After helping the person up, Ji Wang stepped into the muddy lotus field again, returning to Duan Yinyu and Zhang Muxian. He joined the duo, whose atmosphere was full of sand sculptures1, and became an audience to cheer them on.
In fact, if he’d stayed with Qi Boyan, there would obviously be more shots. But Ji Wang didn’t want to. He didn’t have the confidence to pretend to be a stranger meeting Qi Boyan for the first time in front of the cameras of a variety show.
After spending several hours in the lotus root field, everyone was sweating profusely. By the end of digging and digging, everyone was digging together, and they were so tired they couldn’t speak.
When the lotus root baskets were full, the four men determinedly climbed onto the shore and slumped there to rest.
Due to the strict requirements of the program team, assistants and managers couldn’t help during the filming process. Qi Boyan’s assistant could only helplessly worry not far away, distressed that his star's skin was reddened by the sun.
Before the little assistant Yi Dong could call the top management and ask what to do, he saw a man crawl up from the muddy group and say to Director Jiang, “How do we exchange these lotus roots for rice? Do we go to the village to exchange them?”
The person who got up was Ji Wang, the energetic alpha.
Duan Yinyu, who was next to him, was already dead, and he muttered to himself, “I knew my manager wanted to murder me, he actually put me in this variety show to plant rice in the fields. He’s finished, his year-end bonus is gone.”
Qi Boyan also stood up, "It's not good to go to the village like this."
Zhang Muxian added in agreement, "Anyway, let's go back and take a shower."
At the request of the guests, Director Jiang finally issued an order with the microphone to let them go back and shower, only for 30 minutes, and then gather in front of the house to set off for TianTian2 Vegetable Market.
Thirty minutes? It would take more than ten minutes to get back to the house from the mud field.
Duan Yinyu groaned and wanted to complain, but the person next to him swiftly took the lotus root digging outfit off on their body. The heavy mud coat fell to the ground, splashing a lot of mud and almost smearing Duan Yinyu's face.
He looked at the situation and immediately shouted, "Zhang Muxian! You’re too cunning! Wait for me!"
The omega hurriedly started taking off his equipment. Ji Wang had already followed suit and rushed out. Qi Boyan was the third one to finish taking it off, and Duan Yinyu was still struggling to pull his waterproof boots off his feet when he passed by.
Feeling a shadow fall beside him, Duan Yinyu looked over full of hope, “Are you waiting for me?”
Qi Boyan smiled, leaving Duan Yinyu in a trance, thinking to himself, no wonder Qi Boyan’s fans called him a work of art.
Without waiting for Duan Yinyu to love himself in his charm, Qi Boyan left the sentence, “Remember to carry the lotus roots back,” and immediately strode away.
Din Yinyu was angered to death when faced with the lotus roots left by the other three bastards: “Director Jiang! Are they serious! How can I carry three baskets as an omega! I won’t carry them.”
Director Jiang used the most benevolent smile to say the most ruthless words, “If you carry them back, maybe you just won’t have time to shower. If you don’t carry them, then all your work today will be for nothing.”
Duan Yinyu was crying, carrying a basket of lotus roots on his back, and finally understood the truth of this variety show.
There was no ABO gender distinction, no mutual help, only unconscionable teammates.
He carried the basket on his back with difficulty, and before he could start running, he saw someone rush back. Ji Wang reached out and grabbed a basket off the ground. Full of boyfriend energy, he asked Duan Yinyu, “Can you carry so much?”
Duan Yinyu was almost moved to tears by Ji Wang’s departure and return. He honestly shook his head, “I can’t…Wang…”
Before he could say “Wang-ge”, his Wang-ge had already galloped away, only leaving a faint sentence, “You can do it, you’re the best.”
Duan Yinyu was so angry that he almost sat on the ground to cry. Then he heard Director Jiang remind him, “There are still twenty minutes.”
No matter how reluctant he was, Duan Yinyu still ran back wailing.
Ji Wang, who left and came back, was not as Duan Yinyu imagined, finding his conscience and coming back to help.
It was only after running halfway that he remembered their house only had two bathrooms. Zhang Muxian must have grabbed one. If he followed and used the second one, Qi Boyan would have nowhere to go.
