Author: 公子于歌 / Gong Zi Yu Ge
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 41: Jintai Qiongying
Shen Jintai was on fire, and the crew naturally knew it. The premiere was a hit, and the crew was overjoyed. The eyes of the entire crew were staring at him as they saw President Yan sent him to the set today.
He was so popular that President Yan himself personally came to deliver him.
“Jintai, here you are.” The executive director smiled and greeted Shen Jintai, and then smiled at Yan Qiuchi. “President Yan.”
Yan Qiuchi nodded and asked, “Where is Director Guo?”
Director: “Still sleeping. Director Guo stayed up late last night to cut the film yesterday and didn’t sleep much.”
The current model of the drama was simultaneously filming and broadcasting. Guo Rui, as a director, had strong creative desires, so he mainly did everything by himself. He was the staff member that worked the hardest in this series.
Yan Qiuchi turned to Shen Jintai and said, “I’m going to see the director.”
Shen Jintai nodded and went to the dressing room by himself.
As soon as he walked into the makeup room, his makeup artist immediately surrounded him and said beamingly, “Jintai, congratulations.”
Shen Jintai smiled and said, “Thank you.”
Today was a joyous occasion, so everyone was in good spirits, especially Shen Jintai, who looked extremely radiant.
Someone entered from behind. Shen Jintai looked back and found that it was Zheng Siqi. To cultivate feelings, he and Zheng Siqi shared the same dressing room.
Zheng Siqi smiled and said, “A’Xu, good morning.”
Shen Jintai: “You don’t have a scene this morning, so why didn’t you sleep in.”
“But you have a scene and I wanted to watch and learn from it,” Zheng Siqi said with a smile.
Bai Qingquan’s assistant saw that Shen Jintai had arrived in the dressing room, and immediately sent a message to him: [He’s here.]
After Bai Qingquan received the message, he said to Wei Ge, “Let’s go.”
Wei Ge, who was sitting in the nanny’s car with Bai Qingquan, said, “You must be stable.”
Bai Qingquan didn’t speak. He put his phone on the table. His mood had been extremely complicated. He introduced Shen Jintai to play the second male lead in order to lift the sedan chair*. He thought he would crush Shen Jintai until no scum was left. Who knew that Shen Jintai would rob him of all the limelight as soon as the broadcast was aired?
*Buzzword referring to rooting for someone to increase their popularity || Basically, in this context he wanted Shen Jintai to lift him up and make him (Bai Qingquan) more popular.
When he browsed the major forums, all he saw was Shen Jintai and not a single mention of Bai Qingquan. He should’ve never been such a generous person, especially to Shen Jintai!
How shameful, how hateful, how humiliating!
“I am most worried about you,” Wei Ge said. “If you’re affected by these things, you’ll be completely suppressed by Shen Jintai in the scene today. At that time, netizens will not only praise Shen Jintai but will also compare you with one another. Do you want to be the one who gets stepped on?”
“I know.” Bai Qingquan looked out the window coldly. The car had already entered the film and television city: “I know what I should do.”
At this point, self-abandonment would only make the situation worse. Even if his mood was extremely bad, he had to adjust it and continue to fight. He wanted to fight Shen Jintai to the end. Even if he couldn’t get up after being beaten, he wouldn’t admit defeat. This was his last stubbornness!
The staff today would feel two kinds of pressure.
<The East Palace is Coming> was a hit. Most of the crew were overjoyed, and the staff on the scene were full of energy. President Yan even came in person. It must be that the premiere ratings last night were high, and the company’s top executives were very satisfied!
When the official ratings came out, the two major television stations and the <The East Palace> official website both announced that the series had broken one. The first episode had a rating of 1.1 while the second had 1.4.
As the popularity of the series was still fermenting on the internet, fans of Shen Jintai and Zhang Siqi continued to refresh every few minutes, increasing the number of clicks.
How could the two major television stations not make use of such a good feast? They started to air reruns during the daytime.
Despite this, the two main leads of the drama weren’t happy. Though Bai Qingquan was smiling, he was a lot quieter today. As a big star, he had his own separate dressing room. As soon as he entered, his face sank.
