Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 91 (Part 1) – Auditioning

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{Please read the original translations on SurrealSkyTranslations instead of supporting TL aggregator sites. Thanks!}

     Old Liu took this audition very seriously, and it was obvious from the way he directly asked Rong Xu to do his makeup and change into costume (for the audition).

     Many cast auditions simply asked for the actors to act out a snippet without having them change costumes or do makeup, only to get a general feel (of their capabilities). Of course, when Rong Xu went to audition for Vie for Supremacy and Black Clouds back then, he also had to change into costume and put on makeup. However, Wan Siyao’s and Ling Xiao’s styles weren’t as cumbersome as Zhu Molang’s.

     The prince’s python robes, triple layer brocade robes, and jeweled embellishments were all gorgeous and luxurious. Compared with Qin Cheng’s flying fish robes, Rong Xu’s costume was a few degrees more extravagant. 

     Old Liu grew more satisfied the longer he looked. The elderly man didn’t say anything out loud, but the wrinkles that appeared at the edge of his eyes couldn’t hide his happiness.


     With the assistant director leading the way, Rong Xu entered a room not far away. Originally, this was the director’s private resting lounge, but once Old Liu started filming, he refused to take any time to rest. Thus, after having to change actors, the crew directly converted (the room) into an audition room.

     Old Liu, the screenwriter, the producer, several associate directors…… and Qin Cheng, all sat in the audition room. Inside the spacious room, Rong Xu walked in wearing a golden silk python robe. He first introduced himself politely and greeted everyone before preparing to start the audition.

     Everyone here was an experienced individual. There was no need to say more; they could just start the audition directly.

     Perhaps it was to avoid suspicion, but it was true that auditionees did not need to purposely avoid relatives (on set)[1]. However, as Rong Xu’s recommender, it was already quite inappropriate for Qin Cheng to appear (at the audition). Thus, (Qin Cheng) had changed into his costume and even wore a pair of obscure sunglasses to blend in as he sat next to Old Liu.

     Rong Xu couldn’t see (Qin Cheng’s) expression, but he could faintly feel that the man’s gaze was fixed upon himself.

     Inside this small room, there was only one table and one chair placed in the center of the room – all made of exquisitely carved and hollowed wood. On the table was an empty, plain white, porcelain tea cup, quietly placed near the chair. This was the audition prop for The Embroiderer.

     Zhu Molang’s first appearance was set in the emperor’s palace. As a filial prince, he personally served his father medicine and was respectful and humble. At that time, Kong Chao would just be returning to the capital after having completed his mission. Originally, he entered the palace because he wanted to give the emperor (a briefing of the mission). But, unexpectedly, the emperor was seriously ill and fell into a long slumber. The prince was considerate of Kong Chao’s long wait and asked him to return first.

     After the emperor woke up and learned of his son’s filial piety, he took his hand and said earnestly: “The Elite Guards will belong to Lang’er sooner or later[2]. Just this time. You don’t need to try to avoid suspicion next time.” [3]

     Therefore, Zhu Molang’s second appearance would be a year into the movie’s plot line, where he would directly meet with Kong Chao at (Kong Chao’s) residence.

     And today, Rong Xu’s audition segment was the scene of Zhu Molang’s second appearance.

     Previously, when the other auditioning actors tried this scene, Qin Cheng did not act with them. Thus, for the sake of fairness, Qin Cheng naturally didn’t (enter the scene) with Rong Xu either. This scene would be performed by Rong Xu alone, but it was, in fact, a two-person scene.

     Rong Xu slowly walked to the chair and to Old Liu with a smile: “I’m ready.”

     Old Liu nodded: “Then, let’s start.”

     Rong Xu lowered his head, lifted his hands and picked up the teacup. Everyone watched his movements very calmly, and saw him hold the cup saucer with his left hand. He used three fingers on his right hand to gently lift the tea cup lid, his movements gently revolving around this white porcelain teacup. His actions were extremely passive, doing every motion slowly. But, from beginning to end, he stayed standing and never once sat down.

     Seeing this scene, Old Liu gradually sat up straight, and Qin Cheng’s lips curved upwards.

     The following scenario should be Kong Chao returning home. He had heard someone relay that a distinguished guest had come, so he quickly entered the house. However, he never expected that the person he would see would be the crown prince.

