The days of interaction had let Chu Rong see what sort of person Song Yucheng was. He was a giver, used to giving to others, enduring, gentle, yet with a strong spirit; he was definitely not a parasite. Yet, he still stayed by the side of the scum known as Xu Muzhi even when this sort of label was affixed to him. There was only one reason for it — Song Yucheng loved him.
And it was a deep love too.
At the thought of the words “deep love”, the air around Chu Rong seemed to drop in temperature, and even his tone of voice turned icy.
“Cousin, go look for Xu Muzhi tomorrow. Warn him not to make a move on Song Yucheng again. I will handle the rest when the filming is all wrapped up.”
“No problem, I’ll go first thing in the morning. Xu Muzhi is too much of a tyrant. Don’t worry, your Big Cousin will get it done.”
“Mm. There’s not much else.” Chu Rong thought for a bit and confirmed and all that needed to be taken care of was taken care of before he hung up and returned his phone to the directors.
“I hope you guys will keep it quiet that I made a call today.” Chu Rong was his same warm self, but that mild voice of his was indescribably intimidating.
He was from a distinguished family with inside information, and was someone of standing to boot; the directors dared not offer any opinions on the matter. Xu Muzhi might be their biggest sponsor, but they could not dare to offend a young master like Chu Rong either. Even if he did not continue the family business, Chu Rong was still the sole heir.
When Chu Rong got a definite response from them and prepared to go back to sleep, it was already close to five in the morning. The sky had started to lighten in the east but the constellation of Venus could still be seen faintly.
Chu Rong stepped out into the moonlight. It was almost daybreak when he got back to the lodging, but he did not feel tired at all. He went to Song Yucheng’s room instead of going back to sleep, and cautiously touched his forehead. After confirming that he had no fever and that his body temperature was normal, he relaxed and lay next to him.
The sound of their breathing in the quiet room seemed especially thick. The smell of medicine wafted from Song Yucheng’s body to Chu Rong’s nose. The bitterness of the medicine was not a very pleasant smell, but it made Chu Rong feel at ease for some reason.
It’s nice having Song Yucheng lying safe next to him.
They had stayed up too late the night before, so Song Yucheng and the others were still not awake when the production crew arrived in the morning to start filming. Close to nine in the morning, Li Zhao came out of the room with his hair in a mess and paid the rental fee per Chu Rong’s instructions from last night. He then led the three others in finishing up the chores in the lodging in preparation to go out to buy breakfast.
As for Chu Rong and Song Yucheng, they had taken sick leave. Chu Rong awoke when he heard activity, and only let his cameraman in when he ascertained that he could be filmed.
Song Yucheng had just woken up too, and he looked unhappy about being woken up by the noise. He squinted; his complexion was ghastly.
Chu Rong had timed it well. He pulled down the bamboo blinds by the window to filter the eye-piercing sunlight with familiar ease, moving as if he had practiced it hundreds of times. As he did so, he reached out a hand and held it over Song Yucheng’s eyes and said placatingly, “It’s fine today, the rent has been paid. Go back to sleep if you’re tired — I’ll come get you when Li Zhao and the others are back with breakfast.”
“Mm…” Song Yucheng was not fully awake and he was all muddle-headed; it seemed he did not recognise him. A beautiful young man was recommending that he sleep in a gentle voice, so he simply lay down again. He would likely have wrapped that beautiful young man in his embrace to snooze with him if his arms and legs weren’t so robbed of strength.
“Wh, What’s going on here?”
Many netizens on the main broadcast channel were shocked. Song Yucheng and Chu Rong and his group had been like fire and water just a few hours ago, and now they were actually hugging. This change had come overnight, and was unexpected; it didn’t make sense.
Song Yucheng’s livestream viewers and fans then very enthusiastically shared screenshots of the day before to show the people on the main channel what had happened. This was also shared on Weibo, much to his advantage.
Someone had made a video of Song Yucheng making the ceremonial dress and posted it up on the internet. The casual fans who had thought Song Yucheng was cute were now well and truly his heartfelt fans after they saw that video. Even the number of people purchasing access to Song Yucheng’s individual livestream on “Swapping Lives” was skyrocketing, and the number was unexpectedly as high as Chu Rong’s.
This was astonishing.
Chu Rong had been a child star and had already had many fans of his own. Song Yucheng, on the other hand, was an amateur with no prior appearance but he had managed to rival Chu Rong in popularity — this was unprecedented.
Chu Rong benefited too from the rise in Song Yucheng’s popularity. His team had planned on relying on the programme to change his public persona, and this objective had been reached in a surprising way.
It was not because of Song Yucheng, but because Chu Rong had gone out of the village in the middle of the night and brought Song Yucheng back on his back. That scene had started off a butterfly effect.
In that video, Chu Rong, as a young man himself, had stubbornly walked for over an hour to carry his colleague back because he had been worried about him. This tenacity of his had brought a refreshing new view of “the nation’s little brother”.
It made viewers feel that the young man they had always seen as a child had finally grown up. He had become responsible, and even more warm and dependable than before.
These were, however, just an appetiser — the real juicy bit was what followed. No one expected that the video from yesterday would result in fans of an onscreen couple on a programme like “Swapping Lives”.
They were supporting Song Yucheng and Chu Rong as a couple.
