Chapter 188 - I'm Back

When Zhou Quan returned, he was stunned to learn the current amount of his survival gold from the director.

When he left, he barely had enough survival gold left for a meal. But now, he actually had over five thousand dollars? How?

"Director, it's so nice of you guys to give me so much survival gold," Zhou Quan exclaimed in surprise.

The director replied placidly, "This is the survival money that your replacement earned."

"Who is this talented person?" Zhou Quan asked curiously.

"You can ask the others."

Hence, Zhou Quan really went and asked the others.

The others fell silent upon hearing his question.

"What's wrong?" Zhou Quan stared inquisitively at their devastated faces.

"Brother Quan, tell us honestly. Is the director a relative of yours?” Rong Hui questioned.

"How is that possible? Also, how is that even related to my question?" Zhou Quan became even more perplexed.

As the eldest in the group, Xiao Yufeng replied with a look of disdain, "Don’t tell me you have no idea how much survival gold you have now."

Zhou Quan widened his eyes in a suspicious manner. "Could the director really be a relative of mine? It's unfair to you guys for him to give me so much survival gold without rhyme or reason!"

"Foolish! Who said that the director was the one who gave you your survival gold?" Xiao Yufen pursed her lips.

"Sister Yufen, he has a point. The director was the one who gave him his survival gold. Otherwise, why would the director let the talented Xu Jiaojiao replace him instead of giving her a spot in this show?" Dissatisfaction tainting Zhuzhu's tone.

"Xu Jiaojiao? Xu Jiaojiao was the one who earned me the money?" Zhou Quan’s surprise increased.

"Yeah, what Zhuzhu said makes sense. The director is biased towards Zhou Quan. Otherwise, why didn't he get someone else to replace him?" Xiao Yufeng added.

"Are you guys talking about that supermodel, Xu Jiaojiao?" Zhou Quan asked.

"That's her!"

Zhou Quan's eyes brightened. "How did she do it?"

"You’ll find out when the show is broadcast," Zhuzhu answered.

The others also turned their heads away, ignoring Zhou Quan, the guy who was favoured by Lady Luck herself.

Meanwhile, Sheng Jiaoyang, who’d left before Zhou Quan returned, had already reached home. As soon as she entered the house, she saw Grandfather Yang and Xiao An sitting side by side on the sofa watching television.

"I'm back!” Sheng Jiaoyang raised her voice a notch upon seeing them so engrossed.

Xiao An acknowledged and greeted her before turning his head back to the television screen. Grandfather Yang responded similarly.

This isn’t normal! Sheng Jiaoyang found it weird. Placing her luggage on the side, she walked over. Eh?

Isn't this the drama, ‘Redeeming My IGD Boyfriend’?

On the screen, her character was on the way to visit the male lead played by Zhang Yue, lunchbox in hand. In the end, the male lead was playing games in his dormitory. Despite her presence, he greeted her without turning his head away from the screen.

"This lad won't do! The girlfriend has specially brought food over and he still has the audacity to continue gaming. Someone like that ought to be dumped as soon as possible, why is there the need for redemption? What's there to redeem?" Grandfather Yang suddenly made a furious remark.

Sheng Jiaoyang was stunned.

What made her unable to refrain from laughing was when Xiao An, who was sitting next to the old man, nodded his head seriously.

"Do you understand what's going on?" Sheng Jiaoyang rubbed Xiao An's head and asked in amusement.

Xiao An turned to look at her and pointed at the male lead on the television screen. "Mama, that uncle isn’t as good as Papa. You mustn't like him!"

The little kiddo's words greatly amused Grandfather Yang and he concurred. "Yes, Xiao An is right."

Sheng Jiaoyang felt helpless and could only reply, "This is just a drama series, it has nothing to do with me in real life."

"Okay, you guys keep watching. I’m heading back to my room to take a shower."

What Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t know was, ‘Redeeming my IGD Boyfriend’ already had more than a billion views, with the count still increasing on video websites. It had also achieved great ratings on broadcast TV. Most importantly, the drama had only been broadcasting for three days, with only one episode being screened each day.

In the first three episodes, the female lead she played had staged shows begging for attention, posed in all sorts of positions, and pulled all kinds of tricks, but the male lead had remained unwavering. His attention was always on his games. As long as there was a stage to conquer, a PK battle to be engaged, or a call from his teammates, the male lead could forgo his meals, skip movie dates, and even abandon his girlfriend.

If it wasn't for the fact that the male lead treated the female lead well when they were together, and the female lead's occasional reminiscing of their sweet memories, everyone would probably feel that the female lead was just asking for it. This was because she still wouldn't dump her boyfriend even though he treated her in this manner.

Presently, all kinds of screenshots and short clips from the drama, accompanied by comments, had been circulating on Weibo and WeChat moments. On the official video site, there were so many bullet comments on the first three episodes that it had filled up the entire screen, especially when the female lead was pulling out all her cards to try and get her boyfriend to place his attention on her instead of the game. Many were left feeling unsatisfied despite leaving bullet comments and had gone to follow Xu Jiaojiao's official Weibo account.

In an instant, the name ‘Xu Jiaojiao’, along with the female lead's name ‘Zhen Xin’, flooded Weibo feeds. Compared to her previous short-lived popularity caused by a scandal, her current popularity and limelight were increasing by the day and showed no signs of diminishing. It felt like she was about to make her name with a single drama. Over these three days, she experienced a crazy increase in her Weibo followers count. Her fans, originally counted in millions, could soon be counted in billions.

