The city walls were in ruins, riddled with holes and cracks. Fang Shaoyi stood with his sword at his side, behind him the last remaining soldiers of Dayao country. Ahead of him was the youngest general of the enemy, with a fierce army at his back. The rain poured down in torrents, mixing with the blood on the ground to form a muddy red mess.
"Hero!" The enemy general held his horse's reins and lifted his chin, his voice booming from his diaphragm with the roughness of a warrior. "Your entire jianghu has surrendered to us. What are you still defending?"
Once a proud and valiant knight, Fang Shaoyi was now covered in blood, with only one eye able to see. Despite his ragged appearance, he stood tall and composed, and replied calmly, "I am defending my city."
"Your city?" The general laughed heartily, his laughter echoing for miles and startling the sparrows on the city walls. "Your king blinded you, yet you still defend his city. The people of the jianghu say you're foolish, but I never believed it. Now, it seems...never mind!"
The general's horse shifted beneath him, causing him to sway slightly. He pointed his long sword at the hero, his eyes gleaming with a bloodthirsty glint in the pouring rain. "I don't want to kill you."
The torrential rain washed away the blood on the hero's face, revealing the once rotten and decaying wounds. Suddenly, he hooked up the corner of his mouth, and despite his ragged appearance, he smiled with a sharp and innocent joy, with his only remaining eye shining with the same fearless light as ten years ago.
He exclaimed loudly, "If you don't kill me, then it'll be me killing the general. If you want to kill me, then do it, there's no need for too many words."
Their eyes met, and only the general's eyes showed a hint of sorrow.
The dilapidated city walls, the gray-faced soldiers, and the half-blind and half-disabled old hero were no match for the advancing army.
However, the general dismounted his horse and walked towards him with a long sword in hand. The sound of his armor echoed with each step he took, and the rain poured down on his iron armor, creating a chaotic and intense sound that seemed to urge on the final battle.
The soldiers behind the general moved in unison with him. They took a step when he did and stopped when he did.
No words were necessary when it was time to fight. Everything that needed to be said had already been said. It was a silent battle, with each side making their moves until the general's sword was at the neck of the hero.
Blood covered the hero's remaining good eye, but the general held his sword firmly and spoke loudly, despite being so close. "Hero," he said.
Fang Shaoyi looked up at him through the blood in his eyes.
The general's eyes were calm, but his voice was powerful. "You and your fellow martial artists, good or bad, have all pledged allegiance to my king. The country has a ruler, but the jianghu has none. Isn't it better this way, with the world remaining the same and the jianghu still the same jianghu?"
The hero slowly blinked his blood-soaked eyes, his smile pale and his breath weak. He didn't have enough strength to utter a complete sentence, but he managed to say, "What is the jianghu...what is the world...in this chaotic era, the jianghu is nothing but an illusion. I am not defending anyone's country or world, I am defending my own...half a lifetime's worth."
With those words, he closed his eyes and saw the scene from ten years ago, when the jianghu was in chaos and both the righteous and the wicked were killing without mercy. At that time, the hero moved swiftly and saved a small, thin boy from under the hooves of a horse.
He hid the boy behind a beam in the inn and smiled at him, saying, "It's chaotic outside, stay hidden and don't go out."
The boy's face and lips were pale, but he nodded gently.
The sound of armor echoed, an arm raised, and a long sword fell...
The city walls behind them crumbled with a deafening roar, and a cloud of dust and smoke rose up. The general's fingers tightened around the hilt of his sword as he looked down at the ground in front of him. Before his eyes, he saw the agile figure that had once leapt out of a window, and the pair of bold and unrestrained eyes that had looked back at him.
Back then, the sky was bright and clear, but now the rain poured down like a curtain. The land was broken, and the people mourned. Smoke filled the air, and the remaining soldiers stood still, not moving.
Suddenly, a loud "clack" sounded.
The director stood up abruptly from his seat in front of the monitor. His eyes were also filled with a hint of redness. The cinematographer turned to look at the director and nodded, giving him a thumbs up. For a brief moment, the set was still, and everyone was still immersed in the scene. The atmosphere of tragedy and sorrow lingered, and none of the crew members moved.
