S&OP : Chapter 7 – Awkward Press Conference

Author: Su Youbing

Translator: Renkun27, chiangyushien

Proofreader: KainGuru

As Xiao Bai’s talent manager, Jia Zhiqing also flipped out because of his talent’s scandal. Before today, Jia Zhiqing could not think about killing him, but now that he encountered his first crisis wherein Xiao Bai was rumored to be involved in a gay love affair, he could not help but think otherwise.

“Xiao Bai.” He called out as he bitterly looked at Xiao Bai’s innocent face, then he asked, “Speak, how did Aaron Feng lay his vicious hands on you?”

“Lay his vicious hands?” Xiao Bai, who was still out of condition, happily took the item in his bag out and said, “Brother Aaron was so nice to me. He even gave me this shirt.”

A shirt, a shirt, a shirt…

Jia Zhiqing wished that iron could turn straight into steel [1] as he grabbed Xiao Bai’s bag. He then said, “Xiao Bai, you… you should somehow raise the value, too.”

([1] An idiom which means to feel resentful towards somebody for failing to meet expectations and impatient to see improvement.)

“Huh? Why do you want me to raise the price? I wanted to help Brother Aaron beat down the price, but the salesclerk there said that he can’t give us a discount.” After saying this, Xiao Bai distressingly sighed, then he added, “It’s so expensive. It’s more than 500 RMB.”

More than 500 RMB, more than 500 RMB, more than 500 RMB…

Jia Zhiqing felt that his rationality was already on the verge of collapsing, “Xiao Bai, you… do you want to be the male lead in a TV drama, or the second male lead in a movie? Just for more than 500 RMB…” He thought it was so sad.

Xiao Bai stared blankly at him, then asked, “What the heck are you talking about? Why can’t I understand you?”

Jia Zhiqing took out a magazine and handed it to him. “Look at yourself.”

Xiao Bai opened the magazine and then gasped in amazement, “Hey, it’s this shop. What a coincidence…” However, not long after, his smile disappeared. “What does it mean to say that I’m Brother Aaron’s gay lover?”

Jia Zhiqing replied with tears in his eyes: “It means to say that you two are dating.”

After this information dawned on him, Xiao Bai was stunned as he said: “But we’re both men?!”

Hearing this response, Jia Zhiqing slammed his face on the table.

Originally, this magazine had the habit of writing about groundless gossips.

The gossip about Aaron Feng and Xiao Bai was a sizzling hot issue, even though they were only photographed shopping together. Although they appeared to be intimate, one could also regard this intimacy as a deep brotherly love; therefore, the major magazines were all originally intended to be a gimmick that would shock the readers, which they would soon forget as time passed by.

However, they did not expect that on the next day, there would be a new climax to the story.

After being Aaron Feng’s rumored girlfriend for three years, Zhou Minli publicly announced that she was single and even participated in an interview with a magazine for single people.

This was undoubtedly a huge stone that was thrown into a lake that had caused many ripples.

At the moment, all of the magazines and newspapers were seething with excitement. Because of this, Yimate, Aaron Feng’s camp, Xiao Bai’s camp, Zhou Minli’s camp, and Zhou Minli’s managing firm all blocked them up, such that not even a drop of water could trickle through them.

Ma Rui immediately issued directives to suspend all of Xiao Bai’s activities, avoid going out, and to lie low until the fuss died down.

Jia Zhiqing had been learning how it works in this industry for so long so he knew how much Ma Rui was willing to sacrifice a mere rook just to save the king, that he wanted to keep Xiao Bai out of the way, and that he wanted to safeguard Aaron Feng’s best interests. At this critical moment, if this matter was not handled well, there would be a possibility that Xiao Bai would never be able to prosper. Because of this, Jia Zhiqing thought about it over and over again and finally decided to phone the main culprit of all of this.

Fortunately, Aaron Feng still had a human touch. He did not tell Ma Rui that Jia Zhiqing called him about this matter. Aaron Feng asserted that if Ma Rui would restrict Xiao Bai, he would jump to the other nests.

Aaron Feng has been Yimate’s living legacy for several years now. If he would cause trouble, there would really be a big earthquake in Yimate. As a result, Ma Rui held back his anger, he still conceded, and allowed Xiao Bai to stay in a hotel for several days.

However, how sharp the reporters’ sense of smell was. The moment that Xiao Bai checked into the hotel, they were able to track him down.

One of the reporters relied on his internal connections with the hotel, and with great secrecy, he was able to blend in and enter the hotel.