When he usually got his makeup done, he would chat with the makeup artist. Though he seemed like a little fairy on the outside, only his makeup artist knew how gossipy he was behind closed doors. He was talkative and lively. However, today, Bai Qingquan was intently focused on reading the script as she was applying makeup to him. His brows never relaxed.
Yang Lizhi didn’t have it any better. As one of the bigger names, she should have been full of joy. She was excited when she got the chance to play the heroine in a palace fighting drama. It was supposed to be the most popular and attractive role. Yet the popularity was snatched away by two men.
Obviously, she carried the attention during the premiere, but the result became that she made wedding dresses for others*!
*(为他人做了嫁衣裳) Proverb that means your hard work didn’t get you any benefits but instead contributed to other people’s welfare.
Today’s scene was AB. There were two scenes going on at the same time, but they were shot separately. Yang Lizhi wanted to know which scene director Guo Rui was shooting. As He Lanbi, her scenes had been miserable for the past few days. She was assigned to the Garment Bureau, where she had to wash clothes and was bullied by many female cannon fodders.
It was a common routine for the heroines of palace fighting dramas to experience a stage of growth. He Lanbi wasn’t a gentle girl. As the heroine, she took the shuangwen* route. Her mood had to match this, and she remained cool and collected. As she walked to the filming location, her emotions remained stable.
*(爽文) Characterized by the protagonist’s smooth flow from beginning to end of the story that involves them rapidly upgrading. There are 4 types. You can read more about it in my Kinky Thoughts.
When she arrived on the set and saw Director Guo, she felt a little better.
She acted out multiple scenes of being framed, then face slapped them back, being framed, then face slapped them back, continuously. <The East Palace is Coming> was a fast-paced fighting drama. In a single day, He Lanbi settled accounts at the Garment Bureau and won the favor of the head mistress.
After filming for a day, Yang Lizhi was exhausted. In the evening, she went to watch Song Wei, who played her aunt, Empress Xiao, film. She was completely overwhelmed by the veteran actor.
Song Wei’s acting skills were amazing. Among the young actors, only Shen Jintai was able to match her and not be swallowed.
Yang Lizhi cried internally for a long time and finally embarrassedly put some eye drops in to relieve her eyes. Song Wei had the same temper as she did and was relatively straightforward. Her eyes always seemed to show obvious impatience whenever she looked at Yang Lizhi. Guo Rui came over to talk to her about her scenes.
Yang Lizhi felt that despite Director Guo filming her scenes today, he didn’t really necessarily pay attention to her. She became worried that she might not be able to act well.
As a huadan, Yang Lizhi could sell her acting skills well among her peers. However, her shortcomings were easily exposed when she was faced with a real acting artist. Her lines were read unclearly, she easily broke character, her emotions came too slowly, and her appeal was too poor.
Fortunately, she was a relatively strong woman who didn’t cry often. She would tread on it fearlessly. She wasn’t soft and refused to admit defeat.
It was already dark after finishing filming the scenes with Song Wei. Director Guo immediately went to another site where a more important scene was being filmed.
It was the dual scene between Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai.
The candlelight was faint. Bai Qingquan was lying on the couch with his long hair scattered. A staff member took a hair dryer to blow it. The silk was fluttering in the hall as the light technician stepped back with a light board. The makeup artist was spraying water mist on his face as they helped put on his makeup.
Shen Jintai also had long hair scattered. He was standing not far away and was wearing only an inner shirt.
Guo Rui didn’t know why, but he got a little excited every time he saw these two.
Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan seemed to be natural opponents. When they appeared in the same scene, they seemed to have a natural tension between enemies and friends. Guo Rui wasn’t sure if this was brought about by the show or in real life.
Guo Rui: “Are you ready?”
Bai Qingquan made an OK gesture. The makeup artist sprayed a final spurt of water on his forehead and quickly retreated.
Shen Jintai was still the same as he nodded to the director quite seriously.
“All departments are ready. THREE, TWO, ONE, ACTION!”
Bai Qingquan frowned tightly. He was shaking lightly, as if he was entangled by the night. His gasps became louder and louder. Shen Jintai suddenly opened the tent, sat down beside him, and shouted, “Your Highness!”
