[NW] Intern Parents Chapter 9 - Death by Embarrassment

Note: In this chapter, all instances of Ms. Wu would actually have meant "Big Sister Wu" (吴姐); this denotes a close relationship that Mo Sui has yet to display with anyone else, and in fact this is a sign of genuine closeness and respect, compared to the "Big Sister" (姐) usage in previous chapters, which were done out of superficial politeness.

From start till now, the variety show《 Intern Parents 》had only been filming for about two days. In those two days, the variety show grew more and more popular. Content farms would also frequently post clips in style of famous scenes to attract more viewers.

Clips about the kids were heartwarming and adorable. As for the adults, the scenes were all clearly unscripted. Though Jiang and Qin Feng were a bit of a tryhard couple, it was all harmless.

Still, all these clips put together were nothing compared the amount of views of and forwarding done for Mo Sui secretly eating cake in the kitchen by herself. In the video, the movie empress scooped up small spoonful of cake: at first just for a careful taste, yet as soon as the cake went into her mouth, her eyers lit up in a look of amazement. Regardless of whether one was a non-fan, a hater[1] or a fan, no one had ever seen her show such a relaxed side to her.

Or, no, maybe she did once. Mo Sui had debuted for ten years already. Many years ago, she’d also been brazen and childish. It was only that these past years, it was as if she’d suddenly turned into a different person.

Some dedicated fans dug out photos from the past and posted them on the Official Fan Club Blog[2].

【 Mo Sui’s expression was much more relaxed in the past. You can see from the photos that she got along easier with other people. 】
【 But in my impression of her, she’s never really been down-to-earth, and her personality is just naturally cold and reserved. 】
【 That may be so, but she didn’t used to seem this tense, and looked much happier compared to now. 】
【 Did you guys notice that these past four years, Mo Sui doesn’t really smile much in her photos? Could something have happened in these years? 】

Everyone discussed this point, but were still unable to come to conclusion on the reason. These past four years, no one’s heard of any misfortune befalling Mo Sui or her family. In fact, the year she turned twenty-six, she even got married, which was a happy occasion.

... ...

The viewers camped in the livestream room. At 8:30AM, the livestream room began to gradually lighten up. In the next instance, a zoomed-in face appeared on phone screens, with the face’s pale skin seeming to greet the audience members.

Large round apricot eyes blinked three times before finally retreating, revealing a beautiful and self-possessed little to the viewers. The little dumpling looked confused. She waved her little hand back and forth in front of the camera, blocking the view from time to time, but no one minded.

In the bullet comment area, people were saying good morning to each other; even separated by their screens, they still felt the warm atmosphere.

Footsteps approached. An An looked back and said softly, “Auntie, this camera—”

“What is it?”

“The camera is on right now. Yesterday, it was also on,” An An said.

Mo Sui walked to the camera. The pair’s faces drew closer to the camera. The audience members were all satisfied.

【 No wonder big directors admitted she had no bad angles. She’s so beautiful even facing the camera from this close! 】
【 I feel like Mo Sui’s condition is much better than before. Her face isn’t swollen this morning, and she doesn’t seem lifeless like yesterday. 】
【 So because An An’s here, she’s sleeping better than previously? 】
【 The cub might be cute, but she’s not a magical cure-all, the commenter upstairs is exaggerating. 】

“You said yesterday?” Mo Sui’s face zoomed closer and closer, eyes wide, doing her best to stay calm.

An explained in a serious manner. When this camera was turned out, it would emit a faint light. The intern mother hadn’t noticed last night, but she did.

At this moment, someone rang the doorbell. Mo Sui had An An wait there and went to answer first. The door opened to show her agent, Ms. Wu, whose usual worried expression was now a wide smile. She glanced inside, nodded towards An An, who looked curiously at her, and pulled Mo Sui closer to her to whisper in her ear.

“Your behaviour last night was too good. You directly shot up to the trending top spot, and your Weibo account gained many new followers. Eating a piece of cake every once in a while is no big deal. The fans found you adorable, non-fans gained a longer-lasting impression of you, and even your haters had nothing to say.

