Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 94 (Part 2) – A Prince Exchanged For A Civet Cat

Much respect for other translators who also have a full time job and yet can crunch out at least one chapter per week @_@

Thank You, Adriana Guerrero for your lovely and amazing Ko-fi donation!!!


     According to the plot, Kong Chao had chased the clues to Yanluo Alley the night before and bumped into Sheng Xiangjun.

     As a movie featuring the Elite Guards, it was absolutely necessary for The Embroiderer to include a significant amount of action scenes. Consequently, (yesterday’s plot involved) someone who wanted to assassinate Sheng Xiangjun, and Kong Chao just so happened to protect her. After the fight, half of Yanluo Alley was destroyed, and in the early hours of the (following morning), a few courtiers reported this matter to the Crown Prince. But, because Kong Chao was wearing a mask at the time, he wasn’t caught.

     (The situation that the Crown Prince met) in court was only mentioned through the script for the actors’ understanding and the scene itself was not actually shot.

     Today, the Crown Prince paid a visit to Kong Chao because Kong Chao had accidentally dropped a jade medallion when he (left the scene) yesterday. The jade medallion was discovered by someone in the East Faction, who then handed it over to the prince. The Grand Eunuch Li (Li Gong Gong) had directly stated Kong Chao’s name, so today the prince went out under the guise of visiting his “cousin” in order to inquire on the situation.

     Of course, it was impossible for Kong Chao to ask the prince how he knew the man from last night was him. He could only kneel and plead guilty.

     For Rong Xu, this scene was extremely beneficial (for his character). His role as Zhu Molang meant that Kong Chao (had to humble himself) so that whenever he saw (Zhu Molang), he had to pay his respects. However, this didn’t necessarily reflect that Qin Cheng was beneath him. Currently, it was Qin Cheng who was pleading guilty, but Rong Xu faintly felt that the tension was rapidly being drawn away by the other party.

     At this point, he only had to follow Qin Cheng’s tempo, and he couldn’t go wrong at all.

     However, in the next second, no one in the audience expected Rong Xu to suddenly step forward and personally help Qin Cheng up!

     A touch of surprise flashed through the man’s dark eyes, but Qin Cheng’s expression was still very calm. The younger man’s hands lifted his arms lightly, and Qin Cheng’s figure reflected in his pair of clear and gentle eyes. 

     The young prince looked at him with a smile as he said his lines in a quiet, amused voice: “Cousin is usually stubborn. Commander Kong taught him a lesson in place of the palace. What’s wrong with that?”

     The scene cut here and the camera crew began bustling around to change the camera angles. The next scene would be Kong Chao disclosing the truth of the matter to the Crown Prince, and the prince slowly changing his attitude towards Kong Chao. Old Liu planned to use high and low angles to film this scene. Qin Cheng would have the high angle shot and Rong Xu would have the low angle shot [1], symbolizing the distinctions between the two men’s statuses.

     After Old Liu yelled CUT, the makeup artists stepped forward one by one to help Rong Xu and Qin Cheng touch up their make up.

     (In this industry) Male actors also needed to apply makeup because, on the big screens, even a single pore could be seen quite clearly. In order to present a flawless image, applying makeup was a sort of professional work ethic.

     Rong Xu and Qin Cheng only shot one scene so far, and the makeup artists only had to brush up the powder before they left the set.

     On the other end, Old Liu was adjusting the cameras with the camera crew, but on set, a certain man walked two steps over and whispered in a low voice that only the young man beside him could hear: “It was a really good modification…”

     Hearing this, Rong Xu was taken aback. He subconsciously turned his head, and his gaze collided with Qin Cheng’s.

     A faint smile settled in those deep, dark eyes. 

     Kong Chao’s stern flying fish brocade outfit made Qin Cheng appear even more cold and indifferent. He was generally difficult to get close to, but now he was even more chilling.

     However, this sort of alienation was only meant for the staff members beside him. In Rong Xu’s eyes, he felt warmth sprout in his heart seeing this cold expression, and he couldn’t help but smile.

     “You wanted to pressure me.”

     Qin Cheng was suddenly taken aback, and replied reflexively: “……pressure you?”

      Rong Xu didn’t realize the ambiguity of his own words [2]. He raised an eyebrow and nodded while saying: “When you were acting out the scene just now, don’t tell me you didn’t deliberately want to draw me (into your pace)?” 

     Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with being drawn into Qin Cheng’s rhythm. Qin Cheng had studied the work deeply, and his understanding of it never made Old Liu disappointed. Following Qin Cheng also meant easily satisfying Old Liu’s (expectations).

     However, Rong Xu didn’t particularly enjoy the feeling of being led (to success). He had his own understanding of the role and didn’t need to be led by another. Thus, at the end of that scene, he improvised according to his own understanding (of the scene), and broke out of Qin Cheng’s rhythm.

     Meanwhile, although he clearly understood what the young man was saying, Qin Cheng lowered his gaze and smiled, saying meaningfully: “So…… I pressured you.” (TL notes: can also be read as: “So…… I ‘topped’ you”)

     Rong Xu snorted softly, but didn’t respond.

     It was unknown what was holding up the camera crew, but Old Liu had yet to start filming the next scene, and the other staff members were all busying about. Qin Cheng scooted over two steps and stood beside Rong Xu. The young man didn’t care at first, until…… his finger was suddenly hooked onto!

     Rong Xu looked up at Qin Cheng in surprise, only to see the latter’s thin lips tilt up slightly: “Then…… let’s try acting it out, how about it?”

     Zhu Molang’s brocade robe had very wide cuffs so they directly covered the two’s little hooked fingers.

     Hearing the man’s words, Rong Xu couldn’t help laughing softly: “(Act out) being hung from a rope?”

     Qin Cheng didn’t mean to imply anything at first, simply hooking onto his man’s finger innocently. But when he heard that, he didn’t refute the challenge, but rather nodded lightly: “En, hang on the rope …… whoever NG’s the most loses?”

     Rong Xu grinned slowly: “Okay!”

     Consequently, for the first time, Old Liu witnessed the smoothest scene he’d ever filmed in his lifetime.

      He had never doubted Rong Xu and Qin Cheng’s abilities to recite lines. You must know that recitation was a fundamental part of every actor’s skills. It would be barely forgivable if there just was a problem with their ability to say the lines. Others could only say their acting skills were poor. But if they couldn’t even memorize lines, then what? They didn’t even achieve the barest minimum of an actor’s professional ethics!

     Meanwhile, for the two people (on set now), memorizing lines, reading lines…… something like that wasn’t even worth mentioning.

     When the ordinary lines were read from Qin Cheng’s mouth, they became sonorous and commanding. You didn’t even have to watch his performance with your eyes; just listening to his voice could portray the cold-bloodedness and determination of a seasoned warrior. Meanwhile, when Rong Xu swirled the tea cup and recited his lines in his gentle and pleasing voice, his indifferent smile and his beautiful, fair face inexplicably became even more elegant and regal.

     Now, they were already on Rong Xu’s last scene with Qin Cheng.

     Only their first scene NG’d once, not because of a performance mistake, but rather because Old Liu was dissatisfied with one of the camera’s angles.

     When these two individuals performed on set, most of the staff members would subconsciously begin to spectate from the side. They themselves didn’t even notice as they watched with delight. When the first scene was finished, one member of the props team said emotionally: “God Qin acting skills really are superb. Even I was about to be immersed in the scene!”

     When Huang Lei walked by and heard this, she pulled down her sunglasses and grinned at the staff member.

     Just then, as the film’s heroine, Huang Lei also stood by the set to watch Rong Xu and Qin Cheng’s scenes. Within the crew, there was no one more qualified than Huang Lei to say “I know best how it feels to act alongside Qin Cheng”.

     Yesterday, when Rong Xu was filming the Court scenes, Qin Cheng and Huang Lei were filming the scene of “The Hero Saving the Beauty in Yanluo Alley” in Group B. Though Huang Lei admitted to not liking handsome men and not caring much about appearance, when Qin Cheng rescued her from the burning brothel, she looked at Qin Cheng’s handsome face and couldn’t help but feel her heart move a little.

     (Her character) Sheng Xiangjun fell in love with this man without a second thought, and although Huang Lei didn’t love him, she still had to admit that she somewhat understood Sheng Xiangjun’s thoughts.

     If such a strong and handsome man suddenly rescued her from deep waters, she too would definitely be moved.


[1]In filmography, low angle shots are bottom-up while high angle shots are top-down

[2]“Pressure me”: can also mean “To be on top of me”, “Suppress me”, “Push me down”


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7 thoughts on “SA Chapter 94 (Part 2) – A Prince Exchanged For A Civet Cat”

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