I woke up to find I have a child - Chapter 43
It took about two hours to fly from Beijing to Dongyang Hengdian General Airport. Although it was stated on the ticket that you could board the plane at 6:10, Han Feixu had to wait in the VIP room for half an hour before actually getting on the plane.
Although she sat in first class, Zhong Yuanyuan still made her wear a disguise. A gray t-shirt, black pants, balck sunglasses, a black mask, and a black baseball hat.
Except for her ears, her entire face was heavily guarded.
Ye Mingxin took the same flight as her. She had originally wanted to take a private jet together but Han Feixu refused because she thought taking a private jet together was the same as advertising their relationship as more than “just colleagues”. And so in order to accompany Han Feixu, she had no choice but to buy tickets for a normal airplane. First-class tickets that is.
First-class passengers are allowed to wait in the VIP lounge but Ye Mingxin never showed up in the lounge due to her popularity. If she was recognized it would cause a riot so she had no choice but to wait in the car while Lan Zhu sat in the VIP room in Ye Mingxin’s place and notified her boss when the boarding started.
At six o’clock in the morning, there were quite a few people at the airport. After they finally got on the plane, Han Feixu noticed that there were two strangers behind the five of them. However, these two strangers were not in their line of sight.
Finally she could breathe a sigh of relief and take off her hat and mask.
She had an ordinary breakfast on the plane, it was neither delicious or disgusting, just plain. Not long after they finished eating, the plane landed. Han Fexiu believed that since she was not recognized at the Beijing Airport then she wouldn’t have to worry about being recognized at the Hengdian Airport. After all, Hengdian Airport is much more sparse than the Beijing Airport.
But alas, perhaps she was too naive as reality proved her wrong.
“AHHHHHH! It’s Ye Mingxin!!!!”
Han Feixu’s eardrums almost split open from the screeching. She quickly covered her ears at the sound.
Ye Mingxin wanted to reach forward to help her, but couldn’t do so without exposing Han Feixu’s dignity. So she could only walk forward with a smile as Lan Zhu and Qi Yu skillfully blocked the crowd of fans from mobbing her. Ye Mingxin waved to her fans as she walked, her form and movements emulating the aura of a beloved goddess.
Han Feixu and Zhong Yuanyuan glanced at each other with complicated emotions in their eyes.
Zhong Yuanyuan: Today’s fangirls are not much better than me from back then. If their screams get any louder, they’ll start sending out a high frequency that’ll jam the signaling tower!
Han Feixu: Wuwuwuwu, I wish I had fans who would passionately greet me too.
Ye Mingxin was surrounded by fans from all sides but she subtly turned her side at least three times. The angle of her head turn was not that big and since she was wearing sunglasses, no one would tell what she was looking back at. Only Han Feixu and Zhong Yuanyuan knew that she was looking at her wife.
She would subtly look back and check on Han Feixu every few steps, but when any fans in her line of sight grew suspicious she would quickly turn her head back and smile very brightly.
Then in the next moment, that previously suspicious fan would be so intoxicated by the smile that they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between north and south.
When Ye Mingxin left, she took the big crowd of people with her and suddenly the place was frighteningly empty. Zhong Yuanyuan carried her luggage and comforted her with a whisper: “Ye Mingxin has been developing her fanbase for many years and her fans follow her every move. How many days has it been since you made your comeback? Your fanbase has just been reestablished and I haven’t seen you posted on Weibo for a long time. How about you go back and make a post or two to interact with them? This will increase the clinginess of your fans.”
Han Feixu pondered about it and then said, “Liang-jie, doesn’t allow me to post by myself on Weibo.”
“She said Weibo is similar to a muder weapon in my hands. If I use it, I’ll be making other people’s lives difficult.”
Zhong Yuanyuan: “…..” It’s just posting a picture on Weibo, it’s not that big of a deal, is it?
