Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 94 (Part 4) – A Prince Exchanged For A Civet Cat

Trigger Warnings: implied non-consensual actions within the Plot of the MOVIE. (Not between main characters nor in the world of the novel)

Phew. Part 4 alone was the length of one whole regular chapter @_@


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

     If you counted both “Lost Wings” and Black Cloud’s DVD sales revenues in addition to its box office net profit, then this film which started with an investment of slightly more than 100 million RMB yet obtained more than 15 billion yuan in profit, was simply this year’s number one gold mine!

     It was now only June and halfway through the year. As far as the box office was concerned, Black Clouds was the reigning champion.

     No producer would have issues spending (on a chance to make more). After Rong Xu finished filming Maze City, numerous crews sent Luo Zhentao their own scripts. Many endorsers also looked for Rong Xu in hopes of hiring him to be their spokesperson.

     Director Xu Sheng, like Old Liu, didn’t have a preference of hyping up his movies in advance. However, Director Xu was still better than Old Liu; once the crew officially determined the actors, Director Xu would generously present costume photos and posters and hold a press conference to announce the public opening ceremony.

     Thus, although Rong Xu’s role in Director Xu’s new work had yet to be revealed, once they begin filming next week, it would be made public.

Advertisements

     Old Liu(‘s side) was different. Rong Xu had already filmed his final scene, yet Old Liu hadn’t even disclosed the three words “The Embroiderer” (Zhuang Hua Luo) to the public.

     Since it was called The Embroiderer, it naturally had to have its purpose.

     As stated before: The Elite Guards’ Embroidered Uniforms used the finest cloud brocades crafted by Jiangnan’s skilled Sewing Women and Embroiderers. They wore finely embroidered silk and fabric, paired with an Embroidered Spring Sword.

     This movie wasn’t called the Flying Fish Brocade, The Embroidered Satin, The Embroidered Silks, or The Embroidered Spring Sword, but rather ‘The Embroiderer’. Of course, this was intended to be a glaring hint.

     Kong Chao had watched his brethren die one by one. Although he felt it was a bit strange in his heart, he (at first wasn’t) determined to explore the truth of the matter. He had his suspicions. He still had his hopes that everything was just a coincidence.

     As long as one was part of the Elite Guards, their head was tied to their (uniform) belt. Be it life or death, they consented to be resigned to their fate without lingering resentments.

     However, the last brethren Elite Guard who had participated in The Case of Sheng Ge had sustained serious injuries and found (Kong Chao) before dying in his arms. This incident made Kong Chao finally believe these events were not coincidences. He also watched that comrade lock eyes tightly with (the emblem on his) chest and gesture towards it before his death.

     Thus, from the beginning to the end (of the movie), Kong Chao worked under the belief that his brethren were asking him to not forget their lifelong friendship, and to keep their memories alive by avenging them.

     With this, an iron-blooded warrior set out alone to explore the truth about the case, diving  deep into this intricate game of chess.

     When he ran into Sheng Xiangjun and a group of brave and reckless strongmen, he finally discovered the “truth” and reported the sins of the East Faction to the court. Consequently, His Royal Highness personally escorted Li Gaodan, the governing person of the East Faction, into prison and ordered his execution.

     Witnessing Li Gaodan’s beheading, Kong Chao believed he had avenged his people and could finally give his comrades a proper explanation. However, along this journey, he had physically and mentally exhausted himself fighting the East Faction and had also lost many more brethren in this exchange.

     In the end, he resigned from the post of Commander of the Elite Guards and departed from the capital alone. Unexpectedly, 10 days after he returned to his hometown, Sheng Xiangjun appeared, and while Kong Chao’s feelings for Sheng Xiangjun were definitely not love, this woman had fallen hopelessly for this indomitable man.

     And since Kong Chao didn’t drive Xiang Jun away, Sheng Xiang Jun stayed.

     One year later, the emperor became seriously ill. He passed the throne over to the Crown Prince, and personally became Emperor Emeritus.

     Kong Chao still respected the Crown Prince. So, upon hearing the news, Sheng Xiangjun cooked a full table of delicacies and the two of them drank under the moon, which could be regarded as distantly celebrating their country. 

     When Sheng Xiangjun became drunk, she began talking about her mother’s family: “My mother was the first daughter of the Zhao family in Jiangnan. The Zhao family was the last one left that passed down their traditional embroidery skills. However, my mother was the only one in her generation. When she fell ill and returned to the Heavens, the family’s embroidery skills were gradually scattered among other miscellaneous families. But now, even the WuMen Xie family’s skills are not inferior to my mother’s. If my mother was watching from Heaven, I’m sure she would be pleased.”

     Kong Chao’s expression became cold. Still drinking, he said casually: “Do you know how to embroider, too?”

     Sheng Xiangjun smiled and said: “Why would Brother Kong even ask? In all my Sheng family’s generations, who didn’t know how to embroider? My mother was never stingy about her craft and always hoped to spread her knowledge. Even my father knew how.”

     This hooked Kong Chao’s interest. He walked back to the house and brought out the Flying Fish brocade he had kept locked up for a year, handing it over (to Sheng Xiangjun): “What about these kinds?”

     Sheng Xiangjun smiled and suddenly pointed to (where Kong Chao’s heart would be on the uniform): “The embroidery work here is done wrong.”

     Kong Chao was taken aback. He looked at the obscure pattern on the chest area. This dark pattern was the Elite Guard’s emblem. The Flying Fish patterns on each Elite Guard’s outfit may be slightly different, but the pattern should be the exact same. The pattern on his Flying Fish brocade was the same as his other comrades. How could it be wrong in Sheng Xiangjun’s eyes?

     “Where did they stitch incorrectly?”

  Sheng Xiangjun grabbed a paper and brush and began to draw: “If one wanted to embroider Zhuang Hua Luo[1], they would use the best quality of silk……”

     While talking, the gentle lady drew a needlework pattern on the paper. This missus from the Sheng family was learned in qin, chess, literature and calligraphy since childhood, and every stroke of her brush was extremely stable. In just a few moments, she outlined the incorrect stitches in detail.

     “These strokes are wrong. When it stitches downwards like this, the embroidery style is no longer “Zhuang Hua” style.”

     Sheng Xiangjun’s face was slightly flushed from the alcohol, so she didn’t notice the shock on Kong Chao’s face.

Advertisements

     This dashing but cold and resolute man took the paper from her hand. His fingers trembled and his phoenix eyes widened as he stared firmly at the paper’s contents. He stared at the diagrams intensely and his eyes grew redder and redder, practically shredding the paper with his gaze.

     Sheng Xiangjun understood the art of Zhuang Hua Luo (Zhuang Hua embroidered silk), but didn’t understand the code of the Elite Guards. Kong Chao understood the Elite Guard’s secret codes, but didn’t understand Zhuang Hua Luo.

     Today, he finally saw a hint of that secret code and finally understood why his comrade had pointed to his heart and pressed a bloody handprint on his chest before death. He had always been reluctant to wash that piece of clothing, even hiding it away at the bottom of the chest. He took it out daily, deep into the night, and looked at the blood on the chest area, constantly reminding himself to avenge his brethren.

     However, he didn’t know till now. On the chest area of their uniform, (the embroiderer) had utilized the Elite Guard’s code to stitch out five words——

     Prince Exchanged for Civet Cat!

     The exchange of a civet cat for a prince was a popular folktale from the Song Dynasty. However, this story held one meaning: the prince was a fake!

     Ten days later, the Crowning Ceremony commenced, and the emperor supported his sickly body and personally passed down the jade seal to the Crown Prince.

     But, at this very moment, a loud shout came from the gates of the Imperial Palace. King Guangping, the Emperor’s sole younger brother and the Crown Prince’s relative, rushed towards the site of the Crowning Ceremony, shouting: “Imperial Brother! Do not give him the Jade Seal!”

     The emperor was startled, while the Crown Prince knelt in the hall without saying a word.

     This was the last scene Rong Xu had to film and also his character’s final appearance.

     More than 20 cameras captured the prince’s silence, the horrified emperor, and the awkward officials from all directions. Duke Guangping brought the Jin YuWei Imperial Guards from the front entrance of the palace, with the Elite Guards following close behind. They rushed into the site of the Crowning Ceremony with great fervor and made the emperor curse in anger: “Guangping Wang [2], did you come to rebel?! Cough cough cough cough……”

     Duke Guangping righteously descended from his horse in an imposing manner. He walked into the hall, lifted the edges of his robe, knelt down, and said with a sad expression: “Imperial Brother, this official speaks with all the sincerity of the heart, the sun and moon can bear witness, but you must not give the jade seal to Lang’er…… if you hand it over, it shall be the end of the royal line!”

     The emperor flushed red with anger while scolding his nonsensical brother. Yet, he never  noticed that his most beloved son continued to kneel there in front of him with his head bowed in silence, as if he hadn’t heard a single word.

     Duke Guangping raised his hand: “Commander Kong, give the Emperor a detailed report of the situation!”

     The army moved to both sides, and a grim looking man in a black uniform walked up. Beside him followed a young woman in filial white linen. She had tears in her eyes while holding a Flying Fish brocade stained with blood. They walked into the hall step-by-step and stopped by the emperor’s knees. Kneeling to the floor, the woman held up the Flying Fish brocade.

     The emperor was already trembling, and he tumbled backward one step, landing on the Dragon Throne.

     Inside the hall, the civil and military officials all watched on in shock, listening to the woman narrate (her story) in tears, like rivers of blood, retelling word-by-word her blood-soaked tale.