Then Fang Shaoyi stood up from the ground. The prop director finally turned off the switch, stopping the rain from pouring down on the actors' heads. Fang Shaoyi shouted from a distance, "Director, did this pass?"
The director shouted back through the megaphone, "It's passed! Pass pass pass!"
Fang Shaoyi smiled and walked over to the young actor playing the general in the scene. He hugged him with one arm and patted his shoulder, saying, "You have a bright future ahead of you."
The young actor had graduated from film school two years ago and had only acted in TV dramas before this movie. He was a bit overwhelmed by Fang Shaoyi's praise and quickly replied, "Brother Shaoyi, you taught me so much during our scenes together."
The long shot was over, but a few more shots needed to be added. The ending where the protagonist doesn't die was filmed a few days ago, stopping right before the hero and the general engage in combat. The ending was actually the same, but it's not revealed, leaving a little room for imagination. However, it's likely that this version will be used in the end, as without it, the impact won't be as great.
After a few small shots were taken, the director came over and personally handed Fang Shaoyi a red cloth rope to celebrate the end of filming. He then turned to the crew and said, "Come, congratulate your Fang-laoshi for the wrap."
Everyone around them congratulated Fang Shaoyi with smiles. Fang Shaoyi joked, "I don't know how to feel happy. I'm leaving and the real show is over. The rest of you can relax now."
The director wanted to hug Fang Shaoyi, but Fang Shaoyi took a step back and stopped him with a smile, saying, "Don't, don't. Director, uncle!"
"There's this stuff all over me," Fang Shaoyi said, feeling helpless and taking another step to the side. "If it gets stuck to you it'll be hard to wash off."
"Come on, let's take a photo to mark the end of filming," the art director said.
Fang Shaoyi smiled and asked, "Do I have to take it like this? With this ghastly look?"
"It's okay, come on!" Ji Xiaotao came over and draped a coat over Fang Shaoyi. "We are all like this when we finished filming, just take the photo."
Director Xin laughed and called everyone over to take Fang Shaoyi's final photo. The picture was definitely unflattering, but Fang Shaoyi didn't mind. He stood confidently at the front and smiled openly.
The cameraman had been filming this whole time, probably for use in behind-the-scenes footage. Fang Shaoyi smiled at the camera.
This scene took over half a month to shoot, and normally they would have a backup, but it was too difficult to film and even the city wall was destroyed, so they couldn't do it. The director, screenwriter, cinematographer, and special effects team all gathered around the monitor and watched it twice to confirm there were no issues. With a wave of his hand, the director finally let Fang Shaoyi go.
On that day, the makeup room was never empty as Fang Shaoyi had his makeup removed. After spending a few months together on the same set, both the actors and crew had developed a bond and came to say goodbye. Some of the makeup assistants who had been helping Fang Shaoyi with his makeup and removal every day were in tears.
Despite his high status, Fang Shaoyi was easy to talk to and never made things difficult for anyone. Fang Shaoyi sat in a chair, removing his makeup while chatting with someone. The dressing room was small, and the electric heater took up a lot of space. Later, Fang Shaoyi asked Ji Xiaotao to put it away.
Several young actors came over to bid farewell to Fang Shaoyi and gave him flowers. Fang Shaoyi said to them, "You are almost finished filming too. Use the remaining time to learn from the director. Director Xin's films are very powerful."
The young actors all said, "We have learned a lot from you too."
"That's good," Fang Shaoyi smiled and said, "When I was young, I wasn't as good as you guys. Keep up the good work."
The young actors all smiled and shook their heads, not daring to respond to his words. Some people were born to do this job, and they had both talent and courage. He stood at the forefront as a benchmark. If you want to reach a certain height, you have to work to a certain level. When you're lost, just look up at him.
Normally, after finishing a film, there would be a break to relax and adjust emotions and physical condition. But for Fang Shaoyi, the two films were scheduled too close together, and the director on this side was pressed for time. The director on the other side had already started filming for a while, but the male lead had not yet arrived.
Time did not allow for Fang Shaoyi to take a break. He had to quickly move to the other set and adjust his state of mind, jumping out of one film and immersing himself in another.
In the upcoming play, Fang Shaoyi plays a handsome young man, but with a not-so-great brain. He arrives at a bizarre and absurd small town, where he is constantly bullied and ostracized. It's a movie with a touch of dark humor, which is Director Jiang's signature style.