Of course, Sheng Jiaoyang didn't know any of this. Firstly, it was because she’d been taping for the reality show and didn't have the time to follow the news for the past few days. Secondly, her official Weibo account had always been controlled by her manager. Usually, she would browse Weibo with her sub-account and occasionally leave a few words when she was inspired to.

Meanwhile, the person who originally had the chance for the role of ‘Zhen Xin’ was about to go mad.

In a particular house, the sound of glass breaking rang forth as the floor was littered with smashed wine bottles.

"That role was supposed to be mine!" The woman with dishevelled hair was hysterical and frightening.

"Enough, it's fine for you to say this here, but don't ever bring this up in front of a reporter." The manager seated on the sofa seemed more composed.

"Why can't I? Xu Jiaojiao snatched my role! The director wanted to cast me initially. She went through the back door! Why can't I bring it up?"

"Because both of you are from the same company! Nan Xuan, you’re no longer a child, you should know this. With both of you being in the same company, strife between you two would only become a laughingstock to others."

"Sister Juan, why didn't you fight for me? If you had helped me get this role, I'd be more famous now. Wouldn't that benefit you as well?"

The manager pursed her lips and replied helplessly, "What can I do? She has strong backing."

"Backing! On what grounds is she deserving? So, she can randomly snatch someone else's role just because she has strong backing? That's unfair!" Nan Xuan cried out angrily, tugging her hair.

"Nan Xuan, the world is never fair. Well, have a good rest tonight, I'll think of a way and try to help you get the role in season 2."

Similar incidents happened elsewhere too, as there were several who’d competed for this role previously. They’d thought of many ways to clinch the role, but it was eventually taken by someone else. It wouldn’t have mattered if the drama wasn’t popular, but looking at the current trend, the drama was going to be one of the hottest dramas around. It would be hard for them to not be jealous and harbour hatred.

In a particular media outlet, Peng Peng, a young female journalist who’d interviewed Sheng Jiaoyang previously, was sitting in the chief editor's office.

"From what we’re seeing, Xu Jiaojiao is going to be the hottest celebrity around. Luckily, her interview wasn't included in last month's magazine edition," the chief editor sighed as he swiped across the screen of a tablet.

Peng peng pursed her lips. Her interview with Xu Jiaojiao was supposed to be included in last month's magazine edition. Who'd have known that Nini would manage to interview Qu Wen. Qu Wen was a big name that had been famous for a very long time. The company wanted to boost their magazine sales before the end of the year, so they naturally chose to include Qu Wen's interview. As such, her exclusive interview with Xu Jiaojiao was left unpublished. She had been told they’d place the exclusive interview with Xu Jiaojiao in the featured column if they were unable to interview any bigger names.

"Gather the contents from your exclusive information with Xu Jiaojiao and pass it all to Nini. You must give it to her within the next two days,” the chief editor said nonchalantly as he lifted his head and looked at Peng Peng.

Peng Peng brows were scrunched together as she replied, "Chief, I want to work on this article."

The chief editor interlocked his fingers and placed his elbows on the table as he raised his eyebrows, examining Peng Peng. A short moment later, he said, "Xiao Peng, you’ve never worked on the materials for an exclusive interview individually before. This time, it's better for you to assist Nini and gain more experience from her. Then, you’ll be able to take charge next time."

"Chief, if I don't try, how do we know that I wouldn’t be able to complete this on my own? Moreover, I’ve been assisting Sister Nini for a year already," Peng Peng replied.

The chief editor said nothing.

Peng Peng's heart sank. She held her breath and tried to fight for a chance one last time. "Chief, I also have the scoop on Xu Jiaojiao's love life, which isn’t part of the interview. I personally confirmed the news from Xu Jiaojiao. Only I can gather all these materials together to produce an article which everyone will be interested in."

The chief editor narrowed his eyes. Changing his stance, he smiled and said, "I’ve always thought highly of you. Since you’re so confident, then I’ll let you be in charge of the featured star column this time around. It's Tuesday today, will you be able to let me take a look at the article by Friday before knock-off time?"

"Definitely! Thanks, Chief!" Peng Peng stood up and bowed to the chief editor. "Chief, I’ll go work on the materials now."

"Go.” The chief editor waved her off.

Peng Peng exited the office with a smile on her face.

Watching as Peng Peng left, the chief editor leaned back in his chair and shook his head. "Young people are prone to overconfidence."

Regardless of the chaos and commotion outside, Sheng Jiaoyang enjoyed a comfortable bath after she returned home.

Just as she was about to head downstairs for dinner, she received a call from Shen Zhining.

"Come over to my room."

An alarm rang in Sheng Jiaoyang's heart. She asked warily, "What is it? Can't you come over to mine instead?"

There was a brief silence on the other end of the phone. "What are you worried about?"

What else would I be worried about? I’m worried that you’ll devour me whole. Sheng Jiaoyang pouted.

Suddenly, she heard his low laughter coming from her handphone.

"What are you laughing at?"

"Don't worry, you're safe for now."

"…"

Meanie! Just as Sheng Jiaoyang was about to hang up the call, Shen Zhining continued, "If you don't come over soon, the duration of your safety will be shortened."

That’s a blatant threat!

Sheng Jiaoyang glared at her phone, gritting her teeth.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Cosy | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace         

Yuna's Corner:

Hi all, I'm just repeating the 'thoughts' I published under chapter 183 here in case you haven't seen it. There are indeed some dubious content in certain chapters (like chap 183), so I have now added a trigger warning (TW) at the beginning of that chapter and hid the dubious content for those who don't want to read it and I will do so if there are any such content in other chapters in the future. Apologies for not implementing these warnings earlier and I hope that by adding the hidden content option, it would be bit pleasanter read for you.