are you busy today?”
Qiu Xing was absent-mindedly eating breakfast. He kept peeking at Xie Yang. Now he opened his mouth, pretending to be casual but actually putting down his chopsticks quickly. “Some documents need to be approved but I’m not too busy. Why? Where do you want to go? I can—”
“It’s just right that you have time. Let’s go get the divorce process done in the afternoon.”
Qiu Xing slowly reached out, took a tissue and wiped his mouth. Then he changed his sitting posture and said, “I remember… we haven’t gone to see Mom for a long time. Let’s go to the sanatorium when we are finished today and tell her about my treatment. We can talk about the divorce later. Eat well.” Qiu Xing finished speaking and got up to leave. It was as if he was afraid that Xie Yang would drag him to the Civil Affairs Bureau for a divorce if he moved slowly.
Xie Yang deliberately raised his voice. “If not today then tomorrow…”
Qiu Xing walked faster and his figure soon disappeared. Xie Yang stopped speaking. He finally felt comfortable and smiled. After breakfast, Xie Yang went to Yang Xing to have a simple meeting with the company’s senior executives. Then he chatted with Qin Cheng alone after the meeting.
“The hot search you sent me was gone by the time I got up to look at it. The Weibo post from the musician has also been deleted.”
Xie Yang was surprised. “Deleted?”
“Yes, my guess is that it is Xue Xian’s public relations team. This hot search isn’t good for you or Xue Xian. He wouldn’t have used such a stupid method to step on you. My guess is that it was bought by one of the other candidates besides the two of you.”
Xie Yang actually had some speculations and motioned for Qin Cheng to sit down. “You say it.”
Qin Cheng sat down and didn’t speak immediately. He considered it before saying, ”Xie Yang, you are a newcomer. You must know that many awards in the circle aren’t selected based on strength.”
It seemed that their guesses were the same. Xie Yang wondered, “Do you suspect that someone is buying an award?”
Qin Cheng smiled. “It is really easy to look after a smart artist. Yes, I suspect that someone is buying an award. The previous hot search wants to provoke you and Xue Xian and give everyone the impression that the prize must be won by one of you. However, if both of you don’t win the prize then you will become the object of ridicule by the public and the winner will feel he is more talented than you.”
He went on to say, “Then he can still use public opinion that the winner is more art-focused, low key and music-loving than you. He will accuse you and Xue Xian of being too utilitarian, market-oriented or some other weird label. This will make some blind listeners feel that listening to your music is secular. This is what a singer fears most. So many singers through the ages had been labeled with all types of low labels. Gradually, they struggle to rise in the circle.”
This behaviour was called impression murder and was very common in various art industries.
Xie Yang was thoughtful and didn’t speak.
Qin Cheng continued, “Xie Yang, you haven’t released your first solo album. If you are labeled badly at this time, your new album will definitely be overshadowed. You can wait for the album to be released but you will lose some impression points with passersby in the process of speaking with strength.”
Xie Yang asked, “Who are the other candidates?”
“Ge Zhuo, Yu Yiyi, Tang Xiaoshu and Mao Mo. Among them, Yu Yiyi and Mao Mo are both full-time behind the scenes composers. They can be ruled out because they don’t participate in the disputes between singers. For Tang Xiaoshu and Ge Zhuo, Tang Xiaoshu is a small, fresh style female singer who has debuted for eight years. There is no need to act against you and Xue Xian. So, Ge Zhuo.”
Qin Cheng took out his mobile phone and called up a page for Xie Yang. “He and Ji Zehui debuted in the same period. He is 37 years old this year and opened a studio by himself. He has a poor voice but his creative ability is good. When he first debuted, he was known as the leader of the new generation of singers. He fought with Ji Zehui openly and secretly for a long time. At first, he developed better than Ji Zehui. Later, his composing ability became worse and he was gradually left behind by Ji Zehui.”
Xie Yang picked up the phone and saw a photo of a man on the page. The man had difficult to control tramp-style decadent hair and wore an improved version of the national clothes. He looked gentle with a melancholy temperament. He was very… literary.
“This year, Ge Zhuo was finally nominated for the Golden Song Awards after four years. Before that, he was nominated for best composition twice and missed the trophy twice. As the saying goes, things only happen three times. He is in a hurry.”
Xie Yang found the song that Ge Zhuo was short-listed for this year and listened to it. He said, “He should really be anxious. Just look at the level of this song. Even without me and Xue Xian, he definitely won’t get this year’s award.”
