Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 95 (Part 4) – The Embroiderer, Complete

Part 4/4 of Chapter 95. Finally reached the end of this 10000+ character chapter!

Briefly edited

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

   This scene was mentioned once before in the script. It was when Sheng Xiangjun already moved into Kong Chao’s residence. One night, she wanted to seek out Kong Chao, but the housekeeper told her: “His Lordship is currently receiving a distinguished guest. Tonight is inconvenient.”

     Through Sheng Xiangjun’s perspective, the audience learns that the distinguished guest is the Crown Prince, and that the prince quite admired Kong Chao. Earlier that same day, Kong Chao had a dispute with the East Faction’s people, leading to the East Faction not allowing him to enter the premises to conduct a search. So, that night, the Crown Prince personally arrived at the courtyard to give Kong Chao the Crown Prince’s personal order token.

     Consequently, Kong Chao used this token to continue his fight with the East Faction.

     This original plot scenario was mainly to give Kong Chao a legitimate excuse to compete with the East Faction. But now, at Old Liu’s whim, it became an event that shaped the friendship between Zhu Molang and Kong Chao.

     Coincidentally, a bright moon hung high in the sky that night, giving off a brilliant but gentle light.

     Under the focus of everyone in the crew, the crown prince in white brocades smiled and poured wine for the solemn and handsome Elite Guard Commander. 

     The latter immediately got up to decline this action. But, unexpectedly, the Crown Prince smiled, his features as bright as the moon’s rays, and said: “Why did Commander Kong decide to meet with This Prince? This Prince knows that the East Faction has always had an arrogant and domineering personality, and I have never seen anyone who dared confront them so blatantly as you do. This Prince admires Commander Kong’s bravery.”

     Kong Chao again declined his (drink) offer.

     The young Crown Prince frowned in embarrassment and sighed: “Does Commander Kong look down on This Prince?”

     Kong Chao deliberated for a while in silence before finally sitting back and conceding.

     The Crown Prince then waved his hand to dismiss his guards. The guards hesitated to leave at first, but the Crown Prince turned his head and smiled: “If there was a threat that even Lord Kong couldn’t deal with, what is the use of your presence?”

This statement was truly a showing of sincerity, and Kong Chao’s originally stiff straight spine slowly relaxed.

     Like so, the wine was poured and the atmosphere was built, and the noble Crown Prince flaunted no air of superiority, treating the Commander of the Elite Guards with honest friendship. In the end, people’s hearts are made of flesh and blood. No matter how cold and indifferent Kong Chao was, he couldn’t help but be drawn to the Crown Prince’s virtuous and earnest personality.

     Without the barrier (of rank), it became natural to chat about anything on their mind (1).

     The two discussed the East and West factions, the government’s system of honor, the cities to the farmlands, and they spoke of the current war situation.

     Kong Chao didn’t dare say too much, but the Crown Prince took his hand and smiled: “We’re merely chatting about it. There are good people all around, all determined to do their best for me. Only the Heavens and Earth, and you and I, know. Does Lord Kong not have faith in me?”

     (With the Crown Prince) no longer calling himself “This Prince (Ben Gong)”, the final hesitations in Kong Chao’s heart also gave way.

     When Kong Chao woke up the following day, the Crown Prince had already left for Morning Court. A white jade token with the character “Lang” written on it lay on the table beside (Kong Chao’s) bed. This was the Crown Prince’s personal order token, and Kong Chao was even more moved.

     Surprisingly, the filming of this scene didn’t go very smoothly initially.

     Old Liu never held doubts for Qin Cheng’s acting skills, and he also now completely trusted Rong Xu’s. However, even though the two’s acting skills were sufficient, Old Liu kept feeling that something was wrong during the first and second takes. It wasn’t until the third take where Zhu Molang used a warm and soft tone to repeatedly try and win over Kong Chao that Old Liu was finally satisfied.

     After this scene was completed, Rong Xu was finally well and truly done (with this film).

     Post makeup removal, Rong Xu didn’t immediately leave the set. Instead, he stayed with the crew to watch Qin Cheng and Huang Lei’s scenes because Old Liu was going to hold a final banquet for Rong Xu in a hotel near the Film and Television city after today’s work was over in another hour or two.

     It is definitely a pleasure to watch actors with top tier skills.

     Needless to say about Qin Cheng’s acting skills, when he was filming the ending fight scene with this man, Rong Xu had the illusion that the other party truly held a love-hate attitude towards himself. Love was formed from respect, while the hatred was pure disdain. When his sword pierced through the Crown Prince’s shoulder bone, Qin Cheng had truly held murderous intent and completely become one with Kong Chao.

