Until they entered the airport and waited for their flight, Lian Qing was still in a daze.
The words his eldest brother whispered in his ear kept replaying in his mind.
“I would have taken care of you a long time ago!”
Did “taken care of” mean what he thought it meant? Lian Qing absentmindedly touched the thermos cup that Yu Wenning forcefully handed him before leaving, lost in thought.
No matter how he thought about it, he always felt that it should be the opposite of what he had in mind. His eldest brother should be aware that he couldn’t defeat him. So, if that’s the case, his eldest brother’s intention must be…
Lian Qing froze in place, suddenly realizing something, and lightly tapped his own head.
He was so foolish, really! It was his elder brother’s fault! Generally, after expressing their feelings to each other, the next step should be to do that thing. Unfortunately, Lian Qing happened to be injured and unable to do it. So his eldest brother must be frustrated and unsatisfied!
Lian Qing tapped his head once again. It couldn’t have been too early or too late, but it had to be at this point, and he still had so many days left to recover! Now he couldn’t do anything about it, and it forced his gentle elder brother to complain to him!
Blaming himself, he realized that he wasn’t a qualified seme!
“Shixiong, why are you hitting your own head?”
Lian Qing looked at his curious and disapproving Shidi with wide eyes and sighed with resentment, “It’s nothing… I just realized that there’s still a lot for me to learn…”
The most urgent task was to study the skills in bed before his injury fully healed. He had to at least Shifu all the theoretical knowledge to give his elder brother a perfect first time!
The little Shidi looked at him with innocence and pure curiosity.
Lian Qing didn’t dare to reveal his thoughts and ideas, so he changed the topic, “By the way, what secret did Yu-gege tell you before we left?”
The attention of the little Shidi immediately shifted, and he naively said, “Yu-gege told me to take good care of you.”
Lian Qing: “…”
The cameraman who was live broadcasting their interaction on the side couldn’t help but chuckle.
Countless fans watching the live broadcast: “Hehehe…”
The little Shidi didn’t let go of his senior brother and asked, “Shixiong, did you and Yu-gege really not argue these past few days? I heard you this morning saying that Yu-gege was mad at you?”
Lian Qing waved his hand, “It’s nothing. He was just unhappy that I wanted to go out and work before my injury fully healed.”
The little Shidi sighed, “I’m also unhappy. Cheng-jiejie said that you should rest more, but you don’t listen. Both Yu-gege and I are worried about you!”
Hearing the mature words from the little Shidi, Lian Qing smiled wryly, “I just can’t stay put. Besides, the doctors said I could go out as long as I don’t do heavy work.”
“But even if you can’t stay put, you can do other things. Why do you have to work? Work is so tiring,” the little Shidi disagreed with a frown.
“But if I don’t work, I won’t earn money. I still want to buy you a set of apartments before you officially start elementary school,” Lian Qing explained. Going to school was troublesome now, and there was even the need to consider the concept of a prestigious school district.
The little Shidi held his small backpack in confusion and asked, “What’s a prestigious school district?”
“Ah, it’s a type of house. That’s something your senior brother has to figure out. You don’t need to ask so many detailed questions, my child,” Lian Qing didn’t want the little Shidi to understand this aspect. Although his Shidi was young, he was indeed precocious. Lian Qing was afraid that if the little Shidi found out, he would feel pressured.
Afraid that the little Shidi would ask further, Lian Qing took out his phone and played an animated cartoon for him, successfully distracting the little Shidi from what he originally wanted to say.
On the other side, the cameraman who was faithfully live-streaming their interactions saw the barrage of comments in the specially made camera lens and hesitated, not knowing whether to remind Lian Qing.
[Mr. Yu suddenly brought breakfast to Lian Qing’s house in the morning, and I just want to say, they’re practically a family now, right?]
[They’re good brothers and neighbors. What’s strange about having breakfast together?]
[I’ve always wanted to say that Mr. Yu is so considerate. He made such a lavish breakfast…]
“Oh my, so Mr. Yu was mad at Lian Qing this morning because he insisted on going out to work?”
[The little monk is so cute! And the little monk is adorable too. I really want to know what he’s thinking, hitting his own head like that.]
[He must be thinking about inappropriate things, hhh.]
[Even though my rationality tells me not to ship real-life couples, this warm couple is just so sweet ahhh…]
“Oh, so it turns out Lian Qing himself wanted to go out to work? I thought the studio was exploiting him.”
