Love Rival Is Getting Prettier Everyday - Chap 24
Chapter 24: Drunk
Sunshine Media had been in the limelight in recent years. The dramas produced by the company usually occupied the hot drama lists and mainstream awards for the past two years. Ratings and quality were both good. Because it was so well known, many celebrities would attend the banquet to develop a good relationship with them.
The TV station that would be hosting the broadcast for was also present. Sunshine Media and the TV station had signed an agreement before filming took place. The TV station had reserved a golden autumn schedule* for the drama. As such, they were also involved in today’s press conference. Sunshine Media spared no effort for the press launch.
*Translations help: (金秋档期) No idea what this is referring to. I’m assuming it’s the prime time slot in Fall for shows at the TV station.
An incident occurred during the dinner party. Liu Hui ran to the media table to socialize and made a toast.
A person at the table asked him, “You have appeared as the male lead in my movies in the past. Why did you decide to take on male No. 4 in this time? Is this role very outstanding?”
Liu Hui’s makeup was no less inferior than Shen Jintai’s. The corner of his eyes were painted with fuchsia eyeshadow and his eyebrow slightly raised. “I came here to play male No. 2, and I almost had the role, but Shen Jintai snatched it away. Hahahaha. But I was quite surprised that he was willing to play a second lead to Bai Qingquan.” He smiled solemnly.
The smile looked heartfelt, causing many at the table to feel pity for him, who had been robbed of his role. Soon, everyone at the table started posting about it.
“My, my, who would have thought that Shen Jintai would be willing to play the second male lead to Bai Qingquan.”
“So the implication of what you said is that Shen Jintai got this role due to some behind-the-scenes scheme? Or was it because he brought in capital?”
“The Shen family is bankrupt, right? I also saw a post some time ago that showed a notice from the court. Bankruptcy should be a matter of fact. How does he still have money to buy a role?”
“A dead camel is thinner than a horse. The poverty of the entertainment industry and the promotion of young people do not mean the same thing!”
Xiao Tang, who was in the hotel room, had been contacting the gold powders to control the comments. When he heard the news, he was a little surprised. Liu Hui was a resource star*, who wasn’t that popular. Bai Qingquan had more fans than he did, but if you had money, you could still have a large water army. If his water army and moonlight powder unite to blacken Jintai, it’ll be the end of him!
*Resource coffee/drip (资源咖) Term use to describe a star who plays a leading role when they debut. They tend to not have a lot of acting experience since they don’t play small roles and thus have no experience of climbing up in the showbiz circle, whereas others in the circle work step by step to reach the top.
He was about to report to Li Meilan when he found that Liu Hui’s marketing comment had been overturned.
“The both of them are two sides of the same coin. Everyone knows that Liu Hui has a gold master behind him. Though he hasn’t been photographed many times, it’s the one with the beard.”
“That’s right. His acting skills aren’t as good as Shen Jintai’s, right? It’s just one resource star stealing from another. The wicked have finally met the wicked.”
“To be honest, I would rather look at Shen Touhua than Liu Hui. His big face is a bit too ugly for my heart. After being fed so many resources, it’s still too early for him to become popular*.”
*Clarity: What this is saying is that Liu Hui hasn’t worked up the ladder yet. He emerged overnight and started playing lead roles (generally those are reserved for veterans and experienced actors), so he hasn’t earned his respect yet in the showbiz world and, by extension, the audience.
“He’s just trying to hype himself by using Shen Touhua. Honestly, he’s been copying Shen Touhua for the past two years. It’s a pity that he doesn’t understand the difference between an idol and an actor!”
“He won’t become popular no matter how much he tries. Ugly people are just so weird.”
Liu Hui was so angry that he almost dropped his phone. He went online and personally scolded netizens on his alt. He lost the scolding match and was so angry that he turned to look at Shen Jintai.
At tonight’s dinner party, Shen Jintai was the most popular. He was like a social butterfly as he flew from table to table with a wine glass. He wanted to please the big guys in the industry as well as his media friends. Bai Qingquan sat quietly as he observed secretly. He almost rolled his eyes in public as he gulped down wine from his glass. He knew that Shen Jintai loved doing these tricks and games to win favors.