This play has been in preparation for almost two years, with changes in the main cast and crew, but Fang Shaoyi's role was set in stone from the beginning, as Director Jiang specifically requested him for the part.
Fang Shaoyi had worked with Director Jiang before, but that was seven or eight years ago. Jiang Linchuan has always enjoyed filming things that are a bit absurd, and working with him can be challenging for both actors and other crew members. It's difficult to reach a consensus with him because his ideas are always unique and sometimes even eerie.
The filming location this time was a small town in the south. Before leaving, Ji Xiaotao asked Fang Shaoyi, "Brother, shall we not bring the electric heater? It's difficult to carry."
Fang Shaoyi glanced at him and nodded after a while, "Mm."
Ji Xiaotao brought it over to the director and placed it next to him. The director smiled and said, "Take it away, I don't need it."
"You can use it, we can't take it with us, it's too difficult to carry," Ji Xiaotao also said with a smile.
Before leaving, Fang Shaoyi said goodbye to the director and his team, then headed straight to the airport with Ji Xiaotao. Unlike some big stars who bring their own entourage wherever they go, Fang Shaoyi only brings Ji Xiaotao with him when he goes to film. The rest of the arrangements are left to the production team. This is similar to his father, as Fang Shaoyi shares many similarities with him in terms of appearance and personality.
When Fang Shaoyi arrived, Director Jiang was filming a scene and two actors and the assistant director had gone to the airport to pick up someone. Ji Xiaotao went to the hotel to drop off their things while Fang Shaoyi went straight to meet the director.
The scene being filmed was about a blacksmith and his wife in a small town, and Fang Shaoyi had worked together with both actors before. When Director Jiang saw him, he raised his eyebrows and waved him over. It wasn't until the scene was finished and the director shouted "cut" that Director Jiang stood up and patted Fang Shaoyi on the shoulder, saying to the people around him, "Come come come, our male lead is here."
Jiang Linchuan was a typical northerner with a loud voice and a rough and straightforward personality. Fang Shaoyi shook hands with everyone in turn and finally said to the director, "Sorry, Director, I'm behind schedule."
The director waved his hand and said, "You're filming Old Xin's film, do you think I would dare say anything?"
Fang Shaoyi smiled and said, "You can say whatever you want. Director Xin isn't here now, so I definitely won't complain to him."
Jiang Linchuan laughed mischievously and said to Fang Shaoyi, "There's plenty of scenes waiting for you, just hold on tight."
The actor playing the blacksmith walked over and smiled, "The director has been holding back to mess with you for days."
Fang Shaoyi shook his hand and greeted him as "Brother Lin."
"You guys are making me a little nervous," Fang Shaoyi asked with a smile, "How is the director going to mess with me?"
"You'll find out soon enough," said the nearby cameraman.
On the first day of his arrival, there was a meeting held in the evening with all the actors and directors of each group. The director suggested not rushing to film the male lead's scenes as Fang Shaoyi had just finished filming the previous part and his character had not fully transitioned yet. It would be better to start with the supporting scenes.
Fang Shaoyi would spend a month on set to immerse himself in the character and work on his physique. Currently, he was still a bit thinner compared to how his character should be, thanks to his previous role where he played a defeated hero.
The director asked, "Do you have a preferred fitness coach? If not, I can arrange one for you."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and replied, "Yes, I do."
"Call him over and have him join the team. You also need to learn how to style hair. You don't need to specially arrange for someone, our top stylist Liu has been waiting for you." The director held the rolled-up script and gestured towards Liu An, who was leaning back in a chair and smiled and waved at them.
Liu An was a top stylist in the industry, responsible for many of the elegant and tasteful period drama styles. Fang Shaoyi had met him many times before and they were old acquaintances. He smiled and said, "Great, I'll be troubling Brother An."
For this meeting, the director had specifically asked for Fang Shaoyi's assistant to come along. Ji Xiaotao sat on a small stool behind Fang Shaoyi, listening in on the conversation.
Later, the director pointed the script roll towards him and said, "Kid, from today on, you're not his assistant anymore."
As Ji Xiaotao listened to the director's words, he was filled with confusion and countless question marks.
"It's not just you," the director scanned the group with his eyes and continued, "none of you should be fawning over him from today onwards. He's not some Fang-laoshi, or some famous actor, or anyone's son."
Before the director could finish his sentence, Fang Shaoyi burst out laughing. Director Jiang loved to joke around and had a great sense of humor. Fang Shaoyi listened as he continued, "He's just a fool with a pair of scissors, don't coddle him. I'm not joking, anyone who fawns over him will be breaking the rules. Don't make me angry, you all know how scary I can be when I'm angry."
In the play, Fang Shaoyi played the role of a foolish boy who was often teased and bullied. Director Jiang wanted him to quickly get into character and connect with his role on a deeper level, to truly become one with the character.
The director had a serious expression as he spoke to those around him, "I set the rules and they must be followed. Don't shout at him on set like you're acting some drama, then come crawling back and say 'Fang-laoshi, I had no choice. Please don't hold a grudge.' If anyone dares to act like this behind my back, don't make me angry."
Everyone laughed after he finished speaking. The director continued, "He definitely won't hold a grudge. This is all to help him make the movie. He'll have to thank you all later."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and smiled, "Yes, I won't hold a grudge. Just do as the director says."
As they were leaving after the meeting that day, the director took a moment to speak to Ji Xiaotao. He emphasized, "You need to keep him in line. If anyone bullies him, don't let him bear the brunt of it. Have you forgotten how he's always bossed you around? Take this opportunity to make him your assistant and have him work for you."
Ji Xiaotao shrunk his neck, feeling that this task was really difficult to complete. He asked, "Director... what if we both get bullied together? Like brothers in hardship? Do you think that would work?"
Fang Shaoyi chuckled and gave him a push on the back of his head, saying, "Can't you have a little bit of ambition?"
The director also gave him a couple of pats and said, "That's right, can't you have some ambition?"
"I can't..." Ji Xiaotao still had his duckbill cap on and his hand was holding onto the brim as he whispered, "I just can't do it. I can't complete it from the bottom of my heart! Director, just let others bully me along with them!"
The director was frustrated with his lack of determination and eventually kicked him in the butt, laughing as he scolded, "Look at this little bastard, he's so honest!"
Jiang Linchuan had a bad temper and would often lose his cool on set. Since the crew was all part of his team, they had to listen to whatever he said. In the following days, no one spoke to Fang Shaoyi and even the polite nods and greetings of "Fang-laoshi" disappeared. As directed by the director, not only were they not allowed to greet him, they also had to find tasks for him to do.
Fang Shaoyi's daily routine on set consisted of working out and doing odd jobs. At first, people were hesitant to give him orders, but eventually they got used to it and treated him like a laborer. Fang Shaoyi was easy-going and would do whatever he was told, adapting quickly to any situation.
"Your grip is too tight," Liu An moved his fingers and the scissors in his hand spun around before closing and hanging from his finger. "Be more flexible. When you have free time, hold a pair of scissors and practice. Try to keep something in your hand as much as possible. And you don't hold a comb like that."
"Okay," Fang Shaoyi agreed.
Someone called out to him from behind, "Sen Cha, can you help me call Assistant Brother Lin?"
"Sen Cha" was Fang Shaoyi's character name in the drama. He was currently learning how to cut hair with Liu An. He turned around and said, "Can someone else do it? I can't leave right now."
The other person shook their head, "No."
Fang Shaoyi sometimes admired the staff on set. They got into character so quickly. He turned back to Liu An and said, "Brother An, can you wait for me for ten minutes?"
Liu An smiled and shook his head. "I'll leave in ten minutes."
Fang Shaoyi looked around and then said to the stagehand, "Get someone else. I can't leave right now."
The stagehand blinked, probably unsure of what to say at a time like this. After thinking for a while, Fang Shaoyi and Liu An continued talking, and the stagehand casually picked up something and threw it onto the makeup table, muttering, "What's he acting for... just someone who cuts hair..."
The sound of the object hitting the table was a bit loud, and both Fang Shaoyi and Liu An were startled. Afterwards, Liu An shook his head and laughed, whispering, "...Poor kid."
Ji Xiaotao had chosen to join Fang Shaoyi in a united front, and these days he was exhausted. At night, he complained to Fang Shaoyi, "Is this even worth it? I think Director Jiang is intentionally making things difficult for us because we arrived late."
Fang Shaoyi took off his clothes and threw them into the washing machine. When Ji Xiaotao came over to take them, Fang Shaoyi said, "I'll do it."
He even washed Ji Xiaotao's dirty clothes together with his own.
Ji Xiaotao still wasn't used to this. His phone vibrated in his pocket, so he sat in a chair on the side and checked his phone.
The film set was like a world isolated from reality. Once you stepped onto the set, it felt like a barrier separated you from the outside world. When filming his previous project, Fang Shaoyi often went out to record variety shows, so he didn't feel as isolated.
But this time, there were no variety shows to record, and both he and Ji Xiaotao were being deliberately excluded on the set. Time seemed to fly by, and only when they picked up their phones did they realize they were back in reality.
Fang Shaoyi took out the clothes he planned to wear the next day and was about to sit down when he heard Ji Xiaotao exclaim, "What the f*ck!"
"What's wrong?" Fang Shaoyi asked, looking at him.
Ji Xiaotao furrowed his brows and looked up at him, saying, "What the hell is this trending topic?!"
Fang Shaoyi raised an eyebrow and asked, "What topic?"
Ji Xiaotao jumped off his chair and handed him the phone. Fang Shaoyi glanced at it and saw that the top trending topic was a deep red "explosive" symbol, followed by the tag #FangShaoyiYuanYeDivorce#.
Fang Shaoyi reached into his coat pocket and took out his own phone, only to see that ten minutes ago, Geng Jinwei had called him twice. As he dialed back, he clicked on the tag.
"Giving you something juicy! That cute 'handsome cp' couple you all love so much? They split up a long time ago." The first post on the trending page was from a small marketing account, with a few pictures attached. Fang Shaoyi furrowed his brow as he looked at the photo, which seemed to have been taken on the day of his divorce last year.
It was taken from a distance and not very clear, but it was definitely his car, and the two figures looked a lot like Fang Shaoyi and Yuan Ye.
The comments below had already exceeded 30,000 in just half an hour. Fang Shaoyi quickly scanned through the top few hot comments.
"The picture is so blurry, and the person in it looks like they're only 175cm tall. Fang Shaoyi is actually over 184cm tall in real life, so the picture is obviously fake."
"True. They got divorced last year. My classmate's brother works at the civil affairs bureau in X city, and I found out the day they got divorced."
"[Eating popcorn][Eating popcorn][Eating popcorn] Watching <In Time> made me feel like they were always at odds with each other. People even say that I don't wish them well. But I really do hope that they're doing well. I don't really want to eat this popcorn, I hope no one forces it down my throat. It's really frustrating..."
"Ah, those annoying marketing accounts! They never stop trying to boost their views and comments! And what's with that comment about your 'classmate's brother'? If you were really that talented, why didn't you say something earlier? I can't stand these 'classmate's brother's sister's' people!! Just go away!!"
"We don't need trashy marketing accounts like you bothering us. Take your nonsense and leave us alone. One of them is busy filming, the other is busy writing. They don't have time for you. Have some dignity."
"[Smiling] I can't wait to see what happens next. If it turns out they got divorced just to buy a house, I'll die laughing..."
Geng Jinwei's phone was busy and he couldn't get through.
This came as a bit of a surprise, even to Fang Shaoyi, who hadn't expected it to happen now. But when you think about it, it's about time. The show has just two episodes left to air, and the CP has gained enough popularity. It's the perfect time for it to catch fire.
Once the show is over, everyone will be scrambling to be the first to break the news, so someone is bound to jump the gun. The effect is indeed impressive, as the marketing account quickly gained 200,000 followers in just over half an hour.
Fang Shaoyi called Geng Jinwei and threw Ji Xiaotao's phone back to him. "Chat with your Brother Ye and ask him what he's up to."
"Okay!" Ji Xiaotao messaged Yuan Ye and asked if he was busy.
Yuan Ye quickly replied, "Not busy, what's up?"
Ji Xiaotao didn't dare to say it directly, so he thought for a while and sent a message: "Brother Ye, do you want to come visit?"
Yuan Ye replied: "...Not for now."
Geng Jinwei called and he answered, asking directly, "Did you see it?"
Fang Shaoyi responded with a sound.
Geng Jinwei said, "I couldn't reach you earlier, and I haven't taken any action yet. Don't worry, the current hype is all fake. I've talked to the big companies, and they won't turn on us for now. The mainstream media is also following suit. He can't come up with anything on his own, and the current comments are all bought. If there's nothing else later, he won't be able to turn the tables with just this one photo.
"I want to ask you, what's your plan? I see that you and Yuan Ye haven't completely cut ties. If you still have feelings for each other, we can deny the rumors and release a statement. This kind of thing can even be photoshopped on a divorce certificate, so there's no real evidence.
"But if you don't want to continue, we can cut it off cleanly this time, which will save us some trouble. Or if you haven't decided yet, we can continue to suppress it this time. What do you think?" Geng Jinwei finished speaking in one breath, asking all the questions he had.
Fang Shaoyi fell silent for a few seconds before saying, "Let's put it aside for tonight."
"What about tomorrow?" Geng Jinwei asked.
Fang Shaoyi stood up and walked to the window, placing one hand on the windowsill and looking outside. He couldn't answer this question.
Without waiting for him to speak, Geng Jinwei said, "Take your time to think about it. We'll talk about it tomorrow."
After hanging up the phone, Ji Xiaotao looked up at Fang Shaoyi and whispered, "It seems that Brother Ye doesn't know about this. He didn't even mention it."
Fang Shaoyi still stood straight, looking out the window. He made a sound of agreement but didn't say anything else.
Someone knocked on the door, and Ji Xiaotao went to open it. A young man stood at the door and said, "Brother Shaoyi, the director is calling for you."
"Okay, thank you," said Fang Shaoyi.
It seemed like the rest of the crew had also seen the news, otherwise they would have called him "Sen Cha" instead of using his real name.
The director called him over and spoke directly, "I heard about it, it's just a small matter. Don't let it affect you. If you need help, just say so."
Jiang Linchuan never cared about the media and always left public opinion behind. He didn't think this was a big deal. He told Fang Shaoyi, "No matter how you handle it, this small matter will blow over in a few days. Don't let it affect your emotions, stay calm."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and replied with a smile, "Thank you, director. I know I can handle it."
The director called him over just to check on his emotions. Seeing that Fang Shaoyi was calm and collected, he didn't make a big deal out of it and let him go back.
When Fang Shaoyi returned to his room, he saw Ji Xiaotao flipping between his phone and tablet. Upon hearing Fang Shaoyi's arrival, Ji Xiaotao turned to him and said, "The ratings for <In Time> tonight are definitely going to explode."
Fang Shaoyi asked him, "Did Yuan Ye call?"
"No..." Ji Xiaotao shook his head, "I think he lost his internet connection again."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and went to the bathroom to wash his face. He seemed too calm, which made Ji Xiaotao less nervous than he was at the beginning.
In truth, Fang Shaoyi wasn't too worried. This matter was bound to come out sooner or later, whether it was a few days or a few weeks from now. He was never afraid of it being exposed, but he truly didn't know how to respond. It wasn't because he was afraid of negative consequences, but because he couldn't make this decision himself.
If he unilaterally issued a denial, then Yuan Ye was bound to him indefinitely, pretending to be a couple. This was unfair. But when it comes to the other option, Fang Shaoyi is still unwilling.
This is also the reason why he has been keeping the divorce a secret until now.
Since their last phone call, he and Yuan Ye haven't been in contact for a long time. Fang Shaoyi doesn't want to suppress this matter any longer. He has to choose one way or another.
In the evening, Fang Shaoyi was as usual studying the script, pondering over the lines and characters, and circling the parts he felt were problematic. Meanwhile, Ji Xiaotao didn't return to his own room and instead squatted beside Fang Shaoyi, scrolling through his phone.
The netizens were all waiting for more news, and while waiting they were watching the latest episode of <In Time>. This was their last recording before Australia, and after this week's broadcast, the final episode of the entire season would air next week.
Before today, many viewers were reluctant to say goodbye, especially the fans of Fang Shaoyi and Yuan Ye. They don't usually share much sweetness with the public, and once the show is over, they disappear from sight. After this episode aired, fans were left craving for more of their sweetness. As a result, some fans have become anxious and started to investigate every detail of the show, compiling evidence to prove that the two have indeed divorced.
The most compelling evidence is that throughout the entire show, they never wore wedding rings. Many people have gone to the show's official social media account to demand an explanation, asking if the show was deceiving the audience if the two really did get divorced.
The chief director, Lin Wei, didn't say a word and just kept quiet, except for the program promotion. Ji Xiaotao watched <In Time> on his tablet and commented, "My Brother Ye is really handsome, but it's not just his looks. He has a unique charm that others don't possess."
However, Fang Shaoyi ignored him and didn't even look up.
"I was so scared during the skydiving scene," Ji Xiaotao continued to mutter, "Did you feel scared, Brother? Just watching it makes my heart stop. If it were me, my heart would have failed in mid-air."
When the program showed Yuan Ye and the skydiving instructor tied together, Fang Shaoyi was asked, "This doesn't count as cheating, right?"
The internet went into a frenzy over this one sentence, with everyone screenshotting it and asking if it meant that the couple had indeed divorced, and that it was because of Yuan Ye's infidelity. It's always like this - when you bring the result to the forefront, everything seems like evidence.
Netizens now want to use a magnifying glass to scrutinize the show, to investigate every detail. Some want to disprove the divorce rumors and prove that it was just a marketing ploy. Others just want to watch the drama unfold, enjoying their popcorn without a care in the world.
The show portrayed the skydiving scene beautifully, with the person falling from high up in the sky, piercing through the clouds. The wind blew their hair into a frenzy, almost standing on end, and their face contorted from the force. Among them, Yuan Ye was captured the best, as he had no hair to be blown around, and his image remained unchanged.
As Yuan Ye plummeted, he laughed with satisfaction, feeling like everyone else was just putting on a show while he was truly enjoying the process of skydiving, as if he was having the time of his life.
"My Brother Ye jumps so beautifully," said Ji Xiaotao.
Fang Shaoyi nodded, recalling the scene vividly. He had jumped right after Yuan Ye, not too far away, and had been watching Yuan Ye the whole time. At that moment, Fang Shaoyi thought that Yuan Ye must be having a blast, as he always loved trying out new and exciting things.
All he could see at the time was white, a white world with only Yuan Ye in it.
As soon as Yuan Ye landed, he immediately looked up to find Fang Shaoyi. He quietly pointed in his direction and grinned, a simple and refreshing smile. He continued to watch Fang Shaoyi, waiting for him to come down.
Ji Xiaotao watched in silence, then said to Fang Shaoyi after a while, "Brother... why don't you watch this show?"
For some reason, Yuan Ye's simple smile just now made him feel a bit emotional. It was too simple, too clean.
People online were also saying that with Uncle Ye's gaze and the simple gesture of pointing upwards, they didn't believe that they had divorced.
Ji Xiaotao leaned in towards Fang Shaoyi, pulled the script from his hand, placed the tablet between them, and rewound the video to the moment when Yuan Ye landed.
As Fang Shaoyi watched the video, the first thing he noticed was not his action of testing his ears or separating from his equipment and coach upon landing. Instead, he looked up to find someone. When he found them, he smiled, reminiscent of his carefree teenage years.
Fang Shaoyi's gaze on Yuan Ye in the video was gentle, soft, and warm.
After Yuan Ye and his coach separated in the footage, he tugged at his ear and said, "I can't hear."
His voice was a bit loud, as he couldn't hear himself and couldn't control the volume. The coach reassured him and communicated that it would take an hour, which Fang Shaoyi could understand from his lip movements.
The camera cut to the other team's descent in the air, and it took several minutes before it returned to Fang Shaoyi's landing. After landing, he removed his equipment and walked towards Yuan Ye. The current perspective was filmed by the cameraman behind Fang Shaoyi, with Yuan Ye facing the camera.
At that time, even Yuan Ye probably forgot that Fang Shaoyi couldn't hear him speak, nor could he hear himself, but that the microphone could hear them.
The camera revealed everything to the audience, and even the little secret of Yuan Ye was exposed on the screen.
In the footage, Yuan Ye smiled and leaned in to whisper in Fang Shaoyi's ear, saying, "Baby, I want to chase after you again."
As soon as Ji Xiaotao looked up at Fang Shaoyi, his eyes widened in surprise. Fang Shaoyi's gaze remained fixed on the screen, never lifting his eyes. The program added background music to this segment and the scene was made into a romantic pink color.
The internet exploded with half of the people praising this as a divine love story, captivated by the rare tenderness in Yuan Ye. The other half pinched this sentence, saying that it proved that they had divorced, otherwise why would they pursue each other again? This is divorce!
If there hadn't been the previous incident, this sentence would probably not have been interpreted in this way. But since there was talk of divorce before, this sentence became a talking point and was not easy to explain.
"My god..." Ji Xiaotao spoke softly, feeling stimulated by his Brother Ye. He cautiously looked at Fang Shaoyi and said, "Brother Ye said he wants to chase after you again, Brother..."
Fang Shaoyi remained silent, watching the program until it ended.
The next day, Yuan Ye's mouth was sore and his complexion was slightly off. No one knew the reason, but no one understood it better than Fang Shaoyi.
During the day, Yuan Ye had whispered something in his ear, and that night, Fang Shaoyi did something he shouldn't have done.
...It was all too chaotic.
Just five minutes after the program ended, Geng Jinwei called. Fang Shaoyi answered and Geng Jinwei immediately spoke, "I'm f*cking going to make you two play to death. What the f*ck is Yuan Ye saying on the show."
Fang Shaoyi thought about what Yuan Ye had said that day and repeated it with a smile, "Sweet nothings."
"What's going on with you two? Are you getting back together?" Geng Jinwei sounded extremely irritable, probably fed up with the situation.
Fang Shaoyi continued to smile, "I don't know, he said he wants to pursue me, so I'll wait and see."
"Then what should I do for tomorrow?" Geng Jinwei's voice was hoarse, "You've been living a peaceful life for over ten years, why start this now that you're older?"
Fang Shaoyi still smiled softly and said, "Brother Geng, you've worked hard."
"I'm f*cking exhausted," Geng Jinwei replied.
Fang Shaoyi told him, "We'll make an announcement tomorrow."
"What will it say?"
"It will say we're not separated," Fang Shaoyi said.
Geng Jinwei cursed and then said, "Okay."
After hanging up the phone, Ji Xiaotao approached and asked, "Brother, are you and myBrother Ye good now?"
Fang Shaoyi said, "I don't know."
"I just feel like you two should still be good. It was already crazy for you two to separate before, like you had nothing better to do..."
Just now, Yuan Ye's words gave Ji Xiaotao courage, and now he dared to say anything. "Would you two be better off with someone else?"
Fang Shaoyi didn't speak, his face was calm, but the corners of his eyes and eyebrows were clearly soft, with a gentle curve.
"So we'll be telling everyone that there wasn't a divorce, right?" Ji Xiaotao asked again.
Fang Shaoyi nodded, "Mm."
Ji Xiaotao was feeling a bit excited and didn't want to go back to sleep, so he lingered around Fang Shaoyi. Fang Shaoyi found him annoying and told him to go back, but Ji Xiaotao refused to leave.
Before long, Geng Jinwei's call came again. Fang Shaoyi asked, "What's up?"
Geng Jinwei cursed as soon as he answered, "I'm so damn pissed off."
Fang Shaoyi raised an eyebrow.
Geng Jinwei said, "I can't post the announcement anymore. Check it out online yourself. This f*cking wild monkey is not my artist, if he were, I would have skinned him alive. He's too good at causing trouble."
Fang Shaoyi reached for his phone and opened Weibo. The top few trending topics were all related to Yuan Ye.
"Alright, you two work on it and give me a final plan. Luckily I hadn't posted the announcement yet, if I had, it'll be a real spectacle for the New Year," said Geng Jinwei over the phone.
Fang Shaoyi clicked on one of the links and the first thing that popped up was Yuan Ye's Weibo.
There was a picture of two rings lying on a book. They were clean, simple, and unadorned.
"I heard someone wanted to expose my secrets, but it's useless. I'll do it myself. It's true that we divorced, but it was my decision. It's not worth exposing as it's just a small matter. When we were recording the show, I thought if I went deaf, the whole world had gone deaf with me. But it seems like I'm the only one who went deaf. Since I've said it, @Fang Shaoyi, what do you think? Can I chase after you again? If you say yes, I'll chase after you. If you say no, then I'll try again next year."