Superstar Aspirations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Which father wouldn’t like such a son?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Footnotes:

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


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Superstar Aspirations

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Superstar Aspirations

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

Donation sponsored Post 1/4.

PG-13 content XD


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

     Only he could see this side of Rong Xu.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     A while later, the other party replied.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Qin Cheng: “……”

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

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

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

     Lin Xuan: “……”

     A moment later——

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

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

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

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

     Lin Xuan: “……”

     You are insane! ! !

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

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

     Lin Xuan: “……”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     He was already fully satisfied just holding hands like this.

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

     Qin Cheng: “!!!”

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

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

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

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

     “Good night, Xiao Xu.”

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

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

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

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

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

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Superstar Aspirations

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

Dear All,

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

Donation bonus chapters will be posted soon!

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Time flew quickly. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Qin Cheng nodded: “En, you can.”

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

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

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

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

     Qin Cheng: “……”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     This Rong Xu was truly nineteen years old.

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

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

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

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

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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 91 (Part 2) –Auditioning

Dear All,

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

      (As soon as the audition ended,) Rong Xu immediately stood up, walked to the center of the room, and bowed towards Old Liu. The originally tense and heavy atmosphere instantly vanished.

     The producer was the most immersed in the scene. When the audition ended so suddenly,  he was momentarily taken aback before he recovered and applauded. Under his lead, several other audition viewers also began to applaud. Only Old Liu and Qin Cheng didn’t move.

     Old Liu looked at Rong Xu with a complicated expression. There was no longer the same enthusiasm from the first meeting.

      Meanwhile, Qin Cheng still wore his sunglasses and sat silently among the crew, seemingly as if he didn’t exist at all.

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     After a long time, the screenwriter said: “I think it was pretty good. Rong Xu, you didn’t sit at the beginning. Was it to reflect Zhu Molang’s character? He is someone who’s deferential to sages and courteous to scholars, and has high prestige in court. Presenting it this way was superb.”

     This particular screenwriter was a well-known first-tier screenwriter in Huaxia. He was in his sixties and had a positive, widespread reputation.

     Even after listening to his senior’s flattery, Rong Xu was not overly self-effacing and said with a smile: “Yes, when I was studying the script this afternoon, I felt that in regards to Zhu Molang’s character, even if he was waiting in Kong Chao’s house, he wouldn’t casually sit and make himself at home. The Elite Guards is the most difficult force he needs to win over. He desires to win over Kong Chao, so of course he has to give Kong Chao a good impression.”

      Hearing this, the screenwriter satisfactorily gave a few more words of exaggerated flattery.

     However, seeing that Old Liu still hadn’t said a word, the others also stopped talking. No matter how satisfied they were (with Rong Xu), the final decision was still in Old Liu’s hands. This film was practically Old Liu’s domain. With Old Liu’s prestige within the circle, even the producer wouldn’t dare interfere with his decision.

     There was a period of long silence that fell through the room, but then a deep, magnetic male voice sounded out: “Old Liu, what do you think?”

     Everyone simultaneously glanced towards Qin Cheng and then swept their eyes towards Old Liu.

     At this time, the only one who could speak with Old Liu was the one who had the best relationship with Old Liu, Qin Cheng.

     Rong Xu turned his head to look at Qin Cheng only to see that the latter had also turned his head to look at him. Through the sunglasses, Rong Xu couldn’t see Qin Cheng’s expression, but Qin Cheng could see his very clearly. Seeing this situation, Rong Xu raised his eyebrows and gave a certain man a side glance.

     Qin Cheng: “……”

     A moment later, Qin Cheng silently removed his sunglasses.

      The miniscule exchanges between the two were not noticed by others. After all, everyone else’s attention was focused on Old Liu. They watched as Old Liu opened his mouth, and then closed his mouth repeatedly for a while. After going back and forth and hesitating several times, the old man finally laughed helplessly: “I now feel like we shouldn’t have used this scene for the auditions.”

     As soon as these words landed, the screenwriter asked in surprise: “Old Liu?”

     Old Liu sighed with regret: “Should’ve directly asked him to act out the final scene. This scene wasn’t enough at all.”

