From planning to posting, share your process for making creative content!
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Thank you so much for tagging me @lan-xichens, I’ll try my best to explain how I made this set from start to finish hehe ♡ and also a big thank you to @suibianjie @highwarlockkareena @nyx4 @aheartfullofjolllly and you as well Kris for putting this all together! Content creators get a lot less recognition than they deserve for all the time they put into their content, so getting everyone to see the (sometimes excessive) process we all go through to put our content in our blog, I hope it creates a positive change!! 💖
The set in question was actually requested by someone so they could celebrate their friend’s birthday! At first I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to be able to finish it on time (college is very hectic right now) but I was able to finish it three days before the deadline which was may 1st! ^-^
The first thing I did was decide what characters I wanted to use in the set, I first reached out to the person who requested the set if there were certain characters they wanted me to use but they said they didn’t know enough to really give me any directives outside of the quote. I decided, since the quote is applicable to the entirety of the show, that I would try to put in as many characters as possible.
Thus, of course, came the hunting for scenes. Those of you in the net discord surely know I came into the content help channel a few times to ask for certain scenes here and there, and eventually I had to download an additional 10 episodes to the back then 20 or so episodes I had in my CQL episodes folder.
As you can see I have 30 random episodes of CQL downloaded (slowly but surely getting to the point where I have all 50 episodes downloaded) and I think I ended up using scenes out of at least 20 of those episodes.
I planned out beforehand what characters I would use per gif. I knew obviously I would start out with Wangxian, them being the main characters of the show, and then would work my way down the list. The second gif consists of Nie Huaisang, Nie Mingjue, Jin Zixuan, Jiang Yanli, Wen Qing, and Wen Ning. They’re all family pairings, two being siblings and one being a married couple. The next gifset consists of the Yi City characters, then the fourth gif consists of the juniors, and the final gif has Jin Guangyao, Mianmian, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen in it.
I have to admit though that when I had made the first four gifs I’d forgotten who I would put in the last gif and the when I thought about it the first time around I could only think of Lan Qiren and the very cursed Yaoyang ship 😭 it was only at dinner time that same day that I remembered I hadn’t put Jiang Cheng in my gifset yet and that’s when I thought of the other characters as well.
I had already made my first two gifs when I went to check Hanyi’s blog for layout inspo and eventually I decided I wanted to try a triangle-ish layout, which I doodled below. I eventually ended up changing the layout of the last gif in the final design. It was also the first time I would work with a triangle-ish layout so I was a bit nervous as I was scared it wasn’t going to work out...
I use Avisynth 2.5 and Adobe Photoshop 2021 (the paid version, unfortunately, I need it for school except I didn’t need it this year but I wanted it so I paid for it with my own money ouch) to make my gifsets! I always start out with trimming down all the scenes I’m going to use into three to five second videos and putting them through Avisynth. This time around I did it separately for each gif I made, simply because I needed so many scenes. I would include a screenshot of my “gif vids” and “temp” folders but I’ve already deleted all the videos, which is what I usually do immediately after a set is posted.
I’ll try my best explaining this gif by gif since each one had a different layout!
I think I had up to five different designs of this gif 😭 it started out with the gif on the left originally being more centered and the quote right smack in the center but somehow it felt a bit too... empty? I changed up the design and pulled the gif over to the right and put the two closeups on the left, the exact opposite of the gif I eventually ended up with. I switched things around one more time and saved the gif as you can see it right now, except I didn’t include the lines yet. It was only as I finished up my fourth gif that I decided this gif needed lines as well so I added them ^-^
2.2 Nie Huaisang, Nie Mingjue, Jin Zixuan, Jiang Yanli, Wen Qing, and Wen Ning
I got the inspiration for the font layout on this gif from this Wenzhou post! I hadn’t tried it before and when I did for this gif I was very happy with the way it turned out :D I wanted to portray that life is a pile of good and bad things, as the quote says, in CQL by mirroring these happy scenes side by side with the sad scenes
2.3 Yi CIty
My first time working with the triangle layout!! Putting in the lines and making sure they would line up with the second gif took me the longest of all actually 😭 I think once I got the line on the left in I just copy pasted it and flipped it horizontally so I didn’t have to fiddle around with angling it anymore :’) my original idea was to get a happy Song Lan scene and a sad A-Qing scene, but when I stumbled upon this A-Qing scene in ep38 I just had to put it in there because her smile is so precious 🥺 Xue Yang and Xiao Xingchen in the center are also supposed to be mirrored, with Xue Yang embodying the “bad things” and Xiao Xingchen the “good things” ! I also think the Yi City characters fit this part of the quote very well!!