     Her name was Sheng Xiangjun, and she was part of the Sheng family who had been loyal (to the throne) for generations, who’s ancestors had supported two dynasties. Originally, the Sheng family, as ministers and pillars of support for the Empire, should have continued to assist Ming’s government through fire or water. But, two years ago, when her father returned to his hometown in Fujian to visit relatives, he never expected to run into a crazy woman. The crazy woman stopped his sedan chair and kept claiming wrongs.

     Elder Sheng Ge was extremely puzzled and left the crazy woman alive. Who would’ve thought that the crazy woman would no longer be crazy by the time they arrived at the courtyard house, instead demanding veteran Sheng Ge to return her son.

It was like this that Old Sheng Ge learned an unnerving secret: The prince was exchanged for a civet cat.

     Empress Xiaoci was the empire’s mother and had a good character. When she was buried ten years ago, the Emperor had specially allowed her to be buried in the imperial Mausoleum, where he hoped to be buried with her in the hundreds of years to come. But in truth, she was a cruel-hearted woman. Seeing that the beloved concubines were having children one after another, her status became insecure. 

     No one would have believed that this Empress who had been praised for a lifetime had colluded with the imperial doctor and faked her pregnancy.

     She wanted a son, so she coerced her ten palace maids to be forced by the guards, resulting in seven becoming pregnant.

     Among these seven, only one gave birth to a son. Before the palace lady could even see her son, she was beaten to death by the Empress and thrown into the well behind the Imperial Harem. However, Empress Xiaoci never knew that the guard who had forced the maid ended up rescuing the maid and helping her escape out of the palace under the cover of night.

     After the prince was born, all the court ladies and guards were secretly executed. Only that one court lady survived.

     The prince was born smart and handsome, and was bestowed the title of Crown Prince by the emperor when he was merely six years old.

     Sheng Xiangjun’s eyes were red as tears ran down her face. She held up the Flying Fish brocade in her hands and shouted loudly: “That prince’s name is Zhu Molang!”

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

Advertisements

     The author has something to say: Orange Qin: Don’t cry, the emperor doesn’t want you, but baby wants you, Kiss Kiss =3=

     Fuwa(author): People who don’t eat cilantro are not qualified to act cute! [Covering my stiff neck_(:з」∠)_]


[1]Zhuang Hua is a style of embroidery that contrasts colorful flowers with gold outlines or undertones. Zhuang Hua embroidering was and is still considered a highly specialized skill. Luo is a specific type of silk. Thus, the title “Zhuang Hua Luo” should be directly translated as “The Zhuang Hua Embroidered Silk Clothes”. The novel also references “Zhuang Hua” ladies who specialize in Zhuang Hua embroidery. Since the plot of the movie is centered around an Embroidery Family, I chose to use The Embroiderer as the movie title.

[2](Name) Wang: Wang can mean king/emperor/duke/prince/ruler. In this case, since Guangping is the emperor’s younger brother, Guangping Wang here means “Duke Guangping”


Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 94 (Part 3) – A Prince Exchanged For A Civet Cat


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

     If there was such a strong and handsome man who suddenly rescued her from the water in a crisis, she would also definitely be moved.

     “Ah, how can God Qin be so handsome. I’m really looking forward to the release of The Embroider. That way, the whole world can see. God Qin’s getting more and more handsome with each year! (Playing) the Third Young Master can’t be considered his pinnacle at all. Not only is he getting more handsome, but his acting skills are also becoming greater!”

     Hearing the little assistant’s words, Huang Lei paused and turned her head to glance at her, smirking: “Last time, I had asked you to form a good relationship with Rong Xu, how did it go?”

     The little assistant immediately switched to a serious expression and replied: “I have a good relationship with Rong Xu’s assistant.”

Advertisements

     Huang Lei nodded. She walked a few steps forward and had a sudden thought: “You always say Qin Cheng is handsome, but what about Rong Xu?”

     The assistant was taken aback: “……Rong Xu? Rong Xu is only eighteen this year, or was he nineteen years old? I don’t prefer people younger than myself, but he is also very good-looking.”

     Huang Lei smiled meaningfully, and said, “I very much enjoyed his performance in the exchange between him and Qin Cheng just now. If I were an audience member…… en, I would like him better.”

     The little assistant looked at her with a dumbfounded expression and didn’t quite understand the meaning behind the words of her own Film Empress. However, Huang Lei had already walked off.

     For the entirety of that day, they filmed the cooperative scenes between Rong Xu and Qin Cheng.

     At ten o’clock in the evening, they finished filming all the dialogue heavy scenes, and after he finished the action scenes with Qin Cheng in two day’s time, Rong Xu would leave the crew.

     Perhaps it was because everyone realized Rong Xu’s time on set was quickly running out, so when dinner was distributed that evening, he was hand-delivered his boxed meal. 

     Seeing the boxed meal filled with meat, (Rong Xu) was slightly taken aback, and he lifted his head to smile at the young female staff member who suddenly blushed and shook her head, quickly running away .

     Qin Cheng who had just walked over holding two boxed meals: “……”

     Both of them were still dressed in their costumes as they sat at a simple plastic table and began to eat dinner.

     Rong Xu held up his chopsticks and picked out the radishes from the stewed radish dish one by one and gently deposited them into Qin Cheng’s bowl. The man himself didn’t stop (Rong Xu’s) movements. He just supported his chin with one hand and watched everything play out with a faint smile on his lips. It wasn’t until Rong Xu started picking out the cilantro in the braised fish dish that he suddenly stretched out his own chopsticks to stop Rong Xu’s movements.

     Rong Xu: “……???”

     Qin Cheng pursed his thin lips and said gently: “I don’t eat cilantro either.”

     As soon as these words landed, the young man’s eyes immediately showed an expression of “the heroes facing their most difficult problem.”

     Following that, Qin Cheng began helping Rong Xu pick out the cilantro from his boxed meal, while Rong Xu stretched out his chopsticks to help Qin Cheng pick out the cilantro in his meal. It was clearly more convenient for them to pick out their own cilantro, but inexplicably, as if they’d taken the wrong medication, the two of them troubled themselves to pick out the other’s.

     This scene fell in the eyes of many staff members, and they all said emotionally: “They truly deserve to be called childhood friends. Their atmosphere is really good!”

     And so, as the so-called ‘three becomes the truth’, Rong Xu never would have imagined even in his next life that he had become childhood friends with Qin Cheng.

     After the day’s filming was complete, everyone returned to the hotel.

     Rong Xu and Qin Cheng messaged each other a few times before saying “good night” and preparing to rest. After all, the scenes for the following days were all action scenes, and it’s possible they would be hanging from the suspension harness for an entire day. Thus, it was natural to ensure Rong Xu had a good rest and enough energy to prepare for the shoot.

     On this side, the filming progress of The Embroiderer was proceeding smoothly. Meanwhile, on the other side, the crew of Maze City was posting various unique publicity Weibo posts daily.

     As seen from their Weibo publicity posts on the first day, that crew truly had heavy tastes. However, netizens never expected that those (gory publicity photos) were just the appetizer! In the past few days, the crew started releasing scene photos. Some photos were purely character stills, but others……. Were the gory murder scenes!

     Although they had been censored out by mosaics, they were still all bloody crime scenes!

     How could a psychological thriller film so blatantly profess that “we here have heavy tastes”?  shouldn’t they be pretending to be (innocent and intriguing) so that the audience would enter the theaters with confidence (instead of trepidation), so that they could make more money at the box office?

     However, the crew of Maze City kept trying to outdo themselves. They would release one or two photos every day to whet the audience’s appetite. Moreover, every three days, they would deliver a behind-the-scenes video of live filming.

     While filming, crews would often arrange a dedicated staff member to record (sneak peak) highlights. These behind-the-scenes videos would not mention anything about the plot, but they did interview the actors individually during breaks.

     For example, in Maze City’s first behind-the-scenes video, the heroine, Ren Shuzhi, was actually playing Fight the Landlord (a Chinese card game) with Male No.3, Ma Qi! When the cameraman interviewed them, Ren Shuzhi blinked her wide eyes and said helplessly: “This afternoon is packed with Rong Rong and Ah Wen’s parts. We spectated for a while, and then practiced some lines. All we can do is play cards…… AH wait! A pair of nines, I want it! A pair of Aces!”

Advertisements

     There are countless similar humorous tidbits in the highlights. Judging just from the tidbits in these videos, the atmosphere of the entire crew seemed to be very harmonious. Everyone maintained a good relationship and got along well, which was also seen from the way Ren Shuzhi affectionately called Rong Xu “Rong Rong” and Bo Xiwen “Ah wen”.

     So, although these behind-the-scenes videos didn’t reveal the plot information, they still gave (the audience a glimpse of other aspects such as)–

     Rong Xu and Bo Xiwen had a lot more lines, far more than Ren Shuzhi, Ma Qi and the others.

     This situation made the two’s fans super excited. When Rong Xu’s figure appeared in the second highlight video, the fans became even more excited.

     【Ah ah ah ah Rong Rong! My Rong finally came out! So cute and lovely! ! ! 】

     [Rong Rong with glasses, OOOOOO, Rong Rong with glasses! So handsome, my heart can’t take this! ! ! 】

     [Rong Rong is so cute. They only asked him what he had for lunch today, but he kept repeating that the meat at lunch time was particularly delicious, and he went on for a full five minutes. Hahahaha, how delicious was that meat, Rong Rong. You keep talking about it~ Do you like eating meat that much? Come to my place, my place has a lot of meat, you can eat it alllll the time~~~]

     Over the Internet, with the promotion of Maze City, Rong Xu’s popularity never diminished.

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


I totally thought I posted this chapter last week, but apparently I didn’t. I saved it as a draft. Whoops! On the other hand, part 4 is almost done so that will be posted soon.