     Hearing this, the producer suddenly realized: “Old Liu, you mean……”

      Old Liu smiled kindly, but his eyes glowed with an impish light. He stared at Rong Xu with a smile, and said: “Let’s sign the contract tomorrow. In the following two weeks, we’ll film all of your scenes first. Is that okay, Rong Xu? I heard from Old Xu that his movie won’t start until two weeks later. If it really won’t work. I’ll call him and ask him to postpone it a bit! There’s absolutely no issue!”

     The faint feeling of anxiety in his heart completely dissipated at this moment, and Rong Xu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry: “Old Liu, Director Xu specially chose an auspicious day (to start filming)……”

     Old Liu waved his hand: “Don’t mind him, Old Xu doesn’t believe in that at all. He’s just playing it up for the outsiders.”

     Like so, things were finally settled.

      Old Liu truly was the epitome of someone with great leaps in their train of thought. Before, when Qin Cheng was able to talk the old man into forgetting to urge Rong Xu to go do styling. Now, Old Liu switched to talking with the screenwriter and producer about Director Xu’s new work. Perhaps it was due to age, but Old Liu didn’t even notice that Rong Xu was still standing in the middle of the room wearing the weighty costume.

     Qin Cheng calmly pushed his chair back and walked to the center of the room, dragging Rong Xu away.

     When Old Liu finally reacted, the two of them had already long disappeared. Old Liu said in amazement: “They left just like this? Qin Cheng brought him away? This is simply overprotecting the cub.”

     The producer by the side said questioningly: “I heard that this Rong Xu was recommended by Qin Cheng. They have such a good relationship? Qin Cheng also co-stared with Rong Xu in Black Clouds and then presented awards to him. This relationship is really too good, ba……”

      In this world, same-sex marriage had long been legalized. Although there were also many heterosexuals in this society, there were also countless who identified as homosexual. This was especially the case in the entertainment industry where homosexuality was a dime a dozen in prevalence.

     The producer had already begun to think in that direction, but Old Liu shook his head: “Don’t overthink it. I have known Qin Cheng for many years now. You guys aren’t clear about it, but I am. His older generation and Rong Xu’s older generation are familiar with each other. They should’ve asked them to look out for each other.”

     Only then did the producer remember a certain rumor in the circle: Rong Xu was the young master of B City Rong family.

     The people nearby stopped thinking about it further. 

      After talking a bit more, the screenwriter laughed and said: “This kid is so sharp. The Zhu Molang he presented was even better than the one I created. I kind of want to change a few scenes now……”

      Several crew members continued to chat until one o’clock in the morning.

     On the other side, Qin Cheng led Rong Xu to remove his makeup before taking him to the hotel.

     Just as he was about to leave the set, the assistant director in charge of logistics ran over to report: “I already helped Rong Xu book……”

     “He can sleep in my room for now.” The man calmly interrupted. He looked towards the surprised assistant director and said lightly: “I remember there’s only one room left in the hotel. Did you want his assistant to squeeze into a room with others and arrange a single room for him?”

     That assistant director’s face was painted with a “how did you know” expression. He gave a quick nod: “En, one room will be vacated tomorrow. I wanted assistant Luo and Xiao Xia to temporarily share a room for a day before arranging another room for her the next day.”

      Rong Xu watched Qin Cheng negotiate with the assistant director. His delicate, tender face was full of smiles as he stayed silent, simply standing behind Qin Cheng and watching on.

     Qin Cheng lowered his gaze and said firmly: “You can arrange a room for him tomorrow. He can sleep at my place for today.”

     The hotel booked by the crew of The Embroiderer was some distance away from the Film and Television City (HengDian World Studios). Qin Cheng’s assistant drove Rong Xu and Luo Qian together. Rong Xu and Qin Cheng sat in the back while Luo Qian sat in the passenger seat.

     Along the way, Luo Qian kept cautiously glancing at the two through the rearview mirror. On the other hand, it was unknown if it was from experience or if he had simply been with Qin Cheng for too long, but Qin Cheng’s assistant looked straight ahead and continued driving honestly, never once looking back.

     In the back seat, Qin Cheng was looking at the back of the driver’s seat while Rong Xu was looking down at his phone.

      After watching for a while, Luo Qian’s excited gaze moved away, and the man expressionlessly looked up and glanced at the passenger seat before gently sliding his hand towards the right. He moved inch by inch, got closer little by little, before he finally slid over and touched another slightly cold hand.

     When he touched the little finger, Qin Cheng curled his lips and slightly slowed his movements. But he hadn’t had any time to move further when suddenly!! Rong Xu flipped his hand over and directly clasped onto his hand, intertwining their fingers!

