Chapter 5: Variety Show

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“What's wrong recently? Two shifts a day, can you handle it?”

Gu Qingchi leaned against the bar, looking tired.
His long legs were crossed and slightly bent.
His eyes were closed.

The head waiter turned a blind eye to Gu Qingchi's disheveled appearance.

Gu Qingchi opened his eyes after a while and stretched his arms.
He stood up and spoke directly.

“I need money.”

“I still have some savings.
If you need help, just say the word.”

“Don't, I'm not that desperate yet.”

The head waiter's mother was in poor health.
There were a lot of things they needed the money for.
Gu Qingchi didn't want to bother him.

The bartender next to them interjected.

“If Qingchi wanted to, making money would be super easy.
Just look at the customers who came on to him.
Which one isn't a millionaire?”

This was the truth.
Those without some money wouldn't be here in the first place.

The bartender had a short goatee, sunken eye sockets, and deep eyes.
He was quite handsome and looked a bit foreign.
However, he was, in fact, 100% from Beijing.

The people who knew him called him Chen Jiu.
His surname was, indeed, Chen, but his first name was not Jiu.
Apparently, his real name was very tacky.
He never mentioned his real name and would get pissed whenever someone did.

He was also very well-dressed.
The ring on his hand was Cartier, and the leather shoes on his feet were Testoni, both of which were way beyond what his salary could afford.

But, he didn't depend on his wages.
Rather, he depended on women.
He switched girlfriends one after another.
The longest one lasted for three months.
They all separated on good terms.

Chen Jiu made his intentions clear: he was looking to play around.
Although he was indeed a bit of a playboy, he had a high EQ.
He never cheated on his girlfriends.
He also had two rules: one, don't be a homewrecker, and two, don't hook up with cheaters.

In fact, he was rather considerate in the relationship.
He clearly understood his position and set out to serve the ladies.
His reputation among his ex-girlfriends was actually pretty good.
He took to this sort of thing like a fish to water.

Even so, he was still jealous of Gu Qingchi's luck with admirers and was pained by how Gu Qingchi was wasting those potential dating opportunities.
He would always encourage Gu Qingchi to hook up with a suitor whenever he had the chance, persistently trying to convince him.

“Man or woman, just choose one you like.
Both sides get what they want.
Beauty is a rare resource, there's no shame in cashing in on it.”

Gu Qingchi couldn't help but smile.

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“It's not for me.
I can't do it.
It makes me feel restricted.”

“Restricted? If you don't want to do it anymore, just make it clear.
That way, you can end things on good terms.
We're all good people, and you don't seem like the type to beat around the bush.”

Chen Jiu pushed a glass of wine over.

“Try it.
I've been practicing.”

Gu Qingchi leaned against the bar and picked up the wineglass with one hand.
He slightly swirled it, and the blue liquid at the bottom of the glass began to dissolve.

“What I'm saying is, you can't just go at your own pace.
Before you do anything, you have to think about the other person as well.”

Gu Qingchi took a sip.

“For example, let's say I'm in a bad mood tonight, and I want to be alone.
But if you're with someone else, you have to consider what the other person wants to do tonight, whether to accompany them for dinner, will my bad mood affect the other person, stuff like that.
If you're on your own, you have a lot more freedom.
You don't have to think about things like that.”

“As someone who works in the service industry, you should know better.
You can't just do whatever you want in a relationship.
There is no such thing as a perfect lover unless one person yields to the other every time.
You just have to separate your emotions from the other stuff and treat your lover like a god.
Both sides get what they want.
Don't think too much.”

Gu Qingchi shook his head.

“I can't do it.
You might as well kill me.”

Chen Jiu wiped the table, put the rag aside, and stopped beside Gu Qingchi.

“Hey, I have a friend.
She's a designer, and she opened a Taobao store.
A few days ago, she told me that she needed a model.
I'll contact her for you.
You can try it.
Although it's not a long-term job, at least it's a bit of extra income.”

Gu Qingchi turned his head and looked up at him.

“The owner's a woman?”


“So, she asked you to model for her store?”

“She did.
But, you would be way better at it than I am.
That kind of job is tiring.
I'm not into it.”

“I'll do it.

“Well, I did her a favor, and now you owe me a favor.
It's a win-win situation for me.
Not bad.”

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Gu Qingchi knew that Chen Jiu was helping him purely out of kindness.
He would remember this favor.

The corners of his lips curved slightly, and he downed the rest of his glass.
After placing the glass upside down on the counter, he got up and left.
It was time for work.

Suddenly, Chen Jiu's whistle caught his attention.
Gu Qingchi turned his head and saw him give a thumbs up.

“Cool move.”

Gu Qingchi's furrowed brows relaxed, and his depressed mood from these past couple of days was swept away.
His lips silently spread into a smile.

Both Chen Jiu and the head waiter were stunned by his smile.

He put the cleaned glass back into the cabinet.

“What a shame, such a pity.
If Gu Qingchi was a woman, I wouldn't be dating around like this.”


If this job works out, it would be a huge help to Gu Qingchi's desperate situation.

There really weren't a lot of jobs where you could earn a lot of money and earn it fast.

Gu Qingchi’s academic background limited his job options a lot.
The age on his ID was 22, which was relatively young.
He had originally planned to go to a university and continue his education, but attending school wasn't something he could do just because he wanted to.
There were many things that couldn't be prepared immediately, so he could only put that on hold.