2.4 The Juniors
Ah yes, the junior quartet!! :D I had this planned out from the very beginning, that I would include happy versus sad juniors in the “vice versa” part of the quote, and I think it worked out quite well! My first idea was to put the “vice versa” completely in the special font and have it typed out over the gifs like I did with the “vice” but as I typed out the “versa” I realized it had one letter too much to be able to do that 😭😭 it took me a while to come up with how I would position the “but” and “versa” and after some moving around I decided to just place them the way I did in the final gif! For the font, I duplicated the “vice” and added a stroke to the duplicate, then I changed the fill setting to 0% so I could slightly drag the duplicate away from the original layer to create the effect that’s in the gif — also, finding a scene in which Jin Ling smiles is really difficult.... he barely even smiles in the scene I ended up using :(
2.5 Jin Guangyao, Mianmian, Jiang Cheng, and Lan Xichen
The final gif!! I feel like this might come a little across as “I promise I didn’t forget these characters” because they’re a very odd quadruplet to put together, but they were the most important characters left to put in the set! I was thinking of putting Nie Mingjue in here together with Jin Guangyao and Lan Xichen, but I did feel he fit more with his brother up in the second gif. Mei @mylastbraincql cheered me on making this gif for which I was very grateful :D <3 the layout came to be after I googled “how to evenly split a rectangle in four” because I didn’t want a repeat layout in the set (*/∇＼*)
For the coloring I pretty much did all of the tweaking on the first gif and then copy pasted all of it onto the second, third, fourth, and fifth gif. This is usually the way I go about my coloring, I will always edit certain gifs if necessary but I don’t think I had to change the coloring much on any of these gifs? Maybe I added in a curve layer here and there, but nothing major! This is really one of my preferred coloring styles, even though I try to step outside of my comfort zones with other sets ^-^
I will always upload sets into my drafts and edit the caption in there as well, clicking on “preview post” a couple times to check everything looks good on my blog as well, before I post a set. However, this time, since there was a deadline and I finished before the deadline, I put this set in the queue so it would automatically post on the 1st of may! Knowing myself, I would’ve forgotten to do so </3
Whew that was... a lot 😭 did it make any sense? Probably not, but it was fun to ramble （ ´∀｀）
@blinkplnk with this set !
@wuxien with this set !
@wendashanren with this set !
@wanyinxichen with this set !
@yibobibo with this set !
@mylastbraincql with this set !
@sugarbabywenkexing with this set !
@yiling-recesses with this set !
@jiancheng with this set !
Please feel totally free to ignore this if you’ve already been tagged and don’t want to do it again!! <3
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Sanctuary to human chaos- chapter 2
Sanctuary to human chaos- chapter 2
After dropping Suo at the station, Zhaihai went to his office and ordered his assistant to get the footage of the roads near governor's house and meanwhile he started digging into 'Dragon Gang'.
He got as much as information as he could get from the internet and started reviewing the data. And also once got the CCTC footage near governor’s house he sat back on the sofa with wooden hands and started looking into it.
The friends and staff who often visits his office suggests that he should change the sofa as it is not that soft and how will he sleep when he wants to sleep there.
He replies “Why would I sleep in the office? If I want to, I will go to my room and sleep and I don’t want to be too comfortable in the office”
After hours and hours of reviewing he finally found something. There’s a person who was in he data collected under Dragon Gang was in the vicinity of the crime scene for the past week.
He finally rubbed his eyes, removed his anti-glare glasses and sent a mail to Binan Suo’s personal email. By the time he sent this it was alreay 12 PM and he hasn’t slept the whole night. So, he went to his room to sleep and take rest.
On the way to his room he saw the messages he has received.
Xi Song “We can go to dinner, if by that time I am not busy with work”
Zhaihai replied “ Okay, call me when done. And inform Chief Yu to check his personal email.”
He reached his apartment which is lifeless. If someone sees it they will think that no one is living here. There is no furniture except a sofa set and in kitchen, fridge was empty just a few water bottles. In bedroom the cupboards contained a few pairs of clothes which can be counted on fingers.
But the apartment was regularly cleaned and kept in living state. He opened mint chewing gum and ate it, when ever his brain is busy he has no need to eat the mint but whenever his brain is free, his addiction comes out which was silently lurking around.
When he was under observation by both the police and the rehabilitation center, doctors suggested him to take a mint to soothe his cravings. Xi Song used to buy him every time and after so many years it has become a habit.
He freshened up and went to sleep without eating anything. Addition to his other bad habits Zhaihai also has a bad habit of not eating food on time. Sometimes he even skips it for a week. He simply finds it bothering.
At the same time as he went to sleep Suo has been woken up from his 20 min little nap by Xi Song saying that he need to check his email.
After waking up and washing his face, he opened his mail. Before going to sleep his team has successfully ID’ed the vic and the hospital records of him have been submitted by the hospital and also the list of rivals of the Governor.
Satisfied with progress he let the team of the hook and sent them to take rest saying if he needed them he will call them. All of them left to the staff resting rooms in the building as going home is difficult under the situation.
They usually stay 3-4 days without going to their houses so all their required things were present in the resting room. they treat this as their second home.
“I don’t think Chief is going to sleep for another 48 hours.” commented Hans while he was changing the sheets on his bed.
“I sometimes pity him, what’s the use of being in higher position when you can’t even sleep and eat on time?” sighed Greta.
“But he’s not always like this. Only when we have big cases he needs to skip those, but when we have normal work he won’t even stay a minute longer even if the director of police asks him to stay” said Luo Shen.
