Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 11: Amaze Everyone!
Although they only read the lines according to the script, they could all hear Shen Jintai’s cadence and emotions during his delivery. Though their basic skills were solid, they hadn’t practiced for a long time, so their voices were in poor condition. As such, they couldn’t keep up with Shen Jintai.
Yang Lizhi, who was originally quite arrogant, also turned her head sideways to look at Shen Jintai. Bai Qingquan, who was sitting on the other side of her, only saw the back of her head the whole time. A hairpin was attached to Yang Lizhi’s hair. The shape was a simple orchid, but very beautiful, causing a tickle in Bai Qingquan’s heart.
Wuwuwu*. He wanted to wear it.
*(嘤嘤嘤.) Originated from online chat. In online language, “bibibi” means crying, which means the appearance of aggrieved crying (mostly with cute attributes). I used Wuwuwu instead, since it sounds better.
“Qingquan,” Guo Rui reminded, “It’s your turn.”
Bai Qingquan returned to his senses. He was so nervous that he became tongue-tied. “My brother doesn’t seem to know… That he doesn’t like the opposite sex…”
“It’s not this sentence. The sentence above,” Guo Rui prompted.
Everyone gave a small chuckle, causing Bai Qingquan to blush.
Damn, he actually lost to Shen Jintai! Bai Qingquan immediately raised his chest, sat upright, and vowed to compete with Shen Jintai to the end!
Guo Rui was very satisfied with the meeting. Everyone was putting their best foot forward and was full of energy. The main highlight was the scenes between Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai. It looked as if they were the embodiment of the actual characters in the drama.
Since Bai Qingquan’s role was already a prince, he had to be more restrained and not as emotional, unlike Shen Jintai’s role. Shen Jintai got really immersed in the play. His eyes were flushed with tears as he reached out his hand. He was supposed to be very stubborn in this scene. Though he was crying, there were no traces of girlishness at all as the tears kept falling down. Bai Qingquan wanted to compete against him so badly that he lost control of his emotions. In the end, he burst into tears and his voice cracked. “You’d better go back and think clearly about who you belong to!”
Hearing the dialogue like this stunned everyone. It was like they were seeing a live stage play. You could imagine how exciting it would be when the filming officially started.
Everyone was impressed with Shen Jintai, especially the screenwriter, Meng Xiaosheng. She knew Bai Qingquan’s acting was good, but Shen Jintai surprised her. His eyes were still red, and his eyelashes were still moist from the crying, that she couldn’t help but feel they were made to play those roles.
During the gap in the meeting, Song Wei and Shen Jintai went to put on their makeup.
This time, Song Wei’s attitude towards Shen Jintai was a lot kinder. “You were very good young man. I don’t know much about you. Have you taken acting classes?”
Shen Jintai shook his head and said, “No.”
Song Wei: “Your line delivery was fantastic. Have you ever acted in a play before? I remember you were quite young at that time.”
“Young” was a nice way of putting it. Shen Jintai had searched the internet for his first drama two days ago. The acting was disastrous. After watching for only 10 minutes, he had to stop due to self-embarrassment.
Shen Jintai: “It was the first time I had acted, and I completely bombed. The internet was full of bad reviews. Since then, I have been determined to practice my exercises well and have learned a lot in the past two years.”
Song Wei was beginning to like Shen Jintai’s tone more and more. It was calm and confident, gentle and restrained, especially the voice. The rhythm of the words and his pronunciation were particularly pleasing to listen to.
Reading lines was the basic skill of an actor. Nowadays, despite having graduated from an acting major, very few young actors, let alone those who were “wild roads*,” could deliver their lines well. Idol actors were even more disastrous.
*Refers to those who come from non-major classes and are informal. The sentence was translated a bit confusing, so for clarity: it’s basically saying that regardless of whether they majored in acting or not, nowadays there were too few actors who could act (read their lines) well.
After Shen Jintai finished putting on his makeup, Song Wei took another look. She didn’t expect him to look so good in makeup. When he didn’t have makeup on, his facial features, especially the lips, were quite dull. Seeing him with makeup on put her into a trance. He looked like the shadow of a beautiful little eunuch.
Shen Jintai had acted in many shows for years, so he was familiar with the process. The photographers were surprised by his cooperation and tacit understanding when they took his pictures, which made the process much easier. The makeup shoot wrapped up pretty quickly. Guo Rui and the producer came to see him and were very satisfied with the results.
“It would be better if he was more handsome,” Producer Zhang whispered.
Guo Rui: “He eats makeup*. With the right lighting and a bit of polish, it should suffice. He has good acting skills. When the shooting officially starts, you can come check it out.”
*Refers to the fact that regardless of whether makeup was applied, the results would be the same. Basically, he’s saying applying makeup to Shen Jintai would have very little change to his appearance.
Producer Zhang smiled and said, “We’ve been working together for so long, so I believe in your vision.”
Shen Jintai was undressed as they were having their conversation, so he was only wearing a pair of small shorts. His body was well-proportioned, and his back muscles were thin and stretchable. Producer Zhang eyed his butt, which stood out too conspicuously, which made him suddenly recall Shen Jintai’s sexual orientation. Shen Jintai definitely had an ass fit for a gay man.
Such a pity that a gay stone hammer would have difficulty catching fire. Thinking about in that way, he felt that that the role given to him was a bit wasteful.
The costumes in the drama was very heavy due to them having multiple layers. Shen Jintai was about to change to another set when Zheng Siqi came in.
Zheng Siqi, was the third male lead who plays the Crown Prince Zhou Ying. In the drama, they were pairs of entangled lovers. He was a young man with clear, distinct eyes and smooth facial features. Shen Jintai recalled the novel description of Zheng Siqi that used ancient prose to describe him: “Stones like jade, and the pine trees are like emeralds. Lang Yan is unique, and there is no second in the world.*” Zheng Siqi was handsome, but more importantly, he had a bright and noble aura. It could be said that he was the best fit for the role he was cast for in this entire production.
*A verse from “Baishi Lang Song” from Guo Maoqian’s song compilation “Folk Song and Ballad”. Its meaning is to describe someone with indescribable beauty.
Like him, Zheng Siqi also took makeup photos today.
Zheng Siqi was still in college and was a pure newcomer. He was very respectful of him. When he came in, he bowed and greeted Shen Jintai, “Hello, Brother Shen.”
Shen Jintai smiled and said, “Which one of us is older?”
Zheng Siqi was taken aback for a moment and asked, “Are you younger than me?”
Shen Jintai: “I’m twenty.”
Zheng Siqi showed a surprised expression. Feeling a bit embarrassed, he said, “I’m sorry, I thought…”
“I made my debut early.” Shen Jintai said with a smile, “You don’t have to be so polite to me. Just call me by my name from now on. We are both the same age.”
Zheng Siqi had been worried these days. As a college student, it wasn’t easy for him to get this role. He had to audition seven to eight times before he was finally successful. After he got the role, he anxiously waited to see who would play Li Xu. After all, this was the character he had the most scenes with. As a result, a few days ago, the crew secretly leaked to him that it was Shen Jintai.
The news made him bitter. Shen Jintai was notorious for his bloody winds*.
*(血雨腥风) Idiom describing a dangerous atmosphere or environment of crazy killing.
Shen Jintai hasn’t been in the entertainment industry for a long time. As soon as he entered the circle, he became a top star. At his peak, he retired. Regardless of his short time in the circle, everyone still remembered those bloody days. Zheng Siqi still recalled his famous outlandish remarks and unruly appearance. He also had a very bad temper and was constantly bullying Bai Qingquan, which caused him to land on the hot search multiple times.
Zheng Siqi was so anxious about working with such a person, especially since this was his debut, that he had bouts of insomnia. Unexpectedly, when he met the live person today, he found that Shen Jintai was not as he had imagined.
It was too different from the Shen Touhua in his memory.
Shen Jintai didn’t leave after his photoshoot. He stayed to look at Zheng Siqi’s photoshoot. He was really a beautiful man, like a cypress pine tree, who was cold and handsome.
After the script reading was over, Shen Jintai stopped Zheng Siqi. “Are you free tonight? Shall we have dinner together?”
Zheng Siqi was flattered.
Shen Jintai took the opportunity to also ask Bai Qingquan, “Qingquan, do you want to come too?”
Bai Qingquan got goosebumps. ‘Qingquan*?! How dare he call him that. So disgusting!’
*Clarity: in Chinese culture, you don’t normally call someone just by their given name (first name). On a side note, regarding names: Chinese names are family name (last name) + given name (first name).
Bai Qingquan smiled brightly, shook his head and gave a gentle look. “No, I have a plane to catch. Maybe next time.”
Bai Qingquan got into the car with a smile, but as soon as he sat down, his face turned black.
His agent, Wei Ge, pulled on the car door and said to the driver, “Drive faster and don’t be late.” After speaking, he turned his head and looked at Bai Qingquan, who was leaning his head against the car window, staring at the backs of Shen Jintai and Zheng Siqi.
“You fancy him?” Wei Ge asked.
Bai Qingquan: “This Zheng Siqi is handsomer than his picture. So tall.”
Wei Ge: “…Can you not turn into a nymphomaniac whenever you see a handsome guy? Mixing in this circle, there are no shortage of handsome guys!”
Bai Qingquan: “This kind of newcomer who hasn’t debuted yet has a special aura around him. He’s also an acting major and a college student.”
Bai Qingquan made his debut in the “wild road”. He didn’t even graduate from high school. When he saw those in college, especially acting majors, he couldn’t help but feel sour.
“Shouldn’t you be feeling a sense of crisis? Didn’t you find that Shen Jintai’s lines were much better than we thought?” Wei Ge said, “His role is already outstanding. If he steals the limelight…”
“Arghhhh.” Bai Qingquan couldn’t stand it anymore. “Impossible! I will never be stepped on by him again!”
Shen Jintai was his nightmare!
Wei Ge: “Then you have to work hard. You didn’t perform well today, mainly because you didn’t review the script properly. You have to finish a lot of work before entering the group. Time is tight. You need to work harder to memorize the script. Even though you were reading directly from the script, you still said the wrong lines.”
Hearing this, Bai Qingquan sprayed on some mint oil and started reading his script. He was very tired. His eyes were fighting to stay open. He’d only slept for a total of four hours in the last two days, and he was still on the road.
But he still had to work harder. He couldn’t lose to anyone, especially to Shen Jintai. He called Shen Jintai over to lift the sedan chair for him, not so that he could be stepped on.
Shen Jintai wanted to use his east wind1 to start a comeback and realized his spring and autumn dreams2!
1(东风) Driving force || In this context it’s saying he wants to use his momentum to jumpstart his comeback.
He invited Zheng Siqi to dinner to get better acquainted with him. The two of them shared many scenes together, yet Zheng Siqi was very polite and fearful of him. How could it be possible to act well in an emotional drama if he’s like this?
After returning to the hotel after dinner, it was past ten in the evening. Shen Jintai was about to go to bed when Lin Xu called.
“Who is it?” Lin Xu asked when he picked up the phone.
Shen Jintai: “What?”
Lin Xu: “Who were you eating with? So handsome.”
Shen Jintai: “…Were you also eating at that restaurant? I didn’t see you.”
Lin Xu: “I saw it on Weibo. Sister, you’re on the hot search. They’re saying it’s your new love.”
Shen Jintai: “Huh?”
Shen Jintai felt that the hot searches in this world were like Chinese cabbage*. In the past few days, he had basically become numb to them.
*Reference to say that there’s a lot of them.
He hurriedly checked Weibo, and found that ranked fourth on the Weibo hot search was: [Shen Jintai’s new love affair].
Is having a meal with someone that explosive enough to get him fourth in the hot search?
He clicked to look. It was a photo of him and Zheng Siqi having dinner. The photo was relatively blurry and was a GIF. The blurring inadvertently created a beauty filter for him, as he looked quite handsome in the GIF. Some of the pictures were taken from inside the restaurant, and a few were taken outdoors when he sent Zheng Siqi to his car. The night was hazy, showing a thin figure wearing a baseball cap with a bright smile.
“Hehe!” As soon as Bai Qingquan got off the plane, he saw Shen Jintai’s hot search.
“How shameless. Whenever you get the opportunity, you just have to hype yourself. You wouldn’t even let newcomers off.” Bai Qingquan bleary-eyed and looked at Wei Ge. “Isn’t he broke? Where did he get the money to buy hot searches?”
“A dead camel is bigger than a horse,” Wei Ge said. “Besides, he may not have bought the hot search.”
Bai Qingquan: “Even I have to rely on spending money for hot searches. Can his hot searches be natural? As if hundreds of thousands of people would search for his new relationship at the same time. What complete bullshit!”
Wei Ge said, “Just ignore it. Hurry up and sleep for a while. I can see that your eyes are red and bloodshot.”
Bai Qingquan raised his head, propped up his eyelids and dropped in a few eye drops. “I really regret introducing him to this drama. Doesn’t he like President Yan? I really want to see President Yan abuse him.”
The whole world knew that Shen Jintai liked President Yan of Sunshine Media. Bai Qingquan would love to see Shen Jintai’s hot face and cold butt*. How refreshing would that be?
*Idiom the means the face is passionate, but the butt is indifferent. It means that you try hard to please and compliment others, but others are indifferent towards you.
One thing drops one thing*. Who would have thought that the star-studded Shen Jintai would have a time when he couldn’t get what he wanted?
*Colloquialism means if there is one kind of thing, there will be another kind of thing to subdue it. (AKA Everything has its vanquisher.)
He recalled a scene from last winter when he was having a meal with some company executives. When he came out of the restaurant, he saw Shen Jintai chasing after Yan Qiuchi’s car but was unable to catch up. He stood alone on the side of the road, looking haggard and embarrassed. When Shen Jintai saw him, he gave him a fierce look.
Bai Qingquan felt incredibly great at that moment. He loved seeing such unsightliness from Shen Jintai.
Who told him to bully him, squeeze him out, step on him, and encourage his fans to slander him!
If you don’t believe me, look up, and see who the heavens have spared*.
*Idiom means good and evil will eventually be repaid. In other words, karma.
The author has something to say:
Never be able to pick up the pounds* of two beautiful 0’s.
*A few pounds and a few taels (几斤几两) Refers to knowing your status in terms of your own value, role, and influence.
Turns out Bai Qingquan isn’t just a one-dimensional white lotus after all. He does have legit beef about why he hates Shen Jintai, so I wouldn’t consider him to be a “villain” per se… I’m really liking all the characters so far. None of them seem one-dimensional (well maybe Yan Qiuchi, but there’s not much written about him yet).