When Xiao Bai was having dinner, the reporter’s head suddenly popped out of the bowl. He asked, “If I may ask, are you really in love with Aaron Feng? Is Zhou Minli and Aaron Feng breaking up because of you? When did you start dating? Is it because of Aaron Feng’s recommendation that you were able to participate in ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR?’ What does the company think about your relationship?”

Xiao Bai looked at the excited reporter in front of him and woodenly replied: “You talk so fast.”

The reporter thought that Xiao Bai was going to start satirizing. Who would have thought that Xiao Bai would come up with another line, “Can you say it again? I didn’t understand it.”

Because of this, the reporter had to ask one question at a time. Anyway, as long as Xiao Bai was willing to cooperate, he would ask Xiao Bai again, even if it was ten times. “Are you in love with Aaron Feng?”

Xiao Bai shook his head and replied, “No.”

The reporter waited for him to continue to explain but, who would have thought that he stopped after that.

Two pairs of eyes stared at each other for a long time and only then did the reporter ask another question: “Why did Zhou Minli and Aaron Feng break up?”

Xiao Bai was surprised. He replied, “Ah, were they a couple before?”

“…” The reporter thought that tricking such a rookie into telling the truth was as easy as falling off a log, but now, it seemed that he was basically disguising himself up as a pig to be eaten by a tiger. “Is it because of Aaron Feng’s recommendation that you were able to participate in ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR?’”

“I was not yet familiar with Brother Aaron during that time.”

“But isn’t it that your manager and Aaron Feng’s manager are cousins?”

Xiao Bai nodded.

“Then how come you didn’t know Aaron Feng back then?”

“Because I’d never met him before.”

“…” The reporter’s face was red as he held himself back. No, he had interviewed people who were more difficult to interview. He certainly must not fall in front of a rookie like this. Absolutely not! “Then, how come you’re able to host on ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR?’ Who’s your backer?”

Because he ended up empty-handed, the reporter’s tone started to become nasty.

However, Xiao Bai still replied very seriously: “They told me to go so I went there.”

“Who told you to go?”

“Well, a tall and slim man.”

A tall and slim man?!

The reporter had already vomited blood. There are many tall and slim men all over the streets, all right?! Isn’t it unlikely to have someone come and pull him to do hosting?!

He ferociously glared at Xiao Bai. No matter how he looked at him, Xiao Bai was a man in his twenties, but he actually pretended to be dumb like this. He was really too much.

Xiao Bai saw his agitated imposing manner, and could not help but kindly ask: “Do you want to eat, too?”

“…” So Xiao Bai wanted to buy him a meal? The reporter coldly groaned in his heart. He was not that cheap.

“But you have to pay for it yourself.”

“…” I #@¥%&&¥!

When Jia Zhiqing came, he just saw the reporter leave in a frustrated manner with his head hung low. He could not help but nervously ask Xiao Bai, “Did he ask you any difficult questions?”

Xiao Bai shook his head and said, “No, the questions he asked were all very simple.”

…Well, Xiao Bai’s way of thinking could not be inferred from common sense.

Jia Zhiqing decided to read the magazine himself tomorrow. In any case, whether it would be good or bad, it was already a foregone conclusion. “Oh, by the way, this afternoon, Aaron Feng and Ma Rui will have a press conference in the banquet hall here. At that time, you’ll be there too. If necessary, you’ll be invited on the stage.”

Xiao Bai replied: “Will I get money?”

“…No.”

Xiao Bai suddenly clapped his hands and said: “Ah, speaking of money, up until now, the variety show still owes me my salary.” He held his chopsticks worriedly, then added, “Will they go back on their word?”

Jia Zhiqing was speechless, he looked at him for a long time before he could come up with a reply, “I’ll help you ask.”

Yimate had rarely held a press conference in the recent years, but every time they did hold one, it was a big event. So, when the entertainment reporters received the notice, they were all smugly vowing to dig the most valuable news.

Xiao Bai and Jia Zhiqing arrived at half past one and hid in Aaron Feng’s dressing room.

Aaron Feng saw that Jia Zhiqing’s expression was like he was facing a formidable foe. He could not help but laugh: “Hey, in any case, we’re originally war buddies. You don’t have to treat me as an enemy, right?”

“Times have changed. No matter what, I am now Xiao Bai’s manager.”

“Do you look like his manager? You’re more like his prison guard.” Aaron Feng looked at Xiao Bai who was kept in a place that was far from him. He sullenly said, “As a matter of fact, he’s also my junior fellow apprentice. Can’t we communicate as fellow apprentices? Isn’t it a friendly communication?”