“He knows his priorities well, we all should learn from him. Now stop chitchatting and sleep. He might come any second and give us work” said Xi Song stopping all the blabbering and fearing them into sleeping.
When Suo opened his email and saw the contents he first reaction was anger.
He clearly mentioned Zhaihai not to get involved in the case. Investigating the governor and Dragon Gang? What the fuck will happen if either of them found out that he got all the information either by hacking or throwing money.
All his sleepiness was gone in an instant due to anger. He wanted to find that fuck head and knock the shit out of him.
He noted down the important details and deleted the mail and submitted official request under police to get the information from right channels so that no one will question him where he got it.
Based on the information given by Zhaihai this person that belonged to Dragon Gang who was in the vicinity made frequent visits to the country club named Dragon City club.
Suo grabbed his jacket and when he searched for his team he found them in the resting room where everyone is sleeping deeply. so he left them without waking them up.
“Hey, Chief where are you going?” asked Xue Mei a member of the narcotics team.
“I am going to the Dragon country club”
“Oh, that’s good can you drop me by the post office near the club. I was going that way” She asked sweetly.
Everyone in the Nanjing Police department knows that Xue Mei has a big crush on the Chief. Suo rejected her in the smooth ways many times but she says that “No one can resist a person if they are continuously courted”
Suo simply nodded and gave her lift. When on the car she said “Do you know that the Dragon country club belongs to Dragon Gang, but there were no sufficient proofs to raid it, we tried many time”
He obviously knew this information being the chief and all. Yet he asked, do you know the persons that make frequent contacts with both the club and gang?
“Yeah, there are two people. Tiger and devil, but it was said that they both had misunderstandings and are at cold war. Why? Is there any news on them?” She asked.
“No, I was dealing with a case and I came across a person that might be related to those two” saying this he handed her the picture of the guy.
“This is the Devil, he is seems ruthless but not that bad, if you run into Tiger I suggest you don’t go without any backup. That guy killed a man in a public and no one dared to report against him.” she continued.
“By the way, they said that President Li has dropped you in the morning. Is that true?” she asked curiously. She never understood the deal between them, they seems like they don’t like each other but some how they do things for each other.
He did not want to answer this question so he just simled. Actually he never liked talking about Zhaihai with outsiders and everyone except him and Zhaihai were like outsiders to him. He did not even talk to his parents in this regard.
“What? Did he do anything again?” she pestered.
“Xu Mei, I did not answer that question because I do not wish to talk about him to you. So, do not make me uncomfortable”
She just smiled. Actually this was not the first time, she asked him about Zhaihai every time he never answer the question so she was very curious about their relationship.
At 9 PM in the night everyone was woken up by the Chief’s shouts asking them to assemble in meeting room in 10 mins.
“So, a certain upright citizen sent me a picture of person who was in the Dragon Club who was seen in the vicinity of our crime scene” Xi song understood who that upright citizen was and smiled.
He continued, “I went to the Dragon Country club and tried getting the information regarding him but since it is related to the gang and a son cannot betray his mother it was very difficult to get into the club flashing our police id’s so I want you stake outside the club 24/7.”
“I placed Cheng Ling on the watch. Two of you guys have dinner and relieve him and other two, go to Narcotics Branch and get the details of the guys names Tiger and Devil. You can go home after that.”
And he wanted to go through the security detail of the European minister and try to find if any clue might come in to light from their side.
“Why don’t you join us for the dinner Chief, why don’t you eat and take rest for at least 3 hours. We will call you if we find any update” Greta said interrupting him from his thoughts.
Before he could refute Luo Shen “Chief, if you carry on like you cannot concentrate and you brain may stop acting take a break”
“Okay, okay stop nagging. Let’s go for the dinner” Suo said thinking he might as well eat and sleep a bit.
Since Xi Song and Zhaihai already made an appointment she invited him to this group dinner as everyone was familiar with President Li.
By the time they reached the restaurant Zhaihai has already booked a room and sent them the room details, they directly entered the room. This was one of many restaurants that belonged to his company.
The team entered the private room and saw that Zhaihai was already seated at one end of the table. They all greeted each other but Suo simply sat at the other end and ordered his food, after ordering he closed his eyes.
By the time the food arrived Suo was already in deep sleep, the air conditioning is so good and the fragrance was soothing that his body instantly relaxed.
“Don’t wake him up, let him sleep” Zhaihai interrupted Hans who was trying to wake Suo.
The dinner was lively but all this commotion did not interrupt Suo’s sleep. He slept soundly and peacefully, he was not a deep sleeper but when saw Zhaihai he subconsciously relaxed knowing that he’s around he felt some sort of comfort and he couldn’t fall asleep.
After the dinner is done, Zhaihai said he will take Suo to his room and sent everyone off.
“Don’t fight him, let him of the hook” said Xi Song who was afraid that hey might fight once she left.
“I won’t” smiled Zhaihai. He likes Xi Song, he was actually grateful to her. She was one of the few people who did not expect something from him.
All the people around him always has selfish desires to be friendly with him, so he cherished the few people who were not selfish with him. But with Suo it was totally different scenario.
