I woke up to find I have a child - Chapter 31
Duan Weiyang was able to recover from her laughing fit after a while.
Han Feixu’s memory may still be stuck to the past ten years ago, but even she knows Duan Weiyang’s name. Ten years ago, Duan Weiyang was a first-line star, and an undisputed goddess of the box office. Not a single movie she acted in failed and each one was a deep, thought-provoking movie.
And as such, Han Feixu never watched a single one of her movies. = =
She couldn’t help it, she was an energetic young girl with only romance in her brain after all~
At the time, many people spoke highly of Duan Weiyang and praised her constantly. They called her this generation’s “Fairy Maiden”, a descendant of the movie gods, the nation’s female star, etc. In short, every film she’s been in has been a box office hit. So even if Han Feixu has never seen a single one of her movies, she has at least heard of Duan Weiyang’s name and seen her face.
Ten years later, and time has left its traces on even the immortal Fairy Maiden’s face. The cruelty of time could be seen in the wrinkles and faint lines on Duan Weiyang’s face. At first, Han Feixu had simply sighed and commented that no one can escape the grip of time.
Now, Han Fiexu realized that it is not wrinkles left behind by the cruelty of time, but rather laugh lines that are a side effect from Duan Weiyang’s low humor limit…..
After Duan Weiyang returned from the bathroom, the rehearsal continued. After Chi Qiu had gotten a few of her lines in, the three judges began to give out advice. The dialogue between Lu Shiping and Zhou Puyuan is one of the most iconic dialogues of the play so every detail must be meticulously looked over. Last time Chi Qiu had the worst time of her life, but she was the luckiest one this time. The characteristic she drew was “scholarly way of speaking”, so all she had to do was change her lines to reflect a more traditional and ancient way of speaking. The original script was already in the olden style of the Republic of China that was not much different from the old Chinese vernacular.
Han Feixu stood to the side, memorizing her lines while watching Yuan Jize critique Nie Kaiyuan and Chi Qiu’s acting.
“Lu Shiping not only had deep hatred in her heart towards Zhou Puyuan, but also a bit of timidity and hesitation. This is because, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that she is actually still in love with Zhou Puyuan. So you can’t just show your resentment, you must combine love and hate together. Do you understand?”
Perhaps fearing that Chi Qiu would not understand him, Yuan Jize also used a relatively trendy term, “Simply put, a ‘love-hate’ relationship.”
Chi Qiu: “…..”
After he finished speaking, Chi Qiu thought about it for a while before reciting her lines again.
According to the script, Zhou Puyuan should be sitting on a plush armchair in this scene while lighting up a cigar. Since they didn’t actually have a cigar or a plush armchair, Nie Kaiyuan sat in a regular plastic chair, holding a chocolate wafer roll in his hands which he pretended to smoke from.
The next few lines went smoothly and Nie Kaiyuan played the young Zhou Puyuan in his flashback scene. Out of all the actors, he was the one most skilled in immersing himself in his character. However, Yuan Jize felt that there was something wrong.
After some pondering, he finally discovered the source of that feeling of wrongness.
“Why are you sticking up your pinky finger like that?”
Nie Kaiyuan had the wafer roll pinched between three fingers while the other two were raised daintily into the air, “Because my characteristic is “feminine”and so….”
Yuan Jize went silent, “You don’t really need to stick your fingers up like that to be feminine, right?”
Nie Kaiyuan chuckled lightly, but it was a gentle and charming light giggle that coming from a muscular-looking man made one want to cover their ears and cringe = =
He took out his card that had his characteristic written on it. He passed it over with his pinky finger still raised in the air, “Take a look for yourself.”
The cameraman grabbed the card and everyone crowded around it to look at it. Besides the word “feminine” written on the card, there was also a comment on the bottom.
—If the role is a female, please develop the character in the direction of a black widow. If the role is a male, please develop the character in the direction of Dongchang eunuch*, mwah~(*T/N: Dongchang eunuch is in reference to Wei Zhongxian, a very powerful eunuch from the Ming dynasty that was portrayed as a very feminine and sissy type character in recent dramas.)