It was better for him if he did not mention about this matter, because when he mentioned this, Jia Zhiqing was even angrier, “Didn’t you communicate enough to shake heaven and earth?” Those reporters outside came to pursue his course of ‘communication.’

Aaron Feng remembered that Xiao Bai was almost coldly hidden by Ma Rui before, so he could not help but feel embarrassed. He sat down and did not answer Jia Zhiqing’s question.

Xiao Bai saw Aaron Feng’s pitiful expression. He felt sympathetic toward him and could not help but say: “In fact, I also like to communicate with Brother Aaron very much.”

Aaron Feng’s eyes suddenly lit up and turned to look at Jia Zhiqing’s expression.

Xiao Bai continued to talk: “Brother Aaron even gave me a shirt that’s more than 500 RMB.”

It was more than 500 RMB.

The gloomy Jia Zhiqing wanted to run into a wall.

After Aaron Feng held back his emotions, he faintly asked Xiao Bai: “Just now, this sentence that you said… Was it to mock me?”

Xiao Bai stared at him blankly and naturally shook his head then said: “No.”

Aaron Feng saw his innocent expression and he could not tell whether he was genuine or not.

When Jia Zhiqing saw his grievances and doubts, he suddenly felt that the suffocation which had been stuck in his chest just now was slowly vented out.

The people who came to the press conference were more than what they thought would be.

For the time being, Yimate had no choice but to change the press conference venue to a larger conference room.

Xiao Bai and Jia Zhiqing sat in the sound control room before the press conference begun. They looked over the event through a window.

The reporters had been whispering with each other. No matter what information they exchanged, they still strived to surpass each other. When Aaron Feng, Gao Qin and Ma Rui appeared, the audience immediately became quiet.

Those who had little knowledge in entertainment knew that these three men were now the most important figures of Yimate. Although Gao Qin and Aaron Feng were not Yimate’s shareholders, in the minds of many people, they were already the giants of Yimate.

As soon as Ma Rui sat down, he started the press conference in a bureaucratic tone and praised Yimate’s brilliant records for the past several years.

Although the reporters did not like to listen to this same old stuff, they could do nothing about it. They had to stupidly wait for Ma Rui to speak to his heart’s content.

Ma Rui probably felt that the atmosphere was too stiff, he omitted a lot of his speech draft and gave the opportunity for Gao Qin to do the talking.

As soon as Gao Qin opened his mouth, he caught everyone’s attention in that place. “I think everyone came here today about Aaron’s love life, am I right?”

Each and every reporter nodded like primary school students.

Gao Qin slightly smiled. He folded his hands in front of his chest and said: “First of all, I would like to thank everyone from the media for your friendly concern for Aaron. However, our company has always adhered to not get involved with our artist’s feelings. We allow our artists to deal with it by themselves a in low-key manner. I really feel extremely embarrassed that the current trouble became so big and has disturbed everyone.”

Xiao Bai sat in the sound control room and he looked at Gao Qin, who was smiling kindly on the stage. He then whispered, “I never expected Big Brother Gao also had such an amiable side.”

Jia Zhiqing sighed: “It’s an illusion. He’s clearly sarcastic.”

Gao Qin did not wait for the reporters to answer back about the situation. Gao Qin continued: “But since it has already become a big problem, we’ll give a straightforward explanation, so as to save you all the trouble for writing articles based on what I say, and still like the topic.”

This irony was very blunt, and all the reporters on the scene more or less begun to feel uneasy.

Gao Qin fired the big gun, but he immediately threw it to Aaron Feng. “However, it’s better for the person himself to speak about his feelings. Aaron, let’s talk about it.”

Aaron Feng cursed all the eighteenth generations of Gao Qin’s ancestors in his heart, but he still maintained a gentle smile on his face, “If you told me to speak about movies, then I’ve something to say, but if you want me to talk about feelings, that’ll make me feel really embarrassed. My feelings have been completely blank for three years. Should I start with my first love?”

Some reporters were already unable to keep themselves from raising their hands.

The host, who was pulled to do the hosting in the last minute, immediately announced that it was time for the reporters to ask questions freely.

Reporter A: “May I ask, what is Mr. Aaron Feng’s relationship with Miss Zhou Minli?”

Aaron Feng: “We’ve work together in several shows, so it can be considered that we’re in a working relationship.”

Reporter A: “But you two were always in gossips before…”

Aaron Feng: “You also said that it was a gossip. It increasingly distorted the truth, it doesn’t have any credibility. It was not on a central news broadcast at seven o’clock.”

Reporter A: “Then you’re with…”

Aaron Feng: “Can you give the opportunity to the young lady reporter here, sir?”

Reporter A was defeated.

Reporter B: “Mr. Aaron Feng, what do you think about Miss Zhou Minli’s appearance in the single magazine?”

Aaron Feng: “I feel rather jealous. Actually, I am also qualified. Why didn’t anyone come and invite me?”

Reporter B: “But on that day, you were photographed shopping together with Zeng Bai. You were close to each other, as if you’re not single.”

Aaron Feng smiled and said: “Close, how close was it?”

Reporter B: “You wrapped your arm around his waist…”

Aaron Feng laughed heartily: “When I was in college, I squeezed my roommate’s naked ass when we were taking a bath in a public bathroom.”

The bare buttocks was of course much more dubious than the waist underneath the clothes.

Nevertheless, reporter B did not dig into the thrill of the news, because Aaron Feng’s expression clearly showed that she must be a fool if she would use that statement as news.

Reporter C: “Mr. Aaron Feng, when did you get acquainted with Zeng Bai? Do you have something to do with him replacing Luo Peijiao as the host of ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR?’”

Aaron Feng: “Trust me, if I have the opportunity to host ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR,’ I’ll do it myself.”

Gao Qin saw that everyone was asking almost the same questions. He immediately stood up and said: “Actually, today’s press conference is not to clarify anything, because it’s really some inexplicable nonsense, and there’s nothing more to clarify. As a matter of fact, our main purpose today is to announce good news.”

Good news?!

The journalists’ spirits were simultaneously aroused. It could not be that Aaron Feng suddenly wanted to retire from acting and get married, right?

This was definitely big news, big news!

Gao Qin continued his sentence: “The good news is that… Xiao Bai will officially join ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR’ and he will be co-hosting Mr. Shi Daming.”

What kind of good news was this!

Perhaps because it was too disappointing, it took the reporters about thirty seconds to remember that they had an obligation to applaud.

Gao Qin announced: “Now, let’s invite the protagonist to come out and celebrate with us.”

Jia Zhiqing immediately pulled Xiao Bai out from the sound control room.

At this time, the applause from the reporters was louder. After all, this was the meeting of two actors who were in the gossips, and perhaps, they could dig out some kind of adulterous story.

Xiao Bai looked at Gao Qin at a loss.

Hosting ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR’ was a matter that he had not receive any news about beforehand. In fact, even Jia Zhiqing was kept in the dark about this, but for him, since it was a good thing, naturally it would not be too much to worry about.

The hotel waiters immediately brought in the well-prepared champagne and gave a glass of it to every hand in that place, so it seemed to be a really happy occasion.

Among them, Ma Rui seemed to be the most excited. He raised his champagne glass up high and said: “Cheers!”

“Cheers!”

The reporters were gloomy while coping with the ceremonial toast. They found that the two protagonists were completely separated from each other by their agents as if they were isolating the source of infection.

Towards the end of the press conference, Gao Qin sent Aaron Feng, Xiao Bai and Jia Zhiqing home.

When the wind blew, Jia Zhiqing’s mind suddenly sobered up and he could not help but complain: “Why didn’t you tell me beforehand about such a big matter as hosting ‘GO! GO! SU…SUPERSTAR?’”

Gao Qin replied casually while driving: “You can’t help me anyway.”

Jia Zhiqing was stunned and could not speak.

Aaron Feng mediated between the two: “In fact, this matter is also quite outstanding. There are so many people staring at this fat meat. Luo Peijiao’s junior fellow apprentice, Zhan Kun, and Gossip Guy were all eager to sign up, but Luo Peijiao’s previous disappearance for no reason had angered the NCC boss, and the boss even said he would be banned altogether. He even loathed Luo Peijiao’s fellow apprentice. So, Gao Qin calling the boss at that time to ask him to consider Xiao Bai was also a bit of luck. However, the boss only personally agreed to it, half an hour, before the press conference begun.”

Only then did Jia Zhiqing know how much power Gao Qin had in here, and he felt a little embarrassed about what he said just now.

Xiao Bai suddenly popped up a question, “Is that the variety show that doesn’t give money?”

“…”

“…”

“…”

Afterwards, it was very quiet for the rest of the journey.

12 thoughts on “S&OP : Chapter 7 – Awkward Press Conference

      1. akumakawa

        I pity him trying to understand the MC. He makes everyone facepalm around him due to his naivety and lack of understanding of what others are saying (ie idiocy).

        Won’t he drive the ML crazy? Literally?

        Liked by 1 person

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