Chapter 13: Penalty

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Gu, we’ve arrived.”

They had spent a long time on the road, so Gu Qingchi was a little sleepy.
It took a little while for him to respond.
It was only once he got off the car that he realized that it was drizzling.
The rain felt cool against his face.

As soon as he got out of the car, one of the two staff members who went to pick him up raised an umbrella for him.

Gu Qingchi looked at the house that was only a few steps away and paused.

“Thank you.”

The staff quickly replied.

“No worries, it’s no problem.”

Gu Qingchi walked towards the trunk.

He didn't bring much, just a small suitcase.

Just as he was about to lift it out, another staff member graciously helped him take it out.

“I can handle it myself.
This is something I should do.”

Gu Qingchi had spent a long time away from people and was used to doing everything by himself.
He wasn’t used to all of a sudden being taken care of, but he didn’t force them to stop.

Being meticulously taken care of was nice, handling everything himself was fine also.
Gu Qingchi didn’t particularly care either way.  He wouldn’t be uneasy because of this attention, nor would he be disappointed without it.

His slow reaction to the outside world was also reflected in this.

He showed a very passive attitude to everything.
He had an “anything is fine, I don’t really care” kind of attitude.

Xie Luyu was the first to head downstairs.
He glanced around.
There were only staff members in the living room.
He confusedly asked.

“Where is he? Didn’t you say the last guest arrived?”

A staff member replied.

“The car just arrived at the entrance, he’ll be here soon.”

It just so happened that the other three guests had also arrived downstairs.
Zhou Yingying couldn't help but snort when she heard this.

Xie Luyu turned his head and glanced at her but said nothing.

These three were too young and inexperienced.
They were just like college students who just entered society.
They might as well write “young and naïve” on their foreheads, especially Zhou Yingying.
She was good-looking and came from a good household, and so she had practically been praised to high heaven.

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Xie Luyu didn't even need to think about it.
He knew immediately what was going on.

The program team didn’t give a specific time that they needed to arrive by, only a date.
So long as they arrived before the day ended, they technically weren’t late. 

Xie Luyu didn't think much about it himself.
He treated this as a vacation, so he came as soon as he finished packing his things.
He felt that it wasn’t really a big deal whether he arrived early or late.

He didn’t really care about such a trivial matter, but he couldn’t control what other people thought nor did he feel he needed to. 

In fact, there were quite a few people in the industry who would fuss over little things like this.

Generally speaking, they were usually B-list or C-list stars, especially those young ones.
Once they get a little bit of fame, it goes to their head, and they tend to cause trouble. 

These three guests all fell into that category.

If the newcomer was lucky, they might be given a few dirty looks, or they might be excluded a little bit.
If they weren’t lucky, the entire filming process would be incredibly difficult.
There were far too many places where the others can trip up the newcomer.

But it had nothing to do with him.
He was here for vacation, to relax.

Xie Luyu didn’t have any psychological burden.
Essentially, he was a believer of survival of the fittest.

The first one the enter was a staff member.
He had a small suitcase in one hand, and the other hand pressed the door open for the person behind him.

Huang Hanyu clicked his tongue, who knows whether it was intentional or not.

“He sure can put on airs; does he think he’s more important than—” Xie ge.

Huang Hanyu’s unfinished sentence was stuck in his throat, and he was suddenly at a loss.

The man entered the room with his head lowered and looked at him.
His eyes were calm, and his gaze gently swept over him.
Huang Hanyu, on the other hand, was feeling a little feverish.

Gu Qingchi entered the room with the escort of one staff member in front of him and another behind him.
He had clearly heard everything Huang Hanyu had said.

He raised his eyes and looked over as if he hadn't heard Huang Hanyu's words.

“Sorry for being late.”

The staff member behind him was putting away the umbrella that he had held up for Gu Qingchi.
He explained the situation after he heard what was said.

“It's our fault.
There was a landslide that blocked the road, so we ended up being late to pick him up.”

The director waved his hand and motioned for the camera to go to where Gu Qingchi was.

