I woke up to find I have a child - Chapter 28
Han Feixu did not reply back to her immediately.
Instead, she first told Liang Zhu about this proposal.
Liang Zhu thought for a while, “It’s a tempting offer.”
At this moment in time, no matter which company Han Feixu went to, Gan Zongming would not be satisfied, but if she went to Ye Mingxin’s studio, even if he wasn’t satisfied, he would have to hold back his anger.
If she wants to work with her wife, even if his hands were longer than Buddha’s, his reach cannot extend far enough to manage a personal matter between lovers.
Furthermore, Ye Mingxin’s studio is listed under Gan Company’s name so if Liang Zhu followed, it would not be considered a breach of contract. Ye Mingxin could also help with pushing away the annoying artists under Liang Zhu and manage those that stayed. Her precious hairline will also be preserved from the decrease in stress.
The most enticing part of the offer is that Ye Mingxin’s team is led by Qi Yu. Qi Yu has been in the industry for more than 10 years and has raised up a total of three artists. One of them is an internationally-renowned actress who stays in Hollywood for most of the year, another one is known as the “Singing King”, and the last one is Ye Mingxin. All of them became major players in the field under his tutelage. In addition to his strong business sense/ability is his luck. Nobody can keep up with his outrageous luck, even if they had eight horses*. (*T/N: idiom where someone is so good at something that people can not compare no matter how hard they try)
If Han Feixu joined their studio, then she too would be able to touch Qi Yu’s star energy.
Having been in the entertainment industry for a long time, Liang Zhu, a devout Catholic, has become a believer in superstitions = =
Liang Zhu asked her, “What do you think? Do you want to join?”
Han Feixu was also uncertain, “She obviously gave me very good conditions. After listening to her proposal, I took another look at the contract I signed with Gan Company 8 years ago. Compared to their contract, Ye Mingxin offered a salary that was three zeroes more than my old salary, the company’s commission rate was directly reduced to zero, and all the other annoying clauses were removed.”
Liang Zhu took a puff of her cigarette, “This is normal, all rich bosses are like this when trying to pick up girls.”
Han Feixu: “…..”
She let out a dry cough, “However, I still don’t want to join. Public and private matters shouldn’t be mixed together, it’ll be hard to separate them when they become tangled together. Eventually, when I want to terminate the contract, I may be able to repay the money, but I cannot repay these favors.”
“Then what are you going to do?”
Han Feixu did not continue to ramble and got straight to the point as she pursed her lips, “I’ll keep looking.”
Liang Zhu withdrew her arm laying on the desk and leaned back against her chair. The office chair moved back about 20 centimeters as she tapped her temples with her index finger, “ That reminds me, I was supposed to tell you something, what was it….”
“Oh, right. There’s a TV series recruiting right now, and they asked for you. It’s a historical drama and I believe they have signed a contract with 3 stations to air their show. I got a copy of their script for you. Take a look and if you think it’s ok, I’ll accept the job for you.”
Han Feixu does not have the arrogance a movie actor usually has. For her, a job is neither above or below her standing, for as long as the money is the right amount and the script is decent, she is willing to consider it.
Liang Zhu rummaged around her desk, “I just printed it out this morning, where did I put it….”
After searching around for a long time, her eyes lit up, “Found it, this is the one.”
Han Feixu accepted the thin script and found that it was less than seventy pages and single-sided too.
“This TV script is so short, it doesn’t look much longer than a movie’s script.”
“This is not the actual text of the script. It’s merely an outline, a list of the scenes and characters. The actual text is way too long to print out. If I tried to print all of that out, my entire office’s worth of A4 paper would run out. When you confirm you want to take the job, then I will print it for you.”
This is only the outline, yet it’s a few dozen pages long??
Han Feixu opened the script and found that the outline was not actually that long. The list of scenes was only two pages long. Most of the scenes will be filmed inside and the outside scenes only consist of gardens, a few city centers, and a desert. The number of scene locations consisted of less than half a page.
As for the pages beyond the scenes list….
Han Feixu’s eyes widened, “It’s all character introductions???!!”
Liang Zhu leisurely took a sip of tea, “Well it is a palace harem drama, and so the various consorts are the main protagonists. Each consort also has many little eunuchs and palace maids following them, and then there are the families of each consort as well. Also some of the more gutsy consorts will have an illicit lover or two. Then there are the royal princes, princesses, famous ministers, scholars, and the big villains. If you add them all up together, it is quite a hefty sum.”