     Qin Cheng: “!!!”

     Five seconds later, Qin Cheng’s phone vibrated. He took out his cell phone and realized that he must have grabbed the wrong one, so he took the other one out of his pocket and turned it on.

     [Rong Xu: Are you wearing sunglasses deliberately to not let me see your expression? 】

     Qin Cheng: “……”

     This sentence seemed to be a very casual question, but it was clearly ‘settling an account after autumn’! 

     Feeling his right hand being held in a death grip, Qin Cheng pursed his lips and replied: 【Avoiding suspicion. 】

     The more you say, the more you might lose. Less was better.

      Seeing these two words, the young man’s lips curved subconsciously. He stopped sending messages, and instead turned his head directly to look at the man (beside him). Through the tan tinted windows, the faint yellow of the street lamps wasn’t too bright and could only faintly illuminate the younger man’s clear and bright eyes.

     Qin Cheng didn’t expect Rong Xu to suddenly turn his head to look at him and was a little startled. He looked at the young man’s uptilted chin, and something seemed to have been let loose in his heart. The corners of the man’s lips curved upwards and he desperately wanted to embrace this person into his arms. However, at this moment, he could only tighten his hold on the (other’s) fingers.

     As long as he continued to hold on like this, as long as he continued to look at this person, he could willingly see ‘forever’.

     During the ten-minute drive, the two people in the front didn’t notice the movements of the two in the back.

     When the car was parked in the hotel’s parking lot, Qin Cheng retrieved the phone he previously misgrabbed and sent out a Weibo post.

     [Lotus Seed Paste and Orange Stuffing: I like him so much, like him so much, like him so much…… I like him so, so much. 】

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

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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 91 (Part 1) – Auditioning

Hi all! The June Donation Event is up and running! For every 10$ exceeding $100 total ($50 donation plus $50 matched by SurrealSky), there will be a sponsored chapter scheduled! All proceeds will be going to Doctors Without Borders! For more information, check out the event page!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Like this, the audition came to an end.

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

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

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

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


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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 90 (Part 3) – The Embroiderer

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

     Being embraced by this man, Rong Xu could only smell the scent of fake blood through his nose, but he couldn’t help lifting the corner of his lips. Thousands of unsaid words could only be summarized into one sentence in the end: “Long time no see.”

     It was the same as the most ordinary meeting between good friends. Although a hug might be a bit strange, the staff didn’t think too much about it.

     Old Liu quickly noticed the situation. When he saw Rong Xu, his two eyes suddenly lit up, and he strode over: “Rong Xu? Old Xu praised you before. I heard that you just finished (a film) yesterday. Do you still have the energy to audition right now? It just so happens that the makeup team has time and can directly help you with styling.”

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     As soon as Old Liu opened his mouth, he had already blocked off the other’s path of retreat, and Rong Xu couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry.

     After all, since Old Liu already walked over, Rong Xu naturally couldn’t keep hugging Qin Cheng anymore. Thus, he let go and laughed: “Director Xu Sheng?”

     Old Liu chuckled: “Not bad, I heard you’ll be working with Old Xu for your next work. I called him this afternoon.”

     Although this sentence was said lightly, it also implied that Old Liu had long since gathered detailed information on Rong Xu. He had never watched Rong Xu’s works – he hadn’t watched either Vie for Supremacy or Ambush. He originally wanted to watch Black Clouds, but ended up having something going on. Later on, he was further preoccupied with the preliminary preparations for The Embroiderer and had even less time.

     During the past two days, Old Liu had auditioned seven or eight film newcomers. However, for all of them, either their image wasn’t suitable, or their acting skills didn’t pass (his standards).

     Although Qin Cheng recommended Rong Xu, Old Liu also didn’t agree rashly. He was only relieved when he learned that Rong Xu’s acting skills were good and had even been acknowledged by Xu Sheng. These referrals saved them time by getting Rong Xu to audition. If his acting skills were poor, it would be a waste of everyone’s time.

     Rong Xu was about to agree, but Qin Cheng snorted softly and said: “What did Director Xu say?”

     Old Liu replied: “Old Xu said that Rong Xu is a decent talent. He decided to work with you after watching Black Clouds.” After a pause, Old Liu smiled and said: “When Qin Cheng recommended you, I already thought it was (a pretty good option). How about it, Rong Xu, can you do the styling now?”