Previous | Index | Next

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”


Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 94 (Part 1) – A Prince Exchanged For A Civet Cat

Thanks for your patience everyone! My wrist is still healing, so I’m still typing mostly with one hand. There’s still donation sponsored bonus chapters in the queue though! I haven’t forgotten ^^

Behold, another 10K character chapter qwq. ENJOY!


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

     Just like the audition, when Old Liu shouted “ACTION“, Rong Xu calmly lifted up the simplistic teacup.

     His long, slender fingers gently swirled the tea foam around in the cup, and the faint fragrance of tea emerged from the cup and quickly filled the entire set.

     Rong Xu’s costume this time was even more gorgeous than when he auditioned. The stylist had specially styled his wig to match his face shape, and his clothes were rushed overnight to perfectly fit his figure. From a distance, even in the dimly lit, ordinary, official’s house, when Rong Xu raised his hand to support the teacup, (his image) was still eye-catching, elegant and noble.

      What was most amazing was that, while Rong Xu drank his tea leisurely, separated by the door, Qin Cheng seemed to know exactly what (Rong Xu) was doing. It was only after Rong Xu took a sip of the tea, that he suddenly walked through the doorway and strode three meters into the house.

     (The action of) deliberately stepping back a few steps was (supposed to be enacted to) inform the other actors in the house: I am going in, be prepared.

Advertisements

     However, Old Liu watched from the monitors and discovered that just as Rong Xu lowered his cup, Qin Cheng simultaneously began walking into the house. The two cooperated seamlessly right until the man reached out and pushed open the wooden doors, allowing bright light to shine in from the outside.

     In that instant, Rong Xu stopped his movement of swirling the cup and turned his head. At the same moment, Qin Cheng paused and looked steadily at Rong Xu.

     The dark beige brocade robe outlined the young prince’s slender body. Only a piece of white jade with the word “Lang (琅)” engraved on it decorated his waistband, and the rest of his outfit was otherwise unadorned. Standing in the palace halls, he presented a powerful and convincing figure, but standing in the home of one of his subjects, he only smiled softly with the corner of his lips as he looked at the commander of the Elite Guards who suddenly entered through the door.

     Everyone under the Heavens agreed that amongst the three sons and four daughters of that dynasty, six of them had an average appearance and none inherited the appearance of their mother concubines. Only Crown Prince Zhu Molang was blessed with a stunning appearance and noble temperament, carried a demeanor similar to that of the pious empress and was completely different from His Majesty.

     Kong Chao naturally recognized the Crown Prince, but he never expected to meet the Crown Prince in his own home.

       This sudden visit took the Commander of the Elite Guards by surprise and he ended up forgetting to salute for the first time in his life. He looked at the young and handsome prince in confusion, while Zhu Molang looked back at him. The two’s eyes swept across each other’s faces. After a while, Kong Chao suddenly remembered to kneel on one knee and bow.

     “This humble Commander of the Elite Guards Kong Chao greets His Royal Highness.”

     The man’s low, magnetic voice echoed throughout the otherwise silent set.

     Qin Cheng lowered his head, half-kneeled on the bluestone tiles, and spoke respectfully with every word. His voice was like pieces of shattered rock chipping away at ice, cold and sonorous, steadily smashing its way into the hearts of all those present. The atmosphere suddenly turned solemn, and every staff member was staring at the two on set. Unknowingly, they also grew a little nervous.

     The area around the set had, unknownst when, already been dragged into Qin Cheng’s rhythm.

     A seasoned actor could induce others to become immersed in an act. As soon as they read their lines and created their role, you would immediately feel a very strong sense of engagement. You would be able to understand the character’s emotions at that very moment, and likewise experience their sorrows, love, and pain.

     Qin Cheng has a strong foundation in line reciting, and his voice was faintly distinct from his usual. It was still his original magnetic and pleasant voice, but Kong Chao’s voice contained a trace of bloodlust. He was clearly only giving a ceremonial greeting to the Crown Prince, but he couldn’t hide his cold and powerful spirit.

     This image reflected Rong Xu in his eyes and (his voice resounded) in Rong Xu’s ears. There was a smile on his tender face, but his heart was serene. He lifted his phoenix eyes and said with a smile: “Commander Kong need not be polite. Coming here without forewarning today is this prince’s lack of propriety.”

     Following the end of those words, Kong Chao stood up and dropped all pretenses of politeness with the Crown Prince. However, there was no trace of dissatisfaction on Zhu Molang’s face. He merely placed down the cup in his hand, making a “clack” sound (on the table).

     In the center of the set, Rong Xu stood beside the Eight Immortals Table, calmly and quietly, with only a faint smile playing on his lips. Qin Cheng was shadowed in frost and cold air. There was no expression on his stern and handsome face. A faint light was reflected in his pitch-black eyes as he looked calmly at the young prince in front of him.

     This confrontation lasted only a few seconds, but the atmosphere in the entire audience was heavy.

     One faintly smiling, the other staring back with an icy face.

     Neither of them spoke nor moved, but Luo Qian herself felt as if she were lacking air beside the set. She could almost hear music in the background, a low and muffled guqin sound, echoing note by note through the air slowly but tensely, just like the scene in front of her——

     Kong Chao was deliberating whether or not to trust the Crown Prince.

     Rong Xu’s calm temperament and Qin Cheng’s cold face formed a sharp contrast. At first Luo Qian only felt that when the two stood together, (their image) was very pleasing to the eye. But gradually, she became immersed in the plot. She held her breath as she waited for the two to continue the act.

     Finally, it was Qin Cheng who moved first. He looked downwards at the gentle and serene Crown Prince and said calmly: “I don’t know why His Highness the Crown Prince is here today.”

     Rong Xu lifted his gaze and chuckled softly: “Commander Kong already has the answer.”

     Qin Cheng replied indifferently: “This humble servant doesn’t know.”

     The corners of Rong Xu’s lips rose a few degrees higher as his clear gaze fell upon Kong Chao’s unchanging expression. He said coolly: “Yesterday, by West Yanluo Alley, I heard that Commander Kong almost hurt innocent civilians by mistake. Among the civilians there was…… This Prince’s older (male) cousin.”

     Astonishment immediately appeared upon Qin Cheng’s face. He bowed slightly: “This official did not know, may His Highness bestow punishment!”

     After watching Rong Xu’s audition from the week before, the screenwriter happened upon some inspiration and tweaked the scene of Zhu Molang and Kong Chao’s first meeting. It was no longer (introduced) in a direct, name-calling approach, but rather in a circular manner which not only connected (the characters) to the earlier context, but also better expressed the personalities and relationship between the two.

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

Advertisements

Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 93 (Part 4) – Picky Eater Rong Rong

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

     Under the bright lights, a young man in a gorgeous brocade robe had his head lowered, carefully searching for radishes hidden in the dish, disguised as meat. He then patiently picked them out one by one with chopsticks. His long hair slid down the side of his face along with his movements, and his clear eyes were filled with dedication, seemingly like he was undertaking a great task.

     After plucking out one piece of radish, there was a second piece, followed by a third, and a fourth……

     When Rong Xu removed all the radishes in the radish stewed meat dish, his portion had already lost more than (half of its original amount), leaving only seven or eight small pieces of meat.

     Qin Cheng: “…”

Advertisements

     After doing all this, Rong Xu breathed a sigh of relief. He lifted his face and smiled: “Do you eat radishes?”

     Looking at the young man’s harmless smile, the man felt his heart soften. However, on the surface, he raised an eyebrow and said: “Don’t eat.”

     Rong Xu was stunned. He looked down at his own lunch box and then at the radishes he piled up in Qin Cheng’s lunch box.

     “……then, I’ll take them back.”

     Qin Cheng’s stoic expression slowly melted. Seeing Rong Xu actually starting to use the chopsticks to pick the radishes back out, he stretched out his own chopsticks to block Rong Xu’s movements.

     Rong Xu raised his gaze: “?”

The man’s lips calmly curled upwards, and he said in his magnetic and charming voice: “Yours, I’ll eat.”

     Rong Xu’s face suddenly became a bit hot, and after a long time, he let out a soft “en”.

     Among this large crowd of people, the two could only sit face to face, eat, chat, unable to do anything else.

     Many staff members saw Rong Xu’s action of dropping the radishes into Qin Cheng’s bowl, and they all widened their eyes in shock, whispering in disbelief: “No way, Rong Xu just casually put the food he doesn’t like into Qin Cheng’s lunch box? That’s way too bold, ba. Qin Cheng will definitely be angry!”

Qin Cheng’s temper wasn’t bad, but it definitely wouldn’t be considered great. At least, for these staff members, Qin Cheng never cordially mingled with them. He wasn’t even as close to them as Huang Lei was.

     But what was even more shocking was that Qin Cheng unexpectedly didn’t say a single word to Rong Xu, and even blocked Rong Xu’s actions of taking back the radishes before silently picking up the radishes to eat.

     Eating it was fine, but then he actively picked up a few pieces of his own pork and put them in Rong Xu’s bowl……

     “This relationship is a little bit too close, isn’t it? I keep feeling that something is off.”

     “What do you understand? I heard Assistant Director Cui say the other day that God Qin and Rong Xu’s elders know one another. Maybe they were childhood friends, who are we to interrupt?”

     “Ooooohhhh, so it turns out to be like this. No wonder God Qin is so kind to Rong Xu.”

     Rong Xu completely didn’t know that the rumor that “He and Qin Cheng grew up together as childhood friends” had already spread through the crew.

     After finishing lunch, Rong Xu was called over by Old Liu to carefully discuss the scene to be filmed in the afternoon. By 1:30 in the afternoon, the crew was ready to film. 

     The set (for this scene) was a quaint and simple house, and Rong Xu also changed into slightly simpler casual clothes.