That person was already a clean freak. His entire body was covered in mud, but for the sake of the camera, he still didn’t blow up. Once the eldest young master got angry, it wouldn’t be good for the program team, and the shooting atmosphere would be ruined.
Ji Wang remembered that the lotus roots were still on the field, and that Director Jiang had said to gather in front of the house to set off to TianTian3Vegetable Market. He realized the sinister intentions of the program team and hurried back to grab the lotus roots.
On the way, he brushed past Qi Boyan and felt him clearly stop to look at him, but Ji Wang didn’t care.
By the time he brought back the basket of lotus roots from the field, Zhang Muxian had already washed clean and was sitting under the porch in flip-flops eating watermelon specially sent by the villagers.
Ji Wang put the lotus roots in the yard and said hello to Zhang Muxian, then took a change of clothes into the bathroom.
Although there were two bathrooms, they were only crude cement rooms with a thin wooden board in the middle. At first glance, the owner knew that they would shoot a variety show here and temporarily built this double-bathroom.
The sound of water was rushing and the thin wooden board couldn’t block too much noise. The cameras didn’t follow, they were all in the yard. In this shower place, there was only him and Qi Boyan.
Ji Wang took off his clothes, simply rinsed them with water, and hung them aside, feeling a little distressed about the clothes. It was Hong-jie who knew that he was going to appear on “On the Road” and deliberately negotiated a brand sponsorship. It wasn’t good to waste people’s clothes like this.
After a while he would call Hong-jie to tell her about it, hoping the brand would understand.
He squirted shampoo and applied it to his head. The lather slid down his face, causing him to subconsciously close his eyes.
The water was so big that Ji Wang didn’t feel any sense of danger until a warm body pressed against his back and he felt the man’s strong arms stretch out from behind and firmly wrap around his waist.
Ji Wang jolted, quickly rinsed the foam off his face, and raised his neck to avoid the stream in front of him, “Don’t you know what situation this is!”
Qi Boyan’s hand hooked the foam around Ji Wang’s neck and pushed it away from Ji Wang’s body in a circle. He said in a nonchalant tone, “I know, I’m filming a variety show, so don’t flail around.”
In a narrow space, Ji Wang didn’t dare to act rashly, let alone beat Qi Boyan. Qi Boyan clamped down on the flesh of his neck and wore down threateningly, but didn’t really bite down, just licked it, “Did you have a good time playing with them just now?”
Before Ji Wang could say anything, he heard Qi Boyan say, “Hurry up and wash, if Duan Yinyu comes over, I don’t care, but you…”
Ji Wang didn’t move and heard Qi Boyan intimately whisper in his ear, “Coward.”
Duan Yinyu barely rushed back in the last ten minutes. He threw down his basket and disregarded the lotus roots rolling around, grabbing the melon in Zhang Muxian’s hand and resolutely taking a bite.
Zhang Muxian had already eaten until his belly was full of sweetness and calmly said to Duan Yinyu, “Poor child, eat slowly, there’s still more in the room.”
Duan Yinyu internally cursed the old fox but still outwardly said "thank you brother". After that, he dragged his body, already exhausted before halfway through the show, and struggled towards the bathroom.
The other bathroom was still in use, probably Ji Wang. Duan Yinyu casually said, “Ge, I’m coming in, time is running out, don’t mind me.”
Ji Wang didn't answer him and Duan Yinyu didn't care either.
Duan Yinyu just turned on the water and the sound covered the sound of things falling in the bathroom next to him. The scattered noises sounded like shower products falling on the ground.
He stopped the water, “Ji Wang, are you okay? Did you fall?”
Duan Yinyu waited for a while before hearing Ji Wang's voice, a little constrained and hoarse, "It's okay, I accidentally knocked something down."
Time was running out, Duan Yinyu turned the water back on and quickly cleaned himself up.
Still a thought couldn’t help but rise in his heart. Ji Wang’s voice sounded a little different in private, as if…a little sexy?
While letting his imagination run wild, Duan Yinyu heard the sound of footsteps leaving next to him. He thought Ji Wang had finished washing and was worried that everyone would gather in the front. Duan Yinyu gritted his teeth and quickened his actions. After taking a shower, he hurried out of the bathroom with wet hair.
At the same time, Ji Wang also stepped out of the other bathroom. Duan Yinyu said in surprise, “You just finished showering? I thought you already left?”
He noticed that Ji Wang’s lips were a little red, or more precisely, swollen.
Ji Wang’s hair was still wet. He wrapped the dirty clothes from earlier in a bath towel and held it in his arms, firmly blocking his body’s front.
Duan Yinyu reminded him, “Don’t worry about the clothes. The assistants will come to deal with them in a while. I think Zhang-ge and Qi-ge’s clothes were all left in the basin.”
Duan Yinyu was the youngest in the entire variety show, and everyone was his older brother.
Ji Wang shook his head, “My assistant hasn’t arrived yet, I’ll take it back to the room first.” After speaking, Ji Wang left with a strange posture, the dirty clothes in his hands piled around his waist, as if covering something.
Duan Yinyu had no choice but to go back to the yard. Qi Boyan had already sat down next to Zhang Muxian. His hair was still wet and he casually tied a loose braid that sat on his left side.
Among male alphas, Qi Boyan looked the best with long hair. During Duan Yinyu's freshman year, all the classmates around him were obsessed with Qi Boyan.
The first time he saw a photo of Qi Boyan was in a magazine. In the photo with mottled light, Qi Boyan’s long hair was submerged in the water. His eyes blurrily looked at the camera, like a soul-sucking water demon.
Duan Yinyu thought Qi Boyan was also an omega.
He couldn’t help but stare at Qi Boyan until the other’s eyes also looked at him. He didn’t know if it was Duan Yinyu’s illusion, but he clearly felt Qi Boyan’s eyes sharpen for a moment before quickly disappearing.
Looking at him again, Qi Boyan smiled amicably and even handed over the fruit plate for him to eat.
Such a popular star showed him goodwill. Duan Yinyu immediately reached out to respectfully receive it, as if what Qi Boyan brought him was not a fruit plate, but a trophy at an awards ceremony.
The three couldn’t relax for long. Director Jiang had already brought the camera crew to the door and was counting down the seconds. Duan Yinyu quickly stood up, “Where’s Ji Wang? Why hasn’t he come down yet?”
Speak of the devil4, Ji Wang came out from the direction of the bathroom.
Duan Yinyu asked, "Didn't you go upstairs?"
Ji Wang replied, "I felt like my head wasn’t clean, so I washed it again."
Duan Yinyu's hand accidentally slipped over Ji Wang's arm, and he exclaimed, "It's so icy! Did you rinse with cold water?"
Ji Wang said helplessly, "Well, the weather’s too hot...my internal temperature runs high."
When it came to the last three words, for some reason, Duan Yinyu could hear him fuming with rage.
The four of them were all together. Zheng Qihong, who had gone to dye cloth, also came back holding a basket of small cabbage that was distributed to her by the host.
Director Jiang, "Just now, a villager sent watermelon and everyone ate it, right?"
Zheng Qihong wondered, "What melon?"
Zhang Muxian quickly hid the melon skin behind him, "No, no, we didn't eat it."
Director Jiang ignored Zhang Muxian's lame excuse, "In exchange for the watermelon, we confiscated half a basket of lotus roots. The lotus roots you left at the field and didn't bring back were also already returned to the owner of the lotus field."
Unexpectedly, the program team turned out to like this. Everyone worked hard all afternoon, and in order to rush back to take a bath, they were so busy they were quiet.
Fortunately, Duan Yinyu and Ji Wang came back with two baskets on their backs. Now Duan Yinyu's was proud to death, and he kept talking about Zhang Muxian, saying that he ate watermelon instead of doing his business, so he should eat only half a bowl of rice tonight.
Zheng Qihong counted the cabbage and lotus roots and said far-sightedly, "If we can't exchange many ingredients today, then tonight we can make a vegetable soup."
Ji Wang agreed: "There are still a few eggs in the chicken shed. We can fry them in soy sauce to eat."