“You’re in a good mood today. You sure can drink,” Yang Lizhi said, smirking while applying makeup.
Bai Qingquan squinted and forced a smile. “I’m happy.”
Shen Jintai drank a lot of wine today and felt tipsy. His body was far from what it used to be in his previous life. He could drink over half a catty of liquor and feel nothing. As an actor, dinners were indispensable. He had to participate in lots of them, so he had plenty of practice from the thousands of glasses of wine he had to drink.
Many people’s eyes were covertly staring at him. People talked and laughed at the banquet as they adorned their Weibo postings with the word “explosive”.
Shen Jintai had just finished making a toast and headed back to his seat. When he pulled his chair out, he heard a person from behind call out to him, “Jintai, it’s been a long time since I saw you.”
He turned around and saw a rather tall and mature-looking man, who looked about 30 years old with slightly gloomy eyebrows. The original owner had probably met him before because he felt that he was familiar with him.
“I haven’t seen you for a few years. Do you still remember me?” The man smiled.
Shen Jintai stretched out his hand and smiled. “President Ji.” It was the villain, Ji Fengxing.
Ji Fengxing shook his hand and looked straight at him with wide, sharp eyes. Although there was a smile on his face, his eyes were too piercing, and his smile seemed to hold bad intentions. It was like an eagle staring at its prey.
Ji Fengxing could be regarded as a top boss. His aura exuded the essence of a domineering president. In be it men or women, he had a line them as if they were cars. Whether they were used bicycles or luxury sedans1, he ate them all as they all led to the kindergarten2. Shen Jintai felt that Ji Fengxing character was just a walking pile of sex. He was completely uninhibited, as if he was walking around with no clothes, ready to have sex at any moment. The author purposefully crafted an unruly, unbridled, provocative villain, so much so, that Shen Jintai couldn’t help but get hot when he saw him.
1Clarity: Author is using a metaphor here, referring to cars as men and women who he’s been with. He doesn’t discriminate against them regarding status (used bicycles vs luxury cars). He takes them all. It’s also a play on for the idiom that follows that references a car.
2Original idiom (这不是去幼儿园的车) is “This car does not lead to the kindergarten” . It’s a reference to show that you are pure and innocent. The author changed the idiom by saying it does lead to the Kindergarten, so it shows the opposite (vulgar and obscene).
This novel really needed to be transformed. It was too discordant.
Ji Fengxing and Yan Qiuchi were rivals. However, since Zheng Siqi, an artist of Monsoon Entertainment, was in the cast of the drama, Ji Fengxing was also invited to the banquet. The big boss personally showed up to support his newcomer. This signified the importance Monsoon Entertainment attached to Zheng Siqi.
“I heard that your agent is currently contacting brokerage companies,” Ji Fengxing said with a smile. “Two years have passed. Has your opinion changed?”
Two years ago, Ji Fengxing personally contacted Shen Jintai and wanted to sign him. His response back then was, “A hundred monsoons are not comparable to Yan Qiuchi’s toes!”
Shen Jintai replied courteously, “I do have the intention of signing with a new company, but I haven’t made a final decision yet. I’m still testing out the market right now.”
“The door of Monsoon Entertainment will always be open for you,” Ji Fengxing said. “The conditions that were given to you before remain unchanged.”
“Then I would like to thank you, President Ji.” Shen Jintai called the waiter who was carrying wine glasses over. He took a glass, handed one to Ji Fengxing, and then toasted his glass with him.
While drinking, Ji Fengxing’s eyes were still staring at Shen Jintai. Shen Jintai’s changes were so great that he almost couldn’t recognize them.
However, what hadn’t changed was his topicality. His comeback was so beautiful that the current Shen Jintai still remained like the Shen Jintai of the past*. Such entertainers were most suitable for his Monsoon Entertainment.
*Clarity: He’s saying the comeback Shen Jintai and the before retirement Shen Jintai are still the same in terms of creating hype and getting on hot searches.
