“Dumbass. Probably an advertisement from the production crew!” The comment talking about Song Yucheng getting money got laughed at right after it popped up.
“Yeah! Can’t you guys find a better excuse for us to watch him? You think we’re retarded? What skills can a person like Song Yuchang have? Him? Earn money? Why don’t you say that he was pimped out on the streets? That’ll be more believable.”
“Hey, hey, hey, it’s really not.” That person was upset at the bullet screen full of people ridiculing him, but he had no way to convince the viewers otherwise other than to write the next line. “Seeing is believing! You guys see it for yourselves!” He wrote nothing more after that.
Now this was interesting. That piece of trash? Seeing is believing? The trolls among the viewers paid up right away when they read that line, and gained access to Song Yucheng’s individual livestream. They wanted to see it for themselves.
They were slapped in the face with the truth as soon as they switched to Song Yucheng’s livestream.
Song Yucheng had really made money! Not only did he make money, but he was earning it rather comfortably too.
They tuned in to see a marketplace, about three kilometres from the town. The handsome young man was sitting in a relatively peaceful corner, quietly twisting the willow branches in his hands.
Long, graceful fingers fluttered up and down, and the lush jade-green willow branch seemed to come to life, dancing in his hands. The messy willow branch was transformed into a beautiful little flower basket in the short span of about ten minutes.
And these flower baskets were how Song Yucheng had mysteriously managed to be the first to earn money.
“This… It looks like wickerwork.” A viewer couldn’t help commenting, and his comment quickly drew in more viewers. These new viewers found what they saw new and interesting, so they stayed to watch.
“Swapping Lives” had aired three completed seasons, but Song Yucheng was the first person to have a skill such as this. Plus, Song Yucheng’s visuals were just so eye-catching. Right now, for example, he was quiet and prettier than a picture just sitting there silently and weaving baskets out of willow branches.
Quite a few of the viewers were entranced as they watched him.
Song Yucheng’s good looks blessed their eyes. His skin was pale, and his wrist and fingers were slender. Hands like these would make people think that the owner of the hands was gentle and cultured, but Song Yucheng was the complete opposite.
He twirled the willow branch around in his fingers, applying just the right pressure to weave it into shape. He radiated a natural haughtiness, and he was inexplicably attractive. It was like what he twirled about in his fingers were not willow branches… but hearts.
“I know he has a crap personality but I have to say that Song Yucheng is damn handsome.” This comment suddenly flashed by on the bullet screen. No one wrote anything in response, but all those other netizens watching thought the same way.
Song Yucheng opened up his little “shop” for business as they watched in stunned silence. Delicate flower baskets, five yuan each for the small ones and ten for the big ones. Song Yucheng was smart and he had made the most of the materials available to him.
He had spotted pretty flowers as he’d walked to the marketplace, so he picked those and some cute little wild fruits too.
He did not have a lot of materials, and they were not amazing either, but Song Yucheng’s hands worked their magic and made them exquisite.
An example was the flower-shaped basket he had made. He had not pruned the willow branch completely, and the leaves he left became a natural additional decoration. The handful of wild cherries he had picked glistened in the basket like the best-cut rubies. The cherries didn’t look like wild fruits from a countryside town at all, but like artwork displayed in the windows of the shopping centres in the city.
A small crowd soon gathered.
“The fruits are not for sale. Wickerwork baskets, ten yuan for the big ones and five for the small ones.” Song Yucheng’s hands were busy, and he just casually listed his prices with no real effort to draw customers. Perhaps it had something to do with his skill, or his good looks, but he sold all of his wares in a short window of two to three hours.
The bullet screen was exploding with comments. Most of them had witnessed the trials and tribulations of Chu Rong, then seen Song Yucheng easily overcome difficulty, so their knee-jerk reaction was disbelief.
“Dafuq? How much did he make? It looks like it’s over 100 yuan.”
“Look at him! It’s too easy! The production crew didn’t give him a cheat, did they?”
“If they’re going to help someone cheat, they would help Chu Rong. Those with no fanbase would get nothing. Hey, let me ask you — would you buy Song Yucheng’s handmade baskets?”
That commenter was frank and that curt comment shut the naysayers right up.
Even if they did not believe it, they, and anyone else, would not be able to stop themselves from handing over their money if Song Yucheng had laid his handmade wares out in front of them.
And just like right now, they still couldn’t help themselves and kept watching even though they’d been slapped in the face with his achievement. They were curious to see what other shocking things Song Yucheng would do later.
Song Yucheng was just too mesmerising!
And over at Song Yucheng’s side, the cameraman following him around also couldn’t help but ask, “How much did you make, exactly?”
The man couldn’t be blamed for being overly curious — Song Yucheng was the first of all the participants of all seasons to have earned money in this way. The cosy way he sat in the marketplace weaving baskets was nothing like an impoverished young master; he looked more like a young man of the arts, just here to enjoy life in the countryside.
Song Yucheng was not the least bit bashful about his earnings and told him the amount he made right away. “A hundred seventy.”
Every viewer, including the cameraman, was stunned. Those who had previously called Song Yucheng lazy and that he would definitely not make any money all sat stupefied before their monitors.
A hundred and seventy yuan did not sound like a huge sum, but Song Yucheng had made this money without putting in any capital. Furthermore, he had made it in a really short time. If one discounted the time taken to get to the marketplace, Song Yucheng had taken only two hours to get this money.
When they thought about it, it was highly improbable for them to have this sort of result if they were put in that situation.
The trolls who had come to see Song Yucheng make a fool of himself were slapped in the face with embarrassment instead. They felt like they had perfectly exemplified the phrase “despising others while thinking you’re better”.
They had talked about how life was, passed judgement, and even said things like “you can’t do business without starting capital” when watching Chu Rong and his group fail to get jobs.