Han Feixu: “….”
The drama is called 《Return of the Phoenix》and is set during the Qing Dynasty during the reign of Kangxi*. The length of the setting will span over 60 years, form the 12th Year of Kangxi to the 11th Year of Yongzheng*. (*T/N: Emperor Kangxi reigned around 1661-1722 and is the longest reigning emperor of China. Yongzheng was his son who ruled for about 10 years after Kangxi. Also, during the monarchy days of China, they measured eras based on the reigning emperors and also recorded their dates based on the year of the emperor’s reign.)
The main protagonists are obviously Emperor Kangxi and Concubine De, who gave birth to the son that succeeded Emperor Kangxi. Then after these two are 30 supporting roles who are just as important as the main characters and even more supporting characters that were less important.
Then there is Imperial Consort Tong Jia, Imperial Consort Wen Xi, Imperial Consort Xiao Tongjia, Concubine Hui, Concubine Rong, Concubine Yi, Concubine Cheng, Concubine Ding, and Concubine Liang. Then there are even more ministers, such as Alingga, Ebilun, Obai, Longkodo, Nian Gengyao, Yu Chenglong, Yao Qisheng….. (*T/N: Some of these names are the Manchu spelling so they may sound/look weird to the typical Han Chinese names).
Han Feixu’s eyes were blinded by the number of names as she turned page after page. She looked at Liang Zhu and asked, “Which role can I play?”
“Aside from the female lead, you can play any of the female roles.”
Han Feixu raised her head, “Who is the female lead?”
Liang Zhu shook her head, “I don’t know, it seems they haven’t decided yet. I heard the director is still in the middle of negotiations with the few actors that caught his eye.”
She got up from her chair and walked to Han Feixu’s side, “I’ve already looked through it and I think you should play Concubine Rong. She appears in a lot of scenes and although she does some bad things, they are not too bad compared to the others, and she lives a rather long life. She doesn’t die until the 5th Year of Yongzheng, which means she lives even longer than the female lead!”
Han Feixu: “….then why not play Concubine Yi? She lives the longest and doesn’t die until the finale.”
“Haven’t you read the outline? Concubine Yi is the biggest villain in the show and she confronts the female lead, Concubine De, from the very beginning. The drama is expected to be 84 episodes long and the two of them fight for at least 80 of those episodes. Then even when the female and male leads are dead, she still has to appear in a few shots of her tragic ending in the Cold Palace.”
Han Feixu turned two more pages and pointed at a name, “What about this one? Her name sounds good.”
Han Feixu had never watched Qing Dynasty palace dramas before, nor had she read any Qing Dynasty history. Her current mind is one that belongs to a 16-year-old. Before today, if someone asked her who Emperor Yongzheng’s mother was, she wouldn’t have had a single clue.
Liang Zhu looked at the four words, Imperial Consort Wen Xi, and said, “You don’t fit her character. Imperial Consort Wen Xi is a gentle, kind, dignified, and composed character. Ask yourself, do any of these four adjectives describe you?”
“Furthermore, Wen Xi is her posthumous name. She wasn’t called that when she was alive.”
Han Feixu pointed to another name, “What about Imperial Consort Tong Jia? A brash character who is said to be beautiful beyond comparison. I should be able to play her fine, right?”
Liang Zhu rolled her eyes, “She dies too early and her screen time ends around episode 40. Her character is also too evil, she is the worst one in the entire show. She’s both vicious and merciless. Can’t you pick someone with more righteous energy?”
Han Feixu was speechless, “There are only two characters who can be considered ‘righteous’. One of them is Concubine De and the other is Concubine Ding. Even then, Concubine Ding is only considered righteous because she’s not very beautiful thus the emperor doesn’t like her and so she doesn’t try to compete for his favor. That’s the only reason why she lived peacefully till the end.”
She mumbled another sentence, “And I like playing the bad guy. Bad guys are more challenging to play.”
Liang Zhu: “……”
In the end, the person who is actually doing the acting is Han Feixu so Liang Zhu could only go along and change her words, “Fine, choose whoever you want to play. So is it going to be Imperial Consort Wen Xi or Imperial Consort Tong Jia?”