     Qin Cheng nodded: “Director Xu spoke well and has a good eye. Last year’s Depths of the Courtyard was also very good.

     Hearing this, Old Liu turned his head back and began chatting with Qin Cheng about Xu Sheng’s Depths of the Courtyard which had been nominated for the Golden Phoenix Award, and temporarily forgot to urge Rong Xu to go do his makeup. He continued talking to Qin Cheng, and Qin Cheng (responded by) nodding from time to time, and then the old man started to talk about his movie from last year.

     Taking this opportunity, Rong Xu was finally allowed to take a breather.

     As soon as he got up at noon today, he received a call from Qin Cheng, packed his luggage, and arrived at Hengdian World Studios. Not to mention the exhaustion he built up along the way, if he really went to do his makeup without stopping to take a break, he’s afraid he wouldn’t be able to do the audition in his best condition.

     Once Old Liu finished speaking, he picked up his cup and took a sip of water. Qin Cheng turned to his assistant and said: “Take him to my place to rest up.”

     The little assistant quickly nodded, and Old Liu finally remembered: “Hey, wait a minute, weren’t you going to go do styling?”

     Qin Cheng lightly smiled and curled his lips and said, “When I met Lilov in Berlin last year, he mentioned that this year he was planning to film……”

     Old Liu’s attention was once again diverted. After the two chatted for another half hour, Old Liu suddenly realized his error and hurried Rong Xu to finish his makeup and prepare for the audition. Qin Cheng furrowed his brows and was about to speak up, but he saw Rong Xu smile and shake his head, so (Qin Cheng) could only agree.

     While doing his makeup, Rong Xu received a text message from a certain man.

     [Qin Cheng: If knew earlier that there would be such a long traffic jam today, I would’ve picked you up tomorrow.】

     Traffic jams were an extremely tiring matter. If Rong Xu arrived in Hengdian at four or five o’clock in the evening, he wouldn’t necessarily have been this tired and naturally wouldn’t have an issue with styling and auditions. But right now, he had only arrived after eight o’clock and was already exhausted. Meanwhile, in order to finish faster, Old Liu was constantly urging him.

     [Rong Xu: Earlier is better. If it can be finalized by today, if it doesn’t work out, I can still take the plane back tomorrow.】

     After a brief moment, Qin Cheng replied with a text message:【……You won’t stay here for a few more days? 】

     Stay a few more days? Meaning staying beside someone for a few more days?

     Directly seeing through the other party’s intentions, Rong Xu asked grimly:【You really think I will fail the audition just like this? 】

     Qin Cheng, who saw the text message: “……”

     En, I fell into the trap.

     Following that, Qin Cheng went back to filming, and Rong Xu put down his phone to do his makeup with peace of mind. Zhu Molang’s costume was a very cumbersome but gorgeously intricate dragon gown, and three makeup artists had to join hands to arrange the gold and jade inlaid gown. Then, the makeup artists carefully helped Rong Xu put on a wig cap before delicately pulling the long black hair to the back of his head.

     Perhaps because the artists had plenty of experience from helping the recent auditioning celebs with their makeup for the past few days, these makeup artists were clearly very skilled in (Zhu Molang’s styling), and they took care of Rong Xu’s styling in a matter of seconds. When the makeup was complete, one of the older artists suddenly thought: “Oh yes, where is the red mole? Yesterday the director said that the middle of the eyebrows wasn’t (a good location), where should we change it to?”

     Another makeup artist thought for a while: “Director Wang said that the ends of his eyes are suitable, or is it right there?”

     “Okay, let me try…… hmm? There’s a smudge at the edge of Rong Rong’s eyes!” As if realizing his mistake[1], the makeup artist suddenly blushed before regaining a serious expression and said: “I….…I’ll dot it here.”

     While talking, the makeup artist took the cinnabar color pen and lightly dabbed a dark red mole at the edge of Rong Xu’s eyes.

     When everything was finally complete, the makeup artist who had exposed his own fangirl attribute was so shy that he stepped aside and didn’t dare look at Rong Xu again. However, Rong Xu stood up and handed his phone to Luo Qian, and instead of immediately leaving the dressing room, he looked at the makeup artists with a smile and said: “Hello, I am Rong Xu. Please kindly advise.”

     All the makeup artists were taken aback.