“And what can your haters even say? That Mo Sui secretly eating cake has no self-discipline? If they say that, I’ll just show them your figure[3]—what’s wrong with eating a piece of cake? You have the right to be willful and capricious!”

As Mo Sui listened to Ms. Wu speak, the look on her face changed again and again in this short timeframe, from shock to shame, to resignation and acceptance, before finally returning to blankness.

Though her erratic expressions was quickly overtaken by impassiveness, Ms. Wu was still taken aback for a bit. She hadn’t seen Mo Sui like this for a long time. For someone who’d pushed herself to the extreme to change like this, what could have been the reason?

She looked instinctively towards An An. It seemed that the little dumpling had helped a lot.

“Your name is An An, right? It’s nice to meet you, I got you a present.” Ms. Wu entered the apartment with the package she’d prepared beforehand.

An An’s eyes widened. Wow, her first time getting a present!

... ...

An An thanked Ms. Wu and asked her to help open the gift. It was a pink box with a barbie doll inside, as well as little accessories to dress up the doll, like earrings, clothing, and a hairdryer. Ms. Wu had bought the toy guessing that a little girl would like it, but she didn’t expect that An An would be so awed by it.

These days, most families had so many toys there was no place to put them. Their children sometimes wouldn’t even cherish those toys. But An An only had this one toy. She held it like a treasure, gently brushing the barbie’s hair with her little hands as though she was afraid to break it.

The child was so focused that she didn’t notice her intern mother dressing and preparing to head out.

“I’ve never taken care of kids this young... Is there anything I should look out for?” Ms. Wu asked.

Mo Sui glanced backwards. The early morning light was not too warm. The little dumpling sat beside the window wall[4], playing carefully with her new toy. Her cheeks were pink and her mouth had curled up subconsciously. She looked very cute.

“There’s nothing much to worry about, just make something for her to eat.” Mo Sui paused, then added, “She’s a good kid[5].”

【 Where is Mo Sui going? To work? 】
【 Before heading out, she specifically asked her agent to help watch the kid, how considerate! And, when she said the cub was a good kid, it’s like she was praising her own baby. 】
【 That’s right, she didn’t simply pass the kid to one of the neighbours, how responsible. 】

... ...

Ms. Wu, having stayed for two hours, realized that Mo Sui was right. This kid really gave others peace of mind. Just a little toy was able to keep An An at ease for this long, and she played with a contented smile. It was truly a healing sight.

At 11AM, Ms. Wu closed her laptop and readied to make the kid something to eat. But before she reached the kitchen, someone knocked at the door.

There was no one at the door when she opened it. Ms. Wu looked into the hallway, but still saw no one until an angry little voice came up from below. “I’m here!”

Ms. Wu looked down and got a fright. It was Ni Ni: she’d glanced at the livestream and had a deep impression of this kid.

“Ni Ni?” At the sound of a familiar voice, An An looked up. As soon as she saw Ni Ni, she hurried over.

Ni Ni had no manners in front of adults, and really was not likeable. But in front of An An, she immediately became agreeable.

“Ni Ni, how come you’re here?”

“My intern parents got kicked out. Soon there will be a new family here to replace us.”

An An caught the disappointment in Ni Ni’s eyes. She blinked and, confused, asked, “Who kicked them out?”

“Me.” Ni Ni let out a long sigh.

An An was even more confused. She scratched her head. It was one thing for Ni Ni to chase away the two adults, but why did she kick herself off too?

Ni Ni quickly cheered up. “Later I’ll ask the gardener uncle to give me my phone. I’ll watch you every day through the phone!”

An An hurriedly explained, “But kids can’t play on the phone for long, your eyes will go bad.”

Ni Ni cocked her head. “If I don’t play on my phone at home, then every day’s boring.”

Ms. Wu asked, “What about your mom and dad?”

“Dad has to earn money, and he has to drink alcohol. Mom also has to earn money, and she has to do beauty stuff[6]. They don’t have time to talk to me.”

The livestream viewers fell silent. This program was called《 Intern Parents 》: if parents had be tested on parenting, how many would get a good grade?