Han Feixu raised her head and blinked twice, “Tong Jia.”
She just had to pick the worst one = =
Well, it doesn’t matter. The purpose of picking up this job is to have something to do while waiting to film the next episode of the variety show. The variety show is only filmed two days of the week and she can’t just do nothing on the remaining five days, right? And after the first episode is aired, Liang Zhu will seek out some endorsements for Han Feixu. And those advertising companies will only feel confident enough to endorse her if she is airing in a drama or two.
After they finished discussing the details, Han Feixu walked out of the office. She waited for the elevator, and when the doors opened, Ren Shuang appeared in front of her. With a smile, she said, “What a coincidence, Han-jie is here too.”
Han Feixu smiled back, “I’m just about to leave. Are you here for Liang-jie?”
“Yeah. I’m going to participate in an event tomorrow and I wanted to ask Liang-jie how many people will be there. I also wanted to give Mao Yangjun something while I’m here.”
She raised a handful of files before walking towards Liang Zhu’s office. Han Feixu walked into the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor. Han Feixu sighed in her heart and thought There’s no infighting between the newcomers, it seems like their relationship is quite good.
When she returned home, the WeChat group for 《I am the protagonist》exploded with messages as Jiang Lingyan announced the filming location for next week: Hejian*. (*T/N: Hejian is a city south of Beijing but still in the same province)
【Zhang Hao: Hejian? As in the Hejian that sells donkey burgers*?】(*T/N: Donkey burgers are a local speciality in Hejian and is basically donkey meat stuffed in a bun-like bread or b/w two slices of dough)
【Nie Kaiyuan: They aren’t going to make us sell donkey burgers this time, right?】
【Chi Qiu: …..If it’s the same game as last time, Director Jiang, can I send someone else as my stand-in?】
【Jiang Lingyan: No.】
After that, no one else in the group dared to speak anymore.
Congratulations to Jiang Lingyan for successfully unlocking the ‘Froze over an entire group chat with one sentence’ achievement = =
Han Feixu checked the address sent to them on the internet and found that it was not very far away, it would only take about two to three hours by car to get there. The location wasn’t a problem, the problem is what they will do at the location.
For example, will Jiang Lingyan make them take care of donkeys or something?
No one could guess what was on the mind of the infamous Jiang Lingyan, and after much pondering, Han Feixu gave up and directly asked for outside help, “Do you know what we are doing for the next episode?”
Ye Mingxin was sitting on the sofa watching a movie when her wife asked such a question. Upon hearing this question, she tilted her head, “I don’t know, Jiang Lingyan didn’t tell me anything.”
The director didn’t tell the actors because they are the contestants in the game, but Ye Mingxin is a judge. Therefore, Han Feixu didn’t give up and scooched closer, “Can’t you ask her?”
Seeing the desperately curious expression on Han Feixu’s face, Ye Mingxin laughed, “Then, I guess I’ll try my hand and ask?”
Ye Mingxin felt refreshed from being relied on and picked up her phone and directly opened WeChat in front of Han Feixu. Then she clicked on Jiang Lingyan’s contact. She placed her phone between the two of them so Han Feixu could hear too.
After the WeChat call went through, she tapped on the speaker option and Jiang Lingyan’s voice called out,
Han Feixu held her breath and did not dare to say anything. Ye Mingxin patted her head to gesture to her to relax, and then said in a casual tone, “Nothing much, just wanted to ask what you have planned for the trip to Hejian next time. Could you perhaps reveal a little bit of the format and the rules of the next game?”
Han Feixu nodded repeatedly in encouragement, and stretched out two hands to give Ye Mingxin two big thumbs up.
Ye Mingxin put a finger to her lips and shushed silently.
“Han Feixu asked you to ask me, right?”
Although Jiang Lingyan’s voice on the phone was a little distorted, she could still perfectly convey her emotion. Listening to the tone of her voice, Han Feixu had a feeling that she was sneering, as if she had seen through everything.
Han Feixu: “……”
She quickly waved her hands back and forth, shaking her wrists crazily. If she was carrying a bottle of Coca-Cola in her hands, then the fizzy liquid inside would probably have exploded, causing the lid to fling off with such force that it would knock out a cow. That was how hard she was shaking her arms. After waving around her arms, she pointed at Ye Mingxin and then folded her hands into a pleading expression. The meaning was quite clear, she was hoping the other party would take the blame.