Bai Qingquan opened his eyes abruptly. He sat up from the couch, panting as beads of water flowed down his cheeks.
Zhou Jing was dreaming again. He got up from the couch and hugged Li Xu.
Li Xu was wearing only his inner shirt. His body was warm. Li Xu pressed one hand against the back of his head and said, “Your Highness was dreaming again.”
Zhou Jing trembled and said, “I dreamt of my concubine mother. With blood and tears in my eyes, I wanted to grab her hand, but I couldn’t.” He wept bitterly as he continued. “I have avenged her. I have avenged her. Yet why is this dream still haunting me.”
After he finished speaking, he suddenly let go of Li Xu and stared at him with both eyes.
Li Xu didn’t dodge his sight. Instead, he returned his gaze and asked, “Why does Your Highness look at me like that?”
“You’ve returned, but your heart is still in the East Palace.” As he finished, he got up and shouted, “Tea.”
Immediately, an eunuch came in with a tea cup. He picked up the teacup, raised his head, and drank it all. He seemed quite thirsty. Tea spilled down the corner of his mouth. He turned around and asked Li Xu, “Why don’t you speak?”
Li Xu said, “Your Highness, what do you want this slave to say?”
Zhou Jing smashed the teacup in his hand into the ground when he heard Li Xu’s words. The teacup shattered to pieces as tea splashed onto Li Xu’s shirt. Zhou Jing’s eyes were flushed. His face turned hideous as he said, “You’ve followed me for over 10 years, but that couldn’t compare to the 10 days you spent with him!”
Li Xu’s eyes turned red, and he raised his head and said, “Do you want to know why?”
“Because he was the first person to treat me sincerely. He was the crown prince. A person that sits above 10,000 people. I am just a most humble slave. He knew that you sent me to him, yet he still treated me like this. I… He’s a good person, and I hurt him…”
“How does he treat you? Am I not good enough to you?” Zhou Jing’s throat bobbed as he spoke. “I don’t believe anyone in this palace. I only believe in you.”
Li Xu remained silent as he shed a tear.
Finally, he said, “Your Highness, I want to go back to the East Palace. There are countless slaves around His Royal Highness, but I am the only one by his side.”
“Back then, you saw how my mother was poisoned by Empress Xiao. When I was a child, I was locked up in an anteroom by her. You came to see me secretly and gave me half a candle. I asked you why you wanted to help me, and you said it was because we’re all pitiful people who have been bullied…” Zhou Jing’s voice was sorrowful. After a moment of silence, he continued, “You once said that you would accompany me to climb above 10,000 people so that no one would dare to bully us anymore. Now that you are only halfway through this road, you just… You are the prince’s favorite. Do you know how much risk I have taken to get you back? The whole palace suspects that I’ve harmed the crown prince yet questions why I saved you. You are just a mere slave in their eyes, and your death wouldn’t be as good as his.”
Li Xu didn’t speak but knelt down. Zhou Jing was so angry that he stretched out his leg and kicked him to the ground. “The crown prince will die!”
His tone was dark, and his face was flushed.
Shen Jintai was really shocked. He felt that Bai Qingquan was really into the scene. Although Bai Qingquan kicked him at an angle that wasn’t a direct hit, he felt the strength was strong. His eyes were particularly dramatic, and his face was a bit hideous.
Shen Jintai got up from the ground and kowtowed to the ground. “I know that none of you will let him go. I know that he’s bound to die.” Shen Jintai’s tears dripped on the floor as he cried. “Let me accompany him through this last journey. I will keep this life and be loyal to Your Highness for the rest of my life!” As he said this, he knocked his head on the ground fiercely.
Bai Qingquan grabbed him by the collar. His lips were tightly pursed. His face was ablaze. His neck faintly showed blue veins as tears gushed out and he suddenly released his grip. “Do you think I’ll hate you for reneging. A’Xu, I’m afraid you will lose your life. In the deep palace, you’ll think that all you lose is feelings but, in the end, whether you live or die is not up to you to decide. I will hold your hand and keep your life.”
At this moment, the little eunuch played by Liu Hui ran in quickly. “Your Highness!”
Shou Jing: “Speak!”