Qin Cheng found it funny. “Then how do you want to deal with this matter? What if he really buys the prize?”
“Nothing, let him buy it. Then explode that he bought it afterwards, giving him some heat. From now on, start collecting evidence of Ge Zhuo buying the award. If you lack contacts then go to Ji Zehui. He has them.”
Qin Cheng was surprised and asked, “Don’t you want this award? Your shortlisted song is ‘IUD’ and the possibility of winning the award is very high. You might get the best composition in the first year of your debut. Many people don’t even dare to think of this starting point.”
Xie Yang raised his eyebrow and corrected Qin Cheng’s words. “Being the boss of Yang Xing is my starting point. I never paid attention to these things from the beginning. In addition, this year I’m not short of awards.”
At noon, Xie Yang went to Rongding to eat. Halfway through the meal, Feng Qinglin suddenly called. Xie Yang picked up, placed it on speakerphone and asked, “How is it?”
Qiu Xing, who was sitting next to Xie Yang, looked at Xie Yang’s mobile phone and frowned when he saw ‘Feng Qinglin’ flashing on it.
Feng Qinglin’s voice came out. “Where did you get that photograph?”
“On Weibo. Someone went to M City to travel and ran into Mu Zhouyi.”
“They were really careless.” Feng Qinglin’s tone was unexpectedly calm, with a bit of sarcasm. “The people I found took more detailed photos. They actually stayed in the hotel for a whole day.”
Xie Yang said unceremoniously, “Send me the photos you took.”
“I will give them to you but I hope you don’t publish the photos for now. Feng Qingbai’s fiancée Fang Jia wants to wait to terminate the engagement with Feng Qingbai before revealing the matter.”
“You got in touch with Fang Jia?”
“Yes, you are right. She is a great ally.”
He was pretty obedient. Xie Yang smiled and hung up at Feng Qinglin’s request.
“Do you get in contact with Qinglin a lot?”
It was the smell of vinegar.
Xie Yang looked at Qiu Xing. Qiu Xing ignored Xie Yang and drank water. Xie Yang picked up the chopsticks and gave Qiu Xing a piece of candied apple. “Eat more sweets and drink less vinegar. It is better for your health.”
Qiu Xing’s face turned dark and he reached out to angrily press a hand against Xie Yang’s head.
In the next two days, Qiu Xing avoided Xie Yang’s divorce inquiries with the reasons of ‘too busy’ or ‘not feeling well and don’t want to go out’. On the day that Xie Yang was about to leave, the air pressure around Qiu Xing was low. This didn’t ease until Xie Yang arrived at the airport.
Before getting out of the car, Qiu Xing handed Xie Yang a small bag containing medicine. “Frequent flying to different places will lead to acclimatization symptoms. In the future, you should take less work that requires flying everywhere. Your health is important.”
Xie Yang finally knew why Qiu Xing was in a bad mood no matter how much Xie Yang coaxed him. Xie Yang put away the medicine bag and said, “I will pay attention and promise not to get a high fever again.”
Qiu Xing barely relaxed his eyebrows and touched Xie Yang’s face. Then he suddenly said, “The divorce… we will talk about it when you come back next time.”
Xie Yang paused before nodding. A few hours later, Xie Yang arrived in W City. Qiu Xing had booked him a presidential suite at a high-end hotel owned by Rongding and sent a driver to pick him up. Xie Yang comfortably arrived at the hotel and started to prepare his styling for tonight’s dinner party.
Qin Cheng told him, “The official awards ceremony will be tomorrow afternoon. Today is the party before the ceremony. There will be many seniors and senior investors in the circle. It is a good time to develop contacts. Ji Zehui and Tong Jian have arrived earlier than you and are staying at another hotel. They will come here to meet you in a while and you will act with them.”
Xie Yang nodded.
“There is also news you might be interested in.” Qin Cheng sat beside Xie Yang and said, “Mu Zhouyi will also attend tonight’s party. She is coming with Yuan Pang.”
Xie Yang couldn’t help looking over at Qin Cheng and was immediately scolded by the makeup artist. He stopped moving and looked at himself in the makeup mirror as he said, “That is just right. I am curious about the changes in Mu Zhouyi that Shen Yan mentioned.”
He could take the opportunity to try and see what type of effect his ability would have when applied to Mu Zhouyi.
Proofreader: Mnemo & Paranoid Kitten