After we sat down at the restaurant, Gu Yiliang said he was fine with anything and let me decide on what to order.
Lie! That was a thumping lie!
The brainwashing package already told me that he didn’t like Chinese chives, bitter gourd, celery, carrot, soup or foods that were either sweet or sour or sour-sweet. He liked chicken, but not duck or goose. He liked pork, beef, and lamb, but not fish. He liked crab and shellfish, but not shrimp.
With painstaking and assiduous effort, the Niangzi Army collected all this valuable information by using every means possible!!
As for the accuracy?
Well, since they were pretty accurate about my info, it should be about right.
I glanced at the menu and told the waiter, “A spiced shredded chicken with chili sauce, a crab stew pot — don’t put shrimp in it — a sautéed cabbage with garlic, and two bowls of rice.”
Then I turned around and asked Gu Yiliang, who looked slightly surprised, “Is that enough? What do you want to drink?”
Gu Yiliang put away that hint of surprise, got himself a can of JDB, and then ordered a bottle of honey tea for me.
Master Gu! Such boyfriend material!
I sipped my iced honey tea happily.
The dishes came quickly.
We picked up the chopsticks in uniformity, held up the rice bowls at the same time, picked some shredded chicken, put it into our bowls, placed the tip of the chopsticks onto the chicken, and pressed it a few times against the rice underneath.
Our actions were simply too synchronized. We looked at each other in the eyes simultaneously, then laughed out loud together.
We were chatting about all kinds of random things as we slowly enjoyed our meal until we started talking about interesting stories that happened during shootings.
Gu Yiliang laughed as he told me about a small incident when he was shooting a low-budget wuxia drama. Because the background actors the production team hired were too unprofessional, and the props were of poor quality as well, someone accidentally thrashed him on the waist with a sword when they were doing an action scene. It hit him so hard that even the sword was bent, and it left a swollen strip of black and blue on his waist that took quite a few days to subside. Then he went on with the wires the team used for stunt rigging…
My heart was trembling with so much fear as I listened that I couldn’t even pick up the crab with my chopsticks.
He glanced at me and suddenly stopped talking. Then he picked up a crab claw and delivered it steadily into my bowl. “But no similar accidents have happened since then. The crew we have now is very safe. It’s a ten-million-dollar investment after all, so don’t worry.”
I nodded hesitantly with the crab claw in between my teeth.
As if he found it amusing, he asked, “You’ve never gotten injured while shooting?”
I answered as a matter of factly, “Of course I have. But how is that the same? If the injury is on you…”
I swallowed the later half of “your fans will make me fully responsible for it” and made a stiff turn, whispering, “…my-my heart aches?”
Here it was again. That haunting awkwardness.
I burst into a series of hollow laughs as I continued to put food into his bowl incessantly — in fact, I’d rather feed them directly into his mouth so that I could block anything he might say.
He paused for a moment and threw me a puzzled glance. After hesitating, he started placing food on my plate as well.
I laughed again and put some more into his.
He was not willing to be bested as he put some more onto mine.
I picked out all the crab claws and put them all on his plate.
He picked out the Chinese prickly ash on the shredded chicken and put the chicken in my bowl.
I scooped up a spoonful of soup and poured it onto his rice.
He filled my empty glass with honey tea.
I pulled out a napkin and handed it to him.
He called the waiter over and paid the bill.
True master! I lost!
I looked at the mountain of veggies and meat in my bowl and took a few bites with my trembling hand. My eyes fell back onto Gu Yiliang’s face as I said with much difficulty, “…I can’t finish this…”
Gu Yiliang failed to hold back his laugh. He took the bowl away from me, “Then why are you still forcing it down? Don’t overeat.”
What a nice person!
While I was still emotionally moved by his compassion, I saw him blink a few times. Then, mimicking my stiff and faint voice, he whispered, “After all, if the injury is on you, my-my heart hurts.”
Staring straight ahead with dead eyes, I got up and left the restaurant, drifting on the road very much like a wandering ghost.
Gu Yiliang fought hard to hold the smile in as he caught up with me and put his hand on my shoulder. “——Are you mad? I was joking.”
I shot him a glance, my face ashen, and brushed off his hand. “Pay attention to the influences.”
He threw the hand back on, unable to contain the laughter in his words. “It’s not a big deal even if we get caught. Just let the company do a press release saying that Gu and Wei are on friendly terms now.”
Wait, I just don’t understand.
It’s fine if the Niangzi Army spontaneously determined that Gu Yiliang was the one to pin me down since the little girls wouldn’t know better anyway, but why was he conscientiously putting his own last name in front of mine?!
Does he think he can have everything his way just because his last name Gu was the most popular last name in the BL world?