     As for Huang Lei, the actress didn’t disappoint Old Liu either. Through her interpretation, Sheng Xiangjun’s unyielding strength was able to be vividly put on display.

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

     The scene they filmed today was one where Kong Chao finally found a clue, but East Faction spies came to assassinate him. Kong Chao asked Sheng Xiangjun to flee with an (important) object; and as soon as he finished speaking, Kong Chao’s woman turned around and departed without ever glancing back.

     Logically, this behavior would be deemed ruthless to the extreme. But through Huang Lei’s interpretation, one could see her calm-headedness, intellect, and the deep affection in her trembling eyes and determined expression. She loved Kong Chao, but she wouldn’t make reckless decisions for the sake of a relationship.

     Watching these two share a scene, Rong Xu gradually realized something.

     No good actor would dare say that their acting skills have peaked and didn’t need further improvement. People should focus on constantly studying and learning, and asking others for advice so that they can make progress and hone their skills.

     Rong Xu watched on, fascinated, and didn’t notice that his little assistant standing beside him had her brows furrowed, thinking about something with a troubled expression.

     Luo Qian pursed her lips and thought for a long time. After hesitating left and right, she finally couldn’t help but whisper to Rong Xu: “Xiao Xu…… Don’t you think the last scene Old Liu added seems a bit strange?”

     Hearing this, Rong Xu looked at her in surprise: “What’s wrong?”

     Luo Qian thought for a while before replying: “……The Crown Prince drank wine at his official’s courtyard all night, but then suddenly leaves without saying goodbye the next morning. It just feels strange.”

     Rong Xu raised an eyebrow slightly and said with a smile: “If you drink too much, you can only stay a while. Is there anything strange with that? Moreover, the Crown Prince has a responsibility of overseeing the country. He has morning court to hold, so of course he must return to the Palace early in the morning. “

     Luo Qian: “But, but…….”

     Rong Xu smiled at her.

     Luo Qian lowered her head silently: “Fine, nevermind……”

     After carefully confirming that his little assistant seemed to be okay with that closure, Rong Xu turned his head to look at Qin Cheng. Not looking was still fine. But, as soon as he glanced over, it was truly a sight to behold! At this time, Qin Cheng was playing an injured person, lying in bed with his eyes closed and pretending to be dead while Huang Lei was taking care of him.

     Yet, as soon as the camera wasn’t on him, this man turned to (wink at Rong Xu)! ! !

     Rong Xu: “……”

     Rong Xu felt both amused and helpless at heart. He thought for a moment before stretching out a hand to wave back at Qin Cheng.

     This caused the other man’s eyes to brighten, and while his back was still turned to the camera, he rapidly winked a few more times at Rong Xu.

     Rong Xu: “……”

     Luo Qian, who was standing beside (Rong Xu), didn’t catch the small exchanges between the two people because she was completely immersed in her own world at this moment.

     Luo Qian was a Rong Fan (Rong “Powder”). Even before becoming Rong Xu’s assistant, she was already part of the community. However, she was a pure fan, not a CP fan. Although she had liked Qin Cheng since before, she wasn’t a ChengRong CP fan. But, today, with the scene of “drinking under the moonlit night” continuously replaying in front of her eyes, plus the ChengRong posts she accidentally saw in the forum the night before……

     Was there truly no ambiguity in that scene?!

    Coupled with the words that the Crown Prince said before he was hacked to death by Kong Chao in the finale…….How come the more she thought about it, the more they seemed to be words scolding a heartless man aaaaahhhhh! The emotionlessly ruthless kind aaaaahhhhhh! ! !

     [QianQian’s Big Adventure: I think my three views need to be reevaluated, begging the movie to be released soon aaaahhhh!!! 】

     After posting this Weibo, Luo Qian turned off her phone and felt more at ease, but she was completely ignorant of the potential impact of her Weibo post.

     Rong Fans (Rong Powders) have long known that the PO (post) owner of “Qian Qian’s Big Adventure” was Rong Xu’s assistant. Now that Luo Qian posted something, they immediately thought the other party was talking about “Maze City”. Why does “Maze City”’s three worldly views need to be reevaluated? Could it be that this movie was going to be particularly explosive, and that Rong Rong’s character would be particularly shocking?

     【Ooooooooooooooooooo! ! We also want “Maze City” to be released soon, we also want “Maze City” to be released soon! ! ! 】

     In this way, when the advertising crew for “Maze City” found out that they had inexplicably gained another wave of popularity, they happily reported the situation to Director Yuan. Director Yuan sighed: “When I looked for Rong Xu, I really found the right one. He’s simply a blessing, a blessing! Hahahaha!”

     At the same time, the blessing mentioned by Director Yuan was heading to the hotel with the crew of The Embroiderer.

