“Xia Rong, Su Chi, have you two finished?”
The cameraman outside again started to knock on the door.
“Almost, we’ll be right out一” Xia Rong answered loudly as he hurriedly put on his clothes, the shirt, then the trousers and gloves… Is there anything else?
Su Chi half-knelt in front of him and helped him shake out his cloak, then draped it over him, calmly fastening it on him.
In the process of tying on the cloak, the other’s fingers inevitably touched Xia Rong’s lower jaw, and he slightly stiffened before turning his face aside.
“What’s the matter?” Su Chi asked in a low voice.
“Nothing.” Xia Rong subconsciously answered while still feeling rather unresigned. A while later, he lowered his voice and asked while putting on the boots, “Just now… that was inertia?”
“Hm?” For a moment, Su Chi seemed to have yet to figure out how to respond and simply moved to get back up while giving a casual affirmation.
“It was inertia, right? Wanting to help me but didn’t manage to brake in time, right?” Xia Rong laughed a few times, but then also felt that it was too fake and settled down, asking in a soft voice, “You don’t like men, right?”
He regretted it as soon as the question came out: Just now, it was possible that Su Chi just hadn’t been able to restrain his emotions for that moment一 After all, for some people in the entertainment circle, it was very common for them to just flirt around and have a casual fling. For example, he has heard of ‘friendship fling’, ‘meet and fling’ and ‘sending off fling’; there’s even the situation where a lone man and woman (man), who has been filming together for a while, might also have a ‘courtesy fling’ to solve their physiological needs, all very open and magnanimous.
Although he himself hasn’t done much of such things because of his strict family upbringing, Su Chi has already been in the circle for so many years, so it’s hard to guarantee whether the other’s sense of these things was drastically different from his own three views. The other person only kissed him once in passing, isn’t it too much for him to suddenly ask such questions, forcing the other to come out on the spot?
Xia Rong was just about to say something to smooth things over when he heard Su Chi’s very succinct reply: “No.”
Sure enough, he’s not…
Sure enough, it was just a spur of the moment. People in the circle would even feel going to bed together was as common as eating or drinking, so let’s not mention just a kiss like this… But who knows why, with this answer, though Xia Rong felt that he should have been relieved and full of rejoice, in reality, his heart was now suffused with a more complicated and subtle emotion.
“You’re not, aha ha…” Using the miscellaneous items nearby to help support himself, he attempted to get up while barely managing to raise the corner of his mouth into a smile. “It’s good that you’re not.”
“I said no,” Su Chi stretched out his hand toward him, with slight helplessness in his tone, “But what it referred to is, that it wasn’t inertia.”
At first, Xia Rong still had yet to react but still foolishly stretched out his hand for the other to pull him up. It was only after another two seconds that he finally realized what Su Chi meant and silently widened his eyes into circles.
“En.” While looking at him, Su Chi said with a smile, “As for the latter question, if you really force and replace ‘you alone’ with ‘all male creatures’, then I can also answer ‘No’.”
“You two are finally out.” The cameraman-brother who was waiting outside with the camera on his shoulder finally saw the two of them come out one followed by the other. Although he was rather unsatisfied, he still spoke with a polite smile, “Why does it seem as if you two are so sticky?”
This cameraman-brother has been following Xia Rong for several episodes already, so Xia Rong was also a bit embarrassed, knowing that he seemed to have run into situations each and every time. So he smiled and said, “It’s been hard on you, Liu-ge. I’ll treat you to a meal after we finish the recording of this episode.”
After coming out from the secret room, they were informed to head to the main lounge to wait for the others. Xia Rong and Su Chi should have been the first batch to come out, with there still being half the time of the allotted 30 minutes left. The others still have yet to escape from their secret room, while the director was also busy with adjusting the various camera angles. Thus, aside from the accompanying cameraman, there were only the two of them in the main lounge at the moment.
Xia Rong was so ill at ease that he was about to spontaneously combust. Their phones had been taken away by the production group at the very beginning, so he could only fiddle here or touch there, look up to see the sky or look down to watch the ground. In any case, he just wouldn’t have any verbal exchanges or even eye contact with Su Chi. If this scene were to be broadcasted, it would probably be like an explosion of embarrassment, and would further affirm the rumor that the two of them were in discord.
“Who’s your escape partner?” Su Chi looked over the mission card in his hand while asking the other without raising his head. “Xia Rong?”
There were only the two of them inside the room, so even if the other didn’t call his name, Xia Rong still knew that he was the one being addressed. But now that the other had clearly called out to him right in front of the camera, Xia Rong could no longer pretend he hadn’t heard.
…Well now, you sure can pull off pretending to be all sanctimonious!
Xia Rong very unwillingly and reluctantly cleared his throat, then pretended to very naturally engage in this serious discussion. “…It’s you. Is there a problem?”
“There is. Because my escape partner written here says ‘Ye Mang’, which is different from yours.”
