Chapter 8.22 & 8.23
The contestants returned to the villa with haggard looks, the first thing they did was rob the four bathrooms. Ivana had always been sturdy, she pushed a few big men aside to grab the most luxurious one, spent five minutes to wash, then let her girlfriend in.
The bathroom was equipped with a translucent glass door, Zhou Yun Sheng was standing under the shower head when he noticed several male contestants wandering at the door, staring at his lower body with wide eyes. When they left, he faintly heard someone say ‘Romeo is really a man’.
Are they skeptical of my sex? Just because I’m too beautiful as a woman? Zhou Yun Sheng was both indignant and wanted to laugh.
After a bath and dinner, the girls gathered to chat, while the men stayed in the gym. Zhou Yun Sheng’s body was entirely adjusted by 007, he never needed to work out, so the men were surprised when he walked into the gym for the first time since the show started.
Ivana was naturally working out the gym, her pursuit of abdominal muscles and V line didn’t lose to the men.
“Romeo, how come you’re here?” She laid down two heavy dumbbells.
Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t answer, he walked toward the horizontal bar. A male player was doing chin ups, his very beautiful arm and back muscles were on display.
Zhou Yun Sheng went to his side, gripped the horizontal bar and also joined in. The two pushed forward as if in rivalry, but gradually, the black male player felt his muscles twinging and he dropped down from the bar. This was his limit.
But Romeo continued, 21, 22, 23… … Ivana stood by to help him count, but when she hit 70, she began to feel uneasy, she advised, “Romeo come down, excessive training will hurt your body.” The strongest person she knew could only do 100 pull ups a day, and it was in groups of 10. When he was done, he was always tired like a dog, even his fingers couldn’t move.
Romeo could be brave when they had a holiday, now was game time, twisting his muscles and being unable to move freely would bring unpredictable consequences.
When she was at 101 her heart trembled, she warned, “Romeo, don’t do it, come down. We have a competition coming up, you have to keep your strength.”
The men were gathered around, staring at the boy who was hanging on the horizontal bar and not showing a hint of strain, as if he was Superman in the flesh. They would absolutely never imagine the boy’s seemingly thin body had such amazing power.
“Don’t stop him, can’t you see? He’s done more than 100 pull-ups but hasn’t broken a sweat. He’s very strong.” A male player appeased.
Ivana found that her girlfriend’s expression was very flat from beginning to end, he didn’t look exhausted and flushed, nor was he clenching his teeth and struggling to go on.
After reaching 150, Zhou Yun Sheng swung on the horizontal bar and landed firmly on the ground. The players applauded and whistled. Doing 150 pull-ups all at once, Romeo’s physical strength was enough to rival the most rigorous Special Forces soldiers.
Zhou Yun Sheng patted his smooth and tight biceps, then said lightly, “See? I’m a man.” His words fell in the silence as he coldly left.
Ivana suddenly realized, her girlfriend had felt a little emasculated because of today’s events, how cute. She bent over in laughter. The men were both embarrassed and amused, they identified with the boy a bit more.
“Of course, Romeo! You’re a real man!” A male player shouted at his back, then he looked up at his cameraman and sincerely exclaimed, “He’s awesome, whether it’s his looks or his personality. I’m starting to like him.”
The next day, the judges commented, there was no doubt that Zhou Yun Sheng and Ivana won the best shots. Emily’s drama had not broadcasted yet, so the audience didn’t have a deep hated for her, they gave her photos a good score, successfully letting her qualify for second place.
The petite Daphne was eliminated, and she burst into tears on the spot.
After the episode broadcasted, the ratings soared again, and ABC increased he program group’s budget. Although Hayden’s violent scenes were slightly edited, the cause and effect was clear, the audience’s hatred towards him could be congregated into a thick black mist. Emily was also criticized, and some people gave her a nickname- ‘Black Widow”.
“Hayden and Emily are the most disgusting couple I’ve ever seen. Thank goodness the Black Widow killed off her poor little spider mate, or I would feel like vomiting whenever I see them together.”
“Didn’t you see? Hayden and Emily weren’t even grateful to Romeo. If it wasn’t for Romeo, they wouldn’t have made it to the challenge! How can there be such wicked people in the world?”
“I think Hayden suddenly went crazy just to escape the high altitude task. He’s so mean, but I bet he didn’t think his own girlfriend was 10 times more despicable than himself. I have to say, they are, in fact, the perfect match, it’s quite unfortunate that they broke up. They could’ve kept their sinfulness between themselves.”
Similar ridicules like this populated “The Next Supermodel’ official website. The Queen of popularity Emily finally had to withdraw from the stage, becoming a hated existence.
Romeo’s fans were growing at an alarming rate, with every broadcast, his fans doubled, and members from all walks of life and age groups gathered under him. His charm was unparalleled.
