Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 57 – Black Clouds

Here’s Bonus chapter 57! Sponsored by Anonymous K and Mia >w< I haven’t done thorough editing yet, only proofreading for spelling errors.

This week, I will need to reduce posts to only 2 posts instead of 3 or 4 because I realized an extreme need to clean my house. Just this week, though.


Ling Xiao’s life could not be regarded as having ups and downs[1], but was also not smooth sailing.

Among the audience members watching the premiere of Black Clouds, most had a certain understanding of his singing career, had heard his songs and know the awards he had won, but they never knew that behind such beautiful songs, there were creators who had scrapped manuscripts again and again, sought inspiration again and again, and also failed again and again in the studio.

The first half of Black Clouds could definitely be regarded as a successful commercial inspirational film. An unknown amateur singer being unearthed by scouts, entering the entertainment industry, releasing singles, releasing albums, opening their first concert, and obtaining the first trophy of their life, gaining countless fans who loved him.

The progression of the whole movie was rapid, never lingering, directly narrating the story as it happened. 

Within it, many big-name stars already appeared, and most of them just flashed an appearance. The audience had just been issued a shock, but before they even had time to shout the other party’s name, the other party’s scene already ended.

This set-up not only gave the movie a sort of fast-paced sense of happiness, but also ensured that the audience would not lose interest. Before the movie was released, many film critics and fans had been worrying “would the protagonist be able to suppress the big-shot guests”, but now it seemed that there was no problem.

Half of the movie passed, and the audience was already fully immersed in the story of Ling Xiao, unable to extricate themselves.

Such a gentle and kind youth wandered in the entertainment circle alone. His talent was his only weapon, and his gentleness made any iron-hearted person unwilling to hurt him. Even if he was made to stumble, he would only accept it seriously, able to blame the other party, but also willing to forgive them.

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There is a type of person called the Virgin Mary. Initially, when watching Black Clouds, some critics secretly wrote those words on the notebooks they carried. But after watching for a while, they crossed out those two words.

Generosity without a bottom line, that was a Virgin Mary.

Facing the world with a tolerant heart, this was gentleness.

When the audience had watched delightfully for an hour, the plot came to an inflection point: Ling Xiao was not satisfied with a song he wrote and seemed to have encountered a bottleneck. On this day, he spent an afternoon in the recording studio alone. While leaving, he was the only one left in the empty corridor, walking quietly.

Then, he finally met his life’s partner and best friend.

Watching as Qin Cheng’s handsome face appeared on the big screen, countless fans clenched their fists in excitement. Many of the fans who struggled hard to get a movie ticket for the premiere were pulling each other and were so excited that they almost screamed.

And on the big screen, there was one who was indifferent and indulgent, and one who was gentle and polite.

“How about working together with me?”

“I write the lyrics, you write the music …”

“Ling Xiao, you need me, you definitely need me.”

There was only a short five centimeters distance. In the dimly lit cinema, the two men on the screen stared at each other closely. An imperceptible smile appeared on the corner of Qin Cheng’s lips. He looked at the youth in front of him with deep eyes, as if he already firmly held the other party in his hands. But, Rong Xu was very surprised, his clear pupils trembling.

This was the first encounter between Ling Xiao and Gu Mingxiu.

Following that, was the stage of a powerful team.

“On the Other Shore”, “Heaven’s Marquee”, “Norwegian Canyon” ……

Ling Xiao’s classic songs appeared one by one in the film. One wrote the lyrics, one wrote the music, they cooperated with tacit understanding and became known as the Golden Combo in Chinese Music. In the next seventeen years, Gu Mingxiu wrote only five songs for other singers, and all the other songs were for Ling Xiao.

From love songs to rock, whatever Ling Xiao sang, he wrote, and whatever he wrote, Ling Xiao sang.

Those who were watching this scene all felt their blood boil, as if they had returned to those days. Many film critics also remembered the days when all the large streets and small alleys were filled with Ling Xiao’s songs. If you hadn’t heard his songs before, then you would be distained by others. Those able to obtain the title of “The Song God” were naturally not ordinary singers.

Then, it was the rare quarrel. Ling Xiao didn’t want to argue, so he had left first. When they met again, they were separated by a white cloth, and he could no longer listen to that person speak once more.