Nowadays, Monsoon Entertainment had been left far behind by Sunshine Media. Sunshine Media was top tier. Looking at its position, it would be extremely renown in the future. Ever since Monsoon Entertainment went solo a few months ago, they had lacked male artists. The former Shen Jintai only knew how to chase after Yan Qiuchi’s ass. Now that he was washing away the tattoo and changing his face, it seemed that his affection for Yan Qiuchi had broken off. For better or worse, he must win Shen Jintai over to his side.
“Did you know Shen Jintai’s agent has been contacting brokerages recently?” At the other table, Xiao Yang whispered to Yan Qiuchi. Yan Qiuchi followed his gaze and saw Shen Jintai was talking enthusiastically while having a drink with his rival. He didn’t know if it was just the angle, but the Shen Jintai he was looking at was wearing a well-cut pair of trousers wrapped tightly around his ass, making it very eye-catching.
Likely due to the loud sounds from the crowd and various conversations, Yan Qiuchi saw Shen Jintai lean forward, getting close to Ji Fengxing’s shoulder. From his viewpoint, it seemed as if Shen Jintai was kissing Ji Fengxing’s ear.
Xiao Yang asked, “Do you think he’ll sign with a brokerage company?”
Even when Shen Jintai was chasing Yan Qiuchi fiercely, he still didn’t agree to sign with Sunshine Media. He said he liked the freedom and wanted to be his own boss.
“People can change like that, so what’s not possible,” Xiao Yang said. “Have you considered signing him before?”
“Don’t think about it.” Yan Qiuchi said decisively.
Xiao Yang smiled, looking forlorn. “I know. After finally getting rid of that clingy ghost, you don’t want to have anything to do with him anymore. However, if you don’t sign him, there’s a high chance he’ll go to Monsoon Entertainment. They have been in a bad decline in the past two years. They need stars like him to attract lots of traffic. Although Shen Jintai has been out of the circle for over two years, his mindset still hasn’t changed. I heard that he wanted to sign Shen Jintai two years ago, but Shen Jintai was still chasing after your ass. Looking at them now, seeing the enthusiasm around them, most likely they will cooperate.”
Yan Qiuchi didn’t respond.
Xiao Yang turned his head and glanced at him and said, “Though his change… I think Shen Jintai… seems to be less annoying than before.” He also had a bad impression of Shen Jintai, mainly because he didn’t like a man who was so turbulent and had no self-esteem. Moreover, Shen Jintai’s personality was disgusting, and he treated others harshly. To Yan Qiuchi, he knelt and licked his shoes like a dog, but to others he was arrogant and cruel.
Because of this conception, when he saw Shen Jintai today, he got so scared and almost spilled the wine he was holding when he heard Shen Jintai called him “Brother Yang” earnestly. He felt Shen Touhua had truly changed. He seemed more resolute and energetic.
“Huh?!” Xiao Yang suddenly sat up straight, as if he had discovered something unusual. “Shen Jintai’s ass… It’s pretty voluptuous. I hadn’t noticed it before!”
He started pulling on Yan Qiuchi’s arm. “Look, look.”
Yan Qiuchi said, “Do you want to keep staring at him?”
Xiao Yang felt very wronged.
All night it seemed as if nine out of ten eyes were all staring at Shen Jintai.
Xiao Yang said, “But fuck… That figure…”
Yan Qiuchi drank a glass of wine and turned his head to look elsewhere. It was less annoying when he was out of sight.
For others at the banquet, however, this didn’t apply. Near the end of the banquet, Bai Qingquan had to be supported. After drinking too much wine, he became flustered. Leaning on Wei Ge he said, “I… today… Was I beautiful?”
Wei Ge and his assistant supported him. “Yes, yes.”
Bai Qingquan straightened up and looked back at the banquet hall. “Where is Shen Jintai. Shen Jintai.” Wei Ge quickly pulled him away.
When Bai Qingquan returned to his room, he cried bitterly. Wei Ge tried to persuade him. “You’re drunk. Just leave him alone.”
After Bai Qingquan cried enough, he lay on the bed and swiped his phone. He swiped Weibo, forums, Baidu, and TikTok several hundred times. His mood improved slightly after reading compliments about him.