     The next moment, four makeup artists leaned in and said in unison: “Rong Rong! Can I get a signature! I reallyreallyreallyreally like you!!!”

     Rong Xu: “……”

     Suddenly…… so many people.

     Only after signing for every makeup artist did Rong Xu walk out of the dressing room. Outside, Qin Cheng had already finished (filming) today’s scene and was still wearing his makeup while talking to Old Liu. When they heard someone accidentally yell “Rong Rong”, they simultaneously turned their heads around. Instantly, Qin Cheng was stunned, and Old Liu’s eyes also widened as he stared dumbfoundedly.

     For Zhu Molang’s good looks, the screenwriter had used a whole list of complicated and magnificent words to describe it and even added the phrase “words could not express (his beauty)” at the end.

     However, when he walked out of the dressing room, Rong Xu’s appearance was akin to the brightest existence in the world, attracting the eyes of all existences in the world.

     Those phoenix eyes were long and thin, devastatingly charming, as pure as jade, and unmatched in beauty[2].

     The small dark red mole at the edges of his eye was akin to a smoldering flame. Rong Xu lifted his eyes and looked at Qin Cheng with a light smile. The latter couldn’t help but purse his lips, and his throat gradually became dry. Their eyes crossed five or six meters and met in the air.

     Qin Cheng opened his mouth slightly and was just about to speak, but he hadn’t spoken yet before he heard Old  Liu laugh and say: “Good! Today’s filming is over, so let’s quickly do the audition now. This is truly wonderful!”

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


[1]Makeup artist’s mistake: calling Rong Xu “Rong Rong”. Calling someone by a cuter nickname is generally associated with femininity in Chinese.

[2]I think the author was going for 凤表龙姿 instead of 凤章龙表


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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 90 (Part 2) – The Embroiderer

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Chapter Potential Trigger Warning: Blood


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

     The film, The Embroiderer, was based upon reality, yet was also divergent from reality [1]. For example, the prototype of Rong Xu’s role, the Prince, was a highly evaluated (individual) in history. Not only were his abilities strong, but the main point was that he was exceedingly beautiful.

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    Just that point alone gave Old Liu a headache: Both good acting skills and good looks. Where would he go to find such a good seedling in the short amount of time?

     On the way to Hengdian, Rong Xu worked on studying the script. This was the first time he’s read the script. Originally, he just wanted to analyze the script rationally as an outside party would, but while reading through it, he became immersed in the plot. At the end, when all the foreshadowed events were revealed one by one, a plot twist turned the tides, and the truths all came to light. Rong Xu couldn’t help but feel his heart stir.

     Seeing Rong Xu’s scrunched up eyebrows, Luo Qian asked in a soft voice: “Xiao Xu, is the script good?”

     Rong Xu rarely showed any expressions when he read through scripts, and this was the first time Luo Qian had ever seen his current appearance.

   Hearing this, Rong Xu locked his phone screen. He smiled as he looked up and asked: “Sister Xiao Qian, what do you think of Qin Cheng’s movies?”

     Hearing his Boss’s name, the little assistant sitting in the driver’s seat immediately pricked his ears and listened as Luo Qian said without an ounce of hesitation: “God Qin’s movies are all great! Extremely great! I enjoy watching every single one of them; I watch them all at least three times!”

     The praise obviously wasn’t for him, but Rong Xu couldn’t help but beam: “En, so, do you think this script is any good?”

     Luo Qian nodded fiercely.

     Rong Xu never once doubted Qin Cheng’s ability to select scripts. In fact, he, himself, was also highly picky about scripts. However, the scripts he received now were far fewer than Qin Cheng, and there weren’t that many options for him to choose from. It was the same for The Embroiderer. Rong Xu was also very interested in Qin Cheng’s role, but it was absolutely impossible for Old Liu to let him take on that role.

     Nevertheless…… the character, Zhu Molang, was actually no less than Kong Chao.

     The Elite Guards wore flying fish patterns and 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[2]. Kong Chao was the veritable protagonist, but Zhu Molang was a key figure throughout the entire plotline.

     Rong Xu closed his eyes and carefully contemplated the plot of the entire movie. Ten minutes later, he turned his phone back on and re-read the script. When reading the script this time, he didn’t immerse his own emotions, but rather analyzed it from an objective perspective.

     Good script writers made sure that every line had carried a purpose.