     As if hearing the sound of a door opening, Rong Xu’s actions of examining the tea set stalled, and he lifted his head to look forward. There was a hint of a faint smile in his clear and gentle eyes. He put the tea cup down, lowered his gaze to the ground, and smiled lightly: “Commander Kong need not be polite. Coming here without forewarning today is this prince’s lack of propriety.”

     Saying this, Rong Xu paused briefly, as if listening to someone else speaking. His line of sight also slowly tilted upwards, as if the person he was looking at had stood up.

     After listening to the other party’s reply for a while, Rong Xu smiled: “Since there were some difficulties…… why don’t you give This Prince a briefing (of the situation)?”

     Rong Xu’s voice was mellow and soft, like a spring breeze blowing across the lake, rippling the waters, and making others unable to resist rekindling their favorable impressions.

     The producer and screenwriter both looked at the youth in the center of the audition room and couldn’t help but glance at each other and nod. Just based on appearances and the brief performance, the benevolent prince character, Zhu Molang, was portrayed very realistically by Rong Xu, and he definitely passed the audition. But they didn’t know…… if he could act out Zhu Molang’s real face hidden deep underneath his public facade.

     In this segment of the plot, Kong Chao would hesitate for a while. It wouldn’t be until Zhu Molang took out the Elite Guards medallion given by the Emperor would he finally express his concerns.

     The Elite Guards were only loyal to the Emperor, and the crown prince will be the next Emperor. Since the current Emperor already thought of the crown prince in such high regards, then as the commander of the Elite Guards, (Kong Chao) could naturally report his findings (to Zhu Molang).

     Kong Chao’s lines for this segment would be very long, and Rong Xu listened on with a faint smile. Even Old Liu didn’t notice when he slowly sat down on the Eight Immortals chair. Rong Xu raised his left hand and stroked the smooth,white edge of the porcelain tea cup. His movements were slow and deliberate, and the smile in his eyes grew deeper and deeper. He kept his gaze lifted as he watched the Elite Guards commander who had stood up to speak. The speed of which he was stroking the porcelain cup gradually slowed down.

     When his movements fully came to a stop, Old Liu was suddenly taken aback, as if he had only then noticed that Rong Xu had sat down.

     Under the bright lights, this handsome young prince chuckled and the corner of his lips curved upwards. A dark light flashed across his eyes. He lifted the white porcelain cup and took a sip, and then he raised his head and smiled softly: “Since this is the case, then, Commander Kong, I must burden you…… to go find the truth about the bizarre deaths of the Elite Guards.”

     As soon as his words fell, he gently placed the cup back onto the table, making a noise that was neither loud nor quiet.

     His voice gradually became colder as Rong Xu narrowed his eyes and said, still smiling: “My Ming Country’s Elite Guards are people of the Imperial family. No matter who, if they touch the Elite Guards, they are touching the foundation of My Imperial land. If you catch the true perpetrator who is hiding behind the scenes, you must place him in front of This Prince, This Prince……”

     The pair of phoenix eyes glanced over, and Rong Xu’s thin lips opened: “Will kill without mercy.”

     Like this, the audition came to an end.

{Please read the original translations on SurrealSkyTranslations instead of supporting TL aggregator sites. Thanks!}


[1]“Avoid suspicion, but it was true that auditionees did not need to avoid relatives”: Avoid suspicions of nepotism

[2]Lang’er: (Name)’er is a term of endearment for one’s child. ‘Er’ means ‘child’

[3]Avoid suspicion: Zhu Molang turning Kong Chao away instead of hearing the report in the emperor’s stead was taken as a act of avoiding suspicions of trying to usurp power

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4 thoughts on “SA Chapter 91 (Part 1) – Auditioning”

  1. Aaaaaaa!!!!!!!!
    I wanna see this movie!!!!!!! 😭

    Author-nim is so unbelievably awesome at painting the stories within the novel, with a few sentences, hooked me into “seeing” the drama / movie!!!!!!!💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

    Translator-sama is also amazing!!!! Bringing forth alive this story from a different language and wrangling the tale into a seamless stream of beautiful images into us readers’ brain!!! 💕💕💕💕🎉🎉👏👏👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

    Thank you for your hard work! 🎉💕💕💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

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