It was getting dark, and the rain that had been persistent for a day finally eased, but the roads were full of water everywhere.
Lu Xingzhe first looked around, and then his eyes fell on Xi Nian: “Let’s find a place to chat.”

Xi Nian’s identity was sensitive and he did not want to be recognized by others.
Hearing this, he said, “There is a coffee shop across the street.”

Lu Xingzhe raised his head slightly, the shadow of the brim of his hat staggered halfway along, revealing his crimson lips and pointed chin.
The white casual shirt was loosely worn on his body, and through it his sharp collarbone was visible: “What’s good about coffee, aren’t we just downstairs to your house, is it necessary to take a detour?”

The tone was unpretending, even with some natural familiarity.

Xi Nian did not agree: “I refuse.”

Lu Xingzhe played a scoundrel, he patted his leg from which the gauze hadn’t been removed, and said with a narrow smile on his lips: “Then what to do, my leg hurts and I can’t walk.
Only if you can carry me to the café then I don’t mind.”

Xi Nian was indifferent, with a hint of sarcasm in his tone: “Why didn’t you complain that your leg hurts when you followed me?”

Lu Xingzhe: “Of course, it’s different in a car.
You just need to step on the brakes and the accelerator.
Walking can be tedious, it hurts both muscles and bones.”

Lu Xingzhe crossed his arms and looked like a rogue, making people want to pin him to the ground and beat him up.
Xi Nian was silent for a few seconds, then turned around and walked toward his home without saying a word.

Lu Xingzhe smiled when he saw this, then lowered the brim of his hat and looked around to make sure there was no suspicious person secretly taking pictures, then followed him limpingly.

Xi Nian deliberately walked very fast, even taking a few extra detours.
When he reached the elevator, he finally turned around and took a look, only to see that Lu Xingzhe had been following behind—he was only a few steps slower than him.

The elevator has not arrived and was still slowly descending.

Lu Xingzhe limped up to Xi Nian’s side and leaned against the wall.
Considering, whether it was because of walking too quickly that his breathing was a bit heavy.
He sighed and then smiled at Xi Nian, “Did you intentionally take a detour?”

It was rare for Xi Nian to see him deflated, and he asked back: “So what?”

Lu Xingzhe looked like a smiling fox most of the time.
It was rare to see him really angry, and he had never relented when he pits people behind the back: “Nothing much, just that I have never lost the person I want to follow.”

The elevator arrived with a ding, and there was no one inside.
Xi Nian walked in and pressed the button, while seemingly casually asking, “So you’re a paparazzi?”

It was only then that Lu Xingzhe remembered that he hadn’t told Xi Nian about his identity, and he hadn’t even introduced his name formally.
Hearing this, he was silent for a moment, and then said slowly, “If you say so.”

Lu Xingzhe probably also knew that his reputation was too bad, so he didn’t answer directly.

Xi Nian has a serious sense of private territory and rarely allows and invites others into his home.
He takes out the key to open the door and pauses, inexplicably feeling like he was luring wolves into the house.
He wanted to say something, but in the end, did not say anything.

Xi Nian, as a little muddled bean,1 did not live in a very luxurious place, and his home was barely big enough to accommodate people.
Lu Xingzhe looked around, only to find that even the furnishings were too few, and looked at the sofa: “Do you mind if I sit down?”

Xi Nian opened the refrigerator and took out two bottles of drinks.
“If I mind, would you keep standing?”

Lu Xingzhe supported his injured leg and sat down on the sofa, “Of course not.”

Xi Nian put a can of lemon tea in front of him, and he immediately breathed out: “What business do you want to talk to me? Go ahead.”

Lu Xingzhe looked at him with his head propped up, his fingertips slowly rubbing the ends of his eyebrows.
As the light from the top fell on him, his whole body had an inexplicable beauty.
Suddenly he became serious, which made people a little uncomfortable: “You have offended many people recently.”

Xi Nian sat down on the side, and a name quickly came to mind: “Su Ge?”

