Chapter 10 – Xiao Shen and Xiao Gu are a Match Made in Heaven

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Allergic to heaters. 

Was that something that anyone on earth would say? 

Shen Jue seemed to also realise how ridiculous the excuse he concocted was.
He continued to smile lazily, “I was joking.
Don’t take it seriously.
Don’t worry, I won’t keep a secret stash.
Whatever’s mine is yours.
You can decide how you want to use it.” 

He sounded like a “man of three virtues” [1]. 

Yet, Gu Yanshu didn’t appear grateful at all. 

He coldly took the twenty dollars from Shen Jue’s hands, then passed him three dollars and twenty cents, “Yours is yours, mine is mine.
Just take care of yourself, stop being frivolous.” 

After saying that, he slapped the two hundred dollars down in front of the production crew, then went straight upstairs. 

He didn’t bother to say anything else to Shen Jue. 

The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making.
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The phone by his bed lit up. 

He wiped the excess water droplets off his hair, then checked his phone.
The caller was Fang Yuan. 

He casually pulled a sweater on, then walked towards the balcony, “Hello.” 

On the other end of the phone was Fang Yuan’s anxious voice, “Xiao Shu, is the production crew not feeding you? Why do you have to busk?” 

The passersby had probably filmed and posted videos of Gu Yanshu online, and the videos had been seen by Fang Yuan.
He replied softly, “I’m fine.” 



Fang Yuan was skeptical.
“Anyway, you can let me know if you lack anything, I’ll try to find some way to secretly send it over to you.
Oh, and that person today was Shen Jue right? Why was he wearing your clothes? Didn’t I ask you to stay far, far away from him?”

Gu Yanshu turned back and looked at the two beds in the room.
He didn’t have the heart to tell Fang Yuan that he was already so far apart that they were sleeping in the same bed. 

Changing the topic, he asked, “There must be another reason for your call right?” 

“Oh, right.
I almost forgot about it.
The production side is asking us if we are going to continue with our adaptation of “Imprison”.” 

Initially, the adaptation of “Imprison” was for tonight’s “The Strongest Stage” performance.
Now that he didn’t need to attend, there was naturally no need for the remake. 

Yet, Gu Yanshu replied, “Continue with it.” 

Fang Yuan was stumped.
“But the production department said that they have started working on new songs for Chen Ran a week ago, so they don’t have time for ours…” 

That meant that Zhang Nan had already decided to let Chen Ran participate in “The Strongest Stage” since a week ago, and because of this, Zhang Nan had even interrupted the progress of his own songs. 

And the reason why Zhang Nan hadn’t told him even now, was so that he could use Gu Yanshu as a bargaining chip when negotiating with the programme team. 

Once negotiations concluded, Zhang Nan would then feign innocence, and use the opportunity to kick Gu Yanshu out of the picture. 

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There weren’t any feelings left, it was just what it was. 

Gu Yanshu wasn’t angry at all, and he raised his head slightly. 

At this moment, a blast of icy wind blew over, and as a result, the decayed vine from a wisteria tree broke with a crack, and the remaining few leaves fell off, floating around as it was carried away by the wind and quickly disappeared without a trace.

He said nonchalantly, ”It’s fine.
Just send me the demo, I’ll work on it myself.” 

“But even if you work on it, it might not…” 

It might not be used. 

Gu Yanshu knew what Fang Yuan’s unfinished words were, but he brushed it aside as he said calmly, “You don’t have to care about anything else.
Just send me the demo.” 

After a pause, he added, “Was Chen Ran and Guokong TV’s contract drafted using our earlier contract that covers up to the semi-finals?” 

“Seems like it.” 

“Then it’ll be fine.” 

“No, there’s something else.” 

Gu Yanshu raised a brow, “What?” 

“Do you want to consider using a Pikachu style for your birthday next month? The fans will certainly love it.” 

Gu Yanshu cut off the call without any hesitation. 

Fang Yuan’s message soon followed. 

Fang Yuan: Xiao Shu, I mean it.
Consider it. 

Fang Yuan: [Sharing from Weibo: @Cutiecollection: Ahhh!!! Quick, catch this Pikachu!!! I’m so dead!!! (Video link…)]

Seeing the word “Pikachu”, all Gu Yanshu felt was humiliation. 

He deleted the message decisively, but his fingers were frozen after standing outside, so they were rather stiff, and the action of deletion accidentally became the clicking of the link. 

Then, he heard Xu Fangfang yelling at the top of her voice, “Gu Yanshu, run!”.
Following that was Shen Jue grabbing him as he stumbled towards the nanny car, and finally, when Shen Jue pushed him into the car, the video ended. 