     Probably because today’s filming went well, Old Liu was in a good mood. With a wave of his hand, he ordered a large private feast and a few cases of liquor, saying generously: “Our filming progress has been very smooth. If we continue like so, we could be finished a week in advance. Tomorrow morning, everyone can take a break. So let’s not dally any longer; no one goes home if they aren’t drunk tonight!”

     As soon as he finished speaking, everyone in the crew was immediately enlivened.

     When they first gathered together, some of the staff members were still a bit restrained and uncertain what to do with their hands and feet. But, after hearing Old Liu’s rough and unrestrained laughter, they finally began to relax.

     When Old Liu was serious, he was extremely serious. But, when the director joked around, he was truly having fun.

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

     Since Old Liu said so, everyone could eat and drink with an easy heart.

     Given that the words “if you aren’t drunk, you can’t go home” has already been said, no one (in the crew) could be an exception. After three rounds of drinking, practically everyone was plastered, leaving only the designated staff members who were going to drive, as well as some of the actors’ assistants.

     Old Liu had also ruled: “None of the assistants are allowed to drink for you today. Drink everything by yourself!”

     During the banquet, the men all drank a lot of alcohol. Qin Cheng wasn’t too bad since except for Old Liu and the producer, no one else dared raise a toast to him (and make him down another glass). There was one person who, in his drunkenness, walked up to Qin Cheng to give a toast. But, just as he raised the glass, he saw Qin Cheng’s indifferent eyes and then turned and walked away.

     Rong Xu wasn’t as lucky.

     Old Liu was a very busy person, so he’d never watched Black Clouds and naturally didn’t know that Rong Xu had released a CD single. At this time, Rong Xu hadn’t truly transitioned into the music industry, and even if he did become a singer, it didn’t mean that he couldn’t drink at all. Thus, everyone toasted to Rong Xu one by one.

     From the start, that evening’s banquet was dedicated to Rong Xu, and starting from the makeup team, everyone came to bid Rong Xu farewell.

     Just as Old Liu was about to toast Rong Xu for the second time, he watched as the young man with flushed cheeks and drunkenly narrowed eyes raised his glass before suddenly(!) toppling over on his side.

     Qin Cheng rushed over just in time to catch him, but Old Liu was already drunk and retorting: “I already said, Xiao Qin, you are not allowed to help Xiao Rong drink. I know you two have a good relationship, but you are still not allowed to drink for him. If you drink for him, I’ll cut your screen time! Cut cut cut cut cut cut…… En, I’ll cut you down to only one minute HAHAHAHAHAHA!”

     Completely ignoring the words of the drunk man, Qin Cheng glanced over at Xu Jin, who was next to him. The latter immediately caught Old Liu’s attention and said with a smile: “Old Liu, look, Old Chen was just saying that if he didn’t get drunk with you, he won’t leave. You shouldn’t leave him hanging , that’s no good……”

     Meanwhile, Qin Cheng directly propped Rong Xu up and headed outside. However, the younger man leaned his entire body weight on him and couldn’t even walk. After debating for a moment, (Qin Cheng) opted to pick him up sideways and walk straight out of the banquet hall.

     Seeing this, Luo Qian followed along in a hurry, and Qin Cheng’s little assistant also chased after them. Before leaving, (Luo Qian) looked back at Xu Jin and watched as Xu Jin pulled Old Liu over for a drink. The latter was coaxed around and around by Xu Jin, and didn;t have time to notice Rong Xu and the others’ departure.

     Away from the noisy banquet hall, the handsome and beautiful young man lay obediently in Qin Cheng’s arms. Like a lazy cat, he rubbed against the man’s broad chest, causing the older man’s eyes to darken. After rubbing for a while, he seemed to have finally found a comfortable position, and the young man’s lips curled up a bit more.

     And then he fell back asleep.

     It was deep into the night when the group of four left the banquet hall and entered the parking lot, heading back to the hotel.

     The author has something to say: Orange Qin: Logically speaking, in most other novels, it would be the optimal time to drive (*winks).

     Fuwa: Let’s be reasonable, other people’s gong’s are all cool and arrogant, domineering kings. With a stomp of their shoes, the Earth would shake three times! You, a small orange, want to be treated like a domineering president, and drive whenever you want? Do you even have a driver’s license? [Picks nose]

     RongRong: …… I also want to know, when will we drive (*winks)……

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


1: Direct Chinese translation: “discuss the sky and lands”

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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 95 (Part 3) – The Embroiderer, Complete

A long overdue post!!!!!! Also, WordPress has made many recent changes to their site, so the new posts might look a bit different!


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

     The scene ended here.

