65 – Is the Danmei Manga You Mentioned Good?
Fifteen minutes later, he finally got a reply.
Zou Shun yelled at him in a voice message: “Sexy my ass, get lost!”
Fang Mo was startled. Although he was mentally prepared for this blow, he didn’t expect Zou Shun to treat him as cold as winter and without mercy.
He was heartbroken and began typing in the input box: You treat me like this as soon as you get a man. Does our relationship of many years mean nothing to you?
Just as he was about to press send, he suddenly hesitated. In the voice message just now, he noticed there were some strange sounds in the background, so was Zou Shun with that man right now? Thinking that his message might have been seen by He Chengyi, Fang Mo felt embarrassed and quickly deleted all the text.
He re-edited his message.
[“I’m playing truth or dare with people, don’t take it to heart.”]
This time, he received a quick reply.
“Zou Shun’s hands are wet so it’s hard for him to reply right now. I read your message to him, and he said he understands and it’s okay.”
It indeed was He Chengyi. Not far from him was the sound of splashing water and Zou Shun’s loud voice.
“I meant it’s okay for you to ignore him!”
Fang Mo quietly closed the chat.
He lay down on his bed, feeling disheartened. He thought about how back when he had dragged Xu Xiran around to show off their love and affection to him and realized this must now all be karma.
Just then, his phone vibrated again. It was Liu Xiaochang.
“I won’t be back in the dorm tonight, so no need to keep the door open.”
It seemed like his confession of his true feelings a few days ago had worked very well.
Fang Mo was incomparably depressed and felt as if he was the only dark color in this pink, sweet world.
He climbed out of bed, picked up the half bottle of sports drink, drank it quietly, and sighed.
Why should I be this sad, he thought. It was all Xu Xiran’s fault. This straight man was so annoying, so dumb, and yet so attractive, that he always made his heart itch.
There were many people with strong preferences in the circle, those who were fond of body odor of the same sex and aroused by the smell of stinky sweat. Fang Mo never liked those things and found them rather disgusting. He had always liked the clean and fresh type.
But Xu Xiran’s sweaty appearance on the court today made his legs soft and made him hard in between. Later, when he used the excuse to clean up the scraps on his face, Fang Mo came closer and secretly took a whiff. The heat and moisture that permeated from Xu Xiran’s body indeed had a faint scent that could not be described in words. It turned out that sweat didn’t smell bad at all.
Fang Mo guessed that it was probably the smell of his hormones.
Therefore, when he was asked what kind of person he liked, the first word that came to his mind was sexy.
It would be great if only he was able to freely put his hands on his chest or his arms around his back whenever he was drenched in sweat.
Having more imagery inevitably created more restlessness. Fang Mo desired to turn the evil in his heart into courage and began to feel irrational. He wanted to run upstairs to Xu Xiran’s dorm to do things to him. In any case, Xu Xiran was naive, and no matter how he took advantage, he would not realize it, so it was a waste not to do so.
Fang Mo was eager to try and was almost about to act.
Then suddenly, his phone vibrated again. When he opened it, it was a friend request.
“Hi, I’m Xu Xiran’s classmate who chatted with you during the game today. My name is Xia Diandian. Can we chat for a bit?”
Fang Mo was immediately alert.
She seemed polite and well-mannered, but since she was a rival in love, the visitor must be harboring ulterior motives. Didn’t she come here to talk harshly, or to spy on the enemy’s situation? How should Fang Mo scare her away?
After pressing accept, the other party quickly sent a cute emoticon sticker.
[“Hahaha, I’m so glad you accepted. I was also afraid that I was being too forward.”]
This was undoubtedly hiding a dagger behind a smile.
Fang Mo raised his eyebrows and then returned a smile.
[“How could that be? What did you want to talk about?”]
[“I’ll just be direct then! Are you and Xu Xiran in that kind of relationship?”]
This was really a bit too forward! This girl looked very shy, how was she so bold when communicating online? Fang Mo didn’t know how to respond for a while.