     Rong Xu first read through all the scenes with Zhu Molang’s appearance before specially selecting to study Zhu Molang’s lines thoroughly. The car ride was bumpy, and he could only hold onto his cell phone and study silently in his head.

     Because of the traffic jam, it was already eight o’clock in the evening by the time they arrived in Hengdian Studios.

    Rong Xu followed Qin Cheng’s assistant through the crew and didn’t see a single idle person along the way. Every staff member was rushing to and fro in a hurry. There were some staff members who saw Rong Xu and excitedly asked for a signature, but they only hastily asked for a signature before immediately heading back to their work.

     Luo Qian said warily: “They are all so busy.”

     Rong Xu didn’t respond. He heard the piercing and dense sound of colliding metal, (a noise that made) even the air tremble. It sounded like the noise of colliding heavy iron. The entire crew was silent and only the clanging echoed on continuously.

     Luo Qian also closed her mouth and stopped talking as she approached the set. 

    That was when Rong Xu lifted his gaze and saw him—

    He wore a woven azure flying fish suit, a wide black belt tightly drawn across his waist, and a pair of jade-embellished official boots were worn on his feet. As he swiftly flew through the building, he pierced a knife through the heart of a black clothed man.

     Qin Cheng’s icy and deep expression on his face was similar to that of a sculpture’s, and his black eyes were soaked with cold light. He quickly dashed among a dozen masked assassins, and with each slash, a life was taken. With each slash, another streak of blood landed on his cheek. However, he never stayed still, slaughtering lives coldly and indifferently before finally landing on one knee. The Embroidered Spring Sword was drenched with blood. By the time he braced himself against the ground, there were already more than ten corpses strewn behind him.

     On the desolate road, the shops on both sides of the street had long since closed, and only the bleak moonlight shone upon the earth, similarly lighting up this gory and blood-scented world. The glistening river of blood flowed down from beneath the corpses, slowly spreading along the cracks of the bluestone slabs, making the scene appear horrifying and gruesome.

    Seeing this scene, Luo Qian couldn’t resist covering her mouth, while Rong Xu narrowed his eyes and gazed at Qin Cheng calmly.

     Qin Cheng borrowed the strength of the narrow Embroidered Spring Sword to slowly stand up. A trace of blood gradually seeped through his lips. 

When he lifted his head, his gaze met Rong Xu’s, but his expression didn’t change. It was as if he hadn’t seen Rong Xu at all. He stood up calmly and decisively left the alley step by step.

     A powerful and icy aura instantly diffused through the air, making everyone unable to move.

     “CUT!”

    The moment Old Liu’s voice sounded, the crew finally started to move again.

     The extras who were playing corpses on the ground gradually stood up one by one, and the props crew walked over to help them out of their suspension wires. The leader of the props crew also hurriedly stepped forward to help Qin Cheng untie his wires. At the same time, the makeup artist walked over with quick steps and picked up the brush to help Qin Cheng touch up his makeup.

     Unexpectedly, Qin Cheng gently shook his head and said: “My friend is here.”

     The makeup artist was taken aback, and subconsciously stepped away, letting Qin Cheng walk off the set with long strides.

    Under the gaze of countless crew members, Qin Cheng walked off the set step by step and passed by seven or eight cameras before standing in front of Rong Xu. He bowed his head slightly. There were still splotches of fake blood on the corner of his lips, and he was also wearing the icy, deep blue flying fish brocade costume. His long-haired wig was tied up high behind his head, and when he lowered his head, strands of hair slid down his cheeks, which made him appear even more beautiful and extraordinary.

     Qin Cheng stared at the young man in front of him seriously, and Rong Xu looked up at him.

     The man’s deep phoenix eyes were filled with an impenetrable coloration, his thin lips were slightly pursed, and his lips opened and closed as if he had something to say. But, after a pause, in front of the eyes of dozens of staff members, he could only open his arms and gently embrace Rong Xu, saying calmly: “You are here.”

     He couldn’t say any more, only those three words.

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

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[1]Based upon reality, yet was also divorced from reality: “Based on true historical events”

[2]Embroidered Spring Sword: A ming dynasty symbol of power, granted by the emperor


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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 90 (Part 1) – The Embroiderer

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Old Liu: “……”

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

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

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

    Old Liu: “……”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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Superstar Aspirations

SA Chapter 89 (Part 2) – Maze City, Complete~

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

     Rong Xu’s voice contained a trace of unconcealed gentleness and faint fatigue. He gently stroked his old classmate’s hair as if earnestly coaxing a crying child.