Han Feixu’s Weibo can only be read, but not used. When making a publicity post, Liang Zhu will personally do it for her. It’s because she doesn’t want to see a grade schooler argue with people on the internet = = (T/N: Reference from one of the beginning chapters where Han Feixu used a grade-school level insult)
Hazn Feixu blinked a couple of times, causing Zhong Yuanyuan to ask her, “What’s the matter?”
“I got blinded by a few flashes of light. When did that group of paparazzi arrive? Did they actually squat here waiting like those fans?”
“Paparazzi are always racing against time in order to be the first one to report new updates. I’m guessing they’ve been waiting here since before we even got onto the plane.” Knowing that Han Feixu’s eyes were a little sensitive to bright flashes of light, she asked, “Do you need some eye drops?”
“No need. I was just blinded for a moment. I’ll be fine after a while.”
Liang Zhu was waiting for them outside. She had already rented a car and stood at the pick-up area waiting for them. When she saw the two of them, she waved her hand at them.
After they put the luggage in the car, Zhong Yuanyuan sat in the front to drive while Liang Zhu sat in the passenger seat. She asked, “When is Wei Xun coming?”
“Around four o’clock in the afternoon, he’s arriving by high-speed rail.”
Liang Zhu nodded, “The crew has arranged for only 1 room for the assistants but I negotiated it into 1 standard room and 1 assistant room. I’ll be living with Yuanyuan and Little South will be living with Wei Xun. Meanwhile, your room is room 403. Here’s your room key.”
Accepting the card, Han Feixu asked, “What about Ye Mingxin?”
Liang Zhu glanced at her dumbfoundedly, “How would I know which room she’s staying in? What does where she is staying have anything to do with us?”
Han Feixu froze, causing Liang Zhu to turn around completely and raise her eyebrows, “Don’t tell me that you want to go looking for her in the middle of the night.”
Liang Zhu gave her a look of exasperated disappointment, “With so many luminous scripts*, luminous mahjong out there, are you not afraid that you will also be called a luminous teapot?” (*T/N: The term “夜光” or luminous is a slang on the internet for a cheating scandal. Originally the meme came from a 2016 cheating incident of a famous actor and the phrase “夜光剧本” was used to describe it.)
“……They are all called “luminous” because they actually cheated. I am not like them, I am an upright citizen!”
Heh, the famous words from Internal Affairs* has even been used! (*T/N: A movie made in 2002 about a cop)
Liang Zhu looked at her with a mocking look on her face, “Now you consider yourself an upright citizen? It’s too late for that! You have already hidden your marriage to the point that you can only reveal it if a paparazzi exposes you!”
Han Feixu shrugged indifferently, “If it’s exposed, then it’s exposed. I didn’t do anything wrong-”
Liang Zhu interrupted her, “It seems that you two’s relationship has been progressing everyday. In my heart, I still think of you as the sixteen-year-old Student Han so I will kindly give you a reminder. Do you know how cruel and vicious Ye Mingxin’s fans are? They have once ripped apart an actress’s career and kicked her directly out of the industry just because she was implicated in a scandal with Ye Mingxin. So imagine if your marriage was exposed to the public…can you guess what will happen to you?”
Previously, Han Feixu imagined what it would be like to have screaming fans greet her at the airport. Now a different kind of screaming entered her mind.
“AHHHHHHH! Han! Fei! Xu! Go to hell!!!”
Han Feixu: “…..”
Ah, it seems her fans are all so scary QAQ
Seeing the panicking look on her face, Liang Zhu snorted quietly, “Now do you understand how to be afraid?”
Zhong Yuanyuan, who was driving the car, interjected, “How can it be that scary? Kong Shi retired from the industry not just because her reputation was dragged down by those fans, but because she seemed to have provoked someone she should never have provoked. That’s why she disappeared so quickly and quietly. How could a star disappear like that just because of a bunch of fangirls.”