The cameraman pointed the camera at Gu Qingchi in a practiced manner.

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Gu Qingchi's hair had grown a little longer, the longest part reaching his chin.
He tied the overly long parts with a rubber band and left shorter parts loose.
It formed a perfect little pigtail.

Pretty, but not feminine at all.

Gu Qingchi only tied his hair up for convenience.
Before, he would cut his hair himself, but Ye Li told him not to mess with it randomly.
He needed to have it cut professionally.

Originally, they had already scheduled a styling team, but, after Ye Li saw him with his hair tied up, he got rid of this idea.
Instead, he stuffed a box of disposable rubber bands into his hands.

The clothes Gu Qingchi wore were very simple.
He wore form-fitting black pants, which looked very neat and tidy.
He also wore a white T-shirt, which had a black circular pattern on its chest, and a coat.

The only accessory was the black wristband on his wrist.

He was a natural-born model.
His proportions looked as if he had just walked out of a manga.

The cameraman kept his camera lens focused on Gu Qingchi the entire time, sighing as he filmed.

Huang Hanyu greeted Gu Qingchi and shook his hand, smiling as he spoke.

“I'm Huang Hanyu.
Over there is Yingying and Yueran.
I’m sure you already know Xie ge, so I won’t say too much.

It was practically written all over Xie Luyu’s face that it didn’t matter who came, he didn’t care.
However, at this moment, his ears pricked up.

Gu Qingchi was very used to being treated enthusiastically.
Rather, it could be said that he had always been treated with enthusiasm, but Gu Qingchi maintained the same attitude as always.
Whether someone liked him or hated him, he didn’t mind.

He lived in this universe, yet there seemed to be a gap between him and everything else, separating him from other people and things.

Just like a cat who lived on its own.
No matter who it was or whether their intentions were good or bad, so long as someone got too close, it would run away immediately.

You had to let it relax its defenses and get closer little by little.
Otherwise, you would always be no different from any other person in its world, insignificant.

Gu Qingchi hummed and responded simply.

“Gu Qingchi.”

On the other side, Xie Luyu listened attentively to his introduction.
He mulled over the name again and again in his head.

Including this time, he and Gu Qingchi had met a total of three times, and, every time, he was left with an incredibly deep impression.

Xie Luyu didn’t think that he was a superficial person, but who doesn’t like looking at beautiful people? Anyone who says they don’t care about looks at all is definitely lying.

There were a lot of attractive people in the entertainment circle.

Usually, Xie Luyu would confidently look as much he liked.
If he was familiar with the other person and knew they wouldn’t get offended, he would even joke around with them.

But he didn't have that kind of calm confidence in front of Gu Qingchi.
In front of Gu Qingchi, he was like a little prepubescent brat.

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What EQ? What sense of humor? They all seemed to have suddenly stopped working.
The other person was right in front of him, yet Xie Luyu was looking at the sky, looking at the floor, looking at anything that wasn’t Gu Qingchi.

Xie Luyu had always been rather domineering, having blind confidence in everything about himself.
He had never felt timid in front of anyone.
Whether it was his seniors or his juniors, he had the ability to get along with just about anyone.

To a certain degree, he was kind of similar to Gu Qingchi.
No matter who he met, it didn’t particularly matter.
After all, none of them were as wild as he was.

When he was still a rookie, he had also done what he needed to and chummed around with the directors.

During the time when he didn’t have any achievements or standing to speak of, Xie Luyu's debut attracted a lot of attention through his face alone.
Plus, he had an explosive temper and was a constant conversation topic.
He was dragged by countless tabloids for being arrogant and willful.

Later, he quickly became popular and had countless anti-fans.
It was no longer appropriate to hate on him for being arrogant, so they attacked him for being willful and impulsive instead.
It could be said that he helped countless tabloids keep the doors open all on his own.

Xie Luyu, who had been willful from birth until now, experienced for the first time what it felt like to be nervous.
He was like a student waiting for the teacher to hand out grades.
He didn’t dare act out and mess around, fearing that he might end up with a failing grade.