Rong Xu’s crying scene was projected onto the big screen, and accompanied by the film’s dubbing, made countless people in the room burst into tears. The audience members at the premiere had already seen Rong Xu act out this crying scene before, so they were a little more prepared. But, when they actually saw the pale, white-walled hospital where the usually gentle youth was crying and laughing simultaneously, stubbornly saying “This isn’t Gu Mingxiu”, the audience still couldn’t prevent their tears from falling.

Movies had a charm that could move and influence people. A good actor could make you deeply feel the inner world of their character, making it as if you have become them and could feel the emotional despair of losing your best friend.

The situation at the premiere was already like this. Then, in the other movie theaters all over the country, the audience members who weren’t prepared were even more stunned. Ling Xiao’s fan certainly knew that Gu Mingxiu had died in a car accident, but they didn’t expect that the movie would actually show it, and even to this extent.

The usual laughing youth was still laughing at this moment. But, how they would have liked for him to to just freely cry, or even wishing to take the pain for him and cry in his stead. However, he still insisted on laughing. Even though his eyes had been blurred by his tears, he still deceived himself stubbornly while weeping tremblingly.

In S City’s GuangMing Theater, a boy who had accompanied his girlfriend to see the premiere just woke up from his nap and saw his girlfriend next to him with a face full of tears. She didn’t even eat anymore popcorn, her hands hanging stiffly in the air as she cried silently. The boy immediately started: “Little Yu, what’s wrong, why are you crying? Who bullied you, I’ll help you teach them a lesson! I …”

“Shut up!”

Angry remonstrations came from all sides. The boy immediately shrunk his neck and looked at the big screen grievously. What, wasn’t this just a simple biographical film, was it so touching? Then, maybe he will also give it a look, just one look……

In J Province’s Impression Studios, a young woman quickly took off her glasses and wiped away the tears on the lenses before quickly putting them back on. But not long after she put it back on, her tears wet the lenses again. While wiping her glasses, the little girl complained sobbingly: “This…… Wuu wuu wuu…… who designed these glasses lenses, even tears can stick onto it, wuu wuu wuu…… Ling Xiao, don’t cry……”

Similar things happened in all major cinemas throughout Huaxia.

But they never imagined that this was just the beginning of the movie.

With Gu Mingxiu’s death as a turning point, Ling Xiao was at first sullen for a while before returning to music. He put even more effort into his work, working himself as if he were two people instead of one, writing music and lyrics non-stop, and constantly aiming to break the sale records that he held.  

And then, he fell ill.

Ling Xiao fell at a concert. He had held three consecutive 100,000 audience member concerts in B City. On the last day’s fifth to last song, he was singing “Heaven’s Marquee” and then his voice suddenly stopped.

The entire audience was silent as everyone watched him, staring at the God of Music on the big screen.

He stared blankly at a random point in the air, and then suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed.

The diagnosis results showed it was a brain tumor, late stage.

In the movie, Zhao Chuyun kept condemning herself. Why didn’t she find out earlier. As a manager, how could she have been so careless. But this also couldn’t be blamed on her. She was a woman with a husband and children. She couldn’t stay in Ling Xiao’s house 24/7, accompanying him and taking care of him.

Brain tumors generally had early warning symptoms. Previously, Ling Xiao had experienced many headaches, but he never went to get it checked, nor did he tell Zhao Chuyun. He only knew to bury his head to write songs and sing constantly. Now that he had fallen to his illness, fans tearfully sent their idol blessings. His friends in the entertainment circle also visited him one by one.

Ling Xiao passed the last few years peacefully. 

The him on screen was wearing a white hospital gown, lying on the bed and smiling lightly. The audience outside the screen wept silently.

Even the guy who was supposedly just accompanying his girlfriend to watch the movie moved to wipe his tears and said in a sour voice: “I can’t stand this type of terminally ill person who is still optimistic and cheerful the most. Three years ago, when my sister was on the hospital bed, she took my hand and said that she had no regrets, only wanting us to live a good life …”

Men didn’t shed their tears, only hiding the pain in their hearts.

Things that were truly touching disregarded gender and age, directly touching the soul.