Liang Zhu retorted her argument, “You were under another company at the time so you didn’t actually witness it. I was already under the Gan Company at the time and I saw with my own eyes how those fanatical fans killed Kong Shi. They doxxed her and revealed her address to the public, revealed everything about her blakc history, sent her all kinds of disgusting things to her and her family, and spray painted abusive, ugly words on her door. The company was quite devastated by these fans’ attacks that were all in the name of Ye Mingxin. Gan Zongming was plagued with worry and stress for weeks and lost a lot of hair during that time. Meanwhile, Ye Mingxin herself acted like everything was fine.”
“That’s amazing, in a way. It was just a groundless scandal yet they were able to do all that. Did they consider themselves mortal enemies of Kong Shi or something?”
“….You don’t have a right to say that to them, thank you very much. Weren’t you a brainless fangirl like them too?”
Zhong Yuanyuan disagreed, “Although I may have been a bit brainless, I was still a brainless fangirl with a bottom linje! I would never have done such immoral things!”
“Please. Do you dare say such words to Old Jin from last time?”
“Heh!—Don’t you try to provoke me! If you do—” Zhong Yuanyuan’s voice immediately wilted when she remembered who’s her boss, “I wouldn’t dare to do anything.”
Han Feixu: “….”
Nine o’clock in the morning.
Director Tian didn’t give anyone a moment of rest. The second he arrived, he ordered everyone to start changing into their costumes and put on their makeup.
Han Feixu’s first costume is an ordinary Qing Dynasty outfit. When she arrived on set, she didn’t even get to say a word before she was hurriedly ushered into the dressing room by the assistant director. Men and women are separated into two public dressing rooms while only Ye Mingxin and Hu Zhouxuan get their own rooms.
Hu Zhuoxuan is known as the Film Emperor and has been friends with Lin Yi for many years. In fact, he and Lin Yi have been shipped on the internet for many years now and this CP was not actually set up by their companies but by the fans themselves.
Hu Zhouxuan and Lin Yi are quite familiar with each other. During the early years of their careers, when they were both young and just starting out, they were always put on the same screens. Their paths may have diverged but one will often see news about them participating in certain events together. They also send each other gifts and well wishes to each other during their birthdays then afterwards they would post images of each other’s gifts online.
There is even a special account for the CP on Weibo, called “Have Hu Zhouxuan and Lin Yi gotten together yet?” There are people checking that account everyday and every day they would click away in disappointment.
After changing into her light blue costume, Han Feixu observed the other actresses around her and saw most of them had already finished their makeup. The actress playing Concubine Hui was all done. Her dressed up look was very similar to a typical Qing Dynasty Palace Drama. The headdress and wig she wore looked exaggerated in person and did not look good up close, but would become much pleasing to the eye once on camera.
Everyone used the same makeup artists that were hired by the crew and Han Feixu closed her eyes as the makeup artist did her eyeliner.
Zhong Yuanyuan whispered into her ear beside her, “The only people you know on this set are Ye Mingxin and Lin Yi. In about half a month, Li Jingxuan will join that group of people you know. She will also be among the next batch of “drop-in” contestants for the《I am the Protagonist》show. You will have to film with her then.”
Han Feixu asked with her eyes closed, “Li Jingxuan, she is the one who will play Concubine Liang?”
“Yes. In the script, you will slap her at least four times, and bully her when you have nothing better to do. In the end, she will assist Yingxiu in taking you down and become her most valuable asset in defeating you.”
Please stop using “you will do this” and “you will do that”, it’s the character not me okay = =
While she was putting on makeup, the first scene of the drama began filming. The scene starts with the sick empress lying on her sickbed as she listens to the palace maid talk about this year’s palance draft.
After Han Feixu put on her makeup, she went over to watch. Lin Yi wore her empress costume and listened to the palace maid with a serene expression. When the palace maid finished speaking, she raised her head slightly and showed a very shallow smile, “That’s good.”
Zhong Yuanyuan and Liang Zhu were both standing beside her, and Zhong Yuanyuan said, “Lin Yi seems to be in a good shape today, and she should be able to pass this scene with no problem.”
As soon as she finished speaking, Director Tian shouted out in satisfaction, “Cut! Not bad, Little Lin! This is a good start! Onto the next scene!”