     The old actor who was playing the Emperor held onto Rong Xu tightly while bitterly crying. After all, as a veteran actor with acting ingrained into his bones, his enactment of the crying scenes gouged painfully at the audience’s heart and presented such pain that could be felt even with closed eyes.

     Speaking of the “crying while embracing a corpse” type of scene, Rong Xu had also filmed it once before. That time, in “Vie for Supremacy”, Dong Lilan was directed to cry while holding onto Wan SiYao’s corpse. Rong Xu remembered very clearly that Ye Qiao had NG’d many times (for that scene), frustrating Director Guo.

     However, while this type of crying scene was considered difficult for newcomers like Ye Qiao, for an old veteran actor, it could be completed in one simple take.

     Once Old Liu decided that the scene didn’t need to be re-shot, Rong Xu could finally breathe a sigh of relief, and Luo Qian also whispered excitedly: “It’s done!”

     Rong Xu turned to look at her and nodded with a smile: “En, it’s done.”

     Hearing those words, Luo Qian nodded happily, but after her excitement subsided, she looked at Rong Xu’s blood-stained body and said with heartache: “Rong Rong, let’s get you changed quickly…”

     The last few scenes were filmed in one continuous shot, and although Zhu Molang’s martial arts wasn’t superior in the plot, resulting in fewer action scenes for Rong Xu, he had still been tossed back and forth for quite a while. An arrow pierced through his hand, a sword slashed across his shoulder bone, and finally, a knife pierced through his heart.

     Naturally, these scenes weren’t real but rather crafted through special effects make-up. But even then, (all of the make-up) was starting to suffocate Rong Rong. The originally gorgeous Python Brocade had been sliced into mere strips of cloth, and his previously well groomed and tied-up long hair was also scattered messily about his shoulders. His face and his clothes were both covered in artificial blood. Out of all his works, this was the most extreme his appearance had ever been.

     Moreover, the arrow that pierced his hand…… Um, Qin Cheng shot it.

    The sword that sliced across his shoulder, Qin Cheng slashed it.

     The knife that pierced his heart… that’s right, Qin Cheng stabbed it.

     Thus, when Qin Cheng walked over quickly and carefully inspected Rong Xu’s fingers only to find a tiny scratch on it, he frowned and asked in a deep voice: “How did you get scratched?”

     At this point, the prop arrows in Rong Xu’s hands had already been removed, but the special effect makeup for the penetration wound had yet to be dealt with. The young man raised his eyebrows slightly and chuckled from his throat: “It’s just a small injury. When I hit the ground with my hand, I accidentally slammed it a bit hard.” After a pause, he added: “Don’t you think …my injury from being shot through the palm of the hand by an arrow is more serious?”

     Qin Cheng who was suddenly taken aback: “……?”

     He only saw the young man sporting a very serious expression, his clear eyes full of sincerity as he said word by word: “And look at my shoulder, it’s been slashed in half. My heart was pierced through by someone, too. It hurts so much.” Rong Xu looked at Qin Cheng earnestly for a moment before repeating solemnly: “It hurts.”

     Qin Cheng: “……”

     Seeing the expression on the young man’s face which was screaming “I’m really in excruciating pain, if you don’t believe me, look at these wounds”, the man slowly lifted the corners of his lips. He felt something warming in his heart and quietly melting. He looked down at Rong Xu and then gave a considering look at the “wounds” being spouted from Rong Xu’s mouth before landing the gaze on his eyes.

     Qin Cheng stoutly resisted the desire to lower his head and kiss the younger man. Under the gaze of the entire crew, he could only open his arms to embrace the other party, and say in a soft voice: “Congratulations on this completion, Rong Xu.”

     His voice when saying this wasn’t too quiet so it was overheard by many crew members, who all averted their eyes knowingly.

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

     Rong Xu was stunned, and after a while, he also smiled and opened his arms to return the man’s hug tightly.

     There are some words that don’t always need to be said aloud. Simply holding each other like this and feeling one another’s heart beat could communicate everything.

     However, it wasn’t until the afternoon that Qin Cheng realized his words weren’t entirely accurate.

     In the afternoon, Old Liu, the producer, and the screenwriter held a short meeting. After they ended the meeting, Old Liu personally looked for Rong Xu. (Old Liu) stared at (Rong Xu) seriously, and after a while, he said: “Actually……after reviewing all the ending scenes we filmed today, Rong Xu, I want to add another scene for you. What do you think?”

     Rong Xu, who has already removed his makeup and changed out of his costume: “……”

     Of course, for such a big-budget movie like The Embroiderer, the more scenes, the better (it was for him).