Gu Yanshu looked at the pair of hands that were pushing Pikachu’s butt and felt murderous. 

On the other hand, the forums were going over the top.  

“Oh my! Oh my! I’m going to faint from Pikachu’s moe!”

“I’m curious about the identity of the man who dragged Pikachu and ran in the end!!! He touched Pikachu’s butt!!! What a bastard!!!”

“The bastard was wearing a limited edition item that the brand gave to Gege [2]! Currently, only Gege has it in the entire China! So, who is that person! Their relationship is so good that they can wear Gege’s clothes already!” 

“I have to say, from the figure, I can only think of…”

“It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming again.
He’s walking over with Shen Jue.”

“Someone really can’t change their old habits.
Do you really think that Shen Jue posting a Weibo post means that he’s standing up for your idol? That’s just how Shen Jue acts towards someone he dislikes, alright?”

“You can say all you want.
Anyway, if Gu Yanshu is a dog, then Shen Jue must be shit.
No one can look down on the other.
Anyway, I’m still waiting for @ijusthateguyanshu’s livestream link.”

“Then again, am I the only one who’s curious as to why Gu Yanshu would be here? Didn’t the promotional account mention that he would be challenging in ‘The Strongest Stage’? Why wasn’t there any rehearsal today?” 

“Do you think promotional accounts can be trusted? Clearly that must be Gu Yanshu’s fans making up rumours.
These two years, didn’t he always advertise himself as a singer? He probably wants to get on this show to change his image, but the programme didn’t want him.
What a joke!”


Even before he could finish reading all the messages, Gu Yanshu felt his view go dark, and he was wrapped in a down jacket that covered his head. 

He didn’t even think about it, “Shen Jue, what is your problem?” 

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“What is your problem? Just now, you were still making a fuss about turning on the heater, and now, you’re standing at such a windy place dressed so thinly.
Are you trying to catch a cold? Also, stop looking at those nonsensical things on Weibo.” 

As Shen Jue said that, he pulled Gu Yanshu’s phone away and locked his screen. 

Gu Yanshu thought about how he still had Weibo on, and quickly pulled down the jacket.
He reached out to grab his phone back, “Give it back.” 

Shen Jue didn’t have the habit of looking at others’ phones, but Gu Yanshu’s reaction now made him curious. 

Could it be that there were embarrassing things in his phone? 

Just as he prepared to question Gu Yanshu, the follow PD knocked on the door, “Teacher Shen.” 

Shen Jue turned around. 

“Your manager has arrived.
He asked you to go downstairs.” 


Just as he said this, Gu Yanshu had snatched his phone back and shoved it into his pocket, then walked expressionlessly back into the room. 

Shen Jue looked at Gu Yanshu’s back view, his brow raised.
Curiosity flashed across his eyes, but he didn’t say anything in the end, as he followed the PD down. 

Downstairs, four gigantic luggages were rolled in one line, and a short-haired woman wearing shades stood at the door, her arms crossed. 

The moment she saw Shen Jue, she grabbed him and pulled him to a private corner behind some plants, her tone unfriendly, “What’s wrong with you?” 

Shen Jue slowly turned off his mic, “What do you mean, what’s wrong?” 

As Shen Jue’s manager, Xia Meng was extremely familiar with this ancestor’s [3] character.
She said unhappily, “Stop pretending in front of me.
This sudden act that you put on, was it all for Gu Yanshu?” 

“Yep.” A simple word, but without hesitation. 

Seeing how calm Shen Jue was, Xia Meng felt anger stuck in her chest, as she didn’t know what else to say. 

After a while, she whispered, “You decided to search for him on a whim.
If anything else happens, you’ll be fine, but what will happen to Gu Yanshu? Will he be able to stand it?” 

Shen Jue lowered his gaze, his voice indifferent as he retorted, “Who said I was doing this on a whim? I waited for five years.
If I wanted to do this on a whim, I would have done so earlier.
Besides, when have you seen me doing something that I’m not confident about?”

Xia Meng remained silent. 

“I know what I’m doing.
Whether it succeeds or not, I’ll be able to handle it.
You don’t have to worry.” Shen Jue said plainly, an unmistakable strength permeating through his voice.
“Anyway, I won’t harm him.” 

Xia Meng knew that once Shen Jue made up his mind, no one could change it.

Hence, she could only sigh, “Then you better be prepared, don’t drag him down.
Also, are you going to let the matter of Chen Ran snatching his resources go just like that? Did you like to interfere in the past? Why aren’t you interfering now?” 

“He doesn’t need me for this.” 

Someone already had the ability to manage such matters himself, so he didn’t need to take matters into his own hands. 

Shen Jue then recalled the conversation he heard on the balcony. 

After a pause, he said casually, “However, I don’t mind creating some trouble for the other party.”

After sending Xia Meng away, Shen Jue started packing his things in the room. 

On the other hand, Gu Yanshu carried his laptop to the study, launched Pro Tools, then started composing his song. 

The entire afternoon, they each thought about their own matters, and the afternoon passed relatively peacefully.  

At close to 8PM, Sheng Ping and Xia Qingqiao carried bento boxes of different sizes and returned home. 

This time, they were filming a food variety show. 

With the principle of saving whatever amount of money they could, they told Xu Fangfang before they left in the morning to pass the message to everyone in the villa not to cook, and that they would bring food back from the set. 

Initially, Xu Fangfang didn’t really believe them, but they actually brought quite a bit of food back. 

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An assortment of dishes filled up an entire coffee table.
And in front of the table, the TV was broadcasting “The Strongest Stage” live.
The group sat on the carpet around the table, the atmosphere extremely leisurely. 

However Sheng Ping wasn’t satisfied.
“It’s a waste that we didn’t bring Teacher Shen this time.
Given Teacher Shen’s shamelessness, we would probably even have tomorrow’s lunch settled.”  

Shen Jue lay on the sofa, playing with his phone, not bothering to look up.
“An old person like you might not behave like one, but don’t drag me down on this.” 

Sheng Ping didn’t like to speak to someone like him, hence he turned to Gu Yanshu, “Hey, Xiaoshu, do you know that the video of you busking has trended?” 

Gu Yanshu had been so busy the entire afternoon that he really didn’t know about it. 

Xia Qingqiao didn’t let go of any opportunity to flatter Gu Yanshu, so he immediately took out his tablet and launched the trending list, then handed it over to Gu Yanshu, “There, Brother, see, they’re all complimenting you for your heavenly vocals!” 

No matter how cold Gu Yanshu was, he would still treat people somewhat moderately, with the exception of Shen Jue.
Hence, no matter how uninterested he was, he still looked over at where Xia Qingqiao’s finger was pointing at. 

The fourth phrase on the trend list was, #Gu Yanshu Pikachu busking#

Xia Qingqiao clicked on the hashtag.
The hot video on Weibo wasn’t the one that Fang Yuan sent that afternoon, but the part where he started singing “The Snowball Bush in Bloom”, and included the segment with that old Russian lady. 

The sound quality had been compressed, so it was significantly worse than the original sound. 

Yet, the comments were an entire trail of rainbow farts [4]. 

“What?! Is that really Gu Yanshu? Is he singing live? He’s that good?” 

 “Those fluent in Russian have said that his Russian pronunciation is accurate.
He’s definitely learned it before.” 

“Gu Yanshu knows Russian? Never heard his fans boast about it before.” 

“My family’s Gege knows how to sing Russian songs, but I don’t know if he knows Russian or not, because I’ve never heard him speak before.” 

“Strong vocal Gu Yanshu! The handsome and good singer Gu Yanshu! The cool sweetie Gu Yanshu! Today’s the day to show our strongest support for Gu Yanshu!”

“A social media presence who created rumours about joining ‘The Greatest Stage’ but was snubbed should not say that he’s a strong vocalist.
Fans might use rose-tinted glasses to deceive themselves, but passersby are not deaf.
This live performance is really so-so.” 

“What’s there to gush about an electric mouse? You might as well look forward to Ranran’s performance tonight on ‘The Strongest Stage’.”


When Xia Qingqiao saw the trending list in the afternoon, the comments were all harmonious.
He didn’t expect so many inciting posts in such a short while, so he felt somewhat awkward, not knowing how to react. 

Gu Yanshu felt Xia Qingqiao’s helplessness and pretended not to see these negative comments.
He nonchalantly withdrew his gaze, then said gently, “Let’s watch the live broadcast first.
Sister Shuang is performing now.” 

“Oh, that’s right.
Let’s watch the live broadcast.
Come on, Sister Shuang! Sister Shuang is the best!” 

“The Strongest Stage” was the country’s first music competition show that was streamed live without musical enhancements and post-production.
Thus, the singers who dared to join this competition were all powerful singers, because if their capabilities didn’t match up, they would be publicly condemned.

There were all sorts of legendary performances but also accidents, hence the ratings were always high.

This time, Jie Shuang was singing an original soft rock song that expressed the independence of women.
It was a refreshing change to her style, and her performance was quite good. 