Whoever wrote this is clearly discriminating against men! They even added an exaggerated ‘mwah~’ at the end! How infuriating!
Nie Kaiyuan simply looked at everyone calmly. “And in my understanding, the Dongchang eunuch should act like this.”
Yuan Jize heavily patted Nie Kaiyuan on the shoulder, “You’ve worked hard.”
Han Feixu and the others laughed at the scene, however, once she remembered the situation of her own character, she couldn’t laugh anymore.
For no matter how miserable Nie Kaiyuan is, it could not beat Han Feixu’s position at the top of the misery ranking. If Han Feixu said she was ranked second in terms of misery, then no one dared to claim to be first.
Ye Mingxin somehow ended up standing behind the sitting Han Feixu at some point.
Ye Mingxin tapped Han Feixu’s right shoulder lightly, but she was standing behind on the left. So when Han Feixu turned her head to the left she saw no one there. Then she turned her head to the left and saw Ye Mingxin, but she only felt disheartened at the sight.
Can you understand her current feelings? Imagine you’re going through the most embarrassing moments of your life, and your wife sitting on the side sees it all!
Although the current status of this wife is still being assessed, technically speaking, she is still her wife! TAT
Ye Mingxin could tell what she was thinking with just one glance, “There will be countless hardships in life, and the most basic requirement of an actor is to play out each role vividly, including their character’s hardships. Stuttering is a problem many people have, much like nearsightedness or stuffy noses and sore throats. It is simply a small problem in a large scheme of things. You’ve played a nearsighted character and a seriously ill character before, so why can’t you play a character that stutters?”
Han Feixu lowered her head and rolled the script in her hands into a paper tube with her fidgeting, “Of course I can.”
Ye Mingxin walked around her and squatted down in front of her, so she was looking up at the sitting Han Feixu, “That’s right, you can definitely do it. Now I will read Zhou Fanyi’s lines, and try to find the emotions behind the lines as you follow along. During your scene with Han Yiren just now, both of you were not in the right state of mind. You two didn’t seem like you were acting, but more like you were reading off a textbook instead.”
Ye Mingxin didn’t have a copy of the script, so Han Feixu shared hers with her. They were leaning close to each other, but she felt it was a little too hot in the rehearsal hall and so she wrapped an arm around Han Feixu’s shoulders and led her to stand next to the portable AC.
Meanwhile, because of Duan Weiyang’s deadly laughing, everyone was too afraid to let her stand near the actors to give out any advice. They were afraid that if she got too close, she would somehow laugh herself to death.
So instead, she was exiled to the props table. She had seen everything just now, and as she propped her face in her hands, she exclaimed quietly, “Wow~~~~ Our Little Ye can be so gentle~~~”
There were stars in Duan Weiyang’s eyes as she looked at the couple. Meanwhile, Qi Qing, who was standing beside her, simply glanced at her once before reciting her lines as he tried to figure out his character.
He took a deep breath and then exhaled, emptying all distractions from his heart and mind. He entered his character’s emotional state, choking up as he delivered his lines, “You must drink or drink some in my stead, otherwise father’s anger will not go away.”
“…..It’s nothing, nothing at all. For what m-mother said is correct!
“I’m trying to memorize my lines here! So stop making trouble!” Qi Qing angrily slammed his script down at the table.
After being scolded by Qi Qing, the dog simply looked at Qi Qing in disgust, turned around with his butt facing Qi Qing, and then scratched his ear with his hind leg.
Qi Qing: “…..”
He’s actually fallen to the point that a dog can look down on him! Ahhh, he can’t live like this anymore!
When Duan Weiyang saw Qi Qing getting angry with the dog, she couldn’t help bursting into another round of laughter again.
Jiang Lingyan saw this and could only wave her hand helplessly at an assistant to quickly take Duan Weiyang away. The woman might mess up the filming of the show at this rate.
Ah she really made a blunder inviting such a person. She had wondered why Duan Weiyang had never appeared in a variety show before, but now she knows.