Just take Ni Ni’s parents as an example. Being busy with work was no excuse to simply hand the kid off to the nanny and the gardener. Could they really not spare even a little bit of time? It was clear from the kid’s dejected expression earlier that she really needed someone to keep her company. As this show’s sponsors, Ni Ni’s parents should join the show and learn from it the most!

With this thought, many viewers went straight to comment on the program’s official blog[7]. They wanted to give suggestions to the program team, to put the show’s intention into practice.

It wasn’t Ni Ni’s parents who came to pick her up, but the driver uncle. The kid was already used to this: she climbed confidently into the car with her head held high, and even gave An An, who waved at her, a cool smile through the window.

The audience members didn’t expect that when their least-liked wild child finally left the show, they would actually feel this reluctant and worried. Fortunately, the sympathetic program team quickly received everyone’s feedback, and posted and stickied an official statement on the blog.

Firstly, the program team had already contacted Ni Ni’s parents to pass along the hope that they would take it easy with their work and spend more time with their kid. The parents had also already begun reflecting on themselves.

Secondly, the program team was officially announcing the addition of three new guest groups.

None of the guests from the three groups had much renown, but the most exciting part was an actual mother-daughter pair. The mother, Ruan Qingqing[8], was an actress who’d debuted around the same time as Mo Sui; the daughter Hong Qiqi was a famous little internet star. Ruan Qingqing had not been popular in the past, but ever since her daughter Qiqi accidentally became famous on a short video app [9], she also getting quite a few work opportunities.

Apparently, both Mo Sui and Ruan Qingqing came from a professional background[10], and the two were even classmates. Were they maybe friends?

A genuine mother-daughter pair, a pretend mother-daughter pair, combined with Ruan Qingqing’s recent momentum, all made Mo Sui’s fans worry whether the movie empress was going to have her spotlight taken away[11].

... ...

At the other side, Mo Sui got out of the car.

She’d already pulled her long wavy hair into a casual low ponytail. She slid on a pair of black sunglasses with one hand, then put on hat with the brim lowered.

Today was a review day. She’d already gone through a year’s worth of therapy, without her condition ever improving.

But for some reason, Mo Sui felt that this time would be different.

  1. 1. Sometimes translated as anti-fan (黑粉丝, who are "fans" in that their way of supporting the creator/actor/etc is to hate on them or be extra critical, AKA Shen Qingqiu/Shen Yuan from Scum Villain). In this case, it's probably referring to actual haters. ↩︎

  2. 2. Chinese fans have "official" fan groups with actual leadership, who sometimes will have working relationships with the celebrities' managers. They will often conduct coordinated actions to support the celebrity, such as buying out their merch, organising fan meets, make their celebrity trend on social media, etc. ↩︎

  3. 3. Showing off how tall/slender/curvy/etc you are. In this case, specifically how thin Mo Sui is. ↩︎

  4. 4. A floor-to-ceiling window that looks like this (image taken from this site):
    rsz_window_wall ↩︎

  5. 5. The word used (乖), commonly translated as obedient, can also mean that the child is agreeable, peaceable, quiet, understanding (sometimes precociously so), good-tempered, sweet-natured, etc. Mo Sui means all of them here ↩︎

  6. 6. Can mean spa, facials, cosmetological procedures, etc. It's not specified which one Ni Ni means, but she likely doesn't know the difference. ↩︎

  7. 7. Probably the official Weibo page, a mix between Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. ↩︎

  8. 8. She is actually originally introduced as Ruan Qing. Not sure if this is an error on the author's part, or if Ruan Qingqing duplicated her given name to seem cuter. ↩︎

  9. 9. Probably something like Douyin (the original app that was exported overseas as Tiktok), but nowadays all sorts of apps have this feature (including the Instagram knockoff 小红书 and the e-commerce giant Taobao exported overseas as AlixExpress). ↩︎

  10. 10. I.e. that they were professionally-trained actors, probably having graduated from acting schools/drama universiies. These are very legit and are highly prestigious schools, the same way Juilliard is famous for music, and are comparable to other top-tier universities. ↩︎

  11. 11. Specifically, by crushing her. Wuxia/Xianxia will have the most powerful people exert a spiritual pressure less powerful people are unable to withstand (or even simply stand, or even look up). This is along the same vein. ↩︎

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