“Not to that extent. Sha-jie isn’t that kind of person.”
“The little monk is so mature. At his age, I only knew how to waste time in college…”
The morning live broadcast ended before Lian Qing and the others boarded the plane. The cameraman reminded him to temporarily bid farewell to the online fans, and only then did he remember that they were still live-streaming.
He waved his hand towards the camera with the little Shidi, both of them wearing identical bright smiles, and said in unison, “Goodbye, everyone.”
The fans were on the verge of being overwhelmed by sweetness!
As soon as Lian Qing and his Shidi boarded the plane, they fell asleep directly. They woke up midway for meals and ate before going back to sleep. By the time they landed, it had been over ten hours. Due to the time difference, the country they arrived in was currently in the afternoon.
The production team had arranged for someone to pick them up and take them to the pre-booked hotel. Lian Qing and Xiao Liansang just needed to follow the accompanying staff and didn’t have to worry about anything.
However, when they arrived at the so-called hotel, Lian Qing realized that the production team had booked not a traditional hotel but a standalone villa—complete with hot springs.
Lian Qing exclaimed on the spot, “Oh no, I can’t soak in the hot springs!” He couldn’t even take a proper shower!
The little junior monk held his hand and shook it, saying innocently, “It’s okay, Shixiong, I’ll soak on your behalf.”
Lian Qing pouted and looked at him, feeling quite sad, and followed the staff inside.
There were already people inside the villa. Two of them were familiar to Lian Qing—Shaman and Zhao Chengyi. There were two others whom Lian Qing hadn’t met before but had seen their profiles.
One was a veteran female singer known for her sweet voice and beauty, Bu Youmeng, a so-called “leftover woman” eager to get married. The other was a former popular actress who rose to fame nationwide a decade or two ago but suddenly got married and has been semi-retired ever since, Fu Miao.
“Hello, everyone,” Lian Qing greeted them first.
The little junior monk imitated him and instinctively placed his palms together in front of his chest, calling out in a sweet voice, “Hello, jiejie and gege.”
“Ah, so adorable! Hello, Lian Qing and Lian Sang. I’m Bu Youmeng. You can call me Meng-jie from now on!”
“Hello, I’m Fu Miao. You can call me Miao-jie. It’s nice to meet you all…”
The two sisters were very enthusiastic and took the senior and Shidis to sit on the couch. They showed concern for Lian Qing’s health and also inquired about the little junior monk’s studies, which had not yet begun.
The little junior monk felt a bit uneasy, and Lian Qing wasn’t much better off. He looked at Sha-jie and Zhao Chengyi with a pleading look—what should they do about these overly enthusiastic sisters? They were a bit scared…
Shaman and Zhao Chengyi exchanged glances, unable to help but suppress their laughter. However, out of consideration for being plastic colleagues and fearing that the two maternal sisters would overwhelm the little junior monk, they reached out a helping hand to rescue the two young monks from the situation.
Shaman said thoughtfully, “Little junior monk, are you two tired? How about taking a bath first and then we can have lunch together?”
Lian Qing gratefully glanced at Sha-jie and quickly nodded in agreement, pulling his Shidi and rushing upstairs.
In the middle of their run, they could faintly hear Fu Miao jokingly say, “Why are you running so fast? Do I look like someone who eats people?”
“Miao-jie, being too enthusiastic might scare the kids away. I told you that, but you didn’t believe me…”
Lian Qing and his Shidi exchanged a glance and unconsciously quickened their pace.
After freshening up in their respective assigned rooms, the two of them came back downstairs.
There was now an additional suitcase in the lobby, and Lian Qing asked curiously, “Are there other people besides us?”
He remembered that the program information provided by Cheng Lan only mentioned a few guests.
Shaman waved at him with a smile, motioning for him to come over, and explained, “The production team hired a guide for us, who apparently studied abroad for six months at a prestigious university here. He will be with us for these few days. He’s in the restroom right now and should be back soon. But come to think of it, I feel like I’ve seen him before…”
Lian Qing understood. He recalled that Cheng-jie had mentioned something about it, saying that it’s not easy for variety shows to pass censorship nowadays, and that the production team might add some ordinary people to the mix…
So, did they hire an ordinary person to be their guide?