While he hesitated, a typing indicator appeared in the chat. Soon, a new message popped up.
[“I don’t have any other intentions, I was just afraid that you weren’t happy to hear what my friend and I said today. You overheard us right?”]
Fang Mo was even more embarrassed.
Yes, I overheard. When you were talking amongst each other, my ears perked up high. How could he admit this?
He remained silent, and the other side messaged again without hesitation.
[“Are you still there?”]
Fang Mo took a deep breath.
[“Yes, yes, something suddenly happened on my end just now.”]
[“Hahaha, that’s good. I was worried that I was being too straightforward again and you didn’t want to talk to me.”]
For a moment, he couldn’t tell if this girl was actually dumb or just playing dumb. Fang Mo decided not to follow her train of thought.
[“So, do you like Xu Xiran?”]
He replied in the same forward manner, and asked more directly than the other party, wanting to see how the girl would react.
After the other side typed for a while, she finally sent a reply.
[“Not to the point where I like him, but I am a little interested.”]
She was surprisingly very honest.
[“You want to pursue him?”]
Fang Mo asked again.
[“I originally had that impulse, but if he already has someone, it wouldn’t be appropriate, right?”]
Fang Mo was stunned.
This meant that she just came to confirm the relationship between the two of them. If they were really a couple, would she immediately give up? Was this the truth or was she just probing around?
For a moment, Fang Mo didn’t know whether to admit the truth or not. The things he said today were indeed a hint, and he made sure that people would feel embarrassed to ask him more questions, even if they were doubtful. In the case that something goes wrong later on, he could still take a step back and say that he didn’t mean it that way and that it was all a misunderstanding. However, he didn’t expect to meet such a person who played their cards outside the rules like this.
After pondering for a while, Fang Mo decided to play dumb.
[“I do have a pretty good relationship with him1This phrase is a lot more ambiguous in Chinese. Relationship here doesn’t necessarily have to mean boyfriend, it can also mean being very close or on good terms with someone.”]
From just looking at this sentence, it was indeed the truth. In relation to the context, it was up for interpretation.
[“Okay, I understand!”]
Fang Mo finally let out a sigh of relief when he saw the words sent from the other side. He hoped that she was really as simple and honest as she seemed to be.
However, the chat window showed that she was still typing.
Fang Mo waited nervously for a long time before a large paragraph of words jumped out in the chat.
[“Thank you for being willing to answer my questions, I know my behavior was very direct! It’s not easy to hold on to such feelings, so thank you for trusting in me to tell me, I promise I will never tell anyone else. I hope for the best for you two! Don’t feel like you are a burden to me, I will work hard to move on!”]
Fang Mo was stunned again. Then, he was overwhelmed by guilt and self-shame.
This was also a fight against a rival in love. The method he used against Yang Lin back then was a hundred times more dirty, and yet he didn’t feel the slightest psychological burden at the time. But now, facing this simple, straightforward, and kind girl, his feeling of guilt immediately exploded.
After struggling for a while, he guiltily entered a reply.
[“I didn’t say anything, it’s all your own interpretation.”]
[“It’s okay, I understand! Long live understanding!”]
Fang Mo frowned. He didn’t know if it was an illusion, but why did this girl seem to hope that they were a couple?
Just as he was thinking about this, a new message appeared again.
[“You two are a perfect match, really! I saw you two standing together from a distance today, and you two look so good together.”]
Fang Mo loved hearing those words a bit too much. He felt a bit ethereal, and put on an act as he sent back a crying laughing emoji.
[“By the way, I have one more question! It’s a bit private, so if you think it’s inappropriate, just ignore me!”]
The other side messaged again.
Fang Mo was curious.
[“What’s your question?”]
[“Which one of you two is the gong?”]