Ye Mingxin’s lips curled upwards slightly, and then added just the right amount of surprise to her tone as she said, “How does this have anything to do with her? I was just curious.”
“Did Han Feixu also ask you to say this sentence?”
Han Feixu: “…..”
How does Jiang Lingyan know her so well?
In reality, Jiang Lingyan saw through everything not because she knows Han Feixu so well, but because she knows Ye Mingxin too well. Ye Mingxin is not the type to ask such mundane questions when doing a job. When she receives a job, she simply says ‘ok’ and would not raise any questions until they were on set.
Jiang Lingyan sat in the middle of her greenhouse, a pair of Wenwan walnuts she had just bought rolling around in her hands as she said another alarming sentence, “Han Feixu is right beside you, isn’t she? She’s listening in on our conversation right now, correct?”
… Jiang Lingyan should not be called Jiang Lingyan or “Skin-Flayer Jiang” she should be called “Half-a-god Jiang”.
No one answered her question so Jiang Lingyan only sneered, “You don’t need to say anything, I already know everything. I know she’s listening in right now. Alright, based on this phone call, I have decided that for the next episode I will take very good care of your wife. Don’t you worry, I will definitely let her make some lasting and unforgettable memories from this trip.”
“If there’s nothing else, I’m hanging up.”
Han Feixu looked at the phone with a dumbfounded expression as Jiang Lingyan hung up.
She dazedly raised her head and asked Ye Mingxin, “How is she going to torture me?”
Last time, Chi Qiu suffered so much just because she had a little chat with Shen Sangluo. As it turns out, Jiang Lingyan had purposely made sure Chi Qiu would get the beggar mission and then also sent that die-hard fangirl to reveal her in public. Think about, how much of a conscience does it have to be for a die-hard fangirl to suddenly appear in the middle of a street that usually has very little traffic? Not to mention, it was a Wednesday, so why would a teenager that is supposed to be in class appear there?
This was revealed to her by Ye Mingxin and Ye Mingxin also told her that Jiang Lingyan is the type to seek revenge over a dirty look. Her heart is the same size as a needle. As the Chief Director, she had countless ways to make sure Chi Qiu got the mission of being a beggar without anyone knowing and she was smart enough to not leave any traces of her meddling behind.
At the time, Han Feixu could only feel pity towards Chi Qiu. Now, she realized that the next victim of Jiang Lingyan’s vindictiveness is….her!
Han Fiexu’s expression was just too pitiful that Ye Mignxin couldn’t help but laugh. Hearing her chuckle, Han Feixu’s expression immediately became unsightly.
Ye Mingxin quickly schooled her expression, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it.”
A little bit of light returned into Han Feixu’s eyes, “You’ll help me plead for mercy?!”
Ye Mingxin thought about it and said, “I’ll help you rig the results*. I will definitely not let you be eliminated.” (*T/N: technically the phrase she used was ‘help you let out the water’ which is an idiom that means she’ll help Han Feixu cheat by judging in her favor)
Haha. Men are all pig trotters, but women are all pig heads! (*T/N: Not sure about this saying myself, but from what I understand, it means that, when in love, all men are handsy perverts and women are fools.)
Yiyi returned home later that afternoon. Han Feixu didn’t pick her up and patiently waited at home for her daughter’s entrance. When the door opened, she immediately stood up and opened her arms to welcome Yiyi.
“Baby, did you miss Mama?”
The little ball of cuteness wrapped up in a cotton-padded jacket happily ran towards her and then placed a heavy brocade box into her mother’s hands.
“Nana gave this to me. Mama, please help me put it away!”
She turned away from her mother’s open embrace as she held up the box while her tea-grey eyes turned into two big gold coins.
Han Feixu opened the brocade box and found a necklace embedded with precious gemstones inside. The style was ridiculously elegant, and looked like something from the last century. The necklace’s chain was about 50 centimeters in length and there were green emerald pendants hanging on the sides with each pendant larger than the nail of a thumb. The center of the necklace was an excellent turquoise gem. One could tell that this was no ordinary gem from the smooth and cool texture.
My god……this is something only a princess should wear, right??