     This scene would portray Zhu Molang and Kong Chao’s first meeting.

     When Kong Chao went to the palace to report on official business one year ago, he didn’t actually see Zhu Molang in person. He waited a few hours outside before being ‘kindly’ sent away by Zhu Molang. Therefore, when it was discovered that Kong Chao had been investigating the deaths of the Elite Guards, Zhu Molang suddenly appeared, and the two finally met.

Advertisements

     Since Black Clouds, it had already been more than half a year since Rong Xu acted with Qin Cheng.

     In Black Clouds, Qin Cheng starred as Male No. 2. Thus, he deliberately suppressed his aura and tried not to steal the limelight from the other actors. It was still fine when he acted with Rong Xu, but Qin Cheng truly restrained himself when he acted with Yu Siyu and the others.

     However, in The Embroiderer, Qin Cheng was the lead actor.

     Last night, Rong Xu specially went over to Group B to watch Qin Cheng’s act. (Qin Cheng’s) overwhelming momentum couldn’t be hidden or repressed as he pressured and led each one of his co-stars into his own rhythm. Even the veteran Male No.2 actor was gradually dragged around the scene, following Qin Cheng’s rhythm as he fell deeper into his role.

     To have gained fame in one fell swoop and obtained his current status, this man (Qin Cheng) relied not only on his family’s resources, but mainly his personal strength.

     In the room, Rong Xu stood beside the Eight Immortals table and looked down at the ordinary cup on the table surface.

     Unlike the audition, they actually poured tea into the tea cup, and the commander of the Elite Guards who (Zhu Molang) was waiting for would also appear and act out the scene with him.

     Old Liu sat in a corner of the room and exchanged a glance with Rong Xu. The young man nodded lightly, and Old Liu understood his meaning tacitly.

     Rong Xu turned his head and looked in the direction of the front gate. He knew that Qin Cheng had been waiting there for a while now, and soon, the man would open the door and he would act out the “first encounter scene” to the best of his abilities and perform without a trace of restraint.

     Old Liu made the final adjustments, and when everything was ready, he raised his hand: “ACTION!”

     ***

     City B, in a Luxury high-end club.

     The sound of elegant and soothing music flowed through the quiet tea house. A clear stream of water flowed through the small and exquisite artificial fountain, accompanied by the beauty of classical music, making the tea house more charming.

This Club was a meeting place for the upper class. Many wealthy ladies would come to drink tea and occasionally play a few rounds of Mahjong. Men enjoyed coming here to gamble and play cards while the women played Mahjong, chatted, and shopped to maintain shallow friendships.

     In this tea room, there currently sat four glamorously dressed middle-aged madams.

     Seven to eight waitresses were respectfully pouring tea, lighting incense, and delivering snacks for them. All the madams needed to do was stretch out their well-manicured hands and leisurely play mahjong. It could also be said that playing mahjong was just a front. What they were more concerned about was gossip.

     A tall and thin madam touched a West Wind (one of the Mahjong Tiles), discarded it, and spoke with a smile while continuing to play: “Speaking of which, the third son of the Wang family had a son last week. Old Master Wang named him Wang Dong. “

     “Oh, I just saw the kid yesterday. He sure looked tender and beautiful, like his celebrity mother.”

     The lanky madam covered her mouth and laughed: “Celebrity? (She’s) just a second-rate little star, how can she compare to Madam Rong’s little Rong Xu.” 

Three of the madams looked towards the (lanky madam), and the madam said with a smile: “My daughter likes your family’s Rong Xu so much. Mrs. Rong, when will you tell your Rong Xu to stop playing around and come back to inherit the family property? I can’t out talk my family’s little girl.”

     A trace of embarrassment flashed across Second Madam Rong’s plump face, and she said dryly: “Rong Xu? What does he count as? He’s just a small-time actor.”

     The lanky madam shook her head immediately: “You shouldn’t speak nonsense. I heard my daughter say Rong Xu’s last movie made more than 10 billion at the box office. If the box office was already more than 10 billion, how much do you think his remuneration was? It must be at least 100 million, right?”

     Mrs. Rong sneered: “Just that?”

     The other wealthy madam sneered and said in a cryptic manner: “The world is unpredictable. If your family’s Rong Xu also becomes like Qin Cheng of the Qin family, he’ll have many trophies, eventually many shares in Huaxia Entertainment’s stocks, and so many other investment projects…everything will be completely different.”

     As soon as these words landed, all the madams laughed softly.

     However, they soon changed the subject, and so they naturally didn’t notice that Rong Xu’s second aunt’s face had turned black, and her lips turned pale.

      After the meaningless round of Mahjong was over, Second Madam Rong sat in the car and muttered skeptically: “He……become Qin Cheng? How is that possible?!” But after a while, She clenched her fingers: “He……what should we do if he really does become (the next) Qin Cheng?”

     A hint of trepidation flashed across her face, and she asked the driver to speed home. As soon as she arrived home, she rushed into the study. When she pushed open the door, she immediately shouted, “Rong Heng, that little rabbit is already an adult, what should we do? Don’t pretend to ignore it. You can’t wait any longer. Hurry up and deal with the old man’s will!”

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

Advertisements

TL corner: I completely forgot the existence of Madam Rong and Rong Heng until now LOL.

Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 93 (Part 3) – Picky Eater Rong Rong

Thank You, MCJohnston for your lovely Ko-fi donation!


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

     Old man Sheng Ge’s act of treason in collaborating with the enemy was even more of a violation because he knew a secret that he should never know. The deaths of the Elite Guards was also in part due to Sheng Ge secretly disclosing that particular secret to one individual. However, since (the killer) didn’t know who that one was, they killed everyone instead, one by one.

     Kong Chao discovered the clue and wanted to inquire more on the truth, thus……he had to go die.

     Die together with Sheng Xiangjun. Only the dead could keep secrets, and only the dead could not speak.

     Rong Xu’s first scene went very smoothly. Originally, Old Liu had been worried that Rong Xu wouldn’t be able to adapt to the crew’s pace.

Advertisements

     Within the circle there was also no lack of actors who acted beautifully during the audition, but continuously and inexplicably NG’d during filming. It might be because they would become nervous and unable to act if they acted with other people. This was especially the case for large-production movies where the actors would be considerably more psychologically stressed and prone to mistakes.

     For an entire day, Old Liu filmed the scenes of “The Prince Taking Care of the Emperor”.

     It could even be said that this plotline was finally completed at noon the next day, where another plotline could then be filmed.

     On the second day after arriving at the crew, Rong Xu received his own room and no longer had to squeeze in a bed with Qin Cheng.

     Everyone in the crew took this as the most logical happening, so even if a certain man had other opinions on it, he couldn’t voice it. He also really wanted to go find Rong Xu to “Study the script by the moonlight”, but there was no opportunity. He and Rong Xu had very few same-screen scenes, so he didn’t even have an excuse.

     As a result, Qin Cheng could only message his youth at night, but he didn’t actually say much since Rong Xu had to rest——

     The scenes filmed these past few days were all Rong Xu’s. Anyone else could rest during the day, but only he never had time for rest.

     This situation lasted until the fifth day.

     In these five days, Rong Xu finished filming all of Zhu Molang’s political scenes. Scenes of the Crown Prince dealing with government affairs in the Imperial Study, scenes of the Crown Prince taking care of the emperor, and scenes of the Crown Prince holding court……

     In all of these scenes, Rong Xu was a completely flawless male god. Zhu Molang’s perfection was engraved in the hearts of every single staff member on set. His every move was filled with grace, and his gestures exuded a noble and elegant temperament.

     Every actor who worked with Rong Xu was also cordial and delighted to get along with him because the young man had a good attitude and took the initiative to rehearse with everyone. He wasn’t like some other newcomers who relied on their rising popularity to be arrogant and pompous.

     Most of the actors who were playing ministers in The Embroiderer were long-time actors who had been in the circle for many years but weren’t able to rise too high. They weren’t super famous, and the viewers would only feel them familiar but would not be able to recall exactly who they were.

     Actors of this status could be said to be stuck in limbo, (their authority neither high nor low). They had the qualifications, but no capital. Thus, even some popular newcomers who just debuted dared to disrespect them. They would be yelled at, yet weren’t allowed to show anger, so they could only swallow their anger in silence.

     Seeing Rong Xu getting along with all the actors, Qin Cheng couldn’t help but soften his expression. His thin lips hooked up slightly, and his eyes were filled with unconcealed pride, almost as if he was the one being liked.

     Meanwhile, on the other side, the heroine, Huang Lei, also realized this situation.

     Huang Lei and Rong Xu had almost no scenes together; thus, she never paid too much attention to Rong Xu before. But now, seeing such a scene, she took a few more meaningful glances in his direction before finally calling over her assistant and saying: “Go over to Rong Xu for a bit and give him my greetings.”

     The little assistant had followed Huang Lei for many years now, and they immediately understood what she meant.

     This assistant didn’t just casually give her greetings. Instead, she went through Rong Xu’s assistant Luo Qian, and the two became friends after chatting. The little assistant gave Luo Qian some pointers that she should pay attention to in regards to the crew. For example, when Rong Xu and Male No.2 act in the same scene tomorrow, it was necessary for them to be lenient since Male No.2’s Chinese wasn’t good, and it would be best to be prepared.

     Like most movies that portrayed the Elite Guards in a positive light, the Elite Guards’ biggest enemies were the East and West Factions. Normally, as long as it was a movie involving the Elite Guards, the villain would, without exception, be either the governor of the East Faction or the governor of the West Faction.