     As the last boss, Zhu Molang could only be regarded as the third male lead because the second male lead was technically the minor villain, Eunuch Li. Although Eunuch Li didn’t hold an impactful villain role, except in revealing the truth at the end, the entirety of the movie had basically cast him as the ‘main antagonist’. Compared to (Eunuch Li’s) many scenes, Rong Xu’s scenes probably only added up to less than 20 minutes. It was a short but impressive role.

     Although his plane tickets for the next afternoon had already been booked, Rong Xu still agreed without hesitation: “Okay, Old Liu, I’m fine with anything.”

     This kind of pie falling out of the sky was truly hard to come by.

     LIkely because he also knew Rong Xu had a flight to catch the next day, Old Liu waved his hand and said with a smile: “It’s not a long scene, don’t worry. You’ll definitely be able to catch your flight tomorrow afternoon. I was only planning on taking advantage of this evening to complete it. It’s a scene between you and Qin Cheng.”

     Rong Xu smiled and said: “Is it an action scene?”

     Old Liu shook his head: “Dialogue scene.”

     Hearing this, the young man looked at (the director) in surprise. He considered this for a moment before asking: “Is there a need for more dialogue between Zhu Molang and Kong Chao?”

     Old Liu laughed and said: “Do you remember what you said when you were filming at noon today? Drinking under the full moon night sky. I plan on incorporating this scene into the story. In actuality, Kong Chao respected the Crown Prince quite a bit, and the Crown Prince also admired Kong Chao. However, I think the relationship between monarch and official can be strengthened a little more…… Mutual appreciation, sympathy and friendship. Rong Xu, what do you think?”

     After speaking, Old Liu looked at Rong Xu, awaiting his response.

     Under the bright lights, Rong Xu opened his eyes wide and murmured in a low voice, “Mutual appreciation……”

     The next moment, he smiled and nodded: “Old Liu, I think it’s amazing.”

     Old Liu laughed loudly: “Then, I shall take it as your agreement.”

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

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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 95 (Part 2) – The Embroiderer, Complete

Post (2/2). If you haven’t read post 1/2, please click here (Chapter 95 part 1)! It was posted just moments before part 2. ^u^/

Potential trigger warnings: Blood


     The Crown Prince’s behavior silently proved that the words of the Sheng family’s orphan were all true. It was the Crown Prince who wrongfully accused the loyal Elder Sheng Ge of treason and eliminated the Sheng family. It was also the Crown Prince who framed the East Faction and was now leading the Royal lineage by the nose to steal away the throne.

     Countless officials and soldiers gathered from all directions, and the members of the Crown Prince’s faction were also dumbfounded. No one dared to show support for the Crown Prince at this time. The Crown Prince was currently holding the Emperor in his hands. Since he was a child, the Crown Prince had been skilled in horse riding and shooting, however his martial arts was left wanting. But, as long as he held a dagger to the Emperor’s neck, no one dared force or rush him.

     “Scram! Tell Kong Chao to come!”

     The young and handsome prince drew one of the guard’s swords and blocked an advancing Elite Guard while shouting at him (to get Kong Chao).

     The entirety of the scene was extremely chaotic, and only Old Liu could find a logical progression in such a disorder and portray the scene in an orderly manner. Numerous Elite Guards surrounded the Crown Prince. Zhu Molang’s eyes were bloodshot as he held a dagger to the Emperor’s neck with his left hand, and a longsword in his right.

     The Elite Guards didn’t dare use their full abilities for fear of hurting the Emperor, so they forced Zhu Molang to flee from the main hall to the palace gates. With the gates closed tightly. Zhu Molang held the emperor in one hand while demanding loudly: “Open the door!”

     Countless archers were stationed around the palace gate walls, all their bows and arrows aimed at the prince. However, they dared not shoot.

     Zhu Molang raised his head again and yelled towards the group of guarding archers: “Open the door!!!” Traces of exhaustion made his otherwise beautiful face a bit more hideous, like a beast trapped in a desperate situation, facing the enemy with frantic roars.

     In this moment, Zhu Molang didn’t notice that a solemn individual had already arrived at the palace gates. Standing on the other side of the palace walls, he picked up his longbow, squinted, and aimed at the pale Emperor and the almost mad Crown Prince.

     Then, he drew back the bow and aimed!


     A thin, feathered arrow directly pierced through Zhu Molang’s left hand and brushed off the Emperor’s neck, leaving only a slight streak of blood!

     This was Kong Chao, one who has mastered the art of archery and was regarded by the hundreds of obedient Elite Guards as their leading Brother.

     The scenes that followed were then all Kong Chao and Zhu Molang’s.