Han Feixu looked at Zhong Yuanyuan in amazement, and the latter smiled smugly, “See, what did I tell you? When Lin Yi was still filming in China, I was the one always following her around. So I know everything about her state of mind, mood, and more”
“What about me? What’s my current condition? Do you know?”
Zhong Yuanyuan hesitated, “This…..”
Han Feixu: “It’s ok, I get it. You don’t need to say anymore = =”
While Lin Yi and Hu Zhuoxuan acted together in the next scene that took place at the palace, Han Feixu and Ye Mingxin’s first scene began on the streets of the Qing Dynasties. In two houses that stood next to each other, the scene began. Yingxiu’s coming-of-age ceremony was filmed first. As the last of the extras got in place, the camera started rolling.
Yingxiu’s mother put on a bitter face after putting all kinds of shabby food on the table and looked at her daughter who was embroidering clothes, “In two days, you will have to enter the palace due to the draft. We don’t have even a single decent set of jewelry at home to give you so I discussed it with your father. We can take out my private savings to buy you a set, but your father didn’t agree. The Ministry of Internal Affairs will be collecting household taxes again and your father says he wants to use the money then.”
From the moment her mother had started speaking, the girl’s hands slowed and as if she encountered some kind of obstacle, she increased her strength as she frowned. The needle passed through the fabric and she put down the half-finished embroidery. She raised her head and revealed an elegant face as she said in a low and gentle face, “Mother, you don’t have to worry about me. One can still participate in the draft even without jewelry. As for the savings at home, it should naturally be used according to father’s discretion.”
Zhong Yuanyuan brought a chair over, and poked Han Feixu’s arm and motioned her to sit down. Han Feixu didn’t dare to look away from the scene as she bent down without looking and sat down.
Stars twinkled in her eyes, “Wow! Look, look! She’s acting so well!”
Zhong Yuanyuan: “…..”
She speechlessly looked over at Liang Zhu and the latter simply received her look and patted her on the shoulder, “Get used to it. We should be considerate of the children who have never seen the world before.”
Han Feixu: “….” I can hear you, thank you very much.
Ye Mingxin stood up and made her way to the offerings alatar, but when she spotted Han Feixu’s sparkling eyes she paused. Her pause was a little too obvious and the Director called, “Cut!”
Ye Mingxin immediately apologized but the Director waved his hand indifferently. It is normal to take many takes for a scene, besides, Ye Mingxin was doing a very good job up till then.
He narrowed his eyes sideways at the culprit and called someone over, “Go over there and bring Ms. Han to touch up her makeup. Her makeup seems to be smudged.”
Han Feixu: ????? It’s not smudged though?
Makeup artist: You can question my character, you can question my skills, but don’t you dare question the durability of the makeup I buy!
Ye Mingxin is usually not so easily distracted, but Han Feixu’s expression just now was almost the exact same as the one she used to have eight years ago. It had pulled her into a daydream of her memories and caused her to pause for one beat too long.
After Han Feixu returned, she focused on her work and didn’t get distracted again.
As time went on, they only had to do retakes 3 times otherwise every other scene was shot in 1 shot. At about eleven o’ clock in the morning, it was finally Han Feixu’s turn. Han Feixu was exchanging a few words with the actor who plays Wen Shan’s father.
“Hello Senior! Please take care of me!”
Wen Shan’s father is a military commander and is a stoic and unsmiling character. The actor Director Tian chose had a similar personality. The actor has been in the industry for more than 20 years and seen many different people, but even he was slightly stunned by Han Feixu’s smile.
He can’t be blamed as Han Feixu’s smile was just too happy and sincere. It doesn’t matter if she was trying to flatter him or actually being sincere, such a pretty smile was just too blinding. As the saying goes, “One should not slap the face of the smiling man*” and although he himself didn’t smile, he tried to treat Han Feixu in his own polite way. (*T/N: A saying that means one shouldn’t insult/offend someone who is nice to you.)