The only two people in the team who could cook looked at each other and smiled in mutual understanding.
The Tiantian Market was a certain distance away from the village. Their host generously lent his car, a blue dump truck that was so gray you couldn’t see its original color.
The five people leveraged each other’s strength to climb up. Ji Wang went up first, gave Zheng Qihong a hand, and also pulled Duan Yinyu. Zhang Mu nimbly came up by himself, finally leaving only Qi Boyan.
Just as Ji Wang was about to sit down, he saw Qi Boyan slowly and proudly stretch out his hand, preciously hanging in the air. Ji Wang, who was “hot”5, didn’t want to pay attention to him, but facing the camera, he had no choice. He could only reach out to pull the person up, then sneak away.
The car staggered off. The merchants of Tiantian Market had already made an agreement with the program team and not many people came to watch.
The five people were divided into three groups, one for exchanging rice, one for exchanging meat, and one for setting up a stall to exchange some money.
The last, most difficult task was given to Qi Boyan by Zheng Qihong.
Zheng Qihong was comparatively older, and her words had weight, so everyone took initiative to obey.
Contrary to expectation, Zhang Muxian first said, “I’m good at speaking, why don’t I stay and set up the stall.”
Zhang Muxian was taking care of Qi Boyan. He saw that Qi Boyan hadn’t entered the right state and was worried that if left alone he wouldn’t speak in front of the camera.
Zheng Qihong replied, “No, you don’t look as good as Xiao-Yan. Don’t worry, if Xiao-Yan stays here for ten minutes, all the lotus roots will be sold.”
Duan Yinyu groaned, “I see, lotus root Xishi6!”
Qi Boyan didn’t take offense at this nickname, "Zhang-laoshi, I'll stay and set up the stall, you all can go and exchange ingredients."
Zhang Muxian took Ji Wang and left. The process of exchanging meat wasn’t very smooth. The boss likely accepted a hint from the program team and asked them to help chop the ribs, mash the meat, and add lotus root in exchange for three pounds of ribs.
The temptation was really great. Ji Wang took the knife and went straight to it. Zhang Muxian stood by the side, stunned, and asked the cameraman to film his splendid technique.
After the two exchanged the meat, they returned to the booth where Qi Boyan was. Qi Boyan was still sitting on the small bench. The stall in front of him was already empty and the money was all in the basket.
He also had an ice cream in his hand, which was specially given to him by the proprietress of the roast duck shop behind him, fearing that he would overheat while selling vegetables.
Compared with the two of them who were covered in the smell of meat, Qi Boyan was leisurely, as if coming for a vacation.
At this time, another kind old lady passed by. Seeing Qi Boyan, she smiled and said: "This baby is so well-behaved."
Zhang Muxian rubbed his hands like a prostitute introducing his girl: "Very well-behaved. If the old lady likes them, would you like to award something?"
The old lady took out a few tomatoes from her bag and put them tottering into Qi Boyan's basket. Facing the old woman, Qi Boyan was more ill at ease than usual. He hurriedly stood up and said thank you.
Who knew the old lady would say next, "Oh my, how is the little girl so tall."
Qi Boyan's face was slightly stiff. Zhang Muxian was silent for a moment and Ji Wang subconsciously pursed his lips and held back his smile.
It turned out that because Qi Boyan had long hair, the old lady took him to be a young lady. She even continued to chat, saying that her grandson was very good and she wanted to introduce him to Qi Boyan.
Zhang Muxian hurriedly persuaded the old lady away before the scene got out of control. The old lady continued to say, "My grandson is 26 years old this year, and I own the house at the end of the village."
When Zhang Muxian persuaded the old lady away, Qi Boyan glanced at Ji Wang, "What are you laughing at?"
Ji Wang pretended to be serious: "I didn't laugh."
Qi Boyan sighed: "If you want to laugh, just laugh. Just make me a plate of tomato egg stir fry tonight."
When Ji Wang used to cook, because Qi Boyan liked eating it, he even specifically studied how to make tomato egg stir fry more delicious.
But remembering the past, Ji Wang's expression couldn't help but dampen, he didn't agree or disagree.
