T/N: To explain the title, the “circle” refers to a fandom; in Chinese, fandoms are called 饭圈, which literally translates to fan circle.
Yu Zhengdu’s words caused Zhan Keji to return to his senses. He was already dead and his biggest secret from when alive had already been exposed. He realized that his ghostly life was already bare, so there was nothing left to hide.
Of course, the most important thing was, Qin Yuejian knew about his thoughts, but didn’t seem to oppose them. This allowed him to feel much more relieved.
Zhan Keji reminisced in detail before slowly sharing the reason for his sudden death.
It turned out that right before the university entrance exam, his parents had inadvertently discovered that he was homosexual and liked a male classmate in his class.
Zhan Keji’s family was conservative and strict. They were unable to accept their son’s sexual orientation, so locked him up at home. Upon seeing that he had no intentions to change whatsoever, they sent him to a private doctor who claimed to be able to cure such illnesses. The methods of the private clinic were extremely cruel; aside from nonstop subliminal messaging, they even used physical “therapy”.
Zhan Keji had a mental breakdown after a particularly tormenting round of forced therapy. He broke free from the bonds of the clinic and ran away, but in the escape process, had fallen to his death after slipping while flipping over the iron fence.
But the tragedy didn’t end there. Even Zhan Keji hadn’t expected that after his death, his parents would consider that he hadn’t cured his “mental illness” yet. Thus, they specially hired an experienced monk to hold a ceremony and release his obsessions.
Zhan Keji couldn’t really remember this process anymore. The only thing he could remember was that in that moment, his desire to stay in the world and his feelings towards his parents reached an all-time low. The one thought that still resonated strongly was that he wanted to see Qin Yuejian again. Everything after that was a mystery to him too.
Qin Yuejian had guessed that Zhan Keji’s sudden death was possibly related to him, but hadn’t expected the process to be so tragic. After hearing Zhan Keji’s words, his eyes became red.
Yu Zhengdu couldn’t help but scoff, “Some parents do things in the name of loving their children, but in the end, they only really care about themselves.”
In the time he had suffered such inhumane treatment, Zhan Keji had long since used up all the positive emotions he had towards his parents. After hearing this, he didn’t even feel anything. He only gently laughed and mocked himself, “Right. They think that just because they gave me life they can control my life. But I’m dead now, so I don’t owe them anything.”
Qin Yuejian’s eyes were bright red. He wanted to say something, but couldn’t.
Yu Zhengdu patted his shoulder. “If there’s anything else you two want to say, hurry and say it.”
Qin Yuejian immediately became agitated. “Keji can’t be with me from now on?”
Zhan Keji hadn’t thought that Qin Yuejian would say this. His eyes instantly lit up, but his anticipations were very quickly slammed to the ground. Shang Que very simply stated, “Humans and ghosts have their own paths.”
Yu Zhengdu nodded and added, “The Underworld has its own rules. He needs to report to the Underworld now, otherwise, he’ll not only harm you but also himself.”
The supposed concept of “Yin and Yang are different, humans and ghosts have their own paths” was one easy to understand even without further explanation. But regardless of whether it was Qin Yuejian or Zhan Keji, neither were willing to accept this.
Especially Qin Yuejian. After learning that Zhan Keji’s death was more or less related to him, and after learning that after death, his obsession had stayed by his side for so long, silently protecting him, the two of them had finally confessed to each other after much difficulty. Now that they would be forced to separate again, he was almost tempted to seek death too.
At this crucial moment, Qin Yuejian suddenly came up with a thought. He turned to stare at Yu Zhengdu. “Doesn’t your company have that cross-realm communication service? I’ll pay for an entire year’s!”
Yu Zhengdu: “……Wow, as expected from a celebrity. Rich and willing to spend money.”
Thus, Yu Zhengdu calculated. The time it would take for Zhan Keji to completely let go of his obsession would probably be quite long, so they could accept Qin Yuejian’s request for a year of cross-realm communication.
But that wasn’t all. Yu Zhengdu also took this opportunity to sell their company’s entire service package to Qin Yuejian, including scheduled sacrifices for Zhan Keji, luck-changing jade stones, Underworld energy detection, and more.
Because the communication service between the Underworld and mortal realm still needed Luofeng’s employees as middlemen in order to avoid revealing Heavenly secrets, to express how much they valued their VIP-entire-year customer, Yu Zhengdu specially set up a private customer service line for Qin Yuejian.
Right now, Qin Yuejian was beyond impressed by Luofeng’s technology. Not only did he buy the complete service package, he also gave them his email and told them to send him the summary of Luofeng’s new products every quarter so he wouldn’t miss anything.