     This was completely different from the last two shots!

     Previously, the Xue Jiazhe presented by Rong Xu only recited his line to Tan Yangxuan with a gentle appearance. He knew in his heart that he wasn’t qualified to be a teacher, but he also didn’t care. Thus, he had casually ignored Tan Yangxuan’s words. But now…… when he touched Tan Yangxuan’s hair and spoke those words in a self-deprecating manner, everything seemed to have changed.

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     Xue Jiazhe didn’t really have a sociopathic personality. He had emotions and feelings of affection. Thus, he understood the need to comfort those who were exhausted.

     Of course, a drunk person definitely wouldn’t be able to listen to his words, only grasping a few main points: “Really, I’m not stupid, of course I can be a professor. Come, Jiazhe, have another cup! Let’s drink another cup. If we’re not drunk, I won’t leave!”

     With that said, Tan Yangxuan picked up the thirteenth bottle of beer and downed it into his stomach. As soon as he finished drinking, he suddenly collapsed onto Xue Jiazhe and fell asleep, snoring loudly. There was no longer any trace of the heroic appearance when he said “Not drunk, won’t leave.”

     Xue Jiazhe put the glass of alcohol down with a calm expression, pushed the person off of him before tidying up the table, then finally…… grabbed Tan Yangxuan’s collar and dragged the entire person from the window sill into the bedroom. He expressionlessly dragged the person onto the bed and removed his shoes before pulling up the blanket. After a moment of deliberation, he pulled the blanket off again and opened the closet to look for a set of pajamas.

     The camera followed along beside Rong Xu, recording the glass specimen bottle hidden deep inside the closet. The right hand prop inside was extremely realistic as it floated in the center of the bottle of formalin[1], glowing with a faint green shine.

     With this, the longest continuous shot was complete.

     For the film, only the final piece of this scene remained to be shot.

     Bo Xiwen was still lying on the bed as a backdrop, but the cameraman was squatting in the closet to film Rong Xu from the inside out.

     On the screen, the cold and handsome young professor looked around for a while before appearing to have found something. In his hands was an extra set of pajamas. There was no expression on his cold face. 

     After taking out the clothes, he looked down towards the camera as the corner of his lips slightly curved upwards, revealing a smile without a trace of warmth.

     Then, the door closed.

     And the scene descended into darkness.

     Maze City was officially complete!

     Because the final scene was a night scene, everyone waited until nightfall before completing the shooting. When it was finished, it was already 9:30 in the evening, but no one felt tired or exhausted. As soon as it ended, everyone’s eyes brightened with excitement, and laughter filled the set.

     Rong Xu sat in the dressing room and allowed the makeup artist to help remove his makeup. While removing makeup, the artist sighed with emotion: “Rong Rong’s face is truly so good for applying makeup. Good skin and three-dimensional facial features. I don’t know if we’ll have a chance in the future to work together again.”

     Rong Xu had a good relationship with all the staff members, so this makeup artist’s tone was also very casual.

     Hearing this, Rong Xu smiled lightly: “There will definitely be another chance, Sister Zhao.”

     Everyone joked around a bit longer, and when Rong Xu finished removing his makeup, Bo Xiwen also finished removing his.

     Noticing Rong Xu, Bo Xiwen was momentarily taken aback and he stood awkwardly on the spot, unmoving for a long time. Seeing this, Rong Xu contemplated for a bit and then understood the other party’s meaning. He smiled and stepped forward, saying: “The last scene was just a convenient addition. Thank you for cooperating with me, Bo Xiwen.”

     Bo Xiwen gave a soft “en“, but avoided making eye contact with Rong Xu.

     Soon, Director Yuan came over and brought everyone to their final crew banquet together.

     During dinner, Rong Xu also downed a few glasses of alcohol. After all, since there were no more scenes to be filmed the following day, everyone drank their fill. Considering that Rong Xu had released “Lost Wings”, which opened a path for him to potentially double as a singer in the future, they only poured him a few drinks and didn’t really force him to drink in abundance.

     As for Director Yuan, Bo Xiwen, and the others, most had already collapsed onto the table and had to be supported back to the hotel by the assistants.

     Rong Xu and Luo Qian walked towards the hotel together and ran into many of the staff members along the way. Everyone greeted him happily. Several staff members even took out their cell phones to take a group photo and then asked for autographs. Rong Xu accepted all of them.