“Nice to meet you. Do you like to eat pork ribs? My wife gave me a large box of pork ribs today, shall I ask my assistant to give you some later?”
The subject of this conversation seems to have derailed a little too much.
Han Feixu nodded without hesitation, “I eat pork ribs.” She won’t let this chance slip away!
While other actresses will eat almost nothing in order to maintain their figure, like rabbits or hamsters who only eat leaves and beans every day, Han Feixu did not care. After all, she now has someone who promised her special home remedies! Now if there comes a time that she has to lose a lot of weight, that will be another story.
Ye Mingxin’s character, Yingxiu, is a docile and silent person who never confronts anyone. If one uses plants as a reference, then her sense of presence is not even a noble plum blossom. She is more like a simple foxtail that grows on the side of the road and never blooms any flowers. The only wish of this simple foxtail is to be able to live safely and peacefully.
Wen Shan, Han Feixu’s role, is the complete opposite. Wen Shan’s heart is divided into two halves, one halve for herself and the other for her family. She is a proper Manchu* and her family is full of powerful military commanders who hold real power. She is entering the palace to not only make a bright future for herself but to also bring honor to her ancestors through the only way a woman can. (*T/N: Manchu was the ruling ethnic minority (the emperor/princes were all Manchu) of the Qing Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty, the Han Chinese (the largest ethnic group in China) was treated as lesser than to the Manchu)
The person with the greatest influence on Wen Shan’s character is her father, a military commander. She wants to be just as majestic and glorious as her father, but she is a woman and thus cannot hold rank nor office. So if she wants to become someone powerful, she can only enter the palace.
Therefore, in this first scene, they must not only establish how powerful and rich Wen Shan’s family is, but also establish the character’s motivations. So privately, a private conversation occurs between Wen Shan and her mother. Her mother asks her if she really wants to enter the palance. If she didn’t, then her mother could make some arrangements to let Wen Shan be eliminated in the first round. Wen Shan responded unhappily to this suggestion and refused. She felt that her mother had no ambition at all and didn’t embody the military spirit of their family at all.
At this moment, Wne Shan’s father came in laughing and rubbing his palms together as he praised Wen Shan for being worthy of her status as his eldest daughter.
Ai, if only Wen Shan knew that her life would be like a rollercoaster as all her sons died before her very eyes and the last 20 years of her life was full of sorrow and loneliness. Then she wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic and high-spirited.
Life is full of opportunities, and no one knows where fate will take them until they reach the very end.
During the coming-of-age ceremony scene, Han Feixu came out with her head and chest held high in a confident and flamboyant demeanor. She wasn’t timid at all and anyone could tell she was the daughter of a military commander. She knelt on the ground and asked her mother to change her hair style to one of an adult woman and then she confidently returned to the boudoir with her mother.
Ye Mingxin crossed her arms and watched from the side without blinking. There is no argument that Han Feixu’s acting is very good but she is not good at positioning herself. The cameraman can’t get the best angle of her at all.
She thought about reminding Han Feixu this fact later when the scene changed and the cameraman moved accordingly. Now Han Feixu sat on a round stool and picked up a cup of tea.
There was nothing in the cup but Han Feixu still glanced down at it, picked up the lid of the teacup, and moved it across the cup as if she was actually driving away the hot steam of the tea. (T/N: couldn’t find a gif for this, but ancient Chinese tea cups would have lids on them and you would move the lid back and forth across the tea cup to move the steam around. Well it’s more like the little pinky raise for drinking British tea, it’s more etiquette than something practical.)
After her mother finished telling her about her idea of eliminating her early on, Han Feixu’s movements stopped as she raised her eyes and glanced at her mother before putting her teacup down. Her face turned serious, “Mother should not let others know what you have said, lest others will think that my family is a family comfortable with cowering in the corner and willing to fall into mediocrity.”