The little eunuch trembled with fright and said, “The Empress… Empress… has died.”
Shen Jintai and Bai Qingquan stood up straight at the same time, one standing and the other kneeling, looking at the rocker camera.
After a moment of silence, Shen Jintai immediately got up, and Bai Qingquan grabbed his clothes. “It’s not me, it’s not me.”
Shen Jintai slumped to the ground as his legs went soft.
Both Bai Qingquan and Shen Jintai needed time to calm down. Bai Qingquan’s performance was extraordinary in this scene. It was obvious that he had entered the scene. After filming the scene, sweat covered his back. He stretched out his hand to pull Shen Jintai up and asked, “The kick just now didn’t hurt you, did it?”
“No.” Shen Jintai smiled as he waved his hand and sat on the ground.
After the lights on the set were turned on, the hall suddenly lit up, and Director Guo said behind from the monitor, “This one has passed.”
The next part would be where the Empress committed suicide by poison, spelling out a way for her son to survive. Then it would be her funeral, which was Zheng Siqi’s most important scene. This wouldn’t be filmed until tomorrow.
When Shen Jintai was about to go back to rest, he received a flying page.
During the filming of a film or television series, if the creator suddenly got an inspiration, they could temporarily add a scene in order to adjust the plot. This process was called a flying page*. Some dramas have been using flying pages constantly since the beginning of filming. This kind of style felt as if one didn’t know what to shoot tomorrow after shooting today. Generally speaking, it did more harm than good and wasn’t conducive to the actors who needed to sort out the logic and emotional changes before and after the changes. The script for the first 20 episodes of <The East Palace is Coming> had already been released. Occasionally modification was made. It should be because the screenwriter or director felt that there was a lot of heat in a direction.
*(飞页) Means there is no specific script when making a TV series or movie. The script is made and modified in the process of shooting.
Bai Qingquan was taken aback when he saw that Shen Jintai had received a flying page. He was very curious and wanted to see what scenes were added for Shen Jintai. However, with the broadcast premiere, Shen Jintai became the focus for all the crew members. Bai Qingquan pretended not to care and went back to his dressing room.
While removing his makeup, he happened to meet Yang Lizhi. Yang Lizhi tapped on the cigarette in her hand and said, “I heard that a flying page was sent out today. Are they going to add more scenes for Shen Jintai? These businessmen… When I signed the contract, I was told that there wouldn’t be any major changes in the first 20 episodes.”
They most likely saw that Shen Jintai was getting hot and wanted to take advantage of it. If the audience liked watching him, then they would cater to his needs. Since this was the first flying page, it wasn’t easy to bring up the contract. Otherwise, it would make them look like they were being difficult. Especially Yang Lizhi. She was a foreigner, and it wasn’t easy to get this role. Since Bai Qingquan was an artist under Sunshine Media, it was more appropriate for him to speak on this matter.
“This isn’t a big change. It’s better to talk about it when pages are flying every day,” Bai Qingquan said.
“You have a good temper,” Yang Lizhi responded.
Bai Qingquan remained silent. He was focused on looking at Shen Jintai’s Weibo followers on his phone, which had surpassed four million.
This was only the first day of broadcasting. In today’s flying page, the plot was very simple and there were almost no lines. Shen Jintai’s nose became sour when he looked at it.
This scene was added well.
Zheng Siqi had received the notice much earlier as he was already in makeup and waiting beside Shen Jintai. He was also very surprised and excited when he suddenly received the flying page since Zhou Ying didn’t have many scenes. In addition, the added scene was also a dual scene with Shen Jintai.
Even a fool would know that their CP was very popular and the more interaction they had onscreen, the hotter the CP would become.
The two sat on the floor and chatted for a while before filming started.
The news of the Empress’ death had reached the East Palace. Li Xu had snuck in through the lush courtyard that was filled with vegetation and roses. It was pitch black in the hall. Not a single light was on, and there was no one there. It was empty, with only the sound of silk flapping in the wind.
Li Xu whispered, “Crown prince.” No one answered him. He only saw a dark figure lying in front of the window.
