Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 90 (Part 1) – The Embroiderer

Hi all! Thanks for your patience. Because of my self-destructive clumsiness, I managed to hurt my hand by crushing it against a wall……….. I worked through the translations with one hand so it took quite a bit longer than I expected Orz. It’s all better now though. I should be able to cram out the entire chapter in a week.

The donation event will kick off beginning June 1, 2021 and run for 1 month on Ko-fi! There’s still time to cast a vote!!!

Chapter 90 is 2x longer than the average chapter length and will be posted in 3 parts. Enjoy!

    Xiangshan and Hengdian World Studios are both located in Zhe Province (Zhejiang Province), with a distance of only approximately 100 kilometers[1]. At noon that day, Rong Xu directly told Luo Qian about the situation and asked her to cancel his flight back to B City for that evening.

     At three o’clock in the afternoon, Qin Cheng’s assistant arrived at Xiangshan Film and Television City, and the group headed back together towards Hengdian.

     Rong Xu also called to update Luo Zhentao, but he hadn’t finished speaking before Luo Zhentao laughed and interrupted: “I already knew by this morning. Xu Jin specifically called me first to ask about your itinerary. Xiao Xu, I heard Xu Jin say that there aren’t many scenes for that particular role. If the shoot goes smoothly, you should be able to finish in a week. Director Xu’s movie won’t start filming until two weeks later. Although I also want you to get some more rest beforehand, this movie…… is truly spectacular.”

     Rushing to another cast audition without a pause just after finishing one movie was considered a bit of an overload for any actor.

    Of course, there were also some actors who preferred to blaze through multiple dramas at the same time and rush from cast to cast in order to secure more works, make more money, and receive more exposure. However, this type of behavior was typically deemed shameless by others within the circle.

     Due to an actor cramming in multiple shoots (at the same time), crews would often have to adjust the filming schedules according to an actor’s availability, which was highly inconvenient (for everyone else). Moreover, cramming shoots could also easily cause problems for the actor’s state, making it so they couldn’t switch between the different roles.

     Normally, Rong Xu wouldn’t go around cramming shoots, and if he filmed The Embroiderer, he wouldn’t have any days to rest. However, as Luo Zhentao said, this film was a great opportunity. Having a chance to cooperate with international big-name directors, Film Emperors, and Film Empresses was truly a rare chance.

    Luo Zhentao said: “It was Mr. Qin who recommended you for this film.”

     Male No. 3 in The Embroiderer was originally a Chinese-American individual who had quite a bit of fame in the United States. In addition to his image and acting skills, He was chosen (for the role) because Old Liu wanted to borrow his popularity to gain access to the United States’ market.

     No one would complain about having too much money. Since this little fresh meat was quite famous in the United States, then they could let him act a bit, ba.

    Of course, Old Liu never expected that this little fresh meat would actually make anti-Chinese remarks on an American TV show two days prior. He was clearly born in Huaxia, and the blood in his body was of Huaxia origin, but after being nurtured to adulthood by the motherland, this ungrateful villain went and (switched his) nationality to another country’s without hesitation, and even dared to slander his motherland.

     “His parents are still in Huaxia. That little bastard brat isn’t afraid of being struck by lightning for his words!” Old Liu directly swore up a storm with the crew.

     Xu Jin told Luo Zhentao that, at that time, Old Liu was so angry he directly called up several of his industry friends, and many of them worked together to completely ban this little fresh meat from Huaxia’s Entertainment Industry. However, the other party’s anti-Chinese remarks had already long spread across Huaxia. Hundreds of millions of netizens scolded him, but he didn’t care, sporting a “I don’t even want your money” temperament.

    This was a prime example of “know one’s face but don’t know one’s heart”. The crew for The Embroiderer had given the other party a nice lump of signing bonus in the beginning. But now, the other party had broken the contract, flung the glass bottle into irreparable pieces, and it wasn’t known if the (other’s actions were) stimulated (by something).

     However, whatever stimulation (the previous Male No.3) received, Rong Xu naturally had no clue. Rong Xu only knew that Old Liu must have been stimulated into exploding.

     Originally, that little fresh meat should have arrived at the crew the day before, but now, his role was suspended and they had to recast for a new actor. For a large-scale production crew like this with thousands of people in the crew, every single day of delay costs another lump sum of money. But, how could Old Liu nitpick the costs? He continued to urge the producer to reach out to actors. He already auditioned three times yesterday. But, he wasn’t satisfied, so he continued to audition today.