“Your escape partner isn’t me? Yet you still…” Xia Rong spoke until halfway, then lowered his voice, “Said to the camera that you and I have previously made an arrangement to meet?”
“No worries. If they leave it in, the audience would question that there’s a detailed script and that guests all knew the contents of the game far in advance. So they won’t leave it in because it’ll be bad for the program’s reputation,” Su Chi whispered back to him.
“You’re quite good at calculating…” It was only when Xia Rong turned his face over that he realized, since they were speaking in hushed voices, they had needed to draw closer to each other. So now, they were leaning close to each other, almost head to head, where it was as if they were intimately speaking into each other’s ears. Thus, subconsciously, he said, “…You stay a bit farther away from me.”
Su Chi gave him a quick look and said nothing in response, but proactively drew back three feet, creating a safe distance according to Xia Rong’s request.
Although the other didn’t say, that light glance caused an abrupt discomfort in Xia Rong’s heart. Was I too cold-hearted and callous? Too fierce? Obviously, they have already been meowing kittens in each other’s arms, to suddenly fall out and not recognize this cat, wouldn’t it hurt this cat too much?
“…cough.” He lightly coughed, attempting to continue the previous topic that had been interrupted. “Is it possible to be because of the final objective of our program? That is, the six of us are needed to be separated into two teams, i.e. three people in one team, so it got written like this? We can ask Ye Mang later when he arrives whether there are the two of us on his task card, then we’ll be able to clear it up.”
“En, you have a point.” Su Chi didn’t draw closer again, but he turned his face slightly towards the other’s direction and looked at the other with a smile. “Then we’ll just wait for Ye Mang to come over.”
“…Okay.” Xia Rong didn’t linger on Su Chi’s smile and forced himself to turn back his head to look straight ahead. Then speaking of the demon, he found that Ye Mang was trotting over while panting the entire way.
“You two were this fast?” Seeing how Xia Rong and Su Chi were already calmly sitting there, Ye Mang said with amazement, “I even thought I would be the fastest!”
Hearing the other say this, Xia Rong once again remembered the witty action that helped him break out from the secret chamber and asked a bit smugly, “How did you solve that recorded arithmetic problem?”
“Weren’t we given a whiteboard? Just list the sets of linear equations?” Ye Mang answered. “Fortunately, I haven’t forgotten all my mathematics. For some of the problems, I had been able to directly solve as soon as I finished writing them out.”
When he finished saying this, he realized that it couldn’t be right, and so he looked at Su Chi and Xia Rong again. “For Su Chi to be fast with the calculations, that’s normal. But Xia Rong, how were you so fast? Was there a shortcut to the challenge that I hadn’t found?”
“…Wait a minute! Why must I have used a shortcut and so was fast?!” Xia Rong asked angrily.
“There is indeed a shortcut, but it’s also considered smart to have been able to find it.” Su Chi laughed as helped Xia Rong explain, “Did you hear it when Xia Rong suddenly started yelling?”
“Heard it, but it was rather far away, so it wasn’t very clear.” Ye Mang nodded. “I had thought it was because he couldn’t do the problems and so collapsed from the anger.”
Xia Rong, “Hello!”
“That was in fact because he had found that the lights on the wall were voice-activated, that as long as the volume is high enough, the lights will light up all the way to the back of the box such that it would open even without having the code.” Su Chi continued, “In fact, the production team had already hinted it once for us with the announcement.”
“Ah?!” During the explanation, Kang Yifan had also gotten free and rushed over, then he slapped his thigh with regret after hearing this. “Why didn’t I think of that! I thought it would only come on when I pass the round, sending me off like ribbons and flowers dancing through the air!”
“Your imagination sure is beautiful.” Xia Rong couldn’t help but quip.
“Aye, you don’t say, you this Little Red Riding Hood is actually quite pretty.” Kang Yifan turned his attention to Xia Rong and began to mock and tease him about his ‘equipment’. “Little Red Riding Hood, do you have any dreams of marrying into the palace in the future?”
“Who am I marrying, you or your father?”
Only then did Kang Yifan remember that within the palace there was not only him, the ‘Prince’, but there was also Ye Mang, the ‘King’, who was still ruling. Ye Mang also joined in with a smile, “Even when out adventuring, you still haven’t forgotten to help this king find a wife, helping yourself find a stepmother. Good son.”
Feeling resentful, Kang Yifan continued screaming his dissatisfaction. The several of them laughed for a while, then finally, Su Chi summed up his speech, “Wuha Nala technique! Okay now, the palace has been taken over by my sorcery, both the king and prince have been turned into stone by me, so Little Red Riding Hood is also mine.”
Xia Rong glanced towards the other, and Su Chi just so happened to be looking at him as well. The two’s eyes silently exchanged this glance.
Xia Rong was the first to look away.
YinYue has something to say:
Same old~ Thank you for reading~ Still looking for an editor~