Lu Xingzhe said: “No, it’s his manager.
Jiang Lun has bought a lot of paparazzi, and is going to pick up your black material.”

Su Ge was at best a small puppet, and the one who really has the means was Jiang Lun.
He has been working at Shanxing Entertainment for nearly ten years, and all the artists under his command have become popular—which was in fact enough to prove his strength that he cannot be easily defeated.

Xi Nian was thoughtful, but he didn’t show it on his face.
He crossed his legs and leaned back on the sofa: “So, what business do you want to talk to me about?”

At this moment, Xi Nian secretly breathed a sigh of relief in his heart.
Fortunately, the system stopped him when he cleaned up Su Ge, otherwise, it would have been a hidden danger today.

Lu Xingzhe took out an envelope from the camera bag he was carrying, waved it in front of Xi Nian’s eyes, and said meaningfully: “I have a lot of hidden cards to play, just wanted to see if you can offer a starting price.”

Xi Nian never doubted Lu Xingzhe’s ability to be a paparazzi.
When he heard the words, he knew that the other party must have something big.
He reached out to take the envelope but it did not move.
Xi Nian raised his eyes slightly, only to see Lu Xingzhe looking at him with a smile on his face.

Xi Nian paused for a moment, and a dark gleam slipped through his eyes.
Without a trace, his hand holding the envelope moved half an inch down until Lu Xingzhe’s cool fingertips were covered.
He hooked his lips slightly, and as he laughed it was enough to make others heat beat and blush: “You have to show me the goods to know what they are worth.”

Lu Xingzhe glanced at him holding his hand, his fingertips unconsciously relaxed, saying: “I didn’t say I won’t let you see it.”

The envelope fell into Xi Nian’s hands.
He opened it and saw that there was a thick stack of photos inside, which were probably more than 30 photos.
There were close-ups of Su Ge’s hand during the game, as well as pictures of the wrist that he claimed to be injured in Weibo, and…evidence of Su Ge deliberately using boiling water to scald Xi Nian’s hand in the lounge.

Seeing Xi Nian looking down, Lu Xingzhe thought he was stunned.
He pinched his phone and turned it in circles: “Jiang Lun asked someone to destroy the original video, but coincidentally, I got my hands on a backup.”

After the second round of the knockout round that day, he followed Xi Nian to the waiting room, but he did not expect to hear the conversation between him and Su Ge.
From then on, he became suspicious of Xi Nian’s injury, and evidence was easy to find as it had not been long since the incident happened.

Su Ge did something wrong and dared not tell Jiang Lun for a long time.
Later, he was afraid that the matter would be revealed, so he had to admit it.
Even though Jiang Lun had quickly erased all the evidence, it was still a step too late.

Currently, Xi Nian’s popularity was on the rise.
If these materials are released, it will be a great help to his fame, and it can also bring down Su Ge, which can be said to be killing two birds with one stone.2

The photos were probably just printed out, and the edges and corners were a bit sharp.
Xi Nian slowly gathered the photos and piled them into a neat stack.
His innate nature of climbing upward was hard to change.
At this moment, he had to admit that this business was truly exciting.

The system was afraid that he would go down the old path, so it wanted to remind him, but Su Ge had indeed done these things, and nothing of this was fabricated black material.
Hence, the system held no right to interfere, the blue light flashed and then went dark again.

The wall clock on the wall was ticking as if a long had been a long time but in reality, only a few minutes had passed.
Xi Nian put the photo in the envelope bag, and then his voice rang clearly in the room: “Make a price.”

Lu Xingzhe was not surprised by his reaction, propped his chin to think for a moment, and then deliberately offered a price that was not affordable for the current Xi Nian: “Video plus photos, 500,000.”

Celebrities make good money, but that was only for those who were popular.
Ordinary small artists not only have to spend money on wrap-ups but also have to treat guests to dinner for the show.
Even their houses were all rented—not necessarily much better than working people.
So, let alone 500,000 yuan now, it was a question of whether Xi Nian can get even 200,000 yuan together or not.