And then, Han Feixu’s eyes, like Yiyi’s, also turned into two big gold coins = =
Well, one couldn’t blame the mother-daughter duo. This necklace is indeed worth a lot of money. While Han Feixu was blinded by the money for about two seconds, she quickly shook herself out of her daze, “No, you can’t keep this. Your great-grandmother is very old and in poor health. She doesn’t remember many things anymore and she might have accidentally given you a valuable thing because of her illness. She’s a sick person, and we can’t take advantage of others like that, alright?”
“She can’t remember a lot of things….” Yiyi muttered, “Isn’t that the same as Mama?”
How can it be the same? She has amnesia but Yiyi’s great-grandmother has Alzheimer’s. Sometimes she can’t even tell the difference between bricks and steamed buns, much less gemstone necklaces. Maybe she thought they were noodles and gave it to Yiyi. Or she might have mistaken Yiyi as the new child servant in the family and gave it to her because she thought it was rubbish.
Han Feixu put the necklace back into the box and returned the box to Yiyi, “When you go back to Nana’s house in a few days, you will return the necklace to her, ok?”
Yiyi was reluctant to agree, but she couldn’t disobey her mother’s words, “But, Grandpappy said I could keep it. He said that since Nana gave it to me that it was mine….”
Han Feixu was dumbfounded, “Your great-grandfather said that?”
“En, when Nana gave this to me, he said that if I like this one, he will give me the rest of the jewelry as well.”
After a short silence, Han Feixu took back the brocade vox, She held the brocade box in one hand and then stocked Yiyi’s hair with e other, “Then Mama will hold onto this for you and return it when you grow up? Is that okay?”
Yiyi was too young to understand the sinister lies of adults. The phrase “Mama will hold onto you” is a lie that has deceived many children of their hard-earned new-year’s money = =
Han Feixu placed the necklace into her room and planned on depositing it into a bank in two days. According to Liang Zhu, all of her antique jewelry is stored safely in a bank. Yiyi also has a safe and a trust fund as well. Every year, Han Feixu regularly deposits a sum of money into the fund and once Yiyi reaches adulthood, the money will be given to her.
She opened her email and looked up some emails from her financial manager. The current 16-year-old Han Feixu’s English isn’t very good so it was a bit difficult to read the emails full of English financial terms. However, after looking them up in a dictionary, she understood most of it.
She rubbed her chin. Should she meet up with this financial manager in person? Most of her money and assets are being taken care of by this manager and she currently has no idea how much money she has right now.
She clicked on one of the emails and started writing out a reply. As she pondered over what words she should use, the sound of hurried footsteps entered her ears.
She didn’t even need to look up to know who it was. Han Feixu yelled out in a scolding tone, “How many times have I said it, you are not allowed to run on the stairs? If you fall down, think about what will happen!”
Yiyi slammed on the brakes and stood obediently in front of her, “Mama, didn’t you say that you’re filming a show? I want to watch it!”
“It hasn’t started airing yet. When it does, we can watch it together.”
“Oh.” Then she’ll just watch the TV series Mommy is playing in.
Yiyi left on her short legs and Han Feixu continued to write out her email when Liang Zhu called.
“What’s the matter, Liang-jie?”
“I have good news and bad news. Which one do you want to hear first?”
Han Feixu pondered silently, “Good news.”
Liang Zhu hurriedly spoke, “The good news is that I have finished negotiations with the historical drama team. If there are no problems, you’ll be able to sign the finalized contract next week.”
That really is good news.
“What’s the bad news?”
“The bad news is that the role of Imperial Consort Tong Jia has already been decided. Yin Jiahe was chosen to play the character and they’ve already finished singing the contract.”
Han Feixu took her hand off the mouse of her computer, “Then which role did you get for me?”
“Didn’t you say that you like playing the bad guy?”
“Well, other than Imperial Consort Tong Jia, the next worst bad guy is Concubine Yi. Therefore, I helped you get the role of Concubine Yi.”
For a while, Han Feixu couldn’t remember anything about Concubine Yi’s role. Then she remembered that Concubine Yi could be considered the second female lead and is the one that lived even longer than the female lead. She appears from the very first episode to the very last episode and is only occasionally missing in some of the episodes in the middle.