He selflessly helped Hayden and Emily. He was not afraid of any challenge. He had fairy-like beauty and an angelic voice. He was already a male god, but now he became a goddess to many people. He did 150 pull-ups in one breath. When you think he’s very fragile, he’ll always show his powerful side to you.
Lesbians were saying they could go straight for Romeo, straight men were saying they could bend for Romeo. In short, whether they were a man or a woman, as long as Romeo was involved, they would always love him.
Of course, Ivana’s handsomeness also won the audience’s favor, her fangirls gathered in large numbers to show their love, the scene was very widespread.
But the most popular was not the two cross-dressing players, but Acheson. He was once again under serious suspicion by rotten men and women.
“I say Gustav must be gay, he loves Romeo. Look, he privately gave Romeo a lovely nickname like Kitten, and accidentally blurted it out.” Attached were several videos as evidence.
“I agree! His attitude towards Romeo is clearly different from the other players.” This netizen also attached a video of their own editing.
In the video, Gustav was taking pictures of the other contestants, his expression was bland, his eyes were very calm, from beginning to end, he only says one sentence- ‘Good, your shoot is over’, then the next pair of players quickly stepped up. This sentence repeated four times, and that was all he ever said.
He kept this cold style until Romeo and Ivana came in, then the wind changed. The netizen was very creative, they’d placed a calm soundtrack in front of the first part, repetitious and monotonous. When Romeo’s ‘beautiful manga character’ face appeared on the screen, the music immediately changed to today’s most popular confession song “Love Me, baby”.
As the female singer sung merrily, Gustav cried out: “Baby, stand in the middle.”
“Baby, look at me, gentler and deeper, like I’m your favorite person.”
“Baby, smile at me.”
“Baby, you’re an angel on earth!”
“Baby come, lie on my lap.”
“Baby, you did great, I love you!”
These words didn’t feel too weird in the photo shoot, by because the user separated the clips and edited them together, suddenly, there was a thick ambiguous feeling, as if Gustav was just spending the whole episode confessing to Romeo. Especially with the background singer pleading again and again: love me baby, love me baby … … if you leave me, baby, I don’t know what I’ll do, I guess I would die.
“Oh my God, too much love! If Gustav isn’t in love with Romeo, I’ll swallow my keyboard!” A rotten woman asserted.
Their shipping provoked the displeasure of Gustav’s fans. They also produced a video of some of the world’s top fashion photographers going crazy in photo shoots, screaming and even kissing models and showing love in the excitement. They tried to use this evidence to tell others, look ah, photographers go crazy when they’re inspired. Gustav was indifferent to the other players because they couldn’t inspire him.
The two groups quickly faced off, and Gustav’s crazy loving video spread over the network. When Gustav saw it, he itched to praise it, but finally held back.
No matter how the outside world was evaluating the contestants, they had no access to outside information. They repeated the same intense, busy life of training, challenges, challenges and re-training every day. Emily found that her net score was getting lower and lower, which made her put all her efforts into every challenge. And she was, after all, the heroine, her body was strong and her willpower was tough, every time she was on the brink of elimination, she relied on her strength or luck to succeed.
After several games, the best photo decision was always between Romeo and Ivana, the other players began feeling like they were accompanying the Prince to study, grudges and jealousy quietly accumulated in their hearts.
Gustav served as the fixed photographer for the contestants. He has now collected many photos of Kitten, and every day, he took great pains to sort them out.
“Rooney, you little rascal. How many times have I told you? You’re not allowed to claw my baby’s photos.” He jumped towards the desk and threw off the folded-ear cat that was pawing at the piles of photos with its fat paws, then he picked up the top photo and kissed it, his expression was very intoxicated.
After finishing his organization, he locked them into the safe, turned back to the desk and saw that a friend had sent him a private message. They were complaining that he had not shared Rooney’s photos on social media for a long time. Before he found Romeo, he would post Rooney’s meng photos on his personal web page almost every day, and also write about his cat experience, his warm and funny text often made his followers smile.
But now, his whole world was occupied by that boy, except for thinking about how to get the youth’s attention and trying to get closer to him, there was no time to do anything else.
This friend was also a cat slave, and he especially liked collecting Rooney’s photos, and share his own cat’s photos in return. Gustav looked at the message, then he searched for the folder called “My Kitten” and uploaded it to his personal home page.
Gustav’s fans had just denied that their idol had a special relationship with Romeo, when they received a blow. They saw Gustav’s personal homepage post a set of photos called “My Kitten”.
If you thought these were Rooney’s pictures, then you’re too naive, they were all Romeo’s photos. Whether it was the program’s published or unpublished photos, whether it was candid shooting or videotaping, everything was here!