The idea for this coupling had actually budded on the second day of filming for “Swapping Lives”, but it had been put on hold because of the great misunderstanding of Song Yucheng’s actions at that time. The heartwarming scene of Chu Rong carrying Song Yucheng on his back under the moonlight was perfect material for this coupling.
The arrogant yet insanely talented responsible elder brother figure, and the good younger brother figure who was gentle and able to endure hardship, and cared for his elder brother… this pairing easily conjured up several scenarios in a person’s mind.
Those clips made in support of their pairing had been done with just the right amount of ambiguity. Two young men in the countryside, one gentle, one proud. They were a great match just standing together, and that sense of pained tenderness between them made the viewers’ hearts tremble with how adorable it was.
“Aaaaaah! I don’t care, I’m gonna stan the brother-couple! The sibling-type pairing is the best~”
“I was just Master Chu’s fan before but I feel like crossing over to the other camp now. What do I do? Songsong is sooo cute and his arrogance makes me want to push him down right away!”
“The focus should be on that smile Songsong had last night when he saw Chu Rong. Daaaamn that was dazzling. How was it so darn gentle~ and Chu Rong felt for Songsong afterwards and his eyes got red. I felt for him too, but I still think I was shown something real from that public display of affection.”
“Nah, you’re not alone in that. I’m single and I also felt like I got a taste of love.”
“Taste of love +1”
“Taste of love +2”
There was an uproar on Weibo, and more and more screenshots from the livestream were being posted. The scene of the interactions of Chu Rong and Song Yucheng in the bedroom that morning made the fans of the coupling feel like their world was complete.
The warm younger brother taking charge and telling the sleep-groggy older brother to go back to snoozing was simply just too sweet. This adorableness went viral for just a few hours before a webpage for Chu Rong and Song Yucheng was quickly made and the page soon gained 30,000 followers. The video of the interactions between the two was also immediately uploaded to the page, and someone even made an exclusive topic and tag for it. The brother-brother Chu-Song pairing was thus established.
Excellent. This move had been brilliantly done on Song Yucheng’s part!
Far away in Beijing, Xu Muzhi got the news right away. He clicked through the Chu-Song webpage, and the tags. Every line written on Weibo, every video clip, every fan-made picture of the two of them was like a slap to his face, casting a green light on his head.
This really was a huge surprise. The substitute he had thrown out to become the stepping stone for his sunshine had actually become one with a relationship with his sunshine, and painted as a couple. He knew that it was fake, but Xu Muzhi still felt great humiliation.
Plus, it was obvious that this was due to Song Yucheng’s machinations, and his aim was not to challenge him, but to get revenge on him. The visitor who came not long after convinced Xu Muzhi more strongly of this feeling. The visitor was Chu Rong’s cousin and the first thing he said was, “Xiao Rong told me to tell you to stay away from Song Yucheng.”
“Stay away?” Xu Muzhi was between laughter and tears. Song Yucheng had been his plaything, groomed by him, and an outsider was now telling him what to do?
More importantly, the one who was protecting Song Yucheng was none other than his most cherished Chu Rong. What difference was this from ripping his face off his head, throwing it onto the floor and stomping on it?
Anger and incredulity were added to Xu Muzhi’s indignation in an instant. He looked placidly at Chu Rong’s cousin and said measuredly, “I am rather curious — what status does Chu Rong have to bother with what I do? Song Yucheng is a plaything I groomed. What does it have to do with him even if I destroy him or break him?”
“You can try.” Chu Rong’s cousin was a man of means too, and Xu Muzhi’s demeanor did not faze him. His expression remained unchanged but meaning laced his words. “You know how Xiao Rong is too. Our Chu Rong is our family’s sole scion. We can’t ever let him be unhappy, so you can ponder it.”
“He might have been yours, but that is not the case anymore.” Chu Rong’s cousin left right after he was done talking, leaving Xu Muzhi alone and fuming over his I-do-what-I-please attitude.
Very well. They’re not even giving him a shred of respect. The Chu family was threatening him, and it looked like Song Yucheng had well and truly gotten Chu Rong, hook, line and sinker. He still did not dare to touch Chu Rong, however, and he also didn’t dare to have a direct confrontation with the Chu family.
Besides, his hold on power was not yet stable right now. He would never have had a chance at the seat of power in the Xu family if he had not sworn an oath of alliance to that person. This was also why he had lusted after Chu Rong for so many years but never acted forcibly on it.
Now though, the forbidden fruit he had guarded for years had been taken by the plaything he had groomed himself. Even if he had not been cheated on, it was still enough to make Xu Muzhi furious.
He only calmed down after a solid ten minutes. The first thing he did after calming down was to make a call to the “Swapping Lives” directors and get them to have Song Yucheng contact him after filming for the day had concluded.
Xu Muzhi was burning with rage. He decided that this time, he was going to give Song Yucheng a proper warning and let him know who the true master was.
Song Yucheng was done with filming for the day and could finally go to bed, but he was called away by his cameraman. He knew that Xu Muzhi had given the directors instructions once he went over to them.
It was highly likely that it was not a good thing that he wanted him to contact him at this time. Song Yucheng thought of the developments over the past few days, and he knew.
Sure enough, he heard Xu Muzhi’s fake warm greetings once the video call connected. “Looks like you’re playing well.”
Song Yucheng heard the clear tinkling crash of something precious at the same time, and he saw what Xu Muzhi had been fiddling with. It was unexpected; a piece of pure, translucent white jade.