“Then it has to be ‘Wei x Gu on friendly terms’ instead.”
He turned to me with a sincere and confused glance, “Is there a difference?”
Master, I know I’m a straight guy too, but aren’t you a bit too straight?!
In order to seize back what was left of my dignity from a weird place in the conversation, I started to say some words along the lines of “WeiGu sounds striking when you read it aloud,” or “It sounds pleasant to the ears and it’s easily remembered,” to cover his question. I conveniently brainwashed him in secret that it was better to place my last name in front of his.
Upon seeing that we were almost at the main road after leisurely chatting with each other for a while longer, I was about to brush away his hand once more, but he was one step ahead in removing it. He took out his phone and cast a glance at it.
I pursed my lips to myself in disdain.
Tsk, here’s our hypocritical quality idol!
Then this hypocritical quality idol put away his cell phone, walked straight to a slightly dimmer corner, and fished out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
Staring at the Gu Yiliang who was lighting a cigarette in front of me, I felt as if the world was somewhat unreal.
Hello? Do you still remember your public image as a quality idol?
Do you still remember that I’m your adversary?
Do you still remember that we just added each other on Wechat yesterday despite knowing each other for three years?
I know there’s no rule saying that idols and celebrities aren’t allowed to smoke, but…
Seeing the strange expression on my face, he replied with a smile, “Sorry about this. I just suddenly want to have one.”
I lost my words for a moment.
Not because he could act so openly and candidly in front of me, but because despite his extraordinary acting skills and his flawless expression, I could still feel how gloomy and depressed he was.
I said, “Aren’t you afraid that I’ll take a picture with my phone and use a side account to slander you online?”
A chuckle escaped Gu Yiliang as he nonchalantly shrugged his shoulders.
But the way he held the cigarette in his mouth as he shrugged his shoulders was too cool, exuding an unrestrained and unruly air.
I was probably entranced by the way he looked that there was a split second where I actually thought that Gu x Wei sounded striking. It’d sound pleasant to the ears and it could be easily remembered when it’s read aloud too.
He hung his head low to smoke, without uttering another word. I looked up at him, keeping my silence as well. There was no awkwardness in the air between us, yet I felt somehow unsettled.
This was Gu Yiliang we’re talking about here. Gu Yiliang, the man who looked ever-handsome when he smiled. Just his smile alone was enough to bewitch someone’s heart. How could anyone allow him to use such a disheartening mood to grip people’s hearts?
That’s being irresponsible to my heart!
My brain must have short-circuited for a second as I pointed to his hand which was holding the cigarette pack and said, “Why don’t you…teach me how to smoke?”
Gu Yiliang was a little surprised, “Why?”
“…So you don’t have to worry about me taking a picture with my phone and trashing you online? Let’s live or die together?”
He looked at me for a long time before he let out a stifled laugh through his lips. He then placed the cigarette he was smoking in his mouth next to mine.
Huh? Is he really straight?
I truly, madly, deeply, and sincerely doubt it!
I reached out to accept the cigarette with a perplexed expression on my face. Then, I wrapped my lips around the end and attempted to take a drag out of it——
——I almost choked to death.
As if he had expected it, Gu Yiliang hurriedly took back the cigarette. He laughed as he patted my back. “Do you know what’s good and what’s bad for you now?”
This damn blackbelly! I glared at him with teary eyes, “Stay there and don’t move! Keep this posture! I’m going to take the evidence with my phone right now!”
He couldn’t stop laughing and took out his own cell phone to pull up the camera app before he pulled me next to him. Holding a cigarette with his mouth, he hooked an arm around my neck and took several pictures of us together.
He was using the iPhone’s front camera.
Okay, now I’m convinced that he’s straight.
I was fairly confident about my face, and I’d seen his taste in choosing pictures, so I didn’t request to see how the photo came out. My eyes took a glimpse of his phone’s wallpaper and saw that it was a sleeping cat.
Its pattern was a bit familiar. It looked like the little kitten that he caught in that video clip his friend posted online.
I pointed to his phone and asked, “Is this the same cat you caught in that video? It’s all grown up.”
With his hand still around my neck, he looked slightly stunned.
How do I explain that I’ve seen that ancient video clip which only has a few hundred reposts when I don’t even follow him or his other friends in the industry?!
Will he take me as a sick pervert lusting for his flesh and soul?!
I once again assumed my ever-so-calm idol face. Deep down, however, I was tweaking my ears and scratching my cheeks anxiously as my internal organs were going up in flames and my gears were revolving and turning at a rapid rate, trying to find a reasonable explanation to bridge my words.
While he stroked at his nose and smiled rather embarrassingly, “So you saw it. Um…so…are you…being slightly more careful now when you film?”
I was dumbstruck.