     The film, The Embroiderer, also appeared to be such a movie on the surface. Male No.2  was the governor of the East Faction. He was in his fifties and also the Emperor’s personal old eunuch, named Li Gaodan. According to the normal plotline of similar Elite Guard’s movies, Li Gonggong would be an expert martial artist. Even The Embroiderer couldn’t escape from this conventional standard.

     However, the big boss of this movie was not Li Gonggong, but rather Zhu Molang, who was  behind (Li Gaodan).

     This was the novelty of The Embroiderer and also the big plot-twist deliberately crafted by Old Liu.

     Even till the end of the movie, before the reveal and Kong Chao discovered the secret of The Embroiderer, Kong Chao always believed Li Gaodan was the mastermind. Even as he killed Li Gaodan, he believed that the matter was finally over.

     The actor playing Li Gaodan was an overseas Chinese individual who was very popular in the UK and often played the roles of elegant old gentleman. This actor was fifty years old this year. But, because he grew up in a foreign country, he couldn’t speak Mandarin too well, and all his Chinese movies were dubbed post-production.

     Luo Qian quietly told Rong Xu what Huang Lei’s little assistant had informed her of. Hearing her words, Rong Xu glanced at Huang Lei in surprise.

     As a result, he saw the elegant and beautiful Film Empress glance back and give him a nod with a generous smile. She appeared very friendly at first glance.

     Rong Xu likewise nodded to the other party with a smile.

     Luo Qian sighed in a low voice: “Huang Lei truly is a Film Empress, even specially giving you advice, Xiao Xu.”

     Hearing this, Rong Xu smiled helplessly: “You only know how to chat with others. Where’s my box lunch?”

     Luo Qian was given a fright and replied quickly: “I’ll go get it right now, I forgot about it……”

     “No, it’s fine, you go to eat first.”

     A deep and magnetic voice sounded calmly from behind Rong Xu. (Rong Xu) turned around and saw the tall and graceful man walking towards him. He was still wearing the dark black flying fish brocade with a wide belt around his waist. However, his hands were…… um, carrying two lunch boxes.

     His mismatched appearance was hilarious no matter how one looked at it. But, as soon as you saw the icy and indifferent face, any hint of disharmony inexplicably disappeared.

     Seeing Qin Cheng, Luo Qian’s (eyes couldn’t help but transform into stars). She nodded rapidly and obediently walked away.

Advertisements

     Qin Cheng then grabbed the box lunches and gently placed them down on the table in front of Rong Xu. He walked over to the opposite side and directly sat down.

     It was already the crew’s lunch and break hour, and many of the staff members were eating and chatting while enjoying their rare rest time. The staff members who already finished eating were busy with their own affairs, setting up scenes, managing lighting, and coordinating with the Extras.

     Although the crew mainly focused on filming Rong Xu’s scenes during these few days, in fact, Old Liu had the crew divided into two groups: A and B. He, himself, was in charge of group A which focused on filming Rong Xu’s scenes, while B group was handed over to the Vice director and several deputy directors who prioritized filming Qin Cheng’s action scenes.

     This method saved both time and costs.

     However, because of this, Qin Cheng and Rong Xu had even fewer opportunities to be together. With the exception of meal time, both of them had to film at the same time.

     Seeing the young man take the box lunch and snap open his chopsticks, Qin Cheng’s gaze landed on those slender, jade hands, and his handsome eyebrows slowly furrowed.

     He originally thought that because the two of them were filming together, they would naturally have more time to interact. Who could have imagined that it would be difficult for them to even talk because they didn’t have many cooperative scenes.

     The man’s eyes were as deep as the sea and gradually became more and more desolate.

     Rong Xu opened his box lunch and prepared to eat sincerely. The other staff members also merely glanced at them and said: “The relationship between Rong Xu and Qin Cheng seem to be very good”, and nothing more. However, no one knew that a certain man was currently thinking——

     How can I make the screenwriter change up the roles, for example…… adding more cooperative scenes between Kong Chao and Zhu Molang?

     The screenwriter who was having lunch with Old Liu suddenly sneezed: “……”

     Qin Cheng narrowed his eyes and carefully considered the possibility of this situation. Just as he was considering whether to have Xu Jin (start on his request), something suddenly swished in his peripheral vision. (Qin Cheng) immediately lifted his eyes, and when he regained awareness, he realized there was an extra piece of radish in his food.

     The original white radish had been boiled tender by the crew’s chef. Cooked for a lengthy amount of time together with meat, the dark brown gravy had infused into the radish. The rich smell of meat surged upwards with the steam, rendering all who smelled it unable to resist. It had the refreshing taste of radish but also the dense flavor of gravy.

     However, in the next moment, a certain young man lowered his head and took another piece of radish with his chopsticks, depositing it in Qin Cheng’s lunch box.

     Qin Cheng: “……”

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

Advertisements

Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 93 (Part 2) – Picky Eater Rong Rong

Donation Sponsored post 2/4


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

     Xu Jin just came back from chatting with the producer when he suddenly came face to face with Qin Cheng’s dark expression. He turned his head following the man’s line of sight and saw the scene where Rong Xu and Chen Feng were engaging in an enthusiastic conversation.

     Who was Xu Jin? He was super sharp and understood the entire scenario at a glance.

     (Xu Jin) laughed out loud before sitting in a chair next to (Qin cheng), saying: “Isn’t this normal? You and Rong Xu have only a few scenes together. Every time the prince appears, he’s either busy governing and controlling the court or serving his ill Father. If he doesn’t act with Chen Feng, what, is he supposed to do his scenes with you?”

     Qin Cheng slowly raised his eyes and cast a deep glance at Xu Jin.

Advertisements

     (Xu JIn’s) body suddenly shivered, and the smile on his face immediately froze. All the hairs on his body stood straight up, and he quickly gave a cough and corrected himself: “But……but it’s nothing much. I know you like him, and something is still better than nothing. At least now you’re in the same crew. You can talk to one another and be within close proximity of each other.”

     Qin Cheng didn’t tell Xu Jin about their relationship, and likewise, Rong Xu didn’t tell Luo Zhentao.

     However, Qin Cheng hadn’t put much thought into this aspect, whereas Rong Xu had considered the situation from multiple angles. He felt that if he told Luo Zhentao, there would be too many unpredictable outcomes. For example, he recalled that after Luo Zhentao found out about his good relationship with Qin Cheng, he had contemplated whether to use Qin Cheng’s fame to pave the way for Rong Xu.

     As far as profit was concerned, Luo Zhentao was definitely the most qualified businessman. He and Rong Xu had a close relationship, but the two also had very different ways of going about things.

     In short, Rong Xu didn’t intend to tell Luo Zhentao any time soon.

     Not far away, Rong Xu and Old Chen were practicing their scenes with constant bouts of laughter. Meanwhile, Qin Cheng was flipping through his script silently, occasionally being dragged over by the martial arts instructor to learn some moves, and occasionally being occupied by other actors for chats or scene practices.

     In The Embroiderer, the male protagonist, Kong Chao, would be played by Qin Cheng, acting as the commander of the Elite Guards; the female protagonist, Sheng Xiangjun, was the daughter of a corrupt minister and would be played by a famous Film Empress, Huang Lei.

     The Elite Guard brothers (in-arms) who died bizarre deaths had all journeyed to undertake a criminal officials escort task. It was after completing that task that they began dying off one after another. The criminal official was prosecuted for treason of collaborating with enemies and was secretly escorted by the Elite guards back to the capital from Fujian. In the end, the guilty official was executed by Ling Chi, and all of his family members were beheaded as a public demonstration. They truly did wipe out his entire nine generations.

     Sheng Xiangjun was the last blood of the Sheng family. She was sent by her family in advance to hide in a brothel and escaped (the bloodshed). No one would ever believe that the blood of a famous civil servant would be hiding in the brothel, and the old madame of this brothel had once received a life-saving grace from Mr. Sheng in the past, so she risked her life to hide Sheng Xiangjun.

     Of course, Sheng Xiangjun did not believe that her own father would commit treason. Her father was a great scholar. Three loyal generations of the Sheng family, over two dynasties of rulers. The friendship between his father and the current ruler stemmed from their childhood, how could he possibly have colluded with the enemy?

     Thus, when Sheng Xiangjun discovered that someone was investigating her father’s case, her strong intellect led her to Kong Chao.

     Why were the Elite Guards dying one after another after participating in Old Sheng Ge’s case?

     Why would the decades-long loyal elder Sheng Ge suddenly commit treason?

     The entire movie revolved around this unsettled case, and the one who Qin Cheng would be acting with the most was Huang Lei (female lead). Huang Lei was thirty-five years old this year, eight years older than Qin Cheng, already married and had children. It was therefore highly unlikely for them to have any scandals. 

     Today, as she was practicing with Qin Cheng, she was surprised to find the other party blanking out several times.

     Afterwards, Huang Lei asked her own assistant in confusion: “What’s wrong with Qin Cheng?”

     Huang Lei has no interest in handsome men, but her assistant was a huge fan of Qin Cheng’s. Upon hearing this, the assistant immediately asked: “What’s wrong with God Qin?!”

     Huang Lei smiled helplessly: “Looking at how excited you are, do you like Qin Cheng that much? You like him so much yet didn’t even realize that Qin Cheng’s state was a little off today, almost reading the wrong lines while rehearsing?”

     The little assistant opened her eyes wide and said in disbelief: “Sister Huang, that’s impossible, right? I think God Qin’s state is very good. His lines are all perfect, and his temperament is also on point. I almost became immersed in the scene just standing here. He’s still so handsome.”

     Huang Lei: “……I shouldn’t have asked you.”

     In an obsessed young gal’s eyes, even if their male god sneezed, it would still be the world’s most handsome sneeze.