It shouldn't be like this.
Xie Luyu fell deep in thought and finally attributed this jittery emotion to be guilt.
The first time they met, he saw the other person’s half-naked body and then ran away after seeing it.
Xie Luyu thought that this must be what a guilty conscience feels like.

After convincing himself, Xie Luyu carried on with peace of mind.
After all, he had always been a rather flexible person.

Once Gu Qingchi arrived in the living room, the five guests were all gathered together for the first time.

The staff then proceeded with what should have been the first segment.

“Okay, everyone is here now.
We are going to check everyone's suitcases now.
Let me say in advance that cash, cards, and food are all prohibited.
If they are found, they will be confiscated.”

They had been informed of this before the show, so the guests were all prepared for this.

Huang Hanyu and the other two quickly passed the inspection.
Most of their things were clothes, cosmetics, and some snacks that they tried to sneak in, which were confiscated.

Afterward, Xie Luyu volunteered to go next and spoke as he pushed his suitcase forward.

“Check mine next.”

Xie Luyu had two suitcases and a duffle bag, all of which were quite large.
He had brought more luggage than any of the other guests.

The staff spent more than ten minutes just to inspect his luggage alone.  They did not find any of the items prohibited by the program team.
The only issue that turned up was a bottle of Liushen Mosquito Repellent Perfume1.

Next to the mosquito repellent was a watch.
It was the kind of brand which could not be bought without putting down at least tens of thousands of dollars.
The watch was carelessly stuffed to the side while the mosquito repellent was meticulously placed in the center.
It could be seen just how important it was to the owner.

The green bottle was very conspicuous, and the photographer moved closer to give it a close-up.

Xie Luyu became wary.

“You guys didn't say that we couldn’t bring mosquito repellent.
This place is right next to the mountains, so there are too many mosquitos.”

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The staff put it back in its place.

“You can bring it.
It’s just no one has ever brought mosquito repellent before.”

Xie Luyu was relieved.
He attracted mosquitoes.
Other people standing next to him would be perfectly fine, but he would have at least seven or eight mosquito bites.

He had tried all sorts of fancy mosquito repellents, but he still ended up going back to Liushen Mosquito Repellent Perfume.
Every time he went out, he had to bring it.
His mosquito repellent was his life.

Next was Gu Qingchi’s turn.
He had brought the least luggage among the guests.
His suitcase only had a couple of pieces of clothing.

The clothes were arranged for him by Ye Li.
They were all simple, the kind of style that couldn’t go wrong.
There wasn’t anything fancy and were pretty similar to what Gu Qingchi was currently wearing.

After all the inspections were completed, the staff member spoke up again.

“Generally, the first day of the program is for everyone to rest, and no tasks will be released.
This time is a little different.
The first task will be released today.”

The staff member took out a card and read aloud.

“Designated task taker, Gu Qingchi.”

“This task is a penalty for being late—”

Before he finished speaking, Huang Hanyu interrupted.

“We can’t blame Gu Qingchi for being late.
No one would want to run into a mishap on the road.
A penalty is a bit too much.”

Zhou Yingying scoffed and folded her arms.

“He was still late.”

The staff member looked towards the directing team for their opinion and then returned.

“Considering the situation, we’ve selected a relatively easy task as the penalty.”

“The task is ‘Style Change, Change, Change’.
The guest will be prohibited from using the clothes that they brought with them.
During this episode, all of their clothes will be provided by the program’s sponsor.”

As he spoke, another staff member approached with a suitcase, which was bigger than Gu Qingchi's own.
There was a pentagram logo on the black suitcase.

This brand was a subsidiary of a company, and it was rather well-known.
They mainly focused on trendy clothing.
Many of their clothes were very bold and avant-garde.
The brand was popular with fashion bloggers, leaning towards a punk style.
If you wore it out in the streets, you’d be the most eye-catching person out there.

In short, not only was this style different from the style of clothes Ye Li prepared for him, it was the complete opposite.


Common mosquito repellent.
A must-have in any Asian household. ↩

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