Zhao Chengyi chimed in with a smile, “Sha-jie, it’s not surprising that he looks familiar. That young man is not only a top student from a prestigious school, but he’s also quite good-looking. You know, good-looking people always have a certain resemblance. Little junior monk, you and he seem to be around the same age. Maybe you’ll become good friends.”
Lian Qing didn’t think much of it. Fate between people was a mysterious thing. For example, he couldn’t seem to connect with the female lead and the second male lead from “Bondless Frost and Snow,” no matter how hard he tried. They could never become true friends. On the other hand, he and Zhao Chengyi hardly interacted before, but they inexplicably became good friends. It was the kind of friendship where they could trust each other with their keys.
Just like his old classmate whom he hadn’t seen in over two years. Even if they didn’t meet often and rarely contacted each other, whenever they did, they could talk and chat about anything without feeling any distance.
Fate was a subtle thing indeed. Lian Qing thought to himself, but in the context of recording the show, regardless of fate, he still had to get along well with everyone in front of the camera.
Lost in his thoughts, Lian Qing suddenly heard a hesitant male voice behind him say, “Lian Qing?”
As a celebrity, you often fly all over the place. Coupled with the fact that you always have assistants and bodyguards accompanying you, disguised in full armor to the point where even your own mother wouldn’t recognize you. Lian Qing’s schedule is rarely made public, so under these circumstances, how could Cai Jingfeng possibly find him?
Seeing Lian Qing’s regretful expression, Cai Jingfeng couldn’t bear it any longer. He pulled him to sit on the sofa and asked, “What happened? You were fine, so how did you end up becoming a celebrity? And why did you bring your junior disciple with you? What about your Shifu? Is he doing well?”
Except for Shaman and Zhao Chengyi, who knew the inside story, everyone else looked on with curiosity. Lian Qing first handed a Rubik’s Cube to his junior disciple to play with before giving a brief explanation.
“My Shifu is doing well. Lately, he’s been traveling around to visit old friends. Actually, he thought I should come down from the mountain and see the world, so he allowed me to leave the monastery. I originally wanted to find you, but when I arrived at the address you gave me, I found out that you had recently moved. Then, by a twist of fate, I met Sha-jie, and she offered me a contract to become a celebrity. It included food, accommodation, and even a salary, so I signed it.”
Shaman covered her face and said, “Little junior monk, you could have left out the last sentence!”
The others chuckled softly, thinking that this kid was really amusing.
Cai Jingfeng’s expression wasn’t too pleasant, and he even looked a bit bitter. “At that time… I moved in a hurry and didn’t have time to write a letter to you.”
Lian Qing nodded understandingly, patting his shoulder to comfort him. “It’s okay. If we’re blaming anyone, it should be me for buying a phone too late. Otherwise, if I had a phone at that time, we would have been in contact earlier.”
Cai Jingfeng forced a bitter smile and nodded. “Actually, after I saw you on TV, I sent you private messages on Weibo. But your message box is probably full every day, and it seems like you don’t often check Weibo, so you probably didn’t notice.”
“That… is true,” Lian Qing rubbed his nose in embarrassment. “Regarding work matters, everyone contacts my agent. Those who send me private messages are mostly fans. So, I only occasionally find time to look at the latest ones. I’m not very active on Weibo either, I just log in occasionally to take a quick look…”
Who would have known that they would miss each other like this!
“Fortunately, you participated in this program. Otherwise, I really don’t know how I could have seen you,” Cai Jingfeng said with a smile. “When this program was looking for students familiar with Country Y, I put in a lot of effort to be selected.”
“Yeah, you mentioned in your letters before that you were an exchange student at a university in Country Y for half a year,” Lian Qing couldn’t hide his excitement. “You even mentioned that it was a pity I didn’t eat meat, otherwise, you would have treated me to some local specialties, and you said that the food here is all about meat. So, now that I’m no longer a monk, when are you going to treat me to some meat?”
As soon as he heard the word “meat,” the little junior monk playing with the Rubik’s Cube immediately looked up at the big brother with sparkling eyes and said in a childish voice, “Big brother, are you going to treat me to some meat?”
“It’s ‘treat me,’ not ‘you,'” Lian Qing bluntly shattered the little kid’s fantasy.
The little one frowned, disagreeing, “Shixiong, eating alone will make you fat!”
Then he looked at Cai Jingfeng, inadvertently twisting his non-existent tiny waist, tilting his head, and in a slow and sweet voice, he said, “Big brother, will you take me too? I’m small, so just a little bit of meat will be enough.”
Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.