Fang Mo was yet stunned again. He knew the meaning of this word, and he had often heard it being mentioned by Xu Xiran’s friends from the club. Whenever Beibei sent him a message and mentioned Xu Xiran, she would say “your lao gong2 (“老攻”) “Lao gong” here sounds like husband (老公) but Beibei is actually using the gong (攻) from gong and shou”. Fang Mo appeared shy on the outside, but he was also indeed shy on the inside. He pretended to resist, but inside, he felt very happy.
After a moment of embarrassment, he suddenly realized. This girl must have very similar but diametrically opposite hobbies to Xu Xiran, and shared a common language with many girls in the club.
No wonder the acceptance of their relationship was so high.
Having said that, it was still inappropriate to talk about such a private topic that only existed in Fang Mo’s brain at this stage.
[“Isn’t that a bit too personal?”]
Fang Mo replied cautiously.
The other side apologized immediately.
[“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, pretend I never said this, I won’t ask!”]
Fang Mo didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He still really couldn’t hate someone like this.
Because he thought this Xia Diandian was quite interesting, after saying goodbye to each other, he casually peeked into her Moments.
The first one caught his eye.
“Diary of Pure Love I’m about to explode!!!!!! Read it for me!!!!!! Go and read it!!!!!! Download the ○× Manga app right now to experience their beautiful love!!!!”
The text was already made very impactful by the long series of exclamation marks, but what surprised Fang Mo even more was the accompanying picture. In the image, there were two disheveled men embracing each other in a very ambiguous posture, with longing, loving eyes.
Fang Mo had heard about this kind of manga a while ago, but since he had no interest in dongman3 A Chinese portmanteau of donghua and manhua (may or may not be just from Japan) before, he never paid much attention to this stuff. But now it was different. Under the influence of Xu Xiran, he was already able to distinguish between the appearance of the two-dimensional characters.
After hesitating for half a minute, he opened the app store, and entered the four characters “○×manga” into the search box.
Fang Mo went to see Xu Xiran’s game the next day with dark circles under his eyes.
“What happened to you?” Xu Xiran, who had just exercised a lot yesterday, was full of energy, “Did you not sleep well? Why do you look so tired?”
Fang Mo yawned, and his eyes became wet. He sniffed and wiped his face with his hands before replying, “I accidentally stayed up all night.”
Looking at his face, Xu Xiran’s face went red for some reason, and the tone of his voice became unnatural: “What were you doing instead of sleeping?”
Fang Mo smiled at him: “Reading manga.”
Xu Xiran was pleasantly surprised: “You have finally been fully enlightened! What manga was that good, can you share?”
Fang Mo thought to himself, I’m afraid you won’t like it.
The title of that work was Diary of Pure Love, but the content was not pure at all. On the contrary, it was rather hot and spicy, and almost every two or three dialogues had to be ablaze with passion and desire. In order to avoid censorship, the pictures were blurred with holy light. Fang Mo has just come into contact with this kind of thing, so he was very tolerant, and could not stop reading.
The plot was actually quite unrealistic. The shou was drawn very pretty, but the setting of the story insisted that he was mediocre. And while he was said to be mediocre, he still had a lot of good men who fiercely pursued him. The real gong was a tall, handsome, wealthy CEO of a multinational company, who was dominant and powerful, and although he was indifferent to others and was cold and dismissive like an ice machine, he was infatuated with the shou protagonist, and was passionate and had a sex drive so high he was ready anytime anywhere, and could go at it until dawn kind of man.
The shou was a troublemaker, and always made the gong unhappy with his various mystical behaviors. With a pure and innocent face, he would always act ambiguous with other handsome guys in all kinds of ways, and would refuse to ever admit that he liked the gong. Whenever the gong would get mad, he would punish him, and the means of punishment were both diverse and singular in focus. In short, it was full of papapa.
Fang Mo felt that this was outrageous. With the gong having such good skills, and the shou acting like this way, was this not a reward for him? It was no wonder that the shou did not do good things all day long, it made complete logical sense.
There were clearly countless plotholes, but every chapter of this flawed manga left off on a cliffhanger, forcing people to read one chapter after another with exhilaration. Having read up to the latest chapter in one go from all the suspense, the shou, who had already been brewed in soy sauce ten thousand times, was still unwilling to truthfully admit that he likes to gong, while the gong was able to do it with ease, and it made Fang Mo half-dead with urgency.
By this point in time, the sky was already dawning.
In order to watch Xu Xiran’s game, he had slept for less than four hours and greatly struggled to get up.
“What’s it called?” Xu Xiran frowned, “Why are you refusing to tell me anything now?”
Fang Mo was sleepy and delirious, and hazily thought in his heart, fuck this handsome high-powered CEO, this silly fool in front of him who would act like a baby to him was way cuter than him.
He wasn’t wrong, he was being like a baby, right? The more Fang Mo thought about it, the more dizzy he became.
If Xu Xiran liked him, he promised that he would not be difficult for a second, that he would not be ambiguous with anyone else, and that he would wholeheartedly be good to Xu Xiran.
“Are you okay?” He remained silent with a blank face, and Xu Xiran was a little worried.
Fang Mo looked at him and suddenly felt a strange impulse in his heart.
“The one I read, you might not like.” Although he realized that his behavior at the moment would probably lead to bad consequences, people were inevitably irrational when they are overly sleepy, “Someone recommended it to me, and before I found out that the content didn’t seem right, it was already too late so I just read it till the end.”
Xu Xiran became even more curious: “What kind of content? It seemed off but it was still that good?”
“It’s romance-related,” Fang Mo said.
Xu Xiran smiled: “Shojo manga? So that’s the kind of stuff you like?”
Fang Mo shook his head: “No, I think it’s called danmei4 I am using “danmei” here because that’s what it is in the Chinese text (and tanbi is not really used anymore), and “manga” instead of manhua because it is later mentioned that it’s Japanese and not Chinese. In terms of terminology, danmei/tanbi and manhua/manga use the same characters in Chinese and Japanese, but in an English perspective, we use these different terms to show which country of origin the work is from, whereas in Chinese, there basically is no differentiation from the term itself. Like how I struggled on whether to call xxr’s show an anime or a donghua until I confirmed later that it’s Japanese, I will try my best to continue to use the correct terms! ^^ manga.”
Xu Xiran was really stunned.
“The protagonists are two men. But the shou on the cover was drawn like a young girl, and I didn’t notice and just read it,” Fang Mo smiled at him: “I accidentally almost stayed up all night.”
After he said this, he pursed his lips and carefully observed Xu Xiran’s reaction.
Xu Xiran furrowed his brows as expected.
A while later, when Fang Mo gradually started to panic, Xu Xiran cleared his throat. He then asked very quietly, “Was it… good?”
Diandian’s mental journey is probably as follows: hears that Xu Xiran in the class seems to be gay → subconsciously pays attention to him → runs to inquire and is told that it’s misunderstanding → but because of her previous attention, she thinks that he’s a bit cute → carefully festers feelings until Fang Mo cuts them off → feels a bit sad that her love is over before it even starts → Forget it, let’s ship the CP first
- 1This phrase is a lot more ambiguous in Chinese. Relationship here doesn’t necessarily have to mean boyfriend, it can also mean being very close or on good terms with someone
- 2(“老攻”) “Lao gong” here sounds like husband (老公) but Beibei is actually using the gong (攻) from gong and shou
- 3A Chinese portmanteau of donghua and manhua (may or may not be just from Japan)
- 4I am using “danmei” here because that’s what it is in the Chinese text (and tanbi is not really used anymore), and “manga” instead of manhua because it is later mentioned that it’s Japanese and not Chinese. In terms of terminology, danmei/tanbi and manhua/manga use the same characters in Chinese and Japanese, but in an English perspective, we use these different terms to show which country of origin the work is from, whereas in Chinese, there basically is no differentiation from the term itself. Like how I struggled on whether to call xxr’s show an anime or a donghua until I confirmed later that it’s Japanese, I will try my best to continue to use the correct terms! ^^