Why do so many people like Ling Xiao and his songs? It’s because his songs had the purest feelings. Why were there so many good singers in the world, but only Ling Xiao was the “God of Music”? 

Because he was Ling Xiao.

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He had funded and donated hundreds of Hope Elementary Schools and established the Rongyun Foundation. Even while facing the biggest ordeal in life, he could smile and face death with a strong, firm heart. Before he died, he was already extremely weak, but he still forced a smile, saying softly to Zhao Chuyun: “I’m going to find him first, those children … I leave them to you…”

After Ling Xiao’s death, his body was donated, and the Rongyun Foundation still ran steadily under Zhao Chuyun’s care. Each year, it supported thousands of poor and under-educated children.

The film ended with the prayers of a priest. Dark, black clouds oppressed the sky, and the atmosphere made one breathless. Countless big-names in the entertainment circle came, wearing black clothing and holding a black umbrella, and stood in front of this man’s grave to send him off on his last trip.

“…… For us, he brought the most touching music. Remembering him, Ling Xiao.”

At the end of the funeral procession, the dark clouds also dispersed. 

The black clouds broke apart slowly, and a bright ray of sunlight emerged from the cracks of the leaden clouds, illuminating the land. The guests put away their black umbrellas, and the black clouds covering everyone’s heart finally disappeared.

Tomorrow will come, and the only thing we can do for those who have passed is to remember them.

With an unfamiliar and soothing melody, the scene gradually darkened, and the film Black Clouds finally ended.

The fully two-hour movie came to an end. It was 2 o’clock in the morning at the premiere, and the film handed each audience member a questionnaire, and the audience members would submit their personal evaluations and ratings for it.

The crew of Black Clouds had no way of knowing the situation at the other theaters. But, in the Capital Grand Theater, when the names of the cast and staff appeared in the credits, the scene burst into loud applause. This applause was mixed with small sniffling sounds as many in the audience had reddened eyes while clapping.

The specially invited directors also stood up one by one to congratulate Director Liang. The audience applauded for a full three minutes, indirectly telling everyone their evaluation of the film.

Rong Xu stood up and turned his body, his eyes glancing gently across the audience.

Black Clouds was his first key to opening up his path in the Huaxia film industry. This key was very dangerous. If it was used well, the future opportunities would be limitless. If used poorly, his path would be lost forever. 

Today, he finally, truly opened that door a sliver.

At two o’clock in the morning, many ordinary audience members who had just watched the movie couldn’t wait to post their thoughts online. The critics also immediately logged in to their personal accounts and couldn’t help but want to publish all the words in their stomach.

At 7 o’clock in the morning, when netizens woke up and turned on their phones to casually swipe through Weibo and upload posts, the number one hot-search-of-the-day came into their view: #BlackClouds#.


[1] (having ups and downs: original: having waves)

Translator’s corner: Someone asked how long it takes to translate a chapter. Uh… it depends on the length of the chapter. This chapter was around 3900 Chinese characters (the average for SA is 4500 to 5500 characters) long and was translated to around 2250 English words. Reading the entire chapter in raws, translating the chapter line by line, researching modern slang and cultural references, searching up appropriate synonyms, proofreading, and posting took me around 5 hours since I don’t use a TL program. Half chapters typically take 3 to 4 hours. Hopefully, I will have an editor and beta reader soon, so I can cut down on my proofreading time orz. ୧(•w•)૭ 


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16 thoughts on “SA Chapter 57 – Black Clouds”

  1. Ahhhhh this chapter was wonderful! I really like how each plots for the movies/dramas included in the novel are so detailed and carefully thought-out. It’s like the author was an insider for the film industry or something! Of course, I can’t wait for the lovely relationship between our Rong Rong and Qin Cheng to finally blossom. When will we see a kissing scene?! (πーπ)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thanks for the chapter!!! I really like this ch. OmO i want to watch black clouds and this ch make me really want to watch it. Uguguguguu. I really like MCH novel welp i need more QAQ. Btw….. I NEED MORE CHENG RONG HUHUHYYYYHUHUHUHUHUU QAQAQAQAAQAQAQAQAAQAQAQAQAQAAAAQQAAQAAAAQAQ

    Liked by 3 people

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