And he was pretty good at socializing. He very readily agreed to Yu Zhengdu’s hints of asking him to recommend their company’s products to his friends in the entertainment industry.
The entertainment industry was famous for being a gold mine. The people in it were rich and superstitious. As long as they could develop a group of customers in this area, they would definitely earn an immense profit.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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During the “Palpitating Youth” livestream, several of Qin Yuejian’s fans had been watching. However, they hadn’t anticipated that there would be the incident with jumping across the boards in midair. In the end, although they luckily managed to avoid irreparable consequences, fans were still extremely worried. They cussed out Big Eye Livestream for several days after, causing a huge commotion online. It took Big Eye Livestream’s public apology and sincere comforting plus compensation, along with Qin Yuejian saying that he wouldn’t be pursuing this issue, for things to finally calm down.
Who knew that after all this, Shang Que would become the center of attention.
The reason was because a Weibo account famous for posting stupid content accidentally noticed Shang Que through this incident. They cut out Shang Que’s behavior in the activities and made a solo compilation video, titling it “Steel Will CEO” and posting it. Unexpectedly, the video quickly went viral, getting reposted by promotional accounts.
Almost overnight, this video clip had been reposted by everyone online.
This was mainly because Shang Que’s behavior truly shocked netizens greatly. In recent years, variety shows in the country had rapidly become popular. There was an abundance of them, regardless of if they were competition-focused or outdoor activity-focused. The audience were already more than familiar with how guests acted on these shows.
Which guest wouldn’t be crying and shouting, face twisted in pain, after stepping onto the acupressure mat?
Who didn’t try their hardest, winning based off weight and strength, during the bumping competition?
Only Shang Que was expressionless in front of the camera, as if he had lost his soul. This made netizens very seriously wonder if all the variety shows they had watched in the past were fake?
But it was exactly this soulless behavior that had let him easily emerge victorious in the end.
Especially that last collision during the bumping game. The tall guy in Qin Yuejian’s team was truly well endowed and practically invincible. While Shang Que was quite tall, he was much thinner than the other; in comparison, he didn’t look like he could stand a chance.
Who would’ve thought. The result was that the tall guy had been sent flying, instantly crashing into the ground.
The original uploader had even selected a particularly intense song to use as the background music. They also used the last scene of Shang Que turning around, bewildered, and added special effects to make it a meme. Along with the words “What do you want?”, the final product was much more interesting and successfully caused netizens to fall over laughing.
Thus, Shang Que became famous overnight due to this short, two minute video. Netizens called him an emotionless game machine, a steel-willed CEO that people didn’t know whether or not to classify as a clear stream or a muddy stream.
This originally wasn’t a big deal. In the age of the Internet, numerous people suddenly became viral and then disappeared just as quickly. The problem was, after Shang Que exited the circle because of the stupid video, he garnered a large group of fans because of his appearance.
The video’s popularity attracted an abundance of netizens who went to watch. But in the end, the video comments were all filled with compliments about Shang Que’s beauty.
【I was attracted here by the stupidity, and now I’m stuck……I can stare at CEO’s face until next year】
【This little gege is a little too good-looking. He’s so good-looking and so funny, I’m in love, in love】
【An audience member present at the filming of the livestream wants to say, I originally went to watch because of Qin Yuejian, but in the end I was mesmerized by CEO】
More and more similar comments appeared, especially from those who had watched the livestream on the day it had broadcast. Many expressed in the comments below that they had thought Qin Yuejian would’ve been the best looking person on set; who would’ve expected that everyone’s attention got caught by Shang Que instead. Some also included Yu Zhengdu, expressing that their pairing was that of godly appearances. Only, Shang Que’s behavior in the games later on was more fascinating, so in the end, he gained quite a few fans.
These comments caused a large number of Qin Yuejian’s fans to become furious.
Qin Yuejian had debuted off a survival show. Many of his fans had been with him from the start and watched him grow, so were extremely loyal. They were also good at arguing. A majority spent a lot of their time in several big fandoms, so were skilled at navigating the rules of fandom culture.
For them, Qin Yuejian was the guest star on “Palpitating Youth” and the one who attracted a large amount of audience members for the show. In the end, though, not only did he almost get in an accident, the benefits from attending had all been taken by Shang Que. Additionally, many of his opponents had also taken this opportunity to attack him, borrowing Shang Que’s sudden popularity to imply that Qin Yuejian’s appearance was just so-so.
Qin Yuejian’s fans had fought with the fans of other idols who had debuted around the same time several times throughout the survival show. Under these circumstances, there were naturally some who refused to sit back and watch. They stepped out to cuss out the production team and Shang Que.