No wonder Duan Weiyang had happily agreed when she asked, but her agent tried to stop her several times and almost even slammed his head against the wall in his grief.
Meanwhile, Ye Mingxin was still talking with Han Feixu and Han Yiren had appeared behind them at some point. She stayed to listen for a while and then she turned around to look for Zhang Hao. They were only given one hour to get advice from the judges, but Ye Mingxin has been instructing Han Feixu for almost fifty minutes now.
And Ye Mingxin has specifically been rehearsing Zhou Fanyi and Sifeng’s lines with Han Feixu.
This is because Han Feixu’s character has an unspeakable relationship with these two characters = = (*T/N: In the play, Zhou Ping, who is a man but is being acted by Han Feixu here, is supposed to be having an insectuous (stepmother/stepson) affair with his mother Fanyi (played by Han Yiren here) and an affair with the maid Sifeng (played by Lu Ersi here)).
The judges are staying at a nearby hotel, so Duan Weiyang and Yuan Jize left first. When Ye Mingxin left the rehearsal room as well, she was called out by Jiang Lingyan.
It was after two o’clock in the afternoon, the hottest part of the day, and even dogs are reluctant to come out here for a stroll at this time of the day. Jiang Lingyan slowly made her way over to her and crossed her arms, “Aren’t you being a little too obvious?”
Ye Mingxin disagreed, “If I had wanted to be obvious, I would have kissed her directly in front of the camera.”
Jiang Lingyan: “….You really are shameless.”
Ye Mingxin did not address her statement, “The show needs a CP to attract attention, right? Since Qi Qing and Han Yiren is already a decided item, you should add me and Han Feixu as a CP instead.”
She smiled mischievously, “And I won’t clarify anything either. That way you’ll definitely earn enough attention for your show.”
Jiang Lingyan has no qualms with using her friend to contribute traffic for her show, especially if said friend is offering herself on a silver platter. However, she was a little hesitant, “Is Han Feixu also willing?”
Ye Mingxin accepted a glass of ice water from Lan Zhu and took a sip, “En.”
Jiang Lingyan laughed, “Why do I find that so unbelievable? She doesn’t even want to make your relationship with her public, so why would she be willing to attract attention by being in a CP with you?”
“The present is different from the past,” Ye Mingxin quoted as she handed her glass back to Lan Zhu. There was a hint of excitement she couldn’t conceal in the tone of her voice as she continued, “And Little Xu has agreed to give me another chance. In other words, my current status is equivalent to a potential lover.”
“Ah, so you’ve been demoted from legal wife to the spare tire level,” Jiang Lingyan made of show of clapping her hands together, “Wow, goddess Xin-Xin, you’re soooo amazing~”
Ye Mingxin was silent for three seconds, then pretended to suddenly remember something, “Ai? It’s been half a month now, has Shen Sangluo talked to you this month yet?”
“….Touche. Ahem, let’s agree to let each other off, after all we are both suffering the same misfortunes. There is no need to expose each other’s shortcomings.”
Twenty minutes after Ye Mingxin left, Lan Zhu returned with two small vendors who helped her bring in several boxes of ice cream and a few boxes of fruit and drinks. After giving each person a position, she made her way to Han Feixu’s side.
She furtively looked around and saw that no one was paying attention to her as they were busy stuffing their faces with ice cream. So she immediately took out a bag full of mochi and quickly stuffed it into Han Feixu’s hands like a little thief.
Then after sneaking around like that, Lan Zhu held her chin up high and walked out like a primary school student who had just finished housework and was waiting for her parents to praise her.
Han Feixu: “…..”
After polishing off the snacks, they returned to their rehearsal until dinner at six in the evening. They were given an hour to rest and eat, but they would have to come back and continue rehearsing afterwards.
The food for dinner was not prepared by the villagers, but by the production crew instead. They had grills set up for everyone to grill their own food with, but for the sake of time and putting on a front for the clueless audience, they simply had most of the grilling done by the time Han Feixu and the others arrived. The actors didn’t need to get their hands dirty and just had to grab a stick and start eating.
