It was a little after 6 AM in the morning. The fresh autumn air made for unusually good weather.
Zhang Ye was still sleeping in under the covers when he was awakened by clattering coming from the living room. Shortly after that, his bedroom door opened and his parents were standing at the door with Chenchen, dressed to the nines.
His father called out to him, "Little Ye, we're leaving now."
Zhang Ye replied helplessly, "You guys were actually serious about going to Tianjin to play?"
"Didn't we tell you yesterday?" His mother said with a laugh, "Since we have nothing to do during the weekend anyway, we just wanted to bring Chenchen out to enjoy ourselves. If you get hungry, order some takeout for yourself."
Chenchen asked, "Zhang Ye, do you want to go?"
Zhang Ye mumbled, "I would like to, but you have to ask my mom if she'd let me!"
His mother leered at him and picked up her suitcase. "Why would you go? Just stay at home! If you follow us around, could we still enjoy ourselves? You'd attract too much attention and get us surrounded by people wherever we go. They would definitely want to ask you for your autograph, making it difficult for us to move around. So you should just stay at home and sleep all you want. We will be coming back on Sunday night anyway."
Zhang Ye turned back around to continue to sleep. He said, "OK, I understand."
Dong. The door closed.
His parents left. Only Zhang Ye was left in the house. He actually felt quite tired since he didn't get enough sleep, but after his family left the house, he somehow couldn't fall back asleep. After he tossed and turned and yawned several times, Zhang Ye patted his mouth a few times before grabbing his cell phone from the nightstand. He went onto the internet and browsed around casually. Now that Plants vs. Zombies had solved the pressing issue of his source of popularity, which had now stabilized, Zhang Ye was no longer too worried. He had taken the past few days off and did not go to work, unafraid of getting into any trouble with Central TV. This fellow was in fact hoping that Central TV Department 1 would fire him, so that his contractual issue could be solved and so he could go seek a new job at another television station. However, he knew that Central TV Department 1 would never allow him to leave.
With his popularity constantly rising, and the freedom to take days off, this wasn't too bad.
Suddenly, his cell phone vibrated.
Di di. There was a message from his instant messaging app. The message came from the alias "Water Lotus Moon"—which was Wu Zeqing's online username.
Water Lotus Moon: "Are you up?"
Zhang Ye took a look and broke out into a smile as he replied: "Just now, how about you?"
Water Lotus Moon: "Same here. Big Sis is still lying in bed right now."
Zhang Ye: "Is it your day off today?"
Water Lotus Moon: "Yes. Is there anyone beside you right now?"
Zhang Ye: "There's no one here. What's up?"
Just as Zhang Ye was wondering why Old Wu was asking him that, a di di sounded and one picture was sent over, followed by a second, a third, a fourth and…
He was about to reply when he received an invitation to join a video call.
Zhang Ye quickly tapped to answer, and a moment later he could see Wu Zeqing on the cell phone screen.
"Old Wu," Zhang Ye said with a rather dry throat.
Wu Zeqing put her hair up. "Did you get it?"
Zhang Ye nodded furiously. "Yes, I did. It was very nice!"
Wu Zeqing nodded. "I feel like I've slimmed down a little recently, so I wanted you to have a look. Did I slim down?"
"Yes, a little, but it's not that obvious." Zhang Ye gulped. "You look good no matter what!"
Old Wu: "How have you been recently?"
Zhang Ye: "I've taken a few days off and been recharging myself with this break. Everything's great."
Old Wu: "Do you really not want me to help regarding the issue with Central TV Department 1?"
Zhang Ye smiled and said: "There's no need to. Our relationship is not public and it's not really suitable. Besides, I have my own ways of handling it. I'll let nature take its course, so don't worry about it."
Old Wu nodded. "Alright then, Big Sis will respect your decision."
Zhang Ye, wanting some approval, asked: "The Plants vs. Zombies game that I made should have brought quite a lot of fame to your older sister's company, right? I'm sure they at least won't be forced to close now."
Wu Zeqing smiled in the video call. "My sister came to ask me yesterday about how many shares she should give to you, but since I don't have a grasp of such things in this area and I don't understand it well either, I did not decide for you."
Zhang Ye sighed: "It doesn't matter how many shares I get. Your older sister is also my older sister; we're all family. If we talk about money, it won't be good. Actually, I've never cared much about money. You should know that as well. What I care about is whether it brings me any fame, whether it aids my development in the entertainment circle. Everything else is secondary. I actually have to thank your sister this time. If not for her company which had already created the skeleton of the game and their entire team's trust, Plants vs. Zombies couldn't possibly have been made so successfully. And my popularity wouldn't have gone up so quickly either. In fact, it would have gone down instead."
Old Wu said: "Hur hur, my older sister and my nephew both owe you one."
Zhang Ye waved it off and said: "Look at you. You're my girlfriend. Why do you keep harping about owing this and owing that? You make yourself sound like an outsider." Then he immediately changed the topic. "Why are we still video calling? About that, my parents went to Tianjin for a short trip and there's no one at home. Why don't you come over for a bit?"
Old Wu said gently: "Now?"
Zhang Ye replied: "I haven't had breakfast yet and I'm getting a little hungry."
In the video call, Old Wu turned her head, probably to take a look at the clock, and then turned back to say: "Alright, send your address to Big Sis. I will get ready and take a shower first. It will probably take an hour for me to get there."
Zhang Ye said: "Don't be like that. Our places are so near to each other. It shouldn't take an hour to get here. It just a five-minute drive away. Don't bother showering. Even if you go a year without a shower, you will still be beautiful. Just come over straightaway. You can make something for me to eat when you get here. This bro is so hungry that he could faint at any time now! I can't wait any longer!"
Old Wu held her hair in front of her eyes, checking to see if it was dirty, then said, "Alright, Big Sis will be there in 20 minutes then. What do you want to eat?"
Zhang Ye: "Anything is fine."
Old Wu: "OK, I'll be hanging up then."
On the screen, the image was shifted to Wu Zeqing's lower lip and chin before a click tone sounded and the video was cut off.
Putting his cell phone aside, Zhang Ye took a deep breath then rolled out of bed. It was a little cool inside the house now, so he took out a pair of long johns and changed into them before stepping into his slippers to head outside to wash his face and brush his teeth. Afterwards, he scrambled about to arrange the stuff in the living room and bedroom, sweeping the floors and mopping them, doing it all very diligently. Thinking of, this was actually the first time he was bringing his official girlfriend into his house, so he thought that he should at least leave a good impression on Old Wu.