Normally, there would always be someone asking him whether or not he wanted to enter the entertainment industry, or if had any interest in modeling for something or the other.

It wasn't a lot, not enough to be considered bothersome.
Mainly, he didn't have a very large social circle to begin with and preferred to live simply and peacefully, so he didn't interact with people from these industries very often.

Unless the person in question wants to, very few people would insist on someone becoming an idol just because they have good looks.
Most people would just admire the pretty face and move on.

Gu Qingchi was able to run into those kinds of people because there was a film studio next to the restaurant where he worked at.
Many movies and shows were filmed there so, naturally, there would be more people in those industries nearby.

Even so, those people generally would not just casually grab people off the street.
Before, when the industry was just emerging, there might have been this kind of thing where they would scout people off the streets.

However, the training system nowadays had been perfected.
Every trainee was good-looking, could sing, and could dance.
There was an unending influx of new blood all the time, so there was no need to scout off the streets anymore.

If they happened to run into a particularly promising candidate, at most they would simply feel that it was a pity.

Small companies lacked resources, so it wasn't strange for agents to cast a wide net and scout for talent on the streets.
In this situation, 50% were scammers after money, 40% were small agents after sex, and only 10% were actual agents, new to the industry and desperate for an artist.

Gu Qingchi didn't trust them and didn't have the time to try to distinguish which was a scam and which was legitimate.

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Beauty was a scarce resource, that's true, but you still need to find a way to cash it out.

Besides, Gu Qingchi didn't want to enter a field he wasn't familiar with.

Many people would be shocked by the fact that Gu Qingchi was lacking money.
Then, they would start talking nonsense, saying that he should enter the entertainment circle, that he would definitely be able to make a lot of money.

The entertainment circle is not really a circle that anyone can jump into.
Nothing in life is easy.
Everyone knows that the entertainment circle makes money, and so many people jump into it every year without even making a splash.

Gu Qingchi didn't think he was anything special.
God had never favored him that much.


The friend recommended by Chen Jiu was very forthright and refreshing.

She told Gu Qingchi that she had been shooting in a nearby studio these days.
He could drop by for an interview whenever he's free.

The film studio was very close.
It was only three stops away by bus.

Gu Qingchi headed over as soon as he received a response.
When he arrived at the studio, a woman wearing glasses was at the door.
When she saw him, she took off her glasses and waved at him.
After looking him up and down, her eyes lit up.

“Chen Jiu really didn't lie to me.
You really are model material.
You are his friend, so I'm definitely older than you.
Just call me Hong jie 1 .”

Then, she escorted him into the studio.
There were a lot of people in the studio.
Everyone was very busy, coming and going.
The assistants were adjusting the lighting, the models kept changing poses, and the lights were flashing almost nonstop.

There was a clothing rack full of unopened clothes to the side.

Hong jie got right down to business.

“If it's okay with you, you'll come here and shoot when you're available.
These couple of days, we've pretty much just been shooting here.
We've rented this studio for a month.
As for the price, have you had any modeling experience before?”

Gu Qingchi shook his head.

Hong jie pondered for a moment.

“Normally, newbies get paid less.
I'm not hurting for money, so I'll give you the same pay as the other models.”

Gu Qingchi thanked her.

Hong jie continued.

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“We determine pay on a per-item basis.
The models we hired get 700 yuan per item of clothing.
Since you're just starting, you definitely won't be as fast as the others.
You don't need to rush.
Just take your time.
I'll give you a guaranteed base pay of 3,000 yuan.”

Hong jie's store was undergoing a rebrand.
The models she hired all had a little bit of fame.
The price she offered Gu Qingchi was really quite reasonable.

She gave Gu Qingchi another glance, then modified her offer.

“5,000, guaranteed base pay of 5,000 yuan.
You can start today.
What do you think?”

“No problem.”

Hong jie led him to the dressing room.
The dressing room was very large, filled with people.
Make-up artists were coming and going with boxes, and there were people both standing and sitting.

“We rented the studio on the far right.
There's no special dressing room.
All our models are over here.”

Hong jie pointed to the right-hand side.

“There is a live show next door today.
I heard that it's a reality show.
It seems to be pretty well-known online.
That's why there are more people today.
I really don't know what about a film studio is so interesting that it's worth filming.”

There was a bit of a gap between the modeling world and the show business world.
Hong jie herself was a designer, and so she was quite familiar with the modeling business.
However, when it came to trending variety shows and popular celebrities and influencers, she knew very little about these.

Gu Qingchi lived like an old man.
He used his smartphone like a dumbphone.
Hong jie didn't even know, let alone him.

After new live streaming equipment was invented, live-streamed variety shows became more and more popular, especially reality shows.
The audience liked to see celebrities' real reactions and details when they face an unexpected situation.

There was no longer any need to carry heavy and burdensome camera equipment.
Just organizing some staff was more than enough.

The only disadvantage was that the new live streaming equipment was too expensive, and only a few rich television crews could afford it.

One of those shows was Treasure Hunt.

As the name suggests, this show was a large-scale treasure hunt.

The venue in the previous episode was a small amusement park.
The crew had splurged and booked the entire park.
They might be lacking funds for this episode.

The studio at the film base might not be anything great, but it was definitely expensive.


Jie(姐) means “older sister”, often used as a way of referring to a girl who is slightly older than you. ↩

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