Romeo sitting cross-legged on the floor and gnawing at a sandwich, Romeo hugging a doll, Romeo pouting, Romeo lying asleep on the couch, Romeo sitting on a chair being fiddled with by a few stylists …
These photos recorded almost every moment of Romeo’s participation in the game, if his heart wasn’t in it, why would he go through so much trouble to collect his photos? If his heart wasn’t involved, why would he call him ‘My Kitten’? If he didn’t have feelings for him, why would he make him his whole world?
Gustav really does have special feelings for Romeo! What the hell is going on with these pictures? Are they real?
The fans rioted, leaving messages on his web page to seek the truth.
Tell me your social media account was hacked, this can’t be your own post! Someone tried to deceive themself.
Gustav didn’t react until half an hour after the outbreak, but it was too late to delete the photos. He quickly thought of the idea to imitate the group of photos with Rooney. He commanded his assistant to order small versions of Romeo’s previously worn outfits for Rooney, then he guided Rooney to use the same poses and expressions as Romeo.
How can a cat resemble a person? But the results were amazing, Rooney’s photos somehow synchronized with Romeo’s. The person and the cat had the same sea blue eyes, and the same temperament- pure, clean and lovely. Especially when their ignorant little eyes peered into the lens, the person and the cat’s images almost overlapped.
After capturing the photos, Gustav rewarded Rooney with two bags of small dried fish, then he immediately uploaded a folder marked – “My Kitten-part 2”, the post was unfinished, don’t get so excited.
The fans instantly widened their eyes, their angry, worried or doubtful moods disappeared, they now didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They knew their idol had extreme furry pet obsession, but they didn’t expect him to take his pet photo shoots to a new realm, unexpectedly making Rooney imitate the male goddess Romeo.
But don’t doubt, although the idol’s brain had a big hole in it, his photography was still on point. Rooney and Romeo were clearly a human and a cat, but the way he photograph them gave the viewers a feeling of seeing double, especially since they had similar sea blue eyes. The meng was off the charts! One photo had Rooney wearing a small blue skirt, his claws on the shoulders of a doll. His head was tilted so his round face and the doll’s face were affixed together, and his clear watery blue eyes were staring into the lens.
God, they’re in sync! God, they’re so similar! They seriously suspected that Romeo was Rooney’s idol alter-ego.
Rooney’s actually a person, right? He’s a fairy that can transform! One netizen said this matter-of-factly. A queue of tens of thousands of people who shared the same sentiment lined up behind him.
There were replies from the furry friend lovers who immediately felt an intolerable itchiness in their hearts, then they dressed their own pets up like Romeo and uploaded the pictures. As long as it was a blue eyed animal, no matter what pose or clothes it wore, it always looked similar to Romeo. Naïve animals were too close to Romeo’s temperament, they had the same innocence, obliviousness and loveliness. This made everyone’s love for Romeo rise to new heights.
Gustav observed the situation and uploaded a second file with no more explanation. He knew that the more he tried to explain, the guiltier he would look. With the two files together, they could make their own conclusions. But he knew that they would definitely make up a lot of good reasons for their idol, since they were more willing to believe in those reasons.
Sure enough, the situation moved according to his expected development, everyone thought it was just his weird hobby, and they even joined in to show off their own pets. His angry fans were calmed, but this didn’t make him feel relaxed. He foresaw great difficulty if he wanted to be together with Kitten in the future.
As he fell into a melancholy mood, a small number of people on the network began to make trouble. They said that even if Gustav and Romeo had no affair, his concern for Romeo clearly exceeded boundaries, and since he was The Next Supermodel’s producer, it was very unfair to the other players. Who knew if Gustav wouldn’t pave the way for his favorite players? Maybe, Romeo’s previous wonderful performance was all because Gustav was cheating for him.
For the sake of fairness, Gustav either needed to resign from the producer’s position, or Romeo needed to completely quit the game, or both.
Their remarks were immediately attacked by Romeo’s fans, but Gustav’s fans were seduced. Out of jealousy, they sent letters to the program group to demand Romeo’s elimination. They didn’t want to give him a chance to touch their idol, they also didn’t want him to ruin their idol’s career.
Once again, the situation became serious.
Obviously, someone had noticed how popular the show was getting and had decided to push him out to take advantage of his success. Gustav was very confident that ‘The Next Supermodel’ would become ABC’s trump card, and if its success persisted, it would bring huge profits for the investors. Since he was the biggest investor in the show, naturally, he became that someone’s primary elimination goal. He had an idea of who that someone was.
Now, there were six players left in the show, after two more were eliminated, they would enter the championship fight, in other words – it was only three weeks from the end of the game.
His resignation would mean that he couldn’t get close to Romeo for at least three weeks, this made Gustav very irritable. He almost couldn’t imagine how he would spend those three weeks, like how a fish needed water, like how all living things needed air, he needed Romeo. Even hugging Rooney’s small furry body couldn’t bring him the slightest comfort.