The dinner was also a part of the show so the cameras were still rolling while they were eating.
Nie Kaiyuan sat on the long bench and took a big bite of his lamb meat, before swallowing and then saying with emotion, “This show had opened the door to a whole new world for me.”
Zhang Hao, who was sitting next to him, raised his head in shock and then silently scooted away from him.
Nie Kaiyuan, “I’m talking about opening a door to a world for improving my acting skills, not a door to a wider selection of partners, thank you very much.”
Seeing Zhang Hao still looking at him in suspicion, Nie Kaiyuan said sincerely, “Don’t worry, even if I had expanded my range of acceptable partners, I would never pick you. Even if we were the only two people left in this world, I would rather go to the beach and pick up a jellyfish to be my bride than look for you.”
Zhang Hao: “You have quite strange tastes.”
Nie Kaiyuan: “…..”
Han Feixu quietly ate her barbecue, when suddenly a heavy sigh sounded next to her. Han Feixu bit down on her skewer full of potatoes and raised her eyes to look at Chi Qiu next to her.
Chi Qiu stared at her blankly and Han Feixu looked down at the potatoes in her hands. She grabbed another skewer full of potatoes and handed it to Chi Qiu.
Chi Qiu refused the potatoes, “I don’t eat potatoes, there are too many carbs in them. If I eat a bunch of baked potatoes, I will have to attend two sessions of Pilates to get rid of the calories.”
Han Feixu shrugged and grabbed the potato skewers. She ate happily, “If you don’t want to eat it, then I will.”
What Chi Qiu really wanted to do was complain and rant to Han Feixu. This time it was about Lu Ersi annoying her. They were sharing the same housing, and the girl was a little too overly enthusiastic at times. She kept calling Chi Qiu “big sister this” and “big sister that”, which annoyed Chi Qiu so much that she almost suffocated her with a pillow.
They were only three and half years apart in age. In the entertainment industry, you don’t call someone “big sister” or “big brother” unless they are more than ten years apart in age. Therefore, Lu Ersi is simply trying to insult her by pointing out that she’s younger than Chi Qiu!
However, since the cameras were rolling and everything they said was being recorded, Chi Qiu couldn’t open her mouth and leave behind any incriminating evidence.
So she could only endure it and shut her mouth.
After dinner, everyone chatted around the extinguished bonfire. Except for Lu Ersi who was still enthusiastically performing for the camera, everyone else had a good chat with one another. People like Zhang Hao were good at livening up the atmosphere and people like Han Yiren were really eloquent. They each had their own talents, and the more they talked, the more they got to know each other and everyone got a little bit closer.
Qi Qing: “My goddess* when I was a child was Duan-jie. However, I never expected that my childhood dreams would shatter the first time we met.” (*T/N: goddess is the slang for idol here)
Duan Weiyang began acting at the age of seventeen. Twenty years ago, Qi Qing was still a little kid with one of his front teeth missing. As a kid, he didn’t understand anything and thus it was understandable for him to have such dreams.
Chi Qiu sighed, “I get it. Ever since I debuted, I have always been looking forward to meeting goddess Duan. Then last year I worked with her on an endorsement with a cosmetics company. It was an ad about lipsticks and her lipstick was bright red while mine was more of an orange-red. Anyhow, while we were putting on our makeup and chatting a little, the makeup artist told a not-so-funny joke, but Duan-jie opened her bright red lips and started laughing until the very end of the photo shoot. The photographer even broke down into tears because no matter which angle he shot from or what tools he used, he couldn’t take a picture without Duan-jie’s tonsils showing.”
Zhang Hao: “Woah. Are you guys not afraid of Duan-jie hearing about this later?”
Han Feixu: “Don’t be afraid, she’ll probably just burst out into another round of laughter if she hears this.”
Everyone else: “…..” Yeah, that makes sense.
Continuing along the topic of idols and the goddesses everyone holds dear to their heart, Nie Kaiyuan said, “When I was a child, my parents didn’t let me watch TV. But during my free time in middle school my favorite acting group was the Cape Jasmine group.”