He was no longer the Bai Qingquan who was completely suppressed by pressure. A top idol was a top idol. He needed a group of warm-hearted little angels to shower him with praise. Every little compliment helped and would slowly add up. He saw many posts where they were flattering about his beauty.
He clicked on a wonderful picture taken by a zhan sister* and saved it. From his eyes to his mouth, down to his Adam’s apple. Everything was perfect.
*(站姐) Also known as the Goddess of the Cannon (camera), they use advanced camera techniques to take quality pictures of their idols.
He then clicked on a picture of Shen Jintai and saw that he didn’t even have a dedicated zhan sister to take good pictures and do beauty retouching. Looking at Shen Jintai’s picture, the flaws in his facial features were quite obvious. However, his lip color looked very attractive. He didn’t know what kind of lipstick he applied tonight, but it looked incredibly natural. When he returned to the set tomorrow, he would thoroughly investigate.
After Liu Hui finished his scolding match with netizens, his stomach was boiling with anger. He wrapped himself around the bearded man to help him vent.
“Don’t mess around,” the bearded man said. “I’m also investing in this drama, and I will lose money if it collapses.”
“I’m not going to grab the role of second male lead again. I just wanted to vent a little,” Liu Hui said coquettishly.
After drinking, his face was red, and his long eyelashes trembled and looked very painful. The bearded man said, “How do you want to vent your anger?”
“I heard that Shen Jintai’s alcohol tolerance is very poor.” Liu Hui looked at Shen Jintai, who was toasting in the distance, and gritted his teeth. This wasn’t false. Shen Jintai had been drunk many times in the past, and his ugliness had been recorded on camera by the paparazzi.
Shen Jintai lost count of how many drinks he had had. After a few laps, the banquet entered into the second half of the evening. People had already started leaving one after another. He was planning to go back to his room when he ran into a few guys in the circle.
The young men were talking among themselves. The mood between them was very affectionate. They were drinking heavily and got a little rowdy, ignoring their surroundings. Some looked as if they were drunk.
Shen Jintai drank a lot of water in order to counteract the alcohol. Because he drank so much, he needed to pee badly. Fortunately, he was able to hold it in as he staggered around in public, walking towards the restroom.
Celebrities still needed to pay attention to their privacy while in the restrooms. All the restrooms at the banquet were restricted to VIP areas. Shen Jintai was staggering as he walked along the corridor. A waiter in the corridor quickly ran over to help him. Suddenly, a man came over and said, “Leave it to me.”
Only celebrities and high-profile people were invited to the banquet, and security was very strict. One didn’t have to worry about unknown people trying to get an illegitimate meal*. Seeing that the man was dressed decently, the waiter thought he was also a VIP guest from the banquet, so he handed Shen Jintai over to him. Shen Jintai turned his head and saw that the other party looked familiar.
*Illegitimate/bastard meal/rice (私生饭) Term use to refer to fans who like to spy on an artist’s private life. They use questionable methods to track down their idols and invade their privacy.
“Don’t you remember me?” The man was a little excited. His voice was trembling as he said, “We talked a few days ago at Mrs. Yan’s birthday banquet.”
When he mentioned this, Shen Jintai remembered. His legs felt a little weak, and he said, embarrassingly, “I drank a little too much today.”
“Let me help you.”
Shen Jintai smiled and grabbed his arm. “Thank you.”
The young man helped him walk towards the restroom. Shen Jintai was stroking his hair. His face was flushed, and his eyebrows and eyes seemed to have been tainted by the heat from the wine. It felt like looking at a sprouting spring… At least to the person who was holding him, it looked like his face was full of spring.
The young man had admired Shen Jintai for ages. From the moment Shen Jintai appeared on the draft stage for the first time, he felt that this little red-haired fresh meat had taken away his heart.
He had watched him shine brightly onstage, watched him make stupid mistakes chasing after a man, and seen his loneliness and downfall due to lovelorn and bankruptcy. He was overjoyed now that Shen Jintai had returned to a state of happiness.