He would never resign, and he also wouldn’t let them kick out Romeo. Thinking of this, Gustav put on a jacket and walked out with a cold expression, just as he arrived at ABC building’s underground car park, he saw Bonnie leading a team of cameramen towards a commercial vehicle.
“Where are you going? What’s going on?” He rolled down his car window and coldly asked. It seemed that he was too low-key, he let ABC’s senior management forget who the company’s real owner was. Acheson family’s territory couldn’t be moved by just anyone.
“Mr. Acheson, you’re just in time. We were about to go to the villa to announce a decision.” Bonnie swung her hips as she walked over, wanting to laugh but not daring to. She didn’t expect Acheson to be so soft in the head, unexpectedly cocking things up to this extent.
“What decision? Who made it? If this decision is not in my mind, I’ll make the other person pay a painful price.” Gustav pulled off his tie, his eyes full of hostility.
“This decision was given to me from the top.” Bonnie froze, explaining before Acheson got too mad, “The top brass are not confused to the point where they want to get rid of you, killing you would mean they’d also have to pack their things and head home. So, they’d decided to make Romeo ‘quit’, but I persuaded them to give Romeo a chance. For the rest of his photo shoots, Romeo’s 30 shots will be reduced to 5. That way, his 5 photos must beat out the other players’ combined 150 photos, otherwise, he’ll be eliminated.”
“What do you think? Isn’t it very thrilling and challenging? It’s fair right? And because there are only six players left, the duration of the games will greatly reduce, but each episode still needs to fill 50-minutes, so not much footage will be edited out. We can use this change to turn the recording into a live broadcast and make the audience see for themselves if we give Romeo any advantages.”
Here, she paused for a moment, then cautiously asked “What do you think of the proposal? You’re not really going to resign right? If you do, Dave will take over your position. He’s gambling on you having true feelings for Romeo and voluntarily quitting to protect him. But if he’s in charge, we’ll be out of luck and Romeo will still be attacked!”
Dave Acheson was an illegitimate child of old Acheson, he’d been coveting Acheson family’s industry for a long time. He had no talent, but he loved strutting around like a mad dog and biting everybody in his way.
Gustav certainly wouldn’t let Dave Acheson succeed. He considered for a moment, then agreed to Bonnie’s proposal. He wasn’t refusing to make concessions for Romeo just to protect himself, he just knew that once he resigned, even if Romeo’s performance was still outstanding, Dave wouldn’t ignore him. Dave was always willing to use the most despicable means to destroy everything Gustav cared about.
“It’ll be okay, Romeo can do it. Even his first shot is always extremely wonderful, no one can catch him, including me, and many well-known supermodels.” Seeing her boss’ expression sinking like a stone in water, Bonnie patted his shoulder in comfort.
Gustav responded by giving her a cold glare. He knew, of course, that Kitten would never be defeated, his excellence was far beyond everyone’s imaginations. He was just worried that Kitten would get angry when he learned that this punishment was all his fault. Will he be really angry? Will he never want to talk to me again? God knew how his stomach was spasming in nervousness.
While Gustav was tangled, the car arrived at the villa. Bonnie had no intention of letting the other players know too much. She called the teenager into a separate room, let the cameraman hit record, and briefly explained the matter, then she placed two sets of screenshots of the social media outrage.
Gustav covered his face, afraid to look.
John was so angry that he gave him a close-up, focusing on his red ears. Do you still know shame? This is too outrageous! Because of your weird taste, my idol could be eliminated!
But in fact, Zhou Yun Sheng didn’t feel anger or panic, only excitement. Making him, a former successful supermodel, compete with a bunch of rookies, he always found his victories boring. His seemingly free and easy personality hid some militant traits, he loved a difficult challenge. He even felt that Bonnie could cut her five chances down to three.
He looked at the photos of Rooney for several minutes before he slowly opened, “It’s very adorable, what’s its name?”
“He’s called Rooney, and I think you’re way cuter than him.” Gustav never ignored an opportunity to praise his sweetheart. He saw Bonnie giving him a fierce stare, so he hurriedly corrected his attitude, “I’m sorry for causing such a big problem for you, but I’m sure you can overcome it.”
Zhou Yun Sheng pretended to smile bitterly, “I have no room to disagree, isn’t that right? Only in this way can I prove my strength, and also fix your reputation, Mr. Acheson. For everyone who believes in me and supports me, I accept your decision.”
“It’s great of you to think like that.” Bonnie stood up and embraced the boy.
Gustav also gave him a solid hug and whispered in his ear, “I’m sorry, and… I love you.”
The bottom tip of Zhou Yun Sheng’s heart was gently stirred a bit.
Accompanying the Prince to study – inconsequential side characters. Filler.
Bottom tip of the heart- innermost feelings