11 years back, they were still undergraduate students studying criminology in the national university, they were just 18 years old..
Suo back then was very easy going person, he did not have any authoritative figure vibes. If you ask someone back then what they think of Suo being a police chief they will laugh until they can’t.
They will say he was too trusting, too friendly and too adorable to be a ruthless police officer. Actually Suo was still like that but that side of his was reserved for only his family.
When they started the college Zhaihai was your typical cold and mysterious guy who doesn’t like talking to people much. While Suo made friends very easily.
One day, when Zhaihai was sitting under a tree alone, in the campus while feeding the birds Suo saw him. This was the first time he saw him. Zhaihai nerver knew this but from that day Suo was intrigued by him.
The person he saw under the tree was very patient and kind while feeding the birds. The birds were afraid of people so he extended his hands with grains in them and kept them still.
Almost 30 mins passed by and he still kept in place afraid he might tick off the birds almost after 1 hour hard work and patience the birds ate what he has given them.
After he was satisfied with this he slowly opened his backpack and ate a small sandwich. Actually this was their lunch break, people who did not bring their lunch boxes go to canteen and people who bought them band together and pick a tree for shadow and eat their lunch.
Suo today brought his lunch box, is mom insisted that he eat home food and stay healthy, so he and a few people came together to eat and then he saw him.
“That was Zhaihai, rumor has it that he was from an influential background and I say it’s true we can just say from his ‘do not come near me’ aura” a girl in the gang commented.
Suo, heard her and thought “how very wrong, I think the aura around him was ‘too kind to deal with petty human gossip’”
From that day onwards he used to search for Zhaihai whenever he was in the campus. He sometimes found him under tree feeding birds, sometimes reading a book in library, sometimes playing chess by himself.
One day he saw Zhaihai was holding a stack of papers in one hand and few books in another. When he was about to step of out the classroom he paused.
Suo looked out from window to what was there outside but found nothing and understood something. He got up from his chair took a wrapping ribbon from his back pack and went staright to him.
When Zhaihai saw a person approaching him he turned and looked at Suo. Suo simply took the papers from his hands wrapped them neatly and also made a little bow knot and handed the papers back.
“You can go out now, they won’t fly away” and walked away. Zhaihai was thinking if he walked out of the door since it was windy outside they papers may fly away but he never thought he would get help.
Suo wanted to introduce himself then but during the few days he observed Zhaihai he understood that he was wary of people. So he restrained himself.
The next day, Zhaihai approached him while he was pinning his assignment, “Your ribbon” was the words he spoke to him.
“Thank you” said Suo smiling. It was Zhaihai who should be saying thank you but in his life till no one helped him and did not even expect him to notice him.
Suo in real wanted his attention but Zhaihai didn’t know this.
“But you can keep it, I actually bought another one. My mon wanted to wrap some gifts so I bought them I don’t actually need them” Suo said.
Zhaihai did not know what to do, so he left nodding.
After few days, Zhaihai saw him in the ring opposite to him in the mixed martial arts club. When they fought each other they both under stood that the other person is not an amateur but a veteran, so they increased the intensity and byt the time they finished fighting they were really sore.
In the changing room, “I’m Yu Binan Suo” said Suo finally as he couldn’t hold himself back anymore.
“I’m Li Renlai Zhaihai” said Zhaihai.
After that they conversed sometime time about since how many years have been practicing and surprisingly each started at an age of 10.
Since that day they fought each other in the ring and Suo sometimes used to join him during lunch break bringing him a lunch box too.
“I saw you eating sandwiches daily, so I bought home food. Eat it, my mom cooks really nice” Zhaihai took the box without saying much.
They usually don’t talk much, Zhaihai who was still cautious about Suo liked to speak less and Suo didn’t want to alarm Zhaihai, he wanted be his friend and so he will take it slow.
Over the time they became a little close, then one day suddenly there was a lot of commotion outside their university. It’s gates were flooded with media.
It was revealed that the current president of the Li Group of industries was a minor boy who has yet to complete his graduate and until he comes of age the board will manage the company.
The media dug deep and found that the Young master was studying criminology in the national university, so they had surrounded the university get a glimpse at him and if possible have an interview with him.
Suo, did not know that Zhaiai was the young master Li, he knew his surname but who would’ve thought that he would be that.
He searched around in the classroom but couldn’t find, so he searched for him in his usual spots and found him in the library hiding in a corner with book in his hand.
“So, you’ve been hiding here?” Suo whispered as he sat beside him.
Zhaihai looked at his and said “So, you’ve found out” with indifference.
“Let’s leave the university, more people might come looking for you, then it will be difficult to walk away unnoticed unless you want to appear before the media” said Suo in a very low voice.
Zhaihai closing his book asked “Why are you helping me? Do you need something?” finally presenting his suspicion.
“What can you give me?” Suo looked at him from top to bottom “I don’t find anything interesting yet on you, once I found it I will be sure to claim it now move your ass else it will be difficult to leave”
Suo gave Zhaihai his football cap and hooie to cover his face and took him out of the campus though the back gate where very few media people are there in his car.