Zheng Qihong and Duan Yinyu also successfully returned with rice. In just a short period of time, Zheng Qihong and Duan Yinyu had become godmother and son.
The fresh out of the oven godson asked Qi Boyan: "Yan-ge, where did the ice cream in your hand come from?"
Qi Boyan slowly took a bite and smiled sweetly, "The owner of the roast duck restaurant gave it."
After he finished speaking, he ate the ice cream in two or three mouthfuls in front of Duan Yinyu’s envious eyes, not even leaving a scrap.
Duan Yinyu intended to support himself, saying that he would go sing to the proprietress of the roast duck restaurant and also exchange an ice cream.
It was fine if he went by himself, but he had to pull Ji Wang. "Wang-ge, let's go get ice cream together. Godmother, if it's successful, I'll bring you one too."
Zhang Muxian came late, "What about me?"
Duan Yinyu was already familiar with Zhang Muxian, "People who are all talk aren’t qualified to eat ice cream."
At this time, Qi Boyan took out the money from the vegetable basket, "We have money, we can just buy it."
Zhang Muxian hurriedly grabbed the money and held it in his arms: "Oh, Xiao Qi, haven't you noticed how pitiful our program team is? This money has to be spent on a knife's edge, how can you use it to spoil children with ice cream!"
Duan Yinyu shouted and went to grab the money from Zhang Muxian. Zheng Qihong didn’t whether to laugh or cry and told them to stop making trouble. She said to Qi Boyan and Ji Wang, “You two should act like older brothers, quickly separate them.”
Ji Wang and Qi Boyan only then stepped forward to help. Just as Ji Wang wanted to turn in Duan Yinyu’s direction, his shoulder was hit hard by Qi Boyan. The other party pushed him away, stepped forward, and pulled Duan Yinyu’s collar, just like towing a primary school chicken, dragging the person to the side.
Zhang Muxian was also pulled away by Ji Wang, who arrived later. He said, “Stinky youngster, you’re Hong-jie’s godson, but I’m Hong-jie’s younger brother! You should call me uncle!”
On the first day, they divided everyone's family status and lived together.
After such a commotion in Tiantian Market, the five guests were no longer so embarrassed, and they even found their own personalities.
The motherly eldest sister Zheng Qihong, the indifferent uncle Zhang Muxian, the honest and capable second brother Ji Wang, the beautiful as a flower third brother Qi Boyan, and the failing expectations son Duan Yinyu.
Duan Yinyu was still muttering when he got into the car: "How come I'm the child."
Back in the village, it was late at night. Qi Boyan went to take a shower again, Ji Wang and Zheng Qihong were busy in the kitchen, Zhang Muxian went out to gossip with the neighbors and wanted to conveniently scrounge some food back, and Duan Yinyu was sitting in the yard peeling corn.
The five people each had their own things to do and the atmosphere was harmonious and tranquil.
It wasn’t until the scalding hot lotus root pork rib soup and tomato egg stir fry came to the table that Director Jiang, who had no job, suddenly appeared and said to everyone, “Before eating, let’s play a little game.”
Director Jiang, “Outside of Zheng-laoshi and Ji-laoshi who contributed the most today, the other three members have to pass the game to be qualified to eat.”
Duan Yinyu’s stomach was rumbling with hunger. Seeing that the dishes on the table required a bullshit game to eat, he almost rushed to fist fight the director, but Zhang Muxian’s reflexes were quick to hold him back.
The game was very simple. Among six cards, one was black, the rest were red. The person who drew black not only couldn’t eat, but also had to make everyone’s beds.
If all three of them drew a red card, they would all eat and make their own beds.
It may have been intended to create suspense and make the show more effective. Qi Boyan came out of the bathroom and found that the other two had already drawn cards.
Duan Yinyu grabbed a red card and thanked heaven and earth. Zhang Muxian was already stuffing himself with rice, stacking the bowl high.
After Qi Boyan understood the rules, he casually flipped a card. Who would have thought that the probability of choosing one out of six could smash Qi Boyan's head. Everyone was shocked.
Zheng Qihong couldn't stand it any longer, "Director Jiang, give him another chance. Everyone has been tired and hungry working all day. Wouldn't it be too much to not even get to eat?"