Most of the people present were of the same age, and they nodded with nostalgia. At the time, they were indeed one of the more popular groups.
While everyone was immersed in the memories of the past, Han Yiren hugged her knees to her chest and then softly said, “My goddess is Han Feixu.”
This sentence immediately caused the group e to yell and heckle in excitement, and Han Yiren quickly sat up straight and said seriously in response, “I was in middle school when my music teacher played 《Blossoming Dreams》in class. After watching it, I looked it up on the internet and watched it again. It is not an exaggeration to say that I have watched《Blossoming Dreams》at least 30 times and 《Lu Niang》at least 20 times. These two movies were the reason I fell in love with movies in the first place.”
The confession may have been sudden, but it was a very serious confession and didn’t seem to be a fake one. Chi Qiu stared at her for about two seconds and then smiled before elbowing Han Feixu in the arm, “Wow, Han Feixu, your charm is so amazing. So, tell us, who is your goddess?”
There are a lot of mosquitoes in the open area in the countryside. Even though the staff has lit the mosquito repellent incense, there are still a few that slipped through the net. Han Feixu felt one bit her ankle and swatted at it before casually saying, “Of course it’s Ye Mingxin.”
Chi Qiu seemed to be amused by her statement, “If it is Ye Mingxin, then it is Ye Mingxin, but why is it ‘of course’ Ye Mingxin?”
Han Feixu looked at her innocently, “Because she’s the best looking one.”
Chi Qiu, “…..”
She answered so arrogantly that no one else dared to refute her claim. Although it is true that Ye Mingxin is very good-looking, she could not be considered the best-looking actress or entertainer out there. However, in terms of temperament, no one can match her. As for appearance, well everyone has different tastes and aesthetics, so each person’s definition of “best-looking” is naturally different.
Jiang Lingyan was sitting in the car, blowing the air conditioner at full settings while watching everything from a real-time video on her screen. Hearing Han Feixu’s sincere confession, Jiang Lingyan entered a deep contemplation.
Earlier this afternoon, she really shouldn’t have used the phrase “both suffering the same misfortunes”.
If relationships had a progress bar, then Han Feixu had already filled up 30% of the progress bar all by herself and their status as a married couple has filled up another 20%. Therefore, Ye Mingxin only needs to work hard on the remaining 50%. Meanwhile, whenever her relationship’s progress bar goes up 1%, it goes back down 2%. Then up 2% and then back down 4%.
Jiang Lingyan was originally going to cut out Han Yiren’s confession about Han Feixu earlier, but now, she didn’t feel like editing it out.
Haha, this is what true sisterhood is! Best friends should walk down the path of life together, and along the long road of chasing wives. After all, how can she be the only unhappy one? No, that just simply won’t do.
After their dinner break, the contestants returned to the rehearsal room to begin their next round of rehearsal. It was not until well after 10 o’clock in the evening that they were able to leave. Han Feixu and Han Yiren returned to their lodgings and both looked at their own phones at the same time.
During the filming, they didn’t have time to check their messages, so now they both took the time to reply to any message they received. Han Feixu was naturally replying to Ye Mingxin’s message. The latter had asked quite a few questions. Such as whether it was too hot or not and if she should send her a portable AC or not. Han Feixu patiently answered each and every question.
Having someone care about you is naturally a pleasant thing and the corners of her lips were raised slightly as she replied to her messages.
She raised her head and looked over at Han Yiren who was similarly typing on the phone, but found her expression was not looking good.
Well, the word ‘not good’ is used a bit too lightly because Han Yiren’s current expression isn’t simply a ‘not good’, but is as cold as the winter frost.
It was as if the person on the other side of the phone was her number one enemy and they had just killed her father.
Han Yiren’s hands paused, as if she had felt Han Feixu’s gaze, but instead of raising her head, she simply softened her expression. The changes were gradual, slow, and subtle, so one wouldn’t be able to tell that she had done it deliberately.
After she finished typing out the last word, Han Yiren raised her head naturally and when she noticed Han Feixu looking at her, she blinked innocently, “Is something the matter?”