Xi Nian said bluntly: “No.”

Lu Xingzhe seemed a little bit regretful.
He stood up from the sofa, then leaned over to approach Xi Nian, propped one hand on his side, and held the envelope with the other.
Saying with a hoarse and ambiguous voice: “Although I really want to help you, there is nothing I can do.”

No one would like to push the benefits at hand, not to mention the hardest thing to wait for in the entertainment industry was opportunity.
Xi Nian’s thoughts were momentarily chaotic, but it was not apparent on his face.
He pinched Lu Xingzhe’s chin and pressed his fingertips tightly against his delicate and smooth skin, saying, “… really, but I can’t see your sincerity.”

The two of them were too close together, even their breathing intermixed without distinction.
The air on Xi Nian’s clothes was cold and indifferent as if returning to the night of the accident.

Lu Xingzhe deliberately got closer to him.
Seeing that Xi Nian didn’t dodge like before, the curve of his lips gradually deepened: “Tsk, I dragged my injured leg all the way to see you, isn’t it sincere enough?”

Xi Nian’s thoughts became more and more chaotic, his thirst for fame and fortune enticed him to move forward, but reason advised him to avoid the cunning paparazzi in front of him.
Unfortunately, there was no one to tell him how to choose in this life.

Lu Xingzhe saw that he hadn’t spoken for a long time, so he looked at him and said, “Actually, I’m not interested in money.”

As a paparazzi with only interests in his eyes, this statement was of course a lie, but his current interest in Xi Nian far outweighed money.

From childhood to adulthood, no one taught Lu Xingzhe what was good, evil, wrong, and right.
He developed a surly personality and became used to doing whatever he wanted.
He didn’t feel that being interested in a man was too unconventional, or deviant.

Of course, Xi Nian understood what he was talking about, his right hand holding the envelope was slightly tightened, and he didn’t let go for a long time.
He got up from the sofa, looked directly into Lu Xingzhe’s eyes, and said in a low voice, “Then, what are you interested in?”

Hearing this, Lu Xingzhe slowly approached his ear, this time it was too close, and it was no different from cheek to cheek: “…you.”

He said the word so effortlessly but it was laced with a rare seriousness, quite different from the usual playfulness.

Lu Xingzhe said: “Xi Nian, I can help you become famous.”

“In the future, no one will bully you, and no one will pour dirty water3 on you.
You will have the glory that Su Ge has now, and you will have more of it in the future.”

He spoke word by word, with a lingering charm in his breath.
When the last sound of the word fell, a string in Xi Nian’s mind seemed to break with a buzzing sound.
His grip on Lu Xingzhe suddenly tightened uncontrollably, and without warning, Xi Nian pulled him over and pressed him against his chest, and his heart trembled.

Xi Nian knew he was telling the truth.

In his previous life, this person had personally brought them to the altar, but when he [Lu Xinzhe] fell later, he was also the one who fiercely yanked him[Xi Nian] down.
Xi Nian thought he didn’t care about this matter, but it wasn’t until today that he realized that there was a thorn in his heart that had always held him shackled.

Lu Xingzhe didn’t expect Xi Nian’s actions, he was suddenly enveloped by the man’s scorching breath.
For a rare moment, he was at a loss and his ears were slightly red.

He lowered his eyes, his eyelashes casting a shadow under his eyes.
After a moment, he looked up at him as if promising something: “Xi Nian, I won’t harm you.”


小糊豆 [xiǎo hú dòu]: On the internet, this term is used to refer to idols/actors who were not popular, or were forgotten by people and did get a chance yet to become popular.


[yī jǔ duō dé]: kill two birds with one stone, or in other words simply means solving two tasks at the same time or with one single action.


[pō zānɡ shuǐ]: It refers to causing mental distress and harm to others through despicable means and behaviors such as spreading rumors, slandering, deliberately or maliciously slandering others.

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