    Though, how could it be easy to find an actor who fit his heart’s ideals and be able to start filming immediately. Many first-tier newcomers who met (the role’s) requirements responded to the recruitment one after another; everyone desired to be in Old Liu’s film, but Old Liu was strict in not allowing actors to cram multiple films together.

     Therefore, when Qin Cheng mentioned Rong Xu’s name today, Old Liu’s eyes lit up: “He has time?!”

     Qin Cheng nodded lighty, seemingly just mentioning it casually: “En, they just finished yesterday.”

     Old Liu hesitated when he heard this: “……just finished, isn’t that a bit too rushed?”

     The handsome and innocent appearing man smiled and asked in reply: “Old Liu, can you still find someone better than him?”

     Old Liu: “……”

    After thinking for a while, Old Liu suddenly felt like he’d been caught in the other party’s trap. The old man furrowed his eyebrows and glanced at Qin Cheng, saying: “You didn’t deliberately set me up just now, did you? Qin Cheng, I heard about the situation where you went to present an award to Rong Xu. You must have specially gone to present him that award. Your relationship is so good, you’re obviously recommending him on purpose, right?”

     Old Liu and Qin Cheng had known each other for many years and their relationship could be considered long-time friends.

     It stood to reason that after being exposed, a normal individual would not only panic, but also feel guilty. However, Qin Cheng just raised his eyebrows and quietly curled up the corners of his lips. He gave a smirk and asked: “So… did you not want me to go invite him over?”

    Old Liu: “……”

     Xu Jin, who was watching silently from the side: “……”

     Finally, there was someone else in this world to share in his pain!

     After making the phone call at noon, Qin Cheng sent over the script of The Embroiderer to Rong Xu. In fact, since a long time ago, Qin Cheng had already revealed some of the script’s overarching plotline to Rong Xu. Simply put, this was a chaos-filled wuxia story taking place in the last few years of the Ming Dynasty.

     In the last years of the Ming Dynasty, wars infested the four seas, and the reigning dynasty of more than two hundred years was exhausted.

    Qin Cheng’s role was the commander of the Jinyiwei troops (Elite Guards)[2], Kong Chao,  who, after returning to the imperial court from an intel collecting mission, discovered that the brethren comrades around him began mysteriously dying off one by one. Everyone died from otherwise normal means. Some died from accidents and some died from mission failures. However, within a year, eleven of them died one after another, making Kong Chao feel a sense of abnormality.

     Then, one day, when Kong Chao returned home, a seriously injured comrade fled to him and died in his arms. Before dying, this man pointed at Kong Chao’s heart, but his tongue had already been cut off, so he could only stare at Kong Chao, dying with his eyes wide open.

    Following that, in order to discover the truth, Kong Chao began an in-depth series of investigations, but eventually became another piece in this intricate game of chess.

    Rong Xu’s role would be Zhu Molang, a prince of the current dynasty. Kong Chao’s Elite Guards’ loyalties lay with the Emperor, but the Emperor was getting on in age and the responsibility of Empire’s supervision and control was passed down to the prince. Before Kong Chao could find the source of the truth, Zhu Molang summoned him and asked about his recent bizarre behavior. After learning that the members of the Elite guard had been repeatedly dying one after another, he formally assigned Kong Chao to inquire about the truth of the situation.

     And so, from that moment on, Kong Chao dove deep into the waters, searching for the truth in an expanse of mist, and was unexpectedly directed towards an inconceivable direction.

[1]?_? So…… I grabbed a map and used a ruler, and I’m assuming the author used a straight-line measurement for the distance between the 2 locations instead of actual travel distance. Google Maps tells me it’s around at least 230km apart by car unless they meet up at nearby cities. But, even Ninghai to Dongyang (nearby cities) is around 190km apart. A straight-line measurement is approximately 120km

[2]Jin yi wei: Ming dynasty intelligence official and military officer. The term “Elite Guards” will be used for a smoother reader experience

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9 thoughts on “SA Chapter 90 (Part 1) – The Embroiderer”

  1. I know this is fiction but cant help but feel a bit sad when reading the part about the actor being kicked out for being “anti-Chinese”. Reminds me of the current actors being unfairly banned by the industry for things that weren’t even directly opposing the communist party, or other overseas actors/idols facing pressure for calling Taiwan a country.

    Thanks for the chapter


  2. Maybe the distance of each city was different because this is a similar world to ours but not the same? It was said in previous chapters that some places were similar but not exactly the same, even the history of this world (the dynasties) which potentially could change the current story geographic areas.


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