He was in close contact with his idol! So close, he could smell the wine from him. The more Shen Jintai walked, the more he felt that his legs were growing softer, and the feeling of drunkenness became stronger. His mind started to become more confused. His last sober thought was that he was definitely inebriated. His alertness was still high, so he took out his phone. Before he could turn it on, he dropped it.
“I’ll help you. I’ll help you.” The other party quickly bent over to pick up his phone.
“I’ll… Give my agent a call.” Shen Jintai stopped walking and leaned against the wall. His current state wasn’t good. Shen Jintai opened his contact list and saw a bunch of names on it, recalling that he had added countless contacts to his address book tonight. He soon saw Xiao Tang’s name and was about to press it when the man grabbed his hand and said, “You’re drunk. I’ll take you to your room to rest.”
“Thank you, but no… No need.”
The man was persistent. His attitude wasn’t forceful, but he still didn’t let go. “You drank too much.”
If Shen Jintai had been sober, he wouldn’t have put up such a resistance. The other guy didn’t seem to be an illegitimate rice. After all, he was invited to Mrs. Yan’s birthday banquet and was able to get through the hotel’s security, so he must be at least a sensible high-profiled person. However, right now, Shen Jintai had drunk too much, and the alcohol had overwhelmed his intelligence. He had been a popular figure in the city for many years now, so his vigilance was particularly strong. He pushed the man away, leaned his ass against the wall, and yelled, “What are you doing?!”
The man suddenly rushed forward and grabbed his arm again, shocking Shen Jintai. The man pushed him up against the wall and hugged him tightly. “Don’t yell. Don’t yell.”
Shen Jintai was getting nervous and scared.
If the man hadn’t told him not to yell, he wouldn’t have remembered to. Shen Jintai was about to shout when the other man covered his mouth. The other party seemed to be just as frightened. He immediately let go of Shen Jintai’s mouth. “I… I… I just want to help you.”
“Fuck off!” Shen Jintai wiped his mouth. The man immediately ran away. Shen Jintai breathed a sigh of relief and was hit by the feeling of dizziness. A waiter nearby hurriedly ran over when he heard the commotion, seeing Shen Jintai in a complete mess.
Shen Jintai was scared and drunk, babbling incessantly. “Don’t… Don’t touch me. Get out! I… I’ll call the police… I’ll call the police…”
Clutching his phone, he suddenly remembered the first time he made his debut. He participated in a dinner with the casting director at that time but was drugged. If it weren’t for his own ferocity and ability to withstand the drugs, he would’ve almost fallen into the hands of a fat pig. In the entertainment circle, even men weren’t safe.
More and more onlookers came when they heard the commotion. They saw Shen Jintai acting like a lunatic.
They secretly sneered in their minds. ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk. The psychopath Shen Jintai has appeared again.’
Suddenly, an overwhelming sadness came over Shen Jintai. He didn’t know why. He covered his eyes with one hand as tears started to fall. His face was feverish.
In the midst of all the chaos, a strong, large palm grabbed his hand. The man pressed on his arms and shouted, “Shen Jintai!”
The voice was strict but very familiar. Even if he was drunk, he knew it was Yan Qiuchi’s. The Yan Qiuchi who hated him immeasurably. But though he did hate him, he was still trustworthy. Anyone would bully him, but Yan Qiuchi would not.
Yan Qiuchi would never love him or touch him in his lifetime*.
*Clarity: The implication here is to point out that Yan Qiuchi has no ulterior motives. Shen Jintai doesn’t need to worry about something bad happening to him if he goes with him.
Shen Jintai calmed down and let go of the hand covering his eyes. His clothes were a mess. His hair was completely disheveled. His nose was bright red. His eyes were flushed and he looked scattered. He looked at Yan Qiuchi with his moist eyes, then quickly lowered his head in a discouraged manner and stopped moving.
Yan Qiuchi’s face darkened. He was about to get up to beckon the waiter but found that he couldn’t move. He looked down and saw Shen Jintai’s two hands clutching the corner of his clothes.
The author has something to say:
Yan Qiuchi: He just grabbed the corners of my clothes, not my heart!