     Similarly, in the eyes of a certain man, if his family’s own youth fell down, it would be the world’s best looking fall…… Uh, that’s not right, he definitely wouldn’t let Rong Xu fall!

Advertisements

     Of course, if Rong Xu could rehearse some scenes with him instead of constantly staying beside Old Chen, that would be much better.

     By noon, the props and lighting crews were all ready, and Rong Xu officially filmed his first scene since entering the crew of The Embroiderer.

     Old Chen lay supine on the bed, the yellow brocade robe covering him to hide the old man’s not-so-thin body. Only his face was exposed, yet he suddenly appeared extremely decrepit and sickly, with one foot in the grave.

     More than ten cameras were aimed at the set from all directions around the studio. Inside the gorgeous and exquisite bedroom set, Old Chen was lying on the dragon bed while Rong Xu was sitting on the edge of the dragon bed. The rest of the staff members were gathered around the set, waiting for each scene to end before hurrying makeup touchups to film the next scene.

     After confirming (the green light) with the camera crew, Old Liu waved his hands and shouted: “ACTION!” 

     The following moment, Rong Xu picked up the jade bowl on the side table.

     The lighting for this scene was quite peculiar. In the camera, the other aspects of the scene were clear and bright, but inexplicably, Rong Xu’s body was covered in a dark shadow. He and the dragon bed were both shrouded in a layer of indiscernible darkness, appearing dim and depressing.

     His Royal Highness was Ming’s next Emperor. He was young and handsome, and strove to govern well.

     Ever since the emperor accidentally swallowed some unknown medicinal pills two years prior and became seriously ill, the prince took on the role of supervising the land. Inside (the palace), he was filial to the emperor, personally serving him medicine daily and even helping the emperor clean up. Outside, he was an individual of great talents and stratagem, Ming Country was well organized under his governance – the people lived and worked in peace and contentment while foreign enemies dared not invade. The ministers of the dynasty all had a mouthful of praise for the crown prince.

     At the beginning of the movie, a nursery rhyme that children sang while they played on the streets rang out. There was one particular line in it that went ——

     “The east has jade, the people have rice.”

     The east referred to the East Palace, while jade (Lin Lang) referred to the Crown Prince Zhu Molang. Only with the crown prince could common people live and have food to eat.

     And so, in the first half of the movie plotline, Zhu Molang was simply a deity. He had an impeccable appearance, an outstanding demeanor, and brought about prosperity; he also had a heart full of benevolence. Everyone believed that as long as the crown prince ascended the throne, Ming Country would surely flourish.

     Right wow, Rong Xu needed to portray this perfect prince.

     The overall scene was quite simple. Zhu Molang would feed the emperor medicine, and the emperor would vomit all of it out onto the prince’s clothes. However, the prince wouldn’t show any traces of displeasure. Instead, he would respectfully wipe off the stains on his Father’s face, and say self-reproachfully: “It was This Son’s fault, not noticing that Father Emperor was unwell.”

     Which father wouldn’t like such a son?

     On the monitors, Rong Xu’s clear eyes were lowered and his brows were furrowed, seemingly as if he truly was blaming himself.

     Many staff members couldn’t help but feel distressed seeing him place the blame on himself like this.

     “If, after I grow old and get sick, my son would work hard and take care of me like this, I could laugh myself awake from my sleep.”

     “Rong Rong really is so beautiful, the epitome of a movie face, right? I glanced at the monitors just now. So nice.”

     “Reasonably speaking, such a good prince, even if he wasn’t my own son…… I would also let him become emperor.”
     Yes, in the movie The Embroiderer, the truth could be described in one phrase: ‘A Prince exchanged for a Tanuki (Civet Cat)’1.

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

Advertisements

Footnotes:

1. Ming/Qing dynasty folk legend telling a story of how the Empress exchanged the real crown prince for a shape-shifting civet cat/tanuki


Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 93 (Part 1) – Picky Eater Rong Rong

Thank you all for waiting! I was busy with work stuff these past few weeks. The other parts of the donation sponsored posts will be out soon!

Chapter 93 is an insane 10K characters long…… (average is 4~4.5K)

Thank You, Anonymous (M.) for your lovely Ko-fi donation!


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

     After Maze City’s official account posted this promotional Weibo, it immediately garnered the attention of many netizens and was reposted numerous times.

     Director Yuan, Xiwen Bo, Ren Shuzhi, Ma Qi…… the crew naturally forwarded the publicity post first. Even Luo Qian logged into Rong Xu’s account and helped him repost it.

Advertisements

     Generally speaking, most celebrity accounts wouldn’t be managed and used only by themselves. For example, certain endorsement Weibo posts and some publicity Weibo posts were directly handed over to their assistants, agents, or even professional public relations teams.

     Rong Xu also enjoyed logging into Weibo, interacting with his fans, posting selfies, and chatting, which was already considered pretty good. Many celebrities didn’t care about their Weibo at all and left it completely to their public relations team to take care of. With a public relations team, there would never be (an incident of) incorrect words, and they could also help (the celebs) build their image to attract fans in order to be listed in the trending searches. As for what they were truly like in private, the fans wouldn’t know at all.

     When Rong Xu woke up (the next day), the number of reposts under Maze City’s official account post had already exceeded 10,000, and fans were commenting enthusiastically below.

     [What does Uncle Si Xun have to do with me? Six severed hands can’t be eaten. We want to see Rong Rong, see Rong Rong! A thirty-second trailer is not enough at all! ! ! Knocking on the bowl and waiting for the landlord to come deliver food! ! ! 】

     [Hahahaha, an official blog with such a peculiar style is truly unprecedented. Where is the promised seriousness, where is the integrity. Deducting chicken for the scriptwriter[1]! But, add 1,000…000 chicken for the stylist! Wuli Rong Rong is so handsome ~ so handsome that he has no friends[2]! 】 

     [OOOOOOOO the trailer itself made my blood bubble and boil, this time it seems that Rong Xu and Bo Xiwen are teaming up to catch the bad guys together? Is it a modern version of Sherlock/Watson? So moving, so moving~ Rong Xu’s image is so mature, I love this type of gentle and elegant person the most, making an appointment, appointment, appointment with the movie theaters![3] 】 

     With the countless repostings by celebrities and marketing accounts, this Weibo post rapidly gained exposure.

     Among the comments and reposts, the easiest thing to observe was the popularity of each of the actors.

Rong Xu’s fans accounted for half of the comment forwardings. First, among all the Weibo accounts with the highest number of forwards, apart from a few other celebrities, there was the official accounts of everyone in the Rong Xu National (Fan) Support Association. Consequently, at noon that day, the tag #RongXuMazeCity# was pushed up to sixth place on the trending list and was the only one among the crew of Maze City to make the list.

    When Director Yuan saw this, he smiled from ear to ear. He chose Rong Xu in the beginning due to his appearance and acting skills, and he also highly valued Rong Xu’s popularity. For him, a major commercial film director, the purpose of making a movie was, of course, to make money. If it wasn’t profitable, who would dedicate time and effort to making a film.

    Rong Xu has the lowest seniority among the crew members. But, right now, he had the greatest popularity. With him present, Maze City would have no shortage of exposure.

    Thus, in this first wave of publicity, Director Yuan gave Rong Xu ten seconds in the 30-second trailer, whereas Bo Xiwen only had eight. Select few fans might deliberately count the number of seconds their male gods appeared, but for the most part, they would see scenes of their respective male gods appearing particularly handsome and would be more than happy to discuss and forward the post.

    That was the case for the video trailer, but as for the first wave of official posters, (the designers) used a more profound style of emotional influence.

     All the actors were simply standing against a pure white background, looking fixedly at the camera. The poster opted for a close-up format and only showed the areas above each actor’s shoulders.

Advertisements

     Under such photo standards, it was easier for the actors to showcase their character’s image. However, it also required superior acting skills.

     For example, when someone saw Ren Shuzhi’s poster, they would feel the anger in her eyes but wouldn’t be able to understand anything else. But, when they saw Bo Xiwen’s poster, they would be able to see a trace of awe-inspiring righteousness from his stoic face, and predict that he was upright and unyielding. At first glance, he was a manly man who’d grit his teeth and endure hardship.

     This was the difference in acting skills, allowing the audience to perceive more.

     The first poster released by the official account was Rong Xu’s.

     Against this pure white background, a handsome and elegant man donned a pair of silver framed glasses. His head was tilted slightly as he looked towards the camera calmly. His left hand was lifted, and he held onto the edge of his glasses with a finger. His clear, and light-colored eyes seemed to reflect a deep lake, quiet and serene. But it’s precisely because it was too quiet that it made him feel a bit aloof, to the point of being almost indifferent.

     There was no expression on Rong Xu’s face. He didn’t gnash his teeth like Ren Shuzhi, nor furrow his brows like Bo Xiwen. Yet, with his gaze lowered at you through the pair of cold lenses, anyone would feel cold sweat form from the soles of their feet, and (the air) becoming inexplicably cold.

     Of course, for the obsessed young folks, the most important thing was ——

     [AAAAHHHHHH Rong Rong is so cute! Rong Rong is so handsome! Elite Rong is also handsome! ! ! 】

     Just as Maze City’s publicity move was growing more heated, Rong Xu had already integrated into the crew of The Embroiderer and signed the contract in person. All the changes proposed by Luo Zhentao had been adopted. Taking into account the fact that Rong Xu was going to film (another work) in two weeks time, the crew would finish recording Rong Xu’s scenes first to rush his scenes.

     Without further delay, directly after signing the contract, Rong Xu headed into (the dressing room to) change into his costume and have his makeup done.