What they’d said, however, were all a joke when they saw Song Yucheng’s achievement. He had proved that there was no way one couldn’t make money when one had skilled hands.
Song Yucheng’s rather sparse screen was clear of comment bullets in an instant. The viewers had been slapped so painfully hard that they were rendered speechless.
Song Yucheng, on the other hand, packed up his little stand and started on a lazy stroll. It was noon, so he looked for a restaurant which suited his tastes.
It was difficult to find fresh seasonal vegetables which were not cooked with heavy seasoning or additives in small towns. A simple plate of greens fried with minced garlic was enough to satisfy the taste buds.
Song Yucheng took a seat in a bigger restaurant at the marketplace entrance. He pointed at the menu and ordered six dishes without a second thought.
Would he be able to finish all of that? Many were curious about that.
However, what Song Yucheng did next blew their minds.
All of the dishes he’d ordered were served, but he made no move to touch his chopsticks. Instead, he sat there with a look of disgust on his face. He did not even have the civility to invite the cameraman who had been following him around and filming him to eat.
The viewers who had been embarrassed earlier couldn’t help criticising him when they saw that.
“That’s too much! Even if he is a rich young master and is used to having a table full of food, he can’t do that!”
“There’s something wrong with him.”
Their criticisms went unnoticed by Song Yucheng. The look of disgust on his face deepened, but the deep meaning in his eyes was well hidden.
Song Yucheng was actually doing this on purpose.
He had heard quite a few fans of celebrities fuss over a line when he had been in the real world. “Looks reel people in, talent keeps them around, but character gains loyalty.” Song Yucheng had the looks and he had no lack of talent, so what he needed to do now was to make these people who were criticising him bow to his character.
And from Song Yucheng’s point of view, the sides of himself which he showed to the public were all attractive in some way though he was the so-called evil side character to the audience.
The old Song Yucheng had followed the script and played the part of scum, and had been stabbed with criticism so bad he had ended his life. In this life, however, the new Song Yucheng could start from the beginning again and help the old Song Yucheng build the reputation he should have. He was going to clear the eyes of these people and show them what a real good guy was like.
Their faces would surely ring very loudly with the slap he’d give them when the truth came to light.
Song Yucheng’s mood brightened at that thought, and the smile in the corners of his mouth became just a trace more genuine.
The subtle changes in his expression were enough to be fodder for the watching netizens’ criticisms.
The dishes Song Yucheng had ordered were cooked in a village style, but they were still above average. However, he had not touched his chopsticks once from the time the dishes had been served to the time they turned cold.
What the viewers found weird was that he had asked for the dishes to be packed up, saying that they should not go to waste and that he would bring them back to feed the landlord’s sheep.
Feed the sheep? These delectable dishes… for livestock? Whether the sheep could eat the dishes or not, Song Yucheng’s idea to feed them was just outlandish.
The netizens watching all thought that Song Yucheng had gone batsh*t crazy at that moment.
The complimentary cup of sour plum drink the shop owner had given him was rejected too and sent straight to the cameraman.
“You call this a complimentary item? Ridiculous.” Disgust shot from Song Yucheng’s eyes as he spoke arrogantly. His rudeness spoke of the respect he had for others. He turned around and walked off right after saying that, and was uncaring of what expression was on the face of the cameraman.
His cameraman was stunned.
The cup of sour plum drink had been a perfect beverage for cooling down the body and quenching thirst. The water had probably been freshly drawn from the well, and was at the perfect coolness. Even the most picky would be hard pressed to reject a drink like this in this heat.
And maybe it was because the cameraman had been staying close to Song Yucheng all this while, but the tightly pursed lips and red ears of Song Yucheng after he had said all those rude words stood out to him. It looked to him like Song Yucheng was more like a person who was shy because he did not know how to interact with others instead of a person who was arrogant and unreasonable.
Song Yucheng had also sneaked looks backwards to check if he had drunk the sour plum drink afterwards, and that, especially, had strengthened the suspicion that his thought was true.
The viewers started throwing insults at Song Yucheng right away, calling him trash, but the cameraman’s mind was elsewhere, and a small bit of remorse sprang in his heart.
As part of the production crew of the programme, he knew that Song Yucheng had to follow a script, so all these rude things he’d witnessed him doing was because he had no other choice. Song Yucheng could actually be very gentle yet strong-willed under his disguise.
If that was true, then…
The cameraman suddenly felt like the refreshing cup of sour plum drink in his hand had lost all flavour. Sorrow touched his heart when he looked up to see the young man before him walking back to the rented rooms.
Even so, the cameraman’s thoughts were unable to influence the atmosphere in the livestream. Song Yucheng and Chu Rong and his group met in the doorway to the courtyard of the pension lodging, and the air around them became a little more strained.
If Chu Rong and his group were given a chance, most of them would probably have wished to return earlier than Song Yucheng.
It was not because of him, but because they were just too ashamed.
Unlike Song Yucheng’s relaxed morning, Chu Rong and his group had experienced hardship in that time and they were bedraggled.
The five youngsters were starving after running about for five hours. Their clothing, neat when they’d left in the morning, were now wrinkled from sweat, and their faces stained with dust. They looked like puppies that had rolled in mud, and were in various stages of ruin.
So… did Song Yucheng specially order the food packed for them?
The cameraman glanced at the packed food Song Yucheng was carrying and was touched. He looked up at Song Yucheng’s face next and his heart sank when he saw his expression change to one of arrogance and tyranny.
It’s probably not going to be nice words, then…
The cameraman thought that that would be the end of it when he recalled the contents of the script. As for the netizens watching the live broadcast, the provocation which Song Yucheng threw out next made them spit on their computer monitors.