Chapter 94: Interview
‘The Lollipop Now and Then’ was an interview-type program. There were no game segments, and cozy sofas and high stools were arranged in the broadcasting studio.
Chu Qin was seated on a high stool. One of his legs stepped on the stool’s base while the other naturally hung down, causing his legs to appear even more slender. Zhong Yibin sat on the sofa and in a relaxed manner, pulled a cushion over to lean against.
“A warm welcome to everyone who is tuning into The Lollipop Now and Then on time. I am Chu Qin. Today, we are fortunate to have invited Shengshi TV’s director, Mr Zhong Yibin. Welcome,” Chu Qin held onto a cue card and clapped symbolically.
In contrast, the audience off-stage were extremely excited, their clapping equivalent to sounds of thunder. When Zhong Yiin stood to wave to everyone, the fans couldn’t resist crying out.
“How long has it been; Director Zhong has already become famous,” Chu Qin smiled.
“En, it’s also thanks to your fortune,” Zhong Yibin smiled as he replied before sitting back onto the sofa.
Chu Qin side-eyed him. “No, it is not because of my fortune that you are on this program. Rather, it is due to the recent rumor surrounding you. It happened to be aligned with our theme,” As he said this, he pointed to the theme board behind him. The program’s mascot, a worker disguised as a ‘lollipop’, held up a theme board as he floated across from the back.
Several large words were clearly written on the board, ‘hedonistic son of rich parents’.
The audience erupted into laughter, admiring Chu Qin for daring to ridicule his own boss on stage. Zhong Yibin rolled his eyes. “Are you saying I am a hedonistic son of rich parents?”
Chu Qin didn’t reply. He spoke his lines with a serious look. “The phrase ‘silk pants’ has its origins in a type of ancient pants…”
“Hey!” Zhong Yibin cut in. This person didn’t reply, did he tacitly approve of him as ‘silk pants’?
A burst of laughter once again sounded in the broadcasting studio; these two people’s interactions were too interesting. Chu Qin’s jokes had always adhered to propriety; no matter which celebrity appeared on the program, they would never be placed in a difficult position. This time, the fact that he dared to be playful in such a way when he was facing his own boss indicated that their personal relationship was not ordinary.
Silk pants referred to pants made out of thin silk and was a general reference to the children of rich families during ancient times. This sort of pants actually had no seat, only two trouser legs. They would be tied to the leg, shaking back and forth like a pendulum as one walked.
“If there isn’t any seat, wouldn’t that mean the buttocks would be revealed?” Zhong Yibin asked with some curiosity.
Chu Qin arranged for a worker to bring up an imitation of the pants. “One will still need to wear clothes to conceal it. This is meant to be worn on the inside, nothing will be revealed.” As he finished his words, he urged Zhong Yibin to try it on.
Zhong Yibin unexpectedly put on those two pieces of fabric, with the help of a professional to help him to fasten the band. Two white trouser legs encased the costly custom-made suit on the inside. When walking, his upturned buttocks encased in the black suit pants would be revealed. It looked both sexy yet comical.
“Oh, how convenient,” Zhong Yibin had a light-bulb moment. “Then, when the silk pants wanted to go to the bathroom during the ancient times, they would only need to push aside their skirts. There won’t be a need to take off their pants.” As he spoke, one of his legs stepped on the coffee table and he mimicked a squatting position.
“Stop, stop!” Chu Qin jumped up to stop him. “This is satellite television; you can’t use the toilet wherever you want!”
“Hahahahaha…” The audience at the venue laughed so hard that they were gasping for breath.
After removing the comical, ancient pair of pants, Zhong Yibin once again regained his handsome director visage. As he listened to Chu Qin introducing the ‘silk pants’ in olden times, the topic of the modern ‘silk pants’ was once again brought up.
“Actually, there is a phrase which is quickly replacing the silk pants – the so-called ‘rich second-generation’. When one hears of this phrase, one implicitly connects it to drinking, playing around, relying on their father’s wealth, street racing and so on,” Chu Qin looked at Zhong Yibin. “What is Director Zhong’s opinion of this?”