     Although his left hand was pierced through, his short sword fallen to the floor, and his fingers were in extreme pain, the Crown Prince still gritted his teeth leapt forward, grabbing the Emperor with his right hand.

     Suddenly, the tall palace gates opened up behind him, and Zhu Molang’s eyes flashed with a glimmer of hope. However, when he turned to look, he only saw Kong Chao slowly walking towards with his embroidered spring sword.

     The hope in his eyes gradually dimmed.

     The sword was swung and blood poured out. Kong Chao drew his sword and slashed, and the jade headpiece on Zhu Molang’s head was split into pieces. His long black hair waterfalling behind him made his pale, handsome face even more transparent. However, (Zhu Molang) still gritted his teeth, and tried to pull the Emperor with him to block Kong Chao’s movements. But, in the end, Kong Chao struck him with the sword as (Zhu Molang) raised his (own) sword to resist. He shouted desperately: “Kong Chao, how have I treated you? You betrayed me today, do you dare speak to the Heavens with a clear conscience!”

     The knife struck three inches from the Crown Prince’s sword before suddenly stopping.

     A streak of blood appeared on Kong Chao’s handsome face. He lowered his head and looked deeply at the awkward Crown Prince in front of him.

     After a long time, the Commander of the Elite Guards said in a low voice: “The Crown Prince had treated me very well. Drinking under the moonlight. This official has admired the Crown Prince’s personality and longed for the glorious days that the Crown Prince has spoken of. But, this prince…… you should never, ever, have killed the One hundred and thirty-six people across generations of the Sheng Family, killed my eleven innocent Brothers!”

     Blood oozed out of Zhu Molang’s mouth. He smiled coldly, discarding the original gentleness and kindness while saying: “If I didn’t kill them, then I would die!”

     There was a trace of sorrow in Kong Chao’s eyes. He shook his head slightly: “In the end, Elder Sheng Ge had decided not to expose this matter. Only one of my eleven brothers knew about it. If you didn’t kill him, he wouldn’t have wanted to tell anyone. When he died in my arms that day, you know, he told me the day before that he was going to resign and return to his hometown to lead a simple life with his fiancee, Qingmei!”

     At the end, Kong Chao’s eyes burst into flames of anger: “Zhu Molang! No one wants your life, it’s you who wants your own life!”

     A trace of surprise flashed morbidly across Zhu Molang’s face. But, in the next moment, Kong Chao yelled in anger and suddenly slashed forward, directly breaking through Zhu Molang’s sword and slashing directly across his shoulder!

     A gush of blood sprayed out, Zhu Molang spat out a stream of hot blood, spraying all over Kong Chao’s face.

     He half-knelt onto the ground, lifted his head, and looked at the young Elite Guard Commander.

     Suddenly! He grabbed his broken sword and rushed as the Emperor not far away! But, in the blink of an eye, a sword pierced through his heart from behind and caused his movements to come to an abrupt stop.

     The sword was thin and light, the handle was straight, with a slightly curved blade.

     Warm blood ran off the cold blade and landed on the ground, (leaving no stains on the sword’s body) as if it couldn’t be contaminated with any trace of filth.

     Every member of the Elite guards nearby stopped moving. Duke Guangping, who was surrounded by his guards, was also staring wide-eyed at this scene, unable to say a word. All the civil and military officials who gathered around watched in astonishment as the Crown Prince was stabbed through by the Embroidered Spring Sword. 

     The broken sword in (Zhu Molang’s) hand clinked as it fell to the ground.

     Not a single peep could be heard from the audience, and only the sound was that of the rustling wind.

     After a long period, they watched the Crown Prince smile softly and say almost reluctantly: “Kong Chao, you have treated me like such. Your conscience…… is there not a single trace of unease?”

     Suddenly, the Embroidered Spring Sword was withdrawn through the back of his heart, and Zhu Molang abruptly collapsed to the floor. He laid there as blood flowed continuously from the large hole in his chest, quickly staining the bluestone tiles red. His long, soft, and jet-black hair was tainted with mud and dirt, his handsome and elegant face was covered with dark blood, and mouthfuls of blood continuously sprayed out of his chest and mouth.

     In the next moment, the Emperor suddenly screamed in grief: “Lang’er!” before running up and embracing the Prince’s almost-cold body into his arms.

     Zhu Molang raised his gaze with difficulty to look at the person he had called “Imperial Father” for 18 years.

     The Emperor who had been seriously ill for a long time and was already swaying like a candle in the wind was, at this moment, holding onto his Crown Prince tightly with tears constantly streaming down. There were still a few bloodstains from when the Prince had scratched his neck. The imperial doctors who wanted to step forward were all waved away by him, as he commanded them: “Save the Prince! Quick, save the Crown Prince!”

     The eunuchs all knelt down one by one, and no one dared step forward to save the prince.

     It’s not that they didn’t dare save him, but rather that they couldn’t.

     Just moments before, the prince had madly tried to kill the Emperor. Kong Chao’s sword had directly pierced through his heart, and like every Elite Guard skilled in martial arts, his attack was quick, accurate, and lethal. They would not pierce the neck if they want to pierce the heart, and would not pierce the head if they want to pierce the neck.

     In the end, the Emperor could only hold the Crown Prince and shout “Lang’er” over and over again. The Crown Prince smiled and looked at his elderly father. He wanted to speak, but he couldn’t because his throat was filled with blood. Whenever he wanted to speak, he could only cough up blood.

     The emperor held his son tightly and cried bitterly: “If you said something earlier, how could I have killed you? How could I ever have killed you!”

     When he heard those words, the Crown Prince’s pupils suddenly dilated as he stared at the Emperor who was holding him in distress.

     Zhu Molang stretched out his hand very slowly, seemingly wanting to wipe the tears from his Father’s face. However, his hand was only halfway out before it suddenly dropped and hit the ground heavily.

     A bleak wind slowly blew by, swaying the Crown Prince’s long hair which was drenched in a pool of blood. (The wind) tried to pull the hair up with it, but the weight of the blood made the strands of hair unable to be lifted. The entire palace hall was silent, and the emperor had also stopped crying. Everyone looked at the deceased Crown Prince, as if no one could have ever expected this sort of ending.

     As he died, the previously majestic Crown Prince gently curled the corners of his lips, revealing a serene smile. A single tear streamed down from the edge of his eyes and hit the ground silently before finally dissipating into the dust.


     The grief in his voice was so prominent that everyone around him was solemnly silent.

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

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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 95 (Part 1) – The Embroiderer, Complete

I wasn’t sure where to cut the posts without it being an absolute cliff hanger, so I waited till I found a suitable break point to post chapter 95. Thanks for your patience!!

Chapter 95 is another whopping 10K chapter omg. Potential Trigger warnings: Blood

Post (1/2)


Thank you, diabolomenth for your lovely and amazing kofi!!

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

     Old Liu had created numerous large scale movies (in his lifetime).

     This top-tier director of Huaxia had filmed Great War scenes with thousands of people, as well as large-scale explosion scenes that blew up entire streets. Likewise, the final scene of The Embroiderer was also not small-scale, easily starring more than 300 extras.

     The crew rented out the entire palace hall in the Film and Television City. Within the spacious square in front of the palace, the ministers were kneeling left and right across on the floor. If you looked at the set, only human heads could be seen. 

     In front of the Golden Luan Hall, the emperor was holding onto the cold jade seal in his hand as he looked in amazement at the woman kneeling among the hundred officials and paying respect.

     The Crown Prince on the set donned a gorgeous python robe, similarly bowing and kneeling in front of the Emperor, as if he hadn’t heard anything out of the ordinary.

     A bleak wind blew past the main hall, making a high pitched whistling sound.


     Sheng Xiangjun was still kneeling on the bluestone tiles, holding up the blood-soaked Flying Fish Brocade in her hands. She paused in her words as she kept her head bowed and wept, leaving the situation for the Emperor to judge. Observing this scene, the civil and military officials didn’t dare speak up; they merely lowered their heads one after another. The Emperor scanned the surroundings, and his sickly, pallid face was filled with deep trenches. A long time passed before his solemn and trembling voice echoed throughout the hall.

     “Where did this demonic girl come from! Speaking such deceitful words to confuse the crowd! Someone, come, drag her down and behead her!”

     As soon as these words sounded, the Palace Guards immediately stepped forward, intending to escort Sheng Xiangjun away from the premises. However, Kong Chao abruptly pulled out his Embroidered Spring Sword and forcefully pushed away the four Imperial Guards.

     Then, only Duke Guangping’s loud voice could be heard: “Imperial Brother, even if you do not believe in the words of the Sheng family’s orphan, can you still place your trust in This Official? The ministers have already checked. Eighteen years ago, there were indeed ten court ladies and ten guards whose cause of death were unknown, and they all served in the First Empress’s palace. Moreover, Imperial Doctor Song, who helped the First Empress stabilize the fetus back then had also suddenly returned to their hometown. But as you know, Imperial Brother, they died of a chill the following year. Imperial Doctor Song’s highly-valued medical skills were very apparent even to Imperial Brother, how could he accidentally die of a chill? Imperial Brother, please consider!”

     The Emperor waved his sleeves, his face pale: “Leave! Cough cough cough cough…”

     Duke Guangping suddenly knelt to the floor: “Imperial Brother, please consider!”