The lines in the script were just this overbearing as Wen Shan’s character itself is so domineering that she dares says these things to her mother = =
She had entered the perfect state of mind and the actress playing her mother was able to act even better due to this. Her voice was full of both anger and shame, “This child, your mother is doing this for your own good. What kind of place is the palace, how will you be able to bear the hardships in that place? You may be able to be the matriarch in any other household, but inside the palace, you can only hope to climb your way up step by step. Remember the words, ‘Her rosy cheeks aren’t old, but first love has been cut. Leaning, wreathed in smoke, she sits until dawn.*’ If you receive no favor then so be it, for being close to the emperor is as perilous as lying with a tiger. Do you understand me?” (*T/N: A poem by Bai Juyi called “Song of the Palace.” and talks about a young consort who is not favored by the emperor and sits alone in sorrow. Her mother is basically warning that her youth will be wasted in heartache as she fights for favor )
Han Feixu sneered, “Mother, you are getting upset over nothing. This daughter is confident that she can be selected, and she is also confident that she will be favored for a long time.”
“Hahahaha, not bad, not bad at all! As expected of my eldest daughter! Father will prepare all the expenses after you enter the palace, so you don’t have to worry about us. Don’t frown anymore, darling, our Wen Shan is not a talentless person. How can she marry those incompetent nobles who are nothing more than brats?”
Han Feixu stood up and greeted her father, the actor Yan Ran, who had just entered, “Many thanks, father.”
Zhong Yuanyuan poked Liang Zhu’s arm, “Her acting is not bad, I actually think it’s pretty good.”
Liang Zhu watched the scene play out with vigilant eyes. She was nervous at first since this was Han Feixu’s first official time acting after her making her comeback. She was afraid that she might have stage fright or be overpowered by the other actors in the scene.
“It’s fine, but not as good as when she was filming those movies.”
“Aiya, it’s already good enough and this is a drama, not a movie. Things are not as strict here as there’s time for her to practice and improve. After they finish filming, we’re breaking for lunch, right? I’m going to see if Little South has finished cooking or not.”
Liang Zhu turned her head, “Grab another ice drink from the fridge and I’ll bring it to Han Feixu later.”
Han Feixu had to do many more takes than Ye Mingxin, but her overall performance was pretty good and Director Tian was already very satisfied by her performance. The first scene in the afternoon will be filmed in the palace so for the time being there was nothing for Han Feixu and Ye Mingxin to do. Ye Mingxin has been watching from the very beginning to the end and followed after her once everyone was told to take a break.
Han Feixu accepted the drink given to her by Liang Zhu and took two sips as she fanned herself with her hand, “Why didn’t you go inside to rest and instead stand in the sun all day?”
There was a heat-absorbing tent placed near the set but it was still quite hot even in the shade. Ye Mingxin replied casually, “I wanted to see your RV. I need to act again at 2 so I’m thinking of taking a good rest there during noon.”
During the early stages of the drama, the two of them will have the same number of scenes. Han Feixu felt an ache in her head at the thought of shooting more scenes from 2-8 pm later, “It’s really hot today.”
Speaking of the TV, Han Feixu asked, “Didn’t you say people will gossip about it? I stayed here all morning and didn’t hear anyone say anything about it.”
Lan Zhu who was holding up an umbrella over all three of them said, “A matter of misjudgement. Mingxin-jie didn’t account for comparisons.”
Han Feixu was confused, “Comparisons?”
Lan Zhu pointed to the distance, “Compared to that.”
Han Feixu followed the direction of her finger and was stunned.
She thought her RV was eye-catching enough, but was with this train-like structure?
Three long luxurious RVs of the same color and model were connected together while a pure white RV that looked a little like a space capsule stood behind them. Staff were also coming in and out of these RVs and she even spotted a Chef wearing a big chef hat coming out.
Han Feixu asked in disbelief, “Are these dining cars hired by the crew??”
That’s not right, who would cook in an extended RV?
“Of course not,” Lan Zhu licked the popsicle in her hand, “That’s Yin Jiahe’s team, dedicated to serving her alone. Did you see the man with the earpiece at the door? That’s Yin Jiahe’s security team leader.”
The security team…and the team leader himself?
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