Zhong Yibin was a rich second-generation not only in name, but in reality. As a young master who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, he best understood this group termed the ‘rich second-generation’.
“Speaking of this, I am also a ‘rich second-generation’ in others’ eyes,” Zhong Yibin laughed. “In fact, it isn’t as ridiculous as it appears to be; it’s the media who has demonized us.” In reality, children from wealthy and poor families were similar. Whether they were able to make something of themselves was dependent on their parents’ teachings. There were indeed a few scum within the group of ‘rich second-generation’ who only knew how to eat, drink and play around, but a greater part of the group were talents that had gone unnoticed.
There were actually many famous people in history who were nobility or born into wealthy families. After all, studying in the past required immense amounts of money. Only wealthy people were able to afford to send their children to study. Now, society had become considerably more fair. However, it had to be said that children from wealthy families had access to many more resources and their path to becoming a person worthy of respect was much easier.
However, this point could not be said on the program as it would easily incite controversial views within society. Chu Qin and Zhong Yibin only probed deeper into the rich second-generations around them. The few he knew – for instance, Wu Wan’s elder sister and Ji Yao’s elder brother were all outstanding individuals. Of course, the most outstanding was Zhong Yibin’s own elder brother.
“My elder brother was outstanding since young; he was always first in his cohort during examinations. There wasn’t a shortage of times when my father used this to criticize me,” Zhong Yibin curled his mouth, aggrieved. After returning from the trip to the beach, he had slowly started to regain his childhood memories and recalled a few past incidents.
Whenever he brought an exceptional school report home, his father would always glance at it indifferently. At best, he would say ‘not bad, you’re catching up to your elder brother’, without anything else. After continuously hearing these words, he involuntarily bore some resentment towards his elder brother. Sometimes, he would wonder if his life would be so sullen if his elder brother wasn’t around.
The audience weren’t aware of the sadness in this. Instead, they felt that this statement was said with plenty of childlike delight. Thinking back to the deep emotions that the brothers showed in the reality show, they revealed smiles filled with a tacit mutual understanding.
After probing for quite a while, Zhong Yibin spoke of many outstanding rich second-generations around him. This caused views towards this group of people to change drastically and also led some girls to dream of marrying a prince. In the past, wanting to marry a rich second-generation invited the notion of ‘wanting money but not happiness’. However, Zhong Yibin’s words made it known that there were also courteous gentlemen, yes-men who doted on their wives, and men who were rich, considerate and had good taste within the group of rich second-generation. This was the most ideal companion.
“You speak about it so pleasantly but previously, I heard of a sex scandal involving you,” Chu Qin raised an eyebrow and shifted the topic of conversation to Zhong Yibin. He had not forgotten today’s main goal – reinstating Zhong Yibin’s reputation.
Zhong Yibin also raised an eyebrow. “What? Jealous?”
“Ah—” A wave of shocked sounds sounded from the girls off-stage. Those in front of their television also picked at their feet in excitement; such a frank show of familiarity caused one’s emotions to stir up.
Chu Qin coughed dryly, not responding to it. “Our program team has sought out your friends for an interview and also found that Nanshan school flower who was involved in the sex scandal.” As he finished his words, he raised his chin with an expression that expressed ‘see if I’ll put you in your place’.
Zhong Yibin was somewhat astonished; he was truly not aware of such a video. The camera gave him a close-up, displaying the amazement and slightest lack of reservation on his handsome face to the audience.
The video was not recorded by a professional and the scene was somewhat shaky. Bai Cheng and Ji Yao appeared before the camera. “Recently, someone’s been vilifying our Er Bing. Er Bing himself doesn’t even remember this matter about the school flower. However, we two still remember it.”