Up next was her PK opponent. 

Chen Ran. 

As the first internet idol appearing on the show, even if he wasn’t extremely popular online, it was enough for the comments on the bullet screen [5] to heat up. 

“Sweet baby Chen Xiaoran! Beautiful person with a sweet voice Chen Xiaoran! Powerful singer Chen Xiaoran! Ran Ranzi, fighting!” 

“Wow, did the programme that Gu Yanshu wanted fall into Chen Ran’s hands? Does that mean that Chen Ran is really better?” 

“Didn’t Gu Yanshu boast that he was the best vocalist in the idol world? Yet in the end, he can’t even compare to a rookie?” 

“Who is Chen Ran? Have you heard of him? But if he can come to ‘The Strongest Stage’, he must be relatively skilled.
I’m looking forward to it.” 

“Chen Ran might be young, but he’s always been focused on singing and dancing.
He’s really quite good, looking forward to the Strongest Stage from Ranran.” 


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Fans showing off their idol was something really normal. 

However, to bring someone unrelated into the conversation and intentionally stomping on him, anyone who saw it would feel somewhat uneasy. 

Xia Qingqiao disliked Chen Ran even when they were trainees.
Furthermore, after seeing numerous Chen Ran fans treading on Gu Yanshu, he was so angry that he wanted to speak up for Gu Yanshu. 

Yet, under the cover of the coffee table, Gu Yanshu calmly stopped him. 

He realised that they were still filming.
Anything he said could possibly be nitpicked.
Hence, he could only angrily purse his lips and sit there calmly, wanting to see what sort of tricks Chen Ran would play. 

On the other hand, Shen Jue lazily leaned on the sofa and played with his phone.
He didn’t look at the screen at all, acting as though he wasn’t bothered by the feud between Gu Yanshu and Chen Ran. 

Gu Yanshu also looked calmly at the large monitor, looking indifferent. 

On the screen, Chen Ran was wearing a white shirt.
His make-up was exquisite; standing under the moonlight backdrop on the stage, he really looked good. 

The song he chose was also a sweet love song that suited him most. 

Even though the difficulty level was normal, it was a suitable move, and he probably wouldn’t make too many mistakes.
With fans coming in to support and boast about his singing skills in the idol world, there shouldn’t be much of a problem. 

Gu Yanshu felt that Ding Yun really made a painstaking effort in planning for Chen Ran. 

However, he overestimated Chen Ran’s capabilities. 

He completely didn’t expect that in the first four stanzas of such a normal song, Chen Ran could go off-key three times.
Perhaps he might have been too nervous, but his breathing wasn’t stable, and his endnotes were shaky.
His voice even cracked at the end of the song, at the falsetto part. 

And the falsetto was terrible on the ears. 

The song ended. 

The entire living room was silent. 

Because they didn’t know how to express it. 

If they had to praise him, they couldn’t do it.
If they had to critique him objectively, they would appear too harsh.
Yet, by not saying anything was a clear act of mockery, even more so than having said something. 

The atmosphere became extremely awkward. 

The awkwardness in the living room was on the brink of stifling. 

Suddenly, a “bang’ sounded from the sound system, similar to the sound of fireworks.
It sounded very celebratory. 

Following that, everyone saw that the bullet screen was covered by a special comment that shone with the colours of the rainbow, the words bolded. 

There was only one line in the special comment. 

“Some people boasted about ‘The Strongest Stage’, but in the end, he couldn’t even compare to an electric mouse.” 

The words were extraordinarily large, almost ten times larger.
The colours were vibrant and bedazzling.
The entire station reported it, fortune bags were dropped, and countless plus ones, covering the entire screen. 

The effect was really quite good. 

Shen Jue nodded satisfactorily. 

He clicked “buy”, getting another one. 

The system reported: “Congratulations to user @XiaoShenXiaoGuTianShengYiDui [6] for successfully purchasing a pair of fireworks.” 

[1] A man of three virtues is someone who is (1) career-minded (has a stable income), (2) responsible (to his wife and children), and (3) filial (to his family).  

[2] Gege – older brother, but also one of the affectionate terms that fans use to address their idols. 

[3] Refers to someone that you have to serve. 

[4] Chinese slang for “glowing reviews”, though sometimes used negatively. 

[5] Bullet screens – a feature seen commonly on Chinese streaming sites in which comments fly across the screen when a video is playing. 

[6] “Xiao Shen Xiao Gu Tian Sheng Yi Dui” – Literally means: Xiao Shen (Shen Jue) and Xiao Gu (Gu Yanshu) are a match made in heaven. 

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