Seeing this, Director Jiang loosened up and gave him another chance.
After shuffling the cards again, it was still one of the six, Qi Boyan chose the black card again. He was so unlucky it was like he was cursed.
This time the effect of the show was really there. After a while of noise, Director Jiang could only say, “Then you can eat only one bite. You can eat whatever you want. After eating, Qi Boyan will have to arrange the bedding.”
Qi Boyan really didn’t care. While other guests complained they felt distressed, Ji Wang had already taken out the soup ladle and piled meat on top, trying to make a mouthful the size of Qi Boyan’s face.
In the end, Qi Boyan simply ate a spoonful of eggs mixed with spare ribs and silently went upstairs to put on the bedding.
Because there was one person who couldn’t eat, everyone else was obviously not happy while they ate. They all united in their hatred of Director Jiang.
Ji Wang stopped eating after one bowl. Zheng Qihong glanced at him and secretly passed him a thermos cup, “Xiao Ji, go up and help Xiao Qi.”
Duan Yinyu pulled Ji Wang down and whispered in his ear, "I secretly hid beef jerky, you can secretly give it to Yan-ge for me."
Zhang Muxian gave him his apples. Ji Wang took the members’ show of love upstairs to visit Qi Boyan. Now Director Jiang acted like a real person, turning a blind eye to their illegal activities.
Upstairs, Qi Boyan was alone, silently fighting with the bedding. There was no camera man in the room, only a few fixed cameras were shooting.
Qi Boyan, who led a pampered life, couldn’t figure out the bed cover. After a long time, he almost pulled himself into the bedding.
Ji Wang stepped forward and pulled Qi Boyan out of the bedding hell, "Eat something."
Qi Boyan looked at the righteous stolen goods in Ji Wang’s hands, “Where did it come from?”
Ji Wang concisely explained the origin of everything, and finally concluded, “This is everyone's love for you."
While talking, Ji Wang was quick and efficient and made two beds in no time. "Who sleeps in this room?"
Qi Boyan threw the apple in his hand, "Who else could it be?"
Ji Wang looked at Qi Boyan, and Qi Boyan showed a knowing smile. Ji Wang thought to himself, why did he come up, he should have let this person starve to death here.
Qi Boyan said again, "They all gave me something, what about yours?"
Ji Wang, "My what?"
Qi Boyan, "Where is your love?" He deliberately made his words sound ambiguous.
Ji Wang looked at Qi Boyan's hand. There was soup, jerky, and an apple. He felt this person really had no shortage. He ignored him and prepared to leave the bedroom to make other beds.
Then Qi Boyan grabbed his wrist. Ji Wang flung his arm twice and couldn’t shake it off. He awkwardly looked at the cameras around him recording everything, and finally gave in.
He stuffed a piece of chocolate into Qi Boyan’s hand. Finally getting something, Qi Boyan let go of Ji Wang. He opened the chocolate and put the entire piece into his piece, “Gege’s love tastes like chocolate, sweet.”
Ji Wang was numb, thinking that he couldn’t make a fuss or beat him, so what else could he do?
Anyway, if the program wanted to broadcast this in its entirety, it depended on whether Qi Boyan's company agreed.
It was impossible for Qi Boyan's company to let him and Qi Boyan hype cp.
- “Sand sculptures” is Chinese internet slang used to refer to stupid people or people who make others laugh with their silliness ↑
- I left this as “TianTian” because the author accidently uses different names throughout this chapter. Here “TianTian” is “甜田” which means “sweet fields” ↑
- The characters for this name are different from earlier, so one of them was a mistake. Here the author writes “天天”, which means “everyday”. ↑
- The Chinese phrase used here is “说曹操曹操到” which directly translates to "speak of Cao Cao, and Cao Cao arrives", an allusion to the classic Chinese novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. It has basically the same meaning as “speak of the devil”, although possibly a more positive connotation. ↑
- I think this is in reference to Qi Boyan turning him on earlier ↑
- The Chinese here references “西施”, one of four legendary Chinese beauties who was given as concubine to King of Wu as part of a successful plan to destroy Wu ↑