Title: Lip and Sword
Author: Jin Shisi Chai
Xing Ming is the host of Pearl Line, a news analysis show for the station Pearl TV Station News Center. He’s attractive, talented, and truly cares about the news he puts out. As a result, during the end-of-the-year banquet for the station, Xing Ming is awarded the Top Ten News Centers of the Year award. However, not everyone feels he is deserving of it. Director Chen Linan, who actually recruited Xing Ming initially and put him in the position of hosting Pearl Line, now no longer feels he is worthy of his accolades or role on the show. This is all because Zhuang Lei, rumored to be Chen Linan’s niece or lover, was the host of Pearl Line before she went on maternity leave, which allowed Xing Ming to be her replacement. Even though she has recovered and is ready to return, Xing Ming refuses to give up his spot.
Due to his frustration and drunkness, Chen Linan confronts Xing Ming at the party. At first, Xing Ming isn’t worried over the drunken Chen Linan’s pestering… until Chen Linan brings up Xing Ming’s dead father, a convicted rapist. In a blind rage, Xing Ming beats Chen Linan over the head with a wine bottle in front of everyone at the party. In a panic, knowing his job is on the line, Xing Ming reaches out to the station chairman, Yu Zhongye, and offers himself up in exchange for leniency regarding his punishment. While Yu Zhongye does take him up on his offer, and they spend a night together, the director and chairman are set to fire him the following day. Once more, in a fit of rage, Xing Ming fights off the security guards and poses an offer to the chairman: let me create my own show with my own team from scratch. If he doesn’t get decent ratings during a six-month period, he will leave on his own.
Yu Zhongye agrees, but as Xing Ming faces setback after setback, he constantly has to return to Yu Zhongye for favors. As he gives himself over to the chairman repeatedly, Xing Ming begins to question if this is all worth it and what his sexuality is. However, more than anything, Xing Ming wonders if what he feels for Yu Zhongye is truly admiration or if it is something deeper? And is Yu Zhongye capable of loving anyone for more than their body?