The media sae Suo in the drivers seat and as they did not see any other person did not pursue them. Suo hid Zhaihai in the backseat, he did not allow him to get until they reached his home. even when going inside he was very careful.
When Zhaihai got out of the car he saw a big mansion before his eyes. He was surprised to see that Suo’s home was a mansion.
It’s not that Zhaihai never saw mansions in his life, his life was filled with big mansions that were four times the size but the reason he was surprised was that he never thought Suo would be rich.
Suo was not like other kids who throw money like paper. And he alwasys bought home food and he has no driver, he never wore fancy branded clothes. Nothing about him screams money.
Zhaihai slowly followed Suo and the words he heard were “Our baby was bringing his friend home be nice to him.” His mom shouted at Suo’s father.
“Is that kid the Li Group’s future president? I don’t like rich kids like that, why is little bird friends with him? Kids like that are always bad news can’t you tell him to stay away from him?” his father replied.
Suo was very very embarrassed to listen to this and shouted “Dad, I’m home. Stop shouting”
Suo’s father shut his mouth abruptly and looked at Zhaihai disapprovingly.
Zhaihai was very much surprised with Suo’s father’s reaction. Usually whenever he met elders they always wanted their kids to be close with him so that they can reap some benefits but here the situation was different.
The head of Yu family disliked him even before he knew him. In that moment Zhaihai made a decision that he will make this old man like him, like him so much that he will forget his own child.
While Zhaihai was brewing his evil plan, Suo’s mother came out of the kitchen holding juice glasses and said “Come, come my dear. Sit and have some juice. Suo explained everything how that bloodsucking press were hounding on phone, you can be rest assured no one will find you here”
And then he was surprised again to find that the look in Suo’s mother’s eyes was pity. He saw many looks when people looked at him, jealous, envy, anger, admiration and fear, but no one pitied him.
With astonishment he simply sat and took the glass his mother offered.
“Stay here the night son, you can leave once the situation outside was clear” she said.
“He has his parents Mingzhu, don’t make him uncomfortable” Yu Dong Bai, Suo’s father said clearly not wanting him to stay the night.
“No, I don’t want to bother you guys, I will leave after sometime” Zhaihai said.
“Mom, let his breathe. He just came, we can talk this later” Suo said steering the topic away from this.
“No, dear how can he leave in this situation. Call your dad, I will talk to him. I will tell him that you will the night at Judge Dong Bai’s house. That will assure him” she said stubbornly.
“Don’t use my name whenever you wan it dear.” Suo’s father mocked.
“Mom, I will take him to my room, we can talk about that later” Suo said as he can see that a fight is going to take place now in his living room.
Saying this he took Zhaihai in his room, “Sorry, they always like to fight. It was embarassing”
“Your father seems like he doesn’t like me” Zhaihai said inspecting Suo’s room.
“Ah, don’t mind him. He will eventually like you, even my mother used to be prejudiced about you.” Suo said.
“I talk to my mom about everything, all gossip I hear in the college I tell her so , naturally I told her that people think you were a very rich kid which turned out to be true, who is cold blah blah blah. But one day you told me you liked feeding birds remember? I told her that and she changed her opinion in a minute”
Actually, he was upset when his mom disliked Zhaihai, he tried telling her many things that might change her opinion on his but until he told her about birds did her opinion change.
He said many things but he never said when he first saw Zhaihai, it felt like that was such a private memory which he could not talk to anyone about it.
“Why did your mother’s opinion change when told her about birds?” Zhaihai asked him still looking around the room. Suo was very much tensed that Zhaihai might find his room unlikeable.
Still he answered “Because my mom is a Ornithologist”
“Oh” Zhaihai finally looked at him and said “Your room looks good, so, your father is the judge Dong Bai”
Suo nodded and asked “why? Do you not like judges?”
“What? No, looking at your mansion I thought, your family maybe in business” said Zhaihai while sitting on the bed and Suo sat on the couch across the bed.
“Our forefathers used to be rich and that got carried on to the next generations but we do have some small restaurants abroad. My father don’t like doing business in country”
“He says that a judge can make a lot of people angry and they might take revenge using those” Suo explained.
Taking all this information into account Zhaihai confirmed that these people really did not want anything from his. They did not want him for his money, actually it seems like they did not want him at all.
He relaxed and askes Suo, “Can I stay here for the night? What your mom told was right if I step out I need to vigilant.”
Suo agreed happily saying “You can stay how many ever days you need no need to ask, my mom will be happy if she knew this. I’ll go and check whether their fighting is over or not, you relax here”
By the time Suo returned Zhaihai has opened a cupboard near him and found a lot of paintings, some pencil sketches, some painting. He was looking at them like he was assessing them.
“Mom says, you can stay as long as you want and she’s getting the guest room ready for you. You can take any clothes you like in my closet”
Zhaihai nodded “You painted these?”
“If you can draw this well why don’t you study arts instead of criminology?”
“If you like something and make a profession out of it you will lose interest in it, besides looking at dad dealing with lots of cases I like criminology too”
“Mmm, these are good” Zhaihai complimented.
“You can take whatever you like or you can pay me and I will paint whatever you want” Suo teased.
Still going through the arts “What payment do you expect?”
“What can you offer?”
“Seeing you have everything, I can give you myself” Zhaihai finally looked up and straight into Suo’s eyes and “You can use my body however you want”
Suo’s breath got choked, he never expected that Zhaihai will flirt with him. He simply was out of words and stood there rooted.
Seeing this bewildered reaction Zhaihai laughed aloud.
This was the first time he laughed around Suo, he smiled many times but he never laughed. The sound of his laugh was like the rain after heavy summer when the plants were craving for water.
It was simply soothing. Still dazed Suo did not make any sound on the dining table during the dinner. During dinner Suo’s mom asked Zhaihai lot of questions about birds like when he started taking interest as such.
Zhaihai answered each question patiently and lovingly which made Suo’s mother’s heart melt silently but Suo’s father was still on guard.
After this day, Suo felt Zhaihai’s behavior towards him changed, he warmed up to him lot and started talking more.
Autumn has ended and winter has already knocking at the doors. Their first semester holidays will be starting in a few days.
“Mom asked you to come over the weekend. Are you free?” Suo asked on one such cool winter day.
“For your mom I’m always free” Zhaihai smiled but Suo did not like this answer he felt a little jealous.
“What's that supposed to mean? So, if I ask you would you be busy?" Suo asked obviously disappointed.
They were in the cafe near by the University and they both got coffee just now and sat near glass window looking at the snow fall outside.
"Are you feeling jealous little bird?" Zhaihai teased, ever since he learnt that Suo's father calls him little bird he likes to tease Suo with that.
"Stop calling me that" Suo said irritably.
Zhaihai stood up from his seat and went near him leaning he whispered in ears so close that his lips almost touching his ear tip " if you are jealous I can make you not feel that"
Suo did not expect this move of him at all and suddenly his heart beat ran like horse and he can hear nothing else.
He pushed him away and stood up saying "stop doing these things in public"
Zhaihai saw that his ears were pink and understood that he was feeling shy he grew bold not caring whether they were in public or not.
He wrapped his left hand around his waist and pulled him into his embrace his breathe drawing over Suo's face and said "so, I can do these in private?" He questioned.
Suo's legs turned jelly and his mind was exploding. Before he could respond there was flash cleary visible that they were photographed just now.
Zhaihai released him looking at the source of the light. Suo's mood has changed in an instant from feeling shy to feeling angry.
In an instant he rushed to the corner outside the cafe and saw a man running away with camera in his hands.
Suo chased him ignoring Zhaihai's words of letting that man go.
Finally after 10 mins he caught the guy in a lonely corner and said "why would I let this man go when he clearly took a picture of you" looking at Zhaihai.
And turned his head to the man " give me you camera and leave, I will not harm you else I will not hesitate to ruin you and the company that has hired to tail him"
"I, I did not take any pictures of him. I am simply looking at the snow fall there" the photographer stuttered.
Who would have thought that the guy who was blushing and feeling shy adorably can be this ferocious.
"Don't make me repeat it, hand in the camera" he grabbed the photographer by the neck and pushed him against the wall.
Zhaihai silently grabbed the camera and went through the pictures he took. Suo still holding him by neck and looked at those pictures and his anger turned into fury.
Those pictures were all of Zhaihai, and it goes back to a few months.
"From when are you following him" he asked while checking his bag for his id, he was belonged to channel which is affiliated with Zhang industries.
Even a small kid knew that Li and Zhang are business rivals.
"So, you were spying on him for the Zhang group. Do you know that spying on a government official family is a offense that could get you some serious jail time?" He asked the photographer coldly.
Since they found out everything about him the photographer didn't deny anymore and said " Sorry, young masters sorry. Please let me go. I uh I have to have a living, please forgive me this time"
"Forgive you? Forgive. You. Hahaha, if we haven't found you now you would have followed him for a long time and you would have used all these pictures of him to ruin his picture in public for your selfish reasons haven't you?"
"Suo, it's okay leave him. We'll take this camera" Zhaihai tried calming him.
"Yes, young master leave me please" the photographer started crying.
"Is there any other copy of those pictures?" Suo asked him.
"No" said the photographer trembling.
He finally let go his neck and warned " If I see you around anymore don't even think of living, I will definitely knock the living lights of you"
The photographer ran away in fear. Zhaihai stood watching Suo leaning on the wall, while Suo was glaring at the side the photographer left.
"Okay, calm down now." Zhaihai said smiling.
"What are you smiling at? Those are the bastards that made your life difficult, spread all that shit about you and you want me to leave him" he turned his fury to him and shouted.
Unperturbed Zhaihai pulled him into his embrace by pulling his hand and pecked him on his nose saying "You look hot when you get angry for me"
Suo's anger faded in an instant "I told you stop pulling these pranks in public, Haven't you learnt a lesson?" Said while getting out of his embrace.
Laughing at Suo's reaction "let's go home, our coffee must have gone cold. I'm hungry" said Zhaihai.
A guide to commonly used honorifics in 魔道祖师/The Untamed
OK - so, I’ve actually seen some confusion floating around on specific honorifics commonly used in 魔道祖师 and I figured I will put a post up to address some of this - especially the situations when they get used. Hopefully it’ll be helpful for fic writers or whoever else out there that’s getting turned around by the various translations.
As with most of Chinese vernacular, there’s a TON of similar, but different situations in which it may be permissible to use certain titles/honorifics, so bear in mind this is not an exhaustive guide. Also, I don’t have a PhD in Chinese honorifics or anything, I’m just a Chinese person that watches/reads a fair amount of historical dramas. So if I missed anything/if there was anything that was kind of unclear in the novel or drama, feel free to let me know!
公子 / gongzi/ master
Let’s start with the hardest so I can get this out of the way. You will see this translated in a variety of different ways - master, young master, sir...and they are all correct! Congratulations, you’ve hit the jackpot - depending on the situation, gongzi can be a whole hodgepodge of things.
Master: The most commonly used version in MDZS. This is a separate meaning of master from some of the honorifics discussed below - it is specifically used to address either:
Your literal master if you are a servant in the household
A somebody from a distinguished household in a polite way
General honorific: Gongzi can also be used between strangers/acquaintances as a respectful term. Gongzi is, in some ways, an indicator of respect of the other person’s status. So oftentimes you’ll find two young masters from different sects referring to each other as gongzi politely, but you wouldn’t find two beggars on the street calling each other that. and it’s usually used to address someone younger or a similar age as you. If you‘re talking to someone who is clearly your senior, use 前辈 or 先生.
Because it has the connotation of youth and aristocracy associated with it, oftentimes innkeepers/sellers may use gongzi to address male customers (particularly youthful men) because it’s a bit more flattering. Kind of like how the modern day shopkeeper calls you ‘美女’ (beauty) or even ‘亲爱的’（my dear - IDK when this started becoming a thing but if you do any online shopping on Taobao you know what I’m talking about) in China. They don’t actually think you’re beautiful/feel affection for you, it’s just a way of addressing the customer to make you feel good about yourself HA. It’s nice to be called gongzi even if you’re not actually a noble.
There’s variants of this - 小公子/ xiaogongzi is typically young master, although I think some translations just directly use the young master for gongzi. It can also mean the younger master if there is an older sibling in question here (e.g. Wen Chao was referred to as 温小公子 as he was the younger son), although you can also use 二公子 （second master), as many do when referring to Lan Wangji. It sounds a little less juvenile.
This term is used for guys - I would say the female equivalent could be 千金/ qianjin or 小姐 /xiaojie.
宗主 / zongzhu/ sect leader
This can only refer to the sect leader - it is a title, and it is passed down. There is typically only one sect leader at any one time, and his eldest male heir will be the successive leader of the sect. I’m going to take this chance to clear up some misconceptions:
Unless Lan Xichen bears no male heirs before his death, Lan Wangji will not succeed him. Lan Sizhui, given that he is not a Lan by birth, will likely never be the Lan sect leader. Yes yes, we all know he’s the adoptive son, but adoptive means literally nothing in the progenical world of Chinese history. Plus, he’s not even the adoptive son of Lan Xichen, so he is a long, long way down from ever being sect leader unless he forms his own, which he would likely never because that’s kind of like betraying your family.
On that same topic, Nie Huaisang succeeded Nie Mingjue because Nie Mingjue died without an heir and Nie Huaisang was the closest blood relative.
For the Jin sect, the succession would have been Jin Guangshan -> Jin Zixuan -> Jin Ling. (y’all I wrote here that it was Jin Zixun first in line but I totally blanked that he was actually a cousin and NOT the son of JGS so ignore that LOL) Since Jin Zixuan died, it became Jin Guangyao - Jin Ling is next in line as he is of the next generation and too young at that time to rule. Honestly, if Jin Ling was older at the time of Jin Zixuan’s death and if this was a Chinese historical palace drama, there would probably be some serious internal political intrigue going on as Jin Guangyao’s claim over the seat would arguably be weaker than Jin Ling’s since he is illegitimate.
For the Jiang sect, Jiang Cheng is the heir even though Jiang Yanli is older because he is male. The question of who will inherit his seat (a very valid question given his luck with dating, although I am sure someone somewhere will eventually warm the prickly cockles of his heart) remains open. IMO there is a less than zero chance that Jin Ling succeeds him unless Jiang Cheng specifically demands for it, but he likely wouldn’t because he is all about decorum and also it would put Jin Ling in an incredibly difficult situation, which is the last thing he would want for his nephew. If he doesn’t end up producing heirs, the seat will likely go to whomever he names as successor, even if non-blood related - maybe the current head disciple.
With that said, although there were generally established rules for succession, actual Chinese history (like all of history) often played out very differently (e.g. Emperor Kangxi stripped crown prince Yinreng of his right to succeed and appointed Yinzhen (Yongzheng), who was the fourth surviving prince, as his successor) so really, even if you were to base sect succession off imperial succession traditions, you could still make the argument that anything goes as long as you have the right people in your corner. HA.
老祖/ laozu/ grandmaster/forefather
I mean, I think grandmaster is probably a fair translation of laozu, which, to be honest, is a harder honorific to translate. It’s definitely influenced by Taoism and not very common at all, but it’s likely derived from Hongjun Laozu (鸿钧老祖), who was a deity and teacher. It does NOT only stand for a senior teacher/master however, because 祖 itself has ancestral connotations, so I think I would personally translate this as forefather. IMO, it’s really only fair to use this on Wei Wuxian and/or originators of a certain branch of study in the MDZS universe - I would consider laozu as the term of respect afforded to people who were pioneers in their fields/sects.
In that sense, Lan Qiren is NOT the grandmaster of the Lan sect. He is an elder - a very respected elder that was basically interim sect leader, but in terms of official title, technically, Lan Xichen could pull rank on him, but he likely wouldn’t unless pressed to because he is also Lan Xichen’s elder.
前辈 / qianbei/ senior/elder
This is kind of an in-between term to politely refer to someone who is your senior, but with whom you really have no formal affiliation with. Unlike 先生, it’s also unisex. A related term is 长辈 /zhangbei, but that is used for people whom you have familial/closer ties with - like an uncle, or someone within your own sect.
师父/师尊/ shifu/shizun / master
Your teacher/master, but not in the servant-master context. Someone who mentors you for years - in the xianxia/wuxia culture, this is a pretty special term because most disciples will only ever belong to one sect and will only ever have one master, and everyone else is a qianbei. The disciple has to ‘拜师’ (to formally request this relationship) and the master also has to ‘收徒’ (to formally accept disciples). So a lot of people went to Yiling in an attempt to 拜师, but Wei Wuxian never did 收徒.
In the wuxia/xianxia context, shifu is technically unisex even though 父 in itself is a male-centric term, although female masters might be more commonly referred to by the gender-neutral shizun instead.
Now that I think about it, shifu doesn’t actually appear in MDZS. Lan Wangji calls Lan Qiren 叔父 /shufu, which is completely different. It means uncle (father’s younger brother, to be exact lol), since that is their relationship.
老头/ laotou/ old man
Wei Wuxian uses this to address Lan Qiren behind his back. It literally just means old man, haha. It’s informal but not a term you would use to refer to someone who is close to you/whom you like, but not exactly a term that is insulting or derogatory, although in Lan Qiren’s case, it is irreverent because it is ill-fitting for the relationship that Wei Wuxian and Lan Qiren have. Meant to be used on men, usually for women it would be 老婆婆/ laopopo (NOT THE SAME as 老婆/ laopo, which means wife. Welcome to the weird wonderful world of the Chinese language!)
师弟/哥/兄/姐/妹/ shi di/ge/xiong/jie/mei/ younger brother/ older brother/ another variant of older brother/ older sister/ younger sister
NOT TO BE USED FOR YOUR ACTUAL FAMILY. This is in the context of the sect only. Your fellow disciples, but with varying levels of seniority. Familial honorifics are a whole different thing.
In the context of the sect, who you call your shidi/ge etc. is usually NOT based on age - it is based on someone’s seniority within the sect. If you have been in the sect/under your master’s tutelage for longer, you are the senior, even if you are younger in age.
With that, I think the novel states that both Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng are similar in age, so it is actually incredibly hard to determine if the author deliberately went against this convention and Wei Wuxian calls Jiang Cheng shidi because he is genuinely younger than Wei Wuxian, or if it is simply because Wei Wuxian is the head disciple of the sect (and therefore, technically, everyone is his shidi). I actually think it might be the former because he refers to Jiang Yanli as shijie, although now that I think about it, it might be the latter...as a reflection of the level of admiration Wei Wuxian has for Jiang Yanli WOAH.
(Fun fact: there’s a scene in the novel in Yi city where Wei Wuxian was silently weirded out that Xiao Xingchen referred to him as ‘qianbei’ - because Xiao Xingchen is his mother’s shidi, which makes him Wei Wuxian’s senior, but then he quickly realizes it’s because he’s talking to Xue Yang and not Xiao Xingchen.)
先生 /xiansheng/ mister/sir/teacher
In present day, this is literally the most vanilla term you can use to politely address a guy. Can be a stranger, or an acquaintance you want to politely address. Usually older than you, although if you’re both similar in age and you’re not really familiar with each other, you might still use it just to err on the side of caution. In xianxia/ancient China, this is usually used more like ‘teacher/sir’ to address an elder. It’s more scholastic in its implication and less generic than qianbei.
In the Lan sect, by crowd definition, 先生 refers to Lan Qiren unless otherwise stated, which makes sense and shows the amount of respect he is afforded in the sect.
夫人 / furen/ wife/madam
A term of respect for typically older women, or can also be used to refer to one’s wife.
Lastly, let me just add that this is just something that’s meant to be helpful for people as they work through the series - at the end of the day, it’s all fictional/xianxia itself as a genre is fantasy so if you need to subvert any one of the generally held succession traditions or whatnot in order to make your fic work, go!!! Do it!!!
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