Han Feixu recovered from her shock and shook her head with a smile, “It’s nothing. We have to get up at 7 tomorrow, and I’ll set the alarm so you don’t have to.”
“Ok.” Han Yiren put down the phone and took out her toiletries from the suitcase. When she passed by Han Feixu, she stopped and said, “What I said today wasn’t flattery. I really do love your movies.”
Han Feixu was a little baffled, she never thought Han Yiren was flattering her.
Han Yiren twisted the towel in her hands, then after a long period of silence, she raised her head with a smile, “I never expected you would return.”
Han Feixu laughed awkwardly, “Life’s just like that sometimes.”
Han Yiren chuckled twice before going into the bathroom and Han Feixu stared at the door for a while before shaking her head and laying onto the bed. She closed her eyes and fell into a deep sleep.
After breakfast the next day, the miserable rehearsals began again. The cameramen captured every single detail in preparation for the editing later in which they will squeeze over 24 hours worth of filming into a single episode.
Only Jiang Lingyan could torture the actors like this and similarly, the actors are willing to allow only Jiang Lingyan to torture them like this. For although they felt humiliated and tired, not a single one of them went on strike. After all, once this show is broadcast, their popularity will definitely increase.
The charity performance they later put on for the village went smoothly. They successfully made most of their audience laugh. However, the real highlight of the show came after the audience left. For soon, two contestants will be eliminated from the show.
The three judges commented on each actor’s performance. They gave out a combination of compliments and criticism. Yesterday’s impression of the judges made everyone believe that Duan Weiyang would be the nicest and lenient judge. In reality, the most lenient one was actually Yuan Jize.
Meanwhile, Duan Weiyang is the judge with the most poisonous tongue, her criticism sharp and extremely harsh.
When it was her turn to give her comment on Han Yiren’s acting, she said that Han Yiren’s performance was staler than a Nendoroid figure. She conceded that Han Yiren could be considered the perfect textbook version of Zhou Fanyi. After all, Han Yiren had recited her lines correctly and portrayed the appropriate emotions when she was supposed to.
However, on stage, an actor is no longer an actor but the character they are playing. Zhou Fanyi is an individual with feelings and emotions, and not just a few paragraphs in a script. When the script says, “she raised her head in astonishment.” Han Yiren did exactly that, and she only raised her head. But what about her hands? Her legs? Would a normal person only move their head when they are hit with shocking news?
Everyone was frightened by the sudden change in Duan Weiyang’s personality. She became very harsh and had no qualms about handing out low scores when needed. She didn’t even take into account friendships, and gave out scores purely based on ability. Her criticism was so harsh that Han Yiren, who won first place in terms of personal point totals, came in second to last this time.
The person in the last place was none other than Lu Ersi. What was even worse than the low scores, was that when it was her turn, Duan Weiyan was the main commentator. And with words sharper than an arrow, they pierced through Lu Ersi’s heart and caused her to cry.
There is usually a trope with judges. One judge plays the good cop, another the bad cop, and the last one is usually impartial and fair. Ye Mingxin had originally intended to play the bad cop since Yuan Jize was too gentle to criticize anyone too harshly and as for Duan Weiyang….well she never considered her playing the bad cop because what if she just started laughing again?
But who knew it would turn out like this? Ah, you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover = =
The judging segment that was supposed to be friendly and informative turned into a full on critique. The actors who were scolded felt like they had returned to their school days and were being lectured in the headmaster’s office.
Then to no one’s surprise, Lu Ersi received the lowest score and was eliminated. Among the male players, Zhang Tonghui came in last and was also promptly eliminated. After everyone else gave the eliminated players a goodbye hug, the filming for this episode officially came to an end.
After the filming, Duan Weiyang was making her way outside when she suddenly seemed to remember something and smiled at everyone brightly, “AH! I just remembered that the donkey meat here is very tasty and famous! Let’s go out and try some!”
Who would dare to eat with someone like you? With such extreme mood swings, are you sure you’re still a human? You must be an alien, right?! =口=
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