First, some fans analyzed the situation from several different angles. They came to the conclusion that this show in its entirety had just been a plot to allow Shang Que to debut. The production team knew of this long ago, so found Qin Yuejian to guest star in order to help Shang Que along.
Their reasoning was that Shang Que’s behavior in this show was completely illogical. Some fans even specially created a detailed picture analysis of the force-capacity of the acupressure mats. This provided evidence that it was impossible for Shang Que to not have any reaction whatsoever, unless he wasn’t human.
The bumping game was the same. Fans who were also physics majors calculated the force of the last collision based on tall guy’s height, weight, and charging speed. Though Shang Que hadn’t publicly shared his weight, these amazing fans managed to estimate it based on comparisons with other guests present that day. They used his height and body shape to deduce his weight. The conclusion they swore by was the same as the previous one: unless Shang Que wasn’t human, there was no way he could’ve caused tall guy to go flying.
Thus, things were obvious. It was definitely the production team plotting in the shadows, changing things with Shang Que so that he could have this effect after going on the show.
Qin Yuejian’s fans passionately complained, but couldn’t stop Shang Que’s video from getting more and more popular. After all, netizens didn’t care whether or not the video had been edited, as long as it made them laugh.
And in the eyes of appearance fans, the fact that Shang Que’s face truly existed was enough for them.
Qin Yuejian’s fans didn’t achieve the results they expected, so became even more furious. They started working together to expose all of Shang Que’s information. This exposure process really revealed some things.
【Did everyone see the exposed information? CEO used his fake account to cuss out the production team of Old Dreams of Bianliang in the past. He even complained about the second male lead that Qin Yuejian played】
【Can I say that I’m not surprised at all? This drama queen very clearly wants to step on gege to get to the top. This is just evidence of that】
【Am I the only one who noticed CEO’s username is “From Today On I Will Be A European God”? What stupid username is this……】
It turned out that fans had discovered Shang Que’s Weibo account, “From Today On I Will Be A European God”, and discovered that he had complained about the entire drama Old Dreams of Bianliang while it had still been airing. From the plot, background, to characters, none were spared from his criticisms. Among these, he had complained about the second male lead that Qin Yuejian had played the most.
This time, Qin Yuejian’s fans finally found a point of entry. If their previous idea of Shang Que stepping on Qin Yuejian to get famous was simply based off groundless accusations, now they had found true and convincing evidence.
Not only this, but the entire production team of Old Dreams of Bianliang had been mentioned too.
This drama was originally a historical idol drama and not a true historical drama. In comparison to other similar productions, this drama had been of better quality. Its ratings were generally good, so the fans of the lead actors considered this drama something to be proud of.
If Shang Que were only an invisible nobody, nothing would’ve happened. Unfortunately, he was right in the midst of conflict now; several gossip accounts had their eyes on him. Upon seeing such promising news, they immediately started reporting on it.
The criticisms on his account covered so many different aspects. From plot to customs, rituals, dress, all the way until each actor’s performance, he complained about all of them. It was almost as if the entire drama was made of bugs. Regardless of if they liked the drama or the lead actors, fans couldn’t stand it.
【I’m dying. Who does this person think he is, a historical scholar?】
【The scriptwriter of Old Dreams of Bianliang graduated from Minan University with a degree in history. May I ask what CEO’s education is?】
【Before you pretend to be hot shit can you take a good look at yourself? With this elementary schooler level of writing, you should learn how to speak first】
【I really looked through all the problems he listed and checked on Baidu. How should I say this, the things he said, not many can be found on Baidu. The ones I could find weren’t completely accurate either. CEO might be making history up in his dreams, or maybe he’s been tricked by unofficial history records?】
【CEO’s famous quote: “This scriptwriter should learn from our programmer how to debug.” This code monkey truly burst into laughter】
The fans’ mockery wasn’t completely unreasonable, because each of Shang Que’s posts were comprised of two mistakes that the drama had made and one aggressive complaint. He didn’t seem professional at all. More serious fans really took each Weibo post and double-checked their content, but discovered that much of the facts he had revealed couldn’t be found on the Internet at all. Due to this, it was obvious that Shang Que was making stuff up. He was trying to step on the production team and celebrities.
Suddenly, multiple fandoms reached an agreement and all entered the battlefield; they directly cussed Shang Que out so much that he ended up on the trending list. Shang Que’s complaint Weibos got reposted tens of thousands of times, all done by fans demanding him to apologize.
Qin Yuejian’s fans held their heads up and puffed their chests out. They started raffles in the reposts, celebrating the fact that another 18th-list celebrity who wanted to get famous by stepping on their gege had become ruined before becoming popular once again.
Inside Luofeng, everybody was miserable. Though most of their customers were extremely loyal and unbothered by these discussions, if this continued on, it would still seriously affect their ability to get new customers and their plans for further development.
However, Yu Zhengdu was pretty calm. In comparison, he was more worried about Shang Que’s mood. After all, Boss was someone who couldn’t even bear to lose an argument in a game.
Yu Zhengdu:【Boss, don’t take the comments online to heart. The netizens don’t even know you. They’re just making stuff up】
My broke-ass Boss:【I’m super angry!】
Yu Zhengdu:【That’s not necessary. It’s really not necessary】
My broke-ass Boss:【I didn’t even get to play with the water balls. How dare they scold me】
Yu Zhengdu:【……You’re right. The netizens are too disobedient!】
My broke-ass Boss:【Can you write me a program?】
Yu Zhengdu:【What program?】
My broke-ass Boss:【One that will automatically argue for me】
My broke-ass Boss:【I’m using my fake account to argue with the netizens, but there are too many of them. I don’t have enough time】
It seemed like Boss’s mental state was much better than he had originally thought. At the least, his unwillingness to admit defeat was still quite strong.
Yu Zhengdu:【I think you can succeed on your own. Jiayou, Xiaokui!】
But before Shang Xiaokui could do much, a new change arrived.
First of all, Qin Yuejian suddenly stepped out and updated his Weibo to publicly express his support of Shang Que.
Qin Yuejian: So it turns out CEO’s account is From Today On I Will Be A European God ah. A few days ago I wanted to follow you but couldn’t find your account. And thank you to all my fans for thinking of me, but CEO and senior Yu are both my friends. They’re both very professional people, so definitely wouldn’t make things up. As an actor, I’m willing to hear everyone’s opinions and suggestions. I hope no one will continue to make things difficult for CEO.
After Qin Yuejian posted this, netizens went into an uproar. Who would’ve thought that while his fans were tearing into Shang Que, he would come out and announce that he was friends with Shang Que. And he publicly expressed his support for Shang Que. This pissed off many of Qin Yuejian’s older fans so much that they unstanned him on the spot.
Some netizens were just there to watch the drama unfold while others felt pity for the fans. More common, though, were people who thought that Qin Yuejian had gone crazy. Even if he wanted to create the image of someone humble and willing to learn, this wasn’t the way to do it. He had completely disregarded his fans’ feelings, which was a recipe for disaster.
Qin Yuejian’s announcement got onto the trending topics list within a few short hours. However, many drama fans and the fans of the other actors didn’t agree with what he had said. They even started cussing at him too, requesting an apology from him.
Amidst the chaos, the actor for the third male lead in Old Dreams of Bianliang, Fang Mo, also made a statement.
Fang Mo: Pretending you understand when you don’t is a taboo. And please, can some people refrain from supporting others so casually.
Fang Mo and Qin Yuejian had debuted at around the same time. In terms of opportunities, they were always competing against each other. While filming this drama, their relationship had been complex too. Though his Weibo didn’t straight out mention anyone’s name, everyone could basically guess who he was talking about based on the time he had posted.
If this were in the past, with Qin Yuejian’s popularity, his fans would’ve cussed Fang Mo to death for saying what he said. But now, it was the entirety of the drama’s fans against everyone else; thus, nobody was angry with what he said. Instead, they felt that they finally had a leader with some influence. Instantly, the comments under his Weibo were all filled with support.
But unluckily, the day Fang Mo posted, another account posted too.
Professor Shen Wenrong of Diyang University: Recently, many friends have sent me the Weibo page of someone called From Today On I Will Be A European God, wanting me to analyze it. I took a close look at it and think that this netizen’s posts about the Southern Song Dynasty are extremely professional. Many of the things he mentioned are things that we in academia are currently working on; these topics are still being debated so have not been released to the public yet. There are also some questions and difficulties that we have encountered that he has provided new lines of thought for. If possible, I hope that netizens can provide this From Today On I Will Be A European God’s contact information. A few other professors and I would love to discuss these problems with him more in-depth.
Diyang University was one of the most famous schools in the country for history majors. Several quite well-known historians had graduated from there. Professor Shen Wenrong was also one of the more respected history professors in Diyang University.
After he posted this on Weibo, all the netizens lost their minds.
The author has something to say:
Shang Xiaokui, jiayou! I don’t need to explain this joke right……
There is now an audio drama for this novel! Link here if you’re interested ^^
Sorry this chapter took so long QQ I got caught in Weibo drama not unlike the situation described in this chapter LOL (Fan culture is toxic..)