Hearing ‘Er Bing’ this name, the audience couldn’t help breaking out into laughter. When Zhong Jiabin and Zhong Yibin were on the program simultaneously, netizens said the Zhong family were too lazy to give names and thus named them ‘Jia Yi Bing Ding’. If they had a third son, he would definitely be named Zhong Bingbin. Who knew that his friends were even more incisive, directly calling him ‘Er Bing’.
This video was the small gift Chu Qin received in his email that day. Bai Cheng and Ji Yao wanted to ease the tension between them and Zhong Yibin, and thought up this move.
The video first showed the scene of a competition with ‘Nanshan school flower’; it was an activity at Nanshan High School that year. The year and date was even written on a banner at the back; the evidence was undeniable. In the end, the person picked out was a pleasant person who was fresh and pure in appearance, a girl with long hair. That lady’s appearance was completely unlike that of the karaoke girl who blew up on the internet previously.
“After many setbacks, we finally found that year’s school flower Xu Yuanyuan. What is she doing now?” Bai Cheng tried to bring the story to a climax.
Ji Yao’s voice traveled from behind the camera. “Less nonsense. Hurry up.”
The camera followed Bai Cheng into an elevator and then entered a rather imposing company before eventually finding a female white-collar worker who was seated and busy working. That lady was dressed in a special professional outfit and was speaking to clients on the phone in a gentle tone of voice. Seeing Bai Cheng arrive, she spoke two sentences and hung up.
Her pure and pleasant features no longer possessed that year’s tenderness but a delicate made-up look; she now possessed the grace of a mature woman. But those with discerning eyes would know that she was that year’s school flower, Xu Yuanyuan.
“Yuanyuan, tell us a bit about your romance with Zhong Yibin,” Bai Cheng pretended to be a reporter and passed her a microphone.
Xu Yuanyuan pursed her lips and suppressed her laughter. Receiving the microphone, she coughed lightly. “I confessed to Zhong Yibin that year, but he rejected me.”
“Wow, even rejecting the school flower. Why did he do that?” Bai Cheng asked in a flustered manner.
“He said he must accomplish his family mission and cannot be involved in puppy love,” Xu Yuanyuan blinked. That year, the teenage girl that she was believed these words without doubt. She even thought it extremely moving, feeling that she was the main female lead in a drama for a very long while. Now that she thought about it, she wanted to laugh out loud.
“Then do you know what his family mission is?” Bai Cheng asked mysteriously.
Xu Yuanyuan nodded.
From nowhere, Bai Cheng took out Zhong Yibin’s mathematics notebook that year. He flipped it open and confident, unrestrained writing appeared before the audience. He flipped to the last page, with these words written on it – ‘This term’s mission – Top ten in the grade!” A golden Saint Seiya sticker was even pasted on the back.
Xu Yuanyuan, “…”
“Pfft hahaha…” Chu Qin burst out into laughter without any concern for his image, laughing till Zhong Yibin was red in the face.
The author has something to say:
Small theater: <Er Bing is a biscuit with a mission>
Father Bing: Er Bing biscuit, do you know what your previous mission was?
Er Bing: I know, test into the top ten in the year
Big Brother: Er Bing biscuit, do you know what your current mission is?
Er Bing: I know, recover Shengshi’s dominance
Qin Qin: Er Bing biscuit, do you know what your future mission is?
Er Bing: I know, explode the cosmos and rescue Chu·Athena·Qin seven times a night!
Qin Qin: ……
 A part of the phrase ‘hedonistic son of rich parents’ references silk pants. Though the characters do not translate literally into silk pants, it is a homonym for it. Silk pants is a metaphor for the quality pieces of clothing that children from wealthy families are liable to wear.
 During ancient times, it was not uncommon for men to be seen wearing skirts:
 Quick memory refresher: This was referenced early on in the novel but the ‘Jia’ in ZJB and ‘Yi’ in ZYB’s names are spelled the same way (in pinyin) as the first two Heavenly Stems in the Chinese Calendar, though the pronunciation is different. ‘Bing’ and ‘Ding’ and the third and fourth Heavenly Stems respectively. Heavenly Stems are part of a counting system in the Chinese calendar. Read more here.