     When he finished with his makeup, the elderly man who had acting engrained into his very bones and will be playing the emperor had also finished his styling. The old man originally had a kind and jovial image, but his look was drastically transformed by the make-up artist’s skillful hands, and his new face took on a sickly and gaunt appearance.

     Yesterday, this old actor returned to his hotel too early and didn’t meet Rong Xu. Now that the two met, Old Liu immediately introduced them to each other.

     Coincidentally, just as Rong Xu stretched out his hands and prepared to politely greet the other party, the elder actor smiled generously and gripped onto Rong Xu’s hand with both hands, saying: “I just heard from Jianwen last week. He admires you quite a bit. After the Golden Bell Awards Ceremony, he said that you have an extremely good temper and praised you endlessly.”

     Rong Xu was slightly taken aback and looked up towards the elderly man.

     Zhou Jianwen was a well-known old actor in the circle. He and Rong Xu had only met once before. During the Golden Bell Awards some time ago, the old man personally presented the best supporting actor award to Rong Xu. At the time, the senior gave Rong Xu a few words of praise on stage. Rong Xu believed that the other party only had some positive feelings towards him, but he didn’t expect that the other party would tell his old friend about him.

     In any case, the two parties thus became acquainted with one another.

     Old Liu smiled and said: “Since you already know Rong Xu, Old Chen, then I won’t do much introduction. You have the most rivalry scenes between the two of you. When you have time, you can practice scenes together. Xiao Rong will be leaving the crew in two weeks. We’re grasping the time to finish filming all his scenes in one breath.”

     Rong Xu nodded with a smile, and the elder actor also smiled and agreed.

     Thus, while the props team was preparing the set, Rong Xu practiced with the senior the entire time.

     Meanwhile, Qin Cheng who was not far away: “……”

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

Advertisements

[1]Deduct chicken: can be interpreted as ‘deducting points’

[2]Handsome that he has no friends: everyone is jealous OR everyone wants to date him instead of befriend him

[3]Ah yes catching the bad guys and saving the city owo. This poor fan will be shaken awake at the movies


Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 92 (Part 2) – Can’t Bear to Hurt Him, Will Wait a Few More Years

Donation sponsored Post 1/4.

PG-13 content XD


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

     Only he could see this side of Rong Xu.

     Qin Cheng couldn’t help swallowing a mouthful of saliva. He stretched out his hand and grabbed the hand that Rong Xu had placed on his own lap.

     Rong Xu was briefly taken aback, but he didn’t break contact as he continued to discuss (work) with Luo Zhentao.

     Meanwhile, on the other side, Qin Cheng retrieved his cell phone and silently began to conduct research.

     [Are there side effects of younger-age sex? 】

     [What is the earliest age men start having sex……]

Advertisements

     No, these questions were a bit too much. Qin Cheng only searched halfway before he dropped the searches.

     He fell silent and thought for a while before suddenly fishing out his old friend’s account and sent a message over: [You and that model, is it for real? 】

     A while later, the other party replied.

     [Lin Xuan: …What, what? It’s not normal for you to care about my affairs so much. 】

     [Qin Cheng: When I read the news this morning, you and that model were number one in the trending searches list. 】

     Just this morning, the paparazzi had exposed Lin Xuan’s current new relationship. A picture was taken of a young female model entering his room while Lin Xuan was participating in an event. As soon as the photos were published, they immediately caused a commotion. However, Lin Xuan didn’t come out to respond at all, and after an entire day passed, the heat of the matter naturally cooled off.

     That wasn’t to say that Singing King Lin Xuan’s popularity wasn’t hot enough that no one cared about his love affairs, but rather because……

     Lin Xuan had such scandals and rumors once or twice every few months…

     His fans had long since gotten used to it; their family’s little singing king always had numerous side flower scandal rumors. Some were true while others were chasing after shadows (false). Lin Xuan was originally a well known playboy within the circle. 

     At first, his fans would threaten to leave the fandom due to the scandals, but every time Lin Xuan released a new song, they would still silently stalk back to listen to the new song.

     Moreover, passers-by have also long become numb to such news. It’s fine to pay attention to them occasionally, but they were merely scandal rumors. Who knew if they were true or false. Since it happened once every few months, everyone became too lazy to bother with it.

     The paparazzi also didn’t know how many people Lin Xuan had been with before, but Qin Cheng knew for sure that his old friend usually maintained a status of having at least one girlfriend per year. They were all extremely beautiful models, actors, and singers. There were no similarities (between the girlfriends) other than all of them being exceptionally beautiful.

     Just based on surface impressions, Lin Xuan was definitely a loyal member of the Appearance Association.

     On the other side (of the phone), Lin Xuan had just returned home and was lying on the bed playing with his cell phone. Seeing Qin Cheng’s text message, he showed a dumbfounded expression before contemplating and replying: [En, after dating for more than ten days, (I realized) our personalities aren’t compatible. After this incident, she wanted to make (our relationship) public, so we broke up. 】

     Qin Cheng: “……”

     Only a little more than ten days. That’s a bit short, probably not suitable to ask….

     Qin Cheng ruminated a bit, and as if suddenly coming to a conclusion, he began to tap out text.

     Three minutes later, Lin Xuan received a new message from a certain man: [The little model you dated last year is only around 19 years old this year. Have you ever …… ? 】

     Lin Xuan: “……”

     A moment later——

     [Lin Xuan: Do you or do you not have any tact! ! ! Why are you asking such a question? Qin Cheng, I’ve seen through you now, when did you become someone like this? Why are you caring so much about my ex-girlfriend? Do you like them? No, that’s not right, she went abroad last year, you probably haven’t met her before. What are you doing……you can’t have your eyes on ME, right? 】

     Qin Cheng replied expressionlessly: [It seems you have. 】

     [Lin Xuan: …… I don’t admit it. 】

     [Qin Cheng: En, you really did. At that time, the model was still underage, right? It was only a few days after you broke up that the other party came of age. Wen Xuan told me about this. You Beast.】

     Lin Xuan: “……”

     You are insane! ! !

     Seeing that a certain man seemed to have come to an alarming conclusion, Lin Xuan abruptly sat up from his bed and replied rapidly: [My image isn’t that horrid. How could I lay a hand on someone who’s underage. I didn’t do it with her. If I tell you I’m still pure, would you believe me? 】

     Touching his own Rong Rong’s soft, tender hands, Qin Cheng calmly replied: [I don’t believe it.】

     Lin Xuan: “……”

     Five minutes later: [I did it once before, nine years ago. I was eighteen years old. 】

     Looking at this message, Qin Cheng frowned and thought for a moment before replying: [You should take care of your body and go to the doctor’s if necessary.】

     [Lin Xuan:……Damn it! I’m not sick! ! ! 】

     [Qin Cheng: If you meet someone you really like, don’t let go of your hand so easily. 】

     The other party didn’t continue replying, and Qin Cheng also closed the chat. He grasped Rong Xu’s hand and examined it for a duration before he resumed discussing with Xu Jin about the filming process for the next day.

     Five minutes later, Rong Xu hung up and then swung his hands with a smile. Qin Cheng raised his gaze and immediately understood what the other meant.

     Once his hand was released, Rong Xu went to the bathroom to wash up. Naturally, he didn’t know that while he was on the phone, a certain man had been surreptitiously researching a specific issue. But, regardless of whether this behavior was considered shameless, in terms of the search results, the man sighed softly after looking through all the medical advice on the Internet.

     [Lotus seed paste and orange filling: Can’t bear to hurt him, can wait a few more years. 】

     This Weibo post was cryptic and seriously out of context, so the fans only liked it casually and few commented.

Advertisements

     When Rong Xu exited the bathroom, the two simply tidied up a bit before heading to bed to rest. This hotel was the most luxurious five-star location around (Hengdian) film and television city. The bed was big enough to accommodate three grown men together.

     Perhaps tired out by a fully packed day of events, as soon as Rong Xu got on the bed and said a soft “Goodnight”, he fell completely silent. Meanwhile, Qin Cheng silently looked at the ceiling. Five minutes later, his fingers moved slightly to the side, and made contact with Rong Xu’s.

     He gently touched the tender hand. Even if he couldn’t see it, Qin Cheng could still picture the hand at this moment.

     Distinct joints; slender fingers; and plump, curved, well trimmed nails that shone with a healthy faint pink color.

     He was already fully satisfied just holding hands like this.

     Closing his eyes slowly and feeling the warmth in his right hand, the man curled his lips as an imperceptible smile formed on his face. However, in the next second, Qin Cheng never expected that the young man would suddenly roll over and plunge directly into his arms!

     Qin Cheng: “!!!”

     His body instantly stiffened as Qin Cheng’s eyes flew open immediately. But, before he could move, he heard the sound of a warm exhalation gently brush across his ears. The young man was currently shrunken into his arms, seemingly asleep, yet seemingly awake at the same time.

     It wasn’t until the next moment that a quiet, content voice floated through the room: “I missed you too, Qin Cheng, I missed you very much……”

     The stiffened body relaxed in an instant, and the heat that was surging from his lower half also dissipated with these words. Instead, something warm in his heart seemed to have melted. 

     The man turned over and gently embraced the slender younger man. His mind was no longer (occupied by lewd thoughts) as he simply lowered his head and planted a gentle kiss on Rong Xu’s forehead

     “Good night, Xiao Xu.”

     The first weekend of June began with a clear morning. While the sun scattered across the land, the crew of Maze City released several sets of photos and a video on Weibo.

     The last time this verified account posted a message was around two months ago. At that time, the movie had just started filming, and a live broadcast had been held during the opening ceremony. There were tens of millions of viewers, which caused a small sensation.

     Two months passed and many passerby fans had forgotten about the existence of this movie. No one expected that when they opened their eyes (today) and swiped through their phones, they would suddenly brush out such news.