He immediately ran over, knelt on the ground, and said, “It’s me.” He accidentally touched the wine jar on the ground, spilling it. The wine wetted the corner of his robe. As he helped Zhou Ying up, he was grabbed by his robe and heard the sound of small whimpers.
Li Xu held Zhou Ying in his arms silently as he hugged him tightly.
“A’Xu, Queen Mother… is dead,” Zhou Ying said.
Li Xu’s lips quivered as warm tears fell from his face. Zhou Ying grabbed his shoulder and buried himself in his arms, crying.
The rocker camera gradually receded. The moonlight shone on the two people from outside the window.
Ever since the poisoning incident, no one had supported Zhou Ying. The Xiao clan was punished, his mother had died, and his brothers wanted him dead. His father, the emperor, could no longer save him. His sweetheart was just a most humble slave who could only watch as he moved step by step closer to his end.
Director Guo said, “It’s over.”
Zheng Siqi got up from Shen Jintai’s arm and gulped as he wiped away tears.
“Aiya.” Shen Jintai who was also crying, rubbed his eyes and said, “Ah.” As he was about to speak, he glanced at Zheng Siqi, who was taken in by him. The two looked at each other and tears fell again.
Shen Jintai felt that his emotions were a little bit out of control.
He sat in front of the window, taking deep breaths to calm himself. “This scene is very good. Very good.”
At this time, Li Xu should be with him, even if it was only for a short moment. After the night passed, Li Xu decided to try his best to save him, but to no avail.
It was very realistic. Ingenuity couldn’t overcome the power at hand.
While the heroine’s palace fighting drama route was cool to watch, Li Xu’s path was more realistic. He was a little eunuch with no power or influence. He couldn’t do anything. He had a weak heart that was held down by a sense of powerlessness. This reason was far more blackening than the death of his lover.
The seeds of power and desire were planted in his heart, and one by one, he wrote down all his enemies in his small notebook.
Kill a person and burn a page.
The light of the fire illuminated his eyebrows but could no longer illuminate his heart.
The crew also understood the hearts of the audience well. They posted a stills on the official blog late at night with the text: [Jintai Qiongying*.]
*(琼瑛) Refers to beautiful jade. Also refers to the stamens of the Qiong tree in mythology.
The stills showed two people embracing each other, with robes spread on the ground, long hair scattered, and a double mandarin duck white jade pendant beside them.
Jintai was Shen Jintai. Ying was the name of the crown prince. The combination of reality and illusory combined to form the words that were noble and beautiful*. It immediately ignited the CP fans.
*Clarity: Breaking down the characters, Jintai (金台) represents Shen Jintai. The Ying (瑛) represents the Ying in Zhou Ying and is also the same character in qiongying (琼瑛) which refers to beautiful jade (the mandarin duck jade pendant). Combining them all together gives you Jintai Qiongying (金台琼瑛).
What kind of “Mrs. CP”, they don’t want to be Mrs. Le chicken* essence girls anymore!
*Brand of chicken bouillon. As for what it’s referencing, I’m unsure.
The super talk changed its name to “Jintai Qiongying”.
Zheng Siqi’s agent, Sister Wen, called Li Meilan in the middle of the night. “Sister, there’s a bit of abuse in the drama. Do you want to cooperate and make some sunny videos to neutralize it?”
The author has something to say:
Yesterday, a reader recommended me a song <All Sentient Beings are Crazy>. Reading this chapter while listening to this song, it can be eaten together and be slightly abused.
My god… this drama is more dog blooded than this novel. My heart is simply breaking for Li Xu and Zhou Ying. I agree… This drama is fucking abusive… to my heart!!!
Since I didn’t want to make a long footnote in the main text, here’s the continuation of Shuangwen. There are 4 categories:
- Upgrade text: The most popular of the four. The characteristic is that the MC upgrades very fast and becomes OP. While others level up by 1, the MC levels up by 5.
- Teacher tutored text: Shows the MC growing up and gets mentored by a teacher with great powers that levels them up with all kinds of cheats.
- Harem novels: The MC has multiple wives and concubines that are in groups that ranges from 3 to dozens or more. The text provides a cool flavor but lack connotation.
- Counterattack: On the surface the MC is some poor boy, but he is actually the heir of a certain group/family/gang/sect.