Imperial Consort Tong Jia might be the most vivid character, but Concubine Yi has the most screen time. When comparing the two, the role of Concubine Yi is better. Liang Zhu had helped her get the role of the second female lead. How could this be bad news, this is absolutely good news!
Thinking like this, Han Feixu asked curiously, “Liang-jie, how is this bad news?”
“Ah, haha…about that…..is Ye Mingxin beside you right now?”
Han Feixu frowned, when did Liang Zhu ever stammer? She never stammers.
“No, she is not. What’s the matter?”
Liang Zhu didn’t speak. Her bad news is not for Han Feixu, but for Ye Mingxin.
Liang Zhu said vaguely, “Bad news is objective. If the individual doesn’t think it is bad news, then it is good news.”
…..What kind of nonsense is this?
“Alright then, I’m hanging up first. I have a video conference I need to attend. I’ll send you the electronic copy of the script later and you can look over some of your scenes first. Don’t sign the contract just yet, you need to meet the director first. Although you basically got the role, if the director thinks you are not good enough, you might not get the role. So you should prepare yourself a little.”
Then she hung up. Han Feixu could only shrug her shoulders at Liang Zhu’s strange attitude and simply continued to write out the rest of her email.
On the other hand, Liang Zhu was not as nonchalant as her. She stared at the phone she was holding for a long time before she dialed Ye Mingxin’s number.
Ye Mingxin’s voice was clearly surprised when she picked up Liang Zhu’s call, “Liang Zhu?”
Liang Zhu laughed nervously three times, “Hey, Movie Queen Ye, how are you doing? How’s your health?”
Ye Mingxin’s tone grew cold, “Liang Zhu.”
“What did you do this time?”
Knowing that she couldn’t hide anything and that she’ll have to face this showdown sooner or later, she didn’t mince her words and spilled the truth, “I helped Han Feixu get the role of the second female lead in the new palace drama:《Return of the Phoenix》. You know, the one Tian Chengxian is directing, you should know him right?”
“I know.” Tian Chengxian makes a TV series every year and each one is a big production. Last year, his nemesis filmed a drama about modern men and women that was widely praised by the public. Director Tian was dazed with anger for most of the year, so he’s probably going to try to make a big comeback with this drama.
Ye Mingxin has acted in only two TV series. One of them is《The Full Moon on a Cold and Windy Night》series and she only acted in it because Han Feixu liked the novel so much. The other one was a TV series that was adapted from an award-winning work of Han Feixu’s mother, Zhong Ya.
Otherwise, Ye Mingxin wouldn’t act in any TV series at all since she didn’t like the slow-pacing in their long plots.
She half-closed her eyes as she watched the other actors on set finish filming.
Liang Zhu asked her another question, “What do you think about Han Feixu taking this role?”
Director Tian has a good reputation so this drama will definitely be a good production. It’s a good job to take in between the variety show episodes.
Liang Zhu smiled, “I also think it’s pretty good, so I’ve decided to set up a meeting with the director for the day after tomorrow. If there are no problems on either side, we will sign the contract.”
Ye Mingxin felt that Liang Zhu hadn’t finished telling her everything just yet.
As expected, Liang Zhu smiled nervously and continued, “This…when I went in today, I ran into someone….Lin Yi.”
Ye Mingxin: “…..”
Liang Zhu heard no movements on the other side and her heart jumped as she spoke three times faster, “I had wondered what Lin Yi was doing there, and it turned out she’s an old acquaintance of Director Tian’s. When she saw me, she asked me what I was doing here. I couldn’t not say anything so I told her why and then she also decided to play a role in this drama. Alright, I’ve reported this matter to you this time. So if anything else happens, please don’t blame me. You’re still busy, right? Then, I won’t bother you anymore, hahahahahaha, bye!”
Ye Mingxin: “….”
After the phone hung up, Ye Mingxin’s expression was even more stinky-looking than a durian. She held her phone and glared gloomily at the floor for a while. Then she suddenly turned her head to look at Qi Yu who was playing Honor of Kings on his phone beside her.
“Did Tian Chengxian ask if I could act the role of the female lead in his next TV series?”
Qi Yu looked up blankly, “Yes, but didn’t you say you don’t like acting in TV series?”
Ye Mingxin solemnly changed her mind, “I like them now!”
Comments for chapter "Chapter 28"
Support Fan’s Translations
Note: Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons.