Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 18: Jintai’s New Clothes
Bai Qingquan squeezed out a smile. The weather wasn’t cold, but he still shivered. Today’s Shen Jintai had really transformed. He was very abnormal!
Qingquan? He was going to cry with fright!
When he was with Shen Jintai in the limited group for a few months, Shen Jintai had never called him so affectionately before. Now just these past few days, he would call him directly by either “Hey, hey, hey” or “Qingquan”*.
*Clarification: he’s saying Shen Jintai has been very informal with him, either by just casually greeting him or just using his first name. Usually this is not done in Chinese culture unless you have a super close relationship (and even then, it’s debatable), which Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan does not.
Why was he acting so strange? He was so devious. Did he really know that he used an alt account and lurked in his fan club and now he was deliberately teasing him? Otherwise, this didn’t explain Shen Jintai’s current peculiar behavior!
Bai Qingquan was caught in a huge sense of crisis but covered it up smoothly with his acting skills. He nodded with a smile and said, “You look very handsome today dressed in that business style.”
Shen Jintai was dressed very mild-mannered today, which did not match his age.
Shen Jintai was still immersed in the shock from receiving his lips reward that he forgot how to act in front of Bai Qingquan. He casually said a few words and then rushed to the bathroom.
“Xaoi Ai!” he roared in his heart.
“Xaoi Ai is here.”
“What do you mean it can no longer be judge by numerical values! Does this mean it improved exponentially?!”
“Dear, you have to know that as Bai Yueguang’s former enemy, he has no love for you. On the contrary, he hates you to the bone. It’s just because of his temperament that he’s polite to you on the surface. I just found that his aversion towards you had plummeted. Based on our experience, this cliff-like change is only temporary. It will eventually rebound so it’s not easy to estimate. Thus, we’ll count this as a favorable value.”
“Isn’t it really up to you to decide how much points to give?”
“My dear, Xiao Ai is just an ordinary worker without such great power. If Xiao Ai can make my own decision, Xaoi Ai will definitely turn you into a peerless face right now!”
When Shen Jintai arrived in the bathroom, he went directly to the mirror. His lips color really changed. Originally it was dull and affected his complexion. Now it was much ruddier, but it wasn’t to the point as Xiao Ai said, “Having your own beauty filter”.
“My dear, don’t worry. The change in lip color is gradual, otherwise if it suddenly becomes too red, others will think that you’d put on lipstick.”
This prompted Shen Jintai. “Then in the future if my body proportion change, or I become even more attractive, won’t it rouse suspicion from other people?”
“Dear, be at ease. If you become more beautiful and they can’t find evidence of plastic surgery, their suspicions will only remain suspicions. Besides, as more people begin to like you, they’ll see you through a different filter. It’s normal for stars to become more beautiful after they become popular.”
This was true. The more popular a celebrity was, the more beautiful they seem to look. Whether it was better hair and makeup, or people confidence in them increased, or just the sight of them brings joy to many hearts, as a star becomes more popular, the perception of their image will change to look more appealing*.
*Clarity: everyone has some filter when looking at a person. A star might not look beautiful to you now, but when they get more popular, they will have access to better things that can make them more beautiful (better makeup artists, clothes ect). Besides that, people’s perception of them improve as well. If everyone’s talking about how beautiful a celebrity looks constantly, eventually you might get swayed. Also, you yourself might start liking the celebrity. Then your view of them can change from they are just “average” to “hot” . Hope that makes sense.
When there’s so many treasures in a sea of stars, it was difficult to tell whether something was beautiful or not. Shen Jintai was very open. He only cared about his own beauty so whatever netizen say, as long as it was beautiful, it could be really fragrant*.
*(真香) – Slang that means a situation where a person originally made up his mind not to do something or did something, but in the end, he took the initiative to act in the opposite direction.
*Clarity: Shen Jintai cares about his own beauty so whatever the masses decide is the standard of beauty he will conform to it (turning fragrant). This makes him “open” in the sense where he’s open to new ideas of changing to fit to whatever is the current beauty standards.
Shen Jintai turned on the faucet, wetted his fingers, and then wiped his lips. The lips were soft and tender, and his complexion looked healthier. Shen Jintai felt as if he was a spring breeze.
During this last day of reading, Bai Qingquan botched many of his lines.
“Are you too tired?” Guo Rui said with some dissatisfaction: “Do you want me to ask President Yan to have the company arrange less work for you?”
“The current work is done, and the rest of the work is only to enter the crew.” Bai Qingquan’s face flushed as he became slightly embarrassed.
Yang Lizhi said, “Your complexion looks a little bad and your eye circles are dark.”
His beauty had deteriorated. Bai Qingquan glanced at Shen Jintai again. He felt that Shen Jintai today was particularly radiant.
Shen Jintai seemed to have a sense of self-confidence in his bone. Bai Qingquan didn’t know where it came from. Usually, when people who had been out of the circle for a long time tried to make a comeback, no matter how exquisite their makeup was there should still be a sense of twilight*. However, this didn’t apply to Shen Jintai. He wasn’t as flamboyant as before and looked calmer and more relaxed. When sitting there, he looked sharp giving off a very good… temperament.
*(暮气) = idiom that refers to being dull and depressed.
He really didn’t expect that one day he would see the words “good temperament” and paired it with Shen Jintai.
The press conference was about to be held. As a large production, the press conference needed to be grand. During the lunch break, Shen Jintai saw many actors contacting various brands to prepare their outfits.
Usually, celebrities would only wear an outfit once when participating in events. These outfits can range from the low thousands upwards to over millions. No matter how wealthy a star was, it was impossible to keep buying outfits for different events so borrowing clothes was the norm.
Depending on the star level, different perks would apply. Below highlighted the levels:
A-list celebrities could wear whatever they want. Stars like Yang Lizhi, who’s a top-line actress1, would have brands vying to cooperate with her. Valentino’s2 staff personally sent her their latest season haute couture directly by air. Because she was a brand ambassador for Tiffany’s3, her jewelry came from them.
1Yang Linzhi is referred to as a Hua Dan (花旦) – a term that is rooted in Chinese opera describing a vivacious and unmarried young woman, now referring to Chinese film actresses. Hua Dans tend to drive good attention either from fans or the general public. Besides that, they should at least have good appearances, certain acting skills, commercial values, and qualifications to contribute to the success of their works.
2Valentino = Italian luxury fashion house.
3Tiffany & Co. = American luxury jewelry and specialty retailer.
For second-tier stars, when they didn’t have access to the latest fashion from big name brands, they could still wear off-season clothes. For instance, the second female lead ordered a dress from Dior* from the previous year.
*Dior = French luxury fashion house.
However, not everyone could wear big-name clothes. If the star is too unknown the brand would not cooperate for fear of tarnishing their reputation. Usually, these small stars would rent their outfit from a small studio.
Where there was a need, there was a market. Since only big-name celebrities could cooperate with high-end brands, it became like a pyramid where most people were in the lower and middle class. As such, smaller studios would open and buy big-name high-end clothing, then rent these clothes out to third and fourth tier celebrities. This came at a high risk of hitting the shirt*, but even if a little star hit the shirt, few people would notice.
*(撞衫) = Means two celebrities wearing the same clothes (or clothes that look very similar) when they attend the same occasion.
This was the struggle of small, unknown stars.
When men attended events, they usually wore suits similarly styled. Male celebrities who were a little more particular would pay attention to the fact that they would never wear the same piece of clothing twice.
The best treatment for their crew was Bai Qingquan. As a top-notch star, Bai Qingquan had no shortages of clothing. He could have his pick of any brands. However, because he was the spokesperson for Burberry*, he would always wear their brand when attending events.
*Burberry = British luxury fashion house.
Shen Jintai listened to the side, as he overheard Wei Ge contacting Burberry to have a suit tailored for Bai Qingquan, envying how he didn’t received this kind of treatment.
Shen Jintai, “Were you able to find an outfit for me?”
“I’m still trying,” Li Meilan said.
Shen Jintai made an embarrassed expression. As a top idol, he had always been at the height of the trend. When he first entered the circle, he had three top clothing endorsements. Bai Qingquan’s Burberry endorsement use to belong to him.
However, Shen Jintai made his own bed and now had it lie in it. Because of his countless controversial comments and the hair-pulling scandal, it caused his image to fall to rock bottom. In less than three months, all his contracts were terminated.
Shen Jintai had too many black spots. He was also publicly gay. He lost all his endorsement and even small studios wouldn’t work with him. Now that he was silent for two years, the entertainment industry had long forgotten him. No big brand was willing to cooperate with such an unknown star.
Shen Jintai noticed Li Meilan’s embarrassment and said, “If it’s really impossible. Let’s just rent a set.”
Li Meilan said, “I’ll keep trying.”
Rumors spread easily within the circle. If people found out your outfit was rented and was an unknown brand, you’ll become a laughingstock. It’ll be too humiliating, especially for an ex-top idol.
Bai Qingquan was sitting on a chair while pursing his lips lightly. He was hesitating whether he should probe Shen Jintai.
As soon as he got up, he saw Liu Hui nearby. Though Liu Hui didn’t get the second male lead role, he could not be reconciled and insisted on acting. After final review, they relented and gave him the role of the fourth male lead.
The fourth male lead was also a little eunuch and was Li Xu’s attendant. This was a more likeable character. He belong to the heroine’s camp. Despite being timid and weak, because he didn’t like the actions from Li Xu, he would secretly pass on news to the heroine. When he was finally discovered by Li Xu, he met a tragic end.
The more miserable and pitiful the cannon fodder, the more endearing they were to the audience. However, this image didn’t match with Liu Hui at all. When compared with Shen Jintai, it was self-evident who was more suitable to play the beautiful little eunuch*.
*Clarity: the self-evident is that Liu Hui is prettier than Shen Jintai so physically, he matches the role of Li Xu better. Remember, Shen Jintai is only average looking right now (compared to most celebs).
“I haven’t congratulated you yet,” Liu Hui said. “You manage to keep your role.”
Seeing that his visitor was malicious, Shen Jintai simply smiled.
Liu Hui looked at him coldly and said, “I just went to fix my makeup and talked with the assistant director. They wanted to make me look uglier. Otherwise, it would be quite unreasonable for the Crown Prince to prefer you over me.”
Shen Jintai smiled and said, “I was there when you were taking your makeup photos. Fortunately, you still look beautiful in person, so it should look fine on camera.”
Liu Hui’s expression changed. How could he not be photogenic?! This was a dig that really hit his sore spot. Liu Hui was in all consideration a beauty. The only problem was his face was a bit big. This problem was exacerbated during close up shots that would emphasize his face, making it look even bigger.
The bearded man gifted him several plays in the past. From the age of 20 he had acted for five years, starring as the lead in many movies and shows. Unfortunately, all of them hit the streets*, and nowadays he could only play supporting roles in big dramas.
*(扑街) = It can refer to multiple things depending on how it’s used: 1. Bad | 2. Bastard | 3. Cursing another person (“Go die”) | 4. A way to express dissatisfaction with the other party’s opinions. In this case, it’s referring to 1. Also note the hit in the translation refers to “hitting the ground” as the expression means falling flat on the streets.
Liu eyebrows twitched. He suddenly heard someone called to him from the door, “I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. Are you still planning to eat?” A figure came in.
It was the bearded man. He still had common courtesy and politely greeted everyone in the room and was about to leave when he suddenly caught a glimpse of Shen Jintai leaning over to grab a water cup. As a gay man and an ass lover, he was more sensitive to this kind of thing. He couldn’t help but threw several more glances at the Shen Jintai’s ass.
While it didn’t look conspicuous with clothing on, from his personal experience, he knew that this ass was the best ass he ever saw. The stiffness, the tightness, the shape! They were all top quality!
Liu Hui followed his gaze and squeezed the bearded man’s arm.
The bearded man smiled, put his arms around Liu Hui and left. He said in a low voice, “That little butt.”
“Fuck off!” Liu Hui pinched him. Turning around he glared at Shen Jintai fiercely.
It wouldn’t be easy to get along with Lui Hui. However, Shen Jintai wasn’t afraid of such a person. It was much easier to deal with those types than villains who only took actions in the shadows.
It took talent to maintain such a superficial smile. MMP*.
*It’s an acronym for [mamaipi] (媽賣批) = Your mother’s a prostitute/mom sells batches. It’s basically use a curse saying that could mean a variety thing depending on the context. Overall it just a way to show a person’s unhappy mood. English equivalent would your mother’s a whore/son of a bitch ect. (but of course it all depends on context).
Suddenly Shen Jintai noticed that someone sat down next to him. He turned his head to look and saw Bai Qingquan eyes curve, smiling, calling him, “Jintai.”
The author has something to say:
Say Cao Cao Cao Cao will arrived*.
*Idiom meaning whoever you’re talking about will appear in front of you. English equivalent would be “Speak of the devil and he’ll appear.”
The whole section when they were talking about clothes, reminded me of this song.
Bai Qingquan: “Jintai.”
Shen Jintai: (☉_☉) ‘Oh my god~~ We’ve moved on to a first name calling basis!’
Sorry for lots of translation notes (I know some people find them annoying when they are not just explaining terms). However, I feel that some translation does need clarity, so you won’t get confused reading the contents. I will always try to stick as close to the original material as possible but sometimes it could be written confusingly or there’s not enough explanation. Thus, I will supplement it with clarity, so you’ll get a full understanding of the author’s intention.