     The whole hall fell silent, and all the ministers knelt with their heads bowed. In the square, except for Kong Chao who wielded his Embroidered Spring sword to lead his comrades to confront the imperial troops, everyone else was kneeling on both knees. The ministers didn’t dare speak, but they very apparently stood on Duke Guangping’s side.

     In reality, no matter the truth of the situation, the Crowning Ceremony would not be able to continue today.

     If the Crown Prince was real, the Emperor could pass the throne on to him later and was not in a hurry; but, if the Crown Prince was fake, it would cause a huge mess in the royal lineage and be a serious crime of conspiracy in deceiving the Emperor.

     The silence of the civil and military officials, the repetitive persuasion of his biological younger brother, the blood-stained Flying Fish Brocade, the orphan of the Sheng family dressed in a respectful white…… Everything was taken in through the eyes of the Emperor, He was almost holding a sword across his neck, forcing him to make a choice.

     Inside the camera lens, the old seasoned actor stumbled back half a step, and the lines of weakness and grief gradually appeared on his elderly face, emphasized by the makeup. Old Liu stared at the twenty plus monitors, and in six of them, Rong Xu had his head down as his black hair slid from the side of his face. His expression couldn’t be seen.

     However, his back was perfectly straight. Not once did he bend over since Kong Chao and his people entered the palace grounds!

     After what seemed like an eternity, the cold, bleak winds blew, and the emperor slowly lowered his gaze to look at his own son. With a hoarse voice, he said: “Lang’er, today…… let us put things aside for now. Get up first, Zhen (Zhen: ‘This Emperor’)…… shall discuss things with you later.”

     The only reply he received was Zhu Molang continuing to kneel.

     “Lang’er, you……”

     “Imperial Father.”

     Suddenly, a soft and steady voice resonated through the area, and the eyes of the entire set were focused on Rong Xu.

     This was Rong Xu’s first spoken line in this scene. His voice was calm and gentle, and like every line Zhu Molang had spoken in the past, listening to it made people feel a sense of calm in their souls, and made them unwittingly want to surrender. It made the audience want to believe.

     (Zhu Molang) lowered his head and said softly: “Father, you must trust This Son.”

     The emperor hesitated for a long time without speaking.

     A deep, grieving sigh resounded through the set and quickly dissipated into the howling winds. The Crown Prince’s long hair was blown about fiercely by the sudden wind. He gradually raised his head, first revealing a pair of beautiful and delicate eyes, before the rest of his elegant and handsome face.

     Under the full attention of public eyes, the young Crown Prince lifted the corners of his mouth and smirked softly. However, a dense fog had gradually settled in his eyes. He didn’t cry, only smiling as he looked at the father who raised him for eighteen years. With a gentle gaze and a calm voice, he said as an understatement: “You don’t believe me.”

     It wasn’t a question, but rather an affirmation.


     There was no hint of doubt in the Crown Prince’s voice as he said those four words.

     This scene fell in the eyes of the many staff members, and many couldn’t help but look away.

     The more emotionally empathetic ones even had reddened eyes. Their hearts and throat felt sour.

     At this point, this scene came to an end, and the camera and lighting groups continued to adjust their angles to finish the remaining shots.

     Rong Xu had been kneeling for a long time for the scene, so when he got up, he felt his legs tingle with numbness. Luo Qian carefully helped massage his stiff calf muscles, but only less than five minutes passed before he had to start filming the next scene.

     Luo Qian pursed her lips and said: “Still a bit stiff, not massaged enough.”

     Rong Xu chuckled helplessly: “It’s fine, my next action scenes aren’t as abundant as Qin Cheng’s. There won’t be any underlying issues.”

     Yes, Rong Xu’s next scenes were action scenes.

     After speaking those desolate words, the Crown Prince suddenly pushed off the ground and drew a dagger from the jade belt on his waist. He grabbed the Emperor with one hand while holding the dagger in the other, pressing it firmly against the side of the Emperor’s neck.

     The Emperor was shocked, and all the civil and military officials fell into chaos.

     Duke Guangping frantically commanded the army to rescue the Emperor. Kong Chao was also taken aback and swiftly led the Elite Guards to save the Emperor.

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

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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.


     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.


     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!}


     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”

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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.”


     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!”


     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.

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Superstar Aspirations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     A faint smile settled in those deep, dark eyes. 

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

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

     “You wanted to pressure me.”

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

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

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

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

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

     Rong Xu snorted softly, but didn’t respond.

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

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

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

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

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

     Rong Xu grinned slowly: “Okay!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.


     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!}


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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: “…”


     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.


     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!}


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

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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.


     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.


     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: “……”

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