     [Maze City crew: How did Uncle Si Xun die tragically on the streets? Where have the six severed hands gone? Behind of all this, was it a natural distortion of human nature or a loss of morality? Stay tuned for Maze City’s premiere on September 13. Let us follow the show and traipse into the inner world of twisted serial murderers! #913MazeCity# [Video link]]

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

Advertisements

Previous | Index | Next

Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 92 (Part 1) – Can’t Bear to Hurt Him, Will Wait a Few More Years

Dear All,

Thank You to everyone who supported the June donation event for Doctors Without Borders!! With everyone’s amazing and beautiful support, we have achieved $105 USD in donation funds. Including the $50 matched by SurrealSky, the total donation amount is $155 USD! The donation has been sent out and processed. Screenshots of the receipts can be viewed on the event page!!

Donation bonus chapters will be posted soon!

Thank You, Lauren, for you wonderful and lovely Ko-fi donation!!!


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

     Lotus Seed Paste and Orange Stuffing’s fans had long become accustomed to her PDA Weibo posts.

     In addition to checking in daily to confess to Rong Xu and endlessly forwarding Rong Xu-related Weibo posts, the only thing this Divine wealthy fair maiden did was flaunt a mysterious male god. However, the flaunting this time was fairly simple, and the fans merely teased and poked a bit of fun, not really saying too much. In the past, Lotus Seed Paste and Orange Stuffing’s posts had no limits to showing off.

     【Hmm hmmm hmmm. We know that you like him, and he likes you too.】

     【Now, if I don’t see the PO (post) owner show affection for a day, I will feel sick all over. 】

     [Speak honestly, Tyrant Orange, when will you let us see a picture of this male god? So curious. Cute, handsome, suave, and gentle……. such a male god, what does he look like_(:з」∠)_】

Advertisements

     However, the fans’ comments were destined to never be answered by Lotus Seed Paste and Orange Stuffing because the car already entered the hotel parking lot. Qin Cheng put both of his cell phones back into his pockets, and the four of them alighted from the car and rode the elevator back to the rooms.

     Luo Qian and the assistant’s rooms were on the same floor. When they arrived (on their floor), Rong Xu and Luo Qian determined the wake-up time for the next day before they said goodbye.

     The atmosphere suddenly quieted down when the elevator doors closed. At this moment, the sound of the steel cables pulling (the elevator) was particularly harsh on the ears while the numbers on the elevator constantly climbed. Qin Cheng raised his gaze and looked at the camera in the corner of the elevator. He examined it calmly for a while before turning his gaze away and moving to stand side by side with Rong Xu, not making any other random moves.

     After getting out of the elevator, there were also cameras everywhere in the corridors.

     Qin Cheng led the way in front while Rong Xu walked behind. The two initially set a smooth and consistent pace, but, gradually, Qin Cheng’s footsteps started accelerating. Seeing this, Rong Xu looked at the man’s back with a hint of surprise. But, he didn’t say much, only similarly speeding up.

    Take out the room card, swipe the card, enter the room, and close the door.

    When the main door closed with a “Ka-da–“, Rong Xu had just planted his feet in a firm stance and before he could even raise his head, he was suddenly wrapped in a hug and pressed against the door panel with a “Bang“. The loud sound didn’t come from Rong Xu’s body (hitting the door), but rather Qin Cheng’s arms. He held the young man firmly in his arms, burying his face in Rong Xu’s shoulders. His arms tightened slowly, as if he wanted to ingrain Rong Xu into his very being.

    Everything happened so quickly. Qin Cheng had yet to insert the room card into the electric  card slot, so the room was completely dark. Only the faint moonlight shone through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

    Rong Xu temporarily couldn’t adapt to the deep darkness for a while, so his sight was still dim, and he subconsciously reached out and grabbed the man in front of him. At first, he just held on gently, but gradually he, too, hugged (the other) tighter and closer. He breathed in the cold air and couldn’t help but curl his lips.

     Neither of them knew how much time had passed. A hundred years seemed to have elapsed before Rong Xu’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, and he laughed softly while saying in low voice: “(You) clearly wore sunglasses during the audition and refused to look at me. Qin Cheng……you being like this so randomly is quite strange.”

     They had been living together for almost a year now, but only three months had passed since they affirmed their feelings.

     Rong Xu knew that Qin Cheng had always had a very restrained personality. He was unsure when this man had fallen in love with him, but even after he confirmed the other party’s intentions, this man could actually still hold himself back and use Auntie Qin as his excuse for everything.

     This kind of Qin Cheng was inexplicably cute, so Rong Xu never exposed him.

     Time flew quickly. 

     A year ago, Rong Xu would never have thought that one day he would embrace this man and fall in love with this man. However, the world worked in mysterious ways. 

     Rong Xu embraced the other man for a while and then wanted to let go, but Qin Cheng didn’t allow him to leave.

     Thinking, the young man raised his lips and joked: “I didn’t get thinner. I even gained a pound while working with the crew, so you can let go now. Could it be…… that this time Auntie Qin asked you to come see if I’ve gotten thinner? ?” His clear voice was mixed with an undeniable smile. It was as if they’d returned to the time before they’d confessed their feelings to each other.

     Qin Cheng lowered his gaze and looked at the young man in his arms.

Advertisements

     The dim lighting made him unable to see Rong Xu’s face clearly. He frowned, deliberated briefly, and reluctantly released his left hand to take out the room card and insert it into the electric card slot. All the lights turned on abruptly, and Rong Xu squinted, the brightness stinging his eyes with discomfort. 

     Qin Cheng’s sonorous voice sounded softly in the next moment: “En……”

     Unexpectedly, the other would answer like this. Rong Xu was stunned and looked up at Qin Cheng.

     The two’s gaze met in midair. Looking into the man’s deep and solemn eyes, Rong Xu was dazed for a while before he smiled.

     “Then, Mr. Qin, you can tell Auntie Qin that I really haven’t lost any weight. Now……can you let go of me?”

     Qin Cheng pursed his thin lips and looked at Rong Xu: “Then, did you grow taller?”

     Rong Xu was baffled: “I can still grow taller?”

     Qin Cheng nodded: “En, you can.”

     Rong Xu reflexively said: “At this age, how can I still grow……” His voice stopped midway when he suddenly realized he was only nineteen years old right now. The young man shook his head helplessly: “……It seems I really can grow taller.”

     Rong Xu was currently 185 cm, but Qin Cheng was 190cm. No matter how tall he grew, it would be difficult to become taller than this man. Thus, the thought of “not knowing whether or not he could grow taller” only briefly flashed through his mind before he dropped it and returned to the original topic: “Can you let go now?”

     Qin Cheng kept his eyes closed and said nothing, expressing his attitude with his actions.

     Rong Xu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry: “……but my phone is vibrating.”

     Qin Cheng: “……”

     Letting go of the younger man regretfully, Qin Cheng watched as Rong Xu took out his cell phone and pressed the answer button, saying: “Brother Luo”.

     The man’s eyes darkened as he silently noted down “Luo Zhentao” in his heart. (RIP Luo Zhentao, you will be missed)

     It was already June, so today Rong Xu was only wearing a simple white undershirt with a thin gray jacket. The knitted jacket was tightly form fitting to the young man’s body, (drawing out the beautiful curves of his body), and his long legs were wrapped in tight black jeans. As Rong Xu moved forward slowly, the jacket would sway and occasionally reveal a sliver of his waistline hidden behind the white shirt.

     After Qin Cheng let go of the young man, he still stood by the door, watching Rong Xu walk into the room step by step.

     Over the phone, Luo Zhentao seemed to be talking about the contract signing for The Embroiderer. He, himself, was still in B city dealing with Rong Xu’s next endorsement; it was impossible for him to come to Hengdian in person. Thus, he worked overtime that night to read through the contract given by the crew, and decided to modify one or two details before talking it over with Rong Xu on the phone. 

     This responsibility (of contract details) was generally given to Luo Qian, but Luo Zhentao still had to tell Rong Xu.

     Like so, the two talked for more than ten minutes. Meanwhile, Qin Cheng stepped into the room, removed his coat, and put on simple pajamas. After he washed up briefly, he walked out and saw Rong Xu sitting on the hanging chair beside the floor-to-ceiling windows, swinging on the chair while talking to Luo Zhentao.

     His silhouette was thin and lanky. The hanging chair continued to swing back and forth, making creaking sounds. It was like he’d returned to his childhood years, youthful and innocent.

     As if hearing Qin Cheng exiting the bathroom, Rong Xu suddenly swiveled his head around and waved to Qin Cheng with a grin.

     Qin Cheng walked to the sofa and sat down beside Rong Xu.

     Rong Xu turned his head to look at Qin Cheng with a smile while still talking to Luo Zhentao. It was merely an innocent smile and glance, but he didn’t know how alluring this image was in the eyes of a certain man at that moment.

     After removing his coat, the thin shirt could no longer hide the young man’s beautiful body. He sat on the hanging chair, occasionally swinging to and fro. When he turned his head to the side, fine scattered hair dropped from the other side, slightly covering his crystal clear eyes, (making him appear) serene and ethereal.

     This Rong Xu was truly nineteen years old.

     He hadn’t even really passed his nineteenth birthday. Strictly speaking, he was truly an eighteen-year-old youth.

     There was none of the warmth and elegance that was associated with Wan Siyao; none of the coldness and ruthlessness that radiated off Huo Xi; none of the mature gentleness that exuded from Ling Xiao; and none of the indifferent seriousness that belonged to Xue Jiazhe. 

He was Rong Xu, not the (High EQ) and calm rising star of the public eye, but just simply Rong Xu.

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

Advertisements

Previous | Index | Next