     On the serene path, the stream of people gradually dwindled, and only the cool June evening breeze blew about, blowing away one’s frustrations.

     Luo Qian hugged her small bag and asked curiously: “Xiao Xu, why did you suddenly touch Bo Xiwen’s head at the end? I was so shocked. I didn’t expect you to add this movement without warning…… but the effect was pretty good. Director Yuan was very satisfied and also didn’t call any more NGs.”

     Rong Xu raised his gaze and said with a smile: “Isn’t it enough that Director Yuan is satisfied?”

     Luo Qian nodded: “En, as long as the director is satisfied, I, too, think that’s good enough. It truly was better than the previous two takes.”

     The two chatted for a while as they entered the hotel. Luo Qian confirmed with Rong Xu regarding the next evening’s flight before parting ways at the elevator.

     After Rong Xu returned to his room, he washed up a bit, and because he was tipsy from drinking some alcohol, he quickly fell asleep. When he next opened his eyes, it was already noon.

     With his left hand propping himself up on the large soft bed, the youth gradually woke up. Two of the buttons on his pajamas were loose and the clothes slid down with his movements, revealing a significant amount of his tender white shoulders. Rong Xu lowered his gaze and stared at the blanket quietly, seemingly yet to have regained awareness, until…… his phone suddenly began vibrating crazily.

     His heart seized for a second and Rong Xu was instantly completely awake. He quickly picked up his phone, and suddenly saw more than 30 missed calls!

     “Qin Cheng, why did you suddenly call me so many times……en, I’m still in Xiangshan, flying back to B City this evening, why…… You, wait, I don’t quite understand what you mean, I just finished yesterday. But, in two weeks, I’m joining another crew to film a work directed by Director Xu Sheng……”

     A man’s deep, magnetic voice came through the phone: “Hengdian and Xiangshan are very close. Should I have an assistant drive over to pick you up?”

     Rong Xu asked, not knowing whether to laugh or cry: “…… Can (it) really finish filming within two weeks?”

     Qin Cheng said in a hushed voice: “It’s just the audition.”

     Rong Xu didn’t reply to this statement. He laid back down on the bed and buried himself in the soft pillows, laughing softly: “You’re not giving me any time to rest, aren’t you afraid I’ll be exhausted?”

     “I believe in you.” 

     Just one phrase, “I believe in you”, made the smile lingering on Rong Xu’s lips deepen.

     Qin Cheng having Rong Xu participate in the audition indicated that there were definitely not many scenes for that role, and Rong Xu would be able to finish filming all (the potential scenes) within two weeks. Moreover, he had said that he ‘believes in Rong Xu’, that is to say, he believed Rong Xu wouldn’t constantly NG, believed that Rong Xu would not be pressed for time (if he took up this film), and perhaps also believed in his own ability to take care of his beloved youth.

     From outside the window came the sounds of bird calls as they echoed through the hills. Rong Xu’s eyes drooped, and the corners of his lips curved up: “Tonight, I want to see you.”

     In Hengdian Film and Television City, a certain tall, handsome man suddenly paused his footsteps, his right hand holding a cell phone and his eyes trembling slightly.  A smile quietly  appeared on his face. A while later, he said in a low voice to the person on the other side (of the phone): “Okay.”

     A minute later, Qin Cheng’s assistant set out directly from Hengdian World Studios and drove towards Xiangshan.

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

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Footnotes:

Brief description of Formalin: an aqueous solution of formaldehyde gas, generally used for preserving tissue samples, disinfecting surfaces, etc. Has a really strong smell 😦 colorless/light green/yellow in color. Formalin is a fixative, which means it prevents tissue breakdown and rot, and hardens tissues for easier processing. Hemoglobin (in red blood cells) gets converted to a tan color Hematin which is why preserved tissues are that weird green brown color. If you sit in an anatomy lab for a while, you’ll smell like it the whole day QWQ


“HENGDIAN AND XIANGSHAN ARE VERY CLOSE” – Qin Cheng

TL note: No mountains high enough, no rivers wide enough to keep QC from RX

Google Maps
Google Maps – If lucky & no traffic

If you’re interested in pictures of these popular tourist attractions, the official English seems to be: Xiangshan global studios